Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Core Dump

I don't really have time for this, but it's almost Thanksgiving and I just can't get motivated to jump into the next pile of vipers. (See Asp: Kicking)

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Took Friday off as promised (threatened?) to attend the Preview Weekend at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas with Mrs. A and the Eldest Aardvark Child. Said child has already been accepted and has already received notice that she is ELIGIBLE for one of the hefty scholarships offered by the university. (now if she can only land it - it'll pay for 1/4)

The weekend was a chance to visit the campus, meet some of the students, faculty and staff, get information on housing and financial aid, etc. The EAC got to spend a night in the dorms and hang out with college kids and junk. We threatened to tie a rope around her ankle just to keep her in a reasonable proximity to Terra Firma (but everybody knows the only Aardvark allowed in the Macy's parade is that poser, Arthur). To say she was excited would be like saying Bill Gates has been a moderate success.

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Facts about UMHB (or Oombah as we call it...funny, nobody else seemed to refer to it as such...)

- Established in 1845 as the female branch of Baylor (today approximately 40% of the student body is male).
- One of the small, private, Southern Baptist universities dotting the South/Southwest.
- Total undergrad enrollment of 2,700. 1,100 of those live in campus housing.
- Mascot is the Crusader, several campus organizations have "Sader" in their titles, though "The Cru" has become popular in recent years.
- No Fraternities or Sororities are allowed.
- No drinking allowed - on or off campus.
- Chapel is required for the first two years.
- Approximately 50% of the student body is Southern Baptist, 25% Non-Denominational, 10% Catholic with the rest being some other flavor of Protestant.

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Having attended another "Christian" school - TCU, where the 'C' is silent - I can't tell you how shocking (in a refreshing way) it was to have students and staff talk openly about their faith. The first session started with prayer and one of the first things said was, "We hope that by the end of the weekend, you'll know if God is leading you to UMHB." Wow. The best part was that, through interaction and observation, you could tell this wasn't just a front the university put on for visitors, but really was the underlying culture of the university.

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Attended Chapel with the college kiddos. Of course, being a special weekend, Chapel consisted of a concert put on by their (mostly) a capella choir - One Voice. I can tell you the vocal training provided by Oombah is top notch. Four sopranos, four altos, three tenors and three bass (or two tenors, two baritones and two bass at times) and every one of them had as natural, relaxed, effortless sound as you could ask for. They sang for almost 45 minutes without a flaw I could hear (and I like to think I hear more than most folks). I'm not going to tell you I'm an emotionally sensitive kind of guy, but for some reason my eyes just kept watering throughout the concert.

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Shelled out the $150 for the housing deposit before we left on Saturday.

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During one of the times when we were separated from the EAC, Mrs. A commented, "I think the EAC will like it here. She'll be able to find more kids like her."

"Nerds?" I asked.

"Well, I was thinking maybe more along the lines of Godly nerds," says Mrs. A.

Not an hour later, when the EAC had rejoined us, Mrs. A repeated her comment (about finding more kids like her) to the EAC.

"Nerds?" she asked.

I busted out laughing while Mrs. A just shook her head.

That's MY girl!!!

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Got a new razor in the mail the other day. One of those free samples they send out every so often. Of course it only comes with one blade. The handle is cheap. Where they really get you is buying the replacement blades. Oh, what razor was it, you ask? Why the Schick Quattro!

So, I told Mrs. A to pack it for the weekend and I'd give it a try. (spending a weekend away with the spouse and a nice close shave...need I say more?) It worked ok, but I couldn't tell the difference between that shave and the shave I get from my normal two-blade razor. And the shaving head, with four blades, was rather large. It required you to hold it at a much more parallel angle to your face. For some reason, it reminded me of floating concrete. Anyone who's ever poured cement will know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, how about when they drag the infield between innings?

Anyway, the Quattro worked ok, but I'm not going to drop my current blade in favor of the Quattro. I'm still holding out for the wall-mounted Octo.

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    Monday, November 22, 2004

    I've gone beyond multi-tasking

    I'm into omni-tasking these days.

    Oh, I guess I should take a minute to introduce myself. My name's LittleA and I write a blog.

    At least I used to until life jumped up and grabbed me by the ear and started dragging my sorry carcass hither and yon. (Which explains the odd tracks that have left even experienced trackers/woodsmen befuddled. Ewww.)

    Ever the optimist, I keep expecting things to get better, but really this is just my way of psyching myself up to keep coming to work. I have to constantly narrow my focus to one day at a time, one task at a time. If I ignore all those other days/tasks, maybe they'll just go away? Silly boy.

    I completed a job description this morning for a new position which will report to me. I put a chunk of what I am currently doing into this job description and my boss and I both agree, "That sounds like a full-time job." Well, yeah. And if I can sucker some poor slob into doing it, I may actually only have to do the work of 1.2 FTEs instead of 2.5. Image that...being in a managerial role and actually REVIEWING other people's work instead of hammering it all out yourself. What'll they think of next, phones that you can carry around with you? HA! As if.

