Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-24

I'm a little disturbed now, having just processed photos for the last few days. I'm realizing that my camera has again swallowed a half dozen or so pictures without a trace - no real loss on these, as they were just a few snaps of green poking through the snow, but it's a very upsetting trend - gotta figure this out quick; I need to be able to trust that the photos I take won't just melt away.

On the plus side, Professor Matthies really seemed to enjoy my final article on the OIT airsoft club. Given that I haven't gotten a single grade in his course yet and the class is supposed to be graded on improvement, I think it bodes well that he was so enthusiastic about this one.

With Torres out of town still, today's A&P quiz and lecture were given by Dr. Li. Still can't say that I care for her teaching techniques, at all. After numerous requests from various students to slow down enough that notes could be taken, (I gave up after only managing to type a few sentences across half a dozen slides) she more or less shouted at the petitioner to just read the book. If the book alone is supposed to be sufficient for teaching, why are you employed? Grr.

Medical terminology went better, as it was just this week's quiz with no new terms, monitored by one of Dr. Torres' lab assistants. I feel very good about this one, as it's the first test we've taken in there where I haven't blocked on a specific term and had to go back.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-24

20100224_MG_6978The whole world in his hand
"The whole world in his hand"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-23

Dr. Torres is apparently out of town for the rest of the week, which meant that the new A&P teacher, Professor Kowash, filled in in lab today. I think the intervening months between the last time I encountered her and now have been very good for her teaching style, as she was much more thorough and well-paced this time around. She did quite a good job at making vascular constructs palatable, which is no mean feat - hard to keep track of exactly where all of the various veins and arteries end up along the way.

Art 207 - Assignment 6 - Klamath Falls Overlook Montage
Art 207 - Assignment 7 - Jenny Triptych

Two more assignments turned in for my photography class today. I'm actually rather pleased with the triptych; it suits Jen very well. The montage, not so much, although I suppose the format hides the fact that I missed about 2 or 3 degrees of landscape along the way to some degree. I just don't see a whole lot of point to not making it a composite or panorama. A little frustrated, too, that it doesn't seem that we're actually learning much in the class lately - all we have are assignments with little instruction beyond very basic definitions.

We had dinner tonight at a local Japanese restaurant, Hanayori. I have to admit, I really wasn't impressed with the quality, or the prices. Seriously, one dab of pickled ginger for the entire meal? That's just wrong. At least it gave me an excuse to bully Jen and Tank into promising to accompany Eden and I to Sushi Tsunami the next time there's an opportunity - now there's some darn fine eating.

Plans to finally get around to bowling tonight were quashed, as it turns out that Tuesdays are league night at the local lanes. Snow started coming down like crazy on the way home, so perhaps it worked out better after all.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-23

20100223_MG_6956Friends don't let friends....
"Friends don't let friends..."

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-22

Shortish school day today, or at least it felt that way. No quiz in lab tomorrow, and the quizzes on Wednesday are set to be on the cardiac system, which I think we have down pretty pat from last week (in setting up flashcards, I just went to the end of the chapter, so we were actually working on some material the class hadn't gotten to yet, technically), so it's low stress all around.

It was a beautiful afternoon, again, and Tank had his late speech class, so it was time for another driving lesson. Honestly, it's not so much a lesson as a chance for Jen to get used to being behind the wheel and find out what rules or principles haven't quite stuck yet - there's very little in the way of a plan, here. Regardless, we decided to head out along the west side of the Upper Klamath Lake in hopes of finding some eagles or raptors to play with photographically along the way. No such luck, there, even though we did stop in at Eagle Ridge, which is supposed to be a great place for 'em. I've never seen any there, go figure.

As it happens, we ended up heading all the way into Medford, since we were having a decent time chatting and she was getting more comfortable driving. We had intended to stop for dinner at an Indian place recommended by Abe, but didn't end up finding it before growling stomachs won out, forcing us to settle for a local Jack in the Box.

The sun set very shortly after we set out for home, allowing Jen to discover the utility of high beams and drive a bit in the dark. After some initial trepidation, she seemed to enjoy it.

It was a good day, and yet another occasion to marvel at the friendship I've stumbled into with Jen - it's nice to have a female friend who's smart and witty and actually quite fascinating to talk to, without the complexities of romance butting in. Good too, that she doesn't seem to mind me hanging around much, as I've been feeling less and less like spending any appreciable time in my dorm room, lately.

