charlestonsky

Boards

After checking our mailbox 3 times a day since some time last week.. and only finding unwanted credit card offers and useless bills for most of that time, I got the letter I've been waiting for...

I passed part 2 of the national boards.

whew. One requirement down. A few to go.

 

posted by Josh M on 10:06 PM

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Japanese Soccer

I had to share this (via popsci.com)

 

The Ten Commandments of Dental School

The first commandment for dental students is "Thou Shalt Not Break Thy Hands."
I think the second commandment has something to do with what happens after you sneeze.
The rest are pretty hazy.

I broke the first commandment.

 

Bee Street River

I drove through a big puddle the other night on the Bee St. River. I stopped and watched several small cars make it through, so I figured the TT would be fine if I kept it near the middle of the road.

I did not notice the stalled car on the far side of the "puddle."

We made it through without killing the engine.

But when I tried to go out earlier tonight, the clutch was stuck engaged whether I pushed the pedal to the floor or not. After trying in vain for a little while and pouting for the rest of the night over the need to take my baby to the shop....

I came across this little tid-bit from somebody who has suffered the same fate:

With some newfound hope, I went out and abused my starter, clutch, transmission, and most laws regarding red lights. I'm pretty sure somebody called me in for drunk driving.

On the plus side, I learned to powershift.

After about 15 minutes and 5 jerky laps around the block while wrestling a car out of control--I had my first glimmer of hope: a little stuttered a little when I pressed in the clutch and released it quickly. A couple more attempts and I was golden.

I guess one of the plates rusted to the other. I don't know. I can't quite figure out how this all fits together.

I'm never going down that end of Bee St. again without first caulking my wagon to ford the river.

 

posted by Josh M on 10:51 PM

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Tuscaloosa

We're here in T-town.

We spent the night at the University Church of Christ. Nice people. Smart thinking--build a church with showers. Maybe that's how churches should be built--not as ornate worship halls, but as practical facilities--shelters.

Maybe a lot of folks would say not.

We had moderate success today. 3 wins and a loss.

An early loss tomorrow would send us home. I have mixed feelings. I miss being home. I like winning.

 

posted by Josh M on 10:31 PM

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Tuscaloosa

In a few hours, I'm going to jump in my car and head to Tuscaloosa for an ultimate frisbee tournament with some of the guys from Harding--most of whom I haven't seen for quite some time.

I'm cautiously optimistic. I hope have haven't lost too much of my speed or talent. I also hope that it'll be fun, because this is a long drive to not have fun.

I'll be leaving this afternoon for North Augusta, where Paul will jump in the car (and hopefully drive), and we'll proceed to the University CofC in Tuscaloosa.

I think I'm most excited about a side trip to Moody, where we'll stop in to see Tom and Mary Beth.

On the road...

 

Toys

****Note: all parties involved in this story may not recall the events I am describing as having occurred exactly as portrayed.

I am cheap. In fact, I am almost as cheap as I am impulsive.

Because of this little character flaw, I hate going to the grocery store. It's a constant battle. I think the grocery store is my toy store. I walk down the aisles and say, "I want that... and that.. this too. OH, and one of those... no, I'll take two."

But I am cheap. So I don't buy any of those things. And instead go for the grits and cheap-o store brand wheat squares and some 1% milk because it's cheaper than whole milk.

But on occasion, impulse wins out.

I was surfing craigslist when I saw my next impulse purchase: An audi tt with a manual transmission. Cool. I wanted it.

So I started to make deals--only I was the salesman.

"Sweetheart... if you'll let me buy this car, then I'll do the dishes all next week."
no dice.

"I like that shirt. You look really nice today."
not a chance.

"If you'll let me buy this car, I'll sell my motorcycle."
A glimmer of hope.

When my bride and I were dating, I made the mistake of saying that I loved my motorcycle.... months before I ever told Amber the same thing. She's had a little envy of that little machine ever since. She got a little curious enjoyment out of the motorcycle, but she mostly regarded its presence in the parking lot like she would an ex girlfriend who shows up every week for Monday Night Football.

