Jan 182013
 January 18, 2013  Posted by at 8:27 am Law and Order, Technology Tagged with: , , , ,  Comments Off on It’s Internet Freedom Day

Today is internet freedom day. Let’s not forget what was in line to be passed into law by congress prior hearing the angry voice of the people being governed. The people who wrote those terrible bills (SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, etc.) are, for the most part, still in office. Some may have learned something, but I suspect all they might have learned was that what they are doing is unpopular enough to warrant even less transparency than the little they provide now.
Hat tip to Techdirt for this fantastic infographic. I’ll let it speak for itself.

Jan 072013
 January 7, 2013  Posted by at 8:31 am Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , , ,  Comments Off on A Void – Black Bird

A reworded version of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (one of my favorite poems) from Georges Perec’s “A Void”:


‘Twas upon a midnight tristful I sat poring, wan and wistful,
Through many a quaint and curious list full of my consorts slain –
I sat nodding, almost napping, till I caught a sound of tapping,
As of spirits softly rapping, rapping at my door in vain.
“‘Tis a visitor,” I murmur’d, “tapping at my door in vain –
Tapping soft as falling rain.”

Ah, I know, I know that this was on a holy night of Christmas;
But that quaint and curious list was forming phantoms all in train.
How I wish’d it was tomorrow; vainly had I sought to borrow
From my books a stay of sorrow – sorrow for my unjoin’d chain –
For that pictographic symbol missing from my unjoin’d chain –
And that would not join again.

Rustling faintly through my drapings was a ghostly, ghastly scraping
Sound that with fantastic shapings fill’d my fulminating brain;
And for now, to still its roaring, I stood still as if ignoring
That a spirit was imploring his admission to obtain –
“‘Tis a spirit now imploring his admission to obtain -”
Murmur’d I, “- but all in vain.”

But, my soul maturinng duly, and my brain not so unruly,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your aquittal would I gain;
For I was in fact caught napping, so soft-sounding was your rapping,
so faint-sounding was your tapping that you tapp’d my door in vain –
Hardly did I know you tapp’d it” – I unlock’d it but in vain –
For ’twas dark without and plain.

Staring at that dark phantasm as if shrinking from a chasm,
I stood quaking with a spasm fracturing my soul in twain;
But my study door was still as untowardly hush’d and chill as,
Oh, a crypt in which a still aspiring body is just lain –
As a dank, dark crypt in which a still surprising man is lain –
Barr’d from rising up again.

All around my study flapping till my sanity was snapping,
I distinctly caught a tapping that was starting up again.
“Truly,” said I, “truly this is turning now into crisis;
I must find out what amiss is, and tranquility obtain –
I must still my soul an instant and tranquility obtain –
For ’tis truly not just rain!”

So, my study door unlocking to confound that awful knocking,
In I saw a Black Bird stalking with a gait of proud disdain;
I at first thought I was raving, but it stalk’d across my paving
And with broad black wings a-waving did my study door attain –
Did a pallid bust of Pallas on my study door attain –
Just as if ’twas its domain.

Now, that night-wing’d fowl placating my sad fancy into waiting
On its oddly fascinating air of arrogant disdain,
“Though thy tuft is shorn and awkward, thou,” I said “art not so backward
Coming forward, ghastly Black Bird wand’ring far from thy domain,
Not to say what thou art known as in thy own dusk-down domain!”
Quoth that Black Bird, “Not Again”.

Wondrous was it this ungainly fowl could thus hold forth so plainly,
Though, alas, it discours’d vainly – as its point was far from plain;
And I think it worth admitting that, whilst in my study sitting,
I shall stop Black Birds from flitting thusly through my door again –
Black or not, I’ll stop birds flitting through my study door again –
What I'll say is, “Not Again!”

But that Black Bird, posing grimly on its placid bust, said primly
“Not Again”, and I thought dimly what purport it might contain.
Not a third word did it throw off – not a third word did it know off –
Till, afraid that it would go off, I thought only to complain –
“By tomorrow it will go off,” did I trustfully complain.
It again said, “Not Again”.

