You know what I realized today? That even with all my bitching, whining, bleeding, crying and agonizing over this project, I am really happy right now. I mean, from the second I wake up until the moment I can't hold my eyes open anymore and have to go to bed, my mind is totally engaged and challenged... there aren't many times in ones life like that. It feels good. I feel more neurons connecting. This semester I've traveled more than any before, and I've worked harder, too. Work hard, play hard, get to the finish line a winner. (unless the finish line is on Monday, in which case I won't make it, I'll be carried off the field in a bloody mess mumbling to myself about bypass capacitors. oh crap!)
Other news: I totally suck at soldering. I'm gonna make my lab partner do it. She's the basketball player with the steady hands, damnit, why am I even trying this? I don't hate her this week, by the way.
Another thing I've got going this week: It's a low-sleep week for some reason. I have times when I go to bed at 10 and can't drag myself up by 10 the next morning, but this isn't one of those, I've been up at 7:30 the last two days even after not going to sleep before 1. Or 2. Tonight I'll probably try 3... what've I got to lose?
Okay, we've got two showers on my floor, right? So I go to take a shower and hear water running from my favorite one and I'm like, damn. But oh well, I go to the other one and the first curtain is opened like four inches or so (I think, I didn't have my glasses on so who knows?) and I throw it open and one of my girls is in there! Both showers were going, that like never happens! So she yells out my name (crap) but I don't know who she is (glasses again!) and I'm all like, "sorry!"
so great... I don't get to see a girl naked but have to suffer the consequences like I really did. curse my crappy eyeballs!
anyway, jaimee came in today and we worked together on strain gage soldering, which didn't work. I mean seriously. We asked two professors, too, and both were stumped... we've got a scientific phenomenon on our hands. It's an opamp issue, though and our token opamp go-analog professor is in the hospital right now with an infection. He's had like three this year, we're getting worried about him, but this is a guy who was supposed to die when he got cancer seven years ago (bad cancer, he really was supposed to die) so what's going to stop him now? Besides, I was telling jaimee, I know he'll come back just to make sure I get a C in senior design.
Anyway, he'd be able to help us. urh.
So we hooked up our PIC to the wireless transmitter and got interesting results. It was weird, I've got the PIC set up to send like 12 characters of data and other formatting junk at the end of every cycle, but when we transmitted it wirelessly the first few characters were total garbage. Uh-oh. So I set it up to send three nul characters to start off, which eats the garbage, but we've got an empty column that every once in a while shows a random character. How to explain that to advisory board?
Other news... if you leave one of the analog inputs floating and set to transmit, you get messages from aliens. v. fun! you should see some of the text I captured... there's got to be a message in there somewhere. Either that or it's just the itty-bitty gerbils that do computations in PIC trying to tell me something.
At 10:30 I hear Jaimee going on and on about "Why won't it work?! Why won't it transmit?! It was just working!" and I look and she doesn't have the data in pin tied to anything. uh, hon? I make mistakes at 1 a.m., but 10:30?! So my lab partner has no late-night abilities. Oh well. She went home after that (she also admitted that she gets scared at night at the tech center because it's dark. good lord!)
I stayed and soldered some things onto the board we're using for the PIC. I was the only one there but I couldn't leave, and then suddenly I was done for the night. I mean, the gages won't work without help, we can't mount anything on the moonbuggies at night with them locked up, I need Jaimee for case work and reciever set up... uh-oh. Then I got this scary thought... what am I going to do if the whole project gets done? Just, stop working? I was just getting used to 16 hour days, I can't just stop, I'll go into mental shock! Hell, I almost did tonight!
To make myself feel better I went to wal-mart and bought stuff for the ISA/IEEE fridge. I'm the treasurer this semester so it's my job to buy stuff but I've been totally slacking. There was like $80 in the box, I spent $50... running around wal-mart in the middle of the night buying huge packs of fruit snacks and nutty bars and mountain dew. It made me feel better. I also bought myself an apple and picked up the photos I got developed... will have to scan later. The apple was awesome--all juicy, mmm. Fruit.
Project due date countdown: four days! AAAAAHHHHHHHH! note to self: get beer in advance.