Friday, December 21, 2007

Hmm, A Mystery!

My comments have vanished. It's traumatic. But seriously, it wasn't that difficult to get to the bottom of. It seems that HaloScan archives comments if you haven't logged on to their website in the last three months, regardless of the fact that you've been using your comments. I logged on, and mystery solved. I should have them showing back up within twenty four hours.

So that was fun. I've also been dealing with various counselors at school, and with my wife's help, I actually found some really helpful ones. I've got myself all signed up for classes for the coming semester. I'll have General Chemistry I, College Physics I, Ethics, and Intro to Psychology. Just the four classes, fifteen credits, because my wife has begged me to take it a little easy this semester as we will be having a child.

For anyone wondering just how much longer I have in school, I think it will be at least two more years. It will take that long just to get through all the science classes (fifteen of them) I need if I want to have a decent MCAT score. I'm not sure just how much longer after that, but there might be a semester or two. Then it's off to medical school. I need to be thinking about where I want to go if CU doesn't work out, and what I would like to specialize in.

By way of movies, I saw and recommend I Am Legend. The previews looked good, but not like something MJ would be able to see just now. Pregnancy hormones are a blast. I saw it with her brother who moved out over the summer. He paid for the last movie we saw, so I owed him. I'll likely rent it after we have the baby so MJ can see it. It might be good to find a copy of the book as well. Apparantly the book's significantly older than the movie, but if it's anything like it it would be worth checking out.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

End of Semester

I'm not sure which one I like better, the beginning or the end of the semester. I like the new books and new classes, and the lack of homework you usually get with the beginning, but I'm looking forward to having a few weeks of break from all of this, and wrapping things up in all my classes. I don't mean to wax nerdy here, but there's something satisfying about having kept grades up all semester, and finishing them off on a high note and setting it in stone.

I've already finished two of my three oral reports, and they both went surprisingly well. It's interesting, but just this last weekend I was speaking in sacrament meeting, and that one went pretty smoothly as well. I think I'm really getting the hang of this public speech thing, not that I'm loving it yet or anything.

I'm not at the end of things yet though. I've still got finals in most of my classes, although none of them are comprehensive, so they're no different than the tests I've been taking all year, and I've got a ten page report that still needs some serious work over this weekend. Good times. Perhaps the best thing about the end of the semester is getting things like this done and behind me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

CD Repair

CD Repair


I carved a couple new pumpkins this Halloween. I know it's a bit late to throw this up, but here's the better of the two I made. The other one was alright too, but I liked this one. We didn't do much else for Halloween. We tried to watch a movie that night, Poseidon, but it seems that our non-scary Halloween movie was a bit too much for my wife with all her pregnancy. We didn't even get past the first disaster scene, so we played some FFVIII instead. Hope everyone else had a good holiday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pictures Galore

Well, I've got those ultrasound pictures scanned in, as well as a few more. We had to get another ultrasound. This one was a level two, which means it's done in a different place, by a more skilled specialist. Also, it means we got some of those 3D pictures. They didn't turn out too clear, but here's the whole mess of them.

First, the ones from a while back:

And, from the second set:

This one is more from the front, and catches a yawn:

And here's the first of the 3D, the one that turned out the best:

And the other one:

So, it was pretty cool being there for the 3D imaging. You can see a bit more on the screen than you can in these two shots, especially the second one. It all just makes me look forward more to January 23rd.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Look Alike Face Morpher

I came across this one on one of my friends sites on MySpace. I didn't have (or want to use) a picture of myself, so I used a link to a picture of the Mona Lisa. It found the other one. Try it out, it's a hoot!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's a boy!

I'll have pictures of my son up once I've got my computer up and running again. I'm sending this from my in-laws' which has a scanner, but no decent software to do anything with the pictures once I've got them.

So, we went to get an ultrasound. They found all the fingers and arms and stuff, and then they found what looks suspiciously like a penis. We got three pictures this time, and you can see a bit more than in the others.

