Friday, April 28, 2006

I Done Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Keith_Hollar, so here goes:

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Swimming pool construction worker.
2. Shoe salesman at Meryn's
3. Research asistant (i.e. the fool that graduate students hired to climb a 160 foot tower to calibrate instrumentation every month).
4. Engineer.

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. A Knight's Tale
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
4. LOTR trilogy

Four places you have lived: (I put six)
1. Johnson, Kansas(birthplace)
2. Spring, Texas
3. Lubbock, Texas
4. Wolfforth, Texas
5. Midland, Texas
6. Fort Worth, Texas

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Lost
2. Invasion
3. Las Vegas (I know, I know)
4. Scrubs

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Grand Canyon
2. Walt Disney Land
3. Cancun (Honeymoon)
4. All over the Rocky Mountains

Four websites you visit often:
1. Danny Sims Blog

Four of your favorite foods:
1. Almost any kind of good Mexican food
2. Steak (Prime Rib in particular)
3. Almost any kind of good seafood
4. Almost any kind of good Italian food

Four places you would rather be right now:
1. Camping with Erin and the kids
2. Hunting pheasant, dove, quail, rabbits, ducks, deer, or anything else that tastes good
3. 4x4 Offroading or Motorcycling
4. Swimming somewhere sunny, but not too hot

Four people who are tagged to do this:
1. Everybody whose blog I visit has already been tagged with this, so nobody.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter, or "He's Risen!" Weekend

You know, it's amazing. Christmas has become such an enormous holiday. It is such a cultural phenomenon that non-Christians often partake at least as heartily as Christians. The gift-giving, the food, the whole package. But Easter, Easter we don't see that kind of buy-in. From the Christian perspective, this would seem to be the more significant observance. Yes, at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is important. Without his birth, none of the rest of his life could have happened. But, God coming to earth was an event he had performed in other manners before. He had never been born of a virgin mother. But, he had been at the burning bush. He had done so many things in the Old Testament where his presence was manifest.

But, the week prior to Easter and Easter itself are the time we recognize a unique event. God, the Almighty, the Omnipotent, the Creator lets Himself be betrayed by a greedy accountant. He lets himself be physically abused in so many ways. He is beaten, spit upon, has a crown of thorns smashed onto his head, and is finally nailed to some wood, hung up to die and then stabbed with a spear. If the story ends here, the rest of his life prior to this point gets looked at in an all new perspective. This man would have been thought of as someone with some very ineresting social ideas (which were not at all en vogue) who had delusions of grandeur (He thought he was the son of God?). This had to have been what was going through people's minds on Saturday. Surely, those "miracles" that he performed weren't all that they were cracked up to be. I mean, yeah we saw them, but surely our eyes were mistaken.

However, the story doesn't end there. He comes back. Having spent his time redeeming us from our sins, He comes back to life. He rises. He seeks out his students, his followers and shares more with them. After a while, he goes back to heaven. Now this, this is different. We don't have this anywhere else. God sends a part of Himself down here, let's himself be born in a barn, lets Himself be saddled with the slings and arrows of daily life, shows us how to live, is killed for it, forgives us for that and everything else we have done or will do, and goes back home. To me this is the coolest holiday observance there could be.

But alas, it is not nearly as mass-marketable as Christmas. Toy manufacturers don't get nearly the boost from it. TV producers can't seem to come up with any programming for this holiday. Regardless of the way the rest of the world treats this time of year, don't forget to really share with your family the story and meaning of "He's Risen!" weekend.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Space... ...The Final Frontier

Every time I say, "There's no way we can fit anything else in here," I am wrong. We have a fairly small house (~1500 ft^2) and my office at work is pretty small for a self-contained business (~180 ft^2). In both cases, when they were acquired, we thought that there was no way we'd ever fill them up. A few years later... ...well we were wrong.

You walk into my house or my office and you'll be amazed at how much STUFF is jammed in there. It has for years looked like there couldn't possibly be room for anything else. But then, we rearrange stuff and fit more in. I swear that if we bought a 3000 ft^2 house, we'd instantly fill it up with stuff currently filling a house half that size. And, it wouldn't look sparse or empty.

I won't discuss everything in the house because there's just too much stuff. But, I'll share with you the junk in my office. Now remember, this is a 10'x18' office and I have to leave a path to the door. I have the following stuff in there:
  • A 5' long computer desk,
  • A printer table,
  • Two 6' long work tables,
  • A huge 5'x5' flat file cabinet,
  • Two 6' tall book shelves,
  • Two 4-drawer file cabinets,
  • Two engineering plotters (printers for 36" wide drawings).

Behind the door, I've got two chairs and a card table folded, just in case I need more surface or places to sit. I also have a vacuum cleaner shoved into one corner.

Sometimes I think we've got a couple of physics projects going on. I mean, it's like we really are trying to find out if two objects can indeed occupy the same space at the same time. Call the Nobel prize people. I think we deserve something. Just think, we could end urban sprawl. We could just pack the entire population of Dallas into a couple of storage trailers. I mean, sure, work on that scale is way off into the future. But, you can see the potential, right?