Spring 2007

Tuesday, 5-29-07 at 7:38 MDT

Since my last post, I have been storm chasing and to Santa Fe in the RV. I have to go to Truth or Consequences this morning, so I will update later on.

Sabbath, 5-19-07 at 2:44 MDT

I am now back at my house in Socorro after a week in Beijing. It was quite an experience. I will tell more about it later on. I have photos to pull from my camera and a journal on my laptop, and hopefully I’ll post it all here later on.
My time is all screwed up. It’s early, but I’m wide awake. Last night, I went to bed around midnight, and slept til 8:30 or so, and all was well. I think it might have just been sheer exhaustion, though I didn’t feel that tired.

Tuesday, 5-8-07 at 21:45 MDT

We’ve all had a cold the last few days, so I haven’t had a chance to really post.
All I have left is part of a machine shop project and a final for failure analysis, both of which will get done tomorrow. I have so many other things to do before I can leave Socorro for China!

Sunday, 5-6-07 at 12:57 MDT

We are having a BBQ at our house today!
Speaking of house, we just bought a ‘house’ (kinda). Our RV, front view, kitchen, cab. It’s a 72 Ford Econoline 300, and it only has like 67,000 miles on it.

Thursday, 5-3-07 at 7:33 MDT

I updated my M1 Garand Project page. I will have more updates tonight. EXCITING UPDATES!

Wednesday, 5-2-07 at 6:14 MDT

It is now May, time for a monthly update. However, due to a computer crash, I’m not sure of some stuff, as I lost the file I keep track of this stuff with.
Books read: 2, Refractory Metals and Their Industrial Applications by Robert Smallwood, and Clays and Clay Products by Alfred Searle (1918! It mentions ‘the most common way to transport mine products is by pony’). There might be more, I can’t remember.
Books of the Bible Read: 6, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah
Periodicals Read: 3
HF Contacts made: 65
Clean Sweep Days: 0
Best Jog Time: didn’t jog this month
Best Morse Code Score: lost
Miles Biked: none
Farthest Distance Traveled: Amarillo, TX
Biggest Accomplishment: Getting all my China paperwork ready

Tuesday, 5-1-07 at 23:14 MDT

Full monthly update tomorrow. I’ve had the flu for the past day or so.
Arlo Guthrie played tonight for free at NMT. It was awesome, of course. Much to my surprise the stories he told between songs were as entertaining as the songs themselves. The girlfriend and I each got our programs autographed too.

Monday, 4-30-07 at 6:44 MDT

I kept pretty busy yesterday, and got a lot of stuff done for my presentation in China. I have the presentation laid out, and will finish the modeling today, hopefully. I also started the dilatometer, and worked on my failure analysis paper. This week is sure to be even busier, but I might get done all that needs doing.
It’s hard to believe that it is almost May. It feels like 2007 just got started, and now it’s half over. I have so many projects that I have put off and said ‘I’ll do that this summer’ and now it’s almost summer. I would like to get PSK-31 working, I would like to fix my old computer, I would like to put in a pond, and maybe put up an 80m antenna. I have other projects too, several writing projects that will take some time over the summer.

Sunday, 4-29-07 at 20:41 MDT

Once again, I disappoint my readers (hi Mom!) and don’t post much again.
I spent part of the weekend shooting at the Capitan HiPower Clinic, where I shot an M1 Garand in .308 to 300 yards. The loads that I was using were too long (overall length), refused to feed, and thus I did not fare well in the rapidfire stages. Other than that I had a blast. Speaking of which, I will post the latest update to my M1 Garand page soon.

Friday, 4-27-07 at 11:09 MDT

I have added a chase log, but no photos yet. Hopefully soon.

Thursday, 4-26-07 at 7:35 MDT

I seriously need to update my QSOs and my storm chase log, but I’m not sure when I will get around to it.
We made a major purchase yesterday. I will post pics as soon as I get them.
The next week will consist of Capitan High Power Rifle Clinic this weekend, Arlo Guthrie concert on Tuesday, practice run for my China presentation Tuesday, and who knows what else. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, 4-25-07 at 7:51 MDT

It’s getting close to crunch time for me. I still have so much to do. I did, however, give my Failure Analysis presentation and the grinding project for machine shop lab.
I updated my shooting scores.

Tuesday, 4-24-07 at 7:27 MDT

Yeah, so I’ll have some updates soon. I need to put my chase log up, update my QSOs (I picked up over 30 this weekend from several new counties), and my shooting scores. It’s been pretty busy around here.
Wish me luck on my failure analysis presentation in two hours!

Sunday, 4-22-07 at 23:00 MDT

We went on a mini-chase this weekend. Conditions looked good in the TX panhandle, and we went for it. One wall cloud, no tornadoes. I’ll have full details maybe tomorrow, as I just walked in the door.

