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    • A grand entrance. Ready for a fantastic night! #albakchan
    • #albakchan the main event
    • Commute
    • Meat, bread, and succotash.

Long Beach, California

As part of my CREE Traineeship, I am in Long Beach, California, for the 34th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Controlled Release Society. I’m not too interested in controlled release myself, but I came here for the location and the people. We got in last night a little past 10 after a slightly delayed flight, then we took a shuttle to our hotel before wandering around the waterfront for several hours, returning at around 2:00am. The night was nice and mild; this also means that there were many homeless people out and about or sleeping. We weren’t harassed too much though. Despite our wanderings, we didn’t find the beach (we happened to head the wrong way along the shore; my fault), so along with checking into the conference, I think we will try to find the beach today.

The hotel we are staying at doesn’t have any wireless, so this morning I went to the local Radio Shack and picked up a MIMO Wireless-G router. I’ve been without an extra router for a while, so I think it was a worthwhile purchase even without the current need. Plus now I can blog from anywhere in the hotel complex, and everyone around has access too, since I don’t implement WEP or WPA.

Now its time to shower after my morning job to Radio Shack and then head to the convention center.

Fixing The Car

I was recently asked just what “fixing the car” entailed during the last trip. Well, it actually had nothing to do with the ladder incident. It turns out that my roomate’s car has a bit of an overheating problem. Thus:

Kunlun Observes the Engine After the overheating
Preparing the Wires We got some wires
The Fan Connector Found the fan connector
Well Stripped Stripped the wires (My Leatherman Rocks!)
Cutting the Light Cut the headlamp case…
Cut Headlamp Case To allow a wire to snake in
Plugged In Plugged the wires in to the fan
Wiring Job And taped down all the wires

So, whenever we turned the headlamps on, the fan turned on too. The result? Much less overheating. A proper radiator cap picked up at an auto parts store helped futher.

Labor Day Weekend In Photos

Crater Lake

Crater Lake
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August In Pictures

Kaylee Graduates
Kaylee Graduates

Ryan is inspired by the Tube of Sound and Fire
Tube of Sound and Fire
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Intrepid Tripping

After getting back from Michigan/Ohio, I think I’ve been bit by the travel bug… Now I’m in Central Oregon, having just been to Crater Lake. I’m headed to the Redwood forests tomorrow morning, and then up the coastal highway Monday.

Its been an… “exciting” trip so far. I’m traveling with my roommate, and his car — a Dodge Intreppid — has already overheated a couple of times while driving up to Crater Lake. The problem is an apparently undersized cooling system and the failure of his cooling fans. So we took a couple of hours and we ended up hooking the fan up to the headlight circuit — it definitely seems to be helping. Then I took over driving, and almost immediately I ended up running over an aluminum ladder in the middle of I-5 at 60 mph. No joke. Luckily, we seem to have escaped with no major damage. About ten miles down the road, a doe and her two fawns were crossing an I-5 exit ramp. I barely avoided hitting the last of the fawns with an all-out stop.

We took these three occurrences together to be a sign that we should hole up in a hotel immediately, rather than press our luck and try to make it to Crescent City.


I left Detroit at about 1:30 on Friday afternoon on a Greyhound Bus headed to Cleveland. We made one stop in Toledo on the way. For short rides like this, Greyhound is a pretty good way to go. It is still not suggested for long, cross-country hauls.

Upon arriving at the Cleveland station, I was immediately accosted by a homeless man who, after learning I was from Seattle, wanted to talk about the Seahawks, and of course money. I gave him some food, and then Scott picked me up. We headed to Scott’s old apartment, where I enjoyed his very big screen TV (56″) and we made soem banana bread. He then took me to an overpriced mexican joint where he main reason for going appears to be a smoking hot waitress. That establishment better hope she never leaves. That night, I slept fitfully on his couch; it was too warm all day.

On Saturday, I helped Scott move. Yeah, he just happened to be moving the weekend I showed up. It was alright though; I got to meet Ben (a jew!) and Scott kept feeding me the whole weekend for my help. Scott’s new place is a lot nicer than his old place; he is now on the ground level, has more space, a built-in air-conditioner, laundry a door away, and an attic to store his plethora or worldly posessions (as he continuously says, he is a consumer whore. Saturday night, Ben, Scott, Emma, and I went to the Boneyard, a Gameworks-like place, where we proceeded to have a good deal of fun, before searching endlessly (and fruitlessly) for a Taco Bell, before we gave up and went to one of the seven or so Wendy’s that we passed during the search.

Sunday, we lazed around, had a late breakfast at Denny’s, I got a tour of Progressive Insurance’s campus (and its extensive art collection) and then we ate again — Mexican (but not with the hot waitress), and then I was depositted at the airport, where I breezed through security, hacked into the wireless network, and had my flight delayed an hour. After meeting a Volleyball player from Trinity Western University who sat in my row, we landed in Seattle around 11:15, and Kunlun picked me up promptly after my baggage arrived just before midnight (Thanks!).

Now I am back, safe and sound in Seattle (well, as safe as that can be!)

Canada (or not)

I was hoping to travel to Toronto today, but further research has indicated that a passport is the only way to be sure I’ll ever make it back into the United States. Since I didn’t plan on having all sorts of extra time here in Michigan, I didn’t even think about brining my passport. But from now on, I’ll consider it an essential part of my travelling gear.

Meanwhile, having nothing to do is really starting to bug me. I want to rent a car, but that will be expensive. Probably worth it, but I still don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.