Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

So I'm going overseas for the first time in my life...yikes! I will visit the Japanese Navy in Tokyo for a couple days and then spend a week in Seoul, Korea for a Navy conference. I'm excited but a little nervous since I've never done something like this...but hey how can one turn down the chance to travel the world for free. Now I'm going to try to update during my trip, but I have no idea if that will be possible. I've talked with a very close friend of mine that said she might be available as a guest blogger in the mean time. That is very kind of her and I'm glad that there is some one to keep my readers entertained while I'm away.

Where I'm staying in Seoul.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dem and My First Football Game

Surprisingly until this past Saturday Dem and I have never gone to a football game together. Last year we went to the same Michigan game, but we didn't have tickets next to each other. Fortunately for us this was a rather historic game. It was the 500th game at the Big House and Micheal Phelps and all the Olympic athletes from Michigan were there. I took some video of the band before the game, Phelps being announced, and the team after the game, but I'll just include on the blog Michigan coming out of the tunnel.

Here are a few pictures recapping the game. Even though I've gone to the majority of Michigan games over the past 4 years, this definitely had a different feel with the new luxury suites and the first time I wasn't sitting in the students section (so nice to sit down for the majority of the game).

Outside of the Big House with the new luxury suites being built.

Dem and I got there pretty early and got to see the student sections make out the block "M" in the student section (see picture below). Sadly once the game started the excitement instantly went away. Rather than recapping what happened in the first half I'll just say that at halftime Michigan had 5 turnovers (could have easily been more), 21 total yards (rushing + passing), 1 first down, and rarely made Wisconsin start beyond the 50-yard line.

The stadium before the game got started.

However, the second half was a totally different story. Thankfully the defense played good in the first half and only gave up 19 points (this is amazing considering Wisconsin almost always started in field goal range). After Michigan got their first touchdown they really got going. The second touchdown came with a ~30 yard run from Minor, which was followed with Wisconsin's next offensive play by Michigan intercepting their pass and running it back for a touchdown...in minutes it went from Michigan being down 19-0 to Michigan ahead 20-19.

Linebacker John Thompson returning his interception for the touchdown to give Michigan the lead.

Michigan then continued to play well with stopping Wisconsin, getting the ball back, and scoring again. That scoring drive was highlighted by Threet's 48 yard run. Wisconsin then got the ball, drove the field, and was about to score when Michigan sacked the quarterback resulting in him fumbling and Michigan recovered. Wisconsin then got a second chance and succeeded in driving down and getting a touchdown (FYI - it was an amazing touchdown catch). Then Wisconsin needed a two-point conversion for the tie. They successfully got it, but thanks to the loud crowd Wisconsin wide receivers screwed up their formation resulting in an illegal formation penalty. When they retried the conversion they failed and with only 13 seconds all that was left was to recover the onside kick, which they failed to kick 10 yards...thus Michigan WINS. This completely the largest comeback in the Big House.

Scoreboard with the sad Badger fans below it.

Immediately after the game the team ran over to the student section to celebrate with them and a few rows behind us the chant of "It's great - to be - a Michigan Wolverine! It's great - to be - a Michigan Wolverine!" That was a chant that I didn't expect to hear Saturday...I actually specifically thought that at half time. What a great game.

Dem and I happy about our Michigan team after our first football game.

Happy Bday Sherry

Saturday was Sherry's birthday and after the Michigan game (post coming later on this) Dem and I attended her birthday party. We got to spend some time with friends, eat cake, and watch a good movie (Run Fat Boy Run). So hope you had fun Sherry.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My First JFM Paper - Part 2

Well I don't think you can go to your local technical library and pick up your copy of my first article in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics (JFM), but the electronic version has hit the web. I've already linked in my website so those interested in some good night time reading can find it here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Goodbye Austin

One of my good friends is moving away from Ann Arbor so Monday we went to his favorite spot to get a beer in Ann Arbor, Ashley's. After having a couple beers and playing random games with coins and matches we went back to Kevin and Austin's apartment. At this point it was decided that this was the most appropriate time to light off these cheap fireworks that Austin had gotten a couple months ago. Kevin and Austin decided that the smartest thing to do was light them all off at the same time...I had my doubts but certainly wasn't going to stop them.

