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Archived Entries from December 2006


Finally Finished

Well I finally finished the floor today, and I think it looks wonderful. Really. I'm quite proud of myself, to be honest. I took my time. I didn't get worked up about it. I was patient.

And now it's finished. Woo hoo!

I took all sorts of pictures of the process, from beginning to end--I'll have a whole set of them posted at some point.

Here's one I just took of the finished product:

And even though it looks like the color changes just past the couch (the new leather sectional that is awesome!!) it really is all the same color--I just panicked when I saw that in the picture and got up to check. It must be something to do with the flash and the lighting and the dark color of the couch.

Okay, I'm going to go see if the kids will watch a movie with me on our new sectional...

More pictures to come!

Posted: Saturday, December 23, 2006, 1:06 am
Mood: Awesome | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


The Floor Saga Continues...

My pal Darren came over and helped me with the destruction of the kitchen floor. The initial "plan" was to try to salvage as many of the boards as possible and then use them in our bedroom. However, that plan was mostly set in place as my attempt at appeasing my in-laws, who installed the current kitchen floor before we bought the house from them. I didn't want them to be irritated that we were just tearing it up. Well, after I started in on the floor today, and decided that "saving" it wasn't going to be practical. That is, it might have worked, but it would have taken forever. So Darren and I each grabbed a flat bar and a hammer and tore it up.

As it turns out, I think there will be a good amount of it that can be salvaged, but I think trying to use it in our bedroom would be cutting it close.

So I'm going to use what I can and do the floor in my garden shed instead. How cool is that? I'm almost as excited about the prospects of that as I am of the new floor in the kitchen.

We managed to get all of the floor torn up, but I'm exhausted. And my shoulder is going to kill me tomorrow. I'm too old for this crap.

In other news, our new sectional arrived today. It's way bigger than it seemed in the furniture store! The coffee table is wonderful, and I'm quite pleased. My wife has pretty good taste.

Hopefully I can make some good progress putting down the new floor in the kitchen tomorrow.

I still don't know my grade for my other class...

Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2006, 12:00 am
Mood: Pooped | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Finals Are Over...

Holy melodramatic whining, Batman....

My second final went surprisingly well. It took me a total of 39 minutes. There were a few parts that I didn't fill out completely, but sitting there for two more hours wasn't going to enlighten me to the correct answers.

Between the exam and the final project I should definitely get a C, and I won't be at all surprised if I get a pretty solid B. So yay, no more perfect 4.0 streak, but whatever--I'm happy about it.

So much better now. And I'll shoot for the Dean's list next semester.

Work has been busy, but is going quite well.

Tomorrow I have to get back to work on the floor. I'll talk about all of that later...

Posted: Saturday, December 16, 2006, 3:42 am
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Totally Overwhelmed

My second final exam is in two and a half hours.

I studied yesterday, but this is going to be brutal. I'm scared to death. I feel sick. Why am I doing this? I know I didn't turn in a complete final project, but at the very worst I should get a C in the class. With quiz and homework points alone I already have 60% of the total points before the project and the final exam. 100 point project, 100 point exam--out of those 200 points I need a total of 50 points to get a C. 100 to get a B.

I feel awful. I'm so not in control right now, and I so don't like not being in control. It's a C. It's not a D. It's not an F. This should be no big deal.

It'll break my streak of straight A grades. Is that what I'm scared of?

Failure. I'm scared of failure. And I've turned into my mother. Anything less than an A is, essentially, failure.

And I'm mad at myself that I'm upset about this. I don't like whiners, and I'm being one. And that pisses me off even more. This whole situation is awful.

Two more hours of studying to go, and I don't know that it will help much. But maybe I'll feel better for the effort or something.

I don't know. This sucks.

Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2006, 11:42 am
Mood: Awful | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Boom Goes the Dynamite...

I've been driving the family crazy lately with that, err, catchphrase (?).

I'm pooped. Where to begin....

I'm swamped at work, but that's good, I guess. Better than being bored.

