Fall 2004

Saturday, 12-18-04 at 15:57

Congratulations to Suzi who graduated yesterday! She’s sticking around for her master’s, which is cool, cause otherwise she’d probably move some place stupid and we’d not see her very often. We (Suzi, Suzi’s parents, Joanna, Cory, Alicia, Keri, a bunch of VTSCC people and I) saw Paul Clark’s band Thursday night, and had a pretty good time. Graduation was yesterday, and we ate good food at Backstreet’s yesterday evening!

I have added Domino pictures and a few New Times pictures from Beth and Leigh’s Christmas Party.

I added a few weather pictures too. Winter Sunset and Winter Clouds are my favorite. I might enter ‘winter clouds’ into a contest of some sort.

Wednesday, 12-15-04 at 7:56

I’m all done except for posting something online for senior design. I’ll do that today and that’s it for me for the semester. B+ in metal fabrication, and waiting to hear on the others. Geology will probably come out today and maybe Engineering Cultures. We’ll see.

Next semester consists of Senior Design II, Materials Selection II, Composites (grad level), Thin Films (grad level), Oceanography, and Resources Geology. I might switch things around, it all depends on grad school stuff.

Tracey and I had a discussion about how much Colonial Beach sucks. Hahah, it does.

Our department head has a mouse in his office. He’s really friendly, and he came out and sat down on my shoe for a few minutes while I was in the office. He’s really small.

Stay tuned, I’ll have some new pictures soon.

Monday, 12-13-04 at 8:03

Today, I have two exams: Materials Selection and Geology. I also have to turn in the final draft of our senior design project. FUN DAY!

The snow threat has diminished for tomorrow, according to Intellicast. I haven’t checked why, but it shows the temperatures being low, but sunny, so my bet is the jetstream shifted and is no longer bringing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. But that’s without looking, so don’t count on it.

Sunday, 12-12-04 at 15:27

So…. New Mexico Tech called Dr. Suchicital and they are interested in me for grad school. Let the race for the better offer begin!!! I have not been formally accepted to either yet, but I have plan B, C, D, etc…

Yesterday, I went to a Christmas Party at Beth, Leigh and Martha’s. It was excellent! Good food, good presents, fun times! Suzi made me a sweatshirt with a tornado on it! Beth got me an Aqua Teen Hunger Force shirt! Leigh got me a bow and arrows from South Africa!

I rented GTA San Andreas. It’s brilliant. The detail in everything is amazing. The soundtrack is awesome. The options and the missions…. incredible. Speaking of sound track, there is a bunch of Ice Cube songs on there- the best being ‘Today was a good day.’ I think that’s the name of it.

Tuesday, 12-7-04 at 7:43

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Not my fault this time, NTC sucks and we’ve just now got the internet back. It was out about a week, and by back I mean, woah, we just broke the 1kb/s mark. It averages around 100b/s. I can’t even check my email because it times out.

I’ll have more to post later on about my schedule next semester.

Sunday, 11-28-04 at 13:52

I have returned from Thanksgiving break. All in all, this is my favorite time of the year- between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think I actually like getting ready for Christmas more than Christmas itself, and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s starting to turn a bit colder (everywhere except Blacksburg), the semester is winding down, and so on.

I fixed Courtney’s link on the link page, since I accidentally linked to a specific post.

I played Grand Theft Auto San Andreas with my brother over break. BRILLIANT game!

Monday, 11-22-04 at 7:48

Happy birthday, Mercado! This beast comes out when it is 25 degrees below zero.

I participated in the 2004 SSB Sweepstakes, but my computer crashed and I lost most of my log. I had 78 contacts, but only got to keep 33 of them or so. BOOO. I had almost all 50 states too.

Courtney’s new page is at this site.

Monday, 11-15-04 at 7:57

This was a good weekend. Between hanging out with Liz, Mercado, and Eric, Liz S. coming down, and watching Dawn of the Dead, it proved to be entertaining.

I think my TinyTrak 3 is working, so I should be tracking again. Sitting still, it beacons every hour, and every 90 seconds (I think) when I’m moving. It took shorting out a resistor that just couldn’t seem to be low enough. It started at 220k, I replaced it with a 47k and still got the same effect. It might have to do with the low impedance in the audio in.

