26 December 2013

Gratitude, Part 18 (Dec. 14-20, 2013)

  1. Quickly receiving articles through interlibrary loan
  2. Homemade salmon fish sticks
  3. My wife making homemade coleslaw for me
  4. Helping my wife cook kale pesto pasta
  5. Christmas lights in our window
  6. Successfully removing old light fixtures from basement
  7. Warm weather to melt ice and snow off the roads
  8. Successfully getting the PAW script running
  9. My knowledge of FORTRAN coming in handy for the first time in 10 years
  10. Finding the book "Downton Tabby" at the library
  11. Generous in-laws
  12. Tempura at Fuji
  13. Sushi at Fuji
  14. Finishing the first draft of the syllabus for the class I will teach next semester
  15. Unexpected lunch with colleagues (Dec. 16, 2013)
  16. Finding a Japan travel book at the library
  17. Walking to library with my wife
  18. Helping a collaborator by commenting on his presentation
  19. Another professor willing to take over my class while I am in Japan
  20. Reading a chapter in a book that helped me to reframe the goals for my class
  21. Getting independent study sections set up so that students who wish to take my class for 3 credits instead of 2 can do so
  22. Printing fliers to advertise the class
  23. Graduate student installing PAW on our computer cluster
  24. Anniversary card from my sister
  25. Good meeting with my graduate student (Dec. 16, 2013)
  26. Interesting presentation at the Lunch-n-Learn seminar (Dec. 19, 2013)
  27. Good lunch at the Lunch-n-Learn seminar
  28. Able to attend my first Masters thesis defenses at School of Mines (Dec. 20, 2013)
  29. Our friends were able to come to small group despite bad weather (Dec. 19, 2013)
  30. The delicious results of my wife making a new bread recipe 

Total: 575

17 December 2013

Gratitude, Part 17 (Dec. 7-13, 2013)

  1. Snow tires for my bike
  2. Friendly bike store owner who installed snow tires at no extra charge
  3. Have not fallen off bike once since obtaining snow tires
  4. Eating pomelo
  5. Pomelo tea
  6. Seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with friends and colleagues from the Physics department (Dec. 14, 2013)
  7. Mike giving me a ride to the movie
  8. One of the students sharing his popcorn and almonds at the movie
  9. My wife's phone interview for a teaching position
  10. Learning about the differences between white-tailed deer and mule deer
  11. Our fourth anniversary (Dec. 12, 2013)
  12. Getting a great deal on a used computer and supporting a good cause at the same time
  13. The ability to have so many things delivered to our door
  14. Opportunity to travel to Japan in January
  15. Playing in my first band concert in several years
  16. Good conversation with Bob over Skype
  17. Having fun at the white elephant gift exchange
  18. Meeting Rafal's wife and children at the party
  19. Getting a geeky magnetic poetry kit in the gift exchange
  20. Lots of good food at the gift exchange
  21. Biking home with my wife from the gift exchange
  22. Successfully manually converting a proposal draft from Word to LaTex
  23. The Minnesota Public Radio online Christmas station


Total: 545

07 December 2013

Gratitude, Part 16 (Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2013)

  1. Seeing the Society of Physics Students float in the Festival of Lights Parade
  2. Wishing my mother a happy birthday (Nov. 30, 2013)
  3. Good Beer & Bible discussion
  4. My questions served as effective prompts for discussion
  5. Meeting new people at church
  6. Apple Ginger hard cider
  7. Able to pick up keys early for drive to Sanford Lab 
  8. Safe drive to Sanford Lab (Dec. 2, 2013)
  9. Attending safety training with two colleagues
  10. Got to know my colleagues better during the tip
  11. Pizza Lab in Center City, SD
  12. Talking with two USD graduate students at Pizza Lab
  13. Signing the "buck" rogers sculpture at pizza lab
  14. Tour of the surface of Sanford Lab
  15. Safe drive back from Sanford
  16. Finished proceedings for conference and sent them to collaboration for comment (Dec. 6, 2013)
  17. Picked up our order of buffalo from Breadroot
  18. Placed order for salmon at Breadroot
  19. Placed order for poultry (including ducks) at Breadroot
  20. Good meeting to start drafting a proposal (Dec. 4, 2013)
  21. I am halfway to my goal for this list!
  22. Final project presentations by students in PHYS 733 (Dec. 5, 2013)
  23. Our friends were able to come to small group despite scheduling problems (Dec. 5, 2013)
  24. Opportunity to read messages from Dr. Lemut's colleagues aloud at his tribute (Dec. 5, 2013)
  25. Progress on getting colloquia series started next semester
  26. Student working on colloquia series next semester
  27. After some re-arragement of food, our new fridge is working well
  28. Despite the cold weather and bad roads, I was able to keep getting to work by a combination of bike and mass transit. 
  29. Learned more about using the Rapid City bus system
  30. Other than the cold, the weather is nice and sunny
  31. Making anniversary plans

Total: 522

Gratitude, Part 15 (Nov. 23 - 29, 2013)

