Monday, March 16, 2009


So I'm overdue for a post. Heck - if Beth has figured this stuff out, I've got to at least keep a little ahead.

Let's see... the past 8 months. Hmm. I've hardly played the guitar or the piano. I've been skirting my time between graduate stuff and homework. And believe it or not, the climax of nearly every week is the ill-fated bowling night. I bought a see-saw and ball polish to help the cause.

I have managed to use my time for some typical Eli objectives, however. I was able to make 4 or 5 boomerangs this past week. I'm trying to get ready for a ward activity. I'll need about 20. Right now I'm up to 10 (plus the remains of the "giga-rang").

Speaking of remains - I've got the hard-drive of Rachelle's dead laptop sitting on my desk. I'm becoming less and less convinced that Hewlett Packard knows how to make a decent product beyond printers.

My thesis is coming along slow and steady. I've spent about $5000 of the school's money trying to outfit our lab so it can do what I need it to. I've got a pretty sweet laptop coming for that same project. It should hit this week. I've been up to my elbows in thermocouples, data acquisition, power supplies, heating wire, thermal epoxy, hypodermic tubing, and thermostatic baths. Everything costs way too much. It's ridiculous. And everywhere I turn, I'm surrounded by Chinese people who are several times smarter than I am. Slightly crazier, each of them, but smarter nonetheless.

So to keep a little ace in my back pocket, I've been brushing up my linux skills. I finally cleaned off my old drive (accidentally deleted about 1000 photos and a good 50 or more movies - oops. I was tired of fighting admin rights with multiple operating systems.) I installed a debian based OS on my old IDE drive called "kubuntu". It's the KDE interface of ubuntu. It's not too shabby. And the nice thing is, the nerdier I get, the more I can take advantage of all those programmers who hate all things Microsoft. What does that mean for the average bloke? About $6000 of free software. For instance, linux programmers have two different open-source math programs to compete with MatLab. A MatLab license is roughly $3000. It's just nice to learn a little of what gets used a lot behind the server scenes as well.

Speaking of Microsoft - I was on the phone with them for 4 or more hours the other day. I finally got my OEM issuses resolved by their Indian department by a tech named "Prasad". I was also on the phone with MathCAD - more licensing activations. It's all behind me now, though. I'm running a decent speed on my SATA drive, and all programs are properly maintained. I bought a new desk chair to celebrate. The old one I had was nothing more than a camping fold-out chair. Try getting 8 hours in on one of those!

So I'm supposed to be at FHE right now, but my diet of granola bars and Dr. Pepper has let me down. Funny how you can't last long on whatever tastes good. And a test I thought was set for Friday was bumped up to Wednesday. If I'd attend class more, I wouldn't have the syllabus rug pulled out from under me so often...

So Luke kindly let me know about his most recent fatherhood the afternoon of the 11th. That rat told me twins. Leave it up to a podunk to come up with some nonsense during life's most precious moments. It was actually pretty cheeky, though - I'll give him that. I'm calling her "Pete" from now on.

So incase you're wondering - no, there won't be any pictures or videos on this post. I've got a gig or so of new stuff on my camera, but I just can't be bothered to upload. That'll be next Spring Break's agenda.

Anyway - I've got to get ready for that test, and get ready some homework that's due on Wednesday as well.

I'll throw some photos up here another time. I'd hate to think that I've disappeared off the family radar. Heaven knows Theo thinks of me at least bi-weekly.