Actually, it's kind of odd - save for rare, random moments of wishing that Eden were present when they get especially sappy, I don't tend to feel like a third wheel at all around Jen and Tank; more like the three musketeers. We make a good set, together, and they're rather marvelous at helping me burn away the time between visits up north.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-22

20100222_MG_6951Sunlit Smile
"Sunlit Smile"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-21

The gods have found a new way to annoy me, it seems - finally got Tank and Jen out in the sun and doing cute coupley schmoopy things, got some great pictures of said activities, and of course the camera ate said photos somehow. Poop.

Regardless, today was a pleasant, low-impact day. Spent a little time at the company meeting with Tank & Co., brainstorming characters. No idea if any of this is going to end up going anywhere, but it's not a bad way to spend an afternoon, and they're good people.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-21

20100221_MG_6741Guilt Trip
"Guilt Trip"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-20

I actually spent most of the day today out in the woods. Jason, the GM of my D20 game, had mentioned an airsoft event that was being held by the OITAC organization on campus, and it sounded like something that would be fun to check out. Tank made it out with us, but Jen was down for the count as her flu-like symptoms flared up again.

It actually ended up being massively entertaining, once we got started (Jason's car got high-centered on snow a couple of times on the way up). For the first couple of rounds, I just went out to grab some pics of the game in progress (pics of the event here), but I did get a chance to borrow Jason's SIG and play a zombie round. I'm afraid my performance wasn't too impressive (I was the first human down), but it was highly entertaining. Might be a sport to invest a bit in, down the road.

We finished off the evening with a large campfire, roasting hotdogs, and just hanging out. I didn't actually get cold until about an hour after sundown, thanks in large part to the wonderful jacket Eden gave me this winter. Warm all day with just jeans and a t-shirt underneath. Honestly, I would have been fine in the evening as well, but my shoes had soaked through hours ago and I was leaking heat there like crazy.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-20


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-19

The weather today was incredible - plentry of sunshine, barely a cloud in the vibrant blue sky. Of course, this mandated getting off campus just as soon as class let out for the day.

I ended up taking Jen and Tank down to the Lower Klamath Refuge, as neither of them had ever been there, and I'd been thinking about taking Jen there anyway to start up a new project. As it happens, Jen has her learner's permit, but as neither she nor Tank own a car, does not yet have her license. With that in mind, the refuge seemed like a perfect place for her to get used to driving again - few other people, no distracting traffic, and lots of straightaways to work out the kinks. She seemed to have a great time, with only a very few moments of indecision. I think she's going to end up being in the drivers seat just as often as we can manage it, up until she tests for her license, probably in early summer.

Didn't get a whole lot of pictures while we were down there, nor did I get a chance to illustrate much on Jen's camera, but it was a nice trip.

We spent the evening playing D20 again, which Tank was able to attend this time. The campaign continues to get slightly stranger each time, but I think I'm ok with that.

Daily Pic 2010-02-19

20100219_MG_6426Sleeping Beauty
"Sleeping Beauty"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-18

Much better day today, as an average. Spent most of it just rebounding from the hard night, hanging with Tank and Jen. Got the Xbox set up in Jen's room and we spent a goodly amount of time playing awful old arcade games on the emulator. Even with horrible controls and laughable animation, you have to admit that the 80s and 90s had something, there. Hard to find anything other than MMORPGs that brings more than two player action, lately.

We took in a late afternoon movie, From Paris with Love, the new Travolta film. It was a lot of what I like in an action movie - a good, semi-impervious hero, horribly irreverent wisecracks all around, lots of collateral damage, and a plot that just keeps on barreling along. Overall, definitely worth the watch. I honestly can't tell if they're looking for a sequel, but I'd probably watch it, if so.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-18


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-17

I'm quite happy with my performance on the A&P lecture quiz today. Looks to be a 15/15, according to my notes. I think having added chapter questions and the emphases on review material helped a lot. More success for the girls, too, although Rox gave me a bit of scare when she said "I missed 7" - which of course meant that she'd only missed one question, #7. Silly me.

Also finally got a chance to submit my Crater Lake article for journalism. Still getting used to the writing style, there, but it seems like each article is coming back with just a little less red.

Tank had his phone interview for a Microsoft internship today, which seemed to go very well; there was even talk of shipping him north for an in person interview, possibly. We had intended to spend the evening celebrating, but actually pretty much just stayed in watching TV and chatting about anything and everything. One of the nicer things about having him for a friend is that he draws me out, to an extent - between two introverts and a strong extrovert, we seem to be able to manage fairly constant conversation.

The late evening was a bit of an unpleasant surprise - a friend had some pretty severe issues rear their collective heads abruptly and unpleasantly, and I ended up spending the night mostly just keeping an eye on him and helping his girlfriend stay calm, as well as playing go-between for keeping his parents in the loop, whom I had not met before. Interesting way to meet people; even given the context, I found them both quite pleasant.

