This blog is intended to cronicle the happenings in the lives of those currently living in 2103 Prince George's Hall.

20061103

The Residents of PG2103 Disperse

Some of us are in Italy, another in Cambridge, MA and another in South Bend, IN. Here are our personal blogs. I suspect there won't be much more posted here, unless we have a reunion and cause some particularly bloggable mayhem.

http://timandmike.blogspot.com
http://vaingloriousescapades.blogspot.com
http://neverbetthedevil.blogspot.com
http://themadengineer.blogspot.com

20060123

Yet another Catamaran Post

Don't imagine I have a one track mind, but I have spent a lot of time working on the boat over the break. Plus, I'm sure everyone is eager for news... "When will The Holy Sea launch?" "Can I have a ride?" "Are you planning to sail to the Carribbean and become full-time pirates?" All these questions are premature my friends... Right now the more important question is "Do we have enough epoxy to finish this project or are we going to have to spend another $150 on this money pit?" The plan now is to stain the wood cherry color and paint the papal seal on the side of one of the hulls. Suggestions for other tasteful decorations are welcome.





20060110

Sailboat Construction Update

Mike came up for a couple days last week to work on the boat, and Joey stopped by too. The side panels of the catamaran are almost half done. We had a little trouble bending the plywood to the curve we wanted without getting too many creases into it, but a steam gun helped and now it looks pretty good.



Only about another hundred hours of work, yeah, that's probably a conservative estimate.







Nice clamping action...

20051211

The Human Juice Popsicle

No, sadly enough, this isn't some strange food item you can get at Trader Joe's. Mike was remarking how strange it is to reflect on the fact that all solids are the frozen state of their liquid form. Hence, Tim's observation that people are just frozen human juice - popsicles you might say. Just something to think about...

So why am I posting on this and not Tim or Mike? Because I have nothing to do. Yeah, it's the last week of class and I have nothing. Go ahead; envy me. Anyways, Tim has promised a post about the nature of laziness. And expect updates on the sailboat construction over winter break. Plus Joey will be back in town and who knows what will happen then.

Good luck on finals y'all, and Merry Christmas!

20051119

I Like my Xylophone

Last Saturday, at the Catholic Student Center's annual Fall Ball, the new version of the now famous song "I Like my Xylophone", by Notorious Fr. B. had its debut. Pretty much everyone left the dance floor as soon as it started, and the DJ was looking a little befuddled, but I say it was a huge success!. Have a listen here.

Here's the backstory:
On every Catholic Student Center retreat, after mass on Saturday, we typically have a bonfire and sing songs. Often we play a game wherein two teams alternate turns, each singing part of a song that begins with a word starting with the same letter as the last word sung by the other team. The two teams were the guys led by Fr. Bill and the girls led by Michelle. Thinking strategically, Fr. Bill appointed a subcommittee to think ahead to song which includes words beginning with the letter "x". We knew the girls wouldn't be able to come up with a song starting with an "x" so we would be guaranteed a point. We came up with "I Like my Xylophone" which may or may not be an actual song. In any case, the melody was pretty catchy, and all the guys sang so it was somewhat convincing. We claimed our point and moved on. However, the girls kept complaining that we had "cheated." This was completely baseless, as they had no way of proving that there wasn't a song that went "I like my xylophone, I like my xylophone..." Basically they were sore losers. So to rub it in a little more and make sure our glorious victory was never forgotten, the guys of 2103 Prince Georges Hall decided to record a cover. We put about 12 hours of work into it, so you better like it. At one point, we had planned to add a guitar track, but we also had to get clothes, eat, and change before the dance, and time was running out. Maybe next time...

I Like my Xylophone
Notorious Fr. B.
Silent Retreat Greatest Hits
Copyright 2005. Pretty Good 2103 Records.

Lyrics: Notorious Fr. B, Tim Daniel, and Alan O'Connor
Xylophone: Alex Checkai and Noteworthy Composer
Keyboard: Alan O'Connor and Noteworthy Composer
Drums: Tim Daniel
Vocals: Tim Daniel, Mike Carroll, and Alan O'Connor

20050808

Catamaran Pictures












Well, to say "we are almost finished" would be exaggerating a little, but here is what we have so far. The framing is almost done, and the rudders are completely done, and I must say they look fine.

