man, what a week. let’s start w/ last weekend – drove to dallas thursday night to visit w/ cindy’s parents and see a doctor, but all is ok. on friday morning, following the doc appt., we went test driving w/ cindy’s mom in the infiniti g-35. awesome car – my dad already has one, so i knew what was up. love that thing. but the salesman, as all salesman are required to be, was an ass, and lost the sale by not negotiating at all. granted, they seemed to have an amazing service dept., which was his selling point, but hey – there has to be some negotiation in a car sale.
following that, we went for lunch at the pancake house (not IHOP), where cindy and i, observing passover etiquette (i guess only partially, as were weren’t really eating at a kosher place, but whatever), ate no pancakes or waffles. the biggest egg white omelette i’ve ever seen was served to us, alongside some of the worst grilled salami and potato pancakes ever. you know, potato pancakes aren’t supposed to be mushy. they’re supposed to be crispy, crunchy, soft in the middle, but not mushy. it was like slop – porridge slop hidden inside a deep fried case. yuck.
we go home, where i proceed to answer cindy’s parents long held tech questions. they seem to make a list of questions for when i come to visit. unfortunately, i couldn’t help too much this time around – cindy’s mom bought some silly software that allows you to create ringtones for your wireless phone. that’s fine, but this software sucked, and after 2 hours i finally gave up.
here’s where it gets good – we then went out to dinner, but i noticed cindy’s dad’s car had a flat. so we went to a gas station to fill it w/ air, found a nail in the tire, then went across the street to firestone so they could fix it. tire’s fixed, we get on the road to dinner when cindy’s dad notices his phone is missing. is it at firestone? nope. must be at the gas station. is it there? nope. i call the phone, and some guy picks up – uh hello? yeah, you have my phone. oh, i picked it up at a gas station. yeah it’s mine, where are you? oh, i’m really really far away from you. well, where can we meet so i can pick it up? oh, in the bad area of town where all the hookers and drug dealers hang out. umm, that doesn’t sound so good – how about you drop it off at the gas station where you took it from? conversation ensues – but actual conversation. her dad finds out that the guy is a cable installation guy, and they’ve been thinking about high speed internet. a deal is reached whereby this guy will provide cheap cable installation in return for the phone.
dinner was good, but we left and picked up finding nemo at blockbusters – the best movie perhaps ever. i had meant to bring it w/ me, but left it on my bed. her parents had never seen it, so, as is my duty regarding pixar movies, i required the uninitiated to view the movie. as we leave blockbuster, there’s a lady collecting huge bags of bread outside panera bread company. i figured she worked at panera, so i asked her what they were doing w/ all the bread – assuming it would go to charity. well, it turned out she was the charity worker collecting the bread, and she proceeded to talk our ears off for 5-10 min about what they do. ok, guys – slowly back away towards the car.
the following day after some more computer stuff, cindy and i (and nathan the doggie) packed up and headed back to austin. we encountered one of the fiercest storms i’ve ever hit while driving. there was a 5 car pileup w/ a turnover. many others skidded off the road. lots of bad stuff. but the worst for me was that my car started leaking. yup, suddenly water started pouring on to cindy from the light above the passenger visor. that explained how my car flooded the previous week during another intense rainstorm. we made it home ok, and got to work. i left my car out in the intense rain (which didn’t let up all night), to discover a 1/2 inch pool of water inside my car the next morning. just a little pissed off. DON’T BUY VOLKSWAGEN! i have a golf, and though i haven’t had any major problems w/ it in the 2 years i’ve had it, i haven’t been overwhelmed by the car, and have a lot of friends who have had major problems w/ their volkswagens.
so the week was spent doing studio work and other school stuff, but most excitingly, working to complete work for the first major deadline of the Solar Decathlon. if i haven’t mentioned it before, the US DOE holds a competition for universities to design and build a solar powered house on the national mall. the first one was in 2002, the next one (which we’re working on now) is in 2005. for april15, we were required to post at least 5 pages on our website and have project summary#1 sent in. we have basically the same info in the summary as on the website, so we have lots of info on our website. the three of us on the publicity committee (with some help from our design correspondent in el paso 😉 ) stayed up till 6:30a april15 pulling it all together, then came back and worked from 11-5p. it looks great, but we’re still trying to figure out how to get images inside the text on the site (flash site using text files to load text, getting the images alongside the text this way is different from a normal website, and we’re pretty new to flash). i spend 5 hours yesterday trying to figure it out, and i think somebody on the macromedia discussion board just showed me how, so i can’t wait to get it going.
check out the UTSolarD site, it’s going to be updated all the time, and of course by sept.2005 will be a veritable smorgasbord of information and images. www.utsolard.org
and if any of you know of good ways to submit your sites to search engines, or of good site trackers, let me know.
several of you who actually know me may be aware of my jeep crash ‘incident’. it goes something like this: senior year of high school, some years ago now, it snowed a lot. the white shit just wouldn’t stop falling. so one night, the eve of a friend’s departure to study abroad for a few months as i remember, i convinced my parents that letting me drive the jeep would be safer since it had just snowed a fresh foot. of course we all know that a jeep isn’t safer if you drive like an idiot, but hey, i was a responsible kid, right? so after the big going away dinner party, at which two in attendance got into the most ridiculous fight (followed w/ taunts such as “i’ll kick your ass” “oh yeah? i’m gonna call my brother, and his friends are gonna kick your ass” “oh yeah, well i’m gonna call yun-soo and he’s gonna get his asian gang to slash your face!”), i decided it would be fun to take the jeep off-roading through the fresh snow on the parking lot at north woodmere park. 2 friends, who for their sake shall remain nameless, rode w/ me and in fact videotaped the fateful event that snowy eve. all prepped, tape rolling, we inserted the indiana jones cd. the music starts, and your cue is to now download the video and let it speak for itself. mind you – there is no dubbing, no syncing, all audio you hear is how it occurred.