  1. Getting our home office organized
  2. Significant unpacking progress from boxes in home office
  3. Received extension of deadline for proceedings
  4. Our new, energy-efficient refrigerator
  5. Our new chest freezer
  6. Finished cleaning our new refrigerator
  7. Received discount on our new refrigerator
  8. Playing internet radio station from our laptop through our iPod dock with good sound quality
  9. Someone attended the first church potluck we hosted (Nov. 24, 2013)
  10. Bought turkey and other ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner
  11. Physics Thanksgiving social
  12. Support and encouragement within the Physics Dept. and campus community after the tragic events of last Thursday (http://www.sdsmt.edu/News/Mines-President-Heather-Wilson-extends-condolences/)
  13. My wife made a beautiful memory book for Dr. Lemut
  14. Learning that I can still find God even when I seek him with imperfect motives
  15. Interesting and encouraging seminar on STEM education (Nov. 26, 2013)
  16. Gift of a constellation mug from my wife
  17. The friend who suggested the constellation mug to my wife
  18. Shopping at Main Street Market for the first time
  19. Coupon from Main Street Market
  20. Christmas candy
  21. Excellent birthday card for my mother
  22. All the parts for Phase I (and some of the parts for Phase II) of our Entertainment PC have arrived
  23. Good "town hall" meeting with fellow Project Church members (Nov. 24, 2013)
  24. Delicious chicken soup at town hall meeting
  25. My wife and I biked to church and to the town hall meeting
  26. Time off for the Thanksgiving holiday
  27. Our Thanksgiving turkey was (and still is) delicious after brining and spatchcocking
  28. We were able to host good friends for Thanksgiving dinner
  29. Our guests introduced us to the Jewish tradition of beginning the Sabbath with a Kiddish meal
  30. Our guests brought wonderful mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and brownies
  31. Great conversation with our friends that helped us get to better know each other
  32. Butternut squash baked with oil, parsley, and garlic
  33. Garlic rosemary bread from Breadroot
  34. Free range turkey


Total: 491

28 November 2013

Gratitude, Part 14 (Nov. 16 - 22, 2013)

  1. Opportunity to help friends move from storage unit to their new house
  2. Help from other friends David and Anna in moving
  3. Ability to provide lunch for people helping
  4. Lunch also being a small birthday present for one of the people we helped move
  5. Laughs and good conversations during the move
  6. Creative solutions for appliances and furniture not fitting through doors
  7. Our friends being willing to help others in need after spending the day moving
  8. Learning how to make homemade potato chips
  9. Our food processor
  10. Our homemade potato chips turned out very well
  11. Thinking about what callouses in my life need to be removed
  12. Manheim Steamroller concert
  13. Beautiful moon out after the concert
  14. Welcoming a visitor to our church this morning (Nov. 17, 2013)
  15. The ability to edit misprints out of this list
  16. Able to safely ride home despite some of my bike clothes being locked in another building
  17. Fun trying to play my wife's clarinet
  18. Took my wife to a concert featuring a clarinet, piano, and vocalist
  19. Called my federal legislators to support a bill to combat human trafficking (Nov. 19, 2013)
  20. Good lunch and catching up with our pastor
  21. I knew what to order for my wife before she arrived
  22. Received free flu vaccination
  23. Useful tutorial for scanning events in NOvA
  24. Getting to know small group members better (Nov. 21, 2013)


Total: 457

17 November 2013

Gratitude, Part 13 (Nov. 9 - 15, 2013)

  1. Able to help the Society of Physics Students with a donation of boxes
  2. My wife was able to turn of the water to a broken pipe outside
  3. The pipe is now fixed
  4. Veterans honored today (Nov. 11, 2013), especially my grandfathers (and step-grandfathers) Galen, Gordy, and Louie
  5. Meetings cancelled and thus more time to work today (Nov. 12, 2013)
  6. Three-day weekend
  7. Purchase of a powerful cordless drill
  8. Setting up several parts of our entertainment system, including the tuner and speakers
  9. Cat paw prints in the snow
  10. Stranger ringing our doorbell to ask if we wanted a cat
  11. Helping my wife cut her hair
  12. Peppermint tea
  13. Informative meeting with Director of ES&H
  14. Placing my first order with the GRE search service
  15. Cooking tacos with my wife
  16. Furniture shopping with my wife
  17. Keeping in touch with our friend Sam in Illinois
  18. Reading the Little House on the Prairie series with my wife
  19. My wife's grace under pressure during the broken pipe incident
  20. Finding a plumber able to fix the problem on short notice
  21. My wife brining my bike lights after I had forgotten to pack them
  22. My wife giving me a ride after she brought my bike lights
  23. My bike lights worked well enough for me to ride home and buy a surprise along the way
  24. Ordered new bike light
  25. New curry paste
  26. Good meetings with current and prospective students (Nov. 14, 2013)
  27. Lunch with a good friend via Skype
  28. Made decision about what to do with lab space
  29. Made important decision regarding a student's project


