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5/?/06 - Are you ready?
There's news to be heard. Do you think you can handel it? Do you think you're ready? Let me know when you think you are, because a week after that, I'll show you you're not! :) Busy busy, but you'll hear soon enough, for now, wish us luck, say a prayer. All will be apprecited and recipricated in turn.

1/1/06 - Shuffle & Mix in 2006
More than just the livingroom furniture, things are lookin' to change 'round here! Who knows what the future will bring, but it'll be exciting, to be sure. I'm looking forward to looking forward. With a steady income and school behind me, it'll be easier than ever to look ahead. Maybe not a 10 year plan (sorry Mom) but enough ahead to enjoy seeing it coming. And, with any luck I'll get some rest one of these weekends and I'll get to feel caught up with life so it doesn't feel like I'm being dragged along! Wanna hear a resolution? Me too! How about this: "Help others by helping yourself be in a position to be available to help those around you in their times of need." Happy New Year!


10/27/05 - Sigh of relief and gratitude
I've got a job!!! Woo-hoo! Yea for me! And thank you all for your help, patience, determined nag-resistance, hope, prayers, luckful wishes, advice, guidance, and the occasional butt-kicking. Not a part of it has gone unappreciated. OK, the details: I am now a 'visiting' staff member for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department. My title is something like Visiting IT and Web/Database Specialist. The visiting means that my contract appointment is up for review sooner than a regular staff member, but with any luck that will eventually change as well. And what am I going to do with this new-found gainful employment? Am I going to Disney World? No! Well, probably eventually, but not right away. For now, I'm taking these new benefits for a spin and seeing a doctor or two! Nothing specifically for, thank God, but something that people tell me I should do more often than never... So off I go, so I'll talk to you all soon! And if I don't, email me and complain!!!

9/8/05 - The Day Before
Well that was unpleasant! My boss is out of town this week, so I've been left to fend for myself. I knew it wasn't a 1 man job, but that idea has been forever burned in my mind. Who would have thought there existed so many unanswerable questions! Every time I turn around another computer gets lost, or we have a major pebkac issue. It's an experience, and one I'm looking forward to continuing, but at a slightly lesser pace perhaps. 'Til next time, Cheerio!

8/15/05 - The Students are Coming!
Both the departments I work with are gearing up for the major shift back to servicing labs full of undergrads. While we don't offer them help directly, the computers they'll be using to do their homework are required to be working properly, and the faculty tend to notice if they are not, so it's our busy season... Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'll be laid off as of 10AM this Thursday. Not good timing according to those I work for currently, but that's just the way it is. At least unless either department can come up with a more permanent solution to my psudo-employment woes. So here's to that! I'll sign off this brief message by saying, get out, have fun, enjoy your day, smile, and relax, you only go around once!!!

5/31/05 - May Squeeze
Oops! Almost forgot to get a new message out this month! So, May came & went pretty quickly. Still underemployed at two jobs for the time being, but rumors are circulating at amazing speeds and something may happen soon. My bike is working, thanks in large part to Liza, so a few things did get checked off the list this weekend, but a bunch more seemed to be waiting for me there. That just seems to be the way of things. Hopefully I'll get the new website up and running officially in the next week or two, but that depends on the amount of 'free time' I can find myself. If you had to guess, how long do you think I'll stay in my current house? I need to know so I can figure out how much work & $ to put into projects I would like done if I'm staying there for a while.

4/3/05 - It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Volleyball continues, frisbee starts, so does soccer, the US is just one point behind Mexico... What's not to like!?! Life is pretty good, and April is here. Work continues, some highs, some lows, but it pays. I'm getting a bit sore on this first weekend of activity, but it's oh so nice to get outside so much again. It's Spring after all, and I feel changes are coming. All new, good, and exciting; a whole new ride! Sometimes I miss the ordinary, but I think I'd look back and regret the experience if I missed out. So away we go!!!

