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January 31, 2003

A whole week's worth of nothin

So, I guess I can start this entry by saying how much I love bureaucracy. I mean, how great is it to have to call 5 different places in search of a piece of paper that you find out was destroyed a year ago, which nobody knows was destroyed, and which your advisor asked you to find.

It was really nice of someone to pay for the transcript to be sent from OU again. That will arrive Monday.

Work has been... average. Thankfully, the week is almost over and I can get back to the mundane parts of my life: homework and housework.

While I was looking at the OU website, I went to their "whois" lookup to see if I was still listed. Alas, it seems they finally deleted me. However, when I did a search on my last name, I came across an 'April' from Dresden who is a freshman.

Now, while I can't be 100% certain, I think this is my cousin's eldest daughter, based on her age, name, and address. Last time I saw my cousin was about 20 years ago, and he was not yet married. It was this girl's grandfather that died a few weeks ago. I wonder if she knew him. I kind of doubt it, since our family is sort of fragmented.

She doesn't know my grandma, her great-grandmother either. That, I do know for certain. Does she want to? Is she even close with her dad?

Is this even her?

Should I email her?

Oh, what the hell. It's Friday. Maybe I will.

January 28, 2003

Oooh! Get Her!

So, yesterday I had a meeting with an advisor over on main campus. I went to the room where I was told to go (on the third floor), and the receptionist sent me through a maze on the first floor. Room 135, she said. I looked and looked and found no room 135. I asked two people for help. Neither could find it. Finally, when I asked for the advisor by name, they said "Oh, you're an athlete. Here, this way. His office is right over here."

Hookay. Now, if any of you know me, you'd know that I am NO athlete. So, I'm thinking, "Great! This guy probably knows the quickest and easiest ways through the system." Ha.

All the advisor was supposed to do was to help me get into a college and possibly a major. Well, let's just say it didn't quite go as I would've hoped, and I can't imagine why I thought this particular academic advisor would be better than any of the others.

A queen with a caesar cut, scarlet-and-grey sweatshirt and blue jeans, who spoke hillbilly was what greeted me.

First of all, he hadn't even looked at my hours or my classes or my transfer credit. Or my age for that matter.

I can forgive the fact that he might have missed that I -WORK- there. But come on, you're supposed to be giving advice here. Look at the records which are in your hand.

You certainly don't ask someone 5 years your senior "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Honestly, the thought crossed my mind to get up and walk out then, but I didn't. Unfortunately, I needed this guy. So, I corked the steam which was now pouring out my ears, bit my tongue and said "I'd like to continue working in the computer science field, like I have been for the last 10 years."

"Well," he said, near-snickering like Paul Lynde, "you'll never get into a CIS major with these grades."

By now, I was turning about 18 shades of red. I have only (ONLY!) about 30 hours worth of classes here so far. Not counting last quarter (which I'm repeating), I'm at a 2.8 GPA. If I get an A in just 2 classes, I can put my GPA in fine territory to get into the major.

"I suggest you attempt to get into the Geography's IS program. The entry requirements are much lower."

I asked him to go ahead and switch me into the College of Arts & Sciences so that I could find an advisor there, and he did. Or, more correctly, someone else did. You see, that's when I got passed to someone else.

This lady was nice, although she, like Lynde, wasn't looking at my records or listening to me. However, I did finally get an advisor IN the college that I will most probably graduate from. I did not declare a major though, since a) nobody seems to want to listen to me and b) I wasnt going to be pressured into what THEY wanted me to do.

That was my day. Hooray for me.

January 27, 2003


Um. Yeah. The Weather Channel messed up.

30 degrees MY ASS. It's -4. That's NEGATIVE FOUR. And it's windy.

Days like this, you ought to be able to stay home from work, unless of course, you work for the electric company, the gas company, or drive a salt-spreader or dump truck. Or Triple-A.

Speaking of being somewhere other than work... I'll be going to a meeting with a school-appointed advisor here in about 2 hours. Seems they've killed my registration for spring quarter till I explain why I'm an undeclared senior. This should result in either good news or my leaving the University. I hope it's the former. We shall see, though.

