Ah, I forgot how busy the first few weeks of school are. And I forgot how much I typically hate them. I am going into the third week of classes now and I am ready for the newness to wear off. However, this is a semester I am not looking forward to as it is one required class (Interpretation of Fiction) and one fun class that’s just a lot of talking (Russian art). Unfortunately, classes in my major of Anthropology are getting to be slim, I have only taken one interesting Anthro-related class in the last year. Not only have they scaled back the classes, there are fewer qualified teachers for the classes which really stinks. Many of the classes offered now are not even in my specialization or realm of interest, it is just mostly archaeology classes and Latin American history. Neither of those are very interesting, I promise. North American Prehistory was boring enough and it was chockful of data memorization of names and dates, I cannot imagine doing the same thing for other Archaeo classes where I just endlessly memorize things rather than learn and interpret data. I cannot wait to be done with this major.

Last week was fairly busy. I ran the Summer’s End 5 on Sunday and managed to run another 5k on Tuesday, which completely surprised me. I had come home after school feeling pretty tired and run-down, definitely not the way I want to start an easy run. I was more worried my ill mood was going to make me choose to stop the run shortly after it began, I just felt really negative/down which is not like me. I felt like I was searching for reasons to not run other than I just did not want to. I knew my legs felt good and not to beat up from Sunday but my feet were another question, especially since I had a pretty big blood blister on my big toe. Things went even further downhill as I neared the one mile mark and I was running on some gravel-based concrete that I hate running on, it just makes my feet hurt uncontrollably and I knew it would cut my run short if I stayed the course. Luckily, I found aside road that had a black-top sidewalk that was smooth and cool since it had just finished raining. Once I hit that black-top, I instantly picked up pace and I felt great. I just kept running and running, my body barely felt the effects from running two days prior. I know this is not a big deal to those running double digits but it was pretty surprising to me. I did not run for almost a week after my first 5k, my body just felt ripped up. This time, I simply felt like I had gone out for my normal run and pushed myself a little too hard. Before I knew it, I was coming up on the road to my house and I did not feel like stopping yet so I kept on going. Then I went some more. Then what do you know, I am at 2.5 miles and was coming up to my street and I just felt like I could push on through to 5k distance. Something about that smooth sidewalk just felt so nice on my naked feet. So I pushed on through to 3.1 miles and was utterly drenched in sweat, it felt great. I did not run for the rest of the week but did not feel like I needed to, especially with the schoolwork I had to complete.

The week was rounded out nicely with the start of college football season, which is the only season I observe. Down where I live in Florida, we do not really have seasons based on the weather, it is either hot or less hot, that’s all there is to it. But then we have football season and my girlfriend and I get all geared up for four months to watch games every weekend until December and it is my favorite time of the year. My teams went 2-2 this weekend with TCU playing poorly against Baylor and barely pulling out a loss, Auburn won their season opener just like they played last year (winning at the last moment), Boise State had no problems handing Georgia a loss, and Oregon just did not come to play with a loss to LSU. I was surprised at the sheer number of cramps I saw in all the games I watched. There must have been 4-5 guys cramping up in the first two quarters of play in the 7 or 8 games I watched. Everyone was cramping up and all they did to try and fix it was guzzle down gallons of Gatorade, stretch out, and get IVs put in for fluids. I think they need to take a clue from endurance athletes and fix their hydration regimen. TCU/Baylor and Boise State I can totally understand, it was insanely hot in Waco, TX where TCU was playing and Boise State had to play their first game in years in Georgia humidity, there is no way to prepare or plan for that. But Auburn and LSU? They are used to that stuff and had no logical reason to start cramping so early except due to poor training. They needed more salt and should have taken a page from Mark Ingram’s playbook; last year he was cramping up in the Iron Bowl so he was drinking jars full of pickle juice. I do not know what happened to the pickles but he was drinking that stuff like it was the only thing keeping him alive. I can already tell that it is going to be a good year for college football, a lot of underdogs either won their games over better opponents or played the best they have in years, that is only a trend that will continue over time.

