Monday, December 28, 2009

Ups and Downs

We had a good Christmas. On Thursday, Christmas Eve, we had family over and James got engaged to Micah. We celebrated Christmas the next day; all of us were pretty happy with our presents. I got a netbook computer--that's what I'm using, in bed, to write this!

On Saturday, we had our Christmas dinner, good fettuccine and noodles. We watched a lot of Christmas movies that we had recorded on our DVR.

Yesterday, because the weather was dry, we took down our outside Christmas decorations. In the process of doing this, the ladder that I was standing on fell over--and I broke my ankle--the first broken bone that I've had in 52 years! I'll be in a cast for 6 to 8 weeks. I'm struggling to get around on the crutches, especially, going up and down the stairs.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vainiaku's 20th Birthday

Today was my daughter Vainiaku's 20th birthday. It's hard to believe! The years have gone fast.

I took her and Selita out for breakfast and some shopping at Pioneer Place. I'm looking forward to seeing them more over the holidays.

I have my Christmas shopping and wrapping finished. Tomorrow evening, we're celebrating Christmas Eve with our family.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Avatar was Great!

Les & I went to see Avatar in 3-D yesterday afternoon. The alien planet was rendered very well, the creatures and vegetation realistically shown.

Joy and her mother, sister, and niece baked cookies. The house smelled yummy when I got home last night.

I'm off work for the rest of the year, so I get to relax some in addition to doing items from my 'honey do' list.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Last Work Day of 2009.

I'm working from home today--to avoid the holiday traffic this afternoon. It has been kind of strange starting to right down 2010 on appointments, etc.. It has been almost 10 years since the the first 3 digits of the year have been 200!

We are going out to eat at Claim Jumper this evening, then driving down I-5 to Keizer to see the Miracle of Christmas Lighting Display.

On Sunday, Les and I are talking about going to see Avatar in 3D while the ladies do their cookie baking.

I've started my Project365. My 2009 pictures are at Project 365-2009. I'm mostly a scenery and nature photographer, so it will be a challenge taking daily photos until better weather arrives.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rainy Weather

It's been raining pretty much constantly for the last couple of days. Yesterday, I dropped my car off for an oil change and walked home in the rain. Fortunately, I was wearing my felt hat so my head stayed dry.

Last evening, we attended a Christmas pageant held by the children where Joy works. The kids were cute.

During the night, I woke up thinking about making a New Year's Resolution to start a project to take a picture every day and post it on my Picasa site. This morning, my daily email from Digital Photography School contained an item about Photography Project365--interesting timing.

Our house decorations are almost finished. Hopefully, it will be all ready by Friday evening before we take our trip to Keizer to look at Christmas lights.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The snow and freezing rain missed Portland.

The bad weather that was forecast for us went south of us, so we had relatively good weather. There was a little frost on the cars and road yesterday morning when we went out for breakfast, but it just required a little more care in driving, especially in shady areas.

After breakfast, we worked on getting the house into shape for Christmas. We put up additional shelves for nicknacks, and organized our stairwell landing and spare bedroom.

We also watched some TV Christmas movies on our DVR--recorded from Hallmark and Lifetime channels.

I'm now at work for the last Monday that I work until next year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2 weeks until Christmas

It's Friday, December 11. Two weeks from today is Christmas Day.

On Sunday, assuming we don't get snowed in [which is a possibility!], we're planning to attend Posada Milagro so that John can get some extra Spanish practice. It is a Christmas pageant, all in Spanish.

We'll probably spend some time catching up on some of the holiday movies that we've been recording from Hallmark and Lifetime.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Still clear & cold!

The weather has continued to be clear and cold. On the way to work this morning, they reported that it was 3 degrees in Vernonia. For the weekend, the forecast is for some freezing rain, and then more normal weather for Portland.

Last evening, James and his girlfriend, Micah, came over for dinner. It was nice to see them. Micah is acting in a play at her school, Thoroughly Modern Millie. We might go see her performance this weekend.

Today for lunch, I went with some friends to Daphne's Greek Cafe. The food was very good, a change from our normal lunchtime destinations. I'll have to take Joy to one of their restaurants sometime.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Cold, Clear Weekend

It was clear and cold all weekend long, and is supposed to stay that way for most of the week.

Saturday evening, Joy & I watched My Favorite Wife, an old black & white Cary Grant and Irene Dunne movie that we got from Netflix. I also got another HDMI cable so that we can hook my notebook to the TV and use it for Netflix streaming of movies and TV shows.

We went out and got our Christmas tree yesterday; we got it from a U-Pick location outside Sandy, the same place as last year. We got a 7 foot tall noble fir for $10. It will look good in our living room.

Last evening, John had his 1st date at the PAA Winter Banquet. He looked very sharp in his suit and tie. While he was at the banquet, Joy & I went to the Old Spaghetti Factory by the river and shared a fettucine alfredo for dinner. After the good meal, we drove through the streets of downtown Portland, enjoying the Christmas lights and decorations.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Ducks Won!

It was a close, hard-played game, and the Ducks prevailed at the end, winning 37 to 33. During the game, I was talking to my daughter, a Beaver's fan (her cousin played for the Beavers before going into Arena Football), on the phone and a friend who is a fellow Duck's fan online. Made for an interesting environment.

The news stories for the game talked about a girl from Oklahoma, Angel Wilson, who has cerebral palsy. She loves the Ducks, her eyes lighting up whenever she sees them play. A group of Duck and Beaver fans collected money to bring her to the game. This is a heart-warming story.

I'm glad that it is Friday, although the weekend will be pretty busy, between multimedia duty this evening and tomorrow and John's Winter Banquet on Sunday.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Civil War Thursday 2009

Tonight, at Autzen Stadium, the Oregon Ducks play the Oregon State Beavers in the annual Civil War. The winner of tonight's matchup will play in the Rose Bowl on January 1 against the Ohio State Buckeyes. As a University of Oregon alumni, of course I have to cheer for the Ducks. Hopefully, the game will be similar to last year's result--where the Ducks won 65 to 38. However, in the very unfortunate case in which the Ducks were to lose the game tonight, I'd still cheer for the Beavers against the Buckeyes come January 1.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to work time.

We had a good Thanksgiving break. We ate lots of good food with the family.

Friday, Joy went out to do some Black Friday shopping. I stayed home near my computer so that I could give her directions to the stores--plus I avoided the crowds! Friday afternoon, we met Les & Keri to go see A Christmas Carol. Les & I want to go see it in 3-D sometime, but the ladies aren't interested in that, feeling a little queasy just from the 2-D version.

Saturday evening, we went to a ballroom dancing class. They were teaching the cha-cha-cha. The class was definitely targeted at people who'd been through other dancing classes. I felt very awkward. It was still fun, but I want to learn some basic steps at home (via youtube or DVDs before venturing out in public again!) After the dancing, we went to the Spaghetti Factory by the Willamette River for dinner. We split a vegetarian lasagna dish, reducing the cost--and the calories!

Yesterday, we put up our outside Christmas lights and decorations. Our house looks pretty with the bright lights and other Christmas figurines--snowmen, angels, reindeer, etc. Last evening, we did another movie with Les & Keri, Couples Retreat. The scenery from Bora Bora made us want to take our own couples retreat!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

Last evening, while doing some cooking, we watched Planes, Trains & Automobiles to get us in the Thanksgiving spirit.

We're going to get together with Joy's family today for food, laughter, and some football. Even though I'm a vegetarian, I always find plenty to eat and have never left the table still hungry. Yummy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!

Tomorrow, Joy is getting up early for Black Friday shopping, then in the afternoon, we are going to see Disney's A Christmas Carol with our friends Les & Keri. We're also planning to get see Couple's Retreat with them on Sunday evening. Another movie that Joy is looking forward to is The Princess and the Frog. She is a frog lover, so will enjoy watching that animated film; its trailer looks funny.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Good Weekend to Remember

Over the weekend, Joy & I went to a Weekend to Remember seminar. It was very good. At the end, on Sunday, we renewed our wedding vows. We're already talking about attending another one sometime in the future and also having some marriage enhancement meetings in our home.

