Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't Be So Impatient

I know, I know; it’s been eight days since I returned from Freiburg and I still haven’t started blogging about it. Relax. This last week was miserably busy and what little free time I’ve had has been dedicated to exams, collecting pictures from the team so I can give them DVDs with all the pictures, preparing for our presentation on the trip at Cru on Friday, and other things (I didn’t even get to try to fight my jet lag or catch up on sleep until Saturday when I slept for 12 hours straight!).

The exams are over (one went very well, the other not so well) and I’m almost done collecting pictures for the DVDs, then I’ll finally be able to blog about the trip. What I’m going to do in the meantime is start making some outlines of what I want to cover and maybe even get some pictures online (Facebook for sure and maybe a Flickr album for the general public because I won’t have the patience to put many pictures on the blog here.

All told the team took over 2700 pictures during the trip, of which a little over 900 are mine. I’m in the process of stitching together the panoramas and deleting a lot of the duplicates (when you’re flat on your back on cobblestone pavement trying to take hand-held ¼ second exposure shots of a gothic cathedral, you’re going to take a lot in hopes that one or two turn out) for the final DVD and it looks like that’ll drop the number of shots I put on the disc down to about 550. It’s been really cool to look back through the pictures because they really bring a lot of the memories to life and we got some really good shots along the way.

One piece of good news before I go; my summer project packet finally came via email on Friday, so now I have a lot more information about what to expect. My other big project for this week (other than blogging the trip and much more important) is getting my support letter together and beginning to mail it out to pretty much everybody. If you want one and don’t think I have your address, please send me an email or give me a call.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Well, I'm back in the US. By the time I got back to my room and tried to do a little studying for my 7:30 exam this morning, I'd been up over 23 hours and my brain just wasn't functioning (although I have several excellent excuses for why I didn't sleep on the plane, ask me about the big one because I've got too much to do to blog about it for a while). But my friend Josh was kind enough to offer to meet me at 5am to study so that I could get a little (3.5 hours) of sleep and because I'd be more awake because my body's still on Freiburg time. That was a sucess and the exam seemed to go well (I won't find out for sure until next week), so now I've got a full day ahead of me before I can finally get some rest and try to deal with the jet lag + sleep deprivation from the trip.
Because it'll be a few days at best before I'm able to blog about it, I do want to throw out that Germany was AWESOME!!! God worked in amazing ways on bunch of different levels, so I'm absolutely psyched that God had me go on the trip. I'm working on sorting my multiple-hundreds of pictures together right now and sorting them (mainly turning the portrait ones upright), then I'll finally be able to look through them all for the first time.
Hopefully I'll be able to make some phone calls and tell people that I'm back sometime tonight, the only non-trip business calls I made yesterday were quick roaming calls to tell my parents I was back in the US and to see if there was any potential of seeing Tiller while I was in Atlanta (nope), so I've got a lot of calls to make soon.
Ok, that's all for now folks, BSY (and please pray for energy to get through another really long day on virtually no sleep).

