Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Done. Finished. Complete. Doesn't that sound nice?

I just finished my last final. It's a great feeling. Finals week this semester hasn't been nearly as stressful or difficult as semesters past. It helps that I've got a job all lined up, that I've only got three classes and that I'm fairly certain that I'll easily pass them all. For posterity's sake, here's a rundown of my last three classes.

CVEEN 5730 - Survey of Nuclear Power
This class was especially easy because of the nuclear engineering class that I took last semester. There wasn't much homework and the tests weren't too difficult. The final exam was scheduled for this Thursday but the teacher was nice enough to move it to the last day of class. This shortened the final exam's possible length from 2 hours to 50 minutes. The most tedious part of the class was that we had to gather and review a couple of news articles each week. Regardless, going into the final I had 98.6% in the class (without any extra credit).

ECE 3510 - Feedback Control Systems
This was my last undergraduate class. I put it off until this semester to force me to stick around and get my masters degree and because I knew that I would really like the class. While the class wasn't as bad as I expected, it was still time consuming. The class met 4 days/week and we had a three hour lab (which usually took quite a bit longer than that) each week. I have a hard time believing that this class is crucial for EEs when I'm about to graduate (with a masters no less) and have done just fine without it. There was quite a bit of homework in this class but it usually wasn't too difficult. The 2 hour final exam was last Friday at 10:30 AM. The first person left at 1:00 PM and I didn't leave until 2:00 PM (and 70% of the class was still there). Half of the final consisted of things that I (and apparently the rest of the class) was seeing for the first time right then. After about 2 1/2 hours had passed the teacher stood up and said "okay, I'm going to come around the room and give everybody one big hint on a problem of their choice." Who does that? And more importantly, what kind of teacher writes a final like that? Loser.

ECE 6730 - Antenna Theory and Design
This class wasn't too bad but it was a bit of a pain. We had homework due every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and there was a bit too much theory and not enough design for my liking. I just finished the final exam this morning and while it was harder than expected, I'll have no problem scoring above average on the test. It was a filler class.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I've still got one final Tuesday morning, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking ahead to Graduation. Here's a sneak peek of my graduation announcements.
(click on the following one to make it bigger)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I'm a woot addict (or as Alison claims, a wootaholic). I've known about woot for a long time but I've been afraid of signing up for it because I knew that it was something that I could quickly become addicted to. For those of you that aren't aware, woot is a website that sells new and refurbished items at bargain prices. Every night at 11:00 PM (mountain time) they list a new product which remains on sale until it sells out or a new product is listed (the next night).

I'm excited because it's almost 11:00 PM. Alison is cooking herself some French toast and I'm patiently waiting for a new woot to appear. Here are the woots that snagged me:

1. Toshiba 1080p Upconverting DVD Player with HDMI Cable - $39.99
Our DVD Player has started to refuse to play our discs. While we don't have an HDTV we know that we will someday and this was a great price on a name-brand player. I wasn't going to buy one unless it could upconvert so we got it.

2. DesignerVision 1 GB MP3 Player - $9.99

This woot was for Alison. She actually got a pink one though.

3. Kodak EasyShare Z1275 12MP/720p Digital Camera w/5x Optical Zoom - $99.99
There is nothing wrong with our digital camera. Its biggest faults are that it only takes pictures at 3.2 MP, has a tiny viewing screen and is quite bulky. So far we have been really impressed with this new camera. When I post pictures of my recent trip (forthcoming, I swear) then ya'll will be able to see how sweet a deal it is too.

If you're in the market for some new electronics, keep your eyes tuned to wooters and you just might get lucky.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Day 3 As A Single Husband

Al's not the only one who has it rough. No TV, no Telephone, having to walk everywhere. It's not an easy life.

Havasu Falls:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Haunted House

Saturday at the Bees Game, Alison won tickets from Country Joe to the Castle of Chaos Haunted House (yes, in April). We were able to go Saturday night (thanks to Jordan and Morgan for watching Ada). There are three attractions at the haunted house. Normally you can go through two of the three attractions for $12 and add the third for $5 more. Lucky for us, we had the premium tickets.

The first attraction was a vampire murder mystery of sorts. It was enjoyable, but but we never would have paid the entrance fee. Most importantly, Alison and I won from our group and won a couple of free drinks in the process.

The second attraction was a 3D haunted house (which was pretty good) and the third was the extreme haunted house. From the Castle of Chaos website:

"In 2008 we have tripled the size of X-Scream, making it a haunted house of its own, and will require a waiver to be signed if you want the full effect. There is nothing like this in Utah- there is nothing more intense.

