Thursday, November 29, 2007

Giant step tonight toward the end of the semester...

Well, after our presentation tonight all I have to do now is a final edit on my research paper, create the bibliography, and do a simple take home exam and I am DONE FOR 2006!

Tonight was pretty unbelievable, though. First we had technical issues b/c for some reason just after the second group started their presentation the electricity went out at the University Center...and in the parking lot...and neighboring buildings and businesses! We were in pitch black for about 60 seconds before the generators kicked on and we had lights in the halls. The first thing I thought was, "crap, we're going to have to wait a whole other week to present this..." something I did not want to do for several reasons!

So, as a class we (the two remaining groups to present) expressed our opinion that we did not want to wait another week. We talked about just adding written explanations to the notes of our powerpoints and emailing them to our professor then somehow he suggested we do that PLUS present them next week. I really didn't want to have this on my plate for the next week b/c I know what would happen. I would stress over it another week - researching for more information, trying to make changes and improvements, I wouldn't be able to let it lie.

PLUS - a big reason I wanted it done was b/c we had such a slacker in our group. In the last three weeks, when the other four of us have sent hundreds of emails and met a couple times (well, me and 1 other met a few times) I have seen two (2) emails from him!!!

Last night we planned to meet on campus to do last minute prep work and finalize our presentation - we never heard a word from him. He showed up five minutes before we were done and sat there without saying anything. I got up to leave and was recapping what everyone was doing and looked at him and said, "You didn't give us anything to contribute to the presentation so there is nothing in here for you to do..." His response was that wasn't true. Oh wait - he sent me one email over a week ago with one little figure and when I asked for back up and support, etc. I got NOTHING from him. Did he really think that would count as contribution??? We have practically begged him to respond to emails - I've told him how ticked I was before and it hasn't seemed to phase him!

So...finally we decided to just use someone's laptop to present. The second group started again...this time they get interrupted b/c we were told they were locking down the University Center in five minutes! NO!!! But before those five minutes are up the lights all come back on! YAY!!! So, that group got finished and we got up to present...and HE got up with us! I wasn't sure what to do. When he saw the first slide he said (under his breath), "Am I out of the group or something? Why isn't my name up there?" To which I respond, "You didn't contribute anything so we didn't have anything for you to do." His answer - "This is bullshit!" Um, what's bullshit is your lack of responsibility!!!! At the graduate level you wouldn't expect to see someone blow off something so big - at least that's what I thought!!

I really would like to have known, though, what was going through his head. What was he planning to do? Just stand up there while all of us presented all the work that we did (not him) and then get the same grade as all of us! I really just couldn't believe he had the gall to get up there like he was part of all the work we were presenting! So, after that ever so brief "confrontation" just as our presentation was beginning I started getting a little knot in my stomach, just b/c I was so angry really! But by the time it was my turn to present it was gone b/c I got in a zone! Man, I have to say that our presentation really kicked butt!!! Our professor and the exec from the company we were presenting on seemed to be really impressed with our line of thinking and the direction in which we took out project! They were very impressed with the view we took and even the exec kept saying it was a view he had never seen before and that it a very interesting angle and a new way to look at things. He said he really liked it!! What a relief I had when it was over...

Now I can relax and finish up the bit of my research paper that I need to and do that one take home exam, that shouldn't be too difficult and I am done for the semester! Stress is about to be gone from my life (at least some of it) and I think I am going to be able to start sleeping again!!! I can't wait! As a matter of fact, I am going to bed right now!!! G'night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Soothing Sounds in my Office

I bought this water feature for the house a long time ago, but haven't used it in a while so I decided to bring it to the office!

It's a nice sound in the background.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Who says the holidays are stressful?

I do! I do!

Not so much b/c of the holidays this year - I actually think this year might be stress free - but b/c of school. I've said it before: graduate school is 100% an endurance challenge! I've taken 6 hours working full time and it keeps be extremely busy, but doing it with a 1 year old (yep, she's just about to be one) is a totally different story! I bow to Pamela for doing it with two kiddos and a husband in grad school, too!  She told me she did a lot of homework in the wee hours of the morning and I've done that, too but that doesn't cut on the stress.

I think it's b/c of the two classes I'm doing this semester. Both are tons of work, but one is tons of work with a group that doesn't communicate. At least 20-40% that doesn't! We've had a couple that have been out for classes and a one that never wants to respond to emails. I feel like there are two of us doing all the work for the group. Thankfully our professor knows everything that is going on and told us he knows how hard we're working - so I feel confident he'll grade us accordingly. He's told us that, too. Doesn't cut down on the workload, though. I've never work with such a disconnected group before. The one who never responds makes me think he's just trying to ride along on our work and get the group grade. I could see that happening in HS and maybe even as an undergrad, but at this level I would expect that everyone would be a lot more responsible and hard working. I've had so many excuses, too. It's ridiculous. I would never assume that anyone else's life is easier than mine, but I can definitely trump all his excuses...which honestly come to think of it, there haven't been that many excuses from him. Just complete lack of communication and no reason when we question him. This assignment, though we're not relying on him - we're doing the work and if we don't get what we want from him in a timely manner he won't be part of the group come presentation time and our professor totally supports us in this if it comes to it, too.

