9/12/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I had a busy, exhausting and sad day.  The Malibu will not run again in a useable fashion.  I spent part of the day totally decommissioning it- removing antennas, radios, cleaning stuff from the glove box, trunk, and under the seats.  It took several hours, as I removed some of the cabling as well.

In the morning, I worked on the car until it was time to tutor at Magdalena.  I tutored, half-heartedly for several hours.

After that, I went back to NMT and taught two sections of instrumentation lab, plus a makeup session, back-to-back-to-back.  It was six hours of solid teaching.  I also did some work on the Physics Cavendish experiment, starting out the user interface and laying the groundwork for the file-writing capabilities.

After I finished that, I worked on the car some more, and also organized my truck, as I had piled much of the Malibu’s content haphazardly in the truck.

I walked to my brother’s house, but he had gone to bed by the time I got there.

I fasted the entire day, and today is a lot better, even with the slight headache.

Thank you for reading my post.

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9/11/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I started out the day with bad news.  I went and worked on the Malibu for a bit, adding coolant and running it.  It was incredibly hard to start, even jumping the battery from the truck.  I also noticed that there is coolant leaking from the head gasket, though it could be leaking from the valve covers down to the head gasket area, but I can’t get in to see.  Either way, things don’t look good for my car.  And I like that car more than I like most people.

After that, I did some work around the chemical engineering department.  I graded some assignments and worked on a few things for this week’s lecture and lab.

For lunch, I met with the dynamo group and caught up on the last month’s worth of work.  I picked up the latest software backup and schematics.

In the afternoon, I tried to track down some paperwork, and kept tabs on the Unit Operations lab while I wandered around campus.  I also tried to track down some packages I ordered several weeks ago that have never arrived.

In the evening, I ran back-to-back Varsity Tutors sessions, both of which were successful.  That platform is working out beautifully.

I then went for a walk, and then to my brother’s house for the evening.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

8/30/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I hitched a ride with a few teachers to Magdalena, worked for several hours, and then rode back to Socorro with my brother.  We had some Arby’s lunch and then I went to Unit Operations Lab.

Unit Operations Lab went well, and there are only a few things that need to be addressed by next week.  That lab is starting to stabilize, where a little work makes big improvements, though I have plenty I want to work on still.

In the late afternoon, I added some more coolant to the Malibu, and I didn’t see where it was overheating any more.  Even so, I took the bus and train home (and brought my truck down to NMT today).

JoAnna and I sat outside in the nice weather and chatted until bedtime.  Overall, it was a good day.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

8/29/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent a frustrating day in Socorro.  I started out the day by knocking out things from my to-do list at an accelerated pace.  Everything was going well.  Then, before I drove to Magdalena, I topped off the coolant in the Malibu and drove west.

I only made it as far as Box Canyon, and the car had overheated.  I pulled over and found that I had forgot to put the radiator cap back in place.  All of the coolant had boiled out, hence the overheating.  Once the smoke and steam cleared, I struggled, but was able to restart the car.  I drifted down Sedillo hill a few hundred yards before it overheated again, so I pulled over, let it cool off and then repeated this process the entire way back to NMT.  Along the way, I met a friendly state trooper who wondered what I was doing.

Once I arrived at NMT, I parked it for a bit, then added some coolant.  I restarted the car and watched for smoke or water from the tailpipe, or “chocolate milk” in the oil, none of which showed up.  However, the car overheated again.  I don’t think I added enough coolant, and so by heating the car up, I really just removed the big bubble of air that was in the radiator.

Either way, I have to figure something else out.  I missed a day at Magdalena, and that hurts my pay, as well as my reputation for showing up.

After all of that, I entered my six hours of teaching labs that ran from 2 PM to 8 PM.  I assisted with the Freshman Chemical Engineering lab.  We ran a small steam engine and demonstrated that process.  I think everyone enjoyed that demo.  After that, I taught two sections of instrumentation lab, my first of the semester.  I didn’t go super smoothly, but I think it went alright.  We soldered, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

After that, I walked to my brother’s house and put an end to this disaster of a day.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

8/8/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent the day moving equipment in Socorro.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I am almost finished.  Perhaps I will be able to move onto other projects after I finish with this nonsense.

I commuted to Socorro with the Malibu.  It will live down there during the semester, available for my commutes to Magdalena.  It took a minute or two to get started, but then it ran the whole way without any hiccups.

In the evening, I commuted home via train and bus.  JoAnna picked me up at the bus station, and we spent the rest of the night chatting and having a good time.  We sat outside in the pleasant evening.  Joey came out and showed us photos from the Joan Jett and Boston concert he had attended a few weeks ago.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

 

7/31/17: Daily Post

Yesterday was my first day back in Socorro after my trip to Illinois.  I started out the day by meeting with my department head to see what had been screwed up since I last set foot on campus.  As it turns out, we have like two weeks to move our pilot scale plant equipment out of the storage space we were given last summer, after they forced us out of another space.  Naturally, there is no funding, no help, and no new storage space to do all of this.

Anyway, after stewing about it for a bit, I realized that some of the administration is mentally handicapped, and it is not fair to belittle them.  Me, being an engineer, I will figure out what to do.  I started moving things around and sorting through our stuff.  Even so, I started applying for other jobs.  Not saying I will leave, but this moving every five minutes is starting to piss me off.  If I move without additional pay, there will be no incentive for them to ever pay me extra again.  If I don’t move, they’ll make it an issue at a more inconvenient time.  Either way, with other offers, I will be free to tell them where to stick their job at any moment.

In the evening, I commuted home.  I did find out that the bus schedule is going to change, and that, if I stay at NMT and Magdalena, my commute will be nearly an hour and a half shorter!

I did a little grocery shopping and headed home.  I was able to jumpstart the Malibu, and it seems to be running just fine.   I will probably take it for a spin in a few days, just to keep it running.

Thank you for reading my post.

10/15/16: Daily Post

Yesterday, I started out by attending the Socorro Hamfest and acting as a Volunteer Examiner (VE).  The VE’s administer the amateur radio licensing exams.  I am proud to say that this past test session netted about 9 new tech students as amateur radio operators.  Several folks from the community did well as well.  In fact, everyone that entered that room left away with something- a new license or an upgrade.  I guess our cram session was successful after all.

In the afternoon, I worked on a few smaller projects, one of which was getting VHF running in the Malibu.  I didn’t make any contacts, but i heard folks on the repeater, and was able to key it up several times on my drive to Belen.

Once I arrived in Belen, I took the train to Albuquerque, picked up the Crown Vic and headed to a church that my girlfriend’s family attend.  They have a coffee house in the basement and live music every Saturday night, so that was a good show.

Thank you for reading my post.