Summer 2005

Monday, 8-22-05 at 22:00 MDT

Classes started for my brother today!!! They start for me tomorrow.
I updated my Socorro ham logs, Radar 2005, and added a few more sunsets.

Monday, 8-22-05 at 2:03 MDT

No bike riding Saturday or Sunday.
I have constructed my dipole, but am not impressed so far. I worked a whopping 3 contacts in the North American QSO Party. I think I need to work on it some more…
I have added a few of the updates I promised. Zoo is the trip Liz and I made to the Albuquerque Zoo. Aug 8 2005 is photos from a big rainstorm we had during monsoon season.
Today, I did some light storm chasing, down to Trinity. A few discrete cells went up, including one wall cloud. Photos are up from that as well.
Late happy birthdays to Amy and Courtney!!!

Friday, 8-19-05 at 23:47 MDT

No bike riding yesterday or today.
I went up to the Duke City Hamfest and got a few parts for my antenna project. It has been constructed, and so far I am not too impressed. I have pictures that I will place online shortly.
Apparently, I got published. I had been notified that my article would appear in a ‘future’ addition of World Radio magazine, but there was no editing revisions or anything. Yesterday, I got an email from a guy who said I had done a decent job and wanted to know more… I don’t receive this magazine right now, but maybe I will soon. Speaking of which, I found at least one good review of my latest article.
Aliens is a great movie. Funny how all of the body parts on those guys look like fossils we learned about in historic geology…
This is a relatively neat site, which was linked on Jenny K’s page. You set up an account (which I completely made up) and it allows you to pick what states you’ve been to. That one is mine. Before college, this map would have consisted of MD, PA, WV, VA, and DE. Storm Chasing picked up most of the others, and the excursions to attend a conference two years in a row got me SC, GA, and FL. I’m missing quite a few still, but I’ll get them. I’ve picked up most of the ‘fly over’ states, which I consider some of my favorite places to visit.
I have promised so many updates. Don’t worry, I’ll get them before school starts, I hope. I will add images to Radar 2005, Sunset Photos, a new thunderstorm photo gallery, pictures from Liz and my excursion to the zoo, and photos from around my apartment.

Thursday, 8-18-05 at 7:20 MDT

Yesterday, I attended an LEPC meeting and discussed local disaster planning. Always exciting!
We tried to do several runs on the DTA yesterday, but the power flickered and we had to start over. Boo that. Then someone opened a drawer too hard and screwed up the results. Oh well, better luck today I hope.
I have so much health insurance stuff to straighten out since the company that provides it through the school is incompetent.
Grocery shopping was yesterday, and I got the ingredients for a cake, let’s see if I can make it. I made hamburger helper, and learned that it really isn’t worth the work. I made a bigger mess, spilling more on the oven than on my plate. On the other hand, it’s food for at least three meals. I also bought two books yesterday, one on common engineering formulas and one on atmospheric physics.
Yesterday’s bike mileage was 5.125 miles, which included the trip to the LEPC.

Tuesday, 8-16-05 at 23:02 MDT

I also scanned some of the QSL cards I have received and placed a link to them on my logbook pages.
I watched a really lame special on El Nino and how global warming is going to kill us all. Ugh, these “scientists” are a dime a dozen, as are their doomsday reports.
Today, I met a girl who is moving from NM to Charlottesville, VA, so that was a crazy coincidence. Her husband works for the NRAO and got transferred to the one in VA.
Today’s bike mileage was only 1.567 miles, a trip to and from school.

Tuesday, 8-16-05 at 7:33 MDT

I had a great time when Liz was here! I think she liked the area, and had fun as well! We went to the Albuquerque Zoo, Sandia Peak, mini-golfing, swimming, and driving, so we had a good time. I have pictures from the zoo that I will post later on. We miss Martha V and Mercado! Now I miss Liz too, I fear I won’t get to see any of these people to Christmas.
In less than a week, school will be in session. I have SO MUCH to do by then. My health insurance form came back and said my card was denied, which is funny, because I’ve been wondering why they haven’t taken the money yet. Now I have to get that straightened out before school starts.
The desert is so cool. It’s 64 outside right now, and it will be hot during the day. The night cools off much more than back east. It’s way cooler outside, since the roof holds on to the daytime heating.
Yesterday’s bike run was 9.182 miles.

