Archive for the 'travels' Category

Random pictures I found on my phone

Sometimes I load the pictures off my phone. Well, at least I have now done so once.


Meryl and Abby on the bus

Nepali restaurant

Callie demonstrates the proper technique for eating cheetos

Jon explains the “Suck Threshold” between “Boring” and “Innovative Shit”

on European adventures

I’m safe and sound back in Seattle after two wonderful weeks of visiting friends in Europe. I posted a bunch of photos on facebook and am too lazy to do a full blog post here as well, but the following links will take you to the albums:

hello world!

According to Abby today is blog de-lurking day, a.k.a. a time to reveal yourself as a reader of someone’s blog by posting a comment. In my case, I suppose it makes an excuse to stop lurking on my own blog and catch you all up (faithful readers) on what I’ve been up to since Sept. 4.


  • After a few more false cooking starts, I eventually gathered the equipment I needed and started to feel more settled in to my new apartment:

    View Larger Map
  • I welcomed and started getting to know the new bunch of 8 volunteers at the Mennonite Voluntary Service house. They are a fun group and I’ve enjoyed hanging out with them once or week (sometimes more!) for bible study and watching The Office.
  • I took the train down to Oregon for a weekend, to visit ONE/Northwest‘s Portland office as well as James, Darla, Levi, and Bethany in Salem…great to see each of you! Unfortunately I lost my camera on this trip, so the photos included here are thanks to friends…
  • I spent 3 days at a ONE/Northwest staff retreat on a lake not too far away. This was a wonderful time of getting to know my colleagues better and improving our shared vision of how our organization can be most effective at helping address the climate crisis (at least, when I wasn’t getting distracted by a certain server crisis). And I got to introduce the staff to Cowtris during our no-talent night.

    the web team works to avert a crisis???

    not cold

  • I hosted a homemade ice cream party in honor of my 23rd birthday, which was a great success with some 30 guests who struggled to navigate the tight confines of this apartment.


  • I had the privilege to attend the 2008 Plone Conference in Washington, D.C. (Plone is an open source content management system used for building websites; I use it extensively at work and have enjoyed getting involved in contributing to the community that develops the software, as I described in the new Plone section of this blog). In addition to spending plenty of time doing geeky things like giving a talk on debugging Plone, I had some awesome Ethiopian food and spent some great times with Kyle and Christy (helping them decorate their apartment, watching nature documentaries, and trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the railroad tracks) as well as Don, Rosanna, Sharada, Eric, and Alberto (playing games and giving lessons in proper Facebook ettiquette).

    Plone Conference 2008


  • I made my infamous appearance as the bear market at the MVS Halloween party.


Whoops, it’s past my bedtime and I still have 2 months to go…guess there will have to be another installment sometime soon.

on the Plone Strategic Planning Summit

One month ago I had the privilege of participating in the Plone Strategic Planning Summit, at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. (Plone is the content management software which we use at ONE/Northwest for setting up websites, and it is an open source project involving volunteer developers from around the world.) There’s plenty I could say about how well organized and how much fun this community is, but instead I’ll just point you at the Google Open Source blog entry about the PSPS if you want to know more.

The important part is this picture. Look how much fun we are having being geeks!

on Christmas at the Glicks (episode 4: snow!)




on giving thanks

I’d better write this, lest I procrastinate any longer…it’s already been a week since Thanksgiving!

A few things I’m thankful for today:

  • Sunshine! (Okay, not today…but there has been a remarkable string of nice days lately.)
  • The fact that our home has a working heater keeping us at a balmy 68 degrees! (Of this one I am acutely aware, since our thermostat batteries died last night and the heater didn’t run.)
  • This one probably deserves a post of its own, but if you haven’t heard yet, I’m simply delighted (and still just a little awed) to announce that this beautiful, amazing young lady is now my girlfriend!

(Sorry about the poor-quality photo…there was an Amishman running the camera and he forgot to turn on the auto-focus.)

  • Today was the 20th birthday of the awesomest little sister ever. Happy birthday, Beth! (Aww, blast, I guess I can’t do anything with the “I am a cow” poster this year…) I’m glad you’re along for the ride that is this life.
  • My wonderful parents, who are faithful correspondents, good people, and always supportive.
  • So many friends in the Goshen College diaspora…I miss you!
  • My MVS housemates, who are good cooks, good listeners, and pretty much fun.
  • The chance I have to work at ONE/Northwest, doing something I enjoy for a cause I care about while working with people who have lots to teach me but also are interested in my own opinions.
  • The church communities I’ve been a part of — Assembly Mennonite and Seattle Mennonite — and the energy they give me for working for peace and justice in a world that has too little of both.

And for those of you looking for an update, here is a brief visual synopsis of my Thanksgiving weekend…

Thursday: dinner and general laziness at Sean and Aaron’s

Friday: I met Katie downtown after detouring around the big parade…

…and we headed up to visit her aunt and uncle on Camano island. It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend of Christmas decorating, playing Ti Chu, dozing by the fire, baking shortbread cookies, and generally pampering ourselves.

