Archive for March, 2002

So, I washed my car today…

Sunday, March 31st, 2002

Just to prove that I wasn’t totally useless this spring break, I washed and waxed my car this afternoon. It looks really shiny now! I can see myself in it! This break I also cleaned out the rain gutters, mowed the lawn, and moved all the furniture to the center of my bedroom back home so the walls can be painted. Other than a massive LAN party, that’s about it. At least I did something! At our staff meeting tonight we reviewed what we all did over spring break, and the majority was a satisfied “Nothing! I slept a lot!” We RA’s work so hard during the term, a week of nothing but sleep is quite simply the best thing in the world. If I had a choice between a long road trip to Disneyland and sleeping all week, I’d be like, “Hmmm… Disneyland had fun rides and Donald Duck, but then there’s sleep….” I’d have to think about it. If you wanna know what I’d do, buy me a trip to Disneyland and see what I do.

My big plans for the remaineder of my spring break before classes resume tomorrow are thus: write an update to my web site (CHECK!), and get in bed with a novel until I fall asleep. Sound good? I thought so. Just check out the timestamp on this rant. It’s not even eleven yet! W00t! I rule, dude!

Take care, y’all! I’ll check in again once I get a feel for my classes this term and let you know how that shapes up. Chris out.

Today’s mission…..success!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2002

The headline is a reference to the anime show “Excel Saga”, but what it means is more serious than that wacky show. Remember about three months ago when I was goin’ off about how I needed to prove to myself that I can improve in my studies and I can do better in school that I was? Well, grades came back for this term and I did very well. My worst grade was a C+ in math 342, which is an improvement since I got a D in math 341 last term. Also, this particular C+ comes from a percentage of 79.7%, which really irks me, but I guess ya gotta draw the line somewhere. So close…

Anyways, moving on, my next grade I’m gonna divulge is my A- in econ. This is just great because I put about 4 days into that class, so an A- just goes to show my mad slackin’ skillz can still get me by in any class but a hard science. Word to wise, for an EASY ASS CLASS take EC201 on the web!!! Solutions for success: Read through the text (the day before the exams is fine.) Take notes on the bold material (the book even brings it out to the margins with a convenient definition for you!) Make sure you can read the graphs and charts. Just go through the examples in the text. Lastly, study the practice tests for each chapter that the prof puts up on the web site. That’s it!! You too can have a slacker easy A in a social science class. Just don’t forget to make an appointment to take each of the three exams!

My last grade–I only took three classes this term–is not an A, but it’s the most important to me. I got a B- in CIS425, which for me is totally amazing! That class was SO HARD, especially toward the end. I honestly wouldn’t have been all that shocked if I had a C- or even a D in that class, so when I saw that B lookin’ at me, I was just stunned. It means a lot to me because this is the first time I’ve done better than a C in a CIS core class since CIS212! I can do better, damnit! I really can! This brings me up a whole lot. My new goal is to get an A in CIS422 next term. This class is one of the hardest and most time-consuming in the program–it’s also the last core class–but I’m going to try! If I can finish up with a bang, I’ll be… well, I’ll be very happy with myself. I’m also taking CIS429 next term, but that won’t be as hard. If I can get an A in that I’ll be happy as well, but 422 is my demon to defeat. I’ll have two more 400-level CIS classes to take next fall, so I’ll have those to get, too. Maybe I’ll even get into databases for a change! 😉

Shifting gears here, I’m back home again for spring break, which as we all should know means I’m back on a modem again! Oy, how I miss my ethernet, but at least I’m still alive here. Thanks Matt, for lettin’ me borrow your modem. 44kbps is better than nothing–yes, I’m that much of an addict! You try living with 10Mbit ethernet in your bedroom for three years and then try to go without! Uh huh, I thought so… Anyway, it’s nice to be home again. Tomorrow us kids (yay, I’m a kid again!) have a big geek party planned, and that’s gonna rock! We’re goin’ over to the Brunner house to set up our lab in the livin’ room and network 6 l33t machines for the ultimate night of Quake 3, Diablo 2, Starcraft, and possibly even Counterstrike! We’ll be fueled on gummy worms, Coca-Cola, brownies, chips, and other goods of the geeks. I’m actually getting up early (gasp!) during spring break for this–it’s that big a deal! The l33t p33ps attending are me, Matt, Kimi, Matt, Jacques, Devin, Christy, and Molly. It’s gonna be so much fun! I’ll crawl away for work at 14:30 the next day (Wednesday) and then sleep from 18:01 (after work) until sometime Thursday afternoon. =) But seriously, this is gonna be cool.

