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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some odds and ends

Stardate 60123.0
Just catching up on some things. Rachel had a slumber party for her
birthday; although it was on the 22nd instead of the 21st. April was in
charge of that, as I was taking my dad out to dinner for HIS birthday. We
managed to get the boys to stay with friends of theirs. The party therefore
went well.

Rachel’s actual birthday was overshadowed by school and Patrick having a
double-header in soccer. We managed to go to Cracker Barrel before he
needed to head up to Ogden. Rachel was thrilled to be delivering treats to
school on her ‘real’ birthday. To this point, she has always been out of
school by this time. April had planned on those candy-cane bagel
look-alikes, but someone else beat us to it. She was still happy to be able
to do something on the day.

There were two soccer games on Thursday, one Saturday morning, and one on
Tuesday night. The team has won them all. Patrick scored the winning goal
from defense Saturday, running up to kick back one from the other teams’
defense and keeping it to score with. That was with 40 seconds left in the
game. If there had been 43 seconds, the other team would have tied the
game; they were so intent on getting another goal. There are two new
players, Geordi (not sure if that’s how his name is spelled) started
Saturday and Carlos started Tuesday. Good players, but what impresses me is
they get a good passing game going with the whole team.

Christmas Eve we went to the Ogden city lights. I think we need to find another place to go, because the kids kept telling us they saw all of this last year. I hear Roy has an impressive set.

End of Entry

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

Stardate 60122.7
Christmas 2006 was one of the better ones in recent years. We told the kids they could not open or touch any presents until 6:30 AM. They laughed about it, and kept coming up with 'what-if' scenarios, but they listened. Patrick came bounding into our room at exactly 6:30, but it's much better than 3. Apparently he had been awake since 2. I remember doing the same thing as a kid, and looking at the clock every 10 to 15 minutes.

Then there is the 'put the stuff together' phase. I kind of get upset  in this one because the kids want everything done immediately, and each construction takes time. Patrick is getting good at construction, and likes to spend the time doing that. He was tired from being up all night, though, and started to get frustrated. Thomas got a huge Black Pearl ship from Pirates of The Caribbean, and he tried to assemble it, but could not. After I got it together, he took delight in making Thomas mad by taking in apart again.

End Of Entry

Monday, December 18, 2006

Long division is easy

Stardate 60121.8

Long division is easy, according to Rachel. That's what she told use tonight. We started her in an advanced math class, with complex fractions, decimals, and basic algebra. She objected at first, but we made here try it. It was a struggle for the first week, but she has the hang of it now. It took a bit of a refresher for me as well. I didn't remember how to add or multiply fractions. I had to look it up on the web. Now when she goes to do her normal math homework, it's easy. Gee, maybe mom and dad were right...


End of Entry.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Journey to Bethlehem

Stardate 60121.6
Patrick had a busy Saturday. There was a 7:45 AM soccer game, which they lost. They don’t seem to be playing as aggressively as they were in the beginning. I think they are getting tired again. There was also a game at 8 PM on Thursday, with much the same results. After the game, he went to Salt Lake for two birthday parties, one at Laser Quest, and the other at Chuck E. Cheeses in Sandy. The Laser Quest place was pretty cool, better than most places I have been to.

Sunday we went to Journey to Bethlehem at the Baptist Church off highway 193 in Layton. I was expecting something you just walked through on your own, but it was a full fledged play. You are guided through sets inside and outside the church as part of a ‘family’ traveling to Bethlehem. There are people Hebrew and Roman costumes. Everyone going through is given a passport with a period name, and they must show it to various Roman authorities. It was snowing pretty good by the time we went, but that did not detract from the fun.

End Of Entry

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stole this from John who stole it from Carl...

1.WHAT CURSE WORD DO YOU USE THE MOST?
Shoot.

2. DO YOU OWN AN IPOD?
Yes.

3. WHAT PERSON ON YOUR FLIST DO YOU TALK TO THE MOST?
N/A

4. WHAT TIME IS Y0UR ALARM CLOCK SET TO?
5 AM. I can usually get out of bed by 20 to 6.

5. DO YOU STILL REMEMBER THE FIRST PERSON YOU KISSED?
No.

6. DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE ON 9/11/01?
I had just dropped Rachel off at school, and April called on the cell to tell me a plane had hit the WTC.

7. WOULD YOU RATHER TAKE THE PICTURE OR BE IN THE PICTURE?
Take the picture.

8. WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
"Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause"

9. DO ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS HAVE CHILDREN?
Yes.

10. HAS ANYONE EVER CALLED YOU LAZY?
Yes.

11. DO YOU EVER TAKE MEDICATION TO HELP YOU FALL ASLEEP?
Rarely, since I then have a hard time getting up.

12. WHAT CD IS CURRENTLY IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
Spamalot.

13. DO YOU PREFER REGULAR OR CHOCOLATE MILK?
Chocolate.

14. HAS ANYONE TOLD YOU A SECRET THIS WEEK?
Yes.

15. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD STARBUCKS?
About three weeks ago.

16. CAN YOU WHISTLE?
Yes.

17. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Take the Fifth on that one.

18. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Learning about my new job, coaching, Christmas, summer, vacations, not commuting, getting some certifications, ...

19. DID YOU WATCH CARTOONS AS A CHILD?
Yes, still do.

20. DO YOU OWN ANY BAND T-SHIRTS?
No.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

May the Force be with you and yours

Stardate 60112.9
Thanksgiving was good. We got together to eat, after a mix up with my dad driving out here when I told him I would pick him up. We did the turkey in the grill this year. It turned out very well. This also left the oven free for other things. Patrick was insistent that we have pumpkin pie, so the night before he, Thomas, and Rachel helped me make two. Thomas was also sure that one of the traditions was to watch football, because 'that's what you do on Thanksgiving'.

The next day we started putting up Christmas decorations. I had a lot of trouble with the outside lights. For the life of me, I can't figure out why sections decide to just not light. Even after checking all the bulbs, it still didn't work. On top of that, they were multicolor icicle lights. I searched a number of stores, but could not find replacements. It was not until Sunday that April found a KMart ad for some. It actually looks good this year.

Saturday Thomas ran down the stairs to check his stocking by the fireplace. Apparently he was under the impression it would get filled after he hung it up. We explained that it only got filled on Christmas Eve. He was ok with that. Patrick had two games that day. The first they won 4-2. The highlights of that game was the other teams coach yelling that her team needed to listen to her, and not our coach. I also saw Patrick's friend Trey step in front of another player as he and Patrick were chasing after the ball. It was a nice pick play. The second game was 14-2. The highlights were that most of the team scored some goals. Patrick scored 3; one kicked in from mid-air over the keepers head. Trey and Josh A. both scored 1. Another highlight was the keeper kicking it away up in the air. Patrick caught it on his knee after one bounce, and juggled it for a while before popping to a teammate. The other team was at a loss to what to do.

April had the cubmaster bring me up front at the end of the Cub Scout pack meeting, and he lead the pack in singing Happy Birthday to me. That was very touching.

My new job is good. I have not done much yet, other than grin as the inclement weather snarled traffic in south Davis and Salt Lake City.

End of Entry

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pronounced

Stardate 60112.2
Did anyone go stand in line to to buy a Wii (pronounced 'We')? I'm curious about the user manual (pronounced 'man-u-L'). Everywhere I read about the gaming console, it's always accompanied by a helpful pronounciation. Is this also in the usage for the Wii (pronounced 'Whee')? There was a piece on NPR, where they spelled AND pronounced it, that said Nintendo was going after the casual gamers with this console. I don't think I fit into the 'hard-core' gamer category, so I must be, by process of elimination, a casual gamer. I don't know if there is a no-gamer category, but since I do play console and computer games, I don't fit that one either. Yet I don't feel like buying one (pronounced '1'). I can't get past the need to tell me over and over how to pronounce the name. Why not spell it 'We' (pronounced 'Wii') and get it over with?

If an exclamation point is added, is it then pronounced Wii! (pronounced 'Wheeeeee!')?

End of Entry

Monday, November 20, 2006

Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio

Stardate 60112.0
I found this, and decided to download and install it. The first download was 24Mb, and when I ran it, it complained that VS 2003 was not installed (I have VS 2005). Back to the Oracle site, and I found the version for 2005 bundled with a bunch of other stuff. 283Mb all told. It took 2 hours to download, and about 5 minutes to install. I launched VS 2005, and tried to access the Oracle Explorer from the menu. It came back with 'Package Load Failure, do you want to disable loading this in the future?'. Silly me, I clicked yet. Searching on the net, I found a site describing the problem and solution. An install bug puts the .NET 1.1 assembly in for the .NET 2.0, so VS doesn't understand it. Running the command
gacutil /l Oracle.DataAccess
from the Visual Studio command prompt, and shore 'enuf:
Microsoft (R) .NET Global Assembly Cache Utility. Version 2.0.50727.42
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Global Assembly Cache contains the following assemblies:
Oracle.DataAccess, Version=2.102.2.20, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89b483f
429c47342, processorArchitecture=x86
Oracle.DataAccess, Version=1.102.2.20, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89b483f
429c47342

Number of items = 2

two versions installed. Ok, run
gacutil /u Oracle.DataAccess
and both are removed. Search the hard disk for Oracle.DataAccess.dll, and find the 2.102.2.20 version. Use
gacutil /i (Oracle Home)/Oracle.DataAccess.dll, and it installs the proper one.
Launch VS 2005 again, but the problem now is I told it to skip loading the Oracle Explorer package. Run devenv /ResetSkipPkgs and it at least opens a window with Oracle Explorer. However, I can't connect to a database. I tried copying the TNSNAMES.ORA to the new , but no go. Ok, time to do this the old-fashioned way, and use the Net Configuration Utility that comes with Oracle. It seems to create the same TNSNAMES.ORA, but at least now I can connect.

