Monday, April 30, 2012

My Brother is awesome!

So I just heard via my mom's facebook status that my little brother, Graham (who just turned 18 in February, so maybe not so little anymore), had received a full tuition scholarship to Lake Superior State University in Michigan.  I cannot completely relay the joy and excitement I am feeling right now about this.  My brother has grown up into such a strong man these past few years, and I probably have not told him enough how much I love him and am proud of him.  This is huge.  Wish I could give him a huge hug right now (and then tease him about girls.)

Love you, Graham.  Best brother a girl could ask for.  <3

Graham, with saw, being dramatic.  :)

Graham, mom and me after a 5K in Coldwater

Christmas tree on the Subaru!

Graham and me after his first marathon in Indianapolis

Graham and me out flying

Graham and me, both taking first male and female in a 5K!!

Chilling in Northwoods

Love this picture- Graham is about 3 or 4, I'm 13 or 14.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

20Ks, the London Marathon and FS Bodywork

Been a busy week here!
Sagar was in the Leamington Courier this weekend for running the 10K last weekend.  Quite funny that this race was his first ever, and he ends up on the cover of a newspaper for it.  I am going to reconsider my stance on fancy dress for races.... :)

Sagar (green man suit on the right) in the Regency Run.  Has nothing to do with the caption 'Sleaze Town'  LOL.

On Saturday, I ran a 20K race with Amy and her friend Steven.  (Results posted here
I felt pretty good, even after being a bit tired the week before from the 10K.  I ran a 1:34:19, which works out to about a 7:35 mile pace, which I was quite happy with.  I was also the first woman in, and Amy was the second!  Her friend, Steven, was the third guy in, so we all placed!
Amy, Steven and I after the 20K race on Saturday!

On Sunday, Sagar and I headed to London to watch the Marathon.  It was quite an event.  The energy at this marathon was awesome, the people running had great costumes as well (see some of the pictures below).  I am totally sold on trying to get into this marathon for next year.  It was awesome.  Also, I figured out an easy and fairly cheap way to get to London thanks to Sagar, so I am also excited about that.  
Waiting for the train to London

12 Mile point in the marathon

London Bridge!

Silly costumes, otherwise called "Fancy Dress"

Don't know where the Straw Man was....

On the train with Sagar


Yesterday, I went with Darren and Gav from the Formula Student team to get started on working on the bodywork (some carbon fibre and some hemp-based) for the car.  It was our first trip there, and I have a feeling we will be spending some time at KS Composites getting it all done.  The process was interesting and I found it enjoyable to work with my hands.    We made the first crash structure that is going to be tested later this week.  It was made with a hemp-fibre, instead of carbon fibre, in the effort to make the car more sustainable.  This stuff was not the easiest to work with, but I think we got some ideas on how to more effectively make the next one (since the one we made will get broken in testing).  We also got the molds (moulds) ready for the intake parts, that will be made with conventional carbon fibre.

Yeah!  Road trip!!

Prepping the mold for the crash structure

Hemp fibre applied (couldn't take a picture, my hands were all sticky with epoxy) and ready for curing in a vacuum!

Vacuum sealing

Gav (left) and Darren (right) work on applying a finisher the molds for the intake parts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

10Ks and Building Cars

It's been quite busy these past few days, but I'm going to update here a bit (mostly via pictures, since you know, a picture is worth 1000 words).

Sunday's race was AWESOME, the group that I ran with was a lot of fun (Amy, Nadzeya, Diresh, and Sagar).  I ran a 45:29, which is way below where I was aiming for (just under 48:00).  This averages to a 7:18 mile pace!!  Saturday night, Amy, Sagar and I enjoyed a nice dinner of Eggplant (Aubergine) Parmesian with pasta (carb-o- loading!!).  It was both Sagar's and Nadzeya's first race ever, and they both did really well, around the 48:00 mark (which is about an 8 minute mile pace, really really good!). Sagar decided to wear the green man suit his sister got him for his birthday to run in.  He looked silly, but had a great time doing it....
Our finishing medal

The group, left to right: Diresh, Amy, me, Nadzeya...and Sagar in the back in the green man suit

Sagar and his medal.  

The Formula Student car is really coming along this week as well.  The team is facing assignments and exams in the coming few weeks, so they won't be able to put much work into the car during the month of May.  I've been working alongside them this week, understanding the project and helping out.  I've also developing quite a relationship with the geriatric lathe in the pits, figuring out all the quirks.  The big news yesterday is that the engine finally started up.  It's not running the best yet, but at least it is starting and creating some smoke.
Dave explains to Darren important details about the engine.

