Done and Done

| Monday, December 29, 2008
Yes, I am officially done. The only thing not yet official is my diploma - I am still waiting on that to come in the mail. Other than that, I am working full time and not doing any more schooling for the time being. It is a nice and relaxing feeling right now and I am very much enjoying it. My brother's wife, Christie, and my wife planned a graduation surprise party for us on the 26th of December with several of my family and friends attending. I would say it was a great event, but unfortunately, I was down and out the whole day, with a lot of it spent in the bathroom :). I felt really bad, but I understood that everyone had a good time and BJ ate my share of food. Thanks to Christie and to my wife for the great time. Here is the video that my wife put together for the party!

video

Oh yeah, I have been enjoying lots of sports programming with my time off, specifically bowl games. Only another 5 days to the big Utah game. I am so excited.

Joining The Century

| Sunday, December 28, 2008
I haven't written for a while, but I am going to try to do better. Just wanted to make a quick post that we have officially joined the century (according to my mother). Santa was nice and brought us cell phones (and kind enough to land me with the monthly bill). Here is the phone that I got:





The big difference between mine and this is that it is white. All the same, if you want my number, then let me know. We are with the cheapest guys (T-Mobile). I guess now people can always find me...This is my first time ever owning a cell phone, so we shall see how it goes.

Forgotten

| Friday, December 12, 2008
No, I haven't forgotten to write on my blog, I just haven't had a lot of time and I haven't know what to write about. I wanted to quickly write about one of the things I love most about the holiday season. It was a tradition that every other year, my family would go to see "The Forgotten Carols" by Micheal McLean. It has been a few years (4 or 5) since I was last able to attend, so this year Anna I decided to go. We absolutely loved it.

If you have never been or heard the carols, I strongly recommend that you try to go next year (it is already complete this year here in Utah). The songs are wonderful and I love them, but there is simply a different spirit with seeing the whole story that you can't get from listening to the songs or reading the book. I found my favorite of the carols that someone made a video of, and have posted it here as well.



I absolutely love The Forgotten Carols.

Good to be a Utah Fan

| Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It sure is a good time to be a Utah fan. I got a few more pictures from a coworker and thought they were pretty funny. Hope you enjoy them.








Just so you know, I am not a BYU hater. I enjoy watching them play, but I have to admit that the "Quest for Perfection" at the beginning of the season was pretty pathetic. These pictures are great for that.

And yes, that is the motab singing!

A Smart BYU Fan

| Thursday, November 20, 2008

There really are smart BYU fans out there. However, a large majority have gone overboard this year I think. I am referring to mainly younger fans. The older fans are a little more conservative in their cheering. Anyways, I got this e-mail from a friend. His brother wrote it.

I am a huge BYU fan. I have been a BYU fan all of my life and truly love to see them do well. I have defended them for years when my Utah friends and wife put them down. More difficult is defending the BYU fans when they do stupid things. They seem to be dumber this year than ever. It was bad enough to start the year with the quest for perfection shirts, however, we were not selling them to other schools or pushing them elsewhere. It was just for us. The fact that I have heard of so many BYU fans still arguing that we could go to a BCS game if we beat Utah is getting out of hand however, and encouraging everyone to realize BYU fans are dumb. We are starting to sound ridiculous. There is no way we are going to a BCS game.

I have followed this season closely, watching BYU and most of the other conferences big games. I think I have a pretty good grasp of the teams. The following is a best case scenario for the Y. This means the people who the Y needs to lose, lose a plausible game. I do not think that Florida will lose to the Citadel or Ohio State lose to MI. Here are the numbers.

1 Tech B12 Champ
2 Florida SEC Champ
3 / 11-1 Texas
4 / 11-1 USC
5 / 9-2 Ohio State (will not lose to MI)
6 / 11 -2 Bama (L-Florida)
7 / 10-2 Oklahoma (L-TTech)
8 / 10-2 Penn State (L-MichState)
9 / 11-1 Boise State (L-FresnoState)
10 / 11-1 BYU (W-Utah)
11 / 11-1 Utah (L-BYU)
12/ 9-3 Georgia (L-Georgia Tech)
13/ 9-3 OkState (L-Oklahoma)
14/ 9-2 MO (L-Kansas)


Champ Florida v T-Tech
Orange N-Carolina v. Cincinnati
Sugar Texas v. USC
Rose OregState v. Michigan State
Fiesta
Ohio State
Bama
Boise State
BYU

Penn State & Oklahoma would not go because the Big 10 and Big 12 would already be twice represented.