End of Entry

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Soccer

Stardate 60111.9
Patrick is on a soccer team, put together by the PE coach at school. Two games a week, Thursday night at Ultimate Indoor in West Haven and Saturday morning at 12th Street, plus practices. He is enjoying it though. April went the game Saturday morning, and was surprised by how good he has become. The team is losing (one win against a girls team because there are not enough teams, the rest losses). I see a number of good players besides him, and a few underutilized ones. The team as a whole does ok. I disagree with the coaches letting the defenders go all the way down the field. But I will let it go and assume he knows what he is doing.

The games at Utimate seem rigged against us. One game I swear we got a penalty every time a kid on the other team fell down, but nothing when one of ours did. Well, like I said, he is having fun, so I don't care.

End of Entry

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Job

Stardate 60111.6
The secret is generally out, so I can talk about it here. On November 27, I start working at Flying J corporate in Ogden. After almost a year of searching, I finally found something else. My big mistake before was getting complacent. I just assumed that my skills would be useful, but I found out otherwise. It took a long time to get going on new languages, and employers are always looking at past experience. Lesson learned. I will keep learning and looking at the job market.

The commute will be much better. The office is 2 minutes from where I drop the kids off at school. The dress code is more strict, and I will need to wear ties and dress shirts.

End of Entry

Monday, November 13, 2006

Long time between

Stardate 60111.3
Another long time between posts. There is a lot to catch up on. Halloween went well. Rachel was a little disappointed with a friend she went trick-or-treating with. She was more interested in visiting than getting candy. Patrick did not want to hang with his brother and sister, so we pawned him off on a friend. Thomas made out like a bandit. He went with Rachel's friends' brother. They get along very well. Rachel was a corpse bride, Patrick was a death, and Thomas was an Indian. This was the first year I did not carve a jack-o-lantern for myself. By the time I finished with Thomas and Patrick's, my hand hurt to bad to do another one. Rachel did hers all by herself. It turned out pretty good, considering she chose a complex design.

Well, got to run. More to come...

End of Entry

Friday, November 03, 2006

Faye

Congrats to Kevin and Dani on the birth of baby Faye on November 1.

Monday, October 30, 2006

White and Nerdy

Stardate 60103.0
Not surprised.

You are 64% white and nerdy.
How White and Nerdy Are You?

Halloween Party

Stardate 60103.0
We had a Halloween Party last Saturday. Rachel and Patrick got to invite friends from school. Thomas had one friend over. It was strange because after sending out the invitations, everyone wanted to know if it was a birthday party. Most of the people invited had been to our kids parties before, and they know we don't have anyone born in October. It seems to be a weird idea to have a party just to have a party.

There were 26 kids altogether. It was out on the back patio. We had a mumy race, where teams of two wrapped each other in toilet paper and tried to run to a finish line. We went to the cornmaze in Syracuse, and let them run around for about an hour and a half. I found out Friday night that the Ticonderoga was going there as well, but we did not see them. After that, we came back to the house and ate. I had made some mummy dogs (hog dogs wrapped in pastry dough) which disappeared in minutes. We also had chili and bread shaped like a pumpkin. Then there was a candy relay. It was between the fifth and third graders. I think the fifth won. They dropped quite a bit on the lawn, much the the delight of Leonardo the dog. I know the stuff is not good for him, but he can find it better and faster than I can. Then it was a free for all. Most of the kids were gone by 8, and April went to an adult party with a friend. She went as Captain Hook, and her friend went as Tiger Lily (you need to watch Disney's Peter Pan for the reference).

Thanks to Jennifer, Mary, and Elaine for helping with transport.

There were five soccer games on Saturday as well. Thomas and Rachel had one, and Patrick had three; an AYSO double header and an indoor game. The cub scouts had a trip to Fort Beunaventura planned, although the times kept changing, so we were never sure when it was. Patrick played well, although he lost to games. The first at 9 AM he scored three goals in quick sucession. The combination of Josh, Tommy, and Patrick as forwards is pretty potent. The last game you could tell they were getting tired (all three had three games).

Thomas's team played ok. Last week they were on fire, and we actually won. This week they played as before. Phillip has come a long way from the whining child to a good goalie and fair forward. Chandler, having missed much of the games, started getting into it. Hunter tried, but he really didn't get into the games. Riley did very well in practice, but seems lost during the games. Sam, urged on by his father, had some good games and was another good goalie. Luke is a natural player, if a bit too agressive. Cooper did well, just a little issue with always having to play with Luke. Thomas kicks well, but has a tendency to run to the goal instead of at the ball. A good team, if they can concentrate on the game. That was the last game for the fall.

End of Entry

Friday, October 27, 2006

Everything Must Go!

Stardate 60102.7
Often, I drive by the Shag-Rug-La store on 35th South and Bangerter. They are or already have moved, and there is a sign that says "Moving, Everything Must Go!". My brain latches on to that for some reason. I know it means they want as much sold as possible before they move. But a voice in my head insists that's not what it says. So this list of possible meanings runs through my head.

1. They are moving everything, and asking for help.
2. Everything is moving, and therefore it has to go.
3. Alternate meaning for go: They have to use the bathroom before moving.
4. They are in motion, and everthing is on the go.

Then I wonder if this thought process is a result of my profession (software development), or my profession is a result of my having thought processes like this.

I know, strange.

Computer programs do what they are told to do, not what they are supposed to do or what you want them to do.


End of Entry

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Politics

Stardate 60102.6
Carl wrote about politics. One of two topics you are forbidden to discuss at FreeMason activities because it is so derisive. I've looked at the Constitution party www.cputah.org, and I found pretty much the same thing. No to this and no to that.
Isn't there a clause in the Constitution that says any powers not specfically outlined here are the domain of the states? They kind of go overboard with the pro-life stuff, and I have problems with parties that refer to the evil New World Order (with the capitals). I will agree with Carl that the Constitution is a living document, and it was intended to be changed. Changing it is not easy, and this was also intended. I also love the way they trot out the "Founding Fathers". The ideas of these gentlemen were all over the place, and rarely did they agree on anything. Edmund Randolph, the man who proposed the plan that was to become the Constitution (Madison is generally believed to be the author, but Randolph introduced it), refused to sign or endorse the final document. Patrick Henry ("Give me liberty or give me death") believed it was evil. They wish to abolish the FDA, to which the drug Thalidomide comes to mind. Labeling of ingredients. At least they don't want healthcare run by the government. I'd like to see universal coverage, but if the government does it then that's one more they can hold over the heads of voters.

There are a ton of topics: Energy, Copyright, Economy, Education, Environment, Privacy, Technology, Social Security, Taxation. I've already spent too much time revising and trying to sort out my opinions, all to no avail. Maybe I should take one topic at a time.

End of Entry

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Auto replies

Stardate 60101.9
I found these on a Monster blog. Their source is a podcast, so I can't exactly credit it. I'd love to use them at least once for my out of office auto replies.

* I am currently out a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.

* You're receiving this automatic notification, because I'm out of the office. If I were in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

* I will be unable to delete all the unread worthless emails you sent me until I return from holiday on the 4th of April. Please be patient, and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

* Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $4 for the first 10 words and $1.95 for each additional word in your message.

* Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. Your email is important to me, and you're currently in 352nd place. You can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

End of Entry

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Indoor Soccer

Stardate 60101.7
Patrick is on an indoor soccer team. I was going to coach a team if there were no other volunteers, but the St. Joes PE teacher set up a team. It's a little more money, but I think he's beyond amateur coaching, which is all I can provide. The team will go competitive in the spring.

The try-outs were last Saturday. Apparently they were just short enough players that everyone got in. I think he would have made it anyway. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

End of Entry

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gospel according to Star Trek

Stardate 60101.6
Futurama had a fourth season episode called “Where No Fan Has Gone Before”. This has to be my favorite Star Trek and Star Trek Fan parody. In it, Star Trek became a religion, and was banned after the Star Trek Wars (not to be confused with the fan pilgrimage known as the Star Wars Trek). Some seem to want TV to be reality.
'STAR TREK GOSPELS' REACH OUT TO WORLD

You can read about the church here. And before any asks, no, I am not converting.

End of Entry

Friday, October 13, 2006

Kid's Rooms

Stardate 60101.3
Thomas had his new bed installed yesterday. He slept there last night. Now all the kids have their own rooms. We have gone from a purple room to green, and from blue to olive green. The bunk bed went to Patrick’s room. His room is smaller than the one he shared with Thomas, but the shear fact he doesn’t need to share it makes up for it.

Rachel is complaining that she has to go upstairs to use the bathroom. We warned her about it, but at the time she was too excited about a new room to care. It won’t change, so she needs to accept it.

Favorite Music at the moment: “Wheel of Fortune” – Hans Zimmer, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Soundtrack

End of Entry

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SQL Joins

Stardate 60101.2
Got a phone interview on Tuesday night. I really prefer face to face, and that I know ahead of time. This one also came in the middle of getting the boys ready for scouts. Needless to say, I didn’t do well. But I did get a succinct definition of the difference between an inner and outer join. An inner join is the standard

SELECT TABLE_A.COLUMN1, TABLE_A.COLUMN2, TABLE_B.COLUMN3
FROM TABLE_A, TABLE_B
WHERE TABLE_A.COLUMN1 = TABLE_B.COLUMN1

This will only return rows where COLUMN1 matches in TABLE_A and TABLE_B. If there are entries in TABLE_A that do not have a match in TABLE_B, these rows are not returned. This is where an outer join comes in.

