Saturday, March 28, 2009

That's what was said

We were watching Twilight this afternoon and when it came to the scene where Bella is in the hospital with her mom and she's talking about how Bella can move to Florida with her,
Todd in a deeply sincere, saddened tone said, "That would be so hard."
Then looks at me, his expression immediately changes and he looks away quickly.
"What? Tell me." I say.
"Never mind." whispers Todd as he tucks his tail between his legs.
"Come on, tell me." I ask again
"To have divorced parents..."

I couldn't help it. I busted up laughing.
I come from a divorced family. My dad's been married 4 times!
Now don't get me wrong, divorce is ugly and too many people use it as an excuse for immaturity and selfishness.
But as serious as something like this is, this entire conversation was absolutely hilarious, mostly because Todd forgot who he was married to for a
brief moment.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Musings on superconductivity

Everyone wants a room-temperature superconductor, more than a water buffalo. Having something like that could mean a supercomputer in your bedroom, better medical equipment, faster internet connections, and a whole array of scientific miracles that haven't even been conceived.

Unfortunately, getting a superconductor at anything above a few dozen kelvin has yet to happen. For the non-physics student, let me elaborate. Most everything around you has the potential to be a superconductor. A superconductor lets electrical charge flow through it effectively un-impeded. In order to bring out the superconductivity, you have to cool it (we physics nuts usually just grab some liquid nitrogen to play with to do this). When a substance drops below a certain energy level (determined by its atomic radius), it becomes a superconductor.

Or so it seems. I don't think its so much about its atomic radius and fermi energy (that's just a fancy way of talking about how electrons stack up on an atom). I think it's more about a well-ordered system. I believe that when a system becomes abnormally well ordered and regular in its molecular movement (like it does at extremely low temperatures) it merely starts to mimic any nearby chaotic system. This is why we can hover magnets on them, and why electricity passes through them with almost no resistance. It's about the macro-scale ordering of the molecular particles. So, to find the room temperature super conductor, we ought to be looking at very regular and rigid crystalline structures.

Well, this post was mostly for me anyway.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I know, I know it's been over 2 weeks since my last post. I'm a slacker, well I've only been a slacker for the last week the first week I was out of town in a place with no internet, cell phone reception and the land line could only make
local calls.
Scary I know.

Here's what happened,
My Grandpa Paul went into the hospital with Brain Cancer, so my mom flew out to do whatever was needed for him. But when she got there and talked with the doctors, grandpa's future didn't look good. She went to his house and found it in complete disarray. Grandpa let the birds out of their cage and let them wander the house without picking up after them, the cats brought in dead birds to stash, in a nut shell it was sick. Mom had visited him a year before and deep cleaned his house but since then you could tell he hadn't done anything.
We had always talked that when grandpas time came, we'd both go to clean out his house.

That time had come and she needed help.

So I flew out with N.
I spent 5 days between Portland, Oregon and Ryderwood, Washington.
We arrive and went to the hospital to see grandpa. And I'm glad that I took N. Why? Todd and I were trying to decide if I should leave N at home with him or take her with me. We decide to have her go with me because it would have been too difficult for Todd to look after her and have class, and tests, etc. Well, while visiting with grandpa, he looked at her and said, "That's my girl." Taking her along gave grandpa the opportunity to meet his only great-granddaughter.

The next day I had the 24 hour stomach flu.
Lucky me.
But it worked out because we couldn't get started on the house for various reasons, so I had a day get better.
This was also the day grandpa went in for brain surgery to find out what he really had. What it just a fatty tumor, was it cancer? And if so what type?

The day I was sick my dad drove up from Texas with a truck to load up with anything mom wanted to keep and take back down. So while he rested from driving for 3 days, I rested from the stomach bug and mo went to the hospital for grandpas brain surgery.

That was Friday. We spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday cleaning house. This included 1 truck load to the homeless shelter, 2 car loads to the library, 1 car load and 4 truck and trailer loads to Goodwill, and about 7 truck and trailer loads to the dump. And we filled the truck and trailer with things to keep. There was A LOT of stuff. We had to go through ever file folder every box that looked like junk, because we needed to find the house deed, car titles, family history was tucked into EVERYTHING and we found grandpas wedding ring and a silver band in boxes filled with trash.

