Tuesday, January 21, 2003

New Semester Begins, Jon Gruden is a Hottie

I think I jinxed myself when I commented the other day that I was ruling the earth visits-wise. I was up to about 70 plus hits a day for two days. Now I'm back down to my usual 30 something. Oh well. It also helps when you actually update the damn journal.

Where've I been? Right here, just unable to take the time to log an entry. I spent several hours over the last three days with professor MF. Her course starts today and the CuSeeMe people put out a new version of their service in Beta mode. She was having a complete and total aneurysm because now there is a monthly fee to use the service (three different levels) and she couldn't figure out what she was going to tell the students in regards to "Oh, in order to take this class it'll cost you $29.95 a month. Consider it a lab fee."

Not so good, Al.

Anyway -- she and I both tried to download the upgrade and it screwed up both of our systems. I gave up Sunday night at about 8, and she plugged on and on. She called me at 10 and told me she was in, it was working, and the tech support/project manager guy we worked with during the summer (but who blew us off during the academic year when we needed help) had found her online in one of the rooms and recognized her username. He told her who he was and she freaked... she had all kinds of questions, was ready to start screaming at him, but he talked her through everything, set it up so her students will have certain rights and privileges that come with a higher level of service but will only have to pay the lowest member fees ($5 a month) and then talked her through everything she needed to know to get things working.

She was on the phone with him and online in the chat room setting things up for about three total hours Sunday night and four more hours during the day Monday.

I'm glad he found her.

She was ready to give up and cancel the class session, and get in huge trouble with the college I'm sure.

She is thrilled with the look and feel, the changes, the way things work. She can set it up so students can go into "break out" rooms off of the main room to have one on one or three way discussions.

This new layout works so well... and I wish to hell that they'd had this in place last semester when she had 12 students. So far this semester... she has six. It will be easier for her to teach with fewer students, but the technology is finally catching up to where she needs it to be in order for it to kick ass.

So... today is the first class session. I'm supposed to go down there but just don't feel like it. I'm achy, headachy, tired. I may just call and leave her a voicemail and let her know I'm home if she needs me, but otherwise I'm not there.

It's negative eighty degrees out, and part of the problem with me today is that should I go down there I'd have to park in East Jebus and walk to campus because I don't have a faculty/staff sticker and gate pass (because I'm not faculty/staff anymore). Seeing as I do not wish a fate like that of The Little Match Girl, I'll stay here where it's warm but leaky.

Although Doug did leave me the Quimby Truck, and this would be my opportunity to show it off to Ben, Brian and Dan...


We took the Christmas tree down on Sunday. Actually, Doug did the bulk of the work. I was in here working up a page for Professor CM and when I came out the ornaments and garland were off the tree and he was taking the lights off. He picked the tree up and gave it the bum's rush out the front door and yelled something along the lines of what a bouncer would say to a disorderly barfly as he chucked him into the gutter.

Poor tree. Served us so well and was so nice. It even smelled good in parting. A nice dry piney smell lingered in the house, and my vacuum cleaner enhanced the smell as I sucked up the remaining detritus. My house seems so big and open now without the tree. And I am going to undertake reorganization of the closet that was behind it. It's a new year. Let's clean house!

After some coffee.

Well, what I wished for Super Bowl-wise was the Raiders vs. The Bucs, and I got what I wished for. While under normal circumstances I'm an AFC kinda gal, I'm cheering for the Bucs because of that dishy coach. Mmmmmmm, Gruden. Dude, your coach is hot. Hotter than a tater tot...

This should be a good game. Not as good as last year, but much better than the year before. I have a feeling the Raiders are going to kill the Bucs, ripping their live, beating hearts out of their chests right through their pads. They'll kill them and eat their babies. It will be ugly. Scary. But. Gruden's cute.

For the last three or so years we've watched the Super Bowl with Wayne and Marcia. I don't think that's going to happen this year. Marcia's baby is due this weekend, and the doctor said that if she hasn't had it by pretty much tomorrow that they'll induce her labor on Thursday the 23rd, day after tomorrow.

That's also Doug's birthday.

It will be cool if they have the baby that day, as we'll be able to add yet another friend with a child born on Doug's B'day. Ian J. will be 11 on the 23rd, and I recall that day as vividly as if it were yesterday. My cousin Mike's birthday is that day as well. It's a party day. A good day to be born. It is 123 (1/23 actually). So pray for a safe and manageable delivery for Ms. Marcia.

Mr. Garfield came and visited with us on Saturday. In complete honesty, I think it's been about 9 years since last I saw him. He worked at the Coffeehouse with us back in the day and stopped coming for various and sundry reasons, and I missed him sorely. I've spoken oft of him here.

He and I have been emailing each other back and forth for some time saying "we should get together for lunch or something..." and in my life, I'm usually all talk and no action. So we finally committed after many moons of hemming and hawing.

He came by and was much worshiped by our dogs. (Jack pined for him after he left. It was rather sweet). And we went to pillage Building 19, where I danced in the aisles to a Counting Crows song just for him.

We didn't get much out of our pillaging... some minor things... nothing huge or memorable. The place was mobbed, as Saturdays usually find it. The funniest thing I saw was a group of three family members looking through the sporting goods at XFL clothing and actually trying stuff on.

Uh, okay. The XFL died, but hey -- cheap quality clothing no matter how ridiculous is a good thing. Right?

I had a good laugh about that.

We went out to lunch too at a local foodrinkery. I had a great salad. All told -- a super day. We intend to take Mr. Garfield on a geocache not too too far from his very own front door up Exeter NH way. Start training now!

I seem to be working backward here news wise. Aaron called us the other day, I think it was Friday. Well, it was Friday here but not Friday where he is.

Anyway -- He was really upset -- they were out in the field when they got a call that a helicopter had crashed in Lake Fryxell, and he and his team leader have EMT training so they responded. They were about 10 minutes away via copter, and he told me it was the worst thing he's ever witnessed in his life.

Inside the copter, I believe he told me there were two men, severely injured. It took the team about 8 hours to free them from the wreckage which was embedded in the ice. He called us from McMurdo, where they were grounded while the crash was investigated. He thinks an incorrectly loaded sling load was to blame, and the copter crash was a result of them not being able to fly with the imbalanced load.

Michelle called me the other day and said he (Aaron) is not doing very well -- he's very disturbed and sort of "post traumatic" stressed out about the whole thing. As of the last time they spoke, he hadn't slept the last two nights. He's back out in the field, but not feeling too good. Aaron gets obsessy about things sometimes, and I see this as the type of thing that could knock him back. I want you all to pray for him -- he did good work in extracting the survivors, it was a blessing for him to have been there with his knowledge and training, and as horrible as it was to witness and be a part of, he needs to heal and move on. So lift him up, send the boy some major mojo. It's not fun to be down there and feel so depressed and sad. You can't crawl into a nice warm bed and cuddle the dog or the wife. You just have to get through it and be the best you can be. So... do it. Pray for him right now where you sit.

I wish I could give him a big hug, or be an ear he can unload into right now. It's not easy because he's so out of reach geographically. I can't just pick up the phone and call and make him laugh.

I should email him the picture of himself that he sent me a while back when I was pining over Missy. It cheered me up. Hopefully he'd find it funny.

Poor kid.

Anyway -- that's about the long and the short of it. I'm off to tackle a closet or two. I've got food pantry stuff to put in the church basement (thank you Mr. Garfield!) and stuff for goodwill to drop off at the Catholic Church around the corner.

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