Now, my sanity displaying stark and staring signs of swaying,
“No doubt,” murmur’d I, “it’s saying all it has within its brain;
That it copy’d from a nomad whom Affiction caus’d to go mad,
From an outcast who was so mad as this ghastly bird to train –
Who, as with a talking parrot, did this ghastly Black Bird train
To say only, `Not Again.'”

But that Black Bird still placating my sad fancy into waiting
For a word forthcoming, straight into my chair I sank again;
And, upon its cushion sinking, I soon found my spirit linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of Cain –
What this grim, ungainly, gahstly, gaunt, and ominous bird of Cain
Sought by croaking “Not Again.”

On all this I sat surmising, whilst with morbid caution sizing
Up that fowl; its tantalising look burn’d right into my brain;
This for long I sat divining, with my pain-rack’d back inclining
On my cushion’s satin lining with its ghastly crimson stain,
On that shiny satin lining with its sanguinary stain
Shrilly shouting, “Not Again!”

Now my room was growing fragrant, its aroma almost flagrant,
As from spirits wafting vagrant through my dolorous domain.
“Good-for-naught,” I said, “God sought you – from Plutonian strands God brought you –
And, I know not why, God taught you all about my unjoin’d chain,
All about that linking symbol missing from my unjoin’d chain!”
Quoth that Black Bird, “Not Again.”

“Sybil!” said I, “thing of loathing – sybil, fury in bird’s clothing!
If by Satan brought, or frothing storm did toss you on its main,
Cast away, but all unblinking, on this arid island sinking –
On this room of Horror stinking – say it truly, or abstain –
Shall I – shall I find that symbol? – say it – say it, or abstain
From your croaking, ‘Not Again’.”

“Sybil!” said I, “thing of loathing – sybil, fury in bird’s clothing!
By God’s radiant kingdom soothing all man’s purgatorial pain,
Inform this soul laid low with sorrow if upon a distant morrow
It shall find that symbol for – oh, for its too long unjoin’d chain –
Find that pictographic symbol missing from its unjoin’d chain.”
Quoth that Black Bird, “Not Again.”

“If that word’s our sign of parting, Satan’s bird,” I said, upstarting,
“Fly away, wings blackly parting, to thy Night’s Plutonian plain!
For, mistrustful, I would scorn to mind that untruth thou hast sworn to,
And I ask that thou by morn tomorrow quit my sad domain!
Draw thy night-nibb’d bill from out my soul and quit my sad domain!”
Quoth that Black Bird, “Not Again.”

And my Black Bird, still not quitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On that pallid bust, still flitting through my dolorous domain;
But it cannot stop from gazing for it truly finds amazing
That, by artful paraphrasing, I such rhyming can sustain –
Notwithstanding my lost symbol I such rhyming still sustain –
Though I shan’t try it again!


Jan 072013
 January 7, 2013  Posted by at 6:41 am Music, Reviews Tagged with: ,  Comments Off on Theophany Kicks Ass

I found this group by chance while surfing the net just shy of the latest “Mayan doomsday” event. I happened upon the site terriblefate and was surprised by a giant Majora’s mask, a count down, and a decent groove. They are on bandcamp (player embeded below) and are worth checking out.

Aug 242012
 August 24, 2012  Posted by at 3:47 pm Reviews, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on A Useful Tool for Viewing an Outlook Exchange Server Local Cache

I recently had the need to look up the email address of an acquaintance that I misplaced years ago. During my time working with this person, I, thankfully, made routine backups of the local cache of my exchange server profile. I did this in case the server data happened to become corrupted or ruined since the local cache used by outlook is a full copy of the data stored by the server, given all content is set to be downloaded during a synchronization. Making the backup is typically as simple as copying the appropriate *.ost file from the “%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Outlook Files\” folder (though, you should make sure to disconnect from the exchange server and completely close Outlook to unlock the file if it is in use or the primary profile).

