Well, well, well...almost a year-and-a-half has transpired since I wrote the paragraph directly below this one. Does anyone still come here? No matter - I like to record my thoughts for my own sake as much as anyone else's. For anyone that does still visit, I've kept the fun stuff links over there on the right somewhat updated, and my investing experiment is going great. If you're interested in how to invest in stocks, please check it out and read through the news sections - it will help you avoid the mistakes I made and give you some good ideas to follow up on. I still live in Grapevine and I still work for Johnson Controls. My two big goals for this year are to buy a house and pass the PE exam to get my professional engineering license. I just mailed the last of my paperwork for the PE license today and plan on taking the exam this fall. Wish me luck!
I moved. Grapevine is quite the upgrade from Houston. So is Killeen for that matter, which is where I was for a couple months. The nice thing about working in Killeen was getting to fish on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir after work. The lake is loaded with largemouth bass. I also caught a nice-sized channel cat and spotted gar! I'm back in Grapevine now, I think for good, and work in downtown Dallas. I've updated this site more often than these updates might indicate, so be sure and catch up on the latest fun stuff over there on the right.
One last update before moving. The new job is going well. I travel quite a bit, which I like because it gets me out of Houston. Last week, I was even able to get in some bass fishing after work. Next weekend, I'm moving up to Grapevine, so it will probably be a while before this site gets updated again. Looks like I jumped the gun when bragging about The Fund last month. After the recent market melt-down, it ain't above $2 million no more. That's okay, it didn't drop nearly as much as the general market and I'm in this for the long-haul anyways.
Well, I quit TAC and now work for Johnson Controls. I finally got fed-up with not being adequately compensated for doing quality work. Nothing personal, just business. My new job is in the same industry, building controls, and I'll be doing the same sort of work. I'm based out of Dallas (Irving to be exact), so I'll be moving up there at the end of August. For now, I'm learning new software and hardware as I work at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX. I'll send out an email to close friends and family to update you on my new address and phone # - email me if I miss you and you'd like to know. In the mean-time, peruse the link and quote of the week to be entertained, or if you're in the educational mood, try to answer the Question of the Month. Also, I don't want to brag, but The Fund recently broke $2 million - I've doubled my money!
I would say I'm sorry for not updating this page in six months...but I'm not really that sorry. Writing good is really, really hard. There, see? That last sentence sucked harder than a black hole at an Electrolux convention. Also, not that much has changed in my life. I did go back home last week to attend my brother's high school graduation. Got to see some people I hadn't seen in many years. It sure is nice to get away from the huge concrete and asphalt parking lot that is Houston once in a while. But back to the whole updating thing - I don't think I'll be updating as often as I have been. I will, however, still update the Fun Stuff links over there on the right every week/month. To kick off this new policy of procrastination, I present these three essays I wrote in my spare time the last few months.
I figured I should update at least once more before the year is out. A combination of circumstances kept me from updating sooner. Number one would be laziness. Number two through ten have to do with horrible things happening to my truck and computer which knocked down "Updating Website" a few notches on my to-do list. My truck was broken into a few months ago (on a jobsite!) and my radio and all my CDs were stolen. Yes, they were the original CDs - not burned copies. Yes, I'm an idiot. The thing with my computer wasn't quite as bad. I reformatted the hard drive as I like to do every year, only this time I forgot to back up my Outlook data. So I lost a bunch of emails and email addresses. Yes, I'm an idiot. Aaaaaannnyways...I'll be heading back home for Christmas, so the site won't be updated for a bit. Next year, I'd like to try something different with the emails I send out when I do update. Until then, have a happy Christmas and a merry New Year!
I haven't been up to much - otherwise I would have updated sooner. I'm in the process of installing a new radio/CD player in my truck. That should be sweet once it's done. If you're into classic or hard rock (instrumental only - no singing), check out Joe Satriani's latest album; Super Colossal. In other news, my younger sister graduated. I know because I was there, and got to see the family. No huge changes on the website, just the usual updates.
I went back home and had a great time with family and friends this past Christmas. A few weeks ago I made the trek back home once again - this time to attend my Grandmother's funeral. It was a sad time, but I know she's in a much better place and I will see her again. I have many, many fond memories of visiting Grandmother and playing at her farm. Now that I'm grown up, and she's gone, I often feel an aching to go back and relive some of those memories so I don't lose them, so I remember every detail correctly...does that make any sense? Garrison Keillor said it much better than I ever could: "My memory is faulty, as everyone's is. And I think back to that life that's gone, and those people. And I think about it as the olden days; the good-old days when life was simple. And it's not true. It's a terrible disservice to them. Life was simple for me - then - because I was a child, and my happiness was looked after by other people. But it was not simple for the others. Never."
