The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Friday, December 31, 2004

I notice you have a steering wheel stuck there in front of you. Isn't that kind of uncomfortable?

Arrrh! It's drivin' me nuts!

But on to things that really do drive me nuts this is one of my pet peeves, but I'll let the emails speak for themselves. I got the first email from a group I belong to and the person writing it is a friend of mine (very nice girl). However, she's in a part of the world that gets a lot of bad information and is quick to pin anything on the US. Without Further adieu:

-Original Message-
it has been few days that i listened from the news what happened in the ocean and how it affected the countries around.. and it really made me sorry...but there was something that made me even more the news it was said the scientists of the USA had already detected the tsunami waves but they didnt think it was important to let the countries aware of it as,USA wouldnt be ,i wish the USA could use its high technology not only for invading poor countries for getting some petrol and killing the people overthere,but also use it for saving some human lives...

-My Reply-
Look, I think you guys are great, but this is EXACTLY the sort of
stuff that really upsets me. Immediately if anything bad happens in
the world people look for a way to blame the USA.

Here is a link to an article. To be fair I referenced something from
Al Jazeera (who if anything is biased against the USA).

Let's think about this for a second.
1. A facility to monitor earthquakes in the US would be simply be
something for scientific research. It would not be meant to warn of
quakes because in the USA that's not needed. If there is an
earthquake it is typically in California and people know the second it
happens. A facility like that would be used for scientific analysis
of the data after the events happened.

2. It was Christmas. The fact that there was anybody in the office at
the time is amazing and yes they DID try to warn the nations that a
tsunami might occur (there was no way to know that it in fact WAS

3. This is the first time something like this has happened. It is not
the United States' problem to set up a global warning system...perhaps
now that we know there is technology to help with this we can set
something up like this. But the truth is the situation was handled
the way it was supposed to be handled. A warning was sent out an the
proper people were notified within 20 minutes of the event. As a test
of how quick that is I challenge any of you to call me within 20
minutes of getting this email.

4. Even IF the warnings got to all the right people at all the right
times then there would have been no way to evacuate all of the people
in time. This was a natural disaster, although the impact may be
lessened in the future things like this will occur again...hopefully
they just won't be quite as disastrous.

In the great words of Forrest Gump, "Shit Happens". In this case it
was really bad. The loss of life is beyond what anybody thought was
possible. But then again we are humans, we have evolved to grow and
learn from past mistakes. Chances are a system will soon be in place
to help better prepare the evacuation of the people in those regions
if something like this happens in the future.

There will continue to be bad stuff happening in the world. And while
the USA may be responsible for some of it don't forget that we do a
lot of good in the world too (see below). And we are going to do our
part in helping prevent something like this tragedy from occurring
again. You cannot blame my country for everything bad that happens in
the world, if you do you will only grow angry and have an irrational
hatred towards a people that really do want to help the world become a
better place.

~Matt Otis

Excerpt from Reuters:
"In the year 2004, our government provided $2.4 billion in food and
cash and humanitarian relief. ... That's 40 percent of all the relief
aid given in the world last year," he said.

"The United Nations has for decades pushed for rich nations to give
away 0.7 percent of gross domestic product every year in development
aid. The United States gives 0.13 percent of its GDP.

"But this amount excludes aid to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as food
aid, where the United States is the biggest donor but does not attach
a monetary value to its contributions."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Beyond the Norm

I like to partake in things that are different. For example I do my best to take new routes when I go places, I like to buy one thing from the grocery store that I've never bought before, I've even left the country several times in hopes of changing my worldview. One thing I really love doing though is finding a good movie that wasn't made in the US; particularly one that forces you to think a little more about the world that you live in. Tonight's experiment was Das Experiment, a movie that seems simple on the surface but has so much more beneath. Basically it shows a microcosm where a group of people is given absolute power. And as expected within short time that power corrupts them, absolutely. What's really scary about it though is to think that none of these people really acts that far from what you would expect them to. Things get brutal, but it is scarily plausible. Makes you wonder if that sort of thing is happening on a miniscule level then what happens at a grander scale? How much of our international treatises are simply an extension of this type of experiment where one group has power and the other is forced to comply? Or at the other end, the guards seem civil and behaved when dealing with what in the real world parallels that? Perhaps some people or groups of people may seem to be kind and considerate when under a critical eye, but the moment they get the chance they bare their hideous face (kinda like Bilbo in LOTR: FotR). One thing that really scares me in life is people who desire power. Just think of all the bickering that goes on because of it. Or even in my own life, I know that a group I was in (FLIP) got screwed over because the person over us lusted after the small piece of power he had. Power is the only thing in the world that truly scares me; because while it can cause a great amount of good to be done it can also cause irreversible and horrible damage...or who's to say that by trying to mightily do good the power doesn't cause our minds to warp and end up making us hurt others?

There's one thing I guess that's scarier than power...and that's teenage girls. They are just freaky. For example I found this site (don't ask how) today, The saddest part is that somebody would take so much time into making something like this. I mean really girls; do you NEED to know what color your passion is? Seriously, if you found out you were mauve would that put a hamper on your day? Or how about finding out which Sex in the City girl you are. If you find out you're Samantha does that mean you're going to run out and do X? But hey, since they think it's important I decided to make a quiz of my own on that topic:

Are you a(n):
A. Slut
B. Workaholic
C. Hopeless Romantic
D. Obsessor

Answer Key:
A. Samantha
B. Miranda
C. Charlotte (and that means you're hot)
D. Carrie

I hope all you young ladies are satisfied. Now go read a good book and don't think about boys for another 15 years cause they're too immature to handle you at this age.

A man, a plan, a canal. Panama!

That's right folks. I don't know if you're quite as excited as I am but the upcoming year is going to be even better than a palindrome! That's right, 2005 when looked at in a digital display will look the same on both sides. That's even more exciting than a palindrome.

I'm probably one of 10 people in the world that get a kick out of this, but hey, at least I amuse myself somehow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And We're Off!

Man things have been crazy lately. Here's a quick run down of the things I've learned, done, or had happen lately:
-My dad started cheating on my mom
-Work got insanely busy (I'm taking over 2 times as many calls as everybody else)
-My mom passed her first semester in college with flying colors
-I found a church to become a part of
- Went to a bible study
-Found people to play Frisbee with
-Celebrated Channukah with my favorite Jew
-Went to court to testify that my mom is not "a bad mother"
- Meanwhile my dad lied in court about a couple of issues so he is now paying for it
-Found out The Facebook is really fun, but can also be a huge time waster.
-My sister Regina graduated from college
- Now she's moving to California with her boyfriend/brother-in-law-ish
-Got to play with my nephew
-Saw my brother Donald for the first time in 2 years
-Found out how much deeper and greater of a man my father (Paul) is.
-Saw my mom as a real person with real pain, and found out that facades are sometimes difficult to maintain
-Started finally appreciating my job for what it is and forgiving it for what it isn't

But now I'm off to go skiing! I'm a little scared though because I think there's going to be a ton of nastiness on the roads tonight and I hope that we don't get killed. Or worse, that my car get another dent. It should be a good trip. If nothing else it will be the first trip where I'm wearing clothes that fit! Ah, it's nice actually earning money (although it disappears more quickly the more you get).

I feel like I should write something here about how happy I am about Christmas and all, but honestly this Christmas really isn't for me. It's a nice holiday, but frankly I've gotten nothing from anyone and expect nothing. If somebody could give me a present it would be that the people in my life grow up and start acting mature instead of their present state of total selfishness and only looking out for their own gain.

I gotta get out of here though. Need a break. Need to simply live and enjoy things on my own for a bit.

Poem of the day:

fills the heart


upon a hardened iron door

Friday, December 10, 2004

Over My Head's what I'm in.

Jack is becoming a dull boy. All I have energy to do is nothing. Fortunately I don't do purely nothing.

Saw Howie Day this evening. He's the most amazing soloist I've ever seen. Also some good music from Mindi Smith.

It looks like I'm going to skip Christmas this year and go skiing with a friend from NI. It's really the only consecutive days I'll get off before April, so I really can't see why not to.

My former step-father put the final nail in the coffin containing a decent man. One day he was preaching to us kids about how much he loved our mom and pulled out supporting Bible verses, the next he was cheating on my mom and deciding that this other lady and her kids should move in. I'm just sad for my little sister...I wish she had something better and role models around her that were worth looking up to.

Within my own life I'm finding that if you really want something you make time for it. So I guess there are just some things that I don't want as bad as I thought. I can't wait for the day when I wake up in the morning and have a goal a plan where I'm going. Meanwhile I'm wandering aimlessly, but giving the appearance that I'm focused and that I even care.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

They Call You Mr. Personality

First off tonight was blind date night. And it was pretty darned fun. The girl seems really nice and interesting and has some depth to I gotta know more. Really though the most important thing with a first date is to see if there's a second, and there is, so I'm happy.

On to more pointless things in life though, here are a few personality tests that I took tonight.

Hmm...I might be going skydiving soon:
The Ultimate Personality Test
Matt, you're a Skydiver!

