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helmetted kitty

Avast ye land lovers

Posted on 2008.10.16 at 17:07
Well, I think instead of having some grand reentry to the online world, I'm going to try the "oh just jump in, will ya?" method.  I have been wanting very badly to post more often, so the best way to get back into it is to do it. 

I will inevidibly end up using a bunch of nautical terms that won't be clear to most, so I thought I would post a "nautical term(s) of the day" to inspire me to just write about what's going on.  So here we go.

I went on watch this week for the first time in 2 months, and my last watch was also a 2 month gap, but it was good.  Nothing exploded and once the fuel truck finally showed up, the DOP started without a hitch.  After it all it's a good feeling that I still can do a watch without having to call an engineer down.

Watch:  On this ship there is someone on the bridge, someone at the gangway, and someone in the engine room at all times.  24/7/365.  I am a trained (although not yet certified) engine room watchkeeper.  Doing a watch in the engine room means maintaining and observing all 27 systems that run aboard Logos Hope.  I love it.

DOP:  Diesel Oil Purifier.  This is basically a giant bowl that spins around really really fast and flings all the water and dirt that's mixed in with the fuel that we buy.  It's a key piece of machinery on board any vessel, but is sometimes very troublesome to get started doing it's thing.

Stay tuned for more nautical terms and more adventures of the seagoing me!

helmetted kitty

Hello from Denmark!

Posted on 2008.08.10 at 16:17
Greetings once again from aboard the MV Logos Hope!  We have moved from our berth in Kiel Germany and we are now currently berthed in Koge Denmark!  (There is much debate about the pronunciation of this town: KOOuh/KOOyuh/ and KOO are all currently accepted pronunciations)  We have been here since the middle of June and will be here for the remainder of the project phase.  We sailed from Kiel on May 29th to Landskrona Sweden to install a Generator to replace one of ours that had gone kaput a few years ago.  We cut a hole in the side of the ship, slid the Generator in, and welded the hole shut.  It was quite intense and one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.  I'm continually floored by how many people are involved in this project.  OM celebrated 50 years this past year and the Logos Hop project is the biggest project they have ever embarked on.  It will probably remain so for many years and I am absolutely honored to be a part of it.

As far as life on board goes, the last week in July was a "sabbath week" for all those working on board to have a time of rest and recouporation.  Julyan and Lenna Lidstone from Scotland were here during those days to do some teaching and training times for us.  It was a very nice time for us to have a relaxed week as well as have some extra training.  We will be starting new study tracts next week and I will be in the Scripture Memorization tract.  We will be learning different techniques and applying those techniques with each other and I am looking forward to it.  In more day-to-day news, the Olympics have started and BOY is it different to watch them in an environment and actually KNOW people from most of the countries.  It has definitely changed how I will watch them forever.  From what I've heard though, the Olympics are nothing compared to World Cup Soccer.  I might just plan a visit to the ship during the next world cup just to see it.  :)

My job has actually (and quite dramatically) changed since I wrote last.  I am now a ship's electrician.  We (like most things on board) are in a kind of transitional phase.  There are the jobs that need to be done to keep the ship running: maintenance and routines, repairs, and fire drills.  And there are also the things we are still doing to refit the ship electrically: new distribution boards, new lights, new cabling, as well as altering the new installations that need to be changed for whatever reason.  It's quite challenging at times because it's about 9 miles from what I studied at Auburn and I've had very little other exposure to power electronics.  (But it's incredibly interesting to be working with 800kW (pretty big) generators and busbars with 700kA (REALLY big!) fuses in them!)

By far the most exciting news on board is the upcoming boarding of the new recruits!  There are almost 80 people joining the Logos Hope long term in only a matter of weeks!  It will be an incredible moment to be on the "other side" of things welcoming the new guys as opposed to BEING the new guys.  :)  It will be fun to train people, but it will be very hard work.  We are all looking forward to their arrival, but it means a lot of work and sadly, it also means a lot of people will be gone.  Already it has been an emotional roller coaster of meeting new people and saying goodbye so often, but it is worth it I think.

