Tim's Personal Blog

Year in Reivew
December 31, 2010

It's been a crazy year indeed. The top two events in my life in 2010 were Micah James and moving to Sacramento. Micah is my one and only nephew, born on September 14, 2010. I moved from Monterey to Sacramento two months later, on November 14, 2010.

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Two other hobbies which kept me busy this past year were my Engineering Videos website, and learning piano. The website is up and running, but I don't anticipate making as many videos next year. As for piano, I'm still a beginner, but slowly improving.

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Family Christmas Dinner + Video
December 22, 2010

Last Sunday the family got together in Walnut Creek for a Christmas time dinner celebration. I was in charge of pouring water and making a sweet video. I just finished the video. It is about 10 minutes long and includes conversation, dinner, Micah and a white elephant gift exchange, with Christmas music.

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Tim's Entrance

December 18, 2010

I don't use the moonroof on my car too often. But today I used the moonroof just to get a long box into my car. Geometrically, it was the only way the box would fit in the car. It was quite a scene loading it in, in the rain, in my argyle.


Christmast Lights
December 4, 2010

This morning I put up some Christmas lights out by the patio area. Below are pictures during the day and night, taken from about the same location.

Christmas Lights - Day Time

Christmas Lights - Nighttime

Saved by the Dad
November 27, 2010

The day after Thanksgiving my engine decides to blow up. Well, it wasn't that bad. But I did have a car issue last night. Part number 27 (in the diagram below) developed a longitudinal cut and was leaking coolant. My dad did a quick diagnosis, found the part to replace, and had it reinstalled before the football game was over.

I helped by holding the flashlight and losing parts along the way. Actually, I learned a few things about the radiator and car maintenance, but I don't know if I'll ever be as good as my dad when it comes to working under the hood. If you're reading, thanks dad!



Remedy Roll

Cold Turkey Trot
November 20, 2010

This morning I ran the Davis Turkey Trot. Before the race it was cold and windy with a light rain. But during the race it didn't seem too bad. In fact I managed a time of 36:34 for the flat 10 kilometer course. Below are a couple pictures of me running.

Running   Running

El Pollo Loco
November 18, 2010

This town's got everything! Well, at least a lot more than Monterey had. I was out shopping this evening after work I couldn't help but stop at the Pollo Loco on Sunrise.

El Pollo Loco

GNN Mixer
November 17, 2010

Tonight I attended a small-business mixer, in Citrus Heights. I walked away with a bunch of new business ideas and friends. It's always exciting to meet people who are passionate about something to the point they turn it into a career.

GNN Mixer

Moving Day
November 13, 2010

Long day of loading, driving, unloading, driving.

Moving Day

Moving Day

17 Mile Drive
November 11, 2010

Today I rode my bike around 17 Mile Drive, which encompasses the Monterey Peninsula. This was one of my favorite things to do while living here in Monterey, and it's a good way to say good bye to the area for a while.

In the picture below the tree in the background is called the Lone Cypress tree, which is a popular icon of 17 Mile Drive.

17 Mile Drive

Fantasy SmackDown!
November 8, 2010

I've never been very interested in fantasy football, and probably never will be. But after topping the 150 point barrier with my team, Buckminsters!, I felt obliged to post the numbers. Just scoring 100 points in a public Yahoo! league is usually good enough for a win. What's also great is my other team won 139 to 87, and both my teams are now 6-3. Booya!

Fantasy SmackDown

Moving to Sacramento
November 6, 2010

It's official. Next week I'll be packing up and moving to the Sacramento area.
I have lived in the Monterey area for about 3.5 years. I'm starting a new job on November 15th and I'm really excited. More details to come ...

Moving to Sacramento

November 1, 2010

Today I started a new business ... Dinosaur Sales. Indeed, at We Got Dinos, I have a wide selection of dinosaurs - from the Allosaurus to the Velociraptor, my store has it all. The website, www.WeGotDinos.com, is still under construction.
I plan to add informational videos for each dinosaur in the future.

Tim and T-Rex

Sacramento Visit
October 29, 2010

Today I made a quick visit to Sacramento for a job interview. Then I decided to poke around town for a while.

Sacramento Visit

Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour
October 27, 2010

This afternoon/evening I attended an entrepreneurship workshop held in Watsonville. The event was put on by Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. I heard about the event through the Central Coast Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College, in Santa Cruz.