You're open minded, extroverted, free-spirited, and independent. Chances are you're pretty liberal. You're like a magnet for love and affection. People adore you. And, thanks to that healthy dose of self-confidence, you're super-flexible.

Chances are, you're a great leader at work. You're also a self-starter and will always volunteer to take on a job. You're also an excellent communicator and tend to spread your enthusiasm to others.

And that's just scratching the surface!

I thought this was the most accurate:
Right Job, Wrong Job
Find the Perfect Job for You

Matt, the Right Job for you will allow you to be:
Analytical and Creative

As an Analytical type, you don't want to be limited by established rules and regulations. Your inquisitive nature demands that you sometimes question authority. Otherwise, you might not be able to find fresh approaches, or come up with new solutions to a problem. It's not that you act without weighing the pros and cons of a situation — it's more that you're more willing than others to take justifiable risks if they'll further your career success.

You're smart enough to know when you need help and are confident enough in your abilities to ask for it. You understand that sometimes there are no clear right and wrong answers, and that's just fine with you because you tolerate gray areas better than most. In fact, pondering potential outcomes can sometimes be more interesting than coming up with the definitive solution for you.

Your right job doesn't have to be about self-expression, but it needs to be a job you can be proud of.

This one's good too:
The Brain Test
What Your Brain Says About How You Think and Learn

Matt, you are Balanced-brained

That means you are able to draw on the strengths of both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, depending upon a given situation.

When you need to explain a complicated process to someone, or plan a detailed vacation, the left hemisphere of your brain, which is responsible for your ability to solve problems logically, might kick in. But if you were critiquing an art opening or coming up with an original way to file papers, the right side of your brain, which is responsible for noticing subtle details in things, might take over.

While many people have clearly dominant left- or right-brained tendencies, you are able to draw on skills from both hemispheres of your brain. This rare combination makes you a very creative and flexible thinker.

The down side to being balanced-brained is that you may sometimes feel paralyzed by indecision when the two hemispheres of your brain are competing to solve a problem in their own unique ways.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


It's gone. It's funny how just simple digits express such meaning in our lives. Just think about 867-5309, boom you thought of Jenny. Or maybe 007, bam you're a spy that gets hot women. So for me one of those numbers was 0607. Those four little numbers that reminded me of her every time I had checked a bank statement. At one point in time that password had been a source of comfort, that extra little memory that would be such a pleasant thought in my day. But then she left, but the numbers were still there. Maybe there was always the small hope that the memories would be the good ones, but even mixed between there was the pain. Recently it was just a stupid pain. Why would I even want to remember those numbers? For now it's gone. The reminder is missing, but the number will always hold a meaning. Part of me wonders why I didn't delete them sooner, change the password immediately. But lingering in the background is the wish that they never had to be changed.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Singles Groups are for Old Divorced People

First Thanksgiving with the now further disjointed family. Visited new relatives, played with the boys, threw babies in the air, watched the babies throw things up on their mothers, enjoyed it all, but it was without deep meaning...yet.

My parents seem to be the only ones who realize that nobody wins by them splitting up. They claim they are happier, but why are they too immature to simply have an honest talk with one another? I'll probably spend most of the Christmas season just trying to find a way to avoid them both so that I don't have to commit to one and thereby hurt the other's feelings. Kids, don't get divorced, it sucks, and nobody wins.

In good/bad news, I think I've re-evaluated my stance on babies. I now like them when they are 5+ months old. That way they can smile, do funny baby things, but they still don't talk so you can pretend they're only thinking happy thoughts. Babies are really cute when they smile and mimic the faces you make. Plus my nephew has a nickname now "Buddy". It's more fun than Gabriel, so I think that's gonna stick for a LONG time.

It was nice having time off from work. The phones are driving me nuts. I'm trying to have a good attitude in there, but honestly I'm just not enjoying the whole work thing. I'm just hoping that I'll get more used to it. But really I think the biggest thing for me is that I need to find a few commitments outside of work to get me involved in Austin...who knows what they'll be, but church groups and Frisbee may be in the mix. Although I really don't like how now that I'm not in college that I'm supposed to go to the 'singles' group. For some reason that just makes me feel old. It's not that I'm opposed to meeting women, in fact I'd love to even see somebody that’s female and not a coworker, but my main goal right now is not to have the acme of my evening be when I get to watch that day’s recorded episode of BBC World News.

Oh well, at least this weekend was great. I got to run up to Oklahomo for the second time in my life. But this was the first time I went on purpose and let me say it was great. I got to spend some time with Cleatus (aka Chris MacWatters) and his fam, had a home cooked meal by grandma, plus we ended up hanging out with a bunch of our friends from camp. Man I love those people. It was so nice too getting to see them outside of the stress of chasing after kids all day. They are truly wonderful people, and I hope that our paths don't diverge too much.

I'm _______ because:
Happy: Alias Season 4 starts Jan 5, babies are cute, Desperate Housewives is a surprisingly entertaining score, I drove from OK City to Austin in 5 hours on the Sunday of Thanksgiving, Kat O'Hearne is moving to Austin, and because I got to spend some time alone with 3 of my siblings this weekend.
Sad: Women refuse to allow logic to be applied to their own contrived depressive situations to see that things are all bad, Austin is really boring right now, and because even if I sleep from now until work I'll still average 6 hours for the last two nights.
Joyful: I know that no matter what is in the happiness or sadness categories that my purpose on this earth will always be to serve God.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I Will Never Forget

Little did he know that while he was soundly sleeping something terrible was happening to his friends just down the street. A nightmare instantly became reality and quickly lives were shattered, but he slept peacefully on. He heard some commotion in the hallway outside, but figured it was the normal rustling of a dorm. Then at about six in the morning the phone started to ring. Parents and friends began to call. They knew some secret that he had not even know. Suddenly the truth began to become apparent. He found out that the rumors and worries were based on fact, that his perfect world was just one evening away from being shattered. He stood there in shock, not knowing what best to do. Quickly he donned his gear to work, but was halted at the door. His help wasn’t needed, not yet. The only thing he could then do was pray. Unfortunately he also had tests that day and class, so he made his way towards those, but reality was that his mind was merely on the tragedy just down the street, the tragedy that would fill his next few months, the tragedy that had already severed the lives of those he knew.

Finally by lunch he couldn’t take it, he knew help was needed, he could not just sit there with the inner torture of thinking that had time been shifted just a bit, then it would be for him that so many were mourning. So he went out, began to see what could be done. Turns out that for the rescue efforts some of the trees needed to be moved so that more crews could get in. So he went to go lift them, but to carry a tree a team was needed. That team bonded as never before. Suddenly the lines that had been drawn over the past semester didn’t matter anymore. Corps people were standing right along side Non-Regs unifying to help our fallen comrades. It was heart wrenching work because he knew that friends were in there, but he did not know which of those friends were still there and which weren’t.

Slowly the cloud of mixed information began to rise, and more heart breaks were seen and heard of. That evening when he was coming home he saw his friends begin to bawl. There was no doubt the amount of anguish they were going thru. But what was weird is that he had known the guy, but just never gotten to know him better. My friends began to describe who they were mourning for and it hit him like a ton of bricks. This guy was Chad Powell, an amazing genius, a leader in his honors math class, a dedicated community volunteer, a close friend to many. But on this day all of that potential came crashing down with a pile of once glorious logs. Then the frightening realization began to set in. Had everything come crashing down just one night later it would have been him. He would have been on shift to work, he would have been at the base of the stack, and it so easily could have been him who had lost their life. What was the purpose in his continuing to live? Why did he survive? Is it luck? Is it fate? Is there a reason behind the deaths of those who did not make it out?

I never found out all of the answers to those questions. But I do know I’m more thankful for being here. So many lives were changed that day. Some of my friends would never be the same. Some would repress everything and try to forget the pain that happened that day. In time there would be fighting about how to best move on. But the truth is that every body moves on in different ways. There are still times in my life to where I look back to where I was and I thank God that I’m still alive and pray for the families of those who are not.

Bonfire ’99 – We will never forget

Monday, November 08, 2004

America Spoke and Life Goes Racing Onwards

So, the elections have come and gone. Despite my worries somebody managed to be elected by enough of a majority that it prevented either party from starting a virtual civil war split between the "For Bush's" and the "Anything-But-Bush's". Although I did vote for the Douche Bag I'm not really upset at his loss. I do respect how quickly he conceeded, and frankly I feel sorry for him because he was unable to conjure more of the vote despite almost half of America's absolute disdain for him. I just hope the rest of the world is willing to start working more with Bush. I think they may have thought that he was going to be unemployed soon, but now that he's not, perhaps they will have to work more strongly with him. I think that's all I'm going to write about this, because I really don't care. I'm really hoping that the US is given some great candidates in 2008. My predictions/hopes are Colin Powell vs. a party shifting John McCain. As long as the Dems don't really think that Hillary could become elected, then their party will be in better shape.

Now on to things that really matter. God, Friends and Work. I'll go in reverse order. Work is starting to get fun. I'm starting to get a little busier and there are a few more challenges that are motivating me to get excited about it all. My real wishes are along these lines. I hope that I get to better know the people in my team and that we are able to grow as collegues and friends. I hope that I can prove to myselft and to the company that I'm an asset.

