Archive for February, 2011

Lawn lantern

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Here’s an artsy shot of a solar-powered lantern in our back yard.  Solar powered night-time lighting might seem a bit counterintuitive, until we mention that batteries are involved.  Part of my famous Statue series.  Admittedly a bit far-fetched, but work with me on this.

A few more days have gone by without any posts.  Sigh.  I’m starting to wonder whether I’ll ever get back to daily posts.  Probably not.  The outcry is deafening, Loyal Readers.

Nothing much to report, though.  Got up, commuted, worked, commuted, ate, went to bed.  Exciting!

So let’s talk about what’s coming up.  Let’s see – we’re going to Half Moon Bay with some friends in a week.  That ought to be fun.  We’ll be spending Friday and Saturday nights.  We’ve rented a house together.  LRN4 and I have high hopes for a nice, relaxing weekend.

Speaking of spending money, my beloved pickup is going to the shop Sunday night for a Monday repair.  It’s leaking antifreeze, so let’s hope it’s a hose or maybe even the radiator.  I guess the water pump (my uneducated guess, since I haven’t done more than open the hood to look at it) would be way better than the head gasket.  Please don’t let it be the head gasket!

Anyway.  Then there’s the (probably) previously mentioned trip back to Salt Lake at the end of March for the annual two-day LDS Tech Conference.  Looking forward to that one too.

Anything else?  Well, we’re planning on going to Michigan sometime in the summer.  And a Hawaiian cruise sometime early next year – maybe right before LRN1 gets home from his mission, which will be in February.  Details will be filled in as the events get closer.

Not much planned this weekend, though.  It’s been raining and cold for a couple of days, and tomorrow’s supposed to possibly be snowing(!) overnight and early in the morning, but turning nicer as the day goes on.  Probably still won’t be able to wash the cars, though.  Or work on the yard.  Might be able to clean the filters, though.  We’ll see.  I also have a TON of programming I want to do.  Plus work on LRN4’s website.  I have a few nagging issues that still haven’t been taken care of.

And that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: self-stabbed donut robber!

See you on Monday.

Gallo stage

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Here’s the stage at the Gallo Center, all set up for Al Jarreau to perform.  In fact, this Great Art was taken during his show’s intermission.  Slightly fuzz Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone cam and part of my brand-new-but-already-famous Event series.

Extreme short shrift.  It’s practically 10:00 already.  I’ve been answering LDS Tools emails all evening.  Getting to be a bit of a habit.  Not one I really want to foster, though.

Thursday night’s Al Jarreau concert was great!  He’s old and really hobbling around, but his voice is still great, his band was outstanding, and he was a lot of fun.  LRN4 and I were among the youngest people there, I suspect.  Sadly, the place wasn’t anywhere near full.  True shame, that.  But that just means we were part of an elite group, right?  One amusing moment – partway through the concert, Al said he had to go to the bathroom and left.  We had a brief intermission, and he came back and started back up.  I guess when you’re 70, you have that right.

The weekend was quiet.  Also rainy.  So I didn’t have get to clean filters, trim the lawn, or do pretty much anything else outside.  I spent most of Friday answering our huge backlog of LDS Tools emails – probably about a hundred.  Saturday, I made a lot of good progress on my new app.  Still have a few evenings of programming to do on that one, plus artwork.  Sunday, LRN4 and I did our income taxes.  Good news – we’re getting some money back!  Bad news – none of it is for you, Loyal Readers!

LRN4 has joined Facebook.  I finally talked her into it as a way to connect with friends who might be interested in reading her blog.  Read, Loyal Readers!

And that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food-related disaster: sour cream crash!

See you tomorrow.

Dragon ride

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Here’s a great dragon on the carousel in the mall in beautiful Tracy, California – not too far from Lardville.  We took a walk through the mall after dinner a few weeks ago.  We should have taken a ride.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Statue series.

Missed a couple of days again.  Sorry about that.  I’m just so . . . busy?  No, that’s not it.  Important?  No, not quite there yet.  Lazy?  Aha!

