The FENX and the Trenches

Posted on by Aaron in FENX 4.0, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If there’s something I have learned over the last five years since my college days, it is that REAL Life is hard. I know it’s true because of the clever ways we as human beings try and evade and or escape such a reality. I do it with video games, comic books, and distractions of general geekery – yes, sometimes adventures with the FENX is that needed distraction. Others vie for the same sort of escapism by way of choices and substances that are magnitudes more destructive. Many of us escape though movies (guilty – Neverending Story, anyone, anyone). Who hasn’t felt like Bastian, Alex Rogan, or Luke Skywalker at some point in their life? Sometimes life throws us huge curveballs, challenges we didn’t see coming (that’s no moon…). One could argue that my entire existence has been exactly that for my family.

I’ve spent a lot of the last five years (since college at Cedarville University) walking in various valleys amidst some pretty high and steep mountains. While those mountains have been fewer, the freshness and clarity upon the apex is a marvel unto its own. I’ve trudged though tough trenches of pain and veered though dark vortexes of confusion, wondering if and when difficult aspects of my life will change or cease all-together (they haven’t yet). Aside from facing the pain, discomfort, and difficult head-on and try and bend it to the might of will power and tenacity (fueled by Christ in me, the hope of Glory – this is the banner we raise – I know no other way) the toughest part of any trial is to face it alone.

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The FENX and the White Warlock (Old Man Winter)

Posted on by Aaron in FENX 4.0, Star Wars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Imagine for a brief moment that you are standing on the sidewalk in a busy city as the snow falls fast and the wind whips, grasping at you with icy talons. All of the sudden in the midst of nature’s temper-tantrum of frigid pandemonium emerges a clean aerodynamic form as it roars past; you cannot see into it and whoever (or whatever) might be within its confines (presumably) cannot see out of it. What are you thinking in that moment? What do you do? How do you react? Do you suddenly think we aren’t alone in the vast cosmos? A week ago that was me. I wasn’t the bewildered bystander though, I was the unseen one inside the all white alien form, and that form was the FENX.

Last week was baptism by snow as I slowly made my way home across the treacherous “Hothscape” that Washington, DC had transformed into over a matter of hours one afternoon. The government shut down around 3 pm that afternoon and I left “early” at 5 – already too late as I would soon learn. As I locked myself into the FENX; inserted keys; flipped switches to activate displays and check lights; set the Blue-tooth on the phone so I could catch-up on Star Wars: The Clone Wars Round-table discussions, all of this was routine but I knew this was going to be an adventure and visions of The Empire Strikes Back started to dance across my cortex. The snow was falling and it was sticking to the FENX with no place to go. Before too long I was having a tough time seeing and often opened the canopy so I knew where I was headed. My memorized route was being altered by law enforcement as there was too much snow to know what to do with and I was praying safety a mile a minute even though the FENX is a veteran survivor of storms (but of the summer sort). As I slowly went along the weight of the snow gave my muscles a run for their money in lifting the viewport for sight (but I empathized with Luke Skywalker’s plight of the downed Snowspeeder and trying to open the canopy to escape the oncoming Imperial Walker). I can only imagine what passersby must have thought as they saw me roll by. In the end (thanks to much evident grace) I made it safely home and away from the world of Wampas outside. I knew the White Warlock of Old Man Winter had returned and caught me unawares; thus one of my greatest enemies had returned and our struggle began once again – and I was clearly losing.

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The FENX and the Master(s) of the Universe: An excercise in Sovreignty

Posted on by Aaron in FENX 4.0, NBC News, Star Wars | Leave a comment

Two days from now I will be sitting at a table with (almost) my entire family eating turkey, enjoying their company, and reflecting on what I’ve been thankful for in 2010. It’s been a tough year in some respects, just like the previous year was. It’s sometimes easy for me to let the things that happen to me which are difficult or downright unjust crowd out everything else. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons in 2010, lessons which the Master of the Universe sees fit to have me learn, lessons about identity; contentment; perseverance; trust; and owning who you are – embracing one’s destiny and calling no matter where it may lead, knowing it can alter and morph, even if it puts you in places you’d rather not be and you reside there longer than you want, often facing things which seek to damage the core of who you are, to diminish the person you are wired to be.

