Monday, March 22, 2004

For Those About to Bot, We Salute You!

Our robotics team cleaned up at the Peachtree Regional FIRST Robotics competition this weekend. That probably means squat to the average reader. Perhaps you should go here or maybe here to figure out what the heck I'm talking about. And if you haven't been, you probably won't understand.

I spent the weekend with split loyalties between the robotics team and the academic bowl team. The latter had a good first year showing at State championships. The previous had a phenomenal showing for their second year. They brought home the Team Spirit award, the Regional Championship for winning the competition, and the Regional Chairman's Award, the highest honor bestowed by FIRST, essentially for having the best overall team. The regional director jokingly stated to me that we were a bunch of "award piggies." I half-jokingly reminded her that this was not a socialist event.

It was a good weekend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Working 7 to 12, What a way to make a living...

That's 7 as in AM, 12 as in AM. God, I must love this job. Either that, or I do way too much crap. Stupid work ethic. Damn you Mom for raising me to be responsible!! I'd much rather be having a beer bought with my government subsidies, but NO!! You had to go and make me all educated and load me up with the idea to take pride in my work. Now here I am in a dark, lonely school building all by myself, typing up lesson plans for my substitute that's taking over while I'm out being a respectable sponsor of both the robotics team and the academic bowl team in the same weekend in two towns at least 2 hours apart. What I wouldn't give to be working on the POS truck and beating up on my wife and kids instead.

Come to think of it... thanks Mom.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Return of the Plague

Let me preface this with a little background info. I am an advisor for our school's FIRST robotics team, a national robotics competition for high school students all over the country. This year, we entered two regional events, the first of which occurred last weekend, Mar 4-6, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. We left Wednesday evening for the Thursday-Saturday event.

Everything was going well. The competition was proceeding better than expected for our team, in 9th of 63 by Friday evening. Had a few good meals courtesy of sponsors and what not, had a good time meeting people from other teams. Then...

Friday night, around 11 pm, we're back in our hotel. The mentor students from GA Tech (god bless her) were along with us. Everyone is hanging out, having a good time. Then I get the first report. One of the Tech kids puked. No big deal, no telling what wacky college kids were up to. Maybe some alcohol. Seemed unlikely. Maybe some bad food? Who knows? Not one of our high schoolers, he can take care of himself. Then, 15 minutes later, it's one of our girls spewing. Did they eat at the same place? Well, we all ate at the sponsor event. Uh oh. 10 minutes later, one of our boys has decided to revisit his earlier meal. Crap, what's going on? Over the course of the evening, probably 10 of the 44 people on our bus were afflicted with some type of stomach bug. Not good.

At the competition site the next day, turns out we're not the only team in this situation. A lot of teams are down 3-15 kids due to this illness, whatever it is. Probably a little less than half the attending people.

Turns out we had an outbreak of some strain of a norovirus, aka the stomach flu. Not surprising considering how many objects exchange hands. Every team has giveaways with their team names and numbers on them, buttons, pens, cool blinky things, etc. And our team was gracious enough to provide a nice contamination zone via an Internet cafe style setup in the lobby.

It was cool, got to clean up some puke on the bus, watch a few others vomit in trashcans. On the return trip home, we quarantined the sick to the back of the bus. They turned green at the mere mention of food or blowing chunks. So, I was gracious enough to provide the others with a top ten list of forbidden words for the ride home.
10. vomit
9. puke
8. upchuck
7. hurl
6. spew
5. blow chunks
4. ralph
3. barf
2. reverse peristalsis
1. uneat

I told them if we go back to VCU next year, one of our giveaways should be those SARS masks with our team logo on it.

Why I Don't Have Pets

Take this weblog for example. If posts were its food, it'd only weigh around the mass of a few electrons by now, if it were lucky enough to survive this long on other peoples lost posts and its own waste.

I Am A Thrust-ship

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Thrust-ship.I am a Thrust-ship.

I am small and tricky - where you think I am, I probably am not. I can work very fast, but I tend to go about things in a round about way, which often leaves me effectively standing still. I hate rocks. Bloody rocks.
What Video Game Character Are You?