Wednesday, 8-10-05 at 23:31 MDT

In less than 24 hours, Liz will be here! YAY! She’s the first person to visit me in NM.
This afternoon I went golfing for the first time. It was actually kinda fun, I’d never imagined it being fun. Par was 36, I got a 90, and Nathan got a 64. Most of his shots were farther, but mine were normally straighter, and I played a little safer (i.e. NOT cutting through the woods and shooting over the water). NMT students can golf 9 holes for $4.50, and they rent the equipment for free. It was quite a bit of walking, and I wasn’t exactly good, but it was fun anyway. ‘I didn’t get a hole in one, but I did hit a guy, and that’s way more satisfying…’, Ah, Mitch Hedburg and your words of wisdom.
I have received my New Mexico license plate, and my amateur radio plate has been ordered. I like the NM plates, they are yellow with red writing, and they are the only state to my knowledge that has that color scheme, very unique. I say ‘plate’ because unlike VA, you only need one license plate.
Tuesday, I had DirecTV installed. It’s pretty sweet, I just need to upgrade from my 13″ TV… I watched several National Geographic specials, and ATHF, which has made me happy.
I promise I will update a few of my pages here in the next week, but this week has been busy, and it will only be busier once Liz arrives. The ‘flood’ photos, Radar 2005, and even a station photo of my radios and antennas here at the apartment.

Sunday, 8-7-05 at 20:37 MDT

I made some teriyaki steak today with some ‘manager special’ steak from Smith’s. It was excellent. Squash and zucchini were present as well.
People back east occasionally say ‘Can you smell the rain coming?’ But those people have no idea what that means until you live out here. This morning, I could smell rain. It wasn’t until this afternoon that it actually started raining, and when it did, it didn’t stop for several hours, and it caused localized flooding. The Smith’s parking lot is connected to Bullock which was mostly underwater. Cars would go through and their engines stall because of the water, and the SUVs were submerging 3/4 of their wheels in the runoff. Cars and trucks left a wake, one wake, rather than two to four. When there is one wake, it’s because the car went through the water, rather than four tires. I have some photos that I hope to upload in a bit.
I started a log for my biking mileage and my electric usage. Right now, I use $3.96 worth of electricity a day, mostly due to the AC, the much higher electricity prices, and the billions of ways NM taxes you for luxuries such as electricity.

Thursday, 8-4-05 at 7:01 MDT

I fixed my bike yesterday, which is wonderful because I needed a new tire and tube and had not biked in a few days. Out of appreciation for having my bike fixed, I had a 14 mile day.
I have been watching movies with the neighbors a few times a week. This week, I saw the Fugitive, GoodFellas and Rain Man. Goodfellas is one of the best movies of all time, that was my pick.
Seeing as I watched Goodfellas, after a long and unnecessary delay, it’s time for a new Mob Tip.

Tuesday, 8-2-05 at 8:05 MDT

Tuesday’s coming. Did you bring your coat? Actually Liz is coming soon, and that makes me happy. But she doesn’t need her coat cause it’s pretty hot out.
Yesterday, we got the plasma spray mostly working. The feeder hopper needs to be cleaned, cause it kept getting clogged and so very little powder was being deposited. That will be today’s task.
Spent yesterday evening with Nathan and one of his friends at El Camino, contemplating the mysteries of life.
Today, I will pick up a few parts for my bike and get a haircut. My rear tire is shredded and needs replacing. I also just want to check out this bike store.

Sunday, 7-31-05 at 11:45 MDT

I added a new contact to my ham pages. There was an Islands On The Air (IOTA) contest that I worked for like five minutes. The only island I got was off the coast of Texas.
I have put up a new 10m antenna in my apartment. It has decent SWR, but no contacts yet. There is a giant sunspot coming through, so we’ll see what that does to 10m.
Last night, I hung out with the neighbors until like 3. I had a green chili cheeseburger at McDonald’s off their dollar menu (good luck finding that one in VA) and we drove around Socorro. We’d fixed the package shelf in the back of a neighbor’s car, and now all she needs is a rear window and she’ll be fine. Hail damage from October 2004 destroyed most of the vehicles. We worked on Crystal’s truck too, which keeps leaking oil and the oil is mixed with gasoline. It’s a newly rebuilt engine, so we think the valves must not be adjusted properly.
A few links, courtesy of Jenny K. A waterspot, not too far from where she lives. Also a Lego Computer.
I’m totally going: Santana!