Engine running!

Jim working on the fuel tank next to the space frame in the pits

Suspension piece I was milling...Murray made a happy face on it for me!!

Hubert's been working on the engine brackets with a different engine casing

Darren, Andy, Ryan Dave and Paul watching and listening to the engine running

The lathe.  We are becoming quite close.  <3

On Saturday, Sagar and I went to Leamington for lunch and coffee at a really cute little cafe that had a cool sign I took a picture of.  It says:
"Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss.  Hell is where the cooks are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German and it is all organized by the Italians."

Not really sure where Americans would fit in there....:)

Sign in the cafe

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a very Happy Easter!  I went to a lovely church service this morning at Kenilworth Methodist Church, and then was invited to a massive lunch at Susan and Michael's house with their family and the church pastor, Derrick.  Here are some pictures!
Susan holds the egg while Michael gets ready to crack it open with a hammer!



My plate.  Lamb, ratatouille, potatoes, green beans, gravy, mint sauce, and stuffing!  I was PROPERLY stuffed!!

Susan and Michael's dog.  She was a sweetheart!

The table, pre-meal.
It was so nice to be invited into a home for Easter, and was quite lovely to be a part of it!  I am very grateful and am looking forward to the next few months as well.  My best friend, Melissa, just got tickets to come visit me right after she graduates with her Master's degree from IUPUI next month!!  *excited!!*
Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

So I've been remiss about updating recently.  Not a lot has been going on, but I've been trying to get stuff organized and in place for starting some solid research for my EngD.  As of yesterday, I've been in the UK for a full three months!  Crazy how fast the time has gone by!  I've really enjoyed my experiences so far.

So last week and weekend, I felt like the message that was being thrown at me from several angles was the need to get out of my comfort zone and really push myself to find, explore and grow.   I had a very enlightening chat with Jay last Friday that helped to give me some directive with ideas I have been having of where to focus with my work.  It is easy to get pulled into a lot of interesting things in grad school, and I need to make sure what I am doing is going to benefit where I go with my degree work.  The group project with the other EngD students is also taking form, though we seem to have a lot of different, very interesting ideas and we are having a hard time nailing one down.  On Monday, we went to Loughborough University (about a 45 minute drive from University of Warwick) to get a briefing on the Engineering Yes competition we are doing at the end of May.  Even the sermon at church was about getting out of the comfort zone!  I feel that I am a very adaptable person (most of the time) and I've been really pushing myself to be even more so these past few months.  Relocating to a new country to do research on a whole new area for me.  I am excited and nervous to explore the personal aspects of growth that I know will be coming out of this life experience.

Ruth got me the coolest tea mug for work last week too.  It's pink!  It also came with instructions on how to inspect my breasts for cancer.  Now I need to just drink tea and inspect at the same time.... :)
My tea mug for work, complete with instructions.  

I did make the Rocket Pesto (recipe here: last weekend from the Rocket that Jan gave me from church.  I think it turned out pretty good!
Rocket Pesto with sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes and mozzarella melted on top of bread.

Otherwise, it has been a pretty low-key week.  Every one was on break or getting ready for the Easter break, it seemed.  They have a four-day weekend for Easter here- the banks are closed on Good Friday and a holiday they like to call Easter Monday.  I'm going to get a lot of reading done!  :)

Sagar's birthday was on Tuesday....I crocheted a thumb warmer for him, after the Hungry Caterpillar from the Eric Carle book.  I think it turned out well.
Hungry Caterpillar thumb warmer I made.  

Monday night, we hung out, had pizza, watched the first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones over at Murray's house and played some Guitar Hero.  I am excited for the new season since I just finished the second book (that this season is based on!) We also may have bought some alcohol for hanging out...I got some Ginger Beer!  It was tasty.
Our cart of alcohol for Monday night.  Does England have a drinking problem?  Nah.  My stuff was in the top left side of the cart.  Yep, that Guinness was mine.  :)
Tomorrow is Easter, and I'm going to church, probably early.  Communion is at 8am, so I want to make that. Then, I've been graciously invited for a roast, where I can stop being a vegetarian!  I'm super excited about that.  Not that it's been that hard not to eat meat...just mildly inconvenient at times.
Happy Easter, everyone!  :)
The tag that came with my shoes.  It says, "Safety for ladies."