For all that the event may have cost him, I'm grateful that it happened. Trauma buried is like a bomb with a finicky trigger; far better to be hit in a safe place with friends than alone in a potentially dangerous environment. Perhaps he'll find some internal progress from the event, once he's had a chance to process it fully.

I'm grateful, too, that I was present. I don't know how much I actually contributed to the situation, but it was little reassuring to find how calm I was about things. I guess I have Jessie to thank for that, in a way - the lessons may have been excessively unpleasant at the time, but at least now I have some idea of the proper responses in a crisis. Guess I do have the capacity for learning, after all.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-17

20100217_MG_6269The Right Way to Study
"The Right Way to Study"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-16

A&P lab went well today. 14/15 on the quiz, which felt pretty darn good. The girls did great as well, which I've got to admit I feel pretty proud of. I'm reasonably sure I can grab at least some of the blame, though certainly not all. We've been working hard at this stuff.

Today's lab was a pig heart dissection, and it was fairly interesting. Most of the structures (that the butcher hadn't simply removed), were fairly easily distinguished, and I don't think any of us were too affected by squeamishness on this one.

I do have to admit that Torres' labs are messing with my taste buds, a bit. As an example, the heart as presented was very reminiscent of a pot roast in terms of fat deposits and marbling - actually made me a bit hungry.

No class for photography today, as professor Becerra is out of town. At some very near point I need to snag Jen for a short series of portraits for my next assignment, but I can't help feeling a little self-intimidated on that one. Knowing when and how to grab a good candid is a lot different situation than having near total control over light quality and being able to direct the subject. I suppose it's probably one of those things where you just have to take the plunge the first time.

Registration for next term is now locked in. As it turns out, I won't be taking C++ after all, as the course is locked in with a lab that overlaps the anatomy time slot, and isn't offered at any other time. Digital media production will be slotted in as a replacement - not sure how that'll turn out, but it seems likely to be interesting, and possibly useful in the long term.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-16


Monday, February 15, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-15

Beautiful day out today; even if I didn't end up spending any large portion of it outside, the fresh spring scents really lifted my spirits. Kind of odd, come to think of it - much of my sense of smell was killed off in my early navy years and during the time I spent in Japan; I wouldn't have thought I retained enough to enjoy those particular scents that much.

Spoke with my adviser this morning and locked in next term's planned classes with the girls. Now it's just a matter of waiting for registration to be unlocked for each of us. I find myself unsure of how I feel about the Tai Chi class that I've decided to take. On the one hand, anything that will help with relaxation can only be a blessing. On the other, I'm sure to be more than a little self conscious, at least at first. Oh well, time to man up.

Spent a portion of the evening relaxing with Jen and Tank, as well, after studying for the quiz in A&P lab. Tonight's selection was the series "Wonderfalls". Just one of many great concepts cut short after a single season.

I'm rediscovering how strangely fulfilling it is to share beloved authors, series, and movies with friends. Perhaps it's something about the reflection of like mindsets when they enjoy things that you've treasured.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-15


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-14

Damn lonely day today. Nothing like drowning in couples while you're away from your wife to really bring it home, I guess.

I had hoped to make it down to the lava beds by myself today, as that article is coming up pretty fast, but a steady drizzle outside kind of killed that idea. I can't imagine the caves have much in the way of modern drainage built in.

On the plus side, throwing money at the ridiculous prices charged for delivery on a Sunday holiday seemed to pay off, a bit - Eden seemed to enjoy the flowers I sent her, even if she might have preferred a hand delivery.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-14

20100214_MG_6165Bachelor Pack
"Bachelor Pack"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-13

Today's planned trip to the lava beds fell through again, I'm afraid. Jen's intermittent health issues reared their collective heads again and kept her indoors, and perforce, also Tank, at least for most of the day.

Not too much accomplished, I'm afraid, other than generating more study materials and trying to lock away a tad more information on the cardiac system. Not sure how much will stick, as it feels like I can consciously feel the tidbits of information seeping away through the cracks in my skull.

Ended up having a four hour conversation with Eden, actually, which managed to completely kill a fresh charge on the phone - good to know that the advertised talk time is in range of reality.

On the plus side, Tank did swing by after bedding Jen down in the evening, and I got a chance to show him "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". Val Kilmer as Gay Perry is a character everyone should see, at least once.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-13


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-12

Good day today - A&P seemed to pass relatively quickly, and Dr. Torres got a lot of information covered without seeming to rush too much. Got my midterm back, didn't do quite as well as I'd hoped (76%), but still well enough to make my expected "B" at the end of the term a very real possibility.