Friends are so great. This last week I was blessed by God showing me just how many friends I've made over the past few years and just how much I value their friendship. I had a couple of friends come in to Austin to visit me and we had a blast. Then this weekend I went to College Station to see the game, but more importantly to see friends. And somehow I got to see a ton of them. Friends from Fish Camp, FLIP, roommates, my freshmen, friends from camp. And I also learned that one of the people I always considered a friend really couldn't care less about me...that hurt, but it was a lesson I needed. It was so much fun, with so many stories that I'd love to share, but must remained locked in my head.

When I got back to town I picked up a roll of film from HEB. This was a roll that I had somehow found in all of my stuff, but had no clue where it was from, when I had taken the film or if it was even mine. So I was pretty excited about finding out what it was. Perhaps lost college memories, maybe something from a party or a friend's lost roll filled with their memories that were unknown to me. But instead it was the LAST thing I expected. It was a roll containing pictures of my family. All of us as kids. Me from my only leading theatrical role in the Homeschool play "Pilgrim's Progress." Pictures of my grandfather alive and laughing up a storm with his grandkids. Us kids playing in the lake together before the stupid adolescent differences slowly drove us apart. And finally my parents in their younger days, a bit less wise and a bit healthier looking (or as my dad said refering to his present overweight condition, "That was one and a half people ago"). The best surprises are the ones we least expect, and this is no exception.

God in His typical fashion has made me snap back into reality and realize how important he really is in my life. Recently I had been pondering what our lives are really meant for. Where our true purpose lies, where people find hope. How people attach themselves to an idea or concept, so that they are enslaved to a purpose and thus gain meaning and importance. How there is true freedom in not looking out first for one's self. All of those thoughts motivated me to do some reading, and to in general try to slow my life down a bit (something I'm horrible at and really doubt will ever happen). Therefore I'll leave you with a few quotes that I've found meaningfull.

Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless.
- Bertrand Russell (an atheist)

A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.
- Proverbs 11.28

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Time to go Vote

Alright, the time has come. I'm going to go vote. Hopefully I can get there in time and not wait too long. Basically here's what I decided. I have to vote for the person who I believe will best lead our country for the majority of events we will run into. Frankly I really like Bush as a person, and would love to hook up with his daughter Barbara one day, but that doesn't change the reality that if we don't get another leader soon then we'll continue our downward cycle in the rest of the world's view. And frankly, if you think that the whole world is against you all the time, then maybe you're the one in the wrong. In other races I think I'll vote for Jon Porter for as my congressman, and a couple republicans as some of the local and state representatives, but seriously. I gotta go now.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Are what make this life worth something. Right now I'm trying to find the right group, but it seems to be evading me. We are defined by who our friends are, but sometimes it would be nice to define who we are and then find the friends that match that profile.

To my friends I have, I love you guys...even if I'm too lazy/scared to call. I wish that I could spend my time with you instead of having to start over again in another town.

Miss you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

What happens when you're bored at work

Worst quote of the week:
"The dollar bill, it's trying to tell me something." -Nick Cage in his new movie

Best quote of the week:
"If I have to choose between a Giant douche and a Turd Sandwich then I don't want to vote." -Stan from South Park

Fun links found while bored:

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


I just had this thought, and I kind of liked it:

"With complete freedom comes a lack of purpose."

Think of the typical soldier, a father, or even an employee. Every one of these people fights for freedom, but ultimately is not completely free to do what they wish, but by that lack of freedom it ties them to an object, thus giving their life a purpose or meaning.

Then think of somebody that is completely free. A bum, an Australian traveler, hypothetical African-man (the guy who is in all philosophical arguments). These people are truly free, they truly have no cares in the world; but with those lack of cares and with that complete freedom comes an omission of purpose in the world.

In order to obtain purpose you must attach yourself to something, thus limiting your freedom.

Monday, October 25, 2004

A Crazy End

I walked out of the room and down the hallway without a tear in my eye. Thinking if I should, was this something that warranted such? Perhaps I should try to fake an emotional response to something that I wasn’t compelled. Behind me my grandmother’s body lay slowly suffocating in bed. There was nothing that could be done, no ‘miracle’ cure that would have helped her. All that could be done is for the family to slowly watch her die. Or had she already died?

Ever since my mom was a child my grandmother had been plagued by schizophrenia. So ever since I had known her I had only known two ladies: One was tortured by voices telling her to do things, to leave places, to kill people, to hurt herself. And the other was a lady that was so doped up on drugs that she just sat in a chair and stared in a direction, for all of Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and Easter. Only occasionally did a hint of personality come thru; perhaps, thru a glimpse or small comment she made indicating that she actually was concerned about something. But those moments were so far and few between. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough for them, maybe if I sat and tried harder to talk with her. But I know those are just what-ifs posed by a mind that doesn’t want to accept the truth. In my mind she had been dead for quite some time. Perhaps she was never fully alive to me.

So that leads me to question, what is it that makes a person alive? I know that only the most naïve would attempt to say that it’s a body with a pulse and brain waves. I saw such a corpse today, one that was merely a flaccid piece of flesh struggling to maintain physical continuance. Within our own lives we pass people in the store that are deader than those great men of the past, because one is already forgotten; yet, the other lives on thru their ideas. Is it that she didn’t ‘do’ anything for anybody? I think this is hitting close to where I’m going, but not where I want to be. Perhaps it is in our actions that we are defined as who we are. And since those actions of hers were either non-existent or so minute and far-between, this might be the catalyst for the already commenced death. So the only real way to maintain life is to pour of yourself into another. It is like a spring, the moment the spring ceases to have water come out of it it is no longer a spring. It is merely a rock. Perhaps it is a beautiful rock, perhaps it is old and cracked. Maybe the rock will continue to have people coming to it looking for the spring; or maybe no one even knew it existed. Regardless, the life of the spring is seen by the water that the spring pours out. Likewise the life of a person is seen by the life (love, hope) that pours out of them. So the minute we cease to pour forth from ourselves is the moment that we really die. <>

Is it really that sad that this evening a life slipped away? No what’s sad is that long ago a life that could have been was destroyed and that’s when the real death began. The physical death only put the final seal on what stood the potential to be a great life, but instead was one spent in fear of the voices or in a drug induced trance. Who knows why God would allow a person to become like this, maybe she was just a means to a more important end. Perhaps this was a lesson for somebody to learn. Or maybe it was just something that happened and I’ll never know why. But one day I will, and I’ll have a great lot of other questions in store for my maker.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

New Paths Crossing Familiarity

Back in the US, back in Austin, back at NI. Everything here has changed. None of the people are the same; yet, everything is the same way it was before. Young professionals moving around, younger and younger engineers heading a company. Some people excited about their work, others obviously loathing their cage. And me, I'm just observing it. In some respects I feel like one of the old dogs. I've been with the company for almost 3 years (started in January of 2002), but then again I'm on the lowest rung of the company ladder. Training so that I can do the introductory job...yet again. I'm really looking forward to all of this. I hope that I can find my place here, that I can really make a difference, not so much within the company but more in the lives of those around me. I just pray that God takes my career and moves it to where he wants it to be.

Other than work, things have been crazy. On Thursday night I got back, Friday I got an apartment, Saturday I met up with my fam (had to deal with the whole 'Big D' issue for the first time up front), moved in on Sunday, and now I'm just busy with work, trying to get new stuff for my place and maybe one day I'll even start to unpack. But not for now, cause tonight I get to go see my nephew, Gabriel Alexander Morron, say high to his mama, and then clean. Really I'm torn between doing new things with new people and keeping up with all that is old. Both are important, but there's only so much time in the world.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Or Vwa

Well, this is my last post from Europe. The trip has been amazing, one that my grandbabies are going to get sick of hearing. I've learned much and grown more. So in my final piece from this place I want to give you the greatest lesson that I've learned. No matter where you are or how great it is, that place is nothing compared to the people that you meet, and even less important than those you love. Friendship are more important than all the riches in the world.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Living in a Transit Station

Sometimes I feel like a transit station. So much traveling is beginning to wear a little thin on me. Not so much of a prob with where I am going, just all the junk I have to go thru to get there. Combined with the fact that I have had one decent night´s sleep in the last 3, and those nights combined make almost a full night´s sleep.

1. Why do people not realize they smell bad? Last night one of the biggest reasons I couldn´t sleep is because the two guys next to me had such strong BO that I literally gagged on the stench.
2. If somebody is sleeping next to you and it´s 5am...DON´T start talking really loudly to your friends.
3. If a Spanish ticket salesman tells you that you don´t need a reservation for the train, he´s lying.
4. When thieves are caught the person who the offense was done against should be allowed to put their balls in a vice. 10 seconds for every $ 1 of value stolen.

I think that´s it. I´ve really had a great time, but I´m ready to come home now. I´ve seen tons of Europe, found amazing people and places. My goal is complete. Now I´m just looking forward to a little more normalcy. I haven´t had a house to live in since I graduated, I haven´t cooked myself a meal in 2 months, and I´ve only had broken contact with my best friends.

