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The Holocron
August 2008
Sat, Aug. 23rd, 2008 08:05 pm

I haven't updated in some time because I've been in the middle of one of those inevitable things in nearly everyone's life--a death in the family. My great-grandmother was believed to have Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. This was never confirmed, but she had been falling for a couple years and by a month ago she could no longer hold herself up. The disease progressively leaves you unable to move anything except for your eyes, and then you eventually die.

Luckily, she was 87 and never made it that far. She caught pneumonia and died early on the 21st. She fought it hard for about a week, but she wasn't getting any better.

Still, 87 is by no means young, and I'm glad that she had such a long life. She was always a large part of mine (my great grandparents and grandparents both lived on my street) and I'll always remember how much she gave up to raise her family. My great grandfather was in World War II, and she took care of everyone while he was away. When their children were grown, they made sure they all got a good education. That has stuck with us all. I remember being told I was going to college before I ever started grade school.

I still find it impressive that a daughter of Irish immigrants who worked in a factory most of her life was able to raise one engineer, one PhD, one teacher and one minister.

I'm really very lucky. I've never been left wanting much. Without her, my life wouldn't be nearly as full as it is today.

Thanks for everything, Mama. You'll definitely be missed.

Current Location: Home


Thu, Aug. 14th, 2008 09:56 am

Early in the summer, I decided that I would take up fencing again when the semester resumes on the 25th. With the Olympics going on and the U.S. team doing surprisingly well, it only makes me want to do it more.

I took a foil fencing class over a year ago now and dropped the sport when I came down with mono simply because I barely had any energy and needed all my efforts focused on school. Now I'm feeling better and I could use a little sparring once a week. That means I'll sign up for the actual club at my university and take it up on the team.

Anyway, in other news my new notebook shipped out yesterday. That was a lot faster than they told me it would. I should have it...soon!

Oh, and a picture for those who don't know me from facebook.

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Current Location: Home
Current Mood: relaxed relaxed
Current Music: Coldplay


Wed, Aug. 13th, 2008 10:29 am

I got the confirmation for my trip to Athens yesterday.

E-mail confirmationCollapse )

I'll be working my tail off on the 25th of the month, and it will stay that way until the first week of December. She's the hardest teacher I have ever had, but she is really worth it. If I make a C on something, I deserved it and she'll tell me why, but that only makes the A's I get even sweeter because I know I really earned them. She's probably more work than all my other classes together could be, but at the same time...I'm going to Athens. :D

I'm going to finish my Star Wars book before I see the Clone Wars movie on Friday, then I'll finish the Iliad and start on Plutarch. Hopefully I can have them done before my first day of class. I could use the head start with her...

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Current Location: Home
Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic
Current Music: The Killers


Mon, Aug. 11th, 2008 10:24 am

After four years, I've got to admit that it is time for a new notebook. I should have treated this one better from the start, but now I know you can't leave them running so long and you should always use a case to keep out the dust. A warranty also helps...

So, yeah, take two with this whole notebook thing.

I ordered my new VAIO SR notebook yesterday.

Here are my customized specifications:

250 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive [5400 rpm]
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T9400 (2.53GHz)
3 GB DDR2-SDRAM (DDR2-800, 2GBx1 + 1GBx1)
13.3" WXGA (XBRITE-ECO™ technology)
Night Black
Large Capacity Lithium-ion Battery
Trusted Platform Module / Biometric Fingerprint Sensor
Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n) with integrated Bluetooth® technology

VAIO® Urban Messenger Carrying Case
VAIO® Protective Case
3-year warranty with accidental coverage

It should be here by the time I start school back, and I've got 18 months no interest to get it paid off. That won't be a problem. :D

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: MuteMath


Sat, Aug. 9th, 2008 09:20 am

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sung. Where grew the arts of war and peace,-- Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But all, except their sun, is set."
-Lord Byron, Don Juan (canto III, st. 86)

Dr. Laningham e-mailed the class about our trip to Athens, Greece yesterday. I would sum it up, but she is so humorous I'm just going to put it here.

Athens E-mailCollapse )

And on a completely unrelated note, my good friend Zach has purchased a 1959 Cadillac Hearse and is turning it into the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. He has a blog dedicated to it. Check it out.