There were different speakers who shared their experience about what it was like to start their own business. There were a few booths set up and free food. I'm glad I went.

Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour

Downhill Running
October 25, 2010

Recently I've been trying to run downhill "the proper way." Which means keeping one's body perpendicular to slope of the road or trail. I knew about this technique as a high school cross country runner, but I never really practiced it.

I've found that it is easier on mild slopes and it help to flex the abdomen muscles. Although I run faster downhill, it is a time I should be recovering, and letting the hill do the work for me.

Below is a very technical diagram I sketched and scanned of myself and the proper downhill running technique.

Downhill Running

Concrete Design
October 10, 2010

A few weeks ago I visited a nearby construction site. The building wasn't completely finished because there was too much water in the concrete. In the picture below, the remediation strategy was to blowdry the concrete until it reached an acceptly low water content.

Concrete Design

Tim, Tom & Micah!
October 6, 2010

Last weekend I visited my brother and sister-in-law, and nephew. In the picture below I'm holding Micah. He's only 24 days old in the picture.

Tim, Tom and Micah

DLI Car Show
September 25, 2010

Today there was a car show and live music at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. All the cars were lined up on Soldier Field in the picture below. It was a warm and clear day, so I could get a pretty good view of the bay as well.

DLI Car Show

Caesar Salad
September 24, 2010

Today I orderd a Caesar Salad. I realized I'm ordering this salad more and more. Maybe it's time to make it home with my own dressing and "cheese"!

Caesar Salad

Golf Video
September 23, 2010

This morning I finished editing a family video. I followed my parents, aunt and uncle around a 9-hole golf course in Morro Bay a few weeks ago and recorded most of the round. Videos are fun!

Golf Video

Grand Opening
September 21, 2010

Today I opened my online video store! Over the past 3 weeks I've been configuring a shopping cart application for engineeringvideos.net which will allow me to sell my example problems online.

As far as sales go, I have no idea what to expect. I'm just happy I got the shopping cart to work properly, and that it has the same look-and-feel as the rest of the website. I'm also happy to know that I can sell electronic media to anyone in the world who has internet access. If you or anyone you know needs help setting up an online store, let me know if I can help!

Online Video Store

Micah James Nelson
September 14, 2010

Last night / this morning I made a quick trip down to San Luis Obispo for the birth of my one and only nephew, Micah James Nelson!

Tom called me at 10:30 p.m. and said they were at the hospital. So I threw a few things in the car and arrived at about 1:00 a.m. this morning. The birth was at about 4:30 a.m. and Tom popped out of the delivery room shortly after 5:00 a.m. to give us the thumbs up. I had the chance to visit Micah and Nicole around 8:00 a.m.

Introducting ... Micah James Nelson!

Micah James Nelson

New Laptop
September 8, 2010

I bought a new computer last night. I also bought the Microsoft Business Suite, because I need MS Outlook for email. It will be nice to have more disk space and memory.

New Laptop

Zen Cart
September 2, 2010

Zen Cart™ is an open source e-commerce application, written in php. And it's what I've been spending a good chunk of this week configuring.

I always thought it a daunting task to add a shopping cart to my website to sell stuff, but this Zen Cart program is easier to work with than I thought - especially considering I don't even know php!

Zen Cart

I'm working through a 400 page user manual with instructions, screen shots and tables, which make the process of adding items, setting prices, loading images and typing product descriptions fairly straight forward. The degree of sophistication this program includes is amazing. For example, currency exchange rates are refreshed with the click of a button, and the taxes, shipping costs and expected arrival date are automatically calculated based on product(s) ordered and shipping details. Many of these complications can be dismissed for those only selling downloadable goods.

There have been a few hiccups in the process, but not too bad. I'm still waiting to be approved by PayPal for a business account, but it's only been 3 days since I applied. Also, uploading all my files will probably take about 10 days. l started uploading on Monday (8/30), and I'm about 30% complete done so far. However, I've been stopping the uploads when I need to use the internet.

Below is a screen shot of a couple products I uploaded. The top product is for 4 video example problems, lasting 21 minutes and 38 seconds. The bottom product is for one single video example problem, lasting 4 minutes and 56 seconds.

Pressure Flow
A shopping cart example before fixing the styling.