Saturday, 4-21-07 at 1:51 MDT

All this stuff with VT is crazy. I would like to take the time to express my condolences for the families and friends who lost someone this week. This has been terrible, and I am still in shock that such a horrible event could take place in my alma mater. I spent a year in 4051 WAJ, the first killings were in 4040, I believe. Over the six year period of ’99-05, I probably had over a dozen classes in Norris Hall. I spent almost the remainder of my time in Holden, which was right next to Norris. I used to walk over to the Secret Burger King every morning for a giant pink lemonade that I refilled all day. Where the cell phone video was taken- I used to sit out there with our custodians while they smoked and we all just hung out for a few before going back into work. I just can’t believe this is true.
My ‘new’ (as of July 06) computer is pretty screwed up. I can’t even reformat without it crashing. It contracted a pretty nasty virus. I am on the computer that I used before I moved here. It’s funny in several respects- I have managed to get the thing to boot up quickly, rather than the 45 minutes it used to take. Also, given the circumstances of the VT Massacre, I’ve been cleaning up this computer, and finding all sorts of old Virginia Tech writings, homeworks, etc. It’s such a crazy time of nostalgia, anger, sadness, and physical illness from the events of the past week. I will probably comment more on this when it isn’t 2am. Martha, if you read this call me. Liz has my number, but I can’t find yours.
On a brighter note, almost everything is set for me to head to China in May.

Monday, 4-16-07 at 7:58 MDT

Today was pretty lame. I got a lot of stuff done around the house though. The boxes in Atta’s old room have been restacked so as not to fall and cause disaster.
Unfortunately, Apollo Creed pushed the roof off of his cage and escaped yesterday. This May would have been five years. On the other hand, I’m the one with food and water here, so I might see him again soon.

Sunday, 4-15-07 at 10:38 MDT

Friday and yesterday = two Oriole wins, both featuring a grand slam. They are now 6-6. Rained out today.
I picked up a few QSOs in the GA QSO party yesterday. I’ll probably go on the air in a bit and pick up a few more. I probably have quite a few counties at this point, just none in North Dakota yet. That is the only state I am missing.
Yesterday, I was a judge in the New Mexico State Science Fair. There were quite a few good projects

Friday, 4-13-07 at 8:59 MDT

Yesterday, I received my passport and promptly sent it on its way to a visa service. I am now registered for the conference, have a flight, have hotel reservations and all I need is the visa (and my passport back!).
It’s pouring here, and only 41 degrees. That doesn’t make me super happy, stupid rain.
Tomorrow, I will be a judge in the New Mexico State Science Fair. That will be a new experience for me.

Thursday, 4-12-07 at 8:08 MDT

Tough luck for the Orioles last night- beat in the 12th inning. It was 0 to 0, and then Detroit got four runs. Lame. Now even Tampa Bay is ranked higher, but overall, we can always count on being better than the Nationals, haha.
I got a call from an old friend last night. It was good to catch up, and good to talk about old times too.
Today will be busy again. Dilatometry, more DTA, and thesis work. Never a dull moment around here.

Wednesday, 4-11-07 at 10:12 MDT

I slept in this morning because I felt like it. I should get my passport sometime today, and then I can send all my stuff out to get a visa. Then some of these travel problems will be over.
The Orioles lost yesterday. So much for our streak. At least we are better than Tampa Bay.
Today will consist of some more dilatometry, graduate seminar and SEM time, provided the SEM is up. I hope to go to the Socorro Amateur Radio Association meeting as well. We had a Tech Amateur Radio Association meeting last night, and I was able to salvage a bunch of the spacers from the old antenna, destroyed in the 2004 hail storm. I think we have 80m capability there, but not much else right yet.

Tuesday, 4-10-07 at 7:51 MDT

The Orioles won again yesterday. That’s two in a row, I feel a streak coming on.
I updated my shooting scores. I hope to update some other stuff this week.

Monday, 4-9-07 at 9:31 MDT

The Orioles won yesterday, which makes me happy. I hate not being able to see the games. I could buy the MLB thing for my DirecTV for like $150, but it’s just not quite worth it. I listen on wfls when I can.
Today will consist of way too much to do. I have to straighten out my conference stuff and get a ton of thermal analysis done as well.

Sunday, 4-8-07 at 0:04 MDT

All I have to say is BOO YANKEES. That was total crap- a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Orioles. Thumbs down.
We went up to Albuquerque to visit the UNM Library today. I picked up a couple of books from there, and Joey and I went and played at a park while my girlfriend worked on a paper. I also made a few HF contacts, including two new ones for me: the World Bank station in DC, and a special event station in Greenland.

Saturday, 4-7-07 at 12:15 MDT

Finally, the Orioles won a game. It’s about time. Yay for being 1-3.

