28
February
2015
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Although it was fun to have sunny 60-degree days a few weeks ago, it sure didn’t feel like February around here. The last week, coupled with the upcoming week, are more like what I expect:

forecast-snowy

I actually enjoy winter, even though I’m not out playing ultimate. This is more like February!

27
February
2015
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Despite apocalyptic warnings about winter storms and dangerous roads, Longmont was (as usual) lightly dusted with snow while the rest of the Denver area was pounded. We had a couple of “snow days” at the office, since I’m the only one who lives in Longmont and the rest of the team commutes from Boulder and farther. To the kids’ dismay, the schools were open.

As I was driving to the office yesterday I decided to stop and take a short walk along the trees lining the road. It was a peaceful morning, with light snowfall, and everything looked nice and wintry.

snowfall-1

snowfall-2

snowfall-3

For some reason I find snow to be beautiful.

27
February
2015
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Sometimes I don’t know if Laralee is crazy or brilliant.

Here’s the latest crazy-brilliant idea: on our counter we have a jar of water that has a bunch of used eggshells in it.

egg-water

I wondered about it and asked Laralee, and she told me that if you soak eggshells in water, you can then use the water for plants around the house. The calcium in the shells dissolves in the water, and apparently the plants love the calcium. (Another option is to crush the eggshells and mix them into the soil, but that seems like a lot more work.)

Wow. Brilliant. And a little crazy.

19
February
2015
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I saw a funny graphic about how movies were made, then and now:

movies-then-and-now

14
February
2015
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Laralee isn’t really into flowers or jewelry, so I get off pretty easy on Valentine’s day. This year I bought her a dozen long-stemmed chocolate roses:

vday-chocolate-roses

(Only six fit in our vase.) Unfortunately we discovered they’re hollow milk chocolate, so they’re not as impressive as you might think. I also bought her a stack of dark chocolate Chocolove bars, which are far superior and will definitely win me a few points in the Valentine’s game.

14
February
2015
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In today’s mail I found an amazing card that Nooch Dirque had sent to me for my (upcoming) birthday. This is what the front looks like:

unicorn-card

Inside it says “Have a magical birthday!” and Dirk had taped 43 cents, including a bicentennial quarter!

birthday-coins

How awesome is a barfing unicorn card with money in it?

10
February
2015
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While I was playing ultimate, some IT guy called and left me a message about some domain changes he needs to make. Fine, no problem; I called him back when I was in the office but his phone just rang and rang. Finally it dropped to a generic message about “This subscriber is not available. Please call back later. Goodbye.”

It’s 2015, man. What kind of IT professional has a business line (or mobile phone) without voicemail? Seriously?

Maybe he’s expecting me to Facebook message him or something. I guess that’s what all the cool kids do these days.

10
February
2015
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Today it was sunny and about 65 degrees– just another day in the strange month of February in Colorado. Of course I went out to play some ultimate. My team won the first game handily at 7-4, and in the second game we were down 6-3 with the opponents only one point from a glorious victory. We managed to score two in a row, and had some momentum for a comeback.

Jay threw a deep pass into the endzone, and I went the distance (panting and wheezing, it seemed). I can brag just a little bit to say that I made a spectacular diving catch in the back corner of the endzone, grabbing the disc in fingertips for the point. Tie game!

I scraped my right knee… a huge abrasion from the winter grass. But it was worth every drop of blood. Woo hoo!

5
February
2015
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Today at work I exchanged a few texts with Kyra:

kyra-bio-test

That’s my girl.

5
February
2015
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Today I was heading west into town, and the mountains looked absolutely stunning. They’re coated with the snow that fell last night, and the sky was a crisp blue with some light clouds. I grabbed my cell phone and took a hasty shot out of my horribly dirty windshield:

midday-0205

That’s Longs Peak on the far right, and the Indian Peaks on the left. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, of course.

Later, as I was heading home after work, there was a fading crimson sunset… also spectacular. I was heading north this time, so I rolled down my window and stuck my phone-camera into the cool air:

sunset-0205

Longs Peak is out of the shot, but you can see the same profile of the Indian Peaks on the left half of the photo. Again, this picture isn’t nearly as impressive as the real thing, but not too bad for a cell phone out the window of a moving car.