I thank you all for your contributions, e-mails, and prayers and am looking forward to the next 18 months on board.

In Christ,
Brian Holland

(If anyone is interested, you can always check out the progress and happenings aboard Logos Hope on www.logoshope.org.  Pictures, Webcams, stories, all kinds of good stuff)

helmetted kitty

I hope for Logos Hope!

Posted on 2007.12.11 at 20:03
Hey everybody!  Here's a little something to update you on what's coming up next for me and how you can help!

Last summer I heard about a ministry with a group called Operation Mobilisation.  This group owns 3 ocean-going ships that sail around to different port cities and do ministry while in port, stay a few weeks, and then set sail for another port.  Everyone on board the ship all the way up to the captain is volunteer labor and takes part in the ministry and there are about 40 different nations represented on board.  As soon as I heard about this ministry I knew it was for me.  The unexpected, the camaraderie, the ocean, and the dynamic of such an undertaking fill me with an excitement I've never felt before.  If I accomplish the fundraising goal set before me in time I'll be leaving in the middle of January go to Germany where the Logos Hope (the ship I'll be serving on) is currently docked and then, who knows where!

I've used this phrase several times about this trip, but it really expesses how I feel: "Excited" isn't big enough a word.  My growing towards missions started in 2005 when I took the Perspectives On The World Christian Movement and I realized a lot of misconceptions I had about it.  I'd been noodling with the idea of doing something for a year or two after graduation for quite some time and decided to spend last summer doing missions.  I spent 4 weeks in London doing literature distribution to muslims in London.  It was awesome and it was the most alive I've felt in years.  That was when I heard about the ships ministry and have been gearing up to leave this January for many months now.  I'm REALLY pumped about where I might go and who I might meet and what God might teach me.

You can check out their ministry and other stuff at:

However, as I stated earlier I must meet a certain fundraising deadline in order to be approved to leave to board the ship.  If I do not meet this deadline I will have to wait until August to board (one may only join the crew in either Jan or Aug).  Currently I have all my start-up costs met, but what I'm really looking for (and actually desperately in need of) is monthly support.  I have to have donors totaling $887/month and right now I'm at about 66% of that.  If you donate one time, it will be prorated into monthly support ( i.e., $100 donation gets cut into 25 months, $4/month) and is also very much appreciated.  My deadline is this weekend.

If you're interested in knowing more, praying for me, receiving updates, or giving, let me know either by e-mail or phone and I will be in touch, or you can simply donate at www.omusa.org (click on "give online now").  Or if you know of anyone that might be interested in any of those things, forward this on and/or let me know.


helmetted kitty

Christ Follower vs. Christian

Posted on 2007.02.14 at 11:38
I'm always the last person to find these kinds of things, but maybe I have something new for you.  Hope you enjoy.

Christ Follower vs. Christian pt 1
Christ Follower vs. Christian pt 2
Christ Follower vs. Christian pt 3
Christ Follower vs. Christian pt 4

In other news, in Auburn this morning it was actually flurrying!  No accumulation, but this far south snow is still snow.  Don't rain on my parade. :P

In travel news this morning, I'll be starting my 31+ hour journey to Thailand before the sun rises again.  I'll be there for about 12 days or so and returning to Auburn March 1.  Pray that our work will be effective, our hearts pure, and our faces towards God's.

helmetted kitty

May I have your attention, please.

Posted on 2007.02.07 at 16:25
Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you the future:

"Scientists develop portable generator that turns trash into electricity"

Am I the only one that's reminded of Back to the Future's  "Mr. Fusion"?

helmetted kitty

My future thesis

Posted on 2006.12.07 at 18:46
I MUST learn how to write like this before spring.  This is shear genius.  That's got to be like a record for average letters per word without actually saying anything.

