swordmage: (have a nice day)
Seeing as you lot have been listening (eerr...reading) about my Matrix Project multiple times in passing, I think it’s high time I actually gave a good description of it.

Besides, as my friend Jon put it - “If this wasn’t being graded, it would actually be sort of fun.”

There are a few of you who probably don’t know that I’m in Tucson at the University of Arizona for (nearly) one reason. at least that’s how it started. things have changed in the past few months and there’s now quite a bit keeping me here... *grins* That reason happens to be the Racetrack Industry Program. What exactly is it? Best (and easiest) description is that it’s a program for people who want to work in animal racing. Most of us are Thoroughbred people, though there are a few who follow Quarter Horses. I’m not sure if anyone is in Harness or Greyhounds... It’s actually a really good program. The University of Louisville is really the only other school that offers something like it. However, their program is in the College of Business, while UA’s is a part of their College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. We’ve also got the Symposium on Racing and Gaming, which is a several day, very large, conference devoted to just that. this year there were panels on marketing horse racing (I should link the article written by the guy who ran it, he’s stellar), racino design and management, slots, racing surfaces, and many other topics relevant to the industry. I came here thinking I wanted to possibly go into Breeding and Sales, but since getting here I’ve decided I’d be happier working more on the Business side of things - Marketing, Management or something along those lines.

At any rate, one of my classes this semester is Organization and Administration of the Racing Office. Guy teaching it is Doug, former Racing Secretary for several tracks and head of the program (not that that bit’s relevant, but still). It’s a class that’s mostly interesting, but has it’s moments. We’re currently covering stall allocation - which is a topic both interesting and yet sometimes I just want to kill. I swear, giving trainers/horses stalls is both an art and a science. Also covered has been entering horses (we got/get to play around with InCompass,, which is the universal software that keeps track of all horses running, be they Quarter, Standardbred, or what have you. I don’t know about the dogs...

Sparing the Flist. )

And that, people, is the Matrix. Now you’ve a vague idea what I’m rambling about when I say I’ve got to work on it. It’ll take a fair amount of my spare time, but those who care, don’t worry, I can make time for whatever. Besides, I’ll probably welcome the excuse. *grins* (Yes, I’ll be at WOWTBG. Am not planning on missing that.)

In other news, the weekend was nice. Didn’t do all that much besides the work due this week and watch a bunch of movies. I feel sort of bad, as I’m a little out of the Derby loop (*sigh*) and should know more, but at the same time I think it’s an over-hyped load of BS. Yes, I did just type that. The winner (and several other runner) will most likely be retired by the end of either this or next year (aahh yes, the joys of stud). But that’s an argument for another time.
swordmage: (Thoughtful)
Quite a nice weekend, if I do say so myself.

1) I got a start on the Matrix Project for Doug's class (did the purse and stall allocation worksheets as well as started on the one involving the number of races being carded). Mercifully, it's a 33 day meet - though I think management is an ass here and the number of races they want me to run are complete BS. I can understand the logic, but carding 11 on a Tuesday (simulacast purposes!) is a bit of a pain. On another bright note, he's not making us try and compete with other tracks for horses - our hypothetical Mid-Western track is the only one for area so we don't need to be worried about conflicting stakes schedules or other tracks taking our horses. We're also carding cheap claimers... Nice, middle of the road track.

Did I mention it's mixed-breed? And I know absolutely nothing about Quarter Horse racing. A small problem, but if I write a number of the same races, I should do just fine. (That's according to John Moss, who looked at what he'd done a few years back and then gave me advice on what he did wrong... I love my department.)

2) With the end of Battlestar Galactica, Friday nights at [livejournal.com profile] avilina's place continued. Stargate - The Director's Cut was on, but I think I spent more time talking and such than actually watching it. Heh. I think when this semester ends (or maybe before, as things are settling down) I'd like to find something good to do with my hands craft-wise. And trim is so damned pretty...

3) Tagged along when [livejournal.com profile] domnall went to Nico's and played World of Warcraft: The Board Game. Quite fun. Especially considering that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started. Didn't take long to get the hang of it though. Next time? I intend on taking full advantage of tha hack-and-slasher I was playing and kill more. Errmm, yay!?

4) Bought Dad's Birthday present. When the first two ideas fell though (#1 because I totally forgot to order it in time and I like to give things on time was too busy to order it #2 because I found out he'd seen it), I went out to Barnes and Noble and bought a book by an author he quite likes. And the new(est) Paul Theroux? It's a gorram book of fiction - why couldn't I find it? *glares* Ended up getting him In the House of the False Lama. Looks interesting and I may borrow it myself when I get. the. time. to. read.

Then of course - this week involves:

1) Death Cab for Cutie/Franz Ferdinand concert tonight. Yay!!

2) Need to print out the English paper due later today... Grr... I have come to the conclusion that the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict is a load of BS. It's nice and makes the world think you give a damn, but when you read it and see who's signed/ratified the document, you realize that the countries where it exists? Yeah... Not happening.

And children in armed conflict isn't even my pet international issue. The Freedom of Tibet is...

3) Indv101 paper. Because economic development of India is so damned fascinating.

4) More Matrix work. I shall finish the worksheets and start writing the races this week. My stakes calendar will be a thing of great beauty. (Actually maybe not, but it shall be logical and sane and all will be happy.)

