Family Life, Musings

“Too old. He is too old to begin the training” – Yoda

Aaaannndd it begins. My time to travel across the country has begun. But most gut wrenching of all is the fact that I have to leave my famy again for another summer. This is why I am choosing to attend this school. I am sick and tired of leaving my family alone just so I can earn a buck. It wasn’t even a big buck either. Ha!

So the plan is to take a southern route across country: leave home and exit through south west VA, then through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas’ northern panhandle, New Mexico, Arizona, and then on up through California. I wanted originally to go more north and see family in Ohio, Kansas, and Colorado, but the fastest route would t have brought me close and I’m limited on time anyway. It’s just best for me to go the most direct route. That and there were tolls to the north. And I’m stingy šŸ™‚

So yeah, I’ll try and take a pick every time I enter a new state and post it as evidence. After this trip I’ll have visited/drove through more than half of the US. Hooray

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Musings, Updates

Tired.

I’ve been keeping up my habit of waking at around 0430 to read my bible and study before the day begins. I’ve been reading a chapter in Proverbs and one chapter in a New Testament book a day. Right now I’m in James. I finished 1 Peter. I think I need to start taking notes on my bible readings as well because I cant recall anything specific about my reading that I’d care to share. I feel like Dr. Jones (Indiana Jones’ father) when speaking of the clues to find the Holy Grail, “I wrote them in my journal so that I wouldn’t have to remember them.”

For about a week I’ve done nothing but math. I hit a wee wall in programming when one of the assignments required me to use a number of calculus skills (that I lacked). Once again, I have an incredibly hard time letting my self just “move on and come back” to a problem that I currently dont understand. So I’ve been hitting the Khan Academy pretty hard in order to close the understanding gap a bit (regardless, this is a segment I’ll probably have Jedi Dave debrief me on when I finish Unit 1).

But all is not lost! I found out that I love studying math. I believe that mathematicians are probably the greatest and most useful explorers in human history. They dedicate their entire lives and mental capacity to discovering the order in what seems like chaos. The Lord is a god of order and creation. He did not shake up a bunch of dirt and let it float in space. He declared that everything in existence would be ordered – one way or another. Mathematicians exert the short span of their lives to discover this order. To learn about creation and, intentionally or not, worship the Creator.

Therefore, I believe without reservation, that to study math is one of the single greatest acts of worship – because you seek the face of God. We study His creation so that we might know Him more.

Math has also taught me another wee idea: everything creation has its place, its fit, in order to function properly.

This last weekend was great because I was able to spend a great amount of time with my wife and kids. It has been a number of weeks since we had dedicated time together. I had lost sight of how far we had drifted away from “fitting” together. We were not in harmony and we were just getting by. Sometimes, I wonder if my sons forget who I am during the week because I’m gone so much. My wife sleeps alone in a cold bed (pending our fat cat doesnt want to snuggle). Sometimes I feel as if I’m dividing my family life by zero.


import NerdyMathmaticalReference
print machineLaugh

"11001011100000111010100101100011101010100!"

When I read the scriptures I see that, like math, everything has order. When it comes to my family, I must never forget to study my children, to study my wife and learn how well we are “fitting”. I have a terrible tendency to laser focus on a single thing and forget the rest.

May the Lord never let me forget them.

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Musings, Updates

Continuing with the Star Wars theme…

import nerd_reference

So I’ve flown to my own little Degobah. And like Luke Skywalker, I’ve found that becoming a Jedi requires a bit more sweat equity… and less sleep.

This last week I have been at home every night instead of on the road. This is a blessing and a curse. I love being with my family and helping out with the house but when I get home between 5 – 6:30 on average I have enough time for dinner with everybody, clean up the kids, put the kids to bed at 7:30, clean up the mess the kids created, done by 8:15, and then I have maybe an hour and a half to spend with the wife before I need to start heading to bed. I have so little time at home that its coveted pretty badly.

So my solution?

I’ve started waking up two hours before I have to leave for work every morning in order to study and work. My lectures are about an hour long so that gives me time to study, eat breakfast, read the bible, and do a bit of math via Khan Academy. I also spend a lot of time riding around in work trucks. That gives me time to read the “further reading” posted on my course’s web site.

Speaking of further reading, I realized I was dropping the ball big time by ignoring them. I went back and began reading them and realized something: programming is an extremely vast science… extremely vast. Its similar to trying to build a life size castle out of legos. You take thousands of very small pieces and methodically put them together, one after another, until it builds into a massive and awesome creation.

I have a lot to learn. Time to get on it.

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Musings, Updates

I’m looking for a great warrior…

“Oh but wars not make one great.”
“I’m looking for a Jedi master.”
“Ohhh, Yoda, you seek Yoda!”

Degobah is a bit foggy and overwhelming. However, similar to Luke Skywalker, my own Degobah offers a wealth of opportunities.

Math.

I’ve never been poor at math. Most of what I lack in knowledge and skill can be attributed to the fact that I was either never offered the chance and/or I never had the interest. I now realize that whatever the reason, I was an idiot.

Over the past year or two I’ve started developing a sincere fascination with math. It is in many ways the purest of sciences. Mathematics is the lens that we are able to see the artwork behind God’s creation. Every time I learn something new I marvel at how anyone could choose to believe that the universe around us could arrange itself by pure accidental randomness.

But I digress.

The downside to math is the considerable discipline required to study it.

Alas one of my weaknesses.

So I guess the best way to combat this is to formulate a plan, tell the world about it, and then stick to it to avoid public lashings.

My plan (currently, but subject to revision) is to tackle the Khan Academy at least three days a week and work my way through calculus eventually. I want to also read my way through a book called The Calculus Direct ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Calculus-Direct-Understanding-ebook/dp/B002V1I4FY ). I’ve read part of it and its a great read.

I figure that until I get a better hang of math I’ll continually be hamstrung in my programming adventures. And that ladies and gentlemen, will not do.

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Musings

I came across this article tonight. Due to my recent undertakings, I believe it’s rather pertinent. It also appeals to the wanna-be doomsday prepper in me.

Dear Jesus,

Please send the Zombie apocalypse. Let theĀ HipstersĀ turn first…

Amen

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for the Coming Cyber War – ABC News.

 

…. I need to upgrade my WordPress ninja skills. We need more “pizzaz.”

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Musings

It begins

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” -T.E. Lawrence

I’m going to chronicle a new journey. This journey will bring tears, joy, new curls in my brain, and if the Lord is willing a new future.

I am going to learn the art of programing.

Specifically I endeavor to speak the language of machines (well, the “high level languages”). I have beseeched the aid of a good fellow at my church by the name of David Mikesell. He holds a doctorate in computer science and does this stuff for a living. Were I to generously compare things, he is Yoda and I am Anakin Skywalker – sans the wimpy character and poor acting.

Short term goals:
– Complete MIT’s OpenCourseWare course “Introduction to Computer Science and Programming” within three months tops (that puts me somewhere around May)
– Brush up/expand my math skills on Khan Academy (check it out at http://www.khanacademy.com – tis amazing)
– Add to this blog at least once a week… I’ll start off modest.

Medium term goals:
– Grasp HTML 5 before I join Mr. Mikesell at a conference in July on the subject
– Publish my first simple App on Apple’s App Store before years end.

Long term goals:
– Fly to Mars and establish the MechanicumĀ (a nerdy Warhammer 40,000 reference)

Lastly, I’m too cheap to pay for a fancy blog at this point. Endure.

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