The Bitcoin Bucket

I have decided to look into this new Bitcoin currency. I am still learning how this stuff works and in that effort I have made a donation button for my bucket-o-coins. So, if you have any extra coin to spare so I can see how this system works, click the button. I am curious to see what will happen…

Now, I could also tell you to not click the button… (which might make you click the button…)


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The End of a Year

The end of a year often comes with thoughts of the great cool things that we might actually (and possible not ever) do in the coming year. It is seen as a time to move forward and plan new goals. Before I do the traditional goal setting I want to reflect on one of the many things that has happened to me over the course of this last year. While it might be hard to find one thing to talk about, for me I only need to look to October 8th…

I Got Married

Huan Zhu and I had been dating since November 29th of 2009. We had spent both time together and apart and had decided in April that we wanted to make sure that all of our future time was together. This is what we had been working toward since that night in November when I had given her our first kiss goodnight. October 8th of 2011 was the date where we proclaimed our love to our friends and family and it is easily the highest point of my 2011!

Justace and huan 295

In the weeks building up to October 8th, me, Huan, my parents and her parents trumpeted through the stressful wedding planning phases and were able to pull together a wonderful event. The wedding was wonderful and could not have been done without the help of so many. While I can’t list everybody, huge thanks go out to our parents, my brother Ben, Cliff and Kellie McGuiness, Chad and Rachelle McGuiness and Professor Andrew Torrance and family. The wedding was held in a small church in Strafford, MO. (as shown in the following map from google).

Screen Shot 2011 12 31 at 10 09 38 PM

The wedding was attended by approximately 50 guests, some of which traveled half way across the country (big hugs to you Marc). Church was decorated with various shades of white and pink which are Huan’s favorite colors, candles and bows. The center of the pews was highlighted by a long red carpet leading from the back doors all the way to the alter. A white unity candle surrounded by flowers. Last but not least, a piano awaiting a bride…

DSC 0549Justace and huan 182DSC 0525

I will of course never forget when the doors opened and Huan stood by her father. This was the first time that I had seen her in her wedding dress, I could not help but smile.

Justace and huan 166

Just before the door was opened for her, a white carpet was layered atop the red walkway and then adorned with rose petrels reflecting our favorite shades of red and white. As Huan walked with her father I could feel her nervousness. She later told me that she was very concerned that she would trip when trying to climb the steps up to the alter. She of course did no such thing and was nothing but grace.

The ceremony went flawlessly and we then took off to the reception which was approximately one mile down the road. We had worked for countless hours the night before setting up the reception hall. Everybody had chipped in to pull it all together. It worked out great!

DSC 0601

The front of the room was focused on a single large table that would hold both Huan and I along with our respective parents. Just behind us was a pink and white rainbow of balloons. Each table in the room was coated in white table cloths draping to the floor with spectacular center pieces made by Kellie. The chairs surrounding the tables were draped white and each had a pink bow tied from the back. Huans mother worked so hard to teach me how to tie the bows so that they would be horizontal. To her credit, I was able to do it at the end of the night. Unfortunately, I have already forgotten how to tie them… So sad… I must say though that I do not think it will be a skill that I need all the time. I shall just call on her in the future.

Justace and huan 340

The reception was of course great. My brother did a wonderful job on the food! He had decided to serve up some meatballs along with some other finger foods and some Chinese dishes for the Asian members of our party. Unfortunately, everybody ate the Chinese food before Huan, her parents, or her Asian friends could get to it. It should also be stated that meatballs are one of my more favorite dishes. My father, brother, and Huan’s maid of honor spoke during the event. Each did a wonderful job and brought smiles to the room.

The wedding had been a success! Both Huan and I could not have imagined that it would go so well with so little planning time. Just after the reception, Huan and I followed the photographers to a private countryside pond area to take some more pictures of the two of us. Everything went great and we got some fantastic shots. At the far end of the pond there was an old wood cabin where we wanted to get some pictures. On the way to the cabin, I saw a floating dock and had the crazy idea of me and Huan out in the middle of the pond with pictures taken from the shore. I thought those would be great pictures. The owners of the land graciously allowed us to do this but hooking up a trolling motor to the dock. Unfortunately, shortly after leaving shore the motor died and we were stranded in the middle of the pond with no motor or oar to paddle back with. Luckily, there was a strong wind which pushed us toward an island in the middle of the pond and one of the photographers was able to pass us an oar so that I could paddle us back. That was some of the most difficult paddling that I have ever had to do.