There is no reason to think that BYU would leapfrog Utah even if we beat them. Nor would Boise state losing ensure that we leapfroged them. There is a 5 rank difference between us and Boise State and we would both only have one loss. However, in the unlikely event that we somehow leapfrog both Boise State and Utah it is still difficult to see us beating out Bama or O-State when we did not even win our own conference outright.

I guess that really puts it in perspective. If Utah loses, they are going to a BCS game. You think I'm crazy now don't you. Well, that is what all the BYU fans sound like that say that BYU is making the BCS this year. If you want to make a BCS game then you better have an undefeated team (see the 2004 Utes as a good example).

GO UTES!!!!

Do you feel it?

| Monday, November 17, 2008
Have you walked outside today? If so you have probably felt that feeling in the air, the breeze on your face, and the excitement that BYU and Utah are playing this week. The biggest game ever in the rivalries history. This week is already too long. To get things started off though, one of my coworkers passed this picture along to me. I thought it deserved to be put up.


This year is huge, but Utah will win if there offense comes to play. Defense has not been an issue in basically any game. The issue has always been whether not the Ute offense shows up. I wasn't around in 2004 when the team went undefeated (I was in Russia on my mission), so going undefeated would be like a first for me. Let's go Utah! Make this feeling even better!

Proposition Opposition

|
***Update***
I wanted to make sure that people understand that I am not trying to condemn anyone with the below post. I wrote a sentence about being disappointed, and it was not the correct word. I think I am saddened by this issue more than anything. It has caused me to do a lot of thinking about myself and where I stand. Please take a moment to read the comments that have been left as well. I do believe that this issue is a sign of tough times to come and that we must really begin to decide and know what we stand for. Once again, I don't mean to demean anyone by this post and say that I am better than you. I simply wanted to make my opinion known (the whole point of my blog). Thanks to Derek for bringing this to my attention that he found this post offensive.
***End of Update***

It is crazy how worked up people are getting over the passing of Proposition 8. I understand people have their rights to their opinions and I don't think that should be taken away at any point. However, there is one thing that has bothered me more than anything regarding the opposition to the passing of Proposition 8. The thing that has bothered me the most is members of the church who are against Proposition 8.
Proposition 8

Regardless of the issue (meaning gay marriage here) and the fact that I disagree with it morally and do not think that it should be legal, this is not the reason that these people bother me so much. The thing that really bothers me has more to do with a scripture and these people's testimonies. Before I get into that though, I just want to say that I don't think people should be surprised by the stance of the church on this issue (See the Proclamation). I think what has surprised members the most is the focus the church put on Proposition 8 which many consider to be a state issue. Regardless of your thoughts on this, lets look at the scripture:

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
-D&C 1:38

The church's support in this issue has come from the prophet, which has come from the Lord. Thus, by going against Proposition 8, these members are going against the Lord and are ultimately rejecting their own testimonies. It is quite sad that people would reject the spirit and the testimony that they have. However, there were times in earlier church history when people rejected the church and it's beliefs and stances even though they had testimonies. I think that this is another reminder that we must have our testimonies centered in Jesus Christ and in his Atonement. It must be centered on the fact that the Lord is directing us through a living prophet. The Lord knows what He is doing, and He will continue to lead the church.

With all of the above being said, I want to make one thing clear, and that is that I have no hard feelings towards those who wish to live their lifestyle in this way. I disagree with it, but I care for people and I have someone very close to me that leads such a lifestyle. No matter your opinion or belief on the matter there is no need for bigotrous comments. My post is simply to state that I am disappointed in members of the church going against their testimonies.

A resource for the church's involvement and stance is here.

Funny Picture

| Sunday, November 9, 2008
I posted this over on my journal blog but I thought it was a great picture so I am putting it up here as well.

I found this great picture. I think the date was November 8 or something on it. I know it looks gross, but Elder Kirk and I made way too much dinner. We threw it out in the toilet. He had ketchup on his and I had mayonnaise...




This is a classic Russian bathroom. Good times. November 8, 2004.

LALA

| Saturday, October 25, 2008
I recently found out about a very cool music program. It is the online iTunes. Seriously. The site is lala.com. The way it works is you download a little program that will scan your computer for MP3s and then will start the "upload" process.


The way it works is it looks at each song and compares id3 tags (possibly other information) and looks for a copy of the song on the server already. If it finds a copy of the song online already, then you are in luck and you get a song match. Basically, the song is not uploaded, but simply added to your library of songs. If the song isn't found, then it is uploaded and then added to your library (and made available to other libraries). All of the songs are kept in the cloud and available to you at any time that you are connected to the internet. You can see from my screenshot that I had several songs that had to actually be uploaded. That is likely due to the fact that I have a lot of cds from Russia that probably didn't have all the ID3 tags. All the same, it only took about 12 hours to upload the over 500 songs.