I do believe that my threshold has been reached with this one! I am not looking for any sympathy for everything I've got going b/c I've got into it all myself...I am not whining about the workload...I am venting about the fact of people not carrying their load! The last assignment we did he presented the work that someone else did - so he got off easy that time. This assignment at the last minute he gave us his work, but it wasn't A work by any means. Again our professor knows who is doing what and gives a group grade, but at the end of the semester will grade us each accordingly. So...why complain if I am still going to get grading on my individual work - I don't want to look like an idiot come presentation time! I want to have a good, intelligent presentation of our work...and by "our" I mean those of us in the group that are actually working!

Sorry for the downer post just before the holidays. I've just had work emails going back and forth tonight about it and I've worked myself up to this big vent!!!! Okay - I got that off my chest. Now I am going to go work on our assignment some more before I go to bed! G'night!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here's one of my recovered pics...

Backup your backup!

I have lots of pictures. If you've looked through my fotki albums you know this. I know that fotki backs up so I am not too worried about losing my pictures, but those that are very near and dear to me I keep myself as well. Usually I get pictures off my CF card, save them to a personal file on my computer, name them, & upload them to fotki (and sometimes flickr). Well, I have three computers at home and one at work and honestly I never know which I'll be working on and since my Grannie doesn't have a computer I like to also be able to be sure I take pictures with me when I visit to show her. So, I decided I wanted an portable external hard drive (I show Grannie on a laptop pictures that are saved to the external drive). I get this external hard drive. It's 80GB and so far I've only used less than 7GB on it. Over the weekend I took about 125 pictures of Emma. Monday I took these pictures off my CF card and instead of putting them on my personal drive on the computer, I took them straight to my external hard drive. All looked good. Thumbnails were there no problem - I rotated a few that didn't rotate...and deleted the pictures from my CF card.  Only now there is a problem. I cannot access the folder the pictures are in and when I finally get into it there are no previews available or only partial previews to many of the pics and I cannot open them either. WTF!?!?  And my external hard drive keeps timing out on me when I try to access this folder. All the other folders work perfectly - just the one with these images.

So, since Monday I have been trying "fix" whatever is wrong with my hard drive - all scans so nothing to be wrong - and trying to undelete the images from my CF card so that I could delete alleged corrupt folder from my external hard drive. Well, finally today I have been able to recover my images from my CF card!!!! Granted I do believe that a few of them may be damaged and that may have caused the problem to my external hard drive (I don't know much in the way of repairing hardware) - but now that I have them safely saved (and am creating a back up until I get them uploaded) I am going to delete the file from my external hard drive and see if that helps. B/c last night I started experiencing problems with another folder - I think my hard drive may need to be considered DOA and get something new, though! We'll see!

So, happy dance, happy dance! I've got most of pictures back and that is satisfying to me!!!!

 Lessons learned:

  1. Do NOT delete pictures from CF card until they are safely saved/uploaded.

  2. Do NOT delete pictures from CF via PC - use the camera to format (thanks EJ)

  3. Don't rely on an external hard drive for a back up

  4. RAWKS!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I can't believe it's finally here...

my VERY LAST SEMESTER of graduate school! I just registered for my last semester!! I am so thrilled!! Can ya tell by all the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And this semester is more than half way over, too. I still have so much work to do, though but it's alright b/c it's almost over. Michael has been so supportive. There are times when he's had to "deal with" me studying or staying in to do homework and I've had to blow off a lot over the past couple years, but all that's about to be over. Come May I'll have my MBA and I know the relief of being done is going to be amazing!

Partied Out!

After attending her first concert!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Gadget Lust

I cannot decide if I like the Blackberry Curve or the iPhone better - I need to go dig up some reviews I guess!!! Not that I can get one right now, but wouldn't one of those make a wonderful graduation gift for me in May!?!?

Ya little vampire...

My baby girl is getting bit at the babysitters' house by another little girl!! Tuesday she got bit twice - ONCE ON EACH ARM!! The babysitter is doing everything she can. She can't always catch the little biter in action, but when she does she either pops her mouth or bites her back (she was given permission by the child's mother) and then puts her to bed. But this makes four times now that Emma has been bit - she got another one yesterday.

The little girl doesn't bite the bigger kids - just the three or four that are around her size! Maybe it's time Emma learned to bite back!! I just really don't know what to do. I guess I am going to have to start sending her to the babysitter every day in long sleeved shirts. I know that kids go through these phases and it isn't doing any real damage, but it does hurt Emma when it happens and I hate that!!

Has anyone else had a child that was a repeated victim of a biter??

Friday, November 02, 2007

Have Bear, Will Travel

Emma has assumed the position (eyes closed) for the 2 hour trip to visit Grannie!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We're all ready - let's go trick-or-treat!

The Cul-de-sac gang! Ready for action!!!