I can be reached at Ben at ben espen dot com.
I am nearly an Arizona native, having lived in Flagstaff, AZ for almost all of my life. I was born in Colorado, so I have spent my entire life in the Western United States. I currently live about an hour from the Grand Canyon, and have hiked it three times so far.
My wife and I were married in a pink gothic revival church in downtown Flagstaff. Yes, the church is pink, at least on the outside. It even has pink gargoyles.
My education is in physics and mathematics (Northern Arizona University, 2003), but I work as a medical device engineer. I have twelve years of professional experience in the manufacture and design of medical devices. I am also interested in philosophy, particularly Thomist philosophy, with a focus on philosophy of nature and of statistics.
A fair summary of my interests can be gleaned from my reading log.
I served on the school board of San Francisco de Asís parish school in Flagstaff, AZ for four years, with a one year term as board chairman.
From April 2009 to April 2010, I was the secretary of the Dead Philosophers Society, the student society for distance students at Holy Apostles.
Unless some misspelling was involved in the past, Espen is Danish and means "Bear of the Gods". The name is a Danish form of the Old Norse name Asbjørn. In Scandinavian countries, Espen is a first name.
Comments are edited at whim, by me.
Amazon affiliate links benefit me.
Book reviews are cross-posted at LibraryThing and Goodreads. When I have received a book for free, or some other compensation, it will be documented as such. I used to cross-post to Amazon too, but since they have changed their policies to prefer verified purchases, most of my reviews are now hard to find. I approve of that change, by the way, even though it makes my reviews less visible.
All material Copyright © 2009 - 2018, Benjamin I. Espen, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Blog content from The Long View Copyright © 1996 - 2012 John J. Reilly.
Ben's Not-So Epic Quest of Domesticity
Inspired by Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness, here are all the epic quests I have completed so far, and those yet to be done. Every time I cross something off the list, I gain 20% experience towards the next level. Quests that are particularly difficult or complex [master quests] are worth 100%.
I am currently: Level 6 (50%)
Most recent mission: Publish a journal article
- Hiked the Grand Canyon three times
- Toured the headquaters of Valve Software
- Rode the tram to the top of Pike's Peak on New Years Eve [brr]
- Visited the Saturn V
- Danced at the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield
- Posed like a neon cowboy on Fremont Street
- Visited the Statue of Liberty
- Saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
- Observed New York from the Empire State building
- Toured Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
- Summit Humphreys Peak of the San Francisco Peaks [Time 3:30 to summit]
- Viewed the Book of Kells and the Crown Jewels
- Driven on the left side of the road
- Ordered a pint of Guinness in an Irish pub [but the cider is better]
- Walked the catacombs beneath St. Paul's Cathedral in London
- Paid homage at the tomb of the Emperors in Vienna
- Attended Mass sung by the Vienna Boy's Choir
- Tour the Vatican
- Toured the old Imperial Palace in Kyoto
- Sat in a hot spring bath
- Attended a summer festival
- Performed ritual ablutions in a Japanese temple
- Eaten conveyor sushi
- Rode a bullet train
- Stayed in a ryokan in Gion
- Go to the Studio Ghibili museum
- Run 400m in 2 minutes
- Run 400m in 1:34
- Run 1 mile in 9 minutes
- Run 1 mile in 7 minutes
- Run 5k in 28 minutes
- Row 500m in 1:45
- Deadlift 300#
- Clean 225#
- Back squat 225#
- OHS 150#
- 1 muscle up
- Kipping handstand pushup
- Freestanding handstand
- Been to Europe on business
- Drank in a disco with famous physicians
- Responsible for a capital expenditure of $1M in one year
- Remediated asbestos as a student job
- Self-employed as computer technician
- Received a grade of Marksman in the Gunsite Academy 250 Defensive Pistol class
- Earned a red belt in taekwondo
- Earn a black belt in any martial art
- Attend the Gunsite Scout rifle 270 class
- Attend Appleseed rifle training
- Attain a rifleman rating at Appleseed
- Escape a zombie run 2012/09/09 2nd place finish
- Build a safe direction
- Got married!
- Learned how to two-step
- Ad-libbed a speech in front of thousands of people [High school graduation 1998]
- Served as president of a Catholic school board
- Met with a state representative to discuss tax credits for religious schools
- Served at the altar for Latin Mass
- Landed a plane
- Attain 2nd and 3rd degree in the Knights of Columbus
- Attain 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus
- Join the color guard for the Knights of Columbus
- Finish Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1
- Finish Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 2
- Finish Rosetta Stone German Level 1
- Finish Rosetta Stone German Level 2
- Memorize the Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service
- Memorize any of Rudyard Kipling's poems
- Landscape the front yard September 16, 2012
- Landscape the back yard
- Install the fans in the living room August 23, 2012
- Build a laundry pedestal January 02, 2013
- Build a pegboard storage system in garage
- Restore an old bench vise
- Install a network printer in the closet
- Install laundry cabinets
- Create kitchen drawer organizers
- Catalog the library
- Build a home automation system