On Saturday evening, we went to The Melting Pot in downtown Portland for a date night. The food was spectacular, but very rich. We had a cheese fondue, salads, a vegetable entree and Bananas Foster for dessert. Joy has already set this as one of her favorite restaurants and we're looking forward to visiting it with friends sometime.

I have this week off for vacation; unfortunately, Joy still has to work.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Friday before Thanksgiving

The holiday season is rushing towards us. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. I have next week off; I'm sure that Joy will have a Honey Do list for me to work on.

Joy & I will be at a Weekend to Remember seminar at Jantzen Beach this weekend. It should be a good recharge to our marriage. John will be spending the weekend at a friend's home, so we'll have the house to ourselves so we can dance and play together.

Joy is already looking through advertisements in preparation for Black Friday shopping.

We're already talking about vacations for next summer. We're thinking of taking a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but nothing is definite yet. After last summer's trips to California and Vegas, we're going to try spending less money in 2010.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stormy Weather

There have been high winds and rain here in the northwest. Along the coast, there have been gusts of up to 90 mph. Even here in the valley, the gusts have reached around 50 mph. Another storm system is supposed to come through this afternoon.

This weekend, Joy and I are attending a Weekend to Remember conference with our friends Les & Keri. It should be a good refresher for our marriage.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A trip up the Gorge

On Saturday afternoon, we drove up the gorge with our friends Les & Keri. It was cloudy, but still pretty, with the yellow fall leaves against the backdrop of the Columbia River and its waterfalls. Our first stop was at Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint. We next stopped at Shepperd's Dell. We've driven past this many times, but had never stopped. It was interesting to see the lovely waterfalls that can't be seen from the road. Our next stop was at the Bridal Veil Overlook. We strolled along the trail with I-84 and the Columbia River below us. We hoped to see some otters across from Horsetail Falls, but they weren't out. The snow level was down to about 1500', so we got some pictures with snow on some of the hills. Back in Portland, we went to eat at Chang's Mongolian Grill.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

I don't suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia or any other superstition that I'm aware of, so I like Fridays.

Joy had a sleep study last night and today. They are trying to see if she has narcolepsy. Hopefully, they'll figure out something so she can be more rested after a night of sleep.

The freezing level tonight is supposed to get down to around 1000 feet, higher than our home, but still pretty low. The ski areas up on Mt. Hood are all open as of today. Maybe they'll have another long ski season this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A nice visit

My parents came down yesterday afternoon to visit with us and attend a Portland Dahlia Society meeting. We had a good dinner and visit, and I worked on my dad's computer.

The weather has been a mixture of sun and rain. I saw a couple of rainbows on my way home yesterday.

An elementary school down the street from us burned down yesterday. All of the students and faculty are safe, thankfully.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Brilliant Sunrise

There's a lovely, colorful sunrise out this morning.

The men's conference that I attended was very good. The weather was interesting, too. It was sunny and clear when I drove to Gladstone on Saturday morning. By lunch time, it was raining in buckets, with several flashes of lightning.

Yesterday, we did some work around the house. I started getting some shelves set up for Joy to put some of her nicknacks on.

Friday, November 06, 2009

A very rainy Friday

It was pouring when I drove to work this morning. There were winds of over 80 MPH at some of the peaks in the coast range last night. The weather forecast is for there to be several feet of snow in the mountains between now and Monday. I'm sure that the ski areas and skiers are ecstatic about this.

This evening and tomorrow, I'll be attending a Men's Convocation at the Holden Convention Center in Gladstone.

I'm glad that it is Friday!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Portland VMware Users Conference

Yesterday, I attended a VMware Users Conference, sponsored by the Portland Area VMware User Group. It was interesting, but targeted more at IT (for doing server and desktop virtualization), rather than a developer using it to run a different operating system, such as Linux, as an application hosted on my computer.

I won a nice backpack in a drawing. They also gave away a Macbook Pro notebook computer. That would've been nice to put in the new backback, but no such luck! Oh well, with several hundred attendees, the probability of me winning was very low.

A strong storm is forecast to hit the northwest tomorrow through the weekend, with the Cascades getting several feet of snow. That will make the skiers and ski resorts happy.

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's November

We had a fun weekend. Saturday evening, we had a double date with our friends Les & Keri. They came over so Joy could get Keri into a costume. While they got ready, Les and I watched the Oregon Ducks whip USC in football. After the ladies were dressed, we went to eat at Olive Garden, then stopped at a local club for 30 minutes or so. Returning home, we put on a variety of music types and danced in our living room.

Yesterday, John and Joy both slept in until about noon, even with the time change. I sure wish that they would just leave the time alone!

Now, it's back to work time--and Thanksgiving is only a little over 3 weeks away.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Karmic Koala released tomorrow

Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala, will be officially released tomorrow. I've been running the beta and RC versions of the OS for a couple of weeks. Earlier on, it had some video issues on the old Compaq computer that I'm using as my Linux box, but it has stabilized a lot over the last couple of days. Someday, I need to get a brand new system on which to install and enjoy Linux.

I've also been cleaning up a very old PIII system running Windows 2000 to use as a temporary backup if one of our primary systems dies. It had a bunch of stuff on it, like IIS, that only consumed memory and slowed down the box, so I uninstalled and/or changed services to manual launch.

My restructuring of the PHP code for my web site continues. I'm unpleasantly surprised by some of my old code--it makes me think, what was I doing!!! Fortunately, none of it is bad enough to deserve nomination to The Daily WTF, but the new structure, with DAO, etc., makes for much cleaner code and better division between the UI, the business logic, and the database, while making it easier to change to a different DBMS, etc.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We didn't make it to the Maze

Joy came down with a sore throat, etc., so we just relaxed at home on Saturday.

I upgraded the memory in Joy's computer (to 2gb) and installed Windows 7 Home Premium on three of our computers. The Win7 upgrade was fairly straight forward, but it took a long time, especially on my HP notebook. Joy's computer was running XP, so the Win7 upgrade for her computer required a new install, and then re-installing her applications.

So far, the new operating system seems to be very stable and somewhat snappier than Vista was.

Yesterday, we did some chores around the house, and I polished off The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown. It was a book that was hard to put down, but the ending was a little anti-climatic, after all of the action and suspense that lead up to it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Rainy Friday in October

It is supposed to rain for most of today, but tomorrow is supposed to be partly cloudy, so our trip to the zoo and the corn maze appear to still be viable.

I'm planning to upgrade some of the family computers to Windows 7 this weekend. We'll see how long that will take relative to the time it took to install Ubuntu 9.10. I expect that it will take significantly longer for Windows, but we'll see.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Rainy Wednesday

It was pouring as I drove to work this morning. We're thinking of going to the zoo and The MAiZE on Sauvie Island on Saturday. Hopefully, the rain will end before then!

I've been installing some open source applications, like Gallery, WordPress, and Mantis on both my linux box and my hosted web site. I'm going to experiment with their features; I might switch to blogging using WordPress, if I find that it meets my needs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A productive weekend

On Saturday, Joy and I went to a seminar at Rockwood SDA Church, Healing the Mind, presented by Dr. Timothy Jennings. He talked about how the mind and brain interact--the mind is the software and the brain is the hardware.

John had a sleepover birthday party on Saturday evening. Joy & I went to eat at Olive Garden--yummy Italian food.

Yesterday, I tried repairing a friend's computer. I think that it is having cooling issues. I cleaned out the dust and put new thermal compound between the CPU and the cooler, but it didn't help. I think that they are going to have to find a hardware geek to look at it.

I also setup Subversion on my linux box, to replace the CVS repository that I had running under Vista. It will be nice to have a central location for my source code, instead of manually synching it to several different devices.

I've been reading The Secret Sentry : the Untold History of the National Security Agency. It is interesting to read how the mistakes made in the 60s repeated themselves with the war against Iraq many years later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October is almost half over...

Time continues to fly by. Tomorrow will be October 15.

Yesterday, I had to install the Microsoft patches on all of our family computers. We have 6 Windows computers between the three people in the house; I think we need a few more! :-)

I also updated my Linux box to use the new GRUB 2 boot loader, too. I'm still having occasional GUI lockups, but expect that they'll get those fixed before the official release date.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Relaxing Weekend

--at least for me. Joy attended the Women of Faith conference, so she was gone most of the day Saturday. John & I just relaxed at home.

