Hey, that’s MY name up there!

At just about every department meeting I’ve attended, someone is celebrating an anniversary. Since we meet about once a month or per quarter, there are often quite a few names. Occasionally, someone is celebrating a rather large number of years compared to the rest. Last month, that someone was me. Even though I knew my name was going to be up there on the big projector screen, I was still surprised to see my name there next to the phrase “20 years.” I almost thought to myself, ‘wow, who is THAT guy?’ before I realized it was me.

Ford has certainly gone through a lot of changes in the last twenty years. We are a much smaller company than we used to be, but we have managed quite a turn around without going into bankruptcy, and without taking so-called bail out loans, while at the same time producing higher quality, higher fuel efficiency products laden with high technology. We have lost quite a few people, and at one time, quite a lot of experience. One particular day some years back, we held a mass retirement party, and one of my buddies lamented to be losing so many people, so much talent, all at the same time. Some labelled those of us who stayed as ‘being brave for going down with the ship’, but I chose to think of us as the ones who could be part of the comeback team that would save the company. I’m certainly glad I turned out to be right! Thank you, Ford Motor Company!

I always think of my dad during August. Each year, he calls me up to reminisce about our trip to Michigan in 1990. I recall leaving San Antonio one morning with my car loaded so much that it was riding on the bump stops, and mom was crying in the driveway. As luck would have it, my water pump died by the time we got to Waco, TX, but Dad and I repaired it in the parking lot and kept going. When we got to Michigan, I began to have starter motor trouble. The day before I started my first day on the job, the solenoid on the motor quit for good. Fortunately, I had made contact with another new employee who gave me a ride to work. But while I was at work, my dad walked all the way down the access road and across the interstate to the nearest auto parts store, bought a new solenoid, walked all the way back, and repaired my car. I’ve never measured the distance accurately, but I think it’s at least 2-3 miles each way, plus navigating a four lane bridge with no sidewalk. Thanks, Dad!

The other evening, I was talking with a colleague in the parking lot, trying to remember how many Ford vehicles my family and friends purchased since I’ve been at Ford. Between my immediate family, my extended family, and my friends, I come up with 27 vehicles, more than one for each year of my employment. In fact, I just ‘sold’ one more last week, a brand new red 2010 Taurus SHO to Debbie. Thank you, friends and family!

So I’ll leave you with that thought, one of gratitude for my dad, my family, my friends, and the company where I work. It has been one heck of a ride, and I still want to keep driving.

My Workspace

These past few weeks I have had the luxury of getting my drums out of our basement, into the living room. Arianna is less enthusiastic, but we hear her playing acoustic piano all the time… Playing loud and not having to wear earplugs because of basement acoustics is nice, and with the amplifier upstairs I can plug my iPod in and play along with whatever I want. Of course, Dad has me playing jazz too, because we have a jazz gig soon (tomorrow!). Here are some pictures of my set (with the new cymbals and gels on):

Star Trek, World Lines, and Light Cones

Tonight, during dinner, we watched Star Trek. To be more specific, we watched the most recent movie called Star Trek, the one where Spock makes out with Lt Uhura. We’d seen it at the theater when it debuted, but tonight, we enjoyed a most delicious and exciting second helping.

For those of you that know us, and the movie’s plot, it will not surprise you that, several minutes into the showing, I was requested to stop the movie and explain some of the theoretical concepts behind worm holes and time travel . Here are the lecture notes. If you have any questions, please contact one of my graduate students, Adam or Aaron. Office hours are posted outside their laboratories here at the Hernandez Center For Relativistic Dinners and Movies.

Trinity Youth Praise Band launches on ReverbNation and FaceBook

Late this summer, several things came together for us musically:

  1. Cyndi helped me put the Blue Skies Trio back together by identifying a singer in our church(Tammy), with Adam on drums. When Aaron’s repertoire matches our set lists, it will become the Blue Skies Quartet. We played for Rev Jeanne’s Ordination in July, and were very well received.
  2. I got in contact with a youth minister from another church who was interested in having The Band play at their church as a special event for their youth
  3. Our church Worship Team decided to have another Youth Sabbath less than a year since the last one, meaning, we want to do this more often than once a year.

The second item motivated me to make a demo CD with songs that we’ve done for church in the past. Last week, the boys and lay down the backing tracks at the soon to be famous Hernandi Music studios. Last weekend, we invited Lizzie and Travis to our house to lay down the vocal tracks, and record one or two more songs. We had a lot of fun together, and the kids worked really hard and were exceptionally good at constructive criticism and listening to each other’s feedback and ideas. Many adults couldn’t do better.

After I delivered our first demo CD to the youth minister, I thought that I need to explore the more modern methods of digital distribution. To make a long story short, and I launched us on Reverb Nation and FaceBook. Hopefully, this embedded link will work for you:

Email for bands



This has been, and will continue to be a fun project. Next, I plan to launch Blue Skies Trio in a similar fashion. I will post our original demo CD, as well as record a new one with the new members. Stay tuned, and spread the word!