Thursday, 11-11-04 at 7:49

Um… wow.

I watched Mythbusters last night, and then participated in the online chat afterwards. Then I checked the message boards. People on the message boards are stupid. ‘No, I fell off a roof and floated with a piece of plywood, your myth is not busted’, ‘U didn’t shoot the gas tank with a BFG 9000 (gun from computer game) or else it wood have went boom’, ‘Try using armor piercing bullets made from depleted uranium (cause, you know, everyone can get those)’. ARGH.

Wednesday, 11-10-04 at 7:46

Sometimes having things work the way they are supposed to is just too tall of an order to fill.

There isn’t much time left in this semester, and that makes me ultra-happy and worried all at the same time. My job with the ceramics lab runs out at the end of this semester (ceramics isn’t taught in the spring) but I pick up a few hours with Dr. Staley and I might find another job too. Also, I lock in a few more grades for grad school, but senior design is half over, and we have a long ways to go. It’s 50/50.

Tuesday, 11-9-04 at 7:10

I just want to say that my Rio MP3 player lost its configuration yesterday so I killed an hour and a half reconfiguring the thing. Oh well, it works now.

Spamusement is the best. I made the “best day ever” my background.

Monday, 11-8-04 at 7:33

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIMMY! Maaaaaaan, my ‘kid’ brother turns 21 today, that’s awesome.

I was thinking about next year: If I am still in Blacksburg for grad school (or working at Luna, Nanosonic, Corning, etc), I would like to find a house. Maybe a little ways out of town- I want to be able to put up a few antennas, maybe work on a rusty car, maybe even have a little garden. I miss having a garden, and I know that sounds stupid, but I do. When I was a kid, we had a garden, and my mom canned a bunch of stuff. Dreama, the housekeeper for Holden Hall cans a ton of stuff and often offers me some of what she cans- she’s bringing me some apple butter soon. I don’t need to go all out here, just to learn to do it, live off the land a little more.

Thanks to my mom for this cool picture.

Friday, 11-5-04 at 8:09

After several years….. IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER MOB TIP!

My application to VT has been turned in. Woohoo!

Wednesday, 11-3-04 at 6:58

Looks like Bush wins. Bush is not Badnarik, which makes me sad, but he is not Kerry, which makes me happy. I am curious to see how much of the country Badnarik could get. I saw a few counties got 1-2% in VA.

I can’t wait to hear how ‘sophisticated’ or ‘educated’ people voted for Kerry and ‘rednecks’ voted for Bush. I’m so sick of that attitude, that I’m glad Bush won. I mean, this whole election has been slop. Nobody was a good candidate. If the press can make a few key players disappear (i.e Badnarik, Cobb), what else can they do? I mean, for all we know they could have found weapons of mass destruction and it just never got news coverage. I mean, Bush has some awful ideas: Gay marriage ban? Who cares what people do in their own time? No child left behind? It might have worked, might not have- it was so horribly underfunded, we’ll never know. I’m really sick of the whole, if you voted for Bush, you should be killed attitude. That’s what everyone supposedly hates Bush for is the ‘us versus them’ mentality. Yet anytime I see anyone support Bush, for whatever reason, they are ridiculed- I kid you not- I even heard a girl say that people who voted for Bush should be gassed. Would Hitler make a better leader than Bush? Is that what she was trying to say?

The war, on the other hand- I see why we are there. Iraq at least, anyway. The only reason I am confident they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction is we are all still here. I think a leader like Saddam Hussein would have used his weapons on us the second they were available. Same with Osama Bin Laden. They aren’t going through the little tea party known as the UN, and they aren’t asking permission from anyone. Some people will not just get along with everyone, it’s not a happy family. There are people out there that want us dead. These people, once there is probable cause, should be hunted down. After the 9/11 attacks, Osama must be captured. After booting the UN inspectors out of Iraq, yeah, Saddam had to be captured. As far as the lives of the innocent- it’s unfortunate. I think we have done a MUCH better job distinguishing between enemy soldier and innocent civilian with Iraq than we did with Vietnam or either of the World Wars.