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Good news! I managed to find a specialty shop that had the chocolate I like so much; but I only bought 4 bars because it's kind of expensive.
Today is our last day in Freiburg, tomorrow we're going to head back to Frankfurt, stopping in Ludwicksburg (I think) to tour around for a whole as our "travel day." Then we'll spend Saturday in Frankfurt and head back home on Sunday. Our time in the Mensas (cafeterias) has generated some very interesting conversations and the gospel has been presented a number of times, but there haven't been any commitments for Christ. That is kind of what we expected because the ground is so spiritually hard and the culture is so rooted in postmodernism that it's easy to get into discussions with people, but people are more looking to just share ideas/opinions than to consider changing their own positions on things. One massive success over the last few days (which I'll have to detail once I get back) is Shane's ministry to high school (well, HS equivalent, they have a different school system here) students who were staying in the same youth hostel as us with a school group. He joined some of their guys in a game of table soccer (foosball in the US, but they us that name for real soccer here) and used it as a starting point to build friendships with a lot of them. He is very gifted in relational evangelism, so as he's built those friendships the last few evenings while they party, drink, and smoke in the hostel basement, he's been able to share the gospel several times with each of them. He says that several were really close to accepting Christ last night, but they weren't interested in doing anything major like that on the last night of their trip. So we can only pray that Gott (German for God) continues to pursue them and that they meet other believers soon.
I'm looking forward to blogging all about the trip and sharing a small (very small) fraction of the hundreds of pictures I've taken, but not until I get back because of how much time it'll take.
The ministry of Campus Für Christus (the local name for Campus Crusade for Christ, because the word "crusade" has very negative connotations here) has been gaining momentum and they've decided that this is the last year they're going to have a STINT team here from the States. They are in the process of putting together an ICS (International Campus Staff) team to put here long term starting this fall. That is a huge step forward because it shows the kind of progress they've made since they first started trying to build a ministry here. It's kind of dissapointing to Pauline though because she was pretty sure that she'd be coming here on STINT in the not too distant future, so now she has started praying about other locations to apply for.
This morning a few of the Purdue people were planning on getting up really early and heading over to the Münster (local gothic cathedral) around 6am to try to get in before there is anybody there to disturb and have a little praise and worship. We got the idea because a guy I had lunch with at the Mensa was telling me that he (cultural Christian, but not a believer) sometimes heads over there about the same time and there is no one around. So I got up at 5am and went down to the lobby at 5:20, but Anna was the only other one there. Chip decided he needed more sleep, as did several other people, and Fack (the worship leader) just overslept. So yeah, I'm kind of sad that those plans didn't work out because it would have been really awesome to sing modern praise and worship songs in a cathedral like that.
Ok, I'm gonna head over to the Campus Für Christus office to meet up with some people and head over to a local art museum (we already visited the medival torture museum this afternoon, which was, shall we say, unnerving). Expect to hear from me next after we get back to the US. BSY

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Rats! I can't find the brand of dark chocolate I like best anywhere around here (might be a French brand, which would explain the problem). So now I'm having to buy a few bars of different brands to figure out what I like best around here (hmm, taste testing different brands of dark chocolate, that's not so bad). Anyways, I'm afraid that's all the time I had for an update and what got written was the first thing that came to mind when I sat down. Things are going well, but I don't know if I'll be able to come here again during the trip (maybe once more).

Monday, March 13, 2006

In Germany

Ok, it's our third day dirtside in Freiburg and I'm paying for a couple of minutes at an internet cafe. The keyboards are really funky here, so it's hard to type. The flights went well (although I didn't get much sleep). I had Schniztl (sp? You try spelling a German word on a compy without spellcheck where you can't even read the net because everything's in German and the keyboard's weird!) for dinner Saturday night and it was really good. We had our first day witnessing in the Mensas (university cafeterias) and it went ok; Shane and I conversed with a phd student and didn't get very far but learned a lot. It's a good thing I bought that external travel hard drive; I've taken over 200 pictures so far. Ok, time to get off, I don't know if I'll be able to post again or not.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Ok, I just finished the last of my frantic packing and I'm about to shut down the compy, go to lunch, and then to the airport from there. Have a good spring break everybody!
Shawn M. Erdenberg

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Freiburg Itinerary and the Johnny formerly known as "Pirate"

I'm about to hit the sack a full hour and a half later than I planned for tonight, but I've been working on my packing list for tomorrow and catching up with Natalie because I haven't been able to talk with her for about a week. The game plan is to get up at 4am tomorrow and pack for Germany, have breakfast with a couple of guys, keep packing, lunch with anyone/everyone who's still around at noon, and then we leave for Indy at 1pm.

We'll catch a 4:30 flight (Delta 6263) to Cincinnati, then a 6:50pm flight from Cinci to Frankfurt (Delta 48), arriving at 9:30am local time. We'll catch a train to Freiburg from there. I'd post the general schedule for the trip, but I don't have a quick way to do that that would be legible on here, so you'll just have to read about it when I get back (or I might even get a chance to post once or twice while there, we should have the occasional chance to go online and check email. BTW, on that note, if you want to get a hold of me the best way would be my gmail (replace the " at " with @ in real life, I just put it that way so spammers couldn't have a web-crawler steal it for spamming purposes): FlyingShawn at ). For the trip back, most of the team will be taking Delta flights 107 and 4969 from Frankfurt to New York JFK to Indy, but three of us (myself included) have to take a different route. We'll be headed from Frankfurt to Atlanta and then up to Indy (Delta flights 15 and 760). The cool thing about that is I'll get my first ride on a Boeing 777 on the way to Atlanta (pretty much the coolest/nicest airliner in the sky). We'll get back late evening on Sunday the 19th and I have a 7:30am exam the next morning (yay!...not)