Tiz the season...to act like idiots. Sorry, I just got back from Christmas shopping fighting Houston traffic. I've been real busy at work. The last month or so I've been commuting to-and-from Galveston, which is a good 80 miles from where I'm at, so I've been getting up really early to. The good news is most of what I'm doing has involved training other engineers, so hopefully they'll be taking over the Galveston stuff next year and I'll be in the office writing software. Hey! Stop that laughing! I can dream, can't I? This will be my last website update until next year - I'm driving back home for Christmas and New Years. Thanks for taking the time to read this stuff. Hard to believe this site's been up for over 3 years now. What is that, like 30 in dotcom years?
If I'm blessed and live to a ripe old age, I'll sit on my porch and reminisce about the great traffic jam of '05. "Yep, that was some kind of site - 3 million people in 100 degree heat all trying to leave in about 48 hours to get away from hurricane Rita. Like watching some sort of weird glacier made of cars inching down the highway." I was going to head up to Lufkin and stay with family but didn't get out in time, plus my truck was down to an eighth of a tank and I couldn't find gas until the following week. So I was sort of stuck in my apartment for the weekend. I did get out and walk around a lot though. Since I live in west Houston, I barely got an inch of rain and minimal winds. Oh well, there's always next year. I have moved now by the way. If you need my new address for some reason, like if you're taking a barbecue pilgrimage to Texas and need a place to stay, email me. Don't forget to check October's Question of the Month and there's some new stuff under Investment News for the fund. Lastly, my favorite band - Jamiroquai - released their new album Dynamite and man, is it groovy! I'd nearly given up on them after that last train-wreck of an album called A Funk Odyssey (which wasn't funky at all), but Jay Kay has redeemed himself with Dynamite. I'll have to listen to it non-stop for a couple weeks to know for sure but I think it could be their second best album ever (behind The Return of the Space Cowboy of course).
It's hard to sum up my life - even just a month's worth - in one paragraph, but I'll give it a shot. The month got off to a great start when my dad, brother and I took a week-long fishing excursion up in the land of the lone Maple Leaf. There, we reeled in 40" Northern Pike and ate freshly fried Walleye by the pound. Mmmmm...truly a trip to remember. I'll post photos when I have time. After vacation I went back to work (who'da thunk it!) and am now overseeing the HVAC controls checkout of a large high school. I'm also going to be moving - again - at the end of August, so I've been looking at apartments during my free time. Before I go, I'd like to plug an extremely interesting book I just finished reading: Warmth Disperses and Time Passes by Hans Christian von Baeyer. That title is horrible - it was originally published as Maxwell's Demon which makes much more sense because the book revolves around an impish little gremlin James Clerk Maxwell conjured up to test the second law of thermodynamics (who says scientists don't have imaginations?). If you're interested in history or science at all, read this book!
Well, I'm still alive. That's always good. Also, work takes over more and more of my life as the summer progresses. It's those accursed schools (can you tell I'm bitter?). They want their entire HVAC system renovated but we can't do anything until the kids are out. Then the mechanical and electrical contractors move in to install all the equipment. That leaves us with about a month-and-a-half window to get all our stuff installed, tested, and the customer trained before the next school year rolls around. And if anything doesn't work, guess who gets blamed for it? I'll give you a hint: It's not the mechanical or electrical contractors. But that's cool - as Spiderman's uncle would say, "With great power comes great responsibility." It's comforting to me in a way to know that with the touch of a mouse I could heat an entire school up to 100 degrees. Not that I would of course... Anyway, by my count, when this summer is over I'll have programmed all the HVAC software for four different school. Ah yes - the website...I've updated the usual stuff. The 'ol Money Making Mutual Fund has been doing real good lately. *Knock on wood*
I've learned quite a bit this past month. I learned how to take out the back seat of a '97 Ford F-150. I learned that I prefer chocolate chip to peanut butter cookies. I learned that customers are much easier to deal with face-to-face rather than over the phone or email. I learned that the only sure things in this world are death and taxes...and heaven will be awesome by virtue of not having either. I learned that running for an hour on a treadmill is a good way to wind down after a stressful day at work. I learned that the short term trends of the stock market are almost always irrational and should be ignored. I learned that seafood dishes are expensive and hard to cook. I learned I love smooth jazz - smooth like a silk pillow stuffed with down; smooth as James Bond at a secretary convention. Also, Kasey Chambers has such a beautiful voice, I can actually enjoy listening to country music. Finally, I learned that my environment - those around me, where I'm at, what I own - dictates who I am to a much larger extent than I care to admit or even think about.
