Archive for July, 2010

Tree tunnel

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Here’s LRN2 standing in a tunnel.  Through a tree.  Odd, that.  This particular tree tunnel is in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  Apparently, the folks who owned the place long before it became a state park got a bit worried when the good people at Yosemite got a tree tunnel of their own.  So they made this one.  You used to be able to drive your Model T through it.  Sadly, I didn’t have a Model T, so I wasn’t able to find out if it’s still okay.  Part of my famous Camping series.

No post yesterday.  I had a church meeting and then got busy.  Sorry about that, Loyal Readers.

Greetings from Palmdale!  We had a good trip down here today.  Left a day early for the vacation.  I needed to deliver an instrument on loan to our folks at the base down here, so I opted to courier it myself.  So my job today was taking the package here.  Got the company squared away and us halfway to the Grand Canyon.  Now we have a six-hour drive tomorrow, rather than the 12 hours we were expecting.  Still have to do twelve hours on Sunday, but some things can’t be helped.

We visited the base museum this afternoon.  Saw a bunch of airplanes and other cool stuff.  They have an SR-71 outside.  Also a B-52.  And an A-10 and an F-4 and a bunch of other planes.  Also an F-22, inside the museum’s hangar.  Looks pretty cool.

Then we checked into the Embassy Suites, where I stayed the last time I was here.  It’s nice and new and very pleasant.  Then we had dinner at Outback, where we all came away totally stuffed.  I’m just now beginning to not feel bloated.  It’s so hard to eat well on the road.

Anyway.  It’s pretty much time for bed, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: yet another burrito attack!  This one hits a bit too close to home.

See you tomorrow.

White clothes

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Here are LRN1 and his companion in front of the local chapel with a father and his daughter who were being baptized last Saturday. How exciting! LRN1 is the tall one there in the back. Duh. LRN1 baptized the dad. It’s his first!  Looks to me like a good man.  LRN1 says he is.

But what’s up with the kid with the two hats flashing gang sign?  At a baptism?  Must be a good boy’s gang.  Love the flip-flops, LRN1.  I guess it beats getting athlete’s foot or jungle fever or whatever you get from running around barefoot down there.

Anyway, congratulations to LRN1 and his companion.  But most importantly, welcome to our new Guatemalan brother and sister in the Gospel.  No more strangers and foreigners, etc.

Greetings from the train. I’m trying out the WordPress iPhone app. We’ll see if it works.

My. It’s been a few days since I last wrote. Had a busy weekend, if not exactly the way I had envisioned it beforehand. Spent most of Friday cleaning out the pantry with LRN4. We had a moth infestation (for the second or third time) and went through everything. I hope we got ’em all this time. We threw away a ton of contaminated food. Disgusting. I really mean it.

Spent a lot of Saturday working on computers. Larry, my upstairs media center and household media server, had its Windows installation crap out. I tried everything to fix it, sadly without success. So I pulled off all its files (took about 24 hours), reformatted its hard drives, and installed Linux. It’s now in my office serving as the media file server and a nice development machine for me. I moved Cooper, my old G4 Mac Mini into the loft to assume Larry’s media center duties. It does everything well, except that Netflix won’t run on a G4 machine. So I ordered a Roku box for it today. It shipped already, so it just might get here before our vacation starts on Wednesday. Also ordered a Front Row remote for it on Thursday or Friday, since G4 Minis don’t have an infrared receiver of their own. It’s a pretty nice setup at this point.

Took a lot of time and work, though, so I didn’t get much else done over the weekend. Had fun, though.

I have a piece of equipment that needs to be couriered down to our airplane this week, so I’ve volunteered to take it down on Wednesday. That’s good for the program and good for us, since it leaves us only about six hours away from our Thursday vacation destination. Makes Thursday’s travel time much easier to do and makes Wednesday evening some vacation time as well. Looking forward to it.

That’s right, this week is Grand Canyon week! We’ll be spending our first and third nights in Williams, Arizona and our second night in the National Park. Taking a two-hour train trip each way which, as I sit on my three-hours-a-day train ride, makes it seem like a bit of a busman’s holiday for me. But I love trains, so it’s not a problem. I’m looking forward to an entertaining ride.

Nothing much else going on, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: pork rind attack!

See you tomorrow.

Market blogger

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Here’s your Loyal Blogger in the market back in Leninsk, Kazakhstan.  Great Art taken way back in 2000 when I was a bit younger and a bit thinner.

No post yesterday.  I got busy and just never got to it.  As predicted, LRN2 and I have gone totally native in LRN4’s absence.  It’ll be a pretty uncivilized place around here by the time she gets back.

Speaking of which, she should have gotten back from her hike today.  Hopefully, she came through it well.  If there were horrible news, I imagine I’d have been informed by now.  So I’m feeling pretty confident about her chances of making it home on Saturday.  Which is only two days away!  The time is flying by.  For us at least.  Sitting here in our air-conditioned comfort.  And sleeping in our soft, fluffy beds.  And eating like kings  Or at least like pigs, anyway.  And swimming in the pool when we feel like it.  And playing with our computers.  And watching TV.  Et cetera.  The days just fly by.

Anyway. Pretty good day today.  Work was uneventful, the commutes were both uneventful, and it’s been a quiet, peaceful evening.  LRN2 and I went to the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet this evening.  The food there is good.  Not great, but good.  Pretty good value for the money.  Nothing to get excited about, though.  But good.  I think we’ll go out somewhere modest again tomorrow night.  Maybe Mexican.  Father and son togetherness, don’t you know.

