I’m Back

Well, Christmas was wonderful. As I mentioned, Tiff, Little Jonny and I drove up to Eugene, Oregon to spend the holiday with her family. While her brother Steven is still out on his mission in Indiana, her other five brothers were there as was her grandma. Her oldest brother Michael was there with his wife Rosy and his three little girls, and her brother David was there with his wife Jenny (who is expecting in June). All in all it was a rather crowded, happy, relaxing, and exhausting experience.

We did all sorts of fun stuff like carolling and “pixying” (where you take a gift to someone’s house, knock, and try to get out of there before they can see who left it). Tiff’s brothers are all very musically talented (particularly at singing and piano playing), and so the family was asked to sing a choir piece at church on Christmas. We did “Away in a Manger” with a solo part by my five-year old niece Naomi and by Tiff’s 23 year old brother James. I learned how to play Pinochle, managed to play lots of pool, as well as Apples to Apples and Pit. I was introduced to a really cool card game called Fluxx (imagine Calvinball in card form), which is now on my party-games-to-get list right after Munchkin.

One of the nicest surprises was that I got to talk on the phone briefly with my little sister who is also out on a mission (in the hillbilly part of North Carolina). Missionaries only get to call home on Christmas and Mother’s Day, and it’s usually just to their parent’s home, but Julia got permission to call me too since I wasn’t with my family this Christmas. We were out seeing her off on her mission when Tiff’s water broke and little Jonny was born, so I’m looking forward to introducing Jonny to her when she gets home this summer.

I particularly enjoyed spending time with Michael’s family, because his wife is half Filipina (from Cagayan de Oro, down in Mindinao in case you’re curious), and I don’t get too many chances to speak Tagalog to anyone these days. Michael works for the State Department working in embassies around the world. They just got back from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and will be heading to Cuba of all places later on this fall (after getting some training and then some vacation time). That’ll be kinda weird I can imagine, but they’ll probably be just fine.

We also caught a showing of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”. I was actually quite impressed with the movie. If you aren’t some knee-jerk militant agnostic, you’ll probably enjoy it quite a bit. The acting was surprisingly good, the cast well picked, the music captivating, they followed the book remarkably well (only two or three major digressions and all of them were within the spirit of the book’s intent–none of the Jurassic Parkish deciding to have major characters who died in the book not die in the movie and visa versa crap), the battle scenes were quite intense for a PG movie, and all in all I think they did a wondeful job. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Chronicles of Narnia, and I was glad that the director seemed to do Lewis’s work as much (or more) justice as the Lord of the Rings movies. This is one I’d definitely recommend to just about anyone.

In addition to the fun I also managed to take a pretty nice little spill the night before we came home. I was walking with Tiff carrying Jonny back to the house we were staying at the night before we headed back to Santa Clara, when I tripped over a flower pot that I didn’t see because Jonny was blocking my view (and because I am a certified klutz). I kept Jonny from getting hurt in the fall, and was probably pretty lucky that all I got was a slightly skinned knee and a lovely bruise on one shin. Just glad that Murphy wasn’t in a particularly malicious mood that night.

The drive home was pretty uneventful. Oregon is beautiful this time of year. Too bad there’s nowhere good to build rockets…Little Jonny decided to do a little decorating of the car about halfway home, but that’s just part of life. We pulled in last night around 11:30pm, and I was back to work this morning.

Anyhow, this is a rather long and rambly post, but I figured I ought to say something. We forgot our camera or I’d be dazzling you with pictures of our cute little squirt and his cousins. Maybe I’ll remember next time.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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11 Responses to I’m Back

  1. Dan Schrimpsher says:

    Sounds like fun. We did the family thing earlier this month. We went to the Gulf Coast all week.

    Incendently, which part of North Carolina is the Hillbilly part? I grew up in East Tennessee and my brother used to live near the coast.

  2. Jon Goff says:

    She’s in a little town called Franklin, that’s just across the border from East Tennessee. Her mission stretches from the border with Tennesee, out past Charlotte, and up a tiny bit into Virginia. I’m kinda disappointed though. When I talked with her, I figured she’d sound like a hillbilly. I guess she hasn’t picked up on the language out there yet….. 😉


  3. Mike Puckett says:

    I am afraid there are few true hillbillys left in NC. Deliverance was thirty+ years ago.

    So jest shut ya’ll’s fureign high-falootin’ yankee yaps and chaw on a possum.

    Seriously, why missionaries to NC? I thought Christanity had that area squarely in the bag. Why not Africa or South America.

    I would not mind becoming a Missionary if I could live in Ashville!

  4. Dan Schrimpsher says:

    Just being nit picky, but Deliverance was in Tennesse not North Carolina. You don’t here the word Hillbilly in the south very much. Up north, either really. Inbreed and redneck, sure, but not hillbilly. Maybe it is a Utah/California thing.

  5. Mike Puckett says:

    To be even further Nitpicky, Deliverance was set in North Georgia and not Tennessee.

    It was filmed on the Chatooga river that forms the border between Georgia and South Carolina.

  6. Mike Puckett says:

    West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky is where you hear the word ‘HillBilly’

    The term is actually from western Pensylvania.

    Redneck is from Georgia.

  7. Dan Schrimpsher says:

    I stand corrected, as I was misinformed. But do you mean to say they still use the term hillbilly in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky or that it was once used to identify that group of people?

    What I meant was the brief period I lived the fourth level of hell (otherwise known as New Jersery) all southern people were refered to as rednecks, trailer trash, etc… I never heard any labels when I lived in Las Vegas, so I assumed that Utah or California must use hillbilly since that is what John used.

  8. Jon Goff says:

    Dan, Mike,

    I’m sorry that I wasn’t using quite the right term. I’m not entirely saavy to the etymology of hickdom. Out west here (I spent most of my life in Colorado and Utah, I’ve only been in California for just over a year), I’ve heard the following phrases used to describe rustic individuals: hick, rope, redneck, hillbilly and yokel.

    So you’re saying that rednecks are Georgians, Hillbillies are West Virginians or Kentuckyians, Ropes must be Texans or tasteless Coloradoans…but that leaves hicks and yokels. Any ideas guys?



  9. Anonymous says:

    According to Foxworthy, rednecks have a “glorious lack of sophistication”. They are not restricted to Georgia anymore.

    If you go to a family reunion to meet women, you might be a redneck.

    If you have ever found a car while mowing your yard, you might be a redneck. etc

  10. Mike Puckett says:

    I am saying the term Redneck derives from Georgia and the term Hillbilly derives from Pensylvania although it is no longer in vogue in PA.

    People in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky freely claim association with the label “Hillbilly”. Think of Redneck as Family and Hillbilly, Hick, Yokel and Cracker as Genus.

  11. jowenj says:

    The term “redneck” actually comes from the days of slavery when there were white “Overseers” in the fields with the slaves. So they would not get sunburned on the backs of their necks, they sometimes wore very wide- brimed hats. They were called rednecks by slaves and by upper-class southerners because their jobs sometimes caused them to get “rednecks”. The term became a common term to refer to “low class” whites in the slavery south.

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