Spring 2004

Tuesday, 5-11-04 at 7:21

Does anyone still check this?

Today I turn down my offer at Noble-Met, since VT made me a better offer. I’ve never been in this position before.

We leave Friday. I can’t wait. It’s gonna rock. I’ve got a Skywarn class tonight and I will get to meet the rest of the chase team.

Severe storms two days in a row for Montgomery County. We had penny sized hail on Sunday and nickel sized hail yesterday.

Resume page is updated with my latest resume.

Trying to get my APRS tracker working, I apparently traveled far.

Monday, 5-2-04 at 10:58

Almost done with school, just a few days left! I have a test tomorrow in Kinetics, maybe some x-ray homework, one writing assignment and one polymer lab report, and then that’s it. Score!

Monday I get my actual offer to work at Noble-Met in Salem. They cast, draw, micromachine, etc precious metals for medical applications. I’ll be doing mostly microscopy, which is cool because I’ve never looked at gold, platinum, etc, under a microscope before.

I’m having lunch today with Amy D. Man, I miss that girl! She’s been co-oping at Dupont, cause she rocks the polymer world.

Our service learning projects went well on Friday. We actually had people ask intelligent questions and the demos were fun too. Rob talked with us for a few too.

I watched three hours of CHiPs with Liz the other night. The plots are so bad, but the show is so brilliant. No matter what happens, fifty car pile up, where nobody is injured.

Speaking of cars…. man, I really want that 2005 Mustang. It will be released this fall and I’m going to build up enough credit to get it as a graduation present to myself. Here it is, and I even like the color. I want the GT, the 300hp V8. I’m sure it will be hard on gas mileage, but who cares.

Monday, 4-26-04 at 9:43

First I would like to show you a short video of brutality amongst my friends. (It’s about 2 MB).

I have my absentee ballot request and a letter to my grandmother ready to go, ‘cept I’m out of stamps. I’ll pick those up at some point this week hopefully.

This is my last week of actual work here at school this semester.

Friday, 4-23-04 at 7:48

Long week, and an even longer one next week. But then it’s almost home free for the year.

Good songs: Hoobastank – Reason, From The Heart, Jet – Be My Girl, Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle.

We went to karaoke at BW3s last night… they begged me to sing, but none of the songs I wanted to sing were listed.

Monday, 4-19-04 at 22:50

Once again, almost a week.

A in Geology Lab. I’m exempt from the final too. Score!

My laptop came with the wrong car charger. I call Dell technical support only to get someone that doesn’t speak English. They copied everything down wrong; name, computer, etc. Instead of an Inspiron 1100, the next technical representative I got transferred to asked what problems I was having with my Axim3 Palm. Anyway, when things finally got straightened out, they told me that no car charger was ever made for this laptop, or will ever be made. DUMB.

Tropospheric ducting was supposed to be strong tonight… but I’ve heard nothing out of the ordinary.


I think I’m going to go for a run here soon.

Tuesday, 4-13-04 at 7:31

Happy birthday Brad and Nina!

I thought for sure I had updated this page a few days ago. Oh well. The Yaesu works pretty well. It is installed in the Nova with a Diamond dual band antenna. I can get into all the area repeaters with it, though have yet to make a contact with it. That’s mostly due to the small amount of time I spend in my car.

Since I moved the Yaesu to the car, I moved my Icom 2100H to my bedroom. On 5W, I can hit 146.715 machine in Blacksburg, 146.985 and 146.745 in Roanoke, and 146.895 and 146.775 Wytheville machines. Not too shabby. Talked to Scott, Morgan, Jason and Kenny on the 715 machine last night to test it out.

I just found out I can get a free upgrade to a better version of Matlab and Autodesk. Score.

I’ll probably go home for part of the weekend, and up to Amy’s for the other part. Should be fun!

Wednesday, 4-7-04 at 12:12

I ordered a Yaesu FT-7800 dual band mobile transceiver. It will cover 2m and 70cm on the storm chase trip. I might have to call my bank to verify things, but other than that, score. I also bought a magnetic NMO mount and a speaker mic for my VX-7R. So much cool stuff, so little time.