5) Looking at possible places for this summer/next year. I found a cheap guesthouse/cottage a few blocks from the University. (And within what I'd consider walking distance, albeit one that's a bit of a hike.) Downside? It's month-to-month (and no set lease near as far as I can tell), but it's cheap and if I end up liking it, I may just jump on the place... I guess we'll just have to see.
swordmage: (Accio Brain)
My day started out just fine, if one doesn't count the little memory-lapse before my Language class.


After that, it perked up when I saw some St. Felix-ites at the Club Fair. Yes, that made me perk up rather nicely.

Then, Nikki and I went to the Racing Program offices. The initial reason was for Nikki to complain about how under-represented we were at the Club Fair and how we're not known on campus. That turned into a long talk about marketing and how we can get other interested. Specifically, college students. However, the problem is that we need to do this without getting the gambling aspect involved. As that is something that raises massive issues and the Admin. seriously frown upon. Even though horse racing is legal sports betting, apparently UA has massive amounts of money bet illegally on sports. It's one of the biggest schools gambling-wise.

This lack of gambling poses problems, the first and foremost being that gambling's one of the main draws for the sport. So what we're trying to do is get people in and try to leave that one aspect out.


*rubs hands in anticipation of the challenge*
swordmage: (Whee!!)
Last night was the opening night for the 32nd Annual Symposium on Racing and Gaming.


I'm only going to classes today so I don't miss my last English class (need more infor for the final) and my last Schurg class (because I'd like to do well on the final).

The place is just *gah.* They're holding it Loews Ventana Canyon Resort - which is gorgeous. I'm going to nab a camera and take pics this week. People pretty much knew each other and everything last night, and I'm a bit shy. But wandering around with Jenna meant we talked to some interesting guys from New Zealand about drawing young people into the sport.

Two small rooms of vendors - from Scientific Games to South African Racing (Wyvern). There are a few vendors I want to talk to, namely some of the architectural firms that do racinos. The Scientific Games display is awesome. According to John Moss (fellow RTIPer), they're trying to out-do YouBet, so they are pumping large amounts of money into Symposium. There are two large satellite dishes outside picking up signals... *(for non-racetrack people, ie most of the flist, here's part of wagering companies 101 - unitedtote's been around for some 60 years and handles the betting machines at many tracks. many tracks have also complained about the company - but done nothing about it. this doesn't seem odd until you know that youbet, an online wagering site, just bought unitedtote for $50 million. needless to say, scientific games is, apparently, pissed)*

I'm missing the racino design panel this afternoon - as I'll be in Schurg's class. *mini-sulk* But I'll be up there for the reception, and most of the day tomorrow, as well as Casino night tomorrow. And I'm there throughout Thursday. The day I'm also meeting Chris Bahr, who's the Promotions Manager for Del Mar. *is nervous*

Also people - be amazed. I wore makeup last night. And Nikki straightened my hair. And I wore a skirt and heels. *eeep!* Steve (faculty member of the Racetrack Industry Program, to digress briefly, we don't call the teaching members of the program by their last names, it's always by their first. Wendy's not Mrs. Davis, she's Wendy) came up to Nikki and I and said "much better" (she'd asked him jokingly that morning if her ripped jeans were allowed) and several people commented on how nice we looked. *blushes*
I think pictures were taken... I may be able to find them on the site in the near future.
swordmage: (Aloof)
Right-o, am in the process of re-doing the layout of this journal. I like it and all, but I'm sort of tired of it.

Part of that process is that I'm determined to create my own mood theme. Which is turning out to be a bit more well, time-consuming, than I had originally thought. Of course, Brotherhood of the Wolf, while it's got most of the images needed, seems to lack a good one for a few... (did I mention I intend on doing a full theme? With seperate images for everything?)

In the meantime, I'm using [livejournal.com profile] pixelbee's Classical Art theme.

So, let's see, what have I been up to? School, mainly. Finals are in about two weeks (eek!), and so I'm gearing up for those. I"ve got papers and stuff to do, which keeps me busy. Not to mention work, which is going along swimmingly.

The Racetrack Program's Symposium is in two weeks, which will keep me busy for a week. There are several panels I want to go to, including Racino Design, a Racing and Gaming Idea Forum, and one on Handling Negative Publicity and Crisis Communication. AS there's a mentor lunch as well, I've been paired up with the Promotions Manager at Del Mar. Who I've been reliably told is a very nice man. Woot! That'll be interesting. Seeing as it's an event I need something semi-nice for, I braved the mall yesterday and bought two pairs of pants. May I officially say I love Banana Republic's Martin-fit pants? They look good and are damned comfortable. got them in black, and at Macy's a dark brown pair of with dark pink pin-stripes. I have enough button-down shirts, so I don't need any. Which is nice. Thank you Portsmouth Abbey dress code. I'll miss a day of classes for that, as I'm going up Tuesday after class, and crashing there for two nights, meaning I miss Wednesday classes. However, Weans will be over, and I don't really give a damn about Trad or Math. Thursday's Dead Day, so that doesn't matter either. And that Thursday night I'm going to Narnia. *ohmygodsqueee!* I'm really looking forwad to that. (Two or three panels during the day and then a midnight movie showing...)

Flight home is booked. It'll be nice to see my friends and such. The snow and cold? Eehh, not looking forward to that so much.

okay, maybe a little...


swordmage: (Default)

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