Friday, 30th of August, 2002
I went in for an interview with the Mehlville School District this morning and they are planning on hiring me to be a string teacher for one of their elementary schools! I'll probably be working with 2nd to 4th graders, and maybe advanced 5th and 6th grade depending on how many students sign up. It's actually a program done before school starts, kinda outside the normal school curriculum, so it's twice a week for half an hour. I've actually wondered what it would be like to teach music to kids, and now I get an opportunity to do it!
I watched The Iron Giant with the Thomases tonight and it's such a great movie! It's animated, but very cute and funny. Sure beats most of the Disney stuff floating around.
Wednesday, 28th of August, 2002
Either I missed something or that's a pretty funny typo on this Talayna's ad. Interesting spelling of De Baliviere too...
Tuesday, 27th of August, 2002
I'm starting to get a nice desk system going here at my new location. The L-shaped work area did end up working out the way I wanted it, as well as a music stand to fill the corner area, thanks to Hannah's brilliance.
Monday, 26th of August, 2002
Last night and during the day today I moved my stuff to the Wheeler residence hall on the Wash U campus. I pulled my computer out from the location and home and out with it came a nice jumble of cables. Good chance to organize again!
Friday, 23rd of August, 2002
I went to the first part of the Promise Keeper's conference tonight at the Savvis Center. It was nice, with 2 good speakers and a good worship band. It's definitely a smaller place to have Promise Keeper's than the TWA Dome, where they had it the last time it was in town.
Thursday, 22nd of August, 2002
Went back to Foot Locker to return my brother's shoes. Apparantly size 6 is too small, but size 7 is an adult size, and very rarely do size 6.5s exist. Definitely nothing at Foot Locker or Champs, though the sizes are pretty sketchy, one brand being bigger than the other and things like that. But at Foot Locker, I stumbled over a pair of shoes that I overlooked yesterday. I think I didn't consider them because of the dark blue cloth that it uses, so it's not truely all-black, but in anything but sunlight and yellow lighting it's pretty close to black. Didn't have the box for my new shoes with me to make the exchange, so that'll definitely happen tomorrow, because I put them on and they were the most comfortable shoes I'd ever worn. There were bumps perfectly where the foot arches are, and the use of cloth should make it more comfortable in heat than the all-leather ones I just bought yesterday. Even in the future, when these shoes get faded and dirty, I think they'll still look rather good, and they have "air" unlike the ones I bought yesterday, making them feel a little lighter. In general, they're much more comfortable. The reflective plastic thing lining the upper back of the shoe is kinda cool too, not a bad way to break the all-black, since plastic is more easily cleaned. Overall, the styling on these shoes is a bit more radical and not quite as neat as the ones I bought yesterday, but I must stay with my function over style priority - I'm sure the look will grow on me after 2 days and they're just so much more comfortable!
Wednesday, 21st of August, 2002
So my brother and I took advantage of the latest buy 1 shoe get the 2nd one 50% off deal that's at Foot Locker (and at Champs, apparantly) and we went to get new shoes. I'm pretty sold in Nike. I got Nikes when I was 13 and they lasted until I was almost 17. Then I tried Reebok shoes for a year (journal entry from 24th of March, 2000) and fell apart after less than a year so I bought Nikes again (16th of March, 2001). Those Nikes have lasted me until now, and they're still in excellent condition, buy Mom told me they looked faded or something so I guess I can have two shoes, a nice one and a beater pair. So I went into Foot Locker at the Galleria again and looked at Nikes, and found these nice pair of all-black basketball shoes with stitching parallel to the ground and a nice cool pastiky "pixel" pattern.
Tuesday, 20th of August, 2002
Well the Princeton Review results are in with regards to some of the more interesting rankings of colleges. Wash U was second last year to Wheaton University in food, but we have surpassed them this time and now, Washington University in St. Louis has the best food of all the colleges in the country. And I believe it! Stanford seems to treat their students well too, and I can believe how UM-Rolla is a miserable place to be. The list of worst food is rather interesting, though, SLU being one of them.
So I was given an electric toothbrush today with a Ni-Cd battery in it, and the manual said that one can just put it on the charger to keep it charged every day after use, and the only battery maintenance is to discharge the battery every 6 months. What? I was expecting something about how the battery had to be fully charged before using, and then some sort of interesting way to maintain the Ni-Cd battery so there would be no "memory effect" that seemed to plague video camera and Dustbuster batteries so much. So I went on a quest online to find out how much of the memory effect was myth - obviously it had to do with the current of the device to some extent, because there's a Ni-Cd in a Panasonic cordless phone we have and it's been just placed back on the charger after every use. Not exactly very conscience effort to "maintain" the Ni-Cd battery.
