Saturday, December 26, 2009

Semester 3: A Review

It's hard to believe that another semester has already flown by. A 90 minute lecture usually feels like three days but I can't get over how quickly entire months can rush into the past. The previous semester was a busy one (as I'm sure can be inferred by my lack of presence here), but was definitely filled with many good times.

The rather daunting task of completing 20 units did not disappoint. Despite the many late night study sessions, it was really neat to settle in on subjects I really enjoy. There was a pretty even split of science (Bio & Chem) and music classes. You know you're in for fun times when the class average on the first test in Genes and Development is a 62%. Luckily a little hard work is all it takes and all turned out well. I recently bought an MCAT study book and have begun to try and devote an hour a week to it. Key word is "try."

Things in the music world are also going pretty well. Our new Honors Quartet is sounding quite nice and is available for your high profile event...just let me know. For a solo, I've been working on the Weber Concertino for a while. I have it down pretty good but the challenge is getting it all in my head. In addition to trying a few local young artist competitions, I'll be soloing with the University Symphony on March 14. Check it out if you're around. I began teaching clarinet regularly to a middle school student early in the semester which was a really goo experience for both of us. There's a whole new level patience and way of explaining things to master. I've come to agree with other teachers I've had that the single best piece of advice when teaching music is "lets try it again..." Unfortunately I don't think I'll have the time to continue next semester but I'm glad I had the experience.

A big change to my routine this year came with the job as an RA. In general, there's a lot of perks and good times countered by a good deal of challenges. I've met a lot of great people and am really enjoy my coworkers and residents. The responsibilities have been beneficial in getting me out there more and much falls into the category of "it was a good experience." It's a very interesting and unique leadership position to be in and overall I'm pretty happy with the way things have gone. The random events and duty nights are getting easier which is probably a good thing if I continue on the path to medicine. I've definitely "gotten more involved on campus" (my reason for applying during the interview) but the single room and money don't hurt either.

I'm still interning at the hospital on a pretty regular basis. I started working ER in September trying to hit the crazy Friday or Saturday nights. I saw many difficult and sad things as well as many amazing procedures that are routine in modern medicine. I find myself fulfilling the weird paranoid uncle role as the boys got bikes for Christmas telling them each to always wear a helmet. As in any ER, there was quite a bit of excitement and always something to do. I have plenty of stories, let me know sometime. I just recently started in OR and have already seem some amazingly cool procedures. More on that later.

I feel like I've exceeded the word count limit here but if you're still reading I'll throw out a few of the famous links:
Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. That's all for now, I need to work on my golf swing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pretty Snazzy Marketing...

Click image for higher resolution.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day

A three day weekend after only three days of classes...I could get used to this.

Classes started last Wednesday. I've had most by now and so far they seem to be pretty good. The science classes will pose a challenge but I like my schedule for the most part. It's nice to be settling down with just science and music, none of those pesky humanities courses (not that there's anything wrong with those...). I'm at the point were I'm somewhat enjoying reading the text. Let's hope that stays that way for a while. Here's the 20 units:
  • Biology: Genes and Development
  • Bio Lab
  • General Chemistry
  • Chem Lab
  • Music Theory
  • Musicianship Skills
  • Keyboard Harmony
  • Fundamentals of Conducting
  • Lessons
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Orchestra
RAing is going well so far also. If you have any program ideas, let me know. I was able to get home this weekend. It was pretty nice to get back after a while and see everybody.

This whole thing with people freaking out about Obama's proposed "Back to School" speech is teetering on the line of absurdity. A number of school districts are continuing to refuse to show the speech even after the text has been released and it contains absolutely no reference to any political agenda. Many seem to be ignoring the fact that almost every former president in recent history has given a similar address. I think NBC's John Harwood puts it pretty well.

Brownie, a 4-year-old cat who has drifted away from his home, returned to the delight but then horror of his owners. Glad to have him back, they were in turn horrified that he had a 13-inch arrow stuck through his head. Luckily the arrow had only skimmed the skull and the little guy is expected to make a full recovery. 1 down, 8 to go.