Unfortunately, this file is not meant to be used as a backup, nor is Outlook capable of importing it. After about 20 minutes of Google-fu and failed solutions (usually meaning not freeware or simply useless advice), I came across this blog post describing two programs called Kernel PST Viewer (description, download) and Kernel OST Viewer (description, download). The second program caught my attention, and it turned out to be just what I needed. While it is somewhat functionally limited, it does exactly what it is expected to do and allows one to view the contents of an *.ost file in a simple and well organized layout.

Jul 022012
 Going Home to Celebrate Independence Day  July 2, 2012  Posted by at 9:20 pm Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Going Home to Celebrate Independence Day

I’ll be home for the holiday to take some much needed time off of work at Dow. My time here has been outstanding so far! But, a little relaxation will help keep me going the second half of the summer. I miss my family and friends back home. As a convenience (to myself) I’ve found a nifty countdown plugin and added a countdown to my arrival in Gainesville after the jump.

Continue reading »

May 282012
 May 28, 2012  Posted by at 10:46 am Chemical Engineering, Education Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Off to a Summer Internship at Dow Chemical

So, today is my last day in my home town for a while. Tomorrow, I leave to travel to my summer internship at Dow!!! I’m rather excited for the switch from real world problems in an academic setting to those posed by private industry. A copy of the job description is after the jump. From what I can gather, I will be assisting with designing and implementing data analysis systems for experimental data using JMP, a powerful and flexible statistical analysis program. This will be really interesting, as a long time interest and hobby of mine has been artificial neural networks and intelligent control design. Stretching, flexing, and building those mental muscles will be a welcome change from my past research focus on process design for fluid phase multi-component energy and mass transfer (heat exchangers, distillation columns, liquid-liquid extraction columns, etc) in the context of use for the Unit Ops Lab. Getting a taste of work in the industry between undergrad and grad school will help me decide on which primary career path I want to take after I get my next degree: work in the general private sector or continue with academia. I’ll have about ten weeks to fully immerse myself in a new set of challenges. This will be a lot of fun!
Continue reading »

May 232012
 May 23, 2012  Posted by at 5:32 pm Law and Order, Random Musings, Technology, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  40 Responses »

YouTube has just broken a whopping 72 hours of uploaded video per minute. Think about that. Every minute, three days of new video is added to, arguably, the largest such centralized repository of freely available video content. That is HUGE. That also brings up a few questions given the strenuous legal climate over the past decade. How such a monument to human creativity and curiosity will continue to survive without imploding under the strain of opposing human drives is largely a guessing game at this point. On the one hand, there is the self-evident natural will to create, innovate, remix, refine, renew, and share the endeavors of ourselves and others. On the other hand, there is also the similarly well intended and quite reasonable craving to retain proof and pride in the fruits of one’s labor, either through the direct capacity to demonstrate said results or via the more abstract means of equitable exchange for other produced goods. In the latter case, money usually suits the purpose rather well. In an attempt to adequately construct a balanced framework for these natural tendencies to promote a benefit to the community, the founding fathers remained intentionally vague when they wrote the copyright clause. They left it to the people to derive the meaning of “Progress of Science and the useful Arts.” At the time of writing it was meant to imply a restricted means for disseminating the labors of the booming fields of philosophy (lest we forget science began, and remains, as natural philosophy) and mechanical innovation to the public while reserving for those who labored a brief time to adequately profit from said work. Since this time, the meaning of the clause has been reinterpreted as an automatic entitlement to the use and reuse of all created works nigh in perpetuity. The copyright term for anything created today includes the life of the creator(s) plus 70 years. (/rant)

In light of this refreshed context, YouTube’s success seems a little more intimidating. While several organizations see YouTube as a threat to be sued and/or shamed out of existence (RIAA/MPAA/etc.), there are thankfully protections in place (fair use) for the rights of those they would happily squelch to see their goals met. Under the DMCA, the notice and take down system, while not perfect, has been tempered with the power of a fair use counter notice. Beyond these steps for settling a dispute over content, the accuser sues the accused in a court of law. The determination of copyright infringement, in general, has been found to require the ruling of a judge.

