Archive for January, 2007


Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Now there’s the way a campfire ought to be. Nice and tall. This picture is from a few years ago, somewhere in the east. We sure loved all that green. But we sure didn’t love all that humidity.

Reason for yet another old camping picture: we’re finally planning a family campout. It’s not until April, but it will last the better part of a week. We’d love to go towards Yosemite and the mountains east of here, but it appears that everything worth visiting is snow-covered in April and thus uncampable. Instead, we’re looking into Big Sur and its surrounding area. Giant redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, and other such landscape stuff. Sounds great. We’ll hit Yosemite a little later in the year.l

Nothing else tonight. I didn’t have my church meeting today because it’s the fifth Wednesday, and we don’t meet on the fifth Wednesday, so there was no church meeting. I remembered this on my way to the meeting, of course, but I made the trip useful by gassing up. There was no time for blogging, though, because Loyal Reader Number Four wanted my opinion on campgrounds. If we’re going to go, we need to make a decision and get a reservation pronto, I suspect. Even though April is definitely not prime camping season around here, we’re talking about going during spring break week, so it may well be busy.

Didn’t feel well this afternoon and evening. It must be something I ate. So, I’m heading for bed. See you tomorrow.

Electronic campout

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Here’s a shot of Loyal Readers Numbers One and Two from a campout many moons ago in Virginia. The Loyal Readers are engaging in the typical outdoorsy activity of playing games on their Palms. Good Loyal Readers. This picture was definitely taken with my original lousy digital camera. Very poor quality, yet outstanding content, I think we’ll all agree.

I believe that campout was at Jellystone Park up in the Virginia mountains near Luray. It was a beautiful area. We went to see the caverns, which were okay but not on the scale of Carlsbad or Timpanogos. They were the only caverns I’ve ever seen with their own stalacpipe organ.

The thing I remember most about that trip, though, is that the campground wasn’t far from a restaurant called Cooter’s Place. It was owned and operated by Ben Jones, who played Cooter on The Dukes of Hazzard. That particular weekend there was some kind of General Lee-fest. There must have been fifty General Lees in the parking lot. Very impressive.

Short post tonight, as it’s already late. I just got back from my new member discussion with my friend Danny. Danny’s a relatively young guy – probably about 21 – who is very pleasant and really likes to talk. He’s just beginning to get a grasp on what we believe in. We had a really nice talk.

Drove the Miata to work, as scheduled. I did a little bit (well, seventy miles) of top-down motoring on the way home. It was just a little cool. My leather jacket does a great job of keeping me warm, but my head was just slightly uncomfortable. I kept the heater vents blowing on my hands, so they were fine. I drove the old Miata top-down in much colder weather than this, so I can’t complain. It’s supposed to be a little cooler tomorrow, so I’ll probably keep the top up. Either way, the car’s turning out to be a pleasure to drive. Not as comfortable and luxurious as the Sable, certainly, but a pleasure nonetheless.

Not much else to report. I was pretty busy at work today and accomplished very few things from my list. I need to drag out of bed early for a few days and get there at 7:00 or so if I want to avoid the workload getting overwhelming. Sigh.

So, I’m off to bed. See you tomorrow.


Monday, January 29th, 2007

In keeping with the spirit of last Friday’s post, here’s another one of those strange statues from Monaco. I have more. And I’m not afraid to use them, so don’t cross me.

And by the way, I just checked and discovered that yesterday’s and today’s pictures were actually taken by my friend Doug with his very nice Olympus camera. He just set the file sizes way too small. Sorry for the confusion.

Good weekend, all things considered. I got a few things done, strangely. Saturday, I tore the Sable’s brakes back apart and put anti-squeak goo and high-temperature lubricant on, as discussed previously. They still squeak, but not nearly as badly. I have no idea what else to do other than buy different brake pads. These were Napa’s best, though, so anything else would be a step backwards, at least in theory. Sigh.

I also – dum, dum, de dum! – got the HRVA website up. Have a look! Register if so inclined. Sadly, formerly registered members will once again have to re-register. I really think this will be the last time, though. And tell me what you think about it, especially design-wise. There are all kinds of things I can do, and it’s quite plain now, so ideas are most welcome.

