Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Summer Week 2


The 2nd class was interesting. As part of our grade, we are to contribute to the discussion. I've always have had a hard time making a meaninful comment in any class. I'm there to learn ... to receive input. After receiving input, I go home, review and internalize. That's how I learn. At one point in the discussion last week, he called on me and asked me a question. I didn't know what to say. The first thing that popped in my head was the movie Patton. So I said something about that and he stopped me saying that he didn't want to get into the movie yet. Oh well.

Another thing about the comments ... he asks for examples. He wants us to recognize these traits and skills in our working environments and other life experiences. I had a hard time thinking of examples last week. So when I was reading the chapter this week, I tried to think of examples so that I would be prepared to comment.

I think I have my final project planned out. I am going to use the questionaires at the end of each chapter to evaluate my leadership style. I am going to have my team lead, supervisor a co-worker and my wife fill out the same questionaires. Then I am going to compare my answers to their answers and then produce a plan to be better in those areas where I lack. I think it will be interesting.

I've got to start on my ethics paper today. It's due next week.


Last week, we worked a lot with Excel. He showed us all the tricks and neat things Excel can do as a database. We did VLOOKUPs, text replacements, string commands, pivot tables and a few other things. It was a really good class.

He assigned us our first homework assignment. We read the 2nd and 3rd chapters and did some questions from the end of the chapter. We also imported some data from Excel to begin working on our database for the rest of the homework assignments. I finished last night. It's due Sunday night.

Quixote Update

I'm still reading it. I don't think I'll do chapter reviews any more. I'm not going to be posting here every day. Right now, I'm on chapter 47 (according to the on-line version).

Chess Update

I found out that friend from school teaches and plays chess. I told him about FICS and he signed up. If you're reading this, Todd, then you probably found my finger note with a link to this blog. When are we going to play?

I was able to play a few games this weekend. Nothing serious. While I was reading for the database class, I logged on to the Chessmaster site (UBI). I found a game and lost. The server isn't that robust. Plus, there aren't that many people who play there. At night, there are just a handful on-line.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summer Week 1


Dr. Rasberry seems like a nice enough professor. He was a little sick the first night and could not talk well. He let us out early. The class will be busy. We'll have 3 short papers, 1 presentation and 1 huge paper to write. On top of all that, we have to really participate in class discussions. It will be a good and enjoyable class. The key (for me) is to get a head start on that final paper.

This weekend, I watched Patton the movie. Today I wrote the 2-page report on it. I framed it around the trait and skill model outlined in the book. The first two chapters of the book dealt with these models.

I think it will be a good class and I'm looking forward to the remaining weeks.


Stewart Rogers teaches the database class. I took the Excel seminar from him. He talks a million miles an hour. He is very smart.

The class wasn't too boring. It looks like I'll have my nose in the textbook a lot during this class. All that we have are a few homework assignments, a pop quiz and a final for the class. I think I'll do well enough in this class.

I have a feeling that I'm going to really enjoy this first mod and really hate the 2nd mod. We'll see.

Quixote Update

It is still sitting there. I'll be getting back into my routine this week and so hopefully I'll find some time to read.

Chess Update

I worked from home on Thursday. I played a couple of games during lunch. I can't remember what happened.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Summer Term Is Here

The week-long break was very welcome and needed. I feel ready to start the last big push. A mere 14 more weeks of school and then I can relax a lot more. I'll only have one class a week from September to graduation in December.

Summer Term

The first two classes I'll be taking are Organizational Leadership and Database Design for Business Applications. In my mind, I think OL will be easy and DDBA will be the tough class. So in reality, it will be just the opposite. By the end of the course, I'll be hating OL and loving DDBA.

For Mod B, I'll be taking Managing Teams and Security Valuation and Selection. The SVS class is the 2nd part to the PTAP class. So I am a bit leary of that class. The MT class will be interesting. After reading the class description, it sounds like the teacher is an HR nutcase. The class is restricted to 35 students and if I remember correctly the teacher is pretty anal about showing up on time and stuff. This has me a bit worried because by the time I'll be taking this class, we'll be having our 4th child (sometime at the end of July and early August.) I hope the teacher won't be a jerk about the situation.

Last year's Summer term was very layed back. That's the way Summer semesters are ... most of the students are home or on internships and there are just a handful going to class. So the campus is really quiet.