The girls and I ended up heading down to Mollie's again after class, just to get off campus for a little while. As it turns out, none of us were feeling terribly hungry, nor very flush in terms of cash, so I'm afraid we ended up trading the cost of a few drinks for an hour or so in the booth. After talking things over, we've decided to expand a bit on our strategies for study, and will be adding a significant amount of material direct from the book, rather than relying primarily on the lecture, especially in view of the conglomerate final looming in our futures - since the respective teachers tend to emphasize very different sections of the text, this seems prudent.

Jen and I did end up gaming in the evening, though Tank couldn't make it and we didn't end up in the DND scenario I had prepared for. As it turns out, D20 Modern was the flavor of the day, and I have to say, it was delicious! Very strange scenario, that I'm not caught up on by any means, but it was easier than I thought to slot back into the roleplaying mindset. I think the fact that I chose to play as a somewhat naive and impulsive character helped a lot - read into that what you will.

Jason has a bit different playstyle than most of the other GMs I've worked with, choosing to treat one of the NPCs almost as his own character (or perhaps Kelly is simply an outgrowth of his persona?) and playing along with us to an extent, as well as holding the remainder of his game world together. Prior to this, and I'll admit to a bit of the same failing in my own gamemastering, most GMs haven't projected themselves so fully into the NPCs, and certainly didn't allow the NPCs on the "good" side much independence from the player's whims. He seems quite skilled at compartmentalizing for this purpose - definitely something to be admired.

In any case, the whole menagerie of dragons, spaceships, dwarves, and aliens seemed to hold together much more coherently than I would have suspected. I'm very much looking forward to next week.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-12

20100212_MG_6098Talk amongst yourselves
"Talk amongst yourselves"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-11

Art 207 - Assignment 5 - PersuasionVery frustrated today. Spent numerous hours trying to bring together my project for photography class in a way that matched the design in my head, but it just didn't turn out quite as neat as I had thought it was going to. I may lay claim to the title of photographer, but I'll never be an artist.... still not at all happy with the resulting piece, but it came time to go turn the damn thing in all too quickly, and honestly messing with it any more would just continue to drive me up the wall.

It's about as close as I'm going to get to the picture in my head... retouching is about the limit of my range - full on creation just doesn't work. I guess I'm fairly happy with the results of extracting my subjects from their respective backgrounds, but it just ends up looking horribly artificial. The original assignment, or at least the variant I'd chosen, was an illustration of force. I took this in the direction of potential, with the results you see.

I also got a message today that seems to infer that one of the people I love the most is getting much, much worse rather abruptly - I don't think she'd appreciate the details in a public forum, but it may be sufficient to say that I was in a horrible mood pretty much all day. Unfortunately, she's the type that doesn't discuss symptoms from day to day, and in fact hides as much as she can from friends and family. Makes it even harder on us because we never know what to think, and can only assume the worst. Perhaps that's one of those attitudes that's become the norm in America - showing weakness=failure, even if it might let those who care help, a bit.

Josh, Jen, and I had planned to take advantage of the cheap theater night to go see the new Travolta film, "From Paris with Love", but those plans feel through as they were both feeling poorly and less than energetic when the time rolled round. I get the feeling that our little group has been passing some sort of bug back and forth for the last week or so, as we've all been feeling off intermittently. In any case, the tickets won't expire any time soon and we'll just have to go in the coming week instead.

I did manage to finish one housekeeping task before bed, fleshing out the character sheet for "Dorf Underhill" for the pending DND game I'd been invited to Fridays. It's funny - it's been years since I've played a tabletop RPG, but I'm already getting a bit of a feel for my new little meat shield. Don't know if anything will end up happening in that realm tomorrow, but it won't be held up because of me.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-11

20100211_MG_6047Rolling Up
"Rolling Up"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-10

Low effort day today, other than cramming before the A&P midterm. Think that went fairly ok; I'd expect to land somewhere in the B range, if my perception on what I did and didn't know is right.

Journalism slid by very quickly, to my mind - without an article this week I just don't have a lot to contribute. Medical Terminology went by lightning fast as well, as we only stayed long enough for the weekly quiz; no new terms. Pretty sure I only missed one on that - for some reason I couldn't bring the word root for thirst to mind, even though I'd had no problems at all with it earlier and in fact kept on drilling Jen with a couple of mnemonic tricks for it because she couldn't hold on to that one during our study. Ah well, I still feel pretty good about my performance, there.

I did stop by the weekly OTB meeting, since the crew has more or less convinced me that it's something I'd like to participate in at some level. Got propositioned to be a gigolo there, among other things (for a skit), for whatever that's worth. Not sure what I'll end up doing there - more than likely I'll decide just to tag along for a few filming runs to get a feel for things.