As of now, I'm banned from craigslist. Amber says so.

But I also got my car. And I ditched the bike.

The battery was on the fritz when I bought the car. Leaving the lights on didn't help matters one bit. Amber showed up and gave me a jump.

I took the car home and got to work changing the battery.
I did some head scratching.
And gave a few confused looks.
Then did some more head scratching.
And I started taking off random bolts.
Then I dropped a few random bolts.
And I searched and searched for those silly bolts.
Three hours later, I had a new battery installed.
Three more hours later, I found all those silly bolts and put them back where they came from.

Maybe I should have begged for a Ford Focus after all.

 

Hanna

Looks like Hanna is coming to visit after all.

MUSC dismissed class and clinic for today.
Amber's school did the same.

We considered escaping town for the weekend, but I think we'll wait it out.

More later.

 

Victory

Thanks to my stud-like partner hitting better than I ever saw before and passing with remarkable accuracy, we managed to pull out an easy victory at Pafukas.

Most of the time, I felt like I was standing still while Paul was digging and hitting. I suppose that means that he put up some good passes so I didn't have to do much.

The scores for the championship games were something like 15-1, 15-6. It's easy to win when the other team looks like they're about to pass out from the crushing heat.

I think my part of our winnings will be paying for my next video game.

 

Google Streetview



This might cost me some brownies in the future, but...

I discovered my dear mother in law standing in the cold with her dog-like critter. Ok, so Google's streetview might be a little bit scarier than I thought.

 

posted by Josh M on 11:21 PM

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Google Directions

Paul and I will be playing in the Pafukas grass doubles tournament tomorrowI just got on google maps to get directions to the Northwest YMCA and...

Holy Cow!

Google maps are getting wild. That crazy program shows me what all the turns will look like. Cool. And scary.
Wish us luck.

 

There are a few things that I love most in life.

My God.
My wife.
Papa's steaks.
My mother-in-law's brownies.
And homemade vanilla ice cream.

 

President Street River

I've been enjoying the thunderstorms rolling by ever since the weather turned hot; however, living downtown is a bit different from anything that I am accustomed to. These are a couple of shots I took a week or two ago. If this is what happens after a thunderstorm, I'm definitely leaving town if a hurricane comes.

Hm... houseboats.


 

RIP M.E.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. ....I guess.

One of my favorite blogs (Creating Passionate Users) shut down a little more than a year ago because of death threats from a small handful of angry readers. I loved her ideas and passion. Each new post was a new insight into how people work and think. And the pictures... I loved her graphics.

Maybe this final graphic explains what was so great about CPU, and a few others too. Mediocre things, like my blog produce neither love nor hate--there is no passion. But now I'll say so long to another of my favorite blogs because of threats. I suppose Elrod hasn't had too many death threats, but a few too many assassin-like unemployment threats appear to have sucked the air out of yet another of my favorite web writers. I'll miss your thoughts. They are different than mine, but I like the opportunity to challenge what I think--or thought.

I guess... here's a toast to public mediocrity. And a dirge for something special, loud, public, and different that will now be something quiet, hidden, private, and gone.

 

Fireworks

Happy Independence Day


 

In-Laws

I don't get it.

 

One

Amber and I are celebrating our first year of marriage today. It's hard to believe that a whole year has already passed by. It's sometimes difficult to remember what things were like just over a year ago. Well, hectic I guess.

Over the past year we fought a little too much, ate too much junk food, and occasionally worked a little too hard. But we also learned to fight nice, work smarter, and I've discovered that I like a few vegetables. Things would be simpler if wives came with manuals. I did pick up on a few important details though.

I learned that it's not a good idea to compare my bride to any type of fruit or vegetable, either of our mothers, or anything else with two X chromosomes for that matter. Not all things are competitions. Winning is fun... for a little while. Eventually winning has its price. Flowers are worth at least twice as much as they cost.

