Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Get Well Soon

Christmas was amazing. I forgot how much more fun Christmas is with little kids, and my parents have nine grandkids now.
The car trip, with a brand-new baby, took 13 hours. In all honesty, V wasn't the biggest hold-up. We let N watch DVDs the whole ride down on her new portable DVD player--and she got carsick right around Orderville. Well, N puked all over the back seat, and we stopped for a good hour at a gas station to get it all cleaned up.

The week before Christmas, I worked, and Dani enjoyed being in Arizona. It was so nice to just go into the front yard and get some delicious oranges right off the tree.

Christmas traditions are a great thing. In my family, we have some old traditions and some newer ones. The oldest tradition of the Millecam household is the "Jerusalem dinner" where we eat food that is typical of what Christ would've eaten. Personally, I love dates and flat bread. Granted, we probably eat in a way that the extremely wealthy did at the time of Christ, but it is always nice to sit down for a meal and have the environment remind you of the Savior.
Another recent tradition is the opening of one present for everyone: new pajamas.
The last notable tradition of a Christmas Eve is sitting around a campfire in the back yard. Here's some pictures of my fam from that:




Christmas morning was awesome. N isn't old enough to exactly know what is going on, so we were able to get her up at 8:00, and give her a solid breakfast. My parents told us that everyone would arrive around 10:00 am and we'd start our big family Christmas around then. So, I figured, since we brought all our family gifts with us, we'd do our Christmas just before everyone arrived.

This year, God blessed us much more abundantly. I can honestly say that Dani and I were able to afford everything we wanted, and still have more than enough to meet all our financial obligations.

We got N a number of toys, but the most notable one was a Bilbo. It's a plastic basin. I like to think of it as a "utility toy." It's a toy where the fun in it is finding new uses for it. N has used it to carry and drag her toys around. I've used it to carry and drag her around. It's a stool, and a big goofy hat. N's cousins had a lot of fun with it too.

While Christmas was a great time of giving and love. Everyone but Dani, myself, and our kids got sick. Dr. Shockey saw four Millecams in two days. I felt for them--but I had that same disease for three weeks starting the second to last week of classes (it lasted through finals, and having a baby, and traveling).

We drove back on New Years day. It only took 11 hours (which is close to typical).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The little things

Well, Dani gets induced on Tuesday morning (at least, we're pretty sure on that, if something happens then it'll be Wednesday). I figured I'd get a post in concerning the less vital aspects of our life before V comes and dominates this blog.

We had our little family Christmas on Saturday. We're having our real Christmas in AZ with my parents (traveling with a newborn isn't as bad as everyone thinks it is, we did it with N being only a few months old, and we're not worried.).

The big ticket item for this little family Christmas was the Camera I got for Dani. It's a Cannon Rebel T1i something or other. So far, I think I've played with it more than Dani (who is really too immobile to stage most the shots she wants). For the technically saavy readers, it's a 15.1 Megapixel camera that can do video recording in 1080p! I've had a lot of fun with it and Dani's tripod.

Here's one of the first shots we took. Please click on this image for the full version.
Now, this picture is a sort of the result of some Digital photography tricks. The highest quality format you can take a picture in is the camera's native RAW format--which is just the straight data that the camera collects. Most cameras do a quick bit of compression on that data, along with some touch-up work to counteract some of the negative visual effects inherent to the camera. Working with RAW images is not usually a pretty process. In order to get this image, I needed to do some touch-up work to simply make this picture viewable. While it took about an hour to learn all the tools and finally get it touched up, the end result is a very beautiful candid shot of my little girl.

The next "little thing" on the list are my finals. I only have two, and I'm taking them both tomorrow (since I don't think I'll have time when V comes). One of them will be mind-numbingly boring (CS100), and the other will be a real challenge of what I know (Partial Differential Equations for Physicists). I've studied, and I'm prepared, but still nervous.

Next on the list of "things that would never show up on the blog if I didn't post them before V comes" was our sledding trip on Saturday. Dani sat in a camping chair while N and I raced up and down the hills of Rock Canyon Park. I could not believe how crowded that place was! There were easily 100 people there. It's a good thing that park is so huge, otherwise we wouldn't have had a portion of the slope to go down on. Here's a picture of N in her "marshmallow" get-up, as Dani calls it. Again, you have to click for the full effect.



And last and least on this list: My gaming addiction is as healthy as ever. I've come back to an old game I played in Highschool called Runescape. It's free, and you can play it in a browser (www.runescape.com) and unlike other games of its kind (World of Warcraft, ect.) this game can be fun to play without constantly killing things.
To feed that addiction, for our little family Christmas, Dani got me an entry-level gaming mouse. It's the kind of a mouse designed for professional gamers. After plugging it in, I feel like I was given the keys to a sports car after driving a city bus all my life. I logged onto Team Fortress 2, and started getting about double my normal kill/death ratio. I then tried Counterstrike for the first time, and I was number 2 on my team (not bad for not even knowing the controls to start out with). Lastly, I pulled up Crysis. Crysis is a very tough game. The bad guys are super intelligent, and will come at you with team tactical strikes. I beat Crysis once through on regular difficulty, and then started playing through it on the hardest settings. With this new mouse, I was able to snipe people more than 130m away with an assault rifle! I struggled through the first level with my old mouse: after plugging in this new Razer, I zoomed through two levels! Wow, who knew that a $30 mouse could make such a difference?

So, that's the Pre-V stuff. My next post will be about my new daughter--scheduled to come about 30 hours from the time I'm posting this.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dingle Hopper

First off, Dani loves Disney's "A Little Mermaid." I hate it. I think it's just an awful movie on pretty much every count, except the music. It's like Dani's "Bride and Prejudice" (The bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice)--I just cringe every time its on, and usually excuse myself to another room to do home work or find an excuse to get out of the house.

So, when we sat down to eat some chicken and rice the other day for dinner, I looked over to see my two year old daughter combing her hair with her "dingle-hopper," rather than eating her rice with her fork. I was completely stupefied--no idea how to respond to that.





I think I must've given her the exact same look that Eric and Grimsby give Ariel inadvertently.

