12 April 2014

Gratitude, Part 34 (Apr. 5 - 11, 2014)

 1. Surprise breakfast from my wife (Apr. 7, 2014)
  2. Helpful notice from my wife that I needed to cover my bike to protect it from incoming weather (Apr. 7, 2014)
  3. Jerry's Cakes & Donuts
  4. Fun conversation at Beer & Bible (Apr. 6, 2014)
  5. Finished planning class for the remainder of the semester
  6. Enjoyable lunch with Pres. Wilson, award-winning physics students, and the co-spokesperson of LUX
  7. Informative presentation from a SD Public Utilities Commissioner
  8. Good conversation about possible outreach opportunities to K-12 students
  9. Wonderful dinner with good friends (Apr. 11, 2014)
  10. Our friends' oldest son Matthew gave me a hug
  11. Meeting our good friends new baby (2 weeks old) for the first time (Apr. 11, 2014)
  12. Holding the new baby (Oliver)
  13. Learned more about my colleagues
  14. The latest episode of Cosmos, which I watched online.
  15. Wrote my first letter of recommendation
  16. Submitted a seed grant proposal a day early
  17. Learned that we do not like a particular restaurant
  18. More free evenings now that band rehearsal is done for the semester
  19. Books ordered for my class in Fall Semester
  20. Our friend Laura passed her Master's defense
  21. I was able to attend Laura's defense
  22. Attended part of the Honors convocation and congratulated our award-winning physics students in person
  23. T-shirt from the High Plains Regional Science & Engineering Fair.

Total: 1024

This list was inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces by Ann Voskamp. Since I am much more of a geek than Mrs. Voskamp, my goal was to list 1024 things for which I am grateful within a year.  God has given me so many blessings that I have reached this goal in less than 8 months.  Thank you all for reading, and thank you God for all the blessings.

06 April 2014

Gratitude, Part 33 (Mar. 29 - Apr. 4, 2014)

  1. My sister's boyfriend getting a new job
  2. Our friend Emily's new son Oliver
  3. Beautiful weather (Mar. 29, 2014)
  4. Walking to the library
  5. Carrying books home from the library for my wife
  6. Getting fries on the way home
  7. Helping my wife install garden trellises
  8. Helping my wife make turkey curry
  9. Getting several tasks done that I meant to do yesterday (Mar. 30, 2014)
  10. Significant progress on my proposal (Mar. 29, 2014)
  11. Finding my balaclava, which was in the laundry the whole time
  12. Rode in and home safely despite the campus being closed due to a "blizzard" (Mar. 31, 2014)
  13. Excelling visit from a funding agency representative
  14. Our Spring Concert was well-attneded, and I think we played our best (Apr. 4, 2014)
  15. The other two groups in the concert were a joy to hear (Apr. 4, 2014)
  16. Walking with my wife under a beautiful sky (Apr. 4, 2014)
  17. Rode in safely despite unexpected heavy snow (Apr. 2, 2014)
  18. Physics lunch was postponed (not cancelled) due to the snow
  19. Good physics lunch at Dickey's BBQ Pit (Apr. 4, 2014)
  20. Ability to play in the concert here and call in to NOvA meetings at Fermilab
  21. Good discussion at the InterVarsity GFM meeting (Apr. 2, 2014)
  22. Talking via Skype with Gary again (Apr. 1, 2014)
  23. My wife had a good time at a gardening class (Apr. 1, 2014)
  24. Significant progress on purchasing equipment for my lab
  25. Submitted my proposal for the Board of Regents Competitive Research Grant Program (Apr. 1, 2014)
  26. I have my teaching assignment for Fall Semester 2014.

Total: 1001

30 March 2014

Gratitude, Part 32 (Mar. 22 - 28, 2014)

  1.  When I pulled my bike out of the garage, my rear tire was flat.  I am grateful that I had time to change it and get to the office well before my first appointment of today. (Mar. 26, 2014)
  2. Giving some of the light fixtures we replaced to a new home (Mar. 22, 2014)
  3. Sending birthday card and gift to my sister
  4. Watching the third episode of the new Cosmos series
  5. Cosmos episodes are available for free online after airing
  6. A friend told me about a state-level call for proposals that I would not have otherwise known about
  7. Compliment from department chair on the letter of support I wrote from him to sign
  8. Final interview for our new faculty search
  9. Visiting the early morning Christian men's group (Mar. 28, 2014)
  10. Engaging discussion at small group (Mar. 27, 2014)
  11. Good physics lunch at Mongolian BBQ (Mar. 26, 2014)
  12. Progress on getting orders submitted for my lab equipment
  13. Visiting my wife in her office (Mar. 28, 2014)
  14. Walking with my wife around campus (Mar. 28, 2014).
  15. Kansas City Street is open again on my route home
  16. Riding home with my wife on our bikes
  17. New shoes
  18. Unexpected discounts at the shoe store
  19. Dinner, including wonderful noodle soup and Thai curry, at Saigon restaurant
  20. Good conversations about finances
  21. Increasing confidence in my relationships and life in general as a result of increasing acceptance of God's grace

Total: 975

28 March 2014

Gratitude, Part 31 (Mar. 15 - 21, 2014)

