Day 404

Well, let's hope there isn't an error today.  That was my obligatory "404" joke.

Well, this was another exciting day.  There was still no power today.  I had a weird dream last night.  Have you ever read the book "1984"?  In the book they refer to all of the governmental departments as "The Ministry of... "  Well I had a dream that I was getting a new job at one such ministry.  But during orientation they would say "Welcome to the Ministry of aldnnrbrjdosbfnfkgjdnsbsbah"  And I asked them to repeat and they would say "Welcome to the Ministry of aldnnrbrjdosbfnfkgjdnsbsbah."  As it turns out, that long unintelligible noise was actually something I was hearing from real life... It was the sound of siding hitting the side of the house next store.  That was weird.

Dad and I got on the road around 830 or so.  It was pretty uneventful.  Just driving.  We listens to one of dad's tech podcasts.  They talked a lot about the upcoming Windows 8 phone.  It was interesting.

We got to Bullfrog Mountain (uncle Mike and Aunt Shasta's new place) around 11.  And we moved stuff for the next 5 hours.  But we got the U-haul unloaded!  Yay!  Then dad and uncle mike and I returned it to Mount Vernon.  It was a ghost town...  The power was out in the entire town.  A guy at the u-haul place said it wouldn't be back for 5 days!  We figured that surely wal-mart must be open.  But they were not.  There was one open gas station... And they had at least 30 cars there trying to get has.

We left Mount Vernon and went up to Butler.  Their grocery had been totally wiped out by mount Vernon people.  So then we just went home.

After dinner uncle mike and I went to Mansfield to go grocery-ing.  The road by his new house takes him right to wal-mart in Mansfield, which is pretty nice.  So we went shopping and got all of the things.  I also explained the beauty of steak-n-shake to uncle mike because he'd never been to one before.

When I got back we talked for a bit, and now we're all going to bed! So good night all!  Hopefully the storm aftermath is treating you well, whenever you are!

Day 403

Oh boy.  What a day!  When I woke up my nose was feeling pretty wonderful.  I think I have some sort of cold or such nonsense.  It's pretty great.

Anyhow, work wasn't too bad, aside from blowing my nose or sneezing every 15 minutes.  I worked with Vivian on some end of month stuff. We got most of it done, so it was good.

After lunch.... Things got interesting. Around 3 I went on break.  It was pretty dark outside.  One of the other guys who goes on break with me went out to his car to roll up his windows in case it started to rain. That seemed like a good idea, so I went back to my desk to get my keys.  When I got back it had started raining something fierce.  But I figured that I would dry off faster than the inside of my car, so I ran out to my cat to make sure my windows were up.  Of course they were... But peace of mind is nice.  I got really soaked.  When I got back I saw that everyone was converging in the basement, so I joined them.   I learned that the sirens had gone off, as I had not hear them.  So I stood there with a couple guys I've met at work.  We were done there for about an hour before we could go back to our desks. 

After I got back to my desk we had about 20 minutes left in the work day.  So I finished as much work as I could and headed for home.   Originally I was going to meet dad in Beaverdam so he could give me clothes and things, then I was going to go straight to help uncle Mike move into his new place.  But with the lovely weather we decided not to do that.  I took some pictures of the storm damage, but it's hard to do all of that on my phone. I'll get them when I can.

So I made it to Beaverdam and stopped at Subway for dinner.  There were a couple Amish families speaking in their Pennsylvania Dutch nonsense.  It was silly.  I'd been texting Becky about the whole weather situation, and she said it had cleared up so I decided to head on home.  As I was driving on I75 I saw some stopped traffic.  To be specific, 7 miles of dead stopped traffic.   Then another 4 miles of crawling traffic.  Thankfully that was all going the opposite direction.   But there were two overturned semi-trucks and another car crash.  It was bad.

But eventually I made it home.  I talked with dad for a bit.  The power was out when I got home.  So I went to hang out with Becky and Miles, since she had power at her house. So I was there for a while and it was fun.  Then I came home and the power was still out.  And it was hot.  But I survived!

And I think that's it for now.


Day 402

Well I'm pretty exhausted.

I got up and went to work and things.  For the first part of the morning I worked with Lee, then I had a meeting with Jeff.  He explained a lot about some of the reasons for why we do the reserve work and how he uses all of the pieces.  It was a lot of information, but it was good to see how everything fit together.

Sometime around mid-morning I apparently decided to get a runny/stuffy nose.  So I've been sporting that all day and it's been a real gem.  After lunch I worked with Vivian for a bit, then took a test over a "Basics of Property/Casualty Insurance" book they had me read for work.  I think I did decently?  It's not for a certification or anything, just a helpful way to understand more about insurance.  After it was over I worked more with Vivian in preparation for some of the work we have tomorrow.

After work I came home, had dinner with dad, then went to go run an errand for Mama.  When I left there I helped the George family do some more packing.  We got all of the big things packed and got their TV/sound system all cleaned up.  That was a tiny bit of a nightmare, but we got it all settled.

I stopped by Becky's to see her and Miles for a bit, but I could not stay long.  Miles was trying to set up some key commands so I tried to help... but the coding we were using wasn't working for some reason.  Which is quite silly because it's exactly identical to the ones I use.  Dumb.

Ok.  I'm off to bed.  I was too tired to make lunch tonight so I need to remember to do that in the morning.



Day 401

We made it through the day!  Woo hoo!

I just had a brief flash of "Oh!  Tomorrow is Friday!"  Spoiler alert: tomorrow is Thursday.  I'm just being silly.

I worked with Lee today.  We finally finished up the work we'd been doing for Michigan and will hopefully be able to get it finalized tomorrow.  It's been a pretty big ordeal and has involved many different people, so it will be nice to get everything finalized.

Also, I realized that so far this summer I have put about 5000 miles on Pegasus in roughly 8 weeks.  It's been quite the adventure.  He's going to be pretty happy when I only have to drive to class and back... but he's been a trooper.  Thankfully.

After I got home... let's see.  I changed, then went over to the George's house to help them do some packing.  So I was over there for a few hours.  As usual, I had amazing timing and got there just in time for dinner.  I tried to sneak out, but for some reason they all thought I had to work for my food?  Silliness, says I.  But I did actually help!  I helped move the washer, dryer, couches, and such fun things.  I'm going to go back tomorrow to help them finish moving things, since they leave on Friday morning.

I made some new friends there, most of whose names I do not remember.  I did meet a lady who grew up in Mount Vernon, so we talked about how...unique... it is.  She said she used to live on Vine Street so I told her that I used to go to the Vine Street barber.  It seemed appropriate.

I had a thought on my way home.  Why do so many people dislike math?  I am quite aware that many people do.  And perhaps I'm biased because I was a math major, but it seems like math gets a lot of hate.  Most of the time I hear the fault put on some high school or middle school teacher (which isn't necessarily a false accusation).  But I've never once heard someone say to me "I hated history.  See, there was this teacher in high school..."  When you get into college, the hate usually gets put onto a specific course, such as "I couldn't stand my Sociology class!"  But there is still little hatred for the field of study.  Math seems to be one that many people genuinely dislike.  It makes me sad because it's so lovely and fun and I really feel like more people would like it if they had someone explain it to them!