On top of all of this mom had to run around and talk to various people to get what she needed to get Power of Attorney. This would have been done before hand but Grandpa had messed up on the paper work and although the hospital clergy witnessed it there was no notary to sign for it! Then he was taken into brain surgery. What a nightmare.

After 3 days of cleaning and chucking and packing, with 7 people in and out in a small home we did what we could. We stayed the last night in a motel thank heavens. I had been sharing a twin bed with N most nights and I was needing a few hours of consecutive sleep.

Dad took off Tuesday morning and N and I flew home Tuesday after noon. After all was said and done, I'm very happy I was able to go down and help mom out. I was happy to see grandpa a few times while he could still recognize me and wasn't in too much pain. I know we'll be driving to Texas this Summer for a visit, but given the time frame he's been given to live, I'm glad I went.

He's now recovering in a rehabilitation home to beef up to get ready to fly to Texas. I think he'll like it. I'm pretty sure when mom mentioned the High Def Cable, high speed internet and someone else cooking he was sold on the idea.
Such a guy.

Despite what's happening I think it's a good thing. Grandma died almost 3 years ago and she was the type who did everything for grandpa. And now he's been alone with multiple health problems and multiple surgery's over the last 3 years, I think it will be nice when he wont hurt anymore. I'm glad he's going with mom now, he wouldn't when grandma passed away, and now he needs family more then the pride and independence he was defending.

*Good news, Hospice will take his Medicare insurance so mom will be able to have him at home for a little bit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hopes, Dreams, and God

This is a (rather long) story about a boy named Todd--whose intelligence and curiosity got him out of trouble as often as it put him in it.

One day, Todd was thinking very seriously about what he should do with his life. He decided to choose a path involving statistics and probabilities. He chose this because he realized early on in life that he the capacity to do anything his heart desired--and that the course of life through the actuarial sciences would give him the best consistent salary. On this day, in which Todd was reflecting on his life, he realized that there were only a few joys that he could find in statistics and probability.

That wasn't enough to deter Todd from his plans, of course. He was rather bull-headed and stubborn. Being a spiritual man, though, he made this a matter of prayer. The inclination to look into studying the sciences came quickly to mind. A week passed, and none of Todd's stubborn attitude could shake the thought of studying physics. He talked to his dear sweet wife about and they agreed that they would try something outside of their intended course.

So, Todd began exploring a career in physics. At first it was difficult, and didn't really seem like it was for him--but he felt very strongly that God wanted him to be here.

One day, Todd found himself alone in a lab. While he was working on his lab, everything suddenly became clear, intuitive, and had a certain flow to it. He understood what was going on, and realized the implications of what the lab illustrated.

From then on, school was no longer just a way to get a job--it was enjoyable. Through subsequent labs and projects, Todd found a great joy in working with his hands--as opposed to just pencil and paper. God had led him to a career that He knew Todd would enjoy much more than one crunching numbers.

So life went on the way it usually does--with its hardships and its tender moments, but quite usually. Todd quickly realized, after some experimentation, that he wanted to design things, and build things that could make the world a better place. He started designing little trinkets and things, and drawing up plans for them--but he had no way to implement them. He was studying and working to provide for his family. The lived in such a small place, and he had no room to experiment or build his inventions--and no money to buy tools to build them with either.

One day, a few months later, his wife gets a call that her grandpa is dying. Todd couldn't afford to leave himself, but he was happy to do anything he could to get his wife to her grandpa. It was a very emotional time for the two--as they had never been apart since the day they were married.

A week passed, and Todd's wife returned home almost broken. She had worked so hard to clean out her grandpa's house and help settle his affairs while she had been gone that she had barely slept. Todd quickly brought her in to a freshly cleaned home, a bouquet of flowers, and a tender kiss to help put her to rest.

