2007 Aug 25 | flood

One thing I never even thought of when considering optometry schools was hurricanes. Even if they don't hit directly, they can still cause flooding. And the water comes up extremely fast. I was driving with no water anywhere and within an hour it was up to the middle of my wheels in many places on this road. At that point, I just wanted to get home. It's amazing how unimportant a to-do list can become when the alternative is having your vehicle ruined by water and getting stranded miles from home.

We were coming up to the intersection of Shepherd and I-59 when traffic completely stopped. I sat there for 15 minutes before I decided to cut across to the right and see if there were any side streets open.

This was an option, I-59 between Shepherd and Kirby. However, the water looked pretty deep. This big truck made it through OK...

...but then this guy in an SUV didn't. I'm glad I decided to not drive through any road that looked deep unless a vehicle smaller than mine made it first. It wasn't worth pushing it and spending who knows how much to get your engine dried out.

I did eventually make it on to Kirby, which was higher. There were some deeper spots at intersections, but everything was less than halfway up my tires. I also heard on the radio that the worst flooding was at Shepherd and I-50, which is where I was initially trying to drive through. It would have been nice to hear that an hour earlier.

The flooding also popped some of the manhole covers off. I'm not sure of the size of those holes compared to my tires, but I swerved all over to avoid them because I had visions of going into one and ripping the entire wheel off.

Paying for gum which is under $2, first using your discount card to save 15 cents and then using a credit card you have to sign a slip for, should be punishable by jail.

My new computer desk (well, new for me) had the top too close to the keyboard, so whenever I tried to type, my knuckles would hit the top. At first I was going to drill new holes and lower the keyboard, but it was at a pretty comfortable height and I would have to drill through metal. Then I decided to put blocks of some kind under the top to raise it up, but I wanted something rubbery so it wouldn't scratch the glass. Nobody sold any rubber blocks or anything that would work, though. I kept trying to think of different things that would work, but nothing I thought of I really liked (such as putting carpet over boards). Finally I wandered through a hardware store to see what else I could use and saw some table legs and some pipe-covering foam tubes that I stuck together.

And it ended up working pretty well.

The total was exactly $7. I really wish tax was included in the cost already so we wouldn't have to deal with change at all.

I'm pretty sure one of those asterisks says you can't shove a computer in there.

People do this more in Houston than other places I've been. This guy was coming from a side street and wanted to go straight across a main road. So he pulled out when nobody was coming from the left but people were still coming from the right. The right-going traffic didn't let up and then traffic started coming from the left, too, which had to swerve around him. Most people in other places are smart and considerate enough to recognize they wouldn't be able to make it all the way across and would wait until it was totally clear, but not here.

My cell phone with Verizon was dying on me (it would just shut itself off at random), and since my contract was up, I decided to switch to Helio. For one, you can surf the internet (I especially use GMail and Google Maps), use the built-in GPS, and everything else for a straight price. Verizon and other cell phone companies charge you for every little thing you want to do (you can do that with Helio, but you don't have to). They also had a phone that was fairly cheap compared to similar phones that I liked. Plus, they just have a fun attitude, kind of like Southwest airlines. They're a smaller provider that runs on Sprint's network, so we'll see how it goes.

I wish they would make <$10 glasses for negative powers, not just reading glasses which are plus. I need to toss some cheap ones in my truck just in case my contacts become unwearable while driving, which happened the other day. I put a back-up pair of contacts and some solution in there now, but glasses would be easier.

So much for using this computer; the "O" is gone.

The professor for our summer class had extremely hard tests (a lot of the questions were covered nowhere in the notes), so everybody did poorly on the tests and then he curved them. It was kind of annoying, but as long as I passed the class in the end I didn't care too much. I know I got near the high score on the first test and the highest score on the second, and some people I talked to got scores in the 50s on the final and still got As, so he obviously curved a ton.

I hate hurricanes. I had one rule for where I was going to live before moving to Houston: live someplace where it doesn't snow. Now I have two more rules: live someplace that doesn't have hurricanes (tornados and earthquakes I'm fine with; you don't have to completely evacuate hundreds of miles away with them) and live someplace that has good public transportation.

Ooh, a piano in a little room on campus. I need to figure out who has keys to this room.

"Oh, that is a 3-subject notebook, not a 1-subject one like the other two I'm buying, so it doesn't have the sale price? Can I take 15 minutes to go back, dig through the notebooks, and get another 1-subject one while making all of these people behind me in line wait rather than just spending the extra buck on the 3-subject one?"

"Oh, this printer ink isn't on the sales list? Why isn't all printer ink on sale? I think it should be. You know, Target has much cheaper ink that you guys; I'm just going to go over there. Wait, can I get $3 off if I give you these old boxes? OK, I guess I'll still buy the ink here." Aaarrrggghh!!! Stores need a "I'm not questioning any price or doing anything else to slow anything down" line.

One nice thing Texans tend to do while driving is not stop in the right lane at a red light if they're going straight so people who are turning can turn during the red. Of course, in California, the right lane is always a little wider so people can always turn even if someone else is in the same lane.

My truck kept getting pretty dirty, even though it was under the parking structure, and I couldn't figure out why. I finally saw guys with leaf blowers going around and they would blow all kinds of gunk onto my truck when they went near it. It wasn't intentional; it's just how the air circulated, but I'd much rather have a few leaves around rather than have to wash my truck every 3 days.

The left ice machine was almost out and would drop about a cube every 5 seconds. People would get mad and go to the right one, which was completely out, then go back to the slow one. It was funny because people would get all annoyed that the ice was coming out slowly and then realize, hey, it's better than no ice. Nobody went and asked the employees to refill the machines, either; they'd just sit their waiting for their slowly-falling cubes.

Students could play a guy in a game of ping-pong in the student center. The interesting part is that he was blindfolded and could still beat most people.

For as religious and conservative as people in Texas claim to be, they sure wear extremely short skirts and shorts. I never saw anything in California near as short as what most of the women wear here. Plus, when you sit like this, you're basically begging people to look at your legs.

The computer lab in the main library is usually pretty packed, although every once in a while you can find an open one. I prefer to print here rather than at the optometry school computer lab because these printers will print double-sided so I have half as much paper to haul around.

The dean's reception at the optometry school. They have a deck right outside and they had a keg, which is probably a little different attitude compared to other schools. Most of the classes are general biology stuff (anatomy, physiology, histology, etc) so in general it's not too applicable to what we'll be doing out of school yet and therefore fairly uninteresting, but there is one class and lab that actually teaches us what we'll be doing (taking case histories, reading eye carts, etc), so I like that one. There's still a lot to study every day, though.

I've never seen the attraction of yoga. It's basically stretching + relaxation / light self-hypnosis, and both are much more effective on their own.

"Is your engine up to this?" No, my engine dies just looking at the poster.

Most of the optometry students went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the UFC match, but some of us went to a sports bar called Knuckleheads instead. It was much less crowded, so we didn't have to get there an hour early just to stand, and the food was much better.

I never use anything other than a 1-cup measuring cup. I don't care how much or how little I need; I just estimate it based off of this one. It even has little marks for 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4, so what's the point of having 20 other cups taking up space?