• Requirements Completed for Master of Business Administration

    Those words in the title now appear at the end of my MBA transcript from Louisiana Tech University. I will graduate Saturday, March 6th, 2010 with a Master of Business Administration and a concentration in Information Assurance. There is nothing else left for me to do; school is over! If I hadn’t gotten the two B’s, I’d have a 4.000 average. Unfortunately, the school doesn’t do any cum laude stuff for graduate degrees.

     -----------------------Winter 2010-------------------------
     MGMT595 084  ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY        A    3.00  12.00
     UNIV610 001  GRADUATION - BUS GRAD             0.00
                         AHRS    EHRS    QHRS    QPTS     GPA
          Current         3.00    3.00    3.00   12.00   4.000
          Cumulative     36.00   36.00   36.00  138.00   3.833
          Requirements completed for Master of Business
     --End of Louisiana Tech University Graduate Transcript------

  • MBA, Obama, and Water


    Today, I finally was able to register for LSUSMasters of Business Administration program.  I had to go to a stupid orientation that wasted 30 minutes of my life and then had to go across campus to a computer lab to waste another 30 minutes of my life where they showed people how to register.  I just needed them to unlock my Compass so I could register.  I’m not a retard so I knew which classes I wanted.

    Jenny is also starting the MBA program, though she is doing pre-requisites, so she was able to already register for her classes, and they made her go to it too.  We then went to get our new Pilot Cards made which took forever, and then to the bookstore to find out how ridiculously expensive books are.

    All in all, I paid a little over $1500 for school and $400 for books.  I hate school.


    Conservatives will believe almost anything that another one of their kind makes up about a non-conservative candidate, so it shouldn’t surprise me that people would believe absolutely fabricated lies about Obama‘s background as a "radical islamist" and things like that.

    Today at work, someone forwarded around that lie, so I did reply to all, and I set the record straight:

    That story about Obama is not true, even though it claims “We checked this out on "snopescom".”

    See the snopes article:

    Chris Benard

    Not surprising, I suppose.  I just get irritated by people spreading lies, especially when the lie even says it was verified by Snopes, which it obviously wasn’t.  People will actually believe these things without looking them up like I do.

    Shreveport Water

    Well, you know what they say about Shreveport: it’s a nice place to visit, but don’t drink the water.  We’re the new Mexico.  They don’t really say that, but they might now.  Today, we had a serious water situation.  It’s still not back to normal, and a boil advisory is still in effect.  I won’t be drinking city water for a long time.  Luckily, we have bottled water at work, and I have bottled water at home.

    Fatburger was closed when I went by today, and Moe’s was only serving bottled drinks.  Circle K wouldn’t sell ICEEs or fountain drinks.  All the children were sent home from school and won’t be returning tomorrow.  Lots of people are being affected by this, and it shows how serious of a problem it is to have a single water treatment facility.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 1 Year Blogging Anniversary

    It came to my attention one year ago today, I started blogging. I find that humorous, considering the anniversary of my post about how I hate has its anniversary three days from now. The reason that’s humorous is that I just got done ordering some Christmas gifts from there.

    I suppose I can’t just write to say that I started blogging a year ago. It has been an interesting time, and while at times my updates were slow and far apart, I’ve kept at it. I didn’t know if I could enter that whole blogging thing, but I’ve certainly done better than others.

    A year ago I worked at a different place that had a different website. The current one is one of my design and programming. I now work for a place where I don’t dread going to work every day. I never have to talk on a phone, and I get to program all day in a much more mature programming language. I’ve gotten to work with a coworker and design a new web site for my current employer.

    My semester is finally over, which means a year of school has gone by as well. My GPA is back up to a 3.5 (I think), but I won’t graduate for another year. Hopefully, when I write a recap in a year, I’ll be talking about my graduation in a day or two. I have my grades for 3 of the 4 classes I was taking, and the ones I have are all As, and I’m hopeful the last one is as well.

    Life is pretty good right now, and I’m in a much better position than I was a year ago. I will endeavor to continue blogging when school and life allow me.

