August 2004 Archives

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School started yesterday, and I'm absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort it's going to take to get good grades.

Also, parking is a royal pain -- having arrived 10 minutes early, it took me 20 minutes to find a parking space and walk the now-lengthened distance to my class.

Biology at this stage seems to be the most troublesome and time-consuming, followed by my College Algebra course -- my Literary Interpretation class doesn't seem to be too tough, though I should not underestimate it and fall behind.

I was 'greeted' today in Spanish class by utter despair -- the entire class was spoken in Spanish, and it's been _8 years_ since I've really spoken the language, so I dropped my 2nd year class, and opted to start all over again. It will be a slight review, but I've forgotten enough Spanish that I'm happy to learn from the bottom again.

3 hours to do Math homework? Bah.

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Need a Gmail account?

Let me know, but note that I only have 1 to give, so act fast.

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Caleb Carr, of The Alienist and Angel of Darkness fame, actually co-wrote the script for Exorcist: The Beginning.

Interesting. I've read The Alienist and wasn't impressed too much.

I will be in the California Bay Area from the 25th-29th of this month, and then I start school Monday the 30th.

It's going to be rough.

My flight in to South Bend (35 miles from home, here) arrives at 10:15pm, and it'll take around 35 minutes to drive home; school starts at 10am on Monday, and it takes around 25 minutes to get there from home.

;-(

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They've started building a Panera here, just a couple block away from U.S. 33.

It's due to open sometime 'before Christmas', but if the weather cooperates, hopefully I'll see it in a couple of months.

It's one of my favorite places to eat (though a tad expensive).

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I've now enabled comments once again. Hopefully spam won't be so bad this time.

Congrats, Christin and Jeremy! Your wedding was wonderful, and you couldn't have had better weather.

May you have a terrific marriage and live long, happy days together.

Playing God might be worth a rental, if you have to see either David or Angelina in a film, but other than that, it's the standard low-life thug movie.

Godsend is an interesting idea wrapped up in a lackluster movie.

Had I been more astute, I might have guessed the twist, but it was pretty well-received, I must admit.

Kinear, though, isn't much of an actor, and even the great DeNiro suffers from working off of a flawed script.

Wow.

I'm not sure how to feel after having seen Taking Lives.

It is terribly brutal, painful to watch, with only small redemptive value.

Glad to hear John's enjoying life post-Netscape/AOL.

I am too, but obviously I wish the couple nasty rounds of layoffs never happened.

I'll never forget those days of course, and I'm trying to 'move on', but it's a painful 'process' (can I really call it that?), and I admit to not making much progress in that area.

School is a diversion, albeit temporary, from my mind being concerned about a real career.

I can fall back to Quality Assurance (well, I'm hoping I can at least), and with a 4-year degree (even in English), I should be decently equipped. But I'm not learning /any/ new computer skills, nor am I really motivated to. And lately I find that I'm asking myself if I really do want to be in the computer business after all.

Again, school provides a forced buffer of decisiveness; I've got 2 years of full-time school to flesh out my thoughts. Yet perhaps I won't even have those figured out by the time I graduate. Of course, without learning any new skills, will I even be marketable in the industry? Who knows.

Classes so far have only been compulsory and not very applicable at all to the technical industry.

There is a technical writing course that I will be taking, most likely in Spring of 2005, so I'm hopeful it will draw and retain my interest.

I'm not sure I'm a good writer at all, or that I will, once it's all said and done, have the skill and drive to be a Technical Writer, which is what I profess to returning to school for.

I'm enamored by technology, and like to watch trends, but the computer industry, software and web-services in particular, brings with it so much rapid change that it's hard to keep up or feel 'ahead'.

I love old black and white movies.

They're usually better than today's movies in terms of character development and plot.

But neither of the following movies did anything for me:

Criss Cross

The Big Clock

But that's okay, since I've been enjoying Redd Foxx's Sanford and Son, Season 4.

Course Description of L202, Introduction to Literary Criticism:

This course will help you to interpret and write about literature in sophisticated ways, but the process begins at your current level, starting with discussion skills. At every turn we�ll also try to have fun with literature, interpreting it from many different perspectives. I�ll assume that you wish to improve your analytical writing skills, and I�ll work with you on very specific aspects of your writing. We�ll read a variety of texts, but because our focus is on interpretation, we will sometimes pause to concentrate our attention on one small text or short passage. You will be required to learn some of the standard literary and critical terms, because these concepts provide us with the tools of precise analysis. Not only should this course help you to succeed in later literature courses, but it should also increase your enjoyment of the various kinds of literature by introducing you to the conventions that govern those forms. With this purpose in mind, we�ll read a number of examples within each of the major literary genres---fiction, poetry, and drama. Assignments include short essays and a research project, as well as two exams. The course fulfills the second-level writing requirement. It is required of English majors, but non-majors who love literature or wish to improve their writing and interpretive skills are also welcome.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is such a slow, boring movie.