(for non-phdcomics readers, the guy in the blue just got "scooped": somebody publishes the same research you're doing, just before you were planning to.)

helmetted kitty

I should be coding

Posted on 2006.12.01 at 05:29
Long story short: Check out this guy's page exploring Howard Shore's genious that is the LOTR score. He talks about all the different themes and how they're used.  It takes me back to my grade school days when we used to go see "Peter and the Wolf" by a local symphony.  They would talk about all the different themes that were associated with all the different characters.  Shore does the same thing only there are characters, places, things, even actions that get their own theme.  I wish I could go watch the movie now.

And if anybody just happens to know where I can listen to "Into the West" on command, help a brotha' out, yo.

The long version: I sat listening to Christmas music while coding my final project in Neural Networks, there was this one song that kept coming on that sounded EGGZACTly like the beginning of "Into the West" from LOTR. It kept phsyching me out so much that I tried to find it somewhere and stumbled on this page.

It's been a while. And it's been even LONGER since I gave an even remotely real update of my actual life. The most direct causes of my lack of updating have been A) I stopped doing lj at work and it kind of carried over to all other times B) I haven't really had any real "news" in my life that's cooler than all the other stuff I read C) I got tired of actually understanding all the "you might be addicted to lj if..." and "this would make a great lj entry" jokes.

I hate to break the news though, but I probably won't be seen here much, if at all, during the spring. I'll be taking 2 classes, finishing my research, TAing a class (hopefully), AND writing my thesis. I'll be pretty busy. As if I'm not busy enough. But I'll do my best to keep it from being 6 months between updates.

In all seriousness though, I'm getting pretty excited about being this close to graduating. It's kind of freaky this time. Not so much for undergrad. I guess this time since there's NO WAY I'm doing my PhD it's looming a little more heavily. As far as post-grad thoughts, I'm probably going to be getting a job for a few months and then boarding one of OM's ships (the organisation I went to London with) for 2 years.  It's still not a 'definite' but onlt a 'really-quite-strongly-hoping-to' kind of thing, but I'm pretty much planning on it so far.

As far "the mean time" goes though, I'm MUCH more excited about going to Thailand this coming February.  We'll be encouraging Workers on that side of the planet for 2 weeks.  I get to be the preschool departments Bible story dude.  It's going to be SO much fun I can barely wait.  If you want to help, there are TONS of ways so just let me know.  We need prayer (many odd hours if you're a night owl), gift bag type stuff, and of course cash.  I have been looking forward to this since LAST February, so as you can guess I'm a little excited.  The roughest part will be the travel over there: departing my house around 4am on a Thursday and arriving at our hotel at 3 or 4am on that next SATURDAY!  But it's going to be awesome, I'm so pumped.

This entry has reached a satisfactory length.  I'm out.

helmetted kitty

stupid phones

Posted on 2006.10.20 at 15:01
My phone died this morning. It took my phonebook with it. If you ever want me to call again, send me your number via a call/text/IM/e-mail/comment. I hate my dependence on technology.

helmetted kitty

Why does England have such better newspapers?

Posted on 2006.10.11 at 05:17

helmetted kitty

I hope you all have a sense of humor

Posted on 2006.09.29 at 01:20
Even God enjoys a good laughCollapse )


Brace yourself.....

Posted on 2006.09.18 at 23:49
Everyone in my house, myself included, will be in bed before midnight. 
I think the apocolypse is nigh.

helmetted kitty

Thanks a bunch ABET

Posted on 2006.09.15 at 11:11
The program at Auburn I graduated from in May of '05 was so new at the time that it wasn't accredited.  During my first semester in grad school a review team from ABET came and looked at the courses and asked several of the graduates of the program and students currently in the program a bunch of questions.  They recently decided that the program, Bachelor of Wireless Engineering, should be an officially accredited program.

