Monday, December 31, 2007

What I got for christmas

I was sick for most of the week (still coughing a lot). April picked this up in Houston.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Patrick started playing in a futsal league last Friday. The game is like soccer, but played on a hard floor. Unlike indoor soccer, there is out of bounds, and the player kicks it back in bounds. The field is small, so the games are 5 v. 5. the team,s first game was against a girls team. I could tell the boys were a little rusty. the game ended in a tie. the girls team played better. but the boys made up for it with more aggressive play. He has games every Friday night through the end of Feb.

End Of Entry

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Stardate 61121.6
I took an coaching class to get an e-license about a week ago. it was a good course, and I learned a lot, like focusing on one topic for a practice session . That's not to say you only do one thing, like dribbling, for a session. that would bore most players, and you'd completely lose a kid's attention. A session can include all the elements of the game, but you only correct on the element the session is focused on. if the session focus is dribbling, and a kid makes mistakes with shooting. You let it pass. it makes sense to me.

Other concepts were to make the start of the session simple. maybe just moving in a certain way. Then make it a little more complicated by adding a ball. Then add another player, then groups of players.

We had two instructors. the first one was full of information and communicated it well. The second was probably as knowledgeable, but tended to wander into talking about professional players. He also seems to end every other sentence with 'does that make sense?'

The E does not stand for electronic (like e-mail) in this case. It's a level, and the next level up is D, and then C, and so on.

End Of Entry

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's people like me who make the world complex

Stardate 61121.1
Jeff Atwood posted a while ago about microwave controls being too complicated (A Lesson in Control Simplicity). Basically, he prefers the old knob to the digital pad. I added a comment that I liked the digital design, and I cook with mine. Several replies to that comment stated I was one of those who made it hard for the rest of world. Thinking about it, I supposed there is some truth to that. I enjoy figuring out how to work things. I have a couple of universal remotes. I fit into scott adams (of dilbert) model of the guy who looks at a remote and wonders if he can make it do other things. you known, like mute the kids or better yet the cat, open the door when the dog wants out, etc. I was trying to find a wi-fi enabled lawn sprinkler controller (no luck).

At least a microwave with a digital interface is consistent. you have number buttons and you enter time in minutes and seconds. the start button takes a second or ten to find. the other 'preset' button can be ignored. these were added by marketdriods to try and get an edge on the competition.

Take the controls on a vehicle. the steering wheel pedals, and speedometer are all pretty much in the same place . but on my van, the light switch is where the wiper controls are on the car, so I am constantly turning on the wipers in the car when I want headlights.

I've come to the conclusion long ago that no matter how simple or complex the controls, most people will find fault with some or all of it. in star trek the next generation Picard could just say tea, Earl Grey, hot, and he would get exactly what he wanted(assuming no plot device to mess it up). he never specifies how hot, which is an ambiguous amount. i sometimes imagine he clicked some sort of 'remember my preference on this ship' box. even then, it would not satisfy all the time. perfection is unobtainable because human beings are so variable . at any one moment you could crave a particular food or just anything to fill the stomach.

End of Entry

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Up to now

Stardate 61120.6
Events of the past month:

Rachel had a dog 'follow' her home (Patrick told me she carried it). It was a Pekingese mix with a collar, but no tags and no chip. Male, but not neutered. We kept it about two weeks, looking in the lost and found in the paper, and for any notice from the owner. I took it to Animal Control. I hope someone picked it up. It was a nice dog.

Halloween: Why is it I am in the neighborhood that doesn't like the idea of trick or treat? They did go all out to make sure I knew about trunk or treat. But as I was driving home, I saw plenty of kids out. It was one of my favorite holidays, but the neighborhood killed it. Maybe next year I'll put out the Christmas lights on October 31st. The stores do.

Secret weight loss tip: For the month of October I would get on the scale and get the same number: 216. The first week in November it wanted the battery replaced. I did that, and then got on. 200 lbs. 16 lbs lost in 60 seconds. Not bad. Maybe I could get on Oprah?

My sister and I moved my Dad to an assisted living facility. So far, he's ok with it.

End of Entry

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Walking Distance

Walk Score is a cool use of Google Maps, although it needs some work. The LDS ward is not a school, and it isn't even the closest one. A number of schools are not on the list, and Larry's Raxx and Grill is not across the street.

The title, when I finally figured out why it sounded familiar, is from a Twilight Zone episode.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Context Switch

April is out of town. Her mother went in the hospital a week and a half ago for an appendectomy. The surgery moved a hernia up against her esophagus so she can't swallow. April has been in New Orleans for the past week, and will be there until Halloween at least.

Thomas was in a tournament last week. The did not do too bad, tying one game and losing the second. This still got them in the quarter finals, which left me in a quandary. If they win, we come back again Friday. It's a big deal because the tourny is in West Jordan, about 44 miles from school in Ogden. Not far, but an hour and a quarter with rush hour traffic. MapQuest sent me down I-15 and across 4700 South, which I should have known was a bad route. The second day I was a little smarter in getting there. The team lost the quarter final game, so the kids and I got to stay home Friday evening. I took my dad with us, and we went out to eat after. He didn't understand the game, but he had fun with Rachel.

Patrick was invited to a Halloween party at a friends house Saturday. He got to ride in a limo from Smith's at 40th and Harrison to about 5600 South. He said the the party was fun, although the mother asked me "Are you coming to pick up you precious child?", which left me wondering what he had done.

Rachel was invited to Thriller with on of her friends Saturday as well. She said it was good, but the little brother of her friend kept calling the zombies over and they scared her.

I finish off 'Little Tiny Teeth'. Not my favorite of the series. I am almost finished with 'Emperor: The Gods Of War'. Interesting book, although the author has a very rosy view of Julius Caesar. Patrick has read all the Harry Potter books. He was looking at 'Emperor', but he needs a biography and not fiction.

End of Entry

Monday, September 24, 2007

Programming Fundamentals

As my kids play soccer and other sports, I often ear about learning the fundamentals, and the need to keep practicing the fundamentals. It applies to math, English, and many other fields. So I wonder what the fundamentals of programming are? Would it be conditionals and loops?Is it like mathematics where you start with simple concepts and build on them? Are object, inheritance, polymorphism fundamental? What about database access? Security? Design Patterns? Templatized parameters?

End of Entry?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Arsenal without a chance

Stardate 61092.2
Thomas's team won their first game on Wednesday against a team called Arsenal. They did pretty good, and the ball stayed mainly in Arsenal's half of the field.

The title is a line from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", near the beginning. When I first read the book, I didn't know what the barman was referring to, although I thought it had to be soccer, rugby, or cricket. I did find out years later it is indeed a soccer club. The internet does make research, especially the casual kind, much easier.

End of Entry

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Constitution Day

Matt posted on September 17th being Constitution Day. I should know this. I did find the list of amendments interesting. I knew there were originally 12 proposed amendments, that only ten were ratified to become the bill of rights. I did not know until now that another was approved in 1992 after being proposed in 1789. Wow, a long time on the Capitol steps.

There was a book I read on James Madison (can't find it right now) that had a thoughtful 'what-if'. What if Madison did not take part in the debate in Virginia over ratifying the Constitution, and Patrick Henry wins the day by keeping the state out of the new Union while other states go on to make it the governing document? A new government is formed, but without George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others who are from Virginia. Would it have survived?

