Christmas with the Haggerty’s & Bickford’s

Well Christmas has come and gone. Treah and I are in Vermont spending the holidays with my family.

On Christmas Eve we went to the Inn at Essex for lunch. This was to celebrate Grampa and Grammy’s 55th wedding anniversary. We had so many people that they gave us our own room in the restaurant. Later we went to the late night church service. This was the first time I have been back to our church since our old minister retired. It was kind of strange to see some one else giving the sermon. The service was nice. Lots of music. Uncle Bill sang his traditional solo of Oh Holy Night. The men’s choir also sang a few songs. Most of the classic Christmas songs were covered either by the congregation or by one of the groups performing.

After church we came home and opened presents with my parents and brother. This has become sort of a tradition to open presents from my immediate family at mid night when we get home from church. We’ve been doing it since we moved back to Vermont (about 5 or 6 years).

Christmas morning Santa had come and dropped off our stockings. We got up and opened those. Mom and Treah made prime rib and the fixings for lunch. Then we went to my grand parent’s house for presents with the rest of the family and to eat Christmas dinner.

I racked up some more great presents this week:

  • Remote starter for my jeep
  • Best Buy gift card
  • Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt
  • Drum sticks
  • The Office – Season 1 DVD (NBC version)
  • Clay poker chip set
  • Van Heusen coat
  • Quesadilla maker
  • Drunk Chicken Rack
  • 2 more disc golf discs
  • Movie theater gift card
  • Cash
  • A new hammer
  • Leatherman Micro

I think that’s it. I’ll update the list if I forgot anything. Thanks to everyone for the great gifts.

Tomorrow I’m going to be spending most of the day at my grand parent’s house. They want me to put in DSL, setup a small network, install a new hard drive, and teach them how to use there new digital camera. Treah is leaving tomorrow to spend a few days in NY visiting some family. I think that’s it. Sorry for such a long post.

WordPress Upgrade

I am working on a WordPress upgrade. I don’t think it will take very long, but things may look a bit hairy until it is done.

The Upgrade went flawless. I’m now running WordPress version 2.0. If you’re looking to upgrade I followed this guide:

It probably took about 10 minutes to upgrade, including making all of my backups.

Christmas with the Boyer’s

The semester is finally over. Now the only thing on my plate is work and Christmas. Doug and Susan made the trip up from Beckley to celebrate Christmas with Treah and I this weekend.

We went to dinner at the Texas Road House and spent Saturday night doing the traditional Christmas Eve poker game and drinking spiked egg nog. I tried to explain how to play craps, but everyone seemed to think I was making up the rules as I went along. Christopher and Deborah exchanged presents with Treah and I.

Today we exchanged presents with Doug and Susan. Doug has been spending the morning trying to get the humidifier working, so far we’ve made 2 trips to Lowe’s.

So far I’ve got some cool stuff:

  • 2 disc golf discs
  • Think geek shirt
  • Card shuffler
  • Card boot
  • Visa gift card
  • Lowe’s gift card
  • T-square
  • Laser level
  • 18volt Craftsman Cordless Drill
  • The Office – Season 2 DVD (BBC version)
  • Multi tool
  • Chocolates

Treah and I leave Thursday to make the trip to Vermont. We’ll be spending Christmas with my parents up there.

Finals Week… Software Engineering Still Blows

Well it’s that time of the semester again, finals week. This time should prove to be particularly grueling. Since I am only a part time graduate student I am only taking 2 classes. I finished 1 of my classes last week. I got the email yesterday morning that I had earned 555/600 points (A). My other class is a different story.

WVU’s Software Engineering department has a real problem. So far in my 1.5 years in the program I have only had 2 professors that teaching is there primary job. 1 of them has since left the university, the other is retired from IBM and teaches 1 class per semester (he’s the guy I earned 555/600 this semester). The rest have day jobs and teaching is something they do for extra cash. This poses a big problem. The students get the shaft 90% of the time. Professors do not answer emails and do not return phone calls. Most of the time they aren’t even in WV, they are away on business trips. This means canceled classes. Even when classes are held attending them is nearly impossible with the “elearning” solution they have in place.

My second professor is no exception to this. He has yet to respond to any emails I have sent to him this semester. Last week he told us that we would have our final some time on Friday and would have until the following Friday to get it in to him. Well it’s now Sunday evening and no one in the class has received his final. Big shocker. He said in class last week that his travel schedule will have him out of the state next week and to communicate with him via email. I’ve already said how that works out.

This 2nd professor also sucks at spreading assignments out across the semester. We have had 1 homework assignment all semester. This was in the 2nd or 3rd week of class. We have also had a midterm exam. As I’ve already said we’re supposed to be getting a final some time. We also have a final project on top of this. Guess what? Both the final exam and the final project are due on the same day. Nothing like spreading things out for us. Luckily I’m already done with my other class.

My suggestions to the program.

  1. Dump the elearning thing. Make this an on campus degree.
  2. Dump the part time faculty members. Hire a 3 or 4 professors that only teach.
  3. Get an advisor for the program that is worth a damn. Our current advisor acts as though he can’t be bothered to actually do his job. Even basic things like getting a list of classes to Admissions and Records is to difficult for this guy. This means that we can’t register for classes, because there are none in the system to register for.
  4. Listen to your students.

To recap. WVU’s Software Engineering program sucks. Don’t go here! To put it bluntly, if I could finish my degree else where I would. It pains me to say this. I bleed gold and blue. My wife and I got our undergraduate degrees at WVU, I work for WVU, my wife is in Medical School at WVU. So needless to say WVU is a big part of my life, and yet I’d go elsewhere. Hopefully I can save some one considering this graduate program.

My Christmas Lights

I took a video of the Christmas lights I put up this year. You can see it here: http://www.merliniworks.com/hotlink/christmaslights.wmv

These aren’t really mine

December 2005
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