What I do at work

I do a number of things, so I’ll break it down a little:
1) I do testing: we make changes to a design or modify some part and then need to figure out how it changed things. So we test the important stuff, like how much noise is there in our system (radio frequency noise, I can explain more if you want me to). Our goal is to get our wireless radio working well enough to have reliable data transfer between the hearing aid and the programmer, between the hearing aid and another hearing aid, and between the hearing aid and a remote (to control the audio modes of the hearing aid).

2) I interpret the results of testing: We get a bunch of data and then we need to make decisions about it. First we need to figure out what the data is telling us, so often we make a bunch of graphs in excel or matlab (a math program) that make it easier to see trends.

3) I write code: this is not really part of my job, but I want to be prepared in case I ever do need to write code. So I’m learning a few programming languages (AutoHotKey and Python) in the hopes that I will be able to apply this knowledge to some problem I may have in the future. Most of the code I am trying to figure out will make doing numbers 1 and 2 a lot easier 🙂

4) I go to meetings: enough said

5) other stuff: I manage the website that my group is supposed to use (but doesn’t) to communicate with each other and store documents. I’ll talk about my observations of our system (the hearing aid+wireless stuff) with folks to get a better understanding of how everything works. that’s all i care to think of right now

Numbers 1 and 2 are the more important things that I do. Learning code is really boring when you don’t have some problem you’re trying to solve with it, so that part is sometimes exciting sometimes not. And I’m supposed to start helping another guy do work with antennas, which is really tough but really interesting.

Advertisements

Stories

I was writing back and forth with a friend and we started swapping stories. I just thought I’d share the ones that I told.

Thunderstorms:
My mom loves thunderstorms and my dad is always telling her to stay away from the windows when there’s a bad one. Well during one of the worst storms we have had at our house, my mom had moved her favorite chair near our patio sliding door so that she could watch the storm. I think I was standing or sitting next to her. Everyone is downstairs (which is where the patio door is) except most of them are watching the tv or playing a game or something. then BAM! A huge black thing slammed up against the house around the patio door and then flew away! Haha, it turned out that our big trampoline had gotten picked up by the wind, thrown up against our house and then blown into our neighbors trees. So many things got ripped up during that storm, it was crazy. Luckily we didn’t lose any trees, but we did lose a trampoline 🙂 We actually unbent the pieces that were messed up and fixed it, so it didn’t quite go away (and then when that one did finally die we bought another one, I think we’re on number 3 now). It was just funny how my dad had just told my mom to get away from the window and then our house gets the beat down from a flying trampoline.

Travis + Skiing:
Any skiing story that I tell will have to involve Travis (best friend type), so I’ll introduce you to him, then talk about skiing. We met in 6th grade while we were going to the same church for 6 months. Then he moved and we talked on the phone all the time. He lived about 20 minutes away, which was way too far away to see him very often since our parents had to drive us. But we have remained good friends ever since then. If ever I had a sleep over, it was with him. He went to Anoka High school and I went to Champlin Park, so in that sense we were rivals, but luckily neither of us had a lick of school spirit. Then he went to Bethel and I went to the U of MN and I would go to Vespers and meet up with him then. He is the one who got me into ping pong. His parents made him and his brothers go outside every once in a while, just to get them out of the house, and so that was fun too. He’s into piano too, which was another thing we had in common. He introduced me to a church camp that we both worked at for a few summers, people just grouped us together because we were never far apart. I’ve gotten really mad at him a few times, but mainly because he’s just so argumentative! His brothers are twins, but look nothing alike. Travis is a twig and his brother Jordan is like a mini Travis. My mom got them confused. Wade (his other brother) is just like his dad (Travis and Jordan are like his mom). Now he’s going to grad school in AZ, and I’m visiting him over thanksgiving.

I have been skiing without Travis maybe 3 times in my life. It makes it really nice to have someone who’s the same skill level as you are to go with, and so when my dad wanted to bring me along to MT for skiing I brought Travis. Neither of us was very good at first (I would argue that this has changed, we can now to double blacks, though he doesn’t like them). This year we’re going to do the ridge at Bridger (instead of just talking about it). I think the story that I will tell was of the first year we went. We didn’t really do anything higher up on the mountain since we both sucked at this point. Travis loves going through the trees and hitting jumps, while I love going fast and doing moguls (trees and jumps are fun too, just not as fun as he makes them out to be). We did this run called Good Clean Fun, which has since earned the reputation for being anything but. I probably hit about 3 trees, once going fast enough for it to really hurt, and Travis got into this really deep power and somehow managed to hit his head with his ski! He ends up touching his head a while later and when it comes down with blood he realizes what happened. So we go to the first aid place and they send us into town cause he needs stitches. Needless to say, when we called his parents to get insurance info, they were a little freaked out and he soon had a helmet (like that night soon). Then we skied the rest of the time and went home happy.