(ORACLE Syntax)
SELECT TABLE_A.COLUMN1, TABLEA.COLUMN2, TABLEB.COLUMN3
FROM TABLE_A, TABLE_B
WHERE TABLE_A.COLUMN1 = TABLE_B.COLUMN1(+)

This will return COLUMN1 and COLUMN2 in all rows from TABLE_A, and any matches from TABLE_B COLUMN3.

So an inner join only gets rows where the tables have matches, and the outer join will return rows from TABLE_A whether a match exists with TABLE_B or not. I know it, but this is a nice, simple explanation. I gotta remember it.

End of Entry

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

IIS Problems

Stardate 60092.7
Warning!!! Technical entry. I am keeping a note about this here because I can't think of a better place for it.

I got my new laptop, and installed Internet Information Services on it. I then installed Visual Studio 2005. I ran a simple web page, and got a Server Application error, please check the event log for more details. The application event log recorded the message “the sever failed to load application ‘/LM/W3SVC – The specified metadata was not found.’ The event id was 36. Lots of stuff on the web about this; apparently it’s a common error. It took a while to find the specific fix, and I am not sure how some of the steps were done.

The first problem was that the Distributed Transaction Coordinator was not running, and was not even listed in the Service Control Manager. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling IIS, which was a mistake. This is where I am not sure. I mucked around with msdtc.exe on the command line, and after a while it showed up in services, although it was not running. I set it to start automatically. Tried again, got the same page error, but the event log showed ‘/LM/W3SVC – Class not registered.” I went to the Component Manager and per another web page deleted IIS In-Process Applications, IIS Out-of-Process Pooled Applications, and IIS Utilities. I needed to shutdown IIS before I did this, but I could not remember the shell command. Another Google search reminded me it was IISRESET. I tried IISRESET STOP, and was greeted by ‘The RPC server is unavailable.’ It took another hour before I discovered the command was IISRESET /STOP. Then I went to %windir%\system32\inetsrv, and typed:
rundll32 wamreg.dll,CreateIISPackage
Then
regsvr32 asptxn.dll

I tried the web page again. This time I got an ‘XML Parsing Error: Not well-formed’ on the first line of the page. Another quick search revealed my problem, I had uninstalled IIS, and it no longer knew about ASP.NET. I ran the Visual Studio command prompt (the same as the normal command prompt, except it adds a few more directories to the PATH), and typed:
aspnet_regiis –i

I tried the page again, and again, the same error. Further down the same Google search was a question about running under Firefox, and how it caches the page. I did a Ctrl-F5, and lo, it worked. And there was much rejoicing.

End of Entry

Monday, September 25, 2006

Updates plus M-CII

Stardate 60192.5
Mike Gibby wanna-be, that’s me. It’s been a few weeks since the last entry. Scouts, soccer, TV season, convention, and a host of other things have kept me busy.

Thomas and some of his friends are Tiger Scouts now, and Patrick is a Bear, scout that is. They are enjoying it so far. Some of the new parents are asking when the camping starts. Unless you are a Weblos, day camps are it.

Soccer is fun, although Thomas’s team is a challenge. They get distracted very easily. The second Saturday we played it rained and hailed, so the fields were a mess. They stopped in the middle of a game to pick up the hail. It was also a double-header for both Patrick and Thomas. Patrick did well, and I put him on Thomas’s team for their second game, because we were playing Patrick’s old team (he moved to an older age group), and to show Thomas and his team how to play better. The other coach was telling his kids to hold back, but I told him Patrick thinks he’s ready to turn pro, so pour it on. It didn’t help. Patrick blocked all the goal shots, even one kicked high in the air. There is also interest in doing indoor soccer again, and I told some of the parents I’d be willing to coach. That will start at the end of October.

The TV season took April and I by surprise. All of the sudden, new shows are appearing on the DVR.

Mountain-Con II was a success. Kudos to Carl, Justin, Rex, Dani, Kevin, Jani, and dozens of others for a great con. I was also pleased to see Brian and Jeremy of Done The Impossible. Yes, I will have to watch Firefly now. I have known both of them for about 20 years, and unfortunately it’s been almost that long since I saw Jeremy.

End Of Entry.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter

Stardate 60190.7
Crikey! As you have already read about, Steve Irwin, whose sobriquet is The Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray last week. I think that some animal killed him is not a big shock to most people, but the circumstances were bizarre. It’s still sad to lose a famous environmentalist and entertainer.

The kids are all back in school. No problems, no kid getting lost. They don’t like the earlier bedtimes, although Rachel admits she is not as tired as she was over the summer. I thought Thomas would have a problem with Patrick now going to St. Joseph instead of St. Benedicts, but he was fine with it. One exception was the second day of school, when they needed to go to Extended Daycare Program. They need to type a number into a computer to check in and out. Patrick did this last year for both him and Thomas. Thomas started to panic because he did not know how to do this. He calmed down quickly when I told him just to ask for help if he had a problem. He knows the teachers there, so he should be comfortable with asking.

I went to the Northern Utah .Net Users Group meeting Tuesday. They demoed a JavaScript tool called Mochikit. It looks fun, but I’d still like to find a tool that I can use to draw the elements on a website. Visual Studio does that, but it wants things done with IIS. The asp.net module for Apache is no longer supported.

So Wednesday ordered a new laptop from HP. I was going to get a Gateway Tablet PC from Office Depot, but April talked me out of it. I use the computer for games and software development, so it does not make sense. Tablet does not come with IIS, and as I said, VS wants that. Office Depot’s only solution was to buy the machine, and then spend $200 extra on the XP Professional upgrade. HP has the option to customize a machine, although it’s a little off. They give you options for different processors (Celeron, Dual Core) and graphics, and then tell you it won’t work. I settled on an AMD processor and added XP professional for $50 extra. I hope the graphics will be good enough to play games with.

Speaking of games, I installed Barbarian Invasion. It’s not too different from the original. There are different factions such as Huns, Goths, Saxons, etc. There are new formations, such as spearmen can hedgehog (form a circle with spears facing out), which makes them invulnerable to cavalry but bad against archers. Mounted troops are more important now. There are only two historical battles, Teutoburg Wald and Chalons (you can look those up on Wikipedia for descriptions). I played both, lost the first (ran out of time), and won the second (although Atilla was killed). I am in the middle of a campaign now as the Vandals. The goals are to capture and hold 10 cities, and three have to be Cordova, Rome, and Carthage. The Roman Empire is divided into Western and Eastern, and the west currently holds all three cities. I sent an envoy to Constantinople to appeal for help, only to find the Huns had taken the city. The western empire has sent four large armies to stop my invasion and each was handed a decisive defeat. The computers strategy seems to be attrition. The three armies I had with over a thousand men each are down below two hundred each. My stupid spies can’t seem to determine if they have more to throw at me.

Wednesday was another visit to the dentist. I had a few fillings done. The only problem is that as he started to drill, and I told him it hurt. He gave me another shot of anesthesia, and tried again. More anesthesia. It still hurt a little, but my jaw was numb, so I didn’t say anything more. He wants to try a different anesthesia next time.

The boys and I went to a Real game on Saturday. The boys got bored, but I had fun. Real lost, although I am not sure why. They didn’t count one goal, I guess for a penalty.

End of Entry

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Jobs

Stardate 60090.2
It’s been a little rough this week. I got two ‘sorry, you don’t have the skills we need’ rejects from job interviews in one day, and a co-worker who has been with the company for almost as long as I have left. It’s frustrating. Years ago, I asked to be replaced on the project I was on. It took a year and a half to find someone, another year to get someone up to speed. In the meantime, a replacement is being worked on. I’ve asked to be part of it, but the answer was that I could not be spared from the other project. Now that I can, I am told the replacement is almost done and they don’t have any place for me on it.

The kids started school again. Thomas goes to one campus by himself now. I thought that would be a problem, but he seems to like it. The exception was Tuesday, when he had to go to Extended Daycare Program. The kids need to check in by typing there number in on a computer. Patrick always did that last year, so Thomas got upset because he didn’t know how. He got through it. He and Thomas aren’t happy about having to go to bed at a set time, but they have to accept that. So far, they have been getting up ok, although Thomas complained he wanted to take a nap in school.

We had the downstairs painted this week. The guy prepped on Monday, and by Wednesday he was done. It looks great, except the color we picked for the fireplace wall looks pinkish in the light of the lamps. We tried rearranging the front room, but most of the furniture needs to stay where it is.

I bought the Barbarian Invasion expansion pack for Rome: Total War. I have not installed it yet. It looks pretty cool. I’ve been playing Rome again.

End Of Entry

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Software Development

Stardate 60082.3
Picked this up on the web:
Werner Vogels: Yep, the best way to completely automate operations is to have to developers be responsible for running the software they develop. It is painful at times, but also means considerable creativity gets applied to a very important aspect of the software stack. It also brings developers into direct contact with customers and a very effective feedback loop starts. There is no separate operations department at Amazon: you build it; you run it.


