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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in manateeX's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
8:33 pm
I love my mom but.....
The woman has almost no sense of smell.  And lately she's taking to putting on WAY the frak too much perfume when she's about to leave the house.   So that when I'm driving her somewhere I have to have the windows down or else my eyes start to tear up.
Monday, March 15th, 2010
5:44 pm
Long time no post for me, but this was in the news....

So you cancel the prom because the kids might catch a case of TEH GAY?   Really?

About the best that can be said is that the hotel owner in New Orleans has offered to both host prom and pay for buses to shuttle kids there for free.     

Friday, July 31st, 2009
12:17 pm
Saturday, July 25th, 2009
12:59 am
I think most people reading this are also on my facebook friends list but.....
for those not....

After a week of fun times and good fellowship with other math people, my now former high school Middleton placed 14th overall in the nation. What makes that even more impressive is that we did not bring a single person from the theta (algebra 2 division). We only brought 10 kids....and beat some schools with 20+ kids present.

The way to envision one of these math tournaments is kind of like the summer olympics. There's a bunch of events going on, some of them at the same time. In order to win, you need to first be able to put a warm body in every competition. Then you actually have to make sure each warm body is good at the event they are doing. And for about 1/3 of the events, we didn't have a single kid present and thus got zeros for them.

So, because we were only operating at about 2/3 strength, 14th place is a huge accomplishment for our kids. I'm very proud of each and every one of them

And now for the annoyances, which were relatively minor....

On the way up, not too far north of Valdosta, Georgia I had my left rear tire go bad. The tread started coming off. Fortunately for me the pressure never dropped and I was able to drive it off the interstate and into a tire place and get a new tire.

Fast forward to the trip back from Knoxville. I was just south of Lake City, Florida when my right rear tire went bad. Both the tread and the pressure went out, so I had to pull over to the side of the road and call AAA.  Unfortunately there was a mix up when I gave AAA my location. I was north of an intersection between 441 and I-75. However, there are two such intersections between Gainseville and Lake City and so they kept going to the one that was closer to Gainseville and not the one nearer to Lake City. (My bad on this for telling them bad ... Read Moreinfo). Soooooo, while the bad tire incident happened at about 5pm, AAA didn't get there until about 7:30 pm. I was able to find a tire dealership that was still open but didn't get out of Gainseville until 9pm.

But, I'm home now, and will get to sleep in my own bed again. Yaaaaay.

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
8:31 pm
I really don't see what the point is of cross posting random cryptic one sentence twitter posts to live journal.

This is all.
Sunday, December 14th, 2008
3:29 pm
GT vs. LSU!!!
Okay, so my beloved Yellow Jackets will be playing the Tigers of LSU on December 31st in Atlanta.

I must go!

For my friends in the Atlanta area, I intend to get a hotel room.  However, if that's not possible, who's got potential crash space for me?

Also, since this would put me there New Year's Eve......who's hosting parties?  Can I get an invite?  :D

Saturday, November 29th, 2008
3:51 pm
Georgia Tech 45   UGA 42

Gooooooooo Jackets!!!!!!!!!!

About freaking time.

Thursday, November 27th, 2008
6:09 pm
Rick Astley Rickrolled the Macy's parade
For those of you who were still asleep, or too busy in the kitchen and didn't see this:



Friday, November 21st, 2008
8:46 pm
Goooooo Jackets!
Final Score:

Georgia Tech 41, Miami 23.

Sting em!

Now on to face UGA.

Saturday, November 1st, 2008
7:54 pm
Gooooooooooo Jackets!
Georgia Tech 31, FSU 28.

This has been a looooong time coming

What a fucking emotional rollercoaster.

Sunday, October 19th, 2008
3:09 pm
Article in today's St. Pete Times....


A math student's uncommon equation

By Thomas Lake, Times Staff Writer
In print: Sunday, October 19, 2008

TAMPA — Michael Rodeman, a growing boy who has not eaten breakfast, would very much like to harvest the wind. He might build a water-powered car, if he knew anything about cars, and he is working on the mystery that confounded Albert Einstein. • Michael thinks many barriers would fall if he could prove Einstein's Theory of Everything. We could sail from one galaxy to another. We could read minds. We could even teleport.

Michael would need to teleport 1.9 miles to get from his house, in a rough part of town called Jackson Heights, to Middleton High School, which is, in some ways, his actual home. • He stays there 10 to 15 hours a day, practicing math whenever he can, hoping it will be enough to earn him a spot next fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT he could become a theoretical physicist, like Einstein or Stephen Hawking, and maybe then he could unlock his own Theory of Everything. • Maybe then he wouldn't be so poor. Maybe then he could impose a new order, clean and rational, on the improper fraction that has been his life.

