Summer 2004

Tuesday, 8-17-04 at 7:30

Rocky isn’t doing so well. I think I will turn him loose today, since I know he can take care of himself better than I can. Apollo is fine though, and angrily staring at me right now!

I have sorta rigged an old Digitraveller GPS to work for APRS (tracking). I have to put a resistor across two terminals, and when I first start it, short the resistor. It makes no sense, but it works.

I really need to catch up on my reading, I have a few QST magazines, a few Journal of Materials (JOM) and a few American Riflemens left unread. I also need to buy books for this semester.

I bought a parking permit online, and hopefully should pick it up tomorrow. My car payment registered with one bank but not the other. For the most part, stuff is starting to fix itself.

Does anyone know a good video editing program? I would like to add a soundtrack to some of my chase video. So far Pixela (the crap that came with my camera) isn’t doing it for me.

Sunday, 8-15-04 at 12:39

I’m really getting sick of all the crappy engineering going on in this world. I know you business people love to cut corners to save a buck, but this is stupid. I figure at least 50% of what I make I spend to repair crappy engineering.

Case 1. I’m putting a power connector on a 12V cigarette lighter adaptor. I strip the wire back, and oh look, black strands of plastic in the wire, must be ground, since that’s what black means. WRONG. Fried my GPS and the connector. Not to mention the connector should have had a fuse or diode bridge to keep the GPS from drawing current when off and reversely polarized.

Case 2. I have another GPS with no power connection. I go to Walmart and buy a 12V multiple connection device for like $15. It has like ten tips and you put the appropriate tip on to power whatever. None of these ten tips are useful.

Case 3. I bought a cheap watch, since my last watch had a broken band (yet another crappy engineering job). So it’s way too small, and I pull the adjustment pin out to make it bigger. THE PIN BREAKS. I mean, this is just crap.

Total loss for the weekend: $152. I’m never spending money again, take that you business whores! I hope you are counting all of your money, and you paper cut your throat and bleed to death.

Saturday, 8-14-04 at 12:14

What good weather we are having! I went out shooting yesterday and sitting still I was almost cold! It’s like 64º today, and I could really get used to this weather.

I have got to get this apartment cleaned up, cause it’s a huge mess. I have stuff everywhere and I know it will only get worse as school starts. It’s not like trash everywhere, just stuff.

I also have to get the MEPS site working correctly and the NRWA site up. I’m webmaster of both and both of them need to be working by the end of this week. I am aiming for mostly maintenance free sites for the school year.

Friday, 8-13-04 at 7:37

Went fishing last night with Kenny and Mercado. Caught NOTHING.

I have a meeting with Dr. Suchicital and Dr. Guido today, so that’s a good thing, we’ll see how good when I get back.

At some point today, I’ll have $142.98 less as my car payment is automatically subtracted from my account…

Thursday, 8-12-04 at 22:37

Today was awesome. I had lunch with Tim and Matthew, neither of which I’d seen since I was considerably younger. They used to be my neighbors when I lived in MD. I have a picture of us from today that will go on my new times photo.

I bought several new fish for my aquariums. For the 29, I got five honey-dwarf gouramis and five red fin tetra. For the 5, I got a tri-color shark and three pigmy catfish. I also was able to fix the filter on the 5 so everything is in working order.

Friday, 8-6-04 at 7:28

Folks, it’s 60º outside now and is supposed to be this way all weekend. Rock on!

Today, I help Suzi move out and whoever else needs moving out or in. Kenny moves in tomorrow. I’m glad its going to be a nice weekend for all that.

Funny story:

(I get on elevator in collegiate square)

Elevator Speaker: Hello?

Me: Um.. Hello?

Elevator Speaker: I’d like to talk to you about the Mazda you have
listed on your page. Can I schedule a test drive?

Me: Man, this is an elevator.

Elevator Speaker: This isn’t Duncan Mazda? Is this 951-2378?

Me: Man, this is an elevator.

Elevator Speaker: Cool. (click)

Sunday, 8-1-04 at 12:32

Did some light gambling last night in Charles Town, WV. Hit the nickel slots with a few bucks and came back with a few less. It was fun- I even played a slot machine called “storm chaser” which featured pictures of tornadoes and such. This also gave the Malibu a good hard road test, as it was three hours up and three hours back. Only got like 23 miles to the gallon, which was expected, but the car ran great.