20050725

Boat Status Update

So Mike and I worked some more on the boat today. I'm sure the lack of posting activity about our progress had you worried, but have no fear, all is well. I finished the rudders over the weekend, and I must say they look mighty fine! We started assembling the wood frame over which plywood will be wrapped today. If the weather cooperates, we should be able to finish that tomorrow. I'll put some pictures up just as soon as I can find the cord to my camera.
Still within the (adjusted) budget, but I haven't found a source for 1/8" Luaun sheet. If we have to use 1/4", which is available at Home Depot, we may be in for some trouble when we get to bending the plywood, and our weight limit may be hard to abide by.

20050621

Catamaran!!!

Well, it's been a while since anyone posted on our blog. And that means, it is now time for yet another amazing exploit by the guys (formerly) of 2103 PG Hall.

Since it's summertime and the weather has been nice pretty often, we got to thinking it would be really nice to have our own sailboat. Rather than going the easy route of just dishing out a couple grand for a nice, run of the mill sailboat, we decided to build our own.
It wasn't easy balancing the requirements:

* 15 feet long
* Less than 160 lbs
* Less than $300
* Bouyancy more than 700 lbs. (Alan + Joey + Mike + the boat)
* Made from only 5 sheets of plywood

The design needs to be simple and able to be dismantled to be carried on a roof-rack on my Elantra, thus the requirement that it weigh less than 160 lbs. The requirements led us to choose a catamaran plan for its light weight, good speed, and relative ease of construction.

To save costs, we are going to fit the boat to use a windsurfer mast and two windsurfer sails that my parents haven't used since I was born. Here is Joey modelling the sails...I mean lying next to them for size comparison purposes...


We've already cut out the bulkheads which will form the basis of the frames of the two hulls, and cut and glued the stringers which will run the length of each hull.





I plan to keep this updated as we make more progress.

20050519

New frame

Okay, I gave into my materialistic and selfish desires and purchased a new bike frame. A decent description can be found at http://www.paketa.com/Road.aspx. Mine is all read, no labels. Note the msrp is 1999, however I payed approximately 10% of that, as I did with my bike box. The purchase price also included a fork, which I intend to sell, increasing the effective discount. I'm hoping to build up a super light bike, something that's totally sweet and super light. This one doesn't have the aero looking tubes, so maybe I'll build my current bike into a time trial bike.

The special feature of this bike is that it's made of magnesium. This bike should be relatively light weight, but more durable than most due to it's thicker tube walls. However I hope to never test that hypothesis.

I fully intend to end up with a cyclocross bike, a road bike and a time trial bike. I'd also like to have a track bike, but who knows. In addition, I have this older bike which has a lot of sentimental value, and I don't really want to convert it into one of the above, though it might happen.

I've wasted a shameful amount of time looking for light weight stuff for my new frame for a shameful amount of time now. The realistic dream follows: purchase campagnolo shifters, a fsa mega exo carbon crankset, lighter handlebars, stem, and seat post from the ritchey order, if it ever happens again. To round out the set, I intend on building up some super light weight tubular wheels. Most of this may never happen though. If it does, it could be a pretty cool bike.

20050518

Why don't I post more?

I've heard some complaints lately that I haven't been posting enough on this blog. The reason I haven't is because on the rare occasions I get blog post ideas I usually put them on my other blog, The Easy Distraction. The Easy Distraction is a pretty good blog. The Easy Distraction has a lot of religious posts, along with other topics that interest me. I try to post on The Easy Distraction at least once per day, but sometimes I don't. Sometimes, though, I post on The Easy Distraction several times per day. For example, today I have posted on The Easy Distraction twice already. Some people might wonder why I chose the name The Easy Distraction for my blog. I don't really know the answer. The Easy Distraction just seemed like a good name at the time, and changing it from The Easy Distraction to something else is more trouble than it's worth. Besides, the 3 people who read The Easy Distraction might get confused if I change the name to something other than The Easy Distraction. So, I keep the name The Easy Distraction.

So there you have it. The Easy Distraction is the reason that I don't post more on this blog. If you want, you could visit The Easy Distraction from time to time to see if I am posting on The Easy Distraction, but I can't promise anything. After all, I'm not perfect, and neither is The Easy Distraction. In the future, I'll try to post more on The Easy Distraction and on this, its brother blog.