Justace and huan 485

There is of course so much that I could say about so many other aspects of this event. Unfortuanatly, there simply is not the room to do so. I shall leave you with just a few shots of us from the photography session. Again, both Huan and I were extremely happy with the wedding and the reception and want to send our thanks to all who participated!

Justace and huan 460Justace and huan 451Justace and huan 439

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The One

Long ago when I decided to start a blog I told myself that I would only put important things on there.  While I did get some important stuff posted, I got away from myself and just started to post fun little things that were of little importance.  Soon, I found the important posts getting smaller and smaller and then off to nothingness.  It is not that important things have not been happening, it is just that well, got out of the habit.  A lot of things have happened since I got back from Bolivia which was the prominent subject of my last post.  I have graduated with my PhD, got a great job out on the east coast, and above all, which will be the primary subject of this posting, I have found the woman that I have always been looking for.  Her name is Huan Zhu and she is from southern China (near Hong Kong).  We have now been together for over one year.  While we have had our ups and our downs like any couple would, I am both proud of her for who she is and I cherish the time that we have spent and will spend together in the future.  Let me introduce her to you.  World, meet Huan…

Huan in Shanghai

Huan is very pretty, funny, smart, loving, and a host of other great things that every man looks for in a woman.  I am proud to have her by my side.  One of the great things about us is our story.  I cant give the whole story but I will try to sketch it out.  I meet Huan by chance at a friends party just after the Christmas of 2008.  There we spoke, mainly of my outdoor activities, and made plans to re-connect when I got back from a trip I was going on so that I could teach her how to drive.  I left the next day for a month trip to Chicago.  When I got back we eagerly proceeded to start the driving lessons.  Now, not so much that I am a great instructor, but she was a great student and we were able to get her license in short order.  As time went by I grew an attraction to her based on who she was and how we interacted.  I was so relaxed around her and I felt like I could talk to her about anything, even the most personal thoughts.  While I am a very open person in general, I had never felt that close to somebody.  There were several different reasons why I did not act on my feelings.  Some were I was not sure what I was feeling, another was her situation, and even another was my situation.  Independent of our individual situations, the feelings that I had for her were growing stronger everyday.  I was eventually bold enough to invite her to my parents house for Thanksgiving in 2009.  That would be a trip to remember.  I thought to myself, “This is going to be the moment!”  I was going to move our relationship to the next level.  I had felt an attraction from her for a while and I knew that I was attracted to her.  Unfortunately, the whole time we were at my parents house it never happened.  Funny thing is, now I know that we both wanted it to happen, just neither of use was bold enough at the time.  On the way back to Lawrence (a 3 hour drive) I told Huan that I liked her and wanted to be with her.  I told her I was tired of trying to pretend that I did not like her.  She apparently felt the same way.  After the drive to her apartment, late that night, we looked into each others eyes and we kissed for the first time.  I will be a moment that I never forget.  It was that moment that a couple looks for and sometimes never finds, the moment when you can have a conversation and express your feelings with out ever saying a word.  Everyday since that day, when proximity allows, we have spent time together.  Her touch, her smile, and her breath landing on my shoulder will forever bring me happiness.  It is for this reason that I look forward to spending a lifetime with her if she will allow me.

A lot has happened in the year after that.  Way too much to put in a blog and much of it way too personal to share.  They are our memories to share with each other.  Moments to take the sometimes painful days away.  The purpose of this post was to tell the world about Huan and the love that I have for her.  I love her more than any woman I have ever loved.  Currently She is away from me visiting her parents and I miss her greatly.  I wish she would come home…

I shall leave you with a photo us is Washington DC…

Huan and Me in Washington DC

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Messages to the World

Today I have the feeling that I would like to dive into something new.  I spend the majority of my time either working, watching TV, or doing things outdoors.  During those times my mind of just full of thoughts.  Some are of anger, some are of happiness, and some are just devious.  Now, for those of you that know me I am far from artsy but that is not because I don’t want to be.  I think that I have made a decision to try to put my messages and thoughts onto paper.  Whether it be a story, a poem, or a picture.  I will delve into the world of art and see if I can find a medium upon which I can express my thoughts.  Wish me luck world.

