Remember the Milk

| Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It's been a few weeks since I did a technology review of something cool that makes my life easier. I have been meaning to write about my to-do list for some time now but just haven't gotten to it. Remember the Milk is an awesome to-do list that manages what projects and tasks that you have coming up. I have been using it for about six months and have just recently discovered some more of it's awesomeness that has led me to use it even more.

I don't do well with to-do lists that are written and I always lose them and in the end it just never works out. Enter Remember the Milk to the rescue. The basic flow of entering a task and setting due dates and times is pretty straight forward. On top of the basic setup, there is tons you can do.To start off, I created a "Honey Do" list that is basically the things that my wife asks me to do (obviously everything on this list has top priority). Once I have my list created, all I have to do is start adding tasks and setting dates for when they're due. If it is something that I need to do many times, then I can set the recurring date to basically anything I want.

Adding tasks and setting a date and recurring date.

One of the biggest problems that I was having with this site is that I was never checking it. I would create tasks, but would never stop by to see what was due and when. Then I stumbled across one of the best features that I have found - the reminder. You can of course set up a standard e-mail reminder, but that is no fun and I don't need any more e-mails than I get. Instead, you can set it up to IM you on basically any or every IM platform. With my recent discovery of Digsby, I could choose basically any of the messaging systems that I wanted. You can see the different options that are found under the "Settings" for reminders and can set up as many of them as you want. After setting up mine for Skype (and modifying the due dates so I could show the notifications), here is what I got in Skype:
And if you're a Google freak like me, you can add your tasks to your Google Calendar where they will be shown on the days they are due and you can add new tasks and everything else you want. In other words, an extrememly powerful to do list integrated into your Google Calendar. You can also add it to several other Google services as well.
So if you need a way to keep track of all your tasks that you do on a day to day basis or if you just need a way to remember all those things that your spouse asks you to do. Check out Remember the Milk.

Save the Date

| Friday, April 17, 2009
If you've been waiting to start learning Drupal or if you haven't really thought about it, but you want to learn to build your own website quickly then you will definitely want to schedule April 21 on your calendar as busy. The Utah Drupal group is meeting on April 21 at 7 pm to complete a website marathon where we are going to build an entire site for a non-profit company, For Every Child, in about 2 hours. This is going to be an excellent exercise for brand new Drupalers up to seasoned veterans (I am far from being a seasoned Drupaler).

The other great part about this event is that it is going to be held right downtown in the Walker Center! No driving down to Orem or Provo this time! This event is sure to be one of the best meetings, if not the best meeting, of all times for the Utah Drupal group.

We are going to step through the entire process from start to finish including initial setup, what modules you want/need to get started, and how it all works. You can see the full agenda on the Utah Drupal group's website. Make sure you save the date because you don't want to miss this event.

A Train to Potevka

| Sunday, April 5, 2009

I just wanted to give a quick review of "A Train to Potevka." This book was very very interesting and I was captivated. The book is about a man who is in the CIA and travels to Russia to take on a very dangerous mission against some high level citizens in the USSR. It took place right near the collapse of the USSR - 1990 to 1991 because he meets the LDS missionaries in Moscow.

I think the reason I liked the book so much was because of how well Mike Ramsdell, the author, was able to describe Russia and the people there. I really wish that I could so well describe Russia. The part of the book that I disliked most about this book was the story of Bonnie, his girlfriend that later became his wife. It seemed a little out of place here.

Here are 3 quotes that could have been taken from my own journal from when I was in Russia:

Historically, and still today, they (women) remain the strength and character of Russia. The women are the powerful bond that holds the family, village, and nation together. Perhaps that is why these people refer to their homeland as Great Mother Russia.

Using antiquated shovels and makeshift brooms of bundled birch branches, hefty female workers with orange safety vests pulled over their coats, busily pushed snow from the walkways...p.275

The greatness of Russia has always been its people. During the seventy years of the USSR, any meaningful accomplishments or achievements were a result of the populace, not the Communist Party. It was the Soviet people that preserved the moral values of truth and goodness, not the mistaken ideological dogma of Marxism. And, today, that is still the hope of Russia's future - its people. p. 325-326

If you haven't read the book, you should check it out. It is a really easy read. See my friend's review as well.

Moving to Russia

| Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We've kept this quiet for some time now, but wanted to let everyone know that we are moving to Russia! That's right. We have talked about this for quite some time and are really excited. We are going to live in a small town just outside of Penza. We found a great little place there (we haven't seen it yet but her Mom promises it to be a great place). We are super stoked and we have no plans to move back to America any time soon. There are so many great reasons to move to Russia:

- Lots more opportunities for us and our kids
- Better hospitals and medical care
- And best of all we can shed this mortgage we just picked up

I hope that all of you are excited for us as well. We are accepting farewell gifts, so please make sure to give us money because we aren't taken much with us. Oh yeah, we don't have jobs lined up yet, but we aren't worried. There are plenty of great jobs on the outskirts of Penza. I'm sure I'll be programming for a company in no time. Maybe some of you want to join us.

Here's a picture of the small древня (town) where we're moving:

We're leaving the end of May!