Energy levels all around were low; we had planned a poker rematch as a stress release, but Tank had a programming project due at midnight and we just weren't feeling all that active. Thus, movie night.

Our selection for the evening was "Lesbian Vampire Killers", which had been highly recommended by Eden and was one I had been meaning to see for a while. Now I know, with a name like that you might get a few ideas as to where the film is going, but honestly it was just a wonderfully campy British horror-comedy, much in the vein of Shaun of the Dead. Of course I had to introduce them to "The IT Crowd" after that - British comedy roxxors, and they'd never even heard of it.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-10

20100210_MG_6034I'm Listening....
"I'm Listening...."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-09

Relatively sedate day today, thankfully. No migraine leftovers, for one thing, and the stomach issues I'd been having last week seem to have more or less leveled out - a refreshing break, I think. A&P lab was productive - scads of new terms to memorize for the heart and major blood vessels, but after Roxanne asked for some clarification on the location of a few vessels, Dr. Torres gave the three of us an exclusive overview of the respective structures on the cadaver after class. Rather fascinating really - among other things, the old fellow seems to get a lot less intimidating over time. Still a little disturbed by how much his musculature resembles turkey cuts - not good when your subject looks like your favorite meal.

I also found out that Dr. Torres' son is a photographer of some skill as well, which is pretty darn cool. He even clued me in to a few locations I might be able to utilize for shooting over the summer.

I find myself reflecting, a bit, on how our little group must seem to Dr. Torres - out of all of his students still sticking with the class, we must be the ones that struggle the most, but he seems to have a certain amount of fondness for us. Perhaps there's a level of respect there for the enthusiasm and effort, if not the resulting grades. Then again, I may be overestimating how much he picks us out - he's very good about taking a personal interest in all of his students, which in turn gives me mad respect for him as a teacher. Even if he didn't have the subjects down pat and have a decent amount of panache in terms of expanding on book material, teachers that put forth such a human aspect are rare, and worth cultivating.

I have to admit, I did end up breaking my perfect attendance record this term by skipping photography class, electing to put the time into study for the A&P midterm with the girls. Both Jen and I were exhausted enough that we weren't sure we'd get any use out of a session afterward, and the class today was due to be entirely on photoshop manipulations, which I am already well versed in on the technical aspects; just not overly artistically skilled in this direction. Either way, the resulting composite I'm working on for Thursday should end up about the same. I've got a concept I'm quite pleased with, but I despair of ever making the screen match my vision.

The actual study session seemed to go pretty well; we all did much better on the practice midterm and questions from prior quizzes than last night, thanks in part to sitting down and putting together a stat sheet of sorts to differentiate between the dorsal and ventral rami, dorsal, ventral, and lateral horns all in one place - much easier to see the comparative differences. Prior to this point we had been trying to learn individual statistics, so to speak, of each structure independently - didn't work at all, as it was entirely too easy to attribute one piece to the wrong structure from simple info overload.

Things were also quieter at Roxy's this evening - no spare people, although Debbie did stop by long enough to donate some killer homemade potato soup for dinner. I'm not at all ashamed to say that I dived in for seconds without hesitation.

I feel pretty sated this evening - I know it's going to be worth going over things one more time before the test tomorrow, but I also know that at least some of the bits that are sloshing around in my head right now should settle with sleep.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-09


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-08

Migraine leftovers pretty much all day today - very nearly no pain, but dizzy and aphasic on and off the entire time. Honestly didn't think I'd make it in to class this morning, but some spare thought convinced me at 9:57 that I shouldn't spoil a perfect attendance record this term and to try and get at least something out of the day's classes.

Class schedules for the coming term were published online this morning, which meant some time debating possible courses. It's looking like the girls and I will continue to have relatively similar schedules, as we've proven to be effective motivators for one another to study and good sounding boards for concept comprehension.

Unfortunately, one of the courses that we were heavily considering for filler, intro to forensic analysis with Dr. Torres, will not be on the menu. While the subject would be fascinating, especially with him, it conflicts with one of the only two A&P courses available. The section we're going to take is with Dr. McVeigh, who seems highly competent, and also has had a heavy influence on the content of prior finals. We all agreed that it wasn't worth the risk of trying to make it through another course with Dr. Li, which was the only available alternative that would have made forensics possible. I'm sure she's a decent teacher if you're of the right mindset to mesh with her, but we simply aren't.

