New camera!

My new Nikon D50 arrived in the mail this past week! I finally got a chance to give it a whirl at the Braves game this past weekend. It sure didn’t hurt that I was fortunate enough to land some very nice seats as a gift from a neighbor.


I think I’m going to like this camera a lot.

A week in the capitol

Adriene and I spent a week in Washington, DC for our summer vacation. I had never been to DC before but being the history buff I am I was very interested in seeing all of the places steeped in so much American history. Our best efforts to have a relaxing vacation were thwarted as we tried to cram as much as we could into four days. So we hiked all over the city. We guessed that during the trip we must have walked at least 20 miles around the city. The list of monuments and buildings that we saw reads like a tourism book: National Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, Natural History Museum, Washington Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam War Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, Arlington Cemetary. Places like the White House and The Washington Memorial we only saw from the outside.

We enjoyed zipping around the town in the Metro system which made me jealous of their system compared to our inadequate subway system at home (I felt the same way while in Chicago) which allowed us to avoid the infamous traffic of Washington. I was also amused at all the political advertisements that were everywhere lobbying for almost everything. I was somewhat surprised that there was as many conservative agendas as liberal agendas on billboards. I don’t know why I would’ve thought the advertising would have all been only for more liberal causes.

The war memorials were particularly stirring. We were fortunate enough to get to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier right at the changing of the guard. Since my father was in the Army in Korea during the Vietnam War, both the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials were particularly poignant also. Perhaps the highlight of the week was our tour of the Capitol building. We were fortunate enough to get in contact with our representative and get an inside tour of the building guided by one of his interns. We slinked and slided through the underground tunnels that the representatives and senators used. We were able to get onto the floor of the House chamber. I particularly enjoyed sitting in the room where some of the great State of the Union addresses took place and some of the great congressmen from the past have introduced and modified the laws we live under.

The memorials of the past and the government buildings of the present all tied together a theme for me. Sometimes it’s all too easy to turn the people in the government into a faceless and brainless group of ignorant (or worse, conniving) agents bent on the destruction of our country. However, when the faces became actual people this week it filled me with respect for our nation’s leaders, who despite their selfish intentions or mistaken misunderstandings, are here because we sent them here to govern our country. I’d like to think, probably naively, that ultimately they are working towards the greater good of our nation. Not only that, but as the history and monuments reminded me, we’ve had leaders competent and incompetent alike and history ultimately decides their fate, so there really is no need for me to be passing judgement on them right now. I’m not a terribly partisan person, but I do hope this will cause me to have greater respect for those senators, representatives, and even presidents when I disagree with them.

Adriene has also posted her thoughts about the weekend

Pictures from the week are on my Flickr site

Founder’s Day 2006

This weekend was my fraternity’s founder’s day celebration. At our buisness meeting I signed up for another two years on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association. All things said, it’s still a good place for young Christian men to come together and experience college together and I’m enjoying meeting new guys every year. I’ve uploaded pictures from the weekend as we enjoyed dinner and then a Braves game.

I finally finished my anthology on Soren Kirkegaard. It only took me five months. I enjoyed it, but it was very dense and slow reading. I think next I’m going to read the copy of Blue Like Jazz that I picked up so I can be cool and hip and edgy. Or something. At least it won’t take me half a year.

Lately I’ve felt streched very thin. I feel like I know a lot of people, but I don’t know people well, not invested in their lives. I’ve really been challenged to pray for people more often. I don’t do a very good job of following up with people when they ask me to pray for them. I’ve also been tired a lot, so don’t be surprised if I draw back and feel like a recluse for a while. Maybe it’s time for a little introspection, solitude, and quiet.