Now, with all of this in mind, YouTube might reasonably be wondering how cost effective it would be to work with purported defenders of artists’ rights to accommodate for the rights of copyright holders. Well, lets begin with the rate of content being uploaded, \displaystyle R.
\displaystyle R=\frac{\partial t_v}{\partial t}=\frac{t_v}{t}=72\cfrac{\text{hours}}{\text{minute}}
Converting this to its natural dimensionless units will help when it is split up.
\displaystyle R=72\cfrac{\text{hours}}{\text{minute}}\times 60\cfrac{\text{minutes}}{\text{hours}}
  Continue reading »

May 012012
 May 1, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am Chemical Engineering, Education, Projects Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Distillation of a Binary Mixture in a Distillation Column of Arbitrary Design, Part 5

*Note: This article is part of a series on a specific research project: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
*Note: This article assumes you have rudimentary knowledge of how a simple distillation column operates. Though much of the basics of the simple model for a distillation column will be covered below, it should not be considered as a stand alone reference.

5.0 Conclusions

Since there were several motivations for this derivation, the conclusions that may be drawn from it overall will be broken down into two relevant categories for discussion and summary.
Continue reading »

Feb 292012
 February 29, 2012  Posted by at 4:00 pm Chemical Engineering, Education, Projects Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Distillation of a Binary Mixture in a Distillation Column of Arbitrary Design, Part 4

*Note: This article is part of a series on a specific research project: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
*Note: This article assumes you have rudimentary knowledge of how a simple distillation column operates. Though much of the basics of the simple model for a distillation column will be covered below, it should not be considered as a stand alone reference.

4.0 Generalization to Columns of Arbitrary Design

4.1.0 Motivation for Generalizing to an Arbitrary Design

The motivation to generalize to a system with an arbitrary topology is simply to take the next logical step and expand on what has already been accomplished. The case for two feed/side streams was itself an extension of the simple case of a single feed stream.

4.2.0 Physical Description for a Generalized Column Model

To generalize to an arbitrary topology, some choices as far as the idealized general topology have to be made. This leads to the least complex yet most regularly structured limit of including a single feed stream and a single side stream placed optimally at each theoretical plate. So, the column is now comprised of \displaystyle n plates, each of which is associated with a feed stream (\displaystyle F_i , \displaystyle x_{F_i} , and \displaystyle q_{F_i} ), a side draw stream (\displaystyle S_i , \displaystyle x_{S_i} , and \displaystyle q_{S_i} ), a liquid overflow entering from above (\displaystyle L_{i-1} and \displaystyle x_{i-1} ) and underflow leaving below (\displaystyle L_i and \displaystyle x_i ), a vapor overflow leaving above (\displaystyle V_i and \displaystyle y_i ) and underflow entering from below (\displaystyle V_{i+1} and \displaystyle y_{i+1} ), and the distillate and waste streams with their associated values as described in part 1.

4.3.0 Method of Model Generalization

Continue reading »

Feb 152012
 February 15, 2012  Posted by at 11:30 pm Chemical Engineering, Chemistry Tagged with:  Comments Off on Useful Definitions and Identities for Thermodynamic Potentials

This is just a summary of many of the definitions and identities I find useful when working with the basic thermodynamics of a system or process.  It is not meant to be a comprehensive list.

Mathematical Identities

Using the reasoning behind the notation used for derivatives of thermodynamic potentials, there are some useful identities given the following prototypical system

Eq. 1) \displaystyle X=X\left(Y,Z\right)

This equation represents a generic thermodynamic potential of an arbitrary system or process as a function of two implicitly extensive thermodynamic potentials.  Adopting the notation

Eq. 2) \displaystyle\underline{X}=\frac{X}{N}

To denote the relationship between intensive variables, extensive variables, and the size of the system allows for the trivial conversion between system size dependent and system size agnostic thermodynamic relationships.  The total differential for the extensive form of the thermodynamic potential for the prototypical system is given by
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Feb 142012

When I took my process thermodynamics course as an undergraduate student, I was told to use what I had initially considered to be a completely redundant notation for partial derivatives for thermodynamic potentials.  The notation involved wrapping the partial derivative in a set of parentheses and noting which variables were “held constant” as a subscript.