Youtube of the week: A random guy is seen reading a novel while doing 75mph on the freeway. That better be a good book.

That's it for now...have a nice day off.

Friday, September 04, 2009

That Crazy Thousand Oaks...

Man's Fingertip Bitten Off at Healthcare Rally
By Garance Franke Ruta and Sarah Lovenheim of the Washington Post

One of a national series of rallies for health-care reform took a violent turn Wednesday night when, according to authorities in Thousand Oaks, Calif., an unidentified man bit off another man's pinky finger at the top joint.

The Thousand Oaks event attracted only about 100 people -- a small group compared to the turnout at congressional town halls, which have drawn up to 1,500 people. But their passions were running high, and when a supporter of health-care reform wound up among a group of about 25 counter-protesters, an argument and fistfight broke out, Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Frank O'Hanlon told the Associated Press.

Reports differ on whether the supporter went to confront the opponents intentionally or was just walking among them while trying to cross the street to the pro-reform rally.

Southern California's KTLA-TV, which first reported on the fracas, wrote, "The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky."

The AP reported that the injured man "retrieved the finger and went to a hospital." The man, identified by ABC News as William Rice, received care from Los Robles Hospital and on Thursday told the Weekly Standard that the hospital was unable to reattach his fingertip. Also on Thursday, Rice appeared on Fox News, where he was interviewed by Neil Cavuto (see video clip, below).

O'Hanlon told the AP that authorities have a good description of the alleged biter, who fled the scene. "It's considered a mayhem which is the removal of an appendage from a human," Capt. Bruce Norris of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told ABC News. "The crime is punishable by imprisonment for 2, 4, or 8 years."

Attendees at the Thousand Oaks rally took to their blogs Thursday to describe the clash. Reform opponent Eric Ingemunson recounts his story on, and reform supporter Karoli Kuns tells her tale at sponsored the rally, along with others Wednesday night around the country, and Ilyse Hogue, a spokeswoman for the liberal advocacy group, called the incident "a regrettable act of violence."

"While we do not have any more facts about what happened then what we saw in press accounts, MoveOn condemns violence in all forms," she said in a statement to The Post.

"While we don't know if either party involved was a MoveOn member, we regret any violence that may have occurred yesterday, and we support the Ventura County Sheriff's investigation into the situation. It is our firm hope that this event does not detract from the tens of thousands who were out peacefully making their voices heard for health-care reform and a public option," Hogue said.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

RA Training

We're midway through August which means Summer is coming to a close. This time always has that weird combination feel of disappointment that the break is over yet excitement for the new school year.

Our trip to Colorado and New Mexico was great. We had a few days of hiking and relaxation at the cabin before making the trek to Santa Fe. We had a nice little condo within walking distance of downtown. Santa Fe is a pretty interesting place. It's very artsy and a lot of fun to visit but I don't think I could stand living there--a tad too artsy for me. The big reason for going was the Santa Fe Opera; my dad and I saw three operas in three days while my grandma joined us for two of them and my mom went to one. We saw Gluck's Alceste (good opera but a bit "drab"), Donizetti's Elixir of Love and the world premiere of Moravec's The Letter (probably my favorite). After opera madness we ventured to Boulder City to visit my uncle and hit a production of the musical Jersey Boys in Vegas before coming home. Overall it was a really fun time.

I've been back at Cal Lu for a little over a week now in RA training. The training is going well and I've met a lot of good people. The job will be interesting; there's a bit of responsibility but I'm looking forward to it. It's a new experience and I think I've already gotten a lot out of it. Hopefully I'll maintain the positive outlook well into the year. My room setup this year is very nice. It's pretty spacious and actually has a view. Should be a fun time. Classes start up September 2.

It seems impossible to go a few hours without hearing somebody's (misinformed) opinion about the whole healthcare debate these days. With all this going on it's nice to see that there is at least one person out there that has it right.

I know there's a few slip-n-slide fans out there so this video is a must watch. The legitimacy has been debated quite a bit but whether an actual jump or edit job it's a pretty cool feat either way.