Hooray for degrees that are worth something!

helmetted kitty

No lie.

Posted on 2006.09.06 at 11:41
I park accross the street from our local Catholic church and walk into campus. Walking back to the car yesterday there was a guy putting up a sign in their front lawn. Y'know what it said?

Your Mom wants you to come to mass.

helmetted kitty


Posted on 2006.09.05 at 12:52
Auburn 40, WSU 14. I have been for a long time, still am, and forever will be, addicted to Auburn football.

For those of you who don't know, pigthatisbig is now one of my roommates. He's funnier than I remember, and if I'm not careful, going to be better at Ultimate Frisbee than I am.

Dane Cook will forever crack me up. I saw a 3 month old episode of The Tonight Show last night with him on it and he didn't even do a routine and he cracked me up.

I was looking through some pictures from London last night and was overwhelmed at how awesome it really was. I can't wait to do anything even remotely like it again.

Guitar Hero (game for PS2) rocks my WOOOOOORLD! I seriously love playing this game. I can't get enough of it. I have yet to stop playing becuase I WANT to stop playing. A friend of mine bought a PS2 solely for the purpose of playing this game and not only do I not blame him one bit, if I had a little bit more disposable income I would SO do the same thing!

So aparently Facebook didn't feel it was trendy enough, so it added a feature where you can import your whole journal in one fell swoop. I'm not sure I'm diggin' it yet, but at least this way I might get to keep up with the silly people who still think myspace is cooler than lj without having to actually get a myspace account.

And even though myself, chippa, murgen, oldschr, furstin, auburn_pc, aucobalt, hcsfc247, calvins84, cranberry727, drewunwired, ibelievenauburn, kadmariposa, kelincihutan, malsmiles, say_what_now, tensor, thenewmily, uruhara, boikim_ms, yhtomit, and wrynjamin are all on facebook, my brother pigthatisbig and my friend lordsmerf refuse to see the wisdom of it.

EDIT: ....and forresterfound

helmetted kitty

Stupid Americans

Posted on 2006.08.20 at 01:35
OK, I love my country and all, but c'mon guys, show some respect. I went and saw World Trade Center tonight. Eh. Decent flick, but basically it's just Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena talking back and forth in a big pile of rubble. If that's your thing.....

But the real rub came at the end. They put up a bunch of numbers about September 11th and the last of which said "In Memory of those who died that day in service of the Port Authority of New York" and it began scrolling the names of those who died. At this point about a dozen people started WALKING OUT! PEOPLE! SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR THE DEAD IF NOTHING ELSE! I mean I understand the confusion that people may have thought it was the credits, but PLEASE. MUST you be SO American? GAH!

helmetted kitty

You know you're in grad school when....

Posted on 2006.08.17 at 20:26
You get to both your classes and they say essentially the same thing:

"There's no textbook for this course. You can spend $100 if you want. I'll recommend a book for you if that's your thing."

"There IS no book that covers this subject. Just papers, journals, and conferences."

I love hate enjoy grad school.

helmetted kitty

Case in point

Posted on 2006.07.31 at 14:27
Yet another example of how much pandora.com rocks: I go to listen to some tunes on it, and a message pops up that says something like, "we're having trouble connecting right now. It's our fault." It had a 'try again' button, but I couldn't help but laugh at a piece of software admitting guilt. And yes, I DID forget to take a screen shot of it. :(

helmetted kitty

I'm bAAAAAaaaaack

Posted on 2006.07.28 at 11:13
Most of you already know, but in case you don't, I'm back in the States now. The stupid customs officer robbed me of the pleasure of hearing "welcome home" after landing.

I'm having strange feelings about being back though. It feels GREAT to be back home where things are normal, but I have a strange feeling like I'm deserting my post or something.

I haven't uploaded all my photos yet (there's 2400 or so of them!), but I have uploaded a few.