January 23, 2003

equi facts

so, i called equifax's hotline and got a copy of my credit report. it's not as horrible as it once was, but it's not good.

i can see why banks dont want to refinance my car.

however, last night, I also got my w2. looks like i will be paying off all of my (bad) debt with my tax refund.

while it's not the new computer, or vacation i had planned, or even a grand payment towards my car, it will do a LOT for me. Like, oh, re-establish my ability to have gas and electric service in my name. And, of course, start clearing up that credit report, although a lot comes off this year anyway, since seven years ago is when I killed all my accounts.

there is only one mystery on my report, and it's to the tune of $44 with a surcharge of $30, so i do need to look into that. I think it's for my old ISP in Athens. Which I paid. So, at any rate, I must investigate.

Hey, I rhymed. And it's only 7:00am.

Speaking of "only" -- have you looked at the thermometer lately? It's 4F! 4 above. And the windchill is -14F. Some schools cancelled classes because they were concerned about kids freezing at the bus stops.


Still not done with tonight's lab, or tomorrow's. I'm going to run a tracing table on the one due tonight, so iI can find the mistake, and just bite the bullet on tomorrow's and do it in class. Tonight's is longer, more difficult, and worth 5% of my grade. I need that 5%.

My friends are already starting to complain they never see me. Naladahc and Hensley went 2 days without me already this week. Not that you'd want to be around me these days, since I'm a fucking short-tempered grump.


January 19, 2003

nothing worse, part 2

Well, I know I said I wanted to clean the office, and put plastic over the windows and such, but hey, I'm only one person. So, yesterday, I spent the morning/early afternoon doing laundry, and the evening doing more of the same. I cleaned a little bit, blew up at Nala for not being a sensible eater (yet insisting that freakish diets are the way to go), and worked some on this site and another which needs to be finished soon.

Today, I'm off to a late start, but I went to look at the gym where Naladahc signed up. It's nice. Clean. Packed with equipment. Modest locker room and showers. And one HOT man working the front desk. I mean that in a global sense. I dont think there was one man or woman on the planet that would disagree that this guy was not only handsome, but well-built, and somewhat congenial.

So, I have two labs due this week. Got the one done for last week just in time, and that was perfect. I ended up having to use a tracing table to root-out the error, but so what. It worked.

Today, I need to finish the big lab, due Thursday, and look at Tuesday's homework. Finish laundry. Finish this site's template. Finish adjusting the ACRNalumni site. Plan tomorrow out hour by hour so I can get everything done on my mind's list.

Hoorah. What a long day THAT will be.

January 17, 2003

nothing worse

There's nothing worse to me than a feeling of being defeated. Especially when your adversary is computer code. I wrote a really great piece of code for this week's lab, and it, essentially, blew up. I'm waiting till I go into lab to fix it.

It is the lab, and usually, I try to figure those out beforehand. And this is lab #2, it SHOULD be easy. But, I also remember from last quarter that it was not, but it was a simple fix. A simple fix that, of course, I have no written proof of, since I was a dumbass and didnt get my shit off the server before Dec 18, when they wiped everyone not in the major, but figuring I was in the major since I got into the next class (which was logical, since the class was for majors only).

I suppose I could fight that and try to have it restored.

I could really relate to Mike's entry about his java class. That sounded so familiar.

I have no time for such things. I think this might be hell... having so much to do and no time to do it.

This weekend's goals include: putting plastic over the windows, insulating over the windows in the basement, changing the furnace filter, looking into duct insulation for the basement, laundry, attic cleaning (trash removal and book sorting), package mailing, and office cleaning.

Oh, and DVD cataloging. Must have a list so we dont keep buying what we already have.

And finishing a template for this site. Goddammit. I swear I must be trying to do the trickiest thing in css. two side-by-side divs with a div around them both. It ain't workin'.

Oh, and if I get all the rest of this done, I'm planning on finishing the DC Direct shelves for Nala.

January 14, 2003

A Short Rant

You all know that I'm an accessibility advocate, at least in my work, so this rant will come as no surprise to you.

Why would a legitimate business send an HTML email with linked graphics (meaning they exist somewhere else in cyberspace, not in the email itself) with no "ALT" tags, rendering the email unreadable to a specific segment of the population? There was no option to sign up for "plain text" email. Just HTML. And the HTML they sent was bad, but offers SOME sort of "gift" in the form of a sale and a rebate on some mystery product.