Once you have your songs matched and uploaded, then you are set. You can even delete the little program that you had to download to get your songs online (but if you add new music to your collection often, then you are better off keeping the program installed). You can now access your songs from any computer at lala.com. Here is the interface:


Looks a lot like iTunes, and if you had iTunes on your computer then all of your playlists are also uploaded. Convenient. If you can't install anything on your work computer or don't have room for your music, but can access the internet, then you now have all your music available from any computer with a decent connection. Obviously the big downside here is that you have to be online to have access to the music. However, if you always want your music with you, that is what an iPod is for. This is an absolutely free alternative.

Another great service is the ability to listen to any song in FULL one time. How great is that. Now you can fully listen to a song before you decide if you want it or not. Also, if you want to buy music that is available only online then it is only 10 cents (89 if you want to be able to download the MP3 and burn it). Oh yeah, and you get 50 free songs to start. How great is that! Check it out and let me know what you think of the service. I have enjoyed it already and look forward to even more great features. You can follow me by searching for JC under the members section! Look forward to seeing you on there.

Oh yeah, and just as a note:
All four major labels including EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group have agreements with Lala to stream and sell music.

And unlike ad-supported music sites, Lala has garnered support from publishers and over 170,000 independent labels and distributors.

See the full story here.

Are You Kidding Me?

| Thursday, October 16, 2008
Did you hear about this?

How much do you love football? So much you'd cut off a pinky to play it? That's what Trevor Wikre did.

What is the world coming to? This kid has seriously got some issues. He is going to screw up his whole life just to play a little football. Genius. Whatever floats his boat though.

However, does sound like he found the perfect wife:
As Trevor's fiancée, Traci, says, "Of all the body parts he could've taken off, that one wasn't so bad. I feel kinda good about it. I know that if he ever needs to sacrifice for our future, he'll do it."

I don't think my wife would have said this same thing. As I type, I realize that I don't use my pinky to type at all. I use my ring finger(weird, I know), so maybe it would be worth it to give up my pinky if needed...

Debates

| Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well, there isn't much time left until one of the biggest decisions is to be decided by the citizens of the United States. In just a couple of weeks, the final votes will be in and in about 3 weeks, we will know who the new president is. To be honest, until tonight, I have not taken a major look into either campaign, but tonight I watched "The Last Debate" and finally got informed on what is going on. Take a look at these two men:



(Just because O'Bama is on top here does not say anything, I just can't put the two images next to each other)

So, I just wanted to give a couple of thoughts about what I saw tonight.

- First off, McCain could not stop taking shots at O'Bama. Seriously, on every issue it was how O'Bama's plan is a bad one. I wish he would have just talked more about his own issues.

- Health care is an interesting topic for me. I liked what O'Bama had to say about it. I agree that the government needs to give more help in the health care in this country and provide more benefits. I don't think that an additional 5000 dollars will do the job (McCain's plan), but I am not sure.

- I am still confused on the abortion stance of O'Bama. He says that he is against abortion (except when the woman's health is at risk), but I don't know how convinced I am. Aren't the Democrats the pro-abortion in general?

So, I didn't see the first of this debate, so I am not sure what they talked about, but this was certainly interesting. If you want to get even more details about the issues in the next couple of weeks before the polls open, then you can go here.

The last time there was a vote, I was in Russia and unable to vote. This will be my first time voting for President so I feel like I should understand the issue and vote for who best supports what I believe (mainly what the beliefs of the church). I think that either way, this will be one of the biggest voting turnouts of all time and will be maybe one of the most important in the last 30 years. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the debates or the issues.

Morning Snow

| Sunday, October 12, 2008
I just had to get on quickly write that I love to wake up to the snow in the morning. It is probably one of the best things. Especially when you aren't expecting it at all. I grabbed a couple of pictures of it this morning just to post on here.

I have some other posts coming soon as we have fall break this week, so I finally will have some time to write. Oh yeah, and nice win for the Utes. Big game this week against Colorado State, who almost beat TCU (of course TCU may have been looking ahead to a big Thursday game).