There are a lot of things I miss about being over there, but one thing I missed while being over there is having the time to find fun stuff on the internet. For example:

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Also, my friend hcsfc247 alerted me to a new beta version of gtalk with file transfer, voicemail, and a status setting that says what song you're listening to!

Anyways, I'll be posting more photos as soon as I stop being a lazy bum about it. I thank you all for any prayers and/or support you offered or gave. I don't think it will be long before I go back out into the field. My heart's stuck there.

helmetted kitty

The end is near!

Posted on 2006.07.13 at 17:55
Well, here I am with less than a week before I go back to the good ole' USofA. I've been told that the States has a distinctive smell to it that one doesn't notice until one leaves and comes back. I'll let you know if said smell truly exists.

One thing I can testify to more acurately now is that the US is the ONLY country in the whole wide world that doesn't care about the World Cup. During matches you literally could stand on almost any street corner and yell out "WHAT'S THE SCORE?" and some random guy will stick his head out of a shop or somewhere and say like "ONE 'NIL FOR FRANCE!" The night of the final the whole place was like a ghost town. Then after Italy won there were people screaming and driving up and down the streets waving Italy flags. It made me feel like I was in Auburn after a home team win. :)

It's been a fabulous 4 weeks. It's been beyond educational and motivational. God has shown Himself in ways that I didn't know possible. He's also shown Himself in ways that He continually reproves Himself. On my 'to do' list for the next few years is to sit down and figure out why I believe what I do. Nothing has challenged me more in my apologetics than working with Muslims. They will attack you and your faith with words so confident that you'd think they talked to mohammad himself. The Muslims I talked to are much more agressive than average, but I need to do this for myself anyway. I've known WHAT I believe for quite a while, but I've never been able to go through the WHOLE process from why we need an objectively valid view of Scripture, all the way up to why exactly the Trinity MUST exist and DOES exist.

Another thing God has graciously blessed me with is a possibility for ministry after I graduate. OM (Operation Mobilisation) owns and operates two ships that travel around to different port cities that do evangelism and hold conferences and many other things. A vision for ministry that God has given me last year was to travel around and visit, encourage, and equip missionaries around the world. This is the closest thing to that kind of ministry that I know. I'm still noodling at this point, but I'm seriously considering the possibility of working for a year after I graduate and then going on one of thier ships for 2 years (the minimum length). One of them stays mainly in the are of East Africa and Southeast Asia, and the other goes back and forth between Western Europe and the Caribbean/Americas area. This would be an awesome opportunity and an amazing experience. Pray for me as I decide if this is something I should do.

(yes, I know I promised photos. so sue me)

scared pup

"That's clevah!"

Posted on 2006.07.02 at 23:05
Our team is staying in a church outside of central London. The pastor has two kids, one almost 2 and one almost 5 I suppose. The church itself doesn't have a shower and so on some days we pile into a van and go to a local gym and take showers there. Other days we go to the pastor's house and shower. We were there one day last week and the older one was having trouble with a particular piece of his train set. When his mother showed him how it was intended to work he exclaimed "Oh, that's clevah!" in a perfect english accent. SO funny. TOO cute.

I'm still loving London. If you want to learn the ninja art of crossing busy and confusing streets, come to London. If you want to see really cool architecture and a city rich in history, come to London. If you want to learn how to defend the Christian position again rabid muslims, come to Speaker's Corner (the NW corner of Hyde Park).

Our two weeks of training are over. Our schedule gets some slack now. I'm going to try to find more time to post good stories of some of the people we meet. As far as posting photos, I'm doubting I'll ever really sort through all of them. I've taken 1,500 pics (3.3Gb) so far! I would LOVE to have some sorting/posting tips jmcphers or chippa. The main thing I don't have is storage space. I need somewhere free I can host that I can upload stuff to really easily.

Anyway, I'll upload a funny pic or two next time. Stay tuned!

helmetted kitty

I say, good show.