We might go fishing, swimming or shooting today. Maybe some combination of all of them. YOU DON’T KNOW! TIGER HAND!

I won a radio on ebay and it will be shipped soon. It’s a Kenwood TS-130S, so I’ll have some HF coverage.

I have one more thing to straighten out with my car insurance and things are set. It’s a minor thing. I got a new flash drive the other day, we have another TV interview (this one for two half-hour specials), so things are starting to fall into place.

Friday, 7-30-04 at 9:58

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTHA! Today will consist of work, a haircut, and celebrating Martha’s birthday.

Last night was fun. Suzi, Martha, Beth and I went to the Cellar and met up with some of Suzi’s work friends to hear Suzi’s boss play in his band: Paul Clark and the Lonesome Drifters. If you like ACTUAL country music, (not Dixie Chicks or any of that other trendy, prepackaged crap) then this is the band to see. They play there every other Thursday night.

Wednesday, 7-28-04 at 11:31

Yeah, I updated. Check the About Me Page for some pictures from my trip to DC. It was pretty fun, mostly cause a pigeon crapped on Sarah. No actually, I really liked the World War II Memorial and the displays on materials and radios at the museum of American history.

I saw ‘I, Robot’ and ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and both were pretty good. I liked ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ better, but ‘I, Robot’ was good. It’s been a while since I went to the actual theater and watched a movie, and neither time was I disappointed.

I’ll post more stuff later.

Thursday, 7-22-04 at 07:11

HostSave has been under attack for several days, so if you can’t get to my page, that is why. Of course, you won’t see this message if you can’t get to my page.

I am definitely going to NoVA Friday, and maybe Charles Town, WV Saturday night. Not sure yet.

Last night consisted of Suzi, Martha, Eric and I trying to go to a carnival that was closed, trying to go bowling, but it closed in 15 minutes, trying to go to Joe’s and it was closed. Finally settled on Sharkey’s.

Wednesday, 7-21-04 at 07:42

A fun link: Rock, Paper, Saddam.

Summer is winding down, in a little more than a month it will be back to school, maybe for the last time. I applied for a job with Olin, who makes brass products (including shooting brass) in Illinois. It’s a really cool job and man, I really hope I get it. It’s just outside of St. Louis and they are looking for ‘materials scientists or metallurgical engineers’ and when I graduate in May, I will be qualified.

Monday, 7-19-04 at 08:36

Good weekend home. Brought the Nova home and rode back with Suzi. Now it’s just me and the Malibu here. I have an incredible plan for making that Malibu the ultimate chase vehicle, but now I need that money stuff.

Brad is moved out, so I moved a few things around. The storage closet has a bunch of tools in it, and I pulled the passenger seat from the Nova and put in our living room.

A new box fan in my room brings the temperature down to a reasonable level. No more 82° nights.

Well, off to get in 40 hours, go to the gym, etc. A return to normalcy after a few weeks of car disruption is a welcome thing.

Thursday, 7-15-04 at 20:17

I think the actual problem is I have more of a life than you guys, so I post way less frequently than you check. Just kidding.

Wow, I posted exactly one week, 12 hours ago.

Biggest update: My 2002 Chevy Malibu! Here are some pictures #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. It’s a pretty nice car, much nicer than I thought I was originally looking at. I already have APRS and an inverter installed, so my tracking should be updating. The subwoofer box and amp cannot be connected yet due to the fact that Chevrolet didn’t put an accessory wire on their radio for some reason. Oh well, I’ll figure something out, even if I just put a single pole single throw switch from +12 that I’d have to remember to turn off when the car turns off.

Thursday, 7-8-04 at 08:17

I’m getting bad about posting.

For those of you who don’t know, the Nova will not pass inspection, and never will. Included in the fail criteria is: windshield wiper motor needs replacing, cracked headpipe, cracked exhaust manifold, broken driver’s rear strut, damaged passenger rear strut, bent swing arms, busted tail light lens, both rear brake drums damaged, all belts (power steering is down to nothing) and all four tires need replacing. Bottom line is, I’m in the market for another car.

Tuesday, 6-29-04 at 08:15

Long time, no post again.

I got my bag stolen last week and lost a flash drive and an MP3 player. The flash drive had about $300 worth of work I had done for Dr. Kampe. Whoever took it, if you got hit by a car, that’d be great.

