Jim Huggins (jkhuggins) wrote,
Jim Huggins

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random thoughts

Lots of random stuff wandering through my head right now ... so, let me brain-dump ...

  • For those who were praying ... thanks.  That enigmatic, tension-filled situation seems to be resolving itself wonderfully well.  To God be the glory.

  • Last week, I went to DC on business ... except that this time, I was way out on the west side of town.  So, instead of heading downtown for the usual tourist sites, I got to go to the new Air & Space Museum Annex out near Dulles Airport.  It's a remarkable place ... basically, it's a huge hangar, where they can put all the planes that won't fit in the "main" Air & Space Museum on the Mall.

    The thing that struck me the most this time was ... the contrast in sizes.  They have planes from just about every era and every type of air travel ... early planes, commercial planes, military planes, stunt planes, endurance planes, even gondolas from air balloons.  But it's amazing to compare early planes (which weren't much more than a couple of wings strapped onto a tin can) to late planes (like the SR-71).  It's amazing that anyone ever managed to fly at all.

    They have a couple of commercial aircraft, too ... one of the first Boeing 707s, and one of the last Concordes.  I fly about 3-4 times a year on business travel, but you completely lose any sense of size and perspective when all you see of the aircraft is the narrow entrance passage and the tiny aisles.  When you stand underneath one of those planes ... dang, they're big.

  • Favorite exhibit at the annex: they have the model of the mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Like most stuff from that era of movie making, it was put together with whatever model kits were handy ... so if you look closely at it, you can find all sorts of cool details.  Like the R2D2 unit sitting out on the edge of the saucer, or the Vader Tie-Fighter docked at one of the ports.  I tried to take pictures ... I'll have to see if I can upload them.

  • I also got to play hooky last week and spend some time at the Detroit Zoo, after a business meeting.  Going to the zoo on a Friday afternoon is an interesting cultural experience.  At noon, the entire park is packed with school field trips.  At 1:30pm, the zoo empties out almost completely, as all the school groups have to head back to school ... and it becomes a much quieter place.

  • It's still amazingly cool to have a job where I get to visit museums and zoos on company time.  Not real often, mind you, but it's more than many others get.  I'm aware of the rare privilege it is to be a professor.  And it's still awe-inspiring at times.

  • I think, sometime last week, I finally exhaled.  I finally felt relaxed for the first time since the end of the term.  So, at least, I get about a month to enjoy that relaxation before the treadmill begins again.  (Whether or not I can actually get a paper written in that time ... who knows ...)

  • Sermon yesterday was on Ezekiel 37 ("Son of man, can these bones live?").  Over the last few years, I've definitely felt like disconnected dry bones ... but in the last six months, I feel them coming together and coming back to life.  I'm grateful.

  • Being more relaxed has been great for home life.  I feel so much more energy for home tasks.  And I am, again, so aware of how much Jane complements my strengths, and how well we work together to get things done.  I love her.  (Especially as I get ready to abandon her for a week as I head out on business yet again ...)

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