My big plans for Thursday are goin’ to P-town to hang with my peeps up in da big city up north. Megs, if you read this, that’s the plan, but I’m assuming you won’t, so I’ll call before I head up, no worries. =) Friday I got work at the library again, and then Saturday it’s work in my room movin’ furniture and puttin’ in a baseboard heater. I’ll move back to the dorms that evening after dinner because my room here will be all messed up. Sunday morning I’m goin’ to church for Easter with mom, lunch at the Brunner house, and then it’s back to the res halls to be with my hall. I can’t be away too long–Sunday’s move-back-day. Word!

That’s it for now. If I get bored at work tomorrow, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll prolly write more here. That’s quite possible cuz spring break can be slow at work and I get bored easily when there’s NOTHING HAPPENING!! For more information on this phenominon, chech out the news archives from last summer when I was working at the ITC! Half my rants start with “I’m bored at work at the ITC again…” Anyways, that’s it for my early Tuesday morning rant. Chris out.

Spring break!!!

Sunday, March 24th, 2002

Yay! It’s spring break, and I’m so much more relaxed now. Today (Saturday) I took Megs to the train station, I checked out the remaining rooms here in the complex, I had lunch, I copied a CD, I played some Final Fantasy IX, and then I went home for a bit. I had a nice dinner with mom, Kimi, Matt, and Matt. We watched Lethal Weapon 4 and played Mario Kart 64 until mom told us we were too loud (it was after midnight) and I took off. Now I’m back at my place trying to decide whether to a) play more Final Fantasy, b) watch some TV shows off of my scratch tape, c) read The Shadow Rising, or d) read Bloom County. I gotta get up at 10:30, so I can’t be up TOO late, but we’ll see what I come up with.

That’s it for now. My spring break is so far so good, so consider me in a much happier state of mind. Chris out.

Finals done

Thursday, March 21st, 2002

Well, that’s it for another round of finals here. As I don’t have the luxery keeping my grades to myself, I may as well go and say that I got passing marks, if not the best I would have liked. I’m glad winter term is over; it’s always the hardest one. Next term looks a bit easier, however. My hardest class will be CIS422 by far. 422 is Software Methodology, the last hard class left in my major. It’s a project-based class where teams of students work on programming assignments. That should be difficult, but I think less difficult than Programming Languages was this term. I’m also taking CIS429, which is Computer Architechture, and it’s taught by the same guy that taught my CIS399 C/C++ class last term (I got an A in that class.) Lesse what else? Oh yeah, I’m takin’ Econ 202: Macroeconomics, and Poly Sci 104: Problems in US Politics. Those two should be trivial, I think. At least in comparison to my two 400-level classes.

OK, so where was I? Oh yeah, it’s the end of the term! Yay! I’m at work right now, but I’m so glad to only be worrying about work at the moment and not homework. Like a great weight off my shoulders; I feel like I can do anything now! After I get off work here at 14:00, I have a gig at Mortier Engineering doin’ somethin’ to their computers upstairs. At 17:30 I’m meetin’ with Drew for evals and some other misc stuff relating to the RA job, but other than that, I’m just gonna hang out and do some laundry or something tonight. Ahhhhhh!!! That’ll be GREAT! I’m gonna see if I can visit dad tonight and hang there for a while while I wash clothes. Dad, if you see this before I contact you, can I drop by for a bit tonight to do laundry? =)

This spring break, my plans go as so: Friday night I’m on duty in the dorms until Saturday night at 19:00. I’ll probably move back home for the break Sunday afternoon sometime. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday I’m workin’ here at the library from 14:30 to 18:00. Other than those things and Easter on Sunday the 30th, that’s it for me! I think I’ll probably go to Portland on a day and maybe the coast if it’s nice. I also plan on doin’ some work around the house, like painting my room, installing a baseboard heater, cleanin’ the gutters, patching the fence, etc. If this doesn’t sound relaxing, believe me, it is for me! College is hard, man!