End of Entry

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stardate 61091.5
Patrick started soccer with the St. Joseph school team on Tuesday. He was a little late due to my not knowing where the game was being played. He plays with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Some of the older kids are amazing. I think he cam learn a lot from this.

Thomas played his first game on Wednesday. His team lost without scoring a goal. It' not a surprise since they haven't play many games together. One interesting play happened as an opposing player ran up to score, tripped, and the keeper jumped on him to get the ball.

Patrick had a training with Ollie at the same time as Thomas's game. April took him, and while she was there Ollie started to berate his team. He apparently told them he was ready to walk away because they lost the last two games. It didn't help that Patrick's team beat one of the teams that they played. He's getting married, so he will be gone for about a month. He's a good trainer, but I'm glad he doesn't coach Patrick's team.

Parent-Teacher conferences were Thursday night. The kids are doing well. Patrick is reading at almost a six grade level, and Rachel at a twelfth grade level.

End of Entry

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Made it

Stardate 61091.1
Last weekend I managed to make it to a Mountain-Con meeting. It was just in time to do...nothing. With less than two weeks left, there is not much I can add.

Rachel had an orthodontist appointment Monday. He's little rough on her, and by the time he was done, she was i some pain. It caused us to skip her tennis lesson. No big deal. The instructor had told us she needs to play against other kds to increase her ability. She doesn't want to, but April and I told her its that or give up the game. Pretty much the same as with Patrick, accept the challenge.

Patrick's Ogden FC game was moved back an hour to 6:30, which gave us some breathing room. They played the team that walked all over the other U-10 Ogden FC team a couple of weeks ago. Patrick's team started slow, and at the half was tied one to one. They found the flow the second half and won the game by a score of six to one.

Patrick has decided at the start of school (three weeks ago now) that he will read the entire Harry Potter series. He has finished the first two already.

Thomas changed scout troops. He now goes to St. Rose instead of St. Paul. He has school friends in both of them, so he doesn't care which one he goes to (actually, he likes St. Rose because it is closer to home). Patrick will still be going to the troop at St. Paul.

April bought tickets to Spamalot for this Sunday. It's not the original cast, but I would love to see it.

I haven't read anything new since Deathly Hollows (finished that the day after it arrived). I've been re-reading some books. I did go to the library and picked up 'Lords of the North', the last book in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles; 'Tiny Teeth', the latest Gideon Oliver mystery by Aaron Elkins, and 'Emperor: Gods of War', the first in a series of historical fiction about Julius Caesar.

End of Entry

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Where art thou?

Ok, August passed without a blog entry. Be prepared for a long one. In a nutshell, it was consumed with work, vet visits, and soccer. Lots of soccer.

Work has been steady. Not overwhelming, just steady. It suprises me that some of the same issues occur at Flying J as at United Healthcare. From reading technical blogs the issues are pretty common across the development community (hence Dilbert).

The cat, Smokie, developed a UTI. April took her to the vet. They wanted to take some blood< but she would not calm down. They kept her overnight, but still nothing. When we got her home she was staggering, but it passed in about a day. They also gave us antibiotics for the UTI. A week later and we brought her back for a follow-up. Again, they kept her overnight to try and get blood, and again failed. The had to sedate her. When we got her home, she was confused and could not walk again. This passed faster this time. I can't understand why the vet had so much trouble. Sure, she's ornery and mean, but is is 18 years old and does not have front claws.

Ogden FC soccer picked up a trainer. Ollie (as the kids call him) is from Manchester United. He run 'trainings' for Thomas on Tuesday and Patrick on Wednesday. These run about 3 hours. Patrick initially had problems because it was so long, but I showed him the reasons. I let he practice with Thomas's team (without Ollie). I got a great reaction from the team; about half of whom know him. "I don't want to play against Patrick" was the general response. Afterwards I asked Patrick if the practice was hard, and he said no. An I asked him if he noticed the reaction from Thomas's team, and then told him how they respected his ability. The challenge is to keey ahead of them.

Thomas has not had any problems with Ollie. He seems nicer to the U-9 then to the U-10. I think the fact the U-9 is two boys teams and a girls team whereas the U-10 is all boys plays a part. Thomas and his team did ok in the Adidas USA cup, especially considering the odds. We arrived at 3 to find out the game had been moved to 5, which meant the team would play back to back games, one at 5 and one at 6. To top it off, several players could not make it and we had no substitutes. The first game the team came back from a 3-0 deficit at the half to tie it up. The second game we lost, and we lost the next day. Saturday we canceled because several boys had come down sick. Nottoo bad given the boys had never played together in a game.

The effects of training showed in the preseason game for Patrick. The won 5-1, and didn't even look like they were putting much effort into it. I asked Patrick after the game if it was easy, and he told me he didn't even start to breathe hard.

That's it for now.

Favorite Quote: "Dad, did I do good?" - Patrick after the preseason game.

End of Entry

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

End of July

Stardate 60073.1
Man, I can't believe July is over. It seems like only last week it was the Fourth.

My brother Verne came over from Indianapolis to visit with his wife, daughter, her husband, and their son. We only got to see them a couple of times in the week they were here.

Soccer has begun again in earnest. Between Patrick and Thomas, practices are two or three times a week. Patrick had a tournament in Logan last week. The team did very well, losing only one game. The team they lost to was the same team they played in the championship and beat. I missed all but the last game, but the other team was pretty good. I heard this was their first time in a tournament,

My brother Verne and his family came for a visit. We didn't have much time to spend with them, but I did get to see his daughter and grandson.

Thomas went to scout camp at Camp Kesiel. Only one other scout from the den went up, but the had fun. Thomas had trouble cocking the BB gun, and the group all laughed as the bow slipped out of my hands and the arrow went up in the trees. It was overcast and not too hot. The theme this year is cowboys.

The boys and I went to see the Simpsons Movie. It was very good. One of the few movies I can remember thinking 'it's over already?'

End of Entry

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We went camping last weekend in Logan canyon. Friday was nice and fairly cool. That night I woke up in the middle of the night to some of the most bright and beautiful stars I have seen in a while. Saturday the boys and I went fishing on the upper 1st dam. We didn't catch anything except trees. We could see the fish; they just were not interested in the bait we offered. I am thinking of adding some flies to the box, they might have gone for that. April and Rachel hiked up to a cave, and we both arrived back at camp within minutes of each other. As the afternoon wore on, the heat got too much, and we packed up and left.

Last Thursday was a lesson in not playing soccer in sandals. I knew that already, I just didn't expect to be asked to help coach. It was fun all the same, and I only broke half of one toenail on my big toe.

Not reading anything at the moment. I am looking forward to 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' on Saturday.

End of Entry

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Corner.js looks pretty cool, if I can find the time to play with it. I also found a new accordion widget I'd like to play with.

Catching up on my reading list: I've reread 'Killer Angels', and read 'Rebel', 'Copperhead', and 'The Good That Men Do'. I don't have a new book yet.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Stardate 60062.2
Today we did not start out with Williamsburg, but instead headed the car to Jamestown. Pretty much similar to other historic recreations. The boys had some fun with craving out a canoe (where they burn the inside and you use a clamshell to scrape the charcoal). Patrick was fascinated by the blacksmith.