I worked on the Nova yesterday. I changed the oil, fixed the driver’s door, and organized the tool box. My latest plans are to get carpet to reupholster the door panels and headliner. Serious work still to do: change the transmission fluid, change the brake disk pads, change the rear struts, and figure out why it stalls on corners.

I bought an ant farm. Don’t ask me why. I think I’m reliving my childhood or something; ant farms, chasing storms, rock tumblers, aquariums. It’s like all my interests from younger days are resurfacing.

Monday, 3-29-04 at 01:17

I added a Radar 2004 Photo Gallery. So far, it only contains one image, but that will change as the weather gets warmer.

October Sky is a cool movie.

Speaking of cool, here is two new concept cars that I like: 2004 Pontiac GTO and the Jeep Rescue The GTO is just cool, cause well, it’s a GTO. The Rescue is definitely going to be a misused SUV. Soccer moms are gonna abuse all the features this jeep has. Sure, it looks dumb… but it’s got a generator that puts out 10kW, an undercar camera, satellite phone, VHF radio, infrared camera, two separate winches, etc.

Sunday, 3-28-04 at 00:07

Busy week. But a good one.

Jaime, Krystle and Amy all came down for the weekend. Cindy and Wes will spend Sunday night here. YAY visitors!!!

The beginning of this week was snowy, but things change, since it’s been like 70 degrees since then.

I have updated the mobile QSOs to include the last contest I participated in.

Monday, 3-22-04 at 07:54

Today, it’s snowing. Go figure.

I updated my Ten-Ten International Log. I will have some more radio related updates soon.

I participated in the VA QSO Party with the New River Wireless Association this weekend. More updates to come.

Friday, 3-19-04 at 20:34

I have corrected a few things including my ham radio page. I left out putting my brother’s call and class on there, cause well, at the time I wrote it, I couldn’t remember how to spell ‘technician.’ Go me. Five years ago, I couldn’t spell ‘engineer’, now I are one.

Thursday, 3-18-04 at 8:03

I have a meeting tonight with Dave Carroll about the storm chase this year. I can’t wait. It sounds like it will be 8-12 of us depending, so that’s about an optimal group. Dates will be set shortly.

I have been sleeping in too much this week. Before spring break, I was up at like 6 every morning, now I’m stumbling out of bed at like 7:30, which is way too late to lift, post on this page and still make it to campus on time.

There is an AFS meeting tonight at 6:00 as well, so that will be interesting.

Finished one Matlab and started on the lab for x-ray. I’ll finish that up tonight.

Sunday, 3-14-04 at 20:40

I have updated a few things: Note the new main picture and the new APRS map. I’ll fix the icon at some point, cause that house should be a car, dot or something other than a house.

I added some more pictures of my Buick.

I just ordered a laptop from Dell. Should prove pretty useful on the chase trip.

Saturday, 3-13-04 at 13:00

I looked at cars while I was home, and even though I found a bunch of cars I liked, I think it will be a summertime purchase. I don’t have the down payment yet, and I’d like to build up my credit.

Two months from tomorrow is the tentative leave date for our chase trip. This year, I’d like to get a laptop and a Yaesu FT-857D for the trip. These things are in the works. At the very least, if I can’t afford the Yaesu, I will get a dual-bander.

I got in a few hours of work yesterday, closing the pay period with 23 hours.

I will post more pictures of my Buick here in a few days.

Thursday, 3-4-04 at 8:10

I added a contact I made on 10m the other day and fixed the Mobile QSO page.

I got my Kinetics test back. Average was a 77, high was a 92, and I got an 88. Score. This whole school thing isn’t too bad, I suppose.

There was some chemical spill here in Blacksburg. Like 5000 gallons of Ammonia or something like that. They had to evacuate people and shut down the BT lines. I wondered if we’d have school today, but we did.

I am still working on senior design ideas. I’d like to do something in Ceramics, hopefully something related to what I am already doing. I’ll have to talk to Dr. Kampe about that a bit more.