This statement has generated a few comments. Some say, yeah, that’s a great Idea, and others reply, no, the compartmental organization is the only way to go. Me, I can see both points of view. I’ve sometimes dreamed of being locked away from all distractions and just CODING. But there were situations where this just went overboard. One in particular was with a new client. They needed a feature, so a group was formed to write documentation on how it needed to be done. I was called to give time estimates. The feature was that when a database field was set to a value, they needed another field in the same table set to ‘Y’. Could this be done as part of the server application? I replied that yes, it could, and it would be a few hours to code and a day to test. They could have it in a couple of weeks as part of the normal development cycle. OR, a trigger could be put on the table to do the same thing. If they didn’t have the knowledge to do that, one of several database admins we had could write it and send it to them this afternoon. The group was a little shocked by the simple solution.

The organization into separate departments is ok, but not when the communication is always formal. Informal chats can sometimes reveal simple and elegant solutions.

End of Entry

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Public Transit

Stardate 60082.2
I received an email last week from UTA. About six months ago I decided to submit a rideshare request, just for fun. The email told me there were no matches for my request. No big surprise there. It went on to tell me that I was spending about $500 a month in gas, and added almost a 1000 miles on the car. I read through it and though, ok, wonderful info, but what’s the solution. Taking the bus requires 3 and a half hours one way. FastTrack, the commuter rail, does not offer any resolution either. I could move closer to work, but April works up here. I’d like to do the same, but there is not much here.

Rachel sprained her wrist in Pennsylvania (or New Jersey, I’m not sure exactly where she was). April said they tried to get on TV for the Today show, but President Bush held a news conference while they were there. Everything else seems to be going fine. They fly back tonight.

The kids all start school next week. I don’t think they are too excited about it.

The swim instructor called Friday to say she had an emergency, and had to cancel. I can understand, but it seems like every time we have a lesson scheduled, she has a problem and reschedules. She wanted to reschedule for Monday at 2, but I am still at work, so we pushed it back to 4. She does good work. Patrick is swimming underwater and Thomas can now float face down. Thomas told me he thinks the water is fun now.

End of Entry

Friday, August 18, 2006

Star Trek XI

Stardate 60081.8
Upset, I am. At least a little bit. April and Rachel are in Pennsylvania for the weekend. It’s a long flight, but it looks like they will be staying close to Trenton, where George Washington crossed the Delaware River and surprised the Hessians, and numerous other historical sites. At least I think so, I’d have to check Mapquest to Google Maps. Ah, well, the boys would hate it, so I can wait.

What has me in a tiff is a rumor going around about a source at Paramount. The source says the JJ Abrams Star Trek will be a reboot. This is in itself not bad, but the source goes on to say if long time fans are not happy, too bad. They failed to save Enterprise and Trek itself has been going downhill for the last 10 years. Another in the long list of executives blaming the fans. It’s strange. I’ve been indoctrinated in the mantra that keeping existing customers happy is far cheaper for the most part than losing the customers and trying to gain new ones. There was a big fan effort that offered to pay for a fifth season of Enterprise. They bring Manny Coto in for the fourth and best season yet, and it gets cancelled. I can’t see why the failure is with the fans.

I had an interview Monday. It was really fun, and almost across the street from where my company used to be. The ironic part is that I meet with a recruiter later that same day, and her husband worked with the same company I just interviewed with. Another long time employee quit this week, and another was let go. I despair at finding another job. I did apply at the IRS, but it will probably be months before I here anything.

End Of Entry

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Grant Imahara

Stardate 60081.2
Grant Imahara will not be attending Mountain-Con this year. That really disappoints me, because in reading about him on the web, he sounds like a fascinating guy. He created an account on the Mountain-Con forum just to explain why he could not come. That was very nice of him.

The Mountain-Con web site has been moved, for the most part, to a new host. It was supposed to be only temporarily on my account. The message forum and registration are still located here. It was kind of fun to have hit stats so high, but resetting the access log every month to conserve space was getting to be a pain. The new host allows better access for updates.

Thomas went to a friend’s house for a play date Thursday, and came home that evening with a jar of live fish. They are small, only a quarter of an inch or so. I put them in with the toads, and they seem to be doing fine. It adds to the menagerie; dog, cat, hamster, toads, and now fish.

Patrick has been involved with a soccer tournament this last week. It’s the same team as the last tournament, and much the same results. They played one game each on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They lost all the games, although the last one was close. Patrick managed to score a goal in that one.

I received a new copy of my book on web development in C#. It’s a study guide to help pass the Microsoft exams. I copied the ebook PDF, so I should not lose it this time. I keep expected to find the other copy now that I have a replacement, but it hasn’t turned up yet. One point that occurred to me is this is the only coding I am doing. All of my work is documentation. I don’t feel very productive that way.

John pointed out the stardate is wrong on my blog. I'd fix it, but I guess it would mess up the calendar.

End of Entry

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Roman Golf

Stardate 60080.8
Romans played a game with a bent stick and a feather ball that may have been a source to the game of golf, according to the Encarta ‘Fun Fact’ feed I subscribed to a few days ago. There’s no mention of holes, sand traps, or water hazards; but I can picture Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon because of a bad slice and creating the metaphor for passing a point of no return. You can look it up on Wikipedia. I’ve never played the game except for the mini-golf version. I’ve thought about taking it up just to smooze with execs and get corporate scuttlebutt, but I never did.

John Barnes created a new blog on Yahoo for his position as chief engineer of the Ticonderoga. I think he may be letting the power go to his head, LOL. His old blog went under the sobriquet of KlingonWriter. This prompted a bad idea. What would happen if I blogged to my Windows Live Space in Klingon? How long would it take for someone to figure it out?

April and Rachel are out of town on a Girl Scout trip. They left yesterday morning. I picked up some fried chicken for dinner last night. I took the sitter home, and after dropping him off (and admiring his brother’s new car, an Eclipse. It’s a replacement for the Altima he brought from us), I realized I had left the bag sitting on the kitchen counter. Add in a yellow Lab who can easily reach it, and you get the picture. Sure enough, there were only a few shredded remains of the bag, and the dog was trying to hide behind the couch.

Matt Smith invited me to play chess with him on ItsYourTurn.com. We are only two moves in. It’ll be interesting to see how the game progresses.

“What did the Romans ever do for us?” - Reg
“The aquaduct? The roads? Public heatlh?”
Monty Python’s Life of Brian

End of Entry

Monday, August 07, 2006

Animal groups

Stardate 60080.7
Last Tuesday I was caught in the deluge of rain. I was debating just waiting it out in my car, but I knew someone was waiting for me to get in. I get soaked on the way in, just 15 seconds. If I had an umbrella, I would have been much drier. But storms like that don’t come here often, so I end up losing the umbrellas.

Folding laundry Sunday, I turned on the radio on the clock to NPR. The IPod plugs into it, so this is the first time I used the radio. They had a story on people who dress up as animals. I was caught by the comment that sociologists, who talk about how Americans isolate themselves and don’t gather in the neighborhood anymore, don’t look at groups like this. Moreover, they don’t look at the trend of going to the net to find groups of people with similar interests. In some ways, it’s like the demise of printed technology magazines. When I got out of school, magazines such as Byte, Dr. Dobbs, CUJ, and others were a staple. All are gone now, because more information is available on the web, and it’s easier to find. It’s funny that tracking is done on society, but the trends are often missed.

End Of Entry

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mike and Carrie

Stardate 60080.3
Congratulations to Mike and Carrie on their engagement. I hope they have as good a marriage as I have had, and hope to continue.

Last week we put the van in the shop to repair the damage from when I hit the deer. I got a rental, a Mitsubishi Infiniti. Nice car, but it felt like you were getting into the cockpit of a fighter plane, as in really small. I did like the way the dashboard lit up with a soft orange.

I had a phone interview Friday. It didn’t go well. The guy asked a few odd questions, such as how would I go about programming a maze, like the ones kids have to find a path through on children’s restaurant menus. I told him I’d Google for a solution. A former manager used to ask candidates how they would know if the sun in a picture of one of the conference rooms was rising or setting. He wanted to find out how they think. He was looking for something along the lines of finding out the name of the picture, which would give you the clue. This interviewer was evidently not looking for that type of answer. He also asked about arrays, linked lists, hash tables, and binary trees. I was not prepared for such a CS-101 interrogation.

I also found out I was probably a number 2 choice for another job. The deciding factor was that I did not have enough knowledge of .NET and C#. So I had the notion to hit the books again and try to get a certification. The problem is I can’t find the C# Web Applications book. It’s huge, over a thousand pages and big as a phone book. What really irritates me is that it came with a CD. The CD had a testing program, source code, and the COMPLETE contents of the book in a PDF file. I didn’t need to be lugging the tome around.

I did load Apache Tomcat on the desktop, and have been playing with Java Server Pages from a book I got at the library. I’ve got Eclipse (a Java IDE) loaded as well, and I think I’ll get JBoss going. Java positions are far more prevalent right now, and J2EE technology does have some interesting things.

MSN has launched Windows Live Spaces. I got a number of Welcome messages. I have, or had, an MSN Spaces account although I never used it. I think sometimes of integrating it to use as my blog, but I’d have to find some way of putting in 200+ past entries, and backdating them. It would give me an automatic RSS feed. It’s something to look at.

End of Entry

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Scout Camp

Stardate 59072.5
Patrick went to Scout camp at Camp Kiesel last weekend. The theme was pirates, and they did a small skit from Treasure Island. Patrick got to make a sailboat (from a fry box, drinking straw, and paper), learned to tie some knots, row a boat, shoot some arrows, and shoot a BB gun. We were there all day Saturday.

Friday was the school pool party at the Roy Aquatic center. Thomas had a number of friends show up, and so did Rachel. Patrick had one, which is unusual. They had a good time. We talked with another parent about getting Thomas and some of his friends in Cub Scouts as Tigers.

