Tara at one month old


Tara at 1 month old.

First Family Picture

First Family Picture

This was the first family picture with the new addition…

Happy Birthday Tara!!!

Tara's BirthdayShe’s finally here… Tara was born April 9th 10:30am… She was 9 lbs. 4 oz. and 21″ tall… We also have her room finished (with MUCH help from the family decorators)… I’ll post pictures of that soon…

Things have been real busy all in all but I have more news coming… Stay tuned…

Ugg class!!!

Things are getting busier as the due date for the baby gets closer… Less than a month to go and were trying to get things wrapped up and ready for the new arrival… We’ve had the tour of the birthing center and have birthing classes coming up soon… To be honest I’m not looking forward to this class, we’re really doing it more as a refresher but I’m sure we’ll get some useful information out of it regardless…I also got my biking class scheduled through Team Oregon… My class is schedule for the first week of June… With some luck it should be good weather… I’m signed up for Basic Rider Training which, if I pass, will also get me my endorsement (license)… If things go well I might get my bike the month before along with my permit… I have a coworker who also rides and were hoping to get a little practice in before the class starts…

In gaming news, both the wife and I hit level 40 with our gnomes in World of Warcraft… We’re quite excited as level 40 is a pivotal level in the game… In particular it enables us to ride mounts

So what’s next? We bought a stroller and a play pen last week that we need to unbox and test out prior to the baby coming… There is also some more cleaning and organizing to do both for the baby room and family coming out to visit and help… And of course making room in the garage for the bike… Busy times…

Getting anxious

Suzuki C50TAnxious times are afoot… On one hand were only a couple months away from the new arrival to the family… This being our second one it’s not like we don’t know what to expect, however there will be life changes with having a second child and it’s going to be fun to see how that pans out…

On the other hand I’m expecting to go buy my bike sometime around June which is also getting closer… I know pretty much what I want already… Looking at a Suzuki C50… It’s a nice bike and they make a loaded version with most of the accessories I’m interested in already on it… It doesn’t help things that the weather has been so beautiful lately, perfect riding weather…

Alas, for the moment all I can do is wait…

Happy Valentines Day!

Yet another holiday is upon us…

Admittedly I'm not a fan of most holidays but this is one of the few that I've come to enjoy since meeting my wife…

So today's task is to stop by a gardening store on the way home and pick up something nice to go with her card… For the record I waited till last minute because my plan is to pick up a living plant that would have otherwise died hidden away in a cupboard…

Anyway, on a personal note I'd like to wish my wife a happy valentines day… I love you dear…

Google Goggle

It has been a very interesting week for internet exploration for me… For both professional and personal reasons I keep a close eye on internet services and resources… One business that has really caught my eye over the last week more than any other has been Google…Previously I had only thought of Google in terms of their search engine but they have some new very exciting services coming out… In particular I’ve been very impressed by Google Suggest, Google Gmail, and Google Maps… These new services may seem like your typical search engine or mail system but the differences (though subtle) really set them apart in my opinion…

Google Suggest is an enhancement to their normal search form… While you type in the search criteria it will suggest words you might be looking for as well as how often those words come up in search results… This is very much like the autocompletion you’ll find in many desktop applications… Spend some time searching with this and you’ll start to see it’s value… I’ve found that at times I’d be starting to type out my keywords and based on it’s suggestions add other words resulting in more accurate searches…

Another big item from Google is Gmail at http://gmail.google.com/… This is their new mail service… Among other things this service boasts being able to search mail and group mail threads together in an easy to use interface… While it supports use of external mail programs I’ve found so far that their web interface is far more powerful (yet simple) for mail management than most stand alone mail readers I’ve seen… They also suggest you “archive” instead of delete your email as they give you 1000 megs of storage… I’m a little unclear as of yet what the “archive” process does with your mail but from testing it’s still accessible and searchable though it’s not visible in your immediate inbox… The web interface is clean, quick, and easy to use… It’s a definite winner…