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Its Been A While…

Dear Lazy Web and Friends,

It has really been some time since I have brought you the colorful snippets of my life.  Much has happened since my last post.  I have actually made progress on my Ph.D., I have traveled to South America.  To start with the simple, I went to Bolivia for two weeks in June.  This was a wonderful trip and I have  meet a lot of very cool people.  My mother has been going on these trips now for several years and I felt it was time to surprise her by joining in on the trip at the last minute.  Here is the cool part, she did not know I was coming till I “ran” into her at the Miami airport just minutes before the plane to La Paz Bolivia left.  I shall share with you the moment…

Me and Mom in Miami

The trip was with done through a joint effort of the Project Helping Hands organization and the Cup Of Cold Water Ministries.  There are so many fantastic stories from this trip.  The trip motivation was to provide medical support for the small villages in the interior along the Mapiri river.  The trip was of mild ruggedness due to the ability to sleep in improved structures in different villages that we stayed in.  There was one evening where we slept along the river in the jungle.  Here I got the ability to us my hammock / tent from Hennessy Hammocks again, this time where it was intended, in a real jungle.  Of great concern for the trip was my eating habits.  If you have ever meet me you would know this has to be one of my most annoying features.  The prospect of eating strange fish / rice / not fried chicken… for days on end was quite frightening.  Well, I performed so much better than I thought I would.  I have discovered that I like Bolivian rice.  I have no idea how it is prepared, but it is good.  In addition to providing basic medical care to the villages free of charge we also installed two bio sand filters.  These are essentially 55 gallon plastic drums with a specific mixture of rocks and sand.  The fiter operates by forming a layer of bio material near the top which is called the Schmutzdeke and allowing the unfiltered water to slowly pass though this layer where the bio organisms remove the harmful water contaminants.  In addition to this the water also flows though clean sand which has other filtering properties.  Outside of just being in the region which offers so many different things such as fresh right off the trees fruit (bananas, oranges, and grapefruit’s), beautiful views of the mountains, and a sense of relaxation that I have not felt for a while, there is adventure.  I walked in the jungle in the middle of the night and stood on an ant hill that was 10 feet in diameter.  I also had the opportunity to ride the original death road… on top of the bus!  What a ride and what a trip.  Those of you who were on this trip with me I will never forget the times that we had and I hope to keep in touch with all of you.  Now, just for the curious I have compiled a google maps overlay of the trip.  I generated it by hauling my GPS unit with me and keeping a track of the trip.  One of the problems in the general lack of spelling that I have.  Most things on this overlay are mis-spelled but I have other things to do right now instead of fixing the spelling errors.  Just open this up in google earth and enjoy.  The colors denote the altitude where blue is the highest and red is the lowest.  For those that are interested you can check out my flickr collection of the trip a

This summer I have also gone back to Carroll Cave, visited the Lake of the Ozarks with friends, and made strawberry ice cream with liquide nitrogen

Ice Cream

Yes, I have been making progress on my dissertation.  It is slow, but moving forward.  I will stop here.  So, a lot has happened, and a lot has yet to happen.  I have said too much…

Exit Stage Left…

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Tweet Tweet….

To all that follow my blog! (ok all two of you 😉 )

I have added the tweet widget to the upper right side of my blog page.  So now when I tweet, which is more often than I blog, you can see what I tweet.  Now it is only limited to the last 5 tweets, so if you only come every now and then you will miss some things.  Anyway, back to work.

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That KDE 4 Again


I must say that KDE 4 is just great.  It has definitely come a long way from where it started so long ago.  I have installed the SVN code as of March 17th (a day before my great spring break trip to CO).  The desktop is fluid and the plasmoids are actually working pretty solidly now.  Also missing are the plasma crashes.  So without further ado……  The screenshot….

My Current KDE desktop

In this shoot I have have a total of 6 desktop plasmoids running.  On the left I have the standard analug clock on top with a CPU meter on the bottom with the flickr plasmoid running in the middle.  On the right side of the screen I have from top to bottom the microblogging plasmoid setup for, the RememberTheMilk plasmoid, and then finally a folder view plasmoid to highlight common;y used documents.  I notice there are a few problems with some of the plasmoids.  For instance in the microblogging plasmoid when I make a post it shows up on the list but then even an hour later it still shows it as posted just a minute ago.  The RTM plasmoid crashes when I try to drag and drop the tasks between the priorities more than once, the first one works fine.  As far as the folder view plasmoid goes, it is just great.  The only problem here with this plasmoid is that I do not know how to adjust the grid parameters.  It seems that I should be able to put three icons there instead of two without it going to the next line down.  In addition to that I think that it would be great if you could have totally flexable zoom in that plasmoid.

