A Lot of Stuff. No, Really

Ok so I think it’s high time I gave an update. My last time was Friday I think and it was a post about Thursday, so I have a lot of catching up to do!

On Friday, my research team and I went down to Des Moines to check out Iowa DOT’s main facilities (Iowa’s Department of Transportation). Since we’re trying to make their system better, we figured we should probably witness firsthand what their current system looks like. Upon arriving, we were taken through a back door of the building (which is also a DMV) and down some steps into a large room with nine massive screens on one wall. Each screen was large enough to hold eight different traffic video feeds at one time comfortably, and in front of these sat four Traffic Incident Managers (TIMs). As big and high tech as it was, it was hard to believe that these four people were able to monitor all traffic incidents in all of Iowa.

After we had our tour and talked to the people working there, we headed back to Ames for another lesson in SolidWorks. I know we don’t ALL enjoy CAD modeling (and I’m not entirely sold on it myself), but I can say that we seem to have learned it very quickly! Our teacher was very surprised at our willingness to learn and our abilities after just two days of SolidWorks. Next up to learn: Unity.

After work, I went to Bike World, which sells you-guessed-it and everything that you might need for them. Thanks to them, I have a water bottle on my bike and a chain that doesn’t squeak! 😀

Friday ended with Sushi, Natalie, and I climbing on a roof, climbing on a train track, sorta almost getting hit by a train, definitely getting hit by ants, and storm-chasing. Pretty uneventful. Here’s a selection of the lightning pics I’ve gotten so far here in Ames:

Saturday started early at the farmers market. It was a small market, but they had everything from Amish baskets and chicken pillows, to vegetables and tacos (which were quite close to true Mexican style, according to Alfredo). However, one of the vendors told me that Des Moines has a much bigger market, supposedly the second largest in the country! I think I’ll head down there at some point to check it out.

Chicken Pillows!

And of course we stopped in at the music store.

We ended Saturday with a big burger party, which everyone came too! Masashi made the burgers (thanks Sushi!), I made the corn salad, and everyone chipped in a few necessities to make our picnic a blast! We even convinced a now friend of ours to come over and perform on his Melodica (don’t worry; we paid him in burgers).

Sam, with his melodica.

Today, I have dabbled. I’ve read, worked on a new piano piece, played Pokemon Go, Civ 6, Minecraft… Also, I’ve eaten three bowls of ice cream. I knew buying a gallon was a bad idea…



A Lot of Stuff. No, Really — 4 Comments

  1. That second to last storm photo is my fav. And we should organize a trip to Des Moines! I’ve been wanting to go, and the market is a perfect excuse. Also, where did you practice the piano? Did you find the music hall?

    • Yeah, same here! I think it will become my screensaver at some point.
      Yeah I’d be happy to drive anyone down there who wants to come. I’ll check their website to see times.
      I just used one of the downstairs practice rooms in the music hall.

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