Sunday we finished the new floor in the room downstairs. The dog, in a fit of pique, had defecated all over the room about a month ago. We ripped up the carpet, and installed a ‘floating’ Pergo hardwood floor. Basically you put down the planks without glue. It looks pretty good for an amateur job. We still need to get the baseboards down, and then Rachel is moving down there. Her room will be the new playroom for a while. Patrick wants to move into that room, although Thomas does not want a room to himself.

After that, we went to see “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”. It was good, but I thought the first was better. I think because Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is known, and not an off the wall thing as the first show. Depp got back into the character, though. It did answer the nagging question I had about Will Turner’s father. The ending was a little surprising. I won’t give it away, but it’s the movies and no one stays dead. It’s worth seeing.

Monday’s dinner with Dad fell in the same pattern. I ordered a Sizzler steak medium, and when I got it, it was red all the way through (almost raw in the middle). They did get it right the second time.

I saw an article on MSN about wireless washing machines. The idea is that it calls your cell phone when it’s done. I agree with one lady’s assessment that it’s an answer in search of a problem. I did get a laugh out of the idea of excusing yourself from a staff meeting because your appliance needs you, or having to instruct the machine to hand the load to the dryer and telling it you expect it done and folded by the time you get home.

End of Entry

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot weather

Stardate 59071.8
Hot weather is now here. It’s been in the triple digits the last few days. April and Rachel did a yard sale on Saturday, and netted $50. That’s not bad for a bunch of used books and videos. April shut down early because of the heat.

We took in a friends son for a week while she went out of town. Hans is a good kid, but his main source of entertainment is video games, and he took every chance he could to jump on Runescape.com. I had the firewall block it out from 10 PM to 10 AM just so he would not spend 24 hours a day on it. April had me take the PS 2 away as well, although I took pity on the sitter Monday and put it back.

Patrick had been staying over at a friend’s house before Hans came, and he came home pretty tired and moody. Thomas enjoys Hans, so he kept him going.

Wednesdays Ticonderoga meeting was a little disturbing. There was quite a bit of shouting and demanding information. If a little restraint and listening is shown, the meeting could get through faster and more efficiently, and the post-meeting gathering can commence sooner. Carl is borrowing from the scouts to deal with it (the hand in the air when silence is called for). I think stronger measures may be needed. April took the boys to a Raptors game, so Rachel was home alone and I didn’t go to the after meeting gathering.

Sunday April had a baby shower for a coworker, and I convinced the boys into seeing Superman Returns. I thought it was a good movie. Brandon Roush did a wonderful channel of Christopher Reeves. I would have liked a different villain from Lex Luthor, but oh, well. After that we went fishing at Bountiful Pond. I like the place, but it was too hot to stay long.

Monday’s I go out to dinner with my dad. He is not doing well this week. He did get his scooter fixed after a few go arounds with the manufacturer. The guy that came out to do the repair did a thorough job. He replaced the charger, and tightened the seats.

One small quandary: it seems like every week something goes wrong with the food service. One week my order is forgotten, the next week my dad’s steak is almost raw. Last week service took forever; a bottle of A1 required three requests and fifteen minutes. to get, and that was the fastest service. This week was almost right; Denny’s just didn’t get the requested side order right. It’s a bizarre pattern.

End of Entry

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mt Rushmore Final

Stardate 59071.1
The next day of the trip we spent in Keystone, S.D. Think how Main Street in Park City looks, and you have a pretty good picture of Keystone. We did a round of miniature golf. It sufficient to say we all sucked at a course with steep hills. The Presidential Wax Museum was next to it, and the next stop. Not surprisingly, the boys were bored with it. They have wax figures of all 43 Presidents, as the billboard puts it “From George W. to George W.” They also have some famous Senators and other figures such as Sitting Bull, Custer, and Crazy Horse. There is even a death mask of Napoleon. April, Rachel, and I found it interesting. We then went panning for gold. This is a tedious, boring process, made difficult by the fact mica looks like gold from some angles. We did find a few flakes. We headed back to the Badlands campsite. I cooked dinner, and then built a fire to do smores on. Patrick went to blow out the flames on one marshmallow, and whipped it right into his nose. There was only a little burn, but it was a scary moment.

The next day we packed up and headed to camp in Custer State Park. We stopped at Wall Drug, advertised as the largest drugstore in the world. It’s more of a shopping mall to me. That evening we drove up Iron Mountain Road to a chuckwagon dinner. That was a mistake, because it took a lot longer than we thought, and we were late. The drive was beautiful, I just wish we could have enjoyed it more. There were wild burros on the way. We needed to get there by 4:00 to make the horseback ride, but didn’t make it until 4:20. They managed to get Rachel and I on horseback (Patrick decided not to go after seeing the size of the horses). Rachel’s horse was good, but mine didn’t want to do the ride. She tried twice to turn around, and stopped several times. It was fun anyway. Patrick did some shooting with a six-shooter that shot plastic caps. Dinner was beef, chicken and buffalo. Not the best, but good. We headed back, and just short of the park entrance a doe and baby were in the road. I ended up hitting the doe as she jumped in front of the car. There’s a dent in the front right quarter panel. The ranger station was closed for the night, but April told the camp host, who called the rangers. Patrick and I went fishing after we got back. He caught one, and a little later I handed my pole to April to hold so I could help Patrick get untangled, she caught one. The fish slipped off before we could get it out of the water.

Friday we started to head back. We did part of the wildlife loop, and saw some bison, antelope, and prairie dogs. We drove down through Nebraska and stopped at Sydney. Saturday, and Sunday were a somewhat leisurely drive back home. We got back Sunday morning around 11. The cat, toads, and hamster were still alive. I retrieved Leo from the pet boarding Monday as they were closed on Sunday. He was overjoyed to be home again.

End of Entry

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mt Rushmore Days 3,4,5

Stardate 59070.4
Day three of the vacation we went to Reptile Gardens. It was interesting to me that the favorite attraction was the prairie dogs, and not the alligators, snakes, or other reptiles. The gator show was good, but the snake show was a little boring. It rained for about ten minutes just before. We then went to Bear Country USA. It’s one of those drive through wildlife places. We saw the elk, reindeer, mountain sheep, goats, wolves, and of course, the main attraction: bears. The bears wandered around the cars, and once they had to be chased away. There was a small zoo-like display you could walk thru with some bear cubs.

July 3rd we spent 12 hours at Mt. Rushmore. The long time was because of the fireworks that night. The parking lot filled up by 10 AM, and you had to get and hold seats early. So we were up at seven, a quick pancake breakfast at the KOA, and off. It went well, the kids got pictures with actors playing Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, except about 2 PM it started to rain. It really poured from 3:30 until almost 6. April had a plastic poncho, but we all got pretty soaked. The fireworks display was the best I’d ever seen. I heard that if it doesn’t rain, they won’t do the show because of the fire danger. In reality there is only enough there for 2 hours on any other day. The rain did one thing: I retreated with the kids (and hundreds of other people) to the exhibit hall to escape the rain, and the kids played cards with the kids next to them, and were laughing and having a good time. The only down side was leaving. We were expecting to be there a while as all the cars filed out. The unexpected was that the parking was underground, so the park rangers would not let anyone start their cars because of carbon monoxide. So we sat in a parked car for about an hour and a half. It was another hour and a half back to the KOA. We finally reached it at 1:30 AM.

Today was spent sleeping, mainly. It rained here for a while. The kids went swimming and rented some four-wheel bikes. We went to the Badlands later in the evening after having a good dinner at a local diner. April, Rachel, and Patrick went on a six mile hike in the back country. I was a little nervous that they would not make it back before dark, but they just did make it. Thomas got to see some wild rabbits.

The local town of Interior, S.D., had a pretty good fireworks show of their own.

I hope everyone had a great Fourth

End of Entry

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mt Rushmore

Stardate 59070.1
We are on day two of a vacation to Mount Rushmore. We started out yesterday and made it to Casper. We stayed at a Holiday Inn. Not the best time, and it was a little pricey. Our room was by the door, and later that night someone was banging to get in. The hotel clerk called security. Then a big group made a lot of noise coming in. I got up around 7 in the morning to take a shower, only to find the toilet had flooded. So we cleared out pretty fast.

We drove to Custer State Park, and stopped to do paddle boats. We then drove up to Sylvan Lake, stopping a couple of times on the Needles Drive. Patrick did his usual climb up as high as I can routine. He went about 30 feet up the rocks. We stopped again to look over the valley. A man found a small bull snake, and kept hauling it out to the delight of the boys.

We are staying in a KOA outside of the Badlands National Park. The kids played baseball with a few other kids around camp.

It’s been a while since the last entry. I’ve been pretty busy and stressed with work.

End of Entry

Monday, June 19, 2006

First Fish

Stardate 59061.9


Father’s Day, 2006, was a good day. Patrick wanted to go fishing, so about 8 that morning he and I went to Kaysville Pond. One the first casts out, Patrick catches his first fish.

It’s kind of small, but he was happy anyway. April made steak and lobster for lunch, and then we went to see a Bees game. We sat behind a scout for the Cubs. He let Patrick run a radar gun to measure the speed of the pitches. We moved to right field for a while because it was shady there. After the game, we dropped Patrick off at a friends house. He is staying there for the week to attend a baseball camp.

Friday I hosted the Senior Officers Meeting for the Ticonderoga. I’ve been busy with work (two projects to get together, and I still to do stuff on a previous one)., so I played catch-up on the goings on. I am not keeping up with it very well.

