…what a weekend…

So, yeah…we were both pretty busy this weekend…again… This time, I played poker on Friday night at Jeremy’s, which was cool, as usual… Then Saturday, Stu and Joel came to St. Louis for some frolf action…there are pictures posted, but I’m sure most of you don’t care…but you should, ’cause frisbee golf rocks tremendously. We played at Watson Trails Park and Jefferson Barracks, neither of which I’d ever played at. Later that night, Stu and I went to a concert at Pop’s featuring Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory. Who are these bands? They’re death metal bands. Yes, I went to my first death metal concert. In East St. Louis. Next door to the Penthouse club. Needless to say, it was an interesting night…

Arguably the most pertinent part of the weekend, however, came on Sunday… Brooke and I were wanting to get a pet, so we finally did. While I wanted to get a dog, it wasn’t really feasible for our current situation (i.e. I don’t have time to take one out for walks, teach it not to do its thing on my computers, etc…), so we got a cat. We went to the Humane Society on Sunday afternoon and picked out this little fella:

Sam the Cat

He’s 6 mo old and was a stray before being picked up and taken to the Humane Society. He was very well-tempered at the shelter and seems to be pretty friendly, thus far. They named him “Constantine,” but we decided that a 3 syllable name is a bit long for a cat, so we decided to call him “Sam”…seems like a name befitting a kitty cat… There are a few more pictures of him up in the Photos section now, too…

Now, time to get back to reading for this week… I don’t have to start my next rotation until November 14th, so I’ve still got afternoons off for the next 2 weeks…w00t!

A few changes…

Nothing truly important…as usual… First of all, I switched web servers… I was using my old 1.0 GHz Athlon box for my server and my Athlon XP 1900+ for my primary computer…but since getting my laptop, I’ve been using it primarily and my faster box hasn’t really been used…therefore…I switched from the 1.0 GHz Athlon to the faster Athlon XP 1900+ computer…still running Linux, of course… 😛 This may speed things up a little bit, but probably nothing noticeable…

Slightly more obvious a change is the address of this website. http://andyl.homelinux.net/ is (mostly) no more! It’ll still work for awhile…until I decide not to renew it… Regardless, the new address is http://linsenbardt.net/. Yahoo! Domains was running a nifty deal on domain names…so I get it for $2/year…and I paid $10 and now have that address for 5 years…

Anyway, adjust your bookmarks or links from your blogs…http://linsenbardt.net/ is my new address…

Back to studying, I guess…

…so it begins…

“Why do we need explosive detection methods? Terrorists. Because they all want to increase your entropy?”
– Joel Brockmeyer

So classes have officially started. All I had today was BBS 501: the “BBS” stands for “Basic Biomedical Sciences” and, essentially, this class is Graduate School Biochemistry (officially titled “Beginning Basic Biomedical Sciences I”, I think). Today we began a few lectures on thermodynamics, hence the aforementioned quote regarding entropy…spoken by Joel during my Junior Chemistry Seminar class Junior year at Truman…

If today’s class is any indication of the future, then it shouldn’t be too terribly hard for the first few weeks. We had a review on thermodynamics, and by “review,” I mean back to Freshman year of college. I’m sure it’ll get more difficult, but flipping through the first few weeks of the syllabus, all I can see is stuff I’ve, at the very least, heard of if not studied on multiple occasions in various classes throughout undergrad. I think the primary difficulty will be in the sheer amount of material, however. As in, I’ve got this class weekday mornings at 9:00 am…so when I have my first test in just over 2 weeks, I’ll have had about 11 lectures…which is the equivalent of almost a month of lectures (MWF) at Truman. So yeah, I dunno…it could be easy…could get a lot harder really quickly…

The exams will be completely in essay form and we are assured 3 hours to take the exam and each lecture will be covered by only one question on the test…therefore, we are relatively aware of what’s going to be on the test already…that, and we are being told to a). get the previous tests from upperclassmen and b). that the questions are very similar from year to year.