Here’s the big shocker: France, Germany… I don’t care what they think. Their asses aren’t on the line, they aren’t the first targets of attack. Quite honestly, if they are mad, but still open to trade, that’s good enough for me. I know we like to look up to them as cultural leaders, and that they are somehow better and more sophisticated than us, but I don’t care- that’s just belittling our own culture. They have their problems too. I also think it’s insulting to say ‘we have no allies’ based solely on the fact that the allies we have are smaller, third world countries. El Salvador, Honduras- these countries have given us a large portion of their military to help. Oh I can already hear you: ‘Yeah, but it’s El Salvador!’ So what? It’s a sovereign nation, just like France. Somehow though, the French culture is ‘better’ and more worthy of our attention than El Salvador.

I think we are learning the value of voting. You can vote on whoever you want for whatever reason you want. Some people that don’t like Bush or don’t like Kerry based on a gut instinct- their votes count just as much as a political science PhD. That’s a powerful statement though; your gut reaction can be just as powerful as a well researched position. While it’s up to us to get educated on our candidates, trusting your instincts is just as important. When I watched the debates, I saw two liars: one had a relatively bad track record, but had slight plan to escape, the other had no ‘plan’ though he used the word around 10,000 times, and was willing to say whatever the crowd said, you never knew where he stood. Neither of them spoke well, neither of them I agreed with.

My predictions: Nothing. I think the Gay Marriage ban idea will thankfully slip away- I think as a country we are becoming more aware. The war in Iraq will ‘end’ with no draft. Iran will only be invaded under probable cause, and we’ll monitor North Korea with China’s help. I mean, as bad as we think we have it right now- even under what some people call the worst president- we have a lot of freedom and we have a lot of power. Not 50 years ago, black people and white people were segregated. Now it’s socially acceptable to have interracial relationships. We’ve come a long ways since then, and when you compare how we have come to accept social change, we are much faster at it than a lot of countries. Right now, you are allowed to worship whereever you want, whenever you want. I saw some people praying on prayer mats in the parking lot last night- that’s their right, just as much as it’s your right to worship the grand potato if you want. Nobody can arrest you for that. You can own as many guns as you can afford, and if the government started to get really out of line, we could rise up. Education is bad- but once again, 50 years ago we were educating the people that dreamed up the internet, AIDS and cancer research, and cleaner electrical power. If we can evolve from that environment, where discrimination and strict moral guidelines ran the classroom, how much better are we today when we educate our teachers about student self-esteem and getting student input? We have risen our awareness of different cultures- I bet there are more people taking Arabic classes now than in 1999. By doing this, we have also had to search ourselves to define ‘what is American’ and how ‘my culture’ fits into the big picture. Not that our culture is better, but just showing to the world that there is a culture that is neither Native American, British or French that holds just as much weight as any other culture. There are things wrong, no doubt. But there is a lot of hope- it’s not quite the crisis situation everyone makes it out to be. Bush isn’t the worst president, and he’s sure not the best.

Friday, 10-29-04 at 8:14

It’s been a long time since I posted. This is partially due to the internet outage we had last weekend and partially due to being busy. Of course, had our whole building not been switched to NTC, it might not have been so busy. Oh well, everything is hooked up now, and seems reliable, so I can’t complain.

Carly and Eric get married this weekend and I’m gonna go to the wedding. Rock on! The big city!

I am about 98% done my Virginia Tech grad school application. As it turns out, I miscalculated my GPA before, but after this semester, I should be good to go. I have had the writing department review my grad school essays and I will resubmit those today hopefully.

The 22nd was my grandmother’s birthday and the 25th was my dad’s birthday so late happy birthday to them!

Last night, Martha, Suzi, Mercado and I went to Dixie Caverns- the HAUNTED CAVE. The group that set it up did a pretty good job, though Suzi got scared of all the zombies. They were everywhere.

Monday, 10-18-04 at 22:27

Hey, I told you I was busy last week.

Happy Birthday Liz (well yesterday!)

