For the Love of The Saga


It’s now less than two weeks until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I am at maximum excitement. I was pleasantly surprised that I could still get this excited about Star Wars. My anticipation for the new movie has also fostered a renewed appreciation for the Star Wars Saga as a whole. Continue reading


A moment of reflection on my life trajectory

Today I watched Engadget’s mini-documentary Citizen Mars, which provides a glimpse into the character of five different Mars One candidates who have made it to the Final 100. Since I’ve finished it, I’ve been thinking about my priorities, my ambitions, and my goals. I’ve been focused on graduate school and my goal of becoming a math and physics teacher for the last few months. My attention has been on the day-to-day because I’ve had so many short-term commitments. I haven’t really thought about the overall direction of my life for a while.

When Mars One first put out the call for candidates to go on a one-way trip to Mars, I applied. Getting to Mars was my ultimate goal. It still is. As I watched the Citizen Mars videos, I realized that I feel just as passionately as those candidates.

Can teaching get me to Mars? Maybe. A true colony will eventually have children, and children need to be educated. What will education look like within a Martian colony?

I still have Ph.D. ambitions. I need to find a critical need of a colony mission and pursue solutions to that need as my graduate work. I need to make myself an obvious and necessary addition to such a mission.

In pursuing teaching now and Mars overall, I’ve chosen to leave behind other ambitions. Robotics and artificial intelligence are now merely hobby interests. My interest in user experience remains that. Even my further study of physics or mathematics has been halted. Yet, I cannot give up my drive towards Mars. I am not yet ready to cede this ambition to something more realistic or pragmatic.

Research Notes: Elon Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX

I sing a lot of praises for Elon Musk because he seems to be that mythical ethical capitalist. I really respect the way he runs his companies and I truly believe his companies SpaceX and Tesla are going to catalyze some tremendous changes.

I realized, though, that I only know the awesome things that the Musk PR team tells me about. Surely his companies, as big corporations, must be just as corrupt as those other corporations. While they do good works and really draw attention to their ethical behavior, Musk’s companies must also be exploiting overseas labor and resources. That’s just how corporate entities operate as they poach money, right?

What isn’t Musk telling us about the less ethical practices of his businesses Tesla and SpaceX?

I truly don’t know. So, I thought this was the perfect topic for my inaugural Research Notes format blog post. What follows are summaries of the resources I find to help me answer my question. I’ll wrap up with any conclusion I can draw.

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Ender’s Game – To See or Not to See

November 1st is the end of a decade of waiting, of starts and stops. At the beginning of the month, the Ender’s Game movie is finally going to be released. I am extremely excited because Ender’s Game is my all-time favorite book (though Still Life with Woodpecker may have dethroned it). I’ll finally get to see all of the Wiggin kids, Bean, the Battle Room and Command School. I can’t actually remember the last time I was this excited for a movie. Unfortunately, this movie has become a bit of a battle ground itself, so I’m uncertain whether I’ll see it in the theater at all. Continue reading

Forecasting – Mars, Intelligent Machines, Warp Drive

I eagerly follow developments in the space and computer technology industries. The cutting edge of these fields keeps me excited for the future and provides a sense of wonder as I ponder what we might yet accomplish. There are three major achievements that I truly believe I am likely to see in my lifetime: human settlements on Mars, truly intelligent machines, and warp drives. I have seen amazing evidence that these fixtures of science fiction may just become our reality by the mid-21st Century. Continue reading

I Succeeded at a Cool Thing!

It’s become clear to me that the only success I’m ever going to find is the success I make for myself. Right now is a great time for people to make their own success, though. I’m currently self-employed, more or less full-time, as a private tutor. Tutoring is the only job I’ve ever had that I truly enjoyed. And I made it happen by putting myself out there and taking a chance. It is paying off.

In the spirit of pursuing my own success, I posted this ad on Craigslist a couple weeks ago:

Got a Problem? I Can Solve It. (Willamette Valley Area)

Are you struggling with a problem and wish someone would help you solve it?

Then you should contact me; I specialize in solving problems.

My name is Ryan and I am offering my services to help you remove that thorn in your side. For the last two years I have been helping all sorts of people in the Willamette Valley area to solve their problems. Small business owners, students, farmers, teachers have all benefited from my particular talents. I can provide excellent references to serious inquirers.

If you are struggling with a technical or logistical issue, I have the know-how to tackle it. If there is a project that you just need to offload, then I can take it on for you. If you need a temporary extra set of hands, eyes, or brains then you need me.

My fee is quite affordable and is well worth the relief you’ll feel with my help. Initial consultations are free.

Contact me today so we can set a meeting and discuss the ways I can help you succeed and meet your goals.

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Pride & The Future

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Students have been clamoring for every available hour I have to prepare for finals next week. This afternoon was quiet, though, it’s the earliest I’ve ever been able to get off the farm and I don’t have students on Fridays or Saturdays. Yeah, I made sure I worked days off into my schedule this term.

There’s a bunch of stuff I want to share and talk about. So, this is going to be an Interests & Excitement post! Remember when I did one of those once? Well, it’s back.

I’m going to break this into two categories: Personal & Accomplishments, and News & Entertainment. Here we go. Continue reading