Anyhow.  I'm tired and it's way past my bed time.  So I'm going to bed.  Good night!


Day 400

Sometimes I just sit back and think "Joel, how long will you keep this silliness up?"  I have yet to respond to myself.

I started looking at the Google Analytics data again.  It's fun.  I really like when I'm actually able to pinpoint who is viewing my blog.  For instance, I'll see a town show up on the data and think "Now, I only know one person from [Arbitrary City], so (s)he must be reading my blog!"  It's kind of neat.  Sometime I'd like to do some serious studying of all this aggregate data I have.

Anyhow, work was good.  I worked with Vivian this morning.  We were actually ahead of schedule on some quarter-end work, so we spent some time cleaning up notes and clearing out unnecessary files.  After lunch I worked with Lee on a request for some changes in one of the states.  We got a lot of good work done.  After our afternoon break we were both ready to head home and things just got silly.  But we managed to get all our work done, so yay!

When I got back from work I had dinner with dad.  We had pizza!  And I shaved.  True story: shaving isn't that fun.  You'd think that for as long as I've been doing it I might start to like it.  But in truth... I have not.  Yarg.

I went to Becky's to watch UP!  But as it turns out, Family Video only has UP on Blu-ray...which none of us have.  So I got Wall-e instead.  And the DVD didn't work.  So clearly we were all super happy about that.  We saved the evening by watching Monsters' Inc. though.  So happiness was had by all!  And many of the laughs.  After the movie Miles and I discussed the upcoming TF2 update (we're both very excited).  We then tried to explain the concept of an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) to Becky and Kelly.  They're a lot of fun, but I don't feel like I'm smart enough to figure out all the trickery behind them.  Someday I'd like to get more involved with them... but we'll see.

So.....yeah.  It's time for bed.  Good night, friends.


Day 399

I was going to take a picture today, but I forgot.

This morning started off...... yeah.  When I got to work Lee had me work on this thing in my cubicle.  It took me a while and I was getting pretty frustrated because there were so many different files to go through and I didn't know which ones to use.  I basically had to look at a similar file, look to see where those numbers were located, then do the same thing for the new file.  It was just overwhelming.  Unfortunately, that's how I learn best (and this was why Lee had me just go do it on my own)... just wading into a situation and figuring out what to do.  So I got through it and all was good.  It is a very mathematical response to learning.  I wish I learned better from just listening to people, but really I do learn best by just getting something thrown at me.  I could have asked questions (and I asked a couple), but I know it will stick with me better if I do it completely on my own.  So it got done and I was enjoying it when I actually figured out what to do.  But it seemed as though today was just sort of an off day.

I had lunch with Lee.  I told him about my fantastic weekend of healthy eating (sushi, Chipotle, Five Guys, Waffle House).  We both concluded that today should have counted as two days.

As I was leaving work there was a train that blocked traffic for about ten minutes.  I was not amused.  I way wanted to be home.

When I got home I watered the plants and picked some lettuce.  Dad had a couple games to coach, so he was gone all evening.  After watering and things, I got some dinner and played TF2 with Miles.  That was the majority of my evening... It was nice to relax and things.

So... that concludes my story.  It wasn't super exciting.  I tell you what... sometimes I just imagine it gets kinda mundane reading this when I live such an exciting life.  But hey, apparently people still read it!  Anyhow, I'm off to bed.  Night, all.


Day 398

My goodness, what I day today was!

As usual, my body was done sleeping way too early.  I made it all the way to 7:30 before I woke up!  It was pretty great.  So I got up and showered and things.  Jared and I decided to get Waffle House for brunch (yup... we brunched).  This quickly turned into having breakfast with our other friends!  Namely Becky, Kelly, and Miles.  We tried to get Jared to stay up here in Findlay, but he's silly and said something about working or whatever.  Anyhow, Waffle House was beyond fantastic.  Our waitress must have been in her 50s or 60s but was so excited about being there.  We were pretty energetic ourselves, so I think she just played off of that.  Jared and I got there first and told her that we wanted to go outside and play.  She got really excited and wanted to join.  So I invited the rest of the Waffle House staff in earshot to come play tag with us.  They all got pretty excited.  I really like going to Waffle House.  The food is good (in my opinion) but the staff has always been wonderful for me.  I've gone there at all parts of the day and since my friends and I are always excited to be there, the staff seems to really get excited to have us there.  We left our waitress a note thanking her for just being awesome.  She got super excited.  Kimmy and I have left the wait-staff notes before and I really like doing that.  One time she and I went to Bob Evans for dinner and they were quite busy.  Our waitress was doing a phenomenal job, but she was stressed and was ready to go home.  So we made sure we gave her a good tip and left her a note thanking her for doing a great job and that we really enjoyed the few minutes we had to talk with her. And Kimmy drew an ice cream cone on it.  I still think about that and wonder what she did with that note.  In my time at Mount Vernon (now that I've completely derailed from the previous train of thought), I got an anonymous note.  It was in my mail box one day and it was just a short little note saying how much this person (98% certainly female) really enjoyed being in class with me and so forth.  I still have the note because it made me so happy.  But whoever it was didn't sign it, so I still have no idea who wrote it.  There are many things that I think about long after they occur...  

Anyhow, we left Waffle House and all the staff said good bye to us.  It was fun.  Then we went back to Becky's so that Jared and I could get our suits and things.  We also helped clean up because we kind of were too tired to clean last night.

I would, at this point, just like to mention that my friends are awesome.  Not just the ones were here this weekend (though they're pretty fantastic), but all of the friends.  And family.  People are just lovely and wonderful.

When we got back Jared had to go home.  Which is dumb.  Dad had a soccer thing to go to, so it was just me all afternoon!  I spent most of it working on my computer.  Jared gave me a relatively new hard drive he'd had laying around to see if that would fix my computer issues.  And it did!  So I spent the rest of the day trying to redownload and reinstall all of the software that I had on my old hard drive.  It's a slow process... but we're getting there.

After dinner I went to see Mama and Poppy.  We had a really good time.  We talked for a while about generational changes and how technology has advanced... and just how culture has changed over the decades.  Poppy gave me a printout he had of "A Test for System Analysts."  It was silly.  It was a list of 14 questions to be completed in 4 hours.  An example question: "PUBLIC SPEAKING: 2500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek."  Another favorite is "MEDICINE: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes."  Anyhow, we had a really good time talking about life and all sorts of things!

There was more I wanted to talk about today, but it's not really anything that happened so much as just things that have been floating around in my mind for a while.  But I'm sleepy, so this is good night.  Good night!

Day 397

So yesterday was my birthday.  And it was buckets of fun!

The day started off with going to the store, then getting my hair cut.  That went well.  I think the barber's clippers needed to get sharpened, but that's ok.  The hairs on my head still got cut.  I really prefer short hair to long hair on me.  The only thing I'm not sure that I like is that barbers tend to cut my hair in such a way that my widow's peak is pretty pronounced.  I just don't really know how I feel about it.

