Archive: April, 2003

Change happens, so can it be a little more positive?

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 1:33 PM | comments: 0

Last night I'm sitting around watching TV while Stephanie grades some (plagiarized) papers. Sitting there on my ass, thinking about how much I have been sitting on my ass the last week, and how life might have settled into a boring routing, things changed.

First, Luna, who had been playing grab-ass all over the house with Cosmo, starts yacking again. Poor thing lets out this horrible cry before she does it, and then it turns out being mostly liquid. It's the worst thing to hear. Steph's maternal instinct kicked in and she stayed with her while she did it.

Then, Steph sees the news story about the Mentor Marsh fire (you probably saw it on national news as well). I hadn't made the connection, but the disbelief on her face made me realize that this just wasn't an environmental disaster, it was where she was supposed to do her PhD research this summer.

So in a matter of a couple of minutes we're sitting there laughing it up about movies on TV, the next minute some things suck. What's up with that?

Things can change in life pretty quickly, but it seems like as you get older, the good changes are harder to come by. Last night's little crises weren't certain doom, but they were a real downer. What happened to those great moments where you realize you sold a domain for $100,000, or you were married and getting on a plane for Hawaii, or you got the keys to your new house, or you graduated with a new degree?

Keeping things in perspective, no, life isn't bad, but with the world being kind of a low-key downer right now, we need to make something happen that kicks ass. Hawaii isn't until November, so whatever it is, we need it soon, and we need it for both of us!

Time rolls on: Another whirlwind look at all the stuff going on

posted by Jeff | Saturday, April 26, 2003, 10:49 PM | comments: 0

Finally today I've got nothing to do. Stephanie and I are bored out of our skulls, but shit, it's the first weekend I've had nothing to do in ages. Our practices were even cancelled last week due to a scheduling conflict.

So with volleyball, we had two straight weekends of tournament action. The first weekend we were in Columbus for the regional bid. We were down two girls (grrr...) and sucked ass. It was embarassing even. To make matters worse, some of the girls were more worried about what the others were doing than taking responsibility for their own performance. Not good. One even had the balls to ask what I was doing taking her out of the game. Yikes.

I let that go, and thought about it, and knowing more about her personality decided to put it behind me. Last weekend for Easter we were in Baltimore for the Northeast Qualifier. My goal wasn't so much to nail a bid to nationals, but do well overall. Our first day, we swept our pool. They really kicked ass (but of course had to go three games... they always need to make it interesting "for the fans," as one puts it).

That night, one of the girls, who was pretty upset about the way things went the weekend before, bought everybody T-shirts (with "word," one of our huddle cheers, written on the back) and wrote a poem for every girl, saying what she liked about them. Girly as hell, I know, but a very sweet gesture. The girls had good bonding time that night in the hotel. I've never had a team nearly get through the entire season and still like each other, so it's a refreshing change.

The second day we didn't do as well, but ended up in the silver bracket, finishing the third day 19 our of 56. I can live with that! All in all it was a good weekend for me. Not so good for Steph though, as she was sick and battling a double ear infection. She's still not totally well as of today!

Meanwhile I started to rewrite my forum software. For users it won't seem that different, but from a programmers standpoint it will be so much easier to interact with, and performance wise will bury anything else I've seen out there. I'm really happy with the way I code now; I feel like I'm reaching a new level. I bought a new book yesterday to help translate some of it to building desktop apps, which have a lot of different little things I'm not used to.

Thursday is media day at Cedar Point, and around 5:30 a.m. I'll get my first ride on Top Thrill Dragster, the insane 420-foot tall ride that launches you up to 120 mph. I'm really just now starting to get excited about it.

I find myself being less enthusiastic about being a coaster enthusiast lately. Not sure why. CoasterBuzz Club is doing pretty well, and we're doing three events this year. I'm pleased with the site as well, though this time of year sucks because there's always an influx of new people who don't like the way we moderate it and I'm a power-hungry jerk Nazi who doesn't have a life blah blah blah. Right on schedule! That usually simmers down by late June.

Oh, I finally got my new camera (Canon EOS 10D). Wouldn't you know it, I think I might have to send it to Canon for service. When it writes to memory it makes all kinds of noise, which the Canon support people say is not normal. The good news is the new model does indeed correct the key problem of the old one... it focuses in low light. When you're using the flash it'll strobe the subject if necessary too, and that makes a huge difference.

What has my interest this spring

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, April 8, 2003, 4:59 PM | comments: 0

Wow, I've had like four or five things I've wanted to write about, but it's generally while I'm in the shower or driving. So I guess it's time to ramble.

First off, volleyball. Kids got second place gold last weekend, though they really should've had first. Very frustrating. On the up side, there was much team bonding and I got some quality time with some of the kids. Steph was there as well, so overall it was kind of a nice change of pace.

Friday is the regional bid tournament. 24 teams, four go to nationals. Our chances? Hard to say. Given how up and down they've been, I'd give them about one chance in three, but maybe I'll finally get my Cinderella story.

Roller coaster season is almost upon us. I'm looking forward to finally riding Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. Only three weeks to go. We've also got three, yes, three events planned this year for CoasterBuzz Club. Gotta love that!

I got a new Gameboy Advance SP a couple of weeks ago, and the fucking thing has me addicted to Zelda. I skipout at lunch every day to play it.

I sold my Canon D60 camera to replace it with the newer 10D. The major improvement is the ability to focus in low light, something the D60 really sucked at. I unloaded it for about $1300, so I don't lose too much in the process.

I'm feeling really good about my programming ability as of late, perhaps because I'm doing a bit of it at work. Perhaps now would be a good time to finish up some of my projects (like the content and ad serving apps). I'm also starting to think about how to build the next version of POP Forums (if I do it at all) and a journaling application.

Don't know if you've checked it out, but for a lot more perspective on this war, you should check out Al-Jazeera. I wouldn't say they're unbiased, but they're a far cry from the "news" that Fox reports (they wave a flag in the corner, refer to American forces as "us" and pretty much skip all of the stories about dead Iraqi soldiers and civilians). They give you a pretty good look from an Arab perspective, and maybe a little insight as to why half of the world hates us. Makes you wonder why after 9/11 we immediately retaliated but haven't since then stopped to consider what it is that the world hates about us.

More than anything, the thing I think about the most is spring. Damn this Ohio weather.

Luna has less than two years to live

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, April 2, 2003, 10:18 AM | comments: 1

Stephanie took our kitten, Luna, to the vet yesterday after she had been throwing up all day Monday. Turns out it was just serious hairballs, but unfortunately she has far worse problems.

She has an enlarged heart, which in turn leads to poor circulation, which means that her body doesn't dispense of excess fluids the right way. Eventually this causes her organs to shut down and she dies.

We've only had her for a year, and the vet says she's probably got less than two years. I'm crushed. I know she's got lots of time left, but she's actually got less time left than her big sister Cosmo. She's a lover with lots of personality, and Steph's buddy. A total mama's girl.

I'm trying to keep perspective, but in the context of this week's other bad news (see previous journal entry), this is getting to be a bit much. I just need to remind myself that I'm healthy, Steph is healthy, I live in a nice house, I'm employed, and the weather is improving.

Things have to start getting better soon. I'm not one to be a pathetic crybaby, but it's a little harder to master your own destiny when so many things are out of your control.