4
February
2015
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Congratulations, Thom and Katie!

katies-ring

And may I say it’s about freakin’ time, heh…

1
February
2015
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Today at church I gave a lesson to the little kids, aged 11 and younger. My lesson involved some photos of famous people, Jesus, and one of me when I was about eight years old. Anyway, at the end of the lesson a bunch of the kids asked if they could have the photos. It was funny to see who wanted the Jesus pictures versus those who wanted the other people (like Hagrid, for example). At the end of it all, I was left holding my own photo… apparently no one wanted a picture of an eight-year-old Jeff.

I handed it to my friend Franz, who is one of the teachers. He took it home, framed it, and put it on the stairwell in his house.

portraits

He’s waiting to see how long it takes the women in the house to notice it. Hilarious.

31
January
2015
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Ahh Zack… always having fun with Amazon when he buys things.

chinchilla-master

I must admit it’s pretty funny when a package shows up with a label like that.

31
January
2015
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I just found this in the man page for resize2fs, a Linux filesystem tool:

When “kilobytes” is used, I mean real, power-of-2 kilobytes, (i.e., 1024 bytes), which some politically correct folks insist should be the stupid-sounding “kibibytes”. The same holds true for megabytes, also sometimes known as “mebibytes”, or gigabytes, as the amazingly silly “gibibytes”. Makes you want to gibber, doesn’t it?

Ahh, geek humor. I love it.

28
January
2015
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I’m installing Mediawiki for a client. This is the same platform that Wikipedia uses (they make the source code available for free) so it’s a familiar interface and it’s surprisingly easy to use. As I’m going through the installation process, I found myself at this step:

mediawiki

That’s hilarious. I wish more installation programs were honest like this.

27
January
2015
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January in Colorado:

weather

I guess it’s time to head out for some ulty.

26
January
2015
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Old TV, meet new TV.

tvs

In the front we have our 50″ Samsung plasma TV. It’s been a great unit for many years now, but I decided it was time to be a little bit ostentatious. So we bought a new 70″ Sharp LED TV. By my math, it has almost (but not quite) twice the image area. We can’t go any larger because an 80″ display wouldn’t fit in our little alcove. And come on, 80″ is just obscene, isn’t it?

26
January
2015
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Last night Kyra made a fruit smoothie and brought it upstairs to drink. Our house rule is “no food over the carpet”, so as soon as she came upstairs I told her to go back down. She protested that she would never spill the smoothie on the carpet, and why did I treat her like such a child, and so on. Zack (correctly) pointed out that there have been many occasions when he and his friends have broken the rule, and managed to stain the carpet with their food. Don’t even get me started about The Takis Incident.

Anyway, she turned and went downstairs, fuming. At the landing on the stairs, she dropped her smoothie. Pink stuff went everywhere on the carpet. I’m not sure if that’s karma, or irony, or what.

Today we’re still working on cleanup… the landing and adjoining stairs have been thoroughly scrubbed and now we have fans moving air over them to help them dry a bit.

stairs-fans

It reminded me of the scene in The Matrix where the Oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase, he turns and knocks it over, and then she says “What’s really going to bake your noodle later on is: would you still have broken it if I hadn’t said anything?”

oracle

Would Kyra have spilled the smoothie on the carpet if I hadn’t told her to get off the carpet?

24
January
2015
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Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time. Alex was out at a work meeting most of the morning, and called us to report that he’d been in an accident on the way home. Apparently he was a little overzealous accelerating at the stoplight, and rear-ended someone. There wasn’t any visible damage on her car, which was kind of strange considering the front of our car was pretty smashed up. The hood is bent out of shape and the headlights are askew.

accord-crash

It happens to the best of us. I don’t know how much it’ll cost to repair– these things seem to end up being surprisingly expensive– nor what it’ll do to our insurance policy. Whee.

23
January
2015
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For a few years, we’ve talked as a family about taking “one big trip” before the kids start leaving home and starting their independent lives. Well, the clock is ticking and we’re now counting down Alex’s time at home in months. In May he’ll graduate, and shortly thereafter he’ll head out on a mission and after two years it’ll be time for college. Yikes! If we’re going to do this, we need to do it soon.

So today, after considerable thought and planning, Laralee and I committed to a family trip to Cancun over spring break. It’ll be at an “all-inclusive” resort, which really means “mostly inclusive” because all of the fun things we want to do– like jet skiing, parasailing, and swimming with the dolphins– cost extra. Still, it should be a really cool trip and a chance to have one last big fling as a family before Alex heads out into the world.

I hope it’ll look something like this:

cancun-beach

And not like this:

cancun-crowded