Thursday, November 30, 2006
Thats my robot! Its an "Escape" robot with infrared sensors to detect objects in its path and avoid them. I have attached one of my wireless cameras on its back. That sends its view to the little receiver on the right that is hooked up to the TV in the back (thats me on the TV). I threw in the micron pen for scale.
Here is some video of it running. The first bit I made a maze for it, and the second half is me recording the TV as it tries to get out of the corner.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Haha, can you guess what this is? Yes its the apartment in crappy, crappy 3D. See all I did was take the floor plan I had and make it "topographic" in Carrara, a simple 3D rendering program. White = 100% tall. Black - 0% tall. Gray = 50% tall. The image I had was not all white and black, so some spots look really crummy. And the windows are more like doors. But It just took 1/2 hr and it was fun to make.
I like it at about 0:09 best. A nice birds eye view.
PS. I just noticed that there is a curtain infront of the kitchen stuff. That wont be there in real life!
I don't think I have ever posted this and I was playing with it today so I thought I would post this new version. This is the floor plan for Megan and my apartment that we received when signed up. I added the blue lines where 1 block = 1 square foot and the dark lines are 10 feet.
You can really get a good sense of the the space this way. Here are some fun points:
• Total Sq. Ft. = 942
• The length of the living/dining/kitchen is just over 30 ft long by 14' 6'' wide.
• The island is about 8' long by 3' wide.
• The windows are all over 4 feet wide.
• The bedroom closet is 5' x 6.5'
You can figure out the rest! May 1st seems so far away...
I was complaining this morning because I thought we were going to have another lecture (the 4th or 5th?) about Myers-Briggs today........ but instead, we are having the only thing worse than that: yet another library lecture. Seriously. If you don't know how to use a library or online journal site by now, how did you get into vet school?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Oh! AND! I got a 93 on my biochem test. I. kicked. lipolysis'. butt.
#1: Get Fuzzy.
#2: Lasse Gjertsen's "Amateur" - note that it is all him, all real sounds, and he can't play either the drums or the piano. (3:12)
#3: David Firt and co's "The Incredible Mouth Band" (1:23)
Friday, November 24, 2006
Ahhh, good Thanksgiving, even though it was a little busy. We started with dinner #1 at Chris' grandparents' house in Wisconsin, then came back to my house for dinner #2. I'll let Chris write about #1....
Dinner #2 was good- at least, what we could eat of it! We were still pretty stuffed. Bjorn and Jeanette were there when we got there. They brought yummy Muddy Paws cheesecake, which I managed to squeeze in. ;-) After dinner, Chris and Bjorn played with Bjorn's Nintendo Wii. We attempted to make egg nog, which turned out more like egg-nog-flavored whiskey... but, of course, the more you drank the better it tasted! I'm afraid I like the non-alcoholic store-bought stuff better. Perhaps we'll try another recipe for Christmas.
It was a very nice Thanksgiving. The only hitch was that, apparently, Winnie hates Bjorn. Or at least, she hates Bjorn playing Wii. She doesn't like loud things or fast-moving things, and Bjorn playing Wii is both loud and fast-moving. Maybe she'll get used to him someday... Win did eat an entire can of turkey-flavored dog food, so she couldn't have been *that* stressed out.
Last night, I headed down to Northfield for a little (unsuccessful) Christmas shopping, and Chris and I finally got to see Why We Fight. Very sobering... I'm sure Chris will write more on it. It was pretty cool to see a name I recognized in the end credits!
Not much else happening this weekend, which is just fine with me. No test on Monday, which means no studying all weekend!!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Also we are going to try and make our own egg nog from scratch!
Megan's brother Bjorn is bringing his new Wii to #2 so we get to play!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Found on another vet student blog..
Rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasum.... udder? Hmm, I sure hope not! That tube should be leading somewhere else...
