Monday, December 31, 2007

Squire Holiday Times - Volume II

I planned on posting this earlier, but I had some problems hosting the html file. Anyways, click on the picture below to be taken to Volume II of the Squire Holiday Times (the lame e-mail message that Alison and I send out each year). Most of you hopefully received this, but if you didn't then use the "Forward to a Friend" link at the top of the message, forward it to yourself and it will automatically subscribe you to our mailings. This is a good place to comment on how cute all those pictures of Ada are :>).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good Grades

I just finished my second to last semester and I got the best grades of my college career. I finished the semester with a 3.85 GPA. I had more credits than I've ever taken, money was tighter than ever (so I felt like I needed to work more than ever), but that must have been a recipe for success. I'm looking forward to (hopefully) my easiest semester yet. Only 10 credits, 2 classes.
Class key:
CVEEN 5700 - Nuclear Engineering I
ECE 6710 - Digital VLSI Design
ECE 6900 - Graduate Seminar (CR means credit)
ECE 6960 - History of Computer & Engineering Logic
PHYS 6610 - Physics of Electronics
UGS 4800 - Undergraduate Research

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Name That Tune:

You all know this song. How early can you tell what it is? Watch closely - eventually everybody will get it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Treat

**Update** - I had forgotten where I had first seen this video. It turns out that I originally saw it on this post from Clark's blog - gotta give credit where credit is due.

Once again, I hope that everybody had a Merry Christmas. Here's a little video treat.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas!



Merry Christmas Everybody!

This is one of my favorite times of the year - and this year has turned out to be especially nice. It's always hard for me to really get into the Christmas spirit because I refuse to think about it until finals are over. This year, however, finals ended a little earlier than usual and I feel like I've made the most of the time that I've had. Alison has done a fantastic job making our house all festive and baking lots of goodies that we've shared with friends and neighbors. She also took care of all of the Christmas shopping and finished most of it a couple of weeks ago (I haven't been to Wal-Mart in months!). This has allowed us to enjoy the time together as a family without a lot of the stressful hustle and bustle of other years.

I love Christmas music (well, most of it at least). If I didn't like non-Christmas music so much as well, then I would gladly listen to it the year round. I love eating all of the junk food and treats that happen to find themselves in my way. I love the traditions that our families have (and the traditions that Alison and I are implementing in our own family). Traditions give us things to look forward to all year long - and I think that they are a big part of the reason why Christmas is so special to everybody.

My favorite part of the holidays, though, is spending time with family and friends. I love reconnecting with people that you may only see or hear from once a year. I wish that I was better at keeping my connections to people from my past open. I usually do a poor job at "keeping in touch". It's so fun to have everybody in town with all of their kids. Ada just loves getting to know all of her cousins.

I also try to take a few moments at this time of year to ponder our Savior's birth. In doing this I always remember how blessed we are to live where we live, when we live and the talents and skills that God has given to us. I (just like many of you, I'm sure) make an extra effort to help other people out, to be a kinder driver (I'll admit, I'm fairly aggressive - although I tend to look at it as being defensive...), and to share a bit of what we have with others.

I hope that everybody has a Merry Christmas, full of peace and love!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Utah 35, Navy 32

Utah's first meeting with Navy went pretty well. They extended their bowl winning streak to 7 games and increased their bowl winning percentage to 77% (both the best in the nation - If BC loses their bowl game, then the Utes will have the longest bowl winning streak when the bowl games end as well).
Brian Johnson started out a little sluggish. The last few games he has been "Airmailing" his passes (thanks Dude) and it looked like he was going to have the same problem this game. He turned out to be the man of the night. While ESPN gave the game ball to Darrell Mack, I think that Johnson deserves it hands down. Johnson only had 7 yards less rushing than Mack - and he did it on half the carries. He ran for a touchdown and passed for another, finishing 20/25 for 226 yards.

When Utah went down 17-7 early in the third quarter, I'll admit that I was pretty nervous. Then Utah railed off 21 straight points and I began feeling a bit more comfortable. Navy (like all armed forces teams) never gave up and was very disciplined throughout the game. The Utes benefited (only slightly) from a botched call by the officials in the 4th quarter. The ball slipped out of Jerome Brooks hand as he stretched for the end zone. The ball hit the pylon and should have been a touchback - but the Utes were given the ball at the 1 yard line (props to the officials for coming out and declaring that they made the wrong call. I wish we could see this more often - both from officials and politicians ;) ). Navy stopped them on 4th and goal and got the ball back at the 1. They would have gotten the ball back on the 20 after the touchback. Not a huge difference but, its still 1/5 of the field.

Utah had a 10 point lead with 1:27 left in the game. Ute fans were feeling pretty comfortable - until, Navy scored on a 58 yard pass after only 30 seconds. This put them down by 3 with 0:57 to go. Of course, they went for an onsides kick, and after a perfect bounce they got the ball back. The win was sealed for the Utes on the second play of the drive when Joe Dale intercepted Navy's final pass of the game. Dale was another candidate for player of the game for the Utes. He had a team-high 12 tackles and made the [possibly] game-saving interception at the end of the game.