Graduate school?! So far, it sounds a lot easier than I would have thought in many of my undergrad classes…on the other hand, I’ve only had one day to deal with…but, then again, I only have two real classes to worry about: this one and a class twice a week that deals with reading “classic” papers (i.e. the original Watson and Crick DNA structure paper, etc.).

Only time will tell, I guess…

This is it…

Yeah, very shortly, I will be attending classes at Saint Louis University, “officially” making me feel like a graduate student (the summer thus far hasn’t been much besides a “job,” of sorts…now I actually have to study and such…). This is both exciting and rather scary, the former due to the fact that I get to finally delve in to my chosen profession…the latter because…well…it’s graduate school… Likely this will be my largest challenge to date. The really odd parts follow:

    — I am going to school at a new place with new people and new professors.
    — I am at the bottom of the food chain again, much like I was five years ago at Truman.
    — I don’t have as many friends/bar buddies in this town, so I won’t be as socially active as in recent years.
    — Along with that, I’m married now, so my roommate won’t be able to help me in my classes as in recent years…on the other hand, it’s easier now that I don’t have to make time to go to my girlfriend’s place to hang out with her once and awhile…she’s conveniently at my place all the time now… 😛
    — I no longer have “responsibilities,” such as attending AXE meetings, Wesley House functions, or working for ITS. It’s school and home. That’s it.
    — I have to drive to class every morning. Snow or not. And fight for parking.

So yeah, completely new shenanigans to deal with. Really, I’m the same old person in a completely new environment…making me wonder how I’ll deal with the situation. Will I study as much as I should? Will I make it to class on time? Or at all? Will I be able to manage money better now that I’m married and on my own? Will my personality remain the same, or should I expect another paradigm shift as what occurred in college? …or will I wake up tomorrow and still be in my bed at the old apartment in Kirksville?

…as Spock once said: “Life…is not a dream.” And as he also said, in a different movie, I “will perform as according to one’s gifts.” Hopefully I’m as prepared as I can be for the flames I am to be thrust in to….’cause it’s going to be close to five years that I’m roasting in them…

“Sounds like fun.” (…that was Kirk, this time…)

I’m poor now…

…or something like it… As some have heard, Brooke and I got a car…a 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT…had 30,000 mi on it, so it’s somewhat used (more of a “program car,” technically), but in great condition and we got an incredible deal on it, so it was hard to pass it up. But yeah, we’re hoping this car will last us a good 5 years until I’m in the workforce (…assuming that ever happens…).

Otherwise, 3 weeks are done in my first of four lab rotations…things are going quite well, actually… As of last Thursday, we finally got the camera system to work properly such that it can record a signal sent on axons in the turtle cerebellum…which rocks tremendously, considering that I’ve spent 3 weeks on it… 😛 Anyway, I think this grad school thing will work out alright as long as I stick with it…I guess that means I’ll have to study, too…grrrrr…

I'm poor now…

…or something like it… As some have heard, Brooke and I got a car…a 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT…had 30,000 mi on it, so it’s somewhat used (more of a “program car,” technically), but in great condition and we got an incredible deal on it, so it was hard to pass it up. But yeah, we’re hoping this car will last us a good 5 years until I’m in the workforce (…assuming that ever happens…).

Otherwise, 3 weeks are done in my first of four lab rotations…things are going quite well, actually… As of last Thursday, we finally got the camera system to work properly such that it can record a signal sent on axons in the turtle cerebellum…which rocks tremendously, considering that I’ve spent 3 weeks on it… 😛 Anyway, I think this grad school thing will work out alright as long as I stick with it…I guess that means I’ll have to study, too…grrrrr…

…busy, busy, busy…

Yeah, I’ve been pretty busy lately… This past weekend, Brooke and I drove to Sedalia for Anne Gumbel’s wedding…it was lovely, of course, but I didn’t get to see as many folks (i.e. Alex, Gavin, Jess, etc.) as I would have wanted to. Tony was along, so that was semi-entertaining… 😛 On Sunday, Brooke and I went with my parents to Lohman and showed some wedding pictures to my grandmas. I think they were happy to see us…but probably somewhat amazed by the technology I brought along (they’ve never seen a laptop, so far as I know…). I’m close to getting some pics up on the wedding website for download, but for now, many of them are viewable through this part of my website.

