Monthly Archives: November 2014

Anika Video

I let Anika use my little Cube camera during Thanksgiving at Brian’s house. She got it real quick, two clicks to start, one to stop, and there’s a magnet on the bottom. The girl had a great time with it, doing facials and sticking it on any metal she could find. The adults probably wanted to attach a magnet on her back and stick her up on a wall.

The biggest problem with having a kid running around with a video Cube is you don’t want your conversations recorded while you’re chatting with family on Thanksgiving. I get that, and I am the master of my universe, so I dragged all ten videos she recorded into my editor, dropped all sound, and cut sections out to make one video.

YouTube has a great online editor that lets you plug in public domain audio to your video, so I grabbed some symphony. Here’s the result:

Posted in Family | 2 Comments

Old Family

The family name on my dad’s side is Riza and we’ve been in this country for a long time. My cousin Pat just sent me four photos of my great grandparents and grandparents It also appears that the stories I’ve heard about having Indian blood (Mattie), appear to be true. Click the photo below for the rest of the story…

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Dinner At Brians

My nephew Brian recently bought the house next door and invited Steph and I to Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. I can’t remember the last time I walked to somebody’s house for a tryptophan feast but we did, carrying two plates of deviled eggs. In attendance was: Brian’s lady Andrea, her daughter Anika, Brian’s twin sister Catherine, friends Drew and Katie, and of course the matriarch, my sister Lorelle. Cat’s husband Dave is recovering from surgery and couldn’t make it. We missed you bro…

Brian bought one of those great free-range organic turkeys from Victor Valley Market and Andrea cooked it perfectly. She’s from the Czech Republic, and it was her first.

It was a great family dinner! Click on the photo below to view the event:

I loaned Anika my Cube and she shot some fun videos, which I’m sorting through now. One in particular stood out and I present it to you below. Careful, her song could get stuck in your head :-)

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Another Thanksgiving is upon us. This is my 68th and it’s caused me to reflect on what I’m really thankful for. I know the answer to that question as it’s been swirling around my brain for some time now. I even had a dream the other night that summed it up.

The normal response from people when asked this is to site family, friends, health and possessions. At my current state in life, I have those things, which begets the point: I would not have this if I had made, The Big Mistake.

This “Big Mistake” is metaphorical, it’s not something specific. It’s an event that could happen to any of us humans at any point in our lives. An event so horrific it would alter our lives forever. We all make mistakes, and fortunately they’re all moderate enough that we can survive them. But sometimes they’re not…

For example: You get drunk, go driving and kill someone. A few years spent in prison corrupting your mindset, and no future after. Game over. I could create a bunch of examples here, but you get the point. The big mistake

I’m very fortunate to have been assigned a guardian angel who has turned possible big mistakes on my part into minor incidents. So here I am in the comfort of my warm office, surrounded by high-tech, sharing my somewhat warped take on life with anyone who drops by my blog. I’m very thankful for that!

As to that dream: I was hanging out with a couple of guys that were getting ready to rob a convenience store when I turned my back on them and walked off. Next I was strolling down a tall office corridor as a slightly pudgy CEO in a suit and people were hanging out of their cubbyholes smiling and saying good morning…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Stephs Gift

Steph has one of those milestone birthdays coming up a week from today: she’s turning the big eight-oh! We’re taking her out to dinner that night, and her present from me arrives today on the old UPS truck.

People her age have certain physical issues that inhibit functions we take for granted, like using a traditional computer for reading stupid crap on Facebook. Add to that a failing cognitive health and the poor old broad really has problems in front of a monitor.

So, as her main boy-toy, I’ve stepped up to the plate and bought her an Acer C720P 11.6-inch touchscreen Chromebook. This thing is sweet and should provide every computer function she needs for, you know, Facebook…

Having an older girlfriend has been interesting. When I was born she was starting her period and growing nubbins. I have become a wiser man from her knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, she barely remembers my name these days so I hope this new computer will help. I’m setting up the screensaver to say “His name is Jim“!

I’ll put some un-boxing photos up here after the Chromebook arrives this afternoon.

Update: Here’s the package:

And here she is getting to know her big daddy:

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My Gift

My sister is organizing the family Christmas gift giving experience again this year. I’m not sure I understand all of the intricate complexities involved but it’s something about everyone indicating a $50 dollar gift that they want and then we draw a name out of a hat, and, you know… Anyway, I’ve come up with a gift, $50 donated to our local animal shelter in the name of Bus Driver Jim.

I spend a lot of time on the roads around here and I encounter a number of lost dogs. Usually they stand in the middle of the road and make eye contact with you. They’re not being dumb, they’re crying out for some human to stop and rescue them from the elements. I would love to throw open my door and let them climb on board, but I can’t obviously. I couldn’t take them home either because I have the queen of the house, cat.

Fortunately, the people around here are dog lovers and I see them pull over to rescue these animals all the time, and take them out to the animal shelter. So, because I can’t stop, and others do, the least I can do is support our shelter.

Posted in Family | 2 Comments

Victor Holiday

You’ve got to love small towns in Idaho. Our neighboring city Victor knows how to have a good family centered holiday. Frozen turkey bowling, yeah!

Posted in The Valley | 2 Comments


I’ve been developing a photography website for my daughter-in-law Jessica. It’s a WordPress install based on a theme called Core. The project is coming along quite nicely and now I need to add some e-commerce code so she can sell her work.

We’ve had the domain name for a while and she’s been experimenting with various photography themes. When I sent her the Core demo she lit up and said that’s the one! So, I cleaned off every single file in her site directory and installed a fresh new WordPress 4.0.1. I laughed at the number of themes she had tried out :-)

It’s obviously under development, but you can check it out here!

Posted in Site Stuff | 1 Comment

House Hostage

This is why we don’t use our front door in winter…

Posted in House | 3 Comments

SnoBud Update

SnoBud is in good shape, barring new ski resort scraping issues. Here’s what it does:

  • Provides current snow level data for our local ski resorts:
    • Recent snow fall.
    • Base level.
    • Total snow.
  • Shows the distance from your location, to each resort, in miles.
  • Links:
    • Each resorts conditions page. (click the resort name)
    • A Google map for each resort.
    • Directions from your location, to each resort.
  • Columns are sortable.

Click the image below to try it out, if you like.

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