Archive for August, 2010

Radioactive cake

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Here’s LRN2 with his strangely radioactive birthday cake.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken slightly before the view of a few days ago, and possibly even more frightening.

No post last Friday.  Got busy.  LRN12 was with us on the weekend, for one thing.  We had a nice visit.  LRN5 came on Friday also and spent the night.  We hadn’t seen her in a while either, so it was nice to catch up.

Speaking of Loyal Readers, LRN3 and LRN15 have decided to leave Arizona and carry themselves back to old Virginia!  They’re planning to leave on LRN3’s birthday, which is coming up in only a couple of weeks.  I’m sure they have lots to get done in preparation.  I think they’re planning to sell/give away/donate lots of their stuff.  Good luck, Loyal Readers!  We’ll miss having you here in the West, that’s for sure.  Who knows, though? We may be back in the East one of these days.

I really meant to get my weekly letter off to LRN1 last night, but just didn’t get it done.  I figured I’d work on it during my lunch break today.  Imagine my surprise when he sent a note at about 10:15 this morning, telling me he was receiving and sending emails early!  I quickly called LRN4 and we both got our letters written.  Fortunately, he got them before it was too late.  I’ll have to remember to get it done on Sunday from now on.  I’d hate to let a week go by without a letter for him.

My new iPhone book arrived from Amazon today.  It’s called: “iPhone Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide,” and my iPhone project co-volunteers tell me it’s about the best one out there right now.  I’m looking forward to going through it Real Soon Now.  I still have to read the very good Qt book I got for my birthday, too.  I’ve been going through my old C++ book in preparation for that one.  So there are lots of technical books to read right now.  But I’m pretty serious about iPhone development, so I’m giving priority to that one.

Speaking of which, I found an entire college-level iPhone development class from Stanford on iTunes U and downloaded it the other night.  It was taught Winter term this year, so it’s nice and fresh (although already about two generations of Xcode tools old – that’s an impossibility to keep up with).  I am within two minutes of finishing the first session – watched it on the train this morning and this afternoon, in between working for an hour in the morning and doing a bit of indexing in the afternoon.  The class is formatted for a 640×480 iPod, so that’s convenient train-wise.

Speaking of taking iPhone development seriously, I’m heading off to iPhone boot camp this Friday afternoon.  It lasts through the weekend.  I’m told it’s less of a tutorial than an actual working session, so I’m hoping to get as versed as possible before I get there and use it to get some real practical hands-on experience.  I know I’ll be getting a t-shirt (the registration form asked for my size), and I hear there may be other cool goodies distributed as well.  I’m excited to get started.

In more appley-goodness news, I installed iOS 4 on my iPhone yesterday afternoon.  I was really nervous about doing it, and the jury’s still out on the long-term effects, but so far, so good.  My phone wasn’t running particularly fast before, so I had very little to lose.  If it gets lousy sometime soon, I can revert back to the previous OS without too much trouble.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I’m listening to Jesus the Christ on the old iPod.  I’m really enjoying it.  Highly recommended.  We just started reading the New Testament at dinner, so I’m getting a double-dose of Jesus’s life.  Which isn’t a bad thing to get a double-dose of.  In spite of the reader having forgotten to remove his fairly regular speakos (the verbal equivalent of a typo – and who doesn’t do such things?), it’s well done and interesting.  Doesn’t put me to sleep, either.

Time for Home Evening, so I have to quit.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this fascinating toilet news: Canada has its own toilet museum.

See you tomorrow.

New Touch

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Here’s LRN2’s new iPod Touch, as photographed from my beloved iPhone.  Slightly fuzzy Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, of course.  Part of my famous Machinery series.

Another Extreme Short Shrift night.  It’s already almost 10:00 and I need to get to bed.

Worked, ate, and commuted.  My train ride this afternoon was especially productive – I listened to some more of Jesus the Christ (turns out I’m enjoying it – the reader is interesting, although he forgot to eliminate his mistakes from the recording, which is kind of amusing in the world of audio books), indexed 150 names, finished the current draft of my Arduino program, and wrote this Sunday’s talk.  Also worked for an hour in the morning.  Whew.

