Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Have I already complained about people who don't follow directions? I feel like I have. It's something that annoys me to no end, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if I'd already ranted about it. Here's the thing: I don't always follow directiond either. Especially if I've done something 100 times, but it's been a while, I tend to think I can do it by memory. But when it doesn't work the first time, instead of flipping out, I go back and find my directions and follow them to the letter and 99.9% of the time, things work fine. It's just that I'll have forgotten a step somewhere. What really bugs me is when people yell for help the instant something doesn't work instead of trying for 5 minutes to figure out why something didn't do what it was supposed to. And then when I go to help, they tell me they didn't even do half of the instructions and the parts the did do were out of order. What the hell? How am I supposed to help with that? Of course it doesn't work when you don't do it right. Then I follow the instructions and *gasp* it works perfectly. Somehow that makes me a demigod. Let me assure you that there's nothing supernatual about my ability to fix most of the problems that arise in this manner. It's simply called following established instructions. Most of us learned that simple task in kindergarten.
Try to put yourself in my shoes on this one. In fact, let's literally do that. Imagine that I wrote down instructions for putting on and tying your shoes (which is much more difficult to explain clearly than you might think for what is a relatively simple task) and you're supposed to follow them. You'd call me for help and I'd come down to find two shoes with the soles duct taped together and your hand stuck inside one of them. I mean, good grief, just follow the printed instructions I left you and everything will turn out okay, I promise.

Them: "I can't tie my shoes on my feet."
Me: "Okay... What part's not working?"
Them: "I'm not sure, I glued the soles to my face, and then I couldn't get my feet into them, so I swallowed the laces."
Me: "Why? Where does it say to do that?"
Them: "I don't remember. I thought we had to do that last time to get it to work."
Me: "Well that just doesn't make any sense at all. Here, look, slip your feet into the opening of the shoe underneath the tongue. Pull the laces tight, tie a knot, then tie a bow."
Them: "Yeah, I tried that and it didn't work."
Me: "Um, obviously that's not what you did or I wouldn't be here. It worked perfectly when I did exactly what I'm supposed to do, so just follow the prescribed steps in the specified order and it will work perfectly every time."
Them: "Okay, you're going to have to write that down for me."
Me: "I already did. In fact, it's the instructions I just followed to demonstrate."

Related pet peeve: When people won't admit to making mistakes which they obviosuly made. Everyone makes mistakes, it's really no big deal. And it helps everyone out to know how something arrived in the state its in to either prevent it from occuring again or correct the failure. In the shoes-glued-to-your-face example, telling me you didn't glue shoes to your face doesn't really help me figure out what went wrong. Obviously shoes are glue to your face and you obviously did it. You're can't save face (no pun intended) when I already think you're a moron. "If you didn't glue shoes to your face, how did they get there?" "I don't know, it was like that when I got here." Riiiight...

Merry Christmas! Oh, wait, that's not it. Though try telling that to the retail outlets around here. Usually it doesn't get really bad until after Thanksgiving, and never until after Halloween. Oh well. Maybe we should just have one big giant holiday that lasts 2 months called Hallokwanmas-Chanuthanksadan. Did I miss anything? Sorry, we'll reschedule your holiday into the spring session. Anyway, today is candy day, and we've got (hopefully - we've been munching on it) a big bowl at home to pass out to all the little hellions that live in our building. And if no one shows up, more candy for us! Maybe we'll watch a scary movie or something tonight while we're waiting for costumed devils to show up with their slutty nurse mothers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here's a few pictures from our most recent trip down to Atlanta for GT's Homecoming game against Army. Pre-game featured the Army Silverwings paratroop demonstration squad that was pretty awesome. Winning the game was nice too, although the first half was sloppy and Tashard got injured and is likely out for the season now. *sigh* On the plus side, even though it was a lame noon game, we did get to have dinner at South City Kitchen. Mmmm...
Behold the glory of the Varsity! Unfortunately, my recent health problems prevented me from indulging myself, but I had a sip of Emily's FO that was damn delicious.

Campus looks pretty awesome from the 20th floor balcony of our hotel room. They really should use this for recruiting. Look at all the trees and no huge buildings! Campus could be anywhere and yet it's in one of the busiest areas of Atlanta.

Darren should be very proud of the band. They sounded great and they even made straight lines in all their various formations!

Still not entirely sure of the rationale for jumping out of a perfectly good Blackhawk, but these guys seemed to enjoy themselves and it was a pretty cool showing as they came down into the stadium and landed and midfield trailing colored smoke all the way.

