Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catching Up: Halloween

So it has bene a while since my last post. I think I got really worn down by the travelling in the last month. But enough with the excuses...

One story I have been wanting to blog about is what I did for Halloween this year.

Picture being in Miami, FL. The weather is in the low 80's and South Beach is just a short drive away. Everyone tells me that the town is going to be crazy and wild. Sounds like a great time but I wasn't interested.

I decided to drive down to Key Largo and go Scuba diving instead. I went to bed extra early the night before and got up at 5:30am to make it down there and catch the boat. I had travelled the entire semester with my dive equipment taking up a large portion of the space in my car and I needed to get some use out of it.

I had heard about a small dive shop in Key Largo from another diver I met in the Caymans last summer. He is a doctor in Maryland and dived all over the Caribbean. I told him that I was often in Southern Florida for business (it makes me feel like such a grown up to say that). He reccomended a dive shop called Quiescence. Here is their site: (and if you are wondering, quiescence means "a state of repose, still, tranquil, serene, the essence of quiet).

I arrived at the shop around 7:30 ready to dive at 8am. I walked in and showed them me C-Cards (cards that prove you are a certified diver) and started filling out the paperwork. The captain came in and informed me that the seas were running 3-4 feet. I have very limited experience diving in the ocean so I really don't know what to think. Not wanting to sound like a complete amateur, I smile and tell them that its no big deal and I'm ready to go. (How bad can 3-4 waves really be right?)

We walked down to the boat, loaded up our gear and I met the captain and my dive buddy for the day.
This is Captain Steve.

And this is my dive buddy, Thierry (its pronounced like there is is no "h" in it). Thierry is from Guyana (any ideas of where that is?). He was quite impressed that I knew it was in South America. I guess geography in 6th grade was good for something after all. Also, he is a dive instructor so it was great to be paired with someone who really knew what they were doing. He also had an underwater camera with him so most of these pictures were taken by him. He was a great guy and spoke several different languages. French is the primary language spoken in Guyana and he had a pretty thick accent. I had to try to keep from laughing because all I could think of was a part from the movie "Along Came Polly" where one of the charasters is a French scuba instructor and his famous line is (in a heavy french accent) "You for Scuba?"

The waves were much worse than I anticipated but luckily I keep Dramamine in my car just for times like this. The other two divers on the boat were a mother and son from Ohio. They had just gotten certified and this was their first dive in the ocean. They made their first dive and were so sea sick that they stayed in the boat for the second one.

Once you got under the water, the surge from the waves was not too noticeable. On our first dive we came across several large grouper (pictured above). The secodn grouper we saw was hidden under a ledge and was easily as big as I am. They are harmless but it is still a big fish to be swimming near. We also saw a spotted eagle ray. It passed by too quickly to get a good picture, but here is a link to see one:
They are quite beautiful and graceful underwater.

The second dive we dove a site called "The Winch." As you can see above, they were not too creative when thinking of a name. The winch is leftover from a shipwreck in the late 1800's and there was some other debris around the area. On the second dive, there were baracuda everywhere. Eben though there has never been a case of one attacking a diver, it was still pretty creappy to see a large school of them swimming slowly through the water.

I tried to get close enough to have my picture taken with them, but it didn't turn out as well as I had imagined. Scuba divers are pretty noisy underwater so the fish tend to keep their distance.
We also spotted a moray eel. He stayed hidden in the coral though and after seeing one swim when I was diving in the Caymans, that was okay with me.

We also spotted a few more large grouper as well as dozens of other smaller fish.

Both dives were only down to about 30 feet so we had almost an hour of bottom time. As we were coming back to the surface from the second dive, the bottom of our boat was oscured by fish. There were dozens of them swimming around underneath it. As it turns out, the other two divers were sea sick and had thrown up over the side of the boat, thereby attracting fish. It made me kind of laugh, but I felt bad that they got sick and couldnt enjoy the dive.
Overall, it was a fantastic day, even though the waves were a little rough. I would dive again with this shop in a heartbeat and will hopefully get to go again in April when I am in Miami again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hitching a Ride

WARNING: Somewhat gross pictures of roaches and a story about roaches follows.

