Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School Books

I swung by STCC today to buy my books and pick up my student ID. In the book store, the books for my courses were easy enough to find. If anyone did have trouble, there were a couple of folks milling about to help them.

As I waited in line, I glanced around at all the classroom accessories, souvenirs and coffee mugs the store had available for shoppers. I looked to the girl standing in front of me and said, "You'd think for the price of the freakin' books they'd give you a mug."

Since I'm only taking a couple of courses, I said to myself when I got there: "If it's under a hundred bucks I'll use my debit card. If it's over a hundred bucks, I'll use my CitiBank card."

I used my CitiBank card. Way.


After I put my books in my car, I walked over to Building 17 to get my student ID. I had gone to get my photo taken a few weeks beforehand, so I figured it must be available by now. It was. But not before I got a stern look from the lady there for not attending student orientation.

I explained to her that I was away on vacation when the orientation took place.

"You don't have to explain to me," she said - but in That Tone Of Voice that made you feel like you probably did need to explain yourself.

The girl checked my identification on her computer. When my photo came up on the screen, somehow it seemed to me that I looked much older. And I think the girl chuckled a bit when my picture came up on the screen, too. Thanks.

All I'm waiting for now is my parking permit sticker thingy, which I should be getting in the mail from the STCC police any day, now. I noticed while I was there, too, that the maintenance folks were busy re-surfacing and touching up the off-campus student parking areas.

One more week before classes start.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

STCC-ing it Out

With limited options for career advancement at my current place of employment, I began to re-align my goals in recent years in the hopes of finding a niche for myself in another field of endeavor.

Getting my Comp-TIA Certification (PC tech) in 2006 was a first step in that direction. Last year I also ramped-up my blogging efforts and decided to focus my stories on my home city, Springfield, MA. That eventually got me this Valley Advocate Reader's Poll award.

Now this year it's time for me to fiddle around with my education. This fall I will be taking two courses (all I can afford on my meager budget) at Springfield Technical Community College. The two courses I'm taking are: Intro. to Mass Communication; and English Composition 1.

Following my placement exam, I actually qualified to take a more advanced English course. But the English Comp One course is a prerequisite for several other media courses I'm aiming at for the spring (2009) and beyond, so that'll do.

I'll try to keep folks posted as I go along. My posting on this blog has been infrequent, however, because of my involvement with a regional collaborative blog, Pioneer Valley Central, which I both post to and design and maintain.

Keeps me busy!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Photo Clicker

Got a new digital camera the other day. It was long overdue. It's a Kodak Z1012 IS, and whether folks are fans of it or foes of it, it is a vast improvement over my old digital device.

While I was out, a couple of buddies spotted a hawk feasting on a rabbit by a parking lot. I quickly sprung into action with my new camera....

[click on images, below, to enlarge]

Still a considerable distance away, the hawk carried his prey up to a little hill, so I maximum-zoomed to get a shot of the him in case he took off before I could get closer....

As I approached, I could see he was ripping away at the poor bunny, cleary eager to fill his little bird belly....

All that remained on the parking lot pavement was this mess at the original kill site....

As I ventured perhaps a bit too close, the hawk flew off to a nearby power station....

But he had left behind his dinner, so I snapped this photo of what was left of it...

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Reel Mowers

I have three lawn mowers in my possession, all of them being of the "push" variety. Of the three, two are non-powered, "reel" type mowers, like the kind that our granddads used to use (or our dads, depending on how old you are).

I picked up a copy of the Daily Hampshire Gazette's weekly magazine, "Hampshire Life," where I saw a story that caught my eye because of my ownership of said reel mowers. It was about a guy by the name of Jim Ricci who collects old reel-type lawn mowers, as well as other models. He also collects promotional materials, literature, and other lawn mowing artifacts as he pursues his long-time ambition of writing a book about old mowers. This issue's story marks the fourth story Hampshire Life has has written about Ricci's hobby since he started up his collection back in the mid-1990s. He now owns several hundred mowers, plus other landscaping equipment he has come across.

It's an interesting story, a good read, and you can check it out yourselves in the May 16th hardcopy issue of Hampshire Life. If you're reading this post after that week's issue has gone out, you're shit outta luck. Either that or subscribe to the online edition of the Gazette, or wait and hope Google caches the story. Whatever.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Deserves Got Nothing To Do With It

A health care panel examining emergency measures in the event of a pandemic disaster has drawn up a list of those who should not be treated. The study assumes meager resources, a strained health care system, and patients who - even if they did receive treatment - would not live long anyway.

Check out the story HERE.

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