Monday, December 31, 2007

Lost n Found Pets

I have a new website under construction at

It'll be a place for people in Utah County to post lost or found pets. Steps to completion:
  1. (done) Add administration pages.
  2. (done) Set up Google Analytics
  3. (done) Take picture of animal shelter for "Resources" picture on home page
  4. Create script to periodically delete old pictures
  5. (done) Clean out "test" listings
  6. (done) Find good domain name and set up on new host
  7. (done) Get endorsement by North/(done) South Utah Valley Animal Shelters
  8. Help (done) NUVAS/(done) SUVAS set up regular uploads of all their animals
  9. Get story on KSL/(done) Daily Herald/BYU paper/etc.
  10. Add option to print a flyer?
Comments on features or problems are highly appreciated!

Monday, December 24, 2007

An Idea Actually Worked!

A few months ago when I first started fiddling around with Google Gadgets, I tried to think of something useful I could make. Then I got a Good Idea.

I went to a website that listed the top 100 sites of the internet, then started going down the list, checking to see if each website had an associated Google Gadget. Wikipedia did, CNN did, etc. etc. Then, I found one that didn't: It's a financial website of some sort.

So, I made a gadget that simply displayed the headlines from Bloomberg's site, and uploaded it to the directory. Now it gets an average of 675 users a day.

(I was also just informed by Child that the entire time she read "Where the Red Fern Grows," she was picturing the two dogs as dachshunds.


Sunday, December 23, 2007


Sometimes I envy Child's job, and not just because she works with massage chairs. She also gets to deal with "interesting" customers.

At lunch, I overheard her telling a customer that a cushion was made from Australian pigmented leather. "That means it's made from Australian pygmies," the man informed his daughter, completely straight-faced.

That evening, when I went to pick her up, a customer was trying out a massage chair. Waiting for Child to finish with him, I found a massage chair of my own and relaxed. I listened to her and the man discussing the chair, then there was silence for a moment. Then,

"Wow, look at my stomach jiggling."

Silence for another moment.

"That's not very attractive."

I had to laugh. A few minutes later he came to try out the massage chair next to the one I was in. After lying in it for a moment, he glanced up the built-in microphone. "What's that?" he asked. Child told him it was a microphone to give the massage chairs voice-commands, and he thought that was pretty fancy. "Pretty soon we won't even need wives anymore!" he exclaimed. "But it still can't get you a cold drink from the fridge," I pointed out, making sure Child was out of earshot.

BYU for the Win!

UCLA was down by one point with only seconds left on the clock. However, they were lining up for an easy 28-yard field goal attempt. They had already scored three other field goals during the game, including to 50-yarders. This was going to be a piece of cake. The whistle blows, they kick the ball, one of our players lunges into the air...blocked! The field goal spins away and misses the posts! Time expires! BYU with the win!

Go Cougars!

(Although that's about as close as you can get to a loss and still manage to pull it off...)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Shelter Updates

Spay or neuter your dogs. Somebody dumped off four pitbull puppies at the shelter this who's going to adopt those, especially with half the cities in our jurisdiction disallowing pitbull ownership?


One of the girls was on the phone with the shelter director, when a pheasant booked it across the parking lot. Being uninhibited and ebullient, she screamed at the top of her lungs, pointed at it, and shouted, "What is THAT?"

The poor director was probably deaf at that point, and from the tone of her voice I expected a tidal wave, raging forest fire, or possibly several platoons of armed ninjas sweeping down on the shelter. Fortunately, before I dove for cover, I glanced out the window and realized what she was pointing at.

" a pheasant."

"A what?"

"A pheasant. You have never seen a pheasant before."

Apparently not.


There were a couple other things I was going to post about, but they slip my mind at the moment and my slip of paper with the reminder on it is not at my present location. Updates on the updates later...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snow Shovel From God

Sunday morning, God put a snow shovel on our porch. It was well timed, since the weather had dumped 8 or so inches of snow the night before and both our landlord and his wife were sick in bed. After shoveling the walks/driveway of our fourplex, I shoveled their walk/driveway as well, since they live right next door.

I have to say, either God's on a tight budget, or he assigned some intern angel to create the shovel, because it was old, orange, and the corners were bent. I guess it got the job done, though.

Christmas Songs

There is only one month a year that we can officially sing Christmas songs in church. Apparently, our church does not realize this, singing Thanksgiving songs on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

My favorite Christmas hymn is Joy to the World. As I ran home from choir practice yesterday morning to pick up Child, I told her that since it was the first Sunday we were going to be late getting back to church, it would be the week that the opening hymn was Joy to the World.