My most recent visit was to LSU in beautiful Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Needless to say since it was Louisiana the bugs were prevalent and quite big. My last night in town, I was sitting in my room chatting on my computer when a cockroach comes flying through the air and lands on the wall in front of me. First of all, since when do cockroaches fly? It buzzed right past my head and freaked me out and then landed on the wall in front of me. I am not grossed out by much but cockroaches give me the willies. Caroline suggested that I kill the cockroach but I chose to take a picture of it instead (See picture below). I realize that there is not much to provide some persective, so you will just have to trust me that this guy was huge. It is easily one of the bigger roaches I have ever seen.

I snapped a few pictures of the roach and then it scurried off into some dark corner of the room. I didn't think much of it and went on chatting and doing work and then eventually went to bed. I got up early the next morning and packed my bags and drove 450 miles to Tallahassee, Florida to do my visit at Florida State. I get into Tallahassee and eventually check into my hotel. I settle into the room, put my bags down and start to unpack a bit. I grab my toiletries kit and walk over to the bathroom. My electronic toothbrush was low on battery when I brushed my teeth that morning so I wanted to pull it out and charge it. I unzip my back and that same, gigantic cockroach come crawling out onto the bag. I freaked and did everything short of screaming like a little girl. I dropped the bag out of pure reaction and the roach ended up landing on my bare foot. I freaked out for a second time in 5 seconds and jerked my foot back. The roach ran into the closet.

I am shaking because of the adrenaline and because I was caught completely by surprise. Who really expects a roach to come crawling out of your toiletries bag? Most likely the roach I had spared the night before had crawled into my bag and hitched a ride from Baton Rouge to Tallahassee. I figured that that roach already had once chance so I grabbed a bunch of tissue and went over to the closet and promptly smushed that little vermin. Then I threw him in the toilet and flushed him. (As an aside, Caroline named him Gus. Rest in Peace Gus).

So thanks to the roach I am simply disgusted and have to clean out my toiletries bag. I threw out half of my stuff and am still thinking about tossing the rest of them. All I can think about is some roach scurrying all over my toothbrush and my other stuff. Its enough to keep me awake at night. Gross, gross, gross.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed

I am visiting the chapter at Ole Miss this week. This week is homecoming week and Oxford is not a big town. The combination of the two means that there are no open hotel rooms and since I needed a place to stay, the chapter put me up in a condo nearby. The condo is much nicer than any hotel room and there is plenty of space. An added benefit was that I was able to pull all of the dirty laundry out of my car and do it. I was down to my last pair of clean underwear and running low on shirts.

I didn't have many meetings the first night so I settled in and was watching some TV when there was a knock at the door. It was around 9:30 or 10:00 and I was not expecting visitors. Not only I am a little uncomfortable because I am in some someone's house (and have no clue who that someone is), but now there is an unexpected knock.

I opened the door and there is a middle aged woman who looks quite surprised to see me. She smiled and tried to be polite when she asked me who I was. (Now, here I am stuck. I can barely explain what I do to people I'm sitting next to on airplanes. Now I am in a strange town, in some stranger's condo, and there is someone who I have no clue who they are asking me what I am doing.)

I try the easy explination first: "I am Daniel and I'm visiting some friends here in Oxford." This, not surprisingly, only brought on more questions. I eventually explained my positon and what I was doing in Oxford. She asked how I knew the owner of the condo. "I don't actually," I replied. Someone from the chapter brought me over and told me I could stay here. She explained that she was the next door neighbor and was coming voer to borrow a bottle of wine and some vodka because they had run out next door. (Now, not only am I in some strange place and have no clue how I am connected with the owner, but the neighber is over asking me what I am doing here and borrowing alcohol. All I can think of is that I am going to get blamed for the missing alcohol and that would not be good.)

