Monthly Archives: August 2003

Meetings and pictures

Well, the meeting with the professors at NC State yesterday netted me a big ol’ bag of nothing. Well, maybe that’s overstating things. If nothing else, it’s contacts, and networking is always a Good Thing. Plus, one of them might have some small projects (10 hours total?) in a month or so. I’m dreadfully overqualified for them, but that just means he’s sure the finished product will be good. And I’d get paid – hey, that’s always a nice thing.

Stopped by to look at the Saturn as it sits in the repair shop’s parking lot. You know, it doesn’t look like $4,300 worth of damage, but what do I know?
Here’s some pictures of the damage

Because rigelkitty reminded me: The Friday Five

1. Are you going to school this year?
Oddly enough, yes. After graduating from college with a Master’s degree eight years ago, I’m back taking classes, though not technically for credit.

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
The classes are from NC State’s Food Sciences program and are part of a battery of food safety training courses. Previously, I graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering in 1991 and from Virginia Tech with a Masters in Chemical Engineering in 1995.

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
Probably “The Rise of Rome,” taken in my freshman year when I attended Tulane University. It was a case of having a professor who was brilliant in making the material come alive and I enjoyed the class immensely. In my field, the Unit Operations Lab that I took over the summer while I was at Clemson was probably the hardest, most demanding class I ever had, and by far the most rewarding in preparing me for working in industry.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
Anything taught by Bud Rice in the Chemical Engineering department at Clemson. Not a particularly nice guy, and an absolutely horrible teacher. And naturally, I had him for five semesters running.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
Garth Wilkes (Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech) does a good job at taking an immensely complex subject, polymer science, and making it understandable. Plus, he’s a pretty nice guy, which helps.

So, what’s going on?

Well, we got some good news yesterday. The other insurance company looked at the Saturn and is cutting us a check for the repairs – to the tune of $4,000+ dollars. Honestly, I’m not sure what they’re using as a value, but I would think that’s pushing the “let’s just total it” amount. I’m sure not going to complain, though! We’re going to have it towed over to the body shop today, get them a copy of the estimate (get a copy o the estimate ourselves, as well!) and see what we can do to get this show on the road.

Been a busy couple of days. The classes I’m taking now are interesting – a lot of information on food sanitation in food processing plants, standard operating procedures, and the like. I may or may not ever actually put this stuff to good use, but it’s useful and good to know regardless. Lots of reading involved in the these courses so far, though; the web is a wonderful thing, but the drawback is that it makes it easier to lose track of the scale of the readings. One of the classes had about 300 pages of “required reading” for the first assignment, most of it federal regulations. Gah!

This afternoon I have an appointment with a couple of professors in the NC State Food Sciences department to discuss the possibility of doing some work for them. It would pay about half of what I used to make, but at this point any income is good income. The only question is if we can set it up on a month-to-month basis, something that the NC State employment system doesn’t deal with too well. We’ll see how this works out.

So, the plan right now is that on Sunday morning I’m going to hop in the car at ohmygod O’clock and hit the road for Chicago. This should get me to rustitobuck‘s around 7-ish, probably. We’re going to get a few folks together on Monday to hang out, maybe see a bit of the town, and just enjoy the company (interested in joining us? Let me know!). Hazy plans for the week include driving out to Schaumburg with Barbarian and Chouette to scout new restaurants for the MFF Restaurant Guide, and making a trip to Boystown with Partran. Oh, and of course, dinner and a play on Friday night. I’m a bit concerned – I have all of seven RSVP’s so far, and the minimum number for Giordano’s is thirty. I expect things will pick up next week when I re-post the announcement, though – right now everyone’s focusing on Labor Day activities or Mephit Furmeet.

Speaking of MFM, I admit I have this ridiculous urge to jump in the car a couple of days early and make a 9-hour detour to Memphis. Of course, the lack of a hotel room and the additional gas and dining costs make this a Bad Idea, but hey, it would be fun.

Well, that really sucked

As takaza mentioned in his journal, he was in a car accident today. He’s fine except for a bit of a headache, but the Saturn is sitting in the towing lot – the front corner on the driver’s side is crunched in, the headlight’s shattered, and the frame in that corner may be bent. There’s no question that the other guy was at fault, and his insurance company is going to pay for the damages and the rental car. My only worry is that the repairs be expensive enough that they’ll want to total the car (the Blue Book value on the care is only $5,150). We’ll have to see what the appraiser has to say next week.

But you know what? In the end, the car isn’t what matters. The car is just stuff. What really matters is Dan is OK. I love him so much, and I would do anything and be anywhere for him. This just reminded me of how important he is in my life. I’m so very, very lucky.

Did you ever notice…

Did you ever notice that when things worth writing about in your LJ are happening, there’s no time to write about it in your LJ? That kind of describes the past few days for me.

Over the weekend, we were graced by the company of zenwolph, perro, pandaguy, brophey, and rasslor. We hit the high points from past parties – Carolina Brewing Company, the NC State Farmers Market, and a new addition – Silvia d’Italia Gelato Cafe. In between all that we had some good food, some nice relaxing downtime, and the funniest game of CatchPhrase I’ve ever been a part of. It was a lovely weekend, and I’m very glad everyone could make it. I’m looking ahead to October and the North Carolina State Fair – if we’re still around, that might be a good opportunity to get some folks together. We’ll keep folks up to date as plans evolve.

The bummer of the weekend was Brophey’s car problems. Everything was fine until Sunday, when the car just wouldn’t start. They stuck around Sunday night and had the car towed to the dealership. The dealership, unfortunately, took a while figuring out what was wrong, and when they finally did they had to go hunting for the part. This meant another night in Raleigh for Brophey and Rasslor. It sucked, but at least the company was good – dinners at Dakota Grill and Outback were enjoyed. They finally got the car fixed and the wolf and the bear got on the road around 2:30 PM Tuesday.

Tuesday night, Takaza and I mainly just sat and watched TiVo. Very nice, very relaxing.

Today, well it’s been a bit crazy. After a morning spent doing the usual job hunting, I got a call from a recruiter. Unfortunately, it was for a company that I interviewed with back in October of last year. Nuts. Then it was off to run some errands – a bit of shopping at Target and Kohl’s, and then grocery shopping. Oh yeah, and one more minor thing: I stopped by North Carolina State University to register for some classes.

Yes, I registered for three classes at NC State, part of the HACCP Coordinator training (FACCP = Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) – Intro to HACCP, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Sanitary Standard Operating Procedures. The nice thing is that they are Internet classes, designed so that I really never even have to go on campus if need be. If I get a job and have to move, it’s not a problem. With any luck, this might be a foot in the door into the pharmaceutical or food engineering fields. I’ll write more about this later – time to go to work on dinner!