Ok, that's the general itinerary for our trip. One other quick thing before I go to bed; you remember me talking about our floor's resident pirate, Johnny Sieber, a while back? (if you don't remember, this guy: )
Well, a few days ago he shaved off the goatee he grew for Facial Hair February but kept the mustache and the soul patch. That look was just fine for him, a little be neater but still keeping the whole "pirate" thing going. So what did I find when I got back to Cary this evening but that he'd shaved those off too! He still has the long hair, but no facial hair to go with it. This is sad, now instead of looking like a pirate he just looks like a hippie:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Microsoft HQ

(This is being cross-posted both as a comment in the M4 review and as a new blog post dated 3/8/2006):
So I was taking a look at my SiteMeter today and I noticed that I suddenly started getting a whole ton of traffic from Redmond, Washington using “Microsoft Corp” as their ISP. What’s confusing about it is that they all seem to be looking at Page 7 of the M4 review (the one on the Toshiba Power Saver, Centrino Hardware Control, and battery life), but I can’t seem to figure out why that specific page is so fascinating. Either you guys are all just goofing off on company time or this is actually related to something you’re working on (maybe trying to figure out how to get more battery life out of those new “Origami” Ultra Mobile PCs?) Regardless, I still love the M4 (wouldn’t be able to survive this semester without it); so I just wanted to give you guys a shout-out and thanks for putting the tablet OS together.

As a side note (hoping to capitalize on possibly having Microsoft’s ear for half a nanosecond):
I think it would definitely be to your advantage in creating buzz for this Origami/UMPC stuff if you were to give a few units to certain members of the Tablet community/blogosphere so we can post reviews of them (people like Rob Bushway, Eric Mack, Tracy Hooten, myself [hint, hint ;) ], etc). It would be especially effective if the machines were to keep instead of being lent out for a few days or a week so we could review them as “lifestyle” machines as I gather they’re supposed to be. I know that I personally have gotten a lot of emails from people who bought the M4 because of my review and that some of the others (like Eric Mack) have had the same experience. So I think it reasonable to think that some solid reviews like that would have a similar effect on UMPC sales. I can’t speak for others in the community (although I’d guess they feel the same way), but I personally would be very willing to do another massive, good-and-bad (aka: fair), in-depth review like this in exchange for one of those devices [another shameless hint ;) ].

As a second and even more shameless side note:
I’m a Professional Flight major at Purdue graduating in a little over a year. Any chance you guys would be interested in an intern or first officer for your corporate flight department around that time?

Future RevTrak office, anyone?

TIME Magazine photoessay on the Googleplex (Google HQ):
(This is intended as a not-so-subtle hint for one David C. Thorson)

Is it early or late morning? I can't tell anymore

Is it really only 9am? I'm sitting here in my 7:30 class and it feels more like 10:30 or 11:00. I guess that means this pre-conditioning I'm doing is working. The good news is that I was able to get to bed at a reasonable hour last night (10), so I got about 7 hours of sleep before I got up at 5. Let me tell you, it's boring to be up that early! You can't turn on the lights, you aren't conscious enough to read or study effectively, and no one else is up to hang around with. The good news is tomorrow will be better in that regard. I'm still getting up at 5 (and don't have class till 10:30), but I'm gonna meet Fack around 6 to watch Monty Python together and then I'm meeting Amy for breakfast at 8. If you're crazy enough to be up that early, you're certainly welcome to join us for the movie or come to breakfast just let me know and I'll give you the details.

In other news, I signed up for 16 credit hours next fall. The game plan is to get my hardest classes out of the way so I can have an easy and light final semester next spring (I'll only have 11 credits left, so I'll need a fluff class to stay full time as a student) .

