Yesterday, I dropped JoAnna and Joey off at the conference and then did a little driving. I drove nearly to Erie, PA, then turned around and drove to Steubenville, OH. I did most of my driving so that I could operate my amateur radio equipment from new counties. I operated from 3 counties in PA, 2 in WV, and 2 in OH.
In the evening, I picked up JoAnna and Joey, and then we met our old friend, Atta, at a Whole Foods. We hadn’t seen Atta in years, though she was our roommate for a few days back in 2006, and a good friend for many years after. It was good to catch up to her!
I have been out storm chasing with a few Virginia Tech alumni for the past two weeks. I haven’t had time to post on this blog, and am behind on my storm chase blog as well.
This storm chase has been probably the best chase I have ever done. My chase team was solid. We caught four tornadoes in four states. We were on severe storms almost every day. Navigation, costs, and everything were within spec. I did get a few hail dents, but kept all of the windows.
I did lose a former student during this time. Unfortuately, my former student and friend, Ben Nzavi, drowned while trying to save his daughter, who fell in a lake and also drowned.
I’m in a little post-chase depression, as usual, after our last chase day. I just dropped Kathryn off at the Tulsa airport, and said goodbye to Alex, Aaron and Dan, as they drive back to VA. I am at a Waffle House just north of town, getting ready for my long trek west.
Yesterday was a relatively easy day. I drove to Magdalena and did some tutoring. I turned in my timesheet and had a discussion about my retirement plan. Afte that, it was into the classroom for me.
In the afternoon, I returned to NMT, and administered several individualized final exams. I do these for each of my students; they have to explain to me why they got the answers they got on a problem set. I pick a problem, and each student picks a problem. That way, they have to do all of them, and they get the experience of teaching someone else. After both problems are completed, I ask them what questions they had on the final, (what problems they were hoping I didn’t choose!) From there, I explain the fundamental principles each student might have missed. I need some practice, but I think this is a different way of thinking about final exams.
In the evening, I went to a college student-led church group. One of my students invited me a few weeks ago, and several other students of mine were there. This is only the second time I’ve attended, but it is always a good time.
After that, I went for a walk. I ran into a former student and chatted with her for the better part of an hour. It was good to catch up!
I had dinner at my brother’s house, and then crashed there for the evening.
Yesterday, I watched the reports of the great Snowpocalypse from Facebook, while I enjoyed the upper 50’s here in New Mexico.
The weather was so nice that Joey and I spent some quality time in the reloading shed, cranking out ammunition. Well, not quite. But we decapped and sized some ammunition, and I made a list of things that were missing or needed to be replaced. I did manage to get a .223 case stuck in a sizing die, which is quite annoying.
After that, we went to a friend’s birthday party at Viet Taste and had a generally good day.
This evening, I knocked out my Spanish homework and am now getting ready for bed.
Yesterday was a productive day. I started out the day commuting to Socorro, an posting on my weather blog. I then picked up a radio kit that we will put together as a group in the amateur radio class that I teach. I did quite a bit of tutoring yesterday as well.
I had a late lunch with an old friend. He made homemade breadsticks, and we discussed Patrick McManus, one of our favorite authors. We chatted long enough that I missed the bus back to the train station. I ended up working around my office until almost 11. I refilled my water jugs, spoke with a senior design group, updated the chemical engineering webpage and did quite a bit of reading journal articles.
In the evening, I crashed at my brother’s house.
Overall, it was a good day. Thank you for reading my post.
Yesterday was a big blur. I woke up later than I wanted to, but then went into productive/spending money mode. My first affair was changing the battery on the Malibu, which I did, after two stops and $112. I then stopped at Albertson’s and picked up salt for our water softener, $56 later.
I ran into one of my former students at Albertson’s and chatted with her for a while. Unfortunately, she is out of work and looking for a job, too. The low gas prices have taken their toll on the chemical engineering students.
After that, I installed the battery in the Malibu and then drove to Whole Foods, to buy some groceries. I returned with one gross of eggs and a backseat full of firewood.
I unloaded all of these things and then we drove to Santa Fe for the evening, as my girlfriend’s friend had invited us to dinner.
Dinner was great; I met quite a few new people and toured their million dollar home, which I’d never imagined myself being in a million dollar home.
In the late evening, we came home and bundled up for bed, as it was around 20 F when we arrived.
Yesterday, we began our long trip back to the southwest. Naturally, we did not take a direct route. We left Lodi, OH, in the afternoon and headed west to operate amateur radio equipment from two new counties. Then, we turned towards Chicago.
In Chicago, we caught up with some old friends from my girlfriend’s high school, whom we had not visited since 2009 or so. We met them at the Hollywood Grill in downtown Chicago, and had a great visit.
The drive here was relatively easy, other than a little traffic in Chicago, and a crowded gas station in Gary, IN. There was also a stray kitten in Gary; the kitten wouldn’t quite let me pet him or her, but would follow people in the parking lot. I considered taking the kitten home, but I saw that there was a food and water dish outside of the gas station, so someone is taking care of the kitten.
After that, we headed southwest, spending the night at a Quality Inn in Joliet, IL.