Friends, Old and New

Last weekend our friends Nick and Bre stayed with us while they were apartment shopping for their upcoming move to the area. It’s a funny story how we met Nick–he was a fellow student at the University of Tulsa. Specifically, he was my classmate in the Penetration Testing class. One of the focuses of the class is operational security, which essentially comes down to an awareness of what information people can gather about you or your company without your knowledge. So one of the big projects of the semester is what is affectionately termed “the stalking project.” Each student is assigned another student to “stalk,” gathering as much information about that student as he or she possibly can (within certain constraints) without the other person figuring out who his stalker is.

Nick was my assigned target, and as I was researching him, I came across his Google+ account, where it quickly became obvious that we shared a common faith. He and his friends made references to theology and Christian writers, and I also found an email from his church when he (oops!) left his Gmail logged in on a lab computer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say anything to him until the project was over since it would blow my cover, but the day I gave my presentation, I sent him an email letting him know about our common ground. We invited him to church with us since he’d had some difficulty finding a good church in the area, had him over for lunch a few times, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So this month Nick graduated and then married his sweetheart, Bre, whom we had not yet met. We offered them a place to stay during their post-honeymoon apartment hunt this past weekend. They arrived on Saturday and went to church with us on Sunday. (I’m not-so-secretly hoping they decide to attend our church regularly, since I felt like Bre and I hit it off really well, and it would be a no-fuss way for us all to see more of each other. But mostly I hope they find the place that’s right for them.) They found an apartment they liked Sunday afternoon, so they got to spend a few low-stress days until they left on Wednesday morning. We had a lovely time with our new(ish) friends and are looking forward to spending more time with them in the future.

Then, Wednesday afternoon (after I spent the morning waiting for an HVAC guy who decided to show up late enough that we had to reschedule for the evening), Jordan and I went to meet an old friend, our college computer science teacher, Mr. Wooster, who plays a rather important role in the story of how we met. (But that’s a story for another time…) He was passing through after visiting his daughter in PA and wanted to meet us for lunch at Chick-fil-A, followed by a trip to the National Cryptologic Museum. We’ve been there a few times but always enjoy taking new people there. It contains a pretty fascinating history of crypto, specifically as it relates to American capabilities. They have a couple real Enigma machines that you’re allowed to touch. And–best part–the museum is free! (Side note if you ever plan to visit–it’s a little scary the first time you go since you’ll start seeing signs that indicate you’re entering a restricted area and that ID is required, etc., etc. It kind of freaked me out the first time we visited. 🙂 But if you just follow the signs for the museum and keep left, you’ll be fine.)

Then we visited the National Vigilance Park, which neighbors the museum, where I snapped a photo of this poem:

I Am Military Intelligence

I Am Military Intelligence

And that was our (extended) Memorial Day weekend. How did you spend yours?

How Assemblers Are Like Children

Jordan has a way of saying things that are eminently quotable. Today, for example, we were discussing assembly language and compilers and how sometimes you don’t really know what a program does until you look at the assembly. He said,

“Compilers and preprocessors will lie to you. Assemblers won’t. Assemblers are like the little kid that walks up to a stranger and says loud enough for the whole room to hear, ‘Why do you smell so bad?’

They say it like it is.”

 

Welcome, Cedar!

Josh and Jane’s little boy was born yesterday morning. I’m a proud auntie and can’t wait to meet him later this summer! He was about 2 weeks early and had some difficulty breathing, so he’s on a respirator in the NICU. Hopefully he’ll be able to go home soon.

Looks so much like his daddy!

Welcome to the world, Cedar. I love you already!

Hamburger Onion Pizza with Parmesan and Cottage Cheese

So, first the exciting news–my mom called earlier tonight to tell me that my sister-in-law’s water had broken. I could be an auntie tonight! Lucky for my sister-in-law, she’s having this baby early–unusual for a first-time mother. I’m really excited for my “little” brother and his wife and can’t wait to meet this little guy!

On another note… I managed to put aside the baby distraction long enough to make us supper tonight. (Aren’t you proud of me? I feed my family!) I was in the mood for pizza but didn’t want to spend the money on one since we’ve been striving for a more frugal budget. Homemade is better anyway. So while I was riding home tonight (I had plenty of time to think since the wind slowed me way down) I started out planning a basic onion pizza and expanded while preparing it as I spotted things in my fridge… I call this Jessica’s improvisational method. Maybe it will be famous one day.

WP_000740 Continue reading

Nobody Likes to Wait

Our church has recently introduced lay preaching to our Sunday evening rotation. Last month the pastor asked Jordan to preach in May, so this past Sunday Jordan preached his first sermon ever. He preached on Proverbs 20:21, “An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end” (ESV), drawing application from the biblical examples of Abraham, Moses, David, Saul, Solomon, and Christ about why God causes his people to wait. I may be biased (I did, after all, marry the man), but I thought it was insightful and helpful. That’s just the sort of man I married. 🙂

We’ve just come out of a particularly painful 2-year waiting period ourselves, so this sermon was a rather timely reminder of why God works the way he does.

Have a listen!

Matresses and Marc Trains at 62 MPH

Well, maybe I could write a “things I saw on my bike” blog after all. A hodge podge today:

Today, for the first time ever, I waited at a railroad crossing on a bike. Thankfully, it was just the Marc train, so it passed very quickly.

A little farther down the road I came across a child’s mattress in the bike lane. Good to know there was something to catch me if I fell!

There’s an intersection on my ride that does funny things with my bike odometer. The other day I was sitting under the traffic light, waiting for it to change. Not. Moving. At. All. And my speedometer read 61.7 MPH. Wow. I wish.

On the way home today I got to ride through roadkill entrails. Yummmmmy.

How to Unwind After a Long Day at Work, or, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Yesterday was just one of those days. My supervisor came into my office after I’d been at work for a couple hours and decided to sit down with me until lunchtime looking at what I was working on. In the process, I realized I’d made some mistakes that were going to take some time to unravel. So I spent the rest of the day unraveling and thinking about the fact that my legs were tired of sitting.

Then, my bus was late (we’re still working up to regular bike commuting), so I missed my connecting bus and had to wait 20 minutes at the Metro station for it. Which, of course, put us right in the middle of 5:00 traffic just a mile from my stop. Let me just say, I hate traffic, even when I’m not the one driving in it. It makes my skin crawl.

Needless to say, when I got home, all I wanted to do was crash. But I had shredded zucchini sitting in my fridge waiting for me to make zucchini bread. And I knew if I didn’t answer its call, I would end up with moldy zucchini and no bread. Fortunately, the process was surprisingly relaxing, I suppose because it got my mind off other things. Continue reading

Oh, The Things You’ll See!

If I were to create a blog just about the things I see while riding my bike, it would probably be pretty boring. Something like this:

Day 1: Saw a discarded Wendy’s cup.

Day 2: Saw a discarded water bottle.

Day 3: Saw a discarded candy wrapper.

Do you see where I’m going here? Litter, litter, everywhere.

Today, though, I saw a couple interesting non-litter items. Sadly, I forgot my phone today, so I will just have to hope my words are worth a little more than a thousandth of a picture. Continue reading