Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home Addition Photos

I have really taken an absurd amount of photos, and blogger is a pain in the butt when it comes to uploading a large amount of pictures. Therefore, I have created a Kodak Gallery for all to see. I will keep uploading photos to this gallery, so check in if you're interested.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

House Update

A year or so ago, I was doodling with an online floor planner, and I drew up this little number:

I've been daydreaming about it ever since. Then - a couple months ago - Sonya and I decided that we should probably make the room we want in our house before the kids are born, so we're doing a pretty sweet addition. The first thing the contractor did was drop of a port-a-pooper.

Step two for our contractor was to remove our air conditioner and all the insulation from our attic. This wasn't a big deal in April when the weather was nice, but it's getting hot now! We need to see some progress!

Thanks to the extra time I've been able to draw up some better plans for the addition.

We are doing a little more structurally than I had previously planned, so we have a little more with which to work. Now we have room for a hallway and that gives us the room for two full bedrooms.

In Addition to removing the AC and insulation, the contractor had time to draw up these sweet elevation drawings for the county permit folks and my neighborhood architectural review board.

Today I came home and found actual construction had been done! They removed some roof and they started laying down the new joists.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I may be taking this blog down in about 5 months.

This blog was essentially created to talk about stuff I was doing in school and stuff I was doing on breaks from school. Sometimes I just posted random stuff, too. Either way, I won't really need this forum for too much longer.
Next semester I may or may not be taking classes, for I really only have a senior design requirement left to meet. Right now my GPA is sitting at about 3.83, but this may go up or down as in roll the final grades for this semester. Now all I need is a job.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Agency Rides Again!

My band of aging rockers has been invoked to bless a friends day of birth and to mourn the ten-year anniversary of the release of our beloved CD Engines. I received a call from Klaus (guitars) about doing a show in September, but I told him the likelihood was low that I would be able to fly down and avoid missing school. To my chagrin, the Richmond to Miami round-trip price was $117 + tax, so Sonya booked it, and away we go. You can't really beat that price for an early-Friday-morning departure and a late-Sunday-evening return. Now I am left with re-learning how to play our songs, and some of this stuff is 15-years-old. Some of our songs could be in high school now!This show really has us all inspired to be creative again. Its a welcome change. Mike (drums/vocals) has been hard at work in his studio remixing Engines for some form of re-release, and he's also mixing the CD we recorded but abandoned in favor of Engines. Our 1998 recording - tentatively titled Monkey In A Spacesuit - will finally see the light of day! Mike has sent mixes of a couple of the songs, and the results have been stunning. First, we really were a very tight band, and second, Mike is a really good engineer/producer/mixer. I don't expect people who weren't there in our little scene to enjoy this stuff, but its really great in its context. Various horrible mixes of these songs have actually leaked to our fans, and we always get requests to play those songs, so I know this will be well received in South Florida.
Believe it or not, we really draw a crowd down there, and I think we'll be giving these folks something to remember. Unfortunately our rehearsal is painfully limited. We may be reduced to Google-video-chat-rehearsals and one 5-hour marathon dress rehearsal, but I'm confident we can pull it off. Most of this stuff just comes from muscle-memory. That's a term we've been using a lot since we all seem to be able to just pick up our instruments and play these songs without fail.The only material that has me nervous is the new stuff. We recorded it, played some of it a couple times at shows, but we never toured on it. Playing a song a few hundred times leaves an indelible mark on the psyche and nervous system, but the songs from Turn don't have that benefit. They are a bit simpler, so that's a blessing. Either way, this show will be fun. Its a very quick visit to Miami (which is a good thing), and we'll spend some very quality time with friends. I can't wait.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More Summer Research

Lung bifurcations are all the rage at VCU this summer. There are several PhD students working on different aspects of this project, and I was lucky enough to avoid these complicated structures for a while. Unfortunately, my project got bogged down waiting for part-orders to arrive, so I was handed my own little segment of the bifurcation drama. These models are all being constructed in a CAD package called Gambit, and Gambit is really just the design structure for a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) system called Fluent. Design for CFD requires building the negative space of a structure since the model is really meant to study the fluid in the structure. Hyper-accurate measurement of the trachea and the fist few bifurcations are used to build the fluid volumes, then the real work begins. For CFD to be effective, the volume must be broken down into tiny cells called a mesh. Each cell in the mesh usually takes on a regular geometric shape like a solid polygon where each vertex (corner) of the polygon forms a node. Specific information about flow conditions (boundary conditions) are calculated at each node, and the whole set of nodes forms a massive matrix equation. Luckily, we build the model, but the software solves the matrix. In high school algebra, most people solve simple linear matrix equations, but these matrices are usually higher order, nth degree differential equations.
If you are having a hard time reading this than you should pity those of us who took Finite Element Analysis, for these cumbersome equations are solved by hand in the FEA class. Nightmare.
Anyway, my portion of this project was adding a ribbed-shape to the tracheal section before the lungs. This slight change in geometry has the potential to create a very noticeable change in the behavior of the fluid (air) traveling through the lungs. We'll see what the model tells us pretty soon! Here's a close-up of what I've done thus far. I sent these images to Sonya, and she said, "Gross!" I sent these same images to my dad, and he said, "at first, I thought this was a cobra."

Thursday, June 24, 2010