Back to normality

Now that I’ve finished the pile of things that I needed to do by Friday, I’m back to being busy, as opposed to really busy.

To recap, there is one week left until spring break, but for some reason, the crunch week was this week. I had the normal homework, in Physics, Calc and Engineering, and a Java program for CS, and the usual English reading. I also had to read the first 200 pages or so of “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”, and take an turn in notes on the reading. Also due in English was a one page paper about two poems. None of this had been done by Sunday.

I surprised myself, and was able to pull it off, and finish it all. I may not have gotten all the calc homework done, but the rest of the work was actually of good quality, and I even had time to do all the extra-credit Physics problems that there were. Which is good, because I tend to lose points in the homework category.

Today, I’ve been catching up on all the non-critical things I’d ignored the past few days, like laundry. I should have done it Monday evening, or Tuesday. But I didn’t have time, and so today it became critical–I’m wearing my last pair of underwear, and no socks at all. Later last night, I was cleaning up the room, although I still have a dish or two to wash. I plan on doing some of my calc later today, so I can keep from getting in the same boat again next week.

I did accomplish some really non-critical things, though, like clean the dust out of the fan, and I did a bit of a website update Sunday, before I realized the extent of my crush. I think I’m only an associate member of Structured Procrastinators Int’l.


Speaking of the website, I’ve been moving things around a bit. I slightly modified the navbar script so it could do another thing, which was necessary to get the galleries looking the way I wanted. I also have applying what I learn about Java to JavaScript, and have streamlined the code a little bit–it’s now a bit smaller, although 15k is still big for a script. It should run slightly faster, though.

I took down the JavaScripts section of the site, all that was there was a page with a bunch of scripts on it. It was nice for my senior project demonstration, but not really useful after that. I put the Great Expectations part back up, but as part of the high school section. It’s really just a listing of figures of speech, some from the book, and some from elsewhere online. But I feel like keeping it up, so I updated the code to match my new page, and it’s back.

When I organized the galleries, I also posted a few pictures of the whirligig that I made for my Uncle and Aunt at Christmas. It’s on this page.


Nik has had another problem with debit cards. Earlier, a store clerk confiscated the one from his Kansas City bank due to a goof in the Visa computers. Thursday, he got a letter from his bank here saying that he had a negative balance, due to his cash ATM withdrawal of $354 and change. He didn’t have that much in the account, and so he was charged a overdraft fee. The only thing–he didn’t make an ATM withdrawal.

He contacted his bank, and discovered that the withdrawal happened in Romania, so they believe him that he wasn’t the one that made the withdrawal. He’ll get his money back, but the bank needs to do some sort of investigation. As near as he can figure, it was hackers who got his number from some sort of online transaction.

It just occurred to me, though–he picked up a computer virus last Friday and OCIO, the tech people here, shut his computer off from the network due to excessive traffic. He removed the virus as soon as McAfee found it, but there must have been a window where the virus was free to do it’s stuff. The ATM charge happened on Tuesday… I wonder if there is a connection.


It’s international week here, and the big production happens tonight at 6:15, in the commons. I’m not sure what all it is, but from what I hear, it’s been okay in previous years. Dinner is served from 5-7, so I think I’ll head over that way later this evening. I’ll find out how well it goes.

We’ve been having ethnic foods at dinner this week. Japanese Sushi Monday, but I didn’t make it over in time. Thursday was Chinese, including a lion dance during dinner. It was fairly interesting, but the space wasn’t really cut out for it, and the drums made it nearly impossible to hear anyone talk, even from a few feet and when you were on the other side of the room. They had a Chinese dragon, too.

I’ve been getting a fair number of Google hits to my site. Some are more interesting. I got one yesterday, for “pictures of footie socks”. Interesting what people search for. I’ve also been getting a few hits on my blog post dum dum da dum, dum DUM da dum. Apparently, people try and search for using some combination of DUMs and DAs. They wind up with my interpretation of “Here Comes the Bride”.

And on that note, I’ll leave to start doing other stuff.


[Edit 2/27: Fixed a bunch of typos, left to wonder what I was thinking when I wrote ” there is now week is spring break,”, instead of “there is one week left until spring break”.


This evening, night, and tomorrow should be interesting. Tomorrow, I have to turn in a one page “Microtheme” on two poems, and my notes on the first 200 or so pages of a book. I have Physics homework due, and I have to e-mail a CS program to the instructor by midnight. Today, I wrote three programs for my Intro to Engineering lab class.