In the image above, I uploaded the product's image, and added the titles, descriptions and costs. I have not yet edited the colors, font sizing or spacing. So if you think it is visually displeasing, I agree. Today I will continue uploading files and I will improve the store's appearance. With any luck, I plan to have the store open for busienss sometime next week - pending my PayPal approval and a few other things.

Configuring this shopping card / online store is a fun and educational experience. If it works well, I can help others set it up for themselves!

Wakeup Music
August 26, 2010

Now that I wake up 4 times per day, I've been taking my wakeup music much more seriously. I've set my computer to play different songs at the different times I'm scheduled to wake up. Also, for my naps away from home, I recorded a track which begins with 20 minutes of no music, followed by wakeup music. I tried it out yesterday just before class and it worked beautifully. :)   Below are my top 3 songs to wake up to since starting on the Everyman, 2 and a half weeks ago.

Click images below for music!

Vinylshakerz 3Oh!3 Taio Cruz
One Night in Bangkok
Don't Trust Me
Tiao Cruz

The Everyman
August 23, 2010

The Everyman is not for every man.

Over the past 14 days, I've only slept 56 hours. This averages out to 4 hours of sleep, every 24 hours. Some people may call it retarded, but I call it - polyphasic. In fact, the "Everyman" is just one of various polyphasic sleep schedules where the person takes little naps throughout the day rather than sleeping for a solid 6 or 8 hours at night time.

The Everyman schedule I've been following is to sleep for a 3 hour core period at night, in addition to three 20-minute naps, spaced out around the rest of the day. For the past two weeks my sleep schedule has been:

Nap #1:   6:10 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. (20 minutes)
Nap #2: 12:10 p.m - 12:30 p.m. (20 minutes)
Nap #3:   6:10 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (20 minutes)
Core:     12:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. (3 hours)

Everyman Poster

In the picture above I'm holding up a poster of the schedule where the circle represents a 24-hour time period. I took this picture about a week ago. I woke up at 3:00 a.m., went for a 4 mile run around the neighborhood, and then decided to take the picture in the middle of my street - just seizing the moment I guess. The picture was taken at about 3:45 a.m.

Various sleep patterns are depicted below, and come from the Wikipedia article on the topic.

Polyphasic Sleep Schedules

I've done a lot of reading on this practice and journaled for pages when I gave it a trial run for 3 weeks last year. I even read a book about the practice called Ubersleep.


I guess what this all boils down to is … if you want to get together sometime, I can't meet before 3:00 a.m., or after 12:00 p.m.

Menlo College
August 18, 2010

This evening I swung by Menlo College in Atherton, CA to tell a few future professional engineers about Engineering Videos . Net. I think they would find the site helpful. I know I would find the site helpful if I were in their shoes - that's why I made it. And, everything is free!

Menlo College

Smoothie Time
August 14, 2010

Actually, it's more like smoothie season! I've been putting down fruit smoothies most days of the week since April of this year. Delicioso! The 2 pictures below show what is in the smoothie I'm drinking right now, as I post this entry: Strawberries, blueberries, bananas, spinach and water.

I got really big on the idea of green smoothies after reading the book Green For Life. I suppose I'm addicted. If case you're curious, I have a Blendtec blender. It's a really nice blender - it crushes ice cubes without problem and is easy to clean. It's got 3 horsepower!



Green For Life

Leaving Schaaf
August 10, 2010

This is my last week working for the company I've been with for the past 3+ years. Time for the next adventure!

Leaving Schaaf

Going Bananas
August 8, 2010
Okay, so, somehow I ended up with 40 bananas. Dancing Banana

I knew I was buying a lot, because they were 39 cents per pound, and it is smoothie season - but still. When I went to checkout, I told the cashier I had a gorilla at home. She smiled, knowing it was a joke. But when she saw all the spinach and kale I also bought she stopped smiling. That's when I began smiling. :)

Fortunately the bananas are at differently stages of ripeness, so I'll have the rest of the week to eat them all - and it might be the only thing I eat. I plan to make a smoothie tonight. That will use up 4 bananas. Anyway, wish me luck. If you don't hear from me again, it may have been the bananas.

Going Bananas

Going Bananas

8/8 Update: There are actually 41 bananas ... 1 was hiding.

8/14 Update: Just finished all the bananas!

