September, 2004

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September 30, 2004

Shame on me. I had meant to do homework tonight, but I foolishly decided to start a book while eating supper. Bad idea – something I realized at 9 PM, 11 PM, and 2 AM when I couldn’t put it down. And the thing was it wasn’t even that good – it was like a fantasy soap opera. Don’t know how he managed to do that, but it was sorta weird. OK, time to do homework for real.

September 29, 2004

My Engineering Analysis class is pretty useless, but I do get to learn some semi-interesting algorithms. On such one is a root finder, so I’ll upload the source code to that after I turn it in tomorrow.

September 27, 2004

OK, I’m am officially sick and tired of hurricanes. When Jeanne started making tracks towards our neck of the woods again in Vero Beach, our whole family headed across the state to our vacation spot in Tarpon Springs near Tampa. From our hotel, we watched this guy on TV in one of our shopping plazas in Vero Beach being virtual blown away (they are tied down with a rope around their foot for a reason!). Not fun to say the least. Then the hurricane didn’t do what it was expected to and came straight through where we were in Tarpon Springs. So we spent another day without electricity. Our house didn’t loose it’s roof, but we had a lot of water damage. I’m think my sister has the right of it: move to Montana and dig a whole in the ground and call it home!

September 11, 2004

I’d first like to take a moment to remember this day 3 years ago and take a moment to think about the US (and other nation’s) troops around the globe. On a less serious note, there is another hurricane headed this way! Noooooo! (goes and cries). It’s a mean one too: cat 5 with 165 mph sustained winds. That means there’s got to be over 200 mph gusts! Whew! I’m glad it’s not headed straight for us, but pray for the people in it’s path. Today our whole UCF Robotics Lab went down to the Orlando Science Center with our gears and demos and setup an exhibition. I got very little sleep last night because I was working on a sample program that would identify ping-pong balls or other stuff in real time. After fooling around, I found out that one version picked up skin in addition to ping-pongs. Make the background black, and you get this really strange looking image of your head, arms and hands! All the little kids loved the Robotic Connect 4 game, and we also had the vision demo (mine), the SICK laser demo (a plot of the nearest objects in a 180 degree sweep in realtime (think radar)), and some of our robots. Anyhow, enough, time to go to zzzzz….

September 6, 2004

What a terrible weekend! Instead of going to Tarpon Springs for vacation, I instead headed down to my home in Vero Beach Thursday. I got there at 1:30 PM, and spent the next 7 hours hauling sheets of plywood, drills, screws, stakes, panels, equipment, and all sorts of other stuff around. When working late into the night, you know you are working way too late when the sun starts to rise. Actually, it was the first time I went 24 hours without sleep. Not a fun experience at all! Anyhow, we got on the road and went to a little town in Barberville, about 50 miles north of Orlando (well inland). My grandparents were there (they have a fern farm there). Anyhow, we spent the weekend there and went two days without power (not fun!). Even 50 miles away from the hurricane, we got very high winds that knocked down power lines and trees. In fact, we couldn’t even get out of our driveway until somebody came down with chainsaws and tractors to haul away the trees. Here are some pictures: (Picture of the blocked driveway) & (Closeup). Today we came back to Orlando and we had power (and hot showers!!!!) and everything seems to be getting back to normal. Unfortunately, my home in Vero doesn’t seem like it fared to well, but we’ll see…

September 2, 2004

Well, it’s about 40 minutes until Thursday and I’m about to evacuate…TOWARDS the hurricane. I’m headed home to help my parents board up. and then we are all headed out. So much for a peaceful weekend doing robotics, re-installing my system, and doing homework.

September 1, 2004

What an unlucky week. Another category 4 hurricane headed directly for us, my computer won’t boot Windows because system files are “missing or corrupt.” Arg! Well, at least I haven’t lost any data quite yet. Linux to the rescue! I’ve moved all the data from my 5 GB partition over to my (now defunct) 20 GB Windows parition. Now I’ve installed Windows XP on that partition and hopefully can actually work until I have time to do a good job of a re-install. I guess that depends on how Hurricane Frances feels…