Stopped by Yorktown again. Patrick and Thomas got to dry-load a cannon, and then see it fired with a charge (no cannonball, of course). April got an education in 18th century medicine.

End of Entry

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Stardate 60062.1
I had intended to go and see a Patrick Henry speech this morning, but Patrick Madden found a trapball game, and I was stuck until April could park the car. I did manage to see some of the speech (I think it was the same actor as Washington, but I can't be sure). He was making jokes, one of which said he had 17 children, over a hundred grandchildren, so if some charlatan was to play him some 230 years in the future, chances are he would be speaking to one of his descendants.

We met with our friends from New Orleans, and watched a street show on the hardships of the population during the Revolutionary War.

I took the boys over to the Yorktown battlefield in the afternoon. We toured the redoubts. I was surprised to find that one of the key positions taken by Alexander Hamilton's brigade was almost gone, washed away by the river. There was also a howitzer installed there in 1681, and used by the British during the siege in 1781. One hundred years old and still usable. I have trouble making a computer last more than 2 years. We also found a cannon with the name 'Thomas' on it.

End of Entry

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Busch Gardens

Stardate 60062.0
Next day it rained. We had looked at the weather forecast and were prepared with umbrellas and ponchos. After yesterdays heat, the cool rain was welcome. We went back over to Williamsburg to see 'A conversation with General Washington'. Patrick again wanted to see that. The actor was good in the role. I think he nailed the 'soul of dignity' that is the usual description of Washington. After that, we saw a reenactment of the reading of the Declaration of Independence, and April and Rachel went on a tour of the colonial capitol building.

After lunch, the kids did not want to go back to Colonial Williamsburg, so we went to Busch Gardens. Our friends from New Orleans were already there. This was a good thing, as Rachel wanted to ride all of the roller coasters, and April and I don't like them. She managed to do all but one, and that was because it had broken down. Thomas tried the kiddie rides, and finally figured out they are too slow for him now. He wanted to follow his brother and sister and the other kids, but he is not ready for the coasters yet. I took him on a few spinning rides, and he did go on the Battering Ram (the same thing as Lagoon's Tidal Wave) with the other kids. I wish I could have gotten a picture of his face on the downward swings; it was screwed up in almost panic. He did say he enjoyed it afterwards. We ended the day with a dance show.

End of Entry

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Stardate 60061.9
The first day at Colonial Williamsburg, VA, was very hot and muggy. We wandered around for a couple of hours. Patrick found a game that was played in colonial times called trapball. It's a mix of cricket and baseball. You have a leather ball you place on a lever. You hit one side of the lever with the bat, and then hit the ball as it pops up. The people in the field try to catch it, if they do, then they at. If not, the have to roll the ball and hit the lever. Patrick loved the game. The picture shows him playing with other kids (he is the one in the white shirt and red shorts with white stripes.)

After lunch, we decided to head to the water park and cool off. We met some friends who had flown up from New Orleans. The water park was a nice break, and perfect for the day. It had a number of slides, and a lazy river that took about four minute to go through.

End of Entry

Monday, June 18, 2007


Stardate 60061.6
We flew to DC early Saturday morning. We had a stopover in Atlanta, with only a 30 minute delay after 3 hours in the airport. Amazing. Usually I get stuck in Atlanta for 3-6 hours. Arriving in DC, we rented an SUV with a GPS navigator. It was pretty neat to use, but it could not find the address for the hotel we were staying at. We wandered around DC for two hours, calling the hotel twice to get new directions.

The next day we drove to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall. The GPS did much better with that, which is good since I think it should be well know landmark. I loved seeing the Hall. I've seen it in several movies, but nothing beats being there. We then did a Duck Tour. It's an amphibious bus that drives around the sites near the Hall, and then goes into the Delaware River. On the way back to the hotel in DC, there was road construction, so a two hour drive turned into five. The GPS warned of heavy traffic, but not until we were already in it.

Sunday we went to the National Mall. Patrick wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial, and we decided to visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I warned the kids that it was a lot of walking, although Rachel already knew this. April wanted to go see the White House, but we ran out of time. We then drove to Williamsburg. The GPS again did a pretty good job, but again there was a lot of traffic. I think this traffic was normal for the area. Watching the news at the new hotel, we found out the area around the White house had been evacuated because of a threat, so it was a good thing we didn't try.

End of Entry

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rome Reborn

Now this is pretty cool.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Who Killed the Desktop Applcation?

Stardate 60061.1
Jeff Atwood had a post about Who killed the desktop? Google is a pretty innovative company, but sometimes they do things I don't care for. The Google themes are not very imaginative, and take up a lot of screen real estate. I've never used Trips and Streets because I feel that should be an online application because the information is constantly changing. I also think this is a back burner application as far as Microsoft is concerned. Office undergoes changes in user interface every few years. I used Visual Source Safe for almost 8 years, and the user interface didn't change at all. Visual Studio made changes that surprised me from version 6 to 2003 to 2005.

I haven't found a good IDE Web app (or any IDE on the web for that matter). During my job search last year, I did keep track of all the interviews and submissions on Google Docs, but I've never tried to put a large amount of text in to the word processor. I have a few 40,000+ word novels I could try, though.

Google does a good job with Web apps, but that's their domain. Microsoft is still the king of desktop apps.

End of Entry

Friday, June 08, 2007


I'm a New Testament - Revelations type of guy. I keep looking for signs of apocalypse.
Jericho fans win show renewal. (Ok, this HAS happened before. Cagney and Lacey got canceled, then renewed by fan protest, and went on for four more seasons.)
Patient bleeds green blood. New one on me.
US Beats Guatemala 1-0 in Gold Cup Ok, not really new either. But I watched the match. USA has a long way to go.

And then there are the same old arguments.

My brother sent me the picture.

Favorite quote: "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semi-colons."

End of Entry

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


About a month ago, there was a thread on comp.lang.java titled 'I hate Java'. The poster wanted to know after Googling that phrase why so many people didn't like Java. I thought he could substitute any language and get pretty much the same thing. At various times I can hate Java, Javascript, C#, CSS, HTML, and what ever else is giving me problems at the moment. Wandering through Wikipedia, I found a Klingon programming language, va'aq. Then again, I hate RPN.

End of Entry

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Schedule Updates

Stardate 60060.5
On the heels of the last post is a this one. AYSO soccer is over, and we did not register again. Rachel does not want to play, and Thomas got frustrated that members of his team (which I coached) are not willing to put forth any effort. After the second to last game, he asked if he could play OFC instead. More on that in a second. Patrick wanted to keep going with AYSO, but both April and I feel he is not getting much out of it. Only twice during the fall and spring did they play a complete other team without having to loan players. I think he likes to play because he is one of the better players, and enjoys that position.

Back to OFC, I talked to the head of coaching, and yes, they are looking for more U8 players, and a coach. Sigh. I volunteered. Only 4 players showed up for tryouts, 3 of which happened to be on my AYSO team. The flyer's where a bit confusing on the minimum age. The 4 will be playing with the U9 team for the time being. A concern April had with the tryouts is that the head coach made it know he would be making two U10 teams, a premiere and a state, and that Patrick would be on the state team. I kind of knew that he was happy with the way Patrick was playing, and it turned out that only three players were removed from the existing team to the state team, and Patrick was not one of them. One was moved down simply because he needed to develop skills, one because of attitude and because he played only occasionally, and the last because he played only occasionally.