Total: 433

12 November 2013

Gratitude, Part 12 (Nov. 2 - 8, 2013)

  1. Fellowship and fun at first small group meeting (Nov. 7, 2013)

  2. Great food my wife made for small group
  3. A friend's promotion
  4. A friend's generosity in bringing pizza to the small group meeting
  5. Fun playing Apples to Apples
  6. Getting to know our small group members a bit better
  7. Bamboo-themed room divider
  8. Cleaned up the living room to prepare for small group gatherings
  9. Homemade french fries
  10. Beer & Bible (Nov. 3, 2013)
  11. Finding a useable bicycle route to Buffalo Wild Wings
  12. The bartender at BWW letting me use their phone after my cell phone battery ran out
  13. Got more work done than I expected on Saturday (Nov. 2, 2013)
  14. Planting garlic
  15. Attending the live chat with scientists underground at the Homestake Mine
  16. Interviewing a Tiospaye scholar at their open house (Nov. 5, 2013)
  17. Door prize from the Tiospaye scholar open house
  18. Good conversation with a colleague and friend (Nov. 6, 2013)
  19. Unintentional but good lessons in computer programing and debugging in class (Nov. 8, 2013)
  20.  Friendly staff in the Music Office when I asked about my wife's lost tuner
  21. Good lunch with Jesse from church
  22. Interesting ideas in the physics colloquium

Total: 404

03 November 2013

Gratitude, Part 11 (Oct. 26 - Nov. 1)

  1. The opportunity to help friends move in very trying circumstances (Oct. 26, 2013)
  2. People signing up for small groups this morning (Oct. 27, 2013)
  3. Forgiveness of my friends
  4. Helping people in need by clearing yard debris created by the blizzard
  5. Time to rest from all of the work this week and weekend
  6. Time to read and write to sort out some of my emotions
  7. My wife found her wedding ring, which had been lost for roughly a year (Nov. 1, 2013)!
  8. Good times at the Physics Dept. Halloween Social
  9. Good costumes at the Physics Dept. Halloween Social
  10. Good food at the Physics Dept. Halloween Social
  11. My wife's homemade spagetti squash
  12. My wife's homemade rice dish
  13. Ability to care for my wife when she is sick
  14. Successfully airing out our new mattress topper
  15. My wife's safe journey from Columbus to Minneapolis
  16. My wife's safe journey from Minneapolis to Rapid City
  17. Picking my wife up at the airport
  18. Being present in person at the announcement of the first LUX science results.
  19. Meeting interesting people at the announcement
  20. The governor's encouraging words at the announcement
  21. Learning about the Cultural Advisory Committee for the Sanford Lab
  22. Safe ride to and from the  LUX announcement
  23. Finished my lecture for the week earlier than I expected
  24. Interesting STEM education seminar (Oct. 29, 2013)
  25. My wife was able to join me at the seminar
  26. Noticing my improvement at band rehearsal (Oct. 30, 2013)


Total: 382

27 October 2013

Gratitude, Part 10 (Oct. 19 - 25)

  1. Officially admitted to NOvA (Oct. 19, 2013)
  2. Was able to restore my phone contacts from my Gmail contacts
  3. Remembered by water bottle in time to return to the lab and retrieve it
  4. Listened to a good and encouraging sermon that was recommended by a good friend on the drive from Batavia to Fort Wayne
  5. Steelers defeat Ravens (Oct. 20, 2013)
  6. Packers win, and I was able to listen to part of the game on my drive from Batavia to Fort Wayne.
  7. Safe drive to Fort Wayne
  8. I was able to correct for my wrong turn quickly and easily
  9. My hosts were generous and hospitable
  10. My hosts' three cats were friendly
  11. My hosts let me sleep in their guest room.
  12. I was able to follow my host from his house to the physics building without much trouble
  13. I was able to get my presentation into an acceptable form before I gave it.
  14. My rental car (Kia Soul) had good fuel efficiency (30.8 MPG)
  15. I have the mathematical ability to make the previous calculation
  16. My presentation was well received by the students
  17. I was asked several questions by the students and was able to answer them all
  18. One student even expressed some interest in applying to SDSM&T.
  19. My host asked me if he could have a copy of my slides
  20. A Subway restaurant in the basement of the physics building allowed me to have lunch with enough time to call into a phone meeting one hour after my presentation was finished
  21. My host institution, Indiana University Purdue University - Fort Wayne (IPFW), bought lunch for me.
  22. My host allowed me to use his office for the phone meeting
  23. My presentation at the phone meeting was well received and called "useful."
  24. Despite being lost on campus, I was able to find my rental car
  25. While being lost, I got some needed exercise in the form of walking
  26. The creativity of the painted mastodon mascots at IPFW
  27. The actual mastodon skeleton in the physics building
  28. Safe drive from Fort Wayne to Batavia
  29. Listened to an interested radio program on "tough topics in the Bible" during the drive
  30. Encouraging music for the rest of the drive
  31. Had dinner and good conversation with my hosts in Batavia (Oct. 21, 2013)
  32. I was able to fit everything I wanted to in my luggage
  33. Remembered to retrieve items from my hosts' freezer
  34. My hosts in Batavia allowed me to use their freezer to store groceries I am taking back to Rapid City
  35. Safe drive to the rental car return location
  36. Arrived at the airport in plenty of time for my flight
  37. Checking in with my mobile phone worked
  38. Found a security line without an operational body scanner thanks to tsastatus.net
  39. Informed other passengers of this line via tsastatus.net
  40. Water bottle filling stations at O'Hare
  41. I was able to help my hosts by letting their dogs out (Oct. 19, 2013)
  42. Departed on time from O'Hare
  43. Since I was not really hungry, by God's grace I resisted the temptation to buy unnecessary food in the airport
  44. My laptop's long battery life allows me to work while on the airplane
  45. Important time in prayer before going to bed (Oct. 21, 2013)
  46. Time and quite enough environment to read in the airport before boarding
  47. The end of the federal spending gap removes a great deal of uncertainty about the next few months at Fermilab and for NOvA
  48. Time to rest when I returned home
  49. My wife came to pick me up and take me home from the airport
  50. Ability to drive my wife to the airport
  51. My wife's safe journey from Rapid City to Minneapolis
  52. My wife making her connection to in Minneapolis
  53. My wife's safe journey from Minneapolis to Columbus
  54. Her catching up with friends in Columbus
  55. The opportunity to help a friend move on Friday (Oct. 25, 2013)