2/25/05 - Got Work?
I do! That's right, I'll be working with the IT group at both the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering departments! OK, it's not the dream job yet, but it's good work, and it gets my foot in the University door! So, be excited with me, drop me a line, give me a call, or just buy me stuff! OK, ok, anyway, keep me posted on you, and I'll try to do the same...

1/11/05 - WMMO
Well there's nothing like starting off the new year in 77° weather. Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for stopping by. It's time to start looking for work again. And this time, there's no break coming up, so no excuses! If you have any ideas, I'd be glad to hear them. I may not seem to follow them, but ideas are always welcome here. I hope you're taking this week better than I am. It's hard to need a coat outside when just a few days ago I was swimming in the backyard. But a short 19-hour drive brings me back to the land where seasons exist and my employment potential remains untapped. Take care ya'll, and drop me a line!


12/31/04 - Happy New Year's Eve!
And to celebrate the new year, I'm off on the road for Disney World! A bunch of friends and I are making a 10 day trip around the happiest place on earth! We'll see about that, but it's gonna be a ton of fun for sure. I'll be in touch when I return, but for now, Happy New Year to you all, and pick something you'd like to change about your everyday and make it happen!!

11/4/04 - New Wiper Blades!!!
Hi ya'll, sorry it took so long. I'm making my list, and checking it twice, trying to get in touch with people, re-establish connections and use them to find gainful employment. Well, I'm not trying to 'use' you, but it'd be nice to have help where I can. Anyway, drop me a line, say howdy back, it'd be nice to hear from you too! Here, I'll start. I'm looking for work here in town, since I'm already established and that would be most hassle free. My car is slowly dying, but she's old so it's to be expected. Life in general has had it's up's and down's, but I keep getting them mixed up which just adds to the fun! OK, now you go...

7/22/04 - On we go...
Wow, OK, it's kinda scary closing a whole chapter. Honestly I'm feeling a bit like a man without a direction at the moment. I see opportunity, and I know good things are coming, and it doesn't scare me, but it's all new. So come along and join me on this new adventure. It's gonna be a blast!

7/6/04 - PARTY TIME!!!
"Just a shade under a decade too..." Yes, that's me, and not a doctor either, but plenty well educated in book & life. And, the being accomplished required some celebration. So it's time to have a party and we're gonna do all we can to make it a great one! Join me if you can, don't if you can't. Either way, email me if you're willing to pay me a lot of $ to do nothing, because now that I'm not a student, my only title is 'unemployed.'

6/12/04 - I R A Graduate!
Oh so nice, the slow life. I've just been picked up for the summer to work as a coding slave for the people I was working with before. So it'll be a nice summer of relaxing, earning some dough, looking for the next job. Something that'll pay me like a CSBS. The next stage is exciting, and a little scary. Who knows what life will place in front of me. As long as I keep choosing the people beside me I'm sure I'll get thru just fine. I hope all is well out your way, thanks for checking in and I hope to hear from you some time!

5/15/04 - The End is Here
Well, as of this writing I'm 90% sure I'm done with school. There were some strange circumstances (yeah, what's new) that leave me with some reservation about all out celebration. But overal it's a strange feeling. If I'm truely finished, what do I do now? For 26 years I've had someplace to go, the next thing I wanted was obvious, but now... Yes, I need to get a job, but the possibilities are endless! I don't have to stay here, I don't have to leave. Where I was headed was always clear to me, but now nothing is written. It's kinda fun, and once I am sure I'm actually there I'm sure I'll enjoy the feeling. So here's to that. And if you know someone looking to overpay someone with an engineering degree, let me know.

4/8/04 - The End is Near
Camp is almost over, and I want to go home. I have major senior-itis, and it's getting hard to concentrate. In just a few weeks I'll be done with this school thing and on to a job that I get to put down at the end of the day. That's pretty exciting. But all that feels far off. The weeks are going pretty quickly though, and now my senior project group has its back against the wall so I'll be pretty busy from now until I'm finished. And life keeps rolling on. Easter is coming, and my chocolate is calling to me. I don't know what the weeks ahead are going to throw at me, but I'll live them out and see what happens.