Wednesday, 7-27-05 at 6:57 MDT

It’s been an interesting week. I somehow busted my eye, which somehow got infected. It was all swollen and hurt pretty bad. I am on some antibiotic now to fix it. I took a good portion of yesterday off, and will take it easy the next few days until it heals.
Sunday night and Monday night, I went offroading with a few of the neighbors up to some canyon in Lemitar. I forget the name of the place, but it was pretty cool. It wasn’t a real rough road to get there, and if it wasn’t for the sand, I know the Nova could make it.
This semester is going to be rough. I’m taking six credits, plus six research credits, plus teaching a lab. The two courses are: Crystal Chemistry and Crystal Physics and Interfacial Phenomenon. I was informed by my advisor, who knows my background, and used to teach at Virginia Tech, the crystal chemistry course will be the hardest course I have taken in my life. Hopefully, Spring semester won’t be quite so bad.
Tomorrow morning, the Malibu goes into the shop for a radiator flush. I can’t really do that in the apartment parking lot.
An interesting link on how your computer works (written in 1971, revised in 1979).

Sabbath, 7-23-05 at 19:46 MDT

Storm reports are up, as is an updated resume page. I’m sure to add more stuff when I get a chance.
Today, I watched a pair of barn swallows beat up SEVERAL crows. It was crazy. They were so much more agile, they could hit several times before the crowe could switch direction. I think the crows were too close to a nest or something, but those barn swallows were relentless!
I tried to go to church today, based on the info my mom sent me about the church. However, when I showed up at 1:30, nobody was there. The sign says 9:30, so I’ll show up at that time next time, provided I wake up.
Today, I made myself some cheeseburgers with jalapeno peppers. I accidentally flipped a few of the pieces of pepper out of the skillet. So I picked one piece up and ate it (as I have done many times before, this happens about every other day), but this pepper was different. Instantly, I lost all sense of taste, and I think I had a seizure. The next thing I knew, I was trying to get a can of ginger ale open, but was taking too long, and I ended up just putting my tongue on the can, cause it was at least cold.

Sabbath, 7-23-05 at 13:02 MDT

I have added storm reports from every day that I have chased in the plains. These reports are from the Storm Prediction Center, and I highlighted where we chased.
I updated my APRS page, as I now have a working digipeater! I have the configuration for that, and how to configure my Alinco on this site.
Future additions: I will be adding some photos from the mini-chase I went on Wednesday night. The highlight of this trip was the double rainbow which would not fit in the viewfinder of my camera.

Wednesday, 7-20-05 at 22:54 MDT

Fun stuff today: I learned to play Yahtzee online with Suzi and Keri! It would have been more fun if servers and my computer would cooperate.
I also went chasing today, for a very brief trip this afternoon. I only made it as far as Bingham, NM, as it looked like the storms I was chasing were falling apart. I did get to see a full double rainbow, but it was so large, I could not fit it in my camera. I took a few shots, but nothing did it justice, it looked like it ended behind the gas station in Socorro that I refueled.
Today was also laundry/grocery day. I picked up a few simple necessities such as hamburgers and hamburger rolls, jalapenos, stir fry, etc. I forgot to buy a pizza cutter, but I forgot to buy pizza too, so it doesn’t matter.
I received a post card from Amy yesterday and that made me happy, and I will write her back soon. I’m still waiting on a TON of mail that has not arrived. I’m wondering if it will ever get here… Oh yeah, and some guy at SunTrust lied to me when he said he sent my title to the MVD in NM, cause he didn’t and there was no record that he even tried, according to the guy I talked to today at SunTrust. Hopefully, things are squared away now, and my title will be in the mail. I have a temporary one from the state of New Mexico, and as soon as the real one gets here, I can order NM plates and be a full NM resident.
Provided I actually get paid next week, I have two membership registrations ready to go: National Weather Association (NWA) and American Foundry Society (AFS). Both organizations have plenty of interesting opportunities, and AFS I have been a “sort-of” member for years anyway. AFS was kind enough to support part of my college, so I think I can pay the $15 a year to be a member and receive all their member benefits.