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Slacker Classes

Good news, the passport came, along with my new pilot’s license, a very blue hawaiian shirt, and some dark chocolate.

At 4pm today I get to register for classes next fall. Has anyone here taken any finance or accounting courses? It was recommended to me by a guy in industry (VP of Governmental Affairs and Corporate Communications at Republic Airways) that it would really help my resume to take one or two courses in finance or accounting because it looks really good to companies like his. So I’m thinking about taking that advice, but I need to find an easy one so it doesn’t add too much to my course load. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated (even if it’s not by 4pm today). Also, I’m thinking about trying to take another fun class like Music Appreciation or Bowling if my schedule allows it, but I don’t really have any ideas at this point. Any thoughts on courses you’ve taken or even just heard of that are fun, interesting, and pretty easy?

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the comic strip Get Fuzzy, but it’s one of my all-time favorites (tied with FoxTrot and topped only by Calvin and Hobbes) and runs in the Chicago Trib. I was doing some back-reading of it online the other day and thought this one was hilarious (you'll probably have to click the link to see a big enough version to read):

Monday, March 06, 2006

Missing Passport

Yeah, I know this is the second post in one night, but I need some prayer about something. Last Monday, my mom sent me a package including my passport and some other stuff I'm going to need for Germany in a few days. It still hasn't arrived. It's only supposed to take two or three days to mail something from Chicago to here, so we're getting kind of worried. Please pray that it shows up ASAP so I can leave the country on Friday

Creative Date #4

If you couldn’t tell from my previous post; last week was pretty insane. I was up past 2:30 in the Meredith lobby studying/paper writing three nights in a row and kept busy during the daytime. Basically I was fried by the end of the week, but at least it was all done. Friday night the Freiburg team had a creative date at Silver Dipper (local ice cream place) so that we could have a chance to all get to know each other and it was a lot of fun. For the game Two Truths and a Lie (where, if you aren’t familiar with it, you share two unusual things about yourself and a third that is false and the group has to figure out which is the lie), I told about the number of visitors who’ve visited this blog, the fact that this is my fifth year in Crusade despite being a junior (with a brief explanation of my time at community college and that I’d been in charge of SCF), and a story of “my” first flight as a student pilot and the excitement therein. Actually, it was the old (and true) tale about the gas cap coming off the Piper Cub on Grandpa’s first flight, but I knew it well enough to pass it off as my own and just about everyone in the group (other than Shane and Chip who weren’t allowed to guess because of how well they know me) guessed one of the other two stories as being false. Ask me sometime about that story if you don’t know it, it’s quite a tale.

Saturday I slept in till 2:30 both because I was utterly exhausted by the previous week and because I wanted to catch up on my sleep before I start pre-conditioning for Freiburg (more on that later). Then that evening we finally had our Creative Date with the O.C. (Off Campus) girls. I say finally because we originally scheduled it for two weeks ago, only to have them cancel at the last minute because only two girls could come that night (the rest were working or out of town). Then in the intervening week the Cary Tuesday Cell Group (led by Johnny and Mike) asked them out for that Saturday (partially choosing that cell group just to get under our skin), but then poetic justice was served because both cell groups had to mutually cancel for last Saturday. In a way it’s good for them that it happened that way, because there had definitely been discussion of how we could, shall we say, “orchestrate” some justice on those guys if it had gone through (although we were only joking on most of the ideas). In the end, Johnny and Mike decided to tag along with my guys on our date with them.

Matt Chupp was in charge of this one and put together a brilliant photo scavenger hunt. I say ‘brilliant’ because he came up with all the ideas for things to find by himself and had some really creative and fun ones. Each item was worth a certain number of points, so finding harder things or going to more distant items would pay off in the end. With 8 guys and 6 girls, we split into three teams (I was with Chupp, Maria Graves, and Misha Early) and spread across campus looking for things like...