    One of the tasks that has fallen by the wayside is providing regular doses of drivelocity (high-speed drivel) to the several folks who, in a demonstration of either extreme courage or utter tastelessness, keep coming by this blog expecting to see new words at the top of the page. Well, not NEW words exactly (unless you count "drivelocity"), but at least a unique arrangement of OLD words.

    Don't give up hope.


    PS.

    To the winners of the Beatrix Adams baby pool - hang in there. Composing poetry, even bad poetry such as what I'm capable of, requires a certain frame of mind - a creative sweet-spot if you will - that I have not been able to conjure. I haven't forgotten about you. But if I tried to jam rhyming words together right now, you'd likely wind up with something that would have to be given the benefit of the doubt to even be called crapaceous. I'd just as soon wait until I can actually put some effort into it. Not saying it still won't be crapaceous, mind you.

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    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Content? We don't need no steenking content

    I heard on the radio this morning that Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey were planning on getting back together for a new Who album.

    I think they should consider putting on one of those benefit concerts (that were all the rage a few years back) to help promote the new release.

    The could call the benefit "Ennui."

    I'll let you work out the joke for yourself.

    (There's also room here for an Abbott and Costello tie in, but I don't feel like putting in the effort)

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    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    Pavlov's Aardvark

    Mrs. A is the first one up (about 99.49% of the time, anyway). She starts the coffee and takes her shower.

    Me?

    I’m a bum. I don’t know what it is about the sound of the alarm clock going off in the morning. I seem to get my soundest, bestestess sleep between the time the alarm goes off and the time Mrs. A comes in with a cup of coffee and her sharpened stick.

    I’ve been getting home late, so between there not being sufficient time between homecoming and bedtime to let loose of the day and the amount of stuff that’s been on my mind lately, I haven’t been sleeping as well as I normally do.

    Mrs. A may have hit on the solution this morning. She suggested setting a second alarm clock to go off at 10:30 PM.

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    Monday, November 08, 2004

    And now...

    A word from our sponsors.

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    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    Call me a Wah-mbulance

    Today is the 32nd day in a row I've come to work. I expect to hit 45 before I get any relief, and then just because I AM taking a day off on the 19th, one way or another. That's the weekend of the UMHB preview for the EAC (and us parents too).

    Anyway, it's been just one thing after another after yet another around here and about the time I think I've fixed every problem and dotted every "T" (what?), I discover yet another problem that needs to be fixed. Not to mention that the powers-that-be keep dreaming up additional things they would like me to do.

    During a normal (whatever that is) day, blogging is a good stress reliever and a way to keep things in perspective. Some days just require an uptight Picasso.

    So, if I go missing for a couple of days, it's not that I don't WANT to engage in my usual lame schtick ... it's more likely that I'm in the process of being eaten by a bear.

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    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    IT'S A GIRL !!!!!!!

    Miss, or rather Mrs. Jordana (the not-so-old curmudgeon) delivered Beatrix Elizabeth (probably misspelled that, but you get the idea) Monday evening at approximately 7:07.

    Beatrix weighed in at 7 lbs 10 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

    Congratulations to the whole Adams clan!

    (Hmmm...better go work on seeing who won the pool. Be back later with that info.)

    UPDATE:

    I DEMAND A RECOUNT!!

    Well, the final tally in the Jordana Adam's baby pool is in.

    And we have a TIE for first place. And since I didn't expect a tie, I don't have a tie-breaking mechanism in place ... SO ...

    It looks like I'll have to compose TWO poems instead of one. Of course that means that they'll each be HALF as good (which really is slicing things thin, if you know what I mean).

    The winners should be able to collect their prizes sometime in the ambiguous future. (maybe not quite as speedy as for Earth Girl, since this is my busiest time of year and I'm already a little punch-drunk from using both of my brain cells so regularly - they're not used to the work-out)

    So, there you have it.

    ...

    ...

    What?

    ...

    ...

    Oh yeah ... the winners!

    Francesca Watson (aka The Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady) and Angie Dishman ('cause it's really All About Angie (don't tell Terry)).

    Their scores shook out as follows:

    Baby's sex - tied for sixth place (both guessed boy)
    Baby's weight - Francesca fourth place, Angie third place
    Baby's height - Francesca fourth place, Angie third place
    Baby's birthdate - tied for first place (with the correct date)
    Baby's time of birth - Francesca third place, Angie fifth place

    Total combined score - 18

    Also rans:
    Mercy and Terry - 19 points
    Yours truly - 21 points
    Jordana - 22 points
    Malta Girl - 24 points (probably would have been 1st if not for guessing 10/20 as the date)
    Lenise - 28 points
    MarcV - 33 points
    and proving she can be a team player and not hog all the glory, Earth Girl - 41 points.

    Congratulations again to Jordana (and family) on the arrival of Beatrix Elizabeth!