Later that day, Todd's wife reminds him that there were a number of items that were claimed from her grandpa's estate, and that her father was driving them down. That night, a few boxes arrived. Todd helped unload them and then went to bed--being too tired to do anything else.

The next day, after some particularly frustrating events, Todd came home from school a little more surly than usual. Some very unfortunate things had happened that day, and he was feeling rather down. His wife told him that one of the boxes on the kitchen floor was for him. Thinking this to be another chore, Todd grumpily walked over to the box.

Now, Todd had only a vague idea of what this box contained, as his wife had told him it was a box of tools.

So that you might better understand, let me illuminate. The grandpa that was dying was a very intelligent man. He was very smart, and loved working with his hands. Often, through life, whenever there was a need for something, he would just make it himself. He was very well versed in the sciences, and mechanics, and in just about any intellectually stimulating craft. Over the years, he had expanded and improved his workshop until he had just about every tool he would ever need (including many he built himself). When his sweet-heart died, he lost much of his drive, and his workshop fell abandoned. This box contained hundreds of very powerful and useful tools--nearly everything you'd need to equip a workshop.

When Todd opened the box, he was speechless at first. He looked inside and quickly recognized and identified each item. Most all he had worked with before, but never anywhere but in a lab at school. Never had he dreamed of having a toolkit so complete. He had wanted to invent, but never had the means available for him to do so. Now he did. Realizing what had just happened, Todd started to cry. God had not only shown him what would make him happy in life, but had clearly just given His son the means to do so.

To those who might think that all this is coincidence, I say that coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous. It was not coincidental that I changed my major--those close to me will even tell you that I wasn't sure why I was doing it, other than it felt right. Maybe it was coincidence that I had a feeling--at random--that I needed to change my life direction, and it made me happier with life. Maybe it was coincidence that I happened to be better working Physics problems than statistics too. I wanted to be an actuary since I was 16 years old, and nothing was going to deter me from that. I had even attempted the first qualifying exam and was preparing to take it again at the time, just barely bought a brand new text-book to independently study from too.
It seems odd to me, though, that I would, within a few months of making that switch, take naturally to it. Designing things was a choice--but it was more so to help me understand and see what it was I was studying. I figured that if I could design something based off a principal, then I had likely mastered that principal. However, there was no way I would've know that I enjoyed doing that more than developing statistical models. That would be something that an omnipotent God would readily know, though.
For those who are still doubting, let me share with you two more random occurrences: about a month ago, we finally had a financial break in our finances. We finally got the means to rent space for me to develop and design in. As if that weren't enough, I had one device that I started designing stick out in my mind above all others. It was based on my own personal theory of electro-magnetism, so I was skeptical towards ever trying it. I found out on the same day that I received these tools that it not only is possible, but that some research regarding that device had been published that very day.

Tell me that is coincidence, and I'll tell you that you're stretching your odds. I know the odds, and I know the math. It doesn't take someone trained in actuarial science to tell you that it is more likely that these events (which had no direct relation to each other) were intentional rather than random. Not only that, but in my life, this sort of thing happens all the time. This is not the first, nor the greatest blessing that I've been given. Those who know the full story behind my marriage, and my family, also know that they were given to me in a similar way--"coincidence" after "coincidence."

God is real, you just need to learn more about Him and the way He operates, and you'll start seeing these things happen more frequently in your own life. He is your Father, He loves you, and wants you to be happy. He knows, better than you do, what will make you happy--that's why you're on this earth in the first place. When you learn about His ways, and learn to quiet your mind, He'll inspire you to do what will bring you the greatest joy in your life. He's done this for me, and He wants to do this for everyone--but we need to learn to listen, and learn to follow Him when He wants to guide our lives.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Delays and Relays

Dani pushed her flight back a day--there was just too much for her to do and no way they'd get it all done by monday night. So, I'm stuck alone for another day.

Putting her on the plane was hard. I think this is harder. I miss her so much. I found myself going through pictures I have of her and getting very trunky.