Ex. \displaystyle\left(\frac{\partial P}{\partial V}\right)_{T,\vec{N}}

The derivation leading to this was woefully devoid of the mathematical basis for this apparently redundant notation.  Furthermore, so was the general literature on the subject, most of which consisted of fleeting introductions to their respective application.  As I played with the idea, it became clear why this notation was indeed very necessary.  It was only as I was solving a separate problem on my own that such notation yielded valuable information about the nature of the potentials being described.

Continue reading »

Feb 102012
 February 10, 2012  Posted by at 7:00 pm Chemical Engineering, Education, Projects Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Distillation of a Binary Mixture in a Distillation Column of Arbitrary Design, Part 3

*Note: This article is part of a series on a specific research project: Part 1, Part 2
*Note: This article assumes you have rudimentary knowledge of how a simple distillation column operates. Though much of the basics of the simple model for a distillation column will be covered below, it should not be considered as a stand alone reference.

3.0 Proof of the Equivalence of Methods 1 and 2

3.1.0 Geometric Basis for Equivalence

3.1.1 The Rationale of the Method for Comparison

Given that method 1 and method 2 involve plotting the exact same enriching and stripping operation lines, the enriching and stripping operation lines are by definition not parallel for any real physical system that does not involve an azeotrope**, and the combined streams q-line from method 2 also passes through the intersection of said enriching and stripping operation lines, there exists at the point of intersection of these three lines a set of three different means of determining the coordinates of the point based on the intersection of a pair of lines.  Two of these lines, the enriching and stripping operation lines, are present in both methods and are defined by Eq. 1-10 and Eq. 1-45 in method 1.  The third line, the combined streams q-line, is defined by Eq. 2-5 in method 2.  As a matter of geometric consistency, evaluation of the ratio of x-ordinates or y-ordinates for a pair of such intersections should result in unity.  In other words, when taking the ratio of a single ordinate between a pair of definitions for the intersection of the three lines, all variables should cancel exactly.

3.1.2 The Points to be Examined

The pair of definitions for the intersection of the three lines will be taken as the intersection of the enriching and stripping operation lines and the intersection of the enriching operation line and the combined streams q-line.  The latter selection was made due to the relative simplicity of the definition of the enriching operation line over that of the stripping operation line.

3.2.0 Proof of Equivalence

Continue reading »

Feb 092012

*Note: This article is part of a series on a specific research project: Part 1
*Note: This article assumes you have rudimentary knowledge of how a simple distillation column operates. Though much of the basics of the simple model for a distillation column will be covered below, it should not be considered as a stand alone reference.

2.0 Solution Method 2: The Combined Streams Modification of the McCabe-Thiele Method

2.1.0 Defining the Combined Feed/Side Stream

The new stream will be defined as a combined side stream with flow rate \displaystyle M , composition \displaystyle x_M , and fractional quality \displaystyle q_M .

2.1.1 The New Flow Rate

The flow rate for the combined side stream is defined as the following sum

Eq. 2-1) \displaystyle\boxed{M=F+G}

2.1.2 The New Composition

The composition for the combined side stream is defined as the following weighted average

Eq. 2-2) \displaystyle\boxed{x_M=\frac{Fx_F}{M}+\frac{Gx_G}{M}}

This is a classic application of the lever rule.