  • Certifications, Helping, and Racism

    Yesterday, I took the Microsoft 70-526 certification exam and passed it with a 940. That certification is for Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Windows-Based Client Development. After I take the 70-536 (Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0—Application Development Foundation) on 1/31/2007, I’ll be MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications. I’m already MCTS: SQL Server 2005. Doing these certification exams is fun, but taking all the classes for them every week is really time consuming. If you add that onto my 40 hour work week and 12-16 hours of school plus homework, I have almost zero personal time. I’m taking 16 hours next semester in addition to this DotNet University and work, so don’t expect many blog updates.

    Today, after I finished part 1 of my CSC 460, I was leaving class around 5 PM and there was a truck blocking my exit of the TC building. I honked at the pickup and got no response and as I was about to backup to go another way all the way back around one way lanes, the person stuck his head out of his car and said he couldn’t move. I jumped the curb with my expedition to get beside him and asked if he needed me to call somebody. He said he had a phone but he was out of gas. I offered to take him to Circle K and he accepted. I drove him there to get some gas, but they had no gas canisters, so I drove him down to Chevron at Youree and Sophia. He grabbed some gas there and I put the container in a plastic bag in my car so it wouldn’t get as much gas in my car (it still smells a little like gas).

    When we got back to his car, the LSUS cops were around it and wondering what to do with the car that was blocking the way. Eric (the guy’s name) and I explained the situation and after he was finally able to get the car to start after refueling it, Eric and I shook hands and the cops, Eric, and I all left.

    I went to my parents’ house to meet up with them to go get something to eat, as I often do during the week on nights that I don’t have school. On the way back home, we were discussing how stinky southeast Shreveport is thanks to the poop lifting station in the back yard of one of the homes at Smitherman and Youree. Some people we know used to live there and after they finally moved out, that house sells all the time. People probably view the house on a “good” day and then find out the horrible poop truth. That’s mildly humorous.

    What’s not humorous is that my dad said that they should “get some Spaniards to live there since they wouldn’t mind”. I became irate and started yelling at him that he is a racist, because he obviously is one. He claimed it was a joke to “get my goat”. The reason he knew that would “get my goat” is because I have called him on his racism several times before, usually about black people. He wants to pretend he’s not a racist, but I’m fed up with it. I’m not talking to him for a long time. He paid for my dinner but I put cash in his shirt pocket for more than what the meal cost and he asked why. I told him I didn’t want to feel like I owed him anything and the money was for the meal and gas money. I am so pissed off at him right now, and I’m ashamed that he’s my father.

    The worst part is that my mom won’t call him on it because she has to live with him. He’s not violent or anything, but she just shies away from any conflict. I asked her point blank if she believed he was kidding. I could tell she was lying and after she stuttered a little bit and then hesitated, she said he was kidding. I call bullshit on that one. She needs to stand up to him and tell him that’s not OK. She even votes for whoever he tells her he’s voting for because she said “I like who he likes.”

    And next time Craig says something racist, I’m going to call him on it. I’m sick of it from him too. Craig, for those who don’t know, is someone from the Shreveport Atheists. While discussing the white bus driver in Natchitoches that sent the black kids to the back of the bus and insulted him (we were discussing it because Randall is on the local ACLU [of which I’m a member] board), Craig had not heard about it. When we elaborated, he first started laughing out loud, literally! After that subsided, he asked “Are you sure it wasn’t because they were being loud? You know, when a lot of them get together, they can make a bunch of noise.” How bold! How crass! How unbelievable!

    It is NOT OK to be a racist in 2006. Apparently, it’s still possible to do it in Louisiana, but it’s not OK, and I’m going to start telling people besides my dad. There is no excuse to think you’re better than someone because of the color of your skin. I knew Craig was a racist from some of his blog posts, and I called him on those. I’m now blocked from his MySpace, so he’s probably posting more racist blog entries that I just can’t see now, but I’m not going to be friendly to someone who can’t even understand that pigmentation has nothing to do with how good of a person you are.