Total: 356

19 October 2013

Gratitude, Part 9 (Oct. 12 - 18)

  1. Watching Futurama together
  2. Buying chocolates at the Chubby Chipmunk, which is the best restaurant in Deadwood according to tripadvisor.com
  3. Eating at the Lee Street Station Cafe, which is the second best restaurant in Deadwood according to tripadvisor.com
  4. Found the third best restaurant in Deadwood, according to trip advisor.com, and learned valuable lessons
  5. Learned that restaurants will give away one's reservations if you are late
  6. Learned more about the nature and navigation of Deadwood
  7. Learned about being confident in difficult situations
  8. Great small group planning session and potluck dinner with Project Church (Oct. 15, 2013)
  9. Drove home from the cabin before another winter storm hit
  10. Rubber ducks in Harley-Davidson outfits
  11. My wife drove me to the airport (Oct. 16, 2013)
  12. I was able to quickly find the papers in my office that I had forgotten to pack
  13. "For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee." - II Corinthians 5:1-5
  14. "On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
    of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
    and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken." -  Isaiah 25:6-8
  15. Safe flight from Rapid City, SD to O'Hare
  16. Safe and easy drive from O'Hare to friends' house
  17. Wonderful hospitality of friends who are hosting me in Batavia
  18. My first talk of the collaboration meeting went well and led to some clear action items
  19. My second talk, officially requesting admission of SDSM&T to NOvA, was well received
  20. Found my water bottle, which had been hiding under the bed
  21. Had lunch with Eric & Emily at Daddio's in Batavia (Oct. 17, 2013)
  22. Had dinner with Daniel at Panda Restaurant in Batavia (Oct. 17, 2013)
  23. Had dessert with Daniel at Batavia Creamery (Oct. 17, 2013)
  24. Had lunch with Peter at the Fermilab cafeteria (Oct. 18, 2013)
  25. Had a good time at the Collaboration Dinner (Oct. 18, 2013)
  26. At the Collaboration Dinner, I met several collaborators whom I had not met in person previously.
  27. Had a fun time talking with my hosts after the dinner (Oct. 18, 2013)
  28. My wife sent an e-mail describing our proposed small group
  29. The ability to speak with and see my wife while I am in Batavia and she is in Rapid City


Total: 301

Gratitude, Part 8 (Oct. 5-11)

  1. Warm weather to melt the snow after the blizzard
  2. We had electricity for almost the entire blizzard
  3. After the blizzard, we met two neighbors and got to know others better
  4. Falling tree limbs missed our house and garage
  5. I was able to bike from home to campus on the first day it was open after the blizzard
  6. My standing work station arrived
  7. Meet with the man who may be my first graduate student
  8. Opportunity to meet with the local IV staff member today (Oct. 11, 2013)
  9. New rain pants are working well
  10. Remember to bring Kelly's instruments before I left the yard (Oct. 9, 2013)
  11. Successfully installed new light fixture without shocking, burning, or breaking anything or myself.
  12. My wife successfully installed new light switches in the bathroom and bedroom.
  13. Installed TV mount and mounted TV on it.
  14. Figured out how to lock up my bike in a way that allowed me to still put the rain cover on.
  15. After my bike blew over, Neal recognized it, let me know, and gave me a good idea for where to store it.
  16. Excellent relaxing weekend getaway in a cabin near Deadwood.
  17. Taught my first class as a professor, and it went fairly well
  18. Safe trip to the cabin
  19. Gas fireplace in the cabin
  20. Basket of snacks provided by the owners of the cabin
  21. Beautiful stars the first night in the cabin (Oct. 11, 2013)

