31 March 2008

Presidential Encounter (sort of)

The place where I work had the former president [William 'Bill' Clinton] come by for a campaign speech. It [the speech] was at 9:30am, and I had to work from 7:30am-11am and since it was the first day back [at work] after being off all week, I couldn't really get away. Plus, I think the line was so long that if you weren't standing in it at 8am, there was no chance you were getting in.

So I'm riding [my bike] home, and I run into a road block [on the OHSU campus]. What the heck? Must be some sort of [medical] emergency, or some sort of [presidential] motorcade! So I took the long way around to get in position for a good view, and although the security guys were real nice they [because they were under the orders of Secret Service] made us move back too far to really get a good look and give BC a big high five or something. I could only manage this shot with my cheap phone:

When he walked around the bushes, I saw his face, and it was a face I'd only seen on TV screens and stuff, so when I saw him walking in a spot I walked on only 2 minutes earlier, i was a bit shocked. It was almost like my brain took a snapshot of that moment, and that image will be in there for ever.

So we had a good spring break [at Orcas Island]. More on that later. Spring term [at OIT Portland] started today; back at school today through mid June [when we get another whole week off. woo hoo.]. Here's a rundown of what's ahead for me [acedemically] this spring:

CHE260 - Electrochemistry (w/ batteries & fuel cells) w/ Lab
REE241 & REE242 - Electrical Power w/ Lab
EE225 - Electric Circuits III (Laplace transforms / applications) w/ Lab
MATH321 - Differential Equations

Just a whole lot of fun there. Even more if you take into account that the math class meets from 1 to 4pm on Saturday!? Nothing like ruining every weekend until June, huh?

NHL Playoffs begin in a couple of weeks and like last year, I'll be submitting my playoff predictions! Stay Tuned!

[I made some edits to this blog because it was quickly written btwn classes and when I re-read it, some things may not have made sense.]

26 March 2008

NY Times

Nice read here.

We're back from NW Washington.

Rode the ferry to Orcas Is.

Been there done that.

Caught the wild game Sat. night (hockey night) on CBC tv from Canada!

18 March 2008

2 down 1.5 to go

Two finals done yesterday. 1 more Wednesday evening, but not before circuits II lab presentation at 1pm. We're not exactly making any new discoveries (yet anyway), but we did manage to build a mini transformer with an iron ring and some wire. It even worked. Pretty damn awesome. The presentation should be stellar. I wish I could say that about the circuits final. It was pretty hard. I have no chance at an A in circuits, but I do in Chemistry (the other monday final) and physics (the wednesday final) and WR327 (no final). We'll see how it ends up.

Spring break technically starts no more than 120 minutes after 5:30pm PDT, Wednesday.

We're going to this on Thursday. Should be awesome.

Then we're going here on Saturday.

Hopefully more exciting things to blog about than magnetomotive force and faraday's law.


10 March 2008

Training science

I've been known to do athletic competition from time to time. Pretty much anything that includes running, bike riding, xc skiing, and is anywhere between 1kilometer and up. I used to do Triathlons, but I retired after Ironman Wisconsin 2003.

I recently shared some of my training science with my bike team (Therapeutic Associates, Inc). See post here. You'll see a nice graph of my power output on the 80 mile stage that happens on Saturday, the third day of a difficult 4 day stage race. While they're out racing around Hagg Lake on road bikes, I'm still sorta recovering from 2 stinkin laps around Hagg on foot, and baring down on finals week that is less than 7 days away.

But, before all that, I thought I'd give you a little race day graph (kinda like you get if you have an ipod nano, and nike shoes, only better.) I made my ultra running debut a few weeks ago at Hagg, where I managed to finish. I had really just barely completed my training program that I set out on, and I was able to finish the first 50k of my running career (10th overall too, not bad). Unlike last years bike race where I plotted Power over time, here I plot pain and pace over time, so you have a little bit of an idea of what it was like. It started out really slow (as you can see) because there was a really big uphill on the first 5k, and then we went down the hill, and I started going really fast, and then there was a general trend.

Too much to do right now, and not enough time to do it... so what am I doing? Writing blogs. Well I guess you could say I'm just practicing or studying for my WR327 advanced tech writing course. Maybe my instructor would give me some extra credit (come on Valerie!!!!).

09 March 2008


A couple weeks ago I harped on mass transit in the northwest. Well, It turns out, I was stupidly mistaken. In my previous post, I referenced a video that profiled Bogota's mass transit system and how awesomely cool it was. It was like a light rail, only there were no tracks, just roads where only the buses drove. So, I ran into this blip.tv video done by 'YERT' and basically I feel now, like I should delete the post I made a couple of weeks ago because in fact, Portlands system does kick ass, and low and behold, there is a wonderful example of bogota's system RIGHT HERE in the northwest, just about 70 minute drive from Portland, in 'weirder than portland' Eugene. Surprisingly, since moving to Oregon in 2004, I have only been through Eugene a few times, and a couple years ago, when I was doing the Tour of Willamette bike race, I noticed this odd construction, looked like some sort of train route next to the road, but they were not building train tracks. I couldn't really figure it out, so I sorta just chalked it up to part of the weird-ness that is Eugene. So you have to go to about 1/2 way through this video to get to the Eugene stuff. I obviously hadn't done my homework, when it comes to trash talking the mass transit systems around here.

In addition to that sweet video... there's a guy in Idaho, who thinks the world can be powered by solar roads. I have some doubts, and one of them is studded tires. And the other is big trucks. I mean if you're going to use that many panels, why not just put them on the roofs of buildings. Or in the median.