It's finals week. I have to do the take-home one tomorrow, and then I my boss is proctoring my other final Thursday morning. Obviously I'll do well on the take-home one (we're allowed to use the book, our notes, class materials, and the Internet--I almost have to ask "what's the point?").

My final project for my "hard" class was due last Friday. I gave it a valiant effort (and no, I actually started work on it weeks ago--not the day before) but I didn't get it completely working. However, my understanding of Java has increased 100-fold, and I totally "get" object oriented design now. And oh my goodness is it cool. Really. Forget this scripting crap. I don't care about my grade--I learned what I needed to learn.

But I won't be doing the Dean's List thing I was dreaming about a few weeks ago...

On top of all of this.... I tore out the carpet in our living room on Saturday. And I installed a hard wood floor Sunday. The next step is to tear up the floor in the kitchen and then complete the transition to all wood floors. What a pain--I took photos and I'll have a full set of pictures later.

The new floor is awesome.

The new sectional arrives this Saturday.

I'll be happy when school is over for the semester. Last week I was ready to quit altogether.

I could really just quit right now. And not take either final. I quit freelancing, and at least that made money. What's the point of all of this?

I need to just keep plugging along. Two more days.

And it isn't like I have to get on a plane to get through this.

No plane until January. GROAN.

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 3:12 am
Mood: Exhausted | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


End of the Tunnel

I have two more days to work on my project, but I think little further progress will be made. If I get a "B," that's fine. I'll even settle for a "C" if I must. But I can't see that I'm going to be able to expend any more energy on this than I already have.

And having pretty much given up, well, it feels pretty good.

I take my proctored final next Thursday, so I'll study as best I can before then. Even if I get a zero on my project (which I won't) I only need 50/100 on the final to get a C. If I get half-credit for the project, I'll get a B. I'll deal with that.

Maybe it's almost like an undefeated sports team--get the first loss out of the way and it relieves the pressure and expectation. Or something. Summa cum laude would have been cool, but there's a reason that some people graduate with honors and a reason that some people, well, don't.

Speaking of sports. My fifth-grade son started basketball practice last night. I can't believe it. He had a ball and ran his butt off. He and the redhead are in Tuscola right now getting actual basketball shoes. (And then picking up Pizza Hut that I just ordered--three pizzas for $16 with tax! And they have a drive up window so you don't even have to get out of the car! I love this country!). I don't know that my boy will play much, at least anytime soon, because he hasn't had sports shoved down his throat like a lot of kids in his class (and I'm not casting aspersions right now--some people focus on sports and some people focus on, well, other stuff, like math and science and reading).

But I'm proud that we didn't push him to play basketball (Papa probably nudged a little bit), but he asked to do it and we let him and he seems like he'll have fun with it. And I don't think that even he has lofty expectations, and as far as I'm concerned, the end result of that equation will be a content happiness for all of us. Maybe he'll work off his PlayStation chubba-wubba-ness as well. Dang boy.

The redhead and I looked at the flooring that I want to put down today and she gave it two thumbs up. I've enlisted Darren and his truck Friday afternoon so it looks like I may be spending the weekend putting in our new floor. I'm excited!

About the only other set of thoughts in my poor sore head right now involve my car situation, since I've been driving separately from the redhead the past few days. And the "Service Engine Soon" light shines at me every trip I make. I think I'm going to do the whole black tape thing and just cover up that light so I don't have to keep looking at it. The car seems to be running fine. Maybe if I think of it I'll see if Autozone can read the computer code, but I'm not dropping any more money into that poor car. I think maybe I'll shoot for February or March, when the weather is still crappy and dealers are still anxious to make sales. The redhead's full raise and promotion will be in place by then, and Christmas and its bills will be long gone.

And of course, the cheap son-of-a-bitch in me is all too aware that I put a new set of tires on a year or two ago, and just rotated them over the summer. The front tires have plenty of wear on them. So I'd just as soon ride out the rest of that tread before shoving the old Aurora into the sea.

