June 02, 2009

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April 05, 2009

Sunday Project

Here's how I spent my Sunday afternoon. I took the car apart and then took like 2 hours to figure out how to get the intercooler out. It's the silver thing with the 2 black pipes in front of everything on the ground. I finally broke a piece off to get it out. Hopefully I'll be able to put it all back together. :) The car is out of action until the intercooler is completely dry. I washed it with soapy water and rigged a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.



November 03, 2006

Not Yer Average Programming Project

OK, so there's no actual programming apparent in this, but that's how it started. The idea is to have 6 large screens on a Register conference room wall to display in-progress page designs, compare them with previous designs and be able to quickly view different images. I'm putting together the software to do this but we also needed to get the 37" TV displays working with a good quality image.

After a couple of weeks of trial and error with different video adapters, extenders, amplifiers, etcetera, we decided to keep the PC close to the monitor to get the best image quality without spending a bunch more money. By pure luck the Dell utlra-small PC we bought for one of the tests fit snugly in the back of the TV. Jimbo and I fashioned some aluminum brackets for the PCs to rest on and I attached some straps to keep the PC from going anywhere. The PC's external power supply fits neatly in the cable compartment, so I just drilled a few ventilation holes and presto!

I love these simple engineering projects where everything clicks into place! (Even when it's not planned that way.)

Here's the parts Jimbo and I made and modified.

Here's where the parts are used on the TV.

TV mounted on the wall with attached PC.

All 6 TVs on the wall.

The conference room from outside.

September 05, 2005

3 Days at the Races

I spent the past 3 days at the California Speedway in Fontana working as a volunteer at the Skybox check-in booth. This weekend was the fall NASCAR races West Series, Busch Series and the Nextel Cup. This is a fundraising activity for the Centennial Band Boosters that I've participated in for the last 5 years. We'll make about $1400 for this weekend thanks to 18 volunteers!

Here's where we work:

Our job is to check-in the Skybox ticket holders. This is for the best and most expensive seats in the place, so we deal with the more sophisticated part of the crowd. It's quite a juxtaposition to see some of the executive types mixed in with the no-shirt, beer in each hand NASCAR fans. After a couple of hours of watching people come in, it's really easy to spot the Skybox holders.

Here's some other things I saw.
Lamest Sponsorship: The Relocate Here 200 sponsored by the County of San Bernardino.
I'm not sure which is funnier - San Bernardino for having to start a marketing campaign to get people to move there or the speedway for having to sink so low to find a sponsor for the race. This was for the Friday night West Series race.

Worst "Please Help Me!" Moment: The guy trying to find a ride for his wife/girlfriend because the blisters from her cool new heels were so bad she couldn't walk anymore.

Best Hope for the Future sighting: The enthusiastic kids from Cal-Poly Pomona running the burger stand next door. Polite, talented and entertaining!

Best Celebrity Sighting: OK, pretty lame, but I saw Tom McKernan, president of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Cutest Baby Sighting: A young mom and her baby were taking a break at a picnic table nearby. The toddler was probably around 1 year old. The mom had to hold her up while she was sitting at the table so she wouldn't fall backward. She needed her hand free to eat, so she laid her leg across the toddler's lap to hold her on the bench while she had a snack. Later, grandma was walking the little one around and proudly smiling at the admiring passers-by.

Best "You Gotta Wonder" moment: While I was chilling literally in the lobby of the administration building, I listened to an operator discussing with someone whether she should bring her 6-week old baby to the track to enjoy the 95+ degree heat, 120 decibel roar of the cars, etc. I hope she convinced the caller to stay home with the "every human has to have a ticket" line.

From the new insight into human physiology department: I can now report that baking in 95 degree heat for 3 days is nothing compared to baking in 100 degree heat. I think you're OK until your brain starts to go beyond 98.6 degrees. I was surprised how OK I felt after this weekend.

May 29, 2005

Layin' It Down, Day 2

Another long day of putting down the flooring. I was at it from 9am to almost 9pm. What amazes me is that it was still shifting around for most of the day. It probably weighs 500-600 pounds by now and it's all in one piece. At the end of the day it finally seemed like it had stopped moving. It's definitely looking good. The more I install, the more I'm lovin' it!

I got to the tricky part where I had to add on the entry-way. It was like starting over but I managed to keep it together. Looks like it'll be a 2-weekend project since I still have the kitchen and hallway to do.