As she is leaving, the woman (I never caught her name) mentions that the owner and her daughter were coming into town the next day. Now I am really starting to get worried. Not only am I in a stranger's home, but she probably has no clue I am staying there and now she is going to come into town and find some stranger sleeping in one of their beds. Not only I am not sleeping well already, but now I have the idea stuck in my head that I will be woken up by some angry woman demanding to know who I am.

Luckily, there was no angry home owner to deal with when I woke up but I fully packed my car just in case I needed to make a quick getaway. The rumor is now that the owner is coming in on Friday so I am packing my car again tomorrow morning. I hope I have some place to sleep tomorrow night. I expect nothing short of an adventure.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Know You Are Too Wrapped Up In Work When...

I have not slept well all week. I don't know if I have too much on my mind or something like that but every now and then I just can't get my mind to settle down and stop thinking.

Last night was one of those nights. I turned out the lights and instantly my mind started racing, thinking about appointments I needed to make and emails I needed to send the next day and all kinds of other things on my to-do list ( a wise person once told me that to-do lists are overrated and after a night like this I'm leaning towards agreeing).

I got hot and threw off the covers... I got cold and needed them. I was uncomfortable in one position so I switched and then got uncomfortable in that one. It was just one of those nights.

I finally drifted off to sleep and had very weird dreams. One of them sticks out.

I was at a chapter I visited recently (no names here). A truck pulled up and dumped a gigantic pile of mulch in the front yard. Everyone saw what a mess the truck had made and got upset. I tried to rally everyone. I told them how if everyone did a little but of work they could have it all moved in no time. I held meetings with people individually and showed them how it could be done. The guys started to buy in to it and I left feeling good about them and looked forward to seeing their brand new, landscaped yard.

I check back in and the mulch is gone but not in the yard where it is supposed to be. I walk into the house and the guys have taken the mulch and packed it into their bathroom. I get mad and begin to shovel it outside. The guys start yelling at me to stop and grab my shovel. One of them asks me to leave because they were doing just fine without me.

 I don't need to be a shrink to figure out the meaning of this dream. This one hit pretty close to home. It pretty much sums up my job.

Going back to 1973

Welcome to 1973. The Arab OPEC countries have placed an embargo on the United States and it is a time of gas shortages and high prices. Okay, maybe we aren't as bad off as in 1973, but it sure felt like it.
I flew into Atlanta today and I read this week about gas shortages across the Southeast. As I sat there I thought "how bad could it really be?" It was worse than I thought. I landed and had about 60 miles before I ran out of gas. I normally do not fill up my tank before I leave my car at the airport because I am afraid of someone syphoning my gas. It normally works out great, but not so much today. Who really expects a gas shortage? I decided to drive a little bit away from Atlanta to improve my chances of finding gasoline.
After I drove about 30 miles away from Atlanta, I stopped for lunch at an exit with plenty of restaurants and 5 gas stations. As it turns out, four of the five stations were out of gas. They had notes stuck to the pumps that said "No Gas." Finally I found a station that had gas.
The notes are hard to read but the station had no premium or mid-grade gas and limited people to around 10 gallons. I got my 10 gallons and figured it would at least get me to Auburn. As it turns out, there is some gas in Auburn, but I am hearing rumors they are running out too. Word on the street is that a gas shipment came in to one station here tonight and I need to run out and get some before its gone.
How ridiculous were those last two sentences? I feel like I'm in a bad horror movie about the end of the world. We are running out of gas and people now share rumors of new gasoline shipments. How did things get so bad?

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Hoping This Doesn't Keep Me From Voting

Today, among other things, I wanted to make sure I registered to get an absentee ballot for the November 4th election. I do a quick google search and find the Washoe County voter page. I registered to vote in Las Vegas when I moved to Nevada and then changed my address to Reno so I wouldn't have to vote through absentee ballot. If it sounds complicated now, just wait.

So I see a number and call to see how I can get an absentee ballot. A woman answers the phone and this is how I remember our conversation going:

Her: Hello, Washoe County Register of Voters

Me: Hi, I looking for information about getting an absentee ballot.

Her: Do you currently live in Nevada?

Me: Uh, I am registered to vote in Nevada and am currently in Ohio.