Finally Google Maps is also making a big splash… Personally I’ve found it easier to pull up streets and directions than most map services… Their use of dynamic web content also adds to its success with sharp easy to read bubbles, smooth scrolling of maps, and dynamic sizing of the map based on your browsers current display area… Though a small thing, I really like their use of semitransparent lines for driving directions… Many sites use solid lines which can make reading the map under the line difficult… This isn’t the case with Google Maps…

All three of these tools are making it to my internet surfing arsenal… At the time of this writing they’re all in beta but, with the exception of Gmail, available for testing… Give them a spin and see for yourself…

iPod Shuffle Battery Replacements

I came to a conclusion to my previous dilemma on how to best spend my gift certificates… Up until the last minute my intention was to purchase an iPod Shuffle… The problem was it came to my attention that their battery replacement program was far too expensive to cover a $150 iPod Shuffle… It wouldn’t be such a bad deal on a full sized iPod, especially if you get their maintenance program which costs half the price of the battery replacement and covers two years…So instead I went a very different route… I bought a 1 gig SD memory card for my RCA Lyra and a Macally FM transmitter… Ironically the transmitter was designed for an iPod but other than the iPod charger it comes with, it works just fine with other players… In fact I can highly recommend this transmitter… From the moment I took it out of the package, it has worked like a champ with no fuss… It comes with an AC adapter and a car adapter… Sound quality is excellent, though it’s tricky at first to find a good empty frequency to broadcast on… Even then it didn’t take too long to find one…

Now I can carry days worth of music with me and listen to it on the go… My next project on this will be to write a piece of software to synchronize my WinAmp play list with my player…

Who knew?

An interesting thing happened to me today on the way out of the bathroom… (You got to love stories that start out that way…) There I was at work minding my own business or actually finishing up my business as it were… I turned to head to the sink to wash up when the most amazing thing happened…You know that feeling when time slows down and you see your life in slow motion? This was one of those times… One of our employees from another department was walking past me as I turned around… I began to step forwards towards the sink as they passed in front of me… I recall noting how brisk their pace was and wondering what the rush was… What happened next was the thing nightmares are made of… Just as they crossed my path perpendicular to me their hand raised to their mouth just in time to puke causing splatter to go to the right and left of them… The spray hit me from arm to foot… Needless to say after multiple washes, I was driving home to clean clothes…

When I woke up that morning I had no idea… In fact, my day was actually going pretty well up to that point… Funny old world…. Who would have known?

Firefox 1.0 Review

It’s been a busy week so I haven’t had much time to blog but I wanted to take a moment to talk about Firefox… I recently decided to give it a good look and have been running it for a week now… For those that don’t know Firefox is an open source web browser that’s getting high acclaim for how secure it is along with it’s features…The first thing people will notice when they run it is how similar it looks to Internet Explorer… On the surface they both are designed for the same thing so it’s not surprising that they pretty much have the same basic feel… One of the key differences I’m particularly fond of in Firefox is the ability have multiple tabs open in the same window… This makes doing research on the web much easier as there aren’t tons of windows to manage and I follow rabbit trails… Simply middle click a link and it will open on it’s own tab in the back ground while you continue to read the original page… When your ready just switch tabs… Find something you like then right click it’s tab and select “close all other tabs”…

Another nice feature is the powerful bookmarks manager… It will even allow you to use an RSS Feed as a bookmark source… When you do this the feeds contents will list as bookmarks within the RSS folder… Compatible sites will add a Live Bookmarks to the bottom of your browser for easy subscription too…

One shouldn’t be fooled by the “limitations” of Firefox either… There are many interactive components that still aren’t available for Firefox but it appears most of the ones that aren’t are currently in development… For example Yahoo! hasn’t made a Yahoo! Companion for Firefox yet but on their official site they provide a link to a third party developed version that works very well…

Firefox is also more resistant to spyware and popups… Add the functionality of some browser extensions like Adblock and life just gets better…

Here is a list of some of my favorite Firefox extensions:

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend at least giving Firefox a try… Keep in mind the biggest benefit is the security of your system while surfing… Try it and enjoy…