I was a bit surprised to hear today that Glenn Beck has kinda sorta endorsed gay marriage.  His argument seems to be that as long as they’re not harming him, he doesn’t care what they do.  While I agree with his argument in principle, I couldn’t disagree more in practice.  The problem as I see it is that it’s never enough for the gay lobby.  As soon as something becomes permissible, it isn’t long before it becomes mandatory.  Assuming gay marriage truly becomes legal in California in the near future, it won’t be long at all before anyone legally licensed to perform marriages is required to perform gay marriages, regardless of their own moral standards.  The LDS church (and many other churches, of course) will never agree to such a thing, so our right to perform marriages will be stripped from us.  The designs and purposes of God can’t be frustrated, of course, but people who make themselves our enemies will make it as hard for us as they possibly can.

Besides, the idiot (and, incidentally, gay) judge who took it upon himself to overturn the will of the people of California argued that the people have no right to impose their morality on the state.  What he doesn’t seem to understand, and what every intelligent creature in the universe except for him and his friends does understand, is that all law is based on generally accepted standards of morality.  What else is there to base it on?  We believe it’s wrong to kill, it’s wrong to steal, and it’s wrong to harm other people.  So we make those things illegal.  What’s the difference?

Anyway.  I can’t understand what Mr. Beck is thinking.  How can he not see that these people mean us harm?  How can he not see that they’re nowhere near finished?

Okay, that’s it for politics for today.  In the good news arena, we got the new PDA for the pool today.  I got it paired with the transmitter, and it works!  The pool is back in business.  Meaning that we can turn jacuzzifying mode and the heater on again.  It was very trying without those things for a few days.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: melon chaos!

See you tomorrow.

Candle blower

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Here’s LRN2 blowing out his seventeen candles on Monday.  We had a nice little family party.  More fuzzy Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam.  That camera really doesn’t like low light.  But I like to push it, so there you have it.  Fuzzy photos.  Or is that fuzzy fotos?  Phuzzy photos?

Short Shrift tonight.  I got home from work relatively late and I have to get up relatively early.  Poor me.

Normal day, so not much to write home about.  I need to make a couple of church phone calls tomorrow or Friday night.  Lots of ’em, in fact.  Maybe it’ll happen on Saturday.  There just never seems to be any time on a work night.  My leader has expressed disappointment with my habit of communicating with the hordes via email and he wants me to make phone calls.  That can take some serious time, so it’ll have to wait until some serious time is available.  Whenever that is.

Started listening to the audiobook version of Jesus the Christ this evening.  The jury’s still out on the quality (of the recording, that is; the book’s amazing), but it’s a gazillion percent better than those incredibly boring people who do the audio version of the Ensign magazine.  Sorry folks.  I love the magazine, but I just can’t stay awake for that one, as much as I really want to and as hard as I try.  Put a little life into it!

And on that slightly sour note, I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: pancake swat!

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Here are the telltale signs of LRN2’s new toys – Apple stickers, large and small.  The big ones came with his laptop and the little ones came with his iPod.  Of course.  Slightly fuzzy Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and (a merely symbolic) part of my famous Machinery series.

I have tons of those Apple stickers, and I can never figure out something cool to do with them.  I even have – get ready for it – a few of the old-school rainbow Apple stickers.  Those are certainly collectors’ items by now, no?  I just looked them up, and somebody is trying to sell a single one on eBay for twelve bucks.  If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. Anyway, I don’t want to look like either a geek or a jerk, so they’re all in a drawer right now.  Any suggestions?

Greetings from the train! I’m trying hard to improve how I use my train time, and doing a bit more blogging is one part of that. Right now, I’m on the morning train, in fact, having finished my hour of work already and not quite having reached the Great America station. Also listening to Car Talk on my iPod.

Arriving now. See you this afternoon.

That didn’t last long. Good afternoon! I’m back. Had a good day at work. Lots to get done still this afternoon. I need to finish this post, index 200 names, get the Arduino data transmittal function working right, attend two church meetings, and remember to put the magnet I bought at the Grand Canyon into my briefcase. Everything but the meetings and the magnet will be done in the train, time and laptop battery permitting, fortunately.

Had a good iPhone telecon today. We’re very close to our initial release – just need to get the final name incorporated and get final Legal approval. Any minute now. I’m excited to get it into users’ hands. That’ll get the trouble ticket pipeline started up too, I expect.

I found another interesting and highly meaningful website today: The Art of Manliness.  Very entertaining and a good read.  I particularly enjoyed the article on man caves, which was linked to by Instapundit.  It got me thinking – I have my own office now, and it looks terrible.  I need to turn it into a really cool man cave.  I’ve always been kind of partial to the old English club look, but I’m open to suggestions.

I guess I have a garage I could do something with too, but I really want to start with my office.  Or should I call it my study?  My library?  What sounds coolest?