Other news, we're moving into the in-laws' instead of living in their yard. It turns out that the joy of having your own space just isn't worth living in a camper. It's not bad though. We'll have a couple of rooms once I get the second one a bit more cleared out, and we'll likely have a third once the baby comes. School's going pretty well, even the scary 'get whitey' class, partially because she has been focusing more on actual material, and partially because the other students commiserate. It's a little tough getting everything done, but I'm managing the eighteen credits alright.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


MJ and I have been going out on Monday nights, since that and Sunday were the only nights she had off, and even though she has Tuesday nights off as well now, we've been sticking with Monday out of habit. So, yesterday she's looking through the movies to see if there's anything worth seeing, and she calls me over to look at them. Now, here's the awesome part, Stardust was listed. I knew it was coming out, but I didn't know when.

Any other Gaiman fans (Berserk) know how stoked I was about this. It took a little bit of talking MJ into it, but she went along and was not disappointed.

I'd recommend this one to anyone, especially fans. The cast was great, the adaptation was great. Two big freakin' thumbs up!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

School's on

This post is coming from the computer lab at my new school. So far it's going alright. I've figured out some of the bus schedule. It takes almost two hours, including the drive to the bus stop and a short walk from downtown, so I need to get my mp3 player squared away. I've got a pretty tight schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays, leaving me 15 minutes between classes, but today, and Tuesday I've got plenty of time to work over my reading assignments, check email, and look around campus between classes.

Overall, it shouldn't be too bad, but I've got to work out a couple kinks in the routine still, and all this walking with my books is going to take a little getting used to. I know I'm coming here from a couple months at a metal shop, but I'm getting different sore muscles from this. I should be good after a couple of weeks though.

I've got a couple of philosophy classes, and a couple of English classes. One of the philosophy classes is an intro, and the other is about logic and arguing, so watch out. My philosophy teachers are the most unusual teachers I believe I've ever had. I wonder if they are all like that. One of my English classes is an introduction to fiction. That one looked fun. I tried writing a book a while ago, but realized I didn't really know what I was doing.

I've got a class on pre-columbian and colonial meso-america. It's required here that everyone takes one multicultural (non-white) class, and this one seemed like one I might actually take just for the content. The first day included a lot of talk about how bad white people have been, and a little talk of what still needs to be done to fix things. I was hoping to avoid that. This will be my second day, hopefully it will be a bit more about pre-columbian and colonial meso-america, and a bit less about affirmative action, reparations, and African slave trade.

In other news, MJ is doing pretty well as far as this whole pregnancy goes. She's got a different position at work. It involves a little more responsibility, and a little less lifting. Also, it's four ten hour days, instead of five eights. This wasn't just one of those moves they do so you can keep working while you're pregnant either. It's one of those ones that you apply for and hope you get. I'm all kinds of proud of her.

I wish I could say that the morning sickness was gone, but it is at least reduced. There's been some dry heaving this morning, but nothing for a few days before that. She's handling throwing up a lot better than she used to. Still more reasons to be proud.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Baby Pictures

Everyone meet your new grandchild/niece/nephew/child-of-a-friend.

I took the morning off of work today, to go with MJ to a prenatal checkup. They were hoping we'd be able to hear a heartbeat this time, there wasn't anything to hear on her last visit.
They couldn't find it this time either, so they sent us to the hospital for an ultrasound, resulting in two beautiful pictures of our baby. Nice as these are though, you should have seen the moving picture on the screen. I can see why they have a hard time getting any still shots better than these, but we could see the baby moving around, the heart was beating really fast, and you could see all the ribs, the arms and legs. He/She was all curled up in a little ball, which is likely why we couldn't hear anything.
So, I never made it to work. By the time we were done work was over. I called in and everything, so I should still have a job there for a couple of weeks before school starts. MJ had to call in too. The soonest they could get us in for the ultrasound was 2:00. So, here are the pictures anyway. There's just the one child. Don't be confused by the multiple shots.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

2.5 x .25

Apparently, I haven't mentioned to everyone that I cut steel now, instead of inspecting fire extinguishers. The job usually runs better than the old one, but not so much today. One of the pieces of steel I cut is two and a half inches by a quarter inch. It's far from the heaviest most difficult stuff that I cut, but today it's my least favorite. It's just thin enough to have quite a bit of spring to it, but plenty heavy enough have a little power behind it when it springs back at you. If you grab a twenty foot length of the stuff by the middle, and toss it onto your table, the middle part which you grabbed it by, it seems, is likely to spring back and smack you on it's way down. Without sharing all the gory details, I'll just say that this piece of metal is number one on my list of the worst things I've smacked myself in the nuts with.