August 7, 2010

This summer I've been taking a pijano class at MPC. It's the beginner class. We're learning how to read music and play simple pieces. It's fun yet challenging. I might take the next class during fall semester.

Most folks refer to this instrument as a 'piano,' but I'm calling it a pijano - pronounced with the second syllable stressed, and the i long. This word was inspired by the Eric Prydz song entitled, Pjanoo. Maybe someday I'll be able to play Pjanoo on the Pijano.



Sea Lions
August 4, 2010

Today I had lunch with some co-workers at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. It was hard not to notice the sea lions decided to take over the area. They were fun to watch, but they also smell and make a lot of noise.

Sea Lions at Wharf

Sea Lions at Wharf

8/23 Correction: My friend who works at the wharf calls these things harbory seals. Whatever.

Google AdWords
August 2, 2010

A few days ago I signed up for Google AdWords. AdWords is paid advertising through Google's search engine. I was encouraged to sign up when I was sent a free $100 of AdWords advertising a few weeks ago. So I may just use up the $100 and discontinue the service ... but, maybe not.

AdWords Logo

The Ad template includes 1 line for a title, 2 lines of description and 1 line for the url. Below is the Ad I created to promote my Engineering Videos website.

Engineering Videos Ad

In just a few days, I've learned a lot about how it works. Advertiser assign various keywords and key phrases to their advertisement. Advertisers also assign the price they are willing to pay per click. Then, when someone searches Google and types in the same keyword or key phrase, all advertisements in Google's database which were assigned that keyword or key phrase will display on the sidebar of the search results page, sorted by the cost per click assigned. At least that's how I think it works.

There are different payment options for web advertising. Rather than pay per click, advertisers can pay per 1,000 impressions. An impression is defined as whenever the advertisement is displayed on the search results page. One thousand impression does not guarantee a click, but it could also mean lots of clicks!

The image below shows a few of the keywords I've entered, and their stats. In just a few days I have 11 clicks and over 9,000 impressions. I set the price at $0.50 per click for most keywords. There are also controls on maximum daily costs, that way someone won't spend more than intended.

Keywords Screen Shot

July 30, 2010

Earlier this month the website arab-eng.org spot-lighted my Engineering Videos website and my hits have been higher than normal - which is cool!

From the web statistic images below, the arab-eng.org site has sent me more than 300 unique visitors this month, which puts my monthly total above 800, far more than any other month. Granted, 800 unique visitors in a month is not a lot for most websites, but it is for me.

I also posted an exmaple message from the arab-eng.org site (the third image). I translated a few of the posts and everyone seemed very thankful the videos were free. Right now, my site is only available in English. :)

Connect From Site

Monthly History

Example Comment

Google Sketchup
July 22, 2010

Earlier this week I noticed Google Earth accpeted the 3D sketchup of the apartment building I drew and uploaded last year. The pictures are below. Some images compare the sketch with an actual picture.

To view the buiding, you can download Google Earth, and then toggle on the '3D Buildings' layer. It's on Carmel Avenue in Marina, CA. It's hard to miss since it's one of the only 3D buildings in the entire city.

Google Sketchup
This is an isometric view of the apartment building in Google Sketchup.

Google Sketchup Photograph
A profile view of the buildings from the street/parking area.

Google Sketchup Photograph
From the second floor, looking towards the street.

Google Sketchup Photograph
Here are the stairs. This part probably took the longest.

July Fourth
July 4, 2010

I spent July 4th with the family at Avila Beach.
Nothing more American than apple pie and acting silly with the flag.

Tim and Pie

Tim and Flag

The Big 10,000
July 2, 2010

Today I hit the big 10,000. Days since birth, that is. It happens after about 27.37 years.

Okay, maybe I am a nerd.

The Big 10,000

Lunar Eclipse
June 26, 2010

Did anyone else in the pacific time zone get up at 4 am to see the partial lunar eclipse this morning. I did. But my photos didn't come out as good as the one posted on wikipedia (see below). The wiki article states this partial eclipse had a maximum coverage of 53.7%.

Some people think the eclipses represent times when major changes occur in peoples lives.

Eclipse Photo

Eclipse Diagram

Apricot Tree
June 20, 2010

Today I planted an apricot tree in my parent's back yard. It was actually part of a belated Mother's Day gift. The tree is an Ultra Dwarf Blenheim Apricot tree, which should grow a between 8 - 12 feet. It is almost 8 feet already! My mom and I were brainstorming names for the tree, but haven't decided on one yet.