The odds of catching a foul ball in a major league game are 1 in 333. The odds of catching two major league foul balls in the same game are 1 in 3,333,333. This 12 year old kid beat the odds. Pretty awesome.

That's it for now, I think I'll take advantage of my afternoon off and treat myself to a quick nap.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I recently returned from Phoenix and the National Intercollegiate Band. I'm glad to say I didn't die from the heat (worst was about 115°) and we got some monsoonal weather. The whole experience went really well. The director, John R. Bourgeois, is the director emeritus of "The President's Own" Marine Band. He was a really down to earth and great guy who had some amazing stories from his 40 years of service. The composer was Mark Camphouse and his piece was pretty heavy (in a good way). It was really neat meeting some new people from around the country and running into some old All Southern/State folks. It was a great experience and really fun time. I'll post some audio when I get it.

The day after I returned, Casey, Andrew, Josh, Julia, Julia, and I made a last minute journey down to the Hollywood Bowl to see Philip Glass and his ensemble play with the LA Phil. Many people aren't fans of minimalism so it was really neat to see the Bowl packed with people who really appreciate it. The music was incredible (Einstein on the Beach!) and the musicality amazing, as expected.

After enjoying a few days of laziness I'm off to Colorado and New Mexico later this week. We'll be spending a few days up at the cabin then make our way to Santa Fe for the Santa Fe Opera. Should be a good time. When we return I have a few days before heading back to Cal Lu for RA training.

I know many of my peers are having difficulty in the summer months with waking up early. ThinkGeek has a solution: for every minute you sleep past the alarm on this clock, your bank account automatically donate money to an organization you hate. Genius.

Many of you may have seen youtube's top hit for this week, the awesome wedding entrance dance. For those who haven't, you must check it out. Cool little tidbit: apparently Karl's sister, Erin, was actually at the wedding. Pretty funny stuff.

That's all for now, I need to go post an ad to sell my Public Speaking and Spanish books. If anybody is interested, let me know.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Off to Phoenix

It's only 112° right now...

For the next few days I'll be participating in the National Intercollegiate Band at the Arizona Biltmore. I auditioned on a whim a few months ago and was pretty surprised when I actually made it. It looks to be a really good experience (complete with the director of the President's Own and Mark Camphouse) and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll get some pics and audio to share.

The past few weeks of summer have been pretty busy. To quickly sum, I've:
  • Made the annual Kling/Crane Dodger game excursion
  • Made the annual Stutelberg/Crane Dodger excursion
  • Witnessed 5 births including a C-section with twins (absolutely incredible!)
  • Moved my sister from Canyon Country to Acton with the help of Casey and Josh
  • Persuaded four other people to donate blood with me (you should too)
  • Completed a 5 week summer school term of Public Speaking and Spanish 102 (thankfully it's over)
  • Written letters and had petitions signed to the Governor and Mayor.
  • Seen the Monty Python musical Spamalot (very funny...definitely recommend)
  • Discovered an unknown function of the MacBook.
  • Hosted a surprise birthday party for Andrew LORDKEMPER.
I'm probably forgetting a few things, but you can tell it's been an action packed summer so far. I wish I had time to go more in depth on some things but maybe when I have some free time in the next couple of weeks I'll be inspired to share my wacky attempts at political involvement or innermost philosophical feelings on witnessing the miracle of life. Or something like that.

I should probably start packing so that's about all for now. I leave you with Obama and the "Mom Jeans" controversy.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Karl Runs 30 at 30

A fun and awesome day...more details.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Yes, I know it's been a while--there's been quite a bit going on recently. Whoever came up with the idea that Summer was supposed to be boring is quite wrong.

School finished up nicely. It was a tad stressful for a while but finals all went pretty well and the year wrapped up as quick as it began. I've been saying this all year but it is really amazing to me how fast it all happened. Hard to believe that the first year of college is already complete.

The week before finals was our marathon Into the Woods week. The midnight rehearsals gave way to four really good performances. It was the first musical I've had the chance to play and, while very tedious at some points, was quite a bit of fun. It was really cool to see a lot of friends/family come down and see it.

