Snapshots from the 75 Gallon

A few photos from the 75 gallon tank that I had for a short while.

Snapshots from the 75 Gallon

Early stages of the tank, before the plants really took off. Unfortunately, I never took a photo of the entire tank once everything filled in.

Snapshots from the 75 Gallon

One of the Bolivian Rams (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus) from the old 50 gallon tank. Notice how small it is. This is due to the fish in the next photo dominating over it.

Snapshots from the 75 Gallon

A macro view of a Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki). The boss of the tank.

Snapshots from the 75 Gallon

Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps, better known as the Gibbiceps Plecostomus. I am a big fan of fish belonging to the Loricariidae family.

Gran Turismo 5 Update

Man, has it really been 2 weeks since the last update? Well, I’ve gone through a lot of races in this time, so here goes:

In the M3 again, for the German-car-only Schwarzwald League A series of races:

Tokyo R246 5:31.897 (won by at least 41.000 seconds!)

Nurburgring GP/F 6:45.548 (won by at least 37.000 seconds!)

I guess you could say that the M3 was overpowered.

Gran Turismo 5 - The M3 at Red Bull Hangar-7

The M3 at Red Bull Hangar-7

Next, the MR Sports Cup, in a Ferrari 512BB ’76:

Deep Forest Raceway 7:48.136 (Last place by 46.739!)
Deep Forest Raceway 6:48:983 (won by 01.899 over a W12 Nardo Concept ’01)

High Speed Ring 5:43.118 (won by 05.752 over a McLaren F1 ’94)

Circuit de la Sarthe 2009 8:42.368 (won by 01.221 over a Ford GT ’06)

Although I won the MR Sports Cup in the Ferrari 512BB ’76, there was still something odd with this car. It felt like it was driving on ice most of the time, with the rear-end breaking loose seemingly on every turn. Checking the tires, I confirmed I was using soft racing tires, so I wasn’t sure what the problem was, exactly. I made a lot of changes to various settings, including ballast, brake balance, and spring/damper firmness, but it was still difficult to control this car, especially after driving the M3 in previous races. I tried to use the Ferrari in the Historic Racing Car Cup, and failed miserably because you really do need a full racing car setup rather than a modded street car:

Deep Forest Raceway 6:50.672 (last place, lost by 25.803 seconds!)
Deep Forest Raceway 6:36.996 (4th place, lost by 13.102 seconds!)
Deep Forest Raceway 6:25.611 (3rd place, lost by 05.476 seconds to a 2D Race Car ’67)
Deep Forest Raceway 6:31.121 (4th place, lost by 08.650 seconds to a 2J Race Car ’70)
Deep Forest Raceway 6:33.996 (last place, lost by 12.744 seconds!)

Looks like I have to save some money so I can get a real race car, or convert one of my existing cars to a race car.

Gran Turismo 5 Update

Had a couple of sessions over the past two days and finished the Tuned Car Championship. I again had trouble against the Amuse S2000 GT1 Turbo. That is one fast car. Eventually, I gave up trying to beat that car with the M3, and went to my trusty old Dodge Challenger SRT8 ’08 instead. I’d used that car to beat many races previously, and it was already maxed out with mods, with 784HP. Here are the race results:

Suzuka Circuit 11:08.120 (won by .788)

Grand Valley Speedway 10:16.386 (2nd place, lost by 09.202 and reached Level 21)
Grand Valley Speedway 9:58.069 (2nd place, lost by 04.384 after adjusting max speed to 224 from 255, and adding the adjustable LSD mod to help with braking)
Grand Valley Speedway 10:00.231 (won by 03.725, got lucky this time as the S2000 was not in this race)

Special Stage Route 5 7:34.844 (won by 06.051 after restoring max speed to 255)

Tokyo R246 9:03.854 (2nd place, lost by 06.721 after adjusting max speed to 236)

After switching to the Challenger:

Tokyo R246 8:43.516 (beat the S2000 by 01.668)

And finally, the Championship with all 5 races:

Suzuka Circuit 10:46.804 (won by 01.794)
Road Course – Daytona 9:03.196 (won by 19.629)
Grand Valley Speedway 9:44.590 (won by 03.066, reached Level 22)
Special Stage Route 5 7:23.717 (won by 03.393)
Tokyo R246 8:44.733 (won by 01.635)

Here’s a photo of my Challenger after getting pushed off the track and hitting a wall with the rear end (click to view larger version):

Gran Turismo 5

Gran Turismo 5 – Dodge Challenger

A Race at a Time

Only had time to complete one race today: the Road-Course Daytona race of the Tuned Car Championship in the Expert Series. I attempted to use a near-stock BMW M3 Chrome Line to win this race, and failed miserably. I made 10th place, with a time of 10:24.618. In the past, I had won races rather easily with the M3, so when I chose it this evening it didn’t occur to me that it hadn’t really been “tuned”. I had a sports exhaust, some intake modifications, and medium sports tires.

After I realized this I maxed out the mods, including the 3 stages of engine tuning and racing tires. I won the race, but not without fighting for 1st place in the last couple of laps against an S2000 GT1 Turbo. I won with a time of 9:35.411, just .735 ahead of the S2000.

One Year Already?

Has it really been a year since I decided to restart the site? Some restart, eh? Other than some photos and some postings of previously existing content (e.g. the SQL Cheatsheet), there hasn’t been anything new on this site.

I do have an excuse, a typical excuse, which is work is always busy now. When I first started JYCS, I was not working at all. In the period between 2001 and 2004, I gave up on looking for a job. Then, I decided to go back to school and work a part-time job. That part-time job has become a full-time job and I have become an important part of the firm that I work for.

In work and in life, I often find myself wanting to try (and learn) new things. SBS 2011 is out? OK, let me try that on a test server. Spanish For Dummies is on sale? Ooh, I want to learn Spanish. Civilization IV for $5 on Steam? Man, gotta get it. The problem with all of the above is that I start a lot of things but then I don’t finish them. I have stacks of video games that I have played for only 5 minutes. I have books where I have read only the first chapter.

Because of this behavior I often become depressed, lamenting the fact that I cannot finish anything. It is rather depressing though, wouldn’t you say? So, I’ve been thinking to myself how I can get rid of these feelings and this behavior, and I believe I have come up with the answer: do one thing at a time.

It sounds so simple, but in today’s society we see that it never happens. Children play soccer, go to school, and then learn piano. At work, we often start new projects before a previous one is complete. We can be so greedy as people sometimes. We want material things, but we also want achievements.

So, back to my new mindset: do one thing at a time. My thinking is, if I focus on a single goal, and then spend all my time on that goal, then I will actually finish something and then feel better about myself. Sounds pretty simple. The key is to not set a goal that is too high. Also, I’d only be able to apply this in my personal life. As I mentioned above, work is always busy, and it’s not always up to me to decide what projects to work on.

Here is my first goal: finish Gran Turismo 5 A-Spec. Use to track my progress. Create a list of other goals that I wish to achieve. Rinse and repeat.

As this iteration of JYCS enters another year, let’s see if I can make a difference in my own life. And, if you happen to be in the same predicament as I am and want to try this method, let’s see if it makes a difference in your life. Good luck!