Of course it was.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Acouchi's Drug Habit

Today, Acouchi experienced catnip for the first time. This catnip-infused object used to be a ball.

From the way Child reacted when I suggested getting the catnip, I think she expected small valuables around the house to start disappearing as Acouchi pawned them off to support a newly acquired catnip-habit; then Acouchi would become sullen, unresponsive and defensive, wreck the family car while high on catnip, then end up at a low-paying dead-end job flipping burgers in between stints at the county jail.

Dark Matter

I woke up this morning with an interesting idea. What if "dark matter" was the same thing as "spiritual matter." I.e. our spirits are made up of dark matter. I'm sure this idea isn't unique to me, but I've never heard someone suggest it before.
Scripture: All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes.
Doctrine and Covenants 131:7
Science: Dark matter is matter of unknown composition that does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be observed directly.
Wikipedia: Dark Matter
If spirits are "matter," then God gets that matter from somewhere when he creates spirits. No problem, the latest estimates (from the same Wikipedia article) are that only 4% of the total energy density of the universe is visible matter (stars, planets, human bodies, etc.) That leaves 96% left over to create spirits from.

No idea if there's really any truth to this; "spirit matter" could be an entirely different type of matter that doesn't even have gravitational effects, much less electromagnetic ones. Still, it's an interesting idea.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Let's see how long we can make this birthday thing last...

So far, my birthday has lasted since last Tuesday, and it's going at least until this Wednesday. Child sure knows how to throw a party. ;)

It started last Tuesday with an early birthday present: tickets to the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert. We drove up to Sandy and took TRAX the rest of the way. As Child will attest, I hate dealing with city traffic and parking, and snow just makes it worse, so I was happy to leave the driving to TRAX. (I don't have a problem with the snow, it's just the other drivers that I don't like dealing with. On the way back, we saw three cars off the road between Sandy and Provo, and that's not counting any that may have been towed throughout the evening. Slow down, people!)

Anyway, the concert was great. After it started we tried to sneak better seats, but we didn't wait long enough and the real seat-owners kept repeatedly showing up. Eventually we ran out of seats and were forced back to our own, helped by an old and irate usher who demanded to see our tickets.

Child and I agreed that while the music and laser lightshow were great, the band members themselves left something to be desired. I've never understood the whole "rock-star mentality" so I don't really "get" concerts to begin with; I hate pretentiousness in all its forms, and rock-stars seem to embody it. Not only that, but Child pointed out that the TSO stars are sort of "wannabe" rock stars. They only tour at Christmas time, they're kind of older, and no one really even knows their names. :)

Overall, though the concert was a lot of fun. Then yesterday, Child set up a little GPS course for me to follow, with a present hidden at each location. Later that evening, we went up to my parents' house for dinner and pie, and this upcoming Wednesday (Child's day off) we're going to finish off my birthday celebrations with laser-tagging and cake.

Snowshoeing and Other Recent Activities

I've realized it's hard for me to make a decent blog post without pictures. Maybe it's because I personally find posts with pictures more interesting. Anyway, Child and I have recently visited Idaho (and did some geocaching), hit up the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert, and celebrated my birthday (which also involved me using GPS to find my presents, scattered through the neighborhood).

However, the only event I thought to get pictures of was some snowshoeing a friend and I did this morning.

Child let me open a Christmas present early and it was snowshoes! Coincidentally, we got a nice snowfall a couple days ago, so I called up a friend to ask if he wanted to go out. He rented a pair of snowshoes and we headed up to the Big Springs area.

For being in the mountains, the weather was surprisingly pleasant. I had packed for bitter cold, but most of my clothes ended up staying in my backpack. Even the streams were still running, although there was plenty of ice on the rocks. Another picture I didn't include here shows a bush with branches dangling just above the water, and huge gobbets of ice forming on the branch-tips like giant frozen raindrops.

Here's a shot of my snowshoes on my feet, as best as I could do. If my friend sends me the pictures he took with his (really nice!) camera, there might be a better one among them.

One thing I quickly realized the first time I went snowshoeing is that snowshoes don't exactly make you float like a butterfly on the surface of the snow. You still have your whole body-weight concentrated on a fairly small surface area. This translates into you sinking up to a foot in the snow...but when the snow is several feet deep, you still come out ahead. Regardless, it's still a fairly strenuous activity when you're hiking in unbroken snow. I'm hungry now.

Sunny day, blue skies. Both the previous times I've been snowshoeing, it's been snowing. And dark. So this was a change.

The obligatory wolf footprint shot. This print was almost as big as my hand.