Where’s Everyone At?

A long time ago, (the day before halloween), in a house not too far away, there was this party that was supposed to be the dopest party ever. Your beloved hero, Mario shows up at 7:05. As he approached this haunted house, he noticed something missing. Namely the vehicles of many of his friends. What had happened, why weren’t they here? Killing Bowser and Koopa would turn out to be an easier task than this one.

Mario enters the house and notices that it is very empty. Going deeper into the house he discovers this incredibly hot biker chick, but no one else. The biker chick was also wondering where everyone else was. She had done some further investigating before Mario arrived and discovered that there was a Hawaiian girl who was waiting to get leied.

Somewhere, in a galaxy far, far away, the Jedi ObiNicolli sensed a disturbance in the force, as if several people cried out in boredom. On her transport were the Cocoa godess and the Recycled Butterfly Girl. They too decided that they would come along and help investigate where the missing people had gone.

It was time for some real detective work. The next two to arrive were Mr. Clean and Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Clean checked under and around every nock and cranny, but nobody was to be found. Even the great Sherlock Holmes was unable to find the missing people.

Had these people boarded a bus that was full of children with no legs and had this bus crashed off the Henley Street bridge trying to avoid something? The mystery was just too great for us all. Spiderman couldn’t figure it out. Pirate, Kitty, and Toga Girl hadn’t a clue either.

A Couple of Nerds!

It turns out Joey didn’t know where the house was. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but he had Jason, The Fairy of Death (yeah, I’d kill myself if I had to wear that), and the Doomsday Dude with him. Later to arrive was another nerd for Joey to talk to, Shrek, Cowgirl and “Eyes Wide Shut” guy.

Where’s the Music!?!?!??!!! The CDs showed up, but nothing to play them on and nothing to project their sound out of. Laptops just aren’t very good at projecting sounds. Especially laptops running Windows 98. When it crashes, it crashes and burns. Mario and Joey are both technologically inclined so the Nomad and iPod came to save the day. Still computer speakers are less than ideal for projecting music.

The rest of the night went smoothly with dancing, scary story telling, and talks of rolling. Ah well, it turns out the answer to this great mystery was…

It’s the CSC and we never start anything on time.

Let’s Start Talking: SuperSTAR Weekend

2004 SuperSTAR Weekend
Well this weekend Mike Buckley, Amy Gregg, Kelly Milam, Meredith Martin and I went to the Let’s Start Talking SuperSTAR weekend in Fort Worth, Texas. This is a weekend for trainers and recruiters to come in and get ideas and materials for training and recruiting for this summers mission trips. Mike, Kelly, and Amy have been to Ukraine with LST and Meredith and I have been to Brazil with LST. This year we have committed to getting 5 teams together to send out. Let me know if your interested.

Friday night started out with a basic introduction to Let’s Start Talking. I missed some of it due to feeling ill from dinner. If you don’t know the LST method, you’ll hear it from all of us in the coming weeks, because chances are, we’re gonna ask you to consider going. There’s not going to be a way you can avoid us, so please, DON”T EVEN TRY! Saturday was really good. Again it started out slow, but got better later on. (Miss. St. beat Florida and UT beat Bama) GO VOLS! Ok, that’s not the only reason why things got better. At the end of the day, our group closed down the house because we already made the target list of people we’re gonna “hunt” down.

Let us know if you would like to go.

Big Shoes to Fill

Little River
Today was a wonderful day to go hiking. The weather was a little chilly but it was still a wonderful day to get out in God’s nature. The leaves are starting to change colors, but aren’t quite at their peak.

The trail we took this week was Little River up to Campsite #24. Originally we had planned on going another 1.7 miles to Campsite #30 and then turn around, but one of the Agape kids had boots there were a couple of sizes too large, so it was starting to iritate him. As a group we decided it was better to turn around rather than add an extra 3.4 miles to the hike.

