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#5140 – whew and whew

man, my legs are killing me.

hi, i’m glenn, you probably remember me from my previous writings on lj. ok, so a long-overdue post!

yes, i really did graduate. my last grade finally posted online on august 28 and it turned out that i got straight B’s for the semester… not as good as my previous semester with straight A’s, but i’ll take what i can get for working full-time and going to school full-time this last semester. but i finished at umuc with a 3.158 gpa, so that’s awesome too.

a few days after that we had a graduation party for both feisty_fitz and myself. mom’s got pictures of the event here, and it was lots of fun times. 🙂 spent a lot of the next day feeling nostalgic and in a “oh shit what do i do now” mood, and ran some small errands like getting my car washed and stuff like that. navy was having their first home football game of the year that afternoon, and it made getting to the house difficult.

sunday was a family graduation / labor day pool party and barbecue at an aunt and uncle’s place (feisty_fitz has photos up here), and that was also fun since i hadn’t gone swimming at all during the entire summer.

monday – labor day – the family picked up pap-pap from riderwood and took him out to ihop for breakfast. i noticed that it was the same host that led us to our table and the same waiter that we had when we went to the same ihop for the same purpose on labor day 2007, which seemed a little weird.

i ordered a firewire 800 drobo and three 1 TB hard drives (and added a 750 gig drive to fill all four bays), and it’s totally awesome. i’ve got it set up so my home directory on my computer is actually stored on the drobo, so not only do i have a ton of storage space available, but it’s a ton of redundant storage space so i don’t have to worry about things suddenly disappearing… well, unless i actually erase something by accident (i’m still trying to figure out if/how i might be able to set up time machine to do its backup thing with this setup i’ve got, but at least i’m a lot happier now than when my 1.5 TB drive – actually two 750 gig drives set up in a striped configuration – decided to have one of the disks go kaput… i managed to rescue a lot of my stuff, but i lost a bunch of stuff as well. hence the lone 750 gig drive in my drobo). it’s also plugged into a UPS that i got from william, since he had no need for it anymore and it was just taking up space, so no worries about the power suddenly going out either.

i got one of these “happy anniversary for being at your job for 5 years” cards about a week ago, and i actually felt insulted. see, previous ones that i received were “signed” (and when i say “signed” i mean “had a printed signature”) by some big mucky-muck with the company like a president of the northeast area or even the president of the washington/baltimore/virginia area. this year it was from the vice president of federal accounts who actually knows the names of the people in the department, unlike the previously-mentioned mucky-mucks. i really doubt that if i went up to him and thanked him for the card that he’d have any idea what i was talking about and i’m very skeptical that he’d know how many years i’ve been with the company if i were to ask him, all because a) it’s one of these things that is just sent out by human resources to make you feel good about going to work, and b) with having just a printed signature on it, it’s very impersonal. i know that he’s got to be a busy guy and probably doesn’t have the time to sit there and sign x / 12 anniversary cards each month (where x is however many employees are in the federal team), but i think i’d much prefer getting the cards with the pre-printed signature from somebody in the company who has never met me (like the president of the northeast area) over getting no card whatsoever from someone who has. like i said, it was very impersonal, and while i’m not looking for a ticker-tape parade or anything for being with the company for 5 years, it didn’t make me feel sincerely appreciated.

i picked up a wii, and managed to find a wii fit (it’s probably upset at me since i haven’t had a chance to work out in the last few days :P) as well. it’s been pretty fun! if you’ve got one, my wii number is 1669 8071 9677 4290 if you want to add me and tell me your wii number as well.

i was thinking about putting my graduation moneys toward and saving up to get a canon 40D, but then when i did some research i found out that the canon 50d was announced just a few days before i had this thought. it’s about $500 more than the 40D, but has 15 MP compared to the 40D’s 10 MP, so there’s the big question: is $500 worth an extra 5 megapixels and increased resolution, especially when the cost of the 40D ought to go down as a result of this new camera? that’s a tough call, especially after looking at some sample images taken with a pre-production camera. hell, my G9 can do 12.1 MP and it’s practically a pocket point-n-shoot! it’d be weird to have an SLR that has less resolution even if it does have increased manual functions and focus points, great for shooting things like roller derby and any other sporting events.

i also thought about upgrading my version of photoshop from CS2 to CS3, and then i found out that adobe just announced that CS4 should be demoed/released later this month. what is up with all this thinking about getting something and then a more awesomer version getting announced??

one thing that i’m glad that i got and probably wouldn’t care if they came out with a new one because it’s so awesome is my amazon kindle. seriously. i’ve had it for almost 3 weeks now, and in this time i’ve done more (non-school) reading than i did in the last 2 years. seriously, i don’t mind paying for books, and when i want to read something, i want to read it ASAP and don’t want to have to hunt it down at the library or bookstore, or wait for it to arrive in the mail from amazon or wherever. the kindle is perfect for me because i can add books to it quickly in a few different ways:

  • browse the kindle bookstore on the device itself over “whispernet”, their connection to sprint’s wireless network and buy your reading material on the device itself
  • browse the kindle bookstore on amazon.com and purchase the material online, which sends your purchase directly to the device wirelessly through whispernet as well
  • email certain file formats to an email address you set up @kindle.com to be converted and sent directly into the device for $0.10 / item
  • email certain file formats to an email address you set up @free.kindle.com to be converted and emailed back to you so you can download and copy into the device via a USB cable for free
  • purchase the books online through amazon’s kindle store, and download the files to your computer so you can load the files into the device by using the USB cable (what you’d have to do if you don’t have whispernet coverage). you can do this with certain other formats as well, like plain text files.