Her: Do you live in Nevada?

Me: Yes, but I am out of the state for the next few months and would still like to vote.

Her: What is your address in Nevada?

Me: (Silence... and then I semi panic. Oh crap... I think I'm registered at my fraternity house and now I have my mom's address, the address here in Oxford, and my dad's address all running through my head.) Um... hold on a second. I use several different addresses.

Her: (in a condescending tone...) You mean you don't know your address?

Me: Well, I am in Ohio and have that address stuck in my head. Oh ok I remember... (I gave it to her)

Her: OK, what is your physical address? Where do you lay your head at night?

Me: (In my head...Okay, first of all where I lay my head is none of your business and second, I just gave it to you). Umm...Its the one I just gave you.

Her: But you aren't there anymore?

Me: No, I will be out of the state until after the election. (and in my head... No, I am not in the state, that is exactly why I need an absentee ballot)

Her: Okay well to download the form simpy go to our website.

Me: Okay, thank you.

And then I hung up. Did I really just have the whole drawn out conversation for her to just tell me to go to their website? Why were her questions so necessary?

So then in my infinite wisdom decided that I would not only register for an absentee ballot but also do a change of address request via fax. They are probably going to freak out at the Voter's office and not let me vote. We shall see.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unseasonably Cold Weather and the Joys of Air Travel

Because it was a long weekend and because I had a free ticket on Southwest and because who really needs to have a good reason to get away for a long weekend, I went to Reno.
I had not been back since earlier this summer and it was very nice to take a break from travelling. I don't know yet if it's a bad sign that I feel like I need a vacation after only two chapter visits. The weather last week in Tennessee was rough because of the remants of a hurricane (there have been so many I lost track of which one it was). The weather in Reno was on the cold side but a welcome break from rain and humidity. The highs each day were in the 70's or 80's and the lows at night were in the 40's and 50's. This is the reason for the funny hat. I was freezing and only had shorts and short sleeves packed. (I mostly didn't pack properly for the weather because I stuffed all of my dirty laundry into my suitcase to do while I was out in Reno. Yes, rather than go to a laundry mat or use someone's washer and dryer, I brought my dirty clothes with me to Reno. But, I digress.
I went to Nevada's opening football game and they stomped Grambling.
The University hyped the Grambling band to sell tickets and they were as good as advertised. I thought it was funny that they would put so much emphasis on another school's band when Nevada's band is getting cut because of a lack of funding. I got to sit up in the AD's box for the game and got to hang out with Ryan and Josh as well. There were a few adventures, but all in all, a good night. I left the blackjack tables up $15 so I can say I left Reno a winner.
I played golf for the first two days that I was there and really couldn't have hit the broad side of a barn if I wanted to. There is something going on with my swing that I just can't seem to figure out. The course is a PGA course and will eat you alive if you aren't accurate with your shots... Not quite the place to be trying to iron the wrinkles out of your swing. I didn't keep score and just enjoyed being outside and spending some time with my Dad.
I also got to spend some quality time with my family, including Claire (aka Booger pictured above). This was on our way to go shopping and the song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" came one. This was ger expression after she heard my feeble attempts to sing the song. I know all of the words but was not blessed with any semblance of a singing voice. Claire was not impressed either way.
Tuesday night was make-your-own-pizza night and this is the future heartburn I made. I has pepperoni, sausage, spicy beef, and jalapenos. It turned out much better than I expected but still managed to give me haertburn. (Man, am I THAT old?)
The next pictures were when I stole Claire's glasses and wore them . I just thought they look funny so I included them.