Rachel was approached many times to play on the girls team, but she does not want to, and we are not going to make her.

Thomas will be playing his last baseball game next Monday. School ends on Friday, so the kids will be mostly free for the summer. Just a once a week soccer practice.

End of Entry


Stardate 60060.5
An email exchange with Carl brought up some concerns that my kids are possibly over scheduled. I don't think so at this point, but it's a concern. Here is the text of my reply:
How would you get that impression? :)
I get concerned about it. They do not get to do more than two activities at any one time, but then that gets multiplied by three. The ones that don't have something to do that day go home with one parent, usually April since I am already out here. The particular blog entry you are probably thinking of reflects April being out of town, and then they didn't get that luxury. They handled it better than I did.

Tomorrow they go home with April; nothing is scheduled. I, however, go down to Bountiful to take my dad out to eat. Friday they are going home after practice, I have SOM. One reason they only get to do two activities is so they don't get over scheduled, and the other is that I don't. They also have to want to do it, I don't like dragged crying kids to something. Next, schoolwork needs to be kept up with. Rachel's lowest GPA in the last two years is 3.95. Patrick and Thomas don't get GPAs yet, but Patrick has to be the best at everything, and gets upset with a score lower that 95%. Thomas struggled the most, due in some part to older siblings BLURTING OUT ANSWERS when we tried to study (stopped when I would put them to immediate chores when they did so), but he now parades 100% on spelling and math in his brother's face. I look at what happens when they don't have an activity. It's a problem if they can't find anything to do. It's a problem if they don't ask me to play; that means they've given up on me. Dinner together with no TV is important, and they need engage in conversation (last night's subject was who shot Abraham Lincoln, John and some name with a W, best guess was John Williams. Nope, he writes music, including the Star Wars theme, the correct answer is John Wilkes Booth).

I try to make sure they have free time. Sundays are usually spent at home and with nothing scheduled to do. Homework for the weekend needs to be taken care of as much as possible on Friday to help with this goal.

End of Entry

Friday, May 25, 2007

TV Over

The season is over. The lost finale was ok (actually better than most of the season), Medium was ok, Ghost Whisper ok. Heroes was disappointing.

Fans are up in arms to get Jericho back on. I myself have never watched it. I agree with comments on Screen Rant about how fans would react if American Idol went on a four month hiatus in the middle of the show. I think the effort has as much chance as reviving Enterprise, especially since some of the same names are involved. But to not try at all guarantees failure. It's not a ratings gatherer, and to the network types, that's where the money is.

There is the inevitable criticism of the ratings system, known as Nielsons. I did a little digging on this. Nielson Media Research acknowledges the technical challenges and has some interesting solutions. They encode audio signals in the broadcast so that the box can tell what you are watching when (assuming you are one of the sampling families). So even if the show is taped or DVR'ed, the box records that you did watch it. That leads me to wonder how much of a stats blip would occur if you recorded shows and watched at 1 AM.

There are advantages to not being top rated show. April and Rachel watch American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Without commercial skip, April would go crazy. Dancing with the Stars is really bad, it seems to go "one of these couples will be eliminated, commercials, recap, narrow the selection, commercial, recap, narrow more, commercial, recap, ...". They need to fill an hour, but most of it is repeats the last show. So lower rated shows actually have more content that the higher ones.

End of Entry

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thomas on the News Again!

Stardate 60051.8
Big Buddha was at Union Station yesterday for Fox 13. Thanks to the Buttschardts of Roosters, the first and second grades of St. Josephs were there. We have it on the DVR. There were several cuts to Buddha. The first you can just see him at the end of the crowd of kids. The second shot has all the kids sitting on the lawn, and Thomas is right in the middle. It's fun to watch and name off all the kids I know: Jack (who was in the middle of every camera shot), Sam, Phillip, Orlando, Conner, etc. I had to drop Thomas off at school by 7:30 that day (he normally goes at 10 to 8). I knew Fox 13 was going to be there, and that he would probably be on TV. Patrick asked why Thomas gets all the chances. I don't know, just lucky, I guess.

End of Entry

Monday, May 14, 2007


An interesting exchange yesterday between Rachel and April, as April goes up to take a bath:
Rachel: "You can't leave. Then I have no one to talk to."
April: "Your dad's right here."
Rachel: "But all dad says is 'uh-huh'. Right, dad?"
Me: "Uh-huh." (What the heck, might as well play along.)
Rachel: "See?"
In the end, April stayed. I was left wondering if what Rachel said was really true. I know I am not a chatty person.

End of Entry

Friday, May 11, 2007


Stardate 60051.1
This morning I was in the half awake, half asleep state, and this was going through my head:

public class Genesis
Universe universe = new Universe(new Heaven(), new Earth())

I don't know why this came up I have not read the Bible in a while, and not Issac Asimov's "The Last Question" in some time. I kept processing it in the shower. Should I use enumerated constants for the six days? Nah, it's a one time execution, just use a for loop. What are the operations? Separate night from day, earth from sea, etc?

May 5th was the first Friday of the month, which means free dress, no uniforms. Thursday was also free dress (for a dollar fund raiser). One of the problems with wearing uniforms is that when they don't have to, they don't know what to wear, more or less. What's even stranger is th my pre-teen daughter is pretty quick about choosing clothes, but my two boys can't decide. Growing up, I remember just grabbing what was on top of the dresser drawer. Thomas is just lazy. He got mad at me because I would not let him wear the same set of clothes for three days in a row. The I added insult to injury by making him take a jacket. Patrick now does not not want to wear anything with printing, which eliminates most everything.

End of Entry

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Stardate 60050.1
April is back home again. She got back today (Saturday afternoon). Patrick had a 9 AM soccer game, so we got to sleep in a little bit. Rachel stayed by a friends house again, and they took her to soccer. She and Thomas had a game at the same time. So poor Rachel had to be shuffled around by other people. Patrick was supposed to do a tournament in Centerville , but the assistant coach called to say that not enough players had committed to it. He called after we had left, though. He sent out emails as well, and fortunately I can get GMail on my cell phone. So Patrick went to his second double-header game.

End of Entry

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Stardate 60050.2
Monday the baseball coach handed out to the schedules. There are games Mondays and Wednesdays for the next month and a half

Tuesday I managed to get Rachel with the tennis lessons fifteen minutes late again. I retrieve the boys from day care headed back to pick up Rachel. Then we grab something to eat and went to Mount Ogden Park for Patrick’s game. When we got there, I discovered that I had two pairs of shorts, a pair of socks, and a pair of shinguards. No cleats, no shirt, and not enough time to go home and get them. (There might have been, due to a bad accident on highway 89, but I can’t say for sure. ) at that point I said forget it and we headed home. I called one of the guys at scouts to say we wouldn’t make it. I had no idea what Patrick was going to do. We talked about bowling ones, although I thought that was on May 9. April called one of the other mothers, only to find out she was at the mortuary us are mother had suddenly passed away.

I guess the game was a moot point anyway. I talked to the parents tonight, and one of the coaches is out of town with a high school team the other was caught up at work and couldn’t make it to the game. They tried to convince the referee that one of the parents could coach but since he wasn’t registered they wouldn’t let him . We ended up forfeiting the game but played for the fun of it. The team won six to nothing. Tonight little different the other team five to four, but the last goal really didn’t count because they were offsides. We’ll really kind of bothered me was the other parents were yelling at the referee and yelling in Spanish. Patrick got hit in the face with the ball, and broke his glasses were the screw goes in to hold the lens. He played the second half with only one lens, but still managed to almost get a goal.

