life update

life update
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Since my last few posts have been a bit heavier, I'll lighten the mood with this one!

Here's what's going on in my life!

things i've learned

  • Snowflakes actually have six feathery arms! I always thought the pictures I saw were artists' renditions or stylizations.
Snowflake macro
Photo by Zdeněk Macháček / Unsplash
  • It's cold. It got below -30F the other day. When it's that cold, don't blink! Your eyelids will freeze together. You also don't realize that your nose is running (because you can't feel your nose), so long snot-cicles grow down your face!
  • When It's that cold, you have to cover your face, otherwise it hurts to breathe because the inside of your mouth and airways are freezing. You get a brain freeze every time you go outside.
Yes, that's ice in my beard!
  • The roads aren't constantly icy. Cars drive over  them and melt the snow, then the melted snow flows off the roads. Unless it snowed the night before, there's not much chance of slipping (but still be very careful just in case)!
  • The company B&H Photo, Audio, and Video is run by Jewish people who honor the Sabbath. It shocked me that I couldn't order from their website on Saturday. I am very impressed with their dedication to rest.
  • I learned how to perform the most violent act I've ever done in my entire life. I took the fresh carcass of a formerly living creature, cut its ribs off its spine, then did some sick CPR-like movements to crack its sternum and collarbones. Back in the olden days, they would have called this a "blood eagle," but now people call it "spatchcocking" a chicken to roast. It turned out delicious!
  • I also made pickled eggs! They were wonderful and I may dedicate an entire post to them!

things i'm working on

  • In my new lab, as part of our overarching goal of making replacement body parts for the heart and circulatory system, I'm about to run my first experiment of graduate school! It's very exciting.
  • I'm writing a memoir about my time at Rice University. Its focus will be sharing real stories about what it's actually like for small town Christians to attend an elite, secular university.
  • I finally bit the bullet and bought some new keyboards for my home organ. They should be much easier for me to use and build with. I'm finding a balance between saving money and ease of use for this organ project.
  • Very soon, I'll head back into the makerspace to make my new organ console. My first prototype will likely be a stool or a simple table to make sure I know what I'm doing for the real thing!
  • After reading Tim Ferris' The 4-hour Workweek, my life will never be the same again. I'm now working on several entrepreneurial endeavors, one of which I will enter into a competition for Redemptive Entrepreneurship. You can read about the competition here:
Forge Competition – Forge Competition—Creating for the Common Good
  • I ordered some recording equipment to make more videos like the one I recently released. I have plans to become more prolific on YouTube, but we'll see. Regardless, I like making videos and I like performing music, so these go hand in hand! You can see all my organ videos here:
my organ performances
Click the subscribe button at the bottom of the page to support my work and get an email every time I make a new post! In the meantime, enjoy me on the organ! Variations on Amazing GracePrelude and Fugue in G MajorWhat a Friend We Have in JesusThe Prodigal SonThe
  • I also want to make a video series on how I rebuild my home organ. It'll be just for fun and sharing with others who are interested in the process! Keep an eye out for the first video!

things i'm learning

  • Class is well under way for the new semester. My boss teaches my hardest class, but that really just makes it more fun! Both of my classes this semester are highly specific: my boss teaches about how fluids in the body flow through the circulatory system, and my other class is all about how to use microscopes.
  • One of my friends and I are learning Hebrew on Duolingo. I'm having a blast with it! I was a very early adopter of Duolingo (I joined back when it was a site for translating Wikipedia articles!). In the past, I would have called it a bit "gimmicky," but now I'm proud to say it's evolved into a full-featured language learning site. Did I mention it's all free? The Spanish course is by far their magnum opus. If you've ever considered learning Spanish (or any other language) give it a shot! (I promise they don't pay me to say this!):
  • Finally, I'm preparing to earn a certificate from the American Guild of Organists. The certificate will tell people that I'm "competent" enough to play the organ for church services. This is something I've wanted for a long time now, so I'm happy to get started!

wrap up

As you can see, I have plenty to do! I'd say it keeps me off the streets, but the snow by itself takes care of that.

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