John tried to resurrect several old, dead computers by combining their parts, but was not successful. Now, he's interested in assembling his own desktop, using a barebone computer as a starting point.

I updated the operating system on my linux server to use Ubuntu 9.10 beta. There have been a few issues with the video driver for my Intel graphics device, but overall, I like 9.10 quite a bit. It is nice having the extra space the 80 gb drive gives me, too. I've installed a bunch of software that I would probably have just omitted with the much smaller 20 gb drive that was originally on the system.

Yesterday, we started a new eating plan. It should be interesting. Joy & I then went to the gym, where she beat me at racketball--yeah Joy!

The weather forecast is for rain to start this evening or tomorrow morning. Oh well, we had a good stretch of nice weather--and we don't want a drought, so I guess that I won't complain--too much... :-)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Playing with Ubuntu 9.10--Karmic Koala

I've upgrade an Ubuntu 9.04 virtual image to 9.10 (beta) to experiment with it some. I'll upgrade my linux box at home to 9.10 once it is officially released. I've been doing some work on my home system, too, changing from the original 20 gb drive to an 80 gb one, to have more space to install and develop. John can then use the 20gb drive in the system that he's trying to resurrect.

I could live quite happily using a linux box as my primary machine. Unfortunately, most of the world is still using Windows, so I need to have both available.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

More nice October weather

Our spell of pretty, sunny days continues. The forecast is the same through the weekend; then, clouds and rain--in other words, our normal Autumn weather--are supposed to start up.

Joy is going to Women of Faith this weekend with Keri and Esther. She should have a good time. Maybe, I'll drag John to the zoo on Saturday afternoon to see the new Predators of Serengeti exhibit.

John has really gotten into his computer disassembly/reassembly. It's good to see him interested.

Monday, October 05, 2009

A fun weekend

Saturday morning, John and I had multimedia duty at PVC. After church, we relaxed at home. Saturday evening, we watched Twister.

We also watched Stand and Deliver; I'd not seen that movie before. The fact that it was based on a true story made it even more interesting--plus I was a math major in college.

Yesterday, I did my weekly check for anti-spyware, etc. on the family computers. In the afternoon, John and I went with to the Rose Garden with our friends Les, Keri, and Josh for the Wells Fargo Fan Fest. The weather was nice and there was a nice, friendly crowd cheering for the Blazers.

Friday, October 02, 2009

1st Friday in October

I'm glad that it's Friday, even if the weather forecast is for cloudy, cool, rainy weather.

John & I have multimedia duty at PVC tomorrow. Esther is on, so that means we'll get a good breakfast out of it, though.

Joy is feeling a little better. Hopefully by tomorrow, she'll be back to normal.

We're looking into getting a magicJack adapter, to get almost free land line (actually, VoIP) telephone service, to complement our cell phones.

John has today off of school. He's been trying to get an old, dead computer to come to life. We'll see how he does. I'm not sure if it is a dead power supply, or a dead motherboard.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October is here

It's October 1. Less than 3 months until Christmas. Time does fly by.

I worked on computers last evening. Keri's printer was having some issues. I used to really like HP's printers, but now, though their hardware is still good, it seems that their software has decreased in quality. This is the second friend this week having software issues with their HP all-in-one printers. Oh well, they both got solved, eventually.

Joy is home sick with the flu. Hopefully, she'll get over its soon--and not share it with the rest of the family!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Colder weather

This is the 1st time in months that I've worn a jacket to work in the morning. The forecast is for more of this cooler, wetter weather.

Today, after work, I'm going to work on a friend, Keri's computer. It has been running slower and slower, so I suspect some type of spyware. Les runs the antispyware suite every week, so this makes me concerned that something is slipping by Spybot, Ad-Aware, and Anti-Malware. We will see.

My digital photoframe is showing some of the pictures from Disneyland, Sea World, etc., this summer. I'm already ready for another vacation! :-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Great September Weekend

On Saturday, Joy & I drove up the Columbia River Gorge. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We stopped at several spots off of the normal tourist route. We stopped at a waterfall hidden in a little canyon. We hiked a few minutes through the woods to a very scenic overlook near Crown Point, with a sheer drop off of hundreds of feet only a couple of feet from our feet.

Yesterday, we spent most of the day doing work around the house. I did quite a bit of cleanup and organizing of our office, while Joy worked on our bedroom. Last evening, we took James to Applebee's to celebrate his 21st birthday.

The weather forecast is a decided change from the sparkly sunshine of the last couple of weeks. Rain and clouds are coming in. Oh well, we had a nice summer, and I know that we'll make it through the autumn and winter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Funny movie!

Last evening, we went with several friends to see The Proposal, with Sandra Bullock. It was a very funny movie; all of us were laughing so much that we missed some of the dialog. It is one of the few that I've seen this year that I'd like to buy sometime.

The week is half gone, now, and the weekend is that much closer.

Tomorrow evening, I'm going to PVC to do some multimedia chores--replacing projector lamp, etc.

Yesterday, Portland broke an all time (or at least back to the 1880s...) record for the most days with 90 degrees or above temperatures. Today is supposed to be warm again, then back to more seasonable weather starting tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Painting is finished

On Saturday, the Oregon Ducks won and the Oregon State Beavers lost, a good day for a Ducks fan; but of course my friends who are Beaver fans would disagree with me.

Yesterday, Joy finished painting our bedroom and bathroom. It will be nice to get our room organized again.

We had a good weekend, watching movies, doing yard work, and eating a great Sunday breakfast at Sweet Tomatoes.

Portland is in for another stretch of hot weather. It is supposed to get up to about 90 today and even warmer tomorrow.

Tomorrow evening, we're planning to go see The Proposal with a bunch of our friends at The Academy Theater.

College is starting for many of my Facebook friends. Study hard, kids!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another week ends

Joy's painting of our bedroom is almost finished. It should be done over the weekend.

John has Fondue Friday tonight, so I'll take him and Cyrus to the meeting and Bjorn will bring John home afterwords.

Driving to Ochoa's yesterday for lunch with Brian, we saw some trees starting to change color. I guess that it's to be expected, since Autumn officially starts early next week--but it doesn't mean that I have to like it! Hah! Oh well, next thing you know it'll be spring again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September is half over

Time continues to fly by. We've had some nice, warm weather. They are forecasting some showers on Saturday, but other than that, it is all sunny and warm in the ten day forecast.

I've been experimenting with using vbscript to enable the scheduling of the defragmentation of my XP computers. Vista has scheduled defrag built in.

Our Logitech universal remote control at home died; I'm going to have to find a replacement. Otherwise, we need 4 different remotes to control the TV, cable box, etc. in our living room.

Joy has been painting our bedroom. That should be finished soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Fun September Weekend

On Saturday afternoon, we went to Sellwood Park to have a picnic with a bunch of our friends. We ate too much, laughed and visited, and enjoyed the shade trees. Brian and I showed off our phones (my G1, his Palm Pre) to the other guys, playing Youtube videos, etc. The ladies visited about school, work, etc. Les and I figured out how to set up his Nikon camera for continuous shooting and he got some good pictures of some of the middle school football games being played in front of us.

Yesterday morning, I put up some curtain rods in the living room while Joy did more painting of our bedroom. In the afternoon, we went to a wedding reception for some friends.

Last evening, we went to ComedySportz for a improvisational comedy show. John's Spanish I class is using some improv in the learning process and his teacher wanted the students -- and parents -- to be able to see it in use. We were all laughing, enjoying the show. We want to go back soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Eight years have passed since the tragic happenings on 9/11/2001. Our world has changed. America has much less freedom--to give us a sense of security. I was hoping that President Obama would restore some of the freedoms that were taken away by President Bush, but so far he is moving very slowly that direction, unfortunately.

The trillions of dollars that were spent in Iraq would have come in handy, here at home, with the recession that we're struggling with. I was definitely not a fan of Saddam Hussein, but felt then--and still feel now--that the economic boycott, etc., were working and should have been given more time. Also the "connection" between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists has never been proven to my satisfaction, so that premise to invade still seems ludicrous. Oh well, I'll get off of my soap box.