On the way back, instead of taking Little River, we decided a little variety was good, so we took Cucumber Gap back. At the trailhead for Cucumber Gap we saw some deer. To me, a deer is a deer but this is a site an inner city kid probably doesn’t get to see, so we stopped for a while just to look. On this trail, his boots must not have been bothering him, cause he was moving. Afterwards we finished with a cookout.

When we arrived, we decided we would go get a campsite. Brian and Robert had gone ahead to look for sites while I was moving my car. We hadn’t really communicated well, so both of us ended up getting a site and paying for it. It turns out mine was a lot closer to where we would be getting off the trail, so Brian went back to see if he could get his money back. Luckily, after having to wait a while, they did. For dinner we started out with the basic bacon and cheddar bratwurst while waiting for the chicken to cook. We had corn and sweet potatoes as well. Yummy!

I think we should have done this hike last week. It was a super easy hike. The ground was mostly flat, the streams had bridges, and the distance could have been cut really short. If we had done this hike last week, we probably still would have been Team E and Team C. Team E would have been super effecient, needing only to take breaks so that the compassionate team could be heard encouraging each other. Once Team E would know that Team C is close, Team E would blaze right ahead.

Just a Walk in the Park…

Well we actually intended to go hiking. The trial was Cooper Creek Road -> Little Bottoms Trial -> Hatcher Mountain -> Hannah Mountain -> Little Rabbit Creek. Grand total is around 8 miles. Total time it took: ~ 8 hours. This was also one of the easiest trails we have done.

The group included one new hiker, so we were expecting to go slower than normal, but I don’t think any of us had planned on this. The hike was chosen to be easy to encourage some new people to go hiking. Perhaps we should have chosen shorter. The nice thing about this hike is the uphill portions are really not bad and the worst is experienced right near the very beginning. During the flat and downhill portions, some of us would end up getting ahead. This turned to be fatal.

Once the group was split up, the people at the front would keep hiking while the people in the rear would stop for a break. We’d always stop to let the rear group get close, but that didn’t always work. At some points some of us would hike almost a quarter of a mile back, just to see that they were ok. In the end, it was starting to get dark because the sun was going down. Some of us hoped to motivate people by talking about the nocturnal nature of various animals; I don’t thinked it worked.

After the hike we went to the campsites at Look Rock to fix dinner. It wasn’t looking like this trip was going to be a successful / fun trip because not everyone had a postive attitude. In the end though, I think it turned out alright. Though I don’t think we’ll have this inexperienced hiker gaining any more experience with us in the upcoming hikes.

Today: Bomb Tech

This week I have been going to Remotec in Oak Ridge for training on our Andros 6A. This company makes the robots that are most popular with bomb squads and the military. Its also the same company that made the robot that was first seen in Stargate.

Well our lab has one of the original Andros robots. Recently, we acquired another one that is a little bit newer (but still old). Part of the acquisition is training classes. I was already familiar with how the robot itself moves but these classes were good. On Tuesday we stripped it down (nuts and bolts) and cleaned it out. This was so we would leran how to service the robot ourselves. When we left on Tuesday, we had not assembled the Arm on it, because we were going to go over the electronics on Thursday.

Today we did just that. We went over the electronics and steps we would be able to take to figure out if we have a bad board or something else. It wasn’t very interesting, but we went through it. Once this was finished, we fully assembled the robot back to the way it should be and got some practical experience. I got the job of being on the bomb squad. A bomb was planted in a car and I had to retrieve it. Navigating to the car was quite easy, but once I was there, it starts to get a little more difficult. I had to open the car door using the arm and grip. Once the door was open, the robot had to be moved to allow for the arm to get into the car and retrieve it. I did it succesfully in about 6 minutes. I was told this was a very good time.

The last part of the training was learning how to make the robot climb stairs. It turns out climbing the stairs is actually pretty easy, but coming down is really were you can screw it up. We were all a little reluctant at first because its a $115,000 robot and nobody wants to break a $115,000 robot. All three of us successfully went up and down the stairs with the robot and successfully completed our Andros Training.