As things land, we're all a little stuck between courses we have to get done and a lack of required credits to make the minimum of 12 required for federal funding. Out of four courses, we'll probably end up taking three together. A&P obviously, will be on that list, but it looks like I'll be retaking Chemistry with them (a higher grade wouldn't hurt the selection board's impression, and higher comprehension would seem to be almost inevitable), as well as trying out a course entitled "Tai Chi & Qigong for Healthy Internal Organs". Jennifer tried an alternate Tai Chi class with the same instructor this past fall (who will coincidentally also be our A&P lab instructor) and found it to be marvelously relaxing. Given my current sleep habits, it seems a wise gamble.

The final course I'll be taking will be an intro to C++ course from the CSET track; C is one of those languages that I've reviewed only well enough to be able to read and interpret a fair portion of the code - I've never programmed in it and I think it's high time I corrected that. The girls, in turn, will be taking a math course in the same time slot, which should make scheduling study sessions and such nearly trivial, as we'll be in class at the same times.

I have to say, I'm finding myself conciously greatful of having found two such good friends to hang out and study with. The fact that Jen's boyfriend is a decent dude that I can really relate to and even count as a good friend independantly doesn't hurt at all. I only wish we all felt more confident about the study results, as well as our eventual chances in being selected for the MIT program. Ah well, the pick up percentages don't account very well for the massive attrition from students washing out of A&P. Looking at the numbers online, we've gone from four sections of lecture with 253 seats in fall term to just two with 100 seats for spring; I'd even be willing to bet that a number of those seats will remain empty. Just being here at this point bodes pretty well.

A&P continues to more or less wash over me, leaving no trace of comprehension, or at least that's how it's feeling. In a rare moment of cohesive thought, I did happen to notice that while my level of dissatisfaction in performance is still pretty high, the grades I'm not happy with are Cs and Bs this time around, so perhaps that indicates some improvement, as well as a higher standard. I guess it's just been the last two weeks or so that doesn't seem to have jelled, yet - too many concepts with less than distinct naming conventions, perhaps.

Today's session of medical terminology was also a bit frustrating, as Dr. Torres again spent a good portion of the period going over somewhat redundant anatomical concepts, then rushing through the actual vocabulary. No results from last week's midterm yet.

This evening was spent at Roxanne's, running a pre-pre-mid term study session and giving Rox a chance to celebrate Jennifer's birthday, as she had been out of town for the weekend. Astonishingly, she managed to find a commercial cake for Jennifer that was quite palatable, chocolate with raspberry filling. Normally I detest frosting, and the waxy/plasticy frosting normally found on store cakes strikes me as particularly vile. Points for her.

I also finally got to meet the infamous Debbie, Roxanne's childcare swap partner, as well as her boyfriend Scott and son Jasper. Jasper, Ivy, and Scott were all very nearly explosive with energy and vibrance, so I managed to get a number of very expressive photos over the course of the evening, only slightly spoiled by pervasive spaghetti stains from dinnertime.

As a note to self type of thing, I need to remember to mention to Vash that he has two new fans now - the evening's musical selection wandered a bit and conversation brought up his talents with the spoons. A few samples from youtube later, and they were sold. CBH's comedy promo material was an especially potent favorite.

While it still feels like we're all a bit lost for the midterm, I think it was time well spent. We'll still be studying like mad tomorrow and the next day, of course.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-08

20100208_MG_5900Defeat of the Superman
"Defeat of the Superman"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-07

Bloody useless day today, for the most part. Damn big migraine that expressed fully as both pain and dizziness, enough so that I finally decided I was never going to be able to concentrate enough to complete my article on Crater Lake. Fortunately, I only have to submit a story for 5 out of the 6 active weeks in Journalism, so I guess this is my week "off". On the other hand, I did finally get around to fully processing two composite panoramas of the lake that I'd shot for earlier - I think they both turned out gorgeous, and will probably fit quite nicely with the story when I get it out. You be the judge.
20091101Crater Lake - Fall
20100128Crater Lake - Winter

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-07


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-06

Slow day today, at least at the start. Pretty much all I accomplished was getting around to cooking the mashed potatoes and meatloaf I've been anticipating.

Unfortunately, I really pooched the final critical step on this culinary adventure: I dropped the meatloaf pans (both of em!) as I was taking them out of the oven. Grease and guts all over. As it turns out, I only lost half a pan, and the meatloaf was mighty tasty, if not aesthetically pleasing, but it was heck to clean up.

