Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The DewMocracy Flavor Taste Test

After having an online contest called DEWmocracy in which individuals come up with new tastes, Mountain Dew has come out with three new flavors. They are letting their customer's decide which flavor they like best and are, accordingly, keeping the flavor that is most popular. I discovered this while stopping off at Rite Aid after work today, and decided to buy all three. I tasted all three and will share my insights into the nuances of their flavor differences. The first new flavor is:


Now the bottle says that it is "DEW With a Blast of Strawberry Melon Flavor and Ginseng," but there is not even a hint of ginseng. As I take a sip and swirl it around my mouth I realize that there is more carbonation in this beverage then traditional Mountain Dew. Its sweet, but not too sweet. As far as the strawberry melon flavors go, this drink leaves something to be desired. Drinking this is like drinking a very carbonated, slightly watered down strawberry Crush soda. I would say that it is enjoyable, but not something I would ever pay for again. In other words, if it is at a party I would drink it, but I wouldn't be surprised if I never see it on shelves again. The next new flavor is called:


Now I am not sure if this is aimed at a rebellious youth, but I definitely do not feel compelled to march on Washington after tasting it. The bottle says that it's contents have "Dew Infused With Wild Berry Fruit Flavor and Ginseng." After allowing a few drops of this pale blue fluid into my mouth, I can assure you there is nothing wild about this flavor. It has the feel of soda-water with the taste of one of those blue ice pops that you let sit in your freezer for to long. It just does not have what it takes to be called Wild. Nor does it have what it takes for me to ever drink this again, free or not. I would rate Revolution less tasty than SuperNova, and would not recommend it to anyone. The next flavor is by far the best and called:


Much tastier than the previous two, Voltage has a label that says it's brighter blue insides are "Charged With Raspberry Citrus Flavor and Ginseng," and yes it did say "Raspberry." If that is a typo or not I do not know, but I would not put it past the Mountain Dew brand to do this in the name of being edgy and different. Now, back to the taste test. As I take a large sip of the soda it is very clear that there is significantly less carbonation, a good thing. The raspberry has a distinct citrus flavor, as the label suggests. I can taste the same citusy tangy flavor that makes it's lemon/lime brother so popular. I would have to call this one... regular Mountain Dew but with the lemons and limes swapped out for Raspberries. Now seeing as I greatly enjoy the lemon/lime Mountain Dew that you see everywhere, I will label this both the best flavor of the three and my third favorite Mountain Dew flavor, behind my second favorite: Code Red

Let me know what flavors you think are best, wither you agree or disagree

Evaluations and Progress Meetings

So, I got an email from Clarkson the other day that said they wanted an "initial evaluation form" filled out and sent to them from both me and my supervisor. I definitly thought that mine would be useful, but not my boss's since I never work with him. Anyway, it turned out fine. He emailed me the form to email to Clarkson, I have no idea why, and I took a look at it. Mostly said that I was doing "very good" and that it was too soon to tell if I had a few of the character traits the forms wanted to know about.
I, however, was not so nice in my evaluation form. Lets just say that since this coop is placed in the middle of nowhere and also since they haven't given me a real project yet, they didn't score very well. Now, this job is by far the best one I've ever had, but I was promised a project and I haven't been given one.

Which makes my meeting this evening at 3:30 pm very difficult. I, and all of the other coops, have to get up in front of the senior engineers and talk about what we have been doing so far. Now it is only a few slides, but if I haven't been given a project then I am just going to have to blabber on about the short little assignments I have been given.

Life is soo tough for a twenty year old white guy working as an engineering aid...

(just kidding)

Friday, June 20, 2008

I was a seething couldren of anger

No joke...

Why you may ask? Well I'll tell you why, but I'm going to take the scenic route so strap in. Alright, so about a day ago (thursday) I made a trip down to Walmart and bought myself a Tom-Tom GPS navigation device. I was thrilled to no end as I put it in my car and let it tell me the directions I already knew, back to my apartment.

All in all, it has some great features. It tells you your current speed. The names of all the roads around you. It tells you the current time aswell as the time of arrival given the distance and your current speed. It has maps of both the continental U.S. and Canada stored in it, and can grab signals from seven satilites on average.

Now why would I be upset at a wonderful device such as this? What could possible cause me, the techno nerd, to be upset at this delightful piece of machinery?