Friday, November 27, 2009

crash

I'm so wiped out from Black Friday. I'll catch you up on today and Thanksgiving when I feel human again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Raving fan-boy

A while back, I made a post about monopolies done right--and mentioned that I was excited for Google Chrome OS.

Well, I'm back, and I am writing this post from inside the developer-build of ChromeOS!

I thought you could all use a fair and honest evaluation. Let me start with the negative.

Don't use Chrome OS if:
  1. You are an engineer/scientist --use another Linux distro, you'll be happier
  2. You're a computer-hobbyist: You simply don't need to look under the hood
  3. You're a hard-core gamer: this will probably change in a few years, but for now Windows is your best bet
  4. You're on a computer that won't have internet access
Do use Chrome OS if:
  1. Your primary computer-related activities are facebook-ing, web browsing, and checking email
  2. You're a web-developer/programmer
  3. You're concerned about your data

Here's how my experience went.

Step 1 Install
I downloaded a single file, a hard-drive image. I selected that image in VirtualBox, and then started the virtual machine. It booted up (in about 5 seconds), and I was done.

Step 2 Setup
I got to the login screen, and was very confused--I hadn't setup an account or anything, and it was prompting for a username and password. After about a minute of searching, I found out that it was my gmail account--same one I use to login to blogger.

Step 3 Use
While I'm logged in, I'm implicitly logged into all my google-apps. I didn't have to put in my password ever again. I tired watching a movie on hulu--and it worked perfectly. I went to gmail and chatted with a friend for a bit. I then checked out a power-point presentation for a class, and read a pdf file. At no point did I get a "missing-plugin" error, or have any hang-ups. There was nothing foreign or uncomfortable about using it at all.
The whole OS interface is a web-browser, and is just as easy to use. If you've used the Chrome browser (something I recommend because it's rippin fast), then Chrome OS will feel remarkably comfortable.

Step 4 Exploration
I like to dig into the advanced features of everything. A little bit of poking around, and it was obvious that this was some form of Linux--but had I not known where to look, I wouldn't have noticed or really cared. They cache a hashed version of your password on login for future offline logins in the OS's home directory. Everything you run is sandboxed--so I don't think it would be possible to harm a machine running ChromeOS, even if you got a virus.
They have some amazing web-development tools available for you while you're there. Honestly, for a web-programmer they really only lack an advanced text-editor and a terminal.
That was one thing that bothered me: I couldn't get a terminal opened. Frankly, if you're going to have a Linux-based OS, and have bash installed, you might as well give some sort of interface for accessing that, right? Really, that's the only thing that Chrome OS lacks--the ability to just execute dumb binaries. Given that 90% of the frustration people have with computers is that they need to "execute dumb binaries," this probably isn't a bad paradigm shift.
However, just because that has been an annoyance to the general populace, I don't believe that it should be completely abandoned. The only things that Chrome OS is missing are executing and displaying locally-run programs, an interface for locally-stored content, and a package-manager for the hobbyists.
Given that we're still about a year away from the official release of Chrome OS, I am willing to overlook these shortcomings--but they will need to trust their users a bit more and give them greater access to their own computers before they can really hit the main market.


Overall:
Chrome OS is remarkably usable, convenient, safe, and wicked fast. If you ever find the opportunity to buy a Chrome OS computer in the future, do it. It'll save you $40 upfront (since Chrome is free), and about three or four hours of aggravation setting it up. Honestly, Chrome OS is in a very good position to replace Windows as the primary OS for one simple reason: they know what their users really want.
If you're like 98% of the computer-using population, you just want the dumb machine to work. You should just turn it on, and it should be where you want it to be. You don't have hours (or even minutes) to spend tweaking every setting until the machine works.
Microsoft designed its OS at the height of computer-hobbyists. They still hold to those values. Chrome OS is designed for a computer-user, and have done a heck of a job with it all.
I have never used a development-bleeding edge item of software that was this refined and well done. The development code was released yesterday, and I would already consider Chrome OS a top candidate OS for my wife, mom, and sister. Anyone who doesn't want to fix their own computer should seriously look into using Chrome OS.


A+ Google

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuff the 2-year-old says

I was looking at the 3D Mandelbulb pictures recently rendered, and N came up behind me and said, "Oh! Wicked!"

Yes, math can be pretty cool--even to a two-year-old.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween

Halloween this year was fun to dress up for. We had been thinking about Todd's costume for almost 2 months. Which was a good thing so I could slowly look for each item. N was going to have a "Mommy Original" but I've had to take some things off of my "What to get done before V comes" list. But if I say so myself she makes one cute cat! I, last minuet, went was a hippie, I've even got a flower child in the oven!

Todd went as "The Engineer" from the computer game Team Fortress.
He got kinda depressed when people kept pointing at him and told their kids, "Look! It's Bob The Builder!"

"I hate cats, but she's so CUTE!" - Todd
And this kitty cat was in her candy bag before we were even done
trick-or-treating :)

Hippie Mommy and the little kitty.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The weekend

Todd was getting over from being sick this past week.

N pooped in her bath, so sick.

Had friends over for dinner and some fun catch up time! (And really great brownies! Thanks Devin and Mercedes!)

Hit my almost 33 week mark.

We watched Jim Hansen's Labyrinth for the first time as a family. Todd thought it was weird, and Nwas entranced by it.

Todd and I discovered a new game and played some to help him take his mind off of homework and work projects.

I almost lost Todd and N to the Big White Puffy Blanket Monster. Good thing I got there in time!

I was able to make some progress on the Felt Noah's Ark I'm making. (Pictures to come when it's finished).

and

N also got an eraser stuck up her nose.

Oh fun times :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Millecam Farm

Here are pictures of the Barn my mom made for N.

(Mother Hen and the turtle are missing because N had them take a nap with her).


The barn is a hat box painted to look like a barn. Then letter stickers were used to spell "Millecam Farm" across the lid above the doors.

N's 2nd Birthday

N turned 2 last week and I'd say the day was a hit. Packages from Nana & Papa and Grandma & Grandpa Millecam came in the mail prior and were wrapped and placed on the table. I put up streamers on the kitchen walls and had some hanging from the ceiling - N thought those were pretty cool. And a Happy Birthday sign on the table to greet her when she woke up from her nap.

