Monthly Archives: December 2007

  • Independence Bowl

    Independence Bowl Ticket My work allowed all employees to sign up for two free tickets for the Independence Bowl.  I’m not normally into football, unless it’s LSU playing, but I figured it was free, and I’ve never actually been to a football game in real life.  It was pretty fun.

    It was Alabama vs. Colorado.  Apparently, I’m supposed to cheer for Colorado, since Bama is LSU’s arch enemy or something.  Colorado kinda sucked, especially their weak offense, and they lost 30-24.  Colorado did take an actual buffalo and parade it all around the field, so that was pretty neat, and I think we were on TV for a few seconds, but I’m not sure.

    Cold Weather Clothes It is cold outside, and I don’t really have any cold weather clothes.  I was wearing my normal Old Navy jacket and my City Name Sports Team T-shirt (apropos).  When I arrived at Jenny‘s apartment to go shopping, eating, and to the game, Rachel informed me that I’d be freezing.  I thought we were just going to get a new jacket with a hood and some gloves for me, and Jenny and Rachel were going to get gloves.

    Me, Jenny, Rachel Independence Stadium View From Our Seats Jenny let me know that hoods aren’t cool and made me get a pea coat.  I’d never even heard of such a thing.  I also got a sweater from Marshall’s and a hat and gloves from Wal-Mart.  I like the sweater, and I’ve never had any of those either, but I don’t know how I feel about the pea coat yet, and that stupid thing was $50, even at the cheap store, Ross.

    Bama FansThe pea coat, hat that covered my ears, sweater, and gloves kept me nice and warm, and I drank a little which helped too.  Now I have cold weather clothes and I’ve been to a football game!  We got there right as the 1st quarter was ending, and left 3 minutes into the 4th quarter to beat traffic.  We caught the end of the game on ESPN HD and watched Colorado lose.

    Then I played some kind of gun game on Jenny’s Wii.  I think it’s called Crossbow Training or something.  There was no Mii for me on the Wii, so I created one of those first.  That was the hardest part!  I got silver on my first try on the game, but it’s not as fun as shooting real guns. 

  • LSUS Doesn’t Hate Me and Some Nerdy Updates

    MBA Admission - RedactedApparently LSUS doesn’t hate me.  They’ve admitted me into their Masters of Business Administration degree program, not that the requirements are all that stringent.

    I’ve just been waiting forever to get something in the mail from them, so this is finally some good news.  Unfortunately, I have to go listen to them drone on about the school that I’ve already been attending forever before they’ll unlock my courses so I can register on Compass myself.  That school is so ignorant sometimes.

    Me holding Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz In other news, I built (or rather Chris built) a new computer.  It’s a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz, pqi 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR2 (PC2 6400), ASUS P5K Motherboard, and a CHAINTECH GSE86GT-A1 GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 video card.  Yes, I know the video card is crap, but I don’t play PC games at all.  I play games exclusively on my Xbox 360 Elite.  I just needed a DirectX 10 capable card to offload all of Aero Glass to the video card, rather than the processor.  All four parts cost a total of $630 on 12/19/2007.

    This new computer is insanely fast and runs much cooler and quieter than my old PC (Athlon 64 3000+ with SilentBoost K8 fan).  Speaking of Aero Glass, I’m a Vista convert.  It works much nicer on this hardware than on the previous hardware I tried, and I really like its interface and layout.  If you use Vista, definitely get Switcher.  It’s life changing.

    On Vista, Windows Live Writer, which I’ve been using to compose my blog posts over the past couple of months (and it’s totally awesome), works a lot better on Vista.  I’m guessing that it’s written in WPF or something, but I’m not sure.  On my XP, it flickered a lot, a common problem if you look in the forums.  I’ve had none of those issues on Vista.

    Unfortunately, my keyboard software (iTouch) doesn’t work with my Logitech keyboard.  Someone wrote replacement software for Vista called nTouch, but it only works if the media application (I use Yahoo! Music Unlimited so I have to use Yahoo! Music Jukebox) is focused.  That removes the entire utility of the media keys!  So, I’m faced with one of two choices: switch to the Jesus of keyboards, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (I swear by it at work [software developer]), or live with degraded media key support.  The reason I’m still using this Logitech Cordless Elite Duo is because of the nice keyboard media keys, which the Microsoft Natural 4000 doesn’t have.

    The other issue is my scanner.  I use a Visioneer OneTouch 8700.  There is no Vista support, and the scanner has been EOLed, and there will be no Vista support.  Another choice: buy another scanner, or do something completely nerdy.  I chose the nerdy path of course, and installed VMWare Workstation 6.02.  It has the ability to virtualize USB devices, not just the installed driver versions of them.  In other words, the guest OS can see the raw USB device and install its driver for it.  The host doesn’t have to have any knowledge of what’s hooked up to the PC.  So my guest, XP, can see the scanner and use its drivers and the host, Vista, doesn’t know anything about the scanner.  I installed PaperPort inside my tiny VM, and it all runs extremely quickly on my new hardware.  So now, when I want to scan, instead of firing up just PaperPort, I fire up a suspended virtual machine with PaperPort already running.

