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Archive for November, 2005

November 25, 2005 Leave a comment

Today I worked what I think is the longest shift I’ve ever worked.
5:30AM to 4:00PM. Man are those Black Friday shoppers crazy! The minute
the doors opened at 6AM they all ran in an staked claims on the items
they wanted. It was probably also fueled by the fact that Sears was
giving away $10 to the first 25 people through the door. I’m in
Appliances, so we weren’t too busy, as not too many people give washing
machines for Christmas.

Anyway, my record for the longest shift
will be broken tomorrow. I work 6:30AM-5:00PM at Sears, and then drive
over to Gamestop from 5:00PM until we close. All totaled out it will
probably mean 15.5 hours of work. Ugh. However, this day alone will
probably fund my entire Christmas shopping this year. Let’s
see…6:30-5 @ $8/hr and 5-10 @ $5.15/hr. That’s $84 + $25.75, or
$109.75 for the day. Counting today’s $84 and Sunday’s 7-8 hours at
Sears, that’s almost $250 before taxes. Not bad for three days work. If
I could do that every weekend (not that I want to; I’m exhausted) that
would be $1000 a month, which I could definitely use. Oh well,
Christmas Break is coming soon, right? 🙂

Speaking of Christmas
Break reminds me of my schedule fiascos. I’m forced to take two comp
sci courses next semester instead of one because my transferred courses
didn’t count for enough credit. That’s fine with me, since I wanted to
take two anyway. The problem occurs in the fact that I need more music
courses than I can take. Let me explain:

For my B.A. in Music I
need to take two music electives. I’m taking one this semester: Popular
Music. Next semester the only music electives being offered are Popular
Music. Do you see the problem? I also need one more ‘W’ course. After
moving a course to the winter session (I’m not too happy about having
to shell out even more money to MU) I made enough room to take both
comp sci courses. There is no room for an extra music course. And isn’t
the last semester supposed to be an easy one? Mine’s ending up to be
20.5 credits.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing I applied
for that loan, since there’s no way I’m going to be able to make any
sort of money next semester with that courseload. Hopefully most of my
courses don’t require too much out-of-class time. The only thing that
I’m expecting is a ton of reading (being that I’m taking Italian
Renaissance, Music History II, Artifical Intelligence, and Software
Engineering).

Categories: Uncategorized

November 14, 2005 Leave a comment

Hey Everyone.

Since people are resistant to sign up to Blogger, I guess I’ll stay
here for now.  The RSS feeds for the blog are nice over there, but
they’ll have to wait.

We got our tests back in Wellness today.  I thought I did pretty
well.  In reality it seems that not studying at all and missing
some of the classes for this test period didn’t help.  Anyway, as
long as I study for the last test I’ll be fine.

DB was awesome as usual.  Our project is a lot more work than I
thought it would be, but it will be very cool when it’s all done.

Pop Music, or Jazz Music as the prof says it should be called was
okay.  We watched part of the Jazz video we’ve been watching most
of the semester.  This part was on the beginnings of Bebop, a.k.a.
Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker.  Not super
interesting, but useful to know.

I’m about to leave to go and finish filming for our wellness
project.  It’s about tobacco use, and we’ve come up with a
Superman parody for it.  It should be entertaining, plus you get
to see me dressed as a woman.  A very ugly woman.

So, time to go.

Metropolis Pt 1 is amazing.

Categories: Uncategorized

November 10, 2005 Leave a comment

So I take my car in to get inspected and mention that the battery light has been coming on intermittently.  I figure the battery is almost 3 years old and it’s just not very good at holding a charge anymore.  It turns out that the alternator is going bad.  Let’s list everything that has needed repair with this car (not including accident damage of course):




  • plastic strips on the side fell off (warranty repair)
  • wheel well cover fell off, replaced, fell off again (warranty repair first time, now $125)
  • ignition “shattered” (warranty repair)
  • air conditioner compressor went bad ($800 but since I’m a good customer, $200)
  • tires lasted 27000 miles before wearing down ($80 per tire)
  • alternator went bad ($450)


Let’s assume that the side strips parts/labor costs $75 and the ignition thing was $250.  So, for a car with 42000 miles on it, I’ve had over $2100 worth of work that is simply due to poor craftsmanship and/or wear and tear.  The car cost $12000 new.  Looking at the Kelly Blue Book trade-in value (assuming “excellent” condition, which my car is not due to a hit and run in the parking lot), the car is worth $6,700.  If I was selling it myself, it’s suggested that I should price it at $8,305.  My dad’s car, the Focus SVT (the exact same car as mine, except with all of the options) has had no problems except for a recall on the timing chip which was free and took about an hour.