End of entry

Monday, April 30, 2007

One week down, one to go...

Log Entry Stardate 60043.0
The kids are feeling the long week. Monday was supposed to be soccer practice for Thomas only. However, I got a call from his baseball coach. He scheduled a practice after soccer practice. Thomas did pretty well at baseball. It’s machine pitch, and he managed to hit a few of them. After we got home he and I threw a ball around for a little while.

Tuesday was the most difficult. I dropped Rachel off at tennis fifteen minutes late. The instructor called April in L. A., even though we told her to call my cell phone. I picked up Thomas after running home to get Patrick’s soccer uniform. Patrick himself was picked up by a friend. Then I picked Rachel up and headed to Roy for Patrick’s soccer game. He was not there yet, so I dumped the uniform on a fellow parent (Thanks Bonnie). Well I ran to get Rachel and Thomas something to eat. The boys played kind of lazily, and the game ended in a tie. Then it was hurried to the scout meeting. I was not mentally prepared for the meeting, especially when the new scoutmaster called me up as den leader for the Tigers. They got their badges, though, and so did the Bears. Next month is the graduation to the next level.

Wednesday was much easier. Just a soccer game at mount Ogden park. The boys played better this time, but lost three to two. I should mention that we are down our starter keeper and one for word. The keeper was hit in the face with a baseball, which broke his nose bee in three places. The forward is out for hernia surgery.
Friday Rachel and Patrick Soccer practice. Rachel had also been invited to a birthday party/sleep over. I stayed late after her practice to talk to them all know about picking her up early because Thomas had a game the same time I was supposed to drop her off. Hence, we missed most of Patrick’s practice.

Thursday was pet day at saint bens. Thomas had been talking about it all week. I put it on the calendar, and he was counting down the dates. On the day, Leo was pretty popular. Someone brought some sort of baby birds, and another brought a small python. Dogs were the most common pet to be shown.

Volleyball was late on Friday. The first game started at 9:00 PM. We lost that game, but managed to win one set of the second game at 945. Unfortunately, we lost the next game and were forced to play a third tiebreaker. This game didn’t end until 1030, meaning we did not get home until after eleven. Thomas had baseball practice the next day at 8:00 AM.

Saturday we were up by 7:00 AM and out the door by 7:30. We made it to Thomas's baseball practice in plenty of time, but left a little early to get Patrick to his game at nine. Once again, the other team didn’t have enough players so Patrick played on the other side. He didn’t have breakfast that morning and had a breakdown at the quarter. I’m not sure what’s going on, but none of the games has he played another full team. Every game so far this spring season we have needed to lend players to the other team. Rachel’s game was next at 10:00, a friend brought their new puppy and Patrick spent the rest of the game playing with it. Rachel then went with her birthday friend. The boys and I got something to eat and then went to play Thomas’s game. His team is improving, although there are only three games left. Then we did a little bit of grocery shopping where I picked up a new toy that I will get to later.
Rachel has been doing homework until eleven PM a couple of nights. One night she had to pick out a news item from the newspaper. That was a lot of trouble for her, because she was looking for a positive piece to report on. Most of the news was negative as you can probably imagine.

Sunday I had plans on catching up on some things I needed to get done, but after running around picking up or dropping off kids, I didn’t get to it. We did go see “meet the Robinsons”, because one of Patrick’s friends called and wanted him to go. Thomas and Rachel told me they wanted to see it as well. So I took them. The movie was OK, I was just expecting a little more humor. I did manage to get most of the line mode and a few plants in to the ground.

While picking and groceries, I bought a cheap microphone for my computer. I installed speech recognition on word and am now dictating this log entry, which is why it gets so long. It's much like a original Battlestar Galactica episode where Lorne Green is dictating to a computer with a large microphone (this is much smaller), and you see the pauses and then the text show up on the computer screen. Similar, but Word seems to get things wrong more than they did.

(the title, by the way, is a quote from Patrick. Rachel was apologetic "Not that we don't like you Dad, but we miss Mom." I miss my wife.)

End of entry

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Single Parent Mode

Stardate 60042.5
April is in L.A. for two weeks. She left on Saturday. So I am in Single Parent Mode (SPM). It's not too bad, but it can get tiring. There is a lot of coordination to do with other parents. This makes it worrisome if another parent does not show to an activity. Saturday was one case. Patrick has soccer practice at 9 AM. I needed to get April to the airport by 10, so I was looking for one parent to keep him. She forgot about practice, so April worked out something with another one. As I thought about it, the other parent's kid would play the AYSO game later in the day with Patrick, so it worked out much better.

The one I feel a little sorry for is Thomas's baseball coach. He has been trying to schedule practice, and I keep going nope, I have something else going. I think I am driving the guy crazy.

Started and finished Tyrannosaur Canyon, by Douglas Preston.

End of Entry

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Boise, the Next Day

Stardate 60041.7
The team won the game at 7 on Saturday easily, and won the semi-final on Sunday morning. The championship was at 1 PM. I was amused that we were in Idaho, and the teams in both the U9 and U11 boys championship games were from Salt Lake and Ogden soccer clubs. Patrick had been running around all morning, so the coach asked if he could play. I told him fine, but I didn't bring his shoes or shin guards. One of the mothers suggested going to the First Aid station to tape his ankle. Suddenly the whole team was involved in getting him ready to play. This was my favorite part of the whole weekend. One offered an extra pair of shin guards, and everyone offered other pieces of uniform. Jordi, who has never said a word to us before (he seems shy), asked me what size shoes Patrick wore. I told him, and he said he wore the same and had an extra pair. We cobbled Patrick together, and as I walked him to where the rest of the team the assistant coach asked if we had everything. I told him yes, and who gave what. When I got to the shoes, he had a strange look on his face. He then told me Jordi had a $100 pair of shoes he had not worn yet, and was very careful about. Patrick did well, although not at his best. The Salt Lake team won, though. Ogden got second place. Not bad for a first tournament.

Favorite Quote: "That was a fun vacation." - Thomas, upon getting back from Boise.

Finished Dark Lord, The Rise of Darth Vader.

End of Entry

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Boise Tournament

Stardate 60041.4
Patrick, Thomas, and I are in Boise for a soccer tournament. It would be really fun, but Patrick landing wrong on the trampoline and sprained his ankle Monday. So he can't play. He did want to come up and cheer on his team. He came out to the game on Wednesday, just after we picked up a pair of crutches. It takes a little bit to learn how to use them, and going over grass is harder. I went slightly ahead to talk to one of the other parents, and turned around to see him flat on his back, arms and legs waving. Sorry to say, I burst out laughing.

The team won it's first match this morning, and plays the second at 7 tonight. We then play up to two championship games tomorrow.

Finished Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader.