That was the morning. Later in the day, I gave myself a nasty blood blister on the palm of my left hand. It's half an inch, by an eighth. As much as that would normally bother me, it pales today.

So, here's to better days, and healthier nuts.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Scout Camp

I went to scout camp this weekend. I only got Friday off of work, so I wasn't down the whole week. It was interesting. There are two camps we used to go to, this was the one where they do all the work (cooking and the like) for you. It seems that not much has changed. It was weird, but pretty cool seeing the place again. I don't have the patience for the staph's strangeness than I used to. They seemed more annoying, less funny, but I bet that was more due to me changing then them. The boys seemed to get a kick out of them just like I remember.

Oh, in case I didn't tell anyone, they made me Scoutmaster in the ward I'm in now. I don't just hang out with the scouts for the heck of it.

One of the other adult leaders has a pretty cool job, I found out. I had heard others say that he could hack into stuff, and I figured his job involved something nerdy, and he was better with computers than most, but it turns out his job is to hack into places, and then let them know how he got in. I've seen that job in a movie, but I never thought anyone really had it. If only they could incorporate ninjas into it, I'd have the perfect job for my little brother.

He also brought up some potassium. Seems that stuff blows up in water, as long as it's not in it's acid form. Pity I missed it. I don't suppose I could have brought up thermite, and not gotten in trouble for it. I'll have to let most of you know if I get that put together. Mom, I'll let you know after I'm done with it.

Anyway, good to be back home. Next year I might be going up for the whole week. Assuming I'm still in the same ward, and I can get the time off from wherever I'm working by then.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thermite Anyone?

So, cutting steel to make trailers is an interesting job. There are a lot of different parts we make in the fab shop, and a couple of good byproducts I want to see if I can get my hands on. The first, is the sawdust from the steel cut off saw. When it comes off of the saw, it looks like fireworks, but it cools to a black dust. It's magnetic, it stinks, and it covers my clothes when I'm done. I believe it's what's known as black or blue iron oxide. It differs from red iron oxide (rust) because it is oxidized at a high temperature.

I don't claim to understand this too well, but I believe that means it's burnt, not just rusty.

The other byproduct is saw dust from the aluminum saws. There's no real heat involved in these, and no oxidation. It's just ordinary aluminum dust.

This is where it gets interesting, and where Berserk may have to stop reading for liability purposes.

Seems that when you mix about a quarter of one with three quarters of the other you get a mixture called thermite. Thermite is used to weld railroad pieces together. When you burn it, you are left with a puddle of molten iron. You can cast this iron into a mold, or burn through things. It will burn a hole through the hood of a car, through the engine block, and out the bottom with only a flowerpot full. It will do more than that if you place the flowerpot over the gas tank.

Now, I don't plan on doing anything so destructive, but ever since I heard of the stuff, I kind of wanted to make it, who wouldn't, and now I find myself working daily with the raw ingredients I need. Also, it seems I can use a sparkler or a matchbook to ignite it as well, so I don't even need the usual magnesium fuse, which might be somewhat difficult to come by.

So, Mom's cautioning aside, anyone have any thoughts on this stuff?

Check out this Wikipedia article on thermite if want to know more about it, or see pictures and videos.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Small Town

Well, we've got hot water and cold air in our camper. Hot air too, if we choose, but now's not the time for it. We've got to get some sort of control device, not unlike a working thermostat, for it. Currently, we've got a bundle of loose wires sticking out of the wall. If you know which ones to hook up, you've got air. Also, I've got to do something about all this internet I don't have. We either need a wireless repeater, or a better NIC. Probably the former.

The fourth was fun. At least, the couple of days before the fourth were fun. The fourth involved us traveling home, and watching a chick flick which my chick didn't enjoy any more than I did.

