Thoughts on Improvement

Recently, I’ve been faced with the challenge of improving. Improvement works in a funny way. At first, improving is easy, it comes naturally, and it feels weird not to have improvement. Shortly thereafter though, Improvement becomes something almost to be avoided. I’ve noticed this mainly because I feel like I may have been avoiding improvement.

Improvement avoidance comes in at a certain time, right after you get comfortable with where you are. Let’s take UTV62.com as an example. I had gotten into a groove with it, spending only few hours on it every week, to rip the NAULive! DVD and put the new episode on the web site, with the occasional dose of “removing old stuff from the web site because we’ve reached our quota.” Doing it this way is fine in some ways, it lets me focus on doing the NAULive! episodes really nicely, but as a result of having gotten myself into that rut, the UTV62 homepage has found itself in similar rut. It has become stale, when it was once fresh and kept moderately up to date.

Another area for Improvement has been my relationship with Megan. The problem here is that I’m simply not sure what the next step should be. I know that there is one, but what is it? On the other hand, what I have to wonder is whether or not that’s a situation that even demands improvement. If the relationship is fine where it is, then maybe I should wait on improvement until it becomes “not so fine.”

I’ve also noticed a bit of an improvement rut at the helpdesk. We spent the first half of the semester continuously improving, and now that it’s near the end of the semester, improvement seems impossible. I am tempted to say that I’ve even seen some people’s performance slip downhill, because they’re comfortable with where they’re at.

I’ve decided that this is one of the main reasons I am here at Northern Arizona University, taking classes, and going beyond what is required of me by joining student organizations such as UTV62, and having a job at the helpdesk. By doing this, I’m improving, and that’s what I need to remember when I am in danger of getting into an improvement rut.

Epic Photo Lab Night

(This is posted a day later than it was written)

Last night, I had what you might refer to as an epic photo lab night. I arrived at about 3:15 p.m. because I was luckily very early in getting finished with my BIO100L work, and then stayed until about 9:30. I printed more than five different compositions for the photography project, which was awesome because I needed a least that many. This way, I can eliminate some of the less desirable compositions.

I’ve decided that six and a quarter hours in the photo lab is a bit too much, and I’ve still got a bit of the headache from last night, and I even spent a good chunk of my time in the photo lab applying copious amounts of HeadOn.

Additionally, if I really wanted to, I could actually begin mounting the film-based photos today. Of course, I am going to wait until I get the digital photos back from Photographic Works, hopefully sooner than later, I need to find out how to start using them.

Another thing I need to do I start considering gifts for the various people in my life. I may print some extra photos for some of them, but I am not certain yet exactly what I’ll do.


Psychology of Colors

Today I took an odd bus ride, mainly because I didn't feel like walking in the cold from the comm building back to Gabaldon, in my flip flops. (basically, I keep running out of socks, I need to unpack some more it seems.) They've got a new bus for the NAU bus line apparently, and I think it either is supposed to be, or was at one point in time an airport shuttle. The door is in the middle of the body, instead of up front, or instead of there being two doors.

The most odd thing about it though was the eerie green color on the inside of the bus. They used fluorescent tubes that had a plastic cover with a green film, casting the eerie green glow. I wonder if there's a specific reason the manufacturer of the bus would include that, or even have it as an option. Do people who ride airport shuttles get angry? Does the green give them a sense of calmness added to the feeling of "going", as though to make them feel like they aren't late?


More Memory

Today I received and installed the new memory in the ThinkPad. As you'll recall, this is a Core2Duo/1.5 and it previously had 1.5 gigs of memory. It also had a GMA X3100 Intel integrated graphics accelerator. I dropped a 2-gig stick of PC2-5300 in, and this thing now flies. With an explorer window, OneNote, Firefox, Google Talk, XChat, Ruckus, ThunderBird and this word document, plus a bunch of system tray icons and the sidebar running, it's using just about 56% of the system memory. I quit using sidebar before I started using the Internet on this machine, and I am quite impressed with the ram usage on this thing now.