I tried to play Vice City on my computer, but the video card is so slow that it is completely unplayable. I was having a little trouble with GTAIII, but man, Vice City is nothing.

Tuesday, 3-2-04 at 7:34

A new month! The calendar in the living room contains a new hot brunette and the calendar in here has a waterfall!

Just like a lightswitch, winter started back the first week of December. It went from nice to snow, and it has snowed until last week, where someone turned off the snow, and now it’s nice out. It’s already 60 outside.

My brother, James, is in town for the week. He has been mostly playing games with Mercado, which is good since I’ve had a ton of work to do the last few days.

I got a 97% on my Polymers test, which rules. That makes the second highest grade I have ever got on a test here at VT. The first was an Intro to CpE test, but it was the second time I’d taken the course.

Thursday, 2-26-04 at 8:33

Getting ready to submit my FAFSA stuff. We’ll see how that goes. One less thing on the giant ‘to do’ list I have.

Apparently I had a bunch of credit cards, but I am cancelling them fairly painlessly, so I should be back to no credit in a few weeks. Then it’s time to look at cars and laptops.

Chess anyone? I saw this on the VTARA listserv a few days ago. All the pieces are made from RF connectors.

Here’s a fun game too. Use the mouse to steer. I’ve only played a few times, but my high score is 2390.

Monday, 2-23-04 at 6:53

I took a break from lifting weights last week due to a slight back injury, but I started back up today. I’ve been doing pretty good this year, averaging like four times a week.

I have to mail my taxes today, and maybe I’ll have my FAFSA stuff ready by tomorrow. I’m slowly getting caught up on things. I am planning on spending spring break at home, maybe taking a few hours of work with me.

I went to FrostFest yesterday. It wasn’t ultraimpressive, but I did manage to pick up a better 10m antenna for $15, and a 12m for $8.95. I don’t have a radio for 12m, but it is in the works.

I saw 50 First Dates last night with Liz and her roommate. It was pretty good. I mean a chick flick, but Adam Sandler rules.

Friday, 2-20-04 at 12:04

I’ts been a while since I posted, but I’ve been pretty busy. Some things are developing that I will talk about later.

I got a new antenna for my Yaesu, so now I’m not stuck to using it in the car. Echolink rules, and I need to use it more.

I will go to FrostFest this weekend. Should prove to be fun. Maybe buy myself a few mobile antennas or something.

Thursday, 2-12-04 at 6:47

My article came out yesterday, and I’ve already started receiving feedback via email about it. Even a request for another article from one person who read it.

I’d like to take this time to congratulate my good friend Jenny. She was looking for a place to go to grad school, and a professor from University of Southern Mississippi contacted HER. She hadn’t even applied there yet, but she was sought out by this professor for her research. Go Jenny!

I’ve been thinking about grad school. I’m not sure I have the grades to get in, but it might be worth it to try. I will look at Virginia Tech, as well as University of Florida, University Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO), and maybe a few other places.

Hopefully today I’ll finish all the crazy errands I’ve been meaning to do all week. Taxes, haircut, deposit a check, etc. All those good things.

I’m not one to go off on a religious discussion on this page, but I have one today. I remember talking about something in church a few weeks ago, and I read the text myself today. There is a story where Jesus turns water into wine in the Bible. Of course, every Christian will snap to and say ‘grape juice’ and our debate was whether or not it was alcoholic. I guess upon reading the text, the question is, does it matter? I’ve heard arguments from both sides, and the text comments about how people save good wine for the beginning of a feast and then use the bad wine when everyone is drunk, and how this wine was the best. I mean, it could have had LSD in it. We don’t know, and it’s unimportant. You can’t use it as a justification for getting drunk all the time if it was alcoholic, and who are we to judge God if it was?

Tuesday, 2-10-04 at 6:56

I was gonna make a post about ‘Oh boy, it’s the start of a new month’ but I never did, and now we are almost half done with it.

Been busy playing catch up on my work, though I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now. A bit more x-ray to do, and I’ll be where I need to be.