2.1.3 The New Fractional Quality

The fractional quality of the combined side stream is defined as the following weighted average

Eq. 2-3) \displaystyle\boxed{q_M=\frac{Fq_F}{M}+\frac{Gq_G}{M}}

2.2.0 Defining Relevant Operation Lines and q-Lines

Continue reading »

Feb 072012
 February 7, 2012  Posted by at 12:23 pm Random Musings, Reviews, Technology Tagged with: , , , ,  Comments Off on A Great Tool for Visualizing Disk Space

I’ve been using this free tool called “Folder Size” (download available here) for a while now. It is a very impressive piece of (free) software that scans the entirety of a selected drive and produces an empirical picture of the distribution of occupied drive space. I have found this to be to be invaluable when cleaning out my disk space as it allows me to see the effective size of folders as well as files. The ability to natively view the size of a folder in explorer has been missing from MS Windows since its inception. Originally, I stumbled upon this application while attempting to address that specific concern, which it does. Beyond displaying the size of folders, it also shows the relative sizes of all items at the same branch of the drive hierarchy in both a percent column in the analysis results and a graphical display below as well as detailed file and folder attributes. Some of the options for the data displayed are type of visualization and default size basis (think KB, MB, GB, etc.). I highly recommend this software if you are going through the “where did all my disk space go?!?!?” routine.

Feb 012012
 February 1, 2012  Posted by at 11:58 am Chemical Engineering, Education, Law and Order Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on I am Now a Certified Engineer in Training in Florida

I decided to swing by the Florida license website to check my application status and discovered that I’m now certified as an engineer in training (EIT). This is really exciting! Now I just need to fulfill the experience requirement and take the principles and practices of engineering exam to be certified as a professional engineer (PE). The hope is to end up working in a state that allows for submission of an awarded higher degree (such as the Ph.D. I will be pursuing later this year) in lieu of years of work experience so that I may begin the process for the PE license sooner rather than later.

Jan 312012

*Note: This article assumes you have rudimentary knowledge of how a simple distillation column operates.  Though much of the basics of the simple model for a distillation column will be covered below, it should not be considered as a stand alone reference.


While taking my separations and mass transfer operations course at UF, I took a particularly interesting exam where I was tasked with predicting the performance of a distillation column with two inputs.  This may be getting ahead of myself, as the problem’s information was written into the proof, but the problem was as follows:

The Test Problem

Given a distillation column separating n-pentane and n-heptane, with a feed rate of 200 kgmol/hr of a 40 mol% n-pentane liquid at bubble point, a 95 mol% distillate stream, a 5 mol% bottoms stream, a 30 mol% side stream with a flow rate out equal to that of the bottoms leaving, a reflux ratio equal to twice that of the minimum, and a 50% average tray efficiency, use the McCabe-Thiele graphical method and the provided vapor-liquid equilibrium data to determine a) the flow rate and composition of all streams, b) the minimum reflux ratio, c) the number of theoretical plates required, and d) the optimum placement of the feed stream and side stream.

So, the information given so far is

  • F=200 kgmol/hr
  • x_F=0.40
  • q_F=1
  • x_D=0.95
  • x_W=0.05
  • G=-W (negative sign due to opposite orientation)
  • x_G=0.30
  • q_G=1
  • R_D=2R_{min}
  • \epsilon_a=0.50

Continue reading »

Jan 162012
 Old Work to be Posted Over the Next Few Months  January 16, 2012  Posted by at 1:28 pm Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Education, Projects, Publications, Random Musings, Research Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Old Work to be Posted Over the Next Few Months

Over the next few months I will be posting about many of the independent projects and research projects I did as an undergraduate.  They range from metabolic models to full process designs and cover a diverse selection of chemical engineering principles, several with significant real world applications.  Starting things off will be a walk through of a proof I wrote in response to a test grade I did not agree with and how the results of the proof may be used both to simplify and enhance a graphical method for predicting distillation column behavior.  This proof will be the basis for a paper I will be writing on the subject as well.