"The Ultimate X-Scream will mess you up for life. Playing upon the most natural and innate fears in all people, the Ultimate X-Scream area may just be too much for you to handle. This area will make you experience fears you've only dreamt [sic] about. Much more intense than anything else you'll find in Utah, do not enter this area unless you are truly prepared for a shock. Graphic scenes, tight spaces, crawl spaces, small drops and confinement await you in our first year of "pushing the envelope" in Utah. This area is meant to terrorize you and leave you screaming for more."

Let me just say that Al had to change her panties after this last one.

**Clarification: They make the haunted house sound a whole lot better than it actually was. And, Alison being pregnant, made it through the Ultimate X-Scream just fine (without even peeing her pants).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Retarded Tiger II

Isn't It About Time?

I don't think I've updated the links on my blog since sometime last summer. Because of that, many of the links I had were outdated and broken or simply not relevant anymore. Because I'm ditching school this morning, I decided to update my links. Take a look at them. If you're not linked or you're disappointed in my presentation of your name, blog or space let me know, slip me some money and I'll make it worth your while.


  • Last week during the Priesthood Session of General Conference, I volunteered to help clean. I wasn't sure what to expect and when I got there I was assigned to an employee and we were in charge of keeping a few bathrooms on the balcony floor clean and stocked during the session. Because only men are invited to the Priesthood Session, they change many of the women's bathrooms to men's for the session. After initially stocking the bathrooms, we spent a big chunk of the rest of the remaining time emptying the 'female waste receptacles' in each of the stalls. At least I was wearing a pair of gloves, the dude I was working with had no shame and went glove free. Most of the bathrooms had 24-28 stalls. The last bathroom we worked on had 46 stalls! Not what I expected to be doing during Priesthood Session...
  • I love my job. I've been working around 30 hours/week because I'd much prefer to be working than at school. I can't wait to start full-time. What's most exciting is that there is so much to learn. I've been working on some energy calculations for the newly remodeled Utah State Capitol. In the capitol there are 4,679 light fixtures (of which around 750 are incandescent). There is almost 1/2 MW of lighting in the capitol!
  • We went to the Bees game on Saturday (which they won 11-10 over the Portland Beavers). They are now 10-1 and on track for a pretty decent season. The biggest problem about the minor leagues, though, is that the better you are the more often your parent club will call up your players. I love baseball.
  • To prepare myself for a hike that I'm going on later this week (I'll give a full report later, don't sweat), I walked home from the Bees game in my new hiking boots. While walking on pavement doesn't compare too well with with hiking over rocks and dirt, the 4.2 miles I walked should help my body to be ready.
  • I've only got 3 tests left before I graduate.
  • I've only got 3 days of school left before I graduate (because I'll be gone most of this week on my little trip to Supai, AZ).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Penguin Vacations

Poor Lurp

It must be Monday...

Mondays are my longest day of the week (as far as school is concerned anyways). While not as bad as other semesters I've got three classes, a break for a couple of hours and then an awful lab from 3:00-6:00 PM. Today during my break I went up to a design team meeting in Farmington for a big development (around 1,000,000 square feet) we are working on there. On my drive up, the interstate was clear for a couple of hundred yards ahead of me, but out of the blue my windshield was smacked with a rock leaving a chip out of my window. I had to leave the meeting early to get back to my lab and while getting onto the freeway I hit a decent sized pothole. I was hoping that nothing serious had happened but I could tell that my alignment was screwed up. A couple of miles down the interstate, I knew that my tire was flat as well so I pulled over to change it.

I pulled the spare and tools out of the trunk and was pleased to see that everything was there in good condition as I’ve never had a flat in Lurp (fyi. Lurp is my car) before. I took off two of the lug nuts and got the other two started but was having trouble getting them off. For probably 15-20 minutes I sat there trying to unscrew the lugs but the threads had obviously been ruined. Trying one last time, I busted the whole bolt off one of them. There were only four lug nuts and I figured that I would feel okay driving with three of them connected, but I still had one more nut to take off. I didn’t want to break it, but I figured I had nothing to lose seeing as I’d be calling a tow truck anyways. Well, I busted the last bolt off and then didn’t feel safe driving on a spare tire held on by two lug nuts so I called for a tow.

My Grandpa came and picked me up (Ada was sleeping and needed her sleep because she was sick) and we followed the tow truck into Salt Lake where I had the car dropped off. They were able to repair the rim and lug nuts, I had to get 2 new tires (the one had run-flat damage and I replaced the other because it was pretty well worn) and get an alignment done. $400 later, Lurp is good as new.

Two weeks ago we spent almost $900 repairing Lurp’s clutch. Last week we spent $770 replacing the Malibu’s brakes (front and back) and getting it to pass inspection and registered. And to think that only four weeks ago Alison and I were talking about how we haven’t had to have any big car repairs done for quite some time. That’s the last time we’ll say that aloud.