Working from home

January 26th, 2012

I am going to try teaching some online classes beginning with the summer term. I think it would be great to be able to work from home at least part of the time, so I’m giving it a trial run for six weeks. If all goes well, I might ask for an increased online class load for the fall.

The only thing I have to do to prepare for online classes is sign up for web based video conferencing that will allow me to meet face to face with students whenever necessary. That shouldn’t be a problem to set up, so I should be ready to go in no time!

Shopping for Camcorders

January 23rd, 2012

I don’t have a camcorder, but I really want one in order to take videos of our vacations, my son’s sports events, etc. I’ve just been using the video mode on my digital camera or cell phone for these purposes, but the result isn’t nearly as good as it could be with a dedicated camcorder.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some preliminary shopping and have narrowed down my choices to one of three sony camcorders, including the HDR-CX360V model pictured here. I have to continue reading up on features and stuff so I can make a better decision about what I actually need and what I can skip, but so far Sony looks like my best bet.

Useless College Majors

January 20th, 2012

Well, here’s some potentially disheartening information for a select group of college students. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2012 Job Outlook study, the following five majors are considered the most “useless”. In other words, you’re basically just wasting your money and setting yourself up for a career full of disappointments if you pursue any of these fields of study:

  • Agriculture
  • Fashion design
  • Theater
  • Animal science
  • Horticulture

The study cites a lack of job growth or demand, or (in the case of fashion and theater) the fierce competition to get noticed.

I say to hell with the research! Study what you want in school. How many people actually work in their field anyway? You can always find some kind of job if you’re resourceful enough, so do what you want!

Powerful website tools

January 16th, 2012

I swear, I keep going back and forth on what I want to do with this site. On most days, I just feel like closing it down and consolidating this blog with one of my others. But on some days, I feel like buying powerful tools such as this dashboard product from InetSoft so I can really make a concerted effort to turn this site around, drive more traffic here, and make it worth my while overall.

Hmm… decisions, decisions. Should I stop now or keep going for a little while longer? I just have no idea!!

Nicotine patches and sprays don’t work

January 13th, 2012

File this one under “I Could Have Told You That”. A Harvard University study of more than 750 adults found that just as many folks relapsed after using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as those who simply quit cold turkey.

When I first tried quitting smoking more than 15 years ago, I went with Nicorette gum and patches. Those things were VERY expensive at the time, and didn’t work at all. The gum at least gave my mouth something to do, but the patches didn’t help psychologically or physically.

I ended up using Wellbutrin for a month and had 100% complete success with zero complications, side effects, or relapses. That’s the way to go!

$1 million penny

January 9th, 2012

How much is a penny worth to you? For most people, the answer would be 1 cent. But someone in recently purchased a rare 1793 penny from a Florida auction for a cool $1 million! Why is the penny so rare? I don’t know much about it and haven’t seen pictures or anything, but I read that one reason for the high price tag is that the coin in question is in near-mint condition. Plus, I think 1793 was one of the first years that the U.S. started producing its own coinage.

I’m all for people having a hobby, but why can’t it be something like tinkering on acer netbooks or collecting Barbie dolls? I can’t imagine spending a million bucks on a single coin (and a penny to boot!).

Van der Sloot to plead guilty

January 6th, 2012

It looks like Joran Van der Sloot, the prime suspect in Natalee Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba several years ago, is going to plead guilty to killing another young woman, 21-year-old Stephany Flores of Peru.

Van der Sloot allegedly strangled her in a Lima hotel room after he caught her on his laptop looking up articles concerning his involvement in the Holloway case. He “lost it”, hit her on the head, and then strangled her. Van der Sloot then calmly left the hotel and fled to Chile, where he was caught a few days later.

I don’t know what kind of deal is in the works, but if this psychopath gets anything less than a life sentence, it will be a travesty.

New posting schedule

January 3rd, 2012

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what to do with this blog. I have too many other things going on right now and not enough time to give this blog the attention it needs. I’m probably going to shut it down in the near future because, to be honest, it’s kind of a chore trying to find things to write about here.

For now, I’m going to scale back the posting from every other day to twice a week. After that, we’ll see if a shutdown is still necessary or if I can manage the new schedule.