Just kidding, poor car. Please get me to work tomorrow.... (But yes, you're definitely getting replaced with a Toyota...)

Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 11:36 pm
Mood: Calm | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


School Stress

Hello? Anyone still there? Goodness knows that I haven't been here much lately. Oh well.

My excuse is sort of a good one. I have to have a hugely multi-functional poker game program written in Java finished by Friday (and for once I didn't ask the teacher to clarify whether or not he meant the end of the day Thursday, or the end of the day Friday, because technically "Friday at Midnight" is one minute after 11:59 p.m. Thursday....).

Our daughter came home sick from school on Monday--the nurse thought she had strep. The redhead took her to the doctor and he said that it isn't strep but probably allergies (she has tonsilitis). He gave her some different medications to take to make the tonsils calm down, etc. She still wasn't feeling too hot so I stayed home with her yesterday. A blessing in disguise for me of sorts, as I made a bunch of progress on my program.

I'm in that "bad point" of the semester right now. And this is going to make me sound like a whiny baby, but I'm ready to be done with school. I like the idea of being in school, but actually doing it becomes another matter altogether. Or at least, at the end of the semester it is. I'm very busy at work right now, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is get back in front of a computer and write Java programs all night long. I have two finals next week, and while one of them will be easy (open book, notes, and use of the Internet) the other one has to be proctored and is closed book. Which means I'll have to study. Groan.

I just want to quit. Right now. Withdraw from the semester and be done with it. The redhead just got a huge raise (like she'll be making more money than I was when I started at the U of I four years ago...), I just changed jobs and got a ton more money, and it isn't worth it anymore. I want to play. What was the point of quitting all of this freelancing business if I am going to kill myself with school.

And here's where my nagging guilt-tripping subconscious takes over. Part of it is being surrounded by people (some at work, some not) who preach that working yourself to death is the only way to go about things, and that anything else is basically failure. Like, listen to me whine about how "hard" I have it. It's two classes.

The old version of me would turn things in as they are now, go out and get smashed the night before my final, and be perfectly happy with getting a C. I'll get an A in my other class, so that will average out to a B for the semester, and after all, I have A's in all my other past classes.

And there's another part of the rub. I have a 4.0 going. I can be on the Dean's List this semester if I get A's in both classes. I can graduate Summa Cum Laude if I continue to get A's in the rest of my classes (because they don't take any of my pre-UIS grades into account). And I've talked about this, and dreamed about how neat it would be. How proud people would be of me. How redeeming it would be in lieu of the fiasco that ended with my first college degree.

At what cost? My misery, of course. But see that part above where I'm supposed to work myself until I'm miserable. Being "happy" isn't part of the equation.

I had no problem "letting go" when I was in college "the first time." But I have a hard time of it now. I said right here that I was going to make the Dean's List. I've never been on the Dean's List before. Not even close. Unless it was a list of "the bad kids." (Actually, to my credit, I never was on probation or anything like that--well, maybe one semester... Who knows, and what difference does it make?)

I don't think we should be taught to work harder ad infinitum. I think it is more than fair enough to pay ones dues and bust their butt and then, I don't know, coast or something.

But I did this to myself. This was all my idea.

And I can't just quit. Drat.

Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 10:01 am
Mood: Ambivalent | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Winter Weather Warning

Well our daughter did her best yesterday to will that today would be a snow day, and I don't think she's going to get her wish. I actually went to bed at the same time they did last night (at 8:30!) and at that point we still just had freezing rain.

When I woke up a few minutes ago I half-expected to see an inch of the white stuff on the ground but alas, it's just wet. And radar shows a ton of snow about an hour or so west of us, but we're still just getting plain ol' rain.

The forecast for our area is still calling for rain and snow in the morning, starting a few hours from now. But I have a feeling that if we don't see any flakes by 6:30 or so that she's going to be going to school (which also means I probably won't stay home from work either...).

Okay, I'm going back to bed...

Posted: Friday, December 01, 2006, 10:13 am
Mood: Tired | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


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