Hrmmm…

So, Ludington trip was pretty cool. Great Lakes casting is a foundry, so rather foundry like stuff. Making sand molds, filling them with steel, breaking them out, particle blasting, and then shipping. The tour guide kept stopping in front of operations so we could watch them, which would be cool, but he had a habit of stopping in front of crappy operations. Sure, it’s cool to stand and watch molten steel being poured, but we can’t watch that because there is ladles of hot steel all around and we were in the way, so instead we watch some guy filling molds for 10 minutes, not as cool. The machine that breaks apart the molds is fun to watch though.

Whitehall Industries was a bit more fun. They heat a log of Aluminum about 20 ft long and 8″ round to 900˚F, cut off a 4 ft length like it was butter (which aluminum pretty much is at that temp), and ram it through a little tiny die under a few hundred thousand pounds of pressure. That 4 ft of log comes out as a perfectly formed extrusion up to 175 ft long, amazing. They have one extruder that they change the dies out on every so often, and as pieces come out they cut them to length and send them to the various machining and punching operations through the plant. A good part of what they make is rails for sunroofs for pretty near every manufacturer, as well as splines for convertible tops, and some parts to the C5 corvette frame (which is almost all aluminum, unlike the standard corvette which is steel framed, but still fiberglass body, apparently). They said roughly 80% automotive parts. They just expanded, so had some open space, but were already talking about next expansion in a few years, sounds like they are doing rather well.

My Industrial Engineering test came back as a 63, which sucks. I could have done better, a 93 would have been more my style. Not sure what happened, but will need to make sure it doesn’t again.

Jill has become very big, and has spent the last few days chasing Sunny around. I am not sure if I should do something, or what I could do. I feel bad for Sunny, because she was chased by the first Chi Chi so much when we first got her. The problem is Jill is really big, and only going to get bigger. I don’t want to have to get rid of a fish, but I don’t want to loose one either.

Yesterday want well in the machine lab with the seniors. I had to be there at 8, but we were done by noon, so that wasn’t too bad. I was afraid would be there till 4 or 5 or something. They pretty much finished their machining, have to re-run a few parts, then do heat treat next Friday. I don’t know if I will be there for that or not, will talk to partner Monday and make a decision.

I still need to do tags on all the posts, but it is a scary thought, having done categories on all the posts once already. I know it will end up taking a month or so, and obviously don’t look forward to going through over 500 posts again.

I was looking through and found out my longest blog was not 1071 Words and No Point, but Back from Vacation about Jenn and I’s Mackinaw trip. I was surprised to find that out. My longest post are my two process planning assignments from MFG-111 at Delta.

Speaking of long posts, this one is about long enough. I will see you all later I suppose.

nick

It Snowed

Jenn and I went to Applebee’s tonight for dinner. They have a new menu, and to be honest, I was rather disappointed. Gone is my beef stew over mashed potatoes thing, as well as Jenn’s grilled shrimp. As I flipped through the menu, I honestly felt that there was a whole section missing from it. I considered paying for our drinks and going somewhere else, but being the blustery cold evening it was, I didn’t feel like walking back to the vehicle only to drive a block or 2 and need to get out again. It wouldn’t be that bad, but the quality of some of the food we had gotten one of the last times we went there was rather poor, and we already lost Ruby Tuesday’s to a poor menu change (including price hikes beyond what the items are worth). At least we still have Bennigan’s (please don’t let them go to the dark side too).

I had a test yesterday in Industrial Engineering, and after turning it in I realized just how much I had gotten wrong. Will find out just what I did tomorrow morning.

Also tomorrow is the trip to Ludington with the SME group.

In case anyone missed it, it snowed today, and some yesterday. That is the first of the year I believe, around here anyway.

I posted a few new pics on Picassa, you can check them out by clicking Gallery at the top.

OK, suppose that it all.

Nick

Happy Halloween

So, whats new…

Jenn and I ventured to Traverse City on Saturday. We were bored, and we have been meaning to go since we moved, so figured lets go. We ventured to Cadillac first, where we went into Peebles, but found nothing. So, on we went to Traverse City, trying to snap photos on the way. I have nine pics, but because of the dreary day it was, the color is very off of what we saw, particularly of Grand Traverse Bay. Once on Traverse City, we went to the mall, and to the outlet strip mall. We didn’t really need anything though, so we didn’t get anything. Next, we went looking for Boone’s Long Lake Inn. I had called my mom to look up directions, and we followed, but missed that we had to turn from South Long Lake to East Long Lake rd, so went too far down and had to come back. Still, it was rather far out of town. Was it worth it? Yes, for me anyway. The 10 oz New York Strip was well over 10 oz, pushing 14+. Jenn’s shrimp were big, but not worth the price, should have ordered the lobster. Whether we will go back is unknown, it was $60 for the 2 of us, and is out there, but was pretty good. Plus, they had Ayinger October Fest, my new favorite beer.

