Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category

Indoor lawn

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Here’s the most beautiful indoor lawn I’ve ever seen.  Great Art taken at Longwood Gardens, courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, and part of my famous Event and Hiking series.

Well, it was sort of a hike.  We went to this amazing place here in Pennsylvania called Longwood Gardens.  It’s the old early-twentieth century estate of Pierre du Pont and it’s unbelievable.  The grounds are exquisite and huge (over 200 acres), but the most amazing thing we saw was the conservatory.  It’s an indoor garden featuring a total of 4 acres.  It just goes on and on and on.  The building itself is extremely ornate but beautiful and tasteful, and the gardens are just indescribable.  So I won’t try anymore.  Just go.  We’re going back.  We have to.  We bought a year-long membership.

Been a nice few days.  LRN3 was here from Monday to Monday.  We had a very nice visit.  He rode the train up from Quantico to Trenton and really enjoyed the ride.  Went back this morning/afternoon and reports it was equally enjoyable on the way back down.  Thursday, LRN3 and LRN15 are coming back for the long weekend.  We’ll be celebrating LRN15’s upcoming birthday.  Ought to be even more fun.

The Brewing Company app is coming along very nicely.  We have a fully-functioning app at this point, with a few refinements needed to existing views.  We still need to add contact information – both for the band and for us – as well as credits for open source code we’ve used.  LRN1 is busily working on the Android version and is making good progress.

LRN4 got her previously-mentioned Android tablet the other day.  It’s really cool!  And it was dirt cheap.  Could it be possible that my fanboy loyalties might change?  Doubtful.  But I’d like an Android tablet too.

I’ve been a big Arduino fan for quite a while, but I think I’ve found something even better – the BeagleBone!  It’s a whole lot more powerful than an Arduino, it runs Linux, and it only costs about two to three times as much as an Arduino.  Totally worth it.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be ordering one in the next few days.  Amazon has it, but I think I like Adafruit’s starter kit even more.

Work is busy and enjoyable.  Life here in Pennsylvania is great.  All’s well.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: adopted French gorilla!

See you tomorrow.

Guatemalan waterfall

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Here are LRN1 and a few friends hanging out by a waterfall somewhere in Guatemala.  That’s LRN1 there on the right wearing a white t-shirt.  Great Art courtesy of somebody in Guatemala and part of my famous Guatemala and Hiking series.  I’m guessing they had to walk a little way to get there, anyway.

Greetings from beautiful Langhorne, Pennsylvania!  LRN4 got here last night (I got here last Monday), we’re in the apartment – AKA the New New Fortress of Solitude (NNFoS) – and things are chugging along.  I did a bunch of shopping during the past week. Started in the apartment on Tuesday with a cheap sofa and a couple of lamps from Target, an air mattress, pillows, and blanket from Amazon, some inexpensive plates, silverware, and glasses from Target, a set of sheets and towels from home, and whatever clothes I had been able to carry with me during the past few trips.  On Friday, I added our beautiful new dining room furniture, a great set of pots and pans, a “professional” waffle iron, and a beautiful new laser printer/scanner/copier/fax from Costco, and Internet service from Comcast.  I think the Internet was the hardest thing to live without.  I’ve been comfortable, if a bit on the hobo-lifestyle side.  I made a coffee table from a big Amazon box and nightstands from moving boxes from my work stuff.  They’re working out great.

LRN4 was busy too.  She got her car picked up on Tuesday; as of noon today, it’s somewhere in Virginia.  On Friday, the movers came and packed and loaded us on that same day.  LRN4 had spent the entire week getting ready for that event, which apparently went very smoothly.  Many, many thanks to our dear friend Cathie for spending practically the whole week helping her.  She also got wined and dined by her friends all week – they took her to dinner nearly every night, not to mention to see several movies.  She got pretty well spoiled.  I guess I should be grateful she came here at all, huh?

Anyway.  Our stuff is supposed to be here sometime between the 13th and 20th of this month.  We’re hoping like crazy that it gets here before the 16th, as that’s when LRN1 comes home from his mission!

Update on the Mini’s whereabouts: as of this evening, it’s in Delaware now.  I think we’ll be seeing it within the next day or two!

Anyway, back to LRN1.  He’s coming home in 10 days!  As of tomorrow, he’ll be in single digits.  We heard from him today, of course.  He’s having some mixed emotions right now – loving the people and loathe to leave them, but anxious to get home.  I understand how he feels and it’s a great feeling.  I absolutely can’t wait to have him home again.  Even if home is currently just the NNFoS.