    So in closing, I’m happy about the following: I finished one half of one of my finals with an A. In another class, I don’t have to worry about the final because I have a 103% and I only have to make like a 40% on the final. I’m also happy that I was able to help someone a lot with only 45 minutes of my time. (I guess I’m glad I never mentioned to my dad that the guy was black.)

    I’m pissed off at my dad and as an extension, I’m pissed off at Craig again. Am I crazy to think that it’s not OK to be a racist, even if it’s just to “get my goat”?

  • The Prestige, PlayStation 2, and Programming

    Update 1: Added Krystal Meyers picture and GH2 news.
    Update 2: Fixed “lost”/”lot” typo, thanks to John McCain.

    Before I begin on the title’s topics, I’d like to begin with another: Christian Music. Normally, I dislike it because it’s completely boring, and of course the content is verbal diarrhea. However, recently, I prepaid for two years (MasterCard buy one year, get one free special) of Yahoo! Music Unlimited. YMU is really awesome, because it lets me listen to and download unlimited amounts of music. By using FairUse4WM, you can even completely strip the DRM and take your media wherever you want.

    I don’t even hardly ever use the download functionality, though. I use YMU to keep me entertained at work while programming. I rate the music when I listen to it, and YMU will add those ratings to my preferences. I can then listen to “My Station”, which will use those ratings to make further recommendations to me.

    Krystal Meyers
    Krystal Meyers
    With that said, that’s not how I found Christian Music. They also have advertising placed on some of the entry pages in the program, and I clicked on this Krystal Meyers person’s advertisement for her new album. Now granted, I clicked on her because she’s hot, but in my defense, the advertisement didn’t say it was Christian music. However, I think she is an awesome singer. You should check out her music.

    On Friday, Chris, who I got to sign up for YMU as well, even pointed out that I was jamming to a song about abstinence, The Situation. I don’t normally pay attention to lyrics, but I found myself singing “Maybe that’s the beauty of grace!!!” to myself later after listening to the song of the same title. Her music is just that good, that it makes me momentarily forget that I’m an atheist. Chris said he’s worried that I’m turning into a Christian. After all, I did leave our Shreveport Atheists meeting 2 seconds earlier than he.

    I didn’t want any of that as part of the title of this post, and it would have ruined the P thing I had going on there, so sorry that you had to read that first.

    I went to see The Prestige with Joey and Natalie last night. That was probably the best movie that I’ve seen in a long time. It rivaled Hero, and I’m not sure which would win. It stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. Christian Bale is my favorite actor ever. It was directed by the same director as Batman Begins and Memento. Those are two of my favorite movies ever. It also had Scarlett Johansson in a starring role, one of the hottest and best actresses ever. (Also, she’s released some kind of single that I heard on YMU that sounds like Frank Sinatra. I don’t like it.)

    The point is, there were a lot of “ever”s in that previous paragraph, and they all point to The Prestige being an awesome movie. Also, David Bowie plays Nikola Tesla, an unlikely but excellent performance. And who doesn’t like Michael Caine? Go see this movie.

    Also, Brandon and white Bryan were sitting really close to us and we talked to them right before and after the movie. That was cool seeing them, since I hadn’t seen them in forever. Brandon asked what drugs I had been on, since he hadn’t seen me in forever and I’ve lost a lot of weight since then.

    Before the movie, I hung out at Joey’s house for a few hours and we played ping pong for a while. That was excellent; I hadn’t played in forever, and I’m out of practice. He also mentioned that his friend/coworker was trying to get rid of his PlayStation 2. Apparently, the friend only wanted 40 bucks for a non-slim PS2 with controller and cables. I had the cash on me, so I told Joey to tell the friend, who was also going to the movie, to bring the PS2. I bought it, so now I have a PS2 sandwiched between my Xbox and Xbox 360. Guitar Hero 2, here I come, especially since I’ll be able to play the Top Gear theme song! (Get well soon, Hamster.) Update: I just pre-ordered Guitar Hero 2 Game and Guitar and got a nifty little t-shirt to show for it.