We had an SME meeting today to discuss our trip to Ludington for plant tours next week. We will leave school at 11, tour Whitehall Industries and Great Lakes Casting, have dinner, then return home around 5 or 6 ish.

Jenn is in Saginaw with her Mom and Aunt Mary right now, shopping and what not. She left this afternoon, will return tomorrow sometime.

I think that’s all.

Till next time…

Happy Halloween!

Nick

Upgrade

I just upgraded to WordPress 2.3. As with any upgrade, if you find errors, hickups, bugs, or other abnormalities, let me know.

The first SME meeting was today. It was a little disorganized, but we got a schedule for future meetings and a little discussion on what we will be doing over the upcoming year.

Other than that, mostly just been going to class. Had a test in 311 today, 341 tomorrow, 340 Tuesday.

Might go to River of Time Saturday. We were going to go Sunday to see Todd dressed as a Voyageur in his cousin’s wedding, but not sure. Maybe I will just find an apple orchard/corn maze type farm around here and call it good.

Jenn and I were actually talking yesterday, and decided we were going to buy a pumpkin farm and have a corn maze and pumpkin catapult and give cow-drawn carriage rides, and charge people $1 for a picture of them kissing our ass (our donkey that is). I have said before, Autumn is my favorite season, and pumpkin farms are the heart of this time of year. Besides, fresh hot pumpkin doughnuts in warm apple cider is just so damn good.

nick

Of Rodeos and Dress Clothes

Alot to cover this time.

Wednesday, Jenn and I went to Grand Rapids for the SME show. Show wasn’t really bad, but not good. Nobody hiring like I was told, but we got some cool swag. Afterward, we went car shopping up and down 28th street. There were a few cars that maybe had some small chance of possibility, but not much. We had lunch at Red Robin, which was pretty good. We did some quick shopping through Woodland Mall, including checking out the new iPods which have grown on me.

After enough of not finding cars, we went to Centerpointe Mall where Jenn bought a new work uniform and I bought a suit and dress shoes. It was originally marked $550 and I got it for $145, not bad. I need to have the pants tailored, but it should be good. After all that, we headed home.

Thursday, Jenn’s parents arrived around 9 am, and after chatting for a while they left with Jenn to GR for their own shopping (Jenn and I avoided shopping because we knew she would be back the next day). So they shopped around most of the day while I enjoyed a day off because my professors were all at the SME expo. Jenn stayed at the hotel that night, rather than driving home, as she worked the next morning.

Friday, I had my class and lab, then sat around for a little while before driving Jenn’s vehicle down to GR. On the way, a semi blew out a tire in front of me, and I accidentally took the wrong exit, but got there OK. Once at the hospital parking garage, I tried to call Jenn and tell her I was there, but had no signal, so I decided to go into the hospital to check if I had some there. Once in, I figured I could try and find her, not realizing the size of the hospital. I actually managed to find the right building, and take the right elevator, but for some reason thought she was on the 4th floor, when she is actually on 5th. Having signal, I gave her a call and found her quickly.

When she was done, we left and headed over to Van Andel Arena for the Built Ford Tough Series Presented by Wrangler Professional Bull Riders Tour (Yes, that is actually the official name) rodeo. So, we found parking, made our way in, and found our seats. It was actually pretty good, we all enjoyed it. The actual bull riding was not bad, but the show between was really good. When you think that 45 people compete to stay on a bull for 8 seconds, thats only about seven and a half minutes of the 120 minute show. From the rodeo clowns to contests and pyrotechnics and all kinds of other things, they fill the time. They even shot bratwurst from a t-shirt cannon (note: spellcheck doesn’t like the word bratwurst).

After the rodeo was over, we tried to find our way back to the hotel, where we spent some time in the hot tub, then went to Steak n’ Shake for a Caramel Apple Shake, which was awesome.

Jenn left for work before I was up, around 6. Her parents woke me up around 9 for free breakfast, then we drove back here where they left me, and continued to Traverse City, then home. Jenn called me around 6:30 (actual, 4:30, but I was asleep, and she didn’t mention it in the message) to tell me that she accepted OT, and wouldn’t be home until 12 – 12:30. Last night, she was complaining she wanted to call in, and then she took a 16 hour shift? Well, she gets out early tomorrow at 3, 4 hours early, so that’s something.