Not much else exciting right now, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: hamburger-related injuries!

See you tomorrow.

Reader’s loot

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Here’s LRN2 and his birthday loot.  Happy birthday, LRN2!  I love you!  Slightly fuzzy Great Art taken in low-light conditions courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam.

LRN2’s been raking in the stuff lately.  His much-anticipated MacBook Pro and iPod Touch both arrived (via separate carriers and at different times) on Friday.  Fortunately, it was my off Friday, so I was home for all the excitement.  He’s in computer heaven.  We immediately dissected his old beloved iBook (formerly LRN1’s old beloved iBook).  It had long since passed its useful life.  I really hated to see it go, though.  Its disk drive lives on connected externally to Cooper, my old beloved G4 Mac Mini currently serving as a development and general-purpose machine in my office, its memory lives on inside Ted, my current beloved Linux laptop, and its CD/DVD drive is available when called upon.  The rest was lovingly laid to rest in our outside garbage can.  Rest in Peace, trusty old iBook.

Sniff, sniff.  There, now I feel better.

Observant readers will notice that Cooper is once again not serving the television in the loft.  Sadly, it was simply an untenable situation.  It couldn’t do Netflix because the G4 isn’t supported for that purpose.  No problem, said I; I bought a Roku.  But then it turned out that it couldn’t do Hulu either, which is an absolute CPU and graphics card hog.  Since Netflix and Hulu are the only things LRN4 cares about on a television, Cooper was out.  Larry’s back in, with a fresh Windows XP install (ack!) and working fine, although Hulu is fairly marginal on that computer too, seeing as how it’s a four-year-old AMD 64-bit CPU with a four-year-old low-end graphics card.  At least it’s a candidate for a future upgrade, though.

My ideal situation would be to get a MacBook Pro like LRN2’s as my main computer one of these days, at which time Curly, my beloved Intel Mac Mini would become the media center for the loft.  It would do everything well in that role.  Maybe someday.

No posts on Thursday or Friday.  Didn’t feel like it.  Both days were fine, thanks.

As were Saturday and Sunday.  I attended priesthood meeting with the Spanish branch, and learned they had sustained a new Young Men president earlier that day.  His counselors will be sustained next Sunday, after which we really need to sit down with them and help with some training.  Really.

Otherwise . . . I don’t remember what I did all weekend.  I’m sure it was exciting and useful, though.

I took the Suburban to work this morning and drove my beloved pickup home this afternoon.  As I may have mentioned, the pickup is running rough at times, and I need to get it fixed.  I can either do it myself if I can figure it out or get it over to our mechanic if I can’t.  I also need to replace the serpentine belt and get the brake disks turned.  I have no idea why all my rotors are warping these days.  I’m not doing anything different, but they all seem to go bad.  Even the Suburban’s relatively new brakes have started to wobble a bit.  Sigh.  It’s always something.

Found an interesting website today –  Don’t let the “zen” mumbo jumbo put you off – check it out.  It’s written by a guy who’s trying to simply his life, be more efficient and effective, get the things done he really wants to do, and be happy.  Pretty much all goals I share.  Lots of content.  I recommend it.

I finally achieved something this evening I’ve been trying to do for quite some time – I got my Mac’s calendar, my iPhone’s calendar, and Google Calendar all talking to each other!  Okay, it may not sound like a big deal to you, but I’m excited.  For one thing, I’m trying to get more and more of my computer files into the cloud.  I’m less worried about my privacy (I put everything I do on my blog as it as, as my Loyal Readers unfortunately know) than I am about losing everything.  Well, my calendar’s safe.  Now I have to figure out how to do the same thing with my contacts.  My blog’s at Godaddy, so it’s safe.  I’m going to have a look at Google Docs very soon.  My sources tell me it does way less than Microsoft Word, but it does the things people really want it to do.  So there’s that.  Plus I have Evernote for short notes and other tidbits and Dropbox for miscellaneous stuff.

I still haven’t figured out how to get all my digital pictures into the cloud, though.  Dropbox is way too small.  So is the free account (did I mention I’m not willing to pay for any of this?) at Picasa – they only give you a gigabyte.  What to do?  In the meantime, my pictures are all backed up to my Time Machine disk, anyway.  It’s just on the same desk as my Mac, so not quite immune to theft or fire or things like that.

And it’s just about 9:30 and I want to go to bed soon, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: pop machine hatchet attack!

See you tomorrow.