Monday, July 12, 2010

Herb Stories: Beef Sticks and Police Chases

My wife's cousin has a great blog. He writes about music and memories attributed to certain pieces of music. If you want to check it out, read Erik Apland's iPodobiography. I understand a lot of Erik's blog because I have meet some of the people and have been to some of the places he blogs about.

With that set up, I am working an a series of stories told by my late brother Herb. He had so many stories that sounded close to believable, but usually had some truth to them. They were intriguing stories and Herb told them well.

All details are as I recall them. Any additional information about this story would be appreciated.

Without any more ado, Here is the first story...

Beef Sticks and Police Chases

In the late 1980s, Herb moved to Virgina and worked for Tony's Pizza. He drove a Tony's Pizza Truck making frozen food deliveries to various supermarkets in the greater Richmond and Newport News area.

One night, there was a special delivery of some sort. Herb took off in his car with a load of ???, which included several boxes of frozen Beef Sticks. It was late and a long trip. Those two factors apparently got to him and he fell asleep while driving.

Herb woke up to find flashing lights in his rear view mirror. Herb pulled over and got out his license. The officer asked him "Do you know how long I have been following you?" Herb wasn't sure how long, actually he don't remember the last several miles at all.

The officer continues, "I have been following you for quite a while. You have been passing people, changing lanes, and using your blinker...all at time I was following you with my [emergency] lights on. You didn't appear to be running from me, so I just followed you."

Herb says, "I don't remember any of that. Honestly, I am pretty tired and I may have dozed off." Herb reaches in the car and grabs some semi-frozen beef sticks and starts eating some of them.

The officer asks him what he is eating. Herb says they are beef sticks. He explains that he is making a special delivery and had a few extra boxes of beef sticks, if he (the officer) would like any.

Herb continues to explain that he is from South Dakota and he moved there recently, which explains his license plates (which were still from South Dakota, almost a year after he moved there).

Herb said the had a little chat with each other, ate a few beef sticks, and he was on his way again. The only thing he was out was a couple of boxes of beef sticks.

From My Picasa Account

The other part of the story I remember is not something he told during this story, but something that happened when he called home. He asked us to pick up new tags for his car, because his were expired. It was October or November, and this was when everyone's plates expired at the end of March. So this event may have happened when his tags were actually expired. I don't think Herb ever got Virginia plates while he lived there.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sticking with a South Dakota University

I made a big choice to move 1,300 miles from where I spent most of my life. I was still working on my B.A.T.S Degree at South Dakota State University and the classes that I still needed were not available on-line. I had been doing traditional classroom education at the University Center in Sioux Falls and some Internet classes through my SDSU.

I looked at schools with on-line classes and completely on-line programs. There are so many schools and most make it so hard to see what your actual tuition rate is. All schools give the basic tuition rate and then they list as many as 30 different fees. Searching for on-line only programs was not as easy as you may expect. Most of the information are found on targeted sites, fully funded and supported by Internet School with degrees that employers do not take seriously. The interesting thing is that one of the most advertised on-line schools has a tuition rate of $530/credit hour + $85/class.

I searched local universities near my new home, which included some big names (UNC-Charlotte). I looked for programs, on-line degree choices, and cost. UNC–Charlotte Internet tuition cost for new residents and out-of-state residents $460.65/credit hour. Winthrop University, the closest Public University in South Carolina (where I am now a resident) was $400/credit hour for residents and $900/credit hour for new and out-of-state residents. Winthrop also did not have any advertised on-line only programs.

I search everywhere, looking for a school that had a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems or Business Information Systems. The amazing thing was the best school for the least amount of money was still in South Dakota, and it only cost $253.95/credit hour with no other fees. With a rate like that, who would want to go to a campus for classes. Example: If I were as South Dakota Resident attending this school it would cost $205.50/credit hour (tuition + standard fees)+ 353.40/semester computer fee + parking fees + food + dorms.

The school I chose was Dakota State University (DSU) in Madison, SD. They have a Computer Information Systems program that is entirely online. DSU is not the only school that you could choose for $253.95 per credit hour. That tuition rate is set by the South Dakota Board of Regents school. This means the rate is good at any South Dakota Public University. You can get this rate for on-line classes at South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, Northern State University, Black Hill State Universityand South Dakota School of Minds and Technology.

Once you are enrolled at any of the State Public Universities, you can take on-line classes at any other of South Dakotas Public Universities. This is especially helpful when filling in those general education classes. DSU may have the Computer Classes, but Northern State will have the Accounting class that you also need. An important note: Most of your Senior Year (last 32 credits) classes must be taken at your home university.

Just because you can register for classes at other campuses, does not mean that is how the fully on-line degrees expect you to find classes work. All classes for a Degree at DSU will be offered by DSU at some point during a 4 year span.

Read my full article on Dakota State University and other South Dakota Public Universities here.