Today is my next to last day. I´m in Madrid, going to Paris tonight, and flying out the next morning. So Texas, I´ll see you soon. And I´m stoked cause I get to watch football, see the 2nd presidential debate, and on the 7th Bill O´Reilly is going to be on the Late Show. Should be a great weekend to get back.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Dirty Chewbaccas, Famous Paintings, and the Pieces of People in Boxes

From Slovenia, we took the fastest train possible over to Zagreb to meet up with a friend of ours (and Tyson Wallis' cousin in law) who is living there. It was great, we basically got to have an indepth look at what the life of a missionary is like. And I must admit it's a pretty cool; yet, potentially lonely one. So basically we met his roommates, and then headed down to a joint where we got something that sounds like it's called a 'Dirty Chewbacca' and it was ridiculously great! Then he took us on a walking tour of the town, showed us where the cool stuff happened. We also dropped in an Irish Pub where they had hot chocolate that was as thick as pudding...oh yummy! Met a guy in there too that was a world renowned writter about baseball, so that was cool. Speaking of baseball that's one of my friend's main passions, so we went to the local diamond and saw two hometown teams battle it out. Great fun, and decent company. That evening one of the coolest things imagineable happened though, we got to actually sit in on a bible study that they were having! It was amazing to think of openly talking about Christ in this country with people that really had a passion for knowing him better. Couldn't ask for more. That evening we ended up having a great convo about life, and then hopped a train to Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest was a blast. Basically, all you have to do is find a tent, park yourself there and drink and dance with the locals...only sad part was leaving.

Next stop was meant to be Rome, but I decided 'why not visit Florence on the way'. So we saw the Uffizi, (but only after a 4 hour wait in line), saw a few buildings, then went the rest of the way to Rome.

Rome at night was beautiful. Let me just say this was another 'we needed a girlfriend' moment. Cause with the lights and the buildings and the was perfect. I have a new favorite building: Venice Plaza. We got to soak up the Vatican at night. And per Chris' desire we trespassed into somebody's yard and slept on a hill. Where we got to see the sunrise.

Today we woke up and we really saw the whole town. The Vatican, check. Sistine Chapel, check. Ancient Roman Forum, check. Colosseum, check. Pantheon, check. Pizza, check. Gelato, check. All I've left to do is to go see the Spanish steps and I'll be golden.

But anyways, my time is almost up, so I must be gone. I'm looking forward to getting home now, but moreso I'm anxious to see everything that we've left to do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Friends, Foothills, and Fouled Fun

So Salzburg turned out to be a really cool stop. The city is beautiful, mountains surround the place, the tourist bureaus think that every tourist is there to see Mozart. But hey, I got to visit this palace that some prankster built for the sole purpose of inviting over guests and then soaking them. Like he had this table where everybody had to sit at, and since at the time you weren't allowed to stand fromt the table until the host did, then he made it to where he could soak all of his guest, but he stayed dry. It was a pretty fun place...the kids who were there loved it.

From there I took a train to Graz Austria to meet back up with my friend Chris. The trip was all the way thru the Alps and just a jaw-dropper of a train ride. Fortunately when I got to Graz I was able to meet up with Chris no probs and we got to see the remains of the local town festival. There were even people in lederhosen and there was a small group still yodeling, so it was definitely worth it. Then we went to his friend's joint to stay. Speaking of joints, her roommate came in with the biggest one I've ever seen! It was more like a cigar. I of course said no, but man...if that was where I got my kicks I would gone crazy.

We took the first train out to Slovenia, and once we got to Ljubljana, we finally realized what some of our other friends have been raving about. The country is stunning, set in the foothills of the Alps, nice people running around, everything seems just natural and relaxed. Unfortunately those friends weren't there, so we went to a lake about an hour away where there are Canyoning tours, Zorbing, Hang Gliding...pretty much anything that a thrill seeker could want. Well, after a night of sleeping in the woods with some animal crunching branches all around us, we went into town and found out...Canyoning was full for the day, Zorbing doesn't really happen anymore, and Hang Gliding; they don't know what it is! ARGH! So our cool Xtreme sports day turned into moping around town, finding an ice rink and running across it while nobody was looking. Not the biggest thrill in the world.

Now we're just buying a little time before we meet up with a friend of ours from camp (Roxanne Green, physics major from SNU), and spend the rest of the day in Ljubljana. Then we'll either try to meet another missionary friend in Zagreb, Croatia or head to the drunkards paradise of Oktoberfest in Muenchen, Germany.

Weird Zen moment of the day:
So on the train from Austria I had a phone card with some time left on it, so I gave it to a guy who is a student in Graz. Well, later that day, we met some people from Ireland who were leaving the next day so they gave us a local phone card with almost the same amount of time left on it! How cool is that? Especially since we needed to call our friends in Slovenia anyways.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

So much, but so little time

Alright, so here's the scoop

Nice place if you are 60 married and love classical music and museums...otherwise, it's pretty dull.

Beautiful, but almost impossible to find a place to grab a bite to eat.

One of the best places in the world for 20 somethings. Tons of fun, lots of art, pretty buildings...everything you want in a town. Also met an old prof from my BMEN department!

One of the few places in the world where history really comes alive.

Other things
I got to visit my old host fams, and there was tons of love going around...such great people.
Went to a little town in the Rhein valley, had my longest jog ever (1.5 hours), slept in a real castle and did a beautiful river cruise.
Saw old friends...funny thing is they still smelled the same. Nothing better in the world than seeing old friends.

Now I'm in Salzburg, home of the Sound of Music (which I watched for the first time last night...not too bad of a movie). Everything is beautiful, and I couldn't ask for more.

Tomorrow Slovenia, later this week Italy...who knows what else. This trip is going faster than I ever thought it would. I love you all back home though and can't wait to spend more time together.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bullies, Babies, and Buffy

2 min to write:

From there we went to Pamukkale (Cotton Castle). It's absolutely beautiful, cascades of calcium pools that look like snow. We then took a bus to Istanbul, got there early in the morning...that place is crazy. First off the city is really dirty and there aren't any trash cans (link?), secondly they try to suck every penny out of tourists, thirdly the people there are so focused on trying to bully you out of your money that it's really hard to just talk to them as people. If you go to Turkey, stay out of Istanbul. That being said there were some nice things, the Aya Sofia, some of the people, Hellboy was in English (Whoop!), and there is a bridge with people fishing on top and cafes below.

On the way out of Istanbul we met a couple with a baby who were on their way back home to Bulgaria. They invited us to come with them, so on a whim we got out early, they gave us a tour of their town (no clue as to the name...north and central Bulgaria), I got to play with their baby a lot, and then we went to their house. But not just any house, it was in a tiny village and surrounded by little walls. Turns out it was an old farm house and inside they grew just about everything: peppers, tomatoes, grapes, apples, raspberries, and other stuff I've never seen. For dinner we had homemade brandy, homemade wine, a pepper salad, and more other food than we could handle. Also we got to watch Bulgaria beat Iceland in football on the TV. That night we played music with them and went to sleep really late. The next morning we had a huge breakfast with fresh cow milk, homemade yoghurt, honey from their name it, it was ALL fresh!

That day we went to Transylvania in Romania. Beautiful place. We slept in the mountains near where Dracula was from, then went to his castle the next day. The village was amazing and the people there really used pitchforks and scythes to gather hay, had clubfeet, little tiny houses, old toothy men grinning, gypsies ruined the countryside, and there were horse drawn carts galore. It was straight out of a fairy tale...but half the price!

Now we're in Budapest, about to head out to Vienna, and who knows where the road will take us from's never gone quite where we thought it would before now, so why should that change?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Fast Ferrıes, Excellent Hosts, and the Wonders of Turkey

So ın Turkey the keyboard ıs a lıttle mıxed up and the ´ı´ does not have a dot...therefore I am not goıng to bother changıng ıt...ç=. ö=, and i=´so just put your fun hat on!