I’m a good way into the book, and the CS program is complete, and slightly above the requirments, but I haven’t fully tested it. I’m told the Physics HW really isn’t that hard, and I understand this concept much better than the last one, so It should be easier than some assignments. At least I have some time between classes tomorrow.

I should be able to get most of it done, if I work at it. Sleeping is what will be cut short tonight…


So last night was a lot of fun, and rather interesting, too. It was Junior Parents Weekend, so that means that they planned a big activity on campus last night. We had a ‘mentalist’ on campus. Craig Karges is just amazing. He appears to have mental abilities. He was blindfolded, and had members of the audience bring up objects, which he identified. They just held them near his hand. He identified a pair of sunglasses, which wasn’t that impressive. Then the next woman brought up a relative’s blood donor card. Not only did he identify that, but he got the name and blood type correct, too. He needed to handle the card for that, but there’s no raised printing on a blood donor card. Then he had someone bring up a unit of currency. He identified that the guy had brought up a foreign currency, and then read the Serial number, and identified it as a 5 euro bill. I don’t see how it was done. He was blindfolded with two coins taped to his eyes, more tape, and a cloth blindfold over the whole mess. If he had an assistant in the audience somewhere, it’s hard to believe that he could have gotten the serial number. And he offers $100,000 to charity if anyone ever finds out that he uses stooges or hidden cameras/radios in the show.

Later in the show, he levitated a table, with a scarf on the surface between his hand and the table. Then he went into the mind reading portion. He had people concentrate on their initials, a piece of personal info, and a random thought. He then would pick a thought, or set of initials, ask people with those initials to stand, and he told two people their phone numbers, read several of their random thoughts, including “Brady is hott!”, “lime jello”, and “frogs”. HE knew the names of the people they were sitting next to, and their signs. One girl thought she knew her sign, and he informed her that given her date and year of birth, which she hadn’t told him but he got correct, she was a cusp person, born between two signs. ]

Then he had three people write a number in a book, and had a fourth add them up. He got a hinged chalkboard, put a small piece of chalk inside, gave it to an audience member, and told them to hold it horizontal. After a few seconds, it was reopened, and the number inside matched the sum of the three numbers.

He asked four audience members to assist in creating a car, each in charge of a different component. Then he pulled out of a zipped pocket in his wallet, which was inside his jacket, a sealed envelope with a piece of paper, on which was written the exact make, model, color, license plate number, and cost of this car. It’s possible that this was sleight of hand, but unlikely.

He borrowed three rings from audience members, and linked them in a chain, and unlinked them. The owners of the rings were onstage to see them unlinked.

He asked for his check, had an audience member put it in an envelope, and seal it. The volunteer then sealed blank pieces of paper in two more envelopes. They were then numbered, and then the volunteer chose an envelope to give to Craig. From the remaining two, the volunteer chose one. Craig shredded, on the spot with a shredder, both the envelopes he was holding, and lo and behold, it was the check.

Wow, I’ve been ranting for quite a while about it, but he was good. It just blows your mind. He claims to have no supernatural powers, and reminds us several times, that it was a show, he was just an entertainer. He’s one heck of an entertainer, I’ll tell you that!

Shortly after we got back from the show, several people decided to make a Cove run, and I went along. While everyone was at the cove, it was decided that there should be a game of sardines in Franz Hall. (Franz has classrooms, and staff offices, as well as a few common areas, and a coffee bar. There are several alcoves in which to hide, all over the building, which is four floors and a basement.) So once everyone had eaten, off we went. We’d picked up a few extra people by then, and numbered 18. So we played a few games of sardines.

For those who have never played sardines, there is one person who hides somewhere, and the rest try and find the person. But when you find the person, instead of ending the game, you hide with them. Depending on the hiding space, that can be interesting, although people tended to pick good, large hiding spots. The first person to find the hid hides the next turn.

By midnight, we were pretty much burned out on the game, having been playing since 10:30 or 11:00. It’s just as well, as P-safe comes to lock up the building at midnight. So we all went outside, and decided that we should watch a movie. Somehow over the course of the game, the movie “The Princess Bride” was mentioned, and they were rather surprised/outraged that a few people, including me, hadn’t seen it. So we ended up watching it. It’s an interesting movie, I wouldn’t call it a classic or anything, but it wasn’t nearly as ‘chick fickish’ as it sounds. I enjoyed it. So I came back to the room late, and wound up going to bed somewhere after 3.

