Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Sleepy Thoughts for the New Year

I’m starting this post at about 2:00 A.M. on New Year’s Day. If you are wondering why I’m still up, it’s because the human garbage disposal (Dan, my 11 year old son) woke me up. He decided he was hungry and made so much noise fixing something to eat that it woke me. I tried to get back to sleep but after a little while, I decided I might as well get up. Maybe I can go back to bed before completing the post and finish latter.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Why resolve to do something that I know I won’t keep. I don’t have the discipline. There are things that I want to get done and things that I didn’t do last year that I needed to do. I know that I disappointed some by not completing things that I had made a commitment to complete. I did complete most of the things that I promised. Maybe I can do better this year.

I did manage to continue exercising. I hate doing it but know that I have to do it. This year I am switching from the Y to the gym that is now opened at Northeast State. I should be able to sleep a little later before heading out in the morning. Hopefully my schedule will still allow me to go to Fire and Water (http://www.fireandwateronline.com) twice a week. I think I enjoy it more than the boys.

Didn’t get to the wood shop much last year. I don’t know if it was lack of motivation or just too tired when I would get home and not have other things scheduled.

I did get some things done at church (http://bluffcityumc.org). Not everything I had planned or hoped to accomplish. We have a new pastor starting Sunday so I will need to see how his goals mesh with what was started last year. From what I hear, I think we will work well together and move the church forward. We need to move the technology into the 21st century.

This post sounds depressing to this point however, it is not meant to be that way. I am looking forward to the new year and new challenges. Let’s see what we can get done. Some things I will work on include:

Improving my photography, especially the post processing. I need to improve my Lightroom and Photoshop skills. Maybe I’ll work on portraits.

Get the FTK certification I didn’t finish last year.

Re-design the church web site and build better electronic communications for the church.

Spend more time doing things instead of thinking about them.

A lot of people will resolve to spend more time with the family. I won’t do that because, as I said, I don’t do resolutions. I would like to make the time spent more ?quality time?, whatever that means.

There are many other things but it’s time to try to get back to sleep so I’ll post this and go back to bed.

Maybe I’ll even post more often.

Dan

What will fall bring at school?

It looks like we will have good enrollment this fall at school. My second year classes are still lower than I would expect. Maybe we lost more last year than in the past.

I spent part of today recording lectures for Internet classes. Two of my classes have new books.

Because or the STEP initiative at school, we are trying to make students more responsible for their learning. Dr. Sanderson will like that. I am going to introduce the engineering notebook to my networking classes. I would use it when I taught Engineering Technology but have gotten away from the notebooks for Computer Science majors. Hopefully, I can get them to write down what they do.

I am also thinking about making my students turn off the computer for the first part of lab. Especially in Web Programming and Network Infrastructures classes. They want to start building without planning. That usually gets them into trouble.

The Cisco classes do not worry me. Those that make it through the first semester usually don’t have a problem finishing. I had a good group finish.

The school has ordered new computers for one of the network labs. I will need to come in and install them. We don’t let computer services in the lab except for warranty repairs and they like it that way.

Well, I’ve rambled on for a while as my CSCI 1100 student are taking their final. I only lost one student this time. She only came the first night. It looks like everyone will pass. It’s the best concepts class I’ve had in a long time. Much more motivated than most. Night students usually are. Summer students taking a half term class are also more motivated so combining the two makes a good class.

Don’t let you wife climb trees!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post. I have good intentions but don’t seem to find the time. Well, as I sit in the hospital, I will do some writing. This is not a topic that I thought I would ever write about.

Why do kids do things they shouldn’t? The same reason that we adults do. For some reason, the common sense gene quits working at times. That happened Monday.

John’s favorite stuffed animal is Bear. Bear has been through a lot. He has suffered a lot of abuse, so it did not surprise me that John threw him high up in a tree. I was working on getting him down when Lelia came home. She decides that the best way to get Bear down is to climb up and get him. I know I should have stopped her but I didn’t. The nest thing I know, she has crashed to the ground.

Checklist Item #1: Don’t let wife climb trees!

Jr, the boy next door must have run faster than possible. As I am checking on Lelia, Jr’s sister Sarah is heading for us, I am yelling for someone to call 911. She is already on it.