Thursday, 4-5-07 at 17:14 MDT

Today has been relatively productive. The hotel was booked yesterday, I did some spraying today, turned in some shooting sports club forms, and will continue working on more stuff this evening. Never a dull moment.
I have updated all of my QSO pages.
The Orioles, The Rangers, The Cardinals and The Phillies. These teams have yet to win a game. This makes me angry!

Wednesday, 4-4-07 at 7:18 MDT

I reserved my China plane tickets yesterday, and I’ll book the hotel and register for the conference today. As it turns out, it was cheaper to leave for China a day earlier, so I’ll get an extra day in Beijing, which will be nice. As it is, it will be a rushed trip, and I won’t get to see much of China, so that will help.
Today’s agenda consists of getting stuff ready for a LANL presentation that will occur at an undisclosed time, finishing up the DTA/TGA work, and then Graduate Seminar and SEM class. I might try to finish my failure analysis paper today as well.
I have been checking into North CARS net on 7.200MHz every morning. They ask for weather reports and current gas prices, and most of the reports are coming out of the Great Plains. Along the same lines, I found the Gas Temperature Map yesterday, and it is pretty cool as well.

Tuesday, 4-3-07 at 7:59 MDT

Happy birthday, Suzi Dove!
I updated my shooting scores.
Yesterday was opening day, and I think the Orioles are already eliminated from Post Season play. I caught the tail end of that game, part of the Colorado-Arizona game and watched all of the Angels vs. Rangers. Baseball brings back so many memories of when I was a kid and living in Maryland. Now all the legends of my day are either announcers, managers or still playing (with tons of steroids).

Monday, 4-2-07 at 6:47 MDT

I am up to 17wpm with 3.0 spacing on my Morse code practice. I want to get so I recognize the characters by sound and then bring the spacing down. Right now, I miss B, 6, J, and 1. Occasionally, I’ll miss a Z, 7, P or X.
My neck is all sore from holding it funny while trying to cut the bolt off of Taurus starter solenoid. I didn’t even get it cut, but now I can’t turn my head.
Today will consist of some DTA/TGA, a meeting to work on my gunshot residue review paper, some thermal stress modeling, and some plasma spraying. Then I’ll go to air rifle practice.

Sunday, 4-1-07 at 11:10 MDT

I fixed a few previous posts which had spelling and formatting errors.
It is now April, time for a monthly update. This month I did not jog, but I did add lifting to my list of things to do each day. Overall, this was the highest percentat on ‘things to do each day’, and I got a 72%.
Books read: 4, Packet: Speed, More Speed and Applications, by the ARRL; The Structure of Cast Iron by Alfred Boyles; Electric Steel Making by John Sharp; Automobiles of America (1961!) by the Automobile Manufacturing Association.
Books of the Bible Read: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations
Periodicals Read: 4
HF Contacts made: 144
Clean Sweep Days: 0
Best Jog Time: didn’t jog this month
Best Morse Code Score: 86.8%, 7 word streak, at 16 WPM x3.0 spacing
Miles Biked: none
Farthest Distance Traveled: Taos, NM
Biggest Accomplishment: An article in Monitoring Times

Saturday, 3-31-07 at 11:35 MDT

I am going for a walk with Joey today. It’s a bit windy, and a little chilly, but March is almost over. The girlfriend is out on a field trip with her vulcanology class to Grants. I’ll get a few things done around here and kick back today.
Tomorrow, I intend to get a bunch of work done on my thesis, perhaps having a rough draft ready by Monday or Tuesday. I also hope to get the Taurus up then and start outfitting mine for chasing. We will see what I actually get done.

Friday, 3-30-07 at 6:28 MDT

Moderate risk in south central Texas. Looks to go MCS quickly though, I think we’ll pass on this one.
Trying to get geared up for chasing and China. It’s going to be such a busy spring!

Thursday, 3-29-07 at 22:27 MDT

Citi keeps pushing this whole ‘Credit Protector’ program on me. Every few months… BAM! $10.99 a month is tacked onto my bill. They always give it back, but they better cut that crap out.
The Industrial Archaeology Club baked stuff all night for the bake sale tomorrow. It smells so good.
The Great Plains got hit hard yesterday, it was a loaded gun scenario and I was stuck in class and stuck trying to find out what is going on with my passport.

Wednesday, 3-28-07 at 8:23 MDT

Hard to believe March is almost over. It’s really getting close to crunch time for me, so I’m getting as much done as I can. I finally have the DTA/TGA working, so I can start plowing through those samples. I am also part of the way done my failure analysis paper, so that is good as well.
I like this new Morse Code program. It’s called CW Player, and it was created by F6DQM. Rather than using the PC speaker and running in DOS, like every other program, it runs in Windows and uses the soundcard. It also calculates the actual code speed based on your word spacing. It’s a real worthwhile program.

Tuesday, 3-27-07 at 8:15 MDT

Running late this morning, but I did add shooting scores from last night. I shot like garbage, having not had air rifle practice in three weeks.

Monday, 3-26-07 at 6:46 MDT

I added a page for the BNSF fire safety course I took back in August. I only put up a few pictures, don’t go here if you are near a burning train and want to know what to do.

Sunday, 3-25-07 at 21:52 MDT

I haven’t messed around much with PSK-31 this weekend, but I did make 82 QSOs in the WPX contest. I’ll have to add up the score and all that, though I think the best hits were Panama and Cape Verde Islands. I’m not sure where VP57 is either, but I got one of those as well.
Today was spent working in the garden, working on laundry and playing around in the contest. Tomorrow will be busy as well. I’m trying to figure out the best solution for chasing this year, and have a few ideas in the works.

Friday, 3-23-07 at 23:33 MDT

Can’t figure out what is wrong with PSK-31. I can’t seem to get it running. I still have no transmit audio unless I am in SSB mode. I can’t hear PSK-31 signals unless I am in CW, so I have to manually switch, and I still can’t seem to get a response from others.
I was sad to learn that the CMP program is almost out of M1 Garands- they only have stripped receivers and Springfield Armory Rack Grades (with stocks). In other words, the one I already have is no longer offered for sale! I’d like to pick up an Enfield at some point (one of the .308 ones, not the .303 Brits), and I found a site for that too.

Thursday, 3-22-07 at 7:28 MDT

I almost have PSK-31 running from home. I’m a few steps away. I can’t seem to get my transmit audio up. I can receive fine, I can here the transmitter click on, but cannot get any audio. I’ve tried playing wtih VOX settings on the rig, the adjustment on the Rigblaster and my sound card controls. I’ll take another look at it tonight.
We had a TARA meeting last night, and we discussed a few things. Kyle now has control of the website, and I’m hoping he’ll loan that to me. I will be able to put up the minutes and net logs. Speaking of nets, I checked into the ARES net last night for the first time in a while. I also have completed ARRL EC-002.
Yesterday, I also met with the sports club council and I have a few things to resolve. Not a big deal though.
Today is a graduate student association meeting (GSA) at lunchtime. I will also get my hair cut today and plasma spray in the afternoon. BUSY BUSY!

Wednesday, 3-21-07 at 8:23 MDT

Last night, we went to a lecture by the metallurgist at NIST who conducted the failure analysis on the World Trade Center collapse. The full report is on the NIST website, but it was a pretty good lecture.
I added photos from our excursion to Taos. They are in the About Me section under Soda Dam and Rio Grande Gorge.

Tuesday, 3-20-07 at 1:49 MDT

For some reason, I am wide awake. I have too much to do tomorrow to be awake now. Anyway, I updated my QSO pages rather than lay in bed doing nothing.
I had this wierd dream last night that I was melting lead in a giant pot in my old apartment. Someone added some stuff that had moisture and it started to boil and pop. For some reason we were listening to some classical music, and the kabooms from the explosions fit with the song, so I picked up a pencil and started conducting. I also drempt that I got up and did everything in my normal routine, and that that last dream was the thing I drempt. Talk about a confusing morning.

Monday, 3-19-07 at 22:47 MDT

Today was spent mostly bouncing between projects in the materials department. I worked on the dilatometer a bit, worked on processing some of the plasma spray data I have collected, worked on some of the thermal stress modeling for ITSC 07, etc. There was no air rifle practice tonight, so I took the extra time and spent more time working on my thesis as well.
This evening, I spent some time at a free strings concert. NMT has these free arts programs, and sometimes they don’t appeal to me, but I always try to catch the strings ones. This one featured two violinists and a viola player, and they were pretty good. I guess it makes me miss my violin days, but I was never that good haha. Maybe I’ll add that to my list of things I want to re-learn.

Sunday, 3-18-07 at 15:36 MDT

This weekend, we took a brief trip up to Taos, and then back down through the Jemez Mountains. I’ll post photos at some point soon. Our spring break is officially over.
Spring pretty much sprung here a few weeks ago. My vegetables have been outside, though not yet transplanted into the garden. I spent this afternoon cleaning up the back yard with a weed whacker and rake. We are thinking about putting in a small goldfish pond this summer.
We still need to get the Taurus car running. I hope to have time this week or next weekend to finish it off.
I’m thinking about things I used to do and haven’t for many years. I think I want to get back into drafting and woodworking. I haven’t done these things in forever and I miss it.

Thursday, 3-15-07 at 6:32 MDT

Yesterday evening, I met with Bobby Edmonds and we started laying down the groundwork for a May chase. I think it’s going to work pretty well, and it was nice to meet with him and get started on the planning. I have so much to do, and only a 1/10 of it has to do with chasing!
Today will consist of dilatometer work (maybe DTA/TGA too) from 8-9, plasma spraying til 2, then working in the machine shop til 4. After that, we are off to Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque for a few days! It’s about time for me to take a ‘break.’ I’ll still bring my laptop and work on my thesis and a few presentations.

Wednesday, 3-14-07 at 8:12 MDT

I corrected the dates and times over the last few posts. They were all screwed up.
Finally, the dilatometer is working. I ran a zero file last night, so I think we are in business. Today will consist of reloading (yay!), working in the machine shop and learning how to make a scribe on the lathe. I’ll also finish up ARRL EC-002 this evening.

Monday, 3-12-07 at 8:04 MDT

We picked up Richard from the bus station yesterday. He’d never been west, so we took him up to Sandia Peak. We had dinner with Chuck, Sarah and John as well.
Today will consist of meetings, plasma spraying, and playing with EndNote. I will go to air rifle too.

Sunday, 3-11-07 at 12:42 MDT

Daylight savings time has everything all screwed up, yet I still woke up at 6:30 this morning.
Tomorrow will be busy, I have a meeting at 11, and I might try to get in to see the nurse. I think that I might need to increase my Synthroid dose, we’ll see. I’ve been faithful about taking it, and I’ve done pretty well, never really felt better. I guess a few weeks ago I started getting frustrated at nothing again, and I’ve been sleeping more.

Saturday, 3-10-07 at 21:37 MST

I shot an AR-15 at a CMP today, and got a 397/500, the best I’ve ever done. I’ll break 400 soon, I hope, though I know I won’t be able to attend the April CMP. I’m finally getting the 600 yard prone stage down, and doing a lot better with that.
My spring break has begun, but that doesn’t really mean anything because I’ll be as busy as ever this break.

Thursday, 3-8-07 at 23:17 MST

Terrible News: Brad Delp Died (Lead singer of Boston).
Beautiful day today, short sleeve weather. It’s been like this all week!

Thursday, 3-8-07 at 23:17 MST

I now own a Toshiba laptop which has to be better than my Dell. The Dell had a bad CD drive, integrated sound card, network card, and one of the two USB ports was bad. The second USB port was flaky. It’s three years old. I know of another Toshiba that is 10 years old and still works, I hope mine does the same.

Wednesday, 3-7-07 at 7:48 MST

Next week is spring break, I can’t wait. No, I’m not going anywhere, but I will be able to get so much done at work that it will be quite wonderful.
I need to reload some 38s. There will be an IPSC match in a few weeks and I have no ammo for it yet. I’ll do a little reloading next week too.

Tuesday, 3-6-07 at 21:00 MST

Happy Birthday Mom!!!
I have updated my air rifle scores. They weren’t real impressive this time around, though we had so many people at air rifle practice I traded off rifles and points a bunch of times.
Tuesdays = KFC Chicken Fried Steak specials = Awesome.

Monday, 3-5-07 at 6:37 MST

Ugh, it was down to 25° last night, I wonder how my plants did… It was 60 all day.
It is time to drop my word spacing in my Morse code practice.

Sunday, 3-4-07 at 17:28 MST

Ok, so I worked in the garden for a bit, then came back inside and finished logging. All logs updated.

Sunday, 3-4-07 at 15:27 MST

I have updated my mobile QSOs. I’ve had some good ones over the past two weeks: NH6BB at the USS Missouri, J79XBI in Dominica, W1AW- ARRL Headquarters, to name a few. I also worked in the ARRL DX contest this past weekend, and picked up another 40-some QSOs that I will add soon.
It is pretty nice out today, so I am going to work in the garden and yard a bit. I have some plants indoors that I will transplant when the weather gets nice. I am putting them outside now (in a covered container) and watching the weather. I have a ton of peas, a few tomatoes and a few pole bean plants coming up.
So much craziness, so little time.

Friday, 3-2-07 at 7:42 MST

Yesterday, I forgot to mention: 3/1/07 marks 15 years as an amateur radio operator!
I received my midterm exam grade for failure analysis, and I earned a 96%. I already presented for graduate seminar, so that is done. I have one of three projects done in machine shop (one project takes a day, so only one real project left).
Today I should receive my ASM Handbook which I ordered in January. They didn’t like that my credit card address and shipping address didn’t match, so my order got cancelled. I reordered and they were out of stock. Then they shipped it to Virigina Tech (not even to my old apartment at VT, they shipped it to the MSE department). Yesterday I got a call asking which apartment I was in Socorro. I’m not in an apartment, they had that address wrong too. Grrr. Good thing other people have let me borrow their books because it is a required text for a class.