The evening was more encouraging - I had been invited to join Jen and Tank at a LAN party at their friend's house. Unfortunately, Jen was still feeling under the weather, and could not attend. Nonetheless, we all had a good time, though I must say that watching a 37 song set on Rock Band was.... long.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-06

20100206_MG_5655All Natural
"All Natural"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-05

I'm afraid I may have embarassed Jen a bit today, although she doesn't know it yet. I happened to mention to Dr. Torres that it was her birthday.... which unfortunately highlighted the fact that she didn't happen to make it to class. As it turns out, she was feeling a bit poorly in the morning, and hadn't gotten out of bed yet.

Fortunately, Dayquil managed to help her rally enough to make it to her birthday party on the evening at the local Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Hong. I had already half-appologized to Eden for going out for Vietnamese without her, but boy, I didn't know exactly how heartfelt that should have been! Exquisite food there - their garlic chicken was unbelievable in every sense of the word. Hot, spicy, and massively flavorful, with huge portion sizes. I'm afraid I hurt myself just a little eating it, as I couldn't stand to leave any behind.

I got to meet a few more of Jen and Tank's friends as well, people that I think I'll get along with fabulously. One of the highlights of the evening was a gift from her friend Rob, in the form of a handmade Invader Zim doll. The guy seems to have quite a lot of talent, there!

More evidence of mutually compatible viewpoints came in several forms, not the least of which was an unprompted invite to join the group's ongoing DnD campaign. We didn't actually get a chance to play, as it was late and my character had not yet been created, but it seems like I'll have a fairly regular Friday event in the coming weeks. Jason was a bit of a character (possibly several), giving us a fairly convincing impression of Jayne Cobb of the Firefly series, as well as bringing out his new Airsoft gun for Jen to fondle. The tomboyish streak I love in her was readily apparent in the lustful glow of her eyes.

While I still haven't managed to get a solo shot of Josh that I care for much, I did get a few of him and Jen together that illustrate the vibrancy of their relationship nicely. I can't say I didn't regret leaving my shorter lens with Eden, however; 50 mm is a bit more magnification than I'd like to work with on close shots.

It was a good night, all together, and it captured the kind of birthday I really enjoy - just a small, intimate gathering of friends that are utterly comfortable with one another.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-05


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-04

Bleh. Not feeling so hot today. Stomach is off, as is my sense of balance. Barely got out of bed, other than to go to photography class. Oh well - some days are like that.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-04

20100204_MG_5516Belly Grumbles
"Belly Grumbles"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-03

School was a bit vicious today; the A&P quiz seemed to go pretty well, but my medical terminology mid term was a (comparative) nightmare. I don't think I actually did too bad on it, but there were three terms on it that I had literally never seen!

I should probably explain that last bit; Dr. Torres is a fabulous teacher, on the balance, but he does have one bad habit that drives me up the wall. Essentially, it's a problem of pacing. He tends to dither around on subtopics that aren't horribly relevant to the tested material for a good portion of the period, then rush madly through the last 10 minutes or so of class, often switching slides faster than my 90 wpm typing speed can keep up.

For all that that irritates me, it does have an outlet; whenever he does that, I can go to the book (which is a massive volume!) and pick up the terms that I didn't quite manage to get down.

The tactical problem here is that all three terms came out of chapters where he did take his time and I got all of the terms he had on screen typed up and defined... and thus assumed that those were all of the terms in the chapter, which had been his practice prior. Unfortunately, these were simply ones he never bothered to touch on.

In any case, Josh, Jen and I made a point of taking some time to lift spirits in the evening, electing to shake the dust off of Josh's poker set. Other than realizing that we currently know far too few poker variants, it was pretty awesome to get back in the swing of things; I think it's been years since I last played. Interesting, too, to see how well we could read one another - I think Jen was more than a little disappointed in a few tactical withdrawals when the cards didn't turn our way. I think Munchkin is going to have a little competition, when it comes to deciding what game to goof off with.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-03

20100203_MG_5505Just hangin around
"Just hangin around"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-02

A&P lab today was fairly interesting. The fact that we were disecting pig eyes actually had nothing to do with my now daily gastric distress, which had arrived promptly 10 minutes before class, and was almost entirely focused on pain generation, rather than bile upheaval. Honestly, the procedure wasn't quite as disturbing as I had projected, and the eye ceased to be anything we could identify with the second the cornea had been removed - neat psychological trick there, I think.

Photography class, on the other hand, was a complete wash. Professor Becerra had just had a dental procedure of some sort that was fair more debilitating than he had anticipated, and he dismissed the class at precisely 5:01.

