Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines Day

Reed and I had a wonderful Valentines Day. Reed is quite the romantic of course and he did not disappoint this Valentines Day (well we celebrated it on the 13th but same thing). Upon waking up in the morning and going into the bathroom I found a beautiful rose with this cute poem written by my husband attached :-).

Good Morning my love, it’s a wonderful day. It’s not the 14th but that’s okay. You’re up this morning and I’m not there But that doesn’t mean that I don’t care. To start the day off, here is a rose Because I love you from your head to your toes. A scavenger hunt? Your probably thinking “What the heck has Reed been drinking?” I’ll give you hints and show you the way. To reach the end don’t go astray. Don’t worry you won’t travel too far But maybe just once you’ll get in your car. Now the first hint, I open and close, It’s too cold in here for a rose! (The fridge)

Anyways...the scavenger hunt continued throughout the house until I had found all of the 12 long stemmed roses. Some of my favorite short poems attached were:

The”3rd member” of our family lives here. If you don’t get her out she’ll scream off your ear. (Our bird smoochie)

You put this on when you feel a little frisky. Hanging this up was very, very risky. (Haha oh yes...he bought me lingerie)

A year ago we came here to eat, To fill up our bellies with something sweet. (We went again to the french bakery for breakfast)

After a lovely french breakfast, Reed took me shopping for some new pants and new perfume :). But I made him promise to hide the pants from me until my birthday. My honey sometimes spoils me a little more than we can afford to :) haha. So for dinner, Reed decided that instead of going to one of our favorite restaurants (Melting Pot) and spending all our money he would just use our fondue pot to cook our own melting pot meal. He looked up the recipes all on his own and went shopping for everything he needed. He started us off with a cheese fondue course with veggies and french bread. Then for the main course he cooked up a really fancy broth in which we cooked some shrimp, steak and chicken. He planned to do a raspberry chocolate fondue with strawberries, shortcake and bananas but we wanted to go see a movie so we saved the chocolate fondue for Sunday's dessert.

After dinner we went to see "When in Rome" which was really cute :). Then we came home and went to sleep...well went to bed at least ;-).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Okay, Well here I begin my huge blog about my San Francisco trip and the Seismic Design Competition. First off, it was a fun trip. I didn't want to leave Natali all alone but luckily her parents were in town that weekend for at least a day so that was one night she didn't have to stay alone in the house. She was a good sport though and let me go have little fun.
So we went to San Francisco. While there we went and toured some of the sights. One day we went to the exploratorium. This is just pretty much a huge, interactive science museum.

While at the exploratorium I got stuck in a giant bubble...
... got turned into little pixels...

... saw that i have pretty much no heat in my fingers (Natali could have told you that, I'm in the middle)...

... And got a little education. (The heart looking one is like a hamster or something like that)

We also visited the Golden Gate Bridge. It was awesome to see it. It is pretty darn impressive. The whole time I was looking at the trusses and the cables thinking which ones had more tension and stuff like that. Yeah that's what Engineering has done to my brain. I get out there and I come back and half of my pictures are of the hinges and the bolts and stuff like that. Anyway, it was cool to see it.

This is one of the main cables. This thing is huge as you can see. It's interesting because it is really just a bunch of smaller wires in a casing. Hmmm, sounds like a family night lesson... everyone working together to become stronger... Anyway, again way interesting (at least I thought so).

Oh yeah, and on the side we decided to do the competition too :) Here is our Tower. We had a name for him... Mr. T and our motto was "I pitty the fool..." but that didn't really stick. Anyway, here it is with the poster. Pretty sweet eh.

Here is the team. Eight of us went. Jeremy, the guy in the red shirt did it last year all by himself and he took 2nd. He did a coupld things that most schools didn't do so this year they all did those things like testing the wood (The stiffness of balsa wood varies a LOT between pieces) so the competition stepped up their game.

Here are a few pics of the finished project. Turned out pretty well i would say so myself.

And here is a little video of us putting the whole thing together in about a minute and 30 seconds. It actually took a lot longer than that to build...

There were 22 schools there including Missouri, Nebraska, USC, UC Davis, Oregon St, and many others. There was even one from Canada! Here are a few pictures of other towers.


Can't remember.

And now a video of the tower shaking. They attached an accelerometer (it measures the acceleration and how much the top moves) and from the reading we got a certain score. If a building is too stiff it will create a huge acceleration (some were getting over 4 times that of gravity) but if the building is too flexible you will get the top moving too much which is also bad the the goal was to find a good balance. So, It was ran through 3 earthquakes, 2 that were modeled after real earthquakes and the 3rd one that you can see below which was invented by some geologists just for this competition and was made to destroy everything. After the first big shake a lot of the bracing broke off. Our vertical columns were still in place so it became really flexible. You can see the bottom moving after a while but the top pretty much stays still. It was pretty funny, we didn't plan on this working like that but it worked pretty well. The only bad things is that some of our weights fell down (at the bottom).

And here is another school's Tower. I just wanted to show how fast some of the other's broke :)

So after all of this we ended up taking 6th place. Not too bad but we got docked for those weights falling (that wasn't in the rules). We were in the top 3 before they penalized us for that. Anyway, it was a great experience, I learned a lot, and it was fun. Sorry this is so long and if you got through this in one sitting I am very impressed!