Apricot Tree

June 12, 2010

Today I spent a good chunk of the day at T.A.G. Paintball in Hollister. Our group of about 15-20 people played for a few hours in the middle of the day, on the 4 different courses.

I volunteered to be the camera person and took more than 100 pictures of the event. All the pictures can be downloaded here.

Here I am posing with some of the equipment on.

Upload Page
June 11, 2010

Today I completed an upload page for my website. Since email attachments often times exceed capacity limits, making this page was an obvious solution for those who want to send me large files. If you have a bunch of files, such as pictures, just zip all the pictures together and upload the zipped file.

Right now I don't have a progress bar to indicate percent complete, so just leave the window open until you see an upload confirmation message.

Upload Page

Solar Power
June 10, 2010

Today I swung by the CSUMB campus to check out the new solar panels they installed on the east side of 7th Avenue between Butler Street and Colonel Durham Road. This article states the panels will provide 16% of the university's energy needs. But keep in mind, there were only 4,239 matriculated at CSUMB this past school year.

Despite the fact that is looks ugly and takes up a lot of space, it is a step in the correct direction of working toward renewable and non-polluting sources of energy. As with most technology, it will be exciting to see how much more efficient something like solar power will become in the future.

Solar Panels - Far

Solar Panels - Close

Army Ball
June 5, 2010

The Army Birthday Ball was quite an event! Tuxedo, sports car, live band, open bar and more. The event was held at the Embassy Suites in Seaside. The camaraderie of the Army reminded me of high school football. Everyone would holler 'Whoa' to second whatever the speaker said.

For dinner they had a vegetarian option, and the Army birthday cake was cut using a sword. Nice touch! After the formal event, a DJ'd dance party ensued. We even got a collector's glass. My lovely date for the night is currently in the Army, so I didn't crash this event, really.

Army Ball

NPS Tour
June 4, 2010

Today I got private tour of the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey from a friend named Rob. Rob is working on his PhD. in Operations Research and has a background in Industrial Engineering.

The campus is located in Monterey on the southeast corner of Sloat Street and Del Monte Avenue. If I go back to school it would be in the IE/OR field.

Administration Building
Here I stand before the Administration Building.

Flag Garden
This is a flag garden located near the administration building and hotel.

German Flag
Hier bin ich mit der Deutschen Flagge

Engineering Building
This is an engineering building.

June 1, 2010

Last summer I took a class in C++. This summer I'm reviewing C++ and probably going to teach myself C# and review some GIS programming as fast and as furious as possible. I'm trying to be as well prepared as possible for a job I recently applied for. I was told the job is about 70% programming!
More to come ...

Book Cover

Ocean Swim!
May 21, 2010

I went for an ocean swim this morning and it was a bit rough. The first lesson I learned was that I am not as strong at swimming as I would like to be. I had my wetsuit and squid lid on, so the temperature wasn't too bad - at least not for the few minutes I was in the water. After getting flipped around a bit, I decided to call it a day. It's good to get out of my comfort zone.

Tim in Ocean

Artichoke Festival
May 16, 2010

This weekend was the annual Artichoke Festival in Castroville. There was a car show, wine tasting, kids area, artichoke artwork, live music and dancing. Below are a few pictures of the artichoke art, except for the last picture - that's me beside a car.




Tim and Car

Ready to Move
May 11, 2010

I'm ready to split this joint. I went through a bunch of old things over the past couple days, dumped the trash, reorganized the treasures, all in preparation for the next adventure in life. But what will it be?

I am anxious, impatient, and excited about all the different directions life could go. "Follow your heart and try your best and know that God will take care of the rest."

Tim and Boxes

Backyard Beauty
May 9, 2010

Spring is in the air, and it's a great time to be alive - especailly for the plants in my parent's backyard. My mom's roses are in peak bloom, my dad's cactus area looks strong, and my mom's veggies were recently planted. Even the orange tree had some remaining fruit. I plan to have a garden like this someday.

Peach Rose

Sunset Rose

Pink Rose




Science Museum
May 8, 2010

For Mother's Day, I visited the California Academy of Sciences with my parents. Most of the displays were animal exhibits, some of which are pictured below.