Let me take a deep breath...

After leaving work on friday I had my car all packed and ready to go. I had my back up maps in the car, just in case, and gave the device plenty of time to calculate my route to ashli in poughkeepsie, for the weekend. After doing all of this it told me a way to go that Google Maps did not. I shrugged my shoulders and went where it told me to go. I got about half way to ashli's (2 hours) when it apparently decided that it would be a good idea to take me back to my apartment.

Why?, I will never now. But let me tell you, when after four hours I saw the sign that was supposed to read "Welcome to Poughkeepsie" say "You have entered historic Greene" I was seething, as the title suggests. I was cursing and pounding my driver's wheel with force that I was sure would break it. I was so upset that I had just spent four hours driving in a huge circle around New York that when I hit the breaks to make a turn onto my road, I hydroplaned and barely skidded to a stop in front of three very nervous drivers.

"This is quite enough," I said to no one in particular as I got out of my car in the driveway of my apartment building. I understood that I was far to upset and nerved-up to drive, so I took a cleansing walk. After about twenty minutes and a quick trip to the bank to get some money that I would need to refill my tank, I was calm.

I sat in the car, prayed for strength, and struck out again. Four very stressful hours later I made it to her house, unscathed. Even though I basically made a huge four hour circle around New York,

the anger has passed and I am now as placid as a hindu cow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chums and Bums

I've really settled into my job, and have met some cool guys that work there. I say this because today me, two other guys, and this really cool woman/lab technician just jammered on in the lab for over an hour, barely completing our work. It was probably the most fun I have had since there since I started this job.

Also, I got a bit of interesting information concerning a meeting I have to attend on Tuesday next week. Apparently I have to make a short presentation of my project work thus far for all of the senior engineers. While I am not alone, becuase all of the other coops have to do this, it does not detract from the fact that I have had no project given to me since I started. I have only been doing engineering aid work, as they like to call it. So, for this nice little meet and great I get to tell everyone that for the last five weeks I have been doing odd jobs that barely occupy my time.

Well, at least something good came out of this. My boss sent me an email that said quote "We've got to get this guy a project." So after a short conversation he said I would have it at latest by Tuesday. Which is... oh yeah the day of the presentation.

Fun stuff.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Good Morning

Was not what I experienced at 8:00am this morning...

So this morning I awoke feeling rested and ready to go. I rolled over in my bed to see what time it was because my alarm did not go off. As my eyes came into focus I gazed in disbelief. My alarm clock said that it was 8:00am. As the fact that I have to be in at work by eight met the memory of the warning I got from my boss, not to be late, I jumped out of bed yelling obscenities.

I raced for the phone and called my boss's secretary, she didn't pick up. I left a message of apology and a statement that I would be in as fast as humanly possible. Half an hour later I was driving to work thanking the good lord in heaven that its a two minute drive, when I saw a bunch of kids walking to the high school that is near Raymond Co. "Isn't it a bit late for that many kids to be walking to school," I thought to myself. "Wait a second," I said to no one in particular as I looked down at my car clock.

I couldn't believe it. It was actually 7:30am and not 8:30am. Which meant that my clock had been accidentally set ahead an hour. Oh man I was upset. I had rushed through everything, barely ironed my shirt, and didn't eat just so I could be at work a half an hour early. All that stress brought me only 30 minutes of extra work time.

When I got there I gave the secretary a call and said that it was all a misunderstanding. Man, I felt irredeemables and upset. Well at least I cot to get out of work a half an hour early.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sine Qua Non


I finally got this episode from Hulu.com and have posted it here for your enjoyment. While this is an old episode, I'm sure that the newest one will be up on hulu soon. Enjoy!

Battlestar Galactica
Season: Four
Episode: Sine Qua Non

A Weekend Visit

to Ashli in Poughkeepsie was just the thing I needed.

Last weekend I shuffled off this coil and left for one further east. Poughkeepsie was my destination as I decided to visit her for the weekend. She had been telling me how much she missed me, on the phone, so I thought; why not? It was a pain and a half trying to schedule this visit because of her stupid controlling grandmother, who she lives with, but it was totally worth it.

We went out to the mall, the movies, we toured around all of her childhood hangout spots, and just enjoyed each other's company. I ended up staying at her Aunt's house just a few minutes away because they didn't have any room at her house.

