Thursday, July 21, 2011


It seems we have some catching up to do.

Steve mentioned the visit from the Riggs family - it was completely awesome - so that brings us to our trip to Texas to see family, friends, and my old stomping grounds while I was a missionary in San Antonio.

We've already shared a bunch of pics on facebook, but for you non-fb peoples, here is the link to see the documentation.

The photos give a pretty good play-by-play of the trip, though some highlights from the trip are conspicuously missing. I might have been pulled over by a cop within an hour of arriving in San Antonio. As I'm writing this, I'm imagining what members of my family will say when they see this. I'm not going to name names, but here's what they'd say:

"Were you at least wearing your seat-belt?"
(just for the record, I ALWAYS wear a seat-belt...)

"Rum-dumb little kid!"

"That lead foot doesn't come from my side of the family."


Each response would, in fact, be justified if I had been pulled over for speeding. But I wasn't - I'm not a total scofflaw. The officer and I chalked it up to technical malfunctions of the vehicle I was operating, so he sent me on my merry way with a warning. It sure was an exciting way to kick off our Texas adventures. The rest is history.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Recovering from Grad School

I finished my first year of graduate school. It took me a few days to recover from the strains of the year and I continue to spend many hours on this couch. Some hours are spent sleeping stomach down and some are spent back down, with a pile of books. Speaking of books, I am pleased to announce that this week I will be maxing out my library card! That's right people, in a quest to read one book per week this year I have checked out 50 books for the summer. I should be able to pull off the quest no problem as I only have to read 15 more and I've got 5 months left.

Besides all the reading, we started off our summer with a visit from one of my favorite cousins.

Juli Riggs and her family came out to visit her husband's mission and they were kind enough to spend an entire day with us and also treated us to some tasty eats and sweets.

We spent the evening at Schmidt's, one of the local favorites, down in German Village. The bratwursts, cream pastries, and company were awesome. We had such a good time at dinner that we decided to extend the evening and play a round of Dominion. As luck would have it Tyler and I won. Going clockwise around the table starting from me we have Brannick, Juli, Parker, Saskya, and Tyler. (At this point in the game no one had pulled ahead yet, so everybody was pretty happy.) The morning after our visit from the Riggs we took off to Texas to visit Kristen's mission and see more family and friends (Kristen promised to blog about Texas after I blogged so make sure you hold her to it).

Following the trip to Texas I started an internship at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. I was hired to work on the energy assurance plan (EAP) for the state. I have learned a lot about energy assurance and Smart Grid and have used tons of tools I learned during this year of grad school. I am pleased to say that the time I have devoted to my education has already been paying off with rich dividends. But what is work without fire? No summer would be complete without fireworks. This year we decided to celebrate Independence Day in America, rather than London, and we got to experience one of the best firework shows in the Midwest.

Nick and Dorsia invited us to Red, White and Boom, and they were kind enough to show up six hours early to stake out excellent seats. The seats were so good that we got to see Mayor Coleman ride by in his golf cart. Right before the fireworks started hundreds of teenagers showed up to hang out right in front of us. The build up to the show did not disapoint.

Sometime during the evening a group of Asians showed up and I couldn't help but take a photo of them enjoying our national holiday. I got the feeling that they were enjoying the festivities even more than the Americans.

After going through a year of graduate school Kristen and I have made some great friends in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. Who knew that after a year in classes together we would still want to hang out with each other? We got to celebrate Abigail Rhodebeck's 26th birthday with a surprise party at her parents house.

We have a few other brillant plans for the summer and we will be sure to keep everyone posted on our adventures. We are heading out to Utah in September to pick up my parents' car to use while they take off on their adventure to Peru - hopefully we'll get to see many of you.