Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre

Hello all;
So I've kept myself busy since the end of Formula Student 2012.  Work and research wise, I've been working on my case study set up for next year's FS group.  I've also been working with Nick Mallinson at WMG to see about getting some research started on Fuel Cells through the Catapult initiative for the EngD large group project.  Finally, I applied for and got a job mentoring gifted students- all in an online medium.  This program, called IGGY, is a network for gifted teenagers (13-19 year olds) in the UK and internationally, based at the University of Warwick.  The cool thing with this is that I will do all my work online- and I may be able to apply the experience to my EngD portfolio.  The job starts next month, and is about a 5 hour commitment per week.

In other news, I have also been organizing and reading for the review paper on Open Source Hardware Design that I want to get done in the next couple of months.  It something that could take a bit more of my focus and I plan on utilizing a lot of my time during August to do it.

I've also continued my work towards getting a British license with driving lessons (1-2 times/week) and more practice on the car Sagar and I bought last weekend.  We are now the proud owners of a 2001 1.4 L 16 valve Skoda Fabia. (Owned by VW, essentially, this car is a VW Polo/Golf)  It made sense to go in on a car together, financially and logistically.  I will not be needing a car on a daily basis, since I am staying in Kenilworth this next year, but it is nice to have access to one.  Sagar will be starting his job at JLR at the beginning of September and will need a vehicle for the commute, especially since his motorcycle blew a cylinder the day after graduation.
The front of the Skoda

We needed to change the wiper blades

The whole car.  It has heated seats, but no cruise control.  Apparently, cruise control is rare here....

A week from today (the day after my birthday) I take my driving test for my British license.  I've been off-and-on nervous about it.  I keep hearing stories about how people failed for stupid stuff, or rather subjective calls from the examiner.  It costs £61 (nearly $100) to take this test, so I'd rather not fail.  However, the more nervous I get, the worse my driving gets, so I need to relax and be calm.  (I can't do a hill start if I have to think about it....)  I've really enjoyed driving the Skoda since we've gotten it, so I am thinking about taking the test in that.  I would have taking the test in my instructor's car, which is a Seat Ibiza (basically ALSO a VW Polo/Golf).  His car, even though it's newer than the Skoda, is a bit stiffer in the clutch to me, probably due to the fact that lots of drivers before me have learned on it.  I'm going to drive a bit more over the next few days before I decide.  My next (and last!) driving lesson is Wednesday afternoon.

I've also signed up for the Kenilworth half-marathon on September 2, and of course, the Loch Ness Marathon on Sept 30.  Both, I think are going to be fun.  I'm in the midst of planning the trip up to Inverness (the city by Loch Ness in Scotland) which is about a 8.5 hour drive from Coventry.  I'm getting into the full swing of marathon training, my long run this week was at 12 miles.  I plan to do a total of about 30 miles this week.
This weekend, I'm going to go down to London to watch the women's Olympic Marathon with Sagar.  Hopefully, it will give me even more motivation for Loch Ness, though I doubt I will need it.  Sagar, Amy and my friend from Ball State, Andy Blough (check out his blog here) will be heading up there.  Amy and I are running the full marathon, while Andy is running the 10K.  Sagar may or may not run the 10K, we are not too sure yet.

Anyway, that recaps about the last week!


  1. The Loch Ness race will be awesome! I'm looking forward to it!

    Sagar should run the 10k. What's his pace like?

  2. Hey! I was just checking today and he can still enter the 10K. He is seriously considering it. He did a 10K with me back in April and he finished about 48 min (so just a little slower than me) with minimal training. I think, if he trains well over the next 8 weeks, he can easily beat that, be around a 45 min for the 10K.

  3. Love the new car! And how cool is that you get to race the Loch Ness Marathon - Jealous!