Bad Fan, Good Win

| Friday, October 3, 2008

I have to say that I can't be considered a good Utah fan (I am admitting this right now). Last night, I was watching the game and when the Beavers scored with 2 minutes left, I thought the game was over - ok so I thought that maybe Utah could drive down and score a touchdown and get the 2-point conversion, but I wasn't up for watching the overtime. Utah played like crap most of the game, so I was a little upset. Now, if you know me I get way into these games, so I turned it off because I was worrying so much. So I had laid down to go to sleep - one of the main reasons I wasn't going to watch the last couple of minutes is because I was tired - and a couple minutes later I hear: YYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (kind of like thunder).

That's right, all of those Utah fans were cheering after Brian Johnson brought in the two-point conversion. I turned the TV back on and got worried again because there was still a lot of time. Of course, the defense finally stepped it up like it needed, and Louie Sakoda brought home another W for the Utes. Make it 6-0 for the Utes. Louie Sakoda will be the MWC special teams player of the week, and maybe the overall player of the week.

Just as a thought, Oregon State is coming off a good performance last week, so this team was very confident. Even though their record doesn't reflect that, playing a team that played well the previous week is always tough (especially on short rest). You can look at the NY Giants from last year to understand this concept. Record wasn't great, but a solid performance against the best team made them better the last week of the season. Same thing going on here for Oregon State. However, I don't think field rushing was justified. Whatever, glad for a big win this week.

Tooth

| Thursday, September 25, 2008

I know that I said Anna would be bloggin' about her teeth, but she decided against it (I am unsure why). Well, I had to get these pictures from her that she took and put them up. I am not putting them up right on my blog so that you are warned. They are disturbing (they were much more disturbing in the larger quality). So, if you click on the link, you've been warned.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TOOTH


Let me know what you think.

Don't Say This...

| Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I get these things forwarded on to me all the time. Usually I don't look at them (sorry), but I watched this and had a good laugh. My wife really liked it too. Good thing I have never said any of these things.

AWS

| Sunday, September 14, 2008
Before I get in to my main point here, I have to say that my wife is awesome. She had her tooth pulled on Friday and she is doing well. I know that it hurts like no other, but she has been strong through it all. Expect to see a post about it soon on her blog.



This past week I had the opportunity to got to a conference with my job. The conference was all about Amazon Web Services (AWS). For those of you who don't know, AWS is basically a hosting company for your website (i.e. the place where I keep all of the files, pictures, etc.).

The cool thing about AWS is it's all about the cloud. I know it sounds funny but it is a pretty simple idea that is taking over the internet. The cloud is suppose to be more secure and more reliable. With a normal hosting company, you have a machine where all of your information is sitting, and if that machine goes down then you are hosed until they get it back up. With the cloud, they replicate your data across a few different machines in different locations, so if a machine goes down, your data should still be available because it is sitting on another machine somewhere.

Probably the coolest thing about AWS is its flexibility. You pay for what you need. For example, if I have a super busy site, and lots of traffic, I am going to want more servers on the back end servicing those requests. But what if I am a company who doesn't have a lot of traffic on my site, but tomorrow I release a new video that becomes hugely popular. With a normal hosting company, you call, ask them for more machines, pay a lot of money, and eventually get it. With AWS, you turn the machines on yourself (through the internet), they fire up, and you pay for them while you use them. When traffic dies down, you can turn the machines back off, and you are done paying for them.

All in all, we learned a lot about the different services that AWS provides and how they all work and so forth. We also heard from some companies that are using AWS (I can only remember Podango right now). I love learning new things about technology.

In a couple of days I will post something about life, since I know some people are probably tired of all the technology :). In the mean time check out AWS and enjoy.

Cookies

| Monday, September 8, 2008
Just wanted to share a quick experience I had today. I have about 5 different browsers installed on my laptop (Firefox, IE7, Chrome, Opera, Safari), and today I was seeing some weird behavior. I work for a company, The American Academy, that uses Drupal for a lot of it's development. I was only able to sign in to the site using Firefox. None of the other browsers were working. When I would try to sign in, I got no errors, and it would try to redirect me as if I was logged in, but I wasn't. I cleared all of my cached data, and reinstalled all the browsers, and so forth...

I determined that cookies weren't be set as they needed (internet cookies are the way to track that a user has visited your site and keep small pieces of date about that user for when they return). The cookie that said I was logged in was being created only in Firefox, but not in any of the other browsers. After about a 3 hour excursion to find the answer, we found it.

Every 2 weeks or so my computer runs an update and changes the time back one hour from the actual time. That means that I have to manually change the time. This past time, it turns out that I changed the month ahead as well. Here is what it said:

It is certainly not November. It turns out that Firefox is the only browser that doesn't use the local machine time to handle cookies, and so it was working fine. All of the other browsers were setting the time of the cookie as if it was 3 months from now when I returned, meaning that I was automatically logged out. Changing the date back to September did the trick and I am back in business.