I particularly liked the frogs and ants and snakes. I like the frogs because their colors were so amazing. I liked the ants because they would carry large leaves, about 4 or 5 times the size of their bodies. And I liked the snakes because I saw a snake dart its head into the water and pull out and eat a fish, whole. The biggest snake we saw was about 20 feet long.

My mom liked the butterflys and the tropical rainforest exhibit. I liked the humidity in the rainforest, and the butterflies were pretty cool too.

Here is a sign before the museum.

Here I am inside the tropical rainforst exihibit.

This was my mom's favorite butterfly. This one was sitting on the glass and easy to take a photo of. I'm calling this butterfly, "Blue Steel."

This was one of my best pictures of a frog.
It's green and black and just left of center of the image.

Although hard to see, this picture shows ants walking along a tree branch, and carrying leaves back to their home. As an operations researcher, this reminds me of ant colony optimization.

Look at the fingers and toes. Too cool.
This is some sort of amphibian.

A few exhibits were stuffed animals. My parents are decorating their living room with a zebra theme, but they already have 3 zebras,
and 3 zebras is enough for 1 living room.

A few penguins. Unfortunately, we missed the feeding period.

Here I'm looking down at an albino alligator.
My dad told me if you rub it's tummy it would fall asleep.
I decided to try that some other day.

Grandmother's Day!
May 7, 2010

I'm officially designating the day before Mother's Day to be 'Grandmother's Day.' Because without grandmothers, there wouldn't be mothers. The image below is a bit of a spoof - my grandma is pushing me in the wheelchair. Yes, it was my idea.

Tim and Grandma

It's a Boy!
April 30, 2010

Yesterday I was informed my brother and his wife's baby is a boy.
Last I heard, the baby is due sometime in September!

It's A Boy

Field Work
April 29, 2010

Today a co-worker and I retreived storm sewer flow data at various locations around Santa Cruz county. Collecting data is an integral part to building a working model.

The first picture shows the data logger, which keeps records of the flowrate every 2 minutes. The second picture is of the recorder itself (at a different location) in a nearly-empty storm pipe.

Perhaps the highlight of the day came at the end when we almost dropped a 100+ pound storm drain grate into a 12+ foot deep manhole. We would have been in big trouble if that happened!

Data Logger

Flow Sensor

A Day at SWSV
April 27, 2010

Occasionally I'm wanted at our company's Santa Clara office. And today was one of those days. The office is located a couple blocks north of Steven's Creek Boulevard, on Winchester Boulevard. Since I don't like traffic, I usually arrive early, and because I don't like steering or breaking, I usually take 101 instead of 17. Below are pictures of me, the sign, and the building, at about 7 a.m. this morning. SWSV is code for Schaaf & Wheeler Silicon Valley.




Zach Attack!
April 20, 2010

This afternoon I received a phone call from a friend from high school, Zach Biesinger. He was an all-star football player, back in the days of the red and gold. Now he resides in Orem, Utah and continues to be one of the most sincere and genuine people I know. And he's still super fit. Will you be his 1,000th friend on Facebook? Thanks Zach for visiting Monterey and hanging out. - Tim

Tim and Zach

Do the Hustle
April 10, 2010

A few weeks ago I participated in the Spring Showcase at Monterey Peninsula Dance. I was in the "beginner" group, and danced the hustle. There were lots of awesome dances, from Tango and Waltz, to ChaCha and Rumba. I would have posted this earlier, but I didn't receive the photo until a week after the event, and I'm still holding out for the promised YouTube link.

Tim and Olga   Flyer

Happy Easter!
April 4, 2010

Yesterday I visited my Grandma at her Palace in Saratoga.
Happy Easter everyone.

Tim at the Palace

Cal Poly Tour
March 28, 2010

Yesterday in San Luis Obispo my dad and I toured the Cal Poly campus. Below are a few picture I took. The campus looked really good, expect for a few construction projects near the University Union and Rec Center. There's a chance I'll be back there for Poly Royal (open house) next month.

Tim Photo
Here I am near the Performing Arts Center (left) and the hillside upon which the Poly "P" is located.

Jim Photo
Here is my dad pointing to 2 concrete tilt-up slabs he poured and tilted up back in the 1970's.

Engineering Buildings
This is an image of one of the newer engineering buildings at the northeast end of campus, near the library.