Which brings me to the only part of the vacation I did not enjoy, her uncle. Technically her aunt's fiance, but they've been together for like 12 years. I digress. Before I got there on Friday evening, making great time mind you, she told me to be aware that her aunt's boyfriend "Joe" is a bit... of an acquired taste, to be polite. But let me paint for you the picture of what it was like to meet this man.

Walking into the small house I looked around and saw her shy aunt come up to me and ashli asking "hey, whos this?" After my introduction to Heidi I then saw a hefty man of about 5 and a half feet tall walk around the corner and come up to me. "whos dis?" he demanded in a thick Brooklyn's accent. After introductions, we all sat down in their living room and chatted about this and that for about ten minutes. He had long hair tied in the back which was matched by a goatee and mustache. His arms were covered from shoulder to wrist in tattoos of a myriad number of depictions and colors all stacked on top of one another. From our later chats and interactions I came to understand that he was a self proclaimed "true american" as he took me to the room I would be sleeping in to show me his gun collection.

"So what do you think of dis stuph?" he asked looking me dead in the eye as he whirled his hand in the direction of the collection. "I think every American should have at least one," I said playing the part. To be honest I can think of at least ten people off of the top of my head, right now, that I would not want owning guns. "Good, I can see that your... at least educated about dis stuph," he said with great strain.

I later discovered, as he came home one evening dirty and in leather, that he was a 15 year member of a motor cycle gang. And if there was any questions loyalty to it, they vanished when he took his jacket off and revealed a shoulder holster with a .45 caliber hand gun nestled in his side. "Nothing to be intimidated by," he said removing the clip and bullet in the breech. "Yup," I said trying to convince myself.

While the guy never threatened me, and was very hospitable and even nice at times. He is definitely the odd duck of those involved in the Burkhardt family. Let me just make clear that the rest of her family, besides her control freak grandmother, are all vanilla-American do-gooders. And other than him, the weekend went great.

Can't wait for the next visit...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Covert Blogging

This is going to have to be brief.

I am sitting in my cubicle right now at Raymond writing a blog as I routinely look over my shoulder and minimize this screen every time I hear or see someone walk by. I am really not supposed to be doing this, but they never said I could not do some quick internet surfing when I am waiting on tests, so I'm taking this time to update my blog.

I am doing an all day temperature test of these circuits that involve new operational amplifiers, and I only have about three mins before I have to take the next data point.

Before I leave, I want everyone to know that I am doing well and am having some fun at work. Even though I do not have a real project yet.

I'll update again tonight for sure.

Gotta run... here comes one of my bosses!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I should update this more often

Hey everyone.

Sorry that I haven't updated this in over a week. Life has been interesting since I started getting settled in my new job here.

In the two weeks that I have spent getting acclimated to small town America and the real world of engineering I have made a few discoveries. Firstly, I have picked up a couple of useful little morsels of information concerning wire soldering techniques, real world lab protocols (or the lack thereof), a new technique called "wire wrapping", and pizza.
Yes, I said pizza. You wouldn't know it from looking at it but Tony T's Pizza serves the best pizza I have ever tasted in my life. Tony T infuses flavors I never new could be put on a pizza. Now none of these are exotic or out there, per say, but they are delicious. My current favorite is a popular type known as Chicken Gold, it gets it's name from the color of the pizza. The recipe calls for a strange combination of spices, including mustard. And let me tell you, the slight tangy and robust flavors dance on your tongue like the can-cans of old.
But, pizza is not the only thing I have been doing to occupy my time. I have been running in an attempt to drop some weight. And, to my delight my lose for this week is a whooping two pounds!

Thank you thank you, please save the applauds for later...

I made a trip up to Massena this weekend to see the family. It was wonderful. I stopped at Clarkson on the way and walked around admiring how wonderful the campus looks in the summer with freshly planted flowers, blooming trees, and freshly cut green grass. I was smiling like and idiot the whole time.

Well, I have a week of work ahead and a couple of things to occupy my down time. Not a ton of things though. I will, however, force myself down to that mall in Johnson City that I have been meaning to go to. And, I also have to send one of my fraternity brothers a ring, who lives there also. Not in the mall, in the city.

Until next time, leave some love on the message board or email me at leemf@clarkson.edu. I will be sure to return your messages.

C'est la vie

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