Happy Fouth – A general update

Finally after 11 days straight of working I have a holiday followed by a weekend that I am refusing to go in to work during.

So, what better time than now to update you all on the happenings in my world.

As you probably guessed at work things have been a little crazy. Good crazy, where we are growing. We have four systems being built currently. Last year I saw at most two at one time being worked on, and we have some neat developments going on in the solar industry which I’m excited about. And I’m sort of leading a development project to re-design how we think about our control systems to make them more flexible and ready to handle customer requests. The solar and new development stuff is super exciting, but our normal buisness is booming so much that I barely have time to work on those. I’m a little sad about that because after I’ve rested in the evenings or in the mornings I find that my mind has been cooking up some really great general ideas about how to make things more flexible, robust, and hopefully stable, but I never seem to be able to let those ideas gestate enough to get them all the way thought through. Fortunately I have been able to outsource some stuff to a really great company that I, and the other EE’s in the building, work really well with.

As for technical / Internet stuff that interests me: I can’t decide if I like facebook or not, but I have my wordpress blog (where these posts originate from) which automatically cross-posts to my LJ, and now my facebook notes automatically sync w/ LJ (except the comments, haven’t figured that out yet). So if for some reason you’ve grown tired of LJ, first let me say feel free to friend me as I do occasionally drop in there and you can read my blog there, and second allow me to make a suggestion that using LJ is still possible by originating posts here and having facebook notes suck them up as an RSS thinger. That way I can see your posts no matter which place I happen to log into (I log into both much less frequently than I used to due to busyness).

Other than facebook my new recent obsession has been Twitter. I couldn’t figure twitter out at first, but I saw that all the hip kids were doing it, and not wanting to feel old or left behind I decided to check it out. Let me tell you, it is addictive. Addictive in the way that status messages on AIM/GChat/etc are addictive, only better. The principal idea is that you post an away message like ‘tweet’ or micro-blog. In which, you have 140 characters to say what you want, and you can post as often as you want. And, you can put an ‘@username’ in the front of your ‘tweet’ and it tacks an ‘in reply to username’ at the bottom and turns the stuff behind the @ symbol into a link to that persons page. So, what you end up with is a friends-page-esq display with yours and everyone you are “following” in chronological order. So it looks a lot like what your status messages look like on an IM client only with a history to it so you can follow peoples funny responses, or general moods.

So, check it out, add me if you want. My username is BigCat2k.

July 11th we are getting iPhones for both of us. I worked out the budget to wiggle the data plan costs into it by getting rid of CrapCast and their crazy $65/mo fee for internet. Instead I ordered the Minneapolis City-wide Wireless. It is $30/mo.for 3Mbps, and it goes to $35 if you want 6Mbps. (But you have to verify that you can get a good connection to their access points before they will sell you the 6Mbps). But if you pay for a year at a time it goes down to around $18/mo.

Lauren went to Brazil at the end of May and returned after three weeks. She had a great time, and I got to catch up a little on some work. The only downside was that she got sick (I think salmonella) right after she got back, and then I got it a few days later. We are having a Brazil themed party next weekend on Saturday, and you are invited! Let us know if you want to come.

I finally got 1-star in all the Mario Kart circuits, thus unlocking the last of everything. I have to say, the only thing I am a little disappointed by is how quickly the online players dropped off. It is hard to get a good game right now with random people. One thing I am really pumped about is watching the top time trial people do their races. I learn a lot of tricks and pick up some good lines from them. I would have to say that going back and re-playing my earlier time trials shows a marked improvement in my skill level vs. those players ghosts. I usually can easily beat my old times which I fought to first achieve.

Other than that we are completely recovered from the break-in. We have steel doors with steel frames now on the front and back doors. We have the alarm system installed. My new copy of transformers (the cartoon) movie will show up tomorrow or early next week, and that is the last DVD that will show up from the re-ordering of DVDs.

Church is going well, we may end up leading a small group this fall, which will be fun. It is really great to work with some older people again. I loved Mercy Vineyard, but sometimes I felt like we were moving blind with inexperience, and a few times I really wished someone older was around to ask advice. I’ve found Jon and Sue are great to talk to in this way, and a few of the older leadership has 30+ years of doing ministry, so I love to sit and listen to them talk.

We did a small group 101 class for the 40 days of community campaign we did at church, and people liked it. I borrowed a lot from Jim Egli, Nicky Gumble (sp? The international Alpha director), and Caleb Simpson, and then threw a little bit of Lauren and my experience. People liked it, which is good, but I particularly liked how well Lauren and I were able to work together. That is something that hasn’t always been easy for us, but this experience was very different, and I found that very encouraging and refreshing.

We saw WALL-E and a Best Buy exclusive preview of Hancock. WALL-E was phenomenal like almost every Pixar movie. Go see it, it is worth it. Hancock I really liked. It wasn’t amazing, but it was pretty good. Very funny, especially in the building, and it took an interesting direction that I didn’t expect. I like movies that take turns that keep me guessing, and this was a different angle than you would ever expect from a super-hero type movie. So in general I would call this an anti-stereotype superhero movie, so it is worth it if you are a fan of that type of thing. But I wouldn’t call it an amazing movie from an artistic perspective, but it is well acted and generally moves very well.

Wow, what an update. But that pretty much catches up on a month or so of general updates on life.

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