We also attended Hoopsfest after the football game and saw both the ladies and men scrimmage. Despite losing a promising PG in Javaris, we do have #0 back, though he was never a true PG, but he seems to have worked on his vertical since being dismissed from the team last year. We also have a new guy, a redshirt senior transfer from North Georgia by way of Georgetown (yeah, I was confused too) who's 6-foot-nothing with shoes on, but seems to be a pretty good PG, so we'll see how that works out. Morrow looked dead on from long range. Resean looked just depressed sitting on the bench the whole time. That's what you get for failing to keep your grades up. He'd better be getting his act together this semester so he can play once the ACC schedule heats up. Oh yeah, and the guy in the white shirt? That would be T-Mac. It's hard to recognize him with glasses and without the kneesocks, but he's an assistant coach of some sort. Paul always said Tony would make a great coach one day, so it's nice to see him giving it a shot.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I had a pretty good day yesterday. I skipped out of work entirely and slept an extra two hours. That already makes it a great day. Then I went downtown and met my dad for lunch at the Hotel Washington. With the beautiful weather and great views of the White House and Washington Monument from the rooftop terrace cafe, it was a pretty nice place to have lunch. Then it was straight down Pennsylvania to the Capitol. There was a much larger crowd than I expected, and no protesters or pushy activisits to be found anywhere. I was shocked, relieved, and above all delighted to see that everyone had gathered to enjoy the celebration rather than to push a specific agenda. Probably the first time that's happened in a long long time in Washington. Anyway, we caught the tail end of the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Dalai Lama's address to Congress. Then we were treated to some Tibetan cultural events on the lawn stage, brief speeches by Richard Gere and Nancy Pelosi, and then an address by the Dalai Lama. He spoke primarily in Tibetan with a translator, which seem spretty common, although he does speak pretty understandable english as well. I'm not a buddhist, but there's something that just makes so much sense about that way of life. There's a serenity and compassion that's hard to ignore.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The end of last week was sort of a disaster at work. We finally had our funding meeting for FY08 (even though it started Oct 1) and foudn out our budget got cut in half. Fun! I'm thinking it might be about time to follow Caryn's advice while I can do so under my own terms. Fortunately, the weekend was a good way to take my mind off the whole thing.
Saturday Tech won in Coral Gables in a scary game where I just kept waiting for us to blow it. Basically every conference game is a must-win for us, but we get VT and UNC at home and have to play Duke on the road, so at least we've got a shot at that. I just don't want to finish below .500 in conference, and certainly not below .500 overall. I swear, if Tech misses a bowl game, Gailey is out. But enough pessimism, we won, so yay!
After the game we met up with my family down at the Occoquan for some late lunch and kayaking and canoeing. Bobby's family joined us and Tommy's family was up visiting, so it was fun to see all my cousins. Everyone seems to be doing well. Lindsay is very excited about Princeton as a possibility for college next year. Daniel is really enjoying William and Mary so far. Emily's job and apartment are great and adult life isn't so bad after all. We had dinner at my parents' house (fresh-caught Alaskan salmon that Tommy brought back from his vacation) and a make-your-own sundae bar. Mmmm. It was also Zoey's birthday, so even though it was late when we got home and we had to get up early, we still let the fuzzies out to play for a while.
Sunday bright dark and early, we had a flag football double-header against Arizona and Pitt. We shut out Arizona while scoring 35 or something ourselves and almost shut out Pitt, so it was a good day for our team. We desperately need to work on defending the reverse though. Option seems to be no real problem for us, but the reverse causes everyone to freeze in place instead of risking pursuing the wrong person.
Then last night I volunteered to be a recruiter for Georgia Tech at the FCPS College Fair which was a lot of fun. It reminded me a lot of my Connect With Tech days. It was funny to see the difference between students who had already done their research and those who hadn't. "So, what do you offer for engineering?" versus "I'm interested in video game design and I hear you have a brand new degree program and state-of-the-art computing center. Can you tell me some more about that?" And then I got the one kid who asked something along the lines of "Do you offer the classics?" I'm sorry, you're going to have to be more specific. We have civil engineering or physics, those are pretty classic... No no, he meant Latin and Greek. Um, hi, we're an institute of technology, not of dead languages. If you're interested in Latin or Greek, more power to you, but if you're planning to major in something like that, I want a detailed explanation of what your career plans are. I guess you could work for the pope... Plus it's fun to see kids get wide-eyed when you tell them last year's incoming freshman class had an average GPA of 3.7 and average SAT scores over 1300. Then I have to give them the whole "you're not just a number" speech. Not sure how true that statement is, but as an alumni, I don't want a bunch of 4.0-1600 bookworms on campus who are going to spend gameday in the library. Let those losers go to MIT.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I'm starting to get really frustrated with our varsity football team. We're losing winnable games by making dumb playcalling decisions and racking up penalties at the worst possible times. I still maintain that Gailey didn't deserve his midseason contract extension last year, and if it's not being proven right now, I don't know how else to make our AD see it. I'm willing to give Gailey one more year because we have a new QB and a new OC this year. We were so close to being a 13-1 team last year, that to be this inconsistent this year is downright painful. We're probably out of the running for a conference title after losing to Maryland, and we're probably headed for another 7-5 season. I hate to be so down on the team, but it's support a team this inconsistent because you never know which team is going to show up. We'll beat VT and then lose to Duke. It's halfway through the season and I think Gailey's already used up all the goodwill he earned with the Coastal Division title and Gator Bowl appearance last year.
In more upbeat sports news, our flag football team is looking good. We handily beat UNC on Sunday (41-6 I believe). We lost to them last year 7-6, and they're one of the better teams in our league. It was nice to see everything operating so smoothly. I'll take full resposbility for allowing their touchdown to ruin our shutout. Is it sad I'm more pumped about our flag football team than our varisty team? I also mangled my left middle finger somehow. It's like it's jammed, but way less painful. It's a little swollen and quite black and blue. *shrug* At least it's not dislocated like the guy on UNC's team. Or bleeding like Kristin's nose. Or as visible as the mark on Marcus's forehead from Joe's latteral back to himself on a touchdown run. For a non-contact sport, it's really pretty dangerous. ;)
Wedding things are still moving along. Emily's been dress shopping. I need to get my act together and organize tuxedos. We've got hotel stuff taken care of. Save the Date cards went out last week. We still have a lot to do, but it's nice to feel like things are kind of on cruise control for a little while. Time is flying by though and it's going to be March in no time. Which brings us to the bachelor party. I'm opening the floor for suggestions. Certainly I have my own ideas, but I want your degenerate suggestions in order to reinforce how great my ideas already are. ;) It will tentatively be Thursday night, Friday night after the rehearsal dinner, or Saturday before the wedding, or perhaps a combination of the above. I also wouldn't rule out doing something around the holidays as a warm up in addition to a more low-key party the weekend of the wedding. Ground rules - no bars (exception - sports bars since the wedding is the weekend of the Sweet 16), no strip clubs or strippers.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I was just thinking about something that struck me as funny. When my (eventual) kid(s) are old enough to think I'm a dinosaur (I suspect around age 12), the situation will be exacerbated by the fact that I'm not only their hopelessly uncool, out-of-touch parent but was born in an entirely different century. I wonder if they'll still run across forms in their professional life that say 19__. You'd think almost 8 years into the 2000s that these forms would have been updated. I guess that's a lot to ask.