We picked Todd up from work that evening and headed to IKEA for N to play around and for her to pick out some gifts. She had a blast, only problem is she's been favoring the word "No". So it's become "No" for everything even when she means "Yes". So if she said "No" to a toy we put it away as a way to teach her. But after a while she did say "Yes" to a wooden train set. We headed home and decided to hold off on cake till the next day as it was late and the last thing I was going to give her was sugar!

While home we sang to her and let her open her presents! She got a baby stroller and bottles for her baby dolls, a toy broom (she loves to help me sweep!), cute clothes from the Millecam Grandparents, and an awesome toy farm from Nana and Papa. Nana made the barn out of a hat box. Pretty cool. So now she's stylish in clothes that fit her, is outfitted to play "mama" and has a cool barn full of animals that live near the train tracks.

Here's some clips from her birthday.
video
video

Needless to say she got to stay up late but when we did put her to bed she started to throw a fit because she still wanted to play with all the cool new toys. Daddy informed her they would be there in the morning and she could play with them first thing, that seemed to pacify her for the most part.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Amazing Workbox

I'm doing this in the slim chance that I'll win this amazing crafters workbox.

http://www.theoriginalscrapbox.com/

Oh yeah. I want it. I mean look! All the organization possibilities!!
*Drool*

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You think your dreams are weird!?

You know how you sometimes have those dreams where everything seems to be going fine, and then somehow you end up on a terminal baggage claim carousel?


. . .



. . .


Apparently that is just me.

Take last night for instance: I had a dream about a girl I went to middle-school with. I met up with her at burger king, and she was crying because her husband had recently cheated on her. In her grief, she decided to run off and become a second-string power ranger. I let her know that I supported her decision--but I was still markedly worried about her four children.

In the next dream, Dani and I went vampire hunting, but got spooked by something rustling the bushes. So we decided to turn into "wild things" but had no idea where we were. Once we got our bearings we ran off to Park City to live in the forests and frighten skiers. Dani had white fur, and I had two-different color eyes--which is apparently genetically possible if you're a male "wild thing."

At this point, Dani had been trying to wake me up for some time, and she said, "if you don't get up, I'll smack you with a pillow!"
To which statement my delirious self responded, "I'll cry if you do. . ."

I woke up to Dani's laughter this morning.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The three "do nots" of Dani's pregnancy

Dani isn't one to complain--so I'll complain for her.

Pregnancy is hard. There's no way around that. Some women get too hot, or too cold. Some can hardly hold anything down, and others feel like the only viable solution to their problems is to let out frequent exasperated moans.

Dani is getting to the end of her second pregnancy, and like a good little scientist, I've tried finding correlations between the two samples that I have. Here I am to give my official report on my findings: I call them the three "don'ts" of Dani's pregnancy, and they each correspond with a trimester.

Don't 1: Eat
First trimester, Dani doesn't want to eat much of anything--particularly in the morning. She nauseous, and out of sorts in regards to digestion--so she usually passes on breakfast.

Don't 2: Stay Conscious
By the second trimester, Dani gets the happy-nappy's 24/7. The only thing she really wants to do is nap. She'll sleep anywhere from 11 to 14 hours a day during this time.

Don't 3: Move
6 months in: simple rotational motion has become less than simple, waddling is a fact of life, and if she's down, she'll stay down. I help keep her mobile as best I can, but when you have a nearly-full-grown newborn strapped onto your front, balance and agility are severely compromised.

So, there you go dear--I've complained about some of the difficulties of your pregnancy so you don't have to: just trying to be thoughtful :D.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

day dress

I made this for N about 3 weeks ago....... It's for her growth spurt that should be happening soon. She needs the clothes. I love it! I completely copied the idea from a lady on craftster.org and found a free online tutorial for the flower clip. It was my fist time trying applique and I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

N was literally fighting her way into it to wear. She was very excited. It gives me the warm-fuzzy feelings when she see's what I've made and she gets so excited!

V's Baby Quilt

note: We haven't settled on the spelling of V's name yet. We've decided to wait till she shows up and see what she looks like. How either way is suppose to look, no idea..

After a few different designs, 4 trips to Jo-Anns and almost a 5th, LOTS of seam ripping, re-cutting, needle positions creating different measurements, having Todd help me redo math and re-cut squares and triangles and messing up
the binding but making it work,
I finished V's blanket today. 100% complete!
I'm loving it too!
I was going for a shabby-chic-rose-garden. What do you think?

Here it is.

It's 49" x 49"
Up close
Back
Up close front and back
N's been "breaking it in" for V even before it was finished.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

read to me

So after including my comment on how N doesn't like me to read to her on the "N Update Post", well, now she's bringing me books to read to her! Love it, only not so much after the 5+ time...but I'll take it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Baby V Update

I wanted to be more involved in the photo progression of my body as V grew, didn't really happen though... Maybe it's because I'm fed up with out point and shoot cameras and want something newer = nicer, and/or maybe it's because I refuse to take pictures unless I look "ready" for the day, and/or maybe having grown up in family of photographers I'm very critical = fewer pictures make it to the public eye. Anyways, I did get these pictures taken yesterday. I have some older ones but I'm trying to find them on the computer......

Dani pregnant with Vievian at 26 weeks.

I watched V yesterday trying out her body. My belly had random small bumps, as she kicked and stretched. Todd got to witness it too. I'm excited for her. For her to get a body, to come into our home, and for me to hold. I've been looking over N's baby pictures and have been baby hungry more then ever, good thing she's on the way!

Pictures of N

N playing dress-up for the first time. To say she was bouncing off the walls when she found the tutu, is an understatement.N refused to let me finish making the bed. So I made it around her...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

A monopoly done right

Alright, so monopoly is a dirty word. It has been ever since some idiots back in the early part of the 20th century used their resources to try and satisfy the insatiable demon of greed.

The term has not improved in standing much over the years, probably because of the few "monopolies" left.