But now Michael must get to school. He has no teleport, no car (water-powered or otherwise), no driver's license, little or no navigational aptitude, and, at 7:18 on a Thursday morning in September, very little time.

He dials a number, sending invisible waves through the air, and 1.9 miles away a cell phone rings.

"Hello?" says Kim Woolfenden, head of Middleton's math department, standing in a classroom lined with plush tigers. Everyone calls her Miss Wolf.

"My bus didn't come," Michael says, "and my dad won't drive me."

"Okay, Michael," says Miss Wolf. Married with no children of her own, she takes the tone of a long-suffering mother. "I'll come and get you.

"Make a right on 12th," she says, "and be walking on Lake.

"Remember how I told you."

In the hallway she sees Chris Lawyer, another math teacher.

"We're going to get Michael," she says.

Mr. Lawyer covers his face with both hands.

My family was homeless for about six months, living off of relatives and friends, only to eventually be driven out of each place. At one point I remember moving into a motel in a single room with only two beds, we had to hide my little sister because only four people were allowed in the room.

— Michael Rodeman, college application essay, Sept. 30, 2008


Miss Wolf fires up her silver pickup truck and drives south on 22nd Street.

"There's no common sense," she says. "When he goes home, he goes in his room, he hides and he reads his books."

There's Michael on the sidewalk: waving, running, hair a tangled black forest. He is 17, with a scraggly mustache and sideburns, black T-shirt, carpenter jeans, black Nike Air sneakers that Mr. Lawyer bought him when his old ones wore out, glasses that Miss Wolf bought him to replace a pair that somebody sat on.

He gets in.

"You're really sweaty!" Miss Wolf says. "Did you run?"

"Yeah," he says.

"You old coot," she says.

Pop quiz. Geography.

"Which way am I going?"

"East?" he says.

"North, Michael. North."


My father managed to find an elderly couple in possession of an old RV that couldn't run. They told him that he could have it if he could fix it up and get it out of their yard. Being a former mechanic, my father was quick to agree. After he fixed the RV he struck up a living agreement with a very old good friend of his, we were going to live in his friend's backyard in the RV.


Michael's wish to attend MIT can best be explained with a short list of things its graduates have done: flown to the moon, grown artificial skin, isolated quarks, written unbreakable codes, built a laser that fires atoms, invented the world's most precise ruler, launched the world's first acrobatic robotic bird, created the first self-replicating synthetic molecule, developed a robot to guide patients through physical therapy, designed a microchip that can release chemicals on demand and might one day serve as an ingestible drugstore. And so on.

Calculus class, 8:35 a.m.

Michael punches the keys on his TI-89 Titanium calculator and writes the results with a mechanical pencil. His textbook describes a Cartesian equation called the Devil's Curve.

"Don't look in the book," says the teacher, Greg Bradford, who once bought Christmas presents for Michael's entire family. "It just gives it away."

Mr. Bradford has never seen a math student with Michael's combination of drive and intelligence. He is sure Michael will succeed if given the chance.

9:15. Time for Mr. Bradford's famous Pledge of Allegiance.

"ALL RIGHT, AMERICA," says Mr. Bradford, a retired Navy commander, opening the classroom door so the pledge will carry through the halls.

We pledge allegiance to the United States of America . . .

America, land of opportunity, where you can be anything if you work hard enough, especially if you have money. A recent report by the Century Foundation found that in the nation's top-ranked colleges and universities, only 3 percent of students came from the bottom fourth of the socioeconomic scale.

"God bless America!" Mr. Bradford says, and the bell rings.


My mother was notoriously known to everyone who knew her for her extreme asthma. My father had to look after her constantly. We lived off of money received from the government every month for my mother's medicine and my brother's learning disability. Instead of purchasing her medicine she needed, my mother bought food to feed us everyday.


Lunch period now, with English and physics behind him, but Michael does not head for the lunchroom, even though he's eligible to eat for free. He swears he's not hungry. He walks to the guidance office to talk about college.

"The main thing, Michael, is getting those applications in early," says his guidance counselor, ShawnRee Miller. "Early, early, early."

Michael has applied to MIT and several other prestigious schools through Questbridge, a free college-matching service for promising low-income students. He will learn of MIT's decision sometime between December and March.

Michael has memorized pi to 46 decimal places. Now another set of numbers will help determine the course of his life.

780: His score on the math portion of the SAT. Nearly perfect.

570: His score on the reading portion of the SAT. Closer to average. This worries him, especially because only 1 in 8 applicants is offered admission to MIT.

4.84: His weighted grade-point average, which sounds pretty good on a 4.0 scale, but Hillsborough County students can raise their averages above perfect by taking advanced-placement classes.

