January 1, 2008: A New Year Begins

Today begins the eighth year of Sheep Guarding Llama. Hard to believe.

Oreo got me out of bed at twenty past seven this morning which was way too early to be getting up. We went for a walk and then returned to the apartment and went right back to bed. We didn’t really get up until well after nine which was much more reasonable. It was after four when Dominica and I had gotten to sleep last night and we were all very tired this morning.

Dominica slept in until half past noon and then dragged her tired butt out into the living room to join the land of the living. We decided that we would see who was awake and interested in joining us for “lunch” so we emailed people to see what the status of everyone was. While we were waiting for some responses I hopped into the shower and then Dominica took hers.

We were hungry but there aren’t many food options in a city like Newark, New Jersey on a holiday like New Year’s Day. At two thirty Ryan was just getting up and decided that he would like to join us for some delivered Domino’s Pizza which was probably the easiest food choice of the day.

We learned an important trick today – when ordering our meal online Domino’s was going to charge us $35 but when we called it in they only charged us $24. $11 on a meal that cheap is a really huge percentage (closing in on 50%!) So we will be taking the extra effort to call in all of our orders from now on instead of using the simpler online ordering method. It is strange that they choose to go that route since ordering online costs them less than it does to have a person manning the telephones.

It was probably around three when Ryan came up to the apartment and the food was there about twenty minutes later. We never did hear back from Kevin and Pam.

Ryan hung out until almost seven. The new furniture that we now have in our living room is really paying off. People are coming over more and more often now and probably a lot of it has to do with the fact that we have places to sit.

I played a few games of AsoBrain Xplorers today. The online version (compared to Mayfair Games’ Settlers of Catan boardgame) is quirky and takes some getting used to but works pretty well for the most part. Art Ralston jumped in and played a couple of games against me throughout the day. He is, apparently, quite addicted to the game.

Dominica did some work for one of her classes at Empire State College today. She is hoping that she is just a few classes from being able to qualify for a two year Associates of Science in Computer Information Systems degree that she can take now and then, after having achieved that “waypoint”, move on towards the remainder of the BS of CIS requirements. Unfortunately her advisor, along with the rest of the ESC staff, is off for the January “reading period” so she can’t get any feedback until after it is too late for any decision making for this semester.

So for the January semester she is signing up for the “Operating Systems” class which focuses on the internal workings of UNIX and Linux. This will be a good class for her to have since her goal is to move into Linux System Administration. Unfortunately Empire’s computer system doesn’t communicate well with itself and in some places the class is listed as open with three seats left available but when she actually attempts to register it is listed as being full.

So the quest to find an available class that will actually be useful for her on the road to getting her degree began. After an hour or so of running through the options we finally decided that she should take “GPS and the New Geography” this semester. It is an “Intro” level class but sounded interesting. We are thinking that it will be fun.

From some speculative planning, we think that Dominica most likely needs to take three four-credit courses yet this year to qualify for her AS degree. So the current plan is – assuming that her mentor agrees – that she take GPS now, a course in System Administration in May and the Operating Systems course online in September. We hope that those three classes will be enough to wrap up her AS waypoint and then plans for her BS degree can be evaluated after that point.

It was half past eleven when we were finally ready to head off to bed. Dominica has been reading “The Crystal Shard” and is just about caught up with me.

Both of us have to go back to work tomorrow. The winter holiday vacations are finally over. Although for her the normal work begins again tomorrow but my office doesn’t return to “normal” until Monday when the financial industry freeze is lifted. My winter recess from RIT is over on Monday as well and class work will begin again.

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