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My Sunday – a week at the University

I woke up this morning before everyone else and promptly began programming. As the morning wore on, Tommy’s departure time to return to school neared. His grandparents and Noah were to take him back to the University. Granny has not seen the campus and Noah was under the impression that it looked a lot like Hogwarts. I found a round tuit and decided to look at Tommy’s laptop which I’d been ignoring for work. LMU has 3 websites the students are required to use; a web-based email client (no pop3 or imap enabled on the exchange server which bites so I have been unable to setup GMail to check the Outlook Webmail), a blackboard (basically a portal by which professors can communicate with the students by posting assignments, slides, links, documents, etc), and a webadvisor (effectively a forum for the students to communicate as well as listings of groups, activities, etc on campus). The fourth website is a public calendar announcing events, activity schedule, and so forth. Tommy had looked at none of these. He had administrative e-mail a week old. He an assignment from a professor being ignored. And to top if off, I counted 30 hours of Internet gaming! Basically, if he wasn’t in class, he was playing games on the Internet. Two nights the gaming did not stop until 12:30am. I was beyond angry!

Now, in Tommy’s defense, this was first week of school, first week of not being under mommy and daddy’s thumb, first week of true independence. I am sure that many freshman behave this way. Also, Tommy has to figure out how to take in this new world which is overwhelming to him and a safe haven is his gaming. I simply fear Tommy falling behind and not being able to catch up.

So after a couple of hours of yelling, tears, and lectures, to which I am certain Tommy turned a deaf early early on, I installed some software to track his usage of ALL software, not just the Internet. (Thanks Tim!) I started to do some tricks to redirect certain gaming sites to education sites but really could not afford the time away from work so Tommy and I came to an agreement. At first the agreement was that the laptop would not go back to the University until he showed some seriousness about his studies; however, the laptop is a requirement of the university. We laid out some pretty clear expectations for Tommy and he is being given another chance. If he messes up, I will be severally crippling that laptop. Cathy will be spending this week on the phone with Tommy. I believe we also need to consider some serious NASA level check lists for Tommy. 1) Open eyes 2) Yawn (note: if yawn does not come from mouth, you could still be asleep, return to step 1) 3) Scratch 4) Sit up…

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You mean tomorrow?! Btw, happy birthday Tommy!

Today Tommy turns 18! Hard to fathom. I blinked and he grew up. Tomorrow he heads off to college. Today I am frantically trying to impart all of life’s knowledge onto him and simultaneously trying to prepare his laptop with coolio tools of success (and teach him to use them).

Thus far, I have set GMail up as his email client (Outlook is forbidden on LMU’s campus because "it is responsible for spreading viruses"…uh…more on that later). GMail is checking his various POP accounts although I haven’t configured it for LMU’s student email yet. I assume that is possible but I could be wrong as it could be crippled to the point of only being able to use their own web client. World of Warcrap has been uninstalled along with several other related things that Tommy installed despite our prohibition. He tried hiding them from me by deleting the shortcuts from the Start Menu. Apparently Tommy thinks I’m a n00bish neophyte. Avast has been updated and is doing a thorough scan. Adaware and SpyBot Search N Destroy have been installed. Firefox has been updated to version 3 with the following Add-ons: Delicious Bookmarks, Forecastbar Enhanced, Adblock Plus, and Adblock Filterset.G Updater. I helped Tommy create a account (did you know is now YaaahoooooO$$$) and a Jott account. He has had some mad crash course style training on GMail, labeling, Inbox Zero, Delicious, and Jott.

Happy Birthday Tommy!

Update: All Windows Vista updates and patches applied. Skype setup. Palm Desktop setup. Added links to important websites. Installed Microsoft Office Professional 2007. Palm Centrino sync’ing with Gmail via IMAP. Flickr account (basic) created.

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Excuse Me?! Bama Fan Badmouths TN

This video is going viral. It needs a rebuttal! For those of you who got your education at Alabama, a rebuttal is when someone replies to your argument and shows the flaws in your statements.

Update (Aug 6, 2008): When I posted this video yesterday, it had just over 100,000 views. In one day nearly 100,000 more people viewed the video. It now shows 201,290 views with 468 comments and 3 video responses.