Impostor comments

So, we got a comment from a fellow claiming to be "god." however, an examination of the site records revealed that "god" logs in from Dayton Ohio, from the university of Dayton, which is a catholic school, lending some credibility to the reader's identity claim. However, I also have a cousin named David Johnson at the University of Dayton, and he maybe the prankster. This seems the better explanation. Equally good though is the possibility that a professor made the comment, for we all have experienced the ego of certain professors.

Now if you're not used to checking comments and don't know what I"m talking about, here's a link. Click it to see the comments from a fellow claiming to be God. http://humdrumlifeoftheegotistical.blogspot.com/2005/05/simpsons-are-awesome.html.

Comments can be left on each entry, just click below where it says "comments(x)," for those of you who don't do the blog scene often. The best stuff is always in the comments.

20050517

Nationals over

Okay, so I got back from Kansas with all kinds of goodies, largely because my parents live there. Here's a list:

1 awesome frame pump: I bought this on sale last summer, left it at home, rather missed it, but am glad to have it back

2 hats and water bottles given away by gatorade and specialized

3 tyvek general mills jacket my mother gave me, having sent in enough cereal box tops

4 2 new t shirts, one says collegiate championships on it.

5 socks, underwear, and nice high tech fabric shirts my mom had found on sale and saved for me. She also offered a nice wind breaker, but I let her know I had enough of such things

6 cheerio treats, chicken breasts, oatmeal cookies, and a few turkey sandwiches, all made by my mom.

7 two magazines from my swimming days which had some rather good smoothie recipe's which fueled me on the go in my formative years as an athlete.

Most of all I've come back with a new set of training priorities. I have a new list of books to read, including Dr. Bompa's books on periodization, which I already have from the library, sports psychology and a few chapters of a massage book which I also have from the library. I sat next to a really cool guy on the air plane who looked a lot like Chris Carmichael and gave me all sorts of good references and tips. He was sort of a Christian, but a bit shy about it. He nonetheless was quite insightful about matters of training and other things. He had done some training with a east german important fellow of some sort. After this nationals experience I think I might try triathalons. I even went on a short run today. Mind you this is all cross training for a big road cycling comeback.

The trip was awesome, I saw teams with mechanics, coaches, masseurs, and different riders for different events. I was rather jealous of all the supierior equipment. as a result I've begun planing my financial future as well such that I might enjoy some such luxuries, with any luck.

results, photos, and who knows what else can be found at http://www.kuroadnationals.com/ and http://www.marylandcycling.com/

Coffee

So I went to the coffee bar at the student union today and had a big latte. It tasted like horse. I mean it tasted exactly the way a certain horse I know smells. (His name is Corcolen by the way) This however, did not prevent me from drinking the whole thing. The reason, you see, is that I am completely dependent on caffeine at the moment.
This happened last semester too, but after reading an article in National Geographic about caffeine that included some functional-MRI images of caffeine addicts and normal brains, I was motivated to go decaf over winter break. (Basically the pictures proved what I already knew, that when an addict hasn't had their fix, their brain function is quite a bit below normal levels.)
It didn't last long - just a couple of weeks into the spring semester, I was back on the stuff. I'm up to about 4 cups a day. I need that just to function normally. I can have two cups in a row and go right to sleep, no problem, so it's not really useful for staying up late the way it was earlier in the semester. So what are my long term plans? I guess I should try to cut down the intake. The real problem is I don't want to. And it would be hard. Oh man, I want a cup real bad, except I sort of have a headache. Oh, man, I going to go get some. I really shouldn't. I'll really stop after the semester ends. Or at least after the 1st of June. Yeah, that's reasonable. Okay. I'm okay.

20050515

The Simpsons are Awesome

The Simpsons never cease to amaze me. Until tonight I was starting to fall away from them I'll admit. I didn't really like many of their new episodes, but that has all changed. The season finale of the Simpsons was all about Catholics and oh man was it ever hilarious, in the good way. As a Catholic myself I found so much humor in everything, it was great. The plot goes that Bart gets expelled and must attend a Catholic school (ya an old plot but this was better). Once there he befriends a Priest and then wants to become Catholic. Homer goes to get him back, but soon wants to convert himself. Marge of course is outraged and does everything she can to win them back. In the end Homer and Bart don't convert, but its clear Homer and Bart still want to, and Bart ends with a message of tolerance (kinda a let down but whatever, the rest was great. They were even respectful to the whole sex abuse scandal. Anyways if you missed it and your Catholic you missed the best Simpsons ever!