So I think it’s safe to say that:


A. I probably won’t buy another Ford.


B. I probably won’t buy another baseline model.


So there’s my story.  This news, coupled with the seemingly infinite supply of bills doesn’t make my life very happy.  The one light at the end of the tunnel is graduation this May.

Categories: Uncategorized

November 8, 2005 4 comments

Today was good.  Database lab, while pointless, did result in some
work getting done on our project.  It’s going to take a lot of
work in a short amount of time, but when it’s complete our project will
be a very cool game engine with an easy-to-use design interface.

Solfege was moved over to Byerly because for some reason Men’s Choir
needed Room D in Lyte.  We began our foray into 20th century
music, and listened to a piece by Claude Debussy and a piece by
Benjamin Britton.  They were both kind of weird, especially since
just last week we were talking about functional chords and detectable
key changes.  Now everything is about “tonal centers” rather than
keys, and chords have zero function.  Even the chords are weird:
most of them are built on 4ths and 5ths rather than 3rds.  For the
non-musical people out there, that would mean a chord could be built on
the 1st degree, 4th degree, and the 7th degree.  Do-Fa-Ti for the
solfeggio-literate.  Normally it’s Do-Mi-Sol.  Craziness
ensues.

So, that’s today.  Tomorrow means my busy day, but it also means
that you can expect two hours of metal on 91.7 FM (www.wixq.com) from
4-6PM.

That’s it for now.  Good night everyone.

Categories: Uncategorized

November 3, 2005 4 comments

I think I’m going to switch over to another blog site.  I like it
a little more, and it’s layout is much cleaner.  Here’s the link:
http://spivonious.blogspot.com/

In other news, after being offered jobs at Sears and Circuit City, I’ve
decided to work at Sears.  I go in on Saturday to fill out
paperwork.  I will still be working at Gamestop, just only one or
two days a week.  It’s mostly for the discount, because I’d like
to get back into playing video games.  After working there for
four or five shifts, there are many games I’m interested in, and I’m
even thinking of getting a Gamecube, since it seems to have some good
RPGs on it.

Categories: Uncategorized

November 1, 2005 Leave a comment

Oh man.

The concert last night was amazing.  We got there about 5 minutes
before Into Eternity took the stage.  I’d like to say that it was
just perfect timing, but it’s actually because we couldn’t find how to
get from 676 to South Street.  Anyway, Into Eternity takes the
stage.  I wasn’t expecting much; I had heard a few of their songs
and wasn’t too impressed.  Wow, has my opinion changed! 
Their frontman/singer was very charismatic and kept the crowd genuinely
interested in the show.  This is often very hard to do for the
opening act in a three band show.  Once I get some money I think
I’ll buy their new album.  It’s going on my Christmas list at
least.

They played for about 30 minutes, and after a short stage change
Nevermore took the stage.  Wow what an ugly bunch of guys. 
But man can they play.  My face melted a few times and eventually
I just decided to keep it on a block of ice so I could enjoy the
show.  Jeff Loomis has some of the smoothest technique of any
guitarist I’ve seen.  He even pulled off the crazy 7-string
sweeping part in “This Godless Endeavor”.  Warrell Dane sounded
good too, even though he apologized for not singing well due to a
cold.  In his words “We could have cancelled the show, but that’s
not very metal.”  Awesome, entertaining show.

After a lengthy stage change, Opeth took the stage to a thunderous
applause.  Mike was his usual talkative self and was great to
listen to.  One guy in the crowd yelled out “Katatonia!” (a band
containing some of Mike’s friends) and Mike said “Yes, what about
them?”  In between the excellent song choices (though sadly “The
Moor” was replaced by “Face of Melinda”), the crowd would yell out
requests, as is common practice at a show.  Mike went into this
big speech about how “someday Opeth will come to Philadelphia and play
a show where we take requests.  This is not that day.”  Such
an awesome guy.  Among the other Mike banter was a death metal
growl vocal lesson (“oooh”), the three types of death metal drum beats,
and a headbanging lesson which poked fun at the bassist for not
headbanging correctly.  I was a little ticked at the posers next
to us wearing Slipknot shirts and moshing, as Opeth is pretty far from
good moshing music.  But they didn’t slam into me very much so it
wasn’t too distracting.

Overall, I’d rate this show at a 9/10.  The sound was good, the
bands were good, but the venue was kind of a dump and the crowd wasn’t
the typical metal crowd, which took away from the show a little.


In other news, my Solfege test
went about as I expected it: a C+.  I knew I had slipped a little
this section of the course, and both Dr. Houlahan and myself were
disappointed.  Oh well, there’s always the final, and I got a B+
on the first test, so everything should average out okay.

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