Chrome

| Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Just a couple of days I posted about Google Reader, and all of sudden Google surprises me with a new tool that I thought would never come...the Google web-browser. That is right, Google has joined the browser war with their own browser: Google Chrome. This has been rumored for a long time but it was certainly never confirmed until Monday. Today it is already out.

Now, I have only been using this browser for about 4 hours, but wanted to post a few first thoughts on it. It is fast. It is unbelievably fast. There is no messing around with this, you get everything as fast as you can. I definitely love that. I like how they handle tabs. Every tab is it's own process which means that you can see exactly what is going on. In the task manager it looks like the screen shot there, so for each tab, I have my own process. The reason this is so great is because now if for some reason one of my tabs gets out of control on memory, I don't have to close my whole browser, rather just the single tab. That is done as follows.



Pull up the Chrome Task Manager by pressing Shift-Esc while in Chrome. You can see exactly which tabs are using how much memory. If you click on the "Stats for Nerds" button you can see how much memory in total everything is using. It also reports memory use for other browsers as well (Firefox, IE, Safari, etc. - this is cool) So, I want to close my "Google Reader" tab so I do so by clicking the process and pressing the End Process button. Now for that tab I get this:



Awesome. Now I can control my memory much better than with Firefox or any other browser for that matter. A couple of things is that I wish were better. First, I wish there were some more addons. This may be a feature in the future, but for now, what you download is what you get. The other thing that I dislike about the browser is that if I close the entire browser, I can't save all my tabs to open back up next time. However, this shouldn't be much of an issue because I don't plan on closing the browser unless I have to. If you want to learn more, check out the comic that Google put together. Happy Browsing.

(I will let you know what is actually going on in life in a couple of days.)

What do you read?

| Sunday, August 31, 2008
Living in this digital age has brought about so much information online. I read everything online basically (except for school textbooks). There are so many sites to visit and new things to be posted everyday. There is so much to take in and so little time to do so.

A couple of weeks ago I had about 15 sites that I would visit at least once a day. Besides Slickdeals, there were several blogs I would check and then news sites and a few others. Checking all those sites takes forever. The biggest pain is that half the time there isn't anything new on the sites (especially on people's blogs), so that means that I was just wasting time. About this time I was doing a project for work with Google Alerts. Somehow I came across this awesome service that Google offers: Google Reader!



If you look at the screenshot above, you will see that I have all of my sites divided by category on the bottom left and then all of the new stuff on each site shows up on the right. I can narrow down what I want to see from just "Blogs" to a single site. The nicest thing about this service is that I can visit 1 site, see everything that is new, and move on.

As a quick note, the site must have an RSS feed. For blogs, the blog must be public or you won't be able to connect to the RSS feed. Lastly, mine is all color coded, but that does not come standard with Google Reader. That is because of a nice Firefox addon, Better GReader. I know there are other similar services out there, so if you know of something better let me know. Oh yeah, it only checks for updates at most every 5 minutes, but may check less frequently depending on the RSS settings of the site it is checking. You have no control over that though. Check it out. It is definitely worth your time.

Props to the U

| Monday, August 25, 2008
Just as a quick update, the U made this decision:
"After consulting with Network Operations (NOC), Information Security Operation (ISO) and the Compliance Office, it has been decided to suspend the process of locking student's accounts for exceeding 2GB of data transferred in a 24 hour period, effective immediately."

Props to the University! This is great news and I am very happy. They are still monitoring the systems though and the limit could go back into place if things get out of hand. But for now, I am happy.

What the...??

| Friday, August 22, 2008
I am not very happy with the University of Utah internet right now. In fact I am pissed off (sorry for my strong words). This is getting pretty ridiculous. So, if you ever see this screen, then you know you have uploaded too much.


So the problem started about a month ago when our computer just died and I could not recover anything from the hard drive. After that experience I decided to backup everything online. I started using a company called Carbonite. They gave me a two week trial period in which I uploaded about 60 GB in 10 days. I didn't have any issues with the internet during that time.

Well, this past week I have had my internet shut off twice. The first time I thought it was because we had downloaded over 2GB in one day. When I called to talk to the Help Desk and they said they couldn't do anything and it would turn on in 24 hours. I didn't realize it was the backup that was causing the issue.