Microsoft releases shoddy software that it puts a half-concerted effort towards and forces everyone in the world to pay hundreds of dollars for it. General Electric puts out ultra-sound machines that cost roughly 15x what it would to make a decent one, that has scratchy resolution and inferior parts inside of it. Telecoms do very shady things to keep it difficult to deny their services (such as disconnect fees, not allowing you to keep the same phone number, and charging you thousands of dollars a year to watch advertisements on cable television).

'Nuff said. Monopolies are bad.

Well. . .kinda. There is one company that is doing its darnedest to be the exception to the rule. Google. They have over 60% of the search engine market world wide. If you want to advertise on the internet you pretty much have to go through Google now. They have the market, they could charge out the nose for it--they could squeeze a lot of money out of John and Jane Q. Proprietor if they wanted to.

Have you ever seen how Google advertising is set up? You say how much money you have to spend on advertising, and how much money you're willing to spend for each click. Google gives you a priority based on the price per click--and takes your ad off when you reach the limit that you specify. Money is only deducted from your account if someone clicks on the link to your site. Google says, "Let's work with you. How much are you willing to spend? Okay, we won't go over that, and we won't charge you if we don't get you results."

When was the last time Microsoft said, "If Windows stops working for you--you'll get a discount?"

But, that's only one side of the equation to being a truly beneficial monopoly to mankind. The second part is how you spend it. Google spends its money developing new and better programming languages. It donates millions each year to research and development in fields not directly associated with its business model! (That is just one of a hundred possible examples)

They provide software, free of charge, that people want. Do you pay to use gmail? Did you know that it is nearly as complete in core-functionality to a Microsoft Exchange server (which costs about $800 new)? You are getting an $800 product for a comparatively low price of having 4-20% of your screen covered in advertisements, and allowing Google to collect anonymous data about you so it can better design its software and conduct research about how to better benefit you. Granted, it can sell that anonymous data about how you use the web to other companies.

Big flippin' deal! If it's that important to people, let them pay Google to improve Python, write software that can eliminate costs associated with phone usage, and donate money to help fund causes that Eric Schmidt feels is worth while. This blog is powered by Google--and it makes my family's life better to have it.

That is how a monopoly should be. If it's helping humanity, who in their right mind would want to file anti-trust litigation? This kind of attitude--going after the guys with deep pockets--is exactly what made the term monopoly taboo in the first place.

Well, to them I say, "Let Google do whatever it wants. When it stops being a boon to mankind, and starts to be a tax on them--then is the time for action."

For now, I'm happy with Google's products. I'm happy with what they do. I'm glad they are here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scamper

N has this short-step, tippy-toe, scamper she does and it is TOO CUTE! I love it :D

P.S. This morning Todd opened her door so when she was up and ready she could just come out, well she opened the door, smiled big and laughed as she came running out into the living room straight into my arms. It's moments like these that I hope I never forget and always treasure.

Friday, August 28, 2009

clearance

It's one thing to pull your hair back so you don't get tooth paste and spit in it when you are done brushing your teeth it's another when you belly doesn't have clearance and you have to change your shirt afterwards....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

N Update

Here N sporting the new summer jumper I finished for her today. Too bad I didn't start on it sooner, then it would have fit longer instead of for just a few more weeks. But I like it and am now on to a new day dress for her next growth jump, which should be very soon.
(P.S. She's not sad just a mouth full of "nana").


Now for a N update, some of these things she's been doing for a while, some just the last few weeks, and others very new. She AMAZES us all the time with what she is saying/doing now. I love watching her progress!

We believe N now understands that the phrases she says usually don't make since. She has said some amazing things, but we think that she is now focusing on single words now to fine tune. She gets so excited when you do understand her and she gets what she is asking for. And sad when we say "no". So what is she working on?
Food - "foo"
Water - "wah"
Shoe - "shooooe"
Cheese - "cheeeh"
Banana - "nana". Sorry mom I know she'll start using it as your name soon.
She's almost got "I love you"
"Ummm, okay."
"It's a daddy!"
"Can I go outside?"
"That's lame" - Todd = N telling her Aunt Hillary
that what she has to do for work is "lame".
And we know there's more to come because she understands SO MUCH!

She's learn:
... how to put her Velcro pink sandals on, and usually on the right foot.
... take her clothes off.
... eat her food with a fork and spoon.
... drink from a cup. Now if only she wouldn't get a kick out of it when she dumps it on the floor. (In which she then looks at me and laughs...*grumble*)
... to still not let me read to her.
This makes me sad. Maybe if I had always read to her she would let me know. But I also think it has to do with her "independence". She thinks/feels she can, so I just have to wait for when she wants me to. I'm hoping that by being more committed to read to V that N will take an interest and join in.
... that she can sit on my lap while I sew but that the buttons on the machine are off limits.
...that we do not stand on the DVD's.
... her big girl bed is more comfortable to sleep on then the floor. (almost complete understanding here).
...
"tickels" mercilessly. And laughs maniacally while she does it.
... to wash her hands when she's messy.
*again more but here's what I've got off the top of my head.

She carries her "baby" around very carefully, and loves to have her wrapped and laying on a pillow like how we lay her down to bed on her pillow.

She loves to poke at and try to pull my belly button, now that it is sticking out.

She will carry her rocking horse around the house to be where you are.
That takes muscle and skill!

Todd's bought a kiddie physics game for N to play on the computer. We play it much more then she does at the moment :P

She loves kitty's! She has a stuffed cat she carries around and when ever she sees on in real life, on the computer, in a book, where ever she points at it and "mews".

She'll sometimes sit on my lap facing me and will take her hand to slowly
and gently stroke my face. It's precious!

So, in genera,l N is moving forward nicely and is full of kisses and hugs as usual.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big girl bed

She slept in her big girl bed, I have proof!

August 24, 2009

Excited for Chrome OS

In case you haven't heard--Google is making an operating system to directly compete with Microsoft's Windows. It is named after the google browser, which is free to download--and is based off the Linux kernel.
First of all, Chrome will be Open-Source--so I can fix the bugs that bother me in it. Even if I have to pay a licensing fee for it (which is not likely), that is already leaps and bounds above and beyond any Windows software. They could release a pile-of-dirt mindless Linux distribution variant, and it'd still be more usable than any Windows software for the simple reason that it can change.

Next, by virtue of design, Chrome has more potential than a Microsoft OS could ever have. Windows was, originally, a shell on top of DOS that economized on the mouse input interface. Its major innovations have been few and far between since then (as they have no competative drive to innovate). Its design (and designers) wrote it in a time when the most powerful computers in the world had the computational capacity of what you're likely reading this blog-post on (any computer with a core 2 duo or equivalent).

Suffice it to say, Microsoft does not have the capacity to relate to modern computing systems that Google does. This isn't simply because Google is younger and more modern, but because of the philosophy changes and paradigm shifts in programming were engrained in Google from the beginning, whereas Microsoft has been forced to either gradually adopted them, or chosen to ignore them. A prime example of that is the w3c web standards: Microsoft chose to ignore them at first, tried to adopt them with IE8, and have failed miserably to the point of neglecting to even place a recommendation to the consortium. The management side of Google is, in every sense of the word, more enlightened on these point thans Microsofts'.

Here are the publically stated goals of Chrome OS:
Not hog system resources--leave them available for user tasks
Designed to have no significant waiting at boot time
Make any application that could run on the web run on your machine
Have absolutely no data loss if the machine stops working or needs to be reinstalled

I like number 1 and 2. Those are big things to me. They are designing these for the increasingly-popular netbooks, but I hope that once its released it'll catch on like wild-fire and we'll see a desktop version. I don't really care about number 3--it has some merit and some drawbacks, and number 4 makes me nervous (because I don't know how much I'd trust the contents of my hard drive to google), but I do know that I am going to dual boot Chrome OS and Linux on my netbook as soon as I can get my hands on a beta/development version.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Superman bothers me

Superman bothers me. I like nostalgia and old-school when it comes to my entertainment, but after going back and watching the old movies--I had to turn it off half way through the third. I just couldn't take it anymore.


Regarding the movies:
The amount of power that the sun generates per unit area (1350W/m^2), is not sufficient, by any means to justify enough energy to do any one thing that Superman does.
If he has a "more dense" molecular structure, not only would that make flight more difficult than it would be to a normal human being, but it would mean higher oxygen intake needs (or an alternative method for excreting waste)--hence the whole "fly through space" is, again, nonsense.

I'm sorry, but in no universe can a man fly around a planet against its rotation resulting in literally turning back the clock. It would sure mess up the days and seasons, though.

I hate how they just use the phrase, "well, he's superman, he can do anything!" whenever they write themselves into a corner.

He kisses Launa, and she doesn't lose all her memories, like Lois did. Does he secrete a fast-acting neuro-toxin or not?

Exposing him to the "red rays" of his native sun would only have a temporary effect--but some kind of explanation to the audience would be nice (preferably after he regains his powers), but the writers didn't even give that courtesy. It's just, "oh, we need him to have powers again, so he does."

How does the Vulcan satellite travel to a distant galaxy within a few hours, when it took Superman several years of relativistic-governed travel to come to earth from there in the first movie?

That, and I hate his outfit--it's mostly the blue pants and red underwear on the outside. Superman is annoying, and I don't think that exceptionally poor writing should ever constitute a "superhero."

Batman rules! There's a real superhero. If batman were to fight superman--batman would win, because the people who write for him are way more intelligent.

Monday, August 10, 2009

N finds comfort in her new "big girl bed"

We bought N her new bed. It's a very simple twin mattress and box set. We moved it into her room on Saturday, and Saturday night we tried putting her down for bed on her big girl bed. She cried, as expected--quite a lot, actually. She started trying to climb back into her crib--but couldn't quite make it. Eventually, after she had started to give up, she got up from her big girl bed, ran across the room, grabbed her Book of Mormon, ran back to her bed, opened it up and pretended to read it.

I'm glad my little 20-month-old finds comfort in the scriptures--I just wish she had found some comfort in her new bed. We ended up putting her back into her crib for the night, and we're gonna let her get used to the bigger bed being in her room before we make the transistion.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Almost forgot


Projects in the works and to come since the new sewing machine: (so far)

One outfit down for N.
One already cut out and ready to start.
A pettiskirt - like this, only first one will be different colors. (silly giggle).
A quilt for N.
Baby quilt for V. - Created a pattern, and I'm pretty sure I've picked a theme.
Busy book - Very excited about this!

And a few bags for a humanitarian project in our ward.

Puppy Love

Todd: How was the park?
me: A little windy, but she liked it. Even more so when a boy showed up with a puppy
that thought she was cooler then a water puddle on a summers day.
Todd:wow
(my eyes are burning just thinking about it, but that's cute).


Todd is allergic to cats and dogs. So sad :(




my 3rd baby

Baby #3 arrived to our family before baby#2 was even finished in the "oven".
How so?
The FedEx man ;)
He delivered my new sewing machine to our doorstep a few weeks back. And I know some of you have been wanting to know what the specs are.

First let me tell you how it came to be. Todd knew I wanted a new sewing machine, not that I wasn't grateful for the Viking a complete stranger gave to me because of a plead I put out in the KSL classifieds online, but it was very limited as to what it could do. Great for a beginner or someone who needed to relearn, or who just plain needed something. I was all three. This sweet lady called me up and practically did a temple recommend interview before deciding to pass one of her 3 sewing machines my way. I was kinda funny as I think back on that phone call. She lived North of Salt Lake City but as "fate" had it, she had a daughter who lived in my neck of the woods and after having visited her mother, brought it down to me. Here is the beautiful gift she bestowed upon me.This Viking 150 is a powerful, simple machine. And boy did it satisfy the "sewing itch" that I had. Thank you Peggy for having an extra machine around the house that you felt impressed to give me.

After moving on to clothing for N, I noticed the machine either couldn't do or had a very manual way of doing certain stitches. So I started to look online for a similar model to the one I learned on at BYU-Idaho, to dream about. I discovered a Janome DC2010 on Amazon and put it on my Wish List.

