Samstag, 7. Mai 2011


After 4 months another project has finally come to a close. These two manila envelopes are currently on their journey across the pond to a small little city of Mannheim, Germany, and my stomach hasn't stopped churning since.

Some of you may already know this, but for those who don't these two nerve-wracking envelopes contain my application for a study abroad at the University of Mannheim. I'm hoping that this fall I'll be able to finish my BA in German Studies in Germany, and that I'll be able to do it in the city I once served in for 4 months in.

This city is absolutely beautiful, and the idea of going back is one that makes both excitement and nervousness pool into my gut at the same time.

There's a longer story of how I came to this point, much of it directed by the spirit, but I'll save you the messy details. Lets just say this is a once in lifetime opportunity that doesn't even happen to those who do a foreign exchange.

Normally an exchange student will go to a predetermined sister school, and when I first started looking at doing an exchange that's what I did as well, but it didn't quite feel right. Then a little voice said "what about the university in mannheim" and so I shot off an email to the international students department at Mannheim U and found out that they had an entire program for students like me.
Many prayers, fasts, and piles of paperwork later I finally sealed the envelopes and penned in the address. I was so nervous I had to rewrite the address twice because I kept leaving out letters in the address. On top of that I even made a photocopy of all my transcripts, applications, photos, and letters of recommendation and put together a second envelope "just to be sure" my application arrived.

And so now I wait......

The University won't even begin to look at the applications of foreign exchange students until their semester ends at the end of May, and so I won't even know if I'm accepted into the program until mid to end June, and it's killing me.... Every couple of days I get on google maps and look at the satellite imagery of the city. It seems that tracing my path through the city with a mouse is the only way to keep myself calm.

I don't know what the future will bring, but it sure looks exciting.

There are two more posts below this so don't hit the little x in the corner just yet. Scroll down to see what else is new in my life.

Little Black Dress

One of the greatest advantages of having four seasons within a year is that not only is there a change in pace between cycling and skiing, but that there is also some downtime from riding that allows you to really put some tender loving care into your bike.

Ever since I first purchased Miss Devinci (My downhill bike )back in 2009 I've had plans to eventually rebuild her into a race worthy machine. Well this last winter. Thanks to a very hefty tax return and some friends who are great at scanning the internet for deals I'm proud to present:


If you can't remember (or even cared to remember) what she looked like before just scroll down a couple of blogs and you'll see some pictures of her stripped down to the frame just before I started painting her.

The paint job sure took awhile. I started back in February by first stripping all the paint off the frame and bringing her down to bare aluminium (No pictures were taken of Miss Devinci naked, it wouldn't be proper), and then with a loosely obtained permission from my landlord I pitched a tent in the yard and through the month March I began laying down layers of primer, and then paint.

Unfortunately Winter made a come back for the beginning of April and the process was put on hold, as part of the painting process requires a full day where no wind or dirt or rain could contaminate the drying paint. I don't think I've ever followed the news as closely. Also not to mention that between each coat a paint the surface had to be wet-sanding and any paint runs or mistakes had to be removed before the next layer was put down.

On top of that the rear shock was sent off to Fox Racing Suspensions to be overhauled, new bearings for the headset and bottom bracket were dug up, and a brand spanking new set of race wheels were located by my friend Ty (Who desperately needs to get back from the Middle East so we can go ride).

You may not understand everything that was done but it's ok. A picture says a thousand words, and I think I'll let Miss Devinci tell you everything. Here are a few less than professional quality pictures.

For Luke

One of the sweet things about going to school is that you often find the most random things floating around campus. One of them is the Comic covered Professors door. Every school has one. Maybe every department. Down here at ISU it's kind of a fun game to enter some random building, take the stairs above the classroom to where the teachers offices are and walk around looking for funny stuff taped to doors. Well early this week I found the following comments posted on a teacher's door. It reminded me of Luke, but given that we're all children of our Mother, I figured most my siblings would enjoy the stupid humor. :P Read on.

Following every Qantas flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction.

The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial reaction was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheet before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints, and problems as submitted by Qantas pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.

P= The problem logged by the pilot.

S= The solution and action taken by the engineers.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

S:Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.

S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.

S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P:Dead bugs on windshield.

S: Live bugs on back-order.

P:Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces 200 feet per minute descent.

S: Cannot reproduce on ground.

P:Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.

S: Evidence removed.

P:DME volume unbelievably loud.

S:DME volume set to more believable level.

P:Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

S:That’s what they’re there for.

P:IFF inoperative.

S:IFF always inoperative in the OFF mode.

P:Suspected crack in windshield.

S:Suspect you’re right.

P:Number 3 engine missing.

S:Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P:Aircraft handles funny.

S:Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P:Target radar hums.

S:Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P:Mouse in cockpit.

S: Cat installed.

P:Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.

S:Took hammer away from midget