Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Have you ever read Milton, Captain?

To all of the Trek fans out there, today is the 400th anniversary of John Milton's Paradise Lost. If you don't know from the title, that's the question Khan put to Kirk at the end of TOS's Space Seed.

"It is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven." - Lucifer

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm not a politician

Apparently I know too much for the job...
US officials flunk test of American history, economics, civics

Civil Literacy Quiz - You answered 30 out of 33 correctly — 90.91 %

Answers to Your Missed Questions:
Question #28 - "removed"
Question #29 - "removed"
Question #33 - "removed"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lotta Updates

Catching up now. The kids got their grades. Everyone did well,
although Patrick was upset because of an A- in English (the rest
were As). He was much happier after getting the Principal's Award for
highest GPA, plus Student of The Month, plus High Honors.

I did the rest of the Engineering scout achievement for Patrick's den.
The first part was done at one of the other kids' house, where they
are putting in a new garage. The boys got to operate a backhoe, and
use some surveying equipement. I did electrical and structural,
which was not as fun as operating heavy equipment. They did get to
build bridges with paper, strong enough to run Hot Wheels cars over.
Electrical did not go quite as planned, but I hope I got some ideas
across. Four more months and he is done with Cub Scouts. He still
does not want to do Boy Scouts, but that may change.

Patrick fainted in school a week ago. He's been having problems with
headaches and dizziness. The doctor thinks it's hypogylcemia, and
suggested a snack mid-morning. He is still having problems, so he
is off to the doctor again. He did the Olympic Development Program
tryouts. He was not happy about it, but I wanted to see how he
measured up. I thought he did well. I doubt he will get picked but
it was useful.

Thomas, who has been struggling with homework, did get high marks in
in most areas. He is a year away from getting A, B, and the like, but
he should do As when it happens. His SAT scores were a little above
average except for vocabulary, where he scored in the bottom 10%.
I'm not sure why, but he may have misread the instructions, or
simply got into a hurry to finish. It's something to keep an eye

Then there is Rachel. Her grades were good, but she is adopting the
typical teenage 'I don't care' attitude. She spends hours doing
homework, then gets 0 credit because she doesn't turn it in. She has
made both her brothers mad because she didn't turn in the lunch menu
twice, so for the last three months they did not get hot lunch (and
won't until January). I pulled her internet access for a few days
because of the homework. April has handed out other punishments,
but she is still apathetic a lot of the time. We have what, 8 more
years of this? She has another week to come up with a science
project. So far all suggestions are met with 'Lame.'

She did put on a father-daughter dinner as a Girl Scout project
with a friend. It was a fair amount of work for them with minimal
help from adults. I thought it went well. She did not get much feedback
so all I have is my opinion.

April has been doing support for PDAs at work. I warned her that
once begun, she would be stuck with it. So far, it seems that I am
right. The up side is that when her laptop power plug broke the
center pin, she was not against trying to take it apart to see
if we could fix it. We were stymied by one screw that seemed to
have no way of being removed.

End of Entry

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The new President

Congratulations to Barack Obama. I enjoyed the speech he gave, no 'we have a mandate from the people' crap. John McCain did a good concession speech, marred by boos and catcalls. I felt embarrassed for the Republicans because that. Show the same class and honor McCain did.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Maytag Repairman

One Saturday a few weeks ago during a rain/snowstorm, the power went
out. I was in the middle of doing laundry, and when it came back on
I started the dryer. It ran for ten seconds, then the lights flashed
and it stopped. You could start it again, and it would do the same
thing. At this time, we can't afford a $100 charge for someone to
come out, much less the charge for parts and labor. So we did
research on the Internet. The first conclusion was the thermal
fuse. April ordered the $6 part, and we waited a week for it to
arrive. I replaced that last Saturday in an hour (it's
in the back underneath the drum). No joy. More research and a post to
a forum pegged the problem as a faulty control board. April found one
for $89, plus $12 S&H. It arrived yesterday, and I spent 20 minutes
replacing that, and lo, we have a functional dryer again. I was pleased
by how easy the swap is. Six screws to pull the back panel off, and the
4 inch square board just snaps in. The hard part is that the small part
has 8 connectors going to it, three on the front, one each for the sides
and bottom, and two on the top edges.

So my apologies to the lonely Maytag repairman, but I don't need your

Soccer Update

Soccer Update
The last month has been heavy soccer. I'm talking 6 days a week, I was
taking the boys to games or practice. The school team improved quite
a bit, but never won a game. We played a tournament in Sandy, but were
short players and came in last.

Rachel had to go with me to one of the school game practices, and
had enough fun that she came back for the rest of them. She's pretty
good. I wish she would play on a team.

Patrick and his friend Trey went a few nights from the school game to
comp games. This is because the league realized it was getting dark
very early, and moved the games up from the end of the month. The
comp team finished in fourth place out of nine, and
the games that were lost were only by a goal or two (there were a
couple of exceptions where they played badly and were beat by five
or more, but those teams were not in the top bracket). The last
game was a blowout for us, 9-0. It was pretty obvious after five
minutes when the ball had not been on our side of the field at all.
The second half the coach was trying to get all the kids to score.
Patrick, who didn't score much this year although had a ton of assists,
make a beautiful shot across the goal box and into the corner of the net.

Thomas's team did very well, and he is improving. He did goalie in
the last game, and let the game-winning goal in. I didn't think there
was much he could have done to prevent it short of tackling the kid.
April was a little unhappy with the coach because he threatened to
keep Thomas out when she was caught up at work and didn't get him
to the game until ten minutes before it started. The coach wants
them there thirty minutes to warm up and strategize. I agree with
her, it is not his fault if he is ready to go and has no transportation.

We are done for a few weeks, and I think we need the break. Patrick
is disappointed, but also happy to be home at night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From John's Blog

The results are no surprise to me, but I can tell who said what.
<table style="height: 202px; width: 500px; padding: 4px; border: 1px solid black; background: url(http://images.perturb.org/election/flag_background.jpg); color: black;"><tr><td><img src="http://images.perturb.org/election/obama.jpg" alt="Obama" style="border: 1px solid black; margin-right: 5px;" /></td><td><div style="color: black; font-size: 10pt; font-family: sans-serif; line-height: 125%;">You preferred Obama's statements <b>78%</b> of the time<br />You preferred McCain's statements <b>22%</b> of the time<br /><br />Voting purely on the issues you should vote <b>Obama</b><br /><br />Who would <b>you</b> vote for if you voted on the issues?<br /><br />Find out <a href="http://www.perturb.org/election/" style="color: #001491;"><b>now</b></a>!</div></td></tr></table>

Saturday, October 11, 2008

RIP Smokey

Smokey the cat passed away last night. She has been very sick the last couple of weeks, and not eating much at all. I've been trying to hand feed her, but she has trouble swallowing. Yesterday, April found her on the floor randomly batting at the air. She snapped and growled at April, so we left her alone. This morning, she was gone.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy 50th NASA!

The National Aeronauntics and Space Administration has been around for a half century now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The school game was a mess. Of course, the other team has been playing together all summer, whereas we just started, and I don't think anyone on our team has played 11 v 11 (I know I have not). So we lost 8-0. There are some things to work on, and I need to find formations for that many kids. Rachel said one of her teacher said they were "crushed".

End of Entry

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Soccer and scouts

You knew this was coming. Two of the main subjects here. Thomas is on a competitive team, and Patrick is on a competitive team and the school team. This makes for games and/or practices six days a week. The other little catch: I am coaching the school team. It's the equivalent of a JV team. The kids are in all ranges of ability, which makes for a challenge. Our first game is today against Rowland Hall.

Patrick comp team has been annoying. At this point, we should have played four games, but we only played the second last night. The other games have been rescheduled because players can't make them, even though the schedule has been out for a month. Last spring Patrick got a lecture about not supporting the team because he didn't show for a game when we had less than a day's notice, and I told them he had other commitments. On top of that, the last practice one coach couldn't make because of a family emergency, and the other had to leave halfway into it. I get asked out of the as he is leaving to take over. With no idea what they are supposed to be doing, so I set up a scrimmage. After a half-hour, the parents wanted to call it quits. I agreed, and it ended. One of the new kids walked up to me and said, "That sucked. I hope you never run practice again." I kept my mouth shut, but I am sure I can make his wish come true.

We have not been to scouts in a while, and with training the same time as the meetings, we won't for a while yet. I tried one of the pack
meetings over the summer, and the kids were bored to tears. Patrick does not want to continue, but I told him he should complete the cub scout program, and then we will decide. I do agree that it is not very fun. The book seems a little out of the 1950s sometimes. When I compare the program to Girl Scouts, it lacks a lot. Rachel has done week long camp trips for years now. Patrick did one overnight camp. Rachel went to Savanna. The Cub Scouts are not allowed to take trips. It seems the girls have a lot more freedom and fun than the boys.

The Horror

Saturday I took Rachel to Newgate Mall to meet with her friends. They went to see a movie, and then hung out there for a few hours. I was there most of the time. It's not easy, since my idea of shopping is go in, get what you came to get, get out. Teenage girls don't do that. I tried to hang back while still keeping an eye on them, and staying out of the conversation about boys. Not what I would consider fun, but all part of the job.

Update for Dani

I just about ran over Dani and Kevin at Smith's last week. They were headed to see about some problems Kevin is having (there's a list! :).
It sounds like the docs don't think it's cancer, so that is good news indeed. The bad news is they had to put their dog down. I am sorry to hear it, and I know how hard it is.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

In a world... now without Don LaFontaine

The baritone voice that made many a movie trailer, and a GEICO commercial catch your attention has passed away at age 68. Google his name, and you can hear lots of examples that will make you say... 'Yeah, that guy.'


We spent most of the weekend watching news coverage of Hurricane Gustav.
My brother-in-law went to his aunt's house in Baton Rouge, taking my
mother-in-law. They are without power (along with about 800,000 others)
and she is on oxygen which needs electricity. He may end up taking her
to the hospital. He did want to get a portable generator before all this
happened, but she said no. My father-in-law headed to Florida.
So far it's nothing like Katrina from the reports. It's still not good,
but they seem to have learned from Katrina.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NBC Olympics

I've been watching the Olympics more this year than any other in the
past. Thank goodness for a DVR. I've always heard there were more
events than gymnastics, swimming, and track. This year I did watch
fencing, and I heard the kayaking was good. But I was not the only
one this year to notice.

No Bolt

I guess I will jump over to the BBC's site for better coverage.

School has started

We went through all the uniforms last week, and found out Rachel has nothing that fits. So I took her down to South Salt Lake to buy a uniform. Apparently I seriously embarrassed her because I asked for help. It won't be the last time, I am sure.

We met the kid's teachers last week as well. That kind of alerts April and I that school is close to starting. Rachel has an established teacher who knows us. Patrick and Thomas both have teachers new to the school. Patrick is content with his, and Thomas is ambivalent.  April was not too impressed with Patrick's teacher because she asked what grade Patrick was in. Patrick replied that he was in her class. Later she told April she was happy to have our daughter in her class. I'm concerned with Thomas. He will only do the minimum required of him most of the time. This means April and I need to keep up on what
he is doing.

Rachel's teacher sent home a form that asked what we should have the teacher look for, and what we expected. Rachel is like Thomas in that she will only do as much as expected, but unlike the loud and boisterous Thomas she will attempt to be invisible. I was the same way. One December day in seventh grade I was late to English. Entering the class, the teacher asked what I wanted. I proceed to apologize for being late, and she asked if I was in this class, then checked the roll. After finding my name, she told me to just find my seat.  There were a few more similar incidents from middle and high school. Then again, there were a few troublemaker incidents as well. With 30+ students, it's not hard to disappear.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wrong category

Google Reader is fun to use. It gives me recommendations base on
what I am currently subscribed to and my location, etc. I've found
some good blogs such as Raymond Chen, Jon Skeet, Switch on the Code
(a site that posts examples of code), and the like. It also picks
up local universities like BYU, U of U, and USU, and personal blogs
(the example that sticks in my mind is Mormon Child Bride).