Alrıghtö so the next day I woke up to some guy tryıng to steal my packç I trıed to chase hımö but seeıng as I was wıthout glassesö gımpıng wıthout the use of a bıg toe and barefootö he got awayçççfortunately he dropped my bag as he was runnıngö so he dıdnit get away wıth everythıng I ownedç All told I just had my cheap camera stolen and a cap from campç Not too bad of a dealçççI fıgure at that rate I stıll only paıd about 10 bucks a nıght to sleep ın AthensçççI wanted a dıgıtal camera anywaysçççnow Iive got a good excuse to get oneç

Anywaysö we spent most of the day fıgurıng out how on earth we were goıng to get from Athens one evenıng to Turkey by the next by spendıng the least amount of moneyç Not that easy of a task though because there are vırtually NO connectıons between Turkey and Greece cause they hate eachotherç Oh wellö but we dıd manage to fınd a ferryö but the tımıng was goıng to have to be precıseö we would have to leave early from the marathonö stıll see Chrısis frıend run ın ıt AND take about a 45 mınute trıp on two dıfferent metro lınesö PLUS follow all of that up by a dead run from the traın statıon to the ferryö whıch just so happened to be on the opposıte sıde of the huge harborç So that was the planö we had nothıng better to doö so we tımed everythıng down to the mınuteç We then went to the stadıum where the marathon wasö watched the begınnıngö raced back to where we stored our bagsö got a traın to further up the courseö waıted for hıs frıend to começççfınally gave up on hıs frıend gettıng there ın tıme start headıng back to the subway and then we saw hım! Mındı from Lıthuanıa was just further back than we thought he would be. Fortunatelyö we saw hımö cheered for hım and then ran down the subwayç Then on the way just a mıle before the end of the traın trıps our traın stoppedçççfor 7 mınutesç Weire ın a bıt of a panıckö cause we had only a wındow of about 4 mınutesç Once the traın fınally gets there we bolt for ıtç Unfortunatelyö I dıdnit pace myselfö so I couldnit even breath after about 1/2 a mıleç But I dıd get there jumped on the platform and they left wıthın 30 seconds of me gettıng thereç It was amazıng and yet another ´God means for you to be then and there´momentsç

We got to Turkey wıthout any real problemsö got ahold of my frıend ın Izmırö and met her at her beachhouse just to the south of thereç Theır mom was hılarıousö but unfortunately we dıdnit understand a sıngle word that came out of her mouthçççso we just had to assume she was jokıng aroundç The next day they took us to the beach and out to Ephesusçççthe best and most complete ruıns that weive seen yetç That nıght they stuffed us wıth food untıl we were about to popö then we went to bed and woke up early to head to Pamukkaleçççone of the most beautıful spots ın the worldç That evenıng we caught the nıght bus to Istanbulş whıch ıs where we are nowç Istanbul ıs neatö ın factö Iid say ıtis bazaarç But the tourısty stuff ıs really expensıve and weire really ready to get the move on for the rest of the trıpç So for now weire tryıng to fınd out ıf we should fly to Germanyö take a traın thru eastern Europe or take a ferry from Greeceçççıtis just a matter of balancıng tıme and money and fındıng the best optıonç One thıng thatis pretty sad though ıs that there really arenit any amerıcans hereç Accordıng to all of the shop owners theyive been scared off by reports of terrorısmç So just a moment on my soapbox: If you are AFRAID of terrorısts then that means you are helpıng them to do theır job better. You cannot lıve ın such a manner that youire afraıd you wıll lose your lıfeö because that ıs no lıfe at allç Alrıghtö Iill clımb down nowç In fact I thınk Iim goıng to go get a donner and a baklava perhaps a lıttle more shoppıng and who knowsö maybe weill fınd a cheap flıghtç

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Lush Islands, Fantastic Views, Heart Ache, and Foot Aches

So after having a miracle hookup with tickets to THE track and field event that I wanted to see, we headed out on a ferry to the island of Santorini. It was more than I imagined it to be. Definitely coming back here with the wife one day, cause that place was MEANT for lovers. Fortunately Chris is about as far from that as I can get. In fact while we were watching the sunset from a cliffside cafe the songs "Live and Let Die" and "Love Hurts" both came on...perfect evening. So on the island I got to see my first black beach, red beach, active volcano, swim in my first salt water hot springs, and find out reef sandals are not meant for off-roading. While hiking around my sandal tripped me up, I put my foot down and sliced off the pad of my big now I'm gimping around. Funny thing is the next person I happened to meet turned out to be a doctor who just so happened to have a big thing of medical gauze on's amazing how God provides when you'd least expect it.

Back in Athens today, saw downhill mountain biking it was intense. But the best story is that we met a cross-eyed guy who seemed pretty nice, talked to us for a bit, and said, "Hey, I got a bar just down the street, why don't you come in for a drink, it's on the house!" Thinking that he was like the rest of the amazing people we met we thought it sounded great. Then he took us into a basement bar...and we realized it was a strip club. Not wanting to seem rude we took our drink, and he sicced two girls on us, had some boring conversation, they invited themselves to some drinks on us, and we wanted to get OUT of there. But when we asked for the tab it was $25 PER DRINK. Multiply that by the 4 drinks the girls just took it upon themselves to get that was $100...forget that. We told him he was full of crap, threw him a 10 and literally ran out of the place, split up so he couldn't catch us both, and then met at our designated spot. Wow, so the lesson learned...never take a free drink from a cross-eyed man.

Tomorrow's adventure...who knows? But I guarantee it won't involve any strippers.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Exotic Places, Secluded Beaches, and Ancient Wonders

Today I got to check off my first Wonder of the Ancient World. We got to see the Temple of Zeus at Olympia...Unfortunately though, the temple is long since destroyed. The good thing is that the stadium is still somewhat intact and that the surrounding area is really nice. We also got to spend a little time in the town (where I am now), and found out that the tourism industry is really down here even despite (partially because of) the Olympics. Evidently the amount of price gouging going on has driven many people away, and many of the towns are hurting badly as a result.

This morning was one that was an amazing display of providence. Last night we went to find our place to sleep (an olive garden just outside of Olympia) and then Chris made a disastrous discovery. Turns out that everything that he owned he left on the bus in his money belt. All of his cash, cards, rail passes, name it, he left it. So the plan was to ride the bus in the morning to where is stopped and see if somebody turned it in...not much chance, but it was worth a shot. Well, while we were waiting for the bus we saw another bus going in the opposite direction, but it was the SAME bus with the SAME driver that we were in last night! Chris flagged the bus down, and with some help from some English speaking Greek people he was allowed to get in. And VIOLA! He found it ALL, right there where he had left it. In fact, the bus came so early that it didn't even set us back in our plans for the day. God definitely had a play in the unfolding of this morning, cause without it, we would have been up a creek, and for a long time at that.

Other than that, today is the last day of 'vacation' from the Olympics. The first day we headed to my new favorite place in the whole world...literally. The town was called Nafplio and it was perfect. Nice town, cheap hotels, great food, within a short distance of the King Agamemnon Mycenae palace, another short drive to the best preserved classical Greek theatre in Epidavros, and we even found a virtually unknown beach (so unknown I can't remember the name of it!). It was the perfect town in the perfect spot. We got lucky too, cause the guy who kinda ran the hotel was an older Scottish guy, and we also ran into the Olympic Massage Team. We didn't get a massage, but maybe one day. Anyways, I'm running out of time. Suffice it to say it was perfect. Chris and I even made a pact that we will return to the place once we are both married, and come with just the wives. It will be great, and I can't wait for that day. We even took a picture of us in the sunset, arms open waiting for that special someone to be superimposed.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Rome, Ferries, Sleepless nights, and being a Hobo

So from Paris we went to Rome, got there, missed our train, waited around for half a day, and then headed off to a coastal town called Bari in Italy. We had this crazy taxi guy take us to the ferries and I thought we were going to die. We went thru red lights, drove on the wrong side of the road, and he even zoomed past and honked at somebody pushing a stroller! Better than six flags.

We met the ferries though, jumped aboard right as it was pulling away to go to Greece, and spent a great night on the top deck of the ship. It was cool too, cause it was a holiday and the Italians were shooting off fireworks like crazy on the coast. We ended up in a little port town called Igoumenitsa and basically just chilled on the beach all day, but caught a night bus into Athens that evening. On the bus things were crazy, with tons of loud Mexicans all hooting and hollering in the back of the bus...Man, I wish I could understand more of what they were saying. Also met some really cute girls from Greece who were nice enough to teach me a few Greek phrases and tell me more about the place.

Once we got to Athens it was like 4 in the morning, so we started walking to the center of town. We ended up seeing a sunrise from the Acropolis and it just took my breath away. The rest of the day was spent trying to find a place to stay, but there's nothing open in this town. And even the Youth Hostel is trying to charge $75 per night. So in retaliation we decided to just sleep in the park, and couldn't ask for better. It's a beautiful view of the Acropolis, the weather is like air conditioning at night, and best of all...It's FREE!

We got to see our first Olympic game last night (boxing). It was crazy we saw 14 bouts, some were Light Fly and the rest were Super Heavy. The final one was a US guy named Jason Estrada who beat the snot out of some poor guy. He even did this one punch that looked more like a girl's softball pitch.

Today we're headed off to the Polypenesian peninsula, and then we'll spend about 4 days there before coming back to Athens to enjoy more sleeping in the park and more Olympic Games!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Parisites and Jetlag

Yesterday I made it into Paris quite safely and was greeted by Chris and his French friend Greg at the airport. We came back to his house, met his parents, ate some lunch, then headed out for my very first taste of Paris. The city was absolutely beautiful and the people seemed quite nice despite the stereotypes. Today we are going to Versailles, then maybe to the Arche du Triumph and the Eifel Tower. Well typing on these French keyboards is driving me crazy and I need to get busy trying to find some connecting flights.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Bon Voyage

No real time to post anything, but in one hour I will be leaving for Paris! It's hard to believe; yet, hard to contain. I'll be back on October 7th, so you'll probably have to wait until then for more blogs...but who knows, I may surprise you.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

End of Phase Two

I can't believe that my summer is finally starting to draw to a close. It seems like yesterday that I was starting to worry about graduation stuff and what I was going to do. Then I raced thru some grad school, went thru a whirlwind of fun and emotions at camp, and now for the first time since school I have a couple of days where I can decide upon what I want to do. Ah, the relaxation...and the further turmoil, cause I'll be trying to learn as much about the places that were going to go to in Europe as I can in just a couple of days.