Passengers hate it when they are flying on a big commercial airplane and the captain comes over the speaker system to inform them the tower on the ground has put them in a holding pattern, forcing all those passengers on board to have to wait longer to reach their destination – and not one of the passengers on the plane has the power to change what is happening to them; the ultimate authority in air traffic gives a directive and it puts a wrench in things – I say this as someone who is flying home to celebrate thanksgiving and I’ll be at the airport a dozen hours from now. This is just on a plane; imagine such a scenario invading the rest of your life and not just your travel plans.

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Yellow Jackets, Airplane Passengers, The Force(cast) and The FENX

Posted on by Aaron in Cedarville University, FENX 4.0, NBC News, Star Wars | 1 Comment

Although it has been a month since I’ve written in this space it has been a very interesting and adventurous month for The FENX Project. Almost a month ago exactly NBC Nightly News went live with the piece produced by Carl Sears. Since then some very interesting things have happened:

1. Cedarville University has thankfully taken it upon themselves to promote the story in conjunction with a story on me earlier this year.

2. Other opportunities to tell the story of the FENX Project on radio and TV have arisen and right now I’m waiting to see if these opportunities come to fruition

3. I received an e-mail recently from a gentlemen whom I had met on a plane headed to Michigan for Easter this year (and wrote about here) telling me he got to see the FENX piece by NBC and showed it to all his family and friends – making sure they knew he met me on a plane.

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The Story of the FENX and NBC News II: Going Live

Posted on by Aaron in Cedarville University, FENX 4.0, NBC News | Leave a comment

Last Friday I received an unexpected but welcome e-mail from Carl Sears, the NBC Nightly News producer who has worked tirelessly to create the NBC story on The FENX Project started in 2004 by my Dad and I. (I wish all folks in the news business were as great as Carl has been.) In the body of the e-mail Carl informed me that the story had gone live on the Internet that morning and that it had been sent to all the local affiliates around the nation. To say I was surprised was an understatement – it had been over a year since the process of creating this news piece started and no one was sure if it would ever air (the hope was always there but the reality of the news business and the need to maintain continuity within a broadcast can make it tough).

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The FENX 4.0 as a Space Ride for Children?

Posted on by Aaron in FENX 4.0, FENX II, FENX III | Leave a comment

A few nights ago I was out to dinner with a friend of mine and we were in Union Station here in Washington.  Just for fun I parked the FENX 4.0 about twenty feet away so I could keep an eye on it, just watch people’s reactions.  While my friend and I were talking about the crazy world that is the Christian Music Industry, a family with kids comes up to the FENX 4.0 and starts opening the canopy and side door, thinking they could just get in and drive it off.  So, I jump up out of my seat and run over to them, telling them it’s not theirs to play with and that someone actually owns it (me) and uses it.  Having startled them with my running skills that would give The Flash a run for his money, one of them responds “well I thought it was a Space Ride for Children…”  I was dumbfounded.  I clearly explained it was not – they missed the HUGE handicapped sticker on the back and admitted as much.  They walked away rather embarrassed at their mistake.  Me?  I walked away cracking a smile and shaking my head, content to continue dinner and jump back in to the discussion of the recording industry and a band called Mute Math.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VTCigbZ5qU – my favorite video of the FENX 4.0

Riding towards eternity,

Aaron

Video Credit:  Brian C. Romano

The FENX 4.0: The Origins Tale

Posted on by Aaron in FENX 4.0, FENX II, FENX III, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What is the FENX 4.0;  How and why did the FENX 4.0 come into being – this is its origin story.

The FENX 4.0 is a experimental and battery powered scooter built for me by my father to help me get around town as as I live and work in our Nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

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