After Todd started his new job and bought himself the monitor he wanted as a reward for the hard work he had done he started looking online at sewing machine for me, without me knowing! He came across this beauty on the HSN - Home Shopping Network! Now just because it was the HSN I had my doubts. A great-aunt of mine and my bio-dad have each their share of lemons from it. But when Todd confessed what he was wanting to do I started a more intense search, all the while Todd talked this one up.

I went to some stores to try out, to check prices, and compare. Read online reviews and checked to see what would fit in the price range Todd had set. When the green light came for me to buy what I wanted, I went to a store and tried a Brother Embroidery Machine. I guess you could say the in-store-one-model-up from the one on the HSN. I liked it, but the price was pushing it. That evening after thinking it over I gave Todd the go ahead to order the one off the HSN. All the sudden got very anxious and wanted it here, checking the tracking of it 2-3x's a day! Oh how I could have kissed the delivery man!

Here it is!
LCD touch screen, 98 already programed in stitch functions, auto thread cutter (don't have to use my scissors much), 4x4 embroidery field, USB cord to attach it to the computer for more downloads, +!
Heaven :)

Here's it with the Embroidery arm attached.
(Sorry picture is slightly blurred, I'm having "issues" with our snap-shot cameras. But thats another story.)
This is perfect for me right now and will be for many moons to come!
Thank you Todd!
How blessed we've been with your new job. Thank you for working so very hard!

Since recieving this new machine, and being satisfied with what it can do/handle, I have since passed on the Viking to another girl who had developed the "itch" and didn't have a machine. May it serve you well while you have it Mercedes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Recession is over!

No, really, it pretty much is. May this all be a lesson to you: that it is all about perception.

Apparently, what caused this recession was people simply selling what they had left in inventory--rather than continually re-stocking their shelves. They perceived that sales were lacking, so they wanted to wait until they could safely restock their shelves to meet up with their speculation of lower sales. This led to layoffs, which persuaded even fewer people to buy merchandise (as they did not have jobs to buy it with).

But, the key indicators of the GDP are on the rise, and unemployment will drop soon too. Congratulations people: Recession is over (unless some idiots start saying otherwise :D ).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Reasons why I will not develop for Internet Explorer

I don't care if my website works in Internet Explorer or not. If they don't work for you, then there are a number of alternative browsers that are free to get, easy to find, simple to install, and superior in nearly every way conceivable. I don't use it, I don't want it. It's a liability to you and your computer to continue using it. As a programmer, I have some very good reasons why my webpage does not and should not work in Internet Explorer:
  1. Not w3c compliant, not even a very good effort to become so - they don't care about standards, they don't care about the developer, they don't care about you
  2. Poor scores on the acid tests--not even comparable to other browsers
  3. Security or complete lack thereof--honestly, the less secure Microsoft can make their browser, the more money they stand to make, either for themselves or their partners
  4. Money, money, money. For an alternative price scheme, see the Ubuntu promise at the bottom of the linked page (note: Ubuntu does nearly everything windows does, with the exception of DirectX 3D gaming, but is not for people who don't have the time to re-learn how to use their computer)
  5. I have to garbage collect my javascript!? (see O'Reilly's Learning Javascript 2E, section 7.3 for more details)
  6. Failed to support transparent and 24-bit pngs
  7. Not helpful when it needs to be, and too much help when it shouldn't be.
  8. Performance, not so bad starting itself (cold start)--very bad running applications (javascript and memory usage), which is what I would care about as a developer
  9. CSS rendering (the technology that makes pages look so dog-on pretty): FAIL
  10. No page-style switching -- forcing longer page-load times, and completely removing any kind of convenient customization a site could offer
  11. If I were to make this list about an open-source browser, these problems would get fixed (probably within a month or two)
So, as I'm developing websites--I have decided that I will only make a single web page that will work with IE, and that page will have instructions on how to get Firefox. I won't jeopardize my client's computers with that IE garbage.

Monday, July 27, 2009

TIME

I picked up an issue of TIME magazine at the doctor's office while I waited to be called back. I was drawn to it because of the title and picture of the front page.

You can get the full article off the TIME website by clicking on this link.
Here are some excerpts that I pasted here as a "preview" to what this article contains. I'd encourage you check it out and read it in its entirety.

"In the past 40 years, the face of the American family has changed profoundly. As sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin observes in a landmark new book called The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today, what is significant about contemporary American families, compared with those of other nations, is their combination of 'frequent marriage, frequent divorce' and the high number of 'short-term co-habiting relationships.' Taken together, these forces 'create a great turbulence in American family life, a family flux, a coming and going of partners on a scale seen nowhere else. There are more partners in the personal lives of Americans than in the lives of people of any other Western country.'"


"...two-parent family remains our cultural ideal, but it exists under constant assault."

"...Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in May that births to unmarried women have reached an astonishing 39.7%."


"...Barack Obama has spoken powerfully on the need for men to stay with their children: 'We need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.'"

"Few things hamper a child as much as not having a father at home. 'As a feminist, I didn't want to believe it,' says Maria Kefalas, a sociologist who studies marriage and family issues and co-authored a seminal book on low-income mothers called Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage. "Women always tell me, 'I can be a mother and a father to a child,' but it's not true." Growing up without a father has a deep psychological effect on a child. "The mom may not need that man," Kefalas says, 'but her children still do.'"

* Note it says children need a mother and a father. We have divine roles and it is vital to uphold the purity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"When children are born into a co-habiting, unmarried relationship, says Rector, 'they arrive in a family in which the principals haven't resolved their most basic issues,' including those of sexual fidelity and how to share responsibilities."

"America's obsession with high-profile marriage flameouts — the Gosselins and the Sanfords and the Edwardses — reflects a collective ambivalence toward the institution: our wish that we could land ourselves in a lasting union, mixed with our feeling of vindication, or even relief, when a standard bearer for the 'traditional family' fails to pull it off. This is ultimately self-defeating. It is time instead to come to terms with both our unrealistic expectations for a happy marriage and our equally unrealistic beliefs about the consequences of walking away from the families we build."


"...the current generation of children, the one watching commitments between adults snap like dry twigs and observing parents who simply can't be bothered to marry each other and who hence drift in and out of their children's lives — that's the generation who will be taking care of us when we are old."

