Category Archives: Madison

Leave Your Keys On The Way Out

I moved out of Madison for something like the 6th time today (Christmas break in the dorms included), and my last for the near future. This is my keyring for the PLC, the brains behind the fountain – back in “my day”…

Graduation & Aftermath

It’s been a while since my last post, due to my intervening graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. It would be a lie if I were to say that some frivolity thereafter did not also keep me from this blog. 😀

So, to quickly recap what’s been happening, in pseudo-sequential order:

  • Me, Dave, and Jared graduated
  • Apparently the University thought I was smart enough to get some extra red for my costume, which clashed magnificently with the orange tassel of Engineering:

    Actually, I’m pretty proud of that: the red stole is the “Distinguished Scholar Award”, which is given to the top 20% of each class in GPA. I hit that category pretty well, having managed to keep a 4.0 all the way through college!
  • Then since the red stole with orange tassel didn’t cover enough of the spectrum, I further added some yellow and gold in the form of an Eta Kappa Nu honor stole & cords:

    And, because I think it’s an awesome shot and I want to highlight Jason who took all of the above graduation photos, here’s that golden stole again:
  • After graduation I enjoyed some great food with my relatives, at Biaggi’s in Middleton (awesome Italian) and Pizzeria Uno as well (great deep dish, but watch out for the “Spinoccoli”, it gave my sister food poisoning).
  • The next day Dave and Jared both had grad parties, at Devil’s Lake and in Green Bay, respectively. Good times all around.
  • Later in the week, Jason, Justin, and I took a 10.4-mile bike ride along Lake Mendota Drive, with a brief detour through Dairy Queen on the way home. Later that night we cooked up our own custom stir fry with Dave. It was pretty decent, though left a few lessons learned 🙂
  • Later in the week, I went to Body Worlds at the Milwaukee Public Museum with Jeni. It was pretty cool to see, though also fairly creepy…
  • On Friday night, Nate had his birthday party / Lauren’s going away party at our place, reuniting me with Em and Jamie, who I don’t think I’ve seen in at least a year. Good times again.
  • Finally by Sunday I was headed back to Green Bay, through a rather amazing storm just North of Madison. The clouds were so thick I thought it was night… up until I reached the edge of them and saw that the sun was only just setting. It was beautiful.
  • Oh yeah. And lest I actually graduate having accomplished something with that ridiculous fountain I’ve been working on for four years… Check out what we found (and flooded ourselves with) in the basement:



It’s time… if we don’t thaw this ice out now in a somewhat controlled manner, it will thaw itself in a potentially dangerous manner. Did I mention we made hundreds of pounds of ice?

Chris re-aligning our melting hose:
Chris Re-aiming the Hose

Thawing in progress:
Melting The Ice

Capitalizing on this Wisconsin Weather

On Monday, the high temperature was 44°F. On Tuesday, it was 43°F.

On Wednesday, the high was 3°F.

Fortunately, Chris had some foresight to capitalize on the warm days. So, he, Jason, Ben, Justin, and I set about getting the thermostat, heater, thermistor and associated wiring up and running for the mister nozzle we added to the fountain this year. After tracing a whole bunch of old wires up and down the fountain, we found that of 6 wires running up the fountain, only 4 still worked.

…Exactly how many we needed. 🙂

So, after the application of a little elbow grease (mostly on Chris’s part), a lot of volt metering (on all the rest of our parts), some general good engineering principles (:-P), and a little Wisconsin weather, we built this:

Maquina Icicles
Maquina Icicles

Powder Coated Maquina
Powder Coated Maquina

So I Think I'm Done

I’m sitting here at home in Green Bay, after 4 hours of sleep last night, a 7:45am (yuck) final, some errand-running, lunch, several hours of packing & hauling to fill the van whilst Kaisa & my parents were touring UW-Madison, a 2.5-hour drive nap home, supper, unloading the van, and watching the movie Cars, and despite all these out-of-the-ordinary things, I still can’t really wrap my head around the idea that I have moved out of my apartment, will be leaving for California in a week, and am now officially a college senior.


Even Nerdy Boys Will Be Boys

Grass Stains.jpg

In a way I think I’m actually glad to learn I haven’t outgrown grass stains. Keeps me from over-nerddom 🙂 Plus it was totally worth it, ey Jared?
Anyhow, for those concerned about what happened to me lately, fear not. It’s simply project time of the semester, and thus I live in Engineering Hall 🙂 I’ll ae resuming my regularly-scheduled life on Thursday, at which point all will be in and graded!
See you then.

Monona Terrace

Jared at Monona Terr.jpg

Jared, who was pretty impressed by seeing the beautiful side of Madison for the first time. (As compared to our much more concrete-heavy campus) I hadn’t been here in years, myself. I think since a scholarship banquet senior year of highschool. What a shame to live so close to a place like this and not go see it more often!

Back in Madtown

Well, we made it all the way back in Nate’s brand new car. He’s never owned a car with a manual transmission before, but he’s getting pretty decent. In fact, he drove from his house in GB all the way to within 11 feet of being safely parked at our apartment without snubbing it. That’s all I’m allowed to say.

Nate quote: “Have you ever seen this movie where this guy tells this other guy to tell this chick ‘What’s up?’, and the first guy likes the chick, but the second guy is dating her, and the first guy knows that the second guy is dating her and the second guy knows that the first guy likes her? I’ve got this scene in my head but I can’t put faces to it.”

Me: “…. What?

…And now back to our regulary-scheduled semester. aka, I can be reached at 3605 Engineering Hall, Wendt Library, or the Computer-Aided Engineering building for the duration of the semester.

Up Waaaay too late

So I didn’t go to bed until 4:45 last night/this morning. Oops. I guess I decided I needed a bit of a break now that I’m finally back to my apartment (as of 8pm tonight). I’m surprised how long I’ve made it without crashing today on 3:45 of sleep.

This was the scene yesterday when I went back in to campus to work with my CS 537 partner Ben. It’s somewhat hard to tell from the photo, but straight above me is your average early-evening-with-cloud-cover gray. Down the street at the bottom of the photo (downtown Madison), it’s pitch black. Very impressive-looking storm, though we didn’t really get anything at all out of it. One crack of thunder and a couple sprinkles.

They’re taking down the last construction crane outside Mechanical Engineering today. I can’t remember the sky over Engineering without cranes.

“One last refrain… before the sun sets.”