A bike with no seat:

A Purdue football player (this one, Alec Huber, is actually in Cru):

Someone vomiting:
(Yes, for the record, it was staged. We ran into Rebekah Macleod outside Harrison and she agreed to spit out some Mountain Dew for this picture)

A couple holding hands (these nice parents visiting their son were kind enough to pose for us):

The Wabash River (we were smart and went to the top of a parking garage to get the shot instead of walking all the way down to the river):

And, in the funniest set of pictures our team got, we went up to a group of three late-20’s adults (two guys and a girl) sitting in the Union and I asked if I could take a picture of the textbook they had sitting on the table for a scavenger hunt. They kindly obliged and then one guy asked what else we needed pictures of. I was planning on moving on, but Maria told them that one of the items was “a couple making out.” The guy we were talking to turns to the girl (who we later deduced was his wife), says “Sorry honey, but I have to,” takes her head in his hands, and plants one! We were roaring with laughter and then he asked if there was anything else we needed. Then he got up on a table and pretended to ride a skateboard so that we’d be able to get another picture for the hunt!

After two hours of trekking all over campus, we all met up at McDonalds and had ice cream while comparing pictures. Sadly, it slipped my mind to get a group picture, but I’d consider that our biggest blunder and everyone had a great time, so I think it safe to conclude the night was a huge success.

Last night at the Freiburg meeting I took a few minutes to brief the team on how to prepare for the jet lag of our flight over there this Friday. My general game plan is to get completely caught up on my sleep deprivation (a strategy that totally failed the last two nights, but I’m hoping to get to bed really early tonight), then start getting up earlier and earlier each morning while still getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night so I can knock 3-4 hours out of the way before we leave. The trick is going to be the trip back, because they say it’s always harder to adjust for jetlag going west and because I have a 7:30am exam Monday morning (we get back to Lafayette late in the evening on Sunday). The good side of that is that my body will be messed up in the right direction for me to be awake for that exam rather than trying to sleep.

As a side note, because of the way everything’s worked out, our team will have to split into two groups for the trip back to the US at the end of the trip. 11 people will be flying from Frankfurt to New York JFK and then to Indianapolis from there, while three of us (Travis, Emily, and I) will be leaving about 20 offset from the other group from Frankfurt, flying to Atlanta, and then onto Indy (we should beat the other group to the Indy airport). One of the nicest perks of that route is that I’ll have my first ride on a Boeing 777 across the pond (pretty much the best airliner in the sky), while the majority of the team will be on a 767 (which is what we’re all taking on the flight to Europe). Hopefully I’ll be able to sweet-talk my way into the cockpit in Frankfurt and meet the crew while the rest of the plane is still boarding (too bad the days of an open-cockpit during cruise are long over).

Anyways, I came across some great video links while surfing today (all from Google Video), so enjoy!

This first one is from the National Archives and Records Administration and is 14 minutes of a documentary on Apollo 11. It has a lot of footage that I’ve never seen before, so I thought it was pretty cool:

I’m beginning to think my Dad should have gotten one of these instead of his new scooter (which I consider to be more of a motorcycle with a different seating position than a scooter because of how powerful it is). Reviewed on Top Gear (one of my new favorite shows) and 20,000 British Pounds (~35,000 USD), the Ariel Atom:

A short clip from the Discovery Channel on the largest nuke ever detonated (I’m sure larger ones have been built without being tested, but it’s still huge):

Kids, don’t try this at home, but if you ever need to jury-rig a self defense weapon from things in the garage, you might want to consider one of these:

For you fans of The Simpsons, someone went to a ton of work and managed to reproduce the entire theme song, shot for shot, with live actors:

Finally, I don’t know if I should categorize this as cute or just hilarious, but here’s the Star Wars Baby:

Thursday, March 02, 2006

busy busy

So yeah, I'm about halfway through my big paper for tomorrow (describing the special design features of SpaceShipOne, which, as you can see from the pictures, is a very unique craft). I hald have two big homework assignments due and a good sized quize tomorrow. Today I'll be busy with the 727 Sim and running sound for worship rehersal at church tonight. So yeah, it's gonna be a really busy couple of days...

Some more pictures:

"Captive Carry" to 50,000ft by the White Knight mothership:
Cockpit view:
In Space:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's Gone

It's so weird to reach up and scratch my beard while I'm thinking and find nothing there to scratch! This is going to drive me crazy for a while.

Here's the before/after of when I shaved at 12:01am March 1st: