« February 2003 | Main | April 2003 »

March 31, 2003

Not-so-free Free Time

Well, it's a Monday... I don't have anything too specific to write about, but I think it's a good idea just to post anyway. Liz Lawley said to me recently that she thinks it's good for people to just write something everyday as an exercise. I agree. When I've got that free time, I should.

Problem is... the free time never feels entirely 'free'... You know? I always feel like I have something else looming over me to do. Sometimes it's the next 'deadline' for my courses... To prep that next class, to create that next exam, to grade that last project, etc. But other times, it's just a matter of how many things I have just laying around that I need to deal with. Some examples, you ask?

Right now in my office I have piles and piles of paper... some in cardboard boxes from the last move... some in piles that are still untouched from previous moves... It seems like every time I move, I get buried under another level of junk which I can bear to throw out... And every time I upgrade or switch computers the same thing happens... I get extra folders named things like "stuff from laptop", etc. Urgh. It's this way in my apartment, too.

Looking around my office, I have lots of books that are old and that should be either thrown out or left outside my door for someone to take.

I have a bunch of returnable cans and bottles both here in my office and at home that I should take to the counter at Wegmans.

I have a bunch of digital photos that I've been wanting to build into web pages and put online for others to enjoy.

I have a bunch of lego sets that I want to put back into their boxes and sell on eBay or something now that I'm not longer into them... come to think of it, I have a bunch of stuff that I'd like to sell on eBay... but it seems to take a lot of work... Especially for smaller stuff.

I have a lot of organization and cleaning up (and going through... surprise... boxes) that I need to do at home.

That seems to be my biggest thing... stuff that is disorganized and that I've pack-ratted away... I'm like my father in that respect. He has a basement full of stuff... I hesitate to call it junk. He's had years to kinda pare it down to stuff that still has some usefulness, but he probably won't ever use. In my case, I literally have "junk" in boxes... Stuff that has no use whatsoever but that I've just had to pretty much throw in boxes and say to myself... "ah... I'll sort this out later."

Maybe I'll get more energy to do that later this summer. Maybe I'll need to. I might need to build a much smaller "version" of my stuff so that if I need to move to a new home (like a room in someone's house or something?), I'll be able to do so without bringing truckload after truckload of stuff into the new location.

Well, that's all for the moment. Not a very exciting post, I know... but it certainly describes the "Life of Andy"...

Posted by Andrew at 06:08 PM | Comments (4)

March 29, 2003

Games galore

Just hanging out at Noah & Tiff's house at the moment, between board games... in the last two days, I've played two games of Taj Mahal (came in 2nd both times), a game of Aladdin's Dragons (three way tie won by someone else in a tiebreaker), A 'cooperative' game of Lord of the Rings (WE ALMOST BEAT THE GAME!... 58 points out of a possible 60!)... Also played a game of Bohnanza (won it). Probably one more game yet tonight... but not certain... It's starting to get late.

I should probably provide links to all of those games, but the best place to go for all of them is the Funagain Games site.

Posted by Andrew at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2003


Well... The results of the meeting are basically... the six of us (the six visiting professors at 'risk') will become either three or four. Two of us (and possibly a third) will not be able to be hired back onto the full Visiting Professor lines that we're on right now... next year.

Our department head is waiting to know exactly how many positions that she has available before offering or not offering those lines to us.

What do I think about my chances? I don't know. I could see this being the end of my current job for now. I don't exactly welcome it, but I'm willing to accept it if need be. God has a plan for me.

Even if I am not going to be a full visiting professor next year, I should be able to teach courses "adjunct" for the department. The pay would be drastically less... Thankfully, the lease on my vehicle is up in the summer and I'm in an okay living situation, financially, for now. I think some lifestyle changes would need to be made. I probably won't be getting that fancy new cell phone that I've been wanting to get.

So there you have it. I could still be in the same situation I was in over the last few years as well... It will all come down to what our department head decides... but that's tempered by several factors, and in my case... I've been in a visiting line for longer than the usual 3 years... in my case, I was looking at 5 years. This is currently my 4th year.

Well, blah... It's a matter of waiting and praying at the moment. Thanks, everyone for your prayers. God Bless.