End Of Entry

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Out of the closet

Stardate 59070.1
Now I've done it. On Monday I could not find the plain brown jacket to wear to work, so I opted to wear my 5th season Star Trek TNG jacket. This, put together with the micro-machine NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B, C, or D), pewter NX-01 model, and various ship wallpapers, alerted coworkers that I am a fan. So I been getting the standard questions; Do you speak Klingon, go to conventions, wear strange costumes, etc. I think it makes some people nervous. I've never quite figured out why, but I guess it's just not what would be considered normal. I don't treat fandom as a religion, just something fun to do. Ah, well, they just have to get used to it.

Finished Teeth of the Tiger and Voyager: End Game. Started reading Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader.

End of Entry

Monday, April 02, 2007

Volleyball wins

Stardate 60040.2
Our team, "Who Cares?" won our first set Friday. The first set of games went as always, although we did take the lead for a about a minute. The second set started out like the first, we lost the first game. We managed to win the second game by one point, so forced a third. The third was also won by one point. I was pretty tired by that point, but everyone was congratulating me at the end. I guess the other team tried to spike it for the win and I popped it back over to their side. I don't remember. All a know for sure is we managed to win over a team called "Older than dirt". Win or lose, it's still fun.

Saturday was filled with soccer. Patrick had a practice with OFC, then Rachel had a game. She played a little lethargic, and we were to find out why on Sunday. Thomas then had his first of a double -header AYSO game. The team still has a long way to go, but there was some aggressiveness there. Patrick then had his AYSO game, except the other team didn't show. Someone said the coach had moved away. So Patrick's team played a scrimmage. April was amazed at how much better Patrick plays. A couple of parents volunteered to be keepers, and he scored two of the three goals in the game. Thomas had his second game next, against some second graders from St. Joe's. The bigger kids handed them a loss, although the coach had them slow way down. Like I said, they have a long way to go.

Sunday Rachel had a 101 degree temperature, thus explaining her lackluster game Saturday. We made her stay home Monday, over her protests of ruining a perfect attendance.

The hard disk on the DVR died, so DISH Network is sending us a new DVR. Rats, due to a lull in network programming, it had recorded a few Decisive Battles. Oh, well.

Finished "Heretic!". I haven't decided yet whether I want to reread "Star Trek Voyager: Endgame" or Tom Clancy's "Teeth of the Tiger". Right now I am reading both.

End of Entry

Thursday, March 29, 2007

There are days...

Stardate 60032.9
Pretty much a sight I didn't want to see and would pass on seeing again. The police chased a man and woman from West Haven and managed to stop them in front of St Joseph. The man ran into a house and kicked the occupants out with a gun. I hear about this in a frantic call from my wife. I head down there and park up the street looking at all the cop cars around the school my older kids are in. I asked what I needed to do to get my kids, and went around back and picked them up from the gym. Patrick was excited over the events, but Rachel was shaken. Later I found out that the third grade was in the library and just told to go to the auditorium, but the fifth grade was in the classroom, which is at the end of the building closest to where the guy was hiding. So the staff burst in to the class and rushed them all out.

Rachel was upset because she tried to call me, but got two of the numbers mixed up. The school did call, but I was already on my way there. So I need to work with the kids so that they don't even need to think about my number.

Fortunately the guy surrendered without a fight.

End of Entry

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

5 seconds of Fame

Stardate 60032.7
Cool! I took the Tiger Scouts to a channel 4 weather school. We met Marti Skold, Ross Becker, and Dana Greene. They showed the scouts how the weather was done, and the green screen used to display the graphics in back of Marti. She let the kids try it all out. Dana the sportscaster stole the spotlight from her, though, after he said he had talked to people like Michael Jordan and Yuo Ming among others. The kids had a great time, and channel 4 ran a short clip of us just before the weather. You can see Thomas and myself with the rest of the scouts very clearly. I have it on the DVR; now I need to transfer it to DVD. The clip of the scout in the red jacket was also shown. I don't know who he was, but he did a good job with the weather.

End of Entry

Monday, March 26, 2007

One more note....

Stardate 60032.6 Supplemental

I would be remiss to mention that I am on a three game losing streak against Matt in chess. Not doing very well against Robert, either.

End of Supplemental Entry

The week in Review

Stardate 60032.6
Here's last weeks planner, excluding work and Orthodontist.

Monday: Dinner with Dad. I took him to an IHOP in West Valley. He hasn't been down there in years, and I have not been there for months. He had a great time. The week before I drove him by the old houses. He didn't recognize either one, and if I didn't know where I was, I would not have either.

Tuesday: Scout Hike. I went with Patrick's Bear troop up Beus trail. Well, most of it. I was out of breath within the first few minutes, and sat down about three quarters of the way up and waited for the kids to come back down. I have had a cold for the last few days, and I am out of shape.

Wednesday: Patrick had soccer practice at St. Joseph High School. After that April and I went to a meeting at the elementary school. They made an announcement that they will be closing the St. Benedict campus at the end of the year. I was a little sad, it's a much better looking school than St. Joe's. But the roof is leaking, and it will cost a ton to fix. They are not seeing the enrollment necessary to justify keeping it open. After thinking about it, it won't make much difference to me. Thomas would have had one more year there. I was not happy with having to drop Rachel and Patrick off before they closed the gates (a security procedure after the school shooting back east), and then going to St. Ben's and waiting for the teachers to come out for the kids there. Thomas does not want to wait in the car. So next year I can drop them all off at the same place. It's also inconvenient to have to pick one up there, then go get the other two. The one point I wanted to get out was Patrick's complaint about the playground. It's too small for the number of kids. They stopped going over the the park after a child was killed by a stray bullet from a gang shootout. The meeting then devolved into a discussion of school vouchers. That doesn't have much effect on us. Our kids are already in private school

Thursday: April and Rachel had a Girl Scout activity, so I picked up the boys and went grocery shopping. Cooked some burgers on the grill (the kids prefer that to getting take out).

Friday: The Ticonderoga senior officers meeting, where I did a quick report and then heading to Mount Ogden Middle School for volleyball. We had three best of three games. In other words, we played six games because for each set of best of three, we lose the first two obviating the need for a third. Got home at 11. Rachel's friend Audra stayed the night.

Saturday: Another soccer training at nine in the morning at Mount Ogden park. I took the dog along because I felt guilty that we had been gone for most of the week. He dragged me around the park for a half hour and I now know every nook and cranny. He then wanted to leave. The practice ran for two hours. The parent/teacher group had a skating party that morning. Rachel, Audra, and Thomas went to that. Patrick went to a friends house after practice.

At two, I sat down on the bed to change clothes, laid back for a minute, and glanced at the clock; 4:30 PM. I had fallen asleep for two and a half hours. Sorry, Carl, I didn't mean to miss Command School. At least you didn't hear me snore.

Sunday: Took advantage of the good weather by cleaning the sprouting weeds and grass from the garden. I planted some pumpkins, peas, carrots, onions, and various flowers in pots to plant outside later. The pumpkins and peas are growing out of the pots already, and the rest have sprouted. The weather is supposed to turn cold this week, so I can't plant anything outside year.

So that's last week. This week looks to be the same, except AYSO soccer occupies all of Saturday.

BTW: I finished The Winter King, and The Pale Horseman, and am halfway through Heretic!. I think I might find some Star Trek novels to read next.

End Of Entry

Humor: Statistics and Nutrition

A coworker who also teaches statistics sent this around. He said one of his students turned it in a few years ago.