Kevin and Austin setting up the fireworks so that they'll go off at the same time.

Mike and I captured with our camera's (Mike's phone actually).

The Fireworks!

Monday, September 22, 2008

29th Annual Grosse Pointe Run

Dem and I ran our first 10K Saturday morning at the 29th Annual Grosse Pointe Run. We didn't run it super fast, but we set our pace and were able to maintain pretty well. We actually managed to run the second 5K faster then the first half. I think we were both pleased that we completed it, but probably felt more excited before rather then after the race. It was really nice that Dem's parents were in the area for their high school reunion so they showed up for the final and took some pictures of us during our last mile and change (I don't have the pictures to share though). I do have a few pictures from before the race though.

We walked around the area before the race checking things out...Dem was overwhelmed by how cute everything was (they had water and food for everyone in little red wagons...see picture above).

We walked out to the end of the piers and took the traditional Dem and Brian self-picture. Then we did our stretching out by the lake, got hydrated, and got into our running closes.

Here we are just before we went to the the starting line for the race...we were excited (and nervous).

Friday, September 19, 2008

My First 10K

Tomorrow morning Dem and I are going to run the 10K in the 29th annual Grosse Pointe Run. Neither of us have ever ran a race like this. I believe my track coach once made me run the 2 mile (~3.2K), but it was much more like a walk then a run. We were guaranteed a point for the team if we added someone, so I did it. So this is about 3 times longer then anything I have ran before, but Dem and I have been working hard and I believe we can do it. The original plan was to run a 5K, which is pretty close to what we run 3 times a week, but Dem just felt that would be too easy for us and she wanted a challenge. I know we are both capable and the only reason I'm really a little nervous about it is that both Dem (shins and knees) and I (ankle) are nursing some minor injuries. I still think we'll be able to do it though.

The closest picture of Dem and I being active.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Champion of the World

Today I reclaimed the championship of the world in foosball. I assume I'm the best in the world because I won the championship in the most exclusive foosball league...the World Foosball League (WFL). The WFL is so exclusive that only two people have ever made it into the league...Sherry and I. Today in game 4 of a 5 game championship match, I was on the verge of my third victory when Sherry went on a scoring streak. In only a matter of seconds she had scored two goals to give her a 5-4 victory, which setup the match of the ages. The game was well played and after a lot of back and forth it was tied 4-4...next point is the champion of the world. I finally got possession of the ball with my offense, passed center, passed back to my center line (totally unexpected), and fired the game winner from mid-court. Well played Sherry and some day you'll get another shot at the title.

Barry Sanders

So the Lions season isn't off to that great of a start...well that might be making it sound too good. However, I'm not going to be one of the fans that immediately throws away the season because we lost the first two games...remember everyone thought the Tigers were in trouble this year just because they lost their first 10 games...oh wait, yeah they never recovered from that. Anyway, I'm not giving up on the Lions yet, but I needed some thing encouraging since my football teams (Michigan & Lions) aren't looking that good. So I turned to the one man that is considered the only reason my generation loves the Lions...Barry Sanders. Its a shame YouTube didn't exist when he was running because there would be so many better highlights of him, but I was able to find at least a couple good highlights...though anyone that watched him every week knows that this is merely a small sampling of what this man could do. I feel fortunate to not only been a football fan when he was playing, but that my dad took me to a few of the games where he played (even sat next to his wife one game).

For better quality check out some these clips (clip 1, clip 2, and clip 3).

Friday, September 12, 2008

High School Sports

I showed a couple clips from my high school sports awhile ago, but what I really wanted to find was the only clip I have of me on the news...I think I was on it at least three times but only got a tape of it once. Sadly my copy got eaten by the machine when I went to digitize it...but luck would be on my side and my parents had a copy of it. So everyone can breath easy knowing that you are going to get to see this famous clip.