The computer then shut off again on Thursday, and I figured out that it was the uploading that was causing the issue. I called them and asked why I didn't have my internet shut off a month ago when I was uploading about 6 GB a day, but now I had already entered a contract that I couldn't get out of. They said that because of some updates over the summer, the limit was not being enforced. What the? So now I was just SOL...They did say sorry though. How sweet of them. They told me the internet would work in 24 hours.

So, imagine my surprise this morning when the internet gave me the same error as above. I exceeded the limit yesterday - I'll leave it up to you to figure out how we were able to upload 2GB yesterday when our internet was turned off the entire day. I have called about 10 times and they keep sending me in a circle saying no one can help me. I am really upset. Twice now the University has basically screwed me (for lack of a better word). I finally talked to one guy who said he would see what he could do even though he wasn't the person who should be taking care of this. After 5 hours no resolution has been found. I'll update you once something gets taken care of. Who knows how long we'll be without internet though.

--I am at work typing this up.

*********EDIT*******************
They must have got sick of me calling. They finally fixed it. Thank goodness.

Phelps and Myst

| Sunday, August 17, 2008
So this week has been an intense one for all Olympic fans. You have to give it up to Michael Phelps. 8 Gold Medals is amazing, but even more amazing is he one all 8 of the events he was in, and in 7 of the 8 he now owns the world record. That is mind-blowing. The thing that is most amazing to me about it, is that he can swim every stroke. A lot of the Olympians come to swim one stroke only and that is their main focus, but Phelps is able to swim every stroke (note that he only swims the backstroke in the 400 medley) and excel at all of them. Crazy. If you haven't been able to see the 4x100 free, or 100m butterfly, then go check out the videos of them on nbcolympics.com. You won't regret it.

Also this week, my wife and I have been a couple of classic computer games - Myst and Riven. These games are awesome. Now, I do have to warn you that the graphics are very primitive but the gameplay will overshadow this one downside to the game. If you have never heard of Myst or Riven then it is probably because you were never into gaming, or else you weren't into gaming when the first cds came out. Myst came out in 1994 and was one of the first ever games on cd (to think that we have games now on DVD or on the internet that have better graphics shows how quickly the gaming world has advanced).

Riven is the sequel to Myst. The basic story/idea of Myst is that you have come to a new island (age) and you don't know how you showed up there. You have to find clues and think how to apply the clues in the different worlds. Clues are almost never obvious how they apply - in other words the clues don't tell you to spin around 3 times and count to 10, rather you get some numbers and have to try different things to apply those numbers). Anyways, Myst is fairly easy compared to Riven. Riven is near impossible I would say. Obviously it is possible because someone has done it, but it is seriously one of the hardest games ever. I ended up using the walkthrough because I was getting upset, but whoever thought these games up is very very creative. I would definitely recommend this game, and my wife got hooked from the minute we started playing. I love classic games.

Here is a video of most the games in the series - I have only played the first two, but plan on playing more!

Fire and foxes go together!

| Tuesday, August 12, 2008

As most of you know, I am a major geek. I am a web developer, so I have lots of time to review the newest and coolest technology out there. So lately I have been watching what browsers that my visitors use (along with a lot of other information that I find really cool). At some post in the future I will explain how you can easily find out all this cool information about visitors to your blog (or any other site that you have control of for that case).

However, I just had to say that Firefox rules. I know that most of my readers visit my site using Firefox, so most of you must agree with me. I think most everyone knows that Internet Explorer is one of the worst browsers. If you don't believe me, then check this out. Let's just say that I try to avoid IE if at all possible. It is slow and so crappy!

There are tons of reasons to love Firefox. First off, you can make it look like any browser you want. So if you have and love IE7 (I know at least a couple of my readers use this browser), you can download Firefox, download a skin for it, and voila, you have Firefox that looks just like Safari (or any other browser you can think of). Now, you have one of the fastest browsers, but now comes the cool part - ADDONS! I love these things. I have addons for everything imaginable. I can't even imagine life without them.

So, if you aren't convinced, then you should at least try it. Firefox is available on every operating system as far as I am aware which is better then all other browsers except Opera which also supports all the major operating systems. Watch for another post as well about creating custom buttons for Firefox. Very cool, and very easy. Check it out. Firefox rules!!

My 3 favorite addons:
Faviconize, Fast Dial, Foxmarks

Other reasons to love Firefox:
Address Bar (Find any site you visited very easily)
Memory use is very good
Spell checking
Undo closed tabs
Configuration galore (meaning; I can almost change anything and everything to my personal needs & wants)
Did I mention addons? You can make it act like your favorite browser with any tweaks that you want.