Posted on 2006.06.15 at 18:04
Well, here I am in one of the oldest and coolest cities in the world. When I landed in Gatwick airport it didn't really hit home that I was in London until I overheard someone say "blimey" into their phone. But then I rode the train to Victoria Station and saw all the people driving on the left and all the old architecture, it hit home in the best way.

I don't know why, but I get a huge kick out of well-functioning mass transit systems. I'm not even a civil engineer. There's just something about being able to ride a tube to within a 5 minute walk to wherever you're going. In one short short evening I got a glimpse of so much of London and yet at the same time I've barely even scrathed the surface.

Quid != CalamariCollapse )

helmetted kitty

Say cheese.

Posted on 2006.06.10 at 14:27
So I totally just bought a digital camera yesterday. The Canon Powershot SD450. I haven't really had the time to play with it yet, but I like what I've seen so far. I also bought a 1Gb SD card for it. On the highest resolution, and the hightest quality, I can take almost 400 pictures. :)

I'll be posting a lot more pictures now. That is if I can get in the habit of TAKING more pictures.

helmetted kitty

Pip pip. Cheerio.

Posted on 2006.06.05 at 16:37
Many of you who know me in RL already know, but for those of you in other realms: I'M GOING TO LONDON! The Int'l Mission Board of the SBC has given me the opportunity to join about 10 others from the States going to the UK to minister to Saudi people. About 2-300,000 Saudi's spend the summer months in London to avoid the intense heat and for many this will likely be their only chance to hear the gospel.

I'm leaving in about 10 days to stay for about 30 days. We'll be distributing Christian Literature and doing local evangelism.

In preperation for this trip, I had my passport renewed from my childhood passport that was never used. I had my picture taken, filled out the form, payed the money, got the new passport back as well as the other photo they didn't use. It wasn't until I put the second photo next to my old passport photo that I realized something. I have kept the same blank stare in my arsenal of "looks" since birth. Behold:


And I'm also open to suggestions as to what to do with the 1-2 days I'll have in London before and after my work there. I know for sure I'm going to try and see The Phantom of the Opera while I'm there, but that's just one night. And I'll have to visit chippa's journal's namesake pub. BTW, chippa, when I googled "latchmere pub", your journal was third on the list.

cat cheeks

"Can I have some of your tots?"

Posted on 2006.06.03 at 00:56
There should be a word for that little pillar of steam rising up from a freshly fried tater tot that has had the top half of it bitten off.

There should also be a word for the sensation of finally regaining feeling in that little piece of gum between the back of your two front teeth after singeing it off.

helmetted kitty

Pandora Tomorrow (and today!)

Posted on 2006.05.25 at 13:51
A friend of mine, tensor, was over at my house the other day and showed me this awesome website: Pandora.com It's like having an mp3 player on shuffle, only it's web-based. You give it an artist or song and it builds an internet radio station based on what you entered.

Whether or not you like it, it is a prime example of one of my favorite things in software: normal language. I love it when instead of saying 'cancel', a button says 'never play this song again!'. When my youth group bought a new audio mixer it had an entry in the table of contents to a page with a quick-start guide. It said : "Make sound come out RIGHT NOW!.....pg 4."

Posted on 2006.05.20 at 10:37
New starter and battery cables for my car: $90.
Two pairs of shorts, and three shirts stained beyond belief: $45.
Stabbing yourself in the finger and having to use superglue and duct tape in order to keep working: $7.
Finally fixing the problem with car that's been plagueing you for the last 1.5 years for less than $100: Priceless.

helmetted kitty

What did you do today?

Posted on 2006.05.10 at 20:34
This is how I always feel when friends ask me how my day is going:


Wikipedia rulz

Posted on 2006.05.10 at 12:31
Stemmed from laura_w's post:

Wikipedia lists Auburn University (where I graduated from and currently work/school) and has some great information on the article about it. Reply with something cool from Wikipedia if you feel like it.

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