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    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Band update

    Got a call from Mrs. A last night informing us that the band didn't make the final cut. They finished 18th out of 19. I'm sure the kids were disappointed, but unless I've completely misjudged the adults involved, I'm also sure they were reminded about how much of an honor it was to be there in the first place.

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    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Talk to me

    I had a search hit a few minutes ago for "dirty bedroom talk." You naughty thing! How did you KNOW that you could get that sort of thing here?

    As a matter of fact, we have dirty bedroom talk all the time at the Aardvark burrow. And being hip, modern types, we even like to include the kids...

    Why, just this week Mrs. A told the Youngest Aardvark Child, "THIS ROOM IS A PIG STY!!!" Later, she came to me and whispered, "I'm going to have to quit going into my children's filthy rooms or I'm going to wind up having a heart attack."

    Hope that works for ya.

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    Another tale from the "Woe is me" file

    Spent all day Saturday generating various and sundry reports, saving them just so and then printing them out. Left a whole big stack of 'em (probably about 4" worth) on the desk - giving me something to do on Sunday.

    Got to work Sunday after church and spent the rest of the day updating files based on the information in said reports. I noticed as I was working that there were still several problems present that I thought I had fixed. These things happen from time to time. Sometimes instead of fixing the problem you make it worse or do something else that cancels out your fix. Stuff like that. So, I wasn't overly concerned, just slightly irritated that the problems were still there.

    This morning I got to work just a-rarin' to dig in and fix those problems...

    Only to find that, as I had originally thought, the problems WERE fixed.

    ???

    ...

    ???

    ...

    ???

    I mentioned my perplexidessness (whad'd'ya mean that isn't a word? Is now!) to my co-worker only to discover that the changes I thought were in on Friday didn't get incorporated into the files I used for my reports until...Saturday night when she came to work!!!

    In other words, what I spent most of the weekend on is mostly crap.

    On a more positive note, since I know what the changes were, I can go in and manually change my reports to reflect them, making MOST of what I accomplished over the weekend useful again.

    So, how's your day going?

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    It ain't braggin' if'n you can do it

    A little while later this afternoon, the band will be marching their show in the State finals at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio. Mrs. A and the EAC left yesterday afternoon and will be back tomorrow. (Mrs. A's brother came and got Mom for the duration, she'll be back tomorrow as well) There are 19 bands that made it to the State level (out of about 200). The way I see it, there's no way they won't finish in the top 20!

    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram sent a reporter out to the Friday morning practice and there was a nice write-up in Saturday's paper. (No links - we hateses the nasty registration, we do) So what's on the front page of the Metro Section on Saturday? (Well, thanks for asking, that's right kind of ya!) A picture of the EAC blowin' her horn.

    Naturally, we had to buy four or five copies to send to friends and relatives and such.

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    Let me call you sweetheart

    I've never worn a suit to a football game. Before last Friday, that is.

    The last home game of the year is the Sweetheart game. The football team picks their sweetheart from the trainers/band/cheerleaders and the band picks their sweetheart from ... the band.

    Since the Eldest Aardvark Child is a Senior, we were kind of hoping that she'd at least get nominated for Band Sweetheart and sure enough she was one of three candidates. And I got to be her escort! Hence, the suit.

    Normally the girls get to wear a fancy dress, but since the band is going to State this year, the band teacher insisted they wear their uniforms and march the half-time show. So, no dress. (I figure I ought to tip the teacher a $50 or so, since he just saved me a bundle, but then again, I'm a guy and I'm sure the gals have another opinion)

    One of the other candidates is a very popular girl, and so I had been working on the EAC, telling her that it was cool just to be nominated and that sort of thing. Mind you, I think she SHOULD win, but just because I think something doesn't make it so (see: Moore, Michael, existence thereof). They marched their show and then it was time for the dads to take their spot on the sidelines. The EAC ran off the field and took her hat off. The clock for half-time was getting pretty low, so the announcer didn't dawdle naming the Football Sweetheart. It was the popular girl! And since she was the Sweetheart to a bunch of sweaty, testosterone filled teenage boys, naturally she was awarded an ... autographed football.

    Then it was time for the Band Sweetheart candidates to be announced. Each one had submitted a short bio which was read (out loud) by the announcer. I don't remember too much of it. And that's probably ok, since there wasn't anything in there that made me stop and wonder, "What'd he just say?" (You know, like changing her name to Hadijah and joining a commune) Anyway, we were the third set of candidates/dads out on the field and no sooner had we got turned around to face the crowd when the announcer announced in an announcing way, "And this year's Band Sweetheart is ... the EAC." Only, he didn't say "the EAC," he said her name, or at least one of the names she gets called around our house.

    The look on her face was one of total shock. I have to admit I was a little surprised too. She got a bundle of flowers and a tiara which promptly fell off and had to be reinserted into her hair a couple of times to get it to stay put.

    It was easy to spot her the rest of the night. Just had to look for the kid with an eight inch grin on a six inch face. Oh, and a glittery head.

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