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After yesterday’s excitement, I didn’t think today’s post would be nearly as interesting.  Turns out I was wrong.

After a decent night’s sleep, we breakfasted at our condo and decided to spend a leisurely day walking around Vail without anything specific planned.  Summer in Vail is gorgeous and we looked forward to enjoying the cool weather and lush environment.  Free garage parking in summer is a nice perquisite, too.

We got there pretty early, before many places had opened, and were able to take in the town without much other activity to distract us. 

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Vail had a snowy winter and the excess snow melt has made the river very strong.  Sandbags were a common sight along the lower parts of the river.

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After being married for nearly five months, my wife Teri and I have finally taken a week off from work to go on our honeymoon.  Spring is a busy time at both of our workplaces, so we thought we’d wait until we really needed a vacation.  It couldn’t have come at a better time, with VBS just finished for Teri and a major project at National Instruments completing for me.

After considering destinations as diverse as British Columbia and Bali, we finally settled on a more modest but nevertheless beautiful destination: Vail, CO.  We found a great deal on a condo there and looked forward to escaping the heat.  In an effort to save money and maximize our time in Colorado, we opted for the earlier of the two direct Southwest flights to Denver…departing at 6:05 AM.

We awoke this morning at 3 AM, showered and ate a bit of breakfast.  Neither of us were particularly happy to be up this early, but were excited to begin our vacation.  At 4:30, we loaded up our car and headed to the person’s house who had agreed to drive us to the airport.

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Getting Married!

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In less than a week, I’ll be getting married to Teri Dube!  Check out our wedding page here.

Wedding Pre-service Slideshow from Brian Frantz on Vimeo.

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Goodbye Aspartame

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Update:

I must retract most of this post.  Although I do feel that I am somewhat less jittery after giving up aspartame, the main symptoms (throbbing in my ear a la pulsatile tinnitus) are back.  Still trying to find the cause…echocardiogram and MRI/MRA both came back clean, so the search continues.

Original:

Aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in most diet drinks and sugarfree gum, has long been the subject of controversy, with plenty of websites dedicated to exposing the dangers of this man-made chemical food additive.

Although the FDA and other government food regulatory agencies stand by their ruling of aspartame as safe in the quantities found in food, in my personal experience I believe the risks outweigh the benefits.  This may not be true for everyone, and I ingest far less of it than those who drink diet soda everyday without any serious side effects, but I recently concluded that I do in fact respond to aspartame in a bad way.

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As an engineer, I work with a lot of smart people who are logically- and scientifically-minded.  I share this perspective, so it makes for a comfortable and enjoyable environment for me.  However, many at my workplace and in the larger scientific community hold to a naturalistic worldview akin to that espoused by its more vocal proselyte, Richard Dawkins.  While I do not intend in this post to present a complete rebuttal to this perspective, I do want to explain how I, a self-considered “reasonable” man, can be both a devout Christian and an honest lover of science.  I’ve already presented much of this in a video series that I’m almost done uploading (ran into a snag with Blip.tv and I’m migrating to Vimeo), so feel free to check it out.  But I thought it’d be valuable to give a more succinct summary in writing.  I considered writing an original post, but then read through an exchange I had with an atheist friend of mine a while back, and thought I’d just post it.  I’ve paraphrased his comments so as not to reprint them without permission.

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