Monday, 7-18-05 at 18:32 MDT

I have posted a few new pictures of Apollo, the crazy turtle. He’s walking around my apartment like he owns the place.
I’ve really gotten into a food routine here. Breakfast consists of turkey bacon and scrambled eggs (with cheese, jalapenos, and tomatoes), or hash browns with jalapenos with apple juice. Lunch is always a salad, apple, can of ginger ale, and four Nutter Butters. Dinner is either a stir fry, cheeseburgers with jalapenos, or hot dogs with fried zucchini and squash. I drink a billion gallons of water each day, and always read while eating. I’m gonna live almost forever.

Sunday, 7-17-05 at 19:46 MDT

Oh yeah, Mindy Smith’s site is .net, not .com as I originally posted. Mindy Smith’s site for those interested. Credit goes to Dad for the correction!
Last night’s radar images have been uploaded here. Intellicast shows a meso for the strongest part of the squall line, though no warning was issued. This leads me to believe that Intellicast’s meso routine really just identifies uncorrelated shear. I don’t quite trust their routine, and they only update every HOUR at that particular site. The NWS radars show how things changed over the course of an hour. Even so, the lightning was crazy, though I wasn’t about to go out in my porcupine of a car and watch with it being so close. I don’t like mesos at night, that’s just bad news, especially here, where there is no warning system, and no NOAA coverage. It’s asking for trouble. If we don’t get a system in soon, it might be worthwhile to send a spotter up the road just a few miles each time there is a potential for severe weather, so that SOMEONE has reception to any warnings that are issued.
I spent part of the afternoon building an antenna that did not work so well. I tried making a 2m quaterwave vertical, using a SO-238 panel mount with quarter wave wires attached at the mounting holes as a ground plane. It did function, just not well enough to keep. The vertical element was too flimsy to stand up by itself, and had to be tied with a piece of string to a nearby bookcase. When I tested it, I managed to a) pick up a ton of electrial noise and b) only get an SWR of about 2.5 on any portion of the 2m ham band. Even so, I have it saved in my closet for now. I’m convinced my construction technique was good, but maybe a support (PVC pipe) or something to keep the vertical section vertical. I will make one for 440 and see how I like it, though I have no way to verify the SWR on 440… I would also like to make a 10m loop, and am considering construction ideas for it. Antenna design is fun!

Sunday, 7-17-05 at 11:37 MDT

Updated stuff: Trinity Photos, and my attempts at artistic creativity are here.
I forgot to mention that my cousin played for Mindy Smith, and there’s the link. She’s pretty good.
Hopefully I will add some radar updates today. We had a nasty squall line go through last night around midnight.

Saturday, 7-16-05 at 23:24 MDT

The concert was excellent! I got to meet most of the band, and hang out with my cousin Lex Price.
I now have a New Mexico driver’s license, though SunTrust hasn’t sent my title to the MVD, so I haven’t transferred my car to NM yet. I was hoping to do both of those at once.
Today consisted of a tour of the Trinity site. It was really pretty cool, though unless you are interested in science or history, you won’t be interested. Don’t expect to see a big glass lot, or a giant crater or anything like that. While I was there, I ran into Shomir, an old friend of mine from Virginia Tech! It was crazy, 1800 miles from where we are both from, but he was out on vacation touring across country. I will add my regular photos from the site soon, and I will add some touched up ones to Photography later on.
This evening consisted of a few brief storms. I sat out and took lightning photos and will update the radar page sometime soon too. I have promised a lot of updates.

Friday, 7-15-05 at 7:37 MDT

Today will consist of work for a few hours, getting my license and car registered at the motor vehicle division, and going to Albuquerque.
Tonight is the Mindy Smith concert. My cousin, Lex Price, plays mandolin and guitar for her, so I am totally going up to see them play. I haven’t seen this cousin since I was a little kid, so that will be cool.
Tomorrow consists of touring the Trinity site where they tested the first atomic bomb. It will have been 60 years tomorrow, so they are opening up the site for tours. I know a lot of people went to the 50 year anniversary, so I wonder if 60 will be crowded. I’ve heard it’s just one of those things you have to do once when you are in New Mexico.