So, I went to KFC for dinner, and was sitting outside after ward since it was nice out. As I sat, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, jumped startled, and it was a deer. As I stare at it, it just stood there and stared back, then her 3 kids walked up one by one and did the same. After a minute of “Whoa! Look, there’s a dude there. Why is he in our yard?” They decided to walk off into the tree line.

So, right now, I am watching the rodeo again and it is really sucking. If I wasn’t mostly blogging I would have turned a long time ago. All the cool between the rides stuff, is not of TV. No t-shirt guns, no pyro, no Enterprise rent-a-tank, nothing. Oh well.

Fish are doing better, ich is nearly gone. Will keep treating for another week to make sure though.

My dad might be by tomorrow, he is going fishing in Baldwin, which isn’t far away.

I think that’s all.

later,
nick

Lots of Happenings

So, where to begin…

Over the weekend, Jenn and I went to Bay City for Todd’s Bachelor Party. I met up with them at the texan in Essexville where we had dinner, then bid them farewell as they headed toward Midland St., then to the Vu. From what I heard the next morning they had fun, but I am not much of a bar person.

Jenn and I went to see my dad after that, then to see my mom and Chris. After catching up and all that, we headed for our hotel. Quickly bored, we went car shopping as my neon is not real healthy, and I have that nice refund check coming. We found a nice VW GTI, but as it was around 10 on a Saturday night, the dealership was obviously not open. we then went to Essexville to see if her old apartment had been rented out yet, and it was. Next, we stopped by Ideal Party Store where I found Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale. Back at the Hotel, we enjoyed our drinks and ordered Roma’s, and watched Feasing on Asphalt.

The beer is good, but odd. It has a taste of clove and nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Not bad, but as I said, odd.

Anyway, Sunday morning Jenn and I went back to see the GTI again, and noticed several small things, that quickly added up. It just wasn’t worth the asking price, and even for less you would need to be willing to put in some rather considerable effort. We then headed over to my house to see what was up and wait for my dad to get out of church so we (Jenn, Chris, Dad, and I) could go to Genji. Jenn and I decided to go ahead to Midland to do some shopping, and meet up with the rest there. Of course, my dad called just as we were leaving town, but that was fine.

With some good food in us, we headed to the Midland Mall where Jenn found fuzzy Crocs. As she wears them to work everyday, and the weather will be turning cold soon, they were quickly nabed up and we were on our way home.

Monday, I started school. I began my 2 years at Ferris by being 10 minutes late for my first class, as I underestimated the parking situation. After a mere 50 minutes of Industrial Engineering, I headed home. Jenn and I drove around most of the local dealers, and had some promising news that Phillips Ford may be able to find the car I want, or similar, for the price I want. Jenn then dropped me off at school for my CNC class, and picked my up after so we could peruse the bookstore, which still didn’t have my last book.

Tuesday and today were basically just go to class, come home. Although, today I tried sticking around campus from 11 to 1:30 between my 2 classes, only to have Jenn call me wondering where I was, and remind me my second class is at 3. I still stuck it out, but probably not again.

My classes, for the most part, are OK. My CNC class scares me a little, as I feel possibly under-prepared, but will deal with it. Also, the Manufacturing Program has a rather harsh grading scale, that I will have to deal with. My grades may slip some this semester, but from my Delta average of A, A, A, A-, a little drop is probably OK.

Over Labor Day, we have no real plans. We mentioned possibly going car browsing in Grand Rapids, but I am kind of sick of that. I kind of want to leave it alone until at least after I get money. I want to try and sand and stain the headboard, as it hasn’t been touched in over a month now. If I get that done, it will free up a good amount of space in the office, which would be nice.

Beth emailed all of us tech pages to let us know she got a job at Delta in the Office of Information Technology.

Weekend after this, I go back to Bay City for Todd’s wedding. Will be there Friday evening through Sunday evening.

The 18th, I might go down to Grand Rapids for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Great Lakes Conference. Will depend on if I have a car yet (I should), and what is planned for my second class that day (my first class is cancelled, as the professor is speaking at the conference).

I actually just joined SME online last night. It’s $20 a year, and I save around $100 off my certification test when I graduate. Of course, if I want to remain a member after that, it is significantly higher for a non-student membership. Plus, Ferris’s SME chapter has an annual field trip to Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Detroit, and other surrounding areas to see several manufacturing plants. In 2004, they even went to the Trek bicycle plant.

That is probably all.

See you all later,
nick