Tomorrow, we're planning to go to the Oregon Zoo to see the new Predators of the Serengeti exhibit. On Sunday, we have a wedding reception to attend and then on Sunday evening, we're going to ComedySportz with John's Spanish I class.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A good Labor Day weekend

We had a good weekend, despite the rainy weather. Joy started to paint our bedroom. I did some computer upgrades, including buying Joy a new Acer X223W 22" LCD monitor; it's big enough to display two letter sized pages side by side.

Last evening, we went out with our friends to see Up at a local theater. It was a funny, but thoughtful movie. Pixar just makes great movies.

Friday, September 04, 2009

More computer repairs

Yesterday, I went over and helped a friend with his computer. It was going very slow. Checking into it, I found that it only has 512mb of RAM, but is typically using 1gb of virtual memory, thus very slow. He's going to add a 1gb memory module and that should help.

We got some work done on our old Subaru--new tires, etc., but it is paid for, so paying a few hundred dollars once a year or so is better than paying several hundred dollars every month.

I'm looking forward to the three day weekend. Naturally, Joy already has plans for us to do some work around the house, but there'll still be time for fun, too.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Busy weekend!

It was a busy weekend. On Friday after work, I went and purchased a used TI-83 Plus calculator that I found on craigslist; I want to experiment with programming its Z80 processor, and don't want to risk John's TI-84 Plus Silver Edition that we bought him for school. That'll take me back to my TRS-80 Model I days. I then naturally needed to update its operating system to the latest version, 1.19. There were some hick ups along the way--the transfer died in the middle, but I eventually got it installed, using Google to help me find the solution. I then wrote a quick and dirty TI-Basic program to compute a Fibonacci Number.

Friday evening, I drove John and one his friends to a youth night at a home out past Oregon City.

On Saturday, I had multimedia duty at PVC. Steve Arrington was the speaker, telling the story of his life as a Navy diver, a convicted felon, chief diver for the Cousteau Society, and lay youth minister. He also had a program Saturday evening, showing undersea video from Fiji and Hawaii.

Yesterday, we went over to Joy's mom's house for brunch and for me to work on her computer. One of her grandkids had installed some software on her computer that had somehow disabled her sound card. I tried several different things and finally just reinstalled Windows XP on it. I set up a limited "Kids" account on there for the grandchildren to use, but prevent them from installing any software.

At work, I'm reading about a relatively new design pattern, Data Access Objects (DAO), that abstracts the persistence layer of an application from the business logic, making it easier to switch database managers, etc. I'm going to use that technique to refactor my homepage application.

Friday, August 28, 2009

August is drawing to an end

It is the last Friday in August. It is supposed to be nice weather again this weekend. I have multimedia duty tomorrow at PVC.

Yesterday, I installed eyeQ from Infinite Mind on John's computer. Hopefully, the techniques that he'll learn using that software package will help him read faster with better comprehension.

I got my work computer all defragged and it running much smoother and faster now. Yeah!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Slow work computer

My computer at work has gotten very slow. Tasks that should take about 30 seconds took 30 minutes yesterday. I checked for spyware and nothing except cookies showed up. I ran a disk check on it last night, but that came back clean. I finally decided to look at the fragmentation level, and the hard drive was very fragmented. I'm now running a defrag on it; hopefully, that'll get it back into good shape.

We've been having some great weather here in Portland this week.

My parents stopped by yesterday. They gave us a couple of boxes of yellow plums and some vegetables. Yummy!

We had to talk with John last evening about his homework. Even though school has only been going for a couple of weeks, he's already missed several assignments. This weekend, I need to help him learn to use the organizer feature on his TI-84 calculator. He can then enter his assignments on it while still in class, making it less likely that he'll forget them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A productive weekend

It was nice, comfortable weather for the weekend.

On Saturday evening, we went to Vancouver to Joy's sister Janie's house to visit and for me to work on their computer. It wasn't connecting to the internet. After a couple of hours of trying, including talking to Qwest on the phone, it turned out that their DSL modem was broken.

Yesterday, we cleaned and organized our small back yard and Joy started to unpack her frog collection. Then, Janie called to say that she'd gotten a new modem and I went over and got it configured for them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday, once again

It's Friday, August 21. The weather has cooled off; I'm so glad that it wasn't a long hot stretch look we endured a couple of weeks ago!

John had his first day of 10th grade yesterday. We reviewed some letters to parents that he brought for his Algebra II and Spanish I classes.

After buying John a TI-84 calculator for his Algebra class, I've been re-teaching myself how to use some of the more sophisticated features of my old HP-28S calculator. I still like using Reverse Polish Notation for solving problems on a calculator, so doing the normal computations is no problem. When I get a new phone, computer, etc., one of the first things that I look for and install is a calculator application that uses RPN. I have installed emulators for the HP-48SX calculator for both my computers (Emu48) and my phone (Droid48).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A change at home

Joely moved out to a different host family's home. We are all a little sad about this. We might be getting a male exchange student this weekend, but we don't know yet.

The weather has been hot, but not as bad as a couple of weeks ago--thankfully.

John starts school tomorrow. I got him a TI-84 Plus Silver Edition calculator; this should get him through all of his high school and early college math classes. If he goes on to take more advanced math than calculus, he might need to invest in a more advanced model, but that is several years down the road. This one is much more powerful than what I used when I went to graduate school 20 years ago, let alone the slide rule and trig tables that I used in high school math.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another hot week

We had a good weekend. Joy helped Joely to get her room painted. I got an old P4 box set up with XP Pro to use a print server and development test system, to replace a much older P3 box running Win2K.

PAA starts school on Thursday, so the kids need to get into school mode from their summer schedule. There is a get together this evening at PAA for their ESL students and their host families.

I've been researching prices on graphics calculators for John's Algebra II class. When I took that course and Trigonometry/Analytic Geometry, way back in the early 70s, I used a slide rule and trigonometry tables; calculators were just coming out. Our teacher brought in a magazine with an advertisement about the HP-35; we were all amazed by it and wished that we had a spare $400 or so to buy one. I still remember how to use my slide rule, but am glad that I don't have to use it all of the time. I have a HP-28S calculator from the late 80s that is older than John.

The temperature forecast for today through Wednesday is supposed to be in the 90s or possibly up to 100. I hope that it doesn't last!

Friday, August 14, 2009


We picked up our Chinese exchange student, Joely, at the airport on Wednesday evening. She's a senior at PAA, graduating in the spring. We went to eat dinner at Chang's and got to know her some. She's from southern China, near Hong Kong. She lives in a high rise building overlooking the ocean.

We're looking forward to the weekend, to get some relaxation in before the kids start school next week.

The weather forecast for next week is hot again. I think that Portland has had its heat quota already!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A rainy August Wednesday

It was raining this morning when I drove to work. You'd think that people who live in Oregon would know how to drive in rain--but apparently they don't! There were 3 different accidents that I went past just on my way to work, all within a mile of each other. They looked like the cars had spun out going around corners.

Tonight, we go to Portland International Airport to pick up our Chinese exchange student, Joely. The house is all spick and span, ready for the new family member.

John has been doing soccer warmups. He looks like a lobster, he is so sun burned.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A good August weekend

On Saturday afternoon, Joy and I drove up to Larch Mountain.

Yesterday, we got confirmation that we are going to get the exchange student, so we spent the day getting her room ready.

John starts a week of soccer camp today, getting him in shape for the soccer season at PAA. He's not looking forward to school starting next week, though.

Friday, August 07, 2009


It's Friday, August 8. At 12:34:56 today, the time & date will be 12:34:56 07/08/09 -- 123456789--using the European style of date.

Yesterday evening, we had a visit with the placement people for a female exchange student from China. It would be good for John to have a sister, even for a year. If all the paperwork goes through ok, we'll pick her up at PDX next Wednesday.

I have Multimedia again tomorrow at PVC. After that, if the weather cooperates, Joy and I will probably take a hike somewhere.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another Wednesday--and it's getting cooler

It is supposed to be in the low 80s today and in the 70s tomorrow and Friday, with a chance of rain by Friday--a big change from a week ago!

