Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is why I redbox

Last night I sacrificed my evening swim to watch the new Star Trek movie. I must be really picky cause I think this movie sucked. The plot and story line was pretty good compared to previous Star Trek movies. But the acting (or rather than directing) sucked.

The characters were all exaggerated. Jim Kirk was a total horndog who had a big head and no real skills except a big mouth. Bones was a complete whiner.

The two characters that weren't completely annoying were the young Spock and Scotty.

I'm so glad I didn't fork over more than $1 to watch this film. What a waste of time. I feel bad for missing my swim.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Square Trade - concluding failure

So I finally have an update to my concluded dealings with square trade. Here's the background.

UPDATE: The technician reviewing the Garmin claimed that the battery was left in too long and that the repair wasn't covered.

My Response to that conclusion: It wasn't like I left the batteries in there for years and left it in a drawer somewhere. I used this thing several times each week and it had a normal flow of new batteries going in. To me if a normal battery leaks and the product fails because of that, is that the product that failed? Probably not. OK I see the point, However.... what happened to going the extra mile. I mean seriously, the repair would cost about a penny, and here's how...

Take a paperclip, straighten it out, and then coil it up so it looks like a battery terminal, then solder it to the battery terminal backing. I did this (except the soldering) before I sent it in and the Garmin was working, but since I made a big stink about it, figured the "professional" should do it, since I paid for the coverage. So I sent it in two weeks ago, and just today was told the technician made his judgment.

So it looks like this actually goes back to the inability of square trade to make a tiny little fix even though they claim it's outside they're responsibility. This 5 cent "extra mile" has the potential to make customers happy, but that's not the goal. It's the small print and the financial risk that square trade wants to protect itself from.

Guess I'll just have to do it myself. Next time, scrap the warranty since they're concern is more about saving a few pennies, than making the customer happy.

Wake up call

I'm telling you, I'm fired up about this Muslim guy who went on a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood. What makes me mad is that people knew about this guy and his messed up mentality, but he wasn't detained or investigated enough to stop it.

When 9/11 happened, and other events (which were caught before tragedy), traveling by air has taken a radical change. We can't pack toothpaste or take a tiny little pocket knife on the plane. OK whatever.

But when a soldier who is Muslim and has obvious anti-american views isn't kicked out of the military, or detained when he takes steps to cause a slaughter like this, really bothers me. I guess now the military will go into extreme reaction mode much like the airlines. Which is a good thing. But it really is too bad that steps weren't taken BEFORE the tragedy. There have been many cases where bad things were caught BEFORE they happened, and this is a really bad one that slipped through. My heart goes out to the families of those affected by the shootings.

This guy was a US Soldier who turned into a terrorist, coddled and ignored for the sake of political correctness. He should be charged with treason. His act speaks for itself and his completely messed up extremist views shouldn't be given any light whatsoever. The firing squad should really start cleaning their guns. The US military ought to take steps in the future to ensure nothing like this happens again. It's bad enough when our guys are killed over there in those places of the world, but to be killed from muslim radicals from within? C'mon! That's idiotic.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Firefox is a pig, Chrome is faster and thinner, but doesn't work well with Ultramon or Jira (Rich Text)

For many years I've preferred Firefox over IE, but now Google Chrome comes into the picture and I'm getting fed up with how sometimes my computer doesn't respond as fast as I'd like. Well today I looked at the task manager and Firefox was in the top three apps using up the most memory. So today I decided to do a little browser comparison:

BrowserStartup timeMemory with 5 fav tabs
Firefox20 seconds169 Mb
IE 8.03 seconds93 Mb
Google Chrome3 seconds42 Mb

So it looks like Google Chrome is fast and simple. Nice! Problem is that Chrome doesn't use a normal Windows window. I use Ultramon which includes a couple additional window manipulation icons on every window so I can move windows from one desktop to the other with a single click. With Google Chrome those icons aren't visible, and the "Move to other Monitor" option when right clicking on the title bar on the window doesn't do any thing.

Moving windows from one desktop to the other is a feature I use hundreds of times every day. So moving a Chrome window around is going to be a pain, but I think it might be worth it to have the same things running in my browser with 1/2 to 1/4 of the memory used up.