Anyway, life feels quite relaxing in this soft squishy place between a biochem test and Thanksgiving break. Lab today was short, and lab tomorrow is optional. I went out with some people last night to Buffalo Wild Wings, which, for having "wings" in their name, did not have such impressive wings. Maybe I just don't know wings? I dunno. They also charged me $6 for a hard cider, which could have bought me an entire six pack of ciders. Rip off! The company was good, though, so that made up for it. We talked about Thanksgiving and where we're from and how much we dislike biochemistry... ;-) Then we went to a pet store, where they had a "corgi" puppy that looked as much like a corgi as Winnie looks like a pit bull. They also had some adorable hedgehogs... aw, I want one. Then, we wandered over to Barnes and Noble, where I found a book about being a holistic vet. Only $2.50! Not bad. It's an okay book, a little "touchy-feely", but it seems to be hard to find holistic-type books that aren't.
We had a great lunchtime lecture today from Dr. Peggy Root, a theriogenologist (reproductive specialist), about how to deal with difficult clients. Dr. Root is hilarious, and very insightful. Important points from her lecture:
-sometimes people just need someone to yell at. Try not to take it personally, and it's okay to scream after they leave.
-stand by your staff when a customer complains about them. If they are your staff, you should trust them, and if you don't trust them, why are they your staff?
-document EVERYTHING, including if you called a client, if you left a message, and how often you tried to contact them. A complaint that "you never told me those test results, so I couldn't breed my dog" turns quickly into "Well, my daughter is really bad about giving me messages..." if you have the exact date, time, and number at which you tried to contact them.
-no matter how difficult the client, always remember that their pet's needs come first. Whether they are nice or nasty about telling you that their dog is sick, the dog is still sick and still needs to be treated.
-if a client gets so unreasonable that nothing you do can please them, when they say "I'm never coming to this clinic again!"........ your clinic is better off without them.
-it is ILLEGAL to dispense medications for an animal without having a meaningful doctor-client-patient relationship!
Anyway, it was nice to have a break from basic sciences and get a glimpse of what life will be like in the real world.
"If Moore's Law applied to cars, you could replace your $12,500, 10-year-old, 39 miles/gallon Toyota with a $50 car that weighs 200 pounds and gets 500 miles to the gallon today."
So what exactly would that look like? In 1997 I was in 7th grade and using an Apple "Performa" 6205. Thats a 75 mhz PowerPC 603 processor with a whopping 16 (later upgraded to 32) megs of ram and I think a 1 gig. harddrive. The thing cost about $2000 and came with a 15'' display. It has been consistently rated as one of the top 10 worst computers apple ever made and was really a 1995 computer.
Fast forward to now and $2000 will get you a 2160 mhz iMac (28x faster just by that number, faster in reality), 1000 mb of RAM (62x), 250 GB of harddrive (250x) and a 24'' display (1.6x)
So how about the Toyota Corolla? Well it has kept up well. In 1995 you could get a 1.6L Corolla that got 32 mpg and squeaked out 100 HP and could go 0-60 mph in about 13 seconds. It sold for around $13,000.
And now I have found a spy shot of the 2007 Toyota Corolla! It gets 500 mpg and made of crystalized air and water. It runs on a mix of solar power, body heat, and bio-fuel, but that doesn't stop it going fast, it has over 2,800 horse power! This can take the new Corolla from 0 to 10,000 ft in about 12 seconds. Of course, its still available for $13,000!
... Or not. In reality we get a $14,500 (1.11 x) car with a 1.8L, 126 HP (1.26 x) engine that gets 33 MPG (1.03 x). Yay!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Habits of Production
Its like methods of production, cold and mechanical, but habits is such a warm word and idea. It fits all of us in and I think its poetic. What do you think?
It still annoys me when people just draw randomly, quickly, and poorly on work that is none of those. Some one drew a crude tractor(!) on top of some cool stuff and just left. Wha? Thats not adding/responding (the spirit of the stair well project in my mind), thats just vandalism. Also some people started writing their names, thats my #2 bug. Oh well! I can just paint over it all next time. (Evil grin).
So, at someone's suggestion (thanks!), I have thought more about my coyote dream. Here's a better description of it:
I went deer hunting at dusk with a group of people. We were walking around when someone yelled that there were coyotes coming. Someone started shooting at them because "they'll scare away all the deer!" I saw three coyotes, two brown and one white. The white one was closest to me when the other hunters started shooting at them, and he turned and came after me. He pinned me to the ground and showed his teeth, but I knew he wouldn't bite me.