Last evening, we went to see The Brothers Bloom with Les & Keri. It was a quirky, funny movie with lots of little twists and surprises.

I installed a new version of CHDK onto my SD550 camera. It is kind of cool to be able to shoot Raw images, use manual shutter speed and aperture, etc., all on camera that easily fits into a pocket.

Monday, August 03, 2009

August 2009 is here

It is the first Monday--and workday--in August. Thankfully, the weekend was cooler than it had been for the last week.

On Saturday, after our multimedia duty, we relaxed at home with Joy's sister, Julie. We watched Luther and Cry, the Beloved Country with Julie and Justin and drank root beer floats.

Yesterday, Joy and I went to the wedding at Mt. Tabor Church. It wasn't air conditioned and with several hundred people inside the sanctuary, it was hot and muggy. The reception was at Creston Park and was underneath some nice shady trees.

Today's forecast is for the temperature to be in the high 80s, but it is also supposed to be a little more humid, making for a muggy feeling.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A little bit cooler.

Yesterday, the high temperature in Portland got to around 99, so that's a little cooler than Monday through Wednesday. Today, the forecast is in the low 90s. That still sounds hot, but is around 15 degrees cooler than it was on Wednesday.

I have Multimedia duty at PVC tomorrow; at least the media room has pretty good cooling. On Sunday, Joy and I are going to a wedding for Joy's boss' daughter. Other than these tasks, the weekend looks to be pretty relaxed.

James is moving out into his own place this weekend. It will be good for him to live on his own; it will give him a chance to learn from his mistakes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm ready for some cooler weather

We've had several record breaking temperature days in a row and it isn't going to get much better before Friday. When it's over 100, fans don't help much in cooling. I think we're going to get a window air conditioner, at least for our bedroom!

John got back from a visit with his cousin in California yesterday. Now, he needs to start getting back into school mode.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hot weather in Portland

It was a hot weekend here in Portland. On Saturday, to escape the heat, Joy & I went to the Oregon coast with our friend Les & Keri. On the way over there, we had a picnic lunch at H. B. Van Duzer Forest Wayside. It was relaxing, eating our meal under a shady tree.

It was cool and foggy by the time we reached the beaches. The temperature got down to the 50s; with the wind, it felt very cold. We visited Depoe Bay and enjoyed a blowhole. We saw a bunch of harbor seals near the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. We stopped at the Chinook Winds Casino on the way home to eat at their buffet.

Yesterday, Joy and I went to the Academy Theater to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, an entertaining and funny movie.

The weather is supposed to get even hotter today through Wednesday. I'm glad that I have an indoor job!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July is drawing to an end.

It's already July 23. Only one more week and then it'll be August. The summer is flying by, as usual.

The weather is forecast to get up to around 100 here this weekend. Compared to Vegas, that is nothing, but it will be more humid. We'll probably take a trip up to the mountains or the beach to escape the heat.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A good Vegas Vacation

Joy and I got back from Las Vegas on Sunday evening. While there, we spent several days in Vegas itself. We visited Red Rock National Conservation Area, Zion National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. We also did a Hoover Dam tour along with an excursion on the stern-wheeler Desert Princess on Lake Mead.

We stayed at the Stratosphere Hotel, eating our anniversary dinner at sunset on the top of the tower. We particularly enjoyed the Bellagio Fountains, the Sirens of TI, and the Fremont Street Experience, all free. We went into most of the major casinos.

The weather was very hot. Even in the shade of the parking garages, our car would frequently be over 110 after dark.

Now, it's back to work time. Our vacations for the year are pretty much gone! :-(

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The day before our Las Vegas vacation!

Tomorrow afternoon, Joy and I fly out to Las Vegas for our anniversary vacation. I can't wait!

We'd planned to go visit Death Valley on Saturday, but I'm thinking that we might do that next Thursday instead, so Joy can sleep in late on Saturday. She's been burning the midnight oil getting ready for the trip, and will probably sleep in until noon, if she's able.

I've reconnected with several more old CUC classmates using Facebook. It is fun to rebuild the old friendships.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wednesday is here

The week is half over. Joy and I are getting excited about our Las Vegas vacation. Tomorrow evening, our son, John, is flying to Oakland to spend a couple of weeks with his cousin. Then, on Friday afternoon, Joy and I fly to Vegas. Yeah, Baby!

On our vacation, we might visit Sedona and see some of the scenery around that town. We'll decide about that on the trip.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday after July 4th Weekend

We had a nice holiday weekend. On the 4th, we went to Sellwood Park with a bunch of our friends and enjoyed a picnic. We didn't stay for the fireworks, not eager to face the traffic afterwords.

We're starting to pack and prepare for our anniversary vacation next week in Las Vegas. We fly out on Friday evening. We'll have a mix of day trips and relaxing, sightseeing days around Vegas.

We've made reservations for a sunset dinner at the Top of the World restaurant in the Stratosphere Tower. We'll then head upstairs to the Romance Lounge to cap off our 2nd anniversary with some dancing.

We're planning to take a horseback ride through Red Rock Canyon on one of the days.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

July is here

The summer weather has started early for Oregon. We usually can't count on hot weather until after the 4th of July, but it's supposed to be in the 90s through Saturday. We're going to Sellwood Park with some friends. They have lots of nice shady trees, so it shouldn't be too hot. We probably won't stay until the fireworks are set off.

I'm glad to have a three day weekend off. We need to rest up from our vacation and also start getting packed for our trip to Las Vegas next Friday. That vacation will be much more relaxing, since we won't be unloading and loading a car full of luggage every other day, plus we'll have a couple of days between our day trips for sightseeing.

For that vacation, one of our day trips we're planning is to Death Valley. I looked at the long range forecast for Death Valley on July 11 and the low is supposed to be 88 with a high of 117. That's one hot birthday; we won't need any candles! We'll definitely have to get there 1st thing in the morning and get out of at least the lower portion very early, say by 9 am. Otherwise, we'll roast, coming from Oregon! I imagine that we'll high tail it back to one of the pools at the Stratosphere and just stay there for some time to cool off.

I posted some pictures from our California vacation on Picasa Web. We'll probably need to upgrade our Picasa storage after our trip to Vegas. We'll probably have more pictures of Vegas, Zion, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, etc., then we have from California!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last day of June

I haven't posted in a while. We went on our vacation to southern California. It was fun, but very busy. It's almost nice to be back at work so we can rest up!

On Sunday, we went to Six Flags Magic Mountain and rode lots of roller coasters. Monday, we visited Universal Studios Hollywood.

We spent Tuesday through Thursday at the Disneyland Resort. At Disneyland, we got stuck on a boat in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for over half an hour. We were just before the last conveyor taking us up to entrance. We heard the Yo Ho--A Pirate's Life for Me song way too many times. After they finally got the ride going again, they gave us a Fastpass that we used to skip a 90 minute wait to get on Splash Mountain.

Friday, we drove down to San Diego, spending the day at SeaWorld. Saturday was at the San Diego Zoo.

On Sunday, we drove up to Joy's sister's home, near San Francisco. Sunday afternoon, we visited Muir Woods National Monument, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Lombard Street.

We drove home yesterday, arriving at about 5 pm.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The last workday before vacation

I'm posting this from my phone to make sure that I'll be able to post to my blog while we're on vacation.

We leave early tomorrow morning on the long drive south on Interstate 5. By this time tomorrow, we should be getting close to Roseburg. We'll be spending the first couple of nights in a motel in Sylmar, about half way between Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood, our first two destinations.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ready for vacation!

It's my last day working in the office until after vacation on Tuesday, June 30. I've looked at the extended weather forecast for Sunday through Thursday for southern California and it is supposed to be in the low to mid 80s most of the time, which should be ideal for playing at the amusement parks--warm enough that getting wet on the water rides will feel good, but not be too hot. Of course, we'll have to wear lots of sunscreen!

James wants to spend an afternoon in San Francisco bay area on the way back; that will mean an early [like 4 am] departure from San Diego on Sunday, June 28. That way, we'd get to Julie's [Joy's sister] in the early afternoon and could spend the afternoon and evening sight seeing. He wants to see Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods. James got a camera for an early birthday present and wants to be able to take some scenic pictures with it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A fun family re-union

My nephew Derek was visiting from Colorado; he's attending the Air Force Academy. We got together in Tillamook at my Aunt's house. We ate too much food, went to the beach, went to see Munson Creek Falls, played baseball and croquet --and ate even more good food.

