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My news, Fall 2004

(3 December 2004) Lesson of the week: college is a good place to learn. Profs (and some students) know their stuff, and can give recommendations of good books to read. Lesson number two, realized shortly after: I could easily flunk out next semester if I study even half of the books and articles on my to-read list. If I leave, I'll stop hearing about good books. If I stay, I can only afford to *hear* about good books. I would make some reference to Catch-22, but after three semesters, it's still on my list.

(19 November 2004) Sat outside a prof's office for most of an hour block that was labeled "Office Hours" on his schedule. I had some "academic"-type questions...finally I come up with some questions in an area that Dordt has professors for, and once again I am denied. While I was sitting in the hallway, I answered a few of the questions on my own. Why am I going into debt to attend this Dordt Machine? I am just a whiney, squeaky cog in this factory...where do I fit in? I am planning on staying for one, maybe two, semesters more - but even that seems like a mistake. Since I've gotten here, the things I'm glad for have come at the expense of my transcript.
Maybe it's the "Jubilee" feel-good convocations that are doing me in this semester. Convocations always make me feel the worst about this school. Here's the type of banter that replaces one chapel a month, though this particular quote is taken straight off my web host's website: "Ours is a community where faith and life and learning are not separate...they're one." One package deal...and you don't pay a dime until six months after we evict you.
[Editor's note: The attitudes expressed on this website are not necessarily those of a mature kingdom worker. In fact, I think this guy needs to grow up.]

(18 November 2004) I ate another banana without using my hands.

(15 November 2004) More or less for a Linguistics class project, I have been programming quite a bit. I'm experiencing setbacks due to my own skills, and also due to other people's bugs. It's actually kind of heartening to realize that I'm not the only programmer who makes mistakes.

(11 November 2004) Praise and Worship night. Also, today was spent debugging someone else's program, but now I can use it in mine. Now to bed.

(10 November 2004) Prinsburg or bust.

(9 November 2004) I ate a banana without using my hands.

(4 November 2004) I'm still learning. And when that gets interrupted for the sake of attending classes, I usually try to catch up on homework. This week, I heard a more legitimate reason why bachelor's degrees are the bees-knees. Apparently, they are good for getting visas, which in turn are helpful if one ever wishes to make a living outside of the United States. So now my options seem to be: (a) squeeze through Dordt trying to swipe a bachelor's diploma on my way out, (b) take pills that make me feel less about myself and lame homework, (c) find (and find $$ for) a school that excites more concentration or (d) find a job that can give me something useful to do with my hands and still leave me enough time to learn.
My plan is to look at some possible internships that would enable me to work and learn, but I need to decide on the whole "degree" issue. Maybe foreign embassies wouldn't know the difference between a normal diploma and one you can buy from those e-mail spammers. Dordt...De Vry...very similar letters. Hopefully most native English speakers would know the difference, but have you ever read the instructions on chopsticks????

(29 October 2004) Programming addiction day. I was working on the database portion of my picture management program. It's the least exciting part, but what it does is allow me to build the rest of my program without worrying how the actual storage files work. Now I can both write and read from my "database" files. I still need to add a few search features. Then the plan is to forget about the file-level details for a while, while I make a single user version of the actual program. There's still a long ways to go, but the first stage (of about three) to getting a basic working program is nearing completion.
In other news, I'm still at Dordt. I've been more proactive lately in finding a suitable exit strategy, whether that be after this semester, this year, or after I've been subjected to some degree of high and mighty education. To summarize, college is worse than high school. In high school I had to serve others...my family expected some contributions at least. And I had to have an address, and a pillow, off of campus. The people at church expected to see me next Sunday.
At college I can feel like a king with servants to clean the halls, scrub the toilets, cut the grass, feed me and even pick up my trash if I want to just drop it on the ground. My sovereign domain is taking care of important diplomatic things - like relations between professors and my transcript. But I also realize that I don't have any claim to a single piece of the land I walk on everyday. I may take one piece of fruit from the commons, and I may get good grades for a good career. College is great if you want to serve yourself as high and hoity, yet don't mind being owned by a board of directors and a loan officer. Get high marks, oh-student-live-forever, or we'll make you wish you could afford to leave the brothel. That's how this place makes me feel in general. There are many wise people working for Dordt, even some wise students. I have been blessed to learn from some. Yet I can hardly find the time to serve both my grades and those things that truly matter.
(If you're a Dordt student, and wish to contest any of this, feel free to e-mail me. But maybe you should finish your homework before you admit to wasting time reading silly banter that won't help you on tomorrow's quiz.)

(23 October 2004) Some sort of time breach must have occurred between me and the rest of the world today. I got up at a decent time, but suddenly it's the end of the day. I did get some cleaning done in the room, some hours in at work, some friends talked to, some WinXP installed, and even some pictures up. I was putting up some pictures up for someone else, and said "Alright, let's find some to put up for everyone!" What I posted spans from the first day with my new camera to today. The skies have been a beautiful cloudy blue (after at least a week of dull), but I didn't make time to take advantage of the bright day sun. I've made a teeny tiny bit of progress on a picture management program. I've done no homework. Where did the weekend go?

(22 October 2004) Really I'm writing this on Sunday, October 24. Friday was a noteworthy good time with Hannah. It was strangely idealistic, but I have the receipt to prove it. We saw a fun musical, and ate most of a large pizza - all with no out of pocket expense. I had found a free pizza coupon while mowing this summer, and a friend was "Ugly" in Northwestern College's "Honk, Jr." production. So we headed to Orange City. The musical was geared toward children, which means it applied to me more than Dordt's ""Jubilee"" (the overused misnomer for my web host's Fiftieth anniversary) show. I'm guessing that the kid's show made me appreciate Northwestern, more than Dordt's warm-fuzzy thing would have done had I gone. I am starting to appreciate Dordt a bit more, but I still dislike the propaganda and the grades. Anyway, hopefully I'll eventually have a cogent complaint to register. I'm not staying up tonight just to rant.