There was an article in the Ogden Standard-Examiner about wait times at regional hospitals in the emergency room. Davis (where April works) was listed as a 2 hour wait in the ER. That did not make the employees there happy, and the next day the paper printed a correction. 2 hours was the total time in the ER, including seeing a doctor.

End of Entry

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Repairman

Stardate 59061.3
Repair guy gets to my house at 11:45 AM, 15 minutes before he was scheduled (sometime between noon and 5 was what I was told). He took a look at the screen, which of course decided to work just before he got there (I see that a lot my job, I call it CCS, Cardboard Cutout Syndrome on the thought that if you put a cardboard cutout of the person within sight of the equipment, it would work perfectly all the time), and went up to the dish, swapped the switch, and tested it. It was working better than ever and it took him all of five minutes. He told me the brand of switch he swapped out had been giving them trouble. The downside is that I missed some DS9 episodes I had been looking forward to seeing; “The Die is Cast” and “The Way of the Warrior”. I did record some episodes of “Mythbusters” (Grant Imahara was not on the first one), a special on Krakatoa , and one on Napoleon. There was a show about Blackbeard on Lifetime, but I didn’t find it on the programming guide.

Thursday was supposed to be the last softball games, but they were rained out. Patrick’s game has been rescheduled for June 19, but he already has something else to do. He has been practicing batting because he wanted to hit a home run before another boy on his team.

April and Patrick went camping in Escalante with some friends. They had a good time, except that April will be banning Gameboys from camping trips from now on. I stayed home with Rachel and Thomas and did some work in the yard while watching the Thunderbirds and others fly overhead. The kids were not interested in going to Hill to see the airshow, and I had to much to do anyway.

Rachel is at Girl Scout camp this week. She was not happy to go so soon after school is out, but this was the only time she could go with friends from school. I think she will have a good time. Saturday she wandered around the house saying ‘I’m bored’, while Thomas was out on the trampoline with a bunch of the neighborhood kids ranging in age from 4 to 12. I don’t know why she didn’t join them.

The sitter was over on Monday. He apparent watched the US soccer team get trounced with the boys. Patrick’s dream now is to become a World Cup soccer champion. After that he wants to be a MLB star.

End of Entry

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

06-06-06

Stardate 59060.6
Happy 06/06/06! This is one of those events that does not happen too often.

End of Entry

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sattelite Down

Stardate 59060.5
The satellite receiver is on the fritz. It now only shows Cartoon Network and The History Channel. There might be more, but I only checked out a few. Nick, Disney, and Spike are out. The repair person is coming out Wednesday, so I’ll miss a few DS9 episodes. It really doesn’t matter, since almost all shows have already ended their seasons. I already found I can’t keep up anyway. Even with a DVR to make viewing more convenient, there are not enough hours in the day.

Patrick is intent on becoming the first on his softball team to hit a home run. He hit a ball from the street to our neighbor’s back yard Saturday.

Things are winding down. Saturday I spent digging out some sprinklers. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The ground under some of the grass was like rock.

Sunday I took the kids to see Over the Hedge. It was a pretty standard movie. There are a few other films I’d like to see, such as The DaVinci Code, maybe X3 and Superman Returns. Most can wait for DVD, though.

One more week of school.

End of Entry

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Patrick's First Communion

Stardate 59053.0
Not to sound like a malcontent in the last post. It was a little rant. I just get riled by the constant diatribe on how our children are not getting a good education and failing all over. I don’t see a solution proposed in any of these finger-pointing. Of course, the solutions are as varied as the students.

First Communion for Patrick went very well. April’s brother Ric flew out, and we took him to the Golden Spike Monument on Saturday. The weather turned cold, but we stayed long enough to see one of the locomotives steam back and forth. Sunday we went to brunch as Snowbasin. It was snowing there, so we were the only ones there for most of it. On to the mass at St. Rose of Lima. Patrick managed to hold on to his smart mouth, and did well. We had a small party at our house afterwards. We originally planned to have it outside under our new patio, but as I said, the weather turned cold. You can’t control that, so we moved indoors.

Monday we took Ric to Timpanogas Cave. He found it on the Internet, and wanted to go. We explained that yeah, the hike was only a mile and a half, but it also went up 1000 feet. I don’t think he quite got that until he started up. The ranger that guided us through was a little surly. The cave itself seemed a little smaller than I last remembered.

The patio was a project started in March. The contractor estimated a week to do it, but due to problems with his truck, a lot of rain, and some other things it got finished last week. It’s pretty impressive, and although I will go on record as being not enthusiastic about it, I like it now. April has plans for a baby shower for a coworker.

End Of Entry

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Statistical Rant

Stardate 59052.6
One of those things I was going to post a while back. You’ve seen something like this a few times, I imagine. They interview 510 people for the results. Not to derogate the article, but 510 is not a statistical sample, and I would judge the results otiose.

My commentary on some of the ‘findings’:
“One-third of respondents couldn’t pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi.”
The obvious follow up question is, which group is larger? I hate when the notation changes. What map was shown? A world map, a US map, a street map of L.A.? I’ll admit to having trouble finding either state on the last one. Is Louisiana a more popular state than Mississippi? Which would they find easier to spell? Can those same 510 respondents pick out Taylor Hicks’ home state?

“Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.”

There’s another notation change again. Has geography ever been a popular subject? What percentage of US citizens speak another language? Si habla Espanol? Sprechen sie Deustch? thlingon Hol da’ja’a? Perhaps the networks should broadcast news in a different language each day. Monday is English, Tuesday is Spanish, Wednesday is Hindi, Thursday is Mandarin Chinese, and Friday is Russian. Or the language of the broadcast is done in the language of the news story, i.e. Farsi for Iraq stories, English with a Texan drawl for President Bush.

“Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.”

”While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.”

”While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.”

Was the response “I don’t know”, or did they miss by some small margin? Is no one listening to news? CNN does show maps.

“Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.”

The fourth quarter didn’t speak English natively. I would expect bias toward the language you speak. I also suspect if you had them rank the most widely spoken native languages, English would be first, followed by Spanish.

“Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.”

Ok, before this, my designation would have been one of the six, and I don’t exactly fill out a catsuit like Seven of Nine. My first answer would have been Sino-Russian, or maybe India-Pakistan. Are they sure the thirty percent were not expressing a wish?

So what’s the answer? Is our educational system broken? I’d answer yes, but I don’t have a better one in mind. Mass dumping of information on a group will ALWAYS leave some of the group out. That’s one of the problems with individualism, no two learn the same way or at the same rate. I can see incontrovertible evidence of this in my own children.

End Of Entry

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Favorties Challenge

Stardate 59052.4
Carl issued a challenge on his blog for a list of local Favorites. Here is my list:

Favorite Radio Station: KUER. I listen to NPR on the commute. I occasionally listen to Doug Fabezio (sp?) with podcasts.
Favorite TV station: KSL has Mark Eubank, indisputably the best weatherman.
Favorite Grocery: Albertsons is the one I frequent the most, followed by Smiths.
Favorite Home Improvement Store: Despite the problems, I still go to Home Depot. Especially now that there is one 2 minutes from my house.
Favorite Newspaper: Standard-Examiner. Ok, I read the comics and the editorials, and little else.
Favorite Local Personality: Charles Trentelman, the Wasatch Rambler. I guess I do read more in the newspaper.


The list is more multifarious than that, but that’s all I can come up with at the moment. It’s also protean. Things change, and sometimes I am not happy with the new form.

Tuesday Patrick had a First Communion luncheon at school. The priest was strange. He didn’t seem to know what he was doing, was rather torpid, and rambled on quite a bit. I don’t think kids from 5-8 are really interested in a complete history of the Eucharist, and when the explanation wandered from the Last Supper in one sentence to a Papal decision a hundred years ago in the next, the point gets lost.

That evening was the last Youth Religious Education class before his First Communion. Patrick, April, and I are all happy to see it over with. We still have Thomas, but that’s a couple of years yet. He then had to race to Cub Scouts to bridge from a Wolf to a Bear. I guy was there from the BSA council, and he went on and on about fundraising and donations. That would have been fine, and he made it pretty fun, but Patrick also had a softball game. We had to cut out of scouts early to get to it. We still missed the first inning. Patrick wanted to do this game because the other team had a lot of his classmates on it. The teams played by slightly different rules. For example, we played with the standard three strikes and you are out, they kept pitching until the batter hit the ball. It got straightened out, but there was some resentment from some of the parents on our team. I was of the same opinion as the guy who is the husband of Rachel’s soccer coach; it’s a game, and as long as they are having fun, it’s good. Patrick did well, getting hits each time at bat. He was a little disappointed about being tagged out at second the first time he was up, but since the batter behind him hit the ball to the base, there was little he could do.

Rachel wrapped up her bowling league that night. By the accounts I received, she has improved. When she started, she was scoring 20-25 per game, mostly getting gutter balls. She won’t tell me what she scored the last game, but I heard it was in the 60s.

There was a piece on MSN science about research into lawns that do not have to be mowed. This was just after getting my new lawn mower, I thought that was a good idea, and if they can make it so you don’t have to water it, then it would just about be perfect. Then it occurred to me that this would be Astroturf.

