Monday, December 14, 2009


After tomorrow, I will be halfway through my Junior year, and seeing my progress on a little spread sheet is eye-opening.

Yellow = complete; Hot Pink = Registered

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CAE Design

My beloved engineering team has been feverishly working to complete our final project, and we presented our design to the class today. This was slightly more nerve-racking then performing my original solo-acoustic music. Happily, it's all over, and the professors who watched us tremble in fear seemed genuinely pleased with our design. We would surely have completed this project far earlier were it not for the inadequacy of SolidWorks. Most of us already own the 2008 version, but the drawings were started in the newest version. Unbeknownst to any of us, SolidWorks is not backwards compatible, so we were forced to work during computer lab hours at school. No Fun.
Here's a video we made that is supposed to demonstrate how knuckleheads like us brainstorm a problem. Really, it was just an opportunity to drink beer. Oh yeah, original music by yours truly.

Chad and I sat through four and half hours of presentations and pretty much wanted to die afterward, but we made it though to hear the professor say he was going to be generous with the grades. Awesome news.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I am very glad I did not choose Computer Science or Computer Engineering as my major. My Numerical Methods class is a close to a programming class as I care to venture. Here's what I'm doing right now:

"Problem 9.16: Develop, debug, and test a program in either a high-level language or macro language of your choice to multiply two matrices - that is, [X]=[Y][Z], where [Y] is m by n and [Z] is n by p. Test the program using the matrices from Prom. 9.2."

This is something that - though complicated - I can do without much trouble by hand, but programming this is a nightmare. I've spent hours trying to map it out on paper, and I just can't figure it out. Where's my ah-ha moment?! I'm using Matlab because it is the most friendly environment of which I know to work. Of course, Matlab, graphing calculators, and a million other languages have code I could look at for ideas, but muscling through this stuff usually provides the best understanding of what the computer is doing.

Too much of this class is devoted to writing programs that have already been written better than I ever could.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pipo's Project

Sonya's father was in town this past weekend and had the strange desire to help us refinish our cabinets. He has been telling people that we put him to work on his vacation, but that is a blatant falsehood! He actually pestered us several times about getting started. Here are the results of Pipo's motivation. We sanded and sanded and sanded. I hate sanding. Sonya hates sanding. Pipo smoked while we sanded, but I think he hates sanding, too. We worked on the cabinet doors the longest because of all those pretty little details. We painted everything white, put the cabinets and shelves back, and realized we liked the cabinets without the doors. No we have six painted doors to store in our attic. I'm still learning how to use the new camera, so I apologize for the weird colors in the photos.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


This past Christmas, my dad gave me his fathers old camera case full of specialty lenses, an old Nikkormat EL, and Grandpa's Nikon F. Sonya and I were so excited. I planned on taking a film class, but free-time being essentially nonexistent, I just have not had the chance. The cameras and lenses have been sitting in my closet until Thursday when Sonya said, "I want a digital SRL." I told her that before we jumped into that I'd like to see if there was a model that fit those lenses. So after a little research, I discovered the Nikon D60. The reviews I've read have all been positive, and the only issue that has been raised is that none of the automatics features work. That is really no issue because the images are instantly reviewable, and the camera display has the handy feature of highlighting overexposed areas. Snap a picture, check the picture, adjust the f-stop, and keep shooting. Awesome. Here's a picture of my office since I've done some rearranging.
You can see the windows appear overexposed, but the room is dark in the top image. I have complete control over these subtleties which I have never experienced before. Here is where I sat in the Cessna 504 with Pilot Leslie O. Kagey giving me the evil eye. I can't tell if he's kidding.

The fish eye distortion is pretty obvious in all these shots. I love this lens! Here's a shot with the Nippon micro lens. I'm sure my dad was taking pictures of coins with this lens, but I really like the depth you get when taking pictures of subjects with a little more distance.

The next few shots are with the automatic lens that came with the camera. They look pretty darn good, and the snapshot quality of our old Olympus 5 mega pixel camera is still not as severe on the Nikon.

This is Ramona eyeing Sonya's Father's food. That is the other big news. Pipo is here! I better go downstairs and enjoy some cafe' with the rest of the family.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spot the Geek!

It's a trick, we're all geeks!