14 April 2009

Bi-weekly Reflections 2009 - Week 12 & 13

"Bi-Weekly Reflections" is my small journal of events that have gone on throughout the last 2 weeks that I've decided to keep. New updates to this will (hopefully) be posted as soon as possible.
Sunday (3/29/2009) was spent at the new office in San Clemente working on setting up our desks for the first full workday. It was a pretty long day, but I managed to leave a little early and get home for just long enough to rest a bit.
Monday & Tuesday (3/30/2009) was a huge kludges as we tried to get ourselves running as much as possible. Thus, my day was pretty hectic as people complained that the phone system was not working as they had expected it to (which I had told them it was still a work in progress).
Wednesday (3/31/2009) was a normal hectic day at work, trying to figure out all the problems we've been having with the phone systems at work and trying to fix everything before leaving for my long-awaited weekend (which is a 4-day weekend since I had to work through last weekend). I found out the AT&T hadn't set us up right and had to work with them to get us the correct phone setup, and also had to work with TalkSwitch to find that out. I also talked with Cisco to get a VPN connection set up for a client, which wasn't as difficult as I initially imagined, but I still made sure I had the Cisco rep do it for me since I was already swamped with other things and didn't really have time to be playing around with the firewall.
Thursday (4/1/2009) began my 4-day weekend, and all day Ashley & I spent much-needed time together at the newly renovated Promenade Mall in Temecula. We started our day there at P.F. Chang's, which we thoroughly enjoyed, although the food did taste a little different than we were both used to. Together we played a practical joke on everybody who are friends with us on MySpace and Facebook, placing our profiles on "Single" rather than "Engaged," hoping to trick anybody. Unfortunately, we didn't hear about anyone getting tricked until late that evening when my aunt & uncle called me and I had led him along until I revealed that we had tricked them. It was pretty funny and Ashley & I got a good laugh.
Friday (4/2/2009) was pretty much spent trying to help Ashley's father correctly set up their new high-speed satellite Internet service to work with their wireless network, and finally managed to get it up and running. Unfortunately, it meant going to Best Buy and buying a new router. I also ended up loosing my regular indoor glasses at the Redhawk Stater Bros. in Temecula after stopping their to shop for a few things to help Ashley with the dinner she was making (coconut shrimp, steak, blue-velvet cake [which we made to be green-velvet cake since we couldn't find enough blue food coloring at any of the grocery stores around Temecula], and for me, stuffed salmon [since I couldn't eat the steak because of Lent]). I did have some contacts and an old pair (with an old prescription), but it was the principle of the loss that upset me the most - I kind of figured that something like this would happen to me one day. Needless to say, I was very upset at loosing my glasses, and really didn't want to have to spend the money to buy a new pair. At least I did manage to do one thing right that day: I got their wireless network working.
Saturday (4/3/2009) morning, I called the Stater Bros. again to see if my glasses had turned up after Ashley insisted that I try. After speaking with them, they said that they had found a pair that matched the description of mine (including the case that they were in), so I headed back to the store to see if they were, in fact, mine. I was wonderfully releaved when I got there because when they just showed me, I said "Those are definitely mine!" in the split second I saw them! Thankfully I didn't have to spend the money for a new pair of frames and lenses after all!
Monday (4/6/2009) night was apparently not a good night to sleep for me. Ashley's cats decided to annoy the heck out of me most of the night, with one (October) using the cat box while I was trying to sleep, making the room smell absolutely horrid. Then, 2 of Ashley's family's other cats decided to fight at the middle of the night outside her door and woke the both of us up. And then, October decided that, while he was laying on the bed, he was going to try to hork something up, where Ashley promptly woke up and kicked him off the bed before he made a mess. Yeah, it wasn't such a great night to sleep for us.
Tuesday (4/7/2009) evening was pretty new. I decided to go to EZ-Take Out Burger, which is like an In-and-Out except not as pricey and with a slightly different menu - but only slightly. I decided to have a double-cheeseburger with fries and a drink, but I also ordered a fried Oreo, which was a first for me as I had never had a fried anything (except maybe some fried chicken, fish, and other regularly fried things). It was interesting to look at, but wasn't anything really to go crazy about. It merely tasted like it was dipped in the same batter that is used to make funnel cakes and prepared in much the same way, but with an Oreo in the middle (missing the cream filling apparently due to frying). Even the taste of the Oreo was almost nonexistant, probably because of the frying process too. Maybe next time I'll try a fried Twinkie or a fried Coke.
