Looking for organs

Hello, everyone!

Yesterday, my Dad, sister Diane, and I went down to Oregon to visit Rodgers Instruments LLC. Rodgers of course is the company that produced the organs for Faith Presbyterian Church. I have been having in my mind to pick up a good home practice organ, since I was losing valuable sleep on Saturday nights practicing for church service on Sundays, usually hindering my ability to stay alert in the service the next day.
I had a couple major criteria looking for an organ. Firstly, it would have to be compact and easy to move around, since there isn’t much space in the apartment to fit it. Also, I wanted something that didn’t sound like an electronic instrument, and had a good variety of instruments. After wasting time on Craigslist and being terribly disappointed by the terrible selection at Prossers Piano and Organ, began looking into the major Classic Organ companies (Johannus, Allen, and Rodgers), and actually got to go preview the Johannus 37 SE at somebody’s apartment in downtown Seattle. Johannus has been having a half-off sale for sometime, so some of their organs were attractively priced, including the Opus 7 I was looking at. Frankly, I wasn’t impressed with the Johannus organ tones, which still sounded very electronic to me, especially the reeds. To me, there really is no comparison with the Rodgers organ sounds.
I discovered the Roland/Rodgers C-330 organ while surfing online, which just started selling a week ago and there has been a wild internet buzz for a while. Roland is coming out with a Classic series, where they are trying to make authentic-sounding harpsichords, pianos, and organs for homes. After looking into this organ a little bit, I discovered that it is a very special piece of equipment. For starters, it had packed in it over 100 different Rodgers pipe sounds. The organ had excellent acoustics for what I wanted. And the tone quality was phenomenal (hear samples here).
Here is a photo of me trying out the Roland/Rodgers C-330 at the Rodgers plant in Hillsboro, Oregon:

New Apartment

Hello, everyone;

Yet again, I need to apologize for not blogging in a really long time. Time just tends to fly between posts, and being in Engineering, it feels like I can never find any leisure time to update.

I just moved into my new apartment in the last week. I promised I would upload some photos of my new place. I decided to move off campus for several reasons. One of the primary reasons is that the UW Housing and Food Services decided on a new rule that if you live in the residence halls, you have to subscribe to the university meal plan. The food really isn’t that great, and it is way overpriced. To illustrate, for a simple breakfast of a waffle, scrambled eggs, bacon, and orange juice, you can be charged over $10. I found myself in the habit of eating out every day, since it was cheaper and higher quality than provided by the HFS.

So after a week of searching, a fellow Electrical Enginner colleague and I found a good 2 bedroom apartment at Travigne Apartments. Our place is located on 11th Ave in the University District. After spending a week of searching, we decided on this apartment, since it is unusually high quality for the low price. I’m paying just a little more than I was for the residence halls, but now I am able to cook for myself, plus it is a significant increase in quality.

Main entrance

Our apartment is the one with the balcony on the top floor.

Inside the lobby area

Coming out of the elevator, our apartment is the first door on the left.

My futon, which until just recently, served as a bed rather than a couch. I got the blanket when I was on my first deployment with the USAF to Qatar.

Bookshelf containing the textbooks my roomate and I have been accumulating over the years, as well as leisure reading.

Looking outside to the balcony

Looking down from off the balcony.

My roomate’s grill, so we could eat lots of barbecue.

 

Kitchen area

The coffee pot, which is now used primarily for making tea since I quit coffee.

My desk and dresser area

My bed.

The apartment opens up rooftop access to the residents.

Views from the roof of the apartments. Blessed Sacrament Church (catholic), and a view of downtown Seattle and space needle.
Right now, I’m taking the Summer off from school. I began the Summer Quarter out taking a full load of classes, although I began to have really bad anxiety attacks for some reason while performing coursework. I think the main causes for this anxiety are because for Spring Quarter, I was pushing myself too hard, pulling too many overnight study sessions, and drinking coffee. This combination can make you really go crazy after a while. A couple weeks ago, I decided to quit drinking coffee, because I think that was the main culprit. After I quit coffee and went through a period of withdraw, I felt a lot better.
Now that I’m off, I intend to catch up with a lot of things that due to my course load, I never really could find much time to do: reading, learning new music, exercising, research employment opportunities and organizing unsorted computer files and stacks of papers. I’ll also be looking for Summer jobs painting and doing yard work.
I intend to be complete with all my coursework after Spring Quarter next year, and I will have a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. This next year is going to be my toughest year, since from the looks of it, I have a capstone design class every quarter. I’m intending on getting completing at least two areas of knowledge in the next year in Embedded Systems and Analog Circuit design, and if I feel like it’s not too much, attempt VLSI (Very Large-Scale Integration).
A couple weeks ago, I got called last minute to put together music last minute for a wedding. Due to a misunderstanding, the organist who was expected to do the wedding wasn’t in town for that day, so I was called up as a last resort a week before the wedding. I pretty much chose out all the music, and I got together with a good friend who plays the violin, and we put together a prelude. I recycled pieces I had used for another wedding a couple years ago on Bremerton Naval Base, and tried a couple other pieces that I used for Resurrection that I thought would work. Overall, I got very positive response for the music, so I was glad I could help out and remove that burden from the family.
Speaking of weddings, congratulations to my sister Rachel for her recent engagement to Alex! She is getting married on January 2 at Faith Presbyterian Church. May God shower his blessings on both of you.
In September, my Dad and I are once again hiking the Wonderland Trail (110 mile hike around Mt. Rainier), and we’re planning to spend a week doing that, so I’m trying to put together camping trips and day hike trips to make sure I’m in shape for that. Later this week, I will be at Eagle Creek for two days with my dad and some good friends.
Anyway, that is my spiel for the time being. I’ll try to update more often, although when classes pick up again, I really won’t have any time, so I’ll apologize in advance for not posting in so long, and I hope you understand.