Jan 112012
 January 11, 2012  Posted by at 8:00 pm Law and Order, Programming, Projects Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Quick Project: A Blackout Banner for Protesting Censorship

So, while perusing Techdirt earlier today, I saw an article about WordPress coming out against the Stopping Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  To me, this was just another tech sector company proclaiming, rightfully so, how ripe for abuse the proposed legislation is in its current form.  I noted that WordPress it quite capable of mass distributing a plugin to spread awareness and calls to action in the comments.  Another commenter pointed me to the already successful campaign by americancensorship.org and the small piece of code they provide to blackout a small portion of a website with a banner.  I saw a simple solution: wrap the aforementioned code inside a plugin and submit it myself.  This was a somewhat challenging project as I am not intimately familiar with the details of php, nor had I ever previously delved into the WordPress API.  I was able to cobble together what I feel is a stable plugin that more or less acts like an on/off switch for WordPress websites.  I have submitted my request to place the plugin into the repository, and they will eventually get back to me so I can upload it to the svn.  In the meantime, I thought it was an interesting project and I’ve placed the cleaned up bare-bones source code for the plugin below.

The majority of the effort was actually fixing minor mistakes like blacking out the dashboard where I was editing the plugin and many, many php error message frustrations caused by a single leading “?” prior the rest of the code above.   Beyond those small details it was a matter of figuring out which hook would allow me to place the banner most effectively.  After some fiddling around with different locations, I simply set the dimensions to “100%” and blacked out most of the sandbox I had setup.  So, the plugin works, I got to play with the insides of WordPress, and I was able to complete my project in just a few short hours.

Jan 102012
 January 10, 2012  Posted by at 1:56 pm Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Skiing Vacation in Utah, Day 6 and Return Home

Well, I am back home and I had a fantastic time skiing with my family and friends.  It was nice to be able to spend time with them without the looming stress of going back to class hanging over my head.  Now its just finishing up graduate school applications.

The last day on the mountain was a lot of fun, though a little wearing.  We skied from ~9am until ~8pm, and the slopes were wide open (my guess is most people were still hung over from new year’s eve) for most of the day.

I also took a video while going down the Payday run.  Unfortunately, its a bit large and I’ll need to compress it before posting it.  It starts about 50ft down from the top of the lift and ends a bit after I end back at the bottom of the lift.  It should probably be watched without the sound on.  This wasn’t my fastest run, but I was a little tired and I was worried I might crash and lose my (crappy) camera.  I’ll have the video up when I get the time to pare it down to a manageable size.

The flight home was rather uneventful, but it was nice to finally be back in town.

Jan 012012
 January 1, 2012  Posted by at 8:00 pm Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Skiing Vacation in Utah, Days 4 and 5

Day 4 was a day to stay up the mountain.  Even though there was a little snow from the previous night, it quickly mixed in with the slush.  We avoided the slush near the base by exploring the McConkey area, but there was only a couple runs and no bowls open.  Unfortunately, the McConkey area was also a bit rocky.  Day 5 was great, there was a bit of fresh snow from the night before and brief flurries in the morning.  Thankfully, it was cold enough that most of the new snow stayed powder.

Dec 292011
 December 29, 2011  Posted by at 3:38 pm Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Skiing Vacation in Utah, Days 2 and 3

Well, the second day was awesome.  I got to hit the slopes from 9am to 2pm then 5pm to 8pm.  What a long day and night on a “bald mountain.”

In other news, today it rained and it was decided that skiing down slush and rock would be rather unpleasant…

Dec 272011
 December 27, 2011  Posted by at 10:00 pm Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Skiing Vacation in Utah, Day 1

It’s been a day and I’ve already carved up a third of Park City. There isn’t much snow out here, but there’s supposedly some on the way soon.  I took a couple pictures a ways up the mountain (see gallery below).  It was a fantastic view, but it wasn’t the snow covered peaks I was hoping for.  I’ll throw some more pictures up here in future posts as my vacation continues.

Dec 212011
 Wow… So, I’ve Finally Graduated  December 21, 2011  Posted by at 6:13 am Education, Random Musings Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Wow… So, I’ve Finally Graduated

Its kind of surreal. I’ve been expecting this day for a couple years, but it still feels a bit premature. I’d like to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. From advisers to family to fellow students, you’ve supported me along the way and that means as much to me as your cheers of approval when I switched my tassel over to the left. That kind of thankless altruism is inspiring.

What I’ve earned:
B.S.Ch.E. Chemical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude
B.S. Chemistry, Cum Laude