Swimming Pools
This picture shows the new Anderson Pool (near) and the rec center pool (distant). The rec center is undergoing a major expansion.

Football Stadium
The renovated football stadium added seating and a pressbox on the north side of the stadium a few years ago.

CPM Site Visits
March 26, 2010

Today the I tagged along with my dad as he inspected a number of construction projects between San Luis Obipso and Santa Barbara. His company is Construction Planning and Monitoring, or "CPM" for short. His website further describes the services he provides such as project analysis, cost estimating, scheduling, monitoring and other construction-related services.

Tim and Jim Photo

Construction Planning and Monitoring

March Madness!
March 18, 2010

Today the first round of the Men's NCAA Basketball tournament begins. This year, it's my pleasure to be the commissioner of the Nelson family tournament challenge. Everyone picks teams and tries to maximize the total points scored.

The scoring is a bit complicated because it involves the sigmoid function, pascal's golden ratio and few other surprises. That's what happens when an engineer is assigned as the commissioner. Some people just can't get enough math!

The "rank" input column in this template file is filled out by all participants and the scores are computed as the tournament progresses. An image of the template file is shown below.

Picks Template Screen Shot

NCAA Basketball Logo

Personal Introduction
March 12, 2010

Today I posted a personal introduction to my Enginering Videos website.
Click on image to watch.

Personal Introduction

Disc Golf
March 11, 2010

Rather than camping, Tom and I bummed around Marina/Monterey when he visited last weekend. We rode bikes around 17 Mile Drive, smashed some scrabble records at the ocho, and played some disc golf at CSUMB. Below are a couple pictures of Tom and I during disc golf.

Tap in
Here is a picture of me tapping in.

Tom's Introduction
Here is a still shot of Tom during the introduction video.

Computer Reboot
March 9, 2010

I spent all day restoring the hard drive, drivers and applications on my laptop. Thankfully I didn't lose any data. Needless to say, computer problems are not cool. :(

error message 2

error message 1

Dance Shoes!
March 1, 2010

Last week I bought some dance shoes. They look like normal dress shoes but they have leather soles so there is less friction on each step. This definitely helps slide and spin, on smooth wooden floors.

BDance shoes
Here are the shoes up close.

Tim sliding
Here I am sliding.

Here I am spinning.

Camping Preview
February 28, 2010

Next weekend Tom and I will be camping out at Big Basin Campground. A couple weeks ago I drove through the place, and snapped a few pictures (below). It was the first place Tom and I ever camped at, growing up. I vaguely recognized parts of the campground. We're crossing our fingers it's not pouring rain and no bears decide to visit! Cheers!

Big Basin 1

Big Basin 2

Big Basin 3

Big Basin 4

Chautauqua Hall
February 21, 2010

Chautauqua Dance Hall in Pacific Grove is the place to be on Saturday Night! I was there last night and had a blast. There is a dance class from 6 - 7, then open dancing until 10. I recognized a bunch of folks from other dance studios in the area, and I even bumped into an old friend from Toastmasters.

My interest in ballroom dance makes me feel I was born a century or two too late. I just remember the 4 nubile Bennett sisters from Austin's Pride and Prejudice going to the ball to meet with characters like Charles Bingley, George Wickham, and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Noble, Elegant, Refined and Sophisticated.

This is the building from the outside.

Here's a map showing the location; it's on 16th and Central.

Site Visit
February 16, 2010

Today for work I made a visit to two future project sites in Seaside. A typical work day for me means 8 hours inside an office building, which I enjoy, especially during inclement weather. But it is also enjoyable to get outside and snap a few pictures for the boss. Below are a few pictures I took. One project will be a future hotel, the other project will be stormwater improvements.

Tim at Lake
Here I am at the lake between Seaside and Monterey, at Del Monte Boulevard. There is a paved path which encompasses the lake.

Future Hotel Site
This site is expected to be yet another hotel, just south of the existing Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn, in Seaside.

Del Monte and Clementina
Our firms designed the civil improvements to divert stormwater from beneath this intersection to the nearby sanitary system.

February 11, 2010

PROMETHEE is an outranking method which computes the best alternative for a given a set of data, criteria, weights, preferences and assumptions. In the example below, I describe how the method works using an example problem: "Find the best country to build a power plant" Enjoy.


