Saturday, 24th of March, 2001
Car and Driver did an AWD wagon comparison test this month, which included the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 325xi, Subaru Outback VDC, and the VW Passat 4-MOTION. Basically, I learned that BMW'S 4x4 system is pretty crappy. The center differential is locked at 38/62 front/rear. That's fine for the usual RWD BMW feel, but that's personal perference, I think, and definitely designed for street applications, not anything slippery. When it does get slippery, the DSC-X system applies braking power to wheels that are slipping. Ugh. Apparantly they use it on the X5 too. That's definitely the inferior AWD system, and shame on BMW for using it. I also learned about Subaru's VDC system. It ruined the car. It also uses the brakes to control power to each wheel, except it comes and takes over the throttle. The review says that spinning around in the snow basically brought the Subaru to a stop, because it kicked in so much. What a shame. Ruin a nice AWD system with over-paranoid safety mechanisms. Well, maybe not for the average dummy, cause I guess being parked in the snow is better than speeding towards a guardrail, right? Too bad the VW Passat 4-MOTION is only available with an automatic transmission, because that's a really nice wagon. The A4 won the comparison, BTW, but it ended with a hint at a rematch between the new Subaru Impreza and the A4. That would be nice to see.
Friday, 23rd of March, 2001
All through this week Washington University has been sending me official stuff, and today I got the financial aid information. They're giving me lots of scholarships and grants I don't have to pay back, amouting to almost the full tuition cost. Wow. And if I lived at home, then I could basically go for free. That would be really tight.
Tonight I had to miss a stroll for the Youth Symphony concert. Owell, Strolling doesn't need me that badly, Andrea will do a great job leading, and everyone plays very well. I was totally underprepared for this concert, this past season has been kinda busy for me. But it was still lots of fun, the Tchaikovksy especially.
Thursday, 22nd of March, 2001
I spent the school day at Washington University for the annual German Day activities. The main event for us was the Spelling Bee. It was kinda weird, most of our problems lay in not being able to understand the person reading the words, who happened to be a native German speaker. But we still lost by only one point, and at the buzzer too! So close! But that's ok, it was fun. Turns out later that the school we lost to in the first round proceeded to finish second place in the whole tournament. I guess we didn't do so badly then.
Wednesday, 21st of March, 2001
I went to the talent show tonight, and it was fairly good this year. Susan sang "Honey I'm Home", so that was really good. And Kevin also played a Sonata that he wrote himself, which was quite impressive.
Tuesday, 20th of March, 2001
Well, I went to see the doctor this morning, and after blood tests and stuff we kinda don't know exactly what's going on, but he gave me some strong anti-acid medication. It started to be effective late tonight, so I think this is all good news.
I got a packet from Carnegie Mellon University saying that I was rejected from their Computer Science school, wait-listed to the Information Services school, and accepted to the Humanities and Social Sciences school. Interesting. I didn't really expect much from the CS school, since only like 136 people end up going each year (competitive if you ask me) But now that I look at it, the reason why I applied to the Humanities school is because I just might be interested in a Statistics major. Who knows, but we'll see.
Monday, 19th of March, 2001
Doh, I'm having total indigestion problems. I didn't eat breakfast yesterday, and food has been just staying in my stomach since then. Ugh.
Sunday, 18th of March, 2001
CompUSA was offering a sweet deal on the Altec Lansing ATP3 speakers today. The retail price is $100, but they were offering them for $80, and an Altec Lansing $20 rebate and a CompUSA $25 gift card credit on top of that. So basically, I'm getting these for $35. Totally awesome. These speakers are really tight for even $100. The subwoofer cabinet is wood, with a 6.5" long throw woofer, and each satellite has a 3" down-firing driver. This combination produces window-rattling bass sound, and with lots of clarity. These were the best ones they sold at CompUSA, by far exceeding anything sold there, even the $200 systems (except for the ATP5, it's older sibling, of course.) Treble is very crisp, with 2 28mm drivers in each satellite. These speakers rock.