I tried to buy a laptop on Sunday, but apparently, even though I have avoided credit cards like the plague, I have like five or six active cards. Probably ones they mailed to me and said ‘If you don’t respond, you’ve accepted our offer’ which should be illegal. I mean, how about I write everyone in America and say ‘If you don’t waste time reading this, you owe me $10,000.’ I don’t know what dotcommer thought up that idea, but it’s the reason we have gallows.

Wednesday, 2-4-04 at 23:37

Haha, Courtney, you dumped me like seven years ago today.

It’s been pretty busy this week, just catching up on all the
missed work from last week. I still have some X-ray and some Professional Development left to do before the end of this week.

This weekend will consist of Jason, Josh and I going out to Josh’s grandfathers and shooting all weekend. It is gonna rule.

I have been a little slack with my budget and my planning, but that is ok, since I didn’t allot for getting tax returns. Speaking of which, I have my Federal ready to go… but I’ll need to pick up the forms for state. Stupid taxes. Does anyone know if I have to attach BOTH copies of W-2s that say “attach to state and local tax forms” or is there just two copies in case I have to pay local taxes?

Sunday, 2-1-04 at 11:48

Grr, I gotta get a blood test before I can get my medicine again. Like the results will be good, considering its been like two weeks since I’ve had medicine to take.

Cocoa Beach pictures are up and available through the MSE page and through the About Me page.

Sunday, 2-1-04 at 11:48

Sorry for the long delay, I was in Florida for a week.

As you can imagine, being in Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach, FL was so much fun. We were down there from Friday to Friday attending a Composites conference. I picked up two new states, Georgia and Florida. I hung out with Billy B. on Wednesday, and we went to Universal Studios. I’ll have some pictures up soon.

I have updated the turtles photos page with three new pictures of the turtles feeding. I found out they really like dogfood, and that it is good for them as long as I get the lean kind.

Sorry for the rushed post, but I have a week’s worth of work to catch up on.

Monday, 1-19-04 at 7:24

First day of the semester. Today I have X-ray Diffraction, Geology Lab and Kinetics. I also have a meeting about the storm chase trip this spring and a meeting about the trip to the conference in Florida. I’m only taking 12 credits this semester, which means I have a bit more time to do what I want.

I have updated the appropriate pages to account for the few contacts I made during the North American QSO Party. Wasn’t too impressed with my results, but I did learn something about my antennas. The taller one has an intermittent problem that bounces, but has an SWR of about 1:1.5. The shorter one is not broken anywhere, so it can be used mobile, but the SWR is much higher, like 1:2.2. Bottom line is for contesting, I’ll park and put on the other antenna.

I’ve been considering opening a savings account down here. Maybe I’ll do that.

Apparently, I’m not eligible for my Hope/Lifetime Learning credit because I did not put the money in. Basically anytime you hear about how some tax program will benefit you, keep in mind they are only giving back the money they stole from you in the first place, so don’t get too excited.

Sunday, 1-18-04 at 1:18

A busy few days to say the least!

First piece of important news: I will be attending the 28th Annual Conference on Composites, Materials and Structures in Cocoa Beach, FL. The department is sending six of us down to help out and to attend the conference. I leave January 24 and get back January 31 or February 1. It’s gonna rule.

I have been using DX4Win and playing with it. It’s pretty cool, and I almost have my logs up to date. It’s kinda scary how few QSL card I actually sent out. I need to send some out; according to my records, my only contacts in some countries have not had a QSL card made out to them yet, let alone having one come back.

This link is thanks to my dad: How Stuff Works – Guns. This one is on guns, but there are many cool things at this site.

This link is thanks to my brother: Game of Pearls, though I have not beat it, and I can’t take much more of the dealer’s mockery.

Tuesday, 1-13-04 at 21:30

I added an APRS page, which has configuration settings for the eTrex GPS to the Alinco DR-135TP.

I forgot to post a series of good links I have found over the past few days.