Raging Fun

| Friday, August 8, 2008
My wife and I recently enjoyed a day at the water park. It was my wife's first time ever at a water park and she had a blast. I did too for that matter. Now, to be honest, we were both a bit worried because of those clouds overhead, but actually it turned out to be a bit of a blessing because there was hardly anyone in the park. I guess everyone got scared and decided not to come.

While were there, we did meet one Russian lifeguard that started to talk to us in Russian. Darn, you think no one understands and then out of nowhere someone says something to you in Russian. At least we were just chatting :). We absolutely loved it and it was probably one of the funnest days we have had since our honeymoon. Only regret that I have is that we didn't go earlier in the summer because now we probably don't have a chance to get back.



So, that is my beautiful wife and I together. Of course I had to hang around on the ropes. My wife wouldn't join me though so I am the only monkey in this picture.

Raging waters is pretty cool, but the coolest waterpark I have ever been to would have to be Schlitterbahn in Texas. It has tons of huge slides and some of them feel like they go forever.


We don't have the money to go to Texas just for a waterpark though, so for now Raging Waters will do. Regardless, the day was a blast and we really enjoyed it.

Planetarium

| Saturday, August 2, 2008

So Anna and I recently got a pass to the Clark Planetarium (formerly known as the Hansen Planetarium). The pass itself cost $50 (that's a dual membership), and that gets us in to anything and everything for the whole year. We have already gotten our money's worth out of the pass - we have been to 5 shows already. Since the shows cost either $6 or $8, that would come up to be at least $60. And that is in less than a month.

I don't only like the price though, but the entertainment there is very good and educational (for the most part). Anna loves the 3D movies and they are very exciting. I myself am always up for a great laser show (these are the not so educational part of the planetarium). Both are quite relaxing, and the laser shows are a blast.

We still have lots of movies to go see and we are looking forward to it. The planetarium is a great place for dates and overall an inexpensive way to spend some time with that one you love the most! Oh yeah, check out my review of The Alps.

Tire Trash

| Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So, about 2 months ago I noticed that my tire was going flat and so I filled it up. It continued to go flat pretty quickly. Well, the guys at Jiffy Lube told me I definitely needed to take it in and get a new tire. So, I took it in and there was a problem (I had driven on it when it was low so they told me the tire was ruined). We replaced the tire (for way too much) back on June 28th. So, I noticed about 2 weeks later that the tire was going flat again, so I filled it up and decided to take it back in.

This past Saturday, we were on our way to take it to the tire place when, well, things didn't go so well. We were on I-80 and driving down to State Street. When we were getting close to the exit, it sounded like the road was really bad. As we kept going we figured out it wasn't the road but the tire. Well, as you know there is no where to pull off on I-80 with all of the construction, so we got off on our exit and pulled off as soon as we could. We got out and here is what we saw:



My wife had her camera with her since we were going to get a new lens for her after that. Fortunately, when I bought the tire I had bought a full size spare and I drove on that until Monday as they didn't have any tires big enough. I think Anna and I are both really thankful that neither of us got hurt. That tire is nasty though!

Addiction

| Friday, July 25, 2008
I think everyone has it. An addiction to something. I am not talking about an addiction to something bad (alcohol or drugs), but rather something that it seems like we can't live without, even though we can. I am going to confess my addiction. I have to warn you though, you may want to stop reading here because I wouldn't want you te get addicted as well. Read on at your own expense.

My addiction has a name. It's called Slickdeals. That's right, my favorite site ever. I check about 20 times a day (that is not an exaggeration, and that is probably an underestimate). My wife can attest to this fact that I look at this site way too much. Now, you may be wondering exactly why.


So slickdeals is just that, a lot of sweet deals on anything and everything. I mainly use it for the free stuff (I haven't bought a razor in over a year because I always get them free). I get free pictures all the time, and other cool stuff. I do have to warn you though that if you can't control your spending, this site is not for you. There are so many sweet deals every day that you can really start bringing the money in.

So, there you have it, my addiction. And just in case you don't want to go to the site, you can get a list of the 5 most recent deals right here on my blog under the 'Addicted' heading on the right. Happy deals everyone!

Oh yeah, I am going to do movie reviews here now!

Movie Time

| Wednesday, July 23, 2008
So, my wife and I have been watching a lot of movies lately and we have been enjoying that. We watched Step Up 2 a couple days ago, and to my surprise I enjoyed it. I sure wish I could dance, but since I can't I get a joy out of watching other people do it.

Also, we watched Drilbit Taylor and that was pretty good. Owen Wilson is always funny and my wife really likes watching his movies. She has also watched the first two Pirates Of the Caribbean and loves Johnny Depp (I swear all women do). Anyways, here is a clip of some sweet moves.

