Saturday, 24 April 2004: There's nothing quite like taking a 12-mile bike ride and getting rained on during the last leg of it. Yeah, that's what happened to Katie and I today. We rode from our apartment to Charlestowne Mall in St. Charles to see 13 Going on 30. Then we walked around the mall a bit because our butts hadn't quite recovered from the bike seats. So, by the time we left, we noticed it was getting a bit murky in the skies. Oh yay, joy. Only about a half mile into our return trip, it started to sprinkle a bit. Then, a mile in, the rain started to come down. Not particularly heavy, but enough to soak us through to the bone and be one heckuvan annoyance. We rode through it, though, and made it home in what seemed to me, at least, to be record time.
Friday, 23 April 2004: It's a good thing the Palm Pilot was free because we needed money yesterday for something else that needed to be replaced. Our VCR crapped out on Wednesday night. I guess it was time. It was nearly five years old and was bought as an open box floor model from Best Buy.
I can honestly say I never realized just how cheap VCRs have gotten since the mainstreaming of DVD kicked in full gear. Our replacement VCR only cost $60. Had all the features of our old VCR plus a couple extra bells and whistles that we're not likely to ever use, but still. My open box VCR was double that price. Jeez.
Thursday, 22 April 2004: At the conference I attended last week, a company was in attendance as a vendor because they host online alumni communities for universities. Well, the good thing about any vendor at conferences is that they typically have contests or freebies. This one was no different. Their first prize was a free one year subscription to their alumni community service, second prize was a new Palm Tungsten PDA, and third prize was a $50 Best Buy gift certificate.
Being the selfish bastard that I am, and taking into account the fact that my own Palm Pilot crapped out a week ago, I was hoping to win the Tungsten. Pretty nice PDA. So I got a call today at work saying that I was a winner of their drawing. Of course, I start thinking "PDA... PDA... PDA." Nope, I won the free year's subscription which, in all honesty, is a great thing for the school. Just doesn't help me in terms of my dead PDA.
So I went to tell my Alumni Director about it. I had already told her about the company and given her their information packet. Inside the packet was a one pager about the contest and she said that she was wondering if I had entered the contest. I said that I won the grand prize. She was very happy. I even told her that I had honestly been hoping to win the Tungsten (we've known each other for a few years, so we can talk honestly about this stuff and not get offended). So she goes over to her desk and grabs her Palm Pilot and gives it to me. She said she bought it hoping it would help her, but the screen is so small, she can't even read it. I couldn't believe it but she said to take it and that she wanted someone who would actually use it to have it. No, it's not a Tungsten by any stretch. It's an outdated M100, but it's free, it works, and it's a step or two above my old one (III-XE). So, I'm happy all the same.
This would mark my second Palm Pilot and I never paid for either of them. Gotta love that.
Wednesday, 21 April 2004: This would have to be a record in terms of turnaround time. We only got back this past Sunday from D.C. and already I have the pictures posted here on the site. Well, check them out and let me know what you think. You can also check out the Easter shots from a couple Sundays ago if you'd like.
Don't expect me to always be this efficient. Okay, don't ever expect it.
Tuesday, 20 April 2004: Not that I don't actively seek excuses to get out of class, but a tornado is going a bit far. Yes, tonight we were rushed from my classroom to the basement of Dunham Hall here at AU because tornado sirens were blaring out loud throughout the neighborhood.
I guess this would be our official indoctrination into tornado season as 31 tornados were spotted just in Illinois tonight. A couple tore through Utica which is somewhere southwest of here, I believe. Although several funnels were spotted in the Aurora area, none touched down in the city that I'm aware of.
Still makes for an interesting evening though. Spent 40 minutes down in the basement at one point. Went back upstairs only to have to head back down five minutes later. At that point, the instructor just shrugged his shoulders and said it just wasn't mean to be and told us to go home once the "all clear" was given.
Suffice it to say, many of us (including the instructor) never bothered waiting for the "all clear". We just left.
Sunday, 18 April 2004: After hiking it over the couple of blocks to the White House (what we could see of it through the security fences), we took the Metro out to meet our friend Tim again who took us on a personal tour of Fed Ex Field where the Washington Redskins play. Walking into a sports arena is a fun step to take in your evolution as a sports fan. Doing so with no one else around is just awe inspiring. Kinda like when Dennis Quaid walks into the Ballpark at Arlington in The Rookie. It's just incredible. No one else was there save for the three of us and two security guards. We got to see all the executive viewing areas and the stadium club area. Tons of pictures, of course. I will get them posted.
Afterwards, we went to where Tim was living and met his "foster" parents. Really nice people. Then Tim took us to our hotel so we could grab our bags and take the Metro out to Reagan International Airport.
I hate coming home from vacations.