I think

I should write something here…not tonight but maybe tomorrow.

Until then, here’s a song I like

Thanks

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Final (Required) Post I

So I am required to write two final posts to finish out the semester, I figured for this one I will focus more on the optional prompt, and maybe visit a broader conclusion for the semester in the next post.

I feel like blogging is a good exercise in flexing one’s creative muscles, especially when there is a means to relate it to the material that has been covered in class.  I believe in many aspects this was beneficial for garnering my own understanding of practical applications, especially in Mechanics of Fluids.  That course particularly has been one that I’ve looked forward to for a long time, and it did not disappoint my expectations of being challenging yet rewarding.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts regarding the course and especially the projects, I’ve had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of concepts that I already had applied in my own personal and professional life for years.  I still have the chance to finish the course with an A as well, and I will strive to make that happen in our final weeks this semester.

As far as continuing to blog, I would like to make that happen.  Quite frankly, I know that most of my audience is going to disappear with the grade aspect of the blog, and generally I prefer to keep to myself when I feel like no one is reading.  I generally follow the same format on other platforms, and try to limit my interactions on social media to topics that a few of my personal friends share an interest in.

What makes that challenging is that I don’t have many friends (outside of school) that share my passion for engineering at the same level.  I generally limit my posts on the subject to things that can be considered “memes, badass, or over the top,” such as this Osprey (text is NSFW) “giving the bird.”  There’s a joke correlating human and bird flight in there somewhere, but I’m currently unable to make the connection.

Balancing myself online is occasionally difficult as well, especially because of my personality and sense of humor.  I struggled with putting that image in this post because of the implications of potential disapproval on a professional level.  I would hate for a professor to think less of me because of a silly gif that I find humorous, but I also don’t believe posting something like that should define someone’s perception of me.

I understand that I would most likely be found guilty in the “court of wrong” on this particular matter, but I feel like my creativity could outweigh the negativity associated with my particular style of self-expression.  Of course, what I think doesn’t really matter; that is up to the establishment and the internet to decide.

All that matters to me is that I’ve relished writing (the good posts) for you guys this semester, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the positive feedback that I’ve received from my audience.  It’s been great reading everyone’s interpretations of life this semester, and I’m thankful that I got to experience such a plethora of personalities.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to all,

TM

Linear Project II

Hello again guys,

The deadline for our group project is this Friday, and although real-life applications are a little trickier than for Fluids, I think my group has a practical approach that mixes in a bit of sci-fi flare.

Linear has proven to be a bit more abstract than I like, but I do believe Dr. Ferrar has done a decent job of limiting the conceptual math.  Even as I am catching up on the current material, I am having a difficult time realizing the applications without his examples.  That being said, I think that our project will do a service in my eventual understanding of sensitivity matrices and their purpose.

I’m looking forward to completing the project (hopefully tomorrow, along with the Fluids group project) and eliminating one more variable in this hectic semester.

Good luck, and thanks for reading,

TM

Post-Test Fluids II

Hey guys,

As I had mentioned briefly last week, I did not get the boost I would have liked after taking our second test for Fluids.  I spent most of my time over the last month playing catch-up with my course work, and although I felt confident going into the exam, once I got there I froze up.

I believe that I was overconfident in my preparation for the test, and I did not spend the amount of time that I usually do in the days leading up to the exam.  I lost time while preparing for an Advanced Thermodynamics exam, and unfortunately my performance in both tests suffered for time management reasons.  I fell behind in Thermo, and had I kept up a better schedule then I could have split more time between preparation for that and Fluids (while I wasn’t behind in Fluids, I lost time to prepare as thoroughly as I usually see fit).

The 5/6 combination problem was devastating for me, because I spent too much time trying to solve 5, and the answer for 5 directly contributed to solving 6.  I know that I am learning, and I know that tests grades are not always an indication of knowledge, but personally, it was a rough few days for my confidence.

I feel like I have had a successful semester for the most part, but I feel like I am capable of much more.  Hanging in is proving to be difficult, but we are almost there.

Thanks for reading,

TM

Essen Scheiße Zwei

Hello again guys!

Fluids Test II was today, and I can say that I think I blew it, especially compared to the first test.

I believe I figured out the bane of my 50+ min existence approximately 10 minutes after the exam ended.  The backwards flow messed me up, and I spent too much time trying to figure that out.  (more horrible sentences, sorry guys, I should be better.)

I thought the test was very fair, and I did not prepare as well as I did (or should have) for test 1.  I’m sure my grade will reflect that, and I have accepted that.

Although grades are important to me, there are always situations where I can honestly say that the numerical grade does not reflect my knowledge or confidence in the course.

Even if I blew it, I am confident that I have learned and I will continue to stride for improvement.

Thanks for reading,

TM

Essen Scheiße Eins

Hey guys, happy Friday!

Linear test went pretty well I believe.  The course load I took on has become increasingly apparent to me as the semester has gone on, and preparing for this test made me very aware of that.  Normally I would construct a better sentence than that (and this for that matter), but I frankly do not have the time.

I fell behind early in the second dose of linear studies, mainly due to the staggered tests in Fluids that I share with Dr. Ferrar and the other courses that are unrelated.  Luckily, I have a relatively decent understanding of the subject, and thanks to my good friends Liz, Kian, and Andrew I was able to swiftly conquer the exam’s review.

