Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Pictures of Ike Aftermath.

Monday after checking on my servers and lab computers, I took a stroll around the outside of the Houston Zoo.  I’ve never seen so many large trees laying on the ground roots akimbo.  My stroll took me past Ben Taub hospital, Herman Park Golf Course, Herman Park, and the Houston Zoo.  I put together a gallery of my favorite photos.

 

Click on the image below to go to a gallery of Photos that I took on my walk.
Trunk of the Massively Twisted Tree
Trunk of the Massively Twisted Tree
Kevin Steele

PostHeaderIcon Another One Bites the dust

I finished my Portfolio and turned it in for grading.  My Portfolio was made of…

  • Two Cover Sheets
  • Employer Authorization form (Because my portfolio covered a Baylor Project)
  • Table of Contents
  • 8 Page Essay covering any trend in IT. I came up with…
    “Open Source Software as a Communication Bridge in IT Project Management”
  • Reference Page with a list of APA formatted Citations for all references used
  • Competency Matrix with 16 listed competencies relating to the Essay.
  • Exhibit 1: MySQL Open Source Database used in project as Web Site data storage.
  • Exhibit 2: PDF and iCal files of Project Schedule made as an addition to the website for offline schedule verifications
  • Exhibit 3: XHTML Source code showing both PHP and hand created code instructing users on how to setup IP printers on OS X
  • Exhibit 4: WordPress Theme developed to maintain look and feel of other internal Baylor websites.  Included Text from the CSS file for the presentational layout, as well as the whole theme file zipped up for review by the grader.

WGU Logo

Looking back on it now, it seems like a long list.  But I enjoyed getting all the parts together.  Lucky for me I had a past project that I lead and had intimate experience with.  Using that project, I built my portfolio files and data during July and August and then finished the Essay in 2 days. 

The class has twelve grading rubrics ranging from 1.0-4.0 and an overall 3.0 is the minimum passing standard.  Overall, I was happy with what I had submitted, and while I wasn’t expecting a 4.0 on this grade, I felt confident that I wouldn’t have to resubmit.  Of the small concerns I had about the submission, Dr. Teston gave me some good viewpoints so I felt better as I waited to find out my grade.  

So I checked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, waiting to see my grade.  Nothing showed up and I went home after work, ready for the weekend.  Late Friday Night I was surfing around and ran out of interesting places to look at on the internet (Funny huh).  I decided to look one last time at the TaskStream website where my portfolio was being graded.  The Class came up with a lock on it, and I clicked on the Submission Tab.  And there, at 7:15 PM, my Grader had posted my grade.  Dun Dun Dun Dun!!!!!

3.92...
Wait... What...

!!!3.92!!!

3.92 out of 4.0 Roughly equal to a 98%.  Santa Vaca!!! Not only did I pass, I passed right up at the top.  I let out a whoop of triumph and scared Kaylene.  Luckily Joey didn’t wake up so she didn’t automatically kick me.  What a Triumph.  As you can tell, I’m proud of myself.

So I have till the end of October to finish some more classes.  Since I’ve been focusing on Non Tech Classes at the beginning of the term, I’m thinking of finishing the Web Tecnologies and Client Systems Certification. 

Classes Finished:
Term 1:

  • Education without Boundaries
  • Leadership and Professionalism
  • Quantitative Literacy

Term 2:

  • Foundations of Language and Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Communication
  • IT Fundamentals I
  • Rhetorical and Critical Writing
  • IT Fundamentals II
  • IT Fundamentals III
  • Programming Fundamentals

Term 3:

  • Networks I
  • Ethics Part I
  • Ethics Part II
  • Social Science Part II: American History & Government, World History and Geography

Term 4:

  • Natural Science Part II:Concepts & Theories-Life, Earth, Space, and Physical Sciences
  • Project Management
  • IT Portfolio

Classes still to pass:

Classes with Technical Certifications:

  • Client Systems
  • Web Technologies
  • Programming Fundamentals II
  • Database I
  • Security I

Non-Technical Classes:

  • Research, Writing and Oral Presentation
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities Part I
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities Part II
  • Technical Writing
  • IT Capstone Project

Kevin Steele

PostHeaderIcon Rodney

Rodney the Rabid Raccoon

TexanaRatcoon Rodney was the nickname that my family gave to the raccoon who so huggingly gave me rabies.  I was a teenager in Aiken South Carolina and was weeding the bushes at the side of the house.  Afton was asleep on the couch and Mom was out doing errands.    I heard a strangling gurgled noise and turned around to see a raccoon standing at the end of the row.  Literally, standing on 2 feet, swaying like a drunkard.  I didn’t know what to do.  It was a short stalemate with me standing on one side not knowing what to do and him staring me down through a haze.

TexasRatcoonsQuick as a flash, he closed the 10 foot distance, jumped, wrapped his legs around my leg, and started going to town on my knee with his little raccoon teeth.  It took me a second for shock to wear off, and then I kicked him across the yard.  I should have followed him to figure out where he was going, but instead, I ran inside yelling about how I had been bit by a raccoon.  Afton woke up long enough to look at me, say yeah right, and then role back around back to sleep. 

I waited until my mom came home, and told her that I’d been bit by a raccoon.  She didn’t believe me either, until I showed her the hole in my pants and said, why would I do this.  So we went to the Doctor and I had a Bazillion shots and had to come back for 5 more weeks while they rotated more shots on my body.  By the time I was half way finished with the shot treatment, I found out that the neighbor lady had also been bitten.  She had then dragged the raccon scratching, biting and hissing all the way from their Blueberry patch to the front steps of her house.  At this point her husband brought a baseball bat and beat the raccoon to death.  They sent it off for testing and sure enough….  It did have Rabies.