Tuesday, 7-12-05 at 6:52 MDT

I forgot to post my update on Sunday. Oh well.
We got the plasma spray unit working last night, so that was very exciting. I order some parts today and once they get here, I begin my real work.
“Thanks for the nice article about Storm Chasing, and the photos. I’ll put it in an upcoming issue.” -Nancy Kott, Editor of World Radio. Looks like my third publication is in the works. I will probably walk away from graduate school with at least two more published papers related to my graduate work. Maybe I should switch my job title to writer?
Funny link #1: Man recites pi to over 80,000 decimal places for no reason.
Funny link #2: Haha is all I can say.
Nerdy link #1: Copper bullet aimed at comet. This was only visible in the southwest, and I went to watch it at the observatory. However, without knowing where to look and without a fancy telescope, I couldn’t see anything. Supposedly, it got brighter for a second. Also, I heard on the radio that they are going to launch the Discovery tomorrow. That makes me happy, I really support the space program, and I like that we are back to launching shuttles again.
Nerdy link #2: The video that started it all. This video aired in the mid 80’s, and if I had to define one point that spurred my interest in meteorology, it was watching this video on tv at that age. It was where I first learned of tornadoes, storms, etc. Though I’ve watched probably every tornado and storm show that exists, I would like to get this video, just because.

Sunday, 7-10-05 at 21:53 MDT

Today I did some shopping and changed the oil in the Malibu. I thought I was long overdue for an oil change, but when I checked my log, I was happily mistaken. I also spent most of the day scanning papers from old classes. Man, I am boring. I did order pizza today, just because I felt like it.
I let Apollo roam around the house today, and hopefully I’ll have some pictures up later. He likes the new place, I think. He’s a rather curious turtle…

Sunday, 7-10-05 at 1:04 MDT

I made 11 contacts in the IARU HF contest. I forgot about it until about 30 min before the end, so that explains the low score. I did pick up a new country (that I’ve never worked from anywhere): New Caledonia, which is off the coast of Australia. My online logs are updated.

Thursday, 7-7-05 at 22:09 MDT

Stir fry = good. That’s all there is to it. It’s so easy, and so delicious. I didn’t even try.
I tried to hear Scott on 20m, but it did not happen. Maybe next time band conditions here will be better.
We tried to use the plasma spray last night, but to no avail. I’ll have to go over the wiring diagram and try again. We did get the plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition unit running.

Monday, 7-4-05 at 22:57 MDT

Today was a relatively busy day, for it being a holiday. I met up with my radio friends and got signed up for ARES, in case of a disaster. I did some very light shopping at Walmart and made myself a half-way nutritional lunch. Lunch was chili dogs with fried onions, with a side of fried zucchini and squash. Man, I love having an electric skillet.
After spending a good portion of the afternoon scanning old notes, my phone started ringing off the hook; Amanda called, then Amy, then Amanda again, then some other call that got dropped. It was crazy yo.
For Amy and Jessica, and anyone else who didn’t get to see fireworks, here are some photos of the fireworks in Socorro. I mounted the camera upside down from the bottom of an open window. Enjoy!

Sunday, 7-3-05 at 15:51 MDT

A few new contacts on 20m, yet again: Minnesota and Chile. I also heard K3LP, from Mt. Airy, MD (not too far from where I used to live).
There was a huge fire in Socorro last night. The whole town was out to watch, as most people were affected by it in someway. It burned at least a block of businesses, maybe more, I’m not sure. It knocked out power to over half the city too. I have a few pictures of the aftermath: #1, #2, and #3. I took a few of the fire with my cell phone, but they didn’t turn out too well. I could see the fire from my apartment, around over two miles away. The initial fireball was probably 40ft above the roof of the building, and it took hours to get under control. Since it’s a small town, everyone either worked there, or was related to someone that worked there, or the firefighters/police on the scene. California Street (the main road) is still partially shut down. It sure is a mess.
On the plus side of things, I added another series of sunset pictures, taken from just outside my front door. Almost every night is a fantastic sunset, and I look like an idiot rushing to the door with a camera in hand each time. These are taken with my old Sony digital camera, as I have a polarized lens for it. My new digital camera does not have a polarized lens, so shots like this are washed out with light. A lens for this camera is on my list of things to purchase. The photos are here.

Friday, 7-1-05 at 23:49 MDT

Ok, ok, last update of the night. Added Washington and Ontario to my contacts.
Tomorrow might be an active chase day in eastern NM and western TX. We will see.