3/9/04 - Midweek Break
Whew, 2 exams down, 1 to go. English on Friday and I'm practically done until after Spring Break. How cool is that? I've gotten about 8 hours of sleep over the last 48+ hours, and I'm not feeling 100%, but I'm practically done. A little crisis this week, of my own making of course, but that's past, I'm set, I'm ready to go all the way. Graduation or bust! Want a smile? Find a baby and make it laugh...

2/28/04 - 1st Day
Let the warm weather come. Frisbee today marks the true feeling of spring. As the weather will surely take a turn for the cooler we were at least able to get out and play for an hour or so. How exciting; a much needed break from school & work. So, you're thinking: "GREEN?!?"? Yeah, it's March come monday, and I was up for a change. At least for a bit. I'm not looking forward to the next two weeks. Quizes, homework, Exams... it's just around the corner. So I'll see you in two weeks, hopefully after more frisbee, and feeling good about the progress of this final semester.

2/11/04 - The Day's Getting Longer
Hey, big week for movie news. First of all The Passion of Christ comes out in two weeks! And there's a rumor about a Hobbit movie. What, a Hobbit movie you ask? But Peter Jackson just wrapped up a trilogy of the Lord of the Rings! That's right, now there's a trailer of a Hobbit film due out December 2006! Exciting? You bet, but don't get your hopes up, most postings seem to be calling it a hoax, but check out the trailer if you can, it's pretty well done. For those interested, school is good. Homework is still hanging around. Soon I'll be clear of it though. I've been sick for about 2 weeks now, so it'll be back to the doc's soon. OK, AI homework is calling me again so I'm off. See you soon!

1/22/04 - Colder Still
Well now, another chilly January in Chambana. I've officially started all the classes I have in this, the last semester of my undergraduate career. Ooh, kinda scary. Not sure I'm looking forward to being out of here. Actual responsibilities and all that, although having time away from homework is certainly welcome. So, you're probably asking, but Ben, what classes ARE you taking? Well, let me tell you. First of all is the second semester of Senior Project. We're developing a network protocol visualization for 802.11b traffic. Well, that's not important, but it's kinda cool. That, and papers to write for the Comp II sections. Then I have BA394 which is kinda a complex web page development. As long as the prof doesn't pick a totally horrible concept for us to work on it should be kinda fun. Wait, no reading you ask? Well, that's OK because I have Brit Lit to cover that. It's about love & marriage in British Literature, or something like that. All I know is that I walked in and there were MULTIPLE females in the room!!! A reminder: I'm an engineer, that never happens. I know this may be confusing, a CS major with no CS classes, but actually, I've just saved them for last. Two of them, CS348, Artificial Intelligence, and CS350, Numerical Analysis. AI should be fun, but both could possible be difficult. But a semester without a challenge wouldn't be any fun. Something to keep my graduation in the balance. OK, I have reading to get back to, wish me luck with the history of the word medieval and the development of literature in the freakin' 700s.


12/29/03 - Winter Home
So, for those of you not in-the-know, my parents just bought a new house. Very exciting, but now I no longer have the newest home in the family, and it'll be a while before I move. If you're free this coming weekend, let me know and I welcome you to join us in a grand moving party. It'll be big muscle work on Friday, smaller stuff on Saturday. Any help will be appreciated and food & fun will be provided. For those who have already responded, I'm trying to get more info as I write this so I'll have a clearer picture very soon!

12/21/03 - Break Time
Christmas is around the corner, which can only mean that finals are OVER!!! That's right folks, only one more semester to go. I enjoy the school bit of life, but I look forward to not having homework. I've been told it's nice... Life, love, faith, and school are going very well. The family is healthy, as are my friends. What more could I ask for. So what do I want for Christmas? Well, how about this: If you stopped by and are reading this, drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!

