Song of the Month:  Trans-Siberian Orchestra - An Angel Came Down (1996)
December 2005
04 December 2005:

The last few weeks have been... busy.

Most of my time has been consumed by schoolwork.  It's not surprising considering that I'm taking four engineering lectures this semester and Aviation Ground School.  This weekend, I worked almost entirely on my Senior Design Lab's final report.  Before that, I was working on a MATLAB program for Communication Systems Analysis to determine the odds of a player winning a hypothetical game.  I discovered a viable problem-solving technique almost literally at the zero hour.  But all the trial and error that got me to that point took up quite a lot of time.

I probably should've worked harder over Thanksgiving break, but I was too busy catching up with sleep!  I did have an awesome vacation though!  Aunt Di, Uncle Joe, Lauren and Randa all came to CT and I got to see all of them.  Not to mention our annual semi class reunion at Oliver's!  Everybody seems to be in the same group: graduated, looking for a job, and living with their parents.  Everybody except for me.  I should be getting my permanent change of station (PCS) sometime in January if I don't get it next week at Lead Lab.  It's very exciting!  Honestly, I'll be happy with just about any assignment that I get.  Location isn't so much important to me as what I'll be doing and what kind of people I'll meet there.

Right now, I'm pretty much putting everything on hold until I get through this last week of school.  Then, if I survive finals next week, I will kick back and welcome the holiday season!
Photo of the Month:

Terminology of the Month:      Kwanzukah - December holiday for black Jews
Coming to DVD:
26 December 2005!!!
08 December 2005:

Uncle Sam taught him to shoot
Maybe a little too well
Finger on the trigger, loaded bullet
He hit the stage so full of rage
And let the whole world know it
Six feet away, they heard him say
“Oh God, don’t let him pull it”

Please God, don’t let him pull it
How could you put us through it?
His brother watched you do it

How could you take his life away?
How could you be so full of hate?
And when I heard you let him die
And made the world all wonder why
I sat at home and on my own,
I cried alone

And scratched your name
On the side of a bullet

And in the wake of his mistake
So many lives are broken
Gone forever from a loaded bullet
And no excuse that you could use
Could pull somebody through it
And to this day so many say
“God why’d you let him do it?”

How could you let him do it?
How could you put us through it?
His brother watched him do it

How could you take his life away?
How could you be so full of hate?
And when I heard you let him die
And made the world
all wonder why
I sat at home and cried alone
and on my own
I scratched your name
On the side of a bullet
08 December 2005:

This is from a White House Press Conference on 30 Nov 2005 and pretty much sums up my opinion on the matter:

QUESTION FROM THE PRESS: "Sir, taking on his question a bit -- and I can give you actual examples from coalition forces who talked to me when I was over there about excesses of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defense; and that is in dealing with prisoners or in arresting people and how they're treated after they're arrested -- what are the obligations and what are the rights of U.S. military over there in dealing with that?"

RUMSFELD: "Obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility when a sovereign country engages in something that they disapprove of. However, we do have a responsibility to say so and to make sure that the training is proper and to work with the sovereign officials so that they understand the damage that can be done to them in the event some of these allegations prove to be true."

QUESTION: "And, General Pace, what guidance do you have for your military commanders over there as to what to do if -- like when General Horst found this Interior Ministry jail?"

GENERAL PACE: "It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it. . . . "

RUMSFELD: "I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it, it's to report it."

GENERAL PACE: "If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it."

I am so thankful that the military finally has at least one leader at the highest level who has some degree of moral fortitude.
13 December 2005:

Ahhh... Finals Week!  The challenge that seperates the men from the boys!  The ultimate testing of mental fortitude and endurance.  Honestly, for me six days filled with multiple exams is really no different from any other week of this past semester.  Nevertheless, I have dedicated the majority of my day to reviewing the vast wealth of knowledge that I have acquired these past few months at the university.  Fortunately, Amanda and the rest of my friends have been pretty good about keeping me occupied with things other than the properties of transverse electromagnetic waves when I need it.

Last Saturday, I went up to Boston with Bryant, Lisa, and Skeeter to see Jay, Lori, and the future Mr. & Mrs. McTigue for some a juicy Longhorn lunch in Fenway.  We went to the Prudential, but I don't think anybody ended up buying anything.  I needed to save $$$ for groceries anyways, but it was still a fun trip.  Watching all the people who lack the ability to properly operate their automobiles in the city snow is always a gas!

Hopefully, once the weekend is past and school becomes a faint, if haunting, memory, I can finally get some skiing in!  Amanda and I have to agree on which mountain we should invest our precious money in for season passes.  This is gonna be a wicked fun winter!

Oh yeah!  Trans Siberian Orchestra is coming to the garden on the 27th!  I got a posse of eight people going and it's gonna be great!   Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Coming to DVD:
14 March 2006!!!
21 December 2005:

Christmas is quickly approaching!  It is a very good time for all!  Except for some miserable people who have brought a most ridiculous debate to a head.  For the last few years there has been a rather public debate on whether or not the phrase "Merry Christmas" is or is not a generally appropriate saying.  My stance on this issue is as follows:  ahem...

Shut the hell up, all of you!

Anyone who actually engages in this debate is a fool.  Anyone who actually gets angry at someone else for the verbiage in a December slogan intended to wish the recipient well is a complete and utter asshole.  Are people so unhappy with their lives that they have to resort to releasing their frustration on such an absurd conflict?  Whether or not the phrase "Merry Christmas" is more popular than "Happy Holidays" is not at all an important issue and there's no need to get worked up about.

This is the exact same mentality that lead to the atrocities of the Reformation - Jesus taught us to love one another, so let's kill each other over how exactly he said it.  Give me a break.  Actually, it's not really comparable to the Reformation so much because no one's been killed over the issue and no wars have broken out (...yet) but you get the idea.

Basically, my point is this:  Instead of getting heated over the wording of certain winter expressions, maybe we should try focusing more on the intent behind the words.  And to anyone who doesn't feel the same way:  Have A Miserable Christmas, you wretched bastards!
28 December 2005:

Eight of us went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last night in Boston!  It was sweet.  My favorite part was in the second half of the show when they played Led Zeppelin and some classical pieces.  If you were there, I was the guy who shouted out, "Yeaaaaaaaaah!" amidst the silence after they said that they were gonna play Carmina Burana.  These guys really do rock out the best version of "O Fortuna" and the barrage of lasers and wicked lighting doesn't hurt either!

Mohegan is out a grand tonight.  That was pretty cool.