I got up earlier this morning, to go over and see the College Bowl thing. As part of Junior parent weekend, they set up college bowl as Students vs. Parents. At our last meeting, before Christmas, the man in charge of College bowl invited us back to help, as he wasn’t sure how many students would be there. I ended up competing in two of the five rounds, one of which we won by a large margin, the other we lost 95 – 0. Which is only about 3 questions worth, but it was still bad as it was the tie-breaker round. I guess the parents are smarter than the students. Or maybe just older. Some of the questions they got just because they lived through the events. I couldn’t name the five summer Olympic locations in North America, but I bet they remembered reading about them as they happened, mostly. Anyway, it was fun.

On the way back from the College bowl, I was riding my bike back to Villa. I decided to go a longer route, around a few buildings, to avoid all the people walking from the building. I was outside Swindells (a building), near the road to get to Waldschmidt and behind Kenna. The sidewalk is pretty wide, and can be used as a road if you need to get to some of the buildings. TO keep people from driving places they don’t want them to, there are several black steel posts which set into holes into the pavement. The holes are about a foot in diameter. The posts can be removed, to allow vehicles to pass. I was riding, and wanted to pass between the poles and turn onto the sidewalk just beyond. I rode right between the two poles, and started my turn. I wasn’t going super fast, but I wasn’t just coasting, either.

Anyway, what I failed to notice was that this particular sidewalk was set up for three posts, and one had been removed. I rode right over the hole, and as my wheel was turned, fell over the bike. I wasn’t hurt, except for my palm, but I’ve scraped it worse just falling while walking. I went to get back on my bike, and discovered that my handlebars must not have been totally tight, and were rotated about 30 degrees. So I had to pull on them to get them back towards straight. I rode back to Villa, and straightened them back out the rest of the way.

So that’s been my last 24 hours or so. Not a lot happening here…

Google Hit

I just got a Google hit on one of my blog archives. The hit was from Iran! And they were searching for the word “brofe”. I think that must mean something to them, but to me, it’s just what happens when you carelessly try and type “broke” and confuse the K for the F. I’ve always had that problem occasionally, switching those two characters when typing. Don’t ask why, I can’t tell you.

I think I’ll start using the spell checker more often….

RE: Pictures

Okay, so here’s some of the pictures requested. (All are thumbnailed, click on the small image for a larger one. I try and be considerate to those using dial-up, as I use it myself 5 months out of the year.)

Without further ado:

My DeskMy desk. The closet next to the desk, with the Jim Morrison poster, is Nik’s. Can you see the general clutter? In this particular picture, the desk was so cluttered, I had a clipboard propped across the top drawer to provide a surface for the mouse!

CordsThere are a lot of cables running around on my desk. They connect to my printer, palm, cell phone, calculator, mouse, and camera, although not all of them are connected at any given time. The power strip visible hanging in the corner is because the only plugs at the window end of the room are on the wall mounted desk lights–currently the fans are plugged into a power strip that’s just off to the right, on the windowsill. Nik’s side has an extra power strip that powers his desk, the phone, networking equipment, and our (really his) stereo, TV, and Xbox.

my loftThe loft: This is what it looks like from the center of the room. The surface of the mattress is about 6 feet off the floor, and the headspace underneath is a bit more than 5 feet, plenty to sit comfortably, and access any area underneath, but not stand without damage to your skull, as we have both discovered. Getting in and out of bed is not that much of a problem, just takes a bit of skill. I tend to throw a pillow off the edge in the morning and jump off onto it. Hitting the floor without the pillow can hurt, if done improperly.

We have the (his) microwave and fridge under my loft, and you can just see my radio, which really is in a bad spot, and my alarm clock. I have to lean over the edge to turn it off in the morning, which causes me to at least wake up somewhat. I’d like to put it way across the room, both so I can see it at night, and so I will have to wake up more to turn it off, but it would take so long for me to shut it off, I would guarantee that I woke up Nik. So I just wear my watch at night, and deal with the rest. The clock is visible from everywhere else in the room except my bed.

the bed up closeThis is what the area above the loft looks like. The clearance to the ceiling is about two and a half feet. Enough to crawl comfortably, and to sit somewhat, but I can’t sit fully upright on top. I nailed another board to the post so there’s a place to mount the lamp, which I use while reading in bed. I took the door off of the cabinet next to my bed so I would have a ledge to put things on near my bed. Nik’s bed is next to his desk, so he has his top shelf.

