Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ute Hype!?

Every year it starts earlier and earlier. Just as in years past, there's speculation about the Utes being a team to watch. While its true that the Utes have an incredibly tough schedule this next year, it's difficult to expect that they will win a majority of those games. This Sporting News article here mentions the possibility of the Utes even busting the BCS. I'll believe it when I see it...

Sr. Project

On Thursday I had to present my Sr. Project to a group of judges students and faculty. The presentation went great. Although I still have a little bit to go on my project (Because the mechanical engineering students with whom I am working don't have to finish for a couple of more weeks), it was very nice to get this over with. If you really are interested in my presentation, you can check out my slides here.

Here is my abstract that was published in the Open House Guide:


Tyler Squire, DJ Burton, Jason England, Justin McKinnon, Justin Prince (Angela Rasmussen (Electrical and Computer Engineering), A. K. Balaji (Mechanical Engineering)), EFI Electronics, Salt Lake City, UT 84104

The Titan 40W testing cell redesign project was to automate the rigorous testing procedure that each unit undergoes. The Titan 40W is a high-voltage three-phase, surge suppression device. It is designed and manufactured at EFI Electronics, which is a part of Square D. A voltage surge of 1300 V is used to test whether the unit suppresses the voltage correctly. Another test is a full power test in order to verify that the unit functions properly and that the LEDs on the front of the unit light up when the device is working. Previously this test was done by hand and required the full attention of the employee at the test station. The automation was done by using a programmable logic controller (PLC) to run the test and by designing a device that holds the unit and shears the wires when finished. The main goals of the redesign were to simplify the testing process in order to minimize human error, increase productivity and improve the quality of the product that is being manufactured.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!

Earlier this week (on Tuesday to be exact) Alison and I scored some tickets (thanks Ang and Hyrum) to go to a dinner with the Jazz coaches and players. On the day of the event, Coach Sloan informed everybody that he let the players stay home to rest so it would only be him and Coach Phil Johnson (a one-time coach of the year (1974-75)). This unfortunate decision is what allowed Alison and myself to attend.

While it would have been cool to meet some of the players, it was still fun to have a free dinner - which was very nice. The coaches spoke for a few minutes and answered questions from attendees. The most interesting thing that we learned was that Matt Harpring is not a morning person.

The highlight of the evening was meeting the coaches and getting our picture taken with them. We also had them sign a Jazz season calendar.

*** I'd also like to grant a Happy Birthday wish to Coach Sloan who turned 65 on Wednesday.***

Saturday, March 24, 2007

How Fast is Your Connection?

As you can see from the graphic below, I've got a blazing connection to the internet here at home. Although it is a simple DSL connection, it only has about 20 feet to travel on phone lines that are 44 years old until it connects to the U's network.

Look at how that speedometer is redlining.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hot Dog Failure

Last Friday in Sacramento, Scott made another attempt at breaking his own (16) hot dog eating record. He was talking big and telling us how he was going to eat 21 hot dogs, then he changed that to eating just 17 hot dogs. When all was said and done he finished with 13 hot dogs - not nearly enough to break the record. I won't mention that he had a heaping portion of goulash for breakfast, 2 large slices of North Shore Pizza and big bread bowl of clam chowder in San Francisco that day. Either way, its probably more hot dogs than I can (or would want to) eat.

Two years ago in Tucson he did eat 16 hot dogs though. Here is a little video of this now 'World Famous' attempt.

Video: Scott's 16 Hot Dogs

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sanjaya's Girlfriend...

Because it is spring break, I got to watch American Idol today rather than on the weekend. I've always wondering who is crazy enough to vote for Sanjaya. Tonite we got our answer.
A photo is worth a thousand words...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Chinese* Tongue Twister...

I had to post this video. One of Alison's friends sent it to her. It's funny and will make all of the boys wince.
*UPDATE (from Abby): She let me know that this video is actually Japanese and not Chinese - oops.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weber State, Weber State,...

I just returned from Sacramento where I watched the first and second round games of the NCAA tournament. We had a couple of really good games, but one of the best parts was watching Weber State (even though they got demolished by UCLA). We were decked out in our purple and it's fun to cheer on one of your hometown teams.

One of the best parts of these trips has to be the food. Below is a picture of a 2 x 4 (2 meat patties, 4 slices of cheese) from In-N-Out that I had before the first games. By the third time that we went to In-N-Out on our trip, I had upped the ante to a 3 x 3 burger animal style. Check here for a peek at In-N-Out's "secret menu".
While eating our burgers and waiting for the games to start, we were interviewed by a reporter from the Sacramento Bee. It makes us all sound like drunk slobs, which in reality is what we are on these trips... Here is an excerpt (You can download the full article here).

Revelers flock to Arco
NCAA men's basketball tournament
By Blair Anthony Robertson - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, March 16, 2007

On Thursday morning, the place to be was the massive parking lot at Arco Arena.
The sky was clear, the sun halfway up in the sky and there was not a hint of a breeze, a perfect time to wake up -- and warm up -- to a full day of sold-out NCAA basketball.

It was also a perfect time for folding chairs and hanging out with friends or making friends, a perfect time for chips and salsa and sausage on the hibachi. Oh, and it was a perfect time for a beer or two before heading inside for the first of four one-and-done tournament games.