Therefore, 30th is his class rank, among 287 seniors.

One good way to raise your GPA is to take extra classes online, which is easy if you can go home to a computer with Internet access. Michael cannot. He says it was cut off because his father couldn't pay the bill.


In the midst of this, I joined Mu Alpha Theta, the math team at my school and placed 8th in the Geometry division at the County Math Bowl. My mother was very proud of me and ecstatic about Mu Alpha Theta. Every Monday at 5pm my parents would pick me up from math practice.

Around a week before we were about to move into the RV, Monday, January 10, 2007, to be exact, my parents and siblings were on their way to pick me up from math practice with my mother in the driver's seat. It was around 4:30pm when it happened.


Michael stands at the whiteboard, black marker in hand, peering toward infinity.

To his right, holding a graphing calculator, is Salim Hyder, his best friend. Mr. Lawyer says that among the 1,350 students at Middleton, Michael and Salim are two of the three Super Huge Brains.

It's 3:30 p.m., half an hour after the end of the school day, when most students have fled to freedom. Michael stays at the whiteboard. Here, all mistakes can be wiped away.

Michael and Salim are working on a problem involving an infinite series, wherein numbers march on, always diminishing, each step toward zero shorter than the last.

"Dude," says a kid sitting at a desk. "That thing'll go on for infinity. You know that, right?"

Michael barely turns around.

"Yes, I know," he says.

The kid at the desk is Wendy Duveyonne. He's 16 and wants to be a math major. He has a question for Mr. Lawyer.

"What's so special about Michael?"

"Well," Mr. Lawyer says, "he's pretty smart."

"Is he smarter than you?"

"Maybe," Mr. Lawyer says.

Michael announces the solution: 225 over 16.

Salim checks the time.

"Sixteen minutes and 12 seconds!" Salim says, high-fiving Michael with the sound of a rifle crack.

"Yesssss," Michael says.

My mother suddenly fell back while driving. My father reached over and slammed the vehicle into park on the highway. He got out and ran over to her and started to give her air. It was futile, she died instantly. She was rushed to the nearby hospital, the doctors unsuccessful in attempts to bring her back. The doctors said she died from stress build up, from not having a home for her children and that there wasn't anything that my father could have done.


Michael's father is Thomas Rodeman, a motorcycle enthusiast with a girlfriend and an 8-ball tattoo. He told Michael he would not be interviewed for this story, and when Michael asked why he said because he said so. But he did sign the permission slip letting a reporter follow Michael around school, and, in an interview last year, he said this about his family: "We have a lot of love. We just don't have a lot of money."

It's 4 p.m. on parent-teacher conference day. Michael is not expecting him.

"He came once, when my mom was alive," Michael says.

Mr. Rodeman is most likely at work now.

"I know what his title is," Michael says. "He's a sprayer. He sprays something onto something."

Michael walks behind Salim and Salim's mother toward the physics classroom. He usually follows Salim on conference nights because he has no conferences of his own.

Michael's family recently moved from Seffner to Tampa so he could be closer to school. He likes his new house.

"They're not allowed to smoke in it anymore," Michael says. "I have an actual bed."

Salim and his mother go into the classroom to meet the teacher. Michael stands in the hall, talking about string theory and black holes.

"I'm taking chemistry to get a head start on making efficient solar panels," he says. "It'd be cool to do it by myself, but I'll probably be part of an interdisciplinary team that does it. I'll get one-tenth of the credit."

He touches his throat.

"I'm going to go get some water. I think one of the reasons I don't get hungry is I drink a lot of water."

The physics teacher leans out of his classroom.

"Are you next?" he asks.

"I'm not next," Michael says, and then resumes his discussion.

"When my mom was still alive, I told her about my car-that-runs-on-water idea," he says. "She told me the oil tycoons would assassinate me. And I really think they would."


I was in shock from this. My grades started to suffer as a result. But I was determined not to let this stand in my way. As a consequence, I turned to mathematics as my coping tool. I devoted my entire being to math. I constantly did it all the time. The more math I did, the more I liked it. My interest in math grew "exponentially" after my mother's death. I promised myself I would get as many math trophies as I could and dedicate them to her. Now I have dedicated over thirty-five trophies.


Last year, before the state Mu Alpha Theta math competition in Orlando, Mr. Lawyer asked Michael if he had a suit.

No, Michael said.

Mr. Lawyer took Michael shopping. After the competition, Michael walked onstage to collect his five trophies wearing a new black, two-button suit with a burgundy dress shirt and shiny black shoes.