To keep my mind off of things, I have filled it full of ideas and laboratory equipment. I'm building a lab, and I think that it'll be a very successful venture. I have too many design ideas and too many things I want to try that haven't ever been tried before that I'm hoping this will bear fruit.

Dani consented that we could use some of the money we had set aside to invest to put toward this idea. I'm trying to make a lab that will let me build and develop things. An Inventors lab, if you will. There is, by no stretch of the imagination, the space available in our apartment to do such a thing--so we're going to rent out a storage unit and I'm gonna setup there. Part of the storage unit will be used for, well, storage, but half of it is mine to start tinkering in. I've been collecting the tools that I need for this since I got home from my mission, and I'm really only missing a few more. I have yet to find an oscilloscope, and I'm gonna need a big rubber mat. For an oscilloscope, I'm tempted just to do a software style solution for it--and hijack my sound card to work as a 96k-hz oscilloscope. It has all the capacity to read the waveform data just like it would microphone input--they are essentially the same.

So, this weekend, I have found all that I will need and been trying to find it at the lowest prices I could. I'm trying to do all of this within a $1000 budget. In reality, I will probably only spend $300-400 for everything I need and leave the rest in the budget for renting the space I need. If I don't get to a break-even point, or find some financial use for this area, then we'll down grade to a much smaller storage facility, and I'll go back to my regular life.

I'm very excited to start this. I already have a good conceptual design working for how to run this.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My sweetie

Dani's grandpa had a stoke a little while ago. He's still in the hospital as of this writting. Mom (my wife's mom) went up to Portland right away to help get his affairs in order, but quickly realized that it was beyond her capacity to do. Dani really felt like she needed to go up and help, so yesterday I put her and my little girl on a plane to Portland.

That's only half the story, though. My wife and I haven't been apart since we were married. I had a hard time with the whole ordeal. I stood on a balcony as she went through security after we said good bye and tried not to cry. I couldn't help but notice how beautiful she is to me. Every little move she makes just causes me to be that much more enchanted with her. She's only been gone for 24 hours, and I'm already an emotional wreck.

When she moved beyond view, I went to the car, and just looking in the rear view mirror and not seeing a carseat made me cry. When I put myself together, I drove home and went to school.

In an effort to help comfort me, my good buddy Kyle offered to play Warcraft with me--a favored pastime of mine. It was helpful, but I still miss my sweetie.

She doesn't get any cell phone reception where she's staying, but I got to talk to her this morning. When she told me she had the flu, it just broke my heart. She wasn't well, and there was nothing I could do but pray for her. I called her a little bit ago, and she was doing much better.

I don't know if I can make it all the way to Monday without her.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This has been on my mind a lot: how do people turn unfaithful to their spouse? I don't get it. Without Dani, I'd be a total loser. Without my family, coming home at the end of the day would be as dull and boring as the rest of my day. To me, fidelity just makes sense. You never "fall" in love, it's more like a plant, you nourish it, and treat it properly, and it gets bigger and bigger until it starts bearing fruit. You grow into love--and failing to nourish it is like telling yourself, emotionally, that you don't want to eat later.

Infidelity is stupidity as far as I'm concerned. You worked hard with your spouse to get where you are--and putting that relationship in jeopardy by giving into a whim is socially suicidal.

We all have impulses, yes, and we all are prone to thinking about relationships outside of our marriage. It's largely hormonal--but needs to be dealt with. So, here's my simple guide to staying faithful:

Whenever you find yourself looking at a member of the opposite sex, imagine a stain-line on their underwear. Chances are you've seen something like that with your spouse when they were sick, or had a problem--and that won't bother you as much as seeing that same thing on a total stranger.

That's what it boils down to--fidelity--it's comparing the most unattractive things about your spouse to the probable unattractive attributes of everyone else. Try it, see how it works. You'll find yourself laughing at the thought.