Today it found Utah Freemasons. I did a preview, and it seems
to be a series of talks. I clicked on an entry, and since I was
at work (shhh...), I get this:

The Websense category "Non-Traditional Religions and Occult and Folklore" is filtered.
I don't think Freemasons fits into any of the three here.

And it begins again...

This week starts in on the tons to do. So far,
Thomas had soccer practice on Monday, and April
had a school board meeting on Tuesday.

Wednesday Thomas is in the Striker tournament, with
a game at four. Patrick has a soccer practice
at six, and there is a Ticonderoga meeting at seven.

Thursday Thomas's game is at four again, and April
has a Girl Scout service unit meeting at six.

Friday is the fun day. Rachel is going to Audra's
birthday party, April's work has a party at Cherry Hill
starting at twelve, Thomas has a game at six, and
the SOM is at seven.

Thomas might play Saturday, and he and Patrick need
a haircut before school starts on Monday.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Savanna 2008

April and Rachel flew to Savanna, Georgia on Sunday with the Girl
Scouts. It's the birthplace of the Girl Scouts, if that helps it
to make more sense. The flight over was good, but April said within
ten minutes of getting to the hotel they were headed to the ER
to take care of one girl who split her chin open jumping on the bed.

The next day was a ghost tour. Rachel talked to me about it for
a good ten minutes, which means she enjoyed it. The debate after the
tour was about a picture that was taken, and later showed a
glowing orb that was not there when the picture was taken. Rachel
told me that the hotel they were staying in is supposed to be

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cache Valley Cup 2008

Patrick's soccer team went to the Cache Valley Cup in Logan again
this year. They lost the first game on Wednesday 3-0 (with the first
goal being scored by one of our own team). The outcome was not
unexpected since this is the first time I'd seen all the new
members of the team. They played well, except for getting goals.
There were lots of opportunities, but it seemed to me that on several
fastbreaks the boy would stop to try and line up a shot. By the time
he did, a defender was there to stop it.

There have been a few changes since winning it all last year. The team
lost 4 players including the keeper and forward. Both were really good,
and the forward was incredible. The team has picked up 5 new players,
and several positions were changed. The best part for Patrick is that
he is now the forward about 1/4 of the game, which is what he loves.

The second game on Thursday was about as hard, except that we won 3-1.
The one goal on the other side would cost us a place in the finals, but
that just means I don't have to drive to Logan early Saturday morning.
Patrick got one of the goals, and narrowly missed getting another.
He was upset with me because I didn't see that it was him that
scored. I saw the ball get kicked to the center, but the line judge
blocked my view, and then the ball sailed into the goal. The coach
also told me 'Left foot!'. He noticed during practice a few weeks
ago that Patrick dominate foot is his left, after coaching for more
than a year. Of course, then I get the typical question about whether
he writes left-handed (he is right-handed). I write left-handed, but
bat and throw right-handed, so it's not all that strange to me.

The game on Friday was at 3 PM, so April took Patrick up. It was
a win 12-0, but since we let the other team score yesterday, we
were out of the finals. April did talk with the other team we
played today, and they said this game was just like the rest of the
games they played in the tournament. So it could have been worse.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thomas had a busy week.

Thomas was in the Pioneer Cup soccer tournament last week. His team
lost the first two games against the two top teams in the tournament.
The first game was a mess, but the second they showed some promise.
Thomas was in as goalie the second game and the one the next day.
That game ended in a tie. He did very well as goalie, and he
says he likes the position. The coach is not assigning any positions
at this time, but he does like what he sees in Thomas. Several
of the other boys are also very good.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Astro Camp

Patrick was at Astro Camp in Ogden all last week. The camp was set up in 1991 by a husband and wife, and now they have a number of different courses from one day to week long sleepovers. One camp does a field trip to the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.

The kids did simulated shuttle launches, experiments, crafts, and had a trip to ATK where the solid rocket boosters are tested (although I was told all they did was watch a movie). Patrick was initially nervous about going when April dropped him off on Tuesday, but fortunately he had a friend going with him (they were the ones who told us about it). They graduated on Friday afternoon. There was an email sent out that Don Linq, the first Utah astronaut was going to be there for a dedication ceremony on the museum that has his name. I was not looking forward to the speeches and such, but he was a good speaker. His introduction was a little sad in that he was scheduled to walk on the moon for Apollo 20 which was cancelled, scheduled for Skylab but cancelled, and a few other cancelled things. He did get to crew the shuttle Challenger. The awards were handed out, and Patrick's team got the best team award, highest points award, and several others. He personally won the trivia competition, and as we toured afterwards several leads said he was a master of trivia. In the car he said this was the only team of first years to get best team award. It kind of reminded me of Harry Potter.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

McCain at the next Star Trek Convention

The Christian Science Monitor ran this poll:
What you don't know about the presidential candidates

The last point came up on a Google alert:
"Even more amazing was the landslide of 93 percent who said it would be "a hoot!" to hang out with John McCain at a Star Trek convention."

I must be in that other 7%.

Clueless CIO

Matt Smith pointed to an article on "Why application developers think their CIO is clueless" and to reason #9 specifically. "If you never watched Star Trek then you shouldn't even be a CIO." I had this in mind as I watched Star Trek: The Original Series Remastered (ST:TOSR) episode "Requiem for Methuselah". The clearer picture gave me something I've never noticed before: As Spock details each of the strange things he finds in Flint's home, Kirk has a familiar look of "Stop bugging with this." If a CIO has seen Star Trek, I hope its The Next Generation.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Trying to get to Lagoon

Sunday we decided to go to Lagoon. This is one of those days where bad things start dibbling downhill like pebbles, and eventually dislodge boulders. April purchased some discount passes from her work, and Rachel already has a season pass. The kids were allowed to invite friends. Thomas and Patrick could not find anyone who was not out of town. This turned out to be a good thing, as Rachel invited three friends. One ended up not coming. April worked that night, and as a result I was a little stressed getting the kids away from the TV to find swimsuits, towels, etc. Hence, I blew up after being told I was going the wrong way in picking up Rachel's friends (despite the fact I had been there a dozen times). After picking her up, I miss the exit to Lagoon from highway 89. Fine, we can go around to Centerville. We get on the I-15 freeway, and stop just short of the exit because of an accident. (I read in the paper later a man was doing 100 MPH, swerved to go around someone, and crashes into the exit sign. As we passed, the car looked really torn up.) Finally, after two hours, we reach Lagoon. Rachel and her friends go their own way, and April takes Patrick on a few rides. Thomas and I float around the river a few times. I take Patrick and Thomas on the Tilt-o-Whirl (the ride spins around). We had some trouble getting it to spin, but after I did, I noticed Thomas turning white. Oops. I guess I spin it a little to fast for his liking.

After leaving, we stopped to get gas. The total was $67. I keep thinking of a co-worker who has to fill up his truck twice. His card will only authorize $75 max for each PIN purchase, and it costs $85. It's a bad sign.

Fourth of July 2008

This year's Fourth was subdued somewhat. We bought some fireworks on the day itself. Susan and Verne and family came over, and brought my dad's old slides and slide projector. He had this cabinet full of slides from pictures back to about 1959. There are about 20 boxes with 40 slides each. April had a scanner for her job that can handle these, so she volunteered to scan them. It's a major undertaking due to trying to keep the pictures organized by what my dad wrote on the box. We tried to run them through the projector, but many of them became jammed because the cardboard that holds the film is getting soft. 

We ate, and then went out to do the fireworks. This year the kids in the neighborhood (mine included) seem to be pyromaniacs. They are intent on lighting small fires. The actual fireworks did not impress them. We watched the Layton city fireworks show from our porch.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dads Funeral

My brothers Terry and Verne were in for the funeral with my sisters in law (Kathy and Ann), and Terry's two daughters came in (Wendy and Shelly). Shelly also brought her husband, Josh. This was convenient since he drove them down. Wendy came with her daughter Amanda. Verne's son Peter and daughter Dawn came with him. Dawn also brought her son Evan and new daughter Emma.

The viewing for Dad was Tuesday night. It was good to see a lot of people I had not seen for a long time. Matt and Janet Smith made it, the McKenzies (who had sad news that their daughter, only a year older than me, passed away in February), Fritz and his wife (long time associate of Dad and who I am not even going to try misspelling a last name), Danny, his cleaning lady, a lady from the assisted living place, and many others I am sure I have forgotten to mention.

The funeral was nice, although a little shorter than I had expected, but pretty much to my Dad's wishes. Bonneville Lodge #31 Free and Accepted Masons did the ceremony. I had my two brothers, a nephew Peter, a nephew in law (Josh), a family friend (Danny) and myself as pallbearers. The Bountiful United Church of Christ did a lunch for us.

Later that afternoon Susan, Verne and family, Danny, and I went over to his apartment and cleared out the furniture. Most went to the D.I. It didn't take more than a few hours, and after we went to El Matador. I can remember that Dad was thrilled that a restaurant was being built within walking (or scootering) distance. I explained several times that it served Mexican cuisine, but he didn't seem to understand. We never went there, so this was a first for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Angus Barry Madden

My dad passed away this morning. He took a turn for the worse last night, and at 11:25, breathed his last. I am sure he is now where he has wanted to be for the last 13 years, with my mother who he missed terribly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Outlaws game

At the invitation of a friend, I took the boys to an Ogden Outlaws game at St. Joseph High School. They played the secondary Real Salt Lake squad. It was pretty fun, and for $5 we were right on the field. Ok, there is only one small spectator stand.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dad Update

April talked to the doctor in charge of my Dad this morning. He has authorized medication to keep my dad sedated as needed. It’s not a good thing as it slows down the antibiotics as well, but my opinion is that they won’t work at all if my dad keeps removing the IV. The doctor is pessimistic about much of a recovery, but after April filled in some history, he was a little less so.

Can’t find my sister to update her.

Bill Gates retires from Microsoft

Wow, the end of an era. Bill Gates will officially retire from Microsoft at the end of June. I’m sure he maintains a shareholder interest, and he has been out of the day to day running of the company, but now it’s really official.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Dies

I used to listen to his comedy as a teenager. He was Rufus in Bill and Ted, and I recognized his voice in numerous animated shows (last one was the wizard in ‘Happily Never After’).

Dad in the hospital

The day before I left for Camp Keisel, the assisted living place called telling me he had fallen getting out of bed, and would I authorize them to get medical help for him. I gave them the obvious answer. My sister called that night to yell at me because he had been taken to the ER and why hadn’t I called her. I explained that I didn’t know that’s what they did. When I returned on Saturday, April told me he was in bad shape, and had been moved to the ICU. He can’t swallow, and his lungs are clogged phlegm. The hospital stabilized him, and Sunday he was transfer out of the ICU. I spent the day with him. He is afraid that if he stays in there, he will die. So he spends the day trying to pull out IVs and oxygen tubes, or getting out of bed. I asked if he could have something to calm him down, but the doctor didn’t authorize anything.

Today I found out the nurses had to move him to a room across from the nurses station because he kept trying to get up. I don’t want to say I told you so, but I did.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Scout Camp

Patrick and I went to Camp Keisel Friday for an overnight camp. It was pretty much the same as a day camp there: canoeing, BB guns, archery, etc. The main difference was that in previous years we were assigned a guide who led the scouts around. This time we were given a list of activities, and told to chose (except for BB guns and archer, where we were assigned times). I think this was because we were Webelos, and each den had its own needs for achievements. After the regular camp was over, we had dinner. This consisted of each scout grabbing a frozen hot dog and putting it on coals that where not nearly hot enough. The camp counselor did say the cooking counts as one of their achievements. After dinner was the Colter relay race (the theme this year is mountain men. Last year was cowboy, and the year before was pirates). That was fun to watch. It started with a boy shooting an arrow to pop a balloon. Our team choice did it with his third and last arrow, which put the team in fourth place. Patrick was assigned to run from the archery range to the front gate. He passed one of the other runners to put them in third place. The front gate had the three man carry. The boys there passed another team to move into second. The next leg was knot tying (this is scouts after all). I was a little concerned with it, because the boy assigned to do it was not really focused. However, he did it in apparently two seconds, before I even had the chance to run down there. This puts us in first. The last task is to light a cotton ball on fire with flint and steel. It took a couple of minutes, but we still finished first. The second place team was another minute behind us.

