…And More Plans

Dear Family and Friends, especially the ones who care about me,

Just a quick update on what will be going in my life:

My schedule for getting my thesis and research done was really cramped, and my advisor decided I was accelerating the process too much, so I’m now looking at an official graduation date in December 2011. I should be defending sometime before mid-October.

Thanks very much to all of you who have been praying for me. I’m mostly glad I have some more time; I’d rather turn out quality work than a rushed, half-finished job. It will also give me more time to look for a job, which has kind of fallen by the wayside as I’ve been pushing my thesis through.

I feel like I suddenly have a summer vacation! I’ll be in Texas for a week in July and in San Diego at the beginning of August, if anybody wants to find a time to catch up.

Please be in prayer for:

  • Me finding housing/a roommate – everybody around here leases for a year at a time only
  • My experiments getting done
  • My sisters finding housing/transportation at their respective new schools.


But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley

-Robert Burns


The Plan

Summer is here! Last summer I tried to step up my posts to once a week, writing on topics suggested by you, my beloved readers. I’m inclined to be less democratic this year. Who cares for the whims of the general populace? I have a thesis to write – and this blog is going to help me. At least, that’s the plan.

Hold me to it: one post per week on some topic related to what I need to cover in my thesis. It will have to be pretty high-level, but at least I’ll be generating content that I can use in some fashion, and it’ll make me think about the “bigger picture”.

If you do feel the dire need to request a post on something, I might be able to satisfy your search for information. We’ll see.

Speaking of thes(es?), this is great: [preface]

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.” -Manfred Eigen

Two Teas

from http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kss28jYfMH1qapjtro1_500.jpg. I did not take this picture.

In lieu of a guest post about “gee I’m in South Africa and the atmosphere is CRAZY” ( *ahem* yes, I’m talking to you, E), this post will focus on two beverages no summer should be without: boba tea and sweet tea.

Boba tea!

Boba tea - also known as bubble tea

I was first introduced to boba when I went on a Teahouse run with the Chinese Christian Fellowship during Owl Weekend (Rice’s high school recruiting weekend) – and coincidentally became acquainted with one of my best Rice friends. Teahouse is kind of amazing. You grab some friends, get your boba, and snag one of the board games underneath the counter on the way to finding a table in the back room. Or you just talk, or surf the net. In hindsight, it was probably a good thing they closed the Teahouse in downtown Houston, or I probably would have been penniless last summer (the location was only four or five blocks away from where I worked). Boba is most popular in the Asian community, but is certainly not limited to it. Continue reading

Inside the Box

or, What I’m Doing for Summer Vacation. Contrary to popular opinion, my summer employment is not Classified, Top Secret, Need to Know (right now, I have mental pictures of these words stamped in red ink) or anything else that prohibitive and therefore enthralling. There are parts that involve export-restricted and proprietary stuff, though, so for those I’m not going to write anything that isn’t published or publicly available.

Here’s the scoop. There are several companies that are taking on the challenge of commercial spaceflight; among them are Virgin Galactic/Scaled Composites of Ansari X-Prize fame, SpaceX, and Armadillo Aerospace. Also included is Blue Origin, owned and funded by the founder of Amazon.com. In addition to having headquarters near Seattle and a launch site in West Texas, I’ve heard that they also have in their lobby a model of Jules Verne’s projectile-vehicle from his novel From the Earth to the Moon, as well as a door from the set of Battlestar Galactica. Cool. Continue reading

So Close

Oh, look, I’m posting! … Sorry about that, folks. Life kind of pounced and began throttling me rather violently this past month. BUT I am not letting April go blog-less, so I win.

What’s new in my life, you ask? Not much. I have a few project/papers to go before I’m home free; I’m looking forward to a change of pace over the summer. Over the past month or two I’ve been working my contacts in an effort to land a lab or industry summer position, just praying I’d get something and that I wasn’t too late. And, after all that work and worry, an amazingly sweet project here at school just dropped into my lap, courtesy of my adviser and another prof in the department. Once again, God has this timing thing down to a tee.
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In Brief

Just a quickie update: I’ve been slowly unpacking and adjusting to ‘real life’ – the one where you cook your own food – again; I started my summer internship on Monday with Vestas. More on that later, or just ask me.

The pool here at the apartments is really short. Yeah, that was random. My shoulders don’t like me right now because I went and swam fly after work.

Oh, and I graduated on Saturday. Woot! It was really hot and humid. I will have pics up on Facebook at some point, as well as send some round to the relatives (like the official full regalia ones). In fact, if you want to be included on that picture-attachment email, please comment here or drop me a line. It is really weird saying I am a graduate, or having people at work refer to me as a Master’s student – kind of like having a birthday and having to remember your new age, or having a new address. But more significant, I suppose.

“No man drowns if he perseveres in praying to God, and can swim.” – Russian proverb

Coffee and Whiteboard Markers

Hmmm. I’m not sure about the new header; I tried to change the theme colors to not-green but that wasn’t really an option.

So. This has been a good week. For example: Yesterday I left work early (I had overtime from other days) and went to a kind of welcome-back-Expedition-16 thing at JSC. And I shook hands with Peggy Whitson. Yeah. And on Tuesday I went to a Bible study small group that was pretty awesome, and today I made a coffeecake, just because I needed the complete excess of sugar and because I could. I haven’t had a decent oven for almost a year.

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