Friday, 7-1-05 at 21:51 MDT

A few new contacts: two in Venezuela and one in Dominican Republic. Go 20m!

Friday, 7-1-05 at 18:52 MDT

I made a few more contacts, Oklahoma and Alberta, so I have updated those pages.
I wrote an article for World Radio, and submitted it today. We’ll see how that turns out, and we’ll see if it gets published. My bet is probably not, but stranger things have happened. I never thought I’d get published in QST, and that worked out.
Since today was Friday, I cleaned up my apartment. I didn’t take a whole lot of work, but I did it none the less. Speaking of apartments, let me just tell you that an electric skillet is the coolest thing any guy can have. I can cook anything on an electric skillet.
I somehow broke a spoke on my front bicycle rim. I’ll try to repair that, but it does not seem to affect me riding. I did 11.645 miles on Wednesday, and only 5.572 miles yesterday, because I started later and it got dark.
Liz called yesterday and I talked to her for hours. I miss all my Blacksburg people!

Wednesday, 6-29-05 at 11:29 MDT

Added a photography page. They aren’t great, but some of them I wanted to put up, but just didn’t know where to put them. I also played around with Paint Shop Pro for some of them in ‘experiments in alterations.’

Wednesday, 6-29-05 at 11:29 MDT

I made a few contacts on 20m. The log is up!

Tuesday, 6-28-05 at 23:43 MDT

I almost got done everything on my to do list. I have added photos of my new apartment. They are somewhat blurry, due to the lighting, and the mess is mostly there, since I am still moving in and all.
I got on 20m tonight from my car and made several contacts. Soon, I will update my ham radio pages to reflect my new contacts.

Tuesday, 6-28-05 at 7:57 MDT

Man, I still have a lot to do. Yesterday, I was relatively productive. I worked out my buget with my new rent ($520 a month), found out about the Graduate Deferred Payment Plan for tuition, bought printer cartridges, fixed the coax on my antenna mount, sent away for my driver’s instruction booklet, rebuilt a computer, and checked my mail at school. On top of that, I still had time to bike for like two hours, talk to Liz and play Age of Empires II. Today will consist of finishing unpacking, scanning some old notes, going in to test the plasma spray gun, catching up on email, getting fish for my tank, and requesting the title for my car.
This Mountain Time thing is pretty neat. I get tired around 10:30, read for a bit, then am in bed and asleep by 11:00. I normally wake up between 6 and 7, go for a bike ride again, then shower and do whatever I need to do for the day. I guess that makes sense, as it would be 8 or 9 in Blacksburg. I’m sure it will wear off and I’ll have my fair share of rushing to school first thing in the morning.
I can’t seem to find a way to get antennas to work inside. The best I was able to do was a dipole for 10m, which had an SWR of around 2 at the low portion of the CW band. It’s coupling into the duct work or something. My 20m and 40m dipoles are way too big to be inside, and I can’t have them outside.

Friday, 6-24-05 at 21:56 MDT

June 21, 2005 Thunderstorm is up. I suggest you look at the photos, I have several decent lightning photos, which are REALLY hard to get!
And, to steal from Courtney’s page, who stole from Kim’s page…

1. Seth
2. sprice
3. STP

1. My manly muscles
2. Piracy
3. I can crack walnuts with my pecs.

1. I fall asleep during everything
2. Damn gray spot
3. I can’t find anything heavy enough to give me a workout

1. People who get bored easily
2. Plasma sprays (but I’m working on this one)
3. Financial crap

1. Cords not long enough
2. Not having a cat
3. Unpacking

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU: (Courtney was right on with this one!)
1. Losing our civil liberties
2. Spiders
3. Dental procedures

1. Notebook and pen
2. Cutlass
3. Eyepatch

1. Megadeth
2. Lynyrd Skynyrd
3. NWA

1. Liz
2. Eric
3. Martha
but now:
1. Dr. Hirshfeld
2. Vince
3. Andrew

1. Travel through time (I can’t find my flux capacitor)
2. Tolerate Cumulus Media and all it’s prepackaged garbage and B.S.
3. Sleep for ten days… cause that would be too long.