The site will be up and down over the next few days as I am moving hosts from Limestone Networks over to Wired Tree and I am downgrading from a dedicated server to a VPS. This will be the first time in almost five years that I am not in total control of my server or its hardware and it is going to be hard to give up. Luckily, all I need is the web hosting and MySQL hosting, all of my email is handled by Google Apps, which was my only concern. I went with Wired Tree over getting a server from my own company because frankly, I know how awful our hardware is and our support is abysmal, I do not want to go down that route even if I would get a very steep discount. That is just asking for trouble all around and I am not going to do that. DNS should propagate fairly quickly since I will do forced DNS pushes but we will see, I just hope the new hardware is as zippy as my current server. I will be sad to not have a dedicated server but I just do not need that much power any longer and I do not want to pay the bill any more just to run one site. I read a lot of good things about Wired Tree so we will see what happens, the support guys from LSN have been nothing but awesome for the last three years, WT’s support has a lot to live up to.

I am not looking forward to class tomorrow, I think I will go to bed now just to decompress from a long and extremely boring day at work.

I’m one of the lucky 60,000 or so people around the globe that Google graced with a CR-48 Chrome OS notebook and it’s been a pleasure to use. Almost. There are a lot of little annoyances that are going to make this project entirely flop and Google’s been aware of how to fix these issues for months. I cannot remember how many bug reports about the trackpad I’ve submitted or how many I’ve sent in about the stupidly sensitive ambient light sensor integrated into the built-in webcam housing. Today at Google I/O 2011, Google announced new notebooks with redesigned trackpads to rectify one issue, but what about the most glaring annoyance of all, the overly sensitive (and non-adjustable) light sensor? I hope they’ve either fixed this in the new laptops, there will be an adjustable slider in the upcoming ChromeOS update, or both. Since I will not be plunking down another $500 for a laptop to replace the one I received for free, I really hope the soon-to-delivered update will bring some type of adjustability.

Just now as I have been writing this, my screen has dimmed and brightened almost a dozen times, all because I’m either sitting up to adjust my back or my laptop tilts backward or forward. Yes, it’s that sensitive. My screen can move less than a quarter of an inch and I’m up to 90% brightness and I can simply sit up — but not cover the light sensor — and it’s down to ~5%. And there’s no way to change this inside of ChromeOS itself. People have “fixed” this issue by simply dumping into dev mode and installing Ubuntu or Windows 7, but that’s not a fix at all. This is an issue that Google needs to finally address and I surely hope they do. These hardware annoyances will turn people off to the offerings from Samsung and Acer faster than GoogleTV flopped, which took about, oh, two months.

However, there’s a lot to like about ChromeOS. Since it’s just an instance of Google Chrome, everything’s saved to the cloud and there’s never a worry of losing files if the computer crashes. All I have to do is reload ChromeOS and all my data comes back, just like I left it. Of course, there are downsides to that as well. At this time, things like Hulu and Netflix do not work but that’s being fixed in the upcoming mega-update announced today. Then you’ve got the free 100MB/month 3G Verizon account that’s included with every laptop. This literally saved my ass during school last semester as my wireless connection would drop every few minutes and I’d lose all my data in Google Docs (that’s a whole ‘nother downside, you lose connection, you lose the ability to do anyting). But once I activated my Verizon data, I never had an issue again and all my notes were saved in pristine fashion. The keyboard itself is fantastic once you get used to it. It’s a chiclet-style keyboard a la Macbook. I hate mushy laptop keyboards — i.e. 95% of them out there — but this once feels great once I got acclimatized to key travel and distance. This thing has great tactility and I wouldn’t trade it for my old Dell Mini9′s abomination a keyboard. The trackpad stinks but that’s a hardware issue, ol’ Goog just purchased the wrong parts. In function, its multi-touch is OK and response could be a lot better but again, that’s supposedly resolved in the new Chromebooks.

I do hope the new update that will be rolling out soon will do something about memory buffering. Right now, I’m streaming from SoundCloud and the mere act of using the backspace (and loading pages, changing tabs, etc) is causing the sound to jitter because there’s just not enough RAM to go around. That’s really annoying to backspace over a sentence and hear my music sound like a broken record.