The course notes and additional content were invaluable (I know I use that word a lot, but I’m short of time again), and that along with aid from my classmates got me through.  And they continue to.

Thanks for reading (sorry for the abbreviated post),

TM

Still Grinding

Hey folks,

Still coding over here, although I’m getting very close to the “F it” button.  There are two parts to me when I hit that button.

The first part is the part that realizes that I’ve been writing (attempting to write?) this code since 12:30 or so this afternoon.  I have put forth a lot of effort into creating my own code, and I have resisted the temptation of using codes that I’ve found online in favor of learning how to do it myself.  That being said, throwing in the towel is an outcome that I obviously would like to avoid, but I do have a feeling of accomplishment from trying to teach myself how to complete this code properly.

The second part is my inner disappointment at my inability (well as I write this, it’s only 10:50) to complete the code to my own standards and the assignment’s standards of completion.  I have until 11:59, but hell, I am tired of this shit.  Quite honestly, this is a feeling that I have frequently, but I always find myself working up until the last moments regardless.  I admire that about myself, but at the same time, the work I submit occasionally leaves something to be desired to the quality of standards I try to adhere to.

Feeling like tonight is going to end in an “F it” button kind of night ( before 11:59), but at least I can say that I gave it an honest and determined effort.

Thanks for reading, and remember to breathe this weekend,

TM

Taking a Break

This is something that I don’t do as often as I should when I’m working.  I have been trying to create my own MATLAB code for LU decomposition featuring a pivot since approximately 12:30 this afternoon.  I just took a moment to pour myself a beer; and it dawned on me, at this rate I will never complete my blog posts in time.

So I decided to take a break from the endless and relatively fruitless Google searches and trial-and-error session that I have been torturing myself with since this afternoon.  I’m not sure that taking a break from this particular subject is necessarily the most useful approach in solving the problem, but it is good to cool down from the aggressive frustration that I’ve been feeling trying to solve this for hours.

Even when I am taking a break, my brain tends to race with potential solutions or different approaches to problems.  Sometimes I wish I could just chill out and empty my mind, but that is rarely the case.  I suppose that having a very active brain is beneficial in the long run, but in the moment I often wish that the damned thing would settle down for a few seconds.

So, short post, back to coding, and remember to take your breaks when you can.

Thanks for reading,

TM

Final Linear Project Update

It’s 1:55AM.  Less than an Earth day’s left until this project is due.  A few days ago I decided to completely ditch my previous proposal for something that I hadn’t even looked into yet.  I love jet engines.  I jumped into this major because I grew fascinated with aircraft.  But I don’t know shit about them, as far as constructing a technically sound project regarding their propulsion goes.

I can compare my GE-90 knowledge to my piano skills, I can play the gorgeous instrument well enough to convince those that don’t know any better that I know what I am doing.  Hell, just tonight I got looks of bewilderment from a coworker (in the industry for 40 years, albeit as a merchandiser) and customer when I was referring to the pressure needed to obtain a widely accepted volumetric flow rate for a draft beer faucet.  r/fluidsproject is leaking.

I know it sounds intimidating to some people, but I am only a student whose outside interests blend with my major.  I’m not trying to sound intelligent, I merely find fascination daily with all of the practical applications for my engineering education.  Regardless, I was not fully prepared for the topic I had originally proposed, and so I decided to take a different route.

I hope you guys like hockey!

Thanks for reading,

TM

Final (Fluids) Project Update

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Image source: http://www.auper.com

Hey guys, hopefully you are all done your projects now, unlike I am!

The project I took on regarding draft beer has actually opened my eyes further to a bunch of the inefficiencies or common misconceptions that I’ve learned and doubted over the years.  Wow, that is a long sentence.

I have come to realize through our Fluids project that many of the “assumedly (not a word until now) negligible” factors that I grew up with in the service of draft beer systems are not as “negligible” as I assumed (I guess the -ly is a victim of head loss).

Length of tubing (“yeah, at least three feet is fine”), diameter of tubing (“whichever fits your setup, shouldn’t really matter,” although we found that the larger diameters seemed to be better), or pressure of the regulator (“oh somewhere between 8 and 12 psi, try ‘x’ and expect ‘y’ and adjust for ‘z’ until we get it”) were always taken into consideration, but never scientifically.  That’s not to say that we weren’t good at what we were doing.  We were damned good; Kenny (my former boss) knew his shit and continues to pass it on to anyone who finds it interesting.

But I mean hell, if we had any idea of exactly what we were doing (methodically and scientifically, although I always loved our diagnostics process), then Kenny’s idea of me moonlighting as a draft specialist may have taken off more in my mind.  The fact that I now possess some fundamental knowledge in Fluid Mechanics has inspired me to reminisce about how damned good we were before I had this droplet’s worth of knowledge in the subject.  We knew what we were doing without the science.  But we didn’t fully understand it.  I might have passed the lab test, but never the one with the math and the scary Greek letters.

I barely knew how cool this project was to me until a few days ago, and I can contribute all or a major part of that to Kenny.  Hopefully I can give back to him a single beer’s worth of what he taught me.  And hopefully, I can present you guys with a presentation worth your time as well.

Thanks for reading,

TM

P.S. Kenny always told me about his son’s experiences in Fluids class, and it seemed intimidating as hell.  Luckily for me I’ve found it to be a fascinating subject, and I am fully immersed in (no pun intended) learning the material.