Field Day 2004 was a success! My dad and brother came down for
it and my brother is down for the week. I will have pictures up at some point.

Time for me to go to work.

Tuesday, 6-22-04 at 21:01

Today was spent moving Dr. Julian’s stuff to Collegiate Square. Lots of moving to say the least.

I am almost done with my wrought iron book and I read several chapters from Dr. Guido’s solid-state lighting book. This reading thing is kinda funny.

I checked into the VTARA net tonight. First time in a long time. I should do that more often.

Field Day is coming up this weekend, and it’s gonna be fun. I think the “shelter” for my station this year will be the Nova with a tarp extending from the hatch, but it will be good enough to keep the rain out.

Sunday, 6-20-04 at 19:10

Updates today: Storm Chase 2004 radar images, Storm Chase 2004 GPS track, US contacts and mobile QSOs. Maybe more on the way.

Ten meters was somewhat open today, surprisingly. I worked a special events station covering an air show in Missouri and a station in Uruguay.

I fixed my brakes this morning. They needed new pads, and I photographed the process, which I will put on this page in my car repair section.

Went fishing last night at Pandapas Pond. Caught nothing but a crawdad. We used a hot dog for bait, which was such a good idea though. we cut up pieces and put near the shore and a turtle came and ate them, but we couldn’t catch the turtle.

Saw The Day After Tomorrow at the drive in. It was the amazing movie about weather where no meteorologist was consulted. Everything from huge tornadoes from 3000m updraft basins, to calling hurricanes ‘supercells’ to my favorite, ‘quick, turn on the weather channel we might need to issue a tornado warning!’ I mean, after all, good meteorologists in the NWS get their ‘data’ (a word used about 10000 times in that movie) from the weather channel. I wish they had consulted me. I would have told them to put some pirates in the movie and at least make it plausible.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Saturday, 6-19-04 at 15:01

Our TV stuff got bumped to NEXT wed, thurs and fri (23, 24, 25).

I would like to take this time to thank Suzi, Beth, and Martha for planning my birthday storm chase haha. It will make more sense when I have pictures up. It was excellent, know that.

Speaking of which, I’d like to dedicate this post to my friend Suzi. She rocks. There was this one time, this guy was like “who is the coolest person you know” and I said “oh, that’s Miss Suzi.” and I was right. That was a good story!

Wednesday, 6-16-04 at 00:13

Watch WDBJ in Roanoke over the next few days at 5PM. They are doing a series on our chase.

Looks like I’ll be doing something involving solid state lighting and GaN LEDs for my senior design project. Not 100% sure what yet.

I have written several articles for submission to several different magazines. We’ll see how it goes this year.

I have been trudging through my to do list. The Nova is rewired again, thankfully, as is part of my room. I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently. For some reason, ever since this year’s chase, I’ve hit this stage where I can’t read enough. Every chance I get I’m reading something. I think I like it, I can feel my concentration improving.

Tuesday, 6-8-04 at 22:24

So much to do, so little time. Ain’t that always the way it goes? And to make matters worse, I’ve killed a few hours on Civ III today and yesterday. Tsk Tsk.

Yesterday, I got interviewed by WDBJ-7 in Roanoke for a short news series (probably three days) that they will do on our storm chase. I did a short interview last year, but not quite as extensive as this one.

Hopefully everything related to the chase will be on this page by the end of the week.

Today’s update is chase equipment.

Sunday, 6-6-04 at 13:32

I fixed my bike today. Only got out about two miles, but I hadn’t ate anything, so I started to get the shakes and came back. A far cry from the 40-50 i was doing daily as a 15 year old.

Thursday, 6-3-04 at 8:44

Long time no post. Last week our A/C was broke, so I was staying out of the apartment as much as possible. A/C is now fixed, but I got a notice saying my digipeater antenna had to come down. Now it’s cut, so whether Raines did it or the storm the other night did, I don’t know.

Storm Chase 2004 is up. I still have video clips and stills (from video) to add, but that is the initial round of pictures. The journal and chase team links are also up. More to follow!

Tuesday, 5-25-04 at 14:58

Updates coming soon from my chase trip. A forecasting and photographic success, though not so much for the state of Nebraska.

Spring 2004 archived.