Bawlmerese is a dictionary of the Baltimore local dialect. It was years before I knew that ‘bobwar’ was really ‘barbed wire’ and I still catch myself saying ‘wuter’ and ‘tarred’ instead of ‘water’ and ‘tired.’ A few additions I remember ‘heel’ is that thing you climb up and sled down, and how ‘sit’ and ‘set’ are 100% interchangable: ‘I set there in class’ or ‘That sits/sets up there on top of the fridge’, and doing something ‘clean off’, as in ‘I will knock your head clean off.’ Yeah, this is probably only funny to me, and only cause it’s true.

A good idea for those of us who have ever been frustrated with customer service.

Lasers: this game is hard after a while. Anyone can beat like the first ten levels, but then it gets tough.

Origami Boulder this is brilliant. ‘Origami, is Japanese art of folding paper. Boulder is round rock. Origami Boulder is wadded up paper! You understand now, dumbo? Then hurry up and buy wadded paper!’

Hole Punch Clouds. My dad sent me this link, and I have never seen this in person, but have seen pictures and read about it a few times.

Tuesday, 1-13-04 at 0:50

I’m listening to all my MP3s, and I figured out why Boston rocks so much. Through careful research at http://www.boston.org, I have concluded that Boston’s ability to rock has a sure cause. When Tom Sholz graduated with high grades in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, he went to work for Polaroid. After a few years, he started to rock. Now, Tom is presented with a dilemma. Nerd things up or rock forever? And which did he choose? ROCK FOREVER. He could work a ‘stable’ job, get mouthed off to by worthless middle-management for 30 years, retire with a cake and a party filled with a bunch of people that don’t know his name… or he could rock every lifeform in the universe with a flying UFO guitar, powered by rock n’ roll. Tom, you have made the right choice.

Sunday, 1-11-04 at 17:14

I have updated (hopefully for the last time) the 2003 Radar Gallery. I found a few more floating around on my hard drive, so I added them. The 2004 one will be up as soon as there is something worth posting.

I forgot to mention that as of January 9, I have been accident free for five years. Back in ’99, I got rear-ended by some guy on the ice. Now if only it was five years being ticket free haha.

Saturday, 1-10-04 at 16:39

I have added a Buick Skylark page with photos and links. I have almost every year of skylark covered from 53-76, so have a look. GSX and Gran Sports are here too.

As far as my Buick goes, upon doing some online research, it seems the logical engine for me is the Buick 350. Stock was 315hp, 410ft-lb and only weighs about 450lbs. The 455, on the other hand is 350hp, 510ftlb, but weighs about 640lbs. While I like the extra torque, 640lbs is a lot to deal with. I haven’t proved it yet, but I think the TH400 transmission will work with the 350. I can get a crate 350 for around $1200, brand new.

I’m going to do my taxes as soon as I get all the W2s from the all the jobs I worked this year. Horne’s, University Bookstore, Kroger, Food Lion, Best Western, and Virginia Tech. Hopefully, next year will only be Virginia Tech, well and the ARRL for my article publication.

N3MRA-9, the Nova, is up and tracking again. It seems that when the battery of the car died and I just left it for a few days before getting a jump, I drained the battery so badly that the memory of the TNC was lost, so I had to reconfigure. After a few days of playing with it, and talking to Jason, KE4NYV, it fired up last night and placed me right in the Green St. parking lot.

I read my book on turtles yesterday, and I have some new ideas for the cage. Oh precious paycheck, get here soon!

Thursday, 1-8-04 at 19:00

Work has picked up a bit, and I have almost reached my weekly limit, which makes me happy, considering the amount of spending I have done over the past few weeks. I bought a new shelf for above my desk, since the last one was failing, a Grundig shortwave radio with a handcrank that Radio Shack was selling at clearance, and I have books and a RockMite radio coming up in the near future.

I spent a good part of last night hanging out with Suzi, Crystal and Martha by going to Denny’s (since we have one down here!) and watching Mr. Deeds. Our waitress was hot and the whole place is done kinda like a 50’s/60’s diner. Lots of old car ads up on the wall.

Speaking of food… IHOP has 50% off on Tuesday nights with your college ID, so our radio club went there for the meeting after the meeting and for $4 I ate REALLY well. However, all this foodage is doing some damage, I’m up to 195. BOO THAT.

