(random thoughts and events going on in and around my life)

Music – 2 tracks, this time:

“I’ll Still be True” by Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings

“Double Bass” by Gorillaz

I do not own these videos!

11 Days. That’s how long I have until my first Final of the semester is due. I say “due” because it is an On Demand, online Final – with Western Kentucky University (WKU), there are On Demand classes that you can start at any time throughout the semester and work at any pace. The requirements for this class  – CIT 370: Telecommunications I – are:

  1. You can only turn in 4 manually graded assignments per week; any extras will be graded the following week. This does not include quizzes and exams that are automatically graded by Blackboard.
  2. You cannot finish the last assignment and Final before the 7th week of the semester – basically, mid-October and Fall Break.
  3. If you are on Financial Aid (like me), you must have all assignments and the Final completed and turned in 2 weeks before the end of the semester (in this case, November 28th).

I was pretty steady with my work in CIT 370 this semester, but put it on the back burner in favor of a couple of other classes. While I’m not scrambling to finish everything in 11 days, there is an increased focus on that class. Speaking of Finals:

The non-On Demand Finals start on Monday, December 4th. As of Wednesday, November 15th:

  • CIT 370 – Final on 11/28 (Time TBD); 15% of Semester Grade. I had an 86.2% – ‘B’. There are 5 grades per Chapter, 15 chapters in the class: ‘Discussion Board Questions’, ‘Review Questions’, ‘Quiz’, ‘Chapter Exams’, and ‘Case Studies’ (where you write on real-world scenarios). There is also a semester-running Lab Exercise section. That ‘B’ has slipped back into the low 85% range due to 2 badly-timed < 60% grades on the “Wireless Networks” Review Questions and Quiz. I’m taking that chapter’s Exam later this afternoon (Friday). An ‘A’ is very possible, especially if I do well on the Final.
  • CIT 330: Systems Development I – Final on 12/4, 2:00; 20% of Semester Grade. I’m at an 86.3% – ‘B’, with 2 past assignments to be graded. There’s work to turn in for the next 2 weeks (Discussion Boards, Programming HW, Test #3, and about 6-10 Labs) but I feel like I’m in pretty good shape, heading to Finals.
  • CIT 352: Database Management II – Final on 12/6, 2:00; *30% of Semester Grade. I am at a 79.5% – ‘C+’. Those 2 zeroes, about a month ago, hurt; the 90% Exam average helped. There are only 3 graded assignments left in the semester. I can get this grade back to a ‘B’; we’ll see if I can make a big run closer to an ‘A’.
  • CIT 482: Systems Security I – Final on 12/5, 2:00; **50% of Semester Grade. I have an 82.5% – ‘B’, with 3 past assignments to be graded and 2-3 assignments to turn in by the 22nd and 26th. I think you can guess on which Final I’m going to focus, next week. 😉

I have to tip my cap to those who manage(d) to work a full-time, 3rd shift job, while taking a full-time class schedule. This has been rough. It’s felt like time has been at a premium for study and HW, even when I attempt to do both at work (before clocking in and on breaks). I’m not going be able to take time off from work before Finals begin, to review, so I’m going to semi-sequester myself at the Downtown Branch of the Free Public Library, or at JCTC’s Library, the week after Thanksgiving; I’ll be there a few hours each day, until I have to leave for work. 

I’m open to good vibes and good luck wishes. 😉

The post-Rick Pitino era at UofL has begun. David Padgett win his first game, 72-61 over George Mason. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Padgett and team progress and mold this year, especially when Louisville was a Final Four contender, pre-season.

Another sports item: congratulations to Louisville FC, the 2017 United Soccer League (USL) Champions! They won the USL Cup 1-0, this past Monday!

Louisville-Trophy1113_large

It truly amazes me how Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson still has a job. 

October 2016, Johnson was accused of exposing himself to one councilwoman and making inappropriate remarks to another. A recap of the timeline of events can be found HERE.

Today, a 3-person panel decides whether Dan Johnson stays on the Council. It should never have come to this point: he should have been removed when the full Council voted on his fate. That vote was 13-6 to keep him; I do not know what the 13 ‘keep’ voters were thinking. Hopefully, today’s panel gets it right.

I had set a reading goal on Goodreads: read 20 books by the end of the year. I am in Book #4. FAIL.