We sent up the tents after that. When the list of equipment was sent out, it included a tent. All we had at that time was a two room tent which April and I thought would be too big. So she bought a $25 two man bright orange pup tent at Walmart. It was a popular choice. Two others were in our group, and I counted two more in the camp at large. We all bedded down for the night. Aside from the hard ground, I thought it was pretty good. Everyone else was too cold.

Breakfast was good, pancakes and sausage. The next event was a hike. The den chose Oregon Rock, which is a 25 minute climb up about 200 feet. I was happy that I made it without too much strain. We didn’t stay long as there were teenage girls coming up to rappel down the face of the rock. We then headed home.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day Dinner

Stardate 61061.6
My sister Susan invited us over for dinner on Father's day. She brought my Dad over as well. It was a little wierd because he talked about me in the third person at times, and other times seemed to recognize me. He told me that his son Tim had a daughter that looked a lot like my daughter, and he has two sons. He told me he talked to his second son ealier that day, but couldn't remember his name. It's a good thing he does not live on his own anymore. At least there were no complaints about the assisted living place.

End of Entry

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day 2008

Rachel can be so creative. She came up with the idea to say Happy Father's Day spelled out in red cups on the lawn. It was a nice surprise. They also gave my a card where Rachel and Patrick recorded a Father's day greeting (Thomas wasn't there).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Team Update

Well, Patrick’s baseball team lost last night. It was kind of sad, the other team only had players, which gives them an automatic out at first bat, and another on the fourth batter. Some mistakes in the field let them score five runs. Still, I will admit it was fun. Patrick wants to go again next year, and so it looks like I will be coaching again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

coaching update

The baseball team is doing well. We made through the regular season with 5 wins and 3 losses. The first game of a double elimination tournament was a loss, and we won the second because the other team forfeited because they only had six players and you need a minimum of seven. We still played them just for the fun of it. They did well, and it's a pity they lost like that.

Soccer is over for the moment. Patrick's team has left OFC to become independent. The reason is money; the coaches felt the club was too much for what we were getting. We shall see. They ended the season with one loss which was a forfeit because we wanted to reschedule the game on Memorial Day. The other team agreed, but showed up anyway.

I've also been relieved from coaching Thomas's team, although I don't think the two are related. The last month his team was playing with 4 to 6 players (you need 7 on the field). Both myself and the other coach asked for help, but nothing happened. I think some of the parents complained, and to stop a mass exodus from the club, the head coach stepped in. I don't mind if it means Thomas can be on a successful team.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Going Green

For the past week I've been taking FrontRunner into Ogden, and then a bus to work. With gas approaching $4 a gallon, combined with Flying J providing an Eco-pass, it saves quite a bit in gas. My car is still three quarters full a week and a half after filling up. It does take an hour to get into work as opposed to twenty minutes driving. Paying $65 to fill the tank makes the longer time worth it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Almost There

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It's been a hectic couple of weeks. Thomas made his First Communion last weekend. Saturday was a full day retreat at the church. Normally, the parents just drop the kids off, but this year Mgsnr. Bonnell had shoulder surgery, so Father Mike presided. He insists on parental paticipation. In Thomas's case this was probably good. It went well.

We had a soccer tournament in Kearns that same week dropped on us. Not a bad thing except Patrick had a baseball game the same Monday as one of the games. He choose to do baseball. The soccer team played short (Patrick was not the only one with a conflict), and the coach was furious. I admit to being happy about him choosing baseball considering how frustrated he has been with it. He managed to have some solid hits, and played good in the field. The fact that the coach was mad because he didn't have enough players for one game touched a nerve with me. I've been playing Thomas's team with 4-6 player the whole spring season, so I thought he should feel lucky to have a great team.

End of entr

Friday, May 09, 2008

More Coaching

I signed Patrick and Thomas up for baseball this year with Ogden Rec. After some weeks, I called in to find out if they were playing, and was told that Thomas's coach had not picked up his roster, and Patrick's team didn't have a coach yet. I found out from Thomas's den leader that the coach they had on the roster had his kids on another team coached by the father of one of Thomas's friends from school. After some more calls, we got Thomas (and all the other kids from school) on the team. They have played two games so far, and done pretty well. It's machine pitch again, and again, Thomas hit well in practice but not during games. He came off the last at-bat of the first game and broke into tears because he was the only one who did not hit the ball. The coach let me borrow his machine to help out, and the second game he managed to hit a few fouls, so he is improving.

I kept calling on Patrick's team, and kept being told he has no coach. At a week before the first game, I gave in and volunteered. I go down to Ogden Rec to pick up the equipment, roster, etc, and the guy tells me this is an established team, but the coach passed away from cancer. Oh, boy. At the first practice, though, they seem like a good group. The previous coach did a good job. Patrick and his friend Trey haven't played in a few years. With Trey you would have a hard time telling. Patrick can field pretty well, but had a lot of trouble batting. We worked with it all weekend, and in the game he hit a pop fly for a run to first (the opposing infield missed the catch). He's still not happy with his batting, so we are still working on it. Trey hit a home run with the bases loaded, so I think Patrick is trying to keep up with that. There are other kids on the team who have trouble batting, so he's not alone.

Soccer goes well for Patrick, as his team pretty much stomps on everyone else. The second game this spring season came with a surprise as my boss showed up. His son is was on the other team, with the same jersey number as Patrick. Interesting coincidence. The kid did well considering he has not played before.

Thomas's team, on the other hand, is struggling. Last game I had four players show up. I need seven to play. Try-outs are in a few weeks, so I am HOPING to get a viable team. Several of Thomas's friends have expressed interest, but only a few have played before.

End of Entry

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Rachel won all rounds of her debate last week. She is very proud of it. The topic was 'Amelia Earhart: Spy?' Rachel was the position that Amelia was spying for the U.S. when she disappeared.