Over spring break, Mr. Lawyer took Michael on a 3,000-mile road trip to Georgia Tech, his alma mater, and MIT, with its magnet lab and superconductors. One day they were ordering lunch at a quick-serve Mexican place: Mr. Laywer just ahead of Michael in line, paying for lunch. Mr. Lawyer looked back and saw Michael off to the side, adrift from the line, a puzzled look on his face.

Mr. Lawyer put down his own food and walked Michael through the line, step by step.

He wonders who will do that when he's not there. He wonders how Michael will survive without Mr. Bradford to drive him home, Miss Wolf to buy him glasses, his grownup friend Bob to take him to church, Salim to give him potato chips and high-fives.

Outside the school, the sky has turned from blue to purple to black. Man and boy walk into Miss Wolf's classroom. Michael has dark smudges on his face, like a miner returning from the depths.

"I think you have marker all over your face," Miss Wolf says.

Mr. Lawyer looks at Miss Wolf.

"You going to be here awhile?" he asks. "You want me to go get food?"

Michael turns his head.

"Food?" he says. "Food?"

The teachers strike a deal. Miss Wolf brought Michael to school; Mr. Lawyer will drive him home.

"Get your stuff," he says, and they go, stopping first at Subway, where Michael devours a foot-long Subway Club with Dr Pepper and Harvest Cheddar SunChips. It's 8 p.m. This is his first meal of the day.

Sorry for my inability to figure out how to hide things behind a cut.  ;)


Wednesday, October 1st, 2008
9:03 pm
"A candidate for president should not be judged by the color of his skin.  And to anyone who thinks differently, I say, 'Please do not reject John McCain just because he's white'.  I think recent news from Wall Street has made us all a little less tolerant, and only reinforced the steroetype that white people are shiftless, thieving welfare queens"

"What you have to understand is that these whites are a product of society that made them that way.  It was the neighborhoods, and the schools they went to.  Harvard, Yale, and the Wharton School of business.  They never learned the value of doing real, actual work.  And the first step to fixing that is better role models so kids growing up white today don't think the only way out of Westchester is corporate crime.  Or a government handout."

(Bill Mahr)


Saturday, September 6th, 2008
4:52 pm
goooooooo jackets! Sting em!
Georgia Tech 19, Boston College 16


Monday, September 1st, 2008
2:37 pm
Update number 1.....sports!
So, Georgia Tech won on Thursday night.   I got to listen to the game on the radio as I drove up to atlanta for Dragon*Con.

Our offense looks sharp against a patsy opponent.   We'll get to see how we look against real teams the next two games.

Overall this weekend the ACC played mighty crapily!   We lost against all major opponents.  

And, Michigan lost yet another season opener.   That coach will not survive this season.

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
8:43 pm
Mr. Rogers


He was the man.  :)

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
7:34 pm
"Mad Men" marathon today on AMC
......and the season 2 premier is next sunday!!!!!  wooot!

Friday, July 18th, 2008
1:17 am
7th in Nationals Mu Alpha Theta
Middleton High School from Tampa, Florida competed in a 4 day long national mathematics tournament in Sacramento, California.
Out of 40+ schools including one from South Korea, we were 7th overall.

The Pre-Calculus team, which I coach personally, was 4th overall.


Thursday, June 5th, 2008
3:58 pm
Oh jebus, Florida is in the news again.....

Short summary, someone's flying a giant confederate flag visible from the intersection of I-4 and I-75.   They thoroughly researched the zoning ordinances/laws in advance, so they're okay there.  And from a free speech issue, they have the right to do so.   But  damnit man, it's just tasteless. 

Here's a parable for how I view the confederate flag.   Imagine a female that is close to you got raped.  Now imagine that knowing this, I make sure to wear the cologne the rapist was wearing whenever I'm around the woman.  

That to me represents the mindset of people who insist on displaying the confederate flag everywhere.

So, I'm not sure what the appropriate response here is.  Maybe get an equally large Black Panther flag flying nearby.  Or perhaps a replica of the exact UNION flag from the end of the war.    I'm still trying to figure it out.  8)

Saturday, April 26th, 2008
12:03 pm
Georgia Tech has hired Joe Hamilton, former GT quarterback, to be on the coaching staff.   The man is a winner, and it is good to have him with our program again. 

Sting em!

Saturday, March 29th, 2008
8:31 pm
Howard Dean needs to resign
I put most of the blame for the Florida and Michigan mess on HIM.   Had he merely cut their delegates in half,
this whole process could have been avoided.    It's on him. 

My  prediction for the general election in the fall is that McCain will win the popular vote 55% to 45%.   Electoral
college wise, it won't even be close.  Something in the neighborhood of 327 to 200. 

The good news.  McCain isn't that bad.  He is at least an honorable man.

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