Until a couple weeks ago, I'd never read a book about cosmology that reminded me of a soap opera. Then I discovered Faster than the Speed of Light by João Magueijo. The book is actually kind of depressing as it has a liberal sprinkling of curse words (why do you need to swear when talking about quantum gravity?) and the author never misses an opportunity to slam those that get in the way of his research. In fact, I get the feeling the author is just like the brilliant - but full of himself - character Matt Damon plays in the movie Good Will Hunting. I think I'll stick with Paul Davies. On a more upbeat note, check out this year's LeTourneau University Formula project website! They've definitely made major improvements over previous year's cars. I think the main problem with the car I helped build was we were just too audacious in our design goals. Develop a traction control system from scratch in 9 months? Please! I'm still proud of it, though. One more thing - see that Swedish flag over to the right? Click on it to see some of the photos I took while in Sweden.
Another year. I'm a year older and so is this website. I meant to update sooner after coming back from Christmas vacation, but one thing led to another... And then it led to me going to Sweden for two weeks. If you're interested in that trip, read all about it here. Pictures will be arriving eminently. Besides that little excursion, life hums along as usual. I've been thinking lately about some of my New Year's resolutions. In particular, my annual "This year I'm going to faithfully read a little bit of the Bible each day" pledge. I'm thinking I might start some sort of weekly blog on what I read, to keep me accountable and all...not sure yet, though. Anyways, stay cool by visiting this website.
With apologies to Joyce Kilmer,
     I think that I shall never know
     A Christmas lovely without any snow.

That's why I won't be sticking around here for Christmas. I'll be heading up to Kansas to be with my family. I'll probably update this site once more before calling it quits for the year. Work consumes most of my time as usual, but I still enjoy it and like the challenges thrown my way each day. Just this past week, I found out some exciting news concerning big changes happening at the Houston TAC branch next year. In the meantime, I'll finish re-reading Hoftadter's ..Golden Braid, make sure my aquarium is thoroughly cleaned, and try and find some wrapping paper for my Christmas gifts. Then I'll have a whole week-and-a-half of vacation to relax. In other news, assorted pages have been updated on this site. Don't forget to check out the question for December. Feliz Navidad!
Isn't it supposed to get cooler in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months? Perhaps someone forgot to turn down the thermostat. In any case, Houston is still hot and humid. Life goes on in spite of this. Air conditioning is a wonderful invention that makes Texas hospitable to a northern Yankee such as myself. Changing the subject, don't forget that tomorrow is Reformation Day. Celebrate by singing A Mighty Fortress is Our God as a family tomorrow morning - which you'll have time to do since you forgot to set the clocks back one hour. The biggest change on this website is my new-and-improved About Me page. Check it out when you have a chance.
I have moved, but am still in Houston. If you'd like to know my new address, email me. The Galveston schools are basically finished - good thing since the kids are in them now. It's Labor Day weekend and I am taking it easy. I recently finished an excellent book entitled The Pinball Effect. In a nutshell; James Burke, the author, describes the interconnectedness of the history of science. This mundane premise turns out to make a ripping good detective story - and it's often humorous to boot. Other news: I've updated the Computer Games page - adding Thief: Deadly Shadows to my ratings - and the Writing and Reading page has been updated. Also, don't forget to try and answer September's Question.
For the past month, I have been creating software that will eventually control the HVAC systems of four schools in Galveston, Texas. Weekends are like tiny oases in a vast work-week desert. But I hyperbolize - soon I will be taking a much needed vacation and all will be well with the world. A few weekends past, I visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I would highly recommend it if you're ever in the area. Just the exhibit area alone is large enough to kill most of the day in. Not to mention they have a butterfly rain forest environment, IMAX theater, and the museum itself is located within Hermann Park. Nothing major has changed on this website, but I'll try to add some stuff and do some much needed web-keeping chores after my vacation.