Stitches:
It was recess in 1st grade and I was on the play ground. The whistle had just been blown so we had to come back inside. I had been playing with my cousin (the one who just got married) and a couple of his friends, so me and another one of the kids (ben) decided to race back. So we take off and I’m running as fast as I can, I look over to see how he’s doing and the next thing I know I’m on my back in the sand. I had run right into a horizontal pole that was part of this other piece of playground equipment! I became horizontal in the air and probably flew about 3-4 feet beyond the pole. I was bleeding all over and my cousin helped me up and walked me up the hill to the school (they were almost made because we were being slow but then they saw I was hurt). I went to the nurses office and then to some place to get stitches. My right ear had almost come off I had hit the pole so hard. If it had been ripped any more it would have done damage to my hearing canal, so I was pretty lucky 🙂 So my ears are not the same height

Fighting with Siblings:
I actually didn’t fight with my siblings too much. Well, I would fight with my brother, but that’s because he was a little twerp who didn’t know right from left, haha! He has managed to hold onto his attitude (probably because he’s the youngest and my parents don’t do anything to him). It’s gotten worse as of late, but my sisters kind of encourage him and I was terrible my senior year of high school, it helped my parents with the whole process of getting rid of me (they wanted me gone!). So I’ll tell a little story about how me and my sister used to fight when we were like 2.

I loved naps and always wanted to take them. Kate however did not. She would fight and struggle into her crib, yelling and doing whatever she could to keep out and awake. So one of her favorite things to do was to wake me up during our naps. She’d throw things into my crib or make a lot of noise. Once she figured out how to open her crib, then everything went downhill. She would run around or start playing with her (or my) toys. Then my parents would come in and tell her to knock it off and stick her back in bed or something, but she was just a trouble maker. I was a great kid (except for my senior year :-/ ).

My Senior Year:
My senior year of high school’s terribleness mainly centered around this girl who I had started dating. It was my first official relationship (though there were a lot of unofficial ones before that) and I didn’t really know what to do or anything about boundaries. So I spent way too much time with her, got way to emotionally attached and made a lot of mistakes. Over all, I learned a ridiculous amount from the experience, but most of that learning happened in hindsight. During the relationship I pretty much did what I wanted, often resulting in conflict with my parents. I was just a total jerk to my parents and my siblings (they told me this afterward). Yeah, so the distance that created between us made the transition to college very easy, since everybody (myself included) just kind of wanted to get away from each other. Now we’re cool though

Diving:
My mom’s extended family (so my second cousins and the like) has a family reunion every year at Lake Otter tail. What’s great about this lake is that it’s huge, but probably only about 6 feet deep the entire way across. It’s completely unreal! If you go skiing or tubing and you wipe out, you just stand up while you wait. I have always loved that place. But the really amazing thing is that right next to the lake is Otter tail river. It’s a pretty narrow river, only about 50 feet across. There is also a bridge that goes across the river (about 15 feet up). In all the years that my family has jumped off of this bridge, no one has ever touched the bottom. Of course I’m talking about in the middle of the river, but it’s so much fun. It’s also terrifying! My brother did a bunch of back flips off of it, while I’m the only one who will dive out of my immediate family. It’s so much fun though, I love it. I remember one summer at camp our youth director knew all these fun things to do while diving, so the whole time we were there we would spend all our free time at the diving docks. Travis was there of course. He sometimes comes to the family reunions too, but the last time we were at the bridge was just for the heck of it. We have a cabin about 30 minutes away from there, so we went over one afternoon.

That’s it for now!