Whenever I travel, I never cease to be amazed at how stupid people can be. On my way out to Reno, my flight connected through Las Vegas. When the plane landed in Las Vegas and parked at the gate, a guy in front of me jumped up and started to try to make his way to the back of the airplane. Apparently, he had put some of his luggage in an overhead bin several rows behind his seat. Instead of doing the logical thing and waiting or having someone pass it forward, this guy decided to try to force his way through the aisle to grab his bags. The aisles on airplanes are clearly not large enough for two people to occupy the same space comfortably but this guy decided to go full speed ahead.
Another funny note about flying into Las Vegas. You will never be on a more rowdy flight than one flying to Las Vegas. People have been drinking, they talk and laugh and are abviously very excited to get to Vegas. I have even been on several flights where the passengers clapped when the plane landed. When was the last time someone clapped when your flight landed? The part that makes this funny si when you have an early morning flight out of Las Vegas. Everyone is standing in the terminal hungover, chugging coffee, and looking like someone punched them in the gut. The flight out is as quiet as a tomb.
The other thing I am amazed about is how people seem to get dumber the minute they hit airport security. I don't think I will ever stopped being amazed by people's stupidity when it comes to the security checkpoint in airports.
On my way back to Nashville, I saw next to an older woman. We had the middle seat unoccupied between us and so I grabbed my book and settled in. The plane hit some turbulence and I woke up from a nap to see the woman staring intently at her tray table. She would lift it up like she was going to put it away and then let it drop. Then she would life it part way and begin to pull it up and down. As i watched out of the corner of my eye, she did this for a good 10 minutes before putting the tray up. Weird.
If you ever have wondered, This is what I would look like with purple glasses. More adventures to come.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pure Fun in Greater Flint

I spent the last three days in Flint, Michigan and am happy to report I am back safe and sound in Oxford. Flint is home to Kettering University (, formerly called General Motors Institute. Up until recently, it was where people went if they wanted to get management or engineering jobs with General Motors. The school is still mostly for engineers, but they leave the school and go into all industries, not just working for GM. An intersting thing about Kettering is that the students go to school for a quarter and then go work in a co-op with a company for a quater. School is year round so bascially, they spend two quarters in school and two quarters working. All of the students are split up into two sections (A&B) and when one is working in a co-op, the other is in school.

As far as chapter operations go, there are basically two chapters at Kettering. They have A section and B section and even though they go to the same school, there is very little interaction or socialization between the two sections. When I talked to the Greek advisor he mentioned that in some chapters, the two sections do not get along. Its amazing to me that they can be in the same fraternity and the same school and not get along with the other section.

I leanred more about cars in my short trip to Flint than I ever had. Most of the students there do their co-ops with either the big car companies or companies that build car components. Some advice I picked up along the way:

1. Don't buy a car that was built on a Monday, Friday, or around a major Holiday. Workers get lazy.
2. Don't buy the first year or the last year of a model.
3. Don't buy a car that features a new technology (i.e. Hybrid, electric) until it has been on the market for more than 3 years.

Good advice to know. I have not yet looked, but I am going to check what day my car was manufactured on to find out if I should be worried.

Okay, now time for a disclaimer: I allowed other people's opinions to shapre my view of Flint before I even got there. After hearing about previous visits to the chapter and the city, I fully expected that we were being dropped into East Fallujah.

I don't think I have ever heard anything good about Flint. I even watched the Micael Moore movie about how depressing a place Flint was. All I could think about while we were driving there was the fact that I heard they were the murder capital of the US.
As you can clearly see on the above graph, Flint is not the murder capital of the US after all.
Flint (, I am sorry I judged you before accurately researching. I also expected to see every house boarded up with weeds growing up in the front yard. We did see our fair share of them (in some cases, it seemed like every other house was abandonded), it was not nearly as bad as I expected. As for crime, all of the houses had good lighting and high fences. The members were very proud to report that they had not had an incident in "Months."

All in all, Flint was a rough, scary place that I enjoyed I got to experience but hope I never have to go back to. The guys in the chapter were very stereotypical engineers but nice guys and I really enjoyed hearing about the latest car technology. I am after all, a real dork at heart.

On Wednesday, we got up real early to visit Ann Arbor and see the University of Michigan. Michigan was a very pretty campus, but huge. One thing I thought was interesting was that the school's newspaper refers to Ann Arbor as A Squared (I was looking for how to put the little 2 above the letter like you would in math to denote squared, but I have no clue how to). After a search that was much longer than it should have been, I got postcards and a pint glass to add to the collection.