Side note: I know due to circumstances out of our control a single parent might be the only option we are given. But if that is not a result of death then may we be able to stand by our spouse, to be self-sacrificing, to be loving and not selfish or belittling in the things we say and do. Cherish each other. Do not use sarcasm or joke of serious things that we know destroy families everyday.

I feel extremely blessed, not "lucky", that I have married a man who honors and loves me. Who never jokes of divorce or separation and is committed to God. For I know his commitment will spill over to me and our children. I burst with overwhelming love when I think of what I know, and what I know is that our marriage has been sealed and blessed by God. That as we turn to him in our times of weaknesses, and doubt that he will strengthen us, to work side-by-side and to raise our children the best we can as we faithfully do what has been required of us.

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World

I am thankful for the instructions we are given from the Lord. For our modern day prophet, President Monson, and the men who are called to serve in positions of great responsibility and care. May we stand by them, to help and lift them as the world slaps at them to concede to their standards. For as we strengthen and help each other I truly know we will be strengthen to withstand the ugliness that is here and continual mounting.




Monday, July 20, 2009

Positive Reinforcement

So, I think we've conditioned our child a little too well. When she prayed with us, or sat down and read scriptures, we would clap for her and tell her what a good job she was doing. Well, the tables have turned now. Whenever we pray, and we fold our arms and bow our head, she claps for us and gives us a big smile.

Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but she happened to clap for the all the prayers in church this week. Still, not so much a problem--but I don't know quite how to explain to her that, particularly with the sacrament prayers, it's more important to be reverent then to show enthusiasm.

For now, I guess I'll just enjoy the positive reinforcement N gives to anyone who prays or reads their scriptures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Conversing with a two year old: Part 1

Last week, Dani and I went to the temple with some friends (Richard and Kristine Low). Prior to that, Dani and I were getting dressed in our church clothes. I was combing my hair when N walks in, looks at me in my church clothes, and then turns around and closes the door.
Odd behavior--even for her. As soon as the door is closed, and she's ensured this will be a "private" conversation, she says, "Um, dad? Wha's going on?"
"Mommy and I are getting ready to go to the temple."
"Um, okay. Wha's gonna happen to me?"
"Your aunt Missy is going to watch you tonight"
"OH YEAH!!" she turns around and then tries to open the door. I help her, and she scampers off. I about cried laughing--she can barely talk!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Insomnia, and not knowing what to do with it

I am an insomniac. I always have been--from the days when I could first talk, I nearly drove my mother mad with the words, "I awake!"

I don't like to sleep. That's the core of it. I can sleep, when I want to--but I never want to. I always feel like I'm wasting my time. I think its because I'm addicted to discovery.

Late at night, when no one is around to talk to you or bother you is often the best time to be alone with your thoughts. Take right now for instance--I just discovered a new strategy for a video game, got bored, and now I'm left here to think about whatever interests me (in this case, it's carbon "bucky-balls"). If only sleep could always be like meditation--relaxing and peaceful, but productive.

Alas, when I do sleep, I have strange dreams of going to a football game with Guido Van Rossum (he invented the programing language that I primarily use). Why can't it be more like "exploring the mechanisms of a firearm?" or looking into the detailed composition of different medicinal chemicals and seeing how they react with the body? No, instead, I get a football game--something that I've never particularly enjoyed, and certainly have never had a serious interest in.

That's why I hate sleep--I hate where it takes my mind. Never controlled--rarely entertaining, and always random. It just seems so unproductive. Maybe I should learn the da'vinci sleep patterns--but I think it'd kill me if I tried. Anyways, I took a sleep aide about two hours ago, and it just now is kicking in (it's only supposed to take 30 minutes!)

Feel free to post any alternatives to sleep that you've found.

Look at what my dad did!

Todd and I were given a table by my Grandpa and Grandma Paul when we were married, but we didn't get it right off because there was no way to get it to us in Utah. When grandpa got sick and had to move from Washington to Texas, a truck and trailer were called in to haul what was being kept. Only instead of being dropped off in Utah the table went to Texas where it underwent a transformation. Mom and I started to strip it, and mom used her new sanding belt (I hate sanding, so thanks mom) to finish the stripping, and then dad took over.

Here is our table before hand:


And here it is AFTER!!!


Didn't he do a great job! The staining he did looks so much richer then the stain mom and I originally picked out. It also happened to be the wrong mixture so dad fixed that too. I'm excited!

Here's the history behind the table:
Your great, great-grandparents, Leafy and Algeron Clayton were given the table on their wedding day 14 Feb 1928, in Salt Lake, Utah, by a woman who had received it as a gift on her wedding day 60 years prior. There are no manufactures markings on it, so Dad and I believed it was home made by someone in the Clayton family who made furniture. It has been used for many meals and puzzles. Mom

so 140+ years at least!

Thanks mom and dad!

Midwife time?

I mentioned to Todd about 2 weeks ago that I might check into the option of a midwife instead of using one of the doctors at the Provo Clinic. Now I have had a great experience with Provo Clinic and it's doctors, but I've noticed some changes since N was born. The biggest and most concern to me is how it has expanded. I don't care that half of my appointments are in the building across the parking lot, what I do care about is that they have added about 3 new doctors. That makes, what, 8? Now you ask, "What's the big deal?", well you don't get assigned a doctor at Provo Clinic which equals when you go into labor any of those 8 doctors could deliver your baby, even if you've never met them before. I don't care for that.

Now talking with a few women from the ward who have gone the midwife route, Utah valley doesn't have them, or at least none of them deliver there. Which means a change in hospitals. The closest hospital is Orem, and they have the program "New Beginnings". I've heard "so, so" remarks there. The one that gets all the rave is American Fork. An even longer drive, but would it be worth it? I'll let you know. I'm looking into setting up an interview/appointment to get the inside scoop.

Todd's biggest concern was insurance. He was all on board when I said they would cover it. Todd then tossed in the option of having the baby at home with a midwife. That blew me away! He said he just felt so useless at the hospital and being at home he'd feel he'd be able to help out more. I'm open to the option, just not this birth. I'd like to see how things go at the hospital with a midwife before venturing into the at home birth world. I like hospitals, I LOVE modern medicine, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the fact that someone else cleans up during and afterwards! I just want to be more in control of my options now that I have a bigger, clearer picture of pregnancy, and labor and delivery.