A Fantastic Weekend

This weekend was just great. On Friday my cousin Trevor Nordick got married to his long time girlfriend Ashley. They had been living together for a while now, so it seems like less of a big deal, but it’s still exciting to have another one of my cousins all old and married (the first being Erin, married to Matt Castagna). I had never been to a Catholic wedding (I’ve seen quite a few Catholic funerals though), so it was a very interesting experience. The priest caught Trevor yawning during his talk, which was really funny and I’m sure Trevor was really embarrassed.

The priest actually gave a really good message, which was good for me to hear since I have some negative predispositions toward Catholicism. It definitely did strike me how Christ centered the Desiring God Conference was the previous weekend. Most of the message at the wedding focused on love, which was very appropriate, but I guess I was expecting much more of an emphasis on Christ. It was there, but not as explicit as at the DG Conference.

The reception was fun too, though the music wasn’t all that great. Older music is so much more fun to dance to than the modern hip hop stuff. I also realized how empty drinking can be and resolve not to drink too much at any other wedding; I think I’ll enjoy it more if I don’t. My cousin Andy (the grooms brother) however had no such qualms and got quite inebriated. He was hilarious though, he’s one of the more friendly drunks I’ve seen 🙂

On Saturday I was at my parents house for a bit. I worked on my laptop for a bit, then ate breakfast, went on a quick run, at second breakfast (LoTR anyone?) and then headed back to my apartment in Uptown. Of course I had to get a few games of DotA in, sandwiching some quality reading time as I was trying to catch up with all the homework for my TBI (The Bethlehem Institute) class. Then I read Confessions of a Reformissional Rev. by Mark Driscoll for 2 hours before I fell asleep. What a great book! It is basically Mark’s account of how Mars Hill developed, from start to present. In it he outlines a lot of tough situations and decisions that had to be worked through for the church to continue to grow and be Christ centered with a missions focus. I was so very impressed with how he handled his mistakes and the convictions that he acted on. I highly recommend the book.

Then on Sunday I actually had my TBI class and got to have some good conversation about Genesis 12:1-3 and the surrounding/related texts. I really enjoy a few specific people from my class. Ed is an older man who has been through this class a number of times already. He is very passionate for the Lord and has tons of wisdom gained through tons of experience that I will probably never have. Another person is Seth. He and a friend moved up to Minneapolis specifically to go to Bethlehem and grow under the teaching of our preaching pastor John Piper. That someone would make such a dramatic change in their lives for the sake of pursuing the Lord speaks highly of their drive to seek God. Through our conversations, Seth continually speaks bluntly about his convictions and the Word, which is so refreshing to my soul. Jenna is another person in my class who demonstrates a hunger for the Word and intimacy with God. She is a more recent believer than the other two, but reminds me a lot of Liz Bandy in how much she desires to learn and grow. The way that God has made Himself part of her thinking process is a constant reminder to me that all praise is due to God and how our lives should be dedicated to seking and savoring Christ.

Speaking of Jenna, she actually set me up with a lunch date on Sunday too. Jenna’s old roommate Anna also goes to Bethlehem and so we went to church and then out to lunch at a really neat French cafe on Lyndale. I actually saw Joel Brygger there too, which was fun. Anna and I had never met (blind date, it was weird but fun) so we talked about our families, how we were brought up and where we’ve been. It was a great time, and I got to know someone who seems to be a pretty cool person. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but regardless I think I just got a new friend 🙂

After lunch my dad came by and while we were initially going to change the spark plugs in my car, it turns out my extender wasn’t long enough so we ended up just walking around Uptown for a while. It was really, really good. We checked out the Running Room, since I’m getting into running and my dad is biking now. All the cartelage was worn down in one of his toes so he has a lot of pain when he runs, and I thought that this place did gait analysis, which is basically you walking on a treadmill and them designing an insole that will help your feet. I really enjoyed the conversations and hope to have more of them soon.

After my dad left, I was priveleged to attend a birthday dinner for Colin Morley, one of the guys from the biblestudy I led. It was great to see him and the other guys who came along. I got to chat with Andy Hesemann (my old housemate and another guy in my study) a bit about how his year was going and how he was doing. It was great to catch up. Those are some solid guys who I am blessed to call my friends. I’m going to figure out a time when I can have them all over to my house sometime.

And in between the date and my dad, I got to chat with Jenna about the date and life (she was having a tough weekend). I’m glad that I’m connecting with her; it’s honestly a huge part of my motivation in taking the TBI class. I wanted to get more connected to others at Bethlehem. I’m glad I’m making new friends.