I rememeber during orientation back in August 2004, the librarian was taking us newbies on a tour of the library. While we were walking through the study hall, she mentioned that it was finals week and we saw a few students studying hard on a Friday afternoon. That will be me this year.

Quixote Update
Chapter 40

I finished the chapter last night. I'm really lost concerning this Captive story. There is one more chapter before the story ends. It sounds like he is still in prison and is able to communicate with some lady who is also being held captive in a Moorish land. They are planning to make their escape. The next chapter deals with the escape I belive.

Chess Update

The NBA playoffs are on and as such, I'm not playing much chess. In fact, I don't think I've played in almost a week. The Mavs are up 2-1 on the Spurs. Tonight is the big game 4. I hope the Mavs can pull this one off and finish off the Spurs in SA.

The May 15, 2006 chessgames.com puzzle is 24. ... ? Qxe1+ 25. Rxd1 Nc2+ forking the K and Q. Black gains a rook

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Second Clip Out on ROCKY BALBOA (Movie)

The second movie clip is out.

It shows Rocky walking to the ring before the fight. The music in the backgroud is (I think) the song that those street guys were singing in the very first movie.

Pretty cool clip.

Summer Break

I've really been enjoying my Summer break. Last night I stayed up and watched the Dallas Mavericks rip the Spurs apart. If only the would have won game one ... At least the Mavs have homecourt advantage now.

Chess in the News

Much like the BCC, I will be posting some articles I found that are chess-related.

Kids in Tucson are really getting into chess.
"My favorites are the bishop and the knight," Kyle said. "I like the bishop
because it moves diagonally . . . I really like diagonally. And I like the
knight because of the cool way it moves, in a L-shape."

This quote reminded me of my daughter (5 yrs). She loves to say the word diagonally.

Math, Reading, Spelling ... and Chess? AF4C's goal is to make chess another subject in elementary school curriculum. AF4C recently won an award for its First Move(TM) chess curriculum on DVD.

Chess Update

Tonight I'll be able to play some chess. My wife has a party planned for the evening, so she and all her friends will be invading our home. After I get the kiddos to bed, I'll going on a date with Dell and FICS.

The May 10, 2006 chessgames.com puzzle is 34. ... ? I'm pretty confident that Ng3+ is the correct move.

Oops ... Bxe4, then Ng3+

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Spring Semester in Review

Spring Term

The grades finally came out.

Game Theory ... B+
Portfolio Theory & Asset Pricing ... B-

This was my 2nd worse semester since the very first semester. I've always earned at least one A- since that first term. This term ends that streak.

It was a tough semester. The spreadsheet class and PTAP kicked my hide. The negotiations and game theory class were enjoyable and I feel like I learned a lot from them.

I hope the Summer Term will go better. I am shooting for an A in both MNO classes.

Quixote Update
Chapter 38

Weird chapter ... Quixote is at the dinner table and delivers a discourse on the difference between a man of arms and a man of learning.

Chapter 39

This chapter begins the story of the captive traveller. A footnote states that this could be a semi-autobiography of Cervantes. It is a wild adventure and I don't see how it adds to the story.

Chess Update

I'm itching to get back in the ring (on-line tournaments). I haven't been able to play as many games as I would have liked. I've been doing a lot of projects around the house and helping out the wife and kids. By the time I have a few free minutes, I am too tired to log on to FICS and play. Instead, I just watch TV or read a book.

The May 9, 2006 chessgames.com puzzle is 38. ? At first, I think the pawn needs to advance to g6 to defend f7 and h7. But I think that there must be some sacrifice. Rh8+ would probably be my best bet. Then on the next move, advance the pawn to g6.

The answer ... Rh8+.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mod B is Over


The PTAP final was brutal.

Just imagine Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago both fighting Rocky in the same ring at the same time ... just imagine what Rocky would look like at the end of the match. His left eye would be completly closed. He'd have cuts above his eyes, blood gushing out his nose and maybe even missing a few teeth. But Rocky would still be standing. That is what the PTAP final did to me last night. It was the hardest test I've taken at Cox.