 BTW, I despise raccoons.  To quote Kaylene….

“They’re oversized cockroaches”.

Dedicated to the memory of Rodney the Rabid Raccoon. 

Comic owned by Mitch Clem at www.mitchclem.com

PostHeaderIcon Update on School Progress

WGU LogoHere’s a current list of Classes I’ve finished and what I’ve got left over.  I just finished MY Natural Sciences II and Project Management coursework.  I’ve now got to finish my Portfolio Project before deciding what classes to choose for the rest of my term.  So I’m Halfway through my 3 year goal and on track.  Yay Me!!!

Classes Finished:
Term 1:
Education without Boundaries
Leadership and Professionalism
Quantitative Literacy
Term 2:
Foundations of Language and Communication
Quantitative Reasoning and Communication
IT Fundamentals I
IT Fundamentals II
IT Fundamentals III
Programming Fundamentals
Term 3:
Networks I
Ethics Part I
Ethics Part II
Social Science Part II: American History & Government, World History and Geography
Term 4:
Natural Science Part II:Concepts & Theories-Life, Earth, Space, and Physical Sciences
Project Management

Classes still to pass:
IT Portfolio
Client Systems
Web Technologies
Research, Writing and Oral Presentation
Rhetorical and Critical Writing
Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities Part I
Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities Part II
Programming Fundamentals II
Database I
Security I
Technical Writing
IT Capstone Project

Kevin Steele

PostHeaderIcon What happens when you don’t pay enough attention…

Kaylene regularly posts on the family blog at jms.steelelife.com and on her sidebar she has polls that she created.  Yesterday she was creating a new post and I looked over at her administration page.  The polls sections had her latest title in, and since I hadn’t looked at the site yet (Yes, bad bad Kevin) I read the title and it looked like this.

Name your Favorite Coloured Family….

 WHAT!!!!  I looked over at my wife and said something to this affect “Well, I prefer the Cosby’s but are you sure that this is an appropriate thing to be polling about???”  She didn’t seem to worried about it…  She then pointed out that the title actually says “What’s your favorite Color Family”….  Like Reds, Blues or Greens.  DOH.  I should have payed more attention. 

And then again,  it’s not always me not paying attention.  She posted a nice post about her and little things that make up her life.  She had a section on family and posted this (It has since been changed). 

“Kevin, my husband for 7 years and my best friend for almost 8 now, he’s tall and strong, and takes good care of me, especially late at night.”

I read this and started laughing.  I read it out loud to her and she blushed, laughed, and quickly edited it out.  Too bad I have it here in my blog.  Mwa hahahaha.  Actually, the comment is about how late at night, I’ll go check on noises, get her Tylenol, etc…  Nightly though, it’s about how I switch sides with her to make it easier to feed Joseph.  I’m used to it that from a fairly dead sleep, I can get up and switch bedsides with out too much noise or hubub.  Her original comment was innocent enough though.

 I love you Kaylene.  Thanks for putting up with my misreadings.

PostHeaderIcon Music, Friends, and Extending Boundaries.

Isani CayetanoThis one is for Isani.  Isani Cayetano is our newest team member in the BCM IT Field Support group. 

Isani moved here with his wife Joy who is a first-year med student at Baylor.  Isani is from Belize and comes from Garifuna heritage.  He has a strong sense of his family, where he comes from, and who he is.  I admire him and we’ve gotten many chances to speak about his life and what makes him him.  One of the things he introduced to me is music from the Garifuna culture. 

Some “Quick Background” for those like me, who had never heard of the Garifuna before.  They are a group of people who descended from African Slaves and the Native Carribean Indians, mainly from Saint Vincent where they started out.  They have struggled through their last 200 hundred years of History.  They were caught in a territorial war between France and Britain and ended up being forcibly relocated to Honduras.  But to this day though the Garifuna People have spread from there to Belize, Roatan, Guatemala, and other Central American/Caribbean Nations.  They have their own language that is a mixture of Arawakan, French, Spanish, and others.  In listening to their music, I hear so many different cultures all in one very beautiful expression.

Garifuna Collective HouseTheir culture was in such decline that UNESCO declared the Garifuna Culture and Language Endangered.  It’s estimated that the population is 200,000-300,000 thousand Garifuna and that only 90,000 people still speak the  language.  To quote National Geographic: “The Garífuna were selected because of the vibrancy of their language, music, and dance. One tradition that incorporates all of these aspects is the dügü, a dance which Garífuna use to summon the spirits of their ancestors in an effort to resolve problems in their communities. This passionate ritual, which may last uninterrupted for three days and requires the attendance of every family member, even those who live outside Central America, promotes unity and peace among the Garífuna.”

Isani’s Uncle is Andy Palacio.  Though Andy recently passed, he was a long time evangelist for the Garifuna culture and keeping it alive. He worked hard and brought together other Garifuna musicians and they started creating music and recording it so that others could experience it.  They were called “Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective“.  I’ve been listening to their music from the CD Watina and wanted to share it with you.  I would prefer that people go out and purchase the music, so I’ll include one song I found on the web and an album cover and link to the site.

Watina Cover ArtYagane means canoe and is the story of an old man who has fallen out of his boat and is calling to his canoe to come get him.

YAGANE : [audio:http://kevin.steelelife.com/misuc/Yagane-(Canoe).mp3]

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn more Isani.

IMAGE INFO:  “I don’t own any of the images I used.  Image one is of Isani and I pulled it from his Facebook page.  The second image is of Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective.  The Third image is the CD Cover for Watina.

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