12/1/03 - Happy December
The weather is cool, there's a nip in the air, finals are on the horizon, which can only mean that it's December! Life is good here in central Illinois. Classes are challenging, work is steady even though I'm still not sure what it is that I do, and life, in general has been its usual rollercoaster self. Almost a month of quiet in my house has been nice. A good change of pace for a while. I guess it's time to get to studying, shopping, working, and playing...

9/19/03 - Fall's commin'
Classes good. Family good. Friends good. It's all good! Long time from an update, but there's not a ton to tell. Well, I work now. I work with the Numerical Analysis group here at U of I. I don't know what the heck I really do, but I basically debug a program that solves large matrices to within a given tolerance. Some day I'll figure it out and explain it better. Until then, just celebrate with me, I HAVE INCOME!

6/20/03 - Summer's commin'
Here we are, last day of Spring, and what do I have to say for myself? Well, life's OK. I've been looking for work, and although it looked like I had something going, it's been long stalled. I've been told that I'll start the paperwork on Monday, so that's promising, but I'm still not holding my breath. So the semester's long out, frisbee is in full session. Only two semesters to go, and I still don't know how to play the piano... One thing at a time I guess. For now, if you have cash laying around, I have a place to invest it. Me! I'll get good returns, but I probably can't say as much about you, but one never knows...

4/22/03 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
OK, my bad, I haven't updated since the new year... Life's moving quickly these days. I need income if you're looking! School is going well; life has been a little bumpy. My papers are turning up roses, but upcoming presentations have me nervous. Not that I'm scared of speaking these days, I just don't care about the subjects... But for those of you in the know, I'm off of probation and that's a good thing. Looking ahead I have very little left that is required. Although tap or flower arranging classes have been suggested, but I don't think I'll go there... So, until next time, get outside, the weather is great!


12/28/02 - All done but the waiting
Well, one more for the year. All looks well. The brain's a bit fried, but one of these days I'm sure I'll get to relax, but never today. So, barring the unexpected, more semesters are in my future, and that's a good thing. So I'm taking some time to visit my family again, and then it's back to the drawing board or at least the chalk board. So yeah, that was very bad, but it's late, and I'm too tired. So I'll wrap up the year by saying I'm glad it's behind me.

11/5/02 - On the line
OK, so understanding that everyone who reads this may not be fully clued into what is going on with my scholastic career, I have this note. I've figured out how to describe my situation, and it goes like this. Basically, I made a deal with the head of my department that if I fail to achieve a certain scholastic level I will walk away from the University. Sounds kinda risky huh? True, it is, but although it was within his power, Sammy (dept head) choose not to wipe my slate relatively clean, but rather wants me to prove I'm worth having around. Anyway, we set some limits for certain classes and semester GPA. They are not impossible to achieve, but I'll have to admit I'm a lot closer to them than I'd like to be. So if I seem a bit stressed, I am. But the up-side of the deal is that next semester I should have some breathing room, as well as future consideration for a 'retroactive' clean slate...

7/2/02 - You may proceed
So Sammy doesn't dislike my schedule. Seems like such a small deal, but the man who seems determined to bust my ass has given me a free pass to get out from everything he so dearly desires to 'hold over me.' This semester is going to kick butt I can just feel it. I'm looking forward to some challenging math, some hands on electronics, and some business classes to see if that kind of thing is for me. We'll see in just a few weeks as the ball starts rolling once again...

5/30/02 - Boy For Sale
He's going cheap... Well, hopefully not too cheap. I'm still looking for summer work. Well, perhaps looking is the wrong word... It's more of a sitting-on-butt situation... Anyway, things are still hitting the fan and now next semester is up for grabs so employment may be indefinite. I think that's all you need know for now so I'll get back to waiting for my next employer to come along...