Tomorrow’s off Friday, so the weekend’s here.  Lots to do.  I have everything in my beloved iPhone, so I won’t bother enumerating here.  Suffice it to say that filters will be involved.  And lots of work on computers.  Lots of it.  I’ll try to mention accomplishments as they come up.

Had a bit of frustration this evening.  I had been thinking about my television situation and had decided I would rather have Larry (my loft-based video file server and TV driver) sitting in a back room serving files and something else to drive the TV.  My mind went immediately to Cooper, my old G4-based Mac Mini.  I spent several hours getting it set up just perfectly, including saving its video library to Moe.  It took a bunch of research and work, but I finally had it ready.  I even ordered a really cool remote control for it.  Just a couple more tests to confirm things.  And . . . Netflix won’t work on it.  Because it’s a G4.  Also won’t work on Linux boxes.  Sigh.  So Larry and Cooper stay where they are, and I’ll have a nice remote control in my office.  Double sigh.

Anyway.  I’m certain something good will come of it.  Maybe I can at least figure out a way to make it easier to get content onto Larry.  Right now, I copy files onto its hard drive and then have to drag them into iTunes separately so the AppleTV can see them.  There must be an easier way.  I have a few ideas.

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

See you tomorrow.

Office furniture

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Here’s a picture of my new office furniture.  Actually, I only wish it were.  It’s part of an artistic display in the office of the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in Pennsylvania.  Great Art taken during our October 2005 camping trip and part of my famous Camping series.  And what the heck, let’s call it part of my famous Workbench series too.  A desk is sort of a bench.  And work gets done there.  So it’s a workbench.  Sort of.

Anyway.  Extreme short shrift.  I’ve been reading an iPhone developer book and downloading iPhone developer documentation from the Apple website and now it’s late.  I have very short evenings on weeknights.  That’s part of the price I pay for living here in beautiful Lardville.  Which I don’t regret.  But my evenings are still short.

The book I’ve been reading is on a very cool website called books24x7.  It’s a pay site, and I haven’t paid.  However, my employer has paid, and they’ve opened it up to all interested employees.  I have a huge backlog of books I plan to read, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg.  The one I’ve started reading is called Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK by Dave Mark and Jeff LeMarche.  I’m impressed so far.  Time will tell.

If I end up not liking it, there are several other iPhone development titles there.  Cool.

The iPhone project continues to go well.  I’ve having a great time and really coming the like the people involved.  I believe our app is going to be extremely popular, especially once the for-pay alternative ceases to exist (which will happen, sadly, because it violates the church’s terms of service for their website).  I think it would be extremely popular anyway, as it’s free and is already as good as the alternative (which I have on my iPhone) and will become much better as time goes by.

I’m really impressed with the Church’s software development team.  They are really driven – they certainly don’t mess around.  They work hard, develop a lot of really cool things, and release very frequently.  Very impressive.  It’s really fun to be involved with them.

They’ve recently released their own IDE (integrated development environment, for my non-computer-scientist Loyal Readers).  I haven’t installed it on anything yet, but I’m planning to put it on my development Linux machine this weekend and check it out.  As I understand it, it’s Eclipse-based and focused on Java, which I’m not focused on.  But I might be encouraged.  I’m open for suggestions.  Anyway, check out the Church’s tech website!

LRN2 and I have had a quiet evening together.  We’ve been sitting around the family room playing with our laptops.  Kind of pathetic, but we like it.  LRN2’s working on his web comic and I’ve been working on my iPhone development project and am now blogging, as you might guess.

And that’s about it.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: sandwich down the pants!

See you tomorrow.

Cannes boats

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Here’s the view from my hotel window in Cannes, France one day in 2002.  I wouldn’t mind having one of them there yachits.  Part of my famous Machinery series.

Lonely day.  LRN1 left for Young Women camp this morning.  LRN2 and I are here all alone tonight.  How sad.  We had a nice dinner of beanie weenies (don’t laugh – they were tasty) and went swimming  and jacuzzifying for home evening.  Then we came inside, got changed, and had a nice big bowl of ice cream.  Now we’re fiddling around with our computers.  So were lonely but having a fairly nice time.  We sincerely hope LRN4’s having a great time too.

The weekend was enjoyable, but a bust as far as my to-do list was concerned.  I did get the pond filter cleaned and my talk written, but that was about it.  Went to six hours of church (two wards – the one where I spoke and my own) and made two home teaching visits and went to dance instruction and the youth dance on Saturday evening and stayed incredible busy otherwise.  No complaints.  I think I’ll have plenty of time to do my hobby stuff this coming weekend, it being an off Friday and all.

LRN2’s been keeping himself busy with drawing today.  I’m really looking forward to seeing his website come up.  We still need to work on getting it ready.  Maybe Friday!

Got some work done today.  We all received an email from our program manager this afternoon, informing us that we were going to be receiving a monetary reward for the missile shootdown event we achieved in February either this week or next.  He of course didn’t mention how much, so now I’m dying to know.  LRN2 thinks it’ll be ten million dollars.  I doubt it some, but I’d certainly accept it.  I’m thinking more like a few hundred bucks, about half of which will be withheld in taxes.  I’ll either buy something pretty for myself (a couple of books, maybe – or even an iPhone 4 if it’s enough money!) or use it to pay bills.  Probably should do the latter.  Might not, though.

Heard from LRN1 this afternoon, as usual.  He’s doing pretty well – still struggling with the companion relationship a bit.  He’s doing his best and I’m positive things will work together for his good.  This is great experience and it sounds like he’s having the time of his life.

And it’s way past bedtime already.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife employment opportunity: fire-watching gorilla!

See you tomorrow.