August 31, 2005

The last day of August and summer is almost over. Just three more weeks left. Castile Christian Academy was back to school this past monday and the public schools are back in session next week, I believe. Tomorrow I am scheduled to go into CCA to look into how we are going to be setting up their new computer lab and they new computer stations. Last year’s kindergarten room is being converted into a computer lab for Min to teach computer classes in this year but it is going to be a challenge. We have to figure out how to squeeze in all of the computers and desks that we need to be able to accommodate the largest grade in the school using them all at once while having room for a teacher to walk around and help people and for someone to stand at the front of the room and teach. Plus there is a lot of wiring and electrical needs that have to be met. It is going to be tough. But, fortunately we are not forced into using the room as an ad hoc computer space for students who just need to work on a paper or practice some typing. There is also going to be a separate computer space in the middle of the school that will also be where the laser printer is located. So that means that we don’t have to figure out how to accommodate all of the students in a single class along with all of the students who need to work on their own projects all at once in a single space. That was going to be exceptionally challenging. This will be far easier.

Last night’s Wegman’s project didn’t go too badly. In fact, I was done just half an hour later than usual. What a relief that was. The drive out to Syracuse involved a lot of rain. It rained the entire time that I was there. The entire trip back to Geneseo was totally downpour the entire way. I had to drive much slower than usual because of the hydroplaning. It wasn’t horrible but it was bad enough. I got home at 2:30 am and remembered, for once, to take out the garbage before going to bed. We forget to do that so often that the garage is constantly filled with bags of garbage. We can take out up to five bags and one box of recycling each week. I put out the five bags and have two or more still in the garage and heavenly only knows how many around the house. And Andy is sure to generate one or more while moving out this weekend. Only three more days until he moves out. How weird is that?

I have had some time recently to work on cleaning out my emails. I always save so much of the dumbest stuff thinking that I will need it someday. Well, I am fixing that this week. My corporate email has swelled to over one quarter of a gigabyte of storage and I am fixing that as quickly as possible. No reason to have that much stuff in there. It isn’t like I could find anything that I needed in there anyway should I ever need to find anything. So I am going through all kinds of stuff trying to cut down to just what I actually need and even then a lot of it could be converted to some other form of storage so that it is not all sitting in my email. What a dumb way to store things. But it is weird going through emails and finding tons of correspondance with people from four or five years ago. Especially when they are people that I had only known for a year or less at the time. I found one email from late 2001 bugging John “The Surfing IT Wizard” Stephens to pick up a copy of AoE2 so that he could play against us. He still doesn’t have a full copy – only the expansion pack that he got as a gift some five years ago and has never been able to use since he didn’t have the actual game portion.

I tried to work once I got home but Oreo insisted that I come to bed. He walked around the room impatiently and pointed out repeatedly that his pillow – which he sleeps on by my feet when I work on the computer – had been moved over to the bed signifying that it was bedtime and not work time. So I conceded and went to bed. Oreo was very happy.

I was up and moving a little before Min. I had to get on the road before 3:00 to be able to make it tonight. I have a lot of driving ahead of me so I am doing my best to be rested to make the trip as painless and as safe as possible. I got ready and finally made it out the door at 2:30. I stopped by the Mobil station in Geneseo on the way out to i390 Exit 10. Holy cow is gas getting expensive quickly. You can listen to the podcast to hear me talking about it from the station. There is a link to the SGL2 Feed and Podcast on the Navigation list now. If you subscribe to the feed in a standard text based reader, you will get the SGL2 updates. If you use a Podcatcher like iPodder or iPodderX, then you will get the ScottCast. Handy, isn’t it.

I drove down to Big Flats and stopped by at the Barnes and Nobels there and did a little shopping. I wanted to have some CDs to listen to in the car in case I needed them because the Samsung Yepp that I use ran out batteries or something. I also managed to find a copy of Thomas Paines’ “Common Sense” for five dollars so, of course, I picked up a copy. How cool is that?

