Too much free time

Who complains about too much free time?  Well, with no wife or kids, a dislike for many common social activities- okay let’s just go with the truth here and say no friends I hang out with outside of church, and work that takes less than the normal eight hours plus lunch per standard, I just have too much free time.  What do I do with it?  Get movies from the library, spend time on the internet, and play games mostly- what a life, eh?  In the last few days I have even purchased several games on Steam– did they have to make it so easy?  I didn’t even use steam until they had a $9.99 sale on their Orange Box collection a few months ago.  Now I have the complete Luxor marble game collection, Ghostbusters, GRID, and Osmos.  Anther service called Direct2Drive also successfully tempted me with a $5 sale a short time back.  I added no less than a half-dozen games from them including Neverwinter Nights 2 and Serious Sam Gold.  A waste of time and money really.  Well, I have been playing a lot of Serious Sam and the Luxor games, so just a waste of time in their case.  To be fair, I didn’t pay much for any of the titles, nowhere near full price, but still…

So what can I do instead?  Theatre groups abound in this area, but I know very few of them anymore- I would have to look them up again.  I have also looked a little into compassion ministries, serving those in need.  I still have to look it up on the church website as I was directed to a few weeks ago.  The obvious one in most people’s minds is the friends issue.  I have been to singles group, but it was very uncomfortable for me so I really don’t go anymore.  No friends that way.  Perhaps through the other two potential outlets?  I don’t know.  I know I have needed to schedule a quiet time with God, but I have known that for so long I wonder if I am really capable?

For now though I just sit here on the computer…

Now back in *MY* day…

While reading my daily, I came across this article they blogged about.  For those of us in our middle years it is really quite interesting.  To get you started, I have reprinted two or three from each section, but to read them all you will have to click the title or end of the article to go to the source.  What really makes me feel old is the inclusion of 90s things like the Playstation… 😮

Oh, be sure to click the link at the source about the young teen trying out a Walkman for a week, the MP3 player of the 80s.

UPDATE: I just visited Worthy Christian Forums, and apparently someone posted this same article, but with 37 more things (plus more in the replies)!  At a glance, I could see they weren’t just tacked on to the end and I’m too lazy to figure out which are new, so CLICK HERE TO GO TO READ ALL 137 THINGS

Audio-Visual Entertainment:

1. Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.

8. 8-track cartridges.

Computers and Videogaming:

19. The scream of a modem connecting.

22. Using jumpers to set IRQs.

33. Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.

The Internet:

38. Using a road atlas to get from A to B.

44. Filling out an order form by hand, putting it in an envelope and posting it.

56. When Spam was just a meat product — or even a Monty Python sketch.


58. Putting film in your camera: 35mm may have some life still, but what about APS or disk?

69. Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.

Everything Else:

70. Taking turns picking a radio station, or selecting a tape, for everyone to listen to during a long drive.

81. Han shoots first.

86. Finding books in a card catalog at the library.

(beginning of actual article follows below)

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About

By Nathan Barry
July 22, 2009
8:00 am

There are some things in this world that will never be forgotten, this week’s 40th anniversary of the moon landing for one. But Moore’s Law and our ever-increasing quest for simpler, smaller, faster and better widgets and thingamabobs will always ensure that some of the technology we grew up with will not be passed down the line to the next generation of geeks.

That is, of course, unless we tell them all about the good old days of modems and typewriters, slide rules and encyclopedias …


Busy busy

With a new school year comes not just employment but things going on at my church as well.  Okay, I haven’t been that busy, but compared to just a week ago it seems like it.  Also, I have been catching up on my internet reading since I was down for much of last week.  It still goes down daily, but they tell me I have a perfect connection and it must be the work they’re doing in the area.  I can only hope it goes away after awhile proving them right, otherwise I’ll be stuck since they’ll never find anything with my “perfect” connection.

Monday I took a half-day job, but when I got there I found out the secretary put a teacher’s request in for the wrong day.  They then proceeded to remove the assignment from my job list so I can only hope I’ll get some sort of compensation for it, but if not I least I can have the satisfaction of working only four periods today and getting a full day’s pay for it (the norm for middle school is six periods).  The teacher came in to work and decided he was too ill to work so I picked up the late assignment.  I did not work first period as a result.  Then I found out the teacher only has five periods, helping out in the office a 6th period.  That is not normal and they didn’t have me do it, though I did ask about it.  To top it off, the teacher has a student teacher so he did most of the work.  Cool.

Yesterday was an easy day too, though when I got there I was a little concerned as the teacher didn’t leave any lesson plans.  Fortunately I only had to teach one class.  The rest were either co-teach classes (you know what that means- the other teacher does the teaching an I help as an assistant) or resource/study hall.  As it turned out the one class they were just working out of a packet, so I just taught the next page of the packet and had them start their homework in class.  Of course when I got home I found an email outlining the plans- apparently the system allows for a teacher to upload the plans to the sub-system and have them emailed to the sub.  Having never had this happen before, I never realized it could do this so I never bothered to check my email before heading to work.  Fortunately for me I had pretty much followed the plans without realizing it! Whew…

Besides work I had my usual small group Monday night and tonight I had rehearsals for both children’s drama, which starts up again this weekend, and choir.  Since they overlapped, I had to miss a little bit of each.  I just wish it hadn’t been the first rehearsal as that is one that people shouldn’t miss, even in part.  Well, that’s how it goes I guess.  I have two more choir rehearsals next week and will have to miss small group as a result but they understand about that- it only happens a few times a year.  I’ll just have to make sure they are set on song lyrics as that’s kind of my job- I usually set up a couple of powerpoints and bring my computer in.  That’s one of the nice things about this new computer.  I guess I will just have to print something up and drop them off- I’ll be in the same building after all.  Someone else provides the music by the way in case you’re wondering.  My small group starts off each week with a couple of worship songs.