Lynchburg didn’t work out, got lost in Lynchburg because I can’t read directions and roadsigns apparently. Kingston probably will not happen, even after being moved to the 21st (stupid geology test).

So… doing a little calculation… I have above a 3.0 in my last 60 credits, so I am 100% eligible for grad school and funding. ROCK ON! I also got an 87 on my materials selection test, so that is pretty cool too.

I bought a new camera. A Kodak DX6490. I have taken some new pictures of Domino and put them up for your viewing pleasure. She’s a hard one to take pictures of, seeing as she moves around all the time!

Sunday, 10-10-04 at 13:41

Busy, busy, busy times. The next two days are going to be hell!!! I have so much to do for MSE Open House and the Ceramics Lab that it’s going to be crazy!

I am gonna go to Carly and Eric’s wedding on the 30th, Lynchburg on the 16th, Kingston, TN from the 18th or 19th for a few days… Who’da thought I would be doing so much travelling?

I am almost done my application at VT for grad school. I need to talk to Jan about a few things, and off it goes! The others will come later.

The presidential debates on Friday were awful. Both candidates did awful- Bush did marginally better. Bush said a few things that were harsh: ‘I wish we had found weapons of mass destruction’ and how he didn’t answer the question about mistakes he had made. However, Kerry never actually answered a single question. He darted around it, attacked Bush and said ‘I have a plan…’ but then never told any step to those plans. Money has to come from somewhere, and his plans in no way said how he was going to accomplish these things. Also, he said he wants to finish up in Iraq, then talk to North Korea and Iran…. yet whines how we don’t have enough troops to take on Iraq…. then accuses Bush of instituting a draft? Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Go Badnarik!

Friday, 10-8-04 at 7:48

I repaired the Domino link that wasn’t working.

I did pretty well on my GREs, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I had the scores sent to New Mexico Tech, Iowa State University, University of Florida and Virginia Tech. It’s all a race of who provides the best offer.

Monday, 10-4-04 at 7:59

I was on TV last night! Next showing is Oct. 17 at 5:30.

I put up some pictures of Domino! Enjoy!

Sunday, 10-3-04 at 20:57

A new month has begun, and it’s a busy one. I’ll finish a few grad school applications hopefully this month. We’ll be a long ways through our senior design project, my Tiny Trak will be programmed, maybe decisions about teaching at Pulaski County High School will be made…I’ll hopefully know a whole lot more than I know today!

I got a few contacts on 20M during the CA QSO Party. It’s been a tradition that I participate in this one. 2002, I got like 30 contacts, last year only 4. This year, it was like 16. Not too bad. I did get one of those on 10M, with a 20M dipole and a tuner, believe it or not. I also got my 20M dipole resonating on 20M, so I can dedicate the tuner to other things. Ideally, I’ll build a 15M antenna that I can use on 15 and 40. I also have a 10M dipole I’d like to dedicate to PSK-31.

Thursday, 9-23-04 at 20:08

Long time, no post yet again. A lot has been going on.

First, I will have some pictures posted of Domino soon.

Most of the KG people know, but for those that don’t, Kinsey Hall passed away this week. I met her a few times, but never more than a few minutes, and this makes me sad. I should have known her a little more than I did, considering all of the mutual friends we had. It’s an emotionally draining time, thinking of her family, her child. I wish I could do something, and I’m sure everyone wishes they can help too. That, in itself, shows the spirit of our home. (I’ll say ‘King George’ to refer to KG, Dahlgren, Port Royal, etc etc). King George was small… yet not so small that we knew everyone. We knew OF everyone. All the times in high school when we said ‘King George sucks,’ we didn’t realize WE are King George. 301, KGHS, King George House of Pizza (haha or Big Burger), the base… those are ‘places’. There are ‘places’ all over the world. What they don’t have all over the world is the King George people; Martha, Keri, Suzi, Courtney, Robyn, everyone. Even transients like Mercado, Jamie, Krystle and I who were in KG only a few years. Even after we moved away, the reception is always warm when we are back in KG. And that is why, even though some of us might not have known Kinsey directly, or had not stayed in touch with her, we all feel the loss.