    Whatever.  Bottom line: I love my new computer, Vista, Switcher, and Windows Live Writer a lot, and I’m glad the MBA program at LSUS finally realized that I applied.

  • Near Death Experience?

    graduation I finally had my graduation ceremony Wednesday, December 19th.  Some friends and family went with me to Buffalo Wild Wings afterward, and that was fun.  I had a lot of leftover wings though, and against Bill’s advice, I ate them Saturday for lunch.  I think I might have gotten food poisoning.

    Last night, I went out for a little while and then went to sleep around 3 AM.  I felt fine at the time.  However, I woke up at 5 AM shivering and convulsing.  I got up, moved the thermostat from 73 to 76, put on more clothes, and got back under the covers, still incredibly cold for some reason.  I went back to sleep.

    I woke up a little while later burning up.  I went back to sleep.

    I then woke up again shivering and convulsing, cold for no reason, but I had to use the bathroom extremely badly (I’ll spare the details).  While traveling to the bathroom, I felt faint; I couldn’t even focus on my own image in the mirror.  While using the bathroom, I literally passed out on my shower doors to the left of me.  I couldn’t even stay conscious.  I finally came to and went back to bed again, but I was still fainting on the way.  I even passed out while laying flat.  It felt like I was actually going to die.  I couldn’t even sit up without like passing out.  I woke up finally at 10 AM feeling fine, except for a headache and being incredibly thirsty.

    So, I have no idea what happened, or if it was food poisoning or what.  I thought maybe it was a drug interaction with alcohol, since I take Singulair at night, but the Internets say that there is no such interaction.  I just know I thought I might actually die, and that was kinda scary.

  • Firestone Blows

    Firestone has just made my shitlist.  Tonight, after work, I drove all the way across town away from my house to get my hair cut.  I wanted to look "presentable" for pictures tomorrow since I’m graduating tomorrow night.  After I did that, I drove way back over to the Time-It Lube on Bert Kouns to get my oil changed, but they were closed, even though I thought they were open until 6.  At the suggestion of Courtney, I went to Firestone, since they’re open until 7.

    I went in, and there was nobody there, at all.  I waited around, with no bell to ring for service, and no one was there.  Finally, I just peeked my head into the service bay and the guy finally acknowledged I existed and said "Someone will be in there in a minute."  A guy finally came in and I proceeded to give him my car’s info.  I’ve gone there in the past, but not with my new car.  He looked up the 2007 Hyundai Azera Limited with the 3.8L V6.  After finding it and confirming they had the oil filter, he seemed OK to proceed.  I asked if I could get the oil changed without the filter too, and he said no, so I didn’t really care, since it probably needs it anyway.

    He then informed me that it would be 45 minutes to 1 hour before they could get to me, since they had only one service person, and he had to put 4 tires each on 2 trucks before he could do my simple oil change.  Again, I hesitated, but I said "OK," since I had my copy of The Amber Spyglass (the third book in the His Dark Materials trilogy).  I also was hungry, so I gave him my cell number and I told him I was going to Taco Bell next door to eat and read until they finished.  I wasn’t delighted about spending an hour waiting, but I figured the time would pass quickly and I’d just be reading at home anyway.

    40 minutes later, I get a phone call from the guy telling me they don’t have an oil filter for my car, even though they do for all the other Hyundais, as if that would console me somehow.  I said something like "That’s fine, just do the oil change without the filter and I’ll get it changed when I can get one."  He told me they couldn’t do that because of company policy.  I argued a little bit over the phone, but then I just told him I’d be over there in a minute.  I finished my current chapter, and headed back over there (after talking to Mr. Pedro, how cool was that to see him there?  I then called Josh to tell him about that).

    When I got back over there, one of the truck customers was over there, and the guy was nowhere to be found, and I waited around forever again, and he finally made an appearance.  He had left my keys out on the counter too, for anyone to grab, so I got those before he came in.  I guess he didn’t care if someone stole my car or got things out of it.  What an ass!

    I asked why they couldn’t just do an oil change, and he proceeded to tell something like:

    Him: "If we change your oil and not the filter, something might drip back in there and then it’ll get damaged and you’ll blame us and we don’t want that."

    Me: "But you don’t even have the filter for my car!"

    Him: "We can’t do an oil change without the filter and we don’t have the filter."

    Me: "So you won’t ever do an oil change on my car unless you sell the filter?"

    Him: "Nope."

    Me: "What if I bought the filter and brought it here from O’Reilly’s?? Would you do it then, or do you have to actually sell it?"

    Him: "We have to sell it."

    Me: "Why?!? I’ll tell you why, because you just want to upsell filters and it has nothing to do with engine damage."

    Him: "We are a business; we’re here to make money."

    Me: "I want to pay you money… to change my oil!!!"

    Him: "That would be like you buying tires and bringing them in here for install.  We wouldn’t know the quality."

    Me: "That’s ridiculous, a filter is a porous material that keeps impurities out of the the oil system and is completely different from a tire."