And then I woke up.
So... the only connection I have to coyotes is from my wildlife research project at St. Olaf. We got one picture of a coyote on a motion-sensing camera (the picture above). During that research, I seriously wanted to get involved in wildlife medicine. I had this dream while I was trying to write my application for Special Topics in Zoo Animal Medicine, an elective course that starts next semester. One of the questions was something like, "How will this class benefit your future career?" I've forgotten about wildlife medicine since starting vet school... Maybe the coyote was trying to remind me how important that used to be to me?
Chris thinks the fellow hunters might be my classmates...
Or maybe my brain is just acting out an article I read about how hunting predators like coyotes doesn't really reduce predation on livestock, because only alpha coyotes are brave enough to go after livestock. You can kill 1000 coyotes, but if you don't get the alpha, you'll have just as much livestock predation. Plus, killing predators increases prey density (like bunnies), who graze the same land as livestock, so your grazing land quality goes way down. So leave the predators alone!
Symbolic, or scientific? Hmm. Either way, it is making me think about wildlife again.
38 mm x 5 cm
38 mm x 20 cm
50 mm x 10 cm
50 mm x 20 cm
50 mm x 30 cm
75 mm x 20 cm
I am starting to spend away my stipend, that is good. I get my cameras tomorrow!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
David my first year roommate came over on saturday and we made lasagna and drank beer while Megan studied. Then she came out and joined us when it was ready! It was a fun time and a good weekend. Megan has a big biochem test tomorrow and then next monday is a monday with no tests! Thanksgiving and all.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Like march of the penguins.
The poor marketers must have had a fit at this movie because what looks like another sappy penguin movie with a cute twist turns dark quickly with humans as the villains who are fishing away their food. It even tackles religious motives.'God (aka the great penguin) made everything! Have faith and follow tradition and we will be saved!" "No, God may have made everything, but its up to us to fix it!" One reviewer said it best, "I wasn't expecting "subversive" to be one of the adjectives I'd use to describe a family-targed animated film." The rest of the story arches through exile, followed by new cultures,an epic journey, discovery, more epic journey, communication and heroic resolution and justification.
Some how, and I really don't know how, they managed to make this somewhat disjointed musical about dacing singing penguins saving the environment not dumb. In fact, they managed to make it really quite good. All I know is I was smiling through most of it and laughing through the rest.
I also found out after that this was a "G" movie according to who ever does those. But in the first 5 minutes they were singing "Kiss" by prince (U don't have 2 be beautiful 2 turn me on / I just need your body, baby, from dusk till dawn/ U don't need experience 2 turn me up there / U just leave/ it all up 2 me, I'm gonna show U what it's all about). And sex is a pervasive theme throughout the entire movie and some of the action sequences must be terrifying for young kids. I guess there is rating deflation going on.
I do have pictures, but I left the cable at school so I will post those tomorrow. I have not brewed since summer, and not a five gallon batch since spring!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
What's that mean?
Here's what Dream Moods Dictionary says:
"To see a coyote in your dream denotes deception and weakness."
And from another dream dictionary...
"A coyote, not being a very brave animal, will attack those living beings that are injured, dead, or just weaker then themselves, and they also run in packs like dogs, (kind of like street gangs). If you dream of being attacked by a pack of coyote, or see them wearing a threatening demeanor, you should be extremely careful for the next few days as this is a warning of danger to yourself. A friendly coyote is an omen of deception."
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Rick and I also took a field trip down to redwing to check out the glass studio they have there and help them set up an automatic kiln. Rick teaches there, but I have never been. Its a beautiful studio. Big, well lit, clean and open. Everything you need! So the lens hunt continues. Time is getting short already though, I think this is going to be cutting it short!
I am also going to buy a chepo wireless pinhole video camera for the show. Possibly more than one eventually. The imagery for this show is going to be all live and hopefully generated from inside the gallery. I still have lots of work to do though. Lets hope things congeal quickly.