Posted by Andrew at 01:13 PM | Comments (2)

March 24, 2003

Concerned about upcoming meeting...

I have an upcoming meeting tomorrow at noon where I'm concerned that I might find out something less than pleasant about the future of my position here at RIT... It may have to do with budget cuts... For those of you that can and would, please pray that whatever is about to happen will be under God's control and that I will be able to adapt quickly and easily to whatever changes it might cause. You may want to pray specifically that I'm able to continue working here at RIT in some way (ideally here in the IT department)... Thank you.

Posted by Andrew at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2003

better already?

Distraction is a great healer of hurt. And it doesn't hurt to have a chance to talk someone... either one way by e-mail (thanks, M), by IM (thanks, S), or by face to face (thanks, E)...

And, for those interested, please come on out to the SAU Cafeteria this Thursday at 7:30pm to see the Purim Play "SWITCH: Hadassah's Story" as performed by Congregation Shema Yisrael at the CCC meeting (which is very little meeting and almost entirely the play). For those perplexed by Jewish goings-on at a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting, you should be aware that this is a Messianic Jewish congregation, who believes Christ is the promised Messiah. The play is free and interpreted. If you have further questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail about it.

Posted by Andrew at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

how does that work?

In the past hour, I have read two things... both are rather personal, and I can't really share them here, but they have taken me from the heights of happiness to the depths of sadness... I wouldn't quite call it joy to despair, but the despair part could come if I dwell on it.

It has come in part because I'm being foolish... letting my heart run away without my head fully engaged. Is it wrong to desire a situation to come to be so much when you're pretty sure that it will never come to be? Is there anything good about clinging to a hope that is misplaced? Will people look back in pity or with admiration when the likely outcome occurs?

Posted by Andrew at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2003

Extreme bummer.

I had just finished writing this big long entry all about everything from my health to Alias to classes to boardgames to tivo to my christmas presents and it just lost it... I decided to preview it instead of save it and IE crashed in the middle and now I can't find what I had written... Even picked through the cache file with a low-level search and it's gone.

I'm not going to let it get me down, though... it's a nice day... here's a summary version:

I'm still sick (or whatever is going on with me), but I can hear well (thank you Mr. Nurse). I got my Christmas gift from my sister and family that I missed seeing over the holidays... Thank you... Can't believe my Amazon wishlist was still online! New Alias tonight. Played Taj Mahal last night and a bunch of card games the night before. Going to Capax Dei tonight. Going to go eat a Dibella's sub now and try to get some stuff done before church. The Porsche Cayenne is just nuts. Still thinking about my next car...

Maybe I'll flesh out these details more when I stop being angry at Internet Explorer.


Posted by Andrew at 03:18 PM | Comments (3)

March 12, 2003

I need a new blog design...

Thanks to Mike Axelrod I now know where to find alternate styles for my blog. I can't believe I looked around the Movabletype webpage for that long on two entirely separate occasions and never found where they were. Anyways... there are only 6 or 7 other "premade" styles on that site. I have since also done some surfing and have found a whole lot of other available weblog templates. I'm looking around. You'll know when I actually find something I like.

Posted by Andrew at 05:45 PM | Comments (2)

March 11, 2003

Wonder of Wonders!

Hello, sounds from the left-hand side! I can now hear out of both ears again. *Pheww*. (I wonder when this first happened?... I know it was still clogged in the shower this morning... maybe during my IMM lecture). Still, I'm going to have things checked out by a nurse at the doctors office later today. Things do seem to be a little bit better overall at this point. I think I'm mostly through the worst of it. I can actually breathe through my nose at the moment, too! Wa-hoo. I don't think I'm done with it though, by any means.

Posted by Andrew at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)

March 10, 2003

What to blog about? Everything?

I am here, in my office at about 10:50pm at night. This isn't unusual for me. I'm actually back in my office after having gone to a CCC leadership meeting from about 8pm to around 10pm. I do this a lot... leave my office, go to some evening event and then come back to my office again. People think I spend so many hours here because I teach so early and then can be found so late. It's probably true that I do work more than most. But my time isn't 100% focused on getting the academic work done all of the time. Large chunks of it include answering personal e-mail, doing planning for campus crusade stuff, writing blog entries, reading web sites that don't have something specific to work on them, etc. I'm probably developing a lot of bad habits.

