Thursday, October 30, 2008

An addition to the family

Well, the first pinball machine is a year old, which means biologically, it's time for me to have another one. It's been scientifically proven (*cough*). I've upped the ante and moved to something digital, ooh, ahh, shiny! It's so incredibly awesome that it even says WOW right on it, see:

Ok, maybe you can't read the WOW (or MOM, if you're my confused roomie), but you CAN see the awesome giant fireball bumper, right?

I am so. freeking. pumped.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy One-Year Birthday!

Mr. Pinball machine! After a year of staring at your innards, they almost sometimes make sense. Hooray! This is only a rough calculation of course, based on the fact that I brought you home during midterms, and afterwards I bought everyone pumpkin blizzards for hauling you around town...s... I hope you appreciate not being in a cold wet garage, although you sure have a funny way of showing it.

You are extra shiny in the darkness, tempting people with your bright lights.

And your guts are a glorious tribute to analog.

Thanks for being the best stupid evil pile of loveable junk in the house.

P.S: Shock me and I will burn you with the firewood.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Morning Routine

My classmates are jealous because I can still wake up 15 minutes before class and make it to a lecture roughly on time (if I jog just a little). Not like I make a habit of it, but you know... stuff happens. I recommend letting yourself go.
I attribute these factors to my overwhelming success:

1. Low-maintenance haircut
There's a reason why girls spend so much on haircuts, cause when you do it properly, all it take is a quick finger comb. Also: hats.

2. Forgo matching clothes
Some day I will have to grow out of jeans and T-shirts. But not yet.

3. Quick Breakfast
I recommend acquiring a taste for instant oatmeal. When I was little, I used to pretend I was on safari in the backyard, and had packed only dried food, to save space. I would then tear open a tiny corner of the instant oatmeal packet, fill it with water, shake, and eat it while I was on my safari. When your standards are that low it's hard not to find food in the house that can be consumed in seconds.

4. Leave everything in the same place
Routine! I like to put everything in my backpack (or at least near it) the night before, and I usually leave my lunch in the same place in the fridge. Then I just have to push autopilot when I wake up, zombie drag myself through a pattern in the house, and by the time I wake up, I'm already in class taking notes.

My personal record was waking up at 7:57 AM and making it to an 8 AM class before the instructor started lecturing (he started a few minutes late).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You know it's exam time when...

You play beyblades on a plastic caf plate and exclaim that this is the most fun you've had in ages.

then you realize you're playing beyblades on a plastic caf plate.

Get back to work!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Engineering and Shafts

Kids, there comes a time in your engineering degree where you have to talk about shafts. If you're not a mechanical or a civil engineer, this might only be a very short time, but otherwise, you could end up talking about shafts a lot. The kind that rotate and have stuff stuck to them that generally complicates your previously simple stress analysis questions.

When you should happen to arrive at that special time and place where you have to talk about shafts, the mature engineering student should refrain from giggling like a schoolgirl. Being the wise, mature student that I am, I have gained control over my inner urge to giggle every time someone says "shaft". However, I have discovered today that I am not beyond giggling when a professor pronounces shaft as "shit", then says, "We're going to talk about all kinds of shit today."

One of my more memorable days at work involved a lecture on shaft seals from an aged co-worker, who kept on using his hands to illustrate how the shaft slides through the hole. In, and out, and in, and out. I would have been able to contain myself if it hadn't have been for the repeated use of hand motions.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Is when you can't print off your assignments because you wasted all your printer ink printing off a life-sized poster of David Duchovny (why won't he love me?).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

If you give a mouse a cookie...

It's going to want a glass of milk. Then, it's going to need a straw to drink that glass of milk with, so you'll have to go to the store to get a straw. Once you come back, you'll find out that the mouse isn't tall enough to drink the milk from the straw, so you'll have to get it a chair...

This pretty much describes the group project I'm working on right now. The more I think about something, the more I realize that I could go more in-depth on the subject. As I dig my head farther in, I realize that I should go refine my original assumptions about the problem. Then, I figure out that I need to change something. As soon as I change something, it changes all the other properties of whatever structure I'm working on, then I have to start thinking about everything again.... Every so often, I get e-mails from the rest of the team, who have been thinking about their respective parts of the problem, sending off a huge list of numbers and something like "Oh, the mouse no longer wants a cookie, it wants a carrot." "No, the mouse obviously doesn't want a carrot. Didn't we decide that the mouse wants cheese?" "Well, if you guys think back to the last meeting we had with the project co-ordinator, you'll remember that he clearly pointed to a picture of a mouse that wanted oregano."

Hooray for iterative processes! These projects are good for reinforcing that there is no perfect solution, or no best solution. You can't analyze everything, at some point you kind of just have to arbitrarily pick something, go with it, and see if things work out. I want to let go of my desire to analyze everything, but I can see the eight pages on my floor multiplying to twenty, thirty... must stop!
I tend to veer off on tangents. Pick your tangent from the menu on the right.