Wow, 4 months without updating this site. That's the sort of record a man can be proud of...not really. My thread-bare excuse for not keeping you humble readers in the loop is that I have been lazy. Luckily, I'm the sort of person who can only become so lazy before I can't stand to be around myself. Since it is rather difficult for me to not be around me, I am forced to start being less lazy. But enough about me - lets talk about what I've been up to. I attended LeTourneau graduation about a month ago and was thrilled to see just about everyone on the 2A dorm floor; either because they were graduating or were back visiting like me. I also got to see the new SAE Formula car - a magnificent piece of engineering by all involved. They even improved the dashboard electronics. Things are changing constantly at TAC where I work. Jeff has hired so many new Aggies now that I'm up to my elbows in them. Is Texas A&M a university or a religious sect? Relating to work, HR finally produced a website that contains useful information about this mysterious company I work for and my family still can't figure out. Click here to visit the site (opens in a new window). Other than that, lots of other stuff has happened but you'll have to email or talk to me personally to find out what. For now, just browse around my website and marvel at all the new update.
Hope ya'll had as good of a Superbowl Sunday as I did! Ah, who am I kidding, I'm no Texan - Hope you all had a good Superbowl Sunday. I'm partway there though - I've got a pickup truck for no good reason (I live in an apartment 15 minutes away from work). I drove up to Longview last weekend to attend the world famous 2A Titans Superbowl party and check up on my slacker friends who are taking five years to get through college. My big project, besides work projects, is to get an aquarium up and running in the next month or so. Thanks to anyone reading this for keeping up on my life and ALWAYS feel free to email me about anything at all!
Happy holidays everyone! I'm going back home to be with my parents, sisters, brother, Aunt & Uncle, and dog. If you're still wracking you brain wondering what gift to give someone this Christmas, give the gift that keeps on giving - go with them to see the new Lord of the Rings movie: The Return of the King. You'll thank me later.
Hope ya'll had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was spectacular - I got to go back home and have Thanksgiving with my parents, brother and sisters for the first time in 4 years. Plus it was good to see old school and church friends. My job training in Dallas is wrapping up and I'll be moving back to Houston at the first of the year. I still try to update this site once a week. I'm particularly excited about my mutual fund - looks like it'll make well over $200,000 in profit by the end of the year - now if I can just keep that up for the next 19 years.
Okay, I've had my own apartment for about a month now and I finally have personal internet access - which was what was preventing me from updating this site these past few weeks. For those of you reading this, thanks for stopping by every so often - even if the whole updating thing gets a bit sporadic at times. There's a new Question of the Month and I've updated The Fund. If I might dust off an old chestnut; please feel free to email me with any questions or comments you might have about this site - critical or constructive, I'm open to any and all feedback. If the page layouts annoy you, let me know. If you'd like more info about something on this site, let me know. If you know of a good church in the Houston area, especially let me know cause I'm still looking. Last but not least, have a happy Reformation Day!
My how the summer flies when you're looking for work in a belly-up job economy. I'm not complaining though. Everything worked out and I'm working as a Project Engineer in Houston, Texas - home of Mission Control and Reliant Stadium. Also home to lots of cars and trucks filled with crazy drivers. I'll be moving into an apartment next weekend, which I'm excited about. The company I'm working for is TAC (pronounced T-A-C, not "tac"). You can email me or visit their website for more info. Sorry about not updating this section of the site in four months but remember; the Link and Quote of the Week are still updated once a week as well as my fund. Finally, you probably never noticed, but there is no longer a Science link under the Site Map on the left. I just couldn't think of anything to put on that page that would be worth my or the reader's time. Besides, there are so many other sites that display science so much better than I ever could. Click here for a few of them.
It's all over. I graduated and am now looking for work. The Formula competition didn't go so well. The car was totaled 4 days before the competition, but the mechanical engineers managed to rebuild it and we went to competition without any testing or drive time. Things were good until the last event, when the shifting went out. So we ended up placing 57th out of 123. Live and learn. My data acquisition system worked well and I'm thankful no one was hurt in the wreck. As I was saying, I'm currently looking for work so this website will be on the back burner for a while - I'll still update but won't be making any major additions or changes. If you'd like to see a bunch of pictures of the formula competition, crash, etc - go here.
Not much change in my life except...the Formula car is running! The mechanical engineers have been working non-stop this week to install the differential, brakes, pedals, gas tank, ect. on the frame they welded together last month. The car is now drivable, albeit without many of the secondary items needed for competition. These items, such as data acquisition (what I'm working on), traction control and the outer body will be what the team will be working on in the weeks ahead. Be sure and visit the website to view our progress. We've raised more than enough money to meet our goal ($25,000), but don't hesitate to email me if you'd like to donate more! That goal is so high because it includes development costs (prototypes) and design and construction tools (computer software, tool sets, welding equipment, etc.) most of which can be used by future teams. I'll be sure and post how we do at competition (May 14th) when I get a chance.