This summer has already proved to be busy (thankfully without the stress of school...yet). I'm still doing my weekly internship in Oxnard and just finished up a really fun trip to San Jose and San Francisco with Casey and Jamie to visit Tani and work on a wedding gig (I think there's some pics on Facebook). I'm off to Sacramento in a few days and the week after I start Spanish and Public Speaking at College of the Canyons. Fun days ahead.

If anybody is feeling like a runner on July 5, we are celebrating Karl's 30th birthday by helping him run 30 miles. Us mortals have the choice of different millage loops (1, 3, 5, or 15) to join him on. It should be a lot of fun so if you're feeling spunky enough to give it a go let me know and I'll pass along more info.

In a move that somehow will crack down on ID fraud, it is now illegal to smile in your Virginia DMV driver's license picture. Now that's somewhat depressing.

Compliments of Karl, we can go back to the basics with Nike Running by running supernatural at the Bear Butte Running Camp. Just be've never seen this commercial on TV for a reason.

That's all for now...time for a nice summer nap. We might see a fairly significant format change for this blog in the future. Still thinking about it so stay tuned.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Clam Before the Storm

I have a bit of free time this weekend (doesn't happen too often), so I thought I'd do a little update. With only three weeks of classes remaining until finals I'm beginning to feel the "pre-stress" of the approaching storm.

One of the things that will make the coming weeks a tad constrained as far as time goes is my participation in CLU's production of Into the Woods. Despite being a large time commitment, it's really quite a bit of fun. It's nice to be able to play in a small ensemble where your part really counts. I'm the only clarinet so that's a new challenge in itself. If you're interested in coming down for the show, it runs April 30-May 3. I'm not sure yet what I can get as far as tickets, but if you're interested let me know. More info here.

We got a nice little Easter break last week. It was fun to head home and see everybody. As you can probably tell by the previous post, the boys were pretty excited about the Easter Bunny. That was a nice weekend. One of the highlights had to be the acquisition of my NEW A clarinet. It's a buffet R-13 and it's awesome. She's a real beauty. I'll be breaking it in this week with a performance of Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo on a student recital.

Other than those exciting items, I'm basically keeping busy as usual. Josh and Sheena came up to Cal Lu this weekend for a tour and to get a feel of the campus during the annual Scandinavian Festival. We were able to hit some fun stuff and I think all had a good time. My hospital CCE Internship is going well. I recently got word my rotation this summer will be in Labor and Delivery...should be pretty interesting.

We've covered a bit of really basic neurophysiology in my Bio class recently so I was excited the other day when I happened upon a site known as the "mouse party" where you can drag a number of stoned mice on a variety of different drugs into a chamber that reveals the science behind the drug. Pretty interesting stuff.

In case you didn't get the memo, don't eat Domino's Pizza. Both employees in the video were fired.

Keeping in the theme of gross restaurants, it's pretty well known that you're not getting food that looks like what the fast food restaurants actually advertise. It's about time time somebody actually setup advertisement vs reality side by side.

That's it for now...I have a bathroom to clean.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Crazy Week

I must admit...the past few days have been pretty insane. It's not so much stressful, but keeping track of everything going on can be a challenge.

Thursday, today, and Saturday is the Presidential Scholar Program for next year's class. I offered to help out and ended up being a host to to scholars. They're both great guys and it seems like all of the scholars are having a good time, successful interviews, and good meetings. It's so strange that only a year ago I was in that same place. Time is just flying by.

We had our Spring Break last week. While it was a bit early, it was still nice to have some time off. Most of it was spent hanging with the nephews who are doing well. Saturday was Matt's birthday party...the big 3. That little dude is pretty smart and growing up quick. I met up with some folks in Long Beach on Thursday for Julian's concert and that turned out to be a nice little trip.

I began my internship as a Clinical Care Extender last week. I've done three shifts so far and while it's not the most glorious work in the world, it's definitely a really good experience. I'm sure I'll be able to stockpile some pretty good stories. Also, next week is the Regan Library event and I'm really looking forward to that.