Needless to say, if there's one upgrade anybody is thinking of doing to their computer, let's just confirm that the best one to do is memory. I am even thinking that at some point in time, I would not mind switching to 64-bit Vista and putting another 2 gig stick in, for a total of 4 gigs, but it's not a very high priority for me. By doing 2gig+1gig, I miss out on the speed benefit of having matched ramwith integrated graphics, but I don't mind so much because of how well it's running now anyway. Although I'm tempted to think about the increase in my WEI score if I were to drop a fresh install of Vista X64 on here, with matched 2gig sticks.

In other news, I'm not behind on my novel. I'm also not ahead, but I'm not behind. In other other news, the flash kit, and some other things arrived for my camera. The lightsphere thing looks really cool, and the flash shines very brightly with the rechargeable batteries.


Spring 2008 Registration

Well, I've registered for spring 2008. I've got German 202, PHO382, History 102, Online VC251, and CIS120. I also want to get EMF252-4 again, and I would really like to sign up for PHO381, but VC251 was a prerequisite for that. I will ask an advisor or one of the photo faculty members if I can sign up for that anyway. Overall, it's pretty good and without the EMF and additional Photo class, I've got 16 credits, which is more units than I have this semester, plus I'm working on whacking out some more of those liberal studies requirements, which is always a good thing.

It looks like I've got almost exclusively Tuesday/Thursday classes, except of course for my German class, but that's earlier in the day next semester, at 9:10 instead of 10:20. I'll probably have to start going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up in preparation for 8am work or classes, and just do homework in the morning. Of course, I've promised myself that a very long time and it's never happened, so we'll see how far I get in regularizing my sleep schedule.

In other news, Megan and I went on a date last Friday to Olive Garden, and then watched a movie for a bit at her room. Then I worked Saturday morning, then Meaghan's barbecue was Saturday afternoon, then I actually got to sleep a bit Saturday night, had to work Sunday evening, went to Chili's with Megan, Glenn & Douglas last night, and worked again at 8am this morning. My week continues like this until this coming Friday, when I might be able to sleep after work. Ah well, I suppose it's better than doing nothing.



Yeah, I've reached 20,000.


Night Over, Broken Phone

Today, I worked a shift for one of my coworkers, because I quite like the Saturday morning shift, and because I'm a nice person like that. It was great until I realized that it was so great because the agent phone out in the lab was broken. (Saturday morning works out in the lab a lot like the overnight shifts do.) I tried a different cable but it didn't work, so naturally it's a switch problem, or the phone itself is broken. I called Mel and got permission to try a different cable, but that didn't help.

Anyway, I'm back here in the office working out the rest of my shift instead of in the lab. It's not much of a difference because there are so few people here anyway, but it does make me say things like "wow, I can't wait for the lab aides to get here" which I don't say all that often.

On another note, Megan asked me to stay with her last night because of her scare from yesterday involving some creepy guy who likes entering random rooms. It was the first time this year I've slept on a low bed, and I do say that I miss it ever-so-slightly. Also of note, we can sleep on the same twin mattress successfully if we don't have any additional padding. And no, nothing other than sleeping happened. Well, we did watch "Meet the Robinsons" which is an amazing movie, just so you know.

Also, my NaNoWriMo wordcount is about 7,300 now. Pretty good I think, but I am totally looking forward to increasing that, instead of the word count of my blog.


NaNo Started!

Well, it's started and I'm already on-schedule! My NaNo wordcount is now, as per Word 2007, at approximately 1800 words. It's nice because I am busier this semester so I'd like to get as far ahead as I can. So far, the ThinkPad is holding up fairly well, considering it's running Windows Vista on only 1 gigabyte of memory. I had to restart it by force this morning, but since then it's been behaving great and I am well on my way to winning this year's NaNo.

In other news, Last night was Amber's Halloween party at "The Love Shack." It was great, and I went with Megan and Meaghan (although I was with Megan the whole time, and Meaghan was having more fun with our coworkers.) I'm glad that Halloween comes only once per year, because dying my hair, doing up the costume, wearing makeup, among other things. It was great fun and many people complemented me on my costume, but I maintain my happiness at not having to do that too often. Let's just say that undoing Meaghan's hair product involved ripping out about half of my hair in the shower last night.

Anyway, off to a great start this November, and so far I'm only about a quarter dead!