Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First off, I was scared to death to take these two graduate classes this semester. I hate doing things that I have never done before when I don't think I will be any good at them. Plus I didn't know how the professors would be or what the work load would be or if the lectures would be boring or... well anything. I took a graduate class last semester as an undergrad and was terribly bored (not by the content, I liked that, but the professor would put me to sleep every day). Anyhow, so enter this year where I sign up to take two grad classes as a grad (meaning I have to do all the work that a grad student would do, meaning one extra project). Both of my professors so far have been incredible!! I love the classes and I love the material even more than last year. I am still a little bit scared of the workload, but I think it should be okay.

My first class is ENME695 - Reliability Engineering. What is that? We study what reliability is. Why in the world would you study that? Well, because companies need to know how and when a product is going to fail before they put it on the market so that can predict warranties and stuff like that. Let's start with a definition: Reliability is the ability of a product to properly function within specified performance limits, for a specified period of time, under the life cycle application conditions. So we have to learn how to perdict that specified period of time and what kind of conditions the product is being put through. Wow, this sounds boring. I'm not bored. Today we bent paper clips until they broke and saw that we all use differnt forces when bending them and that unless we have standarized tests we really can't perdict reliable results. So there is a class of 22 students and we all had to break three different paper clips. It was great. It wasn't like one of those dumb labs where we all stand around and dumbly stare at each other, but the professor kept lecturing as we played with the pc.

We also studied the bathtub curve in great detail today. What is that? A curve that looks like a bathtub. A good example is the human life. When you are first born you have a higher chance to survive the next day, if you have survived the previous day. So you get stronger as you get older. If you die early on it is called infant mortality or in engineering, early failure. So the rate is really high that you will die when really young, but then decreases and flatten out to a straight line as you steady out in the middle of your life. The only deaths that occure during the middle of the life are what we call random or chance failures (they are unexplained acts of God or things that we can't perdict). Finally we get to later life where your chances of dying are increasing. So the curve goes back up. We call these types of failures wearout failures. So the curve looks like a bathtub if you picture the whole thing. Products follow the same curve. There are some products that never work or die early on because of defect in the product. Some will stop working because of random things that can't be explain, but most will last until the end and wearout.

My second class is ENME808Z. It is the second part to the class I took last year. The work in this class is going to be crazy, but I love the professor. I need to talk to him about doing grad work with him. I talked to him last semester, but he suggested talking to his grad students, other professors, and watching him lecture before I made a decision. I haven't met anyone else that I admire more in the ME department. Plus, he lets us out of class early because he says it is stupid to lecture for the full time period if you can cover everything in less time. So yesterday we were only in class for 50 minutes instead of the full hour and 15 minutes.

Anyhow, I have homework to do. Pray I have wisdom about what to do next year. So basically pray that doors will be closed if they are supposed to be closed. It is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For Hayley.

This will always be a fond memory for me. My parents had gone away for a few days and the Taylor parents were watching us. They let Sarah, Hayley, and I sleep downstairs in the den and stay up late to watch the final US gymnastic performances. It was so excited!! The first video is of Kerri Strug (who has a funny voice, but you don't get to hear it here) and the second one is of Dominique Moceanu. I used to be a big Shannon Miller fan too, but I thought this performance by Dominique Moceanu was much more interesting that Shannon's. So that is why I posted it. I was watching some of her other stuff on youtube Saturday and was very impressed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Anna has a new blog.

* Go look at her photos for her class.

I like Saxon Math. I found this article about people not using Saxon math because there is objectionable content in it... I don't remember anything objectionable in them. Here is the article link to the questionable problems and here is the article link about these problems. I don't see what the big fuse is all about. I included a few of the questions people had problems with below. Comments? Does your family have problems mentioning gnomes, fairies, elves, or Greek gods? I always found the Greek god stories entertaining and I love fairy tales. They are good clean fun. Let kids use their imagination. What I love about Saxon is how it includes chemistry and physics problems without telling you. When I started taking real chemistry and physics I found that I already knew how to do some of the problems because I had done them as word problems in Saxon. Now, what is my problem with Saxon, I wish I had read the lessons and actually tried to understand them instead of just diving on in to the material. I think it would have been a lot better if I had learned to read textbooks way back then. But of course, that is my fault and not Saxon maths fault. I like math. I hope at least a few of my children like math someday. :)

Set 12, problem 2. Mickey saw 14 gnomes in the forest and 23 gnomes in the valley. How many gnomes did Mickey see?

Set 13.2. At first thirty-five fairies were flying about. Later twenty-seven more fairies began to fly about. In all, how many fairies were flying about?

Set 32.1. Just before high noon, Nancy saw seventy-eight elves playing in the valley. At high noon, there were only forty-two elves playing in the valley. How many elves had left the valley by high noon?

Set 32.2. According to the ancient Greeks, dryads were tree fairies. Penelope went one way and saw forty-six dryads. Perseus went the other way and saw some more dryads. Altogether they saw seventy-three dryads. How many dryads did Perseus see?

Set 41.3. When Linda looked the first time, she saw 211 elves frolicking in the glen. When she looked the second time, there were 272 elves frolicking in the glen. How many more elves did she see the second time?

Set 93.2. The shoemaker's wife made each of the 12 elves a pair of pants and 2 shirts. How many pieces of clothing did she make?

Set 102.12. The Fairy Queen flew 820 miles in 5 hours. How far did she fly in 1 hour?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Two things:

1. I had the craziest dream last night. It was so real and disappointing when I woke up. I got an invitation to a shower for Linnea Taylor (whether she was Linnea Taylor yet, I don't know and neither do I know what the shower was for). So my family is in our van heading down the bypass to the old Taylors house, but when we get to the front of the neighborhood, suddenly I am riding my bike. I ride my bike all the way through the neighborhood. I even catch myself thinking, now should I turn right and go the way that we always used to drive in or should I go left towards the Andersons. I went right and road past the court with the old hippie van and around the curve that follows that and came to the Taylors house. The weird thing about this dream is how real everything was. It looked just like the old neighborhood, nothing was changed. It was crazy.