I suppose my life would (could) change pretty drastically if I found myself in a relationship. I think that it would give me more of a focus on getting things done for academics while I was here on campus so that I could go home/out/etc. sooner. Right now, I look at my life and say... wow, how would I ever fit a relationship into my schedule. I'm always 'busy' with something.

I'd make it fit. It's important enough to me to re-prioritize my life around the things that deserve the most attention. Right now, my priorities lie with teaching my classes, working with Campus Crusade, and trying to get over my cold. Everything else is kind of secondary. Yep, sorry... this blog... not a top priority. Keeping up on certain TV programs, not a top priority, I'm afraid (although Alias does tend to get a certain upper priority range!)...

So, anyway... I'm going to the doctor's office again tomorrow (4pm) to further check out my ear situation. I'm taking regular hits of "Tussin CF" (Wegman's cleverly named Robitussin knock-off). Taking my amoxicillin, too... I hope and pray that this is over soon and I get my hearing back (hopefully better than ever now with this ear-wax fiasco coming to an end).

Today was tough, teaching my classes with no nasal resonance. Toward the end of each "lecture" it was kind of a matter of trying not to die... I definitely had to go "clear my head" (literally) afterward.

Well, now it's off to finish my last few photocopies before the morning and then get home for the night. 8am class in the morning (yikes!) Departmental meetings in the afternoon... office hours 2-4pm... doctor appointment after that... and then Games in the Crossroads River Room from 6pm til 10:30pm. Should be fun.

Well, have a good night, and God Bless!

Posted by Andrew at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

So... I wonder if I have a virus or an infection... ugh.

Amusingly relevant story at Yahoo

BTW, still can't hear from left ear... and my other is not at full capacity. Will be calling doctor's office again tomorrow around lunch...

Hopefully classes at 10am and 2pm will not be too terribly affected by my state of health.


Posted by Andrew at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2003

More Demetri Martin!

Zilo.com : Mind of Martin

I found these two short video clips... both very funny.

Sample joke: "Sometimes I wonder if there is a person who is the world's greatest tambourine player... then I wonder if that guy is that much better than the world's worst tambourine player... and how the both compare to a guy who is just really good at shakin' stuff."

Posted by Andrew at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

My Ear. Saturday.

Kind of sad that its Saturday already. Disappointing that I've had to spend this whole break with an illness that's still ongoing. As I mentioned before, I saw a doctor on Wednesday morning.

I was prescribed to take Amoxicillin, but they also were trying to check out my ears and found there to be a lot of wax build-up (sorry if that's a gross-out for anyone... but the story goes on). They tried to use some syringes and a water/peroxide solution to clear them out, but it didn't work, so they told me to go home and try this over-the-counter earwax treatment (basically put drops in for a few minutes and then tip them back out).

I tried it the first day and it seemed to go okay, I was actually kind of excited because I was able to hear some more high tones that I had been loosing... and thought maybe this was just a silly wax-buildup problem. But then the 2nd time (I'm supposed to use it twice a day for 4 days), my left ear stayed "plugged". I decided to carefully use a q-tip a little bit and when I did, it re-opened... at least, a little bit.

I didn't do it again after that until during the middle of the day on friday, my left ear 'closed-up' again. I tried using q-tips a little and I couldnt get it to re-open. I went to a pharmacy that night (after the boardgames) and bought a rubber bulb ear syringe so that I could wash things out after I used the ear-drops. So I tried the treatment again... used the rubber syringe and all... nothing. My left ear canal is (I hope it's a simple as this) plugged. I was hoping that sleep might take care of it. No. This morning... same problem.

I'm actually feeling very worried about this now. I had been noticing a deterioration of my hearing ability in my left ear for a couple of months... And more recently (like within the last month), certain ways I would rest my head on a pillow would cause my ear to 'plug'. I'm starting to think that maybe something is wrong with my left ear that has been coming on very slowly and what I'm experiencing now is a progression of that problem.