    let me give you some examples of how awesome it is:

    i subscribed to the washington post for $9.99 / month because i like reading the news, but i never remember to pick up a newspaper at the newspaper vending machine at work. as long as i have my kindle with me, it downloads the latest issue into it overnight, wherever i am. so, if i’m at home, or if i crashed at cynicalscribe‘s place, either way i’ve got that day’s paper to read. bonus: i don’t have newspapers piling up for me to recycle or pick up at home or have someone retrieve if i won’t be home for a while or get soggy if it gets rained on in the driveway. when i’m done, i just delete the issue from the device.

    i’ve bought a few books and read them on the device. i don’t believe that any of the books i’ve purchased have been more than $9.99 — while there are some, i’d say that about 85% of the books that i’ve seen have been $9.99 or less, and i’m cool with that. “but books at the library are free!” you say? that means that i have to find a location that has the book that i want available, go to the library and pick it up when i get an opportunity to, and hope that i finish the book by the time it’s due. if i haven’t finished the book, then i need to remember to renew the book or take it back to the library, which i’ll admit doesn’t always happen (when i explained this to my coworkers, i think that they think i bought this because my picture was on the wall of the library for delinquent returns). after all that, i don’t mind paying the $9.99 for finding the book right away and not having any hassle. with the kindle, as long as the book is in their store, it’s so easy to find and purchase, and it takes only about a minute to receive the book too. this is again so awesome because i was listening to a podcast and they mentioned this book that sounded like it’d be a very interesting read, and even before they finished doing a 3-4 minute synopsis and review of the book, i had already grabbed my kindle, found the book, purchased and downloaded it, all while i was still at my desk at work. like i said, i’m compulsive when i want to start reading something. and while i was reading this book, the author mentioned another book in the text that sounded interesting, so i pushed the “search” button, typed in “@store” and the book title, and was able to download a sample of the book’s first chapter and head back to my book in just a minute… if i like that sample, then it’s just a few more button presses to buy the entire thing.

    but this also requires that the book be available in the kindle store online, which isn’t true for all books. as another example, i *ahem* acquired information about where a .pdf of the entire fellowship of the ring books were online, and sent that pdf to the kindle.com email address so that it could be converted and sent to my kindle for me to read, because really, it’s worth it to me to just pay the $0.10 for the convenience of not having to plug the kindle in after i’ve found my USB cord and get it copied over, and that just takes a few moments to convert and transmit wirelessly.

    plus i’ve found myself using the built-in dictionary a lot more than i thought i would instead of just skipping over the word and trying to figure its meaning based on the context, and used the built-in wikipedia search “@wiki” to look up information about one of the vice presidents of the united states when i came across their name in a washington post article about the office of the vice president.

    it’s the perfect size and weight to hold (some books can be annoying), and even though the page blinks to refresh when you turn the page, you seriously don’t notice it after a few minutes. you can change the text size (handy when i was reading at work under bright lighting and could use a smaller font, compared to when i was reading at home and needed a larger one due to more subdued light).

    in short, i’m <3ing my kindle and i totally didn’t mean to go on a kindle love-fest even though i still may do a more refined and detailed review for my glennfitzpatrick.com site (maybe even with pictures and movies!) because you can’t really understand its awesomeness until you actually see it in use – someone online said that amazon should sell it like tupperware and have people throw kindle-parties, hahaha. andy ihnatko also has a good review of it, too.

    this past weekend was my cousin jonathan’s wedding (actually his second, which is kind of crazy when you think that he’s my age or a year or two younger, but it sounds like he’s much happier with this new girl than with his old one). cynicalscribe had a roller derby bout in lancaster on saturday, so we drove up through the hurricane for the derby bout, and then the next day i drove another 2 1/2 hours or so from lancaster up to stroudsburg for the wedding. good wedding, and i almost cracked up when they mentioned during the wedding how he and his wife met “over pizza, a movie and ping-pong” and how even though that was a very simplified version of the first time they met, carrie and i meeting at demondogdondite‘s tom jones 40 oz party is a much more chuckles “how we met” story (and lj post too, now that i’m re-reading this from the archive, hahaha).

    feisty_fitz said that she heard one of the bridesmaids complaining in the bathroom about being single and having nobody to dance with, and though i unfortunately didn’t really have a chance to ask this cute bridesmaid to dance, it just so happened that she ended up catching the bouquet and i ended up catching the garter (i was up against some big tall dude and when we batted it down to the ground i pounced on it like a fumble, hah!). BUT… the dj never announced for me to put the garter on the girl, and that was totally lame. just my luck (though cynicalscribe claims she bribed the dj from her secret lair to conveniently skip this all-important step)! 🙁 🙁 🙁 my coworkers thought the story about it was funny, though, and they cracked up when they said “so you caught the garter… know what this means?” and i just sighed and said “yeah…”, as well as them teasing me “you must have really wanted to get at that bridesmaid’s leg if you pounced on that garter like you said you did!”, haha. no pictures up online yet, though.

    drove back about 3 1/2 hours back home last night and was all tuckered out once i got home. neat fact: i was able to get from columbia, to stroudsburg via lancaster, and back all the way to annapolis all on one tank of gas – 455 miles!

    once i unloaded and unpacked, since i had completed my job application and résumé and cover letter, i submitted an application to google for their associates and associate manager roles in either boston, mountain view or san francisco. who knows if anything’ll come of it, but why not try? i also got a lead from my cousin’s cousin (cousin once removed?) who works for booz allen hamilton and suggested i try applying there as well, so we’ll see.

    woke up 5 minutes after i was supposed to leave for work this morning and so had to take an hour of vacation first thing this morning. work itself was ok, but i’m ready for a change.

    ok, time for bed!

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