I've started a virtual mutual fund you might want to check out if you're into that sort of thing. To get to it you can either click here or go to Investing under the Site Map on the left. Lots of little things have been added and updated throughout the site so you might want to browse around if you're feeling bored. I just finished reading one of the best books ever on the atheistic vs. theistic debate (okay, so some of my interests are atypical). It is entitled Intelligent Design by William Dembski and I would highly recommend reading it if the topic interests you at all. I'll probably write up a short description of it in writing and reading when I get a chance.
KitchenSink-Online version 2.0 has arrived! I've spent hours and hours over the last couple of weeks redoing all the html code on every page of this site and adding cascading stylesheets (CSS) in the process. If you'd like to know what stylesheets are, here is the handy tutorial I used to learn how to implement them. Basically, they allow me to have greater flexibility in the layout of a page and more centralized control. I still have a few more pages to update but all the main pages are finished. The html code is now way easier to read. How much easier? Take a look for yourself: On a more somber note, I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its 7 crew members. The space shuttle is a marvel of science and engineering. It is easy to forget just how slim the margin for error is until a tragedy like this occurs. Space exploration will never be 'routine', but it will always be worthwhile.
Alas, all good things must come to an end - and I guess that includes sleeping in 'till noon during Christmas break. So it's back to college for my final semester. I'll be graduating May 3rd of this spring - everyone's invited! For those interested in my engineering senior design project, click on the LeTourneau Formula Racing logo over on the right to visit the Formula Team website. That will be updated throughout the semester to reflect our progress with the car. And as usual, I'll update stuff on this site once a week.
It's beginning to look a lot like...the end of the semester! All my engineering projects are finished. Some didn't turn out the way I'd hoped but I can say without hesitation that my Formula project was a total, unequivocal success. I was in charge of designing and building the data acquisition unit for the car which collects sensor information (speed, rpm, throttle position, etc) and relays that through a wireless modem to a laptop computer nearby. A fellow electrical engineer and I built and coded everything to create a prototype which we demonstrated last Thursday in class. Next semester we will create a final circuit board based off that prototype and stick it in the car. As a final note, I won't be updating this site much for the rest of this year - all of my web programs and files are on my computer which I won't have over Christmas break. So I hope everyone reading this has a congenial, yet insightful Christmas. And beware the Christmas elf.
I now have an official looking logo. It's the best I could come up with in about three hours, which is how much free time I had last week. Seriously, if you're reading this and you think you could make a much better logo (i.e. you are an artist) let me know. If I use it, I'd be willing to pay a small amount (say...$10?). It'd have to be good though. In other news, the universal space-time continuum is headed towards a cataclysmic implosion. Ha! I wish. The real news is that the end of the semester is fast approaching and I've got three major school projects that are barely half-way done. Such is life for the engineering student. With God's wisdom and grace, I will survive.
I won't be updating this site for at least a couple of weeks due to family and school related concerns. Sorry but priorities are priorities :(
I've actually updated the site quite a bit but you probably won't notice cause it's mostly background stuff. Check out the new link and quote of the week over there on the right. In other news, my senior design project for the next two semesters will be an SAE Formula 1 racecar! I will be working with four other electrical and computer engineering seniors to design and build the car's electrical system. This project is completely funded by outside sources so we (the Formula 1 team) are activley seeking donations. Many of you I know personally have already recieved this letter describing our goals and objectives for the team this year. I'm putting this on my web site because I figure it will reach a larger audience than those letters. So if you are interested in donating please read that letter and email me if you have any additional questions.
The building my computer article is now finished. Check out the pictures at the end of the article. I've been extremely busy with school, but I'll still be updating throughout the month. Yes, I know those three links under fun stuff on this page don't work yet. Check back in a few days and they should be working.
Whew! This web site stuff is more work than I thought. Sorry about not updating in so long - I'll try to update something on this site at least twice a month. Anyway, I fixed a few problems - notably the nonexistent full-sized images on the Images page and added the Reading stuff on the Writing and Reading page. I also have a series of pages devoted to my adventures in building my computer. It's not completed yet but I'll finish it some time next week after I get moved into my college dorm room for my final, senior year!
This site is still in construction but won't be updated for a while. I'm building my computer right now - might write about that when I'm done!

An entire world worth of information just zipping around out there in the form of electrons and photons. And all you want to know is, "What are electrons and photons?"

I created this site to let the world know a little about me and a lot about what I'm interested in. The underlying purpose of this site is to rid the world of excess entropy.

But enough about me. This site is just a conglomeration of everything you'd ever want to know (well, if you're me anyway). Oh, and also this...

Link of the Week
Quote of the Week
Question of the Month