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Current Location: work
Current Mood: excited excited


Tue, Aug. 5th, 2008 01:19 pm

During summer, I sort of go into hibernation mode. I apparently drop off radar to a lot of people, with the simple answer this year being that I don't like wasting gas. Anyway, that lifestyle has its drawbacks. Even though the economy is sinking faster than a dinosaur in a pre-Cambrian tar pit, everyone is somehow finding ways of upgrading their technology for cheap. Where was I when computers started coming with 300 gig hard drives? Eighty gigs seemed the standard not six months ago. My mother decided to purchase a new Dell, and knowing I'm destined to be the one to set it up, I'll see just how smoothly these new monster computers run compared to their not-so-ancient ancestors. 

Still, where did Dell and Gateway get the money to give their hardware that kind of a boost during a bull market? I'm not sure.

Regardless, there is one thing I have been paying very close attention to, and that is the smartphone war. There have been plenty of competitors--most notably Apple with its new 3rd Generation iPhone, which has now released to pleasant reviews. Google had a smartphone in the works that now seems like a wasted effort, except that they are apparently leaving it completely open so you can put whatever software any company designs for it on there. But in the end, every person will only choose one, and my prospected winner is the new Blackberry Bold.

This handy little gadget from RIMM is supposedly the competitor to the iPhone that everyone has been waiting for, even though it appears the ever tech-savvy service providers will have a monopoly on them both (AT&T in the US and Rogers in Canada). I haven't played with the 3G iPhone yet, and the Blackberry Bold hasn't yet released in America, but I still believe it comes down to personal tastes.

My typical day is spent running across campus from class to class. There are days when I need to bring my Vaio notebook to class, but some days it is more of a liability that I have to watch closely. On those days where I don't need it for class, I typically use it for e-mail, which is the preferred communication method by professors today, my favorite being the class cancellation that you don't receive until you're already on campus. It's at times like those that I really wish I had a computer I could pull out my pocket to check my e-mail instead of finding a place with a power socket to power up my notebook, which easily takes five minutes. 

That's just what the Bold is. There is no touch screen. It can view YouTube and other media, but it isn't based around that like the iPhone. It is first and foremost a sleek and convenient method of staying connected. With a fully functional qwerty text pad, it blows the iPhone out of the water with functionality. Apple's touch screen keyboard was never fun for me, and I have slim fingers.

It can also work as a bluetooth modem for when you are on the road. Seriously, say goodbye to paying for internet in hotels.

It seems like it could free me up a great deal, but at the same time I may just need to put the money aside for a new notebook come the holidays. University hasn't been kind to my Vaio. Or me, for that matter.

But I still think I'll buy the Bold. I kind of love my gadgets.

Current Location: work
Current Mood: dorky dorky


Mon, Aug. 4th, 2008 01:42 am

This summer has been interesting for a number of reasons. Since this is my first post, I'll try to sum it up here.

I went on vacation twice this year. In May, I went to Huntsville, Alabama on business. While the trip was more work than play, I did get to visit the Space and Rocket Center. In June, I spent a week at the Hilton San Destin in Destin, Florida with my family. Though I enjoyed it, I look forward to spending future vacations with Paulina.

Work has been interesting. My trip to Huntsville was based around updating circulation software at my job, and it has been a real headache. The guy who trained me on it also gave me very little respect because of my age. Sorry, I can't help it that I'm smarter and given more responsibility than most twenty-one-year-old's.

I really don't mean to brag by that. It's just awful to be targeted for doing well at what you do.

Anyway, my boss also had a baby, and we're short-staffed at the moment. She returns in early September, so I'm looking forward to things easing up there some.

I haven't read much...at all. I think I was burnt out from clawing my way through Medieval History last semester. I signed up for a class based solely around the city of Athens, Greece with a trip included for Thanksgiving this November. It's the same professor, Dr. Laningham, and she has assigned every student in the select class to have read the Iliad by the time we return for the Fall semester. I'm going to start that in the morning. I've been gnawing on Byron: Life and Legend, presumably the best biography on poet and revolutionary George Gordon, Lord Byron. I've always appreciated a man who keeps a bear as a pet while at Cambridge.

The Clone Wars movie is coming out in a couple weeks. I've been reading the book some, and it's quite good for what it is. I'm even more excited for the weekly series that is due to come out this Fall.

Paulina and I celebrated our fourth year anniversary in July. We're looking forward to spending our Christmas break together come December. I still miss her a great deal, but we talk more than ever online and on the phone, and we've never been better.

That just about brings everything up to date. All and all, I can't complain. Not at all.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: Across the Universe OST