I was sitting in my car in the B&N parking lot and the person who pulled next to me in a Chevy Blazer opened up their rear door (this was an adult in the back and not a kid) and whacked my car really good. I turned around. It was so loud that I thought someone was banging on my car trying to get my attention. The guy walked away. He didn’t even bother to check my door or to apologize or anything. His kids were obviously appalled and embarrassed. The were standing there in disbelief. I got out and discovered that he had only taken a little paint off and luckily there was no dent. Not a big deal but how incredibly rude and inconsiderate can you be? And what an excellent example to set for your children.

I stopped at the Taco Bell there in Big Flats and got a quick bite and a big diet Pepsi to get some caffeine into my system. I figured that I would need it. This isn’t a short trip. Then I continued on hoping not to lose too much time.

It was just after 8:30 when I pulled into the Wegmans at Woodbridge, New Jersey. I hadn’t realized but this little town is a suburn of Perth Amboy which I had never been to before. And I was only a couple of blocks away from the river separating New Jersey from Staten Island which I have also never been to. I wish that I would have had more time in the area because I would have liked to explore it some. But there was no time for that tonight. There was so little time because of the way that the process ran that I didn’t even have time to take my nightly walk which I really missed.

Things went well tonight and I managed to wrap up just after midnight. So I was on the road back home at 12:30. Jersey is tough at night because everything is closed everywhere. It is not a state that is very condusive to overnight travel. Fortunately it is a very small state and you can almost always cross it in a relatively short span of time.

I finished listening to Simon Winchester’s “The Meaning of Everything”, the history of the Oxford English Dictionary. I had read through most of the book previously but had lost my place and took the opportunity on this trip to work my way through it again. After that I started listening to David McCullough’s “Mornings on Horseback” which, so far, I have found to be very depressing. The writing is good and the reading of the work is excellent although it appears that the book was originally recorded abridged and then the missing portions were filled in my a completely different reader (as opposed to a partially different reader like a cloned copy of the original or something like that) so it is slightly disjointed at points. But the tale of the book is about the family of Theodore Roosevelt and to be completely honest it appears that almost everyone in the Roosevelt clan and their extended in-laws were just plain horrible people. Teddy’s mother’s family were slave holding, murdering, incestuous, pathetic losers who are commonly believed to have been the model for Scarlett’s family with Teddy’s mother as Scarlett in “Gone with the Wind” which portrays the horrors of the south in the most favourable light. Even though McCullough seems to approach Teddy as a fan even he seems to not be able to come up with a single nice thing to say about almost anyone in the entire family. It seems like Theodore Senior, Teddy’s father, may have been the most non-horrible member of the entire family simply because he managed to feel bad when he did something terrible. And we get the impression from this book that we are supposed to be awed by what a good person he was? Because he had a conscience? Sure he did many good things. I don’t doubt this. But not one member of this family would I be proud to have the acquaintance of and I would have been downright embarrassed to have one of them call themselves my friend. I would be offended. Teddy actually refused to associate with anyone below his class. Only the rich were to be talked to. His father’s “good work” mostly involved taking poor kids in New York and shipping them out of the city to be farm labourers. This was good for everyone but, in reality, it was financially advantageous to him. Theodore was often presented as not being politically motivated and always acted as if politics were beneath his class but when Hayes was coming to power he was involved in plenty of political posturing. Teddy’s mother’s family was far worse and just plain made me sick. They were outright disgusting people and were involved in such gross acts that I wouldn’t even dare to talk about them here. This family was an embarrassment to our country. It is too bad because I really like reading McCullough’s histories. This one is definitely well written but I find that biographies of evil people just make me feel upset.

It was six o’clock as I rolled into Geneseo. The trip went really well and relatively quickly. I wasn’t even all that tired as I got home but I knew that I had to get to bed right away since I have a busy day coming up tomorrow.

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