On Wednesday (4/8/2009) evening, I finally decided to try to jump back into Halo 3 after a very long hiatus, and the results were quite disappointing. After loosing my first Rumble Pit match horribly, I started bouncing back slowly, coming in at the middle of the scoreboard for 3 more matches. Finally, on my last match, which was Swords on Snowbound, I annihilated the competition to arrive in first. However, this win is not as glamorous as it sounds. Let's just say winning a swords match is almost like winning a rocket match - it takes very little skill and is mainly survival and who can pull the trigger on their controller first. The auto-aiming and lunging assist you through the kill. I wish I had my battle rifle skills back, but my hands don't seem to respond quite the same as they used to, often moving the joystick too much, too little, too long or too short. Moreover, my ability to track and predict has been hampered, unable to quickly discern an object in motion from an enemy in motion, or even know when an enemy is behind me. I guess I'm going to have to practice a lot more as time goes on.
Thursday (4/9/2009) was the big day - the day that is to decide the fate of my May graduation. I took my Spanish proficiency test to satisfy the CSUSM "Language Other Than English Requirement" for graduation, but it was anything but easy. Coming from a predominately Spanish-speaking background (but raised in an primarily English-speaking household where Spanish was rare), you would've guessed that the test would've been easy, but unfortunately it wasn't. It didn't help that I was extremely nervous (so, to person grading the oral portion of my exam, please have mercy), and, being a bad test taker, I nearly forgot everything I knew about Spanish. My only hope is that I did good enough to at least barely pass. We will have to see, when my test results come back in about 4 to 6 weeks (too long to wait by my standards).
Nothing else really happened that was worth mentioning since Thursday except that I spent the time doing homework and catching up on some things that I had neglected all week and had to deal with a heck of an allergy attack on my sinuses on Saturday (4/11/2009) when I began sneezing all day.
  • In case you missed it this April Fools Day, but Google got in the act again with their "CADIE". Pretty funny stuff! [link] You can also check out Google's Autopilot, which is also pretty funny [link]
  • Although I'm not surprised that the guy got a DUI (heck, you can get one riding your bike!), but what I am surprised about is the fact that he had made a "motorized barstool." Now, to create a countertop to go along with the barstool and he'd have a motorized bar! [article]
  • This is an interesting article that I came across. Although I still am wary of legalizing illicit drugs, the article does bring up a lot of good points over some of the possible consequences if illicit drugs were legalized. The article calls our current status of claiming illicit drugs the "Modern Prohibition," and in much the same manner as the old "Prohibition" of alcohol, addresses the economic and political impact that the "Modern Prohibition" has created and the real-world problems that could be solved by it. Worth a read, though I'd continue to claim it as fiction. [article]
  • IBM/Sun Microsystems merger dissolved - is this a good thing for Java developers? [article]
  • Probably one of the funniest articles I've read about sex - let's face it, though it is a special moment between two people, when you take a step back and look at it, its hilarious: [article]
  • "Honest Guy Returns Cell Phone, Gets Arrested" [article]
  • Apparently a seismologist in Italy predicted the recent earthquake that racked part of the country, but because he predicted it too soon, officials outed him, denouncing his profession calling him a fearmonger. Unfortuantely for the officials, his prediction came true, though a week later. Now Italy has to deal with many lost lives and a hushed story about how someone cried fire and nobody listened. [article] and [article]
  • Straight from the "What an idiot" files: a movie reviewer/critic who wrote for the Fox Network was fired after downloading the still-in-production copy of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and published a review of the movie. Needless to say, the guy apparently wasn't very bright to begin with, especially since he was hired to critique movies, which I'll admit, anybody with an opinion, the capacity to watch movies all day, and a control over the English language could probably do. Hell, even a porn star does it (I'm not saying that porn stars are simpletons, just that it can be easy to do). [article]
  • Blockbuster is reporting that they may not be able to continue running a business due to its competition with NetFlix. I would like to know how Hollywood Video is doing as well. [article]
  • On Tuesday, a 69-year-old man began opening fire on a group of people at a Korean Christian retreat in Temecula. Information is still sketchy, but just goes to show that even Temecula, overly revered for its prestineness, is not immune to evils. [article]
  • CompUSA making a comeback?! They apparently opened up 30 new stores recently, but the question I have is this: why did they close and how did they reopen all their stores again? [article]
  • "Secret to marital bliss? Don't have kids" [article]

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