Thursday, 3-1-07 at 7:26 MST

May 12-17, I’m going to Beijing, China!
I updated my shooting scores.
If today is like any other day this week, March will come in like a lion. Because this is New Mexico, it will probably go out like a lion as well, as I don’t think the wind stops until May.
Time for a monthly summary:
Books read: My Father, The Spy by John Richardson Jr.
Books of the Bible Read: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon
Periodicals Read: 4
HF Contacts made: 93
Clean Sweep Days: 1
Best Jog Time: 14:21
Best Morse Code Score: 94.4%, 14 word streak, at 12 WPM x2.6 spacing
Miles Biked: none
Farthest Distance Traveled: Pahrump, NV
Biggest Accomplishment: I’m going to China.

Monday, 2-26-07 at 6:35 MST

I worked a few cool stations on 17m this weekend, including two Mexican special event stations and W1AW, the ARRL’s club station. I’ll update those later.
Sunday, I worked in the backyard. I cut down all the weeds, and turned over the soil in the gardens. Inside, I planted tomatoes, banana peppers, peas and beans, and I’ll transplant those to the garden once the weather is right and there is no more danger of frost. I also spent a good part of yesterday working on the Taurus. It’s got 370,000 miles on it, but it still runs except for this stupid starter solenoid. If anyone has ever pulled the solenoid from a ’93 Taurus, please let me know, cause this one is stuck pretty good.

Friday, 2-23-07 at 6:53 MST

Rough week. After having had a high fever for around a week, I went to the health center for treatment. Turns out I might be allergic to amoxicillin, had some allergic reaction. I stopped taking it, under doctor’s orders, and now I feel a little better.
We are finally getting thick yttria coatings!

Monday, 2-19-07 at 10:30 MST

This weekend, I made some good QSOs on 17 meters. I will update those next week.
At CMP on Sunday, I got to shoot an M1-A, and I ended up with a 346/500, which wasn’t too bad. Another instructor shot a 349/500, and I was aiming for 350, so I’m not too terribly sad. I did manage to get 5-X in the slow fire prone stage, where the x at 100 yards is only about 1/2″ in diameter.

Friday, 2-16-07 at 20:40 MST

Today gets a big WTF mate?
I updated all my QSO logbooks.

Friday, 2-16-07 at 7:44 MST

I got 89% on my morse code this morning (12wpm, x2.6 spacing), I really feel like I am improving. I always get B and 6, and J and 1 mixed up. Sometimes I mix up P and X.
Hopefully, I will update my logbooks today. I am working on them, but only have a few things done so far. I did update Malibu QSOs.

Thursday, 2-15-07 at 7:49 MST

I got 92% on my morse code practice this morning (12wpm, x2.8 spacing). I’ll drop the spacing soon.
We’ve all had high fevers the last few days. Mine broke, so it’s back to work for this kid. Everyone else is still moderately miserable.
Yesterday, I drove into school and played around on 17 meters. First call busted a pile up to Marshall Islands!

Wednesday, 2-14-07 at 19:49 MST

I have added photos of our adventure getting stuck in the mud, Meteor Crater, AZ and The Hoover Dam. I took a few of Vegas at night, but they didn’t turn out at all. I think I’ve also finally fixed Storm Chase 2005 photos.
Taxes suck, FAFSA is awesome, but they are all done.

Tuesday, 2-13-07 at 8:15 MST

Went to Pahrump, NV this weekend. I’ll post more about that later, as well as some photos.
Updated shooting scores.

Wednesday, 2-7-07 at 7:55 MST

I added photos from my excursion to Florida.      Also, the long lost Chessie system kitten? You decide.

Tuesday, 2-6-07 at 7:25 MST

I have updated shooting scores, and hopefully will update a few more things this week. We’ll see.
Still so much to do, so little time.

Wednesday, 2-1-07 at 6:39 MST

I am going to drop the FEA course. It wasn’t what I thought it was, and it’s a lot of work for a little payoff. I have enough stuff to do this semester anyway.
I added a photo of my QSL Card.
Time for a monthly update:
Books read: Nuclear Energy Techniques by Nucleonics (1950s), The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage
Books of the Bible Read: Chronicles II, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Job
Periodicals Read: 7
HF Contacts made: 39
Clean Sweep Days: 2
Best Jog Time: 14:27
Best Morse Code Score: 92.4%, 18 word streak, at 12 WPM x3.0 spacing
Miles Biked: none
Farthest Distance Traveled: Daytona Beach, FL
Biggest Accomplishments: a few things in the works that I can’t talk about right now

Wednesday, 1-31-07 at 6:31 MST

Updated shooting scores, and added a page called ‘Portable QSOs’ where I set up a base station somewhere other than home (i.e. my last trip to FL).
Today is catch up day for FEA, now that I have caught up on my other classes.
I received my new QSL cards, and they look pretty cool. I’ll post a photo soon, I hope.

