Where Am I?

I feel like I haven’t written here in ages. Don’t worry, I’m still alive. Lots of things have been going on recently, some of which I hope to write about in the near future.

However, that brings me to something I’ve been pondering for a while (like, months). What is the purpose of this blog? Why do I write here? Over the last ten years or so, this little space I’ve carved out has morphed significantly. It was first a place to share things I loved in a very static form: LEGO’s, Star Trek, James Bond, etc. I made some pages, and I tweaked them as I saw fit. It wasn’t very dynamic.

Around 2002, I started keeping a log of the changes I made to the site. And although it was mostly technical and administrative in nature, it could be considered the start of my web log. During my senior year of high school, I started to do what many people would consider blogging.

I think a lot of why I started blogging at that point was in preparation for going to college. At that point, I knew I would be going to school out of state (I hadn’t applied to any schools in Washington) and I wanted to remain connected to people back home in Seattle, primary family and friends. Still, it was mostly talking about school.

Blogging for me formally started when I switched to WordPress, I think this was in the fall of my Freshman year of college. I blogged about everything. One of my New Year resolutions in 2005 was to blog every day…and I did it.

At some point however, this has become less of a blog and more of a journal — a journal for me1 but which I share with the world. I don’t do this out of vanity, but because I believe in truth and honesty2.

Of course, journals come with all sorts of rawness. Life isn’t a perfect venture all the time, and journals usually reflect that. It helped that most of what I was focusing on in school was relatively low risk, and hence this blog was pretty easy to write; I just had to get through classes, which while hard, was something that was feasible.

Life after school is something entirely new, it’s a beast. And in many ways, something I wasn’t quite prepared for. I’ve written more private journal entries this year than I have in any other year, even though I’ve been posting less overall.

At points I’ve thought about taking this journal and making it entirely private, or completely passphrase protected. I even thought about shuttering site completely, for real.

But dating someone and then breaking up have made me realize some very important: This is not a me question. This is not a problem I’m facing because of something I did (or didn’t do). The feelings I have, the issues I’m dealing with, the questions I’m asking are things that I believe many people my age are asking — maybe not out loud, but they’re asking.

I believe that many people are wondering who they are, what they’re doing, and where they should go. I believe that many people are wondering why they haven’t found that one person, or that one vocation, or whatever they need in order to feel complete in life. This is not a problem unique to me because I am an engineer or because I am a Christian, although that certainly plays into it.

I also believe that one of the best ways to work on these issues is to talk about them. And for me, that conversation starts here, with my journal. It’s a conversation I have with myself, that I share — or not (not everything is fit for sharing with everyone…which is another thing I’m learning).

Consider this your fair warning: Blogs can be about many things, this one is going to be my journal of sorts3.

And that’s where I am.


  1. It’s an important tool for me to reflect on later 

  2. Even if it doesn’t look good 

  3. This is not to say that there won’t be other things discussed here, just that most of what I write will be journal-ish 

How Any Enginerd Can Date a Beautiful Woman

Ignite Seattle 10 is coming up just around the corner on June 14th, so mark your calendars. They had a call for submissions and I thought, “What the heck. But what to present on? It needs to be funny, but also relevant. And not a shill for some product.”

As it turned out, I had already asked this question from the last time I wanted to present at Ignite Boulder. I flipped through the comments and decided that Jeff’s suggestion on How Any Man Can Pick Up Beautiful Women would be good starting point.

I submitted my topic suggestion with the following description:

I am a nerd, and I am an engineer.

How do I know this? Because I was drawing schematics of Star Trek related devices when I was in 5th grade, I ran my own web server from my home when I was in 9th grade, and, most importantly, I just (well, a year ago) graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a BS in Engineering, Specialty in Electrical Systems, Area of Special Interest in Mechanical Systems.

Now, I work for an aerodefensespace1 corporation, as an engineer.

And I’m dating a beautiful woman; actually, that’s not quite true.

But I have learned a lot about being an enginerd and being able to talk to women. And have them talk to me.

So, just because I haven’t found the “love of my life,” the Deanna Troi to my Will Riker, doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from what I’ve learned.

It’s a shoe-in to win, right? Not quite. Unfortunately, I was not selected for the round of Ignite talks (they had a record number of entries). So you’ll have to wait for now.2


  1. I thought about shortening this to “aerodeface” 

  2. Story of my life…. 

Engineers Explained

In my never ending quest to accurately describe who engineers – and by association, myself – are, I happened to stumble upon this great explanation, attributed to Scott Adams (a.k.a. The guy who writes Dilbert):

From bcn.boulder.co.us:

People who work in the fields of science and technology are not like other people. This can be frustrating to the nontechnical people who have to deal with them. The secret to coping with technology-oriented people is to understand their motivations. This chapter will teach you everything you need to know. I learned their customs and mannerisms by observing them, much the way Jane Goodall learned about the great apes, but without the hassle of grooming.

Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. The word “engineer” is greatly overused. If there’s somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth.

More after the break…
Continue reading “Engineers Explained”

Dateline: Vienna, Day 3 – The United Nations

Vienna, Austria
17 July 2009

There was really just one thing left to do before leaving, visit the UN and the IAEA1. So we made off for the northeast end of Vienna. On the way we managed to find Puntigamer, an Austrian beer that my friend Marissa suggested we look up.

DSC_2820
27.0 mm || 1/13 || f/3.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70


DSC_2829
18.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/6.3 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vienna, Vienna, Austria


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18.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/6.3 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vienna, Vienna, Austria


DSC_2831
18.0 mm || 1/320 || f/9.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vienna, Vienna, Austria


DSC_2836
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/6.3 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70

This is the logo for the China National Space Agency. Is it just me, or does this look rather similar to the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet emblems put together:

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62.0 mm || 1/50 || f/6.3 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70


IAEA Meeting Room

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25.0 mm || 1/20 || f/3.8 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70


Can you understand me now? Good.

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18.0 mm || 1/25 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70


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18.0 mm || 1/25 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70


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18.0 mm || 1/640 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vienna, Vienna, Austria


DSC_2856
18.0 mm || 1/3200 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Our host was nice, but very optimistic about the United Nations efforts. I wish we still had the League of Nations if only for the reason that it had a cooler name.

We made our way back to the hostel, collected our things, and then raced2 to catch our next rain to Budapest.

It so happened that Charlie was also coming in from Switzerland right around the time we were leaving. I was secretly hoping that we would see Charlie and kidnap him. Unfortunately, we didn’t see him.

We got into Budapest late at night. We stumbled around while trying to find an ATM so I could get some Forint3. We finally managed to find an ATM and withdraw some money. A short subway ride later, we at our hostel.


  1. International Atomic Energy Agency 

  2. if you haven’t figured out by now, we always race to catch trains. We always caught them, but were usually within 5 minutes of missing them 

  3. yet another unit of money to deal with 

Star Trek

Well, I did it. I watched every single Star Trek episode and movie known to man, and then graduated1. This has probably been one of my more arduous projects. This wasn’t just a matter of putting some Star Trek on and doing homework. No, I sat through and paid full attention to every single episode/movie, all 33348 minutes worth.

At an average rate of 25.53 minutes of Star Trek/day, it took 1306 days (about 3.6 years) to watch 726 episodes and 11 movies.

As promised, here’s a chart showing the progression:
star-trek-hours

The latest Star Trek was amazing. I went and saw it opening night with at least 50 people from Mines. At one point, I even lead everybody in a round of our fight song2.

Star Trek Premiere. © 2009 Kate Reinking.
Star Trek Premiere. © 2009 Kate Reinking.

My biggest concern was how this movie was going to reconcile with traditional Star Trek lore. This short answer is: parts of it do and parts of it don’t. The mythos up to James Kirk being born are from the traditional time line, however the visuals are not. This might bug some people, and I admit it bugs me a bit, but I think it works well over all.

Anyway, the entire premise of the movie is that a rogue Romulan is thrown back in time and starts altering the time line. This creates a new “alternate” time line that is different from the Star Trek history that we know and love; anything after the events around the birth of James Kirk can be completely new. And because it’s an alternate reality, this doesn’t conflict with the rules of the Star Trek universe. J.J. Abrams can have his pie and eat it too.

I’ll admit that it’s a rather dubious move, but it’s completely valid. “The time travel story establishes an alternate reality, freeing the film and the whole franchise from continuity constraints.”3 What can I say…it works.

Two thumbs up in my book. Plus my Star Trek Seal of Approval.

I’ll also probably be seeing the movie again when I’m back in Seattle if anyone wants to go.

…and please don’t ever let me do something like this4 again.


  1. more on that later 

  2. Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three hundred pounds… 

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_(film) 

  4. watching 33000+ minutes of a TV show 

Done with Star Trek…For Now

33226 minutes later, I just finished the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. I’ve watched every single episode and movie of Star Trek ever made, in order1.

Total episodes/movies seen: 736.

All that’s left is 122 minutes of Star Trek: The Movie, which should be freaking awesome! But that hasn’t been released yet; so for the time being, I’m done.

I have a cool graph I’m working on based on the data I collected from Netflix showing my rental history, I hope to have it up soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to bask in the glory and get some homework done.


  1. order of series, not chronology release order…that just would have been too confusing