Speaking of the apartment, I think it’s going to work out just fine.  It’s just a little bit older than our house and, while it’s not nearly as nice or in as good condition, it’s still quite nice.  We’ll be comfortable here.  We have a three-bedroom, so there will be plenty of room for the three of us, I expect.

Let’s see, what else is going on?  I’m incredibly busy at work and greatly enjoying it.  My job is just a little bit challenging – I have to manage a bunch of people over whom I have no authority and get them to do stuff that isn’t yet well defined using a process that hasn’t been established yet.  Other than that, it’s a piece of cake.  I’m really enjoying it and the days just fly.

Time for other things.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: oatmeal road rage!

See you tomorrow.

Trail markers

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Here’s a pretty busy trail marker.  Looks like the crossroads of the place.  Great Art courtesy of my good old Minolta pocket-sized digital camera, taken during our fun hike a few months ago and part of my famous Hiking series.

Wow. Yet another looong blog-free period. Did you miss me, Loyal Readers? Hello? Anybody there? No?

Well then. At least I’m reading this, and that’s what really matters, no?

Lots of stuff going on.

By the way, greetings from the train!

Anyway. Lots of stuff going on. LRN2 and LRN3 are still here. Not for long, though. They’re both on the way out the door first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll miss them! It’s been such a great visit. Except we didn’t visit nearly enough. They spent a bit of time playing games. I spent a bit of time reading. Also going to work. WAY too much of
that.

Getting ready to take care of that last little problem, though. LRN4 sent me a note this afternoon, telling me she heard from the nice folks at Princess Cruises, who offered us a generous discount on a two-week cruise to Hawaii in October. We had been planning to do that in January (probably on a different cruise line, incidentally), so we did about fifteen minutes of research (the swimming pool is covered, which is highly important; also, the weather in Hawaii is quite good in October) and decided to go for it. She called a travel agent, who was surprised to discover that they could actually get us the cruise for the advertised price! So we’re in. Cool. Can’t wait to go now.

We already love Princess Cruises. On our Alaska cruise a couple years ago, the service and food were outstanding. The ship that time wasn’t really appropriate for a trip to Alaska (no covered pool!), but we really loved the quality of the experience otherwise. So we have high expectations. Need to see if any of our cruising friends want to and are able to go with us.

I haven’t been spending enough time creating lately. I feel like I’ve been busy, but I really haven’t been. I’m consuming too much content and not creating enough of it. So I’m trying to turn over a bit of a new leaf. I still want to read meaningful things and see and hear a reasonable amount of entertainment, but I’m committed to creating something every day, even if it’s very small. I’ll report here (which is creating something in itself, so the mere act of reporting fulfills the goal!).

So let’s talk about some things I have in the creation pipeline. I’m sure I’ve talked about RoboWar already. I’ve decided to go ahead with it, in spite of the fact that I won’t be able to charge for it. At this point, I need the experience and perhaps a bit of notice more than I need the money. So I’m going for it. Ought to keep me busy for the next several months.

But first, I’m making my UNO scorekeeping app. Can’t find anything out there that’s free and good, so I’m making one. It’ll have a few useful features and will hopefully be useful to a few people. And it’ll be absolutely free, of course.

There’s another interesting opportunity out there right now. My work has announced an app contest. They’re looking for things that have a business use, of course, and they get the rights and the source code when it’s done. But they’re giving away an iPad and some other electronic junk to the contest winners! Yes, I know I already have an iPad, but I’m sure we can all agree that’s something you can never have too much of.

The real challenge, though, is the idea. The major limitation the app has to work within is that it can’t access company-owned data, but it still has to have a real business use to us. Challenging! How can I make something useful that can’t access or store any data? I’m cogitating on it. One idea provided by our finance people is an app for Cost Account Managers (of which I am one) that tracks data on an ongoing basis. I don’t yet know if it’s practical, though, since I believe financial data is something the app isn’t allowed to access or even save. I’ll have to get a ruling on that one. Another idea – some tool that does back-of-envelope-style guidance & control calculations. Hmmm.