I ran across this 2005 Ford Mustang and I actually kinda like the looks of it. I have no idea what it can do, but its looks are the best one since about 1970, I do believe. Wait, found more info: 2005 Mustang Interestingly enough, it’s powered by an all aluminum 300hp 4.6L, or a 200hp 4.0L. Still rear-wheel drive, which is awesome, and available as a 5 speed. This may be an ‘I graduated and have a real job and a real life’ car haha.

Wednesday, 1-7-04 at 2:45

All moved in at the apartment, and ready for another semester.

Work started for me on Monday, and I’ve been getting in a few sporadic hours a day, so that makes me happy. Money rocks.

I updated my Skylark page with a bunch of new pictures of my disassembly, er, I mean, restoration efforts.

I have been doing a lot with the radios lately. My APRS radio lost its configuration, so I have been trying to reconfigure it so that the tracking is working. So far, no dice. It’s transmitting, but the data is unintelligible. The position is correct, I think it has to do with my path, though I even see digipeaters I’m familiar with (K4KDJ, KD4BNQ, KE4HI, etc) taking the place of RELAY, so I know someone is hearing me. On the other side of things, I have installed DX4Win and am learning how to use it, as well as trying to configure my own digipeater here at the apartment. The biggest task there is getting the right cables and making sure they reach. I also installed my RigRunner power distribution block. Tripping over wires in the passenger seat will soon be a thing of the past! It has an input fuse of 40A, and I made all five blocks have 30A or 25A, since they each will need a bunch of current, but not all at once.

Thursday, 1-1-04 at 1:55

Hahah, it’s barely 2004 and I already got two cell phone numbers from the ladies!

I watched Terminator III today and thought it was pretty good, despite what everyone said. There were some parts that were 100% unbelievable, but the plot took an interesting twist.

I’ve been considering buying a truck. I’d be worth my time. The Nova has its issues, and it’s in good shape, but it’s somewhat unreliable. I can’t really drive far for fear of it breaking down. Getting a used four wheel drive truck means I could actually not do $600 damage to my car every year in exhaust work, snow wouldn’t slow me down too much, and I might even be able to take it storm chasing and have a little extra power. But we’ll see. I figure I’ll save enough to make a decent down payment, I’ll really pursue it. On the other hand, I’d like my Icom 718, a Springfield .45 and a few other odds and ends. But getting a newer vehicle might come in handy over the next few years.

Wednesday, 12-31-03 at 3:07

The last post of the year, I do believe. 2003 proved to be a pretty decent year. MSE turned out to be a good major for me, earned the best GPA I’ve ever earned, will be published in the near future (but the letter confirming this was in 2003), storm chasing, got n3mra.com, have worked six jobs in the past year, ending this year with the best job I’ve had (the MSE department) and made a whole bunch of new people along the way.

Made a few new years resolutions, which won’t be posted here, but I already started one of them and it’s working out pretty well. We’ll see how long I can hold to that trend.

Let me just also add that ‘I Love the 70’s (80’s)’ are the best shows ever. Tonight was 1978 and 1979, and the best quotes: ‘The movie, The Warriors was like a West Side Story for heterosexuals.’ Discussing those clicky things that you made the two marbles attached to strings hit each other: ‘1978 was the year that garbage bags had to be labelled THIS IS NOT A TOY cause in the 70s, everything was up for grabs.’ and ‘This was an ancient hunting tool, let’s give them to kids and see what happens!’ Also, looking at future episodes prompted the discussion of ‘Soul Train’ and my brother’s great quote: ‘I had a nightmare about the Soul Train… it came out of my closet… it still haunts me.’

Monday, 12-29-03 at 2:35

Late Merry Christmas to all. Christmas rocked, got an MP3 player and a good Glock book, and some radio stuff, which I will explain more when I have them running.

I have played a fair amount of Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and it rules. I have found 41 secret packages and completed a bunch of missions, all the islands are open to me, and I can even fly the helicopters pretty well.

Grades were good. C- in Quantum Physics was the low grade, and I finished with a 3.01 for this semester. BOOYA!

I have archived last semester’s news into a new file, so everything after December 20 is listed here.