Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Another video from hypertherm, the source of my funding. I love how the beans get so hot they explode out of the can when the lid is cut free.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pictures of pictures being taken

So, I'm not normally of the fan of the Hey-I'm-going-to-take-a-picture-of-you-taking-a-picture-of-me type pictures because they seem rather cliche to me. That being said, however, I have a cool one. This happened a while ago when I was at camp counseling the high school retreat. I would have posted this sooner, but I did not get the other half of the pair (the one looking at me) until it showed up on facebook just recently. The pictures were taken during our epic hike. At one point we were climbing off the path and down into a ravine so we could go straight down the bluff. There was a drainage pipe running under the trail so I climbed into the ravine on the uphill side because I thought it might frame a cool picture. Naturally, Amy on the other side also thought it would be fun to take a picture through the pipe, but she was on the downhill side. Without further ado, the pictures...

In other cool picture taking news. I was biking last Friday night and found the perfect place to set up a night biking shot. However, I was quite a ways into my training ride and very tired, so I did not feel like stopping to dig my camera out and set up the shot.

Edit: I know it ruins the set of pictures slightly, but in the name of honesty, it wasn't actually Amy that took that picture of me. Julia took that picture, but I don't have any pictures of Julia taking my picture on the other side of the tube, so I use the one of Amy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Plasma torches and research

So, here's a good video to give on intro on why plasma torches are worthwhile. This is pretty low powered torch, because it's made for garage use. The industrial torches pack more of a punch.

Notice towards the end, he mentioned an oxidation reaction when cutting mild steel. Currently, I'm trying to get a better understanding of how that works and how it effects the cut quality.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I was at camp a couple of weekends ago to counsel for a highschool retreat. We ended up with 4 counselors, 2 chaperons and 7 campers, so it was pretty laid back and felt more like just hanging out than actually counseling. In the guys room, the counselors outnumbered the campers, and actually caused more trouble at night.

First of all, the drive down was terrific, because Michael and Grace were riding down with me, and it was nice to have other people to talk to.

Then, at camp we had absolutely fantastic weather. The highlight might be the adventure hike on Saturday. We decided to go up "inspiration point" which is actually a route I had never taken. Turns out that there is a reason we never took campers up that route. It pretty much turns into rock climbing at one point.

But the view from the top was absolutely gorgeous.

Of course, getting back down involved a lot of slipping and sliding because we thought it would be more fun to not follow a path.

There was also some great broomball the next day. There wasn't enough people to play a real game, so we played all-on-all against the goalie. Whoever touches the ball last before it goes in the goal scores. I was the goalie. Turns out that nobody was very good, so I was able take pictures while playing goalie.

It was also really fun to lead bible studies again. Turns out that leading bible studies is like riding a bike, once you learn how to, you don't forget. It was especially fun because I was tag teaming the bible studies with Grace. Grace and I work off each other really well, although we got a little carried away at times and started talking over the kids heads. I distinctly remember trying to explain the concept that God's allowing for us to sin and hurt ourselves and each other is actually a manifestation of his love. Except I tried to do it in the last 5 minutes of a bible study. I liked it. Grace liked it. The chaperon liked it. I don't know if the kids knew what I was talking about.

I leave you with a campfire in the strawbale hut.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Of offices and asbestos

So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to work late. However, I then started hearing people running up and down the hall calling for Mike, our custodian. Then water starting running under the door of my office. Turns out a hot water pipe burst a couple of offices down and there was water all over the place. The custodians had arrived and there wasn't really anything for me to do, so I decided to go home. The next day, my office looked fine, but apparently there was asbestos in the water. I was getting conflicting reports on what was going to happen as far as clean up in my office:

a) Nothing, my office is fine
b)They are going to paint around the base of the walls
c)They are going to rip out and replace the drywall and sheetrock on the bottom 2 feet of all the walls.

I decided to just keep working in my office and assumed that they would tell me if they were going to do work in my office. But when I came back from class, my office looked like this.

Turns out they are also removing my sink because it was one of these sinks that caused the initial flood.

I don't know when my office will be restored to working order, but for now, I'm kind of bouncing around between a lab, the library and my apartment. Oh well.

Valentines Day

This post is coming a bit after the fact, but it was a blog worthy day. I didn't think that the romantic dinner and flowers and chocolates was really the way Cia and I work, but I wanted to do something special. So, instead, I took her to a park. This is all the information you can find online about the park. Doesn't say exactly where it is; doesn't say how to get there. The only reason I know about it is because I stumbled on it during a training ride a couple summers ago. Because it's such an obscure park, it is fairly rustic and there were only a few other people there. It was a beautiful day and just cold enough that there was lot's of cool ice formations.

Being little kids at heart, we spend quite some time kicking the ice at the edge of the river to watch it break and float off.

To make the day extra fun, we had a fire, because burning stuff is always good.

It was a fantastic day. I'm so glad the weather decided to cooperate with my plans.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Cia has interim break this week, so I drove her home to Madison and then spent the weekend hanging out with her and her family in Madison. It was a wonderful weekend for a number of reasons. Obviously, it was fun because I got to hang out with Cia and her family was just as enjoyable. To make things even better, the weather was absolutely beautiful.

On Saturday, we went into downtown Madison and walked around. Wisconsin has pretty much the coolest capital building ever. It has 4 axis of symmetry. When you stand in the center, the different branches of the building look so similar that they have to be labeled with the compass directions so you don't get lost. There is also a really cool art museum. One part of the building had glass walls and a glass staircase.

Among the other neat buildings there was a picnic shelter at a park near the Cia's house. I think it totally looks like a sniper tower, but I might have an overactive imagination.

Of course, I had to climb it.

We also walked out on a frozen lake, which I always enjoy for some reason.

It was a beautiful weekend.