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Archive for May, 2006

catch-up

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Okay, it’s been a while since my last post. A lot has happened, but my web presence has been pretty limited. Two words: Moving sucks.

Let’s see what all has happened…

Well, I graduated. I really wondered about my grade in my Theoretical Foundations of Computing class, but I did manage to pull it off. It was a little stressful waiting for the grades to get posted, but all was well.

Graduation Day was interesting. We got lucky in that the weather was cloudy and cool. I’ve been to plenty of graduations out in the sun and that sucks. Heck, it even rained on us, but they gave us rain ponchos as we walked out onto the field. President Bush made quite an entrance with the helicopters flying over the stadium. They (“they” being the President and his entourage, filling 4 or 5 helicopters) landed on the practice football field just east of Gallagher-Iba. President Bush’s speech was a good one. It was short at about 20 minutes, but that’s not such a bad thing. Many keynote speakers drone on forever. It was pretty much non-partisan and very much a graduation speech; not a political speech. It really made those protesters seem stupid. In effect, despite what many of them claimed, they were protesting our graduation and not the government’s policies. I didn’t walk down to the protesting area, but from the signs I read, and the stuff I heard from their PA system, they were pretty pathetic. They assumed the speech would be political and wound up making fools of themselves. The media gave them a heck of a lot of coverage, though.

After the preliminary speeches were done, everyone left for lunch and got ready for the 2 graduation walk ceremonies in the afternoon. We went to Pat’s apartment for a little gathering Pat and Mom put together. They did a real good job. Pat’s apartment is pretty small, but we managed to just fit.

For the walk part, we were inside Gallagher-Iba. I was far from the last person to line up for the procession from the A&S gathering site to the arena, but lots of people pushed forward so as not to look like they were late and I wound up at basically the end of the entire walking process. It took so long I think I might have fallen asleep waiting for my name. I’m sure glad that is over.

The next day was a moving day for me. I intended to move out before noon, but it wound up taking until nearly 21:00 for me to get done. That was a long day. I then spent the week with Pat.

The next weekend was for moving my stuff out to Memphis. That was one heck of a drive. I hate driving. Have I mentioned that? I hate driving.

My next week consisted of me catching up on a season worth of TV shows. Except for Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy, I had Beyond TV recording everything I wanted to watch for the semester. Wow was that a lot of shows, but I did get caught up.

When Shinta got back to Memphis, we went to see Mission: Impossible III. It’s a fun action film. I don’t get all the negative press over it. I thought it was about as good as the second film. I particularly enjoyed the action. It was constantly moving forward. They had it cram packed with HK weapons too. I also noted that some of the mercs in the bridge scene were carrying Krinkovs. Gotta give props to the great AKS-74U.

The next day (Saturday) we caught Over the Hedge. It’s a really funny film. I enjoyed it. I didn’t exactly enjoy the little kids and the huge mess they made in the theater, but it was a good film. I recommend it. As intended, it’s good for all ages.
Then, Sunday, was Marrina’s graduation. So, I made the long drive back to OKC for that. While there I picked up the grandparents so that they could spend the week with us in Memphis. It was a wonderful week. It has been a long time since I’ve been around them for such a period of time and it was great. We took them to the Wat Buddhasamakeedham for the yearly memorial of my dad’s death and Uncle O took them back to OKC with him. I hope it wasn’t the last time they stay with us.

When we got back to Memphis, we went to see The Da Vinci Code. It’s a good thriller. I never read the book, but the story was really good. Most of the twists I didn’t expect and they were interesting. I don’t understand why the critics didn’t like this one either, but I did. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the book, but it was good.
Last night we went to see X-Men: The Last Stand. That was a good film too. At least in the summer blockbuster sense. It thought it was about as good as the first film (the second was the best of the three). It was well done and I think well written. The special effects were mostly good. There were a few things that the special effects could have improved on, but for the most part it was fairly seemless. No spoilers here, but there were a couple of interesting twists I didn’t expect.

I think that catches things back up.

Inconsiderate clods to protest my graduation

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

I saw some new signs in the dorms today.  They say “Protest Bush” and have a couple of URL’s.  I think this one is the one to look at:

http://www.oklahomansfordemocracy.org/

Well, I have a problem with this.  I may be a conservative, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the problem I have.  The problem I have isn’t that they want to protest the President.  The problem I have is that they want to protest a graduation.  Now, their site says:

This is not an effort to disrupt or disturb the commencement or graduation (graduation is being held later in the day seperate from commencement). This is an effort to express our concerns in a peaceful fashion without causing a major disruption in the events. This is not an effort to affect the ceremony inside as that belong to the graduates. There is a group of concerned graduates that has formed which can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ostategradprotest. The graduate group is not associated with this protest.

Well, phooey on that.  They time they are doing it is from 8am to 12pm and on campus just across the way from the stadium.  It’s before during and after the commencement portion of the graduation.  That’s protesting a graduation.  I don’t care how they want to put it, that’s protesting a graduation.  That’s protesting my graduation.  If they want to protest a political event, fine.  If they want to protest a meet and greet, fine.  Protesting a graduation is not fine.  If the President was going to be at a wedding, would it be okay to protest the wedding?  NO!  Just because they can do something doesn’t mean they should.

I don’t know.  I just rubs me wrong that they’d protest a graduation.  If Hillary is elected in 2008 and she gives a speech at a graduation in my area.  I wouldn’t even think of protesting that.  If Carter were giving this speech (and were still a sitting President), I would be lining up to hear him speak.  It doesn’t matter to me that I don’t agree with their politics.  Being there and hearing what they say without having the media be the intermediary is a special thing.  We should all hope to be in the presense of our leaders at least once.  Not because they are better than us.  Not because they are powerful, but because what they do affects the world.  We need to evaluate them on personal experiences and not just what we read/hear/see in the media. Okay, rant mode off.  I’m just frustrated to see all this talk of protest on what should be a happy day.

They’re here (cue creepy music)

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Well, the government has been out and about preparing for the President’s arrival.  I was starting the think that the USSS was *really* good, as I hadn’t seen anything odd or out of place (except for that bicycle cop that kept staring at me as I walked to dinner).  Well, yesterday we had a flight of 3 or 4 (I think just caught a fleeting glimpse through my window)  Sikorsky Sea Kings.  Then, today, I heard some noise and looked out the window to see 2 Chinooks up about 250 feet AGL making turns to head over campus (in the direction of the stadium).  At dinner Pat told me she saw them landing on the football practice field.  So, I guess we have the general route for the President worked out.  Air Force One will fly into Vance Air Force Base about 08:30 and then the President will board a helicopter and head toward Stillwater.  He’ll land on the practice football field and be ushered into a secure location somewhere in Gallagher-Iba where he’ll probably meet with a few of the local big wigs and get prepared for his speech.  I bet his exit will be pretty much the reverse.  Bush doesn’t seem to be the type that will stick around for something like Eskimo Joes (like his dad), but maybe I’m wrong.

Here’s a link to the FAA TFR (no idea how long this link will last):

http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/notams.html#6/6677