Before the fourth, we were in the small town my mother grew up in. A town we're thinking of moving to, in order to get medical school paid for. There might be some extra difficulty in that though, I understand they've got some overdone anti-nepotism policies at the hospital. I have a cousin who had some difficulty getting a job there because she has an aunt who works there too. If I run into any problems though, there are a couple of other areas we're interested in too. Areas with a nicer climate, although fewer relatives. If all else fails, there's always the student loan method.

The stay in Smalltown was pretty good. I took my wife out on a quad, exploring some paths with streams running through them. My youngest sister fell off of hers, cracked her helmet right open, but left her head in one bruised piece. She got a few scrapes, and a slightly damaged ankle too, but nothing too bad.

It was good seeing almost everyone. We've got an aunt I haven't seen in probably a bit more than a decade, and about four corresponding cousins I've never seen. Then there's an uncle who I haven't seen too often, and who I haven't seen quite as little as I'd like. Druncle doesn't seem all too bad at first. A bit full of himself, a bit bossy. A bit like a permanent drunk. The bit that really impressed me was when he decided to share his beer with the baby sitting next to him. Wha?!

I understand most people drink. I'm fine at a family gathering, a party, whatever, where people are drinking. No one has ever tried to push it on me. Druncle here, decided that a kid, not quite a year old I think, should have a drink. This isn't like letting a child of yours, who is curious about your wine, have a sip. This is more like getting the cat drunk to laugh at it. Druncle wasn't doing this with his own children either. As far as I know he doesn't have any. No, the kid in question belonged to the aunt who doesn't regularly come around anyway. Nice way to push her right back out. My sister asked the kid if she wanted her juice, and took her away, to which Druncle said, "oh, here come the missionaries to save you." Leave it to the drunk to get too preachy, and to overestimate their own comedic talent. The guy's always hated Mormons, but my sister's not really trying to push her religion around here.

Druncle tried it again, this time the kid's dad stopped him, told him that was enough. They left. Pissed of course. Hopefully we'll see them again soon. Hopefully Druncle will find himself busy with whatever the hell he does the rest of the year, and won't make it down.

That aside, the trip was good. It was really good to see the rest of the family over there. Next year, we should be able to stay for the holiday as well. There's nothing like a big firework show done by a small town. Hope everyone else's holiday was good.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Alright, I'm set up here with an internet connection and everything. Problem is, it's intermittent at best. I think the distance between me and the router has something to do with it. The signal has the full length of a double wide to get through, plus the wall of this camper. I've seen and heard of worse starter homes for newly married couples to live in, but this camper thing is not quite as pleasant as MJ seems to think. It turns out though, that living in a camper next to the in-laws is much like living with the in-laws. We frequently go over there for dinner. Especially on Sundays. I grilled some wicked awesome steaks last week, and some wicked awesomer ribs yesterday. They all loved it. It's nice to be appreciated. Besides, anytime someone else is buying the meat, I'll gladly cook and eat it.

We got the house leveled again yesterday. It was level before, but the feet sink a bit in the mud, and it has to be redone. Eventually we should have hot water in here, which should go nicely with the cold water we've already got. Showering out here will be much more pleasant. Usually we go inside for that. We're supposed to have heating and cooling before too long here too. The heater works, and it's possible that the cooler works too, but with the thermostat in it's current state, neither one really do much of anything. We also laid pipe to connect to the septic tank, and are wired in to the house. I've got no complaints about the electricity. That's the one thing we've got down flawless here. The septic is mostly good too. I can't say I'm a big fan of emptying the tank. Eventually, I hope to again live where poo just magically goes away forever, somewhere that doesn't have little trap doors in the bottom of the toilet. I know it seems like science fiction, but I've always liked the cutting edge of technology.

Anyway, it's been educational. I got to use a billy goat (for cutting down tall crap, not the actual goat kind), and ride a tractor lawn mower. Also, there's a pond nearby, and I know more about fly-fishing now than I ever did. I'm still looking forward to the next place we'll live, but things seem to be coming along okay for now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wedding Fun

We're back. WDW was a hoot. You'll have to forgive me for not blogging over the past week, I've been busy. You don't have to forgive my blogging habits from before last week though, I was slightly less busy then. Still, I'll work on it. It's good to be home. I was tired and cranky last night after flying all day, but I'm better now.

