Today, we moved the cats in. I've got experience in jamming uncooperative cats into travel containers (one time, Genghis got out, and when I tried to get her back in, she peed on me) so I wore my motorcycle jacket and gloves for the process. Sure enough, all of the cats put up a valiant fight, Genghis most of all. She may be tubby and sleep almost all day, but she's at least half ox and very stubborn.
As soon as we let them out at home, Old Fat starts exploring like she owns the place, and Genghis and Gozer find the underside of the bed. While this 9000 year old cat is walking around and seeing the house and not paying any mind to those three dogs, Genghis and Gozer spend almost the whole night under the bed. Since Katie and the dogs have gone (mostly) to sleep, Gozer has come out and looked around, and Genghis has found a nice spot in my office.
Our house is pretty big and we've got way more rooms than people, so in picking out what to do with the rooms, we've designated one as the cat room. It'll be where we put the food and litter box and some cat related stuff. When we brought the cats home, we hastily threw some of the necessities in there, but we haven't really worked out the dog-proofing part yet. See, Chester is a notorious cat turd connoisseur, Harley loves the taste of cat food, and Fawkes just likes to mess with cats sometimes, so it's in our interest and in the cats' interests if we could have a safe room for them to eat and poop in.
For now, we are accomplishing this through monitoring of the dogs. They've been pretty good at staying near us, as they usually are, but since Katie has gone to sleep, Chester has decided that he needed to guard the cat room. You know, in case Harley decided she wanted in there, as if that old dog could do anything to stop her but growl and fart. After I caught him trying to sneak in to grab a late night snack and shooed him into the bedroom, Harley has taken up the charge of defending the cat room.
We might be able to fix this with a cat-climbable gate, but that old cat isn't as spry as she used to be. Or a cat tree with a pad big enough for at least the food. A lot of my ideas center around the whole cats climb better than dogs idea, except Old Fat isn't a great climber or jumper anymore. We're just stuck on how to dog-proof a room from a large-sized dog, a medium-sized dog, and a cat-sized dog, while keeping it available to the world's oldest cat.
Last night we got together at Jim and Andria's and had a "deep fry everything" party. It was at least twice as amazing as it sounds. Katie made a batter and we just kind of ran with it. We deep-fried avocados, which were pretty amazing. We stuffed some jalapenos with Daiya, but I didn't get to a hold of one of those. We also deep-fried some of the standards, round tater things, onion rings, tofu (which fried better without the batter), and sweet potato fries. We had grand plans to make things before deep-frying them, like taquitos, but we just kind of went nuts with the deep fry everything instead.
Then we played a whole pile of Rock Band 3. After moving all of our songs onto one hard drive, it turned out that Katie and I had a total of 358 songs. That's with all of our Rock Band 1, 2, and 3 songs, but that's an unholy amount of songs. The plus side is that there was a little bit of something for pretty much everyone. The down side is "Paradise by the Dashboard Light".
Yesterday I finished my first biathlon! It was a 3.1 mile run followed by a 15 mile bike ride. Leading up to it, I was mostly concerned with the run because I haven't done much running in the last six months. I spent the last three weeks running three times a week to build up my endurance again. Katie and I did a casual bike ride last week and that was about all the bike training I did. I placed 86th out of 153. I finished the run in 26:36, spent about a minute in the transition area, and finished the bike ride at 53:55. Here are some pictures!
That's me crossing the finish line. It was chip timed, hence all the mats. I rode my mountain bike with commuter tires because a friend of mine was also in it and she only has a mountain bike and I didn't want her to feel left out. I beat a lot of people on much more expensive bikes than mine, and I'm pretty sure I was the second person on a mountain bike to finish. The first was a 15 year old boy. I'm okay with that.
Here's how I'm supposed to feel after I finished! You can't tell but I'm giving a thumbs-up behind that water bottle.
Here's how I actually felt. Sweaty, tired, hungry!
And here's Erika shoving a banana in my face.
Tuesday I had my second plant bio exam. Now, leading up to this exam, I hadn't gone to lecture between the first exam and now. I got an 86 on my first exam and attendance is not required because the points from attendance come from the same pool as the points for the quizzes posted on Blackboard. The quizzes are far more helpful than the lectures because the exams come straight out of the quizzes.
Going into this exam, I was a little worried! The study guide for the first exam had literally all the answers needed to pass the quizzes, and there was a practice exam posted that I could take over and over without consequence. It was great for memorizing questions and answers. This time around the study guide was not complete and there was no practice exam. I had to go through lecture slides to get through the quizzes, and then I studied off of the quizzes but I didn't get that feedback of what I retained and what I couldn't remember by taking that practice exam. But I felt confident that I at least passed the exam afterwards.
I got an 88. I did better on the second exam with an incomplete study guide and no practice than I did on the first exam. Obviously, I'm doing something right!