    Him: *hands in air, walks away from me to the back, saying nothing, in front of that other customer*

    OK, does that not make him an ass again?  The correct thing to do when a customer accuses you of gouging in front of another customer isn’t to admit that you’re doing it, and that what you said before was just a lie.  What is their problem?  I then asked for the manager’s name, and he gave me the card and told me he wouldn’t be back until Friday.

    I really hate Firestone now, and I’ll certainly never bother them again, trying to give them money.  What was I thinking??

  • Operation: Bachelor’s Degree – Mission Complete

    I can’t believe it’s over.  I had my last final tonight and I ended up not even having to take it!  My teacher decided to let us drop our lowest grade, and I had an A in the class already, so I didn’t even take the final.  That leaves me with 2 As and 2 Bs, on a semester when I didn’t even try that much!  Haha!

    After the final, Sabrina, Ashley, Kristina, Bill, and I all went to What’s On Tap to celebrate!  I don’t even think it’s quite hit me yet that it’s actually over.  It’s hard to comprehend not going to school for my BS, since I’ve been doing it seemingly forever.  I guess it’ll pretty much be the same thing, now that I’m starting my MBA, but it feels really good to have accomplished my goal, after all these years, of getting a Bachelor of Science.  The real celebration is the weekend after next.  We’re going to do it up big, I hope.

    I smell like cigarettes, thanks to my friends Kristina and Sabrina (and Sabrina’s friend Zach), but that’s cool.  It’s better than dead carcass, and thankfully that smell has already died down a lot.

  • My House Stinks and I’m Almost Done With School

    It smells like rotting flesh in my house.  It’s absolutely horrible.  I’ve been through this before.  Some animal has taken it upon itself to crawl up inside my attic and die.  Then my house smells like death for a week.  You’d think I’d have to do something about it, but I’ve ignored it in the past, and like all problems, that makes it go away.  I hope that’ll work that time.  Does anyone have any input on that particular problem?  (Don’t come over to my house this week for sure.)

    Not that that’s related in any way to my school, but I’ve taken half of my finals, and since I didn’t care about this semester, I’ve gotten a B in Math 201 (Discrete) and a B in English 201 (Introduction to Fiction).  I only have Management 301 (Principles of Management) and Communications 135 (Speech) left.  I’m pretty sure I’ll end up with As in those classes.  December 19th at 7pm at the CenturyTel Center, I graduate.  Yay!  Everyone is invited!

    Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on my mood, I start on the MBA program in the Spring.  I took the GMAT and I only had to make a 450 on it since I have a high GPA, and I passed it with ease.  All in all, I liked this semester; I made some new friends and didn’t really try all that hard.  I have senioritis and I don’t care what I get; I’m just ready for this to all be over.  I’ve spent far too long in school.  Perhaps they’ll confer a PhD on me instead.

    MCPD(rgb)_504_505 In other news, I’m now certified as a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer in both Windows and Web.  I actually made a perfect score on the Windows one and a 976 on the Web one.  I’ve scheduled MCPD: Enterprise for Monday, December 17th, so I hope I pass that too.  My work is reimbursing me for all the tests, which is good, since they’re $125 each.

    Speaking of work, I ate a lot of food today.  We had a pot luck lunch for our building and everyone brought stuff, except for me.  I didn’t even think I’d be able to make it.  I had a two hour final starting at 10:30 and the lunch started at 11:45.  I actually rushed through my Math 201 final in order to make it back in time, and I got there only like 2 minutes late.  I’m a free food whore.  I even stayed a little late tonight and ate the night class (they teach support people downstairs about XP)’s food.  When I get to eat for free, I feel like I’m sticking it to the man.  Yeah, I know that makes me weird.

  • Bad Phone, Good Phone

    My stupid Motorola Q died, so I had to send it off to Motorola, since it’s still under warranty from them and I didn’t buy Sprint’s stupid warranty.  It wasn’t really that big of a deal, and I wasn’t even that upset to pay them shipping.  They said in the instructions to send no accessories, including batteries, headsets, etc, so I made sure not to do so.  Apparently, however, the battery cover is an accessory, and they deemed it unnecessary to send it back to me.  I now hate Motorola.

    Samsung A900M In the absence of the Motorola Q smart device, I switched back to using a non-smart Samsung A900M.  I’ve grown to appreciate the feel of a tiny little phone that has all the functionality I need.  I think I’m going to sell the Moto Q on eBay when I get a battery cover back from them.  I’ve yet to call them, because I hate dealing with Moto Customer Service, and I’m sure I’m going to end up having to buy a new one or something.  The lesson of that story is to buy Sprint’s ripoff insurance when you get an expensive phone.

    That would be the end of the story, except tonight, I dropped my phone on the ground outside when I went to my parents house, spent a while there, left, and then realized that I didn’t have my phone.  Driving up to my parents driveway again, I saw my phone blinking there in the driveway (SMS and Voicemail alert).  It had been raining the whole night, so my phone had gotten a good drenching, and the thing just kept on working.  I just can’t believe how many times I’ve dropped that little phone and gotten it wet, and it just stands up to my unwarranted abuse.  Good job, Samsung.  Motorola, tsk tsk.