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Friday, July 27, 2007

Business Card

Horyon is ready to be a business tycoon. We've got a couple hundred of these bad boys just waiting to be handed out. And you know what's on the back? Nuthin. Hopefully by the time we are ready for more there will be a website to add.

I finished my class today. Six-question exam. I finished four, did a big chunk of the fifth, and didn't even scratch the sixth. Still, I hold out hope that I may have gotten a B in the class. If I end up with a C I guess I won't cry or anything, but I will be a bit heavy-hearted. Either way, I have some of my time back, until I get myself a job. Maybe you'll see a bit more activity here on the Roblog in the next month.

Friday, July 13, 2007

How to Get in Touch with Me

I recently got comment on a post from a friend of mine who had lost track of my email address. It was submitted as a comment, but was really more of a getting-back-in-tough message, not really appropriate content for the whole world to read. Not that Rick's life of intrigue and romance doesn't make for some entertaining reading, but...

The point is this: There is only one way for someone to contact me through Roblog, and that is by posting a comment. And if you are like me, you don't want to put your email address up on an open-access site like Roblog. I don't put my email address here because there are programs that surf the internet looking for email addresses so that their evil overlords can send out more spam. They automatically home in on things that look like this:

I've thought about posting my address in some clever way, like:

myname at(the symbol not the word) my host dot com (be sure to use a dot, don't write 'dot'!)

but this is not really necessary for either of us, because your comments do not automatically get posted to Roblog. They only go up after I have approved them (presumably after reading them). And so you don't see any comments on Roblog suggesting that you visit such-and-such a site to get a good price for Viagra, or go to that site to make friends with some single young woman and all of her buxom girlfriends.

And so if you want me to send you an email, but you're not sure if I have your email address, or if you don't want me to have an excuse for not sending you an email, post a comment with your email address in it. I won't post it up on Roblog. Instead I'll just send you an email. Especially if you tell me that that's what you want me to do.

In closing, some Maxine pictures.

Talking on the remote with Uncle Don.

Posin' on the carpet.

Slip-slidin' away.

Sharing a laugh with Daddy.

Mmmm... Jajang-myeon. (Noodles in black-bean paste, tastes better than it sounds.)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

2nd Test

Last Tuesday, July 3rd, I took my 2nd test in Math 526, Statistics for Engineers and Scientists. I got an 81, and was quite happy with that. Prof. Stahl doesn't rank us, but he does list how many students are in each 10% bracket: 3 in the 90's, and 4 in the 80's. So two students dropped below me compared to the first test, and I climbed from 2 points below the class average to 8 points above it. I still see little chance of getting an A in the class, but a B no longer looks like the long shot it appeared to be last week.

I went into this one feeling fairly positive and came out feeling a bit negative. I was still pretty sure about my basic 60%. I had finished 3 of the 5 problems without a hitch, assuming no silly mistakes. As it turned out, I made no silly mistakes, and all three of them were given full points. The other two were a bit tricky. One hearkened back to our first or second homework. I put together the framework, but wasn't sure about how to actually give him the answer he wanted. Fortunately, that framework was worth 16 out of 20 points. Not too shabby. And the last question hit me pretty hard. It was in two parts. Since the test I managed to figure out how to do the first part, but the second is still beyond me. I don't even know how to start. I did overhear a couple of students (sorry, I mean 'classmates'. Old habits die hard.) talking about it. One said that it involved a method that the professor said wouldn't be on the test. I still haven't looked into it. I'm planning to go talk to Prof. Stahl this coming week, since we have another test this coming Friday.

Maxine is getting closer and closer to that elusive structure we call a sentence. Two-word phrases are becoming very common, like "Amma drink" (mommy's drink), and "no poop" (I don't need to translate this, do I?), and the occasional three-word pops up, pleasing me to no end.

It brings to mind my friend Jay Giesler, who kept a list of three-word expressions that he found entertaining. It started as a list of words that just would go together, like "jumping or sauce", and worked its way into the bizarre, like "element oh pee." (You have to read it out loud to get the full effect.) Jay was a fascinating guy, one of the few I've met with a sense of humor that worked in the same direction as mine only further out. Some of his jokes I found funny in spite of myself, and some were just... out there, capable of making me laugh under the right circumstances (i.e. drunk as a skunk) but otherwise just... out there.

Back to Maxine: we've started using Time-Out as a punishment. We have a hard-wood bench in our living room that is boring and uncomfortable. When Maxine breaks rules that have been clearly spelled out for her, or disobeys after repeated being told to do or stop doing something, she gets two minutes in time out. Sometimes she sits through it quietly, looking as though she appreciates the chance to sit and have a rest. But sometimes she cries most pitifully, as though her dog had died and her man had left were with the bills due and four hungry mouths to feed. I make a point of ending T.O. with a reminder of why she was there, telling her I love her, and collecting a kiss. I also get her to say she's sorry if the situation warrants it.

Horyon accused me of enjoying it too much. I can't help it, sometimes. She acts as though it were the end of the world, when I would be happy to have a chance to just sit and do nothing for two minutes. When she was younger, I would occasionally spank her. The prime spanking offense was taking my glasses. I could think of no clearer way to make her understand that it was unacceptable behavior. Now she is older, and capable of some reasoning, I think that T.O. covers most situations.

I just don't want to raise her to think that hitting someone is a way to solve problems. I don't think that there are absolutely no situations in which a spanking is OK, though. If I catch Maxine doing something dangerous, like running into the street, I may spank her right there on the spot, together with explaining why. If any of you out there have opinions one way or the other on this, you are welcome to share them here. I promise to read all and scoff at none.

That's all for tonight.


A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.