12.26.2006

disgusted...

Today at work, in a moment of monumental stupidity, I broke some equipment. I feel so disgusted at myself for doing what I did, it was just so stupid. My boss isn't really upset. Sure he's not happy about it, but he simply gave me the name of a guy to talk to about getting it fixed. After he still bugged me about dropping out of school and coming to work for him full time. I really think I'm beating myself up worse then I need to... but it was just so stupid, and so unlike me... i have keys at school to use the easy to break stuff, because i have a reputation of being very careful... ::shakes head::

so much drama...

the stress of the holidays may have pushed the already fragile relationship between my parents too far... it has been somewhat questionable for a long time, but the back breaking straw may have been set in place... i always thought before that things would mend themselves... this time i don't have that feeling... i don't know... i wish i had a cheerier post for Christmas...

12.24.2006

crazy christmas

well, its been a crazy week. early this week we were up in toledo for a little vacation. met up with B at the zoo, and then had dinner at the maumee bay brewing company. good stuff.

thursday i went to work. same with friday. had to brush up on my c++ skills after two years of collecting dust.

watching many movies. rented dog soldiers, the dvd was fouled up and the last 15 minutes unwatchable. so i figured i'd buy it, maybe with the descent.

movie and bar with my cousin last night. we needed to get away from all the family stuff.

well, merry christmas! i'll post more when i get some time to myself. sitting in the living posting from my treo gets old fast.

You have new Picture Mail!

Cousin and I at the bar. Myspace style.

12.20.2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Does this publish?

another test

i wish pictures woud work...

12.12.2006

the eye of the storm...

i have some time to day to recharge, yay... from last thursday till this morning it has been a wonderful mess of building and tuning an antenna... about everything that could wrong did... partly our fault, we waited till the last minute to start... tuesday we had to give a presentation for the antenna which was still just numbers on a piece of paper... all the other groups had their antennas already built... thursday l and i went to the store to get the base materials to build the antenna... friday we had planned to do the bulk of the building... however due to senior design day the machine shop was closed... so we were forced to round up hand tools... l had a drill, i bought a hack saw... also because of design day the ece shop was closed so we couldn't get any bnc cables... i looked for some while i was out for the hack saw but no luck... after the rough construstion of the antenna we called it a day with a plan to meet on saturday to build up some electronics... L was able to find some bnc's cables so we also soldered those on saturday... and we were to a point that we were goingto wait till monday for the machine shop to open so we could fine tune the elements of the antenna... i spent the rest of the saturday afternoon doing some measurements at the lab... sunday was a study session and more measurements...

then monday... met up around 9... this is where things start to blur... i don't even remember what happened in the morning... things were not good... the receive antenna was not behaving at all... measuremnts were changing constantly... at 11:30 we broke up to grab some lunch and some brief studying before our 12:45 exam... the exam period is two hours... the instructor said he designed the test to take one hour... he also said he would wait around as long as people needed him to... (this ended up being almost 5 hours for one student)... the average time spent on the test seemed to be around 3 hours or a little more...

by the time we were done with the test the machine shop was closed and we hadn't have a chance to grind off some of the element material... so we were forced to use the hack saw to remove ~0.5 cm of metal... during this procedure C was able to remove some of the skin on his hand as well... we secured the elements with super glue... hopeing now measurements would be consistent with everything cut ot length and glued in place we took the reading and began designing matching networks... when we had some values for components we would need the ece shop had already closed... there was another group finishing up and they had some extra parts that they were willing to sell us, so we lucked out there... they were cool about it and sold them to use for the price they paid... i set up some lab equipment to do some tests... at about 5:30 i had to excuse myself to let my doggie out, she had been alone since 8:30...

when i returned we decided to ditch the electronics built on saturday and start over with good components and good impedance measurments... somewhere in here D showed up with some pizza... our first design didn't work... the matching netowrks in parallel did not work... frustration was settingin very heavily at this point... this was the darkest point of the project...there was lots of swearing... all hope was just about lost... L began playing around with over matching method and started to get some positive results... banking on the fact that L could get the matching to work well C and I went back to a circut i design simialr to the frist circuit from saturday... but this time we had better components to work with and a good way to measure their values... we built the circuit and it worked nearly perfectly... L was still have problems getting her matching method to work perfectly... since we were getting tired and and time was running out we decided to go withthe best match we could come up with.. we hooked up the electronics... they messed up the matches even further... we were very discouraged, but we didn't know what else ot do... we took teh final measurements cleaned up ant went home shortly before midnight... no one was cofident our antenna would work... i know L and i did not have a good feeling about it...

the first thing L said this morning in the lab was that she had nightmares about the antenna last night... we met at 8:30 this morning... our time to test the antenna was 9:36 when the satellite was passing right over michigan... at 8:50 i felt like throwing up... that's how confident i was... we went outside and positing ourselves near the street with a good view of the entire paththe sattleite would take across the sky... it was raining and in a fairly high traffic area.. we got splashed by cars and honked at...

it was time, the satellite was coming over the horizon, the first few minutes nothing but static... then some garbled voices started coming through... then the static dissappeared and it was silent and then a crystal clear voice... and so much relief rushed over us... we listened for awhile and wrote down some call signs.. then G the lab helped dude who was manning the radio started to announce our presence... and someone announced that they heard us from holland, mi(i was wearing my holland windmill shirt too, kind of neat) at this point i was ready to cry tears of joy... never have i been so frustrated with a project and so unsure about it working... when it worked it was very satsfying, becasue we certainly tried everything we could think of... it meant were weren't completely useless... we had three more contacts from iowa, penn state, and panama city beach, florida... this is the most contacts of any group so far... so not only did it work so far it has performed the best in the field... so we feel great now... we can sleep a restful sleep with no antenna nightmares... and best of all we can remain our cocky selves... building the best(still pending) antenna in the shortest amount of time...

so i'm going to relax today.. i have an exam tomorrow... but i need to decompress some... yesterday was a killer... in retrospect it was fun... but the uncertainity this morning was such a terrible feeling...

learned valuable things about some people during this project, I know who my friends are, i know who i can trust to get things done and done right... there were 6 people in the group... 3 of us did most of the work, and we needed the indiviudal talents of each of us, no one alone in our group could ahve pulled this off... two other were very willing jut they didn't have the technical know how for this project, this i'm fine with, they were always willing to help when asked... then one guy complained about everything and offered almost no help at all, and was often just getting in the way... these things i will remember... C and L, i hope to work with you guys again some time in the future, it was fun...

time for a nap...

12.09.2006

Ice Forest

here's the rest of the pictures from the trail by my apartment after the snow and ice... i'm extremely happy with how they turned out... let me know if you want to see the full size panoramics... enjoy!

Ice Forest


oh i also found a free ftp program that i like very much so far... Core FTP

12.07.2006

it has been awhile. i've been busy and will for another week... then its over for a bit.

hurrah!

here's some of my latest photography... along my hiking trail after the ice...