My girl

I was looking through some photos and found this one of my beautiful girl.

I know she’s having a blast in college, but there are days when I miss her…

Ahh, contracts

One of my clients has prepared a rather extensive contract to cover the web site work that Zing does for them. We’ve been going back and forth for several months (yes, really) about some of the terms and clauses, and we think it’s finally in a place where it’s acceptable to both sides. So this afternoon I’m reviewing all 34 pages of legal language, which includes countless sentences like this:

To the extent that any Third Party Materials licensed by Developer from third parties are approved by Company and included in the Deliverables or otherwise necessary to use the Services, Developer shall be responsible for obtaining for Company and its affiliates at Developer’s sole cost and expense all rights, licenses, permits, authorizations, consents and releases necessary for Company and its affiliates to use such Third Party Materials on a perpetual basis without restriction, and Developer hereby grants to Company and its affiliates, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, paid-up, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, modify and prepare derivative works of such Third-Party Materials.

Wow. What a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon, huh?


Zaque thinks it would be great to open a mortuary whose slogan is

“We put the FUN in funeral!”

Caramel cupcakes

Yesterday I had a bit of a hankering for caramel cupcakes, my second-favorite dessert. Laralee and I went on a walk and stopped at the grocery store to pick up supplies, and I went to work.

Mmm, sugary deliciousness. Since I can’t really eat 24 cupcakes by myself, I’ll probably bring some of them to tonight’s Super Bowl party…

Before the internet

This is me.


Except for the arthritis and impaired vision, of course. I’m not that old.

Well, shoot

A few days ago Kyra called me because she was having a bit of a rough day. We talked for a while, and I did my best to remind her how awesome she is. Afterward I decided to order a big tub of Red Vines– her favorite candy– and ship it to her as a sort of “cheer-you-up” surprise. I hopped on Amazon and placed an order for a five-and-a-half-pound tub.

Fast forward to today, when a box shows up on our doorstep. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting any packages. I opened it and found the Red Vines. Dang it… I’d forgotten to change the shipping address from my house to hers!

So now I have five and a half pounds of candy that I don’t even like.


This stuff is made out of petroleum or something; I don’t know what substance it is, but it’s unnatural.

Realizing my mistake, I ordered another tub and double-checked the address. Hopefully Kyra will enjoy it sometime next week. In the meantime, I’ll probably bring this thing to seminary or something, where I’ll have seventeen half-asleep teenagers willing to help devour it.

Now that’s warm

Today I rounded up a bunch of friends and we had a great game of lunchtime ultimate. When I was back in my car, I took a picture of my temperature sensor.


Yeah, 61 degrees in January. It was definitely a day to be outside.

Dazed and confused

During some server work today, I noticed this in the kernel log:

[14857.359477] NMI: PCI system error (SERR) for reason a1 on CPU 0.
[14857.359477] Dazed and confused, but trying to continue

Hah, “dazed and confused”. Some programmer in the depths of time had some fun writing an error message.

That’s precise

When I go to the National Weather Service site to get the forecast for Longmont, the URL looks like this:

Notice the latitude and longitude: it’s specified fifteen decimal places deep! Doing the math, that means NOAA is providing forecasts for a spot on the earth that’s accurate to about 10 picometers. That’s roughly the width of about ten atoms.

I know computers and weather prediction techniques have come a long way, but it’s amazing that we can narrow down a forecast to a few atoms!

My office is… haunted?

Every Saturday, two teenage girls clean my office and leave it all nice for my team on Monday morning. This morning I came into work and found a cheery little note from one of them.


Maybe this will teach them not to take burritos from our break room freezer?

Be sure

The Predictor pregnancy test has a tagline “When you want to be sure”.


Do you think this couple is unsure about her pregnancy? They certainly seem surprised by the test results. (“Oh, thank goodness… I thought this was just a weird fat phase I’ve been going through after eating all of those quesadillas!”)

5 pounds

Last night Zaque was contemplating some teenage zits and said, “Man, if I could squeeze all the pus out of my body, I’d lose five pounds.”


You wouldn’t think we could have another real estate bubble. But I just saw a graph showing the median home price in Longmont over the last decade. Hmm. That looks bubbley to me.


This is from Zillow, which of course means you have to take it with a grain of salt. Or maybe a whole shaker of salt. Still, it’s pretty clear home prices have been climbing at a rate that’s not sustainable…


Zaque has an old wooden desk in the back corner of his room, where he’s set up a sort of “workbench” (as he calls it). He enjoys tinkering with electronics and motors and wires and whatnot. Mostly it involves disassembling things and poking around at the guts, then considering how to combine them with other parts. For example, his current project is installing a small motor inside a flashlight casing. Why, you ask? No one knows.



It’s fun to watch him, and to have him show me his latest “invention”. It reminds me of… well, me.

Intelligent man

For Christmas, Kathy gave me a couple of old books. They’re part of a series by Isaac Asimov entitled A New Intelligent Man’s Guide to Science, and I have Volume I (physical sciences) and Volume II (biological sciences). (Zaque asked if there’s a series for dumb men…)


Asimov is one of the most prolific authors in history, mostly writing science fiction, but he has the rare distinction of having at least one book in every category of the Dewey Decimal System.

What’s cool about these particular books is they were written almost sixty years ago. Science has changed a bit since then!


It’s fun to read some of the content and reflect on our progress during the last half-century. We’ve come a long way since Asimov’s day.


I’m progressing through the book from Thom and I’ve been experimenting with exposure and stops. Now that I understand the exposure meter better, I feel like I can start to “dial in” my photos for the effect I want. I’ve been having some fun with depth of field as well.

It’s cold and grey and dreary outside, so I’ve been moving around the house finding interesting test subjects: low lighting, shadows, macro, that sort of thing.

Here’s our family room clock:


I focused on the “3” with a shallow depth of field, so the left side of the clock is out of focus.

And here’s a toy dragon in Zaque’s room:


For this one, I did some post-processing to bump up the contrast and heighten the color a bit, making the dragon look a little more harsh (fierce?).

Camera and Craft

Thom gave me Camera and Craft, a book on digital photography, for Christmas. I’ve been reading it on and off for the past few weeks, devouring the information and recommendations. Although I’m still a long way from having the artistic eye that he does, I’ve learned a lot about how the different elements of shooting combine to make a better photo.

Here are a few recent practice shots:



Right now I’m working on the technical stuff; over time I’ll work on the art.


Teaching early-morning seminary has been an amazing journey over the past year and a half. It’s incredibly difficult, but also incredibly rewarding. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve had to do hard things, but I’ve been blessed for my sacrifice. And every now and then, I have an opportunity to see the effect I have on seventeen high-school kids who come to my class before the sun rises.

One of my students wrote a note for me over the Christmas break. Part of it reads:


I need to remember this sort of thing on those days when I feel like I’m not making a difference, when most of the class is barely hanging onto consciousness, and when I feel like my lesson is a disaster. In the end, it’s all worthwhile.

Christmas lights

It’s about time to take down the Christmas lights, although it’s been a wee bit chilly lately (below zero tonight) so they’re still hanging.

I thought I’d take an artistic fuzzy shot of them…



Last month I decided to brighten people’s days by leaving anonymous Post-its in various places. It was fun to leave little notes that said things like “You are awesome”.

Since Laralee is extra cool, I thought I’d leave some for her as well. They weren’t very anonymous, but each day I added one more to my collection. Eventually they formed sort of a heart shape, because hey, I’m a romantic sometimes.