Saturday, January 30, 2010

Part of the test.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004):
Why should it surprise us, by the way, that life's most demanding tests as well as the most significant opportunities for growth in life usually occur within marriage and the family? How can revolving door relationships, by contrast, be as real a test of our capacity to love? Is being courteous, one time, to the stranger on the bus as difficult as being courteous to a family member who is competing for the bathroom morning after morning? Does fleeting disappointment with a fellow office worker compare to the betrayal of a spouse? Does a raise in pay even approach the lift we receive from rich family life?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fixed-schedule productivity

I practiced this in college, I just didn't have a name for it.

Every college student should read it.

(Thanks, Eddie.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Think chainsaws are scary when they're running? How about when they're *not* running?

[ UPDATE: Just heard back from him and got a different story than the one he told that day -- not quite as surprising if it was running. ]

At a community service project, our HOA president (an older fellow) was cutting down brush with a chainsaw. At one point he shut the saw off let go of the trigger which stopped the blade, then in swinging it down happened to bounce the bar/chain across the front of his thigh and the blade jerked forward:
For those who are wondering how it turned out for my leg, after the job I cleaned up and went to the ER where they had to put in 7 stitches to close up the wound. I’m Ok but little sore now, that will learn me to leave off my chain saw leggings.
He was bleeding pretty bad, looked about as bad as most sword-slash wounds in the movies. And he was wearing jeans!

Watch out for chainsaws.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weather radio fatigue

I really don't like my weather radio.

I got it for the tornado warnings, but it seems to be going off all the time. Thunderstorms, tornado watches, etc. Even if we snooze it, if something changes in the warning they reissue it and the thing is blaring again. The worst part is that if any part of the county is affected, all of the county is warned, both with the radios and the sirens.

Thanks to our visit to the WAAY TV station with the scouts the other night, I learned that their station has a $7/yr service called "weathercall" that will call your phone or send you a text message* whenever your address is actually threatened by one of those storms.

I love it, no more guilty feelings at 2am when the sirens go off and I go back to sleep, instead of getting up and going downstairs to turn on the TV.

And no, I'm not connected to them at all, I just think it's cool. Hopefully someday they'll have the same thing but keyed off the location of my cellphone...
* Actually it will call/email up to 3 numbers and 3 email addresses.

UPDATE: It's not just an AL thing, it works for any address across the country.

UPDATE 2: I just got an email from the weatherguy saying that the iPhone app is on its way -- I wonder how it'll know where I am if background apps aren't allowed?

Friday, January 8, 2010

MiniDV loses its voice

I have some bad news for those of you with miniDV camcorders -- our camcorder was stolen back when we lived in Tucson, so this week I'm finally getting around to borrowing one from a friend so i can get the video off the tapes and onto the computer.

Now the bad news-- much of the audio is trashed on some of the tapes, and even the video in a few places. So much for miniDV being a durable format.

It could be dirty heads, though I tried a cleaning tape and it didn't seem to help, and newer tapes worked fine. It could be that this camera is a Panasonic where mine was a Canon, but that's not much consolation if you're looking for a format that will survive companies going out of business or halting production of a particular piece of hardware. It could be that the tapes weren't well cared for, but they've been stored in the camera case, inside the house since the camera was stolen -- not overly humid or hot.

So what format lasts forever? Stone carvings? Engraving on metal plates? I think the lesson we learn is that all of our precious data needs to be maintained -- moved from old media and formats to new ones as the old ones go obsolete.

I wish it weren't so.

Does anyone read this thing?

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