Me: Well, I get to tell people that I just told my professor "I'm very aware of my penis."
Anyway.... er... more goats!
(the goat in front of me is the one making those squeeky-honky noises... and you can hear the farmer in the background, who I'm supposed to be listening to...)
Monday, November 13, 2006
In a matter of two days, I have completed Clinical Skills, Histology, and Animal Populations! My Clinical Skills practical final was on Friday. We had to perform a few steps of a physical exam on either a horse or cow- they didn't tell us which one until we arrived to take it. I ended up with a very nice horse named Zeke, and just had to examine his eye and front leg, point out where I would take a pulse, and get his heart rate. Nice horsey, I think I did just fine.
This morning was our Histology final. Not a big deal, I've been doing fine in Histo...
And this afternoon was our final Animal Populations class- a field trip to Poplar Hills Dairy Goat farm. What fun! I loff the goats.... We got to watch them get milked and got a tour of the farm. A picture is worth a thousand words, though, so here are some pictures (and videos)!
"I'm worried about bloggers," she said. "(A post) starts as a rumor and within 24 hours it's repeated as fact."
While she advocates a federal shield law to protect mainstream journalists from divulging their sources, she doesn't favor extending that to bloggers who don't follow the standards and ethnics of the journalism industry.
(hat tip atrios)
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Here is a little sequence from the photos I like. Go get it!
Friday, November 10, 2006
UPDATE: I love snow! It makes me so happy to see it all around. I am ready for fall to be over I think. I brushed/shoveled off my car and got out ok. Sure glad I have new good tires on there, they grip great. And there is something about driving rear wheel drive on slippery stuff that I think is nicer than driving with front wheel drive. Sure you slip more, but when you do I think you can control the car better because you can control the power to those wheels. Here is a pic some one else took of their volvo (I think) from northfield.org.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Anyway, tomorrow is my Clinical Skills practical exam. I have to go down to the teaching hospital, where I will have to go to either a cow or a horse and perform a few parts of a physical exam. I hope I get a horse! Cows are okay, but they are still a little scary for me. Plus, I have the very last test time, so I am going to get a grumpy critter that's been poked at by first years all afternoon. Just remember to stand close, so that if they kick you, it doesn't hurt as much!
Respiratory rate- cow: 20-40 bpm, horse: 12 bpm
Heart rate- cow: 60-80 bpm, horse: 36 bpm
Temp- cow: 100-102.5, horse: 99-101
- everything's higher in a foal, and heart rate is slightly higher in Thoroughbreds
Wish me luck!
The hallways (above) are straight lines, but are curved on one side. This creates lots of corners for apartment doors to live in so you don't feel so exposed looking down row upon row of doors. Each hallway is a different color scheme, this one being purple.
They are keeping as much historical pieces of the place in tact and they kept the old boiler down near the studios. Megan is standing next to it, it looks like a kiln. They also kept the old metal bridge and the general feel of a warehouse basement. Very cool next too glowing new construction.
They also had the studio space open. (left) It is a really nice space, good size and has access to the outdoors.
There are two more photos here. Possibly more, but verizon wont let Megan transfer more at this point. Who knows why.
The parking lot is all fenced in and there is a great green space between "B" and (our) "A" building. "A" is just as mysterious as last time I was there. The windows all have plastic and its all locked up. Megan did find a round hole that went to the basement and I measured it and it was almost two feet thick! Solid brick! Its probably not as thick higher up, but thats well built!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Enough election stuff.... In more important news, I passed my last anatomy test! I think I earned a gold star. I was little worried, since I spent all weekend cutting up deer heads instead of studying carnivore anatomy. I squeeked by, but my overall grade is still sitting at a B, so as long as I do well on the next two, I'm golden.
Speaking of cutting up deer heads, should I do it this next weekend too? The DNR came up 1000 samples short, so they need some more. It would mean almost $500.... but another weekend of not studying, or relaxing, or doing anything fun........
(I'm just kidding, I really do think the election is important! Go dems!)
Alright, its a new day and things just keep getting better.