Total: 272


06 October 2013

Gratitude, Part 7 (Sep. 28 - Oct. 4)

  1. Watched Star Trek II, thus washing the disappointment out of my mind from Star Trek Into Darkness.
  2. Beautiful weather for the Rapid City Pumpkin Festival
  3. Signed petition to legalize chickens in the city limits of Rapid City.
  4. Watched the giant pumpkin weigh-off at the Rapid City Pumpkin Festival
  5. Read chapter 2 of The Gift of Being Yourself
  6. Meditation on Matt. 6:9-13 and Mark 10:17-22
  7. Participated in the church forum after service (Sep. 29, 2013)
  8. Made "ants on a  log" for the first time since childhood
  9. Met the University President today (Sep. 30, 2013)
  10. My wife had a good time at the wedding, after the wedding, and at the reception.
  11. My wife saw a giant rubber duck in its first American appearance.
  12. My wife's safe journey from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis
  13. My wife's safe journey from Minneapolis to Rapid City
  14. Picked her up at the airport
  15. Successfully set up TV, DVD player, and antenna
  16. Finished lining shelves in the kitchen
  17. Closed on our house
  18. Celebrated closing with sushi lunch
  19. Made dinner reservation for romantic getaway this weekend
  20. Use my 20% off coupon to buy gifts for my wife and parents at bookstore
  21. Discovered I had a coupon for a free lunch under the bookstore coupon
  22. Interesting seminar by the Mines Medal winner
  23. Free food at the seminar by the Mines Medal winner
  24. Met another new faculty member at the Faculty & Staff Lounge
  25. The technology and infrastructure to be warned of the coming blizzard this weekend (Oct. 3, 2013)
  26. Ease of rescheduling reservations to avoid the forecast blizzard
  27. Extra time to plan for what we had reserved for this weekend
  28. WNIU matching funds for pledge drive
  29. Opportunity to teach (and learn) about dark matter at the graduate level next semester
  30. Connie's help in setting up the class for next semester
  31. Good shelter from the blizzard (Oct. 4, 2013)
  32. The blizzard revealing bad seals on some of our windows
  33. Getting to know colleagues better at the Mines Medal Dinner
  34. Good food at the Mines Medal Dinner
  35. Surprise inauguration at the  Mines Medal Dinner
  36. Encouraging words from the governor at the Mines Medal Dinner

Total: 251




28 September 2013

Gratitude, Part 6 (Sep. 21-27)

  1. The wind was at my back for most of the ride in this morning (Sep. 23, 2013)
  2. Helped my wife cut her hair
  3. Finished first part of shelf lining project for her
  4. God gives second chances (see Jonah 3:1-3)
  5. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." - Ephesians 1:7-10
  6. After our can opener broke, I was able to use a generic "Swiss" army knife to open a can of black olives.
  7. We helped initiate at potluck for Project Church on Sep. 22, 2013.
  8. The rain missed us at the potluck, and we only got a few drops riding home.
  9. Good food and good time with new friends at the potluck
  10. Hannah's great salsa
  11. Christine's meringues
  12. Sharing our chili
  13. Carrying the chili in my bike bag without spilling it
  14. Achieved inbox zero again briefly today (Sep. 23, 2013)
  15. Homemade spelt pizza crust
  16. Baking our own homemade pizza
  17. "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23
  18. Remembered to start the dishwasher this morning.
  19. Realized that I had forgotten my helmet in time to turn around and retrieve it.
  20. Found the bike lights
  21. Finished unpacking and cleaning my office.
  22. My office phone has arrived
  23. Explored two floors of the Devereaux Library on campus that I had not entered before
  24. Found a textbook for a class I am teaching at Devereaux
  25. Helped my wife pack for her trip to a friend's wedding.
  26. Rapid City has an airport
  27. Enjoyable meeting with Dr. Hamilton
  28. Enjoyable colloquium from Dr. Hamilton
  29. Successfully dropped my wife off at the airport (Sep. 27, 2013)
  30. Our director complemented the tubas at the most recent band rehearsal
  31. My wife's safe journey from Rapid City to Minneapolis
  32. My wife's safe journey from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh

Total: 215


22 September 2013

Gratitude, Part 5 (Sep. 14-20)