NCAA playoff basketball is for all kinds of people, but many men insisted Thursday it was a time to just be a guy again. Out go the manners, in comes the beer, the belching and the overeating. They'll play by the rules again next week.

In the adjacent section of the parking lot, four guys who flew in from Utah sat on a patch of grass and devoured In-N-Out burgers and french fries. Hitting the tournament -- and digging into the food -- has become an annual tradition.

"I love being with the guys. Leave the wife and kids and sister at home, do guy things like pig out and watch guy movies, clog the toilets at the hotels, whatever happens," said Tyler Squire, 25, who, for the record, was talking with his mouth full while eating a 2x4 burger with the works.

Squire was attending the tournament with his brother, Jordan, 21, brother-in-law Jeff Whitesides, 31, and father, Kim Squire. They planned to attend all four games Thursday before heading off for their own private hot dog eating contest, which has become another tradition. The record is held by Scott Reese, Kin Squire's brother-in-law in Sacramento, who ate 16 hot dogs at Wienerschnitzel when the NCAA first round was in Tucson a couple of years ago.

Not all the fans were there for the beer and the food. Some seemed absolutely refined as they made the stroll from their cars to the Arco turnstiles.

Yes, we are slobs, yes, Scott really did eat 16 hot dogs (and buns) in one sitting (I'll post on that later), and yes, somebody (also allegedly Scott) did clog the toilet at one of our hotels. Doesn't this sound like fun?

We also spent most of Friday in San Francisco. I'll post a little bit on that once I've got some pictures. For now, I'll try and work off some of my new fat...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stop the Bleeding!

It looks like tuition and fees are going to increase another 7% next year, easily outpacing inflation yet once again (Although, I have always paid quite a bit more than the above 'conservative' estimates due to lab fees, class fees, and what the heck fees). This isn't a post complaining about how expensive tuition is because I know that there are a lot of people out there who pay a lot more than me. This is a post complaining about how quickly costs are skyrocketing and how little people seem to care.

It is almost as if once education became attainable for the lower and middle classes, society saw a need to price them out of it - in order to keep education for the bourgeosie, of course. At least I've only got one more year of this nonsense but if rates continue to climb like they have for the last 6 years (8.11%), when Ada is in school she will be paying:

It's a runaway train with no signs of stopping. Ada will have to get a job when she's 10 to even have a chance at paying for school.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

This has got to be the most wonderful time of the year. The tournament teams have been selected and the field is set. This is your official invitation to join a group that I created on In order to join,

1. Visit and either log on or create a free account.

2. Search for the group: 'The Juice Bar' (without the apostrophes) and enter the password: utah.

3. Invite anybody else that you think would like to play, including spouses, family, friends, etc.

There is no prize for the winner, unless somebody wants to pony up for some loot. If you want to keep track at home, I have created an Excel spreadsheet from an MS template that you can download here. It may give you security warnings and errors but there are no macros left in the spreadsheet so it is perfectly safe.

Go Weber!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Visited Countries

create your own visited country map

I've visited 9 of the world's countries which is only 4% of the total. The good news is that I've been to countries that comprise 26.6% of the world's landmass.

Looks like I've got a little traveling to do ;).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

To the Google Readers:

Everybody that uses Google Reader (or similar RSS reader) may have noticed a small change recently. Instead of publishing my whole blog to the feeder I have changed it to only show the first few lines. This will force all of you RSS readers to visit my blog and be counted by my hit counter. For everybody that doesn't know what RSS, XML and other 'feeds' are then check out this post by a friend of mine.

I had been trying to use to read the blogs that I follow but it never updated the blogs that I read. After reading Ben's convincing post on Google Reader, I have been using it and just love it. As much as I try and use products made by companies other than Google, they always just seem to be a step ahead of the game.
Google Reader allows you to "subscribe" to a blog or other frequently updated webpage. When a new post or article is posted on that site then it is also posted in your Google Reader viewing pane. Therefore, if you check for updates on 10 blogs everyday, but some are infrequently updated, this tool saves you time. Mr. Google is a genius.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Here's a random photo for your Monday:
It's a picture (scanned from the newspaper - hence the poor quality), that appeared in the Deseret News in January 2005. The picture is of former Utah Governor Olene Walker obviuosly having a blast... On New Year's Eve 2004, I 'met' Olene at the Fiesta Bowl party. We were slowly making our way through a crowd and I ended up squished against her so I placed my arm around her and said "hello Olene" and "Go Utes." Those were the days!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Goodbye Giac!

It's official. Coach Giacoletti resigned from coaching the men's basketball team earlier today. I had a 'Fire Giac!' blog post all written up and saved as a draft but I never had the heart to post it (or lack therof I should say) and the Utes won their last couple games. I really am sorry to see him go. I like him. He's a nice guy and I wanted to see him do well. He'll still coach through the end of the season - technically the Utes could win the National Championship. Isn't that a nice thought?

Dr. Hill has a big job on his hands now. Hopefully there are some willing candidates. I hope he takes a close look at Coach Rose...

Now if the Utes could just win their next game for the Coach. Win one for the Giac!