Thanks to everyone who travelled in for the big event. It means a lot that you were all able to make it, and it was good to see you. We'll have to all get together some time when I'm not all busy getting married. MJ says she loves you all, and she liked meeting you.

I've seen the outside of the trailer I'll be calling home very shortly here. It's in my new neighbor's backyard just now, and will be in my new backyard once my new neighbor's wife gets her crap out of it. She's had a few days, and more than a couple offers from strong nearby men-folk to help move it all, but she wants to do it herself. Not enough to actually get off her butt and do it herself, though. Who knows though. I hear she'll likely have it done today. I'm not holding my breath, but my next post may likely be coming to you from a camper. I'm still not loving the idea, but I've come to accept it as a temporary solution.

That aside, I'm liking this whole married thing so far. Looking forward to finishing off some debts and looking for a slightly more average housing arrangement.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rough couple of days

Work's been a hoot lately. While I love driving all over the city checking fire extinguishers as much as anyone, it hasn't been quite as good lately. There's a new person working in the office. She's not all that bad on a personal level, but it's not so great having someone new over me, telling me what to do. It's worse that she has no idea what it's like doing the job. I've never had an employer question me so much about what I'm doing. She'll ask me how long I thing a job will take, and then ask me if I'm maybe being a bit generous with the time I tell her. She'll ask me if the hours I've put down on my time card take into account that I'm not paid for lunch, and then ask if I'm sure when I tell her I've already excluded that time. It will be nice when either she's gotten used to how things run, or I've moved on to better things. Also, she's decided not to give me all the work orders that I'm supposed to do at once, she'll hold on to them, and just give me what she thinks I'll get done in a day or two. This way she can keep better track of me. Wha?

So, yesterday I was walking down the stairs to the basement in the dark. I noticed the smell of crap. If you ever find yourself walking around in the dark and you smell crap, you should turn on the lights quicker than I did. I next felt a couple of strange lumps on the floor under my sock-clad yet unshod foot. There were four piles in the one room, joined, to my dismay, by five larger piles and a large spot of urine in the next room. All this, done by a single dog while I was off at work. I put her nose in the piles, yelled at her, and she still isn't on friendly terms with me yet.

Today, The ceiling in my room leaked. Never mind that there are two floors above me which don't have leaking ceilings. I've got one. There was water all over one side of my desk. My monitor still has some spots where it got splattered, but at least my computer is dry. That's more than I can say for all the paperwork all over my desk. It gave me a chance to go through it all. I threw away anything that wasn't important, dried a few things that were. It's been a hoot.

Here's hoping that nothing sucks for the next couple of days or so.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Blog

I've made the addition of a very nice blog. Okay, it's not very nice yet, but its owner is, and it has potential. MJ has a blog now, much like mine with links to everyone I know. It's just more pink, and doesn't have any DaVinci artwork.

Wedding plans are still going along nicely. I've finalized the engagement picture and announcement, and if I ever get around to getting them off to the printer's, you all will know for sure that we want you here, instead of just having to guess. I'm not really a jerk, I promise. I just am not as punctual as I should be.

I'm making this post from my brother's computer, as I am here watching his dogs, and I have noticed the Home, Insert, End, and Delete keys are not in their correct positions. It's wigging me out a bit. A couple of other keys are malfunctioning as well. I'm not trying to rag on his computer too much, but if anyone has an extra keyboard, and wants to find a good home for it, I know someone who could use it. Just let me know, and I'll make sure he gets it.

That's about it for now. MJ has to get up early for work tomorrow, and I have to get up at a sane hour, although still early, for work tomorrow.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Okay, I have seen the most amazing tool in the world. It is called a Fubar. I'm sure most of you are familiar with F.U.B.A.R. the acronym, now for the tool. It's something like a crowbar, except on one end it has this spike/jaw/gripping/hammer bit. I'm seeing where they came up with the name. I don't know what exactly one is used for, but I want one. If only I was one of those people with too much money, or if I could only think of a reasonable excuse.