 

Surgery

Amber's computer stopped working the other day. It would shut down less than a minute after turning it on. After some internet research, I decided the heatsink must be plugged up with lint and dust.

So I did some surgery and got really nervous. And discovered that the thermal grease that helps transfer heat from the processor to the heatsink was nearly nonexistent. So I bought some thermal stuff and put the computer back together.

Many thanks to this guy.


 

Cumberland Island

 

posted by Josh M on 12:02 AM

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Make Cheap Steaks better with salt.

I don't care if anybody reads this. I just want to be able to find this article later.

PS: Don't try this with thin steaks. They'll taste like a salt block.

 

Magnolia Plantation


A random pond out at Magnolia...

 

New Grandparents

There aren't many ways to get more grandparents. Although there are a few ways to have less. I guess I'm happy to get more any way I can.

And I did when I said I do.

Amber's Grandparents and Great Aunt+Uncle came down our way last week. We had a good time getting to hang out and get to know one another a little better.

I learned how to play dominoes. I taught them to play 42.

They took us to Hymen's Seafood. We talked them into JB's Smokeshack. They bought us dinner there too after a quick jaunt to the Angel Oak.

They toured the Yorktown and Magnolia Plantation.

We went to work and school.

A big thanks to them for dropping by. I loved spending some time with the new fam.

 

Car shopping


I know graduation is still more than a year away, but if anyone wants to contribute to my next ride I'm more than happy to accept a little gift. (Dear Mom, that's a Ferrari)

 

posted by Josh M on 12:22 PM

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Shem Creek

 

Bridge Run 2

The second time lapse video. It's a start.

 

Bridge Run Cleanup

My first time-lapse video. The cleanup crew is getting started after the bridge run.

 

Time Lapse Photography

How to turn a TI-86 into an Intervalometer

For some time, I've wanted to do a little time lapse photography. Very high end cameras have time lapse features built into the software. Some low end cameras do too; however, our Canon XTi doesn't. The only way to take time lapse pictures with the Rebel series is to rig an intervalometer yourself.

There are many ways to create an intervalometer, but this method doesn't require any soldering.

Parts:
TI-86
Canon XTi
2.5 mm double ended cable
tape
paper for labels

Tools:
Wire strippers/cutters


Write the Program

Disp "Interval in seconds"
Disp "x 100"
Prompt A
While 1
For(H,1,A,1)
End
Outpt("CBLSEND",A)
End
The program asks for a number. With full batteries, an input of 450 takes a picture every 3 seconds. It will be slower if the batteries are worn out.

Alter the Cable
The XTi has a 2.5mm remote input that is simple. The 2.5mm plug has three sections. Shorting the middle section with the base makes the camera focus, and shorting all three makes the camera take a picture.

The TI series graphing calculators also use 2.5mm jacks for their communication port. Someone wrote a program using the TI-89 as an intervalometer. Someone else wrote one for the TI-83. I combined a little of each in order to get the TI-86 working.

This will create a one-way cable. Using the cable in reverse will not work.
Label one 2.5mm jack as the Camera side. Label the other side as the TI-86 side. Cut the cable in half and strip the wires to expose about 3/8" of bare wire on each side.

Combine the red and white wires from the camera side with the red wire from the calculator side. Simply cut off the white wire from the calculator side--it will not be used. Connect the ground wires from each side.

All that's left to do is start the program and connect the camera to the calculator with our new cable.

 

Shortly after the end of the Civil War a Georgia pharmacist named Pemberton invented a carbonated concoction in his back yard.

Somwhere along the way, Coca Cola marketed itself with the phrase: "Nothin' like the real thing." Or is that a clause?

Anyhow, there really ain't nothing like the real thing. I got by during my Harding years on cheap Sam's Cola and various other bottom of the barrel knockoffs. But fake coke has now taken a back seat to the real stuff because the real stuff tastes better.

Amber and I went to the Mt. Pleasant La Hacienda today and splurged on some caffeinated goodness--but it just didn't taste right. After sipping down a full glass (and making a sour face after each sip and slurp) I finally pinned down what it was that I was choking down through a plastic straw--Cheap coke knock-off.