Because I work at RIT and there is the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, I know that for some of these students their deafness came about as a result of an illness. I really want to pursue this more with my doctor now but it's Saturday and the facility is closed until Monday... when I'll be teaching most of the day.

Argh. I'm afraid about letting this go... A plugged ear is new to me. Maybe it's commonplace to some people, but this bugs me a lot. Is this some kind of ear infection?? Did the doctors not figure this out? If I wait 3 days am I risking some kind of worse problem with my ear?

Please pray for me... for my ear... and for my state of mind through this. Thank-you.

Posted by Andrew at 02:19 PM | Comments (3)

March 07, 2003

I really like this comedian!

Spotlight - Demetri Martin

Just saw this guy on Conan O'Brien... Really, really funny (at least, to my warped sensibilities)...

Example joke: "I just got some new pajamas with pockets in them... which is great because before that I used to have to hold stuff when I slept".


"This summer I want to go to the beach and bury metal objects that say "Get a Life" on them."

So I went out and discovered this little sub-site of the Comedy Central site. Two things: The "Art" section is quite amusing... Especially the illustrated palindromes, and I have to get a Wurdshurt, even though the web-site isn't available right now. :)

Posted by Andrew at 02:53 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2003

What do the back of YOUR eyelids look like?

I've always wondered what other people saw when they closed their eyes... Because I don't see pure black. In absolute darkness, or with my eyelids closed, I "see" something that is more like television static. There is a fuzz of 'bits' or 'sparks' flashing out of time with each other, and if I try to focus on one spot in this field of flying bits, there is a definite specific pattern that always gradually emerges. To me, it looks like a small ball, spinning very rapidly and it's decorated with red, yellow, and blue concentric spots... Kind of like an archery 'target'. Gradually the small ball spreads out into a larger pattern, like the ball is unwrapping itself, but then I loose it and it generally goes back to the simple static field. I've thought about maybe creating an animated GIF that sorta simulated it at some point, but never got the great desire to show it to others... Sometimes I wonder... do other people see something like this in their own heads, or is this just me? How about you?

Posted by Andrew at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)


Went out to dinner and to see Daredevil last night with someone whom I'm growing a stronger friendship with. It was a good evening and the movie was pretty fun, actually. Especially loved the scenes with Jennifer Garner fighting. I don't think anyone does butt-kicking female better than Jennifer these days.

Right at the moment, I'm in my office trying to get prepared a little bit for Spring Quarter classes that start this coming Monday. I just re-built my office-door window-of-junk that I used to have way back when I was in my office-before-last. It's not the most important feature of my office, but I always felt like my previous office wasn't quite complete because I hadn't re-built it. I don't have my digital camera handy right now or I'd take a picture of it for you... but I'll post it eventually.

The break week so far has been so-so... especially with the annoying cough... last night was a highlight, and the Friday will also be a highlight as some friends are hosting a day of boardgaming. All in all, I think has been a nice pause from the regular work week and typical pressures associated with it.

I wish I was one of those people who had their deadlines met 2 or 3 days before the time it was needed. I think I'll try that to some degree this quarter. Tonight while I'm still on campus I'd like to get all of my first-day materials together for my IMM course this quarter. And maybe even my syllabus for 425 (Human Factors). We'll see how it goes.

Posted by Andrew at 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2003


Smiling today. I have good reason to. But enough about that. :)

In other news... went to the doctor in the morning... for my cough... nothing definitive, just taking Amoxicillin (an antibiotic) for a few days. We'll see what happens. It will probably just run it's course. It apparently hasn't caused any major problems in my lungs or what-not... Here's hoping it never does.

Also stopped in to campus... they've finally put computers in the lab across from my office. I'll be teaching in it on Tuesdays and Thursdays this coming quarter at 8am in the morning (ugh). Hopefully it will all be nicely working by then.

