April, 2006

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April 8th, 2006

Today is the big day: Christina and I leave for NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research) in Asheville, N.C. (I sure hope there isn’t an Ashville, N.C. because that’s what a lot of my paperwork says on it). After running around campus between something like 6-7 departments, we finally got SGA to fund our registration, BHC to fund our hotel, OUR to fund our plane ticket, CE to processes the paperwork, and Dr. Gonzalez to pay for misc stuff. The whole getting to Asheville was somewhat of a pain. We had to buy our own tickets and I managed to get my ticket return date the first of May, which is totally wrong…Asheville is great, but not 3 weeks great. Luckily, I was able to swap it out. Max, Christina’s husband, kindly took us to the airport. We got there about 40 minutes before takeoff and the e-ticket machine refused to give us tickets because we were too late. So we called a Delta representative and apparently their new rule is if you check baggage, you have to do so 45 minutes before the flight. Since neither of us were checking any, they gave us our tickets (relief).

The plane ride was good; when we got there we got a ride to our hotel through the airport shuttles. Our van dropped a couple off at the Biltmore Inn (which was really really fancy) and then dropped us of. Of course, the first thing we check is Internet (yeah, I know, very nerdy). No internet, and no breakfast. But we did get an efficiency (I guess the Extended Stay Inn expects you to stay for an “extended” period of time ;-)) The shuttle to take us to UNC was slotted for 7:30 AM, so we decided to go find some breakfast so we didn’t have to get up extra early to go to Waffle House or something. It was 10:30 by now, so every normal store had closed. However, the guy at the counter said that Super Walmart was only a mile down the road. About 2 miles later and a couple times getting lost, we finally spotted Walmart. Unfortunately, this was Super “Fort” Wal-mart. It had a moat…well, OK, really it was the Swananoa River, but it sure looked like a moat. And the entrance was way around the other side, so about another half mile later, we finally dragged into Walmart. We got some stuff for breakfast and some fruit and stuff. On the way out, we saw a little path and thought it might be faster than the other way. It lead through a little park and then dead ended. So around 1:30 AM in the morning, we finally got back to the hotel.

April 4th, 2006

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 months since I last updated this site. This semester has been a killer. I haven’t had a lot of difficult work to do, but there has been so much of it that I don’t have much time for anything else. I finally got around to putting some a basic version of this site up. I’m now using a completely different approach. I’ve tried the straight HTML by hand, my own Content Management System (CMS), a professional CMS, doing it all via PHP, using an HTML editor, and now I’m trying something completely different. Use a set of metadata files to generate a set of HTML files for this site. This has several advantages. First, it’s all under my control, but a lot of the work is automated. All the navigation links and everything are generated automatically, which saves a ton of work. Also, I can customize the metadata with my own embelishments, further easing the pain. Finally, because I have to generate HTML files from the metadata files each time I make a change, it makes it easy to back up. Everytime I generate a new HTML file, I simply back up the old one in a zip file. Also, being a programmer, I like the concept of “Compile” and “Build.” So I log onto the admin side of this site and click the “Build” button and all updates are posted to the site.