I guess that brings everything to what "Phase Three" will be. I was truly blessed and when I asked National Instruments if I could start later, they let me bump my start date back to October 11th! That means that I get to spend almost 2 months in Europe backpacking it around! I'm stoked, the itinerary looks something like this: On Wednesday I meet my buddy Chris in Paris, we hang out there for a few days, then go to Athens, do the Olympic thing, spend a few days between events and visit Istanbul, drop down to a city called Izmir in Turkey and go see one of the wonders of the world (The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus), then after the Olympics take a ferry to southern Italy, backpack our way around southern Italy and Sicily, work our way up the boot, slide on over to Barcelona, meet another traveling buddy, go to Switzerland, go canyoning, do the Oktoberfest thing, visit my former host families in Germany, and finally head back to Paris and fly back. Then a few days after I get back I'll be starting work at NI and begin paying off all of the credit cards that are going to fill up during this trip.

So that's the plan for now. But the plan for the moment is this. I just had a long night of some very heartfelt goodbye's to people that I loved very deeply, so I'm going to go get some sleep. I met some of the most amazing people of my life at camp, and I hope that those relationships continue on for years to come.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Camp, Goldbond, and the Olympic Games

Oh so many things to Blog, but I’ll try to stick to the highlights. Today I’m on my first day long break (called a Selah) from camp, and I’m already missing the place. Camp has been more fun than I ever would have imagined and it’s a lot easier and smoother than I thought it would be. Each day we get up, eat, play, eat, sleep, play, eat, play, talk, sleep…and then repeat it the next morning. Honestly, this is the life. Plus one of the greatest parts is that the people who are at camp are amazing. Some of the kids are a little obnoxious, but I love the majority of the kiddos and all of the counselors are remarkable.

Most of my days are just spent corralling my kiddos (I’ve got 8 different 10 year old boys that I share with another counselor) and then heading off to work various activities, but mostly stuff involving ropes, like the zipline, the rockwall, the screamer, and the ropes course. But I also spend a decent amount of time fishing, playing soccer, and beating kids in tetherball. It’s a blast, and I love it…except when the snotty kids want to get their way and won’t listen, but hey, no job is perfect.

One of the funniest things that happened is the other night I was hanging out with my boys right around dinner time and decided that it was time to introduce them to Goldbond®. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, a bunch of little boys screaming, “My balls are burning, no they’re freezing, no they’re falling off.” All while running around the cabin doubled over and holding their groins. The funniest part is, they can’t get enough of it now! Every day they say, “We want Goldbond!” Ah, they’re great, and a better source of entertainment than any TV show.

Alright, last thing and I’m out of here. I’m going to the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens! One of my friends at camp got tickets (7 different events!) from another friend and needed a buddy to go with him. I’m going with this guy that’s just amazing, all around athlete, Christian, and servant to others…plus he’s cool as…well, Triple-Medicated Goldbond. So the plan is that as soon as camp is over I’ll go to Europe, meet up with him, head to Athens, watch the Olympics, travel some around Europe, visit my host family, and then come back and start work ASAP. It’s going to be a whirlwind, but definitely a whirlwind of fun, and with some excellent company. I’ve longed to go back to Europe for years now, and I’m just flabbergasted at how God has come thru and placed something in my lap that’s larger than I could even have imagined on my own.

Friday, July 02, 2004

End of Phase One

This will be brief. Tomorrow marks the last day of summer school for me. I already had to take one final early today because I'm leaving again for camp this weekend. Fortunately I think that final went fairly well, albeit not as well as I would have liked. The really sad part about today is that I had my last class, and I'm really going to miss the personality of my teacher and the camaraderie of my classmates. It's always kinda funny in that you enjoy something most just when you're about to lose it.

In other news I've really gotten into the series Alias. I borrowed the first season from a friend, and one week later I'm halfway thru the second season. It's so entertaining, and I just can't get enough of it.

Other than that I'm just excited about camp, kinda worried though, because I don't really feel like I've prepared over the summer at all for it. I know it's pretty bad, but I've had so little time outside of school...and frankly the last thing I want to do is go out and shop for costumes. Oh well, I'm sure I'll still love the kids despite not being able to shoot them with the world's largest watergun. Okay, time's up...back to studying!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Next Step, Sub-Machine Gun

I just had to write a quick blurb on here. Today I had the chance to go out and shoot guns for the first 'real' time. It was great, I learned how to shoot a pistol with deadly precision. Okay, you may be safe from a long ways off, but I was pretty happy with how closely clustered all of my shots were. In addition to pistols though, I also got to shoot one of the best guns in the world, the M-16 Carbine. This assault rifle is the main choice of the Marines...and now I know why, cause it's fun! The gun was almost too easy to aim and hit the target over and over again. Lastly, we got to shoot a .308 sniper rifle. My friends was saying he's going to get a sub-machine gun that we can try towards the end of the month, that should be really fun. Yeah, so we got to do pretty much everything, it was a blast, and now I can't wait till I too get to have a standoff with the government in my Montana ranch...wait no, I don't want to do that. Nevertheless, guns can be fun if not aimed at living things.

I hate writing papers. I know my prof doesn't want to read all 3500 words, so why does he assign that many!?!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The New A&M

In the day to day glances in the mirror we miss so much, we miss the growing of the wrinkles on our faces, we don't notice that our whitening toothpaste doesn't work as well as it claims. But if we look at things from a broader perspective all of the sudden slight changes on a daily basis can accumulate into areas of massive growth. Recently, that's happened to me with this town that I used to love: College Station.

This town has changed so much since I came here back before the beginning of the millennium. I kinda feel like someone that just looked at photos and realized how much those around them have changed and how much they too have changed. Last night some old friends came down for a wedding and it was the first time in almost a year that I hung out with people that are older than I am. It was such a welcome thing for me, because I've been "the old guy" for so long. But I found out that in seeing them, I saw too how much the place has changed. For one, this school has gotten to be much preppier than it used to be. I swear the only people that used to get dressed up for class were freshmen, now most everybody not in Zachary does. Even when I went swimming today I saw no fewer than 3 girls with plastic surgery and only a scant few had never been to a tanning bed. Also, Northgate instead of being where the yokels are it's now where the soon to be yuppies go. Now I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but I do know that this place I'm going to be leaving for good in 2 weeks is so different than when I came to it.

Or is the real change within me? Perhaps all of the feelings of difference are just my projection of reality and the place has changed less than I thought. Just like the person staring at the photograph the images of the current and the past can never fully coincide. Is it simply the friends that have changed, moved on, or moved in…or is the reflection a true image of a place that is changing? I don’t know, but I know that I need to get out of here. A&M will soon be like the home that I grew up in: a place of many wonderful and fond memories, a place that I will love to visit; but also, a place that I know I wouldn’t be content to continue living in.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Need for a Moment of Lucidity

Today I sat around and just felt out of my element. Do you ever feel like there's something you should be saying but aren't? Some question you should ask, but it isn't there? Some person that you should talk to, but you don't know who? That's how I felt all day. I guess I need more sleep or need to get more caught up in school, or who knows. It's not that I'm really worrying, it's more that I just felt dumb, like things were whizzing by me today and that I didn't care...I don't like that.

So this weekend I'm going to try to catch up on school, but also take some time to just talk with the God and ask him what he wants me to do. Why is it that when things are busiest and we need Him most that we deny God our time? I wish it weren't so, but it's the perpetually repeating story of my life. I can't wait for a little more calm, a little less stress, and a little more time out in the sun. But until then, I hope that with his help I can excel and learn and show others his love thru my actions towards them.

In coming news, I'm going to go home for a bit this weekend, should be good to visit the family. Then coming back to watch "Big Otis" play in concert...I don't care about his music, but I REALLY want a shirt or something. Then on Sunday I'm going to work 'security' for George H.W. Bush's skydiving escapades to celebrate his 80th birthday. And maybe if I'm luck I'll get to meet him again.

Tidbit of the day:
Did you know that Nena Hagen's "99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons)" is actually about CIA propaganda that was spread to eastern Europeans during the Cold War?
Learn More Here:

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Reality is more exciting than fiction

The deeds men (or women) do astound me. The fact that some people risk their lives for a dream, or that others hold steadfastly to their convictions regardless of the costs just amazes me. I have so much respect for people that live a life that they consider to have meaning derived from outside themselves. But what is it that I'm living for? What can I do to start sending my life in this direction? Or is it already headed in such a direction? Would I be willing to give my life for God, Country, or even a friend? I hope I never get put to the test, but I would like to think that I could for the first two without the last would depend upon which friend you're talking about.

Summer has been pretty hectic for me. My classes are having a LOT more reading than I thought they would and I'm really struggling to keep caught up with everything. But fortunately I think I'll be caught up soon. The actual collecting is fascinating. I'm taking one course on Military Strategy and we just discuss old battles and what was done right and wrong. It's really amazing and interesting to see how some people get caught because they are unwilling to change the paradigm of their thinking. My other class is just an edge of your seat thriller on Espionage. Learning what various countries have done to one another and getting a closer look at what's generally hidden from public view. The reading for that class is like reading a fiction novel. I can't believe that some of those things are true, and the fact that they are just makes me want to tip my hat to some people...or tip my bazooka(assuming I had one) at others.