I was prolly gonna say some more stuff, but I can’t think of it right now, so I’ll just sign off. Enjoy the (relatively) warm weather and keep dry! Chris out.

One down, last one’s tomorrow

Tuesday, March 19th, 2002

As usual during finals week, expect a lot of updates here. I got three things for ya on this one:

The first is that I took my math final today, and I did better than I expected. There were plenty of hard questions on the test, and some I frankly had no idea, or just didn’t remember the process for, but I put something down for most of them. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been and it certainly wasn’t as bad as the practice final. Now all I have to look forward to is my CIS final tomorrow at 15:15. That’s really gonna suck, but I’m studying for it tonight.

Second thing to mention is that you may have noticed I’ve added my signature to each news update. I dunno, I guess I thought it’d be kinda nifty and cute as a style thing. A lot of web rants make use of this technique. Lemme know what you think of it.

Lastly, I’ve snapped a new webcam shot, if you’re interested. It sort of shows my state of being at the beginning of this week.

As far as my cold goes, last night was a little rough. I went to bed around 22:00, read for a while and turned off the light around 22:45 or so. There were various noisy disruptions outside, which I dealt with, but that kept me up another hour or so. After that, I was back to tossing and turning, and then waking up every couple hours. Ugh! I hate being sick! I’m feeling a bit better tonight, though, so hopefully I’ll get a better night’s sleep tonight. I had a lot of tea today, so perhaps that’ll help. =) Nothing puts me to sleep faster than studying, too…

That’s it for now. More after my last final. Chris out.

Finals + Having a Cold = Sucky

Monday, March 18th, 2002

If only my math final had equations as simple as my headline. Actually, that equation describes my day tomorrow in math pretty well. I’ll even have some equations like that in class, except that they’ll be much more complex and I’ll have a lot more of them to solve at one time. Oh well.

I’m congested, I have a headache, my throat is sore, I feel tired, and I’m coughing and sneezing. To top it off, my headache is more acute when ever I sneeze or cough. At least I can’t hear my own sneezing because my ears are plugged up. They’re only really plugged up whenever I blow my nose, though. I only do that when it’s really runny, which is often. *sigh*

I’d write about my exciting trip to San Fransisco last weekend, but I don’t really feel up for that much writing right now. For now I’ll just say that our boys took second, and the public transportation systems in the bay area are very confusing at times. Did you know there are about eight hundred different systems you can ride around on down there? We took three to get from Palo Alto into downtown San Fran, and none of those was the (in)famous BART System. Oh well. We still had fun. I’ll put up some pictures once I get them developed (yes, I used a film camera this time. Deal.)

That’s it for now. Wish me luck on finals. I’ve got math on Tuesday and CIS on Wednesday. Ugh.

Once again–blah

Wednesday, March 13th, 2002

Well, my Tuesday math assignment is…done. I’m not happy with it–it was hard! Still, it’s outta my hair now, so I can be glad for that. I have another one due on Friday, but it’s shorter. We really crammed a lot into this term. I also have a final in Econ on Friday that I’m a bit concerned about, but if my two midterms are any guide, I should be all right. I really need to study that stuff soon…

I’m waiting to hear back about the possibility of working at the ITC next fall, and that’s sort of become the deciding vote on what I do next year. If I get the job, then I look for a roommate and go apartment/house-hunting next term. If I don’t, then I’ll just say “screw it” and be an RA again next year. I really am that much on the fence here. It’s an incredibly hard decision, and I can’t seem to make up my mind. I have made up my mind that once I make up my mind I’ll give it all I got, though. It’s just that that time hasn’t arrived yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Tomorrow I plan on (finally) beating Final Fantasy VII. I know, I’ve been playing this game how long now? However, soon I’ll be done, thus leaving me all of spring break to play Final Fantasy IX. Once that’s out of the way, I can waste all my time spring term playing Final Fantasy X, which is quite possibly the coolest game ever made. I’m looking forward to that! I’m looking forward to spring break SO MUCH, it’s crazy. I plan to be as relaxed as possible, so as soon as someone stresses me, I’m so gone! 😛