And because we were close and in the college visiting mood, we stopped in to see Bowling Green State University. The real reason for the visit was to visit a past president of the Phi Delt governing board and take him out to lunch. Bowling Green is not the prettiest city nor does it have the prettiest campus, but I am still a fan.

Three universities in one day. A new record for me.

Very shortly, I will begin travelling and I expect to fill this blog with more of my adventures.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Through Painted Deserts

As promised in an earlier post, here is my review of "Through Painted Deserts" by Donald Miller. My brother mailed it to me along with a few other things. I picked it up and begin to read the back cover. It read, "a road-trip memoir about three months spent crossing the country in a Volkswagon camping van..." I was sold from that sentence alone.
The basic story is two men who meet each other in Houston and decide to do take a road trip. As these ideas usually go, it began with a group of friends who wanted to see the country but as plans became more concrete they began to drop out one by one. Why is it that this happens so much in life? It seems that everyone wants to believe in a nice idea but quickly drop off once the dream threatens to become reality.
The two men are Don and Paul. Don is the author and is from Houston. Paul is his travelling companion and grew up in Oregon. They set out with the general idea that they will end up in Oregon. There are some great quotes about Texas in the book like, "I don't mean any disrespect. I truly don't. But Texas isn't nature. Texas is city and smog and humidity and heat. If you want to hunt and fish, that's fine, but if you want to climb and kayak and all, no luck."
The writing is very personal and describes Don's journey across the country and his developing friendship with Paul. I won't spoil the book but the last chapter is one of my favorites and really made the book for me. Its possible that I rate this book very high because the whole way through it all I could think about is how badly I want to take a roadtrip as well.
It is light reading and a good book overall. Check it out if you have the chance.
Some other quotes That I really like:
"The greatest desire of man is to be known and loved anyway."
~ Donald Miller, Searching For God Knows What
Okay, so that quote isn't from Through Painted Deserts but it is by the same author and I really like it. The following are actually quotes from the book:
"Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons."
"I told her of the need to travel, to gain memories, and to be, for a while, completely free."
"When with certain people, one is confronted with the notion that life may be much easier than the rest of us believe it is, that most of the things we worry about are not worth worrying about."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From South Carolina

I went home to South Carolina this past weekend and it was exactly what I needed. I left Oxford at 5 and finally got into Greenville around 12:30. Kentucky is a deceivingly tall state. Some highlights of the trip included seeing a car spon in several circles and eating Chick-Fil-A.
Right as I cross over the I-75 bridge into Kentucky the car in front of me slammed on their brakes. I look up ahead in the road to see a car spinning in circles. He started off in the far left lane and spun through all of the lanes to the right, narrowly avoiding getting t-boned by a truck, missed hitting a streetlight by less than a foot, and ended up in the grass beside the highway. I have never seen a car wreck so a small part of my mind thought about what it would have looked like. The rest of the drive was rather uneventful and I got to stop and eat some Chick-Fil-A in Lexington. It was the first I Chick-Fil-A I have had in months. I don't know how I went so long without it. The only other stop I made after that was to take a picture of the "Welcome to South Carolina" sign. Call me a dork if you want.

I spent Friday in Clemson visiting my grandparents. Each time I drive into Clemson I am reminded how much I love it there. Every time I drive in, I find myself thinking about what it would have been like to go to school there and how different I would be because of it.
I don't have any regrets and I wouldn't trade my undergraduate experience for anything, but I can't help but think about it. Maybe if I get lucky, there will be an opportunity to go to Clemson for graduate school. We shall see. I stopped and walked on campus a bit and took some pictures of Tillman Hall and saw the football stadium.
On my way out of Clemson, I finally picked up a beer glass with the tiger paw on it to add to my collection. Now, I only have a few more glasses to go to complete it. I also picked up some clemson shorts to wear around.