So I found a couple sources, one is Valence Technology which actually makes batteries, and an article in otherpower.com, a resource for alternative energy enthusiasts. It seems the type of use that occured with the Ni-Cd in our Panasonic cordless is perfect for a Ni-Cd - inconsistent usage. The memory effect does not happen with just 2 inconsistent charges - it happens if the device is charged at the same point of usage for "several times". A phone call can randomly last between 1 minute and 20 minutes, so that's pretty inconsistent usage, meaning the memory effect would probably never happen. Any sort of deterioration in battery performance would be a result of age. Though the phone is very well designed for Ni-Cd preservations freaks - it has a spare battery charger compartment, meaning one can keep a spare charged up at all times, and then use the one in the phone without charging until it runs out, and then "switch". I didn't get a spare battery because it didn't seem worth the $10.
So I found out I've been rather obsessive with the way I maintain Ni-Cd batteries - even though I never purposely ran down batteries using those special chargers, because that actually destroys the battery. I would just use Ni-Cd batteries until the radio-controlled car slowed down, or until the battery indicator starts flashing on the video camera. Which is fine, until one day one is stuck with just 20% power left in a camcorder and it wasn't recharged because of fear of the memory effect, and I have to tape something long. So the rule is this - don't charge Ni-Cds (or even NiMHs to some extent) at the same charge point many times in a row. Pretty simple. Now back to the case of the toothbrush - since I don't travel a lot, I would be charging the thing at the same time every time (after every brushing of the teeth) so it would be a good idea to charge it once, use it until it starts to slow down, and then charge it again. And I'd charge it before I leave town on trips. So the advice in the manual was off.
Sunday, 18th of August, 2002
BMW is totally expanding their lineup. Gone are the days when BMW was as simple as the 3, 5, and 7 series and the Z3 and M models. By 2004, we will have:
|Mini Cooper||3 door, convertible, and maybe 5-door versions||116 bhp and supercharged 163 bhp versions of the 1.6L I4
|1 Series||3 and 5 door RWD hatchbacks (wow!)||115 bhp I4 base to a 240 bhp engine for the M1
|2 Series||coupe and convertible on the 1 Series platform||115 bhp I4 base to a 240 bhp engine for the M2?
|3 Series||sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible||184 bhp 2.5L I6 powering the 325s, the 225 bhp 3.0L I6 powering the 330s, and the 333 bhp 3.2L I6 powering the M3.
|Z4||roadster to replace the Z3 with new body, suspension, and 6-speed and SMG versions!||2.5L and the 3.0L inline-6s from the 3 Series
|5 Series||sedan and wagon||2.5L and the 3.0L inline-6s, and the 290 bhp 4.4L V8 for the 540i, and a 394 bhp 5.0L V8 for the M5.
|X5||"sports activity vehicle"||the 3.0L I6, 4.4L V8 from the 5 Series as well as a 340 bhp 4.6L V8.
|6 Series||coupe and convertible||new engines; a 277 bhp 3.5L V8, a 333 bhp 4.4L V8 and a huge 500 bhp 5.0L V10 for the M6.
|7 Series||flagship sedan||a 325 bhp variant of the 4.4L V8.
|Z8||roadster||394 bhp 5.0L V8 from the M5
|Supercar||mid-engined sports car||500+ bhp 5.0L V10
It's satisfying to see all the numbers of the BMW lineup completed... it used to bug me why we never had a car with a 4 on it. Another question is, what becomes of the current M coupe and roadster? Will that be the M4? That would be satisfying, because then we would have everything from an M1 all the way up to the M6. I guess the 7 series would always be too big to think of as an M-car, but they can cheat and throw in the V10 into botht he 7-series and Z8 and call those M7 and M8. Wow, and look at all those engines - crazy for an auto company that doesn't even make trucks. Oh, let me list them, that'll be fun:
- 1.6L I4 - Mini Cooper (116 or supercharged 163 bhp)
- X.XL I4 - 1 and 2 Series
- 2.5L I6 - 325i, Z4, 525i (184 bhp)
- 3.0L I6 - 330i, Z4, 530i, X5 (225 bhp)
- 3.2L I6 - M3 (333 bhp) and M4? (315 bhp)
- 3.5L V8 - 635i (277 bhp) (aha! There was something missing in this engine lineup until the 6 Series came along)
- 4.4L V8 - 540i and X5 (290 bhp), 645i (333 bhp), 745i (325 bhp)
- 4.6L V8 - X5 (340 bhp) (how cute, they made an engine just for the X5)
- 5.0L V8 - M5 and Z8 (394 bhp)
- 5.0L V10 - M6 and mid-engined supercar (500+ bhp)
It's pretty cool, the numbering follows a pattern too. Just add 4 to a number from the 1 Series up to the Z4 and you get a higher priced and larger equivalent. Like the 2 Series is a coupe and convertible family of cars, and so is the 6 Series. The Z4 is a roadster, and so is the Z8. Now all I need to do is find out if they're actually going to make the X3 and X7 concepts presented a while ago. What would an X1 look like? Oh dear.