Well, that’s it for now.  Time to get ready for some sleep.  It’s going to be another early day tomorrow.

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First full day of the year!

And only day this week, partly thanks to my connection issues which are unfortunately still ongoing.  I had no internet at all for yesterday afternoon and evening, while today it’s been intermittent.  I wonder if the signal is now too powerful if that’s possible?  I mean, it was going through a cable that was chewed or worn to the center wire, so it’s possible that in the past they have had to increase it to compensate (the cable didn’t get that way overnight after all) and now that it’s fixed, the signal may be too strong.  Just throwing a guess out which is probably completely off.  The tech who was here was unable to measure it as his portable reader needed recharging.  Since the connection was up and I was getting nice speeds (around 19000kbps on, he just let it go.

Still in special ed on Friday, but not due to meetings this time.  Apparently the teacher had a bad case of bronchitis on Thursday so he wisely opted to take Friday off.  It was actually a rather easy day.  Four classes (well, three really- one was a typical two-period-long language arts class) were team teaching, meaning that a sub just takes the role of a teaching assistant while the other teacher takes over the teaching part.  The other two classes were resource periods.  I just gave them a topic to write about in their journals and once finished they just worked on homework.  There was also a teaching assistant in these classes (a sub too, by the way) so as you can imagine it was a pretty light day.  Next Thursday and Friday I have a job lined up for ELL in another district.  This is a teacher I refused to work for last year or most of the year before.  I am hoping things have changed since most of the students from that problem class have gone on to high school.  I will let you know how it goes, hopefully with other stories throughout the week.

Finally back online.

Figures, to use a word Jamiahsh did on my last post.  Why do I use it?  Well, because the tech never showed up!  That’s right, no call, no nothing.  And get this- I called Comcast and they said the appointment was canceled!  What??  Actually, that was the second time I called.  The first time I called the representative was helpful and even gave me a $25 credit on the spot for their tardiness.  She then got in contact with the local dispatch and I was informed they would call me with an updated ETA.  As I said, they never did.  Now I need to wait until Friday. Sigh.  I am actually at my church right now using their wireless to write this.  I wish the local office was as customer friendly as the 888 number…

The above post was actually written two days ago, but for some reason I must have hit the save button instead of the publish button.  So, now that I am online again I thought I might as well post it.  Today the tech came (according to him he wasn’t the right tech- the one who had this job was tied up at another job- but who cares, I’m back up!) and I showed him the bad spot.  Ten minutes later, after a couple snips off the bad section and a couple of connectors put in place to join the ends, I am back in business.  Well, I am going to catch up on some news now.  I’ll post again later.   And thanks Taylhis on the update on C.  I did get the email, and read your comment on the last post.  I am glad the problem has finally been identified and is being treated.  Prayers that the biopsy tests come back negative.

Offline for a couple of days

I was offline all of yesterday due to a cable problem.  I have located the problem- it seems the outside cable is worn through in a spot.  I have jury-rigged it to test it for now, and as you can see since I am writing a post that it is indeed the problem.  Unfortunately I can’t keep it up.  Obviously they have a record that I am accessing the internet now, but I can always tell the tech I was just testing the problem myself, and I was.  I will have to remove what I did though.  Unfortunately it means no internet for me for two more days since my appointment isn’t until Wednesday afternoon. 🙁

Hopefully I can get sub jobs for the next couple of days using the phone instead.  Of course that means no blogs until then either…

Wireless world…almost

It seems that while I am somewhat of a computer geek, I am somewhat outdated somewhat of an computer geek.  You see, my home network has been a wired network for a long time now.  With this new computer and its wireless capabilities though, it is time to move on.  Plus, my nephew has been complaining about my not having a wireless network- not that it will matter to him soon as he will be off to SIU in a couple of weeks.

So, kind and generous as he is, our admin here donated to me an old router he had laying around, a Linksys type G router.  I let it sit for all of one day 😛 before finally hooking the thing up.  I went through the settings, following the manual as I did so, and thongs seemed to be working, except no internet.  Hmm.  Oh yes, I seem to remember having to turn the cable modem off and back on after several seconds.  Did it, and yes!  Internet.  I was now in the wireless world- for a short while.  After a bit I could no longer access the internet and my computer showed the network as “limited connectivity” or something like that.  Well, the power supply he gave me for it was not the right one, rated at 500mA while the router says it wants 1A.  I read that too low of a current rating may cause flakiness, and the power supply seemed abit warm, so I unplugged it and was going to go to Radio Shack for a universal supply.  However, I dug around first and turned up a few power bricks.  7.5V- no.  14V- not (both AC too, while I needed DC).  12V- yes.  1000mA.  Well, that is one amp, so- double yes!  DC and right size plug- yes, yes, yes!  Plugged it in, connected everything back up to it, and I was good to go again once I power-cyled the modem.

So, I finish a blog entry and click publish.  Can’t connect- aargh!  Tray icon shows limited connection again, and this time I wasn’t even using the wireless, opting for the wired connection instead!  Sigh.  Looks like I may have damaged the router.  I hope not.  I’ll have to do some research,  but once I’m working again I may just have to try another one.  I am now hooked back up to my old router and everything is working again, so here’s my second blog entry for the day.  Two days in a row with two entries?  Definitely not my normal routine.  Don’t worry JustJ, you will bump me to fourth in just a couple days now I’m sure, not that this is a competition.