Monday, August 24, 2015

Getting ready, plus highlights of our family summer

School starts next Monday, and students will be back shortly, if not already for those in rental housing nearby. I've switched gears and am in get-ready mode. Some reminders and notes for all the SEM students:
  1. For new SEM students, seek me out as soon as possible in the semester. I'll need to talk to you about career expectations, about your internship, and about your academic plan. This is not optional. Not coming to get the correct information can cost you an extra semester or two. 
  2. All new SEM students should try to get into Physics during drop-add if you aren't already assigned to it. If you don't have moderately good (high school) algebra, you can delay this a year while you catch up (come see me to talk about this), but otherwise you should be in Physics. There are still seats in the Friday lab.
  3. For existing SEM students, the key engineering course, PS3003 Renewable Energy, will be taught in the spring of 2016. It gets taught only every second spring. There's a recommended tool kit, some of which you may be able to bring from home. If not, and if you can't afford to purchase these, don't worry. We have enough in the Physics Lab to go around. But professionals have their own tools, and the sooner you start getting at least some, the better. Buy only good quality tools. The cheap stuff doesn't hold up, and can hurt you by breaking at inopportune moments. Here's the list:
    110/220 Volt pen-style voltage detector
    12 Volt test light
    Pencil and tape measure
    Jackknife or craft knife or both (for sharpening pencil, shaving splinters, etc)
    Philips number 3 and number 2 screwdrivers
    Flat screwdriver
    Pliers (linesman’s, small)
    Wire cutter-strippers
    Multi-meter (volts, ohms, milliamps)
    Small pry bar or “cat’s paw”
    Screw-gun or battery powered drill and selection of bits
    Hand-held “laser” thermometer
    Kill-a-Watt ® meter
Finally, for those of you who'd like to know what the Womerlippis got up to this summer, here are some photos of our various activities:

We own a small farm, and one thing we did was grow a lot of food. Here little Roo is getting ready to feed waste apples to the pigs.

We took a fmaily trip to Aimee's home in southwest PA, where I met this old friend, one of the airplanes I worked on while an engineer in the RAF. This is a Jet Provost airplane, used for pilot training. I used to service and repair the propulsion systems, including overhauling the Rolls Royce engines.

I also overhauled the engine in my own Land Rover, a complete rebuild.

Here's the engine going back in after the rebuild. This kind of thing is fun for me.

We built a swing set for little Roo.

Here we are enjoying the swing set.

Later in the summer, I dragged our old VW campervan out of the woods where I'd stored it for several years, and began to restore it, pulling and stripping the engine and repairing all the rust damage with new metal. When we get done with this, it will look and run like new, and we'll use if for family camping..