Now one other thing that I would like to see is some sort of layout tool for the desktop with respect to the plasmoids.  For instance.  On the left I would like to be able to align the three plasmoids by their centers and then even group them so that when I move them around the center align stays the same.  You could set that up so many different ways.  I think that it would be cool.  I think that I should submit that as a wish in the bug database.

So, if yo have not not moved to KDE4, and I know that you are out there….  Just do it!  You will really thank yourself in the end.  Anyway, back to my work….

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Good Apple — Bad Sticker

Today I was at work, well just now, and I decided to be the healthy person that I am (ahhhem) and eat an apple.  A few days ago I had done some grocery shopping in anticipation of this desire.  The fact that I did my grocery shopping 200 miles away from my destination is worth a whole other post.  So I start to do the standard pull the sticker off the apple so you do not consume things designed for a printer and I discovered, to my horror, that this was a precut sticker.  If you try to pull it off then it starts to rip.  This is not a sticker designed for a passport!  Ohh well.  I will now have to take the next several minutes dislodging this sticker from the apple before I can enjoy.  I thought I would share it with you.  Now for all you non believers out there (you know who you are) I have taken a picture and mocked it up with lines to represent the cuts in the sticker.  Too bad the sticker is fuzzy in the image.

Good Apple --- Bad Sticker

I am actually not sure if I even feel like eating the apple anymore.

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Regular Expressions

From time to time I just really fall in love with Unix (well, Linux for you purists)…  In windows it can be very difficult to get a quantity.  A click here, a click there, install update, reboot…  Then well at least 5 more clicks.  Well, Unix to the rescue.  The power comes from the ability to combine several different small programs in ways that the original programmer had not even thought of to get a result.  Case in point…

egrep ‘.*(nan|bweight.*[^.]).*’ analysis_trigger_nocuts.out | egrep -v ‘[.]’ | uniq -c | awk ‘{ print $1; }’ | grep 2 | wc -l

Here I needed to know how many events in my analysis had returned two “nan”‘s (one for each jet).  I will not go into detail about what the above line really does, I just dont have time for that right now, but sufice it to say the answer is 484.  Add that to the number of events that gave me a zero weight for my btagging and then you have 1794…  The total number of nan lines in my output.  So, everything adds up.  That is nice.  The point is this…  The power of unix comes not from huge programs that try to do everything, but from a combination of seemingly small programs that do small tasks well.  Seems like almost anything can be done with combinations if grep, egrep, awk, sed, wc, uniq, sort, and cut…

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Dear World….

Today I have been though a gauntlent of dissapointment.  I have received a email from my advisor last week telling me that she wants me to be on my own more and to start looking for a job.  Now, this is a good thing since that means that she is starting to think that I am getting ready for the “real world”.  I have been trying to get stuff to her for the past week and a half and nothing is working correctly.  When I submit jobs to the batch queue’s to get results they just crash.  And on top of that I can not seem to get the corretions into my Monte Carlo all the way due to these batch issues.  Ok, so besides some other dissapointing news I thought that I had this batch issue solved where I come in this morning and find out that I had submitted with the wrong config file last night.  Worthless computing time wasted.  Now I have to resubmit but the computers at the experiment are being upgraded so the batch queue’s are offline.  Now to supliment this…  I have been needing to get some code together to make a plot for my work.  I have been putting it off since it was a hastle.  The other day I finally got around to getting this code written and it was awsome.  It did everything I needed it to, had cross-checks in the code, and the plot was great looking.  Today in an effort to back it up I accedentally removed it!  Now I must start over from scratch.  Now I know that it was only about 400 lines of code but…  Now on top of all this I need to be editing a paper.  I have been trying to get to it but things keep getting in my way.  For one I can not update the efficencies untill I have the corrections in the Monte Carlo (which I am waiting on batch jobs to be available again since they are required to get this to work.)

I dunno World…  Guess I just needed somebody to rant to.  Now to settle down and recover from my morning…  Possibly a trip downtown would help me to recover…

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