Also on that same tape was some video taken by my uncle Gerald at a track meet of mine in Bad Axe (I love Pigeon but Bad Axe is a great name for a town). I had a copy of this but it too was consumed by the hungry, hungry VCR at Michigan. The meet certainly wasn't my greatest showing since its clear from what non-competing people are wearing and the flags blowing it was very cold and windy. However, I'm still glad I have some footage of me competing in high jump, discuss, and sprint relays (this much have been junior year because I was slow). I'll share the clip of me clearing 6ft in high jump...it illustrates a few very typical things about when I jumped; (1) I had no form or method on my approach, (2) I often would restart my jump because it didn't "feel" right, (3) I would only restart once and jump no matter what on the second attempt, (4) always missed once or twice at a height, and (5) I usually made it on my third attempt at heights up to 6ft.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

God Bless the US

It has now been seven years since the attacks of 9/11...so much has changed and so much is the same. The morning when it happened I had skipped class and was laying in bed thinking I should get up and do something when I heard two of my roommates talking in the hallway about a building collapse. Nothing they were saying made any sense to me so I got up and went to find out what was going on. When I saw the television I just couldn't believe it was real...I spent the rest of the day glued to the tv trying to comprehend what was going on. Over the next few weeks the tragedy became more and more clear, but it was also amazing see the patriotism. It was the first time in my life when it was cool to love the United States...I always have loved the US and thought I was blessed to be born here but sadly that hasn't been the message conveyed throughout our society during my life time. But over those few weeks no matter where I went, in the state of Michigan at least, everyone was waving flags and had signs saying "God Bless America".

However, over the following months and years I feel the United States has gone back to the old way of only talking about the nation if we are saying something bad about it. Yes it is true that the United States has real problems that need to be fixed (I have very strong opinions on many of the issues), but that doesn't take way from the fact that this is a great nation. Working with students from other nations on a daily basis has made me realize that everyone seems to openly love their country unless they are from the United States...the country everyone comes to for freedom, liberty, and education. Now I'm young but I do understand that during a time of war public opinion is going to decline, but I really don't think our government is getting a fair shake with the Iraq War. Many openly compare the current war to Vietnam and say that the government is doing it all over again...well (1) I don't think that is true and (2) the numbers don't support that attitude. We have been over there for about 5 years and have lost approximately 4,000 soldiers, which is a lot more then I wish were lost, but in the 8 years of combat in Vietnam the United States lost about 58,000 soldiers...those numbers aren't even comparable. So yes we have our problems socially, economically, and politically, but I'm proud to be an American.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stealing Steel

Dem sent me an article from the Ann Arbor News about 2 men being arrested for stealing 3 tons of stainless steel...sounds boring, but it happened to have been stolen from our research group. Specifically it was from our HIPLATE model, which I have discussed with you before. Furthermore I was the student that got to "identify" the steel and hangout with the detective for a day. I was going to write something last week, but I didn't want to post anything before it was public information. What's was really cool (though boring for like the first hour) was going through security camera footage with the salvage yard to find these guys dropping off the steel. I'm still not sure how much I should say so I won't say much besides it was fun playing detective for a day.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

With the summer coming to an end Dem and I finally made it up north to my parents place for a long weekend. On our way back we finally remembered that we did actually visit Pigeon this summer on Mother's Day, but it was just for a couple hours. Dem had Friday and Monday off of work so we drove up there Thursday evening after we helped our friend do some light moving.

It was a really nice weekend seeing my parents plus extended family. We had a BBQ, two nights of campfires, Dairy Queen, watched some really nice sunsets, got two runs in, and played a bunch of wii. I think my mom is hooked on wii and will be getting one down the road...once she heals up from the wii-injury. Here are some pics and video to recap some of the very fun weekend.

The highlight of the weekend...Dem and dad wii boxing.

Here is Dem and I being sad after there was an accident that resulted in me getting a chunk of my nose removed (see the blood at the end)...its healing nicely.

A nice picture of Dem out on the breakwall in Caseville when the sun was setting.

We finally took some pictures of the wind mills that are all over the place up by Pigeon now.

Closer picture of the wind mills....they are even larger then they look in the picture.

Then it was time to drive back home.