EMS gets there. Works with her and gets her ready to transport. They ask where to take her. I am sure I said Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) since her doctor is in JC. They head to hospital.

Checklist Item #2: Be sure to know what hospital EMS is taking her.

I make sure I get Bear down from tree quickly. Sawing off limb works. If I didn’t, Lelia would worry about Bear all night.

Kids will stay next door at Jr’s.

Checklist Item #3: Get someone to keep kids. I remembered that.

I head to hospital. When I get there, they say she has not arrived yet. Tell me it is not unusual for EMS to arrive after family. I don’t see how since I didn’t leave for at least 10 minutes. After about 20 they decide to check with Bristol Regional Medical Center (BRMC.) She is there. It seems that EMS either didn’t remember or hear me when I said JCMC. They asked her in ambulance and she said she didn’t care. See checklist item #2.

Lelia has been at BRMC for about 90 minutes before I get there a little after 7:00PM. They have done all the tests. Waiting begins. It;s after 9:00 before doctor gets back to talk to us and after 11:00 before she gets to her room.

Checklist Item #4: Pack iPod and laptop. It will be a long wait.

I head home about 1:30AM to get a little sleep and some cloths for Lelia for when they release her. Back at hospital by 6:30, this time with laptop and iPod.

Good news is no long term damage. Two fractures in back but not in critical locations. She will be sore for a while. Had a concussion but is fine after a day. They kept her one more day than expected, not sure why since physical therapy and neurology released her.

A ship in port is safe

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. I want all the youngsters to sail out to sea and be good ships. — G. Hopper

I opened with a quote from Grace Hopper. This could and maybe should be a chapter in a book on education. Admiral Hopper retired from the Navy at age 80. She was a pioneer in the field of computing and is credited with discovering the first computer ?bug?, a moth that was stuck in a relay the Mark 2 .

As I read the quote, a couple or things strike me. First, it is a challenge to take risks. We are risk averse, at least where it is important. People take risks all the time. We go skiing, bungee jumping, motorcycling and sky diving yet we are afraid to take risks that are not life threatening. I am told by students all the time, ?What if I fail??, ?What if it doesn’t work??. Why are we afraid of the challenge?

I have taken a number of risks over the years, I started a business, I took jobs that I really was not qualified for, and most of them paid off. I also was afraid to take a number of risks, not trusting my instincts or my own abilities. Looking back, if I regret anything, it was the times that I stayed in port, looking for that safe harbor.

I encourage everyone to try things, it’s OK to fail. Just learn from your failures.

Secondly, be good ships. What does that mean? I think it means to act in an ethical manner. Don’t abuse or mistreat others. Think about the consequences of what you are doing and how it will affect others.


Random Thoughts from the pool

Random Thoughts

I wish my best thoughts were a tenth as profound as Dr. Thomas Sowell’s random thoughts. If you do not read his column and books, start now.

As I am starting this post, I am sitting at the pool at a resort in Florida while the kids are playing. We spent the day at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. I don’t know how they have the energy to swim after the day.

Today we ate at the park but have eaten at a couple of good local places so far. I am really close to starting a new website about local (not chain) restaurants and this trip will give me a couple of posts. If you think there is an interest in this type of site, let me know. I would need some guest bloggers for different areas. Hey, maybe I could deduct my food and travel costs.

I am also preparing for the fall semester. I will be using Windows Server for the Infrastructures class this fall. Book is still 2k3 since the publishers did not release text books for 2008 in time. I really would like to get away from text books more in class but have to deal with other faculty. If I do not have a book for a class, it is almost impossible to have an adjunct teach the class. I would like to have the time and motivation to write my own books and give them to the students in electronic form. Don’t have the discipline.

When I get back home, I need to finish my photographers work flow part 2 post. Had more views than usual for that post. If anyone has any topic that they want to here my opinion about, post a comment. I do try to stay away from religion politics most of the time as much to keep from hearing from my employer than anything else. I may change that since it is fun to make people angry. As I tell my students: ?I will insult your religion or political party by the end of the semester, if I don’t please let me know and I will insult you personally.?

Rereading Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time.? Needs to be read at least every 10 years.? Will post a must read list in the future.

Going to try to post from the pool.