I read her obituary in the paper today, and I noticed two things. The first was her age, 22. Still just a kid, same as all of us. Yet all of us are forced to be grown up. It’s not every day we lose a friend. And yet, it’s a reality for all of us- make the most of every day. Second thing I noticed was the list of family members that she is survived by; it was a long list. And I know many more cared about her than the Free Lance Star would be able to print. Compare this to the average list of people in a big city news paper. Maybe a spouse, a kid or two. Why is it, just sitting in my car in King George, I’m less likely to feel lonely than surrounded by 30,000 college students in Blacksburg? We, all of us from King George, have something that most people don’t have. If you run into someone at college from King George you talk. Despite past problems, or if they are someone you never knew. In fact, I bet most of us would talk to a random person wearing a KG T-shirt. How many people do that from Fairfax? or New York City? Lots of people are there, the closeness is lost.

I guess my closing statement is that I really only know Kinsey from her friends, and that is my loss. I do not know her religious background, as that is her business. I do know mine. God looks out for ‘good’ people. That doesn’t mean ‘people who do this and don’t do this,’ it means people who do the best with what they understand. Nobody has all the answers, and God isn’t the IRS; looking for reasons to keep people away. Looking at everyone around her that I knew, God was pleased. In his eyes, her work here was done, as reflected through us and through her family. It’s not that He took her away, it’s more like Christmas Eve. When your parents told you to go to bed Christmas Eve, it wasn’t because they hated being around you. They knew you had nothing but good things when you awoke the next morning. They knew that if you stayed awake you might be miserable, and you would still fall asleep at some point anyway. God said ‘I will allow you to sleep now, and when you awake things will be better than you can possibly imagine.’ As for us, we will never walk the halls of KGHS with Kinsey again. But KGHS is a place. Death is not permanent for people like Kinsey and people like us. We will walk with Kinsey again, and it won’t be in some crappy, redneck-ghetto high school. Thank you for reading my long, scatter-brained tangent. Whether you knew her or not, please keep her family in your prayers.

Saturday, 9-11-04 at 16:08

I added a few thunderstorm pictures from August 2003 (finally), a few from June 2004, and updated the 2004 Chase Team page and the tornado pictures, since the tornado pictures were edited too harshly. The new tornado pictures have only been resized.

Wednesday, 9-8-04 at 7:46

We took Domino to the vet yesterday for some shots. I’m pretty sure she hates us. At the very least, she doesn’t feel good. Poor kitty!

We are under a tornado watch as the remnants of Frances pass over. We are also under a flood watch, which I am considering the more likely threat. They are calling for anywhere from 6-12 inches of rain over the next few days…

Saturday, 9-4-04 at 10:49

We have a good senior design project idea! All I am going to say is lining steam pipes with a glass. It’s brilliant.

My TA position does not provide enough hours, so I am gonna
have to get another job. Oh well, steady income.

I have a ton of stuff to do, but that’s ok. I haven’t had as much time to read and screw around as I’d like, and that is going to get worse, but the cat keeps me sane. By the way, ‘the cat’ is now ‘Domino.’

I am going to continue cleaning up and backing up stuff off of my computer now. Maybe I’ll work on the NRWA page today too…

Friday, 8-27-04 at 8:06

Busy week. I dropped solid state, so I have no grad course this semester.

Does anyone have a good senior design project idea?

Cat is still unnamed, but she isn’t freaking out so much, which is good.

The wise scale in the gym says 179.5 Rock ON!

Sunday, 8-22-04 at 22:23

Summer 2004 archived.

Summer 2004 comes to a close. Classes start tomorrow, the end of freedom and fat paychecks. It is, however the beginning of everything else cool. I start my REAL senior year. A year from now, I’ll either be at grad school or a full time job, hopefully grad school. The places I’m looking right now are VT, JMU, University of Florida, Texas Tech, and Iowa State University.

We got a cat! We haven’t named her yet, but she’s 10 weeks old and still a little scared of the big apartment. Here is a picture of her. Feel free to suggest names on the message board.

Jason drilled some holes in the trunk of the Malibu and we mounted antennas on the trunk. So far, a dual bander and a 5/8 wave 2 meter antenna. Also, I made four contacts on 20M last night!