On the plus side, that allowed the girls and I to meet at Roxanne's a little early to study for tomorrow's quiz. I'm not sure how much of it stuck; felt a little like the description of a simple reflex arc (which completely bypasses the brain) was a little too relevant to our respective mindstates. In any case, it was a worthy effort, and I hope enough stays in the braincase that I'll do ok on multiple choice. If nothing else, the morning session before class ought to keep it fresh.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-02

20100202_MG_5477Drama Queen
"Drama Queen"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-02-01

After having played nice all weekend, snow returned to the Klamath basin today, coating nearly everything in a clean white coat. It was a fairly uneventful day, academically, but I'll have to admit I was quite distracted by intensely painful stomach pains that lasted from waking until perhaps 5 in the evening.

Seems like these issues are lasting an hour or two longer every day - doesn't bode well for tomorrow, I'm afraid.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-02-01

20100201_MG_5410Campus Cleaner
"Campus Cleaner"

January 2010 Picture Roundup

Since I've been keeping up on daily posts this month, rather than trying to summarize it all at the end, I think from here on out I'll just change to posting the slideshow links at the end of the month. Here's January!

2010-01 Picdump [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Retrospective: December 2009

20091206IMG_249120091206IMG_2519The fall term seemed to almost dash to an end as December hit. Finals came and went in the blink of an eye, barely giving me a chance to be nervous about the results. Fortunately, my grades prior to finals in all classes were all fairly well insulated, staying in the 85% or 95% range, making the final grades reasonably bulletproof.

20091210IMG_2994Cascade20091209IMG_2954Eden and Cassie stayed pretty busy with market in the weeks leading up to Christmas, braving chilly weather for lucrative mercantile opportunities. Sales this winter went a lot better than the previous year, making bringing the business into the black a real possibility as Eden continued to explore new mediums and projects while Cassie hawked her wares with passion and flair.

20091222Waiting at Home20091222IMG_3463We spent the final week before Christmas pet sitting for several friends, whenever we weren't at market or running errands like mad. While we truly enjoyed the company of Jake, Teddy, Rikki, and Spooky, we didn't really get a chance to take advantage of the relative peace of the respective homes.

20091224IMG_367620091224Fiber loveWe got to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrating with the Scheans, at Suzanne and Jon's and Pat's, respectively. Even with Libby and Tom out of town for the duration, we had a really nice time just sharing the day with the family.

20091226IMG_398020091230IMG_5579Finally, Eden and I set out for Minnesota on the 26th, to join my parents and introduce Eden to the wide variety of relatives she'd recently acquired as in-laws. Predictably, she was the hit of the show, quickly attaining the status of treasured, adopted granddaughter with the matriarchs of both clans. Of course, the cousins, aunts, and uncles loved her too.

20091230IMG_558620091229IMG_5304I have to admit, I did have a few hard moments on the trip, especially when hearing Eden speaking in the other room; seemed to jump directly on the brain circuits dedicated to recognizing her, and cross with those previously dedicated to Jessie, probably because most of the last intense memories I have of her were in these places, sharing her with my family. Eden, bless her heart, was wonderfully consoling, understanding clearly that my issues in no way represented a blow to our relationship. I can't describe how lucky I feel to have her to count on. Just another reason I love her so much.

2009-12 Picdump [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Retrospective: November 2009

20091105IMG_0088Not just another pretty face20091105IMG_0090The girls and I have been spending an almost obscene amount of time together lately, just trying to keep up with studying for Anatomy. This has also meant an opportunity to get some shots of Roxanne's daughter, Ivy. She's a precocious little thing, and an interesting reminder of how much I've missed having kids around to shoot. Adults are just too self conscious.

20091101IMG_962320091102IMG_9699The skies and sunsets have been particularly beautiful lately, which I personally find surprising, given how little pollution there is in the area to add color. Perhaps it has something to do with the elevation around here changing the angle to the horizon. Regardless, the results speak for themselves.

20091108IMG_020720091107IMG_0146I got a chance to come up to Portland to visit Eden on the 7th, while she was house sitting for Pat. Just a quick 3 day run, but still worth the drive. Even though it's a lot of driving in one day, I think I'm adapting to it, a little. Gives me time to think.

20091121IMG_136920091121IMG_1568I also fulfilled a longtime ambition on the 21st, playing second shooter for my friend Dennis at his friends' wedding. The day was chaotic and rushed, the lighting was horrible, and the weather frigid. I had a wonderful time, even so - I can't imagine that anyone's wedding ever goes absolutely to plan, and the love and good spirits shown during Craig and Kay's ceremony bode very well for their future together.

20091126IMG_210520091127IMG_2171The month finished out quite nicely, with a decent stretch of time off to head north to celebrate Eden's birthday with friends and family. We also got a chance to bring the Scheans family south for Thanksgiving, spending turkey day at my parents. It was a rousing success, and ended with promises of plans for years to come.

2009-11 Picdump [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.