I'm insane and tonight I pounded out my last paper until after Spring break! Combined with finishing my assignments for Wednesday, the only obligations I have outside of classes are readings and two exams! This almost means my working obligations are over! I'll sleep well tonight knowing that I don't have anything due for at least two weeks! YEAH!
I finished up Dead Space 2: Severed. Here's a brief cost analysis: $6 (560 ms bucks), two chapters containing just over an hour of gameplay (on normal difficulty), one altered weapon (patrol seeker rifle), one "new" enemy (the twitchy fast necromorphs from the first one), and I think they added two altered suits to my main campaign save. I think it was worth it because I love Dead Space 2.
If I didn't love the game so much to begin with, I might be a little upset. The two chapters take place in a mining quarry and the medical wing of Titan station, both of which are settings I've been to before. It is completely self-contained and has in-game cutscenes and voice acting but since it's so short, it's hard to connect with the characters I'm supposed to connect to. Perhaps it's because I didn't play Extraction first, which is where they came from.
This compelled me to start up my New Game+ on Zealot difficulty. I'm up to chapter two already. Yep, I still love this game!
Today was my last amateur flight for the foreseeable future. It was one of those test flights where someone more important than my normal instructor evaluates me. It wasn't a relaxing enjoyable flight and it was more of a nerve-wracking pain in the ass but I passed. I think now would be a good time to express a couple of the reasons why I got out of it.
- I'm not a very good pilot. Out of four of these test flights, I've failed two for doing something wrong. Not a little wrong, borderline dangerous wrong. I don't take failures lightly and it was very embarrassing to me, which is why I never talk about them. I know this is one of those things that gets better with time and experience but I am 28. I'm not old but I'm a little old to be stumbling through the entry level of a career when I already have a lot of skill in another field.
- Aviation is not as fulfilling to me as working in tech. I can fly the airplane, and I can plan flights, and I can do some basic weather analysis, and I can interpret charts and graphs, and none of it feels as good as fixing a good computer problem. Maybe that will come with time, and maybe it won't.
- I care more about tech than I do aviation. I read and keep up on a whole lot of tech news. I tried to do the same thing with aviation and I just could not give a fuck. It's all business. The tech sector is so broad and constantly evolving. The aviation industry feels turgid and sluggish by comparison.
- The aviation industry has been a lot of doom and gloom lately. It will bounce back to some degree but some of the problems in the industry for pilots, and especially new pilots, are not getting better. Pilots will continue to be stretched thin and overworked because the industry wants more flights, more passengers, less downtime, and less pay. Seriously, investigate the way a new pilot at a regional carrier lives. It's worse than a private in the Army, and the private may even get paid more.
- Finally, and perhaps the most important, pilots in the cockpit flying the airplane are not the future; drones are the future. Unmanned are where the growth in aviation is coming from, and you don't necessarily need a pilot to fly a drone. In nearly every case I know of, drones are flown by people who aren't pilots. They're (more or less) Joe Schmoe, pulled off the street and given a bunch of training and sent on his way. The FAA does not have a drone pilot certificate. The FAA regulations don't even cover drones, at all! Right now, unmanned are primarily used for military applications but a future in which drones handle most non-passenger carrying flights is coming.
So that's it. There are a couple less important reasons but the short of it is that working with tech makes me happier and, in my opinion, has a brighter future for me. My time flying hasn't been wasted, I do hold a private pilot certificate and all of my logged flight hours. I can still fly wherever I go, if I want to pay to rent an airplane to do so. It's just not what I'll be doing for a living, and that's fine with me.
You know, the first thing I did today was get Dead Space 2: Severed and the Nine Inch Nails track pack for Rock Band. I've played a couple of the Nine Inch Nails songs but I haven't touched Severed yet.
I did, however, finish the Doom 2 bonus episode No Rest for the Living. What a brutal collection of levels. The levels are beautifully made and the challenge is always just a hair below what I was capable of beating. Seriously, Vivisection, halfway through it almost broke me. Now my avatar gets to wear the totally effing sweet Doom marine costume! And I get to grind through the rest of Doom 2 on Ultraviolence. And maybe I'll get back into Thy Flesh Consumed if I want to die repeatedly.
Katie made the mistake of buying the Magic game off of XBLA and we played three games and I totally crushed her all three times. She blames it on the deck and cheating. You can't cheat when the program is controlling the rules!
It was wet outside today and it got colder as the day went on. I thought leaving for school on a cold morning and warming up was bad. Going to school on a not entirely warm morning and then it gets colder is worse!
I have a big paper about marginalized identity groups to write that's due in a week and I am not looking forward to it. It's going to require sources and research and blah blah blah. I should just write it now so I can quit worrying about it but I probably won't. I mean, not right now, it's a little late, but maybe tomorrow. MAYBE.
I'm very close to the end of Bionic Commando (2009) but who cares, because tomorrow Dead Space 2: Severed gets released, and so does a Nine Inch Nails track pack for Rock Band!!!! I am totally fucking excited!