End Of Entry

Monday, May 22, 2006

Rash

Stardate 59052.2
Ok, I had planned on a few more entries, but as per usual, the plans were messed up. Tuesday night was futility spent trying to get some sleep. My skin had broken out in a rash that itched like crazy. I tried a number of creams, lotions, and such to no effect. Thursday I gave in and went to the doctor. By then my fingers and toes had small blisters, and each one felt like something was just under the skin. In addition, exposure to sunlight felt as though I was over a fire. The doctor gave me some super-Cordisole and a steroid prescription. He also advised me to stay dry and cool for the next couple of days, no baths or showers, and avoid sweating. We are getting record heat, and I start to sweat at 70 degrees. I’m the one who can walk around the house in shorts and no shirt while the rest of the family is huddled under blankets. Friday was a little better, but I stayed in a dark house. By Saturday most of the hives were gone, and the blisters were feeling much better.

April went to Denver Thursday and Friday for a demonstration on a new analyzer for the lab. It was an exhausting trip. No new word on the asst. director who had a stroke.

The boys have started softball and T-ball, with games twice a week on Tuesday (in addition to YRE and Cub Scouts) and Thursday. It’s only for three weeks. Thomas is having a good time with it, although they just hit the ball off the tee and run the bases. No outs, and they trade batting with the other team when the each member has batted. Patrick is doing well with his team, and can hit a ball very well. He also caught a pop fly in his first game.

AYSO soccer is done for the season. Thomas has begun to get aggressive, and did pretty well. We signed all three kids up for next year. One of the mothers at school heard I was coaching this year, and asked April if I would help next year. She wants a St. Joe’s team, although I don’t think AYSO rules will allow that. Rachel has become enthusiastic about soccer again, due in a large part to the coach she had. We hope to get her again, and again, I don’t know if it will happen.

Both Rachel and Patrick were picked by their coaches to go to a tournament in Richmond (north of Logan). April and I were not sure Rachel should go, but she wanted to, so we let her. It proved to be a case were we were expecting on thing, and it turned into something opposite. We thought Patrick’s team would do well. They lost all their games. April said they were playing mostly second graders, and he was the only second grader on his team due to the others having First Communion activities (his is next weekend). We didn’t think Rachel would do well, and by noon her team was still undefeated and waiting on the championship game. That game they lost, due to a couple of players needing to leave which left the team with no substitutes, waiting in the heat for three hours, and the initial defender not understanding what the position was. She let the other team get past her for a couple of goals, and they threaded another one in. The coach switched her and Rachel, and the other team did not get any more goals. Her team scored one. Second place is pretty good considering our expectations.

I found the interview last week with Patrick Stewart interesting. I did get the impression after Nemesis TPTB were not interested in doing anything more with Star Trek. The new group at Paramount looks to be seeing the light, and trying some fresh brains.

End of Entry

Monday, May 15, 2006

San Diego

Stardate 59051.5
The trip to San Diego went well. We stayed at a brand new hotel in Carlsbad. This was a little freaky, because we were the only guests, and the staff was overly solicitous. The kept asking how everything was, where we were planning to go that day. The lady doing the breakfast was worried we went someplace else Saturday morning after we slept in. Anyway, Thursday I took Thomas to Legoland, and April, Rachel, and Patrick went to the Wild Animal Park. It’s a little sad, but this is probably the last trip to Legoland. The kids have pretty much outgrown it. Thomas had fun, but he’s a different child from his brother. Patrick could have stayed all day building and testing racers, but Thomas was bored in about 15 minutes. Thomas was fascinated with Lego miniland, were I thing Patrick would have been very bored.

Friday we went to the Maritime Museum and the USS Midway. I thought the Midway was fun, but the kids were mainly thrilled with the simulators of fighter jets. Patrick got upset at his sister’s teasing when he didn’t make any landings (I made two landing at an airbase, two on a carrier at day and at night). April liked the sickbay, complete with surgery, ICU, and lab. We then went about the Star of India, a sailing ship, and the HMS Surprise, which was the ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. The boys loved that. Then there was an old Soviet submarine. We spent the rest of the day at the beach. All of us except April played in the cold Pacific.

Saturday was spent at Seaworld. The weather to that point had been overcast and cool, but it warmed up around noon. This was a good thing, because the boys and I got thoroughly soaked by a pilot whale at the dolphin show. April went out to get dinner, and I had the kids make the Mother’s day gifts.

Sunday morning we stopped in Balboa Park and then headed home.

End of Entry

Monday, May 08, 2006

Muddle

Stardate 59050.8
JJ Abrams is taking the helm of the next Star Trek film. There were news reports all over the place in the last week or so, stating not only that he was directing it but what the movie would be about (Kirk and Spock at Starfleet Academy). He quickly replied that yes, he had agreed to produce the picture, but not direct and he did not have a script or plan for the movie yet. The other news that came out is that Rick Berman is being shut out of the project. I hold the opinion that this is a good thing. Mr. Berman has not had a good track record of late, and worse, he blames the fan base for the failures and has made a number of aspersions about them. He will not change policies, and seems tired of the whole thing.

The assistant lab director at April’s work had a bad stroke on Friday. He is better today, although he cannot move anything on his left side. There are doubts about when, if ever, he will be able to return to work. April’s mother has been in the hospital for the last week with back problems and possibly a broken vertebra. April can’t get down there to help. We are trying to convince my brother-in-law to help out, and he might yet. She is still in the hospital, so there is not much to do.

This weekend was something of a muddle. Patrick needed to be at Friendship Park at 10 Saturday morning. I looked up the park on Google, and got a map and directions from it. They turned out to be wrong. We wandered around, and I even broke down and asked, but I was unable to find it. I left a message for the coach, who called back that evening. The next practice is on Tuesday. Of course, this is the day we already have YRE, scouts, and bowling, all within the same two hours.

Thomas did very well at his soccer game. He went after the ball aggressively, and took four or five shots at the goal. Patrick had a bye. Rachel had Derby Day with the Girl Scouts. April and I were bad about getting her a car, and bought one that morning. There were more cars there than at the Cub Scout derby. She did win one race, and was happy with that. By the tie the racing was done, she has to go to soccer. She was tired and hungry during the game, so she did not play as well as she could. She was goalie the last quarter, and the other team did a penalty kick. The first kick was blocked, but the ref called it a hand foul, and redid it. The second kick went over her head and in the goal. She was upset about it, but I didn’t think there was anything she could have done to block it. Her team won anyway.

Sunday we were going to a friend’s daughter’s First Communion in Eden. I let April sleep in, and we missed the service. We went up to the party after, but could not find it. It was at a park, and there is only on in Eden. Both of us left our cell phones behind. We wandered around for an hour, then gave up and went home. We got in touch with them later, and found out the party was at a park in Huntsville, not Eden. Lesson one is to get the details, and lesson two is to bring cell phones, whether you think you need them or not.

Zacarias Moussaoui, the only man accused in the 9/11 attacks, was sentenced to life in prison. He had the temerity to claim a victory, and gave a pablum about how he would be set free. Martyrdom and the 72 virgins will have to wait 50 or so years.

The new lawn mower works well. The battery lasts for a little more than half the yard, and this is enough. It’s a bit more work to push it.

End of Entry

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Lawn Mower

Stardate 59050.2
Figure this one out: The lawn mower is dying, so I am looking for a new one. I am kind of tired of keeping gas containers around that seem to run out when I need to fill the tank and can’t get to a station. I also seem to spill some in the car when I do fill the can (another good reason for not smoking). I find a good battery powered one on the net. It has a lead-acid battery like the one that powers my trimmer. I am a little skeptical that it will handle the job, but willing to give it a try. Lowes sells them, at least on their website. I go down to the local store, but nope, they don’t carry them in stock. I try the one in Riverdale, same story. Because it’s on the way, I try Home Depot. The guy launches into a big spiel on getting a Home Depot card, even though I keep telling him I don’t want one. They have one gas mower with an electric start (another complaint is that no one but me as been able to start the old mower). The guy says without even looking that they don’t have any in stock, but if I wanted to get a Home Depot card, he’d sell me a tractor. No, I don’t want a card and I don’t have anyplace to put a tractor. He tried to sell me a shed with the tractor and a card. Shut up about the card. I said thanks and walked out, pretty mad. About 9 last night I went to Lowes website and ordered the mower I wanted, to be delivered to the local store. At 10:05 (I had just sat down to watch the DS9 episode “Dramatis Personae” ), the local store called to say my order was ready to be picked up first thing in the morning. This is really great service, I admit, but it’s the same store I was in 5 hours earlier that didn’t stock them. To top it off, I picked it up this morning with the idea I would charge the battery today. I get it home, but no charger. I call the store, and they will pull a charger out of another one. So they had them, but I can’t walk in and buy one. Best I can figure it’s like Walmart’s ‘Online Only’ items; just not marked that way.

Soccer goes well, except both April and I got sunburned last Saturday. Rachel went with a friend after her game to the SLC Reale game. We dropped Patrick and Thomas off at one of April’s coworkers. We were going to cancel because both of us were so tired, but Patrick begged us not to. So we went to dinner, and I picked the boys up a few hours later. Patrick had caught a small frog, about the size of my thumbnail. He put in his bug container, and named it Joey the third (the first was a grasshopper he caught last fall, and the second was a lizard he ‘almost’ caught at Mesa Verde). That was cracked, though, and would not hold water. I thought I told him to put the frog in water, and him saying that the frog would drown, but I was so tired I can be sure. Anyway, Sunday morning the frog was a dead, dried out husk. To calm Patrick down (he’s very sensitive to animals) we said he could go to Petsmart to get another frog. So now we have two fire-bellied toads (they were free, but the aquarium and various paraphernalia cost). They go by a variety of names, Joey the fourth and fifth, Spongebob, and Todd and Tina, which were the original owners names.