After my hair cut I came home I  showered and watered the plants.  It was starting to get warm, so I wanted to make sure that I got things watered before I left for the day.

The festivities started at Chipotle with Becky and Miles for lunch.  It was quite tasty.  After lunch Miles and I went to his parent's house to acquire his suit for dinner.  When we got back to Becky's house Jared was there!  Yay Jared! (Dad: this is "Jared, I've met")  So we all caught up on life and all of the nonsense.  Becky had to go make a run to somewhere, so Jared and Miles and I went to go get snacks.

Upon returning listened to tunes and talked more about life and things.  I like talking with them.  We covered the basic catching up on life, job stories, and such nonsense.  We'd all decided to dress up for dinner, but Becky didn't have anything that matched... so we went dress shopping!  It was fun.  We went to a store in the mall... I don't remember what it was called.  The store wasn't very busy, so Becky had a nice little audience of Miles, Jared, and me, as well as two store employees to help decide which dress to get.  When we got back we sat around for a bit waiting for Kelly to come over for dinner.  So we all suited up and went to dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  It was so good. Kelly and Jared had never had 5 guys before, so this was a good first experience.  After dinner we went back to the store where Becky got her dress and showed them how pretty we all look when we dress up.  They highly approved... and loved that we'd gone to dinner at 5 guys.  Oh!  And Becky commissioned a friend to make TF2-themed cake-on-a-sticks for me!  It was so much fantastic :D

When we returned to Becky's house we sat around and talked some more.  I love that we all just talk so much.  Like, I really really like it.  We don't usually need a movie or anything.  Most of the time we're able to to strike up a fantastic conversation or series of conversations and just keep it going forever.  We've all officially decided that someday we need to all live in the same city.  Preferably really close to each other.  Like...neighbors would be awesome.

Anyhow, we stayed there for quite a while and it was so much fun.  My friends and family are awesome. Whether it's the friends I hung out with yesterday or the ones that told me happy birthday on Facebook or really any people who've been in my life... you're all great.  Let's be together always, ok?

Ok, time to get on with the rest of my day.  Talk with you all tonight!


Day 396

Yesterday was pretty decent.  I remembered to get the trash out in the morning!  Then it was off to work.  Things were fine for the most part.  Nothing too exciting... except that they got me ice cream cake for my birthday!  :)  I felt special.

After work I came home, browsed the internet and did some dishes.  I was going to water but after all the rain we had the ground was still pretty damp.

Um... I went over to Becky's!  She is back from Arizona, where she was visiting her parents.  So I hung out with The Troops and it was fun.  We started watching a movie, but apparently I fell asleep during it.  I think it was good?

Anyhow, that was the summary of my day.  The end!


Day 395

Well this morning started off a bit unusually!  I was running a little late because oddly enough, my bed seemed extra comfortable this morning.  Actually, that's every morning.  Anyhow, I got ready and got out the door about ten minutes after I like to leave.  I can still get there on time, but it's close.  There's really no formal reprimanding for being a couple minutes late, but I don't find lateness to be very professional.... and I just really prefer being timely.  Then I missed my exit.  I'm not quite sure how.... I saw the "US-30 in 4 miles" sign.  And then I saw the exit pass me on my right.  Thankfully Central's address is in my GPS, so I got to a work a little differently today.  But I still got there with a couple minutes to spare, so no harm was done.

I went to a meeting today.  It was pretty interesting, even though it was hard to follow everything.  It's just difficult to truly grasp what all is happening as someone who is only partially involved.  Since many of these items are long-standing things and I'm coming right in the middle (not really, but certainly not at the beginning), I have a hard time keeping everything straight or understanding why everything is relevant.  The other issue is simply how my brain works: everything is very question/answer oriented.  This meeting was more of a collaboration of the Actuarial and Underwriting departments keeping each other up to date on relevant topics.  So it was a little hard for me to really latch on to things when there was no overarching question to be answered.  But that's ok.  I did my best to follow along by taking notes.  I remember things best if I write them down, even if I never actually look at my notes again.  Anyhow, the meetings was informative.  After it was over I worked with Lee on some follow-up things that were brought up during the meeting.

Today we celebrated Phil's 35th anniversary with the company by going out to lunch.  He picked a Mexican restaurant.  It was quite tasty!  And I was very full afterwards.  So.... it was a two-coffee day for me.  After lunch I worked with Lee for a while and some things.  Near the end he had me do a little work off at my cubicle.  After I was done I reported back... then 10 seconds later I realized I'd done about half of it incorrectly.  So I excused myself and fixed it.  I got out a little bit late, but I had no obligations tonight, so it wasn't a big deal.

When I got back I started watering and got some dinner.  That was about the next hour.  Eat for 15 minutes, change orientation of the sprinkler, eat...repeat.  Then I did some dishes.  And browsing of the Internet.  

That was about the extent of my evening.  I tried my computer again briefly but have decided to just wait until Saturday when Jared brings me a spare harddrive he has.

Ok, that's it for now.  Have a good night, everyone!


Day 394


So... Let's see.  Work this morning.  I had a meeting with Jeff first thing in the morning.  He explained a little bit about a meeting I'm going to tomorrow, then gave me some packets of info to read (which we'll be talking about tomorrow).  So that was good.  I spent the rest of the morning going through the packets.  I felt like the first one had a question that was being answered, namely "why should we lower rates in a certain state?"  So the rest of the packet explained why we should do so.  The other packets felt (to me) more like "here's all this data, just in case we need it at some point."  I had trouble finding the question that was being answered.  But I know that the meeting tomorrow will be a good one, so I'm sure all my questions will get answered.

After lunch I worked with Vivian on a project to prepare for our end of the month madness.  She helped me understand why we use paper in certain instances and our online resources in others.  After we were done I had a few minutes to kill, so I did a little bit of experimenting with making macros in a blank Excel sheet.  I'd never made a macro before but we use them all the time... so I wanted to get some practice in making them (but not in the sheets that we actually use).  It was much easier than I had anticipated.  I know you can do things much more complicated than what I was doing, but simple ones can be made.

So I  dropped a movie off at Family Video, then went home and made dinner.  I had hot dogs!  They were tasty.  Dad left me a list of things to do, so I took care of them after dinner.  Things like watering the flowers and such.  I also did some laundry and dishes.  After I got all of that taken care of I hung out with friend Kelly for a bit.  And now it's time for my nightly ritual.... so off I go to bed.  Night!


Day 393

No need to fear, friends.  I'm still wearing a shirt.  Sometimes people ask me "So Joel... still wearing a shirt?"  And the answer (which you may have guessed) is that yes... yes indeed I am in fact still a shirt wearing civilian.  Since there are those who seem to not be aware of the metaphorical significance of my shirt wearing, allow me to enlighten those among you who have been uncertain.  You see, back in the glory days of breaks without responsibilities I had way too much free time.  Like... I didn't get up until 10am!  Which just seems absurd right now.  Anyhow, most days the only things I had to do were on par with "get the mail," "do laundry," "make sure no one breaks in."  You know, the normal things.  Anyhow, I used to measure how productive my day was by whether or not I wore a shirt.  For some reason I had an awful time justifying putting a shirt on when I didn't have to actually leave the house.  Over time the idea of wearing a shirt came to symbolize being productive (in the weird little world in which I live).  The metaphor now stands for my act to do something productive and memorable with my life.  Memorable in the sense that each day has significance and is not just lost in the shuffle of weeks or months.  This helps me reflect and remember that I was given the blessing of living this day while others (someday myself included) were not.