This video below is of the voiceover of the game. Lou Holtz, one of the best college coaches of all-time, gives the Utes a little love. This guy knows what he's talking about!

video

9 wins this year, we won't be satisfied with less than 10 next year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Windows Live

I got an e-mail from Windows Live Messenger yesterday. Does anybody else see a problem with this?
I hope they didn't use Excel to make their chart...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Austin, TX

Alison and I just returned from a quick visit to Austin, TX. We were sponsored by a fantastic company that I interviewed with last Friday. They were kind enough to fly Alison and myself there, give us a rental car, put us up in Embassy Suites and give us a per diem for the days that we were there. We left Ada home with her grandparents and had a great time.
Friday was a stormy day so poor Alison was stuck in the hotel all day. I spent the day interviewing (5 total) with the company. I also had to give a technical presentation. That night we were treated to dinner at The County Line (all-you-can-eat Texas Bar-B-Que). It was fantastic. We had most of Saturday all to ourselves and we used it to get to know Austin a little better. We went down to the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus. Lucky for us, it's the only one of the 13 Presidential Libraries that is free for visitors. It was very interesting. After the library, Alison and I made our way to downtown Austin. We stopped by the capital building and walked down Congress Street to 6th Street where we ate lunch at a sports bar. That night we were once again treated to dinner by the company. This one was at Abuelos.
The best part of the trip was that we actually came home with more money than when we left. With them picking up our tabs on both dinners (at least $100 total), breakfast buffets at the hotel and the per diem we were given things went very nicely. The biggest problem was that almost all of our meals were all-you-can-eat. I gained 6 pounds in 1 week because of this trip. If Alison knew she would kill me...
I think that the interviews went pretty well. They made it a very non-threatening place to interview. I was actually with a group of 20 candidates from across the country. I expected most of them to be electrical engineers but, there was actually a huge variety. There were CS majors, computer engineers, mechanical engineers, mechatronic engineers and chemical engineers among others. I know that I would enjoy working there. We should know if they are going to give us an offer one way or another by Christmas.

On another note, I have an interview for a Park City Field Engineering Position with my current employer on Wednesday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Browsing my thoughts...

Here's a few things that I've come across the last couple of days:

1. Alison's brother Spencer sent me this link of the breakdown of the final regular season football coach's poll. I've found it fascinating to look out how the votes are distributed (alphabetically, of course, but more so geographically). Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia's coach is obviously a genius. He voted Utah 20th (remember how they have 4 losses?). Take note of where BYU's votes came from as well. Most of their highest votes came from the west (you think these guys get the mtn?). Take note as well of the two coaches that didn't put BYU in the top 25. Indiana's coach and Washington's coach (Ty Willingham). As Spencer asked, do you think BYU will remember this when they play Washington next year? (Not to dive too deeply into the crap we call the BCS, I think everyone should check out these articles linked from the Millar's blog.)

2. I took my Nuclear Engineering Final Exam today. I had the option of taking it today or Monday. I don't think that I will be any smarter come Monday. On that same note, do you realize that you can buy uranium ore on amazon.com? Take note of the section "Customers Who Bought Items Like This Also Bought" and be sure to read the customer reviews. They are very clever. **Update** I forgot to mention that the fuel for the nuclear reactor here at the U arrives via FedEx. Think about that for a minute...

3. Are you looking for somewhere legal to download your music on the cheap? Look no further than grooveshark.com. They are having a sale during the 8 nights of Hanukkah and on Christmas Day. During those days all songs (DRM free or I wouldn't be recommending it) sell for a measly $.29. Do you realize that you can get 17 songs for under $5.00 at this price? I'm not sure if you still need an invitation to join or not. If you do just let me know. I've got tons. Alison and I dropped $9.86 on 34 songs the last time that they had a sale like this. Highly recommended!

4. 363 days of the year I'm an Aggie fan (USU Aggie that is). Tonight was one of the night's that I wasn't a fan. Utah played them at the Huntsman Center and totally destroyed them. They started the game 11-0 and I don't think that the Aggies ever got closer than 9 points. Nevill was getting pushed around in the paint (which is good for him - what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right?) and the officials were very, VERY inconsistent in their calls (on both sides of the ball) but it was a great game if you're a Ute fan.

5. My sister Cheryce sent me the following clip. This guy is one creepy singer (On another note [pun intended :)], I saw this similar video on dooce.com):

Monday, December 03, 2007

To Do:

Fall semester ends next week. As always, the stress is increased until all finals, projects and papers have been turned in. Once this semester is over, I will only have 1 left! During the last few weeks of class, I always make a list of everything that I've got to do before the end of the semester (it's coming whether I'm ready or not).

1. Graduate Physics Lab Project
2. Nuclear Engineering HW (1 assignment)
3. Physics Test
4. Nuclear Engineering Final Exam
5. Physics Final Exam
6. Digital VLSI Project
7. Digital VLSI Final Project Report
8. History of Logic Paper

Not a bad list - but I've also got to put time in at work (pay for Christmas) and working on my research (if there's any time left).

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Surprise Ending!

Maybe everyone out there has heard this son already. It's my new favorite Christmas Song (and I don't really even care for cats). I present to you The Cat Carol performed by Meryn Cadell. Be sure to listen to the whole thing. It's a gem.



My brother even found that this song has it's own website. You want a The Cat Carol mug?