Marriage License by Norman Rockwell
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Geek, not Uber Geek :-)

Current Mood:
CC is listening to: The Big Day--Jim Chappell (In Search of the Magic)

If you've read Steve's blog, you probably already know that I've been spending a lot of my free time in World of Warcraft. Before you point at me and yell "UBER GEEK!" I'd like to say that I'm only playing basic World of Warcraft, even though there's already another expansion pack out there and another one on the way :-). So my not jumping on the WoW bandwagon as quickly as everyone else puts me just at Geek level, not Uber Geek :-).

I have to say that it's definitely more engaging than the Sims, though :-). With the Sims, you create a character, dress them up, let them live their lives, but for the most part, you control their goals. In Warcraft you're sent on quests, which kind of gives you something to work for :-).

My only real goal in Warcraft is to get to a level high enough that I can ride a mount (because that's just cool) :-).

Everything I've read says you've got to be level 40 to do that, and my highest level right now is 13, so I've got a long way to go :-).

I have two characters so far: a Night Elf hunter, and an Undead Warlock.

My Night Elf Hunter's got a pet owl, and my Undead Warlock's got an imp. The imp was already named when I got it, but I get to choose the name for my owl.

I named it Hooter, of course :-).


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Know You're Not Cut Out for Medicine When...

Current Mood:
CC is listening to: Lovers of the Flame--Jim Chappell (In Search of the Magic)

You know you're not cut out for medicine when you're attending your hospital volunteer orientation and everyone else wants to volunteer at the ER and you're thinking, "I just want to push the cookie cart or give patients their mail." :-)


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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Collection of Small Events part 2

Current Mood:
CC is listening to: Metal--Feng Shui for Balanced Living (Daniel May)

Okay let's pick up that list from where I left off :-).

Second small event: a small home office section in the apartment

Since Steve and I only live in a one-bed, one-bath apartment right now, there really isn't a room that we can turn into a study/den. When we move to Nashville we'll probably do that, but for right now the most that we can do office-space-wise is to just get a work desk so I wouldn't have to work off the dining table :-).

So we went to OfficeMax and got a computer station, a desk lamp, and a task chair :-). We also got an extra bookshelf because we had run out of storage space :-). I also wanted to get a wooden chair mat so the chair will roll easily on carpet, but those things were like, almost two hundred dollars for just a small one.

I said to Steve, "Heck for that price I bet we can go to Lowe's or Home Depot, get some laminate wooden planks and build our own for MUCH cheaper."

So we went to Lowe's, and we were right :-). A box of 9 interlocking wooden flooring panels was $40, and it works just as well :-). There's some final trimming that needs to be done on it, but it's definitely a better alternative to shelling out $200 :-).

So here's a shot of the little section of the apartment that has become my home office :-)...

I prefer an L-shaped workstation, so that extra length running down the side is actually a rolling laptop cart that I've had for a while. It worked out really well that they had the same color wood grain, they look like they go together :-).

{points to the dining room table} See? I'm meeting one of my New Year's resolutions. No mess on the dining room table :-).

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tornado scare

Current Mood:
CC is listening to: Rich Girl--Hall and Oates (Greatest Hits: Rock 'N Soul, Pt. 1)

You may have heard of the wave of tornadoes that swept through the South a couple of days ago. The one that touched down in Memphis was at a place that was 15 minutes away from us, which is the closest I've ever been to one. I didn't see it personally, but it was kind of scary to watch the news and witness a tornado touching down someplace that you know.

If you can picture it, Steve was calm all throughout, and I was running around in the apartment like a chicken without its head going, "What do we do? What do we do?"

Looking back now it's kind of funny :-), but it was scary at the time. Let me see if I can describe what it was like.

It was kind of surreal, really. You go outside and look at the sky. It's dark, but it's not raining yet. The wind is blowing really hard and you could see the clouds--well more like one cloud, a massive, thick gray blanket--just race across the sky. Once in a while, lightning would strike. Not the kind that was far away--it's close and it's clear and it's distinct. Then you hear the crack of the thunder a second later. Your hair's whipping against your face, the ozone is thick in the air. It's the kind of thing where even if you weren't watching the news, the weather felt wrong.

Then the sirens go off. There are tornado sirens in every city that go off when the weather conditions are just right that a tornado *could* form. It sounded like an air raid. Hearing one siren is bad enough. Hearing two go off, essentially two cities telling their people on the road, "Get off the road and find shelter NOW," was very scary.

You go back into the apartment and see what's going on in the news. The weatherman tells you that, according to their tracking system, the biggest part of the storm is due to hit your area at 6:53. You look at the clock. 6:48.

Then he suddenly pauses. "Ladies and gentlemen, we just got a report. A tornado has touched down. I repeat, a tornado been reported touching down in Southaven. If you are in the Southaven area, go to the innermost part of your house now. If you have a basement, go to your basement. Get some blankets, some pillows, maybe a mattress to shield yourself. I repeat, a tornado has been spotted in Southaven. Let's go over to our Hilton camera and see what's going on."