So the rest of my day.  Well, all of my day.  It was good.  I went to work and was feeling pretty good.  I got some more work with Vivian done and finished up the project we started last week.  It's a bit of a bear.  After lunch I did a thing for Tina.  This is the third or fourth time I've done it.  Each time in the past I made one or two errors, so I tried really really hard to not make any mistakes this time.  And I did it!  I was pretty happy.

After work I came home and had dinner with dad.  We talked about his upcoming travel plans and about work and such.  Then we cleaned up and went about our various ways.  He had to go run some errands.  I...did nothing.  So you know, it was a good time.  But I read lots of people's creepy stories online, so it was quite entertaining, to say the least.  Yeah, that's about it.  Around 9 I started my nightly routine (which today included getting laundry that I'd forgotten about from earlier).  Now I'm off to bed.  Night!


Day 392

Today was pretty good.  I stayed pretty busy at work, so the day went by pretty quickly.  It was good though.  I did some stuff with Lee, working on some monthly (I think) nonsense.  It involved running some scripts, running some macros, then doing some other things.  One of the parts of it involves doing a mass file transfer from the database to Excel.  It usually took about 5 minutes.  But for some reason... the one I was doing right before lunch was being waaaaaay slow.  So instead of taking 5 minutes, it took about 30 minutes.  To make sure that the script didn't go crazy and overload Excel, I had to hit enter at certain points to keep things going.  So instead of hitting enter every 5 seconds, I hit it every 20 seconds.  For 30 minutes.  Woo.  Thankfully Lee took over so I could each lunch (he had to make a phone call). Other than that one mishap, I was able to get a lot done and I had a really good day.

When I got back home I made some raviolli for dinner.  Dad was off at an open filed, so I braved the desolate wilderness (my home) and foraged for food (from the container of leftovers).  True mountain man, right here.  Anyhow, after dinner I did some dishes and not much else.  Aunt Shasta, Uncle Mike, and Olivia are here now.  They're moving to some new place near Mansfield to rent out some cabins.  So they've been driving for quite some time.  Yeah.  We sat around and talked and things for a while.  It was fun.  When dad got home we talked some more about all sorts of fun things.  

Side note: I got to explain soccer to the guys on break today.  It was fun.  They're mainly football and basketball people, so they always have soccer questions for me.  Today they wanted to know about the corner flags.  So I had to explain why they exist and the purpose they serve.

And now... bed time!  Night, yo.


Day 391

Today was kind of odd.  I got up around 7:30 because I couldn't sleep anymore.  I'm really not a fan of waking up so early when I have the ability to sleep in.  Oh well.  After I got up I just sort of dinked around until it was time for church.  Church was good.  Pastor Craig talked about not being a legalistic Christian.  He emphasized the importance of not pretending to be super holy because you follow rules that others don't follow, especially when those rules are man-made.  Craig used the example of alcohol: the Bible clearly states that Jesus and those around him drank wine.  It also clearly states that certain people (John the baptist, Samson) abstained.  This does not make one holier than the other.  The point was that 1: some of us may have special instructions from God to do something, but if it's not in the Bible it might not apply to everyone, 2: don't rub it in someone's face when God has not told you to do something that he has told someone else to do.  Basically... follow the Bible and be respectful of people.  There are plenty of people who choose not to dance for religious reasons.  Though I disagree, it is my job to respect them and it would be wrong of me to try to engage them in dance.  Other people that it's wrong to engage in politics.  So I will not discuss politics with them.  The important thing is that we agree on what the Bible tells us and we respect each other on the things the Bible doesn't tell us.  Though it wasn't explicitly mentioned in the sermon, this lesson extends far beyond just Christians dealing with Christians.  Be respectful of everyone's beliefs.  You're not going to be able to share Jesus' love if you condemn people for not following the Bible.  I doubt that many people will feel the love of Jesus if I go to an abortion clinic and tell each person that they're going to Hell.  Instead, we should be seeking to help people in their suffering.  THAT is what Jesus did.  And that's what we need to do.

Anyhow.  After church I came home and got to work on my computer.  I did some more diagnostics and utilities using the disc that Kimmy's dad gave to me.  While one of them was running I filled out an application for my apartment next year.  We have to turn them in when we move in/officially sign, but I wanted to get it done now.

I was able to get my computer up and running... mostly.  I got Windows installed.  But I think there is a hardware issue.  Usually after you install Windows everything is about as fast as it will ever be.  However.. mine is still pretty slow.  This is a classic sign of a hardware malfunction.  So I'll be looking around for a new hard drive, I believe.

Also: this guy has seen better days.

Um... so yeah.  That's about it.  For some reason I was feeling pretty bleh today, but I think it's just lack of sleep.  So I'm going to get some sleep now. Good night!

Day 390

Part one of the day was good.  Part one consisted of going to Muncie with friend Kelly.  I had a load of things (mostly chairs) to take that didn't take up a lot of room, but wouldn't fit with the rest of the furniture.  So we made a day trip down to Muncie.  While we were down there we had lunch with Jessie and Richard and some of Jessie's friends from work.  It was fun.  After doing so much driving on my own this summer it was really nice to be able to actually talk with someone during the drive.

When I got home dad was taking a nap.  He'd been reffing at a soccer tournament all day and he was pretty tired.  And it was really hot out.  I'd looked for my Windows install discs while I was in Muncie, but couldn't find them.  So I looked some more when I got back and eventually found them.

Yeah.  Something is wrong on my computer... because I can't reinstall Windows.  It gives me an error message part way through the install.  So I tried that about three different times.  Kimmy's dad made me a boot utility disc, so I gave that a shot.  But there are many many different utilities to use and it's going to take a bit to figure out which one I need.  It's not a bad thing at all, as there is a fix for most occasions.  I'll just need to spend some time tomorrow looking for the right thing to run.  But I'm afraid I just might need to get a new hard drive.  It's the thing most likely to have failed, since everything else is newer.  As a last possible resort, there is a utility that complete wipes (nukes) the hard drive.  So I might try that and then reinstall Windows.  It's just so much work and I'm sick of doing it.  I spent about 4 hours today working on it.

