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Catching Up

Recent events

85/100 on Circuits test… Not exactly what I would have hoped for, but better than I was expecting after I screwed up the op-amps. I’ve gotta kick it into a higher gear here soon, if I want to pull out of the mid-B rut that I’ve gotten myself into in the class.

Started building an ROV with Dan Marsh and the TRC. For more, see Dan’s post about it.

Collecting parts for a future SRS Robo-Magellan entry. Recently picked up a GPS reciever module (thanks to Dan for the tip). The module requires an active antenna, so I went looking for a good one, and settled on the Mighty Mouse II, a high gain, low power active antenna that rocks my socks. An especially big shout out to Tri-M Systems for working with me to help get the unit from Canada to the TRC quickly and efficiently. Go buy their stuff, yo!
Tri-M Systems

Saw Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy twice in two days. Once was plenty, but a combination of circumstance and commitment led me to watching it a second time. Suffice it to say that it’s not one of those movies that gets better the second time through. I didn’t hate it the first time, though, and the second time, though not anywhere near wonderful, was not bad, and the company (Shai and Beth) was good too.

Installed a 9-in-4 card reader in my desktop computer. The unit was recieved from Dan along with a wired USB optical mouse in exchange for a Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer that wasn’t well-suited for gaming due to miniscule but noticable start-up lag times, and wasn’t well suited for a laptop due to its battery requirements. I think the trade was mutually beneficial. Everyone shoudl trade more, its good for everyone involved (but if I went too much further down this line of thought, I’d have to add this to the political category as well).

Began helping Erik set up his new dedicated server. Debian Linux is a good distro. It should go back to #1, yo., and perhaps, will host some of their websites on the new server as well. The server is from ServerPronto, and its a good price for a dedicated server with the specs it boasts. We’ll see how it holds up once Erik’s proxy servers get going.

Played Ultimate Frisbee at the UW’s intramural field 1 on Friday with the team of Bobby, Jake, Joe, and others. We lost by a point to an evenly matched team, which seems to be the story of my ultimate life. It was good fun, however. Afterwards, we hung out at the UW until seeing Hitchhiker’s for the first time.

Went to a doctor Thursday morning. I have low blood pressure. Nothing too serious, though, apparently. I can eat more salt. Is this a good thing?

Talked to Scott about the upcoming bike trip.

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Catching Up

Thursday Morning, I awoke around 8:30, dressed for a morning football game in the rain, picked up Scott, and headed to Newport High School’s football field. These days, Scott and I are “old” people (better than 19) so we joined forces with that crowd against the younger crowd. And it was a crowd – it was the largest turkey bowl in my memory. But the numbers only seemed to help the old people; we slammed the younger guys pretty well. So bad, that we had to switch up teams to make it resemble a competitive game again. I wasn’t too productive on the offensive side of things, with only a couple of catches and one interception-shortened series as QB (after the teams got switched), but I also had two interceptions and a very good time.

Unfortunately, I also jammed the index finger on my left hand pretty badly at the beginning of the game. It swelled up pretty well and made me less agressive throughout the rest of the day. And its still hurting, so I may have to see if there was any additional damage. While I’m at it, I might as well have my right pinky looked at too, which has never been up to par after a flag football game way back in my early high school days.

After the turkey bowl, I dropped off Scott, returned home, and made myself presentable for company. And there was lots of company. My aunt and uncle (Dad’s brother Mike and Marie) came from Florida, my sister Robin and her family (husband Dave, daughters Zoe and Thea) came from Seattle proper along with a family friend and her daughter (as an aside, the friend, whom I had never met, showed up first. I looked quizically at her as she drove up, which prompted her to ask, “Is this the right place?” Having no idea, really, I responded, “Maybe…”). Also, my cousin (Christine, daughter of Mike) and her Husband Luca and daughter Isabella were there, along with my brother and his girlfriend (soon to be fiancee) Kaylee. It was quite a crowd, with a good contingent of youngsters mixed in.

Then came the food. We are not always a traditional thanksgiving-feast family, so instead of turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes, we had roast beef and wild duck, mashed sweet potatoes and baked potatoes (which I mashed myself, because I’m not too much of a fan of sweet potatoes), and various other misundry fruits and vegetables and other items. It was really quite good, but I sure do miss downing those perectly mashed potatoes smothered in turkey gravy. Hand-mashed potatoes in beef juice is still pretty good, though.