Outside of school life...well, there's not really too much of that. Once reading is done, I get to do one thing per night, and then it's time to study some more. It's busy, but that's the way life should be and I'm glad of it.

Anyways, the night is getting late and I need to wake up a little earlier tomorrow than I have prior days this week.

Classroom Quotes:
"If you bring a knife to a gunfight, you're going home in a body bag." -J.R. Starch
"I'll swear on a stack of bibles." -J.R. Starch

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Uncle! Uncle!

My nephew, Gabriel Alexander Morron 

The other week while I was at camp, my brother and his wife had their first baby...making me an uncle for the first time! He's really cute, but I'm still a little afraid to hold him, cause his head's all floppy and I don't wanna break him. He was BIG too, weighing in at 9 lbs and a whole 22 inches long. I can't wait until he grows up, so I can be that fun/weird uncle that every kid wants.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Thank You's for an Unknown Ear

When I was growing up, I have to admit that I was a pretty wussy kid. I wouldn't put any more effort into something than the bare minimum, I really hated who I was, and I felt like I was an outcast from the rest of the kids my age. At the time I did what all people do: I felt like I was the only one who was/felt this way. Then along came a person that looked into me and saw who I was. Unlike me though, they could look at me from the outside, they didn't see all of the junk that clogged my vision from the inside out. They knew that I was just a boy that was struggling to get along, but had so much potential if somebody would just invest in them.

This too is something that I thought was unique to me, but fortunately it isn't. I'm sure each of us can think back to a particular someone who believed in us when we didn't, and thought more of ourselves than we did. That one person is likely gone from our lives, but oh, the impact they made! Perhaps for you that person helped you to decide where you wanted to go with your life. Or maybe they just saved you from a bully and helped you to gain enough courage to stand up for yourself. For me that person was a man named Dr. John Rogers. He was the first person that really believed in me and showed me that I could be more. He recommended me to be an exchange student, pointed my life in the direction it is now heading, caused me to want to try harder at what I do, and helped to teach me the value of saying thank you.

But saying 'thank you' is something that I will never be able to because I never realized how important he was to my life until he had passed thru my life. Since that time that he helped me, I've no clue how to contact him, tell him how much he meant to me, or just show him the man I've become. I thought until recently that I was unique, but from the conversation with my dad, I came to realize that each of us is touched by someone at a critical point in our lives. Perhaps that person is one that will build us, but more sadly, what if that person was the one that led us to want to kill ourselves? Or to give up because life 'isn't worth it'? How tragic would it be if at some critical moment in our growth that we were torn down instead of built up?

That's why I'm so excited about this summer. I'm going to spend several weeks so that I can help some kid realize that he has inherent worth, that I think he's great how God made him, and that if he sets his mind and will to it that he can be an even greater man. I don't know who the person is in your life that may have done the same for you, but I do know there is probably someone you'll never really be able to thank because it was too late when you realized what all they had done for you.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

College Station in My Rearview Mirror

The day has come and it is gone. I feel like it's the day after I turned 21. A huge milestone has been achieved; yet, I really feel no different than the day before. Yesterday I got to walk across the stage and shake President Gates' hand (one that had no doubt loads of germs from the prior 437 handshakes) with my right, and received my diploma with my left. A simple action, but one that signals the end of one act and brings on the intermission before the next act comes into full swing.
Looking back I'm so glad of all that I've done. Even the bad things have served to teach me a great deal about who I am or more about those whom I know and love. It amazes me how every little step in life prepares you for the next. It makes you think, perhaps there is even more in store for me? Or perhaps I just need to lead a small life that is significant in meaning to those around me. I don't know, but now is the intermission, and the play doesn't really begin for a bit, so I can worry more about those things then.

For today I'm going to simply head off to the next and most exciting thing to happen in awhile. I'm about to leave College Station for a bit, and train to be a summer camp counselor. Honestly, I can't even express how excited I am about it all. I'm so excited to get my kids, to learn about them, help them grow as people and challenge them in new ways that will help them in their metamorphosis into grown men.

Camp won't really start for me until July, but the training is now and I know that the relationships forged over the next couple of weeks will be the foundations for helping our kids grow. I just pray that all goes well, and that God helps bring all of us counselors really close for the benefit of our kids.

I won't be able to post for the next couple of weeks, but I just hope all of you recent grads know that you'll be sorely missed. If you're off doing an internship or whatnot, then work hard, cause it maybe the best chance you get to prove how great you really are. And those off you in CS for the month of June; I'll see you in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

New Things Coming with Blogger

At least I'm leaving A&M in good hands...even if they are tiny

I'm kind of excited with all of the new changes at Blogger. I now have a profile posted off to the side, I've added some links, I can change the date format for my archived blogs, and I can post pictures now! But best of all, you can now add comments to everything, so others and I can now view your opinions!

Google is quickly becoming my favorite company. With Gmail, Blogger, and how much they're trying to change to make the internet a cool's no wonder the geeks love them!

Well, my best friend Kelly is coming in tomorrow, so I should probably hit the hay.
I'm done with undergrad! WHOOP!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Despite the amount of time that I've had to ponder since my last entry, little has happened that would inspire truly 'deep' thought. However, that doesn't mean that little has changed. Since the end of April I've found out that my plans have changed in many ways, that my departure from Aggieland may not come for awhile, and that this summer is going to leave me with less free time than I thought. Things are going at such a breakneck speed; yet, I'm lacking desire to do almost anything in the school department. It's been fun though, I had my last few days at work, today we got to share ideas for improvements to our department, this weekend I'll have some final parties with some of the friends I've made, and everything is quickly drawing to a rather happy close. It still boggles my mind to think that in one week I'll be walking across a stage grabbing a tube with my diploma in it. But fortunately that will not be the end of my career at A&M.

A while back I wrote something about shooting for your dreams and wondering if it was really worth it. Well, I think it's going to be. What happened is I applied for a program called the Certificate for Advanced International Affairs (CAIA) through the Bush School. I didn't really think I stood much of a chance of getting in since I've got a strictly technical degree, but turns out I made it! I still didn't know much about the program though, so today I went and talked to a lady at the Bush School about it and it sounds really neat. Basically it's a certificate (non-degree) program that would help me to either:

a) Start a career in the area of international affairs (security agencies, political branches, etc.).
b) Would help to increase my knowledge of international business practices that would greatly help to benefit my climbing the corporate ladder at National Instruments.

Since both of these options sound like pretty good deals, then I'm going to go ahead and do the program. Although, I am very sad, because by doing this it means that I won't be able to do the road trip that I was hoping to do this summer up to the northeast and Canada. I'm really sad that I won't get to visit some of my friends and see some of the sights that I've yet to see. But then again, I really think this is the best move for me as a person and accomplishing some of my larger life goals.

Besides graduation entering this program is the biggest thing in my life. It means I'll be in College Station until July, then going straight to summer camp, and then having a short break before starting at NI. But, I think that anything truly worthwhile will have to cause some sort of sacrifice. I just hope the small sacrifice helps me to reap rich rewards. Time will tell.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”
-Douglas Adams

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I'm starting to feel old. This week it's finally starting to sink in that college is ending for me. This Tuesday I went to my last ever Hospitality meeting. I was a graduating senior so I had to come up to the front and they put a picture up on the screen of me that sure enough was my 'most embarrasing' photo ever! (I was wearing a tutu.) I've been systematically hiding this picture since I was 10 and for some reason my family is always able to find it. But I forgive them, because my mom wrote a REALLY nice letter about me, that was read in front of the whole meeting. It really made me realize how much I love my family and how great the memories are that I've had and will have with them.

Tonight was also my last Muster, next week is my last full week of school, this weekend is my last weekend before my last projects are due, etc. So yeah, it's coming down to the final few days...scary; yet, exciting!

“The temptation for revenge must give way to the courage of forgiveness, the culture of life and love must render vain the logic of death.”
-Pope John Paul II

"When you run into someone that you used to date, you either find them totally annoying or enough time has passed that you've idealized everything about them."
-J.D. from 'Scrubs'

"The final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank or title a man has borne, or the office he has held, but only the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart."
-Samuel Brengle of the Salvation Army

Monday, April 19, 2004

This week was amazing. I got called in at the last minute to help the Terry Foundation do interviews for new potential scholars. I got to do it once before while I was in Austin, and it was really cool, but this year just blew me away. First off most of these kids are freaking awesome. I swear, I met some people that knew more coming out of high school than most adults I've ever met. They knew what was important in life, they had a positive outlook on things despite extreme hardships and they are looking ahead at life with passion and vision. It really impressed me. Plus, I got to play a little bit in the hand of fate because I was able to directly help the foundation pick some of these kids. Some of these kids came from backgrounds where college was just some far off dream, where they lived off of $10,000 total a year, where their mom shot herself, or their dad left them and refuses to play a role in their lives. I think it's amazing that we can help to play a role in letting them get an education for free, to take and finally play them a card in this game of life that's in their favor.