One other thing about my wife--while I'm kinda on the subject of how cool she is: I had a dream a few nights ago about her. It was like I was on "The Price is Right," and they were announcing the products to choose from. It first showed the actress who plays Launa Lane on Smallville. It highlighted her nice smooth hair, her big beautiful eyes, and her good smile. Then Dani came up and showed her stunning hair, her breath-taking eyes, and her heart-melting smile and then the announcer added, "Yes, she's all that, and a bag of chips!" At that cue, Dani held up a bag of chips just like the kind that she puts in my lunch every day, and winked at me.

It was hilarious, and so true. Dani is all that and a bag of chips!

Tied hands

As many people might know, I am a Linux enthusiast. I believe that Linux is the only OS worth using--personally.

However, I'm also a student, and to force myself to study--I have begun to use the campus library resources heavily. Unfortunately, they only provide windows machines.

Consequently, I go a little more insane every time I have to use a computer at school. Like this morning, I wanted to take a brief break from studying and read up on some news. While windows is adequate to do this--it has its limits. Even a task like basic web-browsing is so difficult. Lemme explain in this nice HTML list:

  • I don't have multiple desktops.

  • I don't have three different browsers to use

  • I can't install any software when using a network

  • I can't get any kind of plugins or addons for my browser

  • I have to use my mouse to do anything

  • I don't have a universal search

  • I have no development environment

  • I can't make it look any different

When I'm at home, and I have full access to windows, I can make it tolerable after hours of fighting--but we could never be friends.

Nursing Cover

I loved the nursing cover my friend Lindsay gave me when I was pregnant with N. It was handy when N became more hands-on and would grab at it and it stayed on because of the adjustable neck. So I made this one as a baby gift request for my friend Jaimie. I hope she likes it :)

I put in a 12 inch flexible curved neck line to make it easy to see baby and for baby to see mommy and D-Rings for easy adjustments.
Easy to fold and store in diaper bag.
Enjoy Jaimie and Congrats on your little boy!

Rising up to the blogosphere

My wife is an avid blogger. She love blogging more than scrap booking (which is saying a lot, because she has cases full of supplies). She has long encouraged me to blog--and I didn't really take the thought too seriously, until now.

My hesitation towards blogging has always been this: I'm wired different. I think in a very different way then most people. Honestly, I am more likely to blog about the implications of mass production of carbon nanotubes than about the hilarious joke that was said in class today, and the virtues of Open Source software are likely to be more frequent topics on any blog I do than the cute antics of my 1-year-old daughter, N.

However, I'm willing to try. So this blog is for you, sweet heart. I'm hopping in my internet air balloon and rising up to the blog-o-sphere to join all the blogging bloggers with their blogginest blogs. I'm gonna try not to get too deep, and keep postings relevant to my actual goings-on. Read over the rantings and ravings that I am likely to post, and enjoy my first serious attempt to blog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

He loves me!

Thanks to Todd (for working and providing the income) and N (for being born making it possible for us to have a dependent) we had a tax return that made a wish come true for me.
It's a Birthday/Mother's Day/Christmas gift from 2008 given in 2009.
Meet my new toy!

yson DC 14 All Floor Vacuum Cleaner!Now this may make some sick but here are some before and after pictures. Brand-new-never-been-used and then after one round on our apartment living room floor. This just makes me appreciate this vacuum and the people at Dyson even more!Now I have long hair, it's clogs the shower drain, the bathroom sink,
my hair brush is constantly in need of being de-haired
I pull random long strawberry-blond hairs off of my husband constantly.

Ew! But WOW!
This vacuum is pretty quiet, has a long electrical cord,
VERY easy to maneuver, washable filter, bag-less, certified asthma friendly, and Pow-er-ful.

The instruction manual was very easy to follow with diagrams and simple instructions in plain English. The assembly required was as easy as 1-2-3. really and it was just 3 steps.

(Don't worry I cut all the hair off the bottom brush after I was done.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

This woman has a fun blog and at the moment has multiple give-a-ways going on right now.

Another give-a-way that caught my eye on her blog was a Anthropoli-fication Boyer Cream Cardi. She tells you what she bought and how she made it into a Anthropology Knock-off. Made me think of my sister-in-laws, Camille and Hillary. Enjoy :D

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....