Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When it rains it... WHAT??? HAIL!

So in addition to all the other fun and excitement, my computer with all my software and data files on it just died.

I'm typing this on my newer computer which I have yet to install Office, Photoshop, Sketchup, InDesign, AutoCad, etc... because They were allready installed and registered on the other (now dead) computer.

It looks like the power supply has gone, and it was the only Shuttle model to use non-standard proprietary connectors. It is also old enough that it is effectively impossible to order a replacement power supply for it.

There are lots of sites purporting to sell replacement power supplies for it, but it's actually the newer model with different (and standard) connectors.

It is also so old that using the parts that are probably still good (2.5ghz CPU, Memory, Video Card etc) I will have to buy a new motherboard and case. However, it appears that I basically cannot get reliable motherboards for the processor from my normal vendors.

I found a reputable vendor that carries a decent motherboard, but I'd be looking at spending $200 + shipping and hoping that when the power supply went kaplooee it didn't damage CPU, memory, video card...

Alternately I can go buy a normal replacement power supply, splice the ends onto the proprietary connectors and hope I don't electrocute myself.

Not a happy rabbit.

Physics ruminations

I really don't understand how my brain can go squirrelly when I try and figure out simple vectors, but like figuring out Newtonian motion (which requires vectors) just fine.

I mean I'm really struggling to grok the first two chapters of the physics text, but chapters 3 &4 are no problem.


*Financial Aid Update*

There is none. The person I need to talk to wasn't in yet before class and was in meetings after class. I will stop by again after my physics test this afternoon.

Color me Mr. Crankypants Red.

So the unending saga of summer classes has sorta gone like this:

You have Full Funding.
No you Don't.
Yes you Do.
No you don't, but are getting WUE, find alternate sources for the rest.
Alternate funding source verified.
WUE canceled.
WUE reinstated
WUE canceled, and the plan administrator is MIA.

I'm already in hyper-stressed state as this semester is only six weeks long, and in fact my first Physics test is tomorrow and my first math test is Friday... so this sort of additional fun is greatly appreciated.

I am tired, stressed out, currently unable to sleep because of this and not at all prepared for tomorrows test.

In fact I have to be "up" in 4 hours to go to physics class.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Academic time management...

So the author of our pre-calculus book, and head of the math department wrote a little "How to study math" handout that advises us how much time and energy we should spend studying.

He says that for every "academically rigorous" field of study like math, physics, chemistry, architecture, etc we should spend 2 hours of of time outside of class for every single actual hour spent in class (not credit hour.)

He states that since we spend 8 hours and 40 minutes in our pre-calculus class we should spend 18 hours and 40 minutes out side of class studying and doing homework. Now... I'm not a math teacher but 8 and 40/60 * 2 = 17 hours and 20 minutes when I do the math...

He then states we should be expected to be spending 27 hours and 10 minutes total in class and out on each 4 credit class. (Again.. with the weird math 8h40min + 18h 40min = 27hours 20 minutes...)

He also states that we must get 8 hours of sleep no matter what to function at peak efficiency, otherwise we are wasting ours and the instructors time.

There are a 168 hours in a week.
Using his numbers...

If we get 8 hours sleep every night there are 112 left over.

My summer schedule of 8 credits of math and physics I should be spending 54 hours and 40 minutes a week in class and out of class academically.

Which should leave me 57 hours and 20 minutes a week, or 8 hours a day to work, shower, eat, etc.


But lets say you had my past spring schedule of 12 credits.

Why then, you should be spending 82 hours academically, leaving you with 30 hours a week, or 4 hours and 20 minutes a day to work, shower, eat, etc.

But lets suppose you are an architecture student taking the recommended 16-18 credit load.

At 16 credit it a 109 academic hours, leaving you a glorious 2 hours and 40 minutes a week, or 22 minutes a day.

At 18 credits you should be spending 123 hours, leaving you with an -11 hours with which to do all those distracting non-academic functions.

Even if you do you basic algebra correctly (which some professor are apparently not apt to do) according to his theory you should spend 26 hours total academically for every 4 credit class.

Which means I this summer I should have 52 hours free a week.
Last Spring I should have had 34 hours free a week.
At 16 Credits 8 hours free a week.
At 18 credits -5 hours free a week.


Monday, May 5, 2008

How very ... cosmopolitan...

I'm sitting here celebrating the end of the semester by watching a Kung Fu Opera flick from Hong Kong, munching on Ciabatta bread smeared with French pate and Greek truffle goat cheese, all whilst sipping Asian pear infused Sake.

Those people who think globalization is a bad thing can go stuff it.

I didn't actually intend to mix food and drink from four different countries whilst watching a film from a fifth. It just was what appealed to me from the ingredients I had in my kitchen.

What a small world... and it tastes good.

(Actually the sake is a bit overpowered by the pate... okay a LOT overpowered... but it's still tasty.)

Portfolio complete.

So around 11:00pm I had just finished printing out and assembling my portfolio for 2nd year admittance and I realized that I inexplicably had extra sleeves in the portfolio case...

Because I can't read directions.

I had been reading the instruction incorrectly and had been putting two assignments per page... instead of two pages PER assignment.

*face palm*

Fortunately I took a LOT of pictures, and was able to color-correct the remainder and stuff them in an only a couple of hours. I only had to photograph one model once more for a better shot and a single drawing that I had wanted to add anyways.

If I can get it to a reasonable size I'll post the whole thing here as a PDF.

In the meantime here is a picture of my final project.

My Meadow Music Room.

Metal-smithing Pictures

In spite of numerous set-backs, I actually got my final enamel piece done ahead of schedule. Most of the rest of class was still in the fabrication stage when I packed up, wiped down my bench and left early Thursday afternoon.

By numerous setbacks I mean I totally ruined the piece and had to start over again.

Twice. On the third attempt I nearly ruined it again but turned the mistake (melting all my silver cloisonns down) into a plus.

A quick review of my posts reveals that I only provided a teaser picture of my last enamel piece, and none of my goblet. So in order of completion...

Baba Yagga's Goblet. Raised copper bowl, forged brass legs and toes. (Don't ever try and forge brass... just don't)

Half-life Pendant. Copper tube and enamel on copper.

Catey's Mandolin. Cloisonné on copper, sterling silver hardware, pure silver back and pick.

For the record, I made the pure silver sheet and sterling wire used in this assignment. I'd also like to point out that the last time I had to buy silver it was $7 an ounce and now it is $17.50 an ounce.