While I was down in Houston I finally did something that I've been meaning to do for the last 5 years, but delayed my whole college career. I visited my best friend, the wonderful Ms. Kelly Caffey. It was so great to see her, spend some time, catch up, and realize that even though we may spend time away from those that we love, that we never stop loving them. Seeing her was great, and it's helping to remind me that even though I'm leaving college soon that I won't lose those friendships either, despite us all being seperated perhaps for years.

Things I learned this week: Even though people may have everything working against them, they can still overcome with the right attitude and some well timed help. Friends are really friends forever if they choose to be such. My life has been filled with amazing people that God has placed in my path at the right times. I am only where I am because of those that have helped me (Insert Isaac Newton quote). People at NASA are really smart AND really weird at the same time, but they were fun too. I'm glad I'm going to work in a company that doesn't have much red tape. College ends in 3 weeks, but my life is just beginnning!

Finally here is a poem that I found while cleaning my room that is from my English teacher in Germany. It's really hard to read aloud, so go ahead and try it:

A Dreadful Language?

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead-
For goodness' sake don't call it "deed"!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)

A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose-
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive.
I'd mastered it when I was five!

Song of the night: Red Meets Blue by Matt Wertz

Sunday, April 11, 2004

"An over-entertained man is a cookie cutter. We must be brave enough to be bored. For without stillness there is no depth." - Gregg Matte

How true those words are. Most of our lives we are constantly searching for one way or another to abate any possible boredom within our lives. We call as many friends as possible before each weekend night, we arrange plans to go on trips, or we record our favorite TV shows so that we have something to do when we get home. Why is it then that we are so fearful of being alone? Is time spent by oneself truly that undesired? I've seen within myself a constant desire to be wanted by others and I somehow think that this is both important and can be satisfied by being busy doing one thing or another. How long will it be though until I not just know, but am willing to understand, that my joy in life will never be dependent upon another person? Momentary happiness may come from being around others or receiving praise for what you've done, but the joy of life can only come from something beyond what this world has to offer...something that I strongly believe can only come from God via Jesus' sacrifice for us. I've determined that I need to be willing to spend more "me time" focusing on what is important, rather than concentrating on the best way to slowly let my mind grow weak by constant distraction. Focus on the pain, focus on the joy, and focus on what I can do to become a better and stronger man.

In other thoughts of the week, what are those dreams that we're meant to pursue? Should we continually attempt to shoot for the stars and risk failure with each shot or should we shoot just above the horizon and achieve something great, but not as lofty? Alas, I'm in a bit of a quandary, for to take on one set of dreams it means to lose out on another. There never is truly an opportunity in this life that is without cost. What is the limit that we're willing to pay to entertain our desires and hopes? I've determined that it's worth shooting for the stars, to send my grappling hook in that direction. But what if I DO catch something? Should I pull it in and risk altering my course? Or should I simply acknowledge that yes, it could have been caught, but I chose my current course? Then again, what if only failure is met, will it be worth the rejection? Regardless, I think the potential rewards for most of our grandest dreams far exceed the potential loss in their rejection.

On the non-serious side of life, this week was Shack-a-Thon. I love this one week out of the year that people build shacks around the MSC and live in them for a week. This year was a little bittersweet, because I knew that it would be my last chance to do it. But it was SO much fun, I've missed being a part of life on campus, and I met so many new people that are truly wonderful, and deepened my relationships with some of those that I already know. I've discovered that my greatest joy seems to come from doing some sort of manual labor. I know it sounds weird, but I felt like such a real man after spending 8 hours building a shack, beating nails into wood, and constructing something that once didn't exists, but thru my hands and sweat it was forged into existence. I really want to learn how to be a blacksmith later in life. I think it'd be so awesome to take a raw piece of metal and form it into something that has a purpose and is beautiful. Back on topic...this week was great, involving very little sleep, but a whole lot of fun. And I hope that some of the relationships forged and grown continue to develop. The coming weeks are going to be a little tough though, because senior design project stuff needs to be completed and the working model is still a long ways off. I can't believe it's only a month until I graduate! Crazy!

Tip of the week: Don't eaves drop on a conversation that you aren't supposed to be a part of.

“Don’t let one thing lead to a mother” - Anonymous

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Nothing makes one feel younger than seeing old friends. Today was the Freshman Leaders in Progress (FLIP) reunion, and I almost didn't go because I figured I would be the oldest one there (I was the only FLIP '03). But then I came to learn what I've really been missing. I've felt so old this year, like I should be dying or something. I feel like I'm the college guy that's practically in a nursing home for the retired students.

But I realized something this weekend. I'm not old at all, I'm still a fresh young man, who's full of energy and hopes and dreams and aspirations. I have SO many goals in my life, I'm full of excitement for my future, and I've made a wealth of friends here at A&M. But it's just a matter that it's hard to keep all of those things in perspective for me where I'm living right now. There's so much emphasis on the fact that I'm "at the end" of my college career. But I think I've lost sight, that this is really just the beginning. My life is about to begin, my education is almost complete, I'm going to go and find where my place is in this world. I've met/made friends that are wonderful, people that I know will be there for me if I'm willing to ask, and I've got a God that's strong enough for me to depend on regardless of how I feel!

So bring it on world! I'm ready for you. I've loved this school, and I've loved the people I've met. I've learned what I need to, and now I'm ready to move on and make my mark!

"Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)

Saturday, April 03, 2004

I just went to see the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and it was one of the best films that I've seen this year. It was so beautifully done, and covered an out of the ordinary topic in a light that was interesting and understandable at the same time. I love movies like ESSM that show the nuances of the workings of our own minds. There's so much in there that is stored away, so many memories of good and bad. All of those things making up who we are, who we love, and what we want to do. By changing one little thing, how much could we change our entire being? Or does fate really come into play in our lives forcing us into certain paths regardless of the amount of free will that we try to throw in fate's path?

"There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live."
-Edmond Dantes in Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Alright, so a friend of mine pointed out that my last blog was a little pessimistic. I'll admit it was, because I forgot one of the critical factors in life that keeps us from predicting anything: Choice. We have the choice as to our direction, and we can change that depending upon who we meet, so I guess the chances of finding that right one are greatly improved and as my astute friend Joy Nix said, "When I find someone who's line is pointing in the same direction and we get to know each other and decide that we're a match, then we are going to work to not veer from the overall point that we're aiming for, but of course all relationships have some turns, but as long as it turns back that's all that matters."

On to new matters: I haven't really had any great thoughts lately. But the weather has been great, so I've been trying to get in the sun as much as I can. I love the outdoors. Oh, something cool is that I finally got some info about the camp I'll be working at this summer, Camp Balcones Springs. I'm really excited about going there now, because I just know it's going to be a great and challenging experience for me. AND I was at my friend Stephanie's house tonight and happened to meet a girl that's a counselor there too! I'm already ready to go. This college chapter in my life is starting to get a little old...I need something new. College is such a great place, but I know I need to move on.

Link of the day:

I know the source does not apply to us all, but the message should:

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
-The Special Olympics Oath

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Time-Variant Vectors

I used to think when I first came to school, that everything involving calculus was a mindless game that would only serve me in the monotony of my future career as an engineer. However, the more time that I spend living in and learning about this crazy world we live in, the more I realize that even those abstract little concepts used to make some mathematical geek happy can apply directly to the very lives that we lead.

Recently I was talking with a group of my friends about loves and loves lost, and they all seemed to strike a common cord. While we are all in a point where there is no current love, the true love is centered around that which was once lost. But the weird thing is that none of us would return to that love in our current state. Why? What leads us to deny ourselves the very thing that we long for most while on this earth? Why do we torture ourselves learning to love someone, just so that they later can be a permanent etching on our hearts?

The answer is found in those concepts founded by great mathematicians, mental geniuses, and kids trying to throw rocks at birds. The loving relationships that we all desire come down to the time-variant vectors that we like to call our lives. We are all separate entities that are moving throughout this world, each of us resides in a certain place, each of us is currently moving in a certain direction, and each of us is trying to change that direction either directly or thru lethargy. The chances that we have of ever coming into contact with a person is so slim, and even if we come into contact will it simply be a passing, a crossing of two lines? Or will it be a connection, something to where we are moving in the same direction. The chances of finding someone that’s even moving in the same direction is so slim, but once we find that, if we have the courage we hold onto them and try to correct our lives to where we are moving together.

But then the hard part comes into play, each of us continues changing direction. I think of all of those people that I’ve loved, or that my friends and family have loved and what happened to those bygone affections? Most of us if we are truthful never really stopped loving those people, but they’ve nonetheless left our lives, possibly forever. How is it that we can know that once we meet a person that their vector will be the same as ours? That we’ll continue moving in the same direction? Should we simply all wear a shirt or buttons that say, “I am at point a, headed in direction b, and moving towards c”? If life were only so simple. But until then, we must all live our lives with the uncertainty that it brings: putting our hopes on the line with those new people we meet; shielding ourselves from those things that we’re unsure of; or simply questioning if we ever should have let go and given up on something that was once so grand thinking it was so far away and perhaps not knowing that it’s within reach if only we dared to touch it. What is our own vector, and when will we find another person with a vector close enough to our own to hold on?