20050511

Going to nationals

So I've gotten a bike box, plane tickets, a ride to the airport, and most of the legistics of traveling to nationals out of the way. I replace a wheel after a big crash last week and got myself a new chain. I even machined a special little frame protector in case something should go wrong. It basically keeps something from squashing the dropouts together while the wheel is out. Now I only need to finish my school work and pack up.

Sadly due to some unfortunate happenings on our team I was left off our rudy project order. No malice was involved, though I'm still quite disappointed.

Boy do I hate papers. I bet I'll be the only one there with a cool frame protector though.

20050508

Evolution Revolution?

I was reading this news article and the only thing I could think of was people really don't know the difference between evolution and natural selection.

In the article the reporter refers to evolution as the scientific theory that changes in animals led to new species. Now this is correct, if he was defining evolution, but he wasn't. The problem is evolution is the overarching theory on the origins of life on our planet. Its pretty much been proven to, as well as a theory can be, life on this planet has evolved. Now what this article was actually talking about was Natural selection Theory versus Intelligent Design Theory.

Natural Selection states basically that random mutations in organisms have led to new species, the good mutations allowing those organisms to survive longer and reproduce more, thus changing the species as a whole.

Intelligent Design Theory looks at the huge odds required for even the smallest change to take hold on a species and says their must be some higher being at work here.

As you can see both theories "agree" with evolution, they just differ on how it happens. My beef is that people mistake evolution theory for natural selection theory all the time and just go around branding people Creationist if they disagree with them (I'm using the term Creationist as one who disbelieves in evolution and believes God created all species they way they are and they don't change, that may not be the exact definition but its what most people think). The more you look at it science and God go together pretty well.

Think you have what it takes?

Have you ever dreamed of joining the 2103 Prince George's Team? Well now you have a chance. One of the spots in the apartment has opened up and we are soliciting applications from those who would be interested in living here. No kidding, if you're interested or know someone who is looking for on campus housing, let me know because otherwise Res Life is going to give me some random roommate. Not that I afraid to meet new people or try new things, but you know, it could be real ugly.

20050505

36 Hours

36 hours, this is the approximate amount of time that I have gone without sleep. Let me tell you it has been quite in interesting experience. Now you may be asking yourself, "but Joey, why would you do something like that?" (in an exceptionally whinny voice) Well my friends I shall start from the beginning.

9:45 May 4, I wake, its a Wednesday, so I don't have class till 11am, and I can sleep in. Looking back I'm pretty thankful that I did. So I got up and went to class.
12:30 May 4, Back from class and doing some homework. I knew I had a long night of paper writing ahead of me so I wanted to get my other stuff done early.
4:00pm May 4, I again return my classes and have a little something to eat, then the fun begins. At 9:30 on May 5, Mike and I had to turn in our Final Business Writing Report and present it to the class. This means in in about 17 hours my biggest paper of the semester was due. Do get me wrong Mike and I had written some of the report already, but it really wasn't enough.
6:00pm May 4, Dinner at the CSC, I had to eat quick then run back to my apartment to change. Why? Because I had a Knights of Columbus first degree ceremony to perform at 8 and I needed to get ready. The First Degree went from 8 to 10, so no work got done.
10:30pm May 4, Back to the apartment to work on the paper.
12:30am May 5, I run out to kinkos to print some photos for our oral presentation, that was fun.
3:30am May 5, We finish the report, now we get to edit, revise and put our presentation together, we'll be in bed in know time!
6:30am May 5, Final Report is finished, My roommates alarm begins to go off and I eat some breakfast.
7:00am May 5, I make Mike go out and bind our report, to make it look all pretty.
8:30am May 5, We finish the oral presentation
9:30am May 5, Report turned in and presentation and A, success!!!
11:00am May 5, I go to class.
Currently, I am still wide awake, although I must keep myself busy, least I fall asleep, I know I go to bed soon, but its the 5th of May and I am Mexican, add that up. (No I won't be getting drunk, but alcohol will be involved, A holiday celebrating Mexicans kicking the crap out of the French, awesome)

UPDATE: I fianlly went to bed at 1 am, 40 hours later