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on
nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those
conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Beware the Ides of March

Stardate 60031.5
Yesterday was PI day (3.14), and today is the Ides. Not really sure what that means except that was the day Julius Caesar was assassinated. March does have a lot of special days, it seems. The Ides, PI, Ash Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day. Wait, Ash Wednesday was in February.

I finally did my achievement for the Bear scouts Tuesday. Not all of it, though. The den leader wants to do more electives, so I was told to 'just to the computer part'. That was a small part of the achievement, because it's boring. And I was right. But I did the airplane elective at the end, and brought balsa wood planes for the scouts to build. That was a hit.

Patrick started outdoor soccer training on Wednesday nights. He is still having fun with it. We are going to Boise in April for a tournament, and I guess the coach wants to spend as much time as possible getting them ready.

My dad finally managed to get rid of his van. He lost his license last December because he can't read the eye chart anymore. He also could not find the title to the van, so it took a while to deal with that.

End of Entry

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Stardate 60031.1
We had a discussion on pets Thursday night. We have toads, fish, a cat, and a dog. Thomas wants a lizard, Rachel wants a turtle, and Patrick wants a puppy. My question to the kids is who cleans the aquarium the toads and fish live in? There were six fish originally that Thomas brought home last spring, only two are left. I think I spaced feeding them a couple of days and they ate each other. Anyway, who feeds the cat and dog, and takes the dog for walks? But the other pets they want would be fun, they say. My counter-argument was that you can't hold the toads or fish (the toads can pick up diseases from you, and are poisonous. Not enough to kill you, although you can get very sick if you eat them, but if you touch them and then rub your eye, it can burn.) We already have a dog, and Patrick is allergic to cats.

The dog is named Leonardo, or Leo for short. I pointed out he is always willing to play, lets any kid pile on him, or pull his tail. Pull out the leash, and he leaps a couple of feet in the air in excitement. Grab a ball, and he is right there waiting for you to throw it. Patrick and I both have R/C cars, and he loves to chase them. I wonder why we need any other pets? The novelty of new pets wears off, and the pet lives on.

End of Entry

Short Game

Stardate 60031.1
One o the shortest chess games I've had against Matt. Congratulations.

Game complete: white wins

You're playing black against m0smith from UT

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6
3. e3 Nf6 4. Bd3 Bg4
5. Nf3 Na6 6. h3 Be6
7. c5 b6 8. Bxa6 g6
9. Nc3 bxc5 10. dxc5 Qa5
11. Bb7 Rb8 12. Bxc6+ Bd7
13. Qa4 Qc7 14. Nxd5 Nxd5
15. Ne5 Rb4 16. Bxd7+ Kd8
17. Nxf7#

It's Your Turn

End of Turn (oops, Entry)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why didn't you just send email?

Stardate 60030.8
Picked this up on Wil Wheaton's blog. I've had similar conversations with my own kids.

"We had to get up to change the channel." (You had TV back then? Actually, it took less time than searching for the remote does now.)
"We only had three channels. And no, one was not Disney."
"We did not have DVD players in cars on long trips."
"We had to use encyclopedias on printed books to find information." (One of my annoyances growing up was that we had an encyclopedia published in the late '50s or early '60s. It did not mention moon landings or space exploration in general. I don't think Sputnik was in there. There were a growing number of omissions as time went on.)

Usually I end up quoting Bill Cosby, "We walked 10 miles to school. Through 8 feet of snow. Uphill. BOTH WAYS!"

End of Entry

Update 60031.1 (03-12-2007)
I didn't get this from Wil Wheaton's blog, but from one of Matt's.
Romantic Tips for Married Couples

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scott Adams Dilbert

Stardate 60030.7
Scott Adams set up a Google Alert to message him on these key words. I'll be one of 25 people to try.

too frickin cool

End Of Entry

Monday, March 05, 2007

Stardate 60030.4
Thomas had his birthday party at Lazer Zone last Friday. It went pretty good. The guests played three rounds of laser tag, did their own pixie stick with colored sugar sand, and bugged me for quarters to play the video games.

Saturday I overslept and so Patrick missed the last indoor soccer game. There was supposed to be a practice after the game, but it got canceled due to all the snow. The soccer ball just doesn't move very well in it. I took Rachel to a friend's house so she could practice a P.E. dance with them. We all then went to the Cathedral of the Madeline to see Thomas and Patrick get Catholic scouting awards. We were hoping the new bishop would be there (or bishop to be, or bishop in waiting? As Rachel kept reminding us, he doesn't officially take office until the 14th), but he was not.

I am now reading 'The Winter King' by Bernard Cornwell.

End of Entry

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Blue and Gold

Stardate 60022.7
Blue and gold banquet was tonight. It was a lot of fun. The usual Hawaiian theme, with Subway sandwiches and the cake auction. In previous years our cake fetched $35 or $40, so this year I wanted to do better. April came up with the idea for a pirate ship, It took two attempts, but the end result was pretty good. It was sold for $185, and when I thanked the family that bought it, the guy said he was willing to pay up to $500 for it. It didn't get the highest bid, $230, but it was third highest and easily beat the previous years combined.

Last week the Tigers went to the Ott Planetarium, and the Bears went bowling. Patrick scored the highest at 175. He bowled three spares in a row, and four total. The week before April ran a music belt loop achievement. The idea is to show the kids various types of music, like rock, country and western, classical, etc. She put Rossini's 'William Tell Overture', a track from 'Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl', Billy Ray Cyrus, and quite a few more. The main theme from Star Wars not only grabbed the Tigers interest, every cub scout in the room came rushing over. It got them excited, but the sad part is one mother told me that's why she doesn't allow that music in her home. Another mother told me a little later that that was the point of the music. I'd have to agree.

End of Entry

Friday, February 23, 2007

Star Trek Light Dimmer

Stardate 60022.3
"Computer, lights off."


This is an almost useful product. It makes more sense than the Clapper.

End of Entry

Supplemental 60022.6: I found a PC mod to make your system look like a NX-01 warp core...
Meet the PC mod that looks like a Star Trek warp core

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras

Stardate 60022.0
Today is Fat Tuesday, or in French Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. There are various traditions such as eating King Cake, or pancakes. This is so that you get rid of the 'rich' ingredients such as sugar and butter. King Cake is a New Orleans tradition, and I am sure most of you have not heard of it. It is basically a ring of bread (similar to the bread in cinnamon rolls) with sugar on top colored yellow, purple, and gold.

I've always wondered if there are any local traditions?

End of Entry

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Reality.sys not found. Universe halted.

Stardate 60021.5
Anyone remembering the days of MS-DOS will get a chuckle out of the title.

Monday was the shooting at Trolley Square. I worked there as a teenager in the early eighties at Hickory Farms. My mother worked there until the store closed. I have not been there in years. It's a tragic event. But I have a little issue with the coverage, and with coverage of any event of this type. It just seems that there is more coverage than actual information to cover. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show was making fun of the hours long broadcasts on the death of Anna Nichol Smith, even showing a clip of Lou Dobbs saying he would not mention her on his show. It just seems overkill. I went on the local TV web sites for information on it Tuesday morning. There was a little more information, but not enough to fill two hours of TV broadcasts. The local NBC and CBS affiliates had links to the pre-empted shows. I clicked on the CBS one, Innertube. It took me to Innertube.com, which is the site for Countrywide Tire and Rubber. Oops. They meant CBS.com/Innertube, but that link doesn't worl.

