Picture - There are a whole ton of minivans on the UMB Bank Pavilion parking lot. Apparently, all these minivans are there while certain parts are replaced under a recall before they get shipped off to the dealers.
Tuesday, 23rd of March, 2004
Of course, this kind of stuff reminds me of the way OfficeMax does business - you phone in an order before 4 P.M. and if they have it in stock in their store they load it up on their delivery truck and drive it to your door the next day.
Thumbs up for capitalism and fierce retail competition. Forces business owners and managers to actually think about ways to make everyone's life amazingly comfortable and efficient.
Monday, 22nd of March, 2004
Of course, I think if I don't catch the kids and train them to follow a lead violin player early in their training, it may be harder later to get into that habit - I have an advanced student who took the beginner class from someone else, and I've been working way too hard all year to try to get that student to stay together with the rest of the ensemble. It makes sense to create the instinct of following other players - following each other and staying together is absolutely essential in any ensemble playing.
Another example of how I end up learning just as much as the kids every morning when I teach.
And I guess I should go back to playing more in strolling rehearsal too - I've started to do other things cause there wasn't nearly as much watching to stay together earlier in the school year but I think that's gotten a lot better. I don't know why I was surprised when everyone told me they can follow my playing better than they can follow my snap/clapping last week when we were sightreading stuff. I guess I thought since your eyes are buried in the music it would be easier to follow an audible beat instead of a visual one? But this is good - being able to follow a lead violinist while sightreading music even, cause that's pretty essential in orchestral playing, why should I think the strollers would be anything less than good orchestra players anyway? Of course they're going to be awesome at this. I still would like to hear how some of this music sounds when I'm not playing the first violin part in my ear, though... balance... think balance... gotta do a little of both... ok.
What on earth - there was some mega auto show in California. Check out http://tvrfreak.com/Albums/Trips/2003%2008%2015%20Concorso%20Italiano/page_02.htm for the complete album. Here's a teaser for you:
Next time they have one of these, I want to go see it!
Wednesday, 17th of March, 2004
I didn't buy it for $499, or $399. Apparently, it's all sold out in stores and it's been discontinued, so I managed to find one at a vendor I have used before, CompUPlus, for $239.
It's going to take me a while to lose the old Graffiti habits and adapt the new Graffiti 2 input techniques. The most significant changes are the letter T, which is done by drawing the vertical line first, which goes against even my pen-and-paper writing style. Punctuation has changed all over the place, I'm going to have to relearn it. There's no way to go back to the old Graffiti, either, it seems. Graffiti 2 does allow for on-screen writing, though, which is great for the Tungsten because it has a slider, and writing on the screen prevents me from having to slide the slider out to make inputs into the PDA.
Those are all the gripes for now - there are plenty of new cool things. Something I didn't expect was the Hotsync time - it's incredibly fast, about 4-5X faster than the Handspring USB ports. That's a nice needed improvement, because my Hotsyncs were starting to take over a minute with all the files I was synchronizing.
Another significant improvement is the 144Mhz TI CPU. The 33Mhz Motorola in the Handsprings were super-slow - I've been missing out all this time! With the 144Mhz, my favorite programs such as Mapopolis and PocketMoney has become much more usable, and even the basic programs have an appreciable speed increase. The processor has also opened the door to a whole world of Palm multimedia - I can play back 320x320 videos with sound at what appears to be 30 frames-per-second.
Speaking of that 320x320 screen, it is gorgeous. There's also a little speaker in there which produces some sound, pretty good sound for a PDA!
Palm bundled Documents-To-Go with this too, so I can even view all the MS Office stuff - including Powerpoint slides. I've already put it to use - I've put the powerpoint slides of tomorrow's Marketing lecture that I'm attending on the PDA so I can read them beforehand. I thought doing reading on my laptop in bed was comfortable - try it with a Palm Pilot! Finally, there's also Versamail, which automatically downloads mail off of my POP server and sends stuff in the outbox every time I Hotsync. That can get really useful too!
I'm glad it has 32MB of RAM and an SD memory slot - those multimedia files are a little bigger than your text file.
Thursday, 11th of March, 2004
Wednesday, 10th of March, 2004
Picture - Still got plenty of brake pad left - these pads have about 10k miles on them now, so if things stay the way they are I should get many more miles out of them.
I also did some tread depth measuring, and I am finding out that the left tires wear a tiny bit faster than the right tires. I'll do an alignment when I get new tires some time later.
Tuesday, 9th of March, 2004
Monday, 8th of March, 2004
- All throughout my childhood, I could see myself in lots of occupations, but I thought that I'd never be a teacher. I wasn't interested in it. In college that changed, and now I teach 2 classes of 2nd-4th grade violin students. That is because I didn't realize that teaching causes the teacher to learn something twice as well as they had learned it before they started teaching it, and I enjoyed the surge of improvement in my violin playing, which happened even as I teach kids how to play Twinkle, Twinkle. I also never knew that I would like kids - of course, it would be difficult to know if I would like kids as an 8-year-old myself, wouldn't it...
- In Junior High, we had a special program called Apogee, where we worked on special projects that would stimulate our brains more than the ordinary curriculum. We had the option, in 7th grade, of creating the Ladue Junior High website, because at that point the school didn't have one. Of the 15 students, we all had the option of either participating in the project, or doing a different project of our own interest by ourselves or with a small group. 14 people in the class wanted to participate in the website design project. I decided I wanted to do my own project, which was to create a software package about the Periodic Table of Elements. Why did I make this decision? I decided that I had no interest in the internet. I didn't want to know anything about websites or networking - I found it very boring and impractical in my mind. The project was a mess - there were technological glitches everywhere - I'm glad I avoided it. However, little did I know one day I would have enough interest in the internet to be employed by the Ladue School District for 2 years to create and maintain the Ladue High School website. The state of the technology when I was in 7th grade prevented me from seeing that I was very interested in the internet and networking. Again, a lack of knowledge and foresight.
- Through junior high and part of high school, I laughed at the thought that I'd attend Washington University in St. Louis. I figured that because it was in St. Louis, it was not as good a school as about 100 other schools in the country. Then I started looking at colleges during my Junior year in high school, and after looking some details on the quality of education provided, I decided that there were only about 10 schools better than Wash U. This was before the U.S. News report bumped Wash U up to the top 10. Now I attend this fine institution. I had no idea what a great place Wash U was until I actually looked into it, and suddenly, the vision of me attending Wash U changed.
- I was slightly disappointed that I ended up at Wash U, even still, because the most significant areas of research in the Wash U computer science department have to do with computer networking. You would think, that after being interested in the internet and having a lot of experience in that area, I could see myself attracted to the study of computer networking, but I was not interested. Networking was full of unreliable things - dropped packets, connections that get cut unexpectedly, etc. I thought that I was going to be much more interested in programming, not networking theory. Now that I'm almost done with my computer science course work, I've decided that I really dislike programming. In fact, the course work that I've enjoyed the most these last 2 semesters are the networking courses - I find networking theory very fascinating, and I really enjoy running network simulations, tracing packets through them and learning about all the network transmission and routing protocols. It's something that I've been interested in all my life, and I just didn't know it - I've always loved studying automobile traffic systems - thinking about them, optimizing them, simulating them with toy cars. Networking is just the same thing! Had I known networking is very much like automobile traffic, I probably would have jumped on the opportunities to learn about networking much earlier...
Next time I try to think about my future, I've gotta remind myself I know nothing... the decisions we make in our lives that we think matter a lot to our future probably don't change our lives that much. Our existence seems to be dominated by something else...
Monday, 1st of March, 2004