(I should mention, the University provides most people with bedframes that can be lofted easily, and safely. However, the wing I am in has the bed cutout (and desk) built in, and the University’s bedframes are about 5 inches too long for the space. So you get a standard bedframe, and the option to build your own loft, which I did. Actually, my dad built it at home the first week of school, as we only live an hour away, and that was more efficient than trying to compete with everyone else to build onsite. So no, Cel, it’s not one of those ones with the desk underneath. But I wish it was.)

view, at night This is a view out my window at 2 in the morning. The window overlooks the Willamette River, which is entirely industrial at this point. The campus is on a bluff above the river, and the Swan Island Industrial Park, or whatever it’s called.

view, by dayOnce the sun comes up, it looks more like this. Not quite what you’d expect from a bluff overlooking a river, but still quite a view.

On to Kitten’s questions.

my closetThe closet has hang-up shirts, and slacks. I have about 7 good dress shirts, and several knit pullover shirts. I’ll occasionally wear one for no reason, but usually they’re reserved for a situation when you’re told to dress better than normal, and to church and stuff.

the drawers On an ordinary day, I’ll just wear a pair of black jeans and a colored t-shirt. They used to be the general k-mart cheapies, but lately I’ve been trying to get ones that are at least a bit thicker. When I was in middle school (only 5 years ago, believe it or not) and earlier, I almost always wore shirts I’d gotten doing certain activities, such as a fundraiser, or a camp, or something of the like. I’ve never been a big fan of shirts with witty sayings, or corporate logos. Anyway, I shifted to solid colored t-shirts, and that’s fine with me. I’ve been getting into a mix now, but it’s still just t-shirts. If it’s cold, add a sweatshirt (which must be called a hoodie in California). To the right, you can see my drawers, with t-shirts, socks, and jeans. If anyone cares/is still with me after this long, the top drawer is where the razor, toothbrush, comb, and easy-mac go. Yeah, for some reason, they’ve taken to living together. 🙂

As to wall coverings, I really didn’t bring much with me to college. Nik brought a bunch, and as a result, most of the stuff up is his. But the thing that visitors seem to comment on most is the “Earth at Night” poster I got in the Nov. National Geographic. I used to subscribe, on my parents tab, and it’s quite interesting, but not enough to pay for it myself, so I stopped getting it this year.

One last picture. I took a bunch of pictures of the room, and stitched them together into a panorama. The Earth at night poster is right in the middle, and it came out kind of weird, as did the TV. I’m not sure how it will display, so here’s a link to it.

To the left of the door, you can see the sink. To the right, next to the fridge, you can just see the sheet, waiting until the linen exchange.

I originally had more here, but then Blogger had a duplicate post, and I deleted one. Apparently, I deleted the one that was longer. It was just rambling, anyway, about that I was posting it at 3 am, and had been working on it for an hour and a half. But now, I’m really going to bed. Even if the blog gets messed up, I’ll fix it in the morning.

[EDIT 2/13: Added the daylight picture.]

“A Night on the Strip”

this is an audio post - click to play

My second attempt at AudioBlogging. The RHA, (Res Hall Association) held a giant event, called “A Night on the Strip”. My post from there as I wait for people to cash in their chips for raffle tickets. For the record, I won … a dot.

That is, I still have the felt marker dot on my hand that signified that I had already gotten chips. As I mentioned on the audio portion, I lost all my chips, so all I had was the dot and three raffle tickets, that were not chosen.

The pictures will be posted soon, I just need to re-size them, and try my hand at a panorama.


I remember seeing this on someone else’s blog, and I thought I’d try it here.

Tell me a few things you want to see pictures of, and I will post them. My desk, Franz Hall, my bike, my left shoe, whatever. In all honesty, I’m interested to see what (if aything) is requested.


Yesterday seems to have been the day for my site ot hit it big with the search engines. I got 2 different hits on “Nathan Oliver” from google, and discovered that nathan oliver, even without quotes, is the number 10 page returned by Google, putting it on the first page. I also got 3 hits in my joke pages, including (strangely enough) two people searching on the exact text of the joke. I even got a hit on the search, which isn’t my address. Not quite sure how that happened. The last hit was a search for the name of one of the people I mentioned in the Track it Down piece.