Otherwise, Brooke and I are looking into replacing one of our cars in the near future, I’m thinking… Both our cars are over 100,000 miles and we’ve had some issues with Brooke’s car recently, so it may be wise to get a better, lower-mileage car to use for driving to Columbia and Hannibal… So yeah, if you know of any cars under 50,000 miles that don’t cost too much and are semi-reliable, lemme know… 😛

But yeah, St. Louis is treating us well… Still keeping busy at work, but not doing anything particularly special right now. We got another shipment of turtles in today, so we’ve got more to “play” with in the coming weeks…hard to believe that tomorrow marks the halfway point of my summer lab rotation…

…on the other hand, Thursday marks my first payday…w00t… 😀

Wedding Pictures

So Nathan has been uploading to my Gmail drive all day and I’ve got some pictures, but it’s moving rather slowly…by the end of the weekend, I hope to have many of them posted online somewhere…it’ll probably be early next week before they’re up on the wedding website in a download-able fashion… As you may have noticed, the pictures I post in my Photos section aren’t able to be downloaded (easily), but the ones I’ll post on the Wedding Website will be sized for download and can be printed at Wal-Mart or something…

Enjoy…I’ll post more as I receive them…

Scotty…beamed up for good…

James Doohan, of Star Trek fame, died today at the age of 85 battling Alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia. He will be missed, of course; the man did Star Trek conventions up until last August, which is crazy considering how old the man was. He was a testament to what Star Trek means to a lot of us fans out there, and to the rest of humanity.

…of tropical storms and homeless people…

I’ll try to make this mostly brief…but there is lots to tell… First of all, there are pictures posted in the Photos section now; click on “New Apartment” to see pictures of our mostly-set-up place and “New Orleans” for our trip down south… There are some pictures in “Hermann” of the B&B we stayed at a few weeks ago…

So yeah, we got down there in the middle of Tropical Storm Cindy…and needless to say, there was lots of water… There were over 250,000 people without power on Wednesday morning; thankfully we still had power, yet no cable…grrrrr… Anyway, the next day we walked around the French Quarter and explored a bit…went to a cafe, had some French food, etc… Essentially, we just explored a bit that first day…and it was gorgeous out, surprisingly… On Thursday morning, we went on the Nat’l Park Service historical tour, which was quite cool. We explored some more and then took the afternoon off (nice and humid), then went and got muffalettas (a New Orleans specialty…something like a Schlotsky’s sandwich, I think…but with lots of pickled olives)…which were also incredible… The cool thing about Thursday night was that we went to Preservation Hall and saw some really, really good jazz music…go buy a CD…it’s worth it… On Friday morning, we went on a cemetary tour, lectured by the guy who maintains the historic tombs. These tombs were above ground, so that was kinda cool…this is done for religious reasons, but also because the water table is very, very high in New Orleans. We also chilled Friday afternoon in the A/C and then went out to a nice place for dinner (mmmm…jambalaya…) and then walked around Bourbon Street for a bit…

Anyway, overall, the trip was good…the weather could have been a bit better, but I guess we did decide to go a). in hurricane season and b). when it’s really humid. It was certainly interesting to see people preparing for Hurricane Dennis; some people cared and others didn’t… The one thing I wasn’t expecting was all the homeless people. I mean, I’ve seen them before, but have never seen so many in a concentrated area and certainly had never walked by them before on the street…really kinda sad… Apparently, Louisiana has 1 in 4 people below the poverty line… Regardless, I guess it was a bit more shocking than I expected…

So yeah, check out the pictures…they’re online and all pretty-like… I’ll write more later…