Tuesday, 1-30-07 at 7:08 MST

I have been back from Florida for a few days and am still playing catch up. When I finish some of the things I am working on, I will update this thing. I have some pictures from Florida, shooting scores and my ham log to update.

Wednesday, 1-17-07 at 6:49 MST

I signed up for an intro SEM course for fun. I’ve used SEMs forever, but never taken a class of any sort.
Yesterday, I reached 92% at 12WPM. I even got a streak of 18 words with no missed characters. I will decrease the spacing between letters for tomorrow’s run. I also managed to find an OMISS net on 20m, and I logged quite a few contacts during lunch.

Tuesday, 1-16-07 at 6:54 MST

First day back at school. This semester I will be taking Machine Shop Techniques, Finite Element Analysis, Failure Analysis, and Graduate Seminar. I might try to squeeze in a First Aid/CPR course as well.
It’s freezing out, only 19.2°F. I haven’t jogged in a few days. I also haven’t made many radio contacts, but soon I will pack up my equipment for going to Florida!

Monday, 1-15-07 at 0:16 MST

I am getting old, I feel like I’m up so late, and it’s only just after midnight.
This weekend, I spent some money and upgraded the memory in this computer, and also replaced my flash drive- 4 GB now! I also picked up a few books and a power supply for portable ham use.
I updated my QSO pages.

Thursday, 1-11-07 at 7:54 MST

Corrected all the years on my journal entries. (I’m still putting 06 instead of 07).
I finally got to attend a Socorro Amateur Radio Association meeting. I think I’ve made it to about three of them since I’ve lived in New Mexico. It was good to catch up to everyone, although I do see most everyone around town.
So much to do, so little time. School starts soon as well. It’s going to be busy; I go to Florida for a conference on the 20th, I will propose my thesis sometime in February, I give a presentation to LANL in March, and I still don’t know if I am going to China in May or not.
Our fridge is making a ton of noise, I think it might die. It ices up a lot too. It’s this wonderful ’70s green, and was a yardsale find as this place didn’t have a fridge until right before we moved in.

Wednesday, 1-10-07 at 7:37 MST

Yesterday, I changed the oil in the car. I was also looking around for that tapping sound and called in Nathan to help investigate. Bottom line is he says not to worry about it. It doesn’t sound metallic, but it was good to have someone confirm that it wasn’t a concern. I also checked the spark plugs and they looked pretty good too. I’ll change those and the wires out before chase season most likely.
I should update my thesis page today. It’s been several months, and, as you can imagine, I’ve done more than is on that page. I hope to have a rough draft of my proposal out soon.

Tuesday, 1-9-07 at 7:59 MST

My morse code practice only got me 80% this morning. I think I need to find a new program, one that isn’t based on the PC speaker. Any noise in the room and it’s too light to copy.
Didn’t make an HF contact yesterday. Boo that. Today looks to be busy, but I’ll come home from lunch to try to talk to someone.

Monday, 1-8-07 at 7:19 MST

Today is going to be pretty busy, I can tell already. I have a bunch of stuff to take care of at work, plus a few things around the house as well. I am scheming to get an antenna, radio and portable power supply to Florida with me for the conference.
A friend and the girlfriend made some soup yesterday, a beef barley stew and a butternut squash soup, respectively, and they were both excellent. It’s a good thing cause we’ll be eating them til Friday.

Sunday, 1-7-07 at 18:50 MST

I have updated my QSO pages from Socorro for the last week’s worth of contacts. I think I will update those once a week.
The time before the semester begins is winding down. I won’t call it break, I am still working, but school will begin shortly. I think we start the Tuesday after this one. Joey starts on Tuesday.
Yesterday, a friend and my girlfriend cooked dinner and tonight they are doing the same. We are all broke so we are making stuff we can eat til payday haha.

Friday, 1-5-07 at 22:42 MST

Tonight is 36.5°, light drizzle. It’s going to be a mess tomorrow, good thing I’m not working haha.
I got my grades for the semester, and it’s straight A’s. That’s probably never happened before. I also am working on getting my explosives paper published.
Scott’s defense was today, and now that I’ve seen it done, I’m not too worried. I have to propose by the end of February, so it depends on everyone’s schedules as to when that will be exactly. I should know that by this time next week I hope.
Today during lunch, I worked Columbia on 20m, which is a new one for me I think. I will update my QSOs on this site once a week. I’ve made at least a QSO every day except the 3rd. Last night, I almost attempted a CW contact with the straight key station K1Y. He couldn’t have been going faster than 5 wpm, and was an easy copy. I got back from a wrong number phone call and he was gone. Maybe next time. With my code speed increasing, maybe it won’t be long before I make my first CW contact on my own.
I added Christmas 2006 photos to my About Me Page.