Without the news coverage, ‘A day without immigrants’ would have passed unnoticed by me. I don’t understand what rights they can claim if they are not here legally. I know it’s in reaction to proposed laws to make them criminals and to show how they affect the US economy. I disagree with the proposals, since I don’t see them making much of an impact. They come here because they can make a better living, and stiffing the penalties won’t halt that. I’m not a luminary on this, I don’t know what a solution would be.

This ‘urban legend’ gave me a chuckle. It reminds me of a math story problem. It’s just convoluted enough to make you forget that the pattern of buying has little effect on the supply. The author is daedal. I thought of a better analogy, though. I am given $50 to spend for Monday through Friday (five days keeps the math a little more simple). I can spend the $50 on Tuesday, or $25 on Monday and Wednesday, or $10 on each day. Regardless of the pattern, I don’t have any money leftover at the end of the day on Friday. Unless I don’t spend all the $50, I don’t have anything left. So unless we all find some way of buying less gas, putting less in the tank but doing it more often does nothing, or worse, makes us spend more because we stop more often to buy.

Times are changing. Revenue of digital music players outpaced traditional stereo sales. CDs will be going the way of audio cassettes and eight-tracks. A microcosm of life.

End of Entry

Friday, April 28, 2006

Questions

Stardate 59042.8
Log entries have been sporadic. I just have not been in the mood, and also busy. I will be pretty busy for a while yet.

Patrick has a music program Thursday. It was a rock version of Mother Goose. It was pretty fun. His teacher told me Wednesday he passed out during rehearsal. We think is was due to dehydration and just being tired. Rachel went with the Girl Scouts to Ogden Nature Center.

Thomas woke up Tuesday running from the bottom. It cleared up, but we kept him home Wednesday just in case.

Tuesday evening was the Cub Scout pack meeting. Patrick and his den all got the Bear badges. The bridging ceremony is in May. One of the members is leaving because his father is taking command of air wing in Spokane.

I’ve been playing with Google Calendar for the past week or so. It’s pretty good. I like the fact I can access it from wherever I have web access, although it won’t work with the mobile browser on my phone. It also interfaces with SMS, so I can get reminders on my cell. That didn’t initially work, which was a little rebarbative. I sent a message to Google Help on it, and they sent a generic reply to check settings. A few days later it started to work, and I noticed a couple of changes in the setup. It also accepts iCal format, so I can forward appointments from work.

I stole this from Matt Smith. Not sure where the provenance is, though.

* Where did you go on your very first date? What did you do?


A girl in my German class asked my to a school dance. The bad part now is I can’t remember which dance or what her name was.

* Where did you go on your first date with your sweetie? What did you do?


We went to a Mexican restaurant in Orlando. I was there for a developer conference. A co-worker (Sheila Clark, the person the new Salt Lake planetarium is named for) had a niece living there. She maintained to her last day she was not trying to set us up.

* At what age did you start dating?


17 as a senior in high school.

* How long did you and your sweetheart date before getting married?


About 12 months.

* When did you know you were going to get married?


About two months after meeting her.

* What would you like to do on a date that you have never done before?

We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and went to the beach in Florida when we were dating. Boston or New York City, maybe? Someplace fancy.

Yes, I’ve been using words from Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day. I’ve also been using Google’s Reader as my RSS aggregator. I installed Gregarius, but I was not happy with it. Google’s is cleaner, although it failed to load once or twice.

Favorite Quote:In blackest sight, or suit too tight, blah, blah, blah - The Green Loontern

End of Entry

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mesa Verde

Stardate 59041.9
Pretty good. Money’s Top Jobs. I could go around saying ‘I’m number 1’, but that would be crass.

We are back from a trip to Mesa Verde and the Four Corners. It was a good vacation, no major problems. It was the first time Mapquest did not work out well. I was a little suspicious with the ‘hwy 491 becomes Pinon Dr’. We missed a turn to the hotel and had to backtrack a mile. The hotel was supposed to have a high-speed internet connection, but we could not find it. I did get on the wireless net for the hotel down the street. It was a spotty connection, though.

Easter morning the kids got up and inspect what the bunny brought. Patrick had given up candy for Lent and was anxious to start eating. Thomas got King Kong, and asked about once or twice a day the rest of the time when he could watch it.

Four Corners was what I expected, a monument surrounded by a flea market. Patrick got himself an arrowhead and an arrow, and Thomas picked up a small spear. Rachel found a feather hair pin. She and her friend Audra, whose family drove down with us, watch a woman do tile painting with colored sand. She wanted to try it. We then went to Hovenweep, a small collection of Pueblo ruins. Thomas didn’t like the hike down, and he and April turned around. That turned out to be a good thing. April talked with the ranger there, and he told her Mesa Verde hikes were all much steeper. We decided then that April would stay behind with Thomas while I went with Patrick and Rachel. Patrick spent much of his time at Hovenweep looking for lizards. I told him he could keep one if he could catch it. A gamble on my part, but I only caught one in all my trips to desert country, and that was because it was almost freezing and the lizard I found could not move.

Patrick wanted to collect some rocks, so we stopped on the way back. Rachel and Thomas stayed in the car watching videos, and April stayed with them. I went with Patrick. That was cool. There was a field of black rocks, and five feet away the sand and rock were green. Across the road it was red. There was some white further up. All in all, very impressive.

So Monday I went on a hike to Cliff Palace. The trail was not bad, but we were right, Thomas would have refused to budge. I had always thought the people lived in the buildings, but the ranger guide said they lived on the mesa above and only certain people lived below. The University of Chicago did some temperature studies, and it stays cold in the cliffs most of the time. We also did a short walk to the Balcony overlook. The tour for it does not open until the end of May.

Tuesday we went back home.

Weight: 194 lbs
Favorite Quote: In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is.

End Of Entry

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Birthdays

Stardate 59041.2
April’s birthday was Sunday. She’s 28 (hint: I’m not using the decimal system). The kids made gifts for her. Patrick made a card, and Rachel organized a treasure hunt. The kids helped me make brunch. We went out to Mimi’s CafĂ© for dinner. April and I went out earlier in the week to buy a PDA for her. The selection is not that great, but she found a HP iPAQ that runs Windows Mobile 5. It also has built in wireless. I played around with it, and tried to install Microsoft Reader. It runs, but when you try and activate it per their instructions, it says the OS is not recognized. I didn’t pursue the problem. I might think about a PDA for myself, but I’d like reader to run on it.

Soccer on Saturday ran better. The park was still wet, but not too bad. I have a new player that is doing well. It was good to have a full team so I could sub tired kids out. There’s still some confusion, because the other team for Patrick’s game didn’t show until fifteen minutes after the game was supposed to start, and then only three players were there. So Patrick’s team essentially played themselves. Patrick proudly told everyone he scored goals for both teams. Rachel did well, and she enjoyed playing. Her best friends mother told me her daughter will only play next year if they can play for the same coach. AYSO doesn’t allow that, so this may be the last year for Rachel.

Friday we got a new patio door delivered, and a new pantry door. The installer called on Monday to schedule the install in response to Home Depot calling them that the door was in. April called Home Depot to schedule the delivery of the door, and they basically said ‘What door?’ It took some searching, but they found the door in Salt Lake. It’s a nice door, but big. The delivery van had one lady. When I got home, she and April were trying to figure out how to get the door and pallet, 300 lbs, into the garage. The boss of the lady said it would be fine in the driveway, but I reminded them we gave them specific instructions to put it in the garage. It’s wood, and I did not want it getting wet. The delivery lady and I got it loose from the pallet, and with April’s help we carried it in. The lady was very nice about it.

Also Friday: I came down in the morning to hear a drip, drip, drip. I tracked it down to the bay window in the dining room. The guy installing the patio overhang left holes in my outside wall, and with the rain and snow, water got in. The insulation is soaked, and the drywall on the ceiling is mush. The guy worked half of one day doing the overhang, and left it for a week. He is now going to have to fix the ceiling.

Flash forward to Monday. The installer was told about the pantry door only; he did not know about installing a patio door. He was pretty flexible about it, and spent most of the day on it. He even had his boss get more siding for the outside because the door is smaller than the old one. We should have known about it, so that was good of him.

Tuesday the guy finally comes back to work on the patio overhang. It’ll look good when it is done. I just wonder how long that will take.

Rachel went bowling with the Girl Scout league that night. I joked with her that some time during the two games she had she might want to hit a pin. Her final score at the end was 17 total for both games.

Thomas lost a tooth. It was loose, and apparently he got hit in the face with a basketball, and it fell out. I told him to put it under his pillow, but he wants to show it around first.

Frustrations and tempers are flaring with Mountain Con. There is a problem with communication. This is a pretty common problem, compounded by the volunteer nature of the organization. I begin to see why companies don’t think fans can do these sort of things. I don’t think the issues are bad, but some dissemination of information would help things out. My being unable to attend meetings recently has not helped either. I was surprised by a few things.

The DVR missed DS9’s ‘Extreme Measures’, or Spike didn’t broadcast it. I think the first is more likely, because ‘The Dogs of War’ was corrupted so that only the last 20 minutes was viewable. So I go from Odo laying near death on the floor of the Jem’Hadar ship to him getting ready to join the attack on Cardassia. I don’t remember a lot of the scenes, but I did see them because I do remember other parts. Odo’s cure is not one of the things I remember, so I was looking forward to seeing it again. Oh, well, there’s next time around. The DVR already has the first few episodes of season 1.

Oh, and the scale says 188 lbs.

End of Entry