Anyhow, I went to hang out with Miles.  It was fun.  He was cleaning his rifles when I got there because he'd just gotten back from the shooting range with one of his old apartment mates.  So he was just telling me a bit about his guns.  Then we watched Scott Pilgrim, which we both really like.  After the movie was over we talked about guns a little bit more.  I used to really want to get a gun, but recently I'm not too sure.  I don't know that I could ever use one against a living being, whether it was an animal or a human.  They're fun to shoot, but it's just another hobby. I'd rather shoot a bow and arrow, honestly.  And as far as home safety.... it's a bad idea to keep a loaded gun, but what is the likelihood that you'll have the time and presence of mind to get the gun AND ammo AND load it?  My thinking is that if you use something like a baseball bat for home defense, the worst accident that could happen is you hit someone and break a bone.  Yes, you can kill someone but I doubt you'd go for a lethal strike unless you were in an extreme circumstance.  But guns... are different.  Accidents tend to be much more lethal.  Anyhow, Miles and I talked about that for a while and we had a really good discussion.  We're mostly in agreement, but it was still good to talk about it.

Then we watched a short animation film called "Wolverine versus The Hulk."  It wasn't too bad.

Now it's bed time.  Good night!


Day 389

I have a bit of a busy day today...so here is a summary from yesterday.

  • Work was good.  I did some stuff with Lee to finish up the request we received yesterday, then got some work done on another thing that Vivian and I had been working on earlier this week.
  • Mom made a trip to West Virginia because Amber went to the hospital.  She was starting to feel some moving in her baby-birthing area... so off to the hospital they went!
  • I went to hang out with Miles and co.  'Twas fun.  I met some new people that I recognize from my George House days.
  • I'm an uncle again!  Bob finally decided to come out and Amber is one baby lighter now.
Bob's actual name is Emma.  I suppose I can handle that :)  It's almost as good as Joel.

Ok, that's it for now!  See you all later!


Day 388

There is one specific day that really stands out from last year.  I was studying life contingencies with Tim and we'd spent about 3 hours memorizing, manipulating, and re-deriving formulae.  We'd taken everything we'd been taught and combined everything together in a glorious mix of intuition and rigor.  When we sat back and examined our handiwork... my brain was exhausted.  Not unlike blowing your lip out whilst playing a wind instrument or running to the point of collapse.  Imagine that you balance a zip-lock bag, standing straight up. Then you begin to fill it with water.  It will remain upright for a while... but eventually the water will over power the bag and it will collapse.  This is how my brain felt after that day.... no more information could be retained and it felt as thought my brain was just oozing out.  I'd worked all of the muscles keeping my brain inside my head, and everything was about to fall out.

This is how I feel after I get off of work.  Except with the additional bonus of having a difficult time visually focusing on things because I've been staring at a screen for 8 hours.  It will get better with time, but I just feel so drained after work.  And I don't really recover on the way back because I have to focus on driving.  I think this is the source of added stress: I can't fully relax until an hour or so after work, so I don't start to come down until around 6.

Anyhow.  All of that aside, it was a good day at work.  I did some work with Lee and actually got to do some things!  I was getting pretty tired by the end of the day, but it was good.  Over lunch I sat with Lee.  We discussed (among many other things) how expensive it must be to eat out every lunch.  We noticed how many people there eat out every day and deduced that they're easily spending $30 - $40 a week on lunch.  As Lee and I discussed... At school I spent $30 - $35 a week in groceries, which is about as cheap as it gets (unless all you eat is rice and lentils).  And $10 a week of my budget was just produce.  We just couldn't fathom eating out every day for lunch.  But I know they have their reasons, which is fine.  When I mentioned this to dad when I got home and we were making our lunches, he confirmed that this is very common at Marathon as well.  With some rough calculations, we concluded that our lunches (sandwich, celery or chips, yogurt, fruit) probably cost about $1.50.  Oh money.  So silly.

After work I came home and had dinner with mom.  We had a pretty good talk about all sorts of things. It started out as my interest in generationalism and whether generalizations (though always wrong*) about a certain age group are due to the age of the members or the era in which they grew up.  So we talked about that sort of things for a while, which morphed into the current issues going on in the past hundred years and the things that each era has had to manage.  It was a good talk!

*I understand that this parenthetical statement was a generalization.  Deal :)

Yeah, so...umm... that's about it.  I suppose that means it's bed time.  Good night!


Day 387

So.  Today went.  I don't know what it was, but I just did not wake up ready to do anything.  Except for, you know, going back to bed.

Anyhow, we made it through the day.

After work I stopped by home for a quick meal, then went to the soccer game with mom.  Dad's team had a game so we went to go watch.  They're definitely improving.

When I got home I gave my computer one last shot... and it failed me.  So it looks like nothing is going to happen until I get my boot disk from school.

This has turned out to be my most boring update ever.  Sorry about that.  I just...um... don't have much to say.  Yeah.  So that's about it.  I hope everyone is doing well?  I don't really take time to ask that.  How's everyone doing?  What's going on in your life?

Yeah, we'll leave it there for now.  Night.


Day 386

You know, it doesn't feel like 386 since I started blogging.  It really doesn't.  I don't know how long it feels like... whether it feels longer or shorter.  So much has happened and so little has happened.  New things and the same things.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but there is something oddly and horrifyingly addicting about studying.  It's one of the most stressful things I've ever done, but there is something addicting about it.  That scares me.

Anyhow, work was good.  I finished up the bulk of the project I've been working on.  At this point all that's left is adding any new entries and running various data queries to get necessary information.  Then printing it off and getting it to the right people!

I met with the president this afternoon.  He likes to meet all of the new employees and interns.  I really enjoyed meeting with him.  He is incredibly approachable and personable... and I'm not just saying that because the entire internet can read this.  He asked some questions about what I thought of Central and what I had learned about myself during my time.  He also wanted to know about my schooling and such.  I knew we'd get along well when he looked at me and said (not verbatim) "You know, I find it really fascinating to consider all the choices the three of us (him, Jeff, and me) made that led us to this exact spot.  All of the times each of us said 'yes,' 'no,' or 'maybe.'  And any different choice at any one of those places could have resulted in an entirely different outcome.  Think of how many outcomes there are... and just how outstanding it is that we can all be meeting here today."  I don't even know how many times I've said things like that (probably not as many times as I think I've said things like that though...).  Clearly he's been reading my blog.  I'm on to your ways, Bill!  :)

After work I did that favorite thing of mine: driving.  I filled my car up with gas before work today and I was really glad that I had because the price jumped about $.20 over the course of the day.  Anyhow, when I got home I had dinner with mom and dad.  Mom made some chicken and rice.  It was good.  So we just talked about some things, like usual.  Before dinner I had a few minutes to kill so I figured I'd get started on installing my new graphics card drivers.  Usually the first step one should take is to uninstall the old drivers so the two sets of drivers don't conflict.  So I uninstalled the old ones, restarted my computer.... and now Windows won't boot.  Clearly I'm thrilled to pieces.  And I doubt I'll have much time to look at it before the weekend.  So much happiness.

I went to go visit the grandfolks after dinner and we had a good time.  Just catching up and talking about work and weddings and life.  Poppy shared some wisdom on weddings and funerals: no matter how good or bad it went, the day will be over soon.  We'll see how much I'm thinking that in a couple months.

I did hear back from one of the people for a bed and breakfast in New York (so much win).  It wasn't our first choice and I haven't given up on the other ones yet, but it looks like we don't have to live in my car!