Kumar said that we should manage our time and that it would take at least 2 hours. The test started at 6:30pm. It was around 8:10pm when the first person got up and handed in his test ... he's probably the smartest student in the class and he was in our group. 8:30pm rolls around ... everyone is still there. 8:45pm and a second exam is turned in. 9:10pm and Kumar comes back in and says that the morning class was pretty much done by this time! One student said, "they just gave up early!" Everyone laughed. 9:20pm and I am done. I can't take it anymore ... my brain is fried, my hand is numb from writing and I'm tried of flipping between the 15 pages to see if I answered all the questions. I go through the test one more time and count up the points (what I think I'd get). I estimate that I'll get a 30/50 (60%). I add our project scores and I estimate I'll get about an 85% in the class ... a solid B. Anyway, I'm the 4th person to turn it in ... I give up. One other student turns in his exam at the same time. As we are leaving the building, he says that the test was a beast and that it was the hardest test he's taken. I agree with him.

I drive home and just sit on the couch. It wasn't until I woke up this morning that it sunk in that I'm done with the Spring semester.

Now I play the waiting game ... grades should come out early next week.


Quixote Update

Didn't read.

Chess Update

Tonight I play chess! After I put the kids to bed and do some light reading, I am going to play for a full hour. I can't wait!

The May 3, 2006 chessgames.com puzzle is 55. ? Nxc4+ Black would capture the knight with a pawn and then the white queen would check the king at d6. Black must block with his queen so white checks with the queen on b8. At this point, black will lose the queen and the game.

The answer is Nxc4+ and it follows as I said.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing: Judgement Day

Game Theory

The test went OK. There were more than a few suprises on the exam. He threw a couple of questions at us that I had never seen before ... they fell under the topics we discussed, but the type was different. So I had to take my time and think about the answer.

I don't know if I did as well as I was expecting. It was more difficult than I had imagined. I think I'll get a B+ in the class. I wouldn't be suprised if I get a B. Nothing I can do about it now.


Five and a half hours to go for tonight's final. Ready or not, I'm just glad to get this class over with.

A buddy of mine finished his last class ever. He's done with Cox. He is one happy man now. I can't wait for that day in December.

Top Programs

BusinessWeek came out with a new ranking for undergraduate B-schools. I'm proud to say that the Marriott School of Management is ranked 8th in the nation!

Of course SMU's Cox PMBA program is right up at the top too. Forbes ranks the PMBA program #10 in the nation for return on investment. US News and World Report ranks the program 10th in the nation.

My resume will look really nice to have those two programs listed on it.

Quixote Update
Chapter 37

I read one chapter last night (couldn't fall asleep). Basically, Dorotea brought Luscinda and Don Fernando up to speed on what they are trying to do for Don Quixote. Don Fernando thinks it's a good idea to help the Loco Quixote. Anway ... Quixote wakes up and there's some dialogue between Sancho and Quixote and the others. They are able to keep up the guise. Then there comes another company of travellers ... a man and a wife. They are Moors. Then they all eat dinner and Quixote expounds on the difference between a life of combat and a life of learning.

Chess Update

I almost played a game last night ... but I thought that if I played one game, I'd play another and then it would be late and I wouldn't get enough sleep. So I just read. I before that, I watched the Mavs dismantle the lowly Grizzlies. The Mavs were the only team to sweep in the first round.

The May 2, 2006 chessgames.com puzzle is 39. ? Removal of the guard (knight). Rxd6.

The answer is Rxd6. That took me 2.3 seconds.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Game Theory: Judgement Day

Game Theory

About 4 hours and 10 minutes before the final. I think I'm ready. I admit, there are a few types of problems I hope don't show up on the exam. But for the most part, I'm well prepared.

I anticipate I'll get around a 90% on the final. I honestly think I'll get a B+ or A- for the class. But an A sure would be nice.


Saturday night, our group met and studied. I stayed for two hours and then left. I studied practically all day Saturday for this class. I'll do well on the number problems, but the short-answer questions will give me a hard time. I fully expect he'll throw some question about some obscure fact in one of the many articles he assigned to us. All I care about for this class is to get at least a B out of it.

Quixote Update

No updates today. I'll have more time to read after finals.

Chess Update

Believe it or not, I didn't play once this weekend ... not even for a study break. But the first thing I'm going to do after finals are over is play a dozen blitz games.

The May 1, 2006 chessgames.com puzzle is 38. ? Looks like Rxc4 and black will eventually lose his queen.

The answer is Rxc4.