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Becoming a Photographer Again

It has been a good long since I took a trip just for photography. Today, that changed. After school, I took a stroll in the beautiful weather to Greenlake — about a mile away — and took some pictures of the scenery and wildlife in the brilliant afternoon sun. The last few days have also been photographically fruitful — as evidenced by the Heron pictures last week and a few more that I will share here. Finally, last night, I purchased some long-overdue accessories: UV filters for my 75-300 zoom and my new 10-22 zoom, and a new bag that can fit everything at once in a nice compartmentalized way. Finally, I picked up my first circular polarizer and have been pleased. It is nice to get back into the mode of thinking in pictures.

SR-520 and Bellevue

Duck Friends

Mallard Close-Up

Gull in Flight

Illinois versus Maryland

Ban Guns? 6 Dead in N. Illinois U. Hall Shooting

Or Ban Cars? Car Hits Md. Street-Race Crowd; 8 Killed

Maybe we just ought to ban people?

Great Blue Heron

I Am A Ron Paul Delegate

I took part in my first ever Presidential Caucus today. Since my permanent address is still in Bellevue, I met up with my parents and arrived at Eastgate Elementary’s Gym just before 1:00. We spent a few minutes looking for our precinct among the dozens meeting at the same place. It turns out that we were the first from our precinct to show up, so we sat down with our sign and tried to make heads or tails of the situation. Eventually a fourth precinct member showed up, and we were under way. Since our precinct had no precinct committee officer (PCO), we first needed to elect a Chairman. My mom suggested me, and my Dad and our new lawyer friend agreed. I then appointed my Dad as the secretary, since he was already writing down what was going on.

After some discussion and an explanation of the process, we got down to business. First we nominated delegates. I was nominated, and I nominated Rando, the lawyer. After three calls for additional nominations with no names put forward, we voted. I (somewhat predictably, I guess) received three votes and Rando one. This elected me to the position of delegate for our precinct, with Rando as the alternate.

The process was extraordinarily easy, and, as the title says, I am now a Ron Paul delegate.

Bowling With The Boys

Jon, getting word that Sunvilla, a local bowling joint was closing, put together what was supposed to be a last hurrah Rock n’ Bowl last night. Well, it turns out that Sunvilla is not closing, but the bowling was still fun. I lost the first two games to Shai and Jon, respectively, but then I came roaring back to take the next three. Huzuh!

I Do Not Like To Lose

And so, I shall win.

Capstone Ruminations

First, an email I recently wrote:

Hi,

I have been planning to take the Robotics Capstone this spring, although I have also been paying attention to this year’s 477 capstone because of my interest in the hardware-software interface. However, because of my rather full schedule, I thought it unwise to take the two lead-up classes to 477 (they would have pushed me to 19 and 18 credits, respectively), so I stuck with the Robotics plan.

Looking ahead to next quarter, however, I am wavering on my commitment. There is a Bioengineering class that I am interested in taking as my final Bioengineering senior elective and it happens to conflict with the Robotics capstone. In the interest of exploring all possibilities, would there be a problem with me taking the 477 capstone even though I am tentatively signed up for robotics and I haven’t taken either of the two lead-up classes?

Please let me know if this would cause any problems, or if it is even possible at this juncture.

Thanks!

~Ryan McElroy
Computer Engineering and Bioengineering
University of Washington

The “final senior elective” I refer to is Systems and Synthetic Biology, taught by Herb Sauro. If I ever get the proper credit for Neural Engineering, I don’t technically need another senior elective, but I’m here at the UW to gain interesting and useful knowledge, not just to get a degree, so I am still interested in taking it.

All this thinking about next quarter also led to a rather improbable thought: What if, instead of slacking off next quarter, I decided to go for broke and took an additional 9 credits of research, allowing me to graduate with distinction (departmental honors) from the CSE department (I am already on track to do this in Bioengineering, where the requirements are not quite as demanding as in the CSE department).

To do this would require that I find a professor willing to put up with me doing 9 credits of research in one quarter, but I know at least one professor who might be crazy enough to consider the idea.