Thursday, 1-4-07 at 8:15 MST

I am normally getting about 75% or greater at 12WPM these days. I need to work on it a little longer each day, and add procedural signals and such. Right now, it’s only letters and numbers.
I found a bunch of QSL cards I had not logged in my log book. I guess my Jersey logbook was at home and I always brought the QSL envelopes back to school with me and did not update. Found like 100 or so that fit this bill.
Also, last posts date is corrected and, oh yeah, I did 404 QSOs from Socorro. 530 total last year. Now I really win, Dad 🙂

Tuesday, 1-2-07 at 7:48 MST

First update of the new year.
Made a few HF contacts yesterday, as I was the only one who was at work. I left early and worked on the radio and did stuff around the house.
The last two days it has been below 20 degrees in the morning, so I haven’t been out jogging. I am getting about 68% at 12 WPM on morse code though.

Sunday, 12-31-06 at 23:48 MST

Last update of the year: I added a page on with photos of Miss Curiosity and Lester, and I added a few more photos of my M1, as I finally received the stock from Boyd’s.

Sunday, 12-31-06 at 09:21 MST

I updated my storm chase photos (fixed the link) and fixed a few broken photo links elsewhere.
It’s almost a new year. 2007. That’s CRAZY. I wish all of you a happy new year. Rather than do a monthly update, I decided to do a yearly update. I didn’t keep track of everything, so it’s hard to say what I actually did:
Books read: 37
Books of the Bible Read: 10+
Periodicals Read: Who knows
HF Contacts made: 404
Conferences Attended: 3 (presented at 2)
Miles Biked: 19.584+ (broken odometer)
Farthest Distance Traveled: Millington, MD
Biggest Accomplishment: Moving into a house
Publications: 2
Trips: Cocoa Beach, FL in January; Birmingham, AL and Starkville, MS in March; UT, CO, AZ in April; VA and MD in May and December; NC, TN, AR, MO, IL, KS, CO, NE, SD, IA, WI, IN, KY, WV in May; Raton, NM in July and September; TX, OK, KS, CO in October; and Las Cruces, NM for X-Prize in October.
New States: AZ, UT, WI, AL, MS.

Next year will be interesting. I have approximately a year to a year and a half left on my thesis. I already know I am going to Florida in January. I am undecided for Mississippi in February, and I know I’ll go chasing in either May or June. There is a possibility I will be sent to China in May to present at a conference there. I will probably go to Raton, NM twice again for smallbore matches, and we might try to make it to CA this year, because none of us have been there. The High Plains NWA Conference will be in North Platte this year, I think, and we might try for it. We will go to X-Prize, and get home for Christmas.
Last year’s resolutions were to write in a journal every day and to read a chapter from the Bible, a chapter from a book, and a magazine article a day. I only wrote about once a week, but that is better than nothing. I read almost every day, and often more than those minimums. This year, I also hope to jog at least twice a week (I used to in Blacksburg, it shouldn’t be too hard), practice Morse code twice a week, and get one book manuscript to the publisher.
Now for one of those stupid surveys- I have filled this thing out every year for a few years now, why stop now?

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before? Presented at a conference

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Kinda sorta

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No

4. Did anyone close to you die? no, thankfully

5. What countries did you visit? USA

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A billion dollars?

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? June 1, I started renting a house.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Publications and conferences and a few awards.

9. What was your biggest failure? I got an incomplete in DOE, but I finished it (still waiting on a grade)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Got the flu a few times.

11. What was the best thing you bought? M1 Garand or my Taurus 85.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? All of my friends.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? hahah, I could respond, but I won’t.

14. Where did most of your money go? Tuition, rent, utilities, credit cards.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Chasing, Moving

16. What song will always remind you of 2006? The Offspring – Can’t Repeat

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner, by like 40 lbs.
iii. richer or poorer? richer, bling bling.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Sleeping

20. How will you be spending Christmas? I went home, VA Beach and MD.

22. Did you fall in love in 2006? yep

23. How many one-night stands? zero

24. What was your favorite TV program? Boston Legal

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Um, I don’t hate anyone, but a few more hate me, but whatever.

26. What was the best book you read? The Underboss by Peter Maas

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? CKY maybe

28. What did you want and get? Your mom.

30. What was your favorite film of this year? The new James Bond was pretty good. I only saw it and Cars in the theater.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was still moving out of my apartment. My girlfriend took me out to Johnny Carinos for dinner, and I turned 25.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? What?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Still jeans, t-shirt and flannel, but not so baggy these days.

34. What kept you sane? Reading

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None.

36. What political issue stirred you the most? I stopped listening.

37. Who did you miss? everyone back east, particularly my family.

38. Who were the best new people you met? I didn’t really meet new people this year.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006: Never pass up an opportunity to learn.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: ‘Memories are bittersweet, good times we can’t repeat’ – The Offspring.

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