  1. Transported my office boxes from home into my office
  2. Encouraging and challenging message about not being defined by my past at Project Church
  3. Good deal on fried chicken at Safeway
  4. Organic bananas on sale at Safeway
  5. Potluck with fellow PC members
  6. Getting to know the hostess of the potluck before everyone else arrived
  7. Good driving directions from the hostess
  8. Started unpacking boxes in my office
  9. Second monitor ordered
  10. I was able to return library materials on my bike.
  11. Sharing the stories of how we met and our first date with our hostess
  12. Organic squash on sale at Safeway
  13. Achieved true inbox zero today (Sep. 17, 2013)
  14. Bison chili that my wife made
  15. Opportunity to review my first paper for a journal
  16. Interlibrary loans at SDSM&T
  17. Dishwasher
  18. Refrigerator
  19. Electricity
  20. All of the books in my office are now unpacked.
  21. Hanging file folders for my desk
  22. Found my ethernet adapter
  23. Water heater
  24. Two bathrooms in our house
  25. Multitude of ways to communicate with my wife when we are apart
  26. Having a good reason to open my undergraduate quantum mechanics book (discussion with a student)
  27. Free frozen yogurt with the band at Cherry Berry (Sep. 18, 2013)
  28. Ride to Cherry Berry from one of my fellow tuba players
  29. We got to know two band members better during the ride.
  30. I learned about how I might teach well in the future
  31. Group picture with part of the band
  32. Delicious blueberry "breakfast bread" my wife made
  33. My wife discovered our dishwasher's front panels are reversible, allowing us to choose between two different colors (beige and black)
  34. Woke up without needing my alarm this morning (Sep. 19, 2013)
  35. Rode over Star Village Hill for the first time this morning (Sep. 20, 2013)
  36. First night in our newly painted bedroom (Sep. 20, 2013).


Total:183

15 September 2013

Gratitude, Part 4 (Sep. 7-13)

  1. Rain for our squash plant from the storm on Sep. 9, 2013
  2. Safely riding home though the storm on my bicycle
  3. Gift of a very effective and efficient shoe dryer from my parents
  4. The diligence and presence of mind to dry of my bike after getting home
  5. Encouraging pedestrian who liked my bike lights
  6. Encouraging pedestrian who said "Ride Safe." as I was riding home though the storm
  7. Safe drive to Ft. Collins for LBNE collaboration meeting
  8. Travel funds to attend the meeting
  9. All of the opportunities presented by joining the LBNE collaboration
  10. The ability to walk a mile in the rain with no serious side-effects
  11. Good dinner at a restaurant (Larkburger) committed to sustainability and natural food (Sep. 10, 2013)
  12. Beautiful vistas and skies on the drive from Rapid City to Ft. Collins, CO (Sep. 10, 2013)
  13. Visiting two states for the first time (Wyoming and Colorado)
  14. Help from someone attending a different meeting to find the first meeting room for the LBNE meeting
  15. Reconnecting with colleagues from my days as a graduate student on BaBar
  16. Meeting new colleagues on LBNE
  17. Eating chicken and waffles for the first time
  18.  NOvA DOE proposal submitted
  19. LBNE DOE proposal submitted
  20. Successfully ironing my shirt for today (Sep. 12, 2013)
  21. Streaming television online
  22. Participating in my first Institutional Board Meeting
  23. Our political system is far less violent that those of ancient Israel and Judah (e.g. II Chronicles 21:4, 22:10-12, 23:15)
  24. First coat of paint in our bedroom walls.
  25. Finished painting our bedroom ceiling
  26. Availability of zero-VOC paint in town
  27. Our ability to afford it  zero-VOC paint
  28. I was able to help my wife get a drawer unstuck in our bedroom.
  29. Helpful hotel staff in Ft. Collins
  30. Good food at collaboration banquet
  31. Noodles & Company near hotel
  32. Collaboration Meeting ended early
  33. Delicious instant Thai noodle Soup (beef flavor)
  34. My wife's homemade chicken Thai curry
  35. Internet radio, specifically WNIU
  36. Radio stations from four different states on the drive back from Ft. Collins
  37. A route around the flooding from the LBNE meeting to home (Sep. 13, 2013)
  38. Interview with a fellow tuba player on the radio
  39. Driving safely through the rain (Sep. 13, 2013)
  40. Driving safely through the fog at night (Sep. 13, 2013)
  41. Safe arrival back in Rapid City (Sep. 13, 2013)
  42. The outpost of food and gas that is Lusk, WY
  43. Wyoming has passive solar and geothermal rest areas!

  44. Whole Foods Market in Ft. Collins

(Total: 147)

08 September 2013

Gratitude, Part 3 (Week of Aug. 31, 2013)



  1. CF bulb stopped light in utility room from flickering
  2. Warm blankets at night
  3. BBQ with pastor and members of a church in town
  4. "I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.  I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him." - Ecclesiastes 3:12-14
  5. A table for meals
  6. Discussing colors for paint of rooms in our new house.
  7. Settling on primary color for the living room
  8. Settling on primary color for our bedroom
  9. Ease of installing new shower head
  10. Ease of uninstalling new shower head after it didn't work as we had hoped
  11. Ease of re-installing old shower head
  12. Meeting another neighbor (Norma)
  13. A wife who encourages me to seek God, follow him more fully, and accept his grace
  14. Found a USB flash drive that I didn't realize I had lost
  15. Farmers Market corn on the cob for lunch
  16. Bike Rack near my office
  17. My wife created a clever and effect way to dispatch some unwelcome ants from my office.
  18. God gave me the creativity to develop four projects for a class in less than a day
  19. The cookies in the Faculty Lounge are good
  20. The cookies in the Faculty Lounge are only 25¢
  21. Meeting other faculty members in the Faculty Lounge
  22. The opportunity to hear my U.S. Senator speak and interact with some of his constituents at a Town Hall meeting on campus
  23. IJM Chennai: Eight-Year Trial Ends with Justice, Sex Trafficking Survivors Moving Forward http://www.ijm.org/news/ijm-chennai-eight-year-trial-ends-justice-sex-trafficking-survivors-moving-forward
  24. Autumn Nights in downtown Rapid City with my wife, complete with gyros, ribs and funnel cake (Aug. 6, 2013).
  25. Meeting new neighbors (Calvin & Melissa, Ben)
  26. Finished proofreading LBNE proposal
  27. Gave my first partial lecture as a professor!
  28. Met the other Prof. Corwin at SDSM&T
  29. New desk in my office
  30. My wife bought our first paint for the new house today (Sep. 6, 2013)
  31. Encountered a prayer walk as it was passing the EE/Physics building (Sep. 5, 2013)
  32. "The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." -Philipians 4:5-6
  33. Arrival of new shop vac.