Thursday, 15th of August, 2002
"Do you see signs, see miracles, or do you believe people just get lucky? Is it possible, that there are no coincidences?"
Wednesday, 14th of August, 2002
Wow, I've revisited a movie that I haven't seen since I was a young child tonight - Empire of the Sun. The last time I saw it I was too young to understand that Steven Spielberg was an awesome director, and definitely too young to understand a lot of the imagery that was in it. But I watched it when I was young at least twice, and certain scenes really stuck to my head, and in no particular order either. It was great to revisit what I remembered and what I missed, and eventually hard to dig into some of the deeper aspects of the movie because I loved how real it portrayed events in history and the innocent nature of the character Jim within the historical story.
Saturday, 10th of August, 2002
We spent the day at Silver Dollar City today, and it was a nice cool day for it - until it started raining a little in ther afternoon. But before that happened we managed to hit all the rides - twice on the Wildfire, of course, and all the other lesser rides too. Thunderation is definitely much better from the back (faster) especially since there are no surprises in that ride anyway (no surprise advantage of being in the front). The view from the Buzzsaw Falls was again, spectacular, but there was definitely a wet moment for those of us in the back right of the car near the beginning of the ride. The lines were actually very short (comparable to the length of the weekdays of July last year) and I was surprised considering it was a Saturday. We also saw the Veggietales show that's there this summer, and that was really cool. Something about a giant 10-foot Larry on stage is pretty amazing. The even did excerpts from King George and the Ducki!
Friday, 9th of August, 2002
My family drove up to Branson this afternoon, and we went on the Showboat Branson Belle tonight for a starlight dinner show. It was cool, they've added some cool little detail things, and changed the show a little so it's not all old stuff, and still very entertaining (and good food.) Oh, and before going to the showboat we dropped by the fishery for Lake Taneycomo since we had a little extra time, and that was really cool too.
Saturday, 3rd of August, 2002
We had a quartet wedding gig this afternoon/evening, and it was pretty cool. The ceremony was at the Old Stone Church, which is run by Old Bonhomme Presbyterian. It's really truely old, built in 1841, and quite small. It even has the original heating system, which is two furnaces with chimneys that go up and then back to join at a Y-tube to exhaust out the back of the chapel. Cool! After the ceremony we played a while for the reception.
Friday, 2nd of August, 2002
Wow, I went out to see Signs with Joe and some of his friends, and it was totally awesome. It was actually a very high-quality suspense-thriller. It provided one of the best thrills I've ever seen, and it was not only that, but also a movie with lots of meaning revealing a lot of truth and reality of human life. The acting was just awesome, and the camerawork so essential to provide the thrills was all in there. I loved it! Ran into some people from my class of '01 at Ladue after the movie too, that was awesome.
From Road and Track:
"Hagerty Classic Insurance, in Michigan, underwrites special automobiles, and has completed a survey of the 10 most dangerous foods to eat while driving. The three worst are coffee, hot soup, and tacos, followed in order by chili-drenched dishes, juicy hamburgers, all barbecues, fried chicken, filled doughnuts, soft drinks and chocolate. The study shows that most food-triggered accidents occur in the morning, and involve attention-diverting spills." - I can hear it already, "No! My interior!" *looks down, crunches into tree* I'll admit, I came close once (I made it over the curb).
"The Progressive Auto Insurance company has finished an analysis of men's relationships with their cars. They found that 78 percent of men will admit that they literally love their cars, and that 43 percent actually think of them as close relatives. A full 63 percent talk things over with their vehicle, and 38 percent keep a picture of it in their wallet. And finally, 21 percent say they feel more affection for their car than for their mother-in-law."
Thursday, 1st of August, 2002
Beth and I made cookies this afternoon, and they were good. We have our own little secret ingredient now, and a not-so-secret thing we discovered. Well, one of the pans we used barely fit in the oven; one had to hold it in place to keep it shut, and of course that problem got worse as it heated up and expanded. The cold air got into it and made them a lot flatter and nicer looking than our other cookies, so we discovered that lowering the temperature produces good results.