It's been concluded that regular watermelons take up to much room in the refrigerator. The solution? Make them square. Not a bad idea...

Even with the advent of many wireless computer components, many still complain of all the stupid wires getting in the way. Just be thankful its probably not this bad.

While flying isn't typically the most pleasant experience these days, it's nice to see a little bit of wit and humor from the crew. I think airlines should start mandating stuff like this to keep people somewhat attentive.

That's all for now...I'm off to try and enjoy my relaxing Friday afternoon.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Time is Flying...

It seems like the past few weeks (well, years for that matter) have flown by exceptionally fast. I can't believe I'm already seems like such a strange and unbalanced number. Guess it fits me pretty well. Thanks to all for the birthday wishes and such.

School is going pretty well. For the most part, I'm enjoying most of my classes this semester. It's nice to get some decent science stuff going and I'm definitely keeping busy. It seems that the "stress" this semester is somewhat cyclical. Last weekend I was insanely busy and but now it's pretty chill. Spring break is coming up soon so that will be nice.

I recently got an internship at St. John's Hospital in Oxnard through the "Clinical Care Extender" program. It's basically a glorified volunteer position where we do rotations in different departments. Sounds like we get to do/see some pretty cool stuff after putting in some time in the not-so-glorious areas. I went through the training and should be starting next week so I'm pretty excited.

There's a couple of good CLU concerts coming up. The University Symphony will be doing the Saint-Saƫns Symphony No. 3 the "organ symphony" this Sunday. It should come together quite nicely and be pretty cool, especially with the Chapel organ here. On March 26 the Wind Ensemble will be doing an Americana concert at the Regan Library. It's $20 but comes with a library tour and exhibits. Should be pretty fun.

If you've ever had the urge to ID a fruit by the little sticker that comes on it, this site will prove useful. It's the largest known fruit label database. And I'm sure it's very useful too.

It's always fun to look for the McDonalds when traveling overseas. I knew they made some menu adaptations, but some of them, like the Canadian McLobster Roll, are pretty entertaining.

A few years ago, Ameriquest ran some pretty good "don't judge too quickly" commercials. Here's a nice compilation of the five they ran (never get old), and I'd have to say the last one is probably my favorite.

That's it for now...I'm going to go take a nice Happy Friday nap.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Busy Days...

My apologies for the lack of updates recently. I hoped I would get into a nice Sunday evening routine with the Blog but it's proving to be somewhat of a challenge.

Classes are going well. It looks like the most challenging will be HumTut (ugh) again. The Bio Lab won't be a piece of cake either but I'm sorta looking forward to learning about research and such. Golf is definitely going to be a lot of fun. I thought I'd have more time this semester but I'm definitely keeping busy. I applied to an internship at a hospital in Oxnard. It's basically a weekly shift in different departments. I had the interview today so that's nice to have done with. I should know whether I'll get it in a few days. By the way, happy belated Groundhog Day.

The AV District Honor band had their concert a few weeks ago. I came down and meet quite a few alum. The concert sounded really great, I was especially impressed with the balance. The director was John Carnahan from CSULB and I'm very jealous that I missed him by only a year.

The CLU Wind Ensemble will be playing a concert at the Ronald Regan Library on March 24. It will be a program of Americana featuring Copland's A Lincoln Portrait with the pretty good potential of a semi-well known Hollywood personality narrating. It's $20 but is probably worth it. Also, the Orchestra will be doing a nice concert on March 1 for free.

Remember digging that hold in your backyard trying to get all the way to China? Good thing it probably didn't work because chances are you wouldn't end up in China. If you were ever curious where exactly you would end up, this site is very helpful.

Despite the law, cell phone use while driving still appears to be a large problem. I think this is a reasonable solution.

Bill Gates, speaking at a gathering of professionals in technology, entertainment, and design (TED), decided to make a point about the dangers of Malaria by releasing a swarm of mosquitoes into the crowd. Interesting and slightly scary tactic, but it's getting attention.

That's it for now, I have a bathroom to clean.