I'm also teaching two sections of one of my favorite courses: Human Factors. it's kind of hard to explain the course except to describe it as the psychology of people using things, particularly computers, but as it turns out... the computer specific stuff tends to be addressed much more in the follow up course: Interface Design. Human Factors is a broad course intended to get students thinking about how psychology and the design of things takes on a big roll in whether a person is successful at using a device or object. One might almost refer to it as "Applied Common Sense", but it's something that people tend to throw out the window when they design something. Throughout the HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) series of courses we talk about the Product (Software Engineering?) Design Lifecycle. This particular course addresses the first part when the design itself is being specified and thought out. It's background information needed for becoming good designers. And it's a lot of fun to teach.

Posted by Andrew at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2003

inboxometer hits 6 month low...

Cool! my "inboxometer" has hit a level of 42 messages! This, again, is the measure of how many message I have in my main e-mail box waiting for me to deal with them. I probably won't get it much lower before the next quarter starts... It also doesn't take into effect my First Class account which is filled with more of my academic stuff. That one is still at 241, but with a little bit of effort, I should be able to lower that one pretty quickly.

I'm going to go see the doctor tomorrow morning at 10am about my cough. I'm hoping that any medicine or treatment that I need to take will have an effect by the evening. Still need to go see that movie!

Looks like some friends of mine are going to be coordinating a day of boardgames later this week, so I'm looking forward to that... I think I'll be spending a lot of Thusday at my office getting ready for Spring Quarter.

That's the plan at the moment.

Posted by Andrew at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2003

Tried again from home.

Pheww! It worked... Okay, so grades are submitted... Time to sleep. Gotta put this stupid cough to bed. Will probably be up and around around 3pm.

Posted by Andrew at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)


Great, now the grade submission system isn't working for me... I'll have to wait until later today to record and submit them. But they're all ready. Probably late this afternoon is when I'll actually get around to entering them.

Posted by Andrew at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)


Grades are determined and about to be posted. Then I'm heading home to sleep for a while... Maybe I'll get to see a movie as a reward tonight?? :)

Posted by Andrew at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)

And yes, still grading.

I figured it would be like this... I told my housemate not to expect me back when I left the apartment in the late afternoon. I'm close now... I figure I might as well keep going and sleep when I'm done. I have done all of the calculations now and I know what students need on their Final Projects for each possible final grade, which will make evaluation easy... The system is like this: "Is this project worth at least a 65%?" If so, student gets an A... If not, "Is it at least a 15%", then student gets B, etc. All carefully mathematically computed out.

All I have to do now is get that done and I'm heading home. Good grief, my watch alarm just went off!... I was waking up at this time on Friday morning... :)

Posted by Andrew at 05:51 AM | Comments (0)

Still up.

Still up, still grading. Almost done with all the 'weird, late, contested, screwed up, odd, ones'... should be able to post grades by tomorrow afternoon... maybe earlier.

Posted by Andrew at 03:40 AM | Comments (0)

Done with the practicals...

Recording the practical grades now, starting to explore final grades with people... Final Projects making their way to the desktop now. Had to take a little time off to read a couple of other important blogs. :)

Posted by Andrew at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

Two thirds of the way through the practicals.

All practicals downloaded... I'm 2/3rds of the way through them so far. Some of these kids code like aliens! Anyways... I should be done with the practicals by about 12:30 and then It'll just be a matter of figuring out if people's final projects affect their grades in the course.

Will update in a little while.

BTW, I'm finding it amazing that I'm actually getting readership outside of my small social circles on this blog. Thanks, folks, for having some small interest in my life. The comments that you leave really encourage me to keep posting and keep at it. God Bless!

Posted by Andrew at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2003

Now grading...

It's 8:45pm and I am now launching into a final bunch of grading for the Interactive Digital Media class. Step one is to download everyone's practical and check those. First the downloading though... after that, the grading should actually go quite quickly for the practicals themselves. I'll let you know how things are going again in a little bit.

Posted by Andrew at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2003

2 down, 1 to go...

I have submitted grades now for 2 of my courses (both sections of Intro to Multimedia)... I have now only to submit grades for Interactive Digital Media... These will be in by Monday... Possibly Sunday night if things go really well, but I suspect that we're looking at Monday afternoon.

Regarding the cough... staying about the same... I really hate it. Please add me to your prayer lists if you could. Thanks. I'd really like to be cough-free for next week.

Posted by Andrew at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)