At the point it is well past my bed time.  These evenings seem so short.  I'm going to go to bed before I dwell on that too much... it usually doesn't end well.  So good night, friends.


Day 385

I had a really good day at work today.  The drive is still rough... actually, clarification.  The drive really isn't that bad.  The anticipation and preparation for the drive are the nightmare.  Extending my work day for an hour in both directions (and the ever-present knowledge of this fact) is the real killer.  And I need to get some new music or something on my phone.  Anyhow, work was good.  I spent the entire day working on a monthly update.  It's nice because it's very straight forward for the (most part) but also pretty time consuming... so they can just set me at it and in about two days the bulk of it will be done.  There are some irregularities here and there, but there are also very well documented notes.  It's pretty repetitive, but there are just enough situations that require judgment calls that it wouldn't really be worth the time to automate everything.  There are so many instances where you need to read a comment or documentation to determine what to do for a certain situation... and all of those exceptions would have to specially coded in addition to check every month to ensure that it had been properly handled.  Maybe someday, but for now the man-power does not exist to try to automate it and get the rest of the work done.  But it makes a good project for the intern :)

I made a new friend at lunch today.  Not really new, since I've met him before.  And I obviously don't remember his name... but he came and talked with me for a bit after lunch today.  I'm guessing he's probably about 5 years older than I am.  I mentioned that I'd gone to school at Mount Vernon and he kind of perked up and said that they'd offered him a baseball scholarship to go there.  He ended up not going there because Bowling Green offered him a smaller scholarship, but it was still cheaper overall.

After work I went to watch dad's team play a game at the middle school.  I'd convinced my friend Tiffany to come, as she is a fellow soccer enthusiast.  So we caught up on life and things and watched the game.  And talked about plenty of non-soccer related things, like how we don't like the hot weather and definitely prefer the cold (I'm not alone!).  Seriously, when it's cold you can always put on more clothes.  When it's hot... there's only so much you can take off before a) you encounter public decency laws or b) taking off skin is weird.  Anyhow, I left after the first game but she stayed and watched the other game with my mom.

When I got back I emailed some people about bed and breakfasts and then the apartment manager where Kimmy and I plan on living next year.  

Yarg, I still need to take care of the book I sold on half.com.  I need to get that in the mail tomorrow or Wednesday...

Anyhow.  I'm going to bed now.  Night!


Day 384

For the most part, today can be put into two different categories: Lunch Trip and Computer Adventures.

Act 1: Lunch Trip
The premise of this story is that one of my friends from Mount Vernon, a certain Lindsey who was a fellow meth major and was part of my study group, was in the area.  To further clarify, "the area" means "the western part of the state of Ohio."  This is significant because she hails from West Virginia.  So it's rare that we get to hang out anymore.  I figured that since she would be "in the area," I'd see if she had time for a meal.  I left around 9:30 to meet her at some Mexican restaurant I'd found on Google maps and got there pretty much right at 11:30.  

I made a new friend along the way.  I stopped at a gas station for some sort of caffeinated stimulus.  As I was checking out, the cashier looked at me and said "go get another one.  You can pay $2.32 for one or $3.12 for two" (there was a sale).  Always a sucker for good marketing/getting convinced of what I actually want, I picked up another can.  As the person before me was checking out, the cashier made a comment about how people were always "yay Friday" and all that.  Our hero, the cashier, would just tell her customers "Yeah, maybe for you.  But I work here 7 days a week, then go to my real job."  She didn't seem bitter about it, but just tired.  So I inquired as to the state of her employment.  Apparently she is the mother of three and is trying to put them through college.  Two are in college, the third is starting next year.  So she works full time as a sales manager, specifically with funeral home accounts.  She said she enjoys it all, but is quite ready for her kids to graduate from college when she gets to have money again.  I don't know her family's situation, but I can tell she's working very hard for her kids.  And really, what more could you ask of a parent?

Our story continues with lunch.  It was your standard "authentic Mexican" restaurant.  They're all different and they're all the same.  But it was still good. I had a really good time.  We talked about school and about work and just life in general.  Lindsey has asked me before about my transition into grad school and such (she's starting grad school in the fall), so we talked some about that. We agreed that when people ask if we're excited about grad school or (for me) if I'm enjoying it, all we can do is give the same answer as everyone who has gone to grad school: no... but we're excited to get a job someday.  Great things come from grad school (hopefully job opportunities, close friends, "living on your own" skills you might not have had, hopefully job opportunities), but really I have to talk to anyone who just loves grad school.  I really enjoyed my undergrad degree, but part of that was because I wasn't mature enough to take the career process seriously.  Some people are, but I was not.  But now I am (or at least I'm really really close) and I'm quite ready to be done with school.  I do not envy people who are getting their PhD.  Except that I like research and writing way more than I like taking exams (though defending your dissertation sounds pretty painful).  Anyhow, I had a really good time.  And I got a free* lunch!

*Free meaning that Lindsey paid for my lunch.  Basically because I drove 4 hours just for lunch.  So I guess I paid 4 hours worth of driving and gas?

Act 2: Computer Adventures
When I got home I got on my computer as normal.  But it was being astoundingly slow.  And certain applications were not opening.  So I did a good old virus check... which yielded nothing.  I then proceeded to spend the next 4 hours trying to fix the problem.  I tried everything** from a full malware scan in safe mode to dusting out my computer.  I even tried to restore my computer to a previous date, but that didn't work either.  Frustrated beyond belief, I noticed that most of the problems began when I tried to start Steam.  At least, things got worse.  So I uninstalled Steam... and now my computer is running fantastically!  Tomorrow I'll try re-installing Steam and hoping for the best.  Yarg.  But I quite literally spent from about 2pm until 6pm trying to fix this infernal box of nonsense, and it's still not even completely fixed.  I was going to reinstall Windows, but naturally I left my install disk back in Muncie.  Good job, Joel.

Hopefully things keep working out.

Act 3: Prologue
After the rest of my day, mom and dad returned from their excursion to Fort Wayne for lunch with Grandpa and Pat.  When they got back I talked with them for a while about some different things.

It's getting late, so I'm going to bed now.  This is a pretty anti-climactic ending to my story, but true stories usually end that way.  Mainly because real stories never end.  Anyhow, good night!

Day 383

Yesterday started with me being lazy in the morning.  Because Saturday.

After lunch I actually began being productive.  My first act of productivity was to get my new toy working.  "What new toy?" you ask?

It's pretty neat.  Seriously one of my favorite things is the 4-way scrolling.  Instead of just going up and down, the scroll wheel tilts to the left and right, allowing you to scroll left or right.  So much love.

Following the setting up of my new toy, I started doing some wedding things.  Kimmy made a list of things she asked that I do, so I got on that.  And I went to the bank to cash a check.  The same lady has been at the branch I go to since my days at George House back in high school.  Anyhow, after the bank I went to Wal-mart to get sized for a ring.  I was going to get something else, but I couldn't remember what it was at the time.  And true to form, I remembered as soon as I got on the highway to come home.  Classic.  But now the only thing I have left on the list is to call the other bed and breakfast places... as the one I called was currently booked that week.  Dumb.