This weekend I’m goin’ down to Stanford, so that should be fun. I haven’t been out of the Eugene/Springfield area since I picked up Matt from Berkeley in December! I’m goin’ stir crazy here!!! Anyways, I’m gonna go see On The Rocks compete in the national semi-finals for college a cappella! That should be a blast and half fer sure!

Well, I’ll update more later. For now, it’s bedtime! Chris out.

Homework…almost….done!!!

Monday, March 11th, 2002

To explain my headline, tonight’s homework is done, again with much thanks to Carl. However, that leaves my math homework, which is due Tuesday at 14:00, so I get to do that tomorrow! Joy! Still, I’m relieved that my CIS is done–that’s always the hardest. The math is more just time-consuming. Since finishing my CIS, I’ve been doing random tasks around here such as putting up flyers, straightening up my room, and lastly, doing email. I had a bit of a backlog there, so I went ahead and got that cleaned up. I’m down to 5 messages in the ‘box, so that’s all good! Jen’s email took the longests, cuz she’s in Europe and she has a lot to write back about. Takes a while to respond to all that.

New webcam pic.

Last Friday night, I went to a party at Shelby and Carmen’s place and that was a lotta fun, as always. Some of the folks attending were: me, Christy, Shelby, Carmen, Leo, Dylan, Beth, Mikey, Nate, Carl, Jessie, Trang, Tyler, Ben, Kelli, Ted, lauren, David, Daniel, Bryce, George, Veronica, Christopher, Mindi, Greg, Liz, Jeremy, Shannon, Katie, and about a dozen or so other people whose names I don’t know. As you can guess from the massive guest list, it was a very successful party!

Saturday, I played Final Fantasy VII for several hours, and much to my joy and happiness, I defeated Ruby Weapon and Emerald Weapon. For those not in the know, these are the two most badass monster-bosses in the ENTIRE GAME! They’re an optional fight, so they’re even more powerful than the last boss, Sephiroth. Man, those two Weapons were a pain in the ass, but I’m going to prove how much of a nerd I am and relate to you now the strategies I used in beating them. I encourage even the non-gamers out there to read on, because I wrote it as humorously as possible and I use the word “badass” far too much for me to be in college.

Ruby Weapon
First off, this is the harder of the two. This dude can deal a heck-of-a-lotta damage to me, pretty much whenever he wants, as well as causing various status ailments to my guys, and depleting their magic power. He can also remove party members from combat reducing my already small band one at a time until there is only one of them left! I start with three. Oh, and did I mention he has 1,000,000 hit points to my (maximum) 9999 apiece? Get the picture?? Anyways, the way I beat him (there are a few ways to do this) was thus: start off the battle with two of my guys already dead. This prevents him from immediately getting rid of one or two of them. He then puts his claws (?) into the ground so that he can better harm me, however this leaves him open for attack. I then revived my two fallen comrades (he won’t blow them away with his claws underground), and proceeded to summon Hades and Knights of the Round at the same time using the W-Summon materia. If this makes no sense, bare with me; it allows to summer two badass monsters at once to fight for me. I then have the other two characters Mime this. Hades stuns RW, thus preventing him from frying my ass with Ultima when Knights of the Round deals him 100,000 points of damage. I also have HP Absorb bound to Knights of the Round, which gives me some HP every time I deal damage with it. I keep this up as long as I can, reviving folks as necessary, and praying very, very fast, and through some kind of video game miracle, I won out in the end. Not that I didn’t try this, like, FIFTY TIMES, but hey, all’s well that ends well, right? With Ruby Weapon out of the way, this leaves me with…