    I spent most of today catching up on the last week’s TV watching. I watched Battlestar Galactica, two CSIs, two The Offices, a ton of Colbert Report and Daily Shows, Mythbusters, CSI: New York, and a couple of episodes of The Way of the Master (more evidence for Chris).

    I think I’ve worked out my weekend schedule. On Fridays, I either do things with friends or accidentally fall asleep at 8pm. On Saturdays, I catch up on TV and lie to myself and tell myself I’ll do schoolwork. On Sundays, I actually do schoolwork. That seems to be the general way things have been going lately.

    I was actually semi-productive today as well, though. While watching the Colbert Reports and Daily Shows, I worked more on my Lab2 for CSC 460, finishing the business and data layers for the program. I’ll probably do the game manager part tomorrow.

    When going to find the links for this blog entry, Natalie’s myspace is very hard to read, and it reminded me of Soda‘s myspace. Her myspace makes my Firefox go very slowly and I can’t even click on her picture because of the marquees. I can’t make people stop ruining the Internet and clogging the tubes, but I can write a bookmarklet to remove all that crap. Stupid WordPress won’t let me put the actual link here, but you can grab the Fix MySpace Bookmarklet from that page that I created. Once it’s in your bookmarks or links and you’re on an ugly myspace page, just click it to remove all that ugly stuff. It works like a charm and makes Natalie and Soda’s pages legible.

    Sorry for the extremely long post, not that anyone reads this.

  • I Love My New Job

    If you read my blog or know me, you know I quit my job at Highland Clinic about a week ago. I also mentioned the CareerBuilder post they had up to replace me. I linked to a saved version of the post in case they changed it. They did change it. The new version (locally saved copy) is just a help desk position. In other words, the position is for someone who just answers the phone, tries to solve basic problems, and escalates problems to other staff members via the ticketing system.

    This is pretty strange, because this means one of two things. One possible decision was that they no longer need someone who can do everything I was doing, which is highly unlikely considering the unsuccessful interviews already conducted. This leaves only one logical conclusion in light of the two open positions on the career page; they are going to replace me with multiple people. I must admit that I get a pretty big kick out of that.

    In any case, I’m loving my new job as a programmer at New Tech Computer Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morris & Dickson. I’m a C# programmer, and Chris and I are currently redoing the Morris & Dickson website. The resultant code will be used as the basis for future web projects. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun. Check the site in a few weeks when it will have quite a different look.

    It’s good to be able to make money doing what I actually like to do. I’ve been programming since elementary school on a variety of systems and languages. I program projects for myself and other in my spare time, so getting paid to do it isn’t very much of a stretch. As you might be able to tell from my first blog post, I have never voluntarily worked on a weekend at any company, with the exception of yesterday. Chris and I really wanted to complete what we were doing on Friday, so we came in from about 12:30pm to 6:30pm on Saturday to finish refactoring some middle tier code. Next up, I’ll be working on some of the non-programmatic presentation layer so that we can begin work on the web forms part of the site.

    It’s very strange because the day seems to fly by extremely quickly, while at the same time, it feels like I haven’t worked for Highland Clinic in years. It’s amazing how easy it is for a new to absorb my attention so quickly and entirely when it is something that I love doing.

    On an unrelated subject, I just completed my Fine Arts 140 class and got a 95%, an A. I’m about to start my Finance 301 class next week, <sarcasm>which should be loads of fun</sarcasm>. At least my fall semester should be fun. I’ll be taking Computer Science 315, 345, 460, and 480.

  • Chancellor’s List Letter Annoyances

    2006 Chancellor's List Letter2006 Chancellor’s List Letter
    (Click to enlarge)
    I know I mentioned I got a 4.0 this semester and I was on the Chancellor’s List again, but I actually got the letter from LSU-S today. Vincent Marsala, the Chancellor, was even kind enough to not actually sign them. That’s was pretty lame. How hard could it be for him to sign the 4.0 student’s letters?

    I guess they thought they’d fool me with a cursive font. That change of font on that part of the page really makes me feel special. If you’re not even going to use an Autopen, why even bother. At least that way I’d feel like you spent some money on me indirectly since you can’t spare any of your time.

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