What else has changed since N? I WILL NOT be induced again. Forget it. My first doctors visit for baby #2 went kinda like this:

Dr.: So I see you have a daughter. How much did she weigh when she was born?
me: She was 8lbs 12 oz.
Dr.: (Big saucer eyes that already said they'd give me the option to be induced early) Oh my!

Not this time buck-o. I hated all the drugs I received. Todd says I was pretty much high for 3 days. Now I have not changed my views on an Epidural. Oh, how it was my best friend. It let me sleep for 7 hours, I was given just enough so I could still move my legs for the must part unassisted, and how it relieved me of the back labor. But remember I was given ripening gel and I had no build up of contraction pain, just a sudden-out-of-the-blue level 10 contraction that took me to the floor, literally. So it depends, can I take the build up, is baby posterior, is baby breech (since I have an upside down heart shaped uterus, I have a higher chance of having my babies breech), or something else? N was perfectly healthy, the only reason the baby ICU team was there was because she had her first bowel movement before coming. But she was fine.

So I'll keep you updated with what happens and where.

Monday, July 13, 2009

first outfit in a LONG time

I made this last week.
I was on a sewing high after so many baby shower gifts I NEEDED to keep going.
After discovering this fabric in the hall closet that my mom sent me a WHILE ago, I put it to good use.
I gave this to Summer along with the yellow nursing cover I made the week before. I have plenty of fabric so I'm making another one for N.


I haven't made clothing since my sewing class at BYU-Idaho.
That was, hum, 3 years ago!
I just got really intimidated by clothing patterns.
I don't know why, some newly surfaced phobia?
Any ways I'm on the road to recovery :S

ready to go


While Todd and I got ready to go to the Temple with Richard and Kristine we noticed my shoes were already in use. N spent about 15 minuets just walking around the house with them on with out tripping!

Friday, July 10, 2009

How to learn computers

I seem to have received this question with increased frequency lately: "How did you learn so much about computers?"

I guess first, you'd have to have some idea of what I do know about computers.
Here's a condensed list of what I know:
  • I know how the internet works
  • I understand how 1s and 0s are converted into useful programs
  • I can program
  • I know what a machine is doing while you're waiting for it to boot
  • I usually know what a program is doing when you get an hour glass
  • I know everything that can be known about the windows OS without having the source code available--from design, to internal workings
  • I know most of the internal workings of Linux
  • I am comfortable with most types of unix-based operating system
So, how did I learn all that? I've thought a lot about how to answer that, and here it is:

Mess around

That's it. I'm not scared of my machine. I've never been scared of losing my pictures or music or anything. I backed them up onto a CD if I thought they were important, and then just dug around and started changing things in the computer to see what they would do. I've broken it--but even that isn't a big deal, as it only takes 8 clicks (15 if it's windows) and about 30 minutes of waiting (up to 2 hours in windows) to wipe the computer clean and start again fresh. The longer you do that, the more proficient you'll be with you computer. Treat it as a toy--not as a tool, and then beat it up and play with it.
It, sometimes, helps if you know what you want to do with your computer. I typically wanted them to play games--but I eventually moved onto wanting to do fancy server-side stuff. If you're willing to experiment with your machine--you'll quickly discover what it can do. Just don't be afraid of anything on it, and there's no limit to how much you can learn.

So, there. I learned computers by messing around.

Monday, July 6, 2009

more crafts

Here are some hair accessories I've put together for some specific outfits N has.
There's this years 4th of July, and some ribbon flowers for a dress I bought her made of the same ribbons.
She was tired after we picked her up from nursery Sunday.Thank Heavens!

bye, bye daddy

This was N this morning as Todd was walking to the car to take off for work.And we've discovered that she not only can operate the blinds but she can now open doors, guess it's time to buy some of the security door knob covers.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nostalgia

It's not just sitting by a cozy fire in a cabin reminiscing of yonder days--and, as I found out recently, it's not just a marketing gimmick either.

I watched the Power Rangers Movie this past week. That's right, a grown man with children went back and watched a movie he hadn't seen since he was 10. That movie had a lot going for it, conceptually. The writing was bad, most the acting was awful, and the premise of the plot was about pot-hole deep, but I still enjoyed watching it more than the recent terminator movie.

I started watching it because it was featured on Hulu, and figured that I'd get sick of it and turn it off after five minutes. When I had finished watching the whole thing, I thought, "how, on earth, did that keep me entertained for 90 minutes?"

Well, the first answer is Paul Freeman as Ivan Ooze (the bad guy) was hilarious. He was a good enough actor to make up for the over-done acting of Amy Jo Johnson (the whiney pink ranger). Second, was the values that it (attempted) to portray.

This scene almost made me cry, since I haven't seen anything like it in a long time. This is at the end, after they defeated Ivan, and are watching fireworks together.
Look at their eyes--and how Tommy is holding Kimberly. It's totally innocent. They aren't just pretending to be happy here, like most actors do. They are happy. They enjoy each other's company, and that's good enough for them. There's no lust in their eyes or in their body language. I haven't even seen a scene like this in real life for more than a decade. Teenagers always are looking at members of the opposite sex with only one thought on their mind. Even most the young adults I'm around show in their demeanor and body language that they are preoccupied with less-than-wholesome intentions. In this scene, Tommy is being very respectful of her, and she isn't doing anything to tempt him.
I know this was a movie for 9-year-old boys (that's when I saw it), but how many actors and producers do you see today emphasize values of chastity and modesty? Think of the last time you ever saw someone demonstrate through quiet and subtle example that value?

Power Rangers in 1995 was it for me, 14 years ago.

I tried using IMDB to browse through all the movies that came out in 1995. I found "A Little Princess," which definately beats out Power Rangers for quality, but came out a month before Power Rangers. Sadly, I also realized (after looking through the complete releases of 1995 alphabetically) that around 40% of all films that came out that year were pornographic.

So, I like going for nostalgia and "vintage" because it's the only enertainment left that doesn't try to seduce me.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....