Monday, April 23, 2007


Now where did I put that grindstone?

Yep, back to work.

Edit: Happy Earth Day! Try and think about how you impact the Earth today and whether it's a positive impact or a negative one. And for the love, plant something!

Initial thoughts about my pre-oral. It went well, but it was definitely tough. They pointed out some things I need to work on, mostly my crystal structures (I need to know them like the back of my hand), but they said I had much improved over last time, so bonus.

It was such a relief to finally be done with it, but at the same time now that that hurdle has been cleared there are still 2-3 major ones depending on your views. Writing my dissertation and defending it being the big 2 and I also have to give a final seminar for the department, which is a big deal but not as big a deal as the other two.

And after seeing my labmate slave over his dissertation for 3-4 months, I will be starting it as soon as freakin' possible. I am also gonna try my damndest to get out in May '08. Yeah, that's a solid 7 yrs. of grad school but I've only been in this group for 4, so it balances out a tad, but not enough to make me pretend I haven't been here since Aug. of 2001.

If anyone in ATL felt something a little different in the air yesterday, that was me. I was in Atlanta, the Turner Field parking lot to be specific, for an autocross with the Atlanta region of the SCCA. My fresh new tires that look like this:

are straight from Japan courtesy of Falken Tires and they are their very sticky RT-615. Lots of grip and very predictable at the limit. These will be just autocross tires and I'm hoping to get at least 2 years of autocrossing out of them.

I got the chance to race against a good guy I know from GA Tech. His name's Jeremy and he's very fast in his red 90's Saturn SC2. He won second in our class (STS) and was off the nationally prepped class winning Civic by only a second or two. My (time) goal for the day was mid 53's and I barely eeked into the 53s with a 53.999 on my last run. It felt so good and fast though. It was so good that it made me pissed that I had pussy footed it around the course the first time with a 56.058. I improved a full two seconds and there was still more time out there, but that's what I get for not having autocrossed since December.

But it was a good practice day for the real event, which is the SouthEastern Focus Autocross Showdown that is coming up this Sunday. The Focus boards I roam around in, a bunch of us in the Southeast, all autocross our Foci (plural of Focus) and wanted an event that was central enough that a large contigent of SE Focaljet people could make it to the race. That race just happens to be 45 minutes from my house. There are already some predictions being tossed around:
Prediction :
1st place: MichaelXi
2nd: Me
3rd: Jim Smola (my co-driver)
4th: Mutant1
5th: Seth (Silonius) Sorry Seth, I've seen Mutant rule on GT4. I see you gots the Falkens! SWEEET!
6th: ZX3autoxstasy
7th: CCC (but could be a sleeper)
No 5th isn't that high, but the other guys have extremely well set-up cars, have lots more experience, and are generally better drivers than I, but that's why we race the race, to see how it all shakes down. I'm gonna give it my all and see if I can't take down some of the big guns.

Now that my evenings have been freed up a bit, I'm planning on going through my archives (archiving, if you will) and coming up with some "Best of Seth" posts and I'll be sure and highlight the ones that I will be taking down before I start my job search, that should at least start around December. So keep an eye out for those posts.

I saw a billboard for Amendment 2 in Georgia that you'll be voting on on Nov. 7. It had something to do with the outdoors. I can't remember the website and googling it wasn't helpful. Any Georgians have any details?

I wonder what we're voting on this year and the next? Hopefully I won't be around to vote in next year's elections though. At least not from this state.

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