I park my bike in the garage where we used to keep the bikes and I walk into the mudroom and through the den and into the kitchen where I am greeted my Mrs. Shelton. I guess I was early or something because no one else had arrived yet. Mrs. Shelton is showing me around the house and showing me how she painted this and hung these new curtains. As I am touring the house a few of my siblings appear and they are commenting about how nice the rooms look and how different they are from before. I hope to find out that the Sheltons have bought the house, just Pastor and Mrs. Shelton, I don't know where the rest of the kids are. We (my siblings and I are teasing each other that it looks so much better than when we stayed there and how there aren't sleeping bags all unfolded all over the place and toys everywhere. One of us even remarks about how the parrot isn't there in the corner of the school room anymore) walk around and then head downstairs where I guess we start the party or whatever we were doing there. The dream sort of ends there. But it was so weird and real. Usually in a dream details are out of place, like the rooms aren't the right size or in the right location, but everything was the same, just the walls were different colors. Oh and one more thing, the kitchen was now dark green with black molding and dark wood cabinets. Mrs. Shelton was thinking of changing that because the people who owned the house before them had changed it to this and she didn't really like it. So yeah. Strange dream. It made me miss the Taylors old house. heh.

2. I just looked up my graduation information at Salisbury today. The website says, "SPRING COMMENCEMENT IS SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2008 AT 10 A.M. AND 2 P.M. AT THE WICOMICO YOUTH & CIVIC CENTER." Well, that is all well and good, but then I remembered this from the University of Maryland website, " 15-21: Final Exam, College Commencment - 22, 23".

So how is it that both universities are in the University of Maryland school system and are supposed to have the same schedule, but somehow, Salisbury expects me to come home when I have a final on Friday, Saturday, and Monday and graduate on Saturday. It isn't even possible. :) Silly school system. I guess I now have an excuse not to walk at SU. I didn't really want to have to sit through two graduations. I'm not mad, just curious, how they claim to have the same schedule, but don't.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Jared and Matt Song from a rally at Clemson yesterday.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

JARED AND MATT make the front page of the Daily Times!!!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Today I am featuring a post by Matt Robins. He wrote this on facebook. But I thought I would steal it for all of you that are not on facebook or are not friends of his on facebook. I was going to post about this, but Matt says it better than I would. Lastly, I would just like to say how EXCITED I am about this!!!! I am so proud of you both!
- Faith

Matt and Jared go on the road with Huckabee in S.C.!!!!!
by Matt Robins

"So as some of you may know, I have been making support video song parodies with my idk bff Jared Shelton for the Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. They can be found at my youtube address:

When we started these things it was sort of just for fun and at the reccomendation of his girlfriend's (Faith Harr) sister (Sarah Harr) but then we got so much positive feedback (and a little bit of e-fame) that we started making more. We have recorded four (though I've written more) and three of them actually got on Huckabee's campaign blog. That, we thought, was as far as this would go and were perfectly happy with it. We were wrong.

Yesterday Mike's son David got in contact with us and even spoke a bit on the phone with Jared (because he's signed up on the website and had his info listed) and we were invited to go on the road with Team Huckabee in South Carolina for three rally stops where we would kick off the events by performing live one or more of our parodies!!!!! And possibly with the Huckster himself, as he's quite the accomplished bassist!!!! And CHUCK FREAKING NORRIS will be there!!!

Of course we accepted. They're reimbursing us for all gas used, paying for our hotel room which will be right with everyone in their campaign, and we'll get to just hang out with everyone!

Regardless of your own political standing, this is like NATIONAL exposure! Big things could come of this.


So we leave Wednesday morning and will be sure to take a TON of pictures and make some sort of blog or something to chronicle our journey, though we're both very bad at doing that sort of thing. We'll keep y'all posted regardless. :-P "

Friday, January 11, 2008

Edit: Matt and Jared have a new song!!! Watch it below the Huckabee video. :D

And yet another two reasons to LOVE Huckabee...
Watch this video about Huckabee and marriage and then Matt and Jared singing and love Huckabee too.
Clearly, I heart Huckabee!!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

I say that my favorite ice cream is Turkey Hill Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, second only to their choco mint chip. However, many years ago they made an ice cream called Choco Malt Chip. It was the most amazing ice cream ever, if you let it sit out for a while and get all melted around the edges. It was a special flavor that Turkey Hill made one summer and then never made it again (I first had it early that summer at the Huntingtons and then Mom and I were obsessed with it all summer until they didn't sell it anymore... then we were sad). Anyhow, I open my freezer today and what do I find?!? Choco Malt Chip ice cream!! I am so excited!! Run to your nearest store and buy some (just not Walmart because they don't sell Turkey Hill ice cream). Spoon yourselves out a bowl and then let it sit for a while (or put it in the mircrowave for five or ten seconds) and then enjoy (it is better in the summer when it melts by itself, but enjoy it now while you can)!

Happy New Year and Happy New Ice Cream!!

*Edit: After a day of thinking about it, I have decided that Choco Malt Chip is the best ice cream if it is melted, but I think Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is the best overall!! But I have to think about it a little bit more... heh.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

News for the week:

* I started back to work today.

* My music appreciation class starts tomorrow.

* Georgia won the Sugar Bowl.

* Tomorrow is the Iowa Caucas.

* I didn't even stay up until Midnight on New Year's Eve. I was so tired.