  1. Getting our planned entertainment PC connected to the internet
  2. Homemade funnel cake
  3. Completing and submitting a preliminary application to the Christian Scholars Foundation
  4. Time to relax and read (Mar. 15, 2014)
  5. James shared his homemade pizza (Mar. 18, 2014)
  6. Homemade sushi (Mar. 16, 2014)
  7. Watching part of the second episode of Cosmos with my wife.
  8. Phyiscs Pi Day social (Mar. 17, 2014)
  9. My wife's delicious apple crisp pie
  10. Meeting one of my colleague's newborn daughter
  11. Extremely helpful conversation at the SDSM&T Benefits Fair (Mar. 18, 2014)
  12. Attending the weekly InterVarsity GFM prayer meeting with my wife (Mar. 19, 2014)
  13. Math department Pi Day social (Mar. 19, 2014)
  14. Unlimited wings at Buffalo Wild Wings for Physics Lunch (Mar. 19, 2014)
  15.  Being a judge for the 6th & 8th grade engineering categories at the High Plains Regional Science & Engineering Fair.
  16. Being recruited to be part of the team selecting the overall winner of the High Plains Regional Science & Engineering Fair.
  17.  The impressive experiment that won the 6th grade engineering category
  18.  Opportunity to see friends and colleagues at the Fair
  19.  My wife was also a judge at the fair
  20.  Genuine hope for the future of science in the country.

Total: 954

15 March 2014

Gratitude, Part 30 (Mar. 8 - 14, 2014)

  1. Helping my wife install the second light in our basement (Mar. 8, 2014)
  2. Cleaning out part of the basement
  3. Breaking down and clearing out many cardboard boxes from our move
  4. Watching the first episode of the new Cosmos series with my wife
  5. Potluck with friends (Mar. 9, 2014)
  6. Meeting our pastor's sister
  7. Meeting our pastor's neighbor Ted
  8. Visiting our pastor's house for the first time
  9. Taking boxes to the recycling center
  10. Giving the van a much needed wash with my wife
  11. Reduced work responsibilities during Spring Break
  12. Taking batteries to the recycling station at the public library (Mar. 10, 2014)
  13. Free stoneware to replace the misshapen one that arrived earlier for our Crock Pot
  14. Excellent sushi (best in Rapid City so far) at Fuji (Mar. 8, 2014)
  15. Helping my wife install and wire a new light switch (Mar. 13, 2014)
  16. Removing ceiling fan
  17. Helping my wife install a new light fixture in the dining room (Mar. 14, 2014)
  18. Good physics lunch at Mongolian Grill (Mar. 12, 2014)
  19. Cooked homemade macaroni & cheese (Mar. 7, 2014)
  20. Cooked halushki with bacon
  21. Cleaned up after all of the home improvements
  22. Dinner and good conversation with a good friend (Mar. 14, 2014)
  23. Unpacked gardening supplies
  24. Helped my wife rotate our mattress
  25. Helped my wife install our mattress pad
  26. Good ribs and steak at Colonial House (Mar. 12, 2014)
  27. Good meeting with University Relations about graduate education videos
  28. Good conversation via Skype with Steve (Mar. 13, 2014)
  29. Our first seeds are sprouting (indoors)
  30. My wife's new eyeglasses and frames
  31. The optician who adjusted my eyeglasses so they stay on my face now

Total: 934

10 March 2014


I watched the first episode of the new Cosmos series last night, and Sagan's torch has been passed to a worthy successor.  I hope this new series will inspire a new generation of scientists as Sagan's series inspired me during it's tenth anniversary airing 24 years ago.  While the series seems to have a pronounced materialistic worldview, the wonder of scientific discovery shines brightly.

I hope that my Catholic friends will not be alienated by the segments of the first episode dealing with the execution of Giordano Bruno.  I also hope that the series will highlight the positive contributions Christians have made toward the advancement of science, such as Kepler's Laws, the proposal of the Big Bang Theory by Georges LemaĆ®tre (a Catholic priest), and Gregor Mendel's pioneering work on genetics.

If anyone wants to watch and discuss the next episode, you are welcome at our house!

"The heavens declare the glory of God" - Psalm 19:1

Gratitdue, Part 29 (Mar 1 - 7, 2014)

  1. Watching the SDSM&T Drama Club's production of Dead Henry with friends
  2. Getting dinner to-go so that we could still eat it and get to the play (almost) on time (Mar. 1, 2014)
  3. Help from the ROOT team at CERN in getting a bug fixed
  4. One of the CERN ROOT team members pointed out that I was using too old a version of root to check their fix.  He also pointed me to the newer version
  5. A comment posted on http://stackoverflow.com/ told me how to install the "make" comment on my laptop, thus ending a very frustrating hour of trying to install the correct version of ROOT.
  6. Beer & Bible discussions on polygamy, genealogies of Jesus and other issues (Mar. 2, 2014)
  7. Getting the second new light in our basement mostly installed (Mar. 2, 2014)
  8. With the new version of ROOT installed, the bug is indeed fixed! (Mar. 3, 2014)
  9. Tried new Japanese restaurant Sumo (Mar. 5, 2014)
  10. Good guest lecture for my dark matter class
  11. Despite the cold weather, 5 of us attended Beer & Bible (Mar. 2, 2014)
  12. My wife started her first seedlings of the year!
  13. Learned how to establish a Skype connection in the distance learning classrooms
  14. Good and useful discussions at the Cleanliness meeting (Mar. 5, 2014)
  15. Skype conversation with a good friend and fellow physics professor (Mar. 6, 2014)
  16. Fun and good homemade pizza at the faculty student social (Mar. 6, 2014)
  17. Meeting friends at the Dahl Art Center (Mar. 7, 2014)
  18. Beautiful watercolors of the Badlands at the Dahl Art Center
  19. Interesting photographs of grain elevaors
  20. Talk by and Q&A with the artist
  21. Good free food at the Dahl