Nationally, Democrats did fantastic. Historically fantastic. Not one Democrat on the national level lost their seat. On the other side, the Republicans seem to have lost 28 to 30 seats in the House, and the magic number 6 in the Senate, locking down the transfer of both houses to Democratic control. Not quite the 54-8 gains Republicans got in 94,' but certainly enough.
Not as talked about, the Dems picked up 6 governorships bringing the total to 28/22. On the legislature side, Dems control both houses of 23 states now, 9 are split, and 15 are both Republican and 2 are undecided still. (that equals 49, Nebraska is non-partisan/unicameral). That is a gain so far of 4 full control Dems, a loss of 5 full control Republican. Why is this important? Because these are the people who draw district lines and do the grass roots work to solidify national majorities. The Republicans have done a really good job at this for the past decade.
Locally, I think the Dems did just as good. Of course Amy won. Sure Hatch lost by an inch, but lets not forget that he was against an incumbent and that Dems took the MN house too! And further solidified their control of the senate. Thats a lot of power. Locally, the Northfield state Senate candidate David Bly, who has run for the past six years, won!
...By 57 votes. (insert 'every vote counts' here!)
And sure Wetterling lost to Bachman, but who cares because six term incumbent Gil Gutknecht lost to upstart Tim Walz! No one saw that coming.
In the fall out, Rumsfield has resigned and has been replaced by Bob Gates, a 26 year career spook for the CIA and G.H.W Bush's CIA director. Hmm...
I predict that Leberman will get what ever chairmanship he wants this time around. Democrats are too afraid he could possibly bolt. Ironic, that which did not kill him only made him stronger. Isn't there a saying like that? The good news is that we know Bush did not offer (or Leberman did not take) Rumsfield's old job as was rumored thus allowing the Republican Gov. to appoint a new (Republican) senator.
My predictions were pretty good this year and much better than two years ago! I was too pessimistic this time, guessing +28/5 when it looks like it will be +29/6. But I guess things could still change. Kathlene Harris lost by only 22% in FL and Rick Santorum lost by 18%. To his credit, he gave a really nice concession speech, and those are hard to give. Also keep an eye on Harold Ford Jr. from TN. His concession speech was certainly the best of the night, and could do for him a bit like Obama's "audacity of hope" speech did for him.
Long post for an amazing election. We will see how all this plays out in the coming months and years, but we know for sure things are going to be a lot different. (P.S. if you want to see my alternative headline picture click here)
Hmm, I hate these "learn about your personality"days. We are discussing these things in Professional Skills today. Here's me so far:
I'm a "Green"...
"For the most part, Greens communicate for the purpose of gaining or sharing information. During a conversation, their attention is usually focused on the matter at hand, not on the relationship."
... tied with being a "Blue"...
"A Blue's world revolves around people, relationships, and fostering growth in themselves and others. When speaking, they first focus their attention on establishing a relationship or reconnecting with the person. The information they wish to convey is woven into this relationship-building endevor."
And for dealing with conflict, I am primarily a Avoider and Appeaser, sometimes a Compromiser or Collaborator, and never a Competer.
My Myers-Briggs type is INFP:
"As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
INFP's, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves.
Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFP's are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.
INFP's do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFP's place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right.
INFP's do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don't understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgement, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFP's will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it's not uncommon for INFP's to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.
INFP's have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit.INFP's who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFP's."
Is that me? I don't know...
Comment from Chris: There is so much info they give you my else glaze over. Any one could see them selves in this survey, or not. Its like a modern version of astrology. The results are next to random but it can teach you about your self by what you take out of the reading. So what do you think is true about your self in here? And what is garbage?
MN-06 lost, but MN-01 was the dark horse. Who saw that comming?
It looks like Hatch lost by 1%, *sigh* I was on the wong side of that number.
We will see what the morning brings!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
EDIT: Can I just say that I love voting in Minnesota? News from all over is screwed up electronic voting, huge lines, and other forms of fraud, intimidation, and mischief.
Well for me, I walk in unregistered, show my Drivers license with a different address + internet bill and I am good to go. Whitney has no bills so she showed her passport and I vouched for her! The line was about zero and my lovely optical paper ballot was sucked into its vault and counted. Love it.