End of Entry

Boise Performance Cup 2008

The boys went to Boise a couple of weekends ago. Patrick's team had the goal of winning the championship since they came in second place last year. They had a game at 8 AM Saturday morning, which they won by a goal, and another at 6 PM, which they won by a couple of goals.

The hotel was chosen by a travel company. I get the impression they do business travel more than sports, because the hotel had an outdoor pool which was closed, and no other entertainment. With the large gap between games, it was a little difficult to find something to keep the team entertained. I took six of the kids to a local park for a couple of hours, then back to the hotel to relax.

Sunday was the semi-finals and the championship. The first game was at 10 AM against a team from Twin Falls. It did not start on time because the girls' game before it went into overtime. It was a fairly easy win. We then baked out in the sun until about 5 in the afternoon. We did watch the other semi-final where a team from Salt Lake City won, and part of the game for the other OFC U-10 team.

In the end, for the second year in a row, we go all the way to Boise to play in the championship against a team from Salt Lake City. The outcome was better this year, as we won by a goal.

End of Entry

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pirates Online 'Feature'

I was playing Disney's Pirates Online Monday, and found an interesting feature. My character went up to Fort Charles, and I leveled up on dagger and noterity at the same time. It didn't show either level up, but as I fought, I noticed that I was not losing health points. I got the 'Groggy' icon, but didn't get sent back to jail. I kept killing guards and such, and took on a level 34 hired gun; hacking away at him for ten minutes. Eventually it corrected itself when I left the fort.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Vs Steam MP

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Happy Birthday April!

Patrick's team won (6-2) pretty easily against the Steam team in North Layton Junior High Monday. This is the team with the one-armed kid. He's grown quite a bit since the last time we played them. Patrick came close to scoring a couple of goals, and assisted on a couple of them.

End of Entry

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


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Friday was Confirmation for a friend's daughter, Vreni (Franny). We had planned on the whole family going down to Salt Lake, but of couse ot does not work out that way. The boys both backed out. April was fine with that provided they made arrangements with friends. Patrick did so immediately, but Thomas dalied until almost too late. A couple of crying jags and he managed to stay across the street. Rachel wanted to go see the confirmation. The plan was the meet the family for dinner and then head to church. Some
Ast minute details that were forgotten threw this out, and I ended up staying home alone.

Saturday was cleaning out the garage, then out to pick up Patrick. A stop by the dump to drop off the junk cleaned from half the garage. April and Patrick went to Blockbusters for a movie.

Sunday up at 8 to go to Mass. Rachel went shopping with her friend Melissa. The afternoon was nice, so I took Leo the dog out to chase the ball. Two throws and he dumps the ball in the corner of the yard; his way of saying I don't want to do this. Ok by me. Patrick wanted to practice catching, so I grabbed a bat and hit the same ball to him. Leo decided a game of keepaway was more to his taste. So I hit the ball, Patrick would catch it, and the dog would run back and forth between us. He was pretty tired the rest of the night.

Rache came home with a new pair of shoes and a shirt that says 'I heart recycling' using the heart symbol and the recycling symbols.

End of Entry

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Stardate 61040.3
From TardisCaptain's blog....
There is a remake of Bill and Ted Excellent Adventure. I thought I saw a rumor on this at ScreenRant.com, but I am not sure. Think about it, though, of the movies out this year,how many are sequels or remakes? What would Cecil B. Demille think?

What a bunch of losers.

End of Entry

Monday, March 31, 2008

Pocatello 2008

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Rachel, Patrick, Thomas, and I went to the Crusader Cup in Pocatello this weekend. Rachel was on the sixth grader girls blue (as opposed to gold) team, and I was one of the coaches. We played two games on Friday and two on Saturday. We lost every one of them. The bright side is that each loss was less of a point spread than the last. Rachel has a very aggressive style of play. There were quite a few times the opposing player would cross half court only to have the ball taken away by Rachel. If I had know that's how she could play, I would have worked on some fast break plays.

The third game the other coach for the team asked the other team coach to take it easy, because they were ahead by 20 in the last part of the fourth quarter and I guess he got a chilly answer. Some of the parents came over and told us they agreed, and the opposing coach apologized after the game. He said he was caught up in the game and was not aware of the score. Not sure I believe that, especially when we found out the ranking is by wins and losses, then by points scored in cases of same win/losses, so it is beneficial to rack up as many as you can.

During the fourth game Rachel had a minor meltdown. It's understandable given the pressure and pace. Both the other coach and I worked to get her calmed down to no avail. I decided to leave her be. Thomas walked over and had her laughing in 30 seconds. It's nice to see the kids can help each other out when they need it. Sometimes all you see is the rivalry.

The boys fourth grade team won all their games. Patrick didn't want to try out, so he just watched. I'm somewhat glad. They played five games in all, and three were won by a single basket at the buzzer. The fourth grade girls team went all the way to the championship, but lost in overtime by 3. (Rachel's friend's sister played, and fouled out in the fourth quarter. Her response when told she fouled out was "I did? Aw, crap.")

Thomas went to the doctor before we left to see if a cast was necessary for his foot. The doctor had him walking (more like limping) around the room, so no cast. By Sunday he was barely limping at all.

End of Entry

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not an Easter Tradition

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Yesterday Thomas hurt his foot on the trampoline. Today he went to school on the cructhes Patrick used when he sprained he ankle around Easter last year. I told the kids on the way to school that this will not be a tradition. Thomas is going to see the doctor this afternoon. He will miss his indoor game today.

The girls did free throw practice yesterday, and I acted as an opposing player to get them used to blocking. Rachel and her friend audra were pretty good at it. Audra's younger sister did some scrimmages with them and she knows what she is doing. The team is doing good for being thrown together.

End of Entry

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter 2008

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Easter this year was uneventful. April, Rachel, and Patrick went to Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday. Sunday I took Thomas to Mass. Being Easter, it was crowded. Thomas asked me during communion when it was going to be our turn. It took about twenty minutes to get through all the people. The rest of the day was spent cooking dinner and playing with the kids. The neighbor boy from across the street spent the night, and they were up late. Tomorrow should be a joy.