(Total: 103)


02 September 2013

Gratitude, Part 2 (Week of Aug. 24, 2013)

  1. Able to sleep in on Sunday after the neighbor's dogs kept us up with their barking.
  2. I have the physical ability to ride by bicycle to work
  3. Our new home's proximity to my work and downtown
  4. I have a safe route on which I can bike to work
  5. Better understanding of two problems that were hindering my work with my new laptop
  6. My new work laptop
  7. Working around the dogs barking and being able to sleep through the night (Aug. 25-26, 2013)
  8. Key to the mailroom and microwave room
  9. LaTeX is now working on my work laptop
  10. SSH to Fermilab (kerberos) is now working on my work laptop
  11. I have he opportunity to view videos on Why Particle Physics Matters by others who were selected instead of me to be in the contest, and I can learn from them how to be abetter presenter myself.
  12. First band rehearsal of the semester.  I played better than I expected considering I haven't touched a tuba in almost five years
  13. Getting to know fellow tuba players in the band (Dallas, Justin, and Jason)
  14. Being able to play in the same band as my bride again.
  15. Biking home from rehearsal together
  16. We saw two cats on the way home (one siamese kitten and one adult orange tabby)
  17. Friendly technician from Information & Technology Services
  18. I can now print from my work laptop.
  19. I can now access the SDSM&T shared drives from my work laptop.
  20. Finally got LBNE DOE proposal narrative to save.
  21. Neighbors took barking dogs in last night (Aug. 26-27, 2013).
  22. My wife wrote a beautiful thank you note to the neighbors
  23. Alarm failure resulted in nice morning conversation
  24. Alarm failure did not result in being late for anything
  25. E-mail from first prospective Ph.D. advisee
  26. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;" - Psalm 136:1-5

  27. Meeting with first prospective Ph.D. advisee
  28. Short phone meeting this morning (Aug. 29)
  29. Multiple responses on my request to NOvA for PHYS 733 projects
  30. Alarm worked this morning
  31. Learned the name of one of the janitors who cleans the EE/Physics building (Alan)
  32. Energy saving motion sensor in my office
  33. Shelter from the rain and hail
  34. Cover for my bike
  35. Extra time for working on proposals today
  36. My wife's discovery of another Asian supermarket
  37. My wife's discovery of a Steelers Bar in Rapid City

(Total: 70)


25 August 2013

Gratitude, Part 1 (Week of Aug. 17, 2013)



  1. New washer and dryer
  2. My new job
  3. The beautiful sunsets in the Black Hills
  4. Good lunch at the LZ meeting
  5. My good friend and best man Gary
  6. Talking with Gary via Skype last night
  7. Video phones are real!
  8. The relative ease of finding our new home and getting an offer accepted
  9. Rapid City Farmers Market
  10. Beautiful sunsets in the Black Hills
  11. Central Air at our house
  12. New roof on the new house
  13. Being able to move into our new house right away
  14. My lab space at SDSM&T
  15. The patience of my wife
  16. Health insurance
  17. Big front window in our house
  18. Having a professor at SDSM&T to guide me into being a new faculty member
  19. Having other people I can contact as mentors
  20. Short wait time for new driver's license
  21. Figured out how to get portable CD/DVD drive working.  It was borrowed from ITS, and it had an on/off switch that I could not find for a while.
  22. Low VOC paint used in the Chemistry/Chem. Eng. building
  23. Keys for new office.
  24. Window in my office
  25. Chance to interact with students at freshman orientation in Physics Dept.
  26. Ice cream sandwich at  freshman orientation in Physics Dept.
  27. Changing room, shower and lockers in the building next door to Physics.
  28. Successfully transporting eggs from farmers' market on my wife's bike (Aug. 24, 2013)
  29. Crickets at night
  30. Conversation with neighbor about barking dogs
  31. Able to reach real estate agent about issues with house
  32. Temporary desk in my new office
  33. This list has no rules imposed from the outside! :)


17 August 2013

Officially on the Directory!