1. Storm Chasing/Meteorology
2. Amateur Radio
3. Target Shooting

1. Cat
2. A flux capacitor
3. The whole state of Kansas.. just because I can

1. Pirate
2. Crash test dummy
3. Shark

1. Storm Chasing in the Plains
2. Pacific Northwest: Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, that glacier in MT, etc.
3. Alaska

1. PhD or a host of master’s degrees
2. Rebuild the Buick!
3. Find a way to live forever

Friday, 6-24-05 at 21:04 MDT

I’m in NM, I have DSL, and all seems pretty well. Having a 2 bedroom place to myself is wonderful. I have so much space, and it is so awesome. Thank you mom, dad and Jimmy for helping me move in, get established, etc. I will have pictures of my apartment up soon, as well as pictures from a weak storm that Jimmy and I chased earlier this week.
Car insurance is paid, most everything is hung up on the walls, I am 95% unpacked, and things are going pretty smoothly. The air conditioning in this place is different than most stuff back east. It’s basically a pad that is soaked with water and the evaporation causes the air to cool and that is the air pumped through the apartment. It’s very efficient and quiet, but loses effectiveness on humid days. Thankfully, there aren’t many humid days.
Today consisted of a group meeting with my advisor and the other students that work for her. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me! After that, it was more unpacking and wiring up my stereo. This evening, I went for a bike ride. I hadn’t really done that in years (I biked so much when I was 13-15), but man, I’m so glad I have my bike here. It’s so nice, I went for almost a 12 mile ride and barely broke a sweat. I need to work on the brakes; I have no front brakes and the back ones are weak at best. It takes a little more to slow down 220lbs of twisted steel and sex appeal than the maybe 100lbs I was at 13.
I’m gonna go make myself a toasted turkey and Swiss sandwich. mmmm.

Thursday, 6-16-05 at 8:35 EDT

Painting is done, now all I need to do is get ready for travel. I need to pack my bags, get a haircut, set up a forwarding address, and make a few back up CDs.
Radar 2005 has been updated.

Tuesday, 6-14-05 at 20:17 EDT

New Mexico pics are up here. Feel free to browse through those.
Friday is the big day. I’ve got my room 95% painted and ready, and probably 90% of my packing is done too. Now all I gotta do is pack up a few more things, reroute Kenny’s internet stuff (so I can patch the hole I made in the wall), get a haircut and set up my forwarding address.

Saturday, 6-11-05 at 17:10 EDT

Yeah, it’s been a while… but I have my excuses! I’ve been out of town three of the last x weeks, and been working on getting ready to move too.
I have posted info from my 2005 Storm Chase. I believe the wall cloud count was around 8-10, at least 7 of which were on the same day. No tornadoes this year, but we made do with what we had in a record low tornado season. Virginia had more tornadoes this May than Oklahoma! I will have a few more updates on Storm Chase 2005 over the next few days, including video and SPC Outlooks for our chase days.
Dad and I went to Socorro, NM to find a place to live. I will have a 2BR apartment to myself in Cibola Apartments, which is not too far from campus. I begin the trek out there on June 17, and should arrive on June 20. I will have pictures from our trip out there soon, as well as pictures from my first plane ride ever.
My first flight experiences went as follows. I flew Delta, and they have these great lightly smoked Swiss on wheat crackers. All four planes were delayed. I had three rain delays and my very first plane had mechanical problems. Hah, they couldn’t get the right engine to work. I was supposed to leave BWI at 10:05, but was delayed for an hour or so. I took a MD-88 to Atlanta, then a B-737-800 to Albuquerque. We were rain delayed before landing at ABQ. On the trip back, I took a B-757-200from Albuquerque to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to BWI. The flight back home came in after midnight, so I got to fly at night, which was cool, too. I have pictures from NM and from flying (I even got pictures of other jets that I could see from my window) and I will post those soon.
New Mexico was much different than I expected. It is so dry that even though it was 90-95° most days, I was completely comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. I had dinner with my advisor, and learned that New Mexico has its own food, which is different than anywhere else, and very good. Everything has chili peppers on it. In fact, the common question is ‘green or red’ in reference to what color chili peppers you wanted, in much the same tone a VA waitress would take a drink order. At first, I wasn’t so sure about all that, but it’s really good, even the fast food places have a pepper bar for adding peppers to your burger. Another amazing thing: everyone was friendly. Traffic was polite, more people gave up their right of way than cut you off, everyone waves, everyone knows everyone. It’s a really nice feeling. School is out there, and kids were out playing til 11pm or so, completely safe.