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Random thoughts of my 1st semester @ a "College"

On: Friday, December 17, 2010

-I am well aware of people's tendency to dismiss community colleges as an institution that caters to the high school graduates. Some of these graduates have no clue of what to do with their post school lives. I held that low impression of these schools before I began my semester at Blue River Community College; I still hold on to it in some respects. Maybe it was loaning a pencil to someone in the first day of college algebra. Or maybe it was loaning a pencil to someone on the last day of algebra, during the final no less, that taints my opinion.
-The amount of adolescent obnoxiousness was astounding. Yet, a bit surprisingly, I believe I learned quite a lot.
I went into this semester without a single college credit hour under my belt and having graduated over ten years ago. I rarely felt like the old guy, but sometimes someone would say something like, "I was in kindergarten when you graduated high school."
-The classes I was most nervous about were the ones I had the best grades in.
-I am not an overachiever just because I want to get a perfect score on any given assignment.
-I am not an overachiever just because I do my homework either.
-Uggs are ugly. Elephant feet everywhere.
-I wish I could get away with wearing my pajama bottoms to school. Of course the one button fly may be an issue.
-Not calling a professor "teacher" is hard.
-Almost all of the guys in my classes annoyed the living day lights out of me. I don't want to get drunk and screw girls, get over it.
-Does anyone under the age of 25 own a rain coat?
-I do not understand why people insist on walking down a stair way 3 abreast when everyone else is in a single file line. I believe elementary schools should have covered that.
-I don't like writing papers, but apparently I am very good at it.
-$10 for a crappy deli salad? I've not eaten in the 'cafeteria' since day one.
-Is butt cleavage supposed to be attractive? It is not.
-If you have a giant muffin top you should probably not wear low rise jeans and mid rise shirts. I'm just sayin...
-Younger guys don't like to meet my eye while walking down the hallway. Maybe I look angry all the time...
-Walk on the right side of the hallways ya morons.
-For the love of pete, STOP talking when the professor is talking! How freaking hard is that?!
-I sit up front because I don't like distractions. Sometimes I forget that there are people sitting behind me.
-I do NOT like group projects: too many variables...potential LAZY variables.
-I finished with a A in every class; one class was a 98% and another was 100%. Is that normal for college? Just community colleges? I'm not that smart.
-There is a smoking section, it is not here, go away. I received my fair share of mean looks when I made people go away while I was trying to eat and/or study outside.
-The school is supposed to be my ministry. I will try to not be such an old man next semester.
-I love that there were Math and English tutors available all week long. They were fantastic.
-I wish I had a frig in my car...and a microwave.
-I overheard some "mean girls" once; they were very mean.
-I heard someone say they were skipping class and were perfectly happy with a D. I'm perfectly happy with that person not coming to class too.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but for now this is enough to be going on with.

On: Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Review of Mountain Hardwear Casa 6 Tent - '08 Closeout

On: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Originally submitted at REI

Think of the Mountain Hardwear Casa 6 as your home away from home. This spacious base camp tent offers supreme comfort for sleeping, resting or simply chilling out.

At $289 it's a great quality bargain.

By unabashedpraise from Central Midwest on 5/18/2010


4out of 5

Gift: No

Pros: It's not super heavy, Waterproof, Windproof, Comfortable, Fly Works Well, Sturdy

Cons: Pole setup is cumbersome

Best Uses: Car Camping, Comfort base camping

Describe Yourself: Casual/ Recreational

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I am an ultralight backpacker so this was hard to purchase since it weighs more than my base. But the family and quality was what I was concerned with...that and a budget.

The setup was a little weird compared to most tents I've used but after the first time it's been a breeze- if you use 2 people; one person can but it's a lot easier with 2.

One reason it was purchased was I thought the inside peak height was about 6': I was wrong. However, the tent is pretty tall and it help up very well under sustained winds and 30-40 mph gusts with only 3 guy points (out of 5). We have not used this in warm weather but it stayed decently warm in the windy cold conditions; the low was about 37F. However, it is pretty big so I wouldn't push it in COLD temps.

The vestibule (another requirement) is nice and big but Mt Hardwear missed a great opportunity to have a factory awning option; it currently pivots where the zippers meet.

I did not want to use a queen mattress, thinking it was overkill, for my wife and I but it fit great along with my child's pad and lots of storage left over. A full would fit better but until we have 2 or more kids we should be just fine. As far as "6" sleepers they would be req'd to use personal pads and sleeping bags. You aren't going to fit "6" car campers in here.

The window is pretty small and we had to get up close and personal to check on our napping kiddo. However, for privacy's sake I think it's a good thing.

The only quibble I have is the fact that the main pole section (which is frickin' huge) is one piece. I think they should have made this into 2 separate sections. When you put all the poles together on the ground they spread out so much that they are in danger of being stepped on by anyone in the 60 sq ft area they take up. I'm not kidding, they are huge. This shouldn't be a reason to not buy this tent unless you are setting this large footprint in a compacted area while a large number of people are walking around you and not helping setup.

I have not tested this in the rain but given Mt. Hardwear's history of tent testing I feel very confident: 1200" of rain and swirling wind in a 24 hr period.

You can't have it all but this should be all we will ever need. Even if the family gets to be 4 or more I can just add a smaller tent for more space. Anything much bigger than this is, in my opinion, way too big.