I finished just in time to do some laundry, then go to dinner.  Dad had a gift card for Outback, so we went there for dinner.  It was good.  I got a steak.  I'd never had a steak from Outback.  It wasn't bad, but the steaks that mom and dad got from the butcher are way better.  But we had a good time.  We all really liked the waiter.  He seemed a bit older than the general waiter/waitress there (he was probably in his 40s or so).  He was relaxed, but still very professional.  I think he would have done a good job at an upscale restaurant as well.

After dinner Miles came by to get me.  We went up to Bowling Green to hang out with some of his apartment mates.  It was fun.  We sat around talking/playing video games for a while, then we went out to get some food.  We also just walked around Bowling Green for a bit, since it was really nice outside.  We came home around 12:30 or so.

And that's about it!


Day 382

Hi there!

My goal to wait until lunch to drink my coffee yesterday went really well.  I made it all the way to 7am!  Maybe I'll be more successful next week.  I wasn't upset about it though.  Yesterday morning was a bit rough for me, and the coffee generally calms me down a little bit. So I was fine with it.

Work was good.  I did a thing for Tina that took nearly the whole day.  We had to redraw our horses for the horse race today because after lunch we all saw on the news that I'll have another, the crowd favorite, pulled a muscle.  So this time we drew names by picking one horse from the top 4 ranks and one horse from the bottom 7.  After the race we'll take the sum of their places, and that will determine who gets to have the esteemed My Little Pony trophy.  Until the next competition, that is.

I had dinner with mom and dad.  Mom heated up the pizza from the the freezer that she'd made last week. So we talked for a bit and it was good.  They were going to watch a soccer game with some friends, so they left shortly after dinner.  And I went to go hang out friend Miles!  I took my computer over and we played some games.  Eventually James joined us as well.  We won all of the games!  Kelly came over later, as well as Miles' sister and a couple of her friends.  It was fun.  We just sat around and talked and such.

Yup!  That's about it.  The end.


Day 381

I'm looking forward to a day when this doesn't start "wow, what a day it was."

Today is not that day.

Work was good.  I did some projects with Vivian.  We're doing some of the monthly projects that I first did when I started.  It's becoming more familiar on the second run.  Tomorrow we have some macro-editing to do, however.  I've never explicitly made a macro, but I've looked at them and it seems similar to the programming that I've done.  So it shouldn't be too bad.

I'm going to try an experiment tomorrow.  I'm going to put off drinking my coffee til at least mid-morning.  We'll see.  I usually get pretty tired after lunch, so maybe postponing coffee will help.  And possible eating slower or something.  I dunno.  Being tired is silly.

After work I left for the great city of Fort Wayne.  Kathryn has an internship up there, so we met for dinner.  I tried to find someplace half way... but there is nothing.  I get off work earlier than she does anyhow, so we actually got there around the same time.  Correction: we would have gotten there around the same time if there wasn't a carnival going on, naturally right around where we'd planned on meeting.  Seriously, what the heck?  Anyhow, she was eventually able to find where I was and we just walked to the restaurant (since it was only about half a mile or less from where we'd parked.

The food was good.  I got this huge pizza-roll-thing.  Sort of a calzone.  So we talked about our jobs and what we do and things.  Then she asked about wedding planning... and apparently I took that as an invitation to ramble about everything that was on my mind.  She was kind enough to listen to my nonsense.  Anyhow, we had a really good time.  I'm hoping to get up there at least once more this summer.

The drive back really wasn't as long as I thought it would be.  It was about an hour and a half?  I got back around 9:15, made lunch, talked with parents... and now I'm blogging.  Which means that I will be going to bed in the very near future.  So good night, friends.


Day 380

This is going to be short and sweet (more so than yesterday).

Today was a two coffee day.  I just had the hardest time trying to get going today.  I was able to make it til mid afternoon before my second one, but I was struggling after lunch.

The highlight of work was definitely meeting with Jeff, Phil, and Lee to discuss what we thought the upcoming [insurance words] averages would be like.  And I actually convinced Jeff to change his mind on one of them!  It kinda made my day.  Not because his reasoning was bad or anything, I had just noticed some data points that were really throwing the averages off... so I ignored them (because they don't reflect what would generally happen) and got a lower number.  After I explained what I did he thought that was a pretty good idea.  I felt special :)

After work I went to Fort Jennings to watch dad's team play.  I'd never spent much time there, and today I realized why.  There's not much there.  At all.  All of Main Street was closed for repaving today... and it made no significant difference on how the town's traffic flowed.  For there was no traffic to flow.  They have two restaurants (both local) and no gas station.  I was going to look for a gas station to get some food, but when I got to what I'd found on my GPS... I realized that the closest thing they had to a gas station was a propane station.  Who does that?

Anyhow, before the game started Tim called me to catch up.  So we talked for a while.  We talked about our internships and the sort of things we had been doing (as much as we could tell).  He's working for the Indiana Department of Insurance, so it's interesting to hear both sides of the story of the connection between a company and the DoI.  When I got off the phone I talked with mom about some wedding questions she had.  Then I went home because it was 7 and I hadn't eaten dinner yet.  And it was another hour home...

I realized that I'm starting to get sort of stressed.  I don't like that.  It's especially annoying because I'm not really stressed over anything in particular... I think just not having the sort of down time that I'm used to and my daily routine is drastically different from what it was at school.  I know I need to get used to it, but it just takes time to transition.

Yeah.  I'm really exhausted from my day, so I'm going to bed.  Night.


Day 379

Oh goodness.  This is just going to be a quick and dirty little post, as I desperately need to go to bed.

Work and things this morning.  I decided to wear a tie again today.  I might make that a regular things because I really like it.  Anyhow, I worked with Lee doing some analysis on last month's data.  A lot of the things he and I do involves analyzing data trends.  Most of it is through Excel models, but there are times where we have to use our judgment and whatever mathematics we want to involve.  Such was the case today.  It was actually fun, trying to come up with different ways to figure out what could happen.  My opinion didn't hold any weight (thankfully), but someday I will have enough experience (like Jeff and Phil do) to know the sorts of things that need to be looked for and what to do with it.  Instead of me just sort of throwing numbers around, trying to make weighted averages, then just taking that and seeing if it made sense.  My methods weren't bad, but they weren't very based in reality.

Lee and I did get into some theory today, which was pretty exciting.  He was explaining that to obtain a certain amount of confidence of data accuracy, they have to get a certain number of claims.  So we discussed the Central Limit Theorem, which was centered around a given Poisson** random variable.  Since my classes and exams are based on these theories, it's nice to go back to the basics every once in a while.  And it makes me feel like the things I learn in class are actually beneficial beyond passing the exams.

*Basically saying that for a given mean (average) and variance (related to the standard deviation), you need a certain number of trials (claims in this case) to estimate using the Normal Distribution.  In other words, if you have enough participants, they will be normally distributed.  This is a fantastic thing.

