do more with less giveaway!

I generally love giveaways if the thing being given away is useful or I think someone I know might need it.  But when I read about the Do More with Less Giveaway, I thought, If I'm trying to do more with less, either because I don't have much or I don't want much, why on earth would I want a Windows Smart Phone?  It would be like having a contest for the best gluten-free vegetarian recipe where the prize is a slab of beef, breaded and fried.


as long as im posting about church stuff

I might as well mention that LDS Church Administration handbook 2 (a new edition just came out yesterday I believe) is now online (thank you T&S).  The content can be boring or interesting, depending on who you are and what you care about, but regardless, I think it marks progress: a greater subset of policies are now accessible to everyone, or at least those with access to a computer.  This is especially important because we're a lay church.  It's also important that the document is online, which means that (though unlikely) the Church can evolve policies and distribute the evolutions more easily instead of waiting to print a new set of books.

Handbook 1 is online as well, but you have to have a bishop/stake pres login.  I think I see reasons for keeping access to handbook 1 restricted, but I'm still curious about it.

My father, a member who has been in involved in church administration since I can remember, said that compared to the previous edition (which was never public), the new handbook is a lot shorter and more focused on following the spirit, allowing individuals to more easily tailor programs to local needs.  I definitely support that direction.


I'd like to highlight an excellent series of articles on fMh regarding modesty.

Modesty Part One of Four
Modesty Part 2 of 4: Between You and God
Modesty Part 3 of 4: Between you and your neighbors
Modesty Part 4 of 4: Just for you


redefining ambition

I'm currently applying to grad school...again.  This time, I'm going for the full-fledged PhD instead of the half-hearted Masters.  Last year was half-hearted because I wasn't sure what I wanted to be doing--I'm still not totally sure, but I have a much better idea.

Grad school or industry employment--that was the question, and to some extent still is.  I love working and I love learning, but the more I think about it, grad school and industry are both really similar: you work hard and get paid (at least in the sciences).  Expectations are different, and so is the kind of work one does, but in the end, it's pretty similar.

And in talking to people about what I want to do with my life, part of me wants to tell folks that what I really want to do is live on a plot of land, grow my own food, raise a variety of livestock, keep bees, bake bread, make cheese, mend and sew clothes, read books, write, paint, play the guitar, sing, work on open-source software, eventually raise children, and be involved in my community--for starters.  Sometimes I tell people that, and I can't tell how seriously they take me.  (I try to reserve the outburst for people who have a shot of understanding.)

But sometimes people talk (or just think) about being realistic or ambitious, implying that doing all that would be "giving up."  Sure, to some extent I would be giving up on the rat-race for money, but when it comes to ambition, I think our living on one income and my doing all of those crazy-wonderful things is truly ambitious.  It would be very, very hard, but also incredibly satisfying.

Realistically, I won't be able to be full-fledged independent land-owner without significant capital, so I'm going to need to work in the typical sense in some capacity for a while.  I'm incredibly grateful that I'm capable of doing so, that I have opportunities, and that I enjoy what I do.  I'm gradeful that I'm not exclusively tied to one world or the other and that I love my life when I'm working for pay and when I'm working as a homemaker.

For now, I've made it a goal to contact local individuals to learn skills that are hard to develop by just reading about them--starting with beekeeping since it's fairly location-independent and minimally time consuming.  Maybe I'll learn that I don't enjoy keeping bees, who knows.  But maybe I'll learn a skill that I will use when one day I "retire" with my sheep and my ducks and my orchards and gardens.  Maybe I'll always live in between.  What matters is that for now I'll take whatever opportunities that present themselves and find joy in life all along the way.


There's a poet in every scientist

From the reading for one of N's classes:

Big whorls have little whorls
Which feed on their velocity
And little whorls have lesser whorls,
And so on to viscosity.
    -Lewis Richardson, 1922

says and does

Nathaniel said to me, quoting Don from Mad Men, "You're twenty-four years old.  It's time to get over Birthdays."  Regardless, he's taking me out to dinner tonight.