July 2010 Archives


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Sara and I just saw Inception and I loved it. Sara was not as enthusiastic as I was about it but that happens every now and then. Coming in at just under two and a half hours I was afraid it would seem way too long but it really seemed too short. I'll buy this one when it comes out on DVD and watch it by myself.

I do wish people who frequent movie theaters would follow Robert's Rules of theater behavior. There are only a few rules which, if followed, would enhance everyone's viewing pleasure.

  1. Arrive on time.

  2. If you had to perform emergency surgery or kill some terrorists and couldn't help but be late, enter the theater quietly.

  3. No cell phones means no cell phones! That means no phone calls, no text messages, and no email sent or received. And most importantly, this rule applies to you, even if you don't think it does.

  4. During the movie remember: eyes and ears open, mouth closed. If you have to explain the plot during the movie, your guest is a lost cause so just wait until the movie is over.

The NSPE Board of Directors approved several new policies this morning in their metting which were presented to them by the eislatve and Governmental Affairs Committee (on which I serve). We had aproved the policies in previous meetings. Approved policies are on Engrgy Security, Nuclear Power, Geothermal Energy, and Natural Gas. In our meeting on Friday we, the committee, approved a position statement on Hydroelectric Power but it still nees review and approval by the Board. There are sever other polices currently in the committee which are being tweaked.

Great Day at SeaWorld

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Had an absolutey wonderful day in Orlando at SeaWorld. Saw petty much all of the shows but did none o the rides save for the Sky Tower. The weather was not too hot, or at last there was plenty of shade. My favorite part: Shamu, of course!

Tomorrow we brave Epcot!

A Race Well-Run

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Dateline: NSPE Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL.

Today was election for NSPE and I was a candidate for Vice President. I did not win. I would love to have won the election, if I didn't want to win then why run, but I am not hurt, upset, angry, or irritated in the result and here is why.

First, Dan Wittliff, the other candidate for the position, is a great person and will be a great leader for NSPE. We may differ on a few issues but they are not major and he will serve NSPE well. Dan was not an opponent in the traditional sense, we were both merely running for the same office, so in no way do I feel beaten. In reality, we both were running for the position and did not know of each other until well into the process. This is a result of the way NSPE handles this contest.

Second, I was asked to run by others, specifically the Mississippi Engineering Society and I consider that to be a great honor. Because I did not wake up one morning and decide my life would be incomplete without this position I think it is a little easier to not win.

Third, I did not lose. I still get to be involved in NSPE and I get a life for at least another year.

Fourth, the encouragement I have received from the officers and delegates of NSPE to run next year has been amazing. I also had several people whom I respect greatly share how they voted with me and I appreciate their support.

Fifth, everyone, and I mean everyone, I spoke with mentioned how tough the choice was. I'd much rather lose a close contest than win one by a landslide. I did not get the final vote count but I believe it was close (at least that's the story I'm sticking with!)

Sixth, we seldom get what we want all the time. If you cannot handle the occasional loss, then you do not have the skills, backbone, and thick skin to be a leader.

Seventh, there is still work to do and there is always next year.

Eight, I received a lot of input, advice, and help from many friends as I prepared for this. I appreciate that help and support and it says much about the quality people I work with and call friends.

I wish Dan the best and have already told him I'm here to help.

"Unlikely Tutor Giving Military Afghan Advice", by Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times, 17 July 2010.

This is yet more evidence how Greg Mortenson and his book "Three Cups of Tea" is making an impact. I am impressed by the impact Mortenson is having on the military, and perhaps, vice versa. I am looking forward to his visit to Mississippi State in September and would love to follow up the visit with one from General Petraeus or Admiral Mullen.

I enjoyed Bill Bennett on C-SPAN. Wish his Morning in America Show was not so early in the morning.

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