Renewal

|
Time to start this blogging up again. Right now I am super busy with lots of work, but I still find time to spend with my wife. We have been to the planetarium a couple of times, and that was a lot of fun. We will certainly be heading down there again.

Other than that, the summer has been quiet with me just working a lot. Anna has been doing a lot of photography and taking lots of pictures. You can check those out on her site - Nimfahtography.

Also, check out my other blog where I am sharing parts of my journal entries from my mission. In a couple of years, you will get to hear about what I am doing right now there, but until then you will just have to keep up on my blog.

Coming to a Close

| Thursday, April 17, 2008
This semester is finally coming to a close, and we only have a couple of projects and tests left and it will be nice to finally be done. We have been super busy and my wife can attest to the fact that I am always sitting at the computer with that "ugly" program open (a text editor for my program). So I am glad it is finally coming to a close.

I figured I would give everyone an invite to our presentation day that will be on April 24th from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM up here at the U to show off our Senior project. There will be several other groups presenting their projects that they created as well, so it will definitely be interesting (for us nerds at least). Contact me for more information or BJ can tell you too.

Fun Weekend

| Sunday, April 13, 2008

This weekend we had Spencer over and I think he was super bored. There isn't much to do around here. He enjoyed watching a lot of cartoons though because we have cable and so he enjoyed that. Friday evening we did get outside and play a little. We shot some hoops and Anna came out and took some pictures of us. She got some great shots, so if you want to see more then go check out her web album.

Saturday we decided that we were going to go on a date (we actually decided a few days earlier). We had some zoo tickets left over from last year that we had never used so we decided to go over to the zoo. Anna took her camera with her and she got some more great shots. I really like this one of me sitting on a rock. Ой, какой я симпатичный! We had a good time there and we spent a couple of hours just walking around and enjoying the animals.

Other than that, I have just been working and going to school. Only a couple of weeks left and then we'll be done until fall semester.

Website Work

| Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Most of this past semester I have been working on creating custom modules for a content management system,Drupal, for The American Academy. We are nearing an end on this project, and we have several thousand lines of code written. We recently finished a user interface for setting up some settings. It used a lot of jquery, which is similar to javascript. It was fun to create this interface and learn more about the language. The image shows a basic idea of what we did. If you click an item, then it is selected(turns yellow). If you click it again, it is no longer selected.

A few thoughts from Conference...

| Sunday, April 6, 2008
Didn't President Uchtdorf make it super clear about the faith of our fathers? What an awesome talk. I think that his wife was the most surprised by his new calling though (like he said at Priesthood session).

For President Monson - 22 as a bishop, but 36 as an apostle - that seems insanely young. But like President Packer said, the average age of the first quorum of the twelve was 28, so I guess President Monson would have been one of the old ones!

I was hoping to get some Elder Zwick's image of Lehi's Vision, but I couldn't find it.

President Monson is hilarious. He sure knows how to get everyone laughing. And as has always been the case, he knows names and has such a vivid memory.

What a weekend

|
We went to Provo on Friday for a mission reunion. It was weird to see all of these former elders from my mission who I haven't seen in a long time. It was good for Anna though as she was able to catch up with one of her old friends (Masha) and also see some former elders she was good friends with. I think more than half of the former missionaries are majoring in Russian. A lot of them don't even know what they're going to do with it. I am sure glad that I know what I am going to do. Only one more semester left...

We have been enjoying conference this weekend and you can get a recap of the action at www.lds.org of what's been said there. I wish I could find a clip of President Monson wiggling his ears at Priesthood session, but no such luck so far. Also, my wife has been studying her new camera like crazy. She has taken lots of pictures. If you want to see them, then write her and tell her to invite you to her Picasa gallery. If you want to know more about the camera she has, go here.

I am also looking to start a website up for my wife to use for her pictures. I found this great flash program (see this) that I want to use, but I can't get it to work on my localhost machine. If anyone knows a better gallery or something that will work better, let me know. I was just planning on using an Xmission site that my Dad has, but Xmission is still on PHP 4.3 which won't run half the galleries out there, and on top of that it is no longer being supported by PHP (time to update!!!). In any case, that will be a project for me to work on.
I suppose that is all for now, leave me any feedback/comments on your thoughts on anything from conference or if you have a hint on how to get the gallery to work.

My first post.

| Friday, April 4, 2008
My first blog post. Hopefully, I will have some time to write some interesting stuff on here. Thanks for viewing my blog.