I'm through with La Ha...

 

The Best $50 I ever made

I turned 25 in March. On that wonderful day, I got to celebrate joining the rest of the world with reasonable car insurance rates. Unfortunately, 25 is also the age that Mom and Dad's health insurance gave me the boot. It was nice while it lasted. I signed up for my own, and I got a message that my premium was going up 10% because I'm getting older. (Correction: I procrastinated until Amber got so frustrated with me that she signed me up for some health insurance. I just signed the paperwork)

I've started attending lunch lectures on topics such as the two kinds of disability insurance
and financial solutions for starting your practice.

It hit me just the other day. I've never earned a real paycheck. Sure I've had a few summer flings with employment here and there, but I've never worked a real job.

I had an opportunity to bring in the big bucks Friday and today. One of the regional dental licensure testing agencies came to town to offer their "services" to the senior class. To say that those students were a little tense would be an understatement. Failure means that they loose an exorbitant test fee, and more importantly, they have take the test in another state before graduating.

The whole set-up was pretty controlled. Obscure paperwork flows from room to room. Examiners are not permitted to see the dental student who performs the work. I and my fellow minions escorted patients from the operatories to the examiner's secluded floor where they poked, prodded, and scrutinized each student's work.

In the meantime, I prodded and scrutinized how each examiner did his diligent duty. At some point, somebody asked why I'd do the such a monotonous job on my three day weekend. "It's simple" I told her. "I'm getting paid to gather intelligence." The testing agency offered me $50 per day to assist the examiners in the scoring area and watch exactly how they did their job.

The money won't go far, but at least I got to know the "enemy."

 

The Bachelor

Amber left me and left town to stay with her parents for a while. That leaves me to hold down the pad. Suddenly, the couch feels bigger, and dinner is a lot lonelier.
I'm going to watch TV shows with lots of explosions and not cuddle and then I'll play video games all night.

Then I'll get fast food for dinner, and eat junk food until my stomach hurts.

Oh man do I hate spring break when it's not my spring break.

 

March Madness

My 2008 bracket isn't looking so good....

 

PBC

It's official. Amber and I are going to camp this year. I had to beat our dean of clinical affairs in a jello wrestling match in order to get the time off, but I'm free for a week and we're off to PBC. Now... what to do with all this jello...

 

Home Alone in a Flat World

For one of the first times since we've been married, I'm home alone for the weekend. As much as I'm enjoying not fighting for the covers, I can't wait until Josh comes home tomorrow.

Anyway, while he's been gone, I've been catching up on some reading. I've been hearing about Friedman's The World is Flat for a while now, but with the job situation last semester I didn't have time to sit down and read the book.

I've only made it through a couple of chapters, but the premise of the book is that technology is leveling the playing field. My biggest question as I read is what does this mean for me and my students? Though we teach our students to use Word and remind them to never use Wikipedia (ha!), I'm not sure we're really teaching them the skills they need to make it in the world. In fact, many of my students know little about computers other than how to get around the firewall!

I'd love to get some input from others on what our students need to know when they enter college and the "real" world:

1) Should we be blocking technologies like Skype in our schools? We could be talking to experts around the world, but instead we block any type of chat or webconferencing tool for the safety of our students.

2) Which software programs (including web-based apps) are most important for our students?

3) What was most useful for you in high school? Which skills do you still actually use?

4) What are the essentials students need to know to get a job (and keep it)?

 

Color Pencil Gazebo


I like this version better. Color pencil filter everywhere but the gazebo.

 

Gazebo at White Point Gardens


I'm on Spring Break, so I thought I'd take some time to learn a little photoshop. This is my first attempt. I wanted to partially turn a picture into a line drawing. I'm not entirely happy.

 

FedEx Stinks


Fedex sent my goodies from Texas to California. Wrong way, geniuses. Now I don't like them.

 

Ransom Note

 

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