Tuesday I was supposed to do the Scout achievement, but we found out Sunday Patrick's championship game was the same time. The den leader was ok with switching. This was good, because the game was intense. Patrick was nervous going in. The other team was undefeated, and they were the only team to beat our team. Both teams played their hearts out. The refereeing was not well done. Patrick and one other player got one minute suspensions, and Patrick was out for another minute after getting slammed into the wall. Needless to say, he's got a few bruises. The other team got the final goal with twenty seconds left in sudden death overtime. Most of our team came off with tears streaming down their faces. That gives the idea of how hard they tried. The coach of the other team made a point of telling them how well they did, which I appreciated.

I was having trouble with my neck Monday and Tuesday, and by the end of the game the spasms were almost unbearable. I took Wednesday off to go to the doctor and get some muscle relaxants. April made me stay away from the computer. So I caught up on some re-mastered TOS Trek on the DVR, and took Thomas to the dentist for a cleaning. His baby tooth fell out during the cleaning. Not the way I would have wanted to spend Valentine's Day. I did get M&M candy and plush dolls for the kids, and a card, candles, and massage oil for April. The oil may be as much for me as her.

Currently Reading: "The 7th Guest" (I think I read this before)

End Of Entry

Thursday, February 08, 2007

2 pound math

Stardate 60020.8
Rachel dropped out of advanced math. She sort of gets it, but twenty minutes one day a week just is not enough. She does have the basic idea of how to solve for x.

Patrick is upset after he got on the scale the other day. Thomas saw him, and of course did likewise. Thomas is 2 lbs lighter than Patrick. This does not make Patrick happy. He takes after me in that respect; I was always light. In college I weighed somewhere between 135 and 140 lbs. He constantly sneaks candy, so I am surprised he does not gain a lot of weight.

End of Entry

Monday, February 05, 2007


Stardate 60020.5
The Colts won, I know, and the Saints were knocked out two weeks ago. That's one I was glad I was not there. The rain looked bad. It was a good game, and I was rooting for the Colts.

Playing Barbarian Invasion again. I am the Romans now. It's a strategy game, so you get to build things like walls and buildings. You get confirmation when the building is complete. I like the one for aqueducts; it simply says 'What did the Romans ever do for us?' The Romans are the only ones in the game who can build them.

Currently reading: "The Last Kingdom" by Bernard Cornwall.
Weight: 210 lbs

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


Stardate 60020.1
Erica is reading 'The Winter King' by Bernard Cornwall. It looks interesting, so I might pick it up at the library. I've read almost all of his 'Richard Sharpe' series (although I have yet to watch the BBC movie that I have), and I really liked them. It's a little ironic that we do a Jeopardy game at work, and the final jeopardy question a week ago was about Aurthur. I didn't get it. The clue had references to a story written in 600 AD, and Monty Python starts in 932 AD, so I over-analyzed and missed. The Battle of Baden Hill is on Barbarian Invasion, and it took place in 399 AD, so I had plenty of information to get it right.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Stardate 60013.0
Weather usually does not bother me. Yeah, I don't like getting caught in a cold rain, but a good coat and hat will help. The smog does bother me. What sort of clothing does one wear to guard against the brown air? I heard the story that the Indians called this the Valley of the Smokes. When we got to 12th street for Patrick's 7 AM game Saturday, you could not see the edge of the road on either side. It's a good thing I'd been there more than a dozen times and knew the landmarks well. That was just fog, but I can look up at the mountains and see the brown against the white of the snow. Patrick had been confined indoors as much as possible because he has had asthma symptoms in the past. Thomas and Rachel are staying in as well.

Basically there's been a lot of TV watching and video game playing. Rachel got Karaoke: American Idol for the PS/2. Paula Abdul evidently did not lend her name to it, because the judges are Randy, Simon, and Laura. The songs are kind of fun, although I keep confusing 'Do I Make You Proud' with Weird Al's 'Do I Creep You Out'.

We did get out to the Pinewood Derby. It was held in the gym this year instead of the cafeteria which made for a lot more room. Patrick's car passed inspection pretty easily, but I spent a good 30 minutes and two drills trying to get Thomas's car light enough. It was 2 tenths of an ounce over. This is the first time I've ever seen a car overweight without any extras. Both cars were slow. One of these years I need to research how to make the cars go better. The same person wins fastest car every year, and he says he did a lot of research.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007


Stardate 60012.8
Visiting the dentist with Rachel, he found an impacted tooth. It’s growing
in about 45 degrees under her other teeth. I think it’s pretty cool that he
noticed. You can only see it in an X-ray. He just saw a baby tooth were she
should have lost it, and decided to check further. Off to an orthodontist.
That was a little less impressive. It seemed to me to be more of a show off
of what could be done. I get what needs to be done, but I could have used
less of the show off.

So she will need braces. She was not excited about the prospect, but the
technology has changed. They showed us braces that have a wire which tries to pull itself back into into shape, and forces the teeth into place in the process. It's supposed to be less painful. I am not sure if this is true or not.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Stardate 60012.4
The Pack meeting went well. The tigers had a skit to do, and they did it well. The theme this month was 'Poles Apart'. April asked me to come up with an idea for the skit, but I could not come up with anything to fit. They dressed up in various costumes and gave facts for each of the Earth's poles. Thomas got to dress in an explorers jacket and my 'Tennessee Tim' hat. I need to get a picture of him in this. The boys were nervous and therefore very quiet reading the parts.

We also had the Pinewood Derby cars weighed for Patrick and Thomas. Patrick did his like a roller coaster car, and cut a lot of wood off of it. The cars need to be as close to 5 oz. without going over as possible. Patrick's was maybe 2 oz. I was surprised by Thomas's car. We cut it to look like a race car, but with the wheels it weighs 5.2 oz. Leaving off the wheels will slow it down too much. So we have some sanding to do.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Various and Sundry

Stardate 60011.2
Saturday was soccer practice for Patrick. The coach kept going as long as we had the field, or about two and a half hours. I was recruited as the keeper for one team during the scrimmage. Patrick scored three goals on me, which made him very happy, and the coach thought it was funny. I did get the last laugh because Patrick's team lost and had to do 25 push ups.

Most of the snow has been skidding around us and dumping on Denver. We did get some last week and some more today. It was enough to go sledding on Sunday, and I hope we get enough to go again next Sunday. I have to admit that I love not having to commute to Salt Lake now.

The Cub Scouts met for the first time this year on Tuesday. They had a power sander and bandsaw there to cut the designs for the derby cars. Patrick is making a roller coaster car, and Thomas is making a basic racer. There was a good crowd there, so it took a while. It did not help that the bandsaw kept getting locked up.

My weight on Monday was 207.5 lbs.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

DVR Catchup

Stardate 60010.7
We spent the last couple of days catching up on the DVR recordings. Because of the holidays, there were no new shows for it to record. It actually got to recording some Decisive Battles, it was so far down the list of stuff. Usually that gets bumped by higher priority items. It was a former Star Trek actors run on 'Without A Trace'. John DeLancie was on one show, and the last was a double treat. Conner Trinneer and Marina Sirtis. What was amusing is that while I caught John and Conner in the opening credits, I was looking somewhere else, and it was April who spotted Marina's name.

My weight was 212 lbs on January 1. Got to get that done.

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