Archive for June, 2009


I’m back in Katy now, and mostly finished unpacking. Quite a bit of junk has made its way into the trash during this move. I really need to trim down the amount of useless garbage I hold on to. When I’m finally (in October) finished with the military entirely, a lot of my clutter will be gone. This may be the shortest post I’ve written in a long while. Time to get back to unpacking, hopefully I’ll finish before tomorrow evening.

Here we go again!

No time like the present to get my move on again. I mean, I’ve been in the same place for an entire year. Why on Earth wouldn’t I pick up and move again? In all seriousness, by Saturday I will back in Houston for a quite long time. Things are pretty well prepped for me to go back to mechanical engineering. After a few meetings with the Veterans Services office at the University of Houston I’m in no way concerned about the financial side of essentially starting over in school. Dodging rockets and mortars for a few years seems to have ultimately paid off quite nicely.

In other news, I recently had a pretty excellent lunch meeting that may turn into quite a lot of (paid) photography. Since we know I love photography, and happens to have plenty of ridiculously expensive hobbies, guessing how glad I am such an opportunity has come my way shouldn’t be too difficult.

Shooting is fun

I’ve always had fun shooting. For a long time shooting always meant firearms for me, but with ammo costs where they are it has increasingly referred to photography. I’d say I can shoot photos cheaper than I can bullets, but considering how much my equipment cost me that would be a dirty lie.

Anyway, my new photo project (see the post just before this one) has been fun and is keeping me entertained. I did work with an Austin area model today, I haven’t done that in a while. It was really hot outside. I don’t know how she didn’t melt. Watch Flickr for photos as I finish processing them.

Also, I’ve started another Model Mayhem account since I don’t totally detest shooting models. Dealing with flakes is quite maddening, and there are many of those on Model Mayhem.

A new project – The World I Know

As much as I love photography, I’ve been slacking lately. This slacking has led to a lot of pretty boring photos. In order to fight that trend, I’ve decided to launch another photo project like the one I did with self-portraits during my second tour in Iraq. This time, while I’m sure a few self-portraits will sneak in, I’ve decided to go with a different theme.

Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know what I look like. You may even know a thing or three about me. In case you don’t, or want to know more, I’m aiming to fix that with this project. I woke up and the first song iTunes decided I should hear was “The World I Know” by Collective Soul, that seemed like a fitting theme for a photo project to me. What I’m going to do, is take a photo every day of the things that shape the world as I know it. If that doesn’t clue you in a bit to who I am and what I do, nothing else will.

If you just want a small version in a slideshow, bookmark this page. If you want to see things a bit larger, click here. Enjoy the show, and leave some feedback!

Slight change of plan + photos

Much of the list from before has changed just a bit. Summer school won’t be possible, and it looks like being a full-time student ever again won’t be either. There is the possibility that a double-major would fix the full-time issue, but as far as getting my VA benefits goes 50.5% of full-time or better still gets my all my money. At any rate, I need to actually register for some classes and complete a few forms to verify transfer credit for other coursework (going all the way back to High School for CAD).

With a move-out date set for July 7, 2009, I really need to figure out how I’m going to get everything back to Katy and where I’m going to put it when I get it there. I’m guessing a huge U-Haul will be the way to go, again. This time I’ve got a good deal more furniture than I had when I moved to San Marcos. We will see how that all works out. I definitely do not want to damage my quite nice, and quite expensive dinner table during the move. That would suck.

On the motorcycle front, I think I will wait until I’m back in Katy to sell my SV650S. One of the key reasons is that I actually have a driveway I can use there to wash the thing. Houston having well over 4MIL people doesn’t hurt the prospects of finding a buyer either. What I need to do first is find an acceptable FJR1300 for sale, so I can at least get things lined up to jump right back on another bike.

The only other thing left to do is look for a place to live come August. A house is a must, with a garage. Apartment dwelling does not work for me. If I’m going to pay a ton of money to live somewhere I don’t own, it may as well be as private as possible. Again, we will see where I end up.

Now for your viewing pleasure, I give you a recent storm.



Kim and Mitch’s Wedding

Photos from the Vietnamese wedding I shot last month.

Houston, we no longer have a problem!

That’s right folks, all systems are a GO for my transfer to the University of Houston. Wednesday, I plan on riding the SV (which will be for sale soon) to Houston so I can take care of a handful of administrative things at the university. Jumping back into mechanical engineering is going to be a major change from the journalism studies that moderately entertained me over the last year. Fortunately, there are a good number of engineers (my father, grandfather, and uncles among them) within 90 minutes of UofH that have known me my entire life. Something tells me they’ll all be more than happy to help me if that’s what I need. A few of them are probably still wondering why I didn’t just do this years ago.

Right now my to-do list looks a little something like this:

  • Complete advising, registration, and transfer of my VA benefits to UofH.
  • Begin to move my things back to Katy.
  • Start looking at the rental home market inside the 610-Loop.
  • Sell my 2005 Suzuki SV650S.
  • Find a used Yamaha FJR1300 to replace the above.
  • Aggressively market my photography business in Houston.
  • Finish moving my things, and finalize the move-out from my apartment in San Marcos.
  • Start the second summer session at UofH and get back on the engineering horse I jumped off of eight years ago.

That’s all for now.

The Beer

You’ve all heard about the beer I spilled in my MacBook Pro last week, now you can see it too. I’d forgotten for a moment that I actually took a photo of the exact beer I spilled into the laptop, but now that I remember here it is:

Real Ale Devils Backbone

Real Ale Devil's Backbone

One step forward, two steps back

Yesterday’s trip down to the University of Houston was somewhat productive. Actually speaking to a staff member is so much more effective than going through the motions on the phone with a student-worker. By the end of Monday I should have my decision and be able to start moving to either Houston, or Arlington.

Earlier this morning, I determined that my MacBook Pro has met its end. The beer I spilled in it last Monday would appear to have damaged it enough that another resurrection is unlikely, or at least cost-prohibitive. The machine made it through a tour in Iraq, and three years of heavy use. Not quite as impressive as the Fujitsu P5020D on which I am typing this post. It has made two trips to the sandbox, and been physically abused beyond the norm for a laptop over the last six years.

Losing the MacBook Pro hurts, but at least the iMac is easy enough to take with me. I brought it home this weekend without much trouble. At least everything of any importance that I had on the MBP has been transferred to the iMac.

Still I wait

The University of Texas at Arlington has been kind enough to take me back as a returning student. Right now I am waiting to hear from The University of Houston to find out if they’ve accepted me or not. While both offer excellent Mechanical Engineering programs, I would prefer to attend UofH as it puts me closer to home. My desire to be close to home is not for the typical reasons, save for the economic advantages. If I’m home, I have near-immediate physical access to what one might call a “team of engineers.” That team just so happens to have known me for essentially my entire life. I think I would be hard pressed to not finish with honors if I complete my studies surrounded by that kind of support network.

The decision is supposed to be made by tomorrow, which means I may well have to go there physically to find out what is what. Hopefully they accept me, and I can move on with something that resembles a plan. As I must be out of my apartment in San Marcos in a month, having some idea where I am going would help a lot.

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