It was fun to have a large family event. Hopefully, these can occur more frequently. Last week, my brother Jimmy and his wife Joyce celebrated their 25th anniversary. Congratulations, Jimmy & Joyce!

Using Facebook, I'm reconnecting with some old classmates and friends from Columbia Union College and Maryland. It's been nice to get back in touch with long-lost pals. Technology is good for some things!

I work 5 days this week, then we're off to California for vacation!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Friday

It's Friday, June 12. I will only have one more Friday in the office until July 24, with vacations and holidays taken out. Yesterday at work, they had a Hawaiian luau with a contest for the best Hawaiian shirts. I wore one that I actually bought in Hawaii, but it didn't win the prize.

I have multimedia duty at PVC tomorrow. After that, we're driving over to my Aunt's home in Tillamook to spend time with family, including my nephew Derek, who is visiting from back east.

John is going to drive over there, his longest trip behind the wheel so far--until next weekend when we're going on our Southern California vacation.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Good Graduation Weekend

On Friday evening, we went to Olive Garden for dinner to celebrate Joy's birthday--39 and holding!

Most of the rest of the weekend was dedicated to various PAA Graduation related events. Friday was Consecration, Saturday was Class Night, and Sunday was the actual commencement.

Selita looked nice. She has a new, shorter haircut.

Sunday, after commencement, we went to a graduation party for our friend Ian.

I'm already counting down the days until our Southern California vacation starts. Eleven days from right now, we'll be on the road heading south!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Graduation Weekend at PAA

My youngest daughter, Selita, will be graduating from PAA on Sunday. There are events all weekend, so it will be busy.

Knowing that we have only one child left in high school makes me feel old, in some ways, but in others, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was getting my high school diploma.

Today is my wife Joy's birthday. We're going to take her out for dinner this evening before going to PAA for the consecration.

We had a pretty big wind and thunder storm for Oregon last evening. It made me think there might be a tornado somewhere around, but I didn't see any funnel clouds. I guess that there were some funnels seen down in Salem, along with golf ball sized hail.

Monday, June 01, 2009

June is here

Joy and I had an absolutely awesome weekend. On Saturday, we drove down to see the Schreiner's Iris Gardens. The flowers were beautiful and colorful in the sunshine. After seeing the gardens, we drove over to Drift Creek Falls, in the coast range, a few miles east of Lincoln City. The waterfall is about 75 feet tall. There's a walking suspension bridge over the gorge into which the falls pour; so from the swaying bridge, you can look down about one hundred feet at the stream below.

Yesterday, we went out to do some shopping for our upcoming vacations. Joy got a very sexy swimsuit to wear in the pools and at the beach. For her birthday, she got her ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda--she's been wanting to do that for some time and this was a good opportunity. After shopping, we went to eat at Claim Jumper; it was the first time that I've been there. The food and service were great!

Joy and I both enjoyed our scenarios from the 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex book! :-)

Now, it's back to work, but the weather is supposed to pretty nice all week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The last Friday in May

After talking with Joy last evening, she's not wanting to do the strenuous hiking of Silver Falls, so we'll probably go to Drift Creek Falls, instead. Drift Creek has a suspension bridge over the creek. I'm looking forward to taking some sexy pictures of my beautiful wife in the natural setting. I got her a set of Ben Wa balls to play with in the car on the way--and she'll have a couple of more hours to play! :-)

Over the weekend, we're planning on performing our first seductions using our new book, 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex. It's kind of interesting, because the scenarios are sealed, so Joy's seduction of me tomorrow evening will be a total surprise to me, as will mine for her on Sunday. Our sex life has been awesome, and we're using this to make it even more awesome.

We're sharing some of the sex scenarios with Les & Keri to help add some zing to their sex life, too. There's another similar book in the series, 101 Nights of Grrreat Romance, that we're thinking of giving them for an anniversary present--along with a pair of handcuffs and a blindfold for them to play with in bed.

We had a good exercise last evening with Les & Keri. Les is going to show me some things to do with the weights to help me improve my muscle tone. I guess we're helping each other!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May is winding down.

It's supposed to be in the mid 80s today, lovely weather. Yesterday, I took a walk with my boss in the sunshine.

I've posted some pictures on Picasa Web of Central Oregon and Southern Oregon, places we went on our mini-vacation last weekend.

Tomorrow evening, Joy and I are going up to Vernonia to see our nephew acting in a school play.

On Saturday, we are going to see the iris flowers at Schriener's. Following that, we're going over to Silver Falls State Park to play and take some waterfall pictures. On Sunday, we're going shopping for a new sexier swimsuit for Joy to wear for our vacations over the next couple of months. It should be a fun weekend! :-)

I'm already getting anxious to head out on the road for our vacations!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Great Memorial Day weekend

On Saturday afternoon, Joy and I went on a jet boat trip on the Rogue River with our friend Les and Keri. It was a fun trip--though we got very wet with the chilly water. We ate dinner on a deck overlooking the river at the Galice Resort Restaurant. We saw lots of herons, osprey, ducks and geese, along with a couple of beaver and a bald eagle.

Sunday, we drove along the Rogue River heading towards to Crater Lake. We stopped to see a fish hatchery, the natural bridge, and the Rogue River Gorge. At Crater Lake, there was still lots of snow around the lodge. We could only drive to Discovery Point on the Rim Drive (the rest of the Rim Drive won't open for a couple of weeks). The deep blue water against the white snow was beautiful. From Crater Lake, we drove up to Bend and spent the night there.

Yesterday, we drove up Pilot Butte State Park and enjoyed the panoramic view of the Oregon Cascades, with the white peaks of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, the Three Sisters, etc. vivid against the blue sky. We then went to Smith Rock State Park and had a picnic lunch overlooking the Crooked River with the canyon walls beyond. We stopped to see the Crooked River High Bridge and then drove back through Government Camp, arriving home at about 7 pm.

We took lots of pictures. I'll get them uploaded to Picasa web as soon as I get them organized and cleaned up.

I finally got my G1 phone updated with Android 1.5 (Cupcake) this morning. I was too impatient to wait for the OTA update, so I did it manually. It is nice to have the screen rotate from landscape to portrait automatically, along with the onscreen keyboard. I doubt that I'll use the video recorder very often.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Stressful Week!

It's been a busy, stressful week at work. My boss has been on vacation, so I've had to fill in for him at meetings, etc. I sure wouldn't want to be a manager!

I'm so glad that it is Friday -- and that I have a three day Memorial Day weekend to rest up. The weather forecast for tomorrow's jet boat trip sounds very promising. It says it's supposed to be partly cloudy with a high of about 77. I'm looking forward to having fun with my wife Joy and our friends. We're planning to leave Portland at about 8 am.

I'm still waiting for the Android 1.5 upgrade (Cupcake) for my G1 phone. It was supposed to have been pushed out a week ago, but they delayed it due to some bugs. I know what that's like.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A hot, sunny weekend...

We had a great weekend in Portland. It was sunny and hot; yesterday, I think it got to about 90!

Star Trek was a great reworking of the story--but they also introduced some significant changes that make it pretty much a completely new time line, with the planet Vulcan being destroyed. Naturally, Kirk ended up in bed with a green, Orion woman. A twist was that Uhura and Spock were an item.

We took it easy on Friday evening and Saturday, watching some DVD movies, including The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries II: Royal Engagement, Father's Little Dividend and Murphy's Romance. Joy and I spent some time going through our pictures, deleting blurry ones and putting more of them onto our digital photo frame.

Yesterday, we all got up at 6 am and worked, getting a lot accomplished, including weeding, washing cars and clothes, and organizing our bedroom and computer room. We then went to a matinee showing of Angels & Demons, an exciting action flick. I liked the book better--as usual, but they did a pretty good job of turning the book into a movie.

It's back to work time, but we'll have a 3 day Memorial Day weekend coming up soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Middle of May

It's Friday, May 15. May is to the halfway point. TGIF!