End of Entry

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Author Arthur C. Clarke dies

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I wondered back when the tsunami hit Indonesia and Sri Lanka if Arthur Clarke was ok. He was, but he passed away this week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Account Management

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I've been spending much of my free (and not so free) time playing Pirates of the carribbean online . When patrick wanted to try it, it had me set up an account as well so I could put controls on his (who he chats with, who he can be friends with, etc). I was 'managing his account'm a phrase I used with April. She now refers to my time on the game with it.

Rachel complains that I run practices too hard, and they need more breaks. I thought they did take at least two breaks during Mondays practice. I did tell the girls I'd start doing 'Olly practice'. All but Rachel wanted to know what that was, so I told them to ask Patrick for details but it refers to his soccer trainer who worked the boys for three hours a night once a week. We have only one more week until the tournement in Pocatello , so I'd like them to work a little harder.

End of Entry

Monday, March 17, 2008

Super Dell Campaign

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Super Dell runs for office
I can't wait to see his campain ads!

End of Entry

Friday, March 14, 2008

Post no bills

Stardate 61031.4
Thomas went to his second game of the week Wednesday. He did well the first three quarters of it, then just stood around. On the way home he complained that his legs hurt. After dinner he went into his room, and was asleep within a minute. Scouts was missed again, somewhat to my relief. Thomas has fun, but the den leaders do most everything, so I just sit around.

Thursday was dinner with Dad for the first time in a couple of weeks. With April being out of town and kids sick, I just could get down there. He is doing well.

No secret project this week.

End of Entry

Code Buddy

Matt at Software Ninja (not sure when the name changed, it's still in my Google Reader as Matthew on Software) had a good piece on Code Buddies. I might grab a copy and present it to the PTB at Flying J.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Soccer and Scouts

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Thomas has another indoor game yesterday, although I was not able to go April got to see it. She has not seen many of his games, and apparently he did not do well in this one. She said he mainly stood around, and made quite a few mistakes. I know he is at the bottom as far as skill level for the team, but he usually tries hard. He could benefit from some individual training, but the time to do that is hard to come by. April is questioning if he is on the right team, and I am as well. He enjoys playing, though, and there is not much we can change at the moment.

Patrick had cub scouts. He painted a design on a fish, and then transfered it to a t-shirt. It all went quickly and we got done with scout early.

Grades should be out soon. I'm interested in Rachels' because she has been struggling lately.

End of Entry

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 proposed 'features'

#1: "This server is using a flavor of Unix/Linux therefore I cannot render the page. Besides you don't want to see a page run by a machine with such an inferior os anyway."

#2: "This page is using a .Net class that we deprecated because Bill Gates slipped on a banana peal, therefore I cannot render the page."

# 3: "You are trying to access your gmail account, and not your 100% secure, never ever been hacked, hotmail account. You do have a hotmail account, don't you? Therefore I cannot render the page."

#4: "You are trying to access your bank account to verify your balance, and not downloading the information straight into Microsoft Money. Therefore I cannot render the page."

#5: "You own a Mac!!!! pbbbbtttt Therefore I cannot render the page."

#6: "You are using a flavor of Linux. Therefore I can only render pages that include gifs of penguins."

#7: "You have not prayed to Bill Gates, and or, you have not placed a curse on Steve Jobs, today. Therefore I cannot render the page."

#8: "You have not installed Vista, therefore I cannot render this page."

#9: "You have installed Vista, therefore I cannot render this page."

#10: "You have installed the latest service pack, which will cause errors on this page."

#11: "You are attempting to access a site with anti-Microsoft content, you will be redirected to the nearest pro-MS site."

#12: "Based on our analysis of your tax forms last year, your year to date income, and a randomly selected number; you are behind quota in donations to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Access to the Internet is

#13: "Bill Gates is not number one on Forbes list of the richest people in the world, your internet access is disabled."

#14: "You have Firefox installed. Ouch he bit me, the rabid animal. Therefore I cannot render this page."

#15: "Open Office detected. Therefore I cannot render this page and we are
sending ninjas to your home."

#16: "Today is a good day to crash!!"

Feel free to add suggestions.

Basketball practice

Monday's practice went well. The girls are beyond the basics of dribbling and shooting, so know it's the much harder task of plays and strategy. It's a little more serious for them, but they still seem to enjoy it.

The kids had the day off of school (not sure why). They found some cake mix and asked me if they could make a cake. They added green food coloring, but it turned out good to eat. As one of his scout achievement Thomas needs to help prepare food, so a I am counting this. The down side is that Rachel got a burn on the outside base of her thumb. Nothing that needed a doctor, but it was a half inch blister.

There was a doctor visit, although it was to remove Thomas' stitches. We went to our family doc, and in his opinion stitches were not needed except to leave a smaller scar. The woun was on the top of his head and is covered by hair so I can't see how that would be a factor.

End of Entry

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sickness again

Stardate 61031.0
Patrick was sick Thursday and Friday. Rachel had it about two weeks ago, and we assume Thomas will in two weeks. Fever, dry heaves, tired, all the common symtoms . He's doing better today.

Rachel's first basketball practice was Friday . The girls did well, except for some fits of giggling.

Thomas did First Confession Saturday morning. He was understandably nervous about it, and his sister did not help. He was much better after he got there and joined his class. I have to commend the teacher for doing a lot to keep him calm, as well as the rest of the kids. The worst part of it was that he was next to last, so it took a while.

End of Entry

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dungeons and Dragons Creator Dies

Don't keep up with Google Reader for a few days, and then find this on Carl's blog:
Gary Gygax, 'Father of D&D,' Dies at 69 (Ok, more or less. The one on Carl's linked to SlashDot, but more news outlets are picking it up.)
I played the original a lot as a kid. I don't have the time to put into it anymore, but it still would be fun. Many fond memories of looking through Monster Manuals, Player Guides, multi-sided dice.