On Friday night, I took my mom out to the Pita House in Greenville. (

Pita House is amazing. I had the lamb plate with rice, pita bread, and a salad. It is in a very nondescript building on a rather unimpressive stretch of road, but is a great and cheap place for dinner. Check it out the next time you are in Greenville.
The next day, I took my mom up to the mountains to go hiking. We dediced on a 2 mile hike to Falls Creek Falls. It seemed to be uphill the whole way there. The review I read online said that it was a little hilly, but a nice moderate hike. It was a great hike but it seemed like we were climbing the mountain, not walking up it.

After about two hours of hiking we made it to the falls and sat and relaxed. The water level was a little down but the falls were still impressive. There was a nice breeze coming off the bottom of the falls and I could have sat there for hours.
On the hike back down I ran across a few interesting things. On a rock in a small stream there was this frog. He just sat on the rock while I snapped several pictures of him. My mom was less than pleased when I mentioned the frog would make a very nice meal for a snake.

A few hundred yeards from the frog, I stopped for a water break and heard a rustling in the leaves. Upon closer inspection, I saw this bug dragging a spider. I think the bug is some form of wasp and had killed the spider. Who knows what a wasp does with a very large spider after it kills it.
All in all this weekend was exactly what I needed to kick the wanderlust into high hear for the coming semester of travelling. I am going to make it a point to do more outside activities this semester. The hike was really amazing.
More to come soon. I will be driving to Flint, Michigan next week for a training visit for the new consultants. If anyone has an extra bullet proof vest laying around may I please borrow it?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Long Weekend and the Road Calls

Since I have Friday off I am taking advantage of the long weekend and am going home to South Carolina for the weekend. I am in need of a break and really just want to get out of Oxford. My wanderlust has really kicked in this week and I am ready for summer to be over and to get back to travelling. I have spent so much time working on my schedule and finding interesting things to see and do during the semester that I am to the point I just want to experience them. Enough planning and talking; time for action.
On a different note, I finished a great book and saw a very average movie this week.
First, the book. My brother sent me a CD and a couple of books this week and one was called "Through Painted Deserts" by Donald Miller. The book is written about a trip Miller took with a good friend across the country in a VW bus. They started in Houston Texas and ended up in Oregon. It was good of some really great quotes (which may or may not make it into future posts) and really appealed to my romantic side. I have always wanted to do exactly what they did; jump into a car and just keep going until the money runs out. I think it would be amazing to see what you could find just by wandering.
And now for the movie review. I went and saw Step Brothers last night and came away unimpressed. As a disclaimer, I am not a huge fan of Will Ferrell movies and normally do not like them until after I see them several times. The one thing I was struck with was that the movie tried too hard to be over the top and crude. I almost felt like they thought of the most shocking things possible and then filled the script in around it. Some of the people I went to see the movie with laughed the whole way through and I was just overall unimpressed. I guess I really just don't appreciate dumb humor.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

All Tuckered Out

ELI 2008 is finally over and the only thing I want right now is to climb in bed and not wake up to an alarm tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

16 Hour Work Days

Well, maybe not grumpy, but very tired.

We are in the middle of our annual leadership conference here in Oxford it has been crazy to say the least.

I will post when I have more time and have had more sleep.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Getting Started (Again)

After much thinking and some good, old fashioned peer pressure, I have decided to try keeping a blog for the third time. Some quick Internet searches will reveal one of my old ones (I long ago forgot the log in name and password).

This blog will be a (hopefully) frequent account of my life for the next year travelling for Phi Delta Theta in the Southeast.

The summer is slowly winding down and I am for the first time really starting to look forward to getting back out on the road. I have finalized my schedule and as of right now it might be the best one yet. I start travel on August 18 when I accompany the new consultants on their training visit to Kettering University in fabulous Flint, Michigan. (I have already begun to search the Internet for a good bullet-proof vest).

A few highlights:
Labor Day (TBD but I have lots of options)
Clemson vs. NC State
Nevada @UNLV (Vegas Baby!)
Ole Miss vs. South Carolina (My first visit to The Grove)
My first actual visit to Texas (Changing airplanes doesn't count)
Scuba Diving in the Florida Keys (Wrecks in Key Largo)
Clemson @ Virginia
Home for Thanksgiving