I hate laundry. I did 5 loads today. All my clothes fit into 3, and then I washed my sweatshirts in the 4th and my sheet and towels in the 5th. We actually have a linen exchange here, but the bath towels are too small, and they don’t have fitted sheets. If I don’t have a fitted sheet, I have to completely re-make the bed every other day or so, and that’s impractical for a loft.


I’m not feeling particularly inspired today, so I’ll call that the entire post. I may do an Audioblog again, but I think I’ll need to think up some content. I can’tjust ramble on about it being my second test, and when speaking publicly, I need to develop a script to be coherent. Yes, I consider the phone to be public–I’m horrible at leaving a message unless I’ve planned ahead what the message will say. Anyone that’s gotten a clear message from me has had a hang-up as the caller just before.

But enough rambling….

Return of the (Drunken) Idiots

In about eight minutes, there will be an all hall, mandatory meeting. I can already hear Jake (my RA) hollering down the hall. I’m sure we’ll hear about this weekend. I’ll edit this post with details, and a scan from the campus newspaper when I get back.

The added part is below:

Villa has always been a proud hall. Our motto, translated from the Latin that is painted just inside the front door, is “Through these halls walk the proud men of Villa.” We’re simply the best on campus. We win all the inter-dorm competitions. We created and make up the entire drum squad, now such an integral part of the University that the President asked the squad to lead the parade across campus as part of his inauguration. Our bible study, called Stible Buddy, is the model for the other bible studies on campus. And we have the best fundraisers. We have the highest percentage of residents return to the hall every year, even more than Corrado, the newest dorm, which has showers that get warm, air conditioning, and doesn’t smell. The Man Auction raised over $17,000 this year. I saw an article in today’s paper that mentioned the top grossing fundraiser for another hall: $600!

In talking with other people about being from Villa, you might have to defend the all male atmosphere, or note that the residents weren’t really crazy, but it’s never been anything to be ashamed of to live in Villa. The hall staff used to brag that we had the fewest incident reports of any hall (2), and one of them was for when an RA accidentally cut his hand. Villa has always been a welcoming place. Many people from other dorms come over to hang out. I, and all residents always feel comfortable wandering the halls, talking to other residents, or just generally being here.

That all changed this weekend.

While I was out of town, at the retreat, a party was thrown in Villa, and was busted. Twice. Those throwing the party were in the wrong, and were figures of authority in the hall. The on Saturday, the second party was thrown, and many people holed up in their rooms and didn’t leave, because they feared getting in trouble if caught anywhere else in the dorm. Some people felt trapped in C wing because they did not want to pass through B wing, where the party was. Others left early for the Saturday night movie in BC Aud, and didn’t return until they were sure the party was over. I’m sure that many would-be visitors to the hall stayed away that night, too. Over 100 people checked into Villa in the span of an hour. This number of (drinking) people would certainly have reduced my feeling of security.

This feeling that one was not safe in their own homes, this was one of the worst things to come of the party. But worse, in the words of one person speaking to Fr. Pete, the Hall Director, “I was embarrassed to be a Villan.” I, too, am embarrassed to be part of the hall that threw the biggest party in memory.

The ones responsible for this are receiving their punishments. The RA who purchased the kegs has been dismissed from the University. He was a Senior, scheduled to graduate this spring. The student who hosted the party, the hall council president, has resigned his post, and faces his hearing late next week. Over 10 others received MIPs, and will be receiving their punishments. But not all who participated got what they deserve.

I think most people were affected by tonight’s plea to restore the Villa Pride, to restore the community and safety felt by all who enter this hall. But I fear that some will not hear the message. There are those for whom drinking is a normal activity. Many of their friends also drink. The Villa Pride and reputation may mean little to them, many are planning to live off campus next semester.

Please, do not look on the party, or the subsequent bust of the party, as a point of pride. It is not. As of now, people from other dorms feel welcome visiting, and do so frequently, as you all know. For at least this reason, We should collectively be ashamed of this weekend, and resolve not to let anything like it happen again. Do not host parties in the dorm. Do not attend parties in the dorm. If no one will attend a party, then none will be thrown here.

Let’s put this behind us.