**A Poisson (yes, I know it's French for fish) random variable is one that measures the likelihood of a certain number of things happening in a given time period.  For instance, if you can tell me the average number of people who are eating soup between noon and 1pm, I can tell you the probability that any number of people are eating soup between noon and 1pm.  So if an average of 10 people are eating soup in that hour, then I know that there is a 3.8% probability that exactly 5 people are eating soup in that hour.  It's magic.

After work I came home and had dinner with mom and dad.  They made steak and potatoes for dinner and it was really good.  I don't typically like steak, but this was fantastic.

Then I went to go hang out with Becky and Miles for a bit.  After discussing our days, Becky showed me her new favorite toy: the pasta maker.  It's really cool. Basically it makes things super flat.  Which is AWESOME!  We flattened bread until it was really really thin.  Then put peanut butter and jelly on it for extra amazing!  We also played a game called...something.  It was a card game.  And I was really bad at it.

And then fire was made!

I had to go home.  They tried to convince me to stay... but I had to leave.  I was sad :( But I came home, talked with mom and dad for a bit, then made lunch.  Kimmy and I talked about some wedding things... and now I'm going to bed.  Night all.


Day 378

Funnily enough, going to bed at 10 is just difficult.

I decided to wear a tie to work today.  Just because.  I got quite a few compliments.

I took this whilst at work.  Feel free to judge me for taking a picture in a public bathroom... but I have no shame.  I decided to not button the top button because I don't really like wearing a tie all the way up if I have my sleeves rolled.  And I generally have my sleeves rolled when I'm inside.  I'm also sporting a tie bar that Poppy gave me.  My boss complimented me on it.

This morning I finished up some work with Vivian on the end-of-the-month project.  We had to have it done by noon and it was completed at 11:53.  Nailed it.

I worked with Vivian in the afternoon as well.  The main part of the report had to be done by noon, but we spent the rest of the afternoon just doing some finishing touches on other portions.

When I got home I had dinner with mom.  Well, I ate while she sat and talked with me.  We discussed some wedding things, then starting talking about all sorts of other things.  Like campgrounds in New York.

Mom had Bible study, so she went to that.  I moved some laundry, did some dishes, played some Team Fortress, then did a little work on my syllabus for the class I'm teaching in the fall.  I'd like to get as much out of the way now as I can.  Obviously I can't get absolutely everything out of the way, but any amount I can do now will be awesome.  I'm hoping to get basic lecture notes and possibly even some exams out of the way.  That would be fantastic.

Ok.  I'm off to bed now.  Have a good night, everyone!


Day 377

Today was another nice, restful day.

I went to church this morning.  Pastor Ben talked about how important it is to be ready to do God's work and not being all pokey about it.  And really, I guess it's not even about "being ready" so much as "doing it now."

After church I had lunch with mom and dad.  Followed directly after by a game of Catan.  It was fun.  During the game we discussed the proper usage of the words "right" and "correct" as affirmative statements, specifically to determine if they were always adjectives or there if there were any situations where they could be used as adverbs.  Right is not an adverb.  Correctly, obviously, is an adverb.  When we were done I read my comic book for a while.  Then I finished it.  So Miles... I finished Ultimates 1 and 2.  They were just as good as you said they would be!

Mom and dad had a couple graduation parties to attend.  I decided to see if I could improve my internet connection.  Previously, I was connected through a wireless device.  But I wanted to see if I could get a more consistent connection, so I maneuvered a really long ethernet cable (thanks Kimmy!) from my computer to the router.  It seems to be working better now.  A little bit, anyhow.

After that nonsense I did some writing.  Just to get some stuff off my mind.  It felt good.  I've been thinking about it all for a while and made some notes, so today I actually wrote it out.  It wasn't everything, but I got some of the main points out of my head.

Uh... not much else happened today.  I suppose I should go to bed so I can get up in the morning.  So off I go.  Night!

Day 376

I slept in all the way until 6:30 this morning.  It was great!

Today I was purposefully unproductive.  I really just needed a day to not do anything.  I've been off doing something each weekend since finishing school, so it's been nice to actually stay here and just chill.

So I had some breakfast and things.

Most of the day consisted of going between eating, cleaning, and playing a game.  Which is a pretty much how I spend most days on break.  I also did some other productive things.  Like updating my LinkedIn profile, putting some books on Half.com, and ordering a new mouse.  My current mouse is starting to die... which is not good.  The scroll wheel is not always responding and the laser underneath is starting to not work quite as well.  So time for a new one!

After dinner I read some of the comic book that I'm borrowing from Miles.  I finished the first one, then started the second!  Mom and I talked about some wedding things, then got into other topics.  I'm not quite sure what all we got into.... but we ended up talking about some article I read on Wikipedia about the Timeline of the Far Future.  It's quite interesting.  Basically it's about some predictions about the future state of the earth and galaxy that people have about made based off of their current models.  There are some pretty interesting ideas (like Niagara Falls eroding the cliff face and just becoming part of Lake Erie in 50,000 years).  So look at it if you have a chance.

Huh.  Short update today.  But I'm pretty tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Night.


Day 375

It seems that every day I forget something.  It's never enough to get me upset, but it is enough to make me just go "huh, I do believe that I forgot something."  Yesterday it was my collar stays.  You see... when I first got my shirts I was silly.  I didn't know what they were or why they were in my shirt.  I just assumed it was used to achieve a specific look whilst in the packaging (like the pins)... so I threw them away.  Again, I was all sorts of silly.  So when I got my most recent shirt, I took out the collar stays and saved them.  But since I only have one pair of them, I have to switch them out between each shirt that I wear.  And yesterday I just forgot to put them in the shirt I was wearing.  Oh well!  That collar stays firm by itself decently well as it is.

Anyhow, yesterday was pretty busy at work.  On the last Friday of the month there is a report that is run with specific information for that month.  So on the last Friday everyone has things that have to get done before Monday at noon.  Usually it's waiting for everyone when we get there at 8.  But something had gone wrong over in IT, so the report didn't get distributed until almost 10.  But as soon as we all got it we set to work to do all of the things.  It wasn't a stressful day, but we just all needed to buckle down and get work done.  I did a little bit of work to make up for some of the time that we lost.  So I was extra extra careful to make sure everything was right.  Like, extra cup of coffee kind of careful.

When I got home I had dinner with mom and dad.  Mom made pizza!  It was tasty.  We talked about a new virus that is infiltrating the Iranian (or Iraqi... I don't remember which) government that can gather lots and lots of data.  And no one knows how to stop it.  Then we talked about security in general and how much of a joke TSA is.  Seriously.  They have yet to stop one terrorist attack and work on the premises of "once a new method is used, we'll add that to our list of things to check."  No terrorist worth his salt will use a method that he knows won't work.

After dinner I talked with Kimmy for a little bit about the wording of the wedding invitations.  Then I went to hang out with Miles and Becky!  We got chips and french onion dip.  On a scale from 1 to 10... it was an 11.  It was ALL of the goodness.  Friends James and Kelly joined us later on.  We sat around and talked, mostly.  And ate amazing chips.  We played Guitar Hero for a while... then talked some more.  I got home around 2:45 and went directly to bed.  For I was tired.  The end!