You know that Southaven is a good 20 minutes away from you, but somehow that doesn't make you feel better when you see a big tornado on the TV screen moving across a city landscape, tripping electric poles and causing giant sparks to flash. It reminds you of a lumbering giant: slow, menacing, uncaring about the destruction.

You know that tornadoes are unpredictable. There's no telling which direction they decide to take. What if it's headed your way?

You look around the apartment. What's the innermost part of the apartment? What's the place that's farthest away from the outer walls? Will we all fit under the dining table? What should I take with us? And as you ask yourself that question, another question hits you:

What am I willing to lose?

At that point I turned to Steve. "If that happens, we take the dogs," he said. I started to argue, but he interrupted, repeating very slowly: "We take the dogs. Everything else is just stuff."

I looked back at the TV. The storm system was directly over us now. The rain was coming down hard. The lights kept flickering on and off. We lost our TV reception a couple of times. The street lights outside went out. I walked to the window. "Any hail?" Steve asked.

Apparently one of the signs of an impending tornado is when hail begins to fall. "No," I replied. "Just rain."

I held my breath for the next minute or so until the clock said 6:55. Then the street lights came back on. We got our TV back, and the map confirmed it: the storm system had moved on. Then family started calling, asking if we were okay. That was about the point where I truly felt relieved that it was over.

Someone had captured video of a funnel cloud forming over Southaven. I don't know if it's the same funnel cloud that led to the tornado, but it gives you an idea of what it was like . To view it, click here.


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Monday, February 04, 2008

Collection of Small Events part 1

Current Mood:
CC is listening to: Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In E Major, Adagio--Isaac Stern (Bach: Violin Concertos, Double Concerto, Concerto For Violin And Oboe)

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. It's not that nothing's happened, it's just that they were mostly little events :-). But don't worry, enough small events have happened for me to write a blog entry about them :-).

First small event: long weekend vacation ideas

I told Steve that I wanted us to take a long weekend trip somewhere we haven't been to yet. There are so many travel deals out there and I wanted to take advantage of them. It was kind of tough to make a decision because most of the places I wanted to go to are REALLY cold this time of year :-). I did come up with two destinations, though: Philadelphia, PA and Mackinac Island, MI.
  • Mackinac (pronounced MACK-in-awe) Island will have to wait until summer before we can go. It's just way too cold over there right now. Why Mackinac Island? Well I've always wanted to stay in a Bed & Breakfast and Mackinac Island is a place where you don't just stay at a B&B, it's a B&B Victorian community. Mackinac Island has banned motorized vehicles there for over a century. People get around by either walking, biking, or horse-drawn carriages. Have you ever seen the movie Somewhere in Time? It was filmed on Mackinac Island. I figure it would be a great place to have a slow, relaxing, unhurried vacation :-).

  • The second place I decided, which is where we'll probably go for a long weekend next month, is Philadelphia, PA. There's a lot of history in Philadelphia, but the thing that I REALLY want to see is the Mütter Museum. You've probably heard of it: the medical museum at the College of Physicians at Philadelphia founded to educate future doctors about anatomy and human medical anomalies. The museum features 20,000 medical anomalies and curiosities, historic medical instruments and anatomical pathologies. Think Ripley's Believe it or Not, only focused on the human body and from an entirely scientific perspective. Based on the stuff I've read I'll either love it or run to the nearest bathroom to throw up. There's only one way to find out :-).

    The thing that made it really easy for me to convince Steve to want to go to Philadelphia next month was that the Franklin Institute will be having this exhibit:

    I'm not a Star Wars fan myself, but even I think it'll be cool to go to the exhibit. It'll feature:
    Star Wars Artifacts. Luke's original landspeeder from Episode IV is on public exhibit alongside scale models of X- and Y-wing starfighters and TIE fighters. Visitors will also see an original Yoda puppet from the classic trilogy and Darth Vader's actual helmet from Episode III.
    Building Communities and Augmented Reality. Visitors build a spaceport, moisture farm community and walled Jawa town. Placing cards on a table - the physical landscape - a computer superimposes a building on a site in virtual reality and real time.
    Real World Starships. Visitors will see actual vehicles and prototypes researchers and engineers in our own world have developed.
    Real World Robots. Today's task-oriented robots and humanoid robots like QRIO are on display in the exhibit. Visitors will get to see a floor-vacuuming Roomba that can sense its surroundings and plug itself in to recharge, as well as early ancestors such as the Johns Hopkins Beast, developed in the 1960s.
    Take a ride in the Millennium Falcon. Experience a full-size cockpit replica of Episode IV's Millennium Falcon! Visitors watch a multimedia presentation featuring imagery from the Hubble space telescope that explores what we know about our own galaxy in a breathtaking journey to the edge of the Universe. Featuring a proprietary sound system from Bose Corporation, the recreated cockpit debuts the technologies of 3Space™ audio systems, providing visitors with a realistic three-dimensional audio experience.
Okay looking at the blog entry now it looks like I had a lot more to say about the small events than I first thought :-). I'll stop here for now and pick up the list again later :-).


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