Listening to an episode on Everything Creative that features Mormon Mommy bloggers. It’s very interesting. I’m finding all kinds of useful ideas (you don’t have to be a mommy or even a woman to join their group!) and will definitely recommend it to LRN4. By the way, have I recommended her blog lately? It’s really going well and it’s quite entertaining.

I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. I think it’s largely related to my slug-like lack of creation, as already mentioned. Also, I’ve really let my dietary and exercise choices revert to some bad habits, thus undoing some progress I had made. I’m committed to reversing that reversal, starting today. I keep thinking I’ll improve my habits when something is finished (after the boys go home, for example), but then something else important always seems to come along. So I can exercise just a bit of self-discipline regardless of my circumstances. It’s either now or after my heart attack, no? Plus, it makes me feel good to exercise a bit of self-discipline.

Interesting week in space. Not a good week, but an interesting one. The Russians lost a Breeze M with a Russian-owned (but European-built) spacecraft on it. It made it to orbit, but not to a usable one. To compound it, the spacecraft doesn’t seem to have deployed its solar arrays and they can’t seem to talk to it. So it had a very limited lifetime as of yesterday or the day before. I haven’t heard whether they’ve been able to contact it or have given up.

The important thing to me, though, is that this is just one more problem with a Proton upper stage. The Breeze M has been very problematic for Khrunichev. And the Block DM hasn’t been exactly stellar either. I don’t know what’s going on there, but I do know that they have a history of being much less than forthcoming with data. I suspect these continuing failures without clear explanations will cost them more and more in the commercial market as time goes by. If I were contemplating buying a ride on a Proton right now, I would want to hear some very frank talk from the Russians. It will be interesting to see if they eventually get it. They’re still very much fighting the cold war in Moscow.

Time to quit. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife employment agency job opportunity: sunglasses-stealing monkey!

See you tomorrow.

Picnic tree

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Here’s a beautiful place where LRN4 and I ate our lunch during a recent hike.  What a beautiful tree!  Part of my famous Hiking series.

Only two days since my last post!  That’s some kind of a record for me, lately.

And nothing has happened in that time.  So let’s see if we can make something out of nothing.

I sat on a board of review for two young men in our Scout troop tonight.  That’s something!  One made Life and the other made First Class.  Both very nice young men.

Also worked, slept, ate, commuted, and did a bit of LDS Tools work.

Oh, my update to Morse Trainer was approved and released by Apple yesterday.  Yea!  I wonder if I’ve gotten any downloads yet (besides myself).  Hold on, I’ll take a look.

I’m back.  Sorry, no updates since Sunday.  So I guess I have to wait until next Sunday to find out.  I know I have at least one fan, though.  And that’s enough for me.  Plus my Loyal Readers, of course.

Missed a weekend party at LRN5’s place.  I saw a very brief video of the event and it looks like it was a lot of fun.  Sorry we couldn’t be there, LRN5!  As compensation, LRN12 is coming tomorrow to stay with us for a few days.  We’re really looking forward to that – it’s been quite a long time since we’ve seen her!

No condo yet.  One of our two offers was outbid by somebody else.  We’re still waiting to hear about the second, which is actually our first choice.  Fingers crossed.  If we miss it, though, another one will be along.  Just like buses.

And that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency opportunity: escaping ostrich!

See you tomorrow.

Indian Joe

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Here’s the Indian Joe Trail at the Sunol Regional Wilderness park.  It wasn’t all that grassy.  Or smooth.  Or level.  But it was all pretty.  Part of my famous Hiking series.

Hasn’t been as long as usual since I last wrote! I’m turning over a new leaf! Maybe!

Very busy day today, followed by a very busy evening. I had to get everything at work in ship-shape shape for my vacation. Now I have to get everything at home in ship-shape shape too. Must pack, get another movie on my iPad (Johnny English, a very funny movie starring Rowan Atkinson, who, when he’s good, is very, very good), get the LDS Tools test team working at top speed and efficiency, and maybe do some other things that I can’t remember right now. But I have them written down! In Toodledo!

Which is turning out to be a to-do list program that I think I like. I finally found one!  Highly recommended, even though it’ll cost you a couple bucks.  Worth it.

Otherwise, nothing going on.  Talked with LRN3 a couple of times during the last few days.  He’s doing pretty well and things are looking up for LRN15 and him.  Hi, there, Loyal Readers!

Time to get ready to go to the Water Winter Wonderland!  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife employment agency job opportunity: time-traveling chimps!

See you tomorrow.