Avoid it.

Believe it or not, there's a patented 'cure for AIDS'.

US Patent Office

While I enjoyed immensely Kill Bill: Vol. 1 in theaters many months ago, I can't say the same for Kill Bill: Vol. 2, which I saw last night.

It's a Tarantino flick, which means the dialogue is 'stoner-esque' (best way I can describe it), but this one had little action, and didn't really keep my interest like the first one did, for some reason.

Cool.

Finished with school for 2 weeks, what a good feeling.

On the flipside, paid my $2,101.00 bill for the fall semester ;-(

Oh well, it has to be done.

I have to give a presentation in class this Thursday for my Smallpox research.

I'm almost done, but I need to get some material on how a terrorist might launch a successful smallpox attack on our nation.

Anyways, here's the nearly-finished version, but I should note it still is lacking about 3 or 4 well-formed paragraphs (I need to link up the data I find on an attack launch into the first few paragraphs of the paper).

focused-virus.doc

smallpox-preso.ppt

While not as good as I remember it (are any really old TV shows that you watch as a kid?), I still sorta like The Dukes of Hazzard.

Yee-Haw!

Hard to believe John Frankenheimer was responsible for this kludge, but then again, this _was_ 1979.

Idea: great
Special Effects: terrible

Prophecy

http://about.mailblocks.com/aol_qa.aspx

Many of the Mailblocks web mail user interface features will supplant existing designs for AOL�s web mail services such as Netscape mail and AOL mail accessed via AOL.com; but no final decisions have been made yet.

Maybe Netscape Webmail will be finally brought up to the 20th-century after all!

Part of the problem with having worked in the real world and returning back to school is that I feel like I'm missing out on advances in software engineering.

Oh, I'm sure a large portion of it is the same, but I really do miss testing software for large corporations, though I think I'd be better off next time working for some cool startup, since I've always wanted to do that.

At school, apart from your professor and the need to get a good grade, nobody is really pushing you. Those forces are strong within the workplace, of course, so it's easy to keep on track.

Seriously, it takes a LOT to make me laugh, but Eurotrip is just the pill I needed.

Man is it funny!

Been working steadily on my final research paper on Smallpox.

Here it is, but it's nowhere near properly cited or edited.

Smallpox research paper .

Enjoyed At Close Range today; Christoper Walken puts in another fine performance, as does Sean Penn.

While not a happy story, it sure makes for fine, edgy viewing.

I've started on my final research paper for my W231 Professional Writing class.

I have nearly 2 pages finished (out of the minimum of 10), but there's a wealth of information to elaborate on, and the outline below is by no means final. In fact, I'm going to include a great deal of historical evidence as well as thoughts on the future of Smallpox as a potential bioterror weapon, and also the implications of a much-heated debate on whether or not to destroy the last 2 remaining samples of the virus, which are contained in an Atlanta, Georgia Center for Disease Control lab, and somewhere in Russia.

Preliminary outline:

I. Introduction

a. Cause (general overview of a virus)

b. History of discovery

II. Cause

a. Variola virus and its 2 most well-known forms, major and minor

b. Transmission

III. Stages and Symptoms

a. Incubation

b. 12th day

c. 15th day

IV. Diagnosis Methods

a. Antibodies present in blood samples

b. Examination of fluid from skin lesions

V. Treatment

a. No cure

b. Vaccination as a preventative measure

c. Global eradication initiatives

VI. The Virus Today

a. WHO�s declaration of the virus�s eradication

b. Potential uses in biological warfare

The problem with Never Die Alone is that it tries to sell you on King David's (played by DMX) 'redemption story', yet that's only given roughly the last 5 minutes of the film, in a flimsy music-video styled voice over.

A movie such as this, with all its gritty portrayal of a man leaving people high and dry (in all cases ruining their lives through addiction and control), just can't bring you in to feel for him.

I finally got around to seeing the much-acclaimed Bend it Like Beckham, and I've got to ask, why all the praise?

Because it was unique? Is that all? I only laughed a few moments, and not too hard, either. Also, as a drama it didn't quite work, everything was so predictable, not to mention it was paced terribly.

Perhaps my expectations for movies is just insanely high.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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