The weather forecast for the weekend looks great. It's supposed to be sunny with a temperature in the 80s!

This afternoon, I'm going to see Star Trek with a friend and my son John. I've watched the show periodically since college in the 70s. It will be kind of strange to have a ship that is supposed to pre-date the Enterprise from The Original Series, but is lots bigger.

It sounds like we might go see the Redwoods with Les and Keri over Memorial Day Weekend, instead of Crater Lake. Both would be pretty to visit, so it doesn't really matter to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May's almost half over

It's already May 13. The month is going by fast.

On Monday, we went to LA Fitness with our friends Les & Keri. It was fun swimming and hot tubbing with them. We're planning to take a trip to southern Oregon with them over Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, May 23, we're going on a Hellgate Jetboat white water excursion on the Rogue River. We'll spend the night in a motel in Grants Pass. On Sunday, we're going to drive up to Crater Lake National Park; according to their Current Conditions Report, almost all of the rim drive is still closed due to snow, so we'll probably just be able to see the south side of the lake, near the Visitor Center and Crater Lake Lodge. Oh, well, it should still be pretty with the deep blue water against the white snow. After Crater Lake, we'll probably drive to Bend or Redmond to spend Sunday night. We might stop at Newberry National Volcanic Monument to see the Big Obsidian Flow, too.

My G1 phone still hasn't been updated with Cupcake. I'm anxious for it to arrive!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A good Mother's Day weekend.

On Saturday, we went to the Oregon Zoo. It was a beautiful day, so it was pretty crowded, but we got some good pictures of Samudra, the baby elephant. He was pretty cute walking around.

We then met our friends Les and Keri and went to the Rose Gardens. Very few of the roses were in bloom, yet, but it was still pretty with the green foliage against the blue sky. We sat and visited with them, then went to Baja Fresh to eat dinner together. We put some tentative dates on the calendar for some summer and fall excursions together.

Yesterday, Mother's Day, we went to eat brunch at Hometown Buffet. There were 8 of us enjoying a good breakfast. In the afternoon, James and John started to detail Joy's car. Last evening, we went to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Wolverine was an entertaining movie, but not one that I want to buy or see again and again.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Sunny Sabbath

The sun is shining brightly through my window. It should be a nice day for going to the zoo.

Yesterday, John passed his drivers test so he now has his learning permit. He took his first drive on the main roads last evening as we drove to Cold Stone Creamery to get some ice cream for a celebration. Joy and I were both a little frightened; John isn't putting the brakes on soon enough and he is also tending to stay way too far to the right in his lane. Oh well, he'll learn. For now, we're just going to let him drive our old Subaru, until gets lots more practice, before letting him get behind the wheel of our new Ford Taurus!

Friday, May 08, 2009

It's Friday!!!!

It's Friday, May 8. The weather has improved; it's supposed to be nice all Mother's Day weekend. On Sunday, we're taking Joy, my mom and Joy's mom out to brunch (at either Sweet Tomatoes or HomeTown Buffet) in honor of the day.

I've spent the last couple of evenings clearing a relative's computer of a nasty rootkit virus, Win32:Rootkit.Gen. I ended up downloading the Avira AntiVir Rescue System, a linux-based application. Using that tool, I found and eliminated the rootkit and after it was gone, Windows based tools got rid of the rest of the malware. Now that I've discovered this tool, I'll keep that in mind for the next time I run into a badly infected system.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Waiting for Cupcake!

I'm eagerly waiting for the next version of the Android OS, 1.5, to come out for my G1 phone. With a nickname of Cupcake, the new software will support application rotation for most of the applications, (e.g. the browser). It will also have an onscreen keyboard option, along with video recording. This update has been rumored since I got the phone; T-Mobile finally formally announced it yesterday.

I'm finding myself using my phone as a browser much more than I expected. It is very functional, so there are only a few things that I would need a full computer for.

I had a good lunch at Ochoa with my friend Roger. The salsa was marvelous, as usual.

I'm glad that it is Thursday. It is supposed to be a pretty nice Mother's Day weekend. Maybe we'll get to the zoo on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

When I lived in Eugene, I had a friend and co-worker from Mexico. I'd always thought that Cinco de Mayo was something like our July 4, the Mexican Independence day. Diego told me that instead it was to celebrate a battle that Mexico won in a war that they ended up losing a year or so later.

Even though I'm not of Mexican descent, I love spicy food, so I always enjoy this day. We've been going out to La Isla Bonita, a local, non-chain restaurant on May 5 for a couple of years. They have some of the best guacamole that I've ever eaten.

My office is also having a lunch-time party, so I'll get a double dose.

On Thursday, I'm going to Ochoa Brothers with a friend from Serena, so hopefully, I'll have my fill of spicy Mexican food for the week. I love the variety of freshly made salsa that they have!

Monday, May 04, 2009

A busy weekend

We had a busy weekend. Friday evening, we watched Finding Forrester. On Saturday, I had multimedia duty at PVC, including an Investiture for the Pathfinders in the afternoon. After that, Joy and I watched 3 of the movies in the Love Comes Softly series: Love Comes Softly, Love's Enduring Promise, and Love's Long Journey. They were good, wholesome shows.

Yesterday, after my weekly checking for virus and spyware on our 7 computers (for 3 people!), I went over to help our friends Keri and Les with some work on their computers, too. Keri bought a new 23" monitor and a 1 TB Western Digital My Book backup drive to use in her home business. It only cost $99.99 for the drive; my first 40 mb drive cost much more than that many years ago. I helped her get them all configured. Joy was at PVC helping with a women's ministry event. She drafted John and I to come help with the cleanup last evening.

The swine flu epidemic is in the news; some schools are closed here in Oregon and SW Washington. It seems to me that the fear is being overblown, though.

Now, I'm back at work. Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo--yummy Mexican food!

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day!

It's May Day, 2009. The weather forecast is for another nice day. This weekend, however, it is supposed to rain. Oh, well.

Joy is planning on going to a tanning salon this month to get ready for our summer vacations. I'd go, too, but I don't tan, just burn.

Yesterday, Joy and I rode our bikes along the Springwater trail again, this time for about 6 miles. It feels good to be able to ride without feeling totally out of breath.

At work, I'm hooking some perl scripts into the Big Brother monitoring software for use by one of our customers. It's the first perl that I've done in several years. I'd much rather be using python, but at least I have a job.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The last day of April

It's Thursday, April 30. The weather is supposed to be nicer today; hopefully, Joy and I can take a bike ride this evening. Of course, they are already talking about rain again for the weekend.

On Monday, I bought went to AAA to get our tickets for Magic Mountain. Tomorrow, we're planning to take John to the DMV so he can take his written test for his learners permit. That's partly so he can help drive while we're on our vacation, getting some hours in.

Yesterday, we had an off-site face-to-face meeting for the developers, support people, etc., for my product, ServAssure Enterprise. The meeting was held at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. Some of our co-workers from Bangalore, India and State College, Pennsylvania flew in for it. Hopefully, we'll use what we talked about yesterday to make our process and our product better.

I have multimedia duty again Sabbath at PVC--substituting for someone out of town.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just another Monday

We had a good weekend. John had three of his friends over for his birthday party on Saturday evening. I doubt that any of them got more than about one hour of sleep, between their games and movies. John was bragging that he was going to stay up all night last night, too, but he fell asleep in the car while Joy was talking with him--between words of a sentence that he was speaking!

We got our Southern California CityPass tickets at Costco yesterday. They were only $227 each; that saved us $128 for our family, enough to pay for all 4 of us to go to Magic Mountain, too. We were expecting booklets of tickets, but they are gift cards, instead. Now, we just need to pay for our gasoline, food, and a couple of Las Vegas shows, and we haven't used any credit cards. Of course, I'm sure we'll be buying some souvenirs from the various places.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday once again

It's another Friday; it's doughnut day at work, which is always good--or at least tasty!

Tomorrow, we have multimedia duty again. We might take a trip to the Orezon Zoo tomorrow afternoon, depending upon the weather and Joy's cake decorating tasks. Samudra, their baby elephant, just hit the 1000 pounds mark--a big baby, but very cute. In the evening, John is having some of his friends over for his birthday party. I imagine that they'll make a lot of noise, watching movies and playing video games. Maybe I'll have to stay in my room with my headphones on and listen to music or watch a DVD on my laptop!