Thanks, Gary. You have progressed to the next level.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thomas with stitches

Stardate 61030.4
Saturday started out simple enough. I was doing laundry and cleaning (plus sneaking onto Pirates of the Carribbean Online in between loads), and the boys were taking advantage of the relative warmth by playing on the trampoline. I was planning on heading outside to do a few thing when Thomas came in and said "Daddy, I need help." It should have clued me in that he never calls me Daddy anymore, but the blood streaming down his face was a better indication. I checked the top of his head and found a quarter inch cut. There was no telling how deep it was, so I announced that we were heading to the emergency room. I called April along the way, and she got us into Tanner Clinic instead. One of the advantages of her working at the hospital is she can see how busy the ER is. Thomas ended up about an hour later with two stitches. He panicked when the doctor told him he needed them, but on the way home he said it wasn't too bad.

At dinner April and I asked what happened. The boys were shooting hoops on the trampoline, blocking each other when Thomas leapt up and smashed his head. Patrick saw the blood, and told him to find me (we harassed Patrick for not escorting Thomas, but he did show good skill in seeing it and knowing what to do). Patrick also said Thomas stopped to put his shoes back on, and he told Thomas not to bother. My guess is this is when the blood started to run done his face.

So the first injury requiring stitches. Not too bad. I worked with a guy who was in the ER about every week with his youngest son, so I consider myself lucky.

End of Entry

Monday, March 03, 2008

Thomas's party

Friday I got a call from St. Joseph Elementary; it was Rachel who wanted know if she could play on the basketball team and go to Pocatello at the end of March. I ok'ed it. A few hours later I get another call from the PE teacher; can I help coach? Ok. I'm not sure it's a good idea yet, but it should be fun.

Thomas had his party at the Lazer Tag in Sunset. Seven eight-year-old plus Patrick, Rachel, and her friend Audra. Everyone had a good time. The eight-year-olds ran around in a pack, so it was easy to pick them all off. Surprisingly, the girls had fun. Patrick was pleased to have out-scored me in the third game.

End of Entry

Thomas's birthday

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Patrick's team lost thier game Thursday. Part of the problem is the keeper doesn't want the position anymore. Patrick was black carded (two minutes out of the game) at the end for slamming another player into the wall. It was not intentional, he was keeping his eyes on the ball and ran into the kid. I think the ref knew that, but the rules are clear.

Thomas had dinner at Golden Corral, and then home to open his presents. He had been asking everyone he could think of if they knew where his mom hid them, incuding his teacher. April got him the same cake that he wanted to get at the cub scout aution, so he had a good birthday.

End of Entry

Friday, February 29, 2008

Blue and Gold #2

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Thomas had his pack Blue and Gold banquet on Wednesday. It was much more sedate than Patricks. Different pack, differnt way of doing things. It's a pot-luck instead of buying the goods, which makes for a bigger variety of food. Patrick and Rachel did not want to go, but I made them anyway. It sometimes seems to me that this pack gets the short end of our attention. Last week they went to the state capital. All of our family initially said they wanted to go, but only Thomas and I went. Rachel started up a fever again, so I understand, and April stayed home with her. Anyway, the banquet was fun, and not very long.

End of Entry

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beggars can't be choosers

Interesting bit on KUER yesterday. They are covering the state legislator session. The UTA audit was discussed, where they found that UTA executives are getting paid more than contemporaries in other cities, ridership is declining on buses and TRAX, etc. UTA responded by saying that no one was looking at the positive points; such as how much Federal money they brought in. IMHO, being good at begging and panhandling is not much of a positive.

End of Entry

Blue and Gold #1

Patrick 's Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet was last night. The pack does its' fundraiser at the same time. The fundraiser is a cake auction, with the cakes being donoted by the families. Last year we did the Pirate cake, and this year we did a campfire. We always do a test run with making the cake to see how it turns out. The cake tasted great, and looked good to boot. It only went for $75, though. Thomas really wanted one cake, but I had to stop him as the bidding climbed over $100. He cried the rest of the evening because he didn't get it.

Thomas had his third indoor soccer game just before the banquet. The team lost 4-10, which is a major improvement over the first game where the lost 0-25, and the second loss 1-10.

End of Entry

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pinewood derby #2

A few weeks back, Thomas did his Pinewood derby . It was a slightly larger group than Patrick 's. He could not come up with a design for his car, so I looked up the simplest designs on the web, and had him pick one. He choose a Wii (pronounced 'weee') controller. Pretty easy since it's just a block. He painted it white and used clay for the buttons. I was surprised that it was still a half an ounce light. He won about half the races, and came in second the rest.

End of entry

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pinewood Derby #1

Patrick had his scout pinewood derby on Saturday . One of the parents whose boy won the last two years in a row shared some of his secrets. Patrick 's car placed third twice, second once, and first once. The first place was because his was the only car racing. It got a cheer from everyone watching.

Rachel is almost done gathering data for her science project. She is studying whether different types of music affect our dog Leo's appetite. I've been helping by feeding him on days when she was away. I have not looked at any of the data yet, so I can't say if it has or not. April noticed a Pavlov effect as he ran over to his bowl when Patrick played some songs.

Thomas started First Communion classes at the start of the month. Rachel and Patrick had to go the full year, but there is a new director who didn't think that was necessary. I think he is right, because despite missing half the class, Thomas knows all the prayers except one (Act of Contrition), and the other kids are still working on most of the prayers. It's still a new concept, and we get notices and calls about how Thomas has missed half the class.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Patrick's birthday

As I made out invitations to Patrick's birthday party, I was thinking of an ad I hear in the mornings where a woman complains that everyone communicates by email, but she doesn't own a computer. Filling out each one, I realize why so many use email over a snail mail: I'd be writing the invitation once, check for mistakes, then send everyone on the list a copy. The written version has me do the same process , and potentially make a mistakes on each one, over and over. There are only ten, so it's not difficult. Conversely, the same would not apply to thank you notes, where you want personalize each one.

The party was fun. We took the kids to Speed Street in Layton, an indoor go-cart track. You do a qualify run, and the top five get to race together. Patrick was in the top five, of course, and finished first. The surprise was that Thomas was also in the top five, beating out a lot of the older kids. He didn't want to race again, though.

End of Entry