After dessert, we sang some songs, which the kids seems to especially enjoy, told some thanksgiving stories (Marie, as a kindegarten schoolteacher, was most excellent at this). Then we mostly hung out and talked and got tired early. Seems to happen when its pitch black by 5:00. I still managed to stay up late, though, because Theo was comign over. We managed to lock the door on him, so when he arrived about 1:00, he had to get my attention by lightly rocking my window. It finally worked, and we stayed up until 300 playing around (albeit unsuccessfully, moslty) with Linux f the Gentoo variety.

The next morning, I awoke late, enjoyed breakfast, and then people started to arrive for the party. With Scott, Dan, Colin, Theo, Ben, Kaylee, Jim, and Julie ready to go, we began to figure out how to enter GPS coordinates into our three units (it wasn’t too hard) and then we began our journey. The first Geocahce we stopped at was called Forest Drive Pipeline, and it was, predictably, by Forest Drive. We took the hard way, through woods the entire time, and then we spent a good fifteen minutes with all of us wandering around in the area until Dan found the cache itself, an ammo box hidden beneath some branches and leaves in the nook of a maple tree. I filled out the log book, and then we took a pink carribeaner and left an alligator clip (as is the custom, you take an object and leave another object).

It had been a while since I’d been out tromping through the woods, and it was good to do it again. I had a lot of fun, and even though I made my shoes and pants pretty dirty, it was well worth it. We stopped at McDonalds for lunch, then we drove to the Red Town trailhead where we started the hike for Geocache #2. This one, which I was attracted to because of its less-than-trivial difficulty numbers and pretty photo, was called Sandstone Falls. The hike only needed to be 1.5 miles each way, but we took the long way on the way there and ended up taking more like a 4 mile hike, which I also enjoyed, but along with soreness from the Turkey bowl, I was moving pretty slowly by the end of the day. Since it was getting past 4 by this point, we abandoned further attempts at geocaching and returned home for fooding.

Joining us at this point were Beth and Maneesh. Clams, french dip (thanks to my wodnerful mom), and caesar salad were the main menu items, and the all were good (I am told, as I cannot speak for the clams, which I did not partake of). We also played Pass the Pigs quite competitively, followed by a few rounds of Setbefore we generally became just a bunch of talkers. Beth and I were unable to rally the troops for a game of Mafia, so I suppose that it will have to wait until next time. If I’m not too old the next time around…

Everyone was leaving around 9:00, so I got Beth and Scott to take home. After droppin Beth off, Scott and I drove all over creation (from Bellevue to North Seattle to Des Moines and back) talking up a storm. I finally returned him at 2:00 am. It’ll be good to have him back for the month of December, even though he’s taking a week and a half off for a swimming camp. Crazy man, but what else should I expect?

Saturday was another busy day, in which I made a brief appearance at a lego league session, went shopping, attended Tim‘s Eagle Scout Court of Honor, got miscommunicated with more lego league stuff, then went to Max’s birthday party at Mary and Jason’s place in Redmond. It was good to see them all again, even if Jen and I aren’t as good at Cranium as we wanted to be. I guess it makes sense that the newly expecting couple should have more of a mental connection than the rest of us. That ended with me taking home some hard drives to try figuring out what was wrong with Jason’s desktop. The drives appear to be not-so-good (aka bad). Speaking of which, my computer is giving me issues as well, but thats not for this post.

Sunday, I went to church, where Max spoke, and where I realized that my old ward (Cougar Mountain) is a lot nicer to attend than the one I was going to most recently (Singles). More people I know, more people I like talking too, better lessons, talks, environment… I think I know where I’ll be next Sunday. After all that, I worked on a linear algebra project, making a program to calculate the determinant of a matrix recursively. Its pretty fast until you get to about 8×8 matrices, and then it slows to a crawl, because recursive cofactor expansion is just about the worst way to calculate a determinant that there is.

Which brings me to today, in which I worked, spilled hot chocolate on myself, got a replacement shirt from Dave (thanks, by the way!), went to class (couldn’t concentrate – too hot, a little sick, and had the computer there to work on the project), and then came home and ate. My Miles One Platinum Visa credit card also arrived. Time to start saving up miles and traveling the world on my consumerist habits! w00t.

One Response to “Catching Up”

  1. Bernie Zimmermann Says:

    There’s a segment in The Rules of Attraction where they cover this guy’s entire trip to Europe in about a minute’s time. This post kinda reminded me of that ;)

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