5/16/02 - Pass
Boom boom boom, and another one bites the dust. Not me this time, another semester has gone by and with a bit of luck I'm officially in good academic standing at U of I. This is exciting to me. Everybody tells me I can do it, and all that, but this has been one big step for me in proving it to myself. Anyhoo, back to the grind for a few months so I can cruise another year. So off I go find a poor sap to give me a check on a somewhat regular basis...

4/18/02 - Closer still
We're getting close to final crunch time. I'm a bit worried about some classes, not so much about others. Had my second to last physics quiz today, only one more, and one more homework and it's just the final. I also got signed up for another class today. That makes a grand total of 7 hours next semester. Just 6 shy of an actual schedule. This one is ECE205/206. So there are still labs in my future...

4/16/02 - Round we go...
Today I had the last physics lab of my life! Yeah! All I have to do is pass the final exam... The time has come to plan for the future. No more hiding my head in my books. I have very few specifically required courses left to choose from. Now I'll be learning from the best of the best. But what I'll learn has yet to be determined. It seems that business is in my future if only they'll let me sign up for the classes. Let the games begin!

3/6/02 - Back in the front
Wow, so after a miserable start the Illini are back in front. At the end of this week we'll get to see what they have left here at the end of the season. To see what they have in store for us in the tourny perhaps. As for me, nothing nearly as exciting. The tub is coming along slowly. One more physics down and one more to go. That's right, Quantum Physics. I know, sounds fun... We'll see. That is, I'll see. Anyway, keep your head in the game and remember, all ignorance needs to abound, if for wise men to say nothing.

2/19/02 - The world ends tomorrow
Or at least that's what they say. For the second time since time began we have an anagram for an instant at 20:02 20th of 02/2002. This hasn't happened since 10:01 10th of 01 1001, and I'm sure nobody noticed. And it will never happen again. At least not until they reinvent how we track our passage through the uncontrollable 4th dimension. That said I thought after almost a month, I figured I owe some new news. It's testing time again, and I hope I'm prepared enough to do well. This semester is proving to be more challenging just as I thought. And that's good, but it's also a test of what I believe I can do, and that's the bigger challenge. Of course, for the answer we have no choice but to wait until the dust settles and see who comes out on top... My bathroom is now one step closer to being 'done.' Amazing consequence, I'm also looking for the dust to settle on that project too. Take a peek at the new pictures and you'll see that all I need now is a new coat of paint, new sink and cabinet and I get to move on to the next room.

1/24/02 - A gift for Tony
As I sit here, I'm copying hundreds of dollars of Microsoft software. 'How' you ask? Simple, our CS department has an agreement with Microsoft that all CS majors can obtain a copy of its most popular software for trial and familiarization. Pretty cool huh? I thought so, so here I am. This looks like it's gonna take a while, but might be worth it. No more making up keys for me... Gonna go run stare at the progress bar now...

1/18/02 - Please sir...
Well I asked for it and I got it. Another semester has begun. I'm excited. As the classes start it's obvious that these will be harder than the last ones. My new computer is running great, and I look forward to programming on it. I'm fairly un-disappointed with Windows XP. I was able to crash one folder, but that didn't even take the system down. Just closed the folder and it was good to go again. Every day I figure out something new about it. Which is good, but starting this weekend I need to concentrate on learning C++. This'll be the real test of my scholastic resolve. Let's see how well I can do.

1/10/02 - NEXT!
The next semester is staring me in the face. More physics and math. The good news is I'll have my first new programming class. That'll be my first real test in my major. I'm looking forward to being challenged in this field again.

1/5/02 - Graded
Yeah for me. I'm feeling good about being back at school again and my grades have reflected that. I officially pulled off my best semester at U of I, GPA-wise!


One more semester under the belt,
Feeling better than I've previously felt.
Bought a computer with XP Windows.
Bedroom look great thanks to Pamela Vose.

Had to put the cycle away for the season.
Learning assembly, less logic and reason.
You can probably tell by this terrible rhyme,
That I'm up really late and it's past my bed time.

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