Friday, March 14, 2008

Is that a Polynomial in your pocket?

I am completely insufferable today.

Back to Waynesburg for another day with the Contractors, and what an excellent day it turned out to be. Any day that contains lengthy and spirited discussions of particle-induced X-ray emission, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray detection, tomography, carbon nanotubes, subparagraphs of IEEE standards, jet engine gas path dynamics, renormalization and deresolution factors of spectral data, numerical analysis and statistical package preferences ... well, you know it's going to be a good one. But a really great day is one that contains a moment when a dedicated group of uberNerds staring at the graph of a group of data points start placing bets on the which order polynomial is needed to best/most efficiently fit the curve. Oh yeah, do you feel it? I feel it. That's right! Jump back Jack, this Big Daddy-O wins a big round of ice cold Diet Coke from the hapless mathematical wannabes. Polynomials? I got a pocket full a polynomials. I got constants to go with 'em too. Woo hoo!

When lunchtime rolled around, we convoyed in rented nerdChariots to Stryker's Grill,1117 Willow Road, Waynesburg, PA.

It's advertised as a sports bar restaurant and grill offering burgers, sandwiches, pastas, seafood, and pizza in an upbeat social atmosphere. It's in a bowling alley, so it's blue collar enough to be real. I didn't see a bar, but I did see the Budweiser man wheeling beer by the handtruck-full. The food is alright. For Friday Fishday, I had this:

When we finished working, it was really late in the afternoon, so I drove as fast as I could south to Morgantown, West Virgina, to see the campus of West Virgina Unversity. It was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock, so the drive over the mountains to Morgantown was interesting. I was hoping to find something on campus to help soothe the agony of that miserable thumping the Mountaineers of West Virginia put on our beloved Oklahoma Sooners in the last Fiesta Bowl.

I didn't. The campus itself is kind of disappointing. Yes, it's winter and the trees are bare and there are no flowers, but ya don't need Braille to figure out Butt Ugly.

Their main Library is downtown instead of right in the middle of campus. This little building is the only on-campus Library that I saw.

The best thing I found on campus was the Personal Rapid Transit. These little, driverless shuttles travel around campus and into town on tracks like shuttles at an airport. Here's what one of these very cool vehicles looks like up close:

Naturally I had to seek out the few, the proud, the girlfriend-less unterNerds yearning to graduate into real jobs ... and work for uberNerds like me. I found them.

If what I said before about the girlfriend/date-less students of engineering was TRUE, then why is this building ...

dark as a steer's tuchus on a moonless prairie night? It's Spring Break, of course!


TerriRainer said...

Dammit Don, you should have taken a can of Crimson Spray paint and Boomered up the campus.

I had ALMOST forgotten about that Fiesta Bowl, but thanks for reminding me of that horrific day in history (worse IMHO than the Boise incident).

This year should be a good one though, with Bradford maturing and we recruited really well.

Have a safe trip home! :)

Leah said...

Hilarious, so hilarious...the uber- and the unter-nerds, the polynomial degree bet-taking, oh you're a genius...I know I'm stating the obvious by saying this was funny, but I just needed to say it anyway. Great post.

Robyn said...

Skeeter! You are one funny guy! Loved this post today!

Maria said...

Oh. Dear. God. Good. Hell.

A Sooner.

We here in Nebraska get our backs up a bit about you Sooners....

We are just hoping that Bo can pull us out of our slump with some smash mouth football. To hell with this west coast nonsense.....

See you on the football field!

Marisa said...

Haha, Don, you're crazy! I'm almost certain now that you don't really do anything with engineering and numbers for a living. Pretty sure you just go on adventures and make casual observations.