Although not all that much is new.  We enjoyed our weekend with LRN12, as always.  And we were pretty much exhausted by the time she went home.  So it was good that her mom came and got her on Sunday evening.  LRN4 got to test out a bunch of  activities for her website on LRN12, which was fun and productive at the same time.  She also took a bunch of pictures – so many, in fact, that the girl who loves to have her picture taken actually seemed to get a bit sick of it.

I didn’t really accomplish anything else over the weekend.  Yeepers.  Maybe more will get done this weekend, which is already just about upon us, this being my off-Friday week.  We’re going to see Al Jarreau Thursday night at the Gallo Center.  Hopes are high, but I fear it will be too loud.  Hopefully, the Jarreau-loving crowd has a lower tolerance for aural pain, and the artist behaves accordingly.  But we’ll probably bring earplugs, just in case.  Also binoculars.  We’re in the very last row of the very last balcony.  Cheap seats indeed.  It ought to sound about the same way up there anyway.

Not much else planned for the weekend yet.  It’s been raining off and on, and promises to continue to do so through Saturday.  So no lawn mowing, filter cleaning, or car washing.  Dang.  After a sunny Sunday, it’s supposed to start raining again on Monday.

I signed up for our annual free trip to Great America yesterday.  The company rents out the park for a Saturday shortly before it opens to the public for the summer, which is a nice little thing for them to do.  They buy 20,000 tickets and give them all away to employees.  The park’s capacity is significantly higher than that, so the lines are generally more or less reasonable too.  Assuming all the rides are open, which was pretty much the case last year.  The year before that, not so much.  In fact, just about everything was closed that year, it seemed.  At least all the good rides were closed.

Speaking of which, I’ve discovered my tolerance for roller coasters has greatly diminished in my old middle age.  Things that really jerk you around tend to hurt my back, and my stomach gets less and less tolerant of being whipped around too.  I guess it’s the carousel for me.  Sigh.  The good old Blue Streak certainly wouldn’t bother me, though.  That’s got to be the best roller coaster in the world.  You simply can’t wipe the smile off your face when you get off of that one.

Anyway.  I’m looking forward to our day at Great America.  Maybe I’ll ride the kiddie coaster.  We’re going in mid-March, so hopefully the rain will have abated by then.  At least on that one day, anyway.

Nothing else to report and I should be going to bed.  So I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: frozen steak assault!

See you tomorrow.

Alligator cake

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Here’s LRN12 with her fourth birthday cake, courtesy of LRN4.  Pretty fancy, that.  In fact, it’s so good that I’m declaring it a part of my famous Statue series.

No post yesterday, even after I committed on Tuesday to post every day.  Oops.  Got busy doing nothing useful last night.

Good week so far.  I haven’t really accomplished anything useful on my upcoming iPhone app, although I did find a couple of things that won’t work.  That’s progress, in an very Edisonian way.  I’m still looking for a place my app can go on the interwebs to get a constant flow of English text.  I’ve tried the public Twitter feed (excellent format, too much non-English, too much gibberish, and too much profanity) and a random Wikipedia page generator (too many links, but I might be able to make it work anyway).  Any other ideas, Loyal Readers?  The text has to be constantly available and always different.

LRN4 is making great progress on her website, and it’s now ready for public consumption.  It’s called Shannon’s Book Nook and it’s for parents/grandparents/others who want to read with their children.  She’s recommending excellent books (just picture books so far, but she’s planning to branch out to books for older kids too) and providing fun, simple activities related to each book for a little bit of education and a lot of fun.  Highly recommended.  Go have a look.  I command you.

Well, I just discovered I already plugged LRN4’s website in my last post.  Doesn’t make any difference.  Go there again.

I’ve been watching old Get Smart TV shows on the train when I have nothing better to do (or when I don’t feel like doing anything better).  Great fun.  I was watching them on my computer, but realized it might be a bit easier to use my iPad for that, so I loaded a bunch of shows on it and I’ve really been enjoying them.  I have lots of them.  Plus a bunch of F Troops and Hogan’s Heroes.  And some other stuff too.  I have no shortage of entertainment.

Speaking of which, I don’t know if I mentioned an interesting little E-book I’ve been reading.  It’s called Safecracking for Computer Scientists.  The premise is that they teach you how safes are protected against thieves and how thieves try to overcome the defenses, with the idea that there are analogies in how you protect software/websites against hackers.  One of the things I’ve learned (that I probably already knew, come to think of it) is that there is no such thing as a burglar-proof safe.  Safes are rated only by how long it should take a competent professional safecracker to get into them.  There’s also the question of whether evidence of the break-in is left.  There truly are very interesting analogies to software security design.  I’d kind of like to become a safecracking software security expert.  Maybe some day.  There are so many things I would like to do.  Did I mention I’d like to become a rich, successful iPhone developer?  Emphasis on the rich.

Anyway.  Let’s see what else is going on.  Oh, LRN12 is coming for the weekend.  She arrives tomorrow, and we’re excited to have her over.  LRN4 has plenty of book-related activities to test out on her (she doesn’t realize she’s being used as a human guinea pig – bwaa ha ha!) and we just love to have her around.  It’s pretty quiet with just the two of us around here.  Not that that’s a bad thing, of course.

LRN2 is doing pretty well at school.  He’s getting much better at taking care of himself, which is a skill we all need to learn at some point.  I knew he’d do fine, and he is!

I’ve decided to go back to Salt Lake City at the end of March.  The church is having a developers’ conference the two days before general conference.  Our project will be discussed in detail and we’ll be recruiting new team members, which we can always use.  Have all my Loyal Readers with iOS devices downloaded our project?  It’s called LDS Tools and can be found on the App Store.  Absolutely free.  Try it out.  I command you.

Time for dessert and bed.  It’s still way early, but we’ve been getting to bed much too late all week, and I’m exhausted.  So we’re going to bed earlier tonight.  Oh boy!

So I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: stinky chicken bomb!

See you tomorrow.

Dam buster

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Here’s LRN2 breaking a dam and letting all the poor little people downstream go to their watery fate.  Those must be some pretty small people.  Also, that’s a pretty easy dam to break.  Great Art taken at the science museum we visited on Christmas Eve, whatever its name was.

Anyway.  No posts for a week.  Yet again.  I’ve been busy, as usual.  On the other hand, there’s not much to tell.  Yet again.  I’m getting up, commuting, working, eating, programming, and going to bed.  Things could be worse, though.

I have been spending quite a bit of time on the old programming gig.  Mostly, I’ve been working on LRN4’s website.  Some refinements are still needed, but it’s looking good and working well and it has gone live!  Check out Shannon’s Book Nook!  And tell a friend.  Tell lots of friends.  Buy all our playsets and toys.  Do it now.

I’ve also made good progress on my new iPhone app.  Got the UI done, with the possible exception of some simple graphics for the background.  Now I have to figure out how to get a datastream into it.  From Twitter to you.  That’s my plan.  I found an API that ought to get me what I need.  Just have to figure out how to implement it.  I’m hoping to spend a few minutes on that tonight.  I’d like to get the app done and submitted within a week or so.

Then on to my next app idea.  Don’t have one yet, but I’m sure something will come to me.  I think I need ideas that have a bit more mass market appeal.  Also that will make me filthy stinking rich.  So far, only I’m filthy and stinking.  Two out of three!

We’ve had a bit of nice weather here in Lardville for the past week or so.  It’s been sunny and quite warm, considering the season.  The weekend days were pretty much at or a bit over 70 degrees, about which I can’t complain.  Turned quite windy today, with the high maybe up to 60.  It felt positively cold.

I stayed home from work today with a bit of a sick stomach.  Feeling much better by this evening, so I’ll be back to work tomorrow.  I enjoyed lazing around a bit.  Maybe a bit too much, in fact.  Just exactly when can I retire?

Had our friend Art over for dinner again last night.  He’s spending his Monday evenings with us until his wife gets home, which might be a few more weeks.  We enjoy his visits.  Last night, he brought a bunch of stuff he collected during his mission to Japan a few many years ago, and he gave us a very interesting little briefing on the subject.  Really enjoyed it.

Well, that’s about it for today.  I’ll try to get back to writing every weekday.  In the meantime, I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife employment opportunity:  airport-dwelling monkey!  (Bonus secondary employment opportunity: monkey-adopted raccoon.)

See you tomorrow.