In other news, I got caught behind a train. Not a big train. There were seven cars. Including the engine. I was at the far north end of a small city about an hour north of here. This was the middle of nowhere. I could see the tracks running off into the distance in both directions, and not a crossroad either way. This seven car barricade couldn't seem to find one of those bits to park on, just the few yards of track that I was planning on using. Eventually, the train moved, as they tend to, the gates went up, and traffic moved. It was my turn next, and the gates came down for no reason. I sat there for a bit longer, and the gates went up again.

I thought the whole thing was funny. I'm just glad I wasn't in a hurry, or a bad mood. I don't think I would have caught the humor in it. Really, it's almost too bad that the gates went back up. I almost had my excuse to buy a fubar.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dog Glasses?

I didn't know they made glasses for dogs, but someone does. I'm driving along and I see a bulldog-type dog sticking its head out of the window. Then I do a double take. The dog has some rather stylish, lightly tinted glasses. They're not exactly sunglasses, and they're staying on a bulldog with it's head out of the window, so I can only assume that they are prescription glasses made for dogs. Either some people out there just have too much money, or I just don't have enough.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Vincent Black Shadow

I can add another one to my concert count now. I recommend The Vincent Black Shadow to anyone. They've got three brothers on drums, guitar, and bass. Then, there's Cassandra Ford on vocals. I've never seen such big sounds come out of such a small person, but she's really what makes the band. I've got the CD, and got it signed by the band. They've got a bit darker sound than most, and for style I'd place them somewhere between early No Doubt, and Garbage. They're still pretty small, but I could see them going somewhere.

I've been working on fire extinguishers for a few weeks now. I really don't like the job some days, but it's going to pay for the honeymoon, Disneyworld, so it can't be all bad. My boss wants me to take an overnight trip some time this week to some of our more distant clients. I can't imagine that they have no better alternative for their extinguisher inspection needs, and I don't understand why he takes jobs that involve four hours of driving before we get there, but he's the boss, and I get paid hourly, so I can't complain too much. I can complain a bit though. Especially when it involves a night away from home in a city I don't know. I'm sure I'll find something to do, but I'd rather be around people who I know.

The plan, professionally, is still to find a job at a hospital as a tech. There are a few snags though. Seems so far that I've got a bit of a knack for starting to study professions which dry up once I've finished getting certified. I think I'll be heading back to school fall semester though. This time with student loans most likely. I can look for medical jobs or volunteer work while I do that to work up some experience. MJ says she's fine working while I'm in school. I'm hoping she can find an alright job, the kind with benefits, good pay, and regular hours. She's currently delivering pizzas, which has none of these.

I think finishing off my bachelors degree should help open a few doors. I'm hoping that once I have a bachelors I'll be able to find one of those programs where a small town pays for you to go to medical school, and then you have to work there for a few years. I know a small town in Nevada that's done this a few times in the past, and there could be otheres. At that point, if I choose to move back to somewhere that has stoplights and more restaurants than I can count on one hand I'll be an experienced doctor.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Tying the Knot

Yes, the title says it. I'm getting married. While this may not be the biggest news for those who know me personally, it's high time I boast about it a bit here. And as for Wudan watching Oprah, I owe you a bit of an apology for giving you a hard time about it. I haven't sunk that low, but I have watched Dr. Phil already, and I've only been engaged for a short while. I'll hold out as long as I can, but when I inevitably start quoting the show, at least I'll have an old friend to talk to about it.

So, bad television programming aside, here's the bragging. She's MJ, from my previous posts. I've known her for a few years, but we've only been dating since mid-November. She says I crock potted her. I didn't know what it meant, but apparently it means that for a long time I've been a friend, hung around her a bit when she was around, dated some of her friends, and then when she least expects it, I move in. I guess so, but that was never really the plan. In real life I was just a bit scared of her. I liked her, but didn't make any really good moves until recently.

So, about her, she's a lot nicer than some of the girls I've dated lately, she's cute, and she makes me rather happy. Her whole family loves me too, which makes things a bit easier around them. My family seems to like her quite a bit too. Especially my mother.

So, that's the big update my mother has been bothering me to put up.