Willie B
February 5, 2010

I went to see Willie Barcena at Club Gemini tonight. It was a solid act, with a decent opener. The host told me they have open mic night on Wednesday's so I'll have to start working on my script.

Willie Barcena

Career Coach
January 30, 2010

Today I attended a workshop entitled "Re-Careering in the Current Economy" at the Monterey Library. This event was hosted by Mary Jeanne Vincent, Career Expert & Strategist, who helps individuals, reframe their background, rediscover their expertise, and reclaim their career. It was a great workshop with high energy, fun exercises and lots of good ideas. You can visit her website at: www.careercoachmjv.com


Chartwell School
January 23, 2010

Today I visited the Chartwell School Open House in Seaside.

"The mission of Chartwell School is to educate children in a way that provides them with the learning skills necessary to succeed in conventional academic environments. Chartwell helps individuals with language-based learning variations access their full potential by providing leading-edge education, research, and community outreach."

Chartwell School Chartwell School Chartwell School Chartwell School

Computer Repair
January 22, 2010

I went a computer repair class last night in Monterey. It is a self-taught computer based class for those who want to learn more about computers and how to repair and maintain them. I don't plan to take the course right now, but maybe in the future.

Monterey Adult School

Table Knives
January 18, 2010

Today my table knives arrived in the mail! I ordered the "pearl" colored handle. These knives are very sharp and take forever to go dull. But then again, apples and bananas aren't too hard to cut, especially bananas. Even though it was raining most of the day, finding these knives on my doorstep when I got home from work made my day!

Table Knives

Tie Day
January 7, 2010

In a previous blog entry I mentioned wearing a tie more often. So I went shopping last weekend to use up some Christmas money and I bought a couple shirts and ties. Below, I'm dressed in yellow and black. Right now I'm diggin' the solid shirt, with a tie that brings the shirt and pants together, as shown below.

Tim Wearing Tie

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
January 5, 2010

Today I finished my first book of the year, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff." By Richard Carlson. Subtitle, "Simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life." I certainly recommend this book.

The book in composed of 100 very short chapters (2 or 3 pages) and each chapter suggests a new habit or belief to improve ones outlook on life. In each chapter, Carlson explains the idea and gives an example or two.

Example chapter title include: see the innocence in others, become a better listener, become more patient, relax, breathe before you speak, develop your compassion, choose being kind over being right, become a less aggressive driver, nurture a plant, fill your live with love, and trust your intuitive heart. Certain chapter titles need to be explained such as: experiment with your back burner, and avoid weatherproofing.

Ever since I started reading the book I caught myself violating these ideas. For example I talk about myself too much and I interrupt people all the time. At least I'm more conscious of it now. The chapter which touched me the most was 'choose being kind over being right.' Having to be right about things all the time can really screw a person up.

It's good to never believe anything too much.

book cover

Happy New Year!
January 1, 2010

When I think of New Years, I think of annual goals. But I also think of short-term goals too. When setting a goal, I read it's good to write it out as if I live in the future and I've already achieved the goal. It's also good to describe in detail how I achieved the goal, keeping all aspects positive and attractive. Lastly, the goal should be quantifiable - which means, it should be clear whether or not the goal has been attained.

Okay, now for a few of Tim's 2010 goals, with some commentary.

1. Run 1,000 miles. This averages out to 20 miles per week. In 2009 I ran more than 1,400 miles, so I know I can make 1,000 this year. In 2008 I was just shy of 1,000 miles, partially because I was biking much more and because of my "raw food catastrophe." A mileage goal is good because it is quantifiable. It's also a good "health goal" because whenever I'm running, I find that I eat better, sleep better and think better.

2. Wear a tie 100 days. This may seem like a weird goal, but not really. When I dress up, I've noticed I work more productively and am treated differently. I've been experimenting with this principle over the past month and it feels right for me to dress up a little more right now. I got this idea from a book I recently read, which brings me to number 3.

3. Read 24 books. Last year my goal was to read 40 books, and I finished at 23 and three halves - which means I'm currently half way through three separate books. : ) Twenty four books a year is only 2 books a month, but a "book" could mean a 100 page e-book or a 500-page computer code book - I read two of each last year!

Below is my favorite book I read last year. "The 13 Secrets of Power Performance" by Roger Dawson. Perhaps I'll post a blog about why this was my favorite.

book cover

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