Operation Water Engineering: A Mission Trip to Haiti?

For several months now, shortly after I saw The Advent Conspiracy, I have wanted to be involved in humanitarian/missionary projects to bring clean water to places that don’t have it.

Last semester (Spring 2009), I was part of a group at Merge (Flatirons Community Church) that was looking for opportunities for college-aged people to be more active in mission work. It was at that point that I started developing more passion for using my engineering skills to serve other people, specially with regard to getting access clean water.

A specific idea I had was doing what I’ll call “emerging technology transfer.” The idea is that we would take some form technology and extract the emerging technologies out of it to be put to use in different ways. For example, technology in a Toyota Prius, could be used to design a wind turbine where the blades would be made using the same composite technology1, which would connect to a generator that is based on the regenerative braking system. The same motor-generator system would also be used to power the water pump. Excess energy would be stored for later use in NiMH batteries ius. And for the cloudy days, the efficient gas-engine could be used. There are other issues, such as: will they be able to maintain this equipment? So I digress.

Convergence, the Young Adult Ministry at University Presbyterian Church, is going on a mission trip to Haiti in January to “come alongside UPC ministry partners Bruce and Deb Robinson as they serve the Haitian people through various community development initiatives, mainly through flood control projects.”2

From upcconvergence.files.wordpress.com:

We will be doing a variety of work, ranging from irrigation projects, rebuilding structures damaged during hurricane season, and more. We will primarily work on construction projects. If you have specific professional skills, we will inquire to see if they might be useful to the community. In addition, you will get to see how God has been working through the Robinsons during their time in Haiti.

As it turns out, I do have specific skills that could probably be useful. I have a passion for the project, I can get the time off, and I can mostly afford the trip (if I decide to go, I may ask for some fund raising help). I’ve also never been to Haiti before, which would sort of tack on a bonus country to my Travel the World goal.

But there’s still that hint of reservation…is this what I should be doing?


  1. I actually don’t know if such technology is used on the Prius, just assuming here. 

  2. http://upcconvergence.wordpress.com/mission-trips/haiti/ 

The Day The Music Died

Yahoo! is shutting down GeoCities today. A little known fact is that I used to have a web presence on GeoCities. In fact, it’s still there! I’ve checked back a couple times a year to see if it was still up and running it, and it always was.

Starbase 1561 was the place I used to call home before I started hosting my website on my own server. Today, though, will be our last day to actually view it in it’s native habitat2.

While you’re at it, you might want to check out XKCD’s front page, an awesome homage to my middle school and high school coding days3:
xkcd


  1. Last updated 05/30/01 12:19 PM Pacific Daylight Time 

  2. I made an archival copy a couple of years ago 

  3. Well, not mine exclusively…but you get the idea 

Google Voice Invites

I have three invites for Google Voice sitting in my inbox and I’m trying to figure out how to best distribute them. I could sell them on eBay or Craigslist for between $5 and $15 each it looks like. Or perhaps come up with some crafty give away contest. Thoughts? Is there even an interest left?

The Droid

I’ve had my current phone, an LG VX8300 for over two years now. It basically does what I need it to, make and receive phone calls and text messages. But I’ve been itching for more.

I’ve watched as the iPhone was introduced1, reintroduced2, and re-reintroduced3. I also watched as AT&T’s network and lack of infrastructure continues to collapse under the pressure.

Last Christmas, I watched as Verizon rolled out the Blackberry Storm, hoping that this would be the device that would rival the iPhone; it wasn’t.

I watched as Google released the Android operating system and T-Mobile, of all companies, grabbed the G1. Amazing, I thought.

Well, now the day could be mine to have and everyone else’s turn to watch. Verizon is launching the Droid. And I’m thinking, “This could be cool.”

It does pretty much everything I’d want it to, including being awesome. In particular, it has WiFi and Bluetooth, a decent screen, replaceable battery, and the latest Android operating system – codename: Eclair4. Mmmm, doughnuuuut.

What else: 16GB of internal memory with expansion support, 256MB RAM, and support for running multiple applications at once.

The Android app market should also be pretty well stocked, and I’m probably savvy enough to write any app myself that I can’t find. So like I said, “This could be cool.”

I hope they get this right.


  1. Original iPhone 

  2. iPhone 3G 

  3. iPhone 3G S 

  4. Yes, as in the doughnut 

Colorado for Vacation

I just booked my first vacation as person in The Real World™, and I’m going back to Colorado! Woo! This will be my first flight since getting back from my Europe Trip in August. I’ll be flying out right after work on Wednesday, November 18th, at 4:20pm (arriving at 8pm local time) and departing on Monday, November 23, at 6:05pm (arriving at 7:59pm local time).

It’s Brothers birthday1 on Thursday, the 19th, and some other familial obligations to attend to on Friday, but that leaves Frinight and the weekend open for whatever crazyness I can stir up with your help. I also want to go to Merge on Sunday night, so plan on that.

Should be a good little respite from work.

On a side note, sorry that updates have been few and far between. That’s sort of the way life is going for me right now. Hopefully that will change and I’ll get back to my usual posting antics.


  1. 21st to be precise 

For the week of 2009-10-11 in Tweets

  • Blocked from the left, blocked from the right. Quite a way to start my Monday. #
  • in the last five days, i've managed to accomplish twice what i only accomplished in the last 5 years. progress people, progress. #fb #
  • in the last five days, i've managed to accomplish twice what i only accomplished once in the last 5 years. progress people, progress. #fb #
  • Arriving at work at O'Dark-Thirty is becoming too normal #fb #
  • is talking about "Team Execution Plans" at work…I swear it's not what you think. #fb #
  • Ken Jennings is a waita hata: http://bit.ly/4dynMF Worth a read and a really good chuckle. #fb #
  • is finally finishing editing edays 2009 photos…stay tuned! #fb #

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It’s Magic!

On occasion, emails are sent out looking for lost items or reporting found items. I usually just delete them, but this one I felt like sharing; is it just me, or do these two read like some sort of weird magic trick?

Whoever borrowed the cart from [last know location of cart], would you kindly return it ASAP.

Thank you

Four minutes later:

The cart has mysteriously APPEARED…thank you

Tada!