One of the Memories that popped up on Facebook is my move from a Studio apartment in Downtown Louisville to a 1 BR apartment in the Old Louisville neighborhood.

Capture

Affectionately named at various times “The Dark Portal”, “The Asylum”, and “The Batcave”, that basement apartment was the scene of some really good (and a few not-so-good) memories. Everything from the first movie/time spent with my then-girlfriend to owning my first couch, from starting over after a flood to recovering after my heart surgery, those were some very interesting 5+ years on 3rd Street. 11 years later, I have enough saved up for my own apartment again. It would be nice to have my own place again by the end of the year – we’ll see.

Health is ok. I am down a couple more pounds but I’m also down a little bit in waist and midsection size. Walking hasn’t happened as much as the warmer months, so the work will continue with diet and increased gym time, especially when the school semester ends. My INR has been between 3.1 and 4.7, over the last few months. It’s currently 4.5 – much too high. I have a temporary lifting of the Vitamins K and E restrictions. It’s worked; while I’m still really exhausted, it’s not as bad as last week. I’ll see how effective rest and the restrictions-lifting have been at my next reading, on the 30th.

In the next 14 months, I am going to follow in the foot steps of a good friend for one big item, and close a long-open loop involving another big item.

Sometime in 2018, possibly as early as Spring Break, I’m going to finally go out of Louisville, on a vacation, possibly by myself (although I am not opposed to others coming along). My friend Whittney, who I got the idea from, flew solo to her vacation spot and spent a week enjoying everything. I think it would be a good combination of rejuvenation and fun to get away. Wherever it will be – right now, Chicago, Denver (mainly to see the Rockies), Orlando, and New Orleans are the leading candidates – it will be a few days of no work, no school, and (virtually) no rules (don’t worry – I’m not going to do anything too crazy). It will be a much-needed pushing of the ‘Mental and Physical Refresh’ button that I haven’t been able to find in town for years.

The other item: I will try out for an all-age Drum and Bugle Corps in December 2018 or January 2019.

I have a full year to get back into marching shape. That means:

  • working on shoulder and chest strength. I play the Euphonium:
    euph
    That beast will win – and your upper body will hate you forever – if you aren’t properly stretched and prepared to march with it. I was ok but could have been better, heading into Tryouts in 2012 and 2013.
  • Core strength. You have to be able to move – FAST – while blowing air through a Horn, 10-13 minutes per performance, including sudden change of directions. This goes hand-in-hand (in my case) with my weight loss goals.
  • Side-to-Side Perception. It had been 5 years from the last marching experience I had (2008, Derby City Knight Mini-Corps) to trying out for the Minnesota Brass (2013). During that time, I lost chunks of my ability to judge how close I was to my spot (“dot”) and the best paths to take, when lines of marchers are meshing. Thankfully, only one collision happened in practice, but that’s one too many. I can’t tuck my elbows in when someone gets close, and I need to get more precise with hitting spots. Self-critique: gotta love it.
  • Cardio conditioning. This is the big one for me. I have to not only get back the cardio levels of marching, but I have to raise it to Championship-level Drum and Bugle Corps marching… then go further, while making sure I’m cleared by a Cardiologist. I worked closely with my Internal Medicine doctor and Cardiologist in 2013, to make sure my heart could handle marching; in 2018, I want to be at a point, by the end of the that year, where Conditioning is low on the list of things to work on at the beginning of the season.

I will have about 1 year to find an apartment and job in whatever city the Corps I go after is based. I should have enough in the bank to pay for Tour costs (between $500-$900, depending on the group). Also, if I stay on track, I will graduate from school by December 2018; that takes the ‘school conflict’ out of the mix. I want to go back to Minnesota and the Minnesota Brass, if they’ll have me; if that doesn’t work, for whatever reason, then my next choices, in no order, are: Atlanta (“Atlanta CV”), Cincinnati (“Cincinnati Tradition”), or one of the New Jersey Corps (“Fusion Core”). I finally have the money to go on tour, I have the time to properly search for jobs and apartments, and *knock on wood* I have the time to get back into marching shape. I’ve had nearly 5 years to wonder how things would have been different for me in Minneapolis/St. Paul if I hadn’t run out of money, had been able to move up there earlier, and had kept the heel and knee in line. I plan on closing that open loop next year.