State of the AZ Address…

Well… it’s been a while since I’ve put an update on my site that states what’s been going on in my and Lauren’s lives around here in Tucson, so here it is…

Work and then classes at work after-hours keep me busy during the week; catching up on my sleep and hanging out keep me busy on the weekends. I’m still on the same project and probably will be for a little while longer. A few weeks back, I took a class that introduced me to VHDL (I’ve used other HDL’s before back in school, but wanted to look into the defense industry standard language) and I’ve been playing with that a touch on my own recently. I’m currently taking a class focused on software development using component-based architectures (basically enforcing my Rational Rose Real Time skills) and am scheduled to take an advanced C++ class as well as a Xilinx FPGA introduction class in the next month an a half or so. I love the push for education and self-betterment here at work. I’ve also been toying with the idea of a second masters… or at least taking some more hardware classes on my own.

Outside of work, I’ve been looking into various microcontrollers and development environments for developing my own embedded projects for the future. I’ve set my sights on the Atmel AVR 8-bit processor due to it’s C compatibility and low cost programmers. In the two plus months lag time between ordering and getting the processors and programmer (don’t ask my why it’s taking so long… I’m not even sure why yet), I’m going to be working on designing my own pc-board to work on the processors with. I’ve been dusting off my old PSPICE and Cadence tool suite books in preparation for designing the boards. I’m also playing with VHDL a touch and will, one day, provided I have the funds, be looking into buying a development board for a Xilinx FPGA to use for various projects. Thus far, I’ve designed (on paper) a binary clock and a bus arbiter that I want to actually test and implement using an FPGA.

Lauren’s been busy with classes and doing the grad school apps thing. She’s been waiting to hear back from all of the schools she applied to and doesn’t think she will hear for at least another month or so. She applied to Emerson, MGH, and BU back in Boston and UofA here in Tucson. She’s busy doing home work, studying for exams, and kicking the ass of the curve in all of her classes. She’s been doing quite well overall at the University of Arizona and, with luck, will soon find out if she is going to be attending grad school here in the fall.

Lauren and I went hiking with Aaron and Jenny at Brown Mountain a number of miles West of Tucson about a month ago (you can see pictures in my photo gallery) ane are really looking forward to doing that more often. We’ve also been trying to be good about rock climbing, but have been slacking for the last few months. Hopefully this weekend we will go at least once. Lauren’s been running a number of times in our gym and I’ve tried biking (but our cats are so interested in figuring out what my trainer is that they get too close for comfort when doing it inside) on a rare ocasion as well. We have also been trying to watch one of our yoga DVDs at least once a week to work on stress releif and strengthening our backs.

Our kittens have been doing quite well also. Sophie and Miles are growing quickly and are getting to be too large to call them kittens for much longer (they will always be kittens to us though). They get into everything and find the cutest places and positions to fall asleep in (see some of the MANY pictures we have both been taking of them since we got them over in my photo gallery). They constantly keep us on our toes and sometimes try to nibble on them to get our attention as well.

Another recent piece of news; Lauren and I are officially engaged!!! (This news kind of makes the last post a touch funnier :-D) It’s been in the works for a few months now, but I finally bought a ring and popped the question this past Valentine’s Day. I know; February 14th is kind of cliché, but it’s not like the date of engagement is a massively important date in the grand scheme of things. There’s no date set for a wedding as of now, but we are both leaning towards having a longer engagement and waiting until Lauren is done with grad school. We’ll probably start thinking about the specifics of the wedding in the coming months (after Lauren is done with this semester and knows where she will be going to grad school in the fall) and will certainly let everyone know well in advance to allow them to save the date to attend the wedding.

That’s about it for now…




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