Last evening, Joy and I went to PVC to hear a webcast by Dave Ramsey present a Town Hall for Hope. While I don't necessarily agree with everything Dave advocates, I give a hearty amen to the idea of personal responsibility. Requiring my grandkids to pay for mistakes made by greedy individuals in New York, Washington, or wherever, just doesn't seem right to me; nor does suing McDonalds because their hot coffee was actually hot and someone is stupid enough to put the coffee cup between their legs and got burned.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another nice stretch of weather

We've enjoyed several nice days in a row. On Saturday afternoon, Joy and I rode our bikes about 9 miles on the Springwater Trail. This time, we rode east towards Gresham. The temperature was just right for riding.

On Sunday, we spent several hours organizing our garage. On Sunday evening, we took a drive up to the top of Powell Butte. Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams were all visible, in the sunshine.

We made our vacation reservations over the weekend. For our Vegas trip, we'll be flying Alaska Airlines to and from Las Vegas. Our hotel will be the Stratosphere. We decided to stay in Williams, Arizona for our Grand Canyon excursion. It was over $100 a night cheaper than the motels that are closer to the park. We also ordered our America the Beautiful pass, giving us admission to all of the national parks, monuments, forests, etc. During our trip, we'll be going to three national parks: Death Valley, Zion, and Grand Canyon. We'll also be going to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Just the admissions to those four parks cost almost as much as the annual pass, plus we can use it at Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier, closer to home.

We're staying in three different motels in Southern California. The 1st couple of nights, we'll stay in Sylmar, about half way between Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood. Then, we'll spend 4 nights in Anaheim, near Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Finally, we'll spend two nights at a motel in San Diego near Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. We still need to purchase our Southern California CityPass booklets. Through AAA, we're getting very good prices on our Magic Mountain tickets.

Other than our gas, food, parking costs, and tickets to a couple of shows in Vegas, our vacations have all been paid for! We're going to buy food at grocery stores as much as we can, especially while we're in the amusement parks with their captive audience pricing.

Friday, April 17, 2009


It's Friday--and we're supposed to have very nice weather over the weekend, a double blessing. Hopefully, we can get out and enjoy spring weather in a park or the zoo!

Last evening after our workout at the gym, Joy and I went on a movie date to the Moreland Theater in Sellwood to see Duplicity, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. It was an interesting crime caper, that kept having unexpected twists--up until the end. The theater itself is the old style, distinctive type, very different from the multiplex theaters that we usually frequent.

Over the weekend, we should be making our reservations for our southern California and Las Vegas vacations this summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day 2009

April 15--a day of dread for many Americans. Where does all of the money go? A visual guide to where federal tax dollars go.

Yesterday, we gave John a Savage Mark II .22 rifle for his 16th birthday. It has a 10 bullet magazine, and is bolt action. He also got Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 DVDs, some pillows, and an ornamental dragon handled knife.

The weather is supposed to be better this weekend; hopefully we can get out and enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

John's birthday--16 years old.

Today is John's 16th birthday. He's still not ready to take his drivers license test, so he won't be driving today, though. We went out last evening to celebrate, since James is working today. John selected Red Robin as his restaurant of choice. He wants a .22 rifle to use for target practice. We live in city limits, so he won't be able to shoot it unless we're out in the country somewhere. John will have some friends over on Saturday evening to play games.

Tomorrow is income tax day. Our taxes are finished and have already been efiled.

I've been dusting off my Perl skills on a project at work. I used the language extensively several years ago, but its syntax is pretty obtuse. Oh well, at least I have a job, unlike thousands of other Oregonians. I heard on the radio this morning that Oregon's unemployment rate is over 12%--wow...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday, 2009

It's Good Friday today. The weather isn't forecast to be nearly as nice for today through Easter Sunday; in fact, it's supposed to rain. Too bad it won't be as pretty as last weekend! Oh well, at least it is the weekend.

Tomorrow, we're going to the home of our friends Les & Keri to celebrate Adriana's 1st birthday. Joy and I are honorary aunt & uncle to Adriana. Joy is going to be making a birthday cake this evening.

It is Fondue Friday this evening for the youth from PVC. We're hoping that John will connect with some of the kids there and be interested and enthusiastic about going to this regularly.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A nice April Monday

Yesterday was beautiful and sunny here in Portland. It got to almost 80 degrees. Today is supposed to be similar.

Joy and I took an eleven mile bike ride from our home down to the Springwater Trail. We were a little stiff and sore afterwards, but our LA Fitness exercising has made a dramatic improvement in us. A year ago, a bike ride of only about a mile made us pretty exhausted, and yesterday, we weren't that tired, just a little stiff from doing a different exercise.

Attached are a couple of pictures that I took yesterday with my G1 phone.

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Good Weekend

The Why? seminar that we attended was good. We learned a lot; now we just need to apply what we learned to our lives.

On Saturday evening, we went over to the home of our friends, Les & Keri. I helped Les get his new netbook computer connected to their network printer. We then watched Stardust, an enjoyable movie.

Yesterday, after our seminar, Joy & I took a walk in the sunshine along the Springwater and Butler Creek rails, talking about the seminar. We took pictures of rabbits, trilliums, ducks, and creeks.

It is supposed to get up to around 77 degrees today, a record high for this date.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Another Friday

This weekend, Joy and I are attending the Why? seminar by the Life Renewal Institute. The seminar teaches a process whereby one can recover from the wounds received in childhood which plague our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and sabotage our relationships and success.

It is supposed to be sunny and in the high 60s or low 70s this weekend. Hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy some of the sunshine after our seminar.

I saw a hummingbird feeding from cherry blossoms outside my office on Wednesday. I'm glad that spring is here.

April is a busy month: our son John's birthday, Easter, etc.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools Day, 2009

There have been a lot of online pranks already today.

Wikipedia has entries like these:
  • ... that in 1825, the Court of Exchequer declared all contracts by hobbits illegal and void in England?
  • 1572 – Spanish general and governor Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba (pictured) lost his glasses in the town of Brielle, enabling sea beggars to gain the first foothold on what would become the Dutch Republic.
  • ... that Wikipedia now has an article about everything?
Google has announced Gmail Autopilot by CADIE.

It was another rainy morning, here in Portland. By the way, yesterday, had Portland listed as number 22 in the entire world of men's favorite cities!

Monday, March 30, 2009

An interesting weekend.

On Saturday morning, we left Portland in the rain, the trees in spring blossom. By the time we crossed Pike's Hill on I-5, it had changed to snow. The snow was coming down pretty hard going east on US 12, and the road was pretty covered going over the hill west of Morton. At my parent's home in Glenoma, they had a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

It snowed off and on most of Saturday afternoon. Yesterday, the sun came out and the snow melted. John was out shooting pellet guns. By the time we drove home, he was getting pretty accurate with it.

From my mom, I got a short book, The Ten Jones Kids, written by a great-great aunt, having some more genealogy of a side of my family about which I don't know very much. I found out from the book that one of my ancestors had homesteaded land where Boeing Field is now located. I'm going to type the book into Word, and from there copy it to my web site.

On the way there and back, we listened to On Her Own, a book on CD. It was a good, interesting story. We actually finished the last CD at home last evening.

It's back to work Monday. Wednesday is April Fools Day! The year is passing quickly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad & Selita!

Sunday was my daughter Selita's 18th birthday. That makes me feel old!

Today is my Dad's 75th birthday. We're going up to Glenoma to visit them for the weekend and tell him 'Happy Birthday' in person. Joy is going to make him a lemon meringue pie, his favorite kind. It will be our first visit since their January flood.

It is a sunny Thursday, nice to have for Oregon in March!

Yesterday at Fry's I bought a some box set DVDs. I got Love Comes Softly Series, volumes 1 and volume 2, along with the Ultimate Flint Collection, starring James Coburn. I also got a 16gb SDHC card for Joy's Canon PowerShot SX110 IS camera, enough space to store 4000 of its 9 megapixel pictures on it.