You may ask "why don't you allow linked graphics to appear?" Well, because if I do, that also confirms the validity of my email addresses, and in Mail.app, it appears you can only do all or none, not specify which individual message's graphics to show.

So, no thanks, Home Depot. You screwed up.

January 13, 2003

Blogger Code

B9 d++ t++ k++ s u- f i+ o++ x++ e+ l- c+

What's your BloggerCode?

January 10, 2003

He's Gone.

So, I called my dad to see when my parents were coming to town for the RV show. They aren't.

My uncle died Wednesday night, and my dad had to tell my grandmother yesterday morning. Surprisingly enough, Dad sounded sad when he told me. I asked how Gram took it, and he said he wasn't sure. She accepted the fact he was gone, but not that he didn't want a service, and was being cremated. I made the suggestion that to her, that would be very foreign, to which he agreed, and thus was probably the root of her confusion.

She will remember, he thinks. She remembers really good and really bad things. She remembers having the flu a couple weeks back and how many days she had it, and how many times she threw up. She remembers seeing me at Christmas. I think the passing of her son qualifies as a really 'bad' thing.

So, my dad's spending the next couple days over there with her. My mom still cannot travel because of hip problems, and has an MRI scheduled for Sunday. Maybe I'll get to see them then.

Brunch @ Dragonfly after her MRI? Maybe so. It's healthy, and vegan, and all that good stuff. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be the first Latham to live to 70, and with any quality of life.

My only regret is that our family wasn't closer. I wish I had any memories of good times together (or even bad) but I don't. I remember my cousins Ronnie and Randy (and subsequently their wives and families) coming to my grandma's house to visit while I spent the weekend or was staying for summer vacation. Now, those kids are grown and in college. Our disparate ages never allowed for adult conversations, and my foreign nature in regards to the rest of the family makes things awkward now.

Maybe someday I'll get to know them. If not, I'll grow to more greatly appreciate the new family I've made for myself, and the loved ones I hold close.

January 8, 2003

The First Week

The first week of class is always the worst. Readjusting to having homework again, readjusting my work schedule, and my workout schedule... And watching things blow up.

Including me.

Instantly the stress came back. Some days, I think I'm destined to never graduate. Frankly, I'm getting so frustrated that I really could care less about work or school independently of each other, let alone heaped on top of each other.

I just want to go home. But, as luck would have it, an entire domain of servers went kablooie. God bless Microsoft. All we need is a function in the Intel chip, triggered randomly by (any version of) Windows, which completely and literally MELTS the processor. That would make things... better. If you knew, for certain, that at some point in the product lifetime (which, if you were still in the society of 5-10 years ago could be well over a decade) your machine was going to die a fatal death, you would certainly take ALL PRECAUTIONS to ensure that tomorrow when you arrived at work at 6am, a melted server wasnt greeting you.

Instead, the many bugs features of Windows allow you to get a false sense of security. Admins become passive and complacent. "Oh, everything's fine. I'll do my daily backups and we'll get by in case of failure."

Let me tell you... nobody plans on a corrupt kernel file bringing their machine to its knees. Or a corrupted security database ("I cant log in as administrator, or anyone else!"). Or any number of unexpected but increasingly common maladies.

January 3, 2003

Blog? What's a Blog?

My friend Spetz commented on <A HREF="http://www.gigajournal.com/jay" target="_blank">OhioJay</A>'s blog:

<I>what the hell is a blog? i assume this is a blog. should i know what a blog is? am i retarded?</I>

i really wanted to say "yes, you are retarded. you work in the media and don't know what a blog is, despite more than 2 years of media coverage"

but i didnt.

update from my friend Diane (the one with the twins): both are home and doing fine. her life is no longer hers, and she understands why so many mommies are drunks. I got photos too... they are so tiny and cute!

January 1, 2003

Photographic Madness

Damn <A HREF="http://www.mikeintosh.com/" target="_blank">you</A> for <A HREF="http://www.mikeintosh.com/blog/archives/000404.php" target="_blank">inspiring</A> an archaeological dig of my own through my photos...

I just spent nearly an hour foraging through the drawers of old pics, wandering through the past 18 years or so. Most painful were the ones from junior high, and the ones of friends now passed on... and the ones of me and my Ex on various occasions.

Why do we keep this stuff, anyway?