I've since noticed that Chrome doesn't work well with Jira. A documentation and issues tracking tool. The Rich Text tab doesn't show up in Chrome. And when creating a new jira task, it doesn't respect the dropdown value selected. Jira and Chrome don't work very well together at all. Jira and Confluence I also use predominantly throughout the day, so Chrome right now isn't a complete solution for me! C'mon Mozilla, fix your memory issues, and C'mon Google, get your browser to mature faster!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Isaac!

This morning I didn't swim. I made breakfast for Isaac who celebrates his 6th Birthday today. This kid is so fun. He got the royal treatment this morning. Then he went out to the garage and we gave him his main present. A new bike. His old one had the back tire ran over by the van so it was bent really bad. It would rub against the frame and slow him down. It was funny to see him able to ride it with it so wobbly. But this new one is fast and has a big horn on it. He was all smiles this morning with the big pile of pancakes with strawberries and bananas smothered all over it with half a can of whip cream spray.

Isaac is such a lovable kid. Plus he's very gentle considering how big he is for his age. Poor Jonas has just been passed up in size by his younger brother. Isaac is a smart kid and has neat handwriting. Happy Birthday Isaac!

From Family Videos

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Faithful Questioning

My awesome Stake President, President Brandt, the past year has emphasized a need to ask questions in faith, rather than faithlessly. For instance someone who has a problem with the Word of Wisdom might ask in a whiny voice, "Why do I have to give up my Coke? I mean caffeine isn't mention in D&C 89 anywhere." But a faithful question on the same topic might be "How can giving up caffeinated drinks benefit me both physically and spiritually?" Then searching for the answers.

Well today I had a couple questions while attending the temple. It had to do with the methods used in the 1)observance and 2)teaching of Adam and Eve while they were on the earth. Heavenly Father is omniscient. Why did he use angelic servants to supposedly get information regarding Adam and Eve's faithfulness? Then the answer came to me nearly immediately in thought while in the Temple. I wanted to document them cause I have a terrible memory and wanted to record my experience.

1) Observance - Heavenly Father uses earthly leaders to help us become accountable for our actions. Since Adam was the first man on earth, there wasn't another mortal on earth to hold him accountable, so Heavenly Father had to send angels to do that.

2) Teaching
I have had many examples of people who have tried to teach me a specific gospel principle. There are many techniques used in teaching. Some include:

  • Harsh words and a blunt approach to invoke fear, or guilt

  • Self Righteously - The one teaching using himself as an example to follow.

  • Teaching out of love and concern. Teaching truths in humility and without self grandeur. Providing encouragement to avoiding problems without casting judgement. The spirit can best teach under this situation than the previous two examples.

Those who use methods other than the third one (In Humility, using Love and encouragement) are much less effective. I mean if their purpose truly is that of teaching a concept, wouldn't that be the best method? What is the ultimate goal of teaching? To help the person desire to learn and heed the teaching. If the person being taught is being yelled at, or made to feel guilty, or is being "preached to", is that going against the real purpose of helping the person gain a desire to grow?

Many times in the Old Testament I get the impression that Jehovah is a strict god, that goes to extremes. Killing a majority of the population with a flood, Sending famines, wars and destruction, etc... But the chance he gave Adam to learn and grow, rather than striking him dead upon eating the fruit (which he told Adam while in the garden would be the consequence), shows me a different side of the God of Genesis that I've initially been exposed to. He truly is all powerful and all knowing, but he often chooses methods to observe and to teach which allows for accountability and forgiveness.

Just makes me think, I have so much to learn! There's more to each story, than the story itself.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Finishing the Chicken coop

We built the coop earlier this summer, but since it's been getting so cold decided to finish the coop with a nice nesting box to provide some much needed protection from the cold. It is basically a 4 ft by 2 ft box that is fully insulated with 6 inches of fiberglass insulation inside a bigger box. It is built of wood with shingles completely covering the outside of the box. It is just outside the coop with a hole where the door is.

Jacob, Cathi and I spent about 10 hours total building this. We got our first egg out of it. The chickens are laying about 3 eggs a day now. So we shouldn't need to go buy eggs again. In fact we might need to start giving them away.

I skipped a couple of swim sessions to get this project over with so I hope the chickens appreciate the sacrifice not to mention that the material cost about $200. Not cheap. We should break even with the money we're saving on eggs in, oh about 10 years. I'll feel better about sleeping in my warm bed, when the chickens have this nesting box that should keep them plenty warm in the winter with two heat lamps out there and tons of straw for covers. I'm just glad I don't have any roosters.