(19 October 2004) The new camera has surpassed the old both in pictures kept and, as of tonight, in pictures taken. Whoops.

(13 October 2004) Okay, so once again it's really early morning on the day after this item is labeled. I just finished a bugger of a tiny little C++ window/textbox/button program. It doesn't anything that would hugely excite you, but I learned a lot getting there. So I'm that much closer to getting a basic picture management program up. Which is good. Although I am not going to release exact data, lets just say I've taken "many" pictures during the first month of using my new digital camera. For example, one Saturday I had taken nearly 250 pictures before 9:00a. Of course, not all of those are keepers, but I hope to get some new picture galleries up soon.
In other news, I had a good time playing bass at Praise and Worship tonight. The team I'm on is a blast! In other news, I still don't have a major. Or Dordt doesn't have a major. Or If-Highschool-Seemed-Pointless-College-Seems-More. I'd much rather have a job producing something useful, but many of the jobs I'd like require a degree which would be difficult to attain given that I've spent three semesters here. I'm considering a philosophy major if I stay here. Although I don't generally get great grades in those classes, so far they haven't been nearly as disappointing as other courses I had last year. And there aren't many in that major with dollar signs for synapses. Not that I wouldn't rather be earning the money I make.
Obviously, this website is compiling again. Tune in later for more moody banter...it's very late and sleep would be useful.

(24 September 2004) It's Friday, Thursday night. Haven't been keeping much track of the days this week. A few nights ago, Windows decided to not run anything besides Explorer. So I reinstalled it, and now I'm still working from backups and stuff. Which is why this news update might not actually show up until later. Now one of my goals is to sort things out better, and get them backed up on DVD. Let's see when that happens. My goal to practice picture-taking has been going okay - I passed the thousand pictures mark on my new camera today. I need to make strides on my picture-organizing software goal now, beyond just strategizing. There's still a stack of books to read, room stuff to sort through, sleep to get, places to explore, people to enjoy, computers to fix, math to learn, guitars to practice. Plus I'm considering thinking about homework more than I have been. But I don't think that will happen tonight, because I've wasted enough time already today away from a previous commitment. Hebrews 3:10-11

(18 September 2004) It's Friday, Saturday technically. I think I could do a lot this weekend. I'm not sure what my plans are. I'll probably keep "testing" my new PowerShot S60. I would like to start programming the data manager for my picture program, but I'm still not sure how I'm going to manage "the data". Not sure what else I'll do. As usual, it's late and I'm going to bed.

(12 September 2004) Busy, busy... Bees are pretty busy looking. I watched some on the retreat a few weekends ago. They just go from flower to flower like who would have ever thought to do anything else. I think I go from flower, to pinecone, to ice cream cone, to desert, to lake, to net, to school.
If you check out the picture section, you'll see I've taken a lot of pictures. I was sans-camera for several weeks and developed a habit once I got it back. Now it's dying again. I hope to order a new one this week, before I need to buy another set of batteries for this one. My time spent, food-label ingredient style, is about so: sleep uncomfortably, attend classes, try to do homework (surfing the web, listening to music, spacing off, cleaning room), practice picture taking, hang out with Hannah, practice and play guitar or bass, eating, hang out with friends, relaxing. May contain trace amounts of: devotions, finishing homework, studying subjects on my own, reading for pleasure. I've got some ideas and strategies for a picture organizing program, so hopefully I'll just work on that instead of wasting time trying to do homework. Plus the general recipe is being revamped. Such as...if I stay up any longer typing lengthy news updates I will spend more time in class than sleeping.

(5 September 2004) This week, I realized one benefit of small town life, even though the closest place to try out a good selection of guitar gear is...Omaha? But the service in this town is great. This week, a repairman brought me back to Dordt before getting to work on my muffler. My oil got changed while I was in class, picked up and brought back for no charge. And when I get groceries, a high schooler follows me out to my car with all my bags. (Which strikes me as a bit too servile...I'll live.) So that's the news. It's raining now, and I need to walk through it.

(this semester) It looks like the schedule is this: Linguistics 301, Gen 200:Music/Film, Music Theory 1, Chorale and Theology 101 on Monday. Music Theory again, HPER 10 and Philosophical Anthropology on Tuesday. I bought a Differential Equations book so, motivation permitting, I can hopefully learn that in depth. So far, I've been making a habit of practicing picture taking and guitar/bass playing. I am also intent on getting a foundation for picture organizing programmed. Plus I have a stack of books to read on my own.
My classes have time-consuming homework, but at least this semester seem like they might actually be worth studying for. Unfortunately, I am actually enjoying school for now. I assume this means that two-thirds into the semester I will realize I don't have friends or soul left, that I was tricked again into thinking there was a good reason to dwell in all this blather and percentages.

(view old news)


Site news, Fall 2004

(24 October 2004) Finally added a mixed collection of pictures from the last months.

(16 October 2004) Finally am posting updates made on my computer. Plus Axstar updates.

(18 September 2004) Added new pictures to "The last days of..." and sorted it to be a completely chronological collection. Expect more pictures, I suppose.

(13 September 2004) More than twenty new pictures, including another collection.

(31 August 2004) Lots of new Axstar material - 1986 catalog, one more model, more serial numbers, notes section. Planning on redoing that section a bit. I may have a few more pictures soon. Also (obviously) archived old news.

(view old news)