We have arrived in Rapid City, and I have spent my first days on the job here!  I am officially on the directory, but I have not been able to move into my office yet. The previous occupant is still there because his new office is not ready yet.  The plan is that next week the dominos will fall and Prof. Corwin will be in Office 120 of the Electrical Engineering and Physics Building at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology!

Book Ch:Vs

06 June 2013

God's Latest Blessing: Becoming a Physics Professor!


God has blessed me with a job offer, which I verbally accepted today!

I will be starting my job as an Assistant Prof. of Physics at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on Aug. 22 of this year.

"Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God" - II Samuel 7:18-19




25 May 2013

I get 776 MPGe!


Images courtesy of winnond (left) and Keerati (right) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In honor of National Bike Month, I have decided to calculate the fuel efficiency of bicycling.

We are most familiar with measuring the fuel efficiency of vehicles in miles per gallon of gasoline (MPG).  The strangeness of this unit is explored in an xkcd cartoon.  Bicyclists sometimes joke that we get infinite miles per gallon (MPG) because we don't use gasoline.  However, one would not make the same claim about an electric car even though they use no gasoline.  All three of these modes of transportation use energy, and MPG is really just another way of stating energy efficiency.   When we speak of MPG, we are really using gallon of gasoline as a unit of energy.

Energy is measured in many different units for different contexts.  The basic metric unit is the Joule (J).   For gasoline-powered vehicles, as we have already seen, it is measured in gallons of gasoline.  For electric vehicles and on an electric bill, it is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).  For heating, it is sometimes measured in British thermal  units (BTUs) or Therms.  For food, which also happens to be bicyclist fuel, it is measured in nutritional Calories.  Nutritional Calories are the equivalent of kilocalories (kcal) that are normally used in physics.  This is a very important point; the kilowatt-hours on your electric bill, the BTUs on your heating bill, and the calories listed on your cereal box are all measuring the same thing: energy.

In order to fairly compare the efficiencies of gas and electric cars, the EPA uses "miles per gallon equivalent" (MPGe).  This requires knowing how much energy a gallon of gasoline represents; in other words, how do we convert from the energy unit "gallon of gasoline" to other units?  The energy content of a gallon of gasoline has been measured at 33.7 kWh. If an electric car can travel 100 miles on a battery charged with 33.7 kW-hr of energy, it has an efficiency of 100 MPGe. In mathematical form,

1 gallon of gasoline = 33.7 kWh.

From my freshman physics textbook, we can calculate

1 kWh = 3,600,000 J = 860.0096 kcal

or

1 kcal = 0.001163 kWh

So, how many MPGe do I get riding a bicycle?  We start by looking up estimates of Calories burned while cycling.  I ride 3.2 mi to work in about 17 min, for an average speed of 11.29 mph.  The Wisconsin Department of Health provides a table of Calories burned per hour for various activities.  The closest weight to mine is 155 lbs., and my speed is in the range that burns 422 kcal/h =  0.4907 kWh/h.  This will vary by individual, road conditions, exact speed, and other factors, but we can use this figure as an estimate.

Now, we have all that we need to calculate a bicycle MPGe!

We convert from my energy burn rate to miles per kWh, using my average speed.

(1 hr / 0.4907 kWh)*(11.29 mi / h) = 23.017 mi / kWh

Then, we use the known energy content of gasoline to arrive at our answer.

(23.017 mi / kWh)*(33.7 kWh / gallon) = 776 MPGe!

Now, that's efficient.

06 May 2013

Job Interview Update!

For those of you who do not know, I had a on-site job interview for a physics faculty position on Apr. 25. I have been very encouraged by how many people have be asking me about this. Thank you so much!

As far as I can tell, the interview went well.  It was interrupted by a (false) fire alarm at one point, but as far as I can tell, I didn't make any major mistakes or faux pas.  I got many good questions a few compliments on my colloquium, and (perhaps most importantly) I did not run over my allotted time.

I got along very or fairly well with all of the people I met during the interview, which included all of the faculty in the physics department, several students, and a few administrators. 

This position would be an excellent fit for me for several reasons, and the visit overall increased my desire to join the university.

Now, it is time to wait and pray. I will not know if I got the job until at least May 10.

24 March 2013

Job Search Update!

The job search front has been busy for me this past week.  I had a phone interview with one institution on Wednesday (Mar. 20).  I expect to hear back from them within two weeks.


Even more excitingly, I have been invited for an on-site interview with another institution!  We in the process of determining the dates, but it will probably be in late April.  

It seems prudent to not yet reveal the names of these institutions.

14 February 2013

Exodus 23:1





03 February 2013

Highly Recommended: Merchants of Doubt

If you doubt that smoking is bad for your health, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.
If you doubt that second hand smoke is bad for your health, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.
If you doubt the existence of acid rain, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.
If you have any doubts about the ozone hole, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.
If you think the tobacco companies doubted that second hand smoke is bad for your health, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.
If you think the banning of DDT was a bad thing, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.
If you think global warming is a hoax, I recommend Merchants of Doubt.