Emerald Weapon
OK, I say this guy is easier, but that’s only because I can hurt him with more than just Knights of the Round. Emerald also has 1,000,000 HP. Ruby would only take about 100-200 HP of damage from a sword, where Emerald can take max (9999) from my badass fighters. However, easier is a relative term. Emerald Weapon has the naughty advantage of being UNDER THE FREAKIN’ OCEAN, so that can be a problem for some, unless a person has the Underwater materia, which I have. Otherwise, I’d be limited to 20 minutes to beat him, which I don’t think would be enough, although the first time I approached this guy, he simply creamed me in 30 seconds so it was kind of a moot point then. This guy has about six major ways of causing me suffering: blasting all my guys for about 5000 HP (hit points), blasting one of my guys for about 8000 HP, stomping on me for about 6000 HP, stomping on everyond for about 2000 HP, growing “eyes” that shoot at me for about 3000 HP or 300 MP (magic points), and last but certainly not least, simply blasting the crap outta me for max damage and wiping out my party in one fell swoop. Luckily he only does this when he’s really pissed off, which is unfortunately only when I’m kickin’ his ass. I tried the ol’ Blast Him Into a New Underwater Stone Age Technique of repeatedly sending Knights of the Round at him, but that left him really pissed so he tended to kill us all whenever I did that. I then took this opportunity to revamp my strategy. I’m like, “Hey, isn’t Cloud (main character) known far and wide for his sword that’s as big as he is? Let’s just whack at this bitch until it dies a watery death!” And would ya know it, but it worked? I had Cloud equipped with the 4x-Slash thingy, which caused 4 hits of 9999 each each time he attacked. A good start. Then I had Yuffie (another character) attack with her special weapon which uses the ratio of how badass my opponent is to how badass I am to determine damage, and since this was like comparing Samuel L. Jackson to Allan Greenspan, it did 9999 damage too. She had the “Slash-All” materia, so when the 4 eyes came out, WHACK! Anyways, all I had her do was fight, too. My last party member (doesn’t matter who, he sucks) simply used Megalixers the whole time to keep us alive. (How did we have so many of these very rare items to spare? There’s a cool trick in the game to multiply items, but I’m not gonna get into that now.) All my party members were at nearly max HP (9999) for this, too. So, I kept this (fight, fight, heal) up for a long, long, long, long time and eventually good triumphed over evil green annoying underwater monster, and I was very, very, very pleased with myself. Yay Chris!

But now it’s bed time. It’s 4am, and even though I don’t have class until 14:00, I gotta go. Take care y’all, and thanks for readin’ this far! Who loves ya?! 😉

No sleep

Thursday, March 7th, 2002

Sleepless again, here I be. I got a few hours last night but not enough. *Yawn* It’s not that bad. I don’t have any homework due tomorrow, so at least I have that going for me. I’m running our staff meeting tonight, so I need to draw up an agenda for that. Other than that, I’m just feeling generally blah, so BLAH!

Right now I’m running numbers to check my options for housing next year. I’m leaning toward living off campus next year, but I need to make sure I can afford it. On my current paycheck I could probably pay for rent and ramen, but no utilities and no car. Hence, I need more money. I have a plan, however! I’m checking into becomming an ITC tech next fall in addition to my current job as a FITT staffer. For those who don’t get the lingo, as an ITC (Instructional Technology Center) tech I’d just keep the computers in the labs working. If you don’t know what the FITT Center is, check out the archives from about a year ago when I first got the job–I explained it there. Anywho, I figure if I work the maximum hours a student can work (20), I can make enough to live comfortably off campus. This brings me to my next hurdle–finding roommates! I’ve inquired, so my name is now in the unofficial “pool” of RA’s looking for roommates for next year. On the grapevine, so to speak. The more I think about this, the more excited I feel. It’s thrilling to think that I’ll be living on my own in the real world so soon. Thrilling and scary, I’m sure, but right now it’s more thrilling. =) So, what do you all think?

Quickie

Monday, March 4th, 2002

Just one more thought: check out the big “LATEST NEWS” headline at the top! Think it looks nifty now, try reloading the page a couple times.

Damn I’m so cool!

[Update 3/4@17:15] New webcam shot.