Life is good!

on Another Week in Washington

This weekend was spent at Camp Camrec, the Mennonite camp to the east across Stevens Pass. It was a chance to get to know the Seattle MVS support committee, interact more with housemates, and see some of rural Washington state.


Deception Falls

Treebeard? Treebeard?

new life

Life is good. At work, I feel like I am starting to get a leg up on the learning curve, and I’ve already written a bit of code that is running on a live site. At home, we drafted a house covenant and have just figured out the room situation — my real room (commonly known as “the womb”) has just been emptied out and I can move in tomorrow. Tonight I just cooked my first house meal (groundnut stew), which was a success. It really is amazing how quickly one can settle down in a new place and start to feel the rhythms of a routine…I guess that is something we can’t live without, even as we need new and exciting things alongside.

on My First Days in Seattle

Whew, the past few days have been a whirlwind. I got here around 9 p.m. Saturday evening, was picked up and brought to the MVS house on Capitol Hill, where I met lots of people and moved into my temporary abode in the TV room (until the end of this week when some of the old VSers move to their new residence). On Sunday I spent the morning unpacking, then wandered around the neighborhood for a bit before getting picked up for the Grand Tour of Seattle.

Jill, the local MVS coordinator, ended up taking us on a 5-hour tour of many parts of Seattle. We started by heading a ways south down Rainier Ave. to visit a couple peoples’ assignments (including a quick detour to see Lake Washington),
Lake Washington
then swung past the stadiums,
stopped at the Uwajimaya market,
fish at Uwajimaya
headed on through downtown,
downtown Seattle
past the Space Needle,
the Space Needle
and up to Queen Anne hill which offers a gorgeous panoramic view.
Then on up across the canals, past the Fremont troll,
to the Ten Thousand Villages in Roosevelt. And then west to Ballard and the Chittenden locks
before swinging back past the University and home again.
On Sunday evening I walked to Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral for its well-known Compline service, where I met a friend from Goshen who I brought back to see the MVS house. And then today was my first day at ONE/Northwest–a day of meeting neat people who are passionate about technology and about helping environmental agencies engage their constituents, of setting up a new computer and learning about how this organization does things, and of actually diving into a bit of programming alongside my illustrious colleague Andrew. Oh, and I can’t forget this evening…one of my housemates managed to get some free tickets to the Mariners game from her work, so we headed down to Soldier field to see the game. Sadly, the results were not as desired (Oakland had two grand slams…TWO!), but it was still a fun end to some exciting first days in the Emerald City.

on the Transition

Greetings from Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. I just finished my week at Camp Mennoscah, just outside of the bustling metropolis of Murdock, KS (population 378), where I was oriented for the Mennonite Voluntary Service program I am beginning. The orientation sessions themselves were fairly good, although a fair amount of review for this Goshen College graduate who’s been muttering core values like “servant leaders,” “global citizens,” and “compassionate peacemakers” for the past 4 years. The really wonderful parts of the week were the surroundings (contrary to expectations, the Kansas prairie has so much LIFE), the food (our meals were home-cooked by former VSers), the people (what can I say…people who decide to give up a year of income in order to help change the world are pretty sweet).

Now I’m sitting here waiting for my flight back to Chicago, where I will spend the night at the Last Homely Home of the East (many thanks to Abby, Becca, Steph, and Jess, who are my gracious hosts and guardians of two of my bags for this week). Tomorrow afternoon I’ll catch another flight from Chicago on to Seattle, where I’ll be reunited with the one housemate I know from college, the three housemates I met this week, 5 or so continuing housemates whose terms are ending in a month who I met briefly in February but haven’t really gotten to know, and 1 other new housemate. (Did I mention the living situation for the next month looks a tad crowded? Ah well, here’s to intentional community.)

By the way, welcome to those of you from ONE/Northwest who found this blog. Thanks for the words of encouragement, and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you first thing on Monday morning!

on Packing

A few (mostly) real-life story problems:

  • David is trying to create a cardboard box for shipping his hammered dulcimer. The dulcimer is 44″ long, 19″ wide, and 5″ thick. David wants the dulcimer to be protected by at least two thicknesses of cardboard and half an inch of bubble wrap on every side. What design will allow David to use as little cardboard as possible? How much cardboard is required?
  • Lab Activity: David is trying to figure out how much stuff to take with him to Seattle. He is flying on Southwest Airlines, which allows 3 pieces of checked luggage with a maximum allowed weight of 50 lbs. per piece. However, he is also allowed one carry-on bag which only has a size restriction: 10″x16″x24″ (there is no weight restriction on this bag). Devise a technique to estimate the density of David’s clothing, and then work with a lab partner to carry out your method. Then determine the maximum amount of clothing (by weight) that David will be able to take with him on the plane, assuming that he only packs clothing. Bonus question: If David wants to take along some heavy books, where should he pack them to minimize the amount of clothing that they displace?
  • Essay: It is 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday evening. David leaves town at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. David knows that it would be wise to start packing now, but he would prefer to put it off as long as possible. Conduct a SWOT analysis of both options and compare and contrast David’s choices. Are there any other options David is overlooking? Should David just give up on the whole darned packing business and assume everything will work out in the end when he gets to Seattle? What is the meaning of life? Please answer in 100 words or less.