Rumors of my demise are greatly mildly exaggerated. Though on Tuesday night it certainly felt like my demise was a distinct possibility. Turns out that all those first aid classes and doctors were right all along about heart attacks being confused for indigestion. I made the opposite misdiagnosis (confusing severe indigestion for a heart attack), but when it comes to something being wrong with my heart, lungs, or brain, I don't mess around. I'm not sure what the statistics are for 26-year-olds who don't drink or smoke, aren't particularly overweight, have a decent diet, and get at least a little exercise having heart attacks, but I'm sure it's pretty low. However, when it felt like first I got punched in the chest, and then an hour later felt like I'd been stabbed and that my heart was going to explode out of my chest, statistics were the furthest thing from my mind. It certainly began as indigestion and an upset stomach on Sunday night, which led to a lost appetite. I forced myself to eat a chicken salad and some yogurt on Monday but had nothing besides water on Tuesday. So when I was feeling what turned out to be severe heartburn Tuesday night, I think I was understandably confused. Anyway, an ambulance ride and several hours in the emergency room later, the doctors proclaimed my heart and lungs 100% healthy. I got some sustenance in the form of an IV drip and a dextrose injection at the hostpital along with a funky smelling (but not gaggingly unpleasant) greenish antacid cocktail. They sent me on my way feeling midly better but exhausted and sore (I think the paramedics knicked a ligament in my arm when they put the IV in. It still really hurts, but not where the needle puncture and bruising is.) and with a prescription for a proton pump inhibitor. I'm supposed to stick to a bland diet for two weeks (no caffeine, chocolate, spicy food, excessive fats and sugars, tomato products, peppers, onions, etc), then go see my doctor so they can run some more tests and see if I need a more permanent prescription. Anyway, it was a rather unpleasant experience all around, and I'm happy to be feeling better now (though still not quite back to my old self). My drugs make me kind of lethargic and occasionally downright drowsy. I know I know, that sounds very normal for me, but this is even more so.

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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