Made a little more progress on the Gardenville website too. It’s fully operational. Now it’s time to start adding content. It’s getting a little hard to maintain all these websites, and I haven’t even started on Spinfo. I don’t even know what its topic will be. Any ideas?

Early Sunday morning, I attended my first Stake mission correlation meeting. Actually, it was the first one to which they’ve invited the Ward Mission Leaders. It was a pretty useful meeting and helped me focus on a few administrative things I need to keep up with. I managed to get our Ward clerk to give me the correct permissions on the ward’s computer on Sunday afternoon, so now I can do what I need to do.

Add three home teaching visits, an hour of jacuzzifying on Saturday evening while Loyal Readers Numbers One and Two had a few friends over to watch Nacho Libre, and that about covers my weekend.

Drove the Sable to work today, but the Miata’s going tomorrow and probably the day after. I really like having the choice. Call me strange, but I find the Sable comfortable, powerful, quiet, and reasonably luxurious. It handles surprisingly well too. I really like driving it. As a contrast, there’s the noisy, windy, great-handling, relatively primitive, cool, fun Miata. Life’s good right now.

And I need to go to bed now. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Silver guy

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Here’s some Great Art I saw in Monte Carlo a few years back. They were having a Weird Outdoor Sculpture competition, apparently. The substandard photo quality is due to the use of my very first digital camera, which was unmitigated junk. But it was cheap. So that’s something. Look for other Weird Sculptures in future posts

Drove the Miata to work today. It was warm enough on the way home to put the top down, but that had to wait until I was coming into Tracy. It was raining in Sunnyvale. Curses! Found a few little things that need attention, but that’s to be expected.

We went to Loyal Reader Number One’s piano recital in a nice performance theater at Modesto Junior College this evening. It was really nice! There were about twenty-five students, each of whom played one piece. The unique thing was that they were all quite advanced students and each of the pieces was beautiful. It was basically a very pleasant concert. The individual performers weren’t announced, so there was very little non-music time and zero blathering piano teacher time. All in all, a very nice evening. Loyal Reader Number Four likened it to a minor-league ball game. Apt simile.

By the way, the MJC campus was kind of nice. The buildings all seemed old but in good repair, which is the way I like ’em. Except for houses. Unless it’s a mansion, give me a brand new house every time.

Big Saturday plans. Loyal Readers Numbers One and Two are going to the Merit Badge Midway in Tracy and LRN4 is going to a Relief Society luncheon. I’m staying home and reworking the Sable’s brakes. And then I might do a little bit of something on the Miata – perhaps replace the cruise control switch, or maybe replace the driver’s door lock on the Suburban. So many options.

Better head to bed. Watch for updates to Gardenville and maybe even some action on the HRVA this weekend! See you on Monday.

It’s here!

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

In honor of today’s Blessed Arrival of the old vintage Miata, here’s the view from all the other cars on the road. Now that’s Great Art. The car’s just crude enough to feel like an old British roadster, but nice enough to be reliable and pretty cool. There are a few things that need fixing, of course, seeing as how it’s fifteen years old, but it’s in remarkably good condition. And did I mention it’s beautiful?

And that’s about all the news this evening. I worked on the Gardenville website a little bit this afternoon and evening. Got Loyal Reader Number One’s Arduino article playing the movie we made and he made some other updates and corrections. I also noticed that Loyal Reader Number Seven had registered, so I approved the registration and you’re good to go, LRN7! Strangely, the system never notified me you had registered, or I would have approved it right away (of course). I’ll have to figure out why I didn’t get the email. Probably some setting that’s not quite right. Or maybe something else.

The other thing I can’t seem to figure out how to make it do is let me use multiple fonts in a single article – LRN1 wants his code snippets to show up in a non-proportional font, as is the standard in programming textbooks. I’m trying to do it in what we like to call The Right Way, using styles defined in Cascading Style Sheets. I can define the style I want just fine, but I can’t figure out how to tell Drupal to change styles in the middle of an article. My fallback position is to go to the HTML tag, but that’s deprecated, don’t you know. How gauche.

Anyway. Time for bed. See you tomorrow with a report on the first drive to Sunnyvale.