Archive for April, 2006

Walking for Pizza… and Other Good Causes

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Krissy giving a strange look to the camera.  I don't know exactly what this means.Krissy and I participated in a Multiple Sclerosis walk held today in and around Legoland. There were over four thousand people there and it was an excellent fund raiser. The walk took us through the park and we got to see a number of interesting sculptures made out of LEGO® bricks.

When we first got out of the car Krissy saw this mascot for San Diego Gas & Electric walking around and she asked for a picture with him. I didn’t want to do it because there were tons of kids around that wanted to do the same thing and I thought it was too embarrassing taking a picture of a grown woman next to this guy. More on him later.

While walking I was passed up by a member of our ward. Tina and I serve together on the ward activities committee. Krissy had three coworkers from her work there. We all stayed pretty close together for most of the walk. We were among the first 100 people to begin the walk, and when we left almost an hour after we were done there were still people coming in to the finish line.

Papa John’s provided free pizza and chicken nuggets. I think I probably could have gotten away with as much pizza as I wanted, but I just took the one piece. I figured that there was probably a finite supply and there were just so many people there that I didn’t want anyone to go without because of my gluttony.

When we left our legs were tired, and we were ready to go home. We were happy to have done something worthwhile. It was quite a lot of fun, and it was nice to exercise together.

Just as we were heading out to our car Krissy saw the SDG&E mascot again and she begged and pleaded for a picture. I finally conceded, even though it looked like he was on his way to change out of his uncomfortable costume. From then on Krissy was twice as happy as she had been all night.

Click here for snapshots of the event.

Here is the ambiguous mascot for SDG&E.  Looks like a lightbulb with arms and a head added for anthropomorphic effect.

Japanese Band-Aid Ingenuity

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Band-Aids just don’t work well for most things except for maybe on your back. Fingers are probably the worst though because we use our hands all day and the Band-Aid will eventually just stretch out and fall off or lose all adhesive properties.

Watch this video and learn the simple, almost magical, method for keeping a Band-Aid on all day long.

I Am A Horrible Person

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Pirates everywhere ought to enjoy this.

No One is Immune to Browser Bugs

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Krissy has not been able to access the Primary manuals on the Church’s webpage for the last couple of weeks, so I thought I ought to look into the problem and see if there might be a solution. What follows is the email I sent to

There seems to be a problem with at least some versions of Firefox. I haven’t had time to extensively test it in anything but Linux. Anyhow, the backslash in the this URL is not parsed correctly and returns an error page. If I remove the backslash or the %5C (that’s the ascii character code for the backslash that Firefox translates the “\” into) then the page loads normally. I don’t have access to MSIE at present, so I can’t test if it works there as well.

It works in Opera no matter whether it’s a backslash, a forward slash, or completely omitted. But it only works in Firfox if I replace that %5C with a “/” or nothing at all. I don’t know what the standard says is the right way to handle backslashed in URLs, so I don’t know if this is a bug that should be filed against Firefox or if it’s a problem on your end.

Good luck getting it ironed out. Keep up the good work!

How I Spent My Saturday Night

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Last week in Priesthood Meeting Brother Robinson explained that he had forgotten to ask anyone to prepare and give the lesson until Saturday night and that his wife had counseled him that it was not fair for him to assign the task to another on such short notice. He told us that he wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

This morning at the end of the Ward Easter Egg Hunt that I, as a member of the Activities Committee, participated in the planning and execution of Brother Robinson approached me and said that the person who had been assigned the lesson for tomorrow had bailed on him. He asked me if I might be willing to prepare and teach the lesson in his stead. I just smiled and reminded him of what had happened the previous week and joked with him that no matter how hard he tries, something always seems to go wrong in this matter.

Now you know how I’ve spent my Saturday night.

Shawn prepares his lesson

San Elijo Lizard

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

I pulled up into our parking lot and right in front of me were two lizards sunning themselves on the short wall in front of the car. One of them was really skiddish, medicine but the other one let me get about three feet away from it before it darted over the wall. These guys can run fast!

The San Elijo Lizard

SeaQuest (GCMM6R)

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

This was the second cache I ever tried to find. I came here with Krissy just after the sun had dropped over the hill next to where this is located. I was brand new and really had no idea what to look for. I rummaged around for a bit, but eventually had to give up and return home. Not so today!

I’m so glad to finally get this one out of my system. It turns out that no one has been to this cache since I was here almost a month ago. For a 2-wheel drive compact car like ours the “road” is barely navigable. There are large boulders sticking up from the ground. The first time we were here we bottomed out once. We were able to avoid that this time. The cache is marked as easy both in terrain and overall difficulty. I think it might be the case if one were to hike from the beginning of the dirt road, but not if one wants to try and drive up to the cache.

Shawn at the Cache

While we were turning around to leave a man and his dog came out of the house just south of the cache and they just stared at us until we were gone. There is a sign saying that there is no driving on this road allowed without the permission of the owner. Oh well, in any event, this is number 17 for me.

B-NIC’s Toy Stash (GCG9N7)

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Krissy With Inspector GadgetJust north of Elfin Forest road less than two miles from our apartments is an old dirt road that is terribly eroded. We pulled off to the side of the road at the beginning of this trail and Krissy immediately found an abandoned Christmas tree with some Christmas lights still strung around it. She removed the lights and was excited to see if they still work.

This was an easy cache. On the way up the dirt path there are all sorts of discarded items including what looks like an old rusty gas tank from a motorcycle.

As the name implies the items in this cache are supposed to appeal to kids. We took the Inspector Gadget and left a Palace token and a Chuck E. Cheese’s token.

Krissy was so excited that she insisted we go look for SeaQuest again. The first time we were there it was dark and we couldn’t find it. Since it’s the closest cache to this one we drove right over to it.

Inspector Gadget

Firewall, Our Furry Friend

Monday, April 10th, 2006

I usually pick up Krissy from work at about the same time every day. I try to get there a good fifteen minutes before she gets off work officially in case she gets out early. Today was no exception.

The sun was shining and it was even a little too warm in the car when the rain started to fall. There is a relatively new law in the State of California requiring all motorists to turn their lights on when driving in rain. This I did, as I usually do when it starts to sprinkle. When I got to Krissy’s workplace I turned off the engine and slid over into the passenger seat and laid back while listening to the radio. It was taking a little longer than usual for Krissy to leave the building and walk out to the car, so I reclined the chair. While I was thus reclined the radio went dead. I thought there might be an emergency alert that was preempting the program I was listening to, but it stayed dead for more than ten seconds. It was at this point that I realized exactly what had happened.

I scrambled to turn off any and all electricity sapping accouterments, including the headlights and then tried to start the car. The engine pretended for a moment that it was going to start, but the starter ran out of juice in the attempt. The sunshine had made me forget the lights were on, and I hadn’t opened the door when I arrived and never got the annoying whine telling me to switch the headlights off.

Dejected, I popped the trunk and removed the jumper cables. Another ten minutes passed in abject silence. When Krissy finally emerged I leaped from the car holding the cables over my head so she could see there was a problem. This turned out to be just another frustration in a long, difficult work day. We asked Marlon, one of her coworkers, to assist us in jump starting the car. Neither of us were really too experienced, but between the both of us we got the cars properly linked and started. Ready to congratulate ourselves on a job well done we started toward the cars to remove the cables from the batteries. That’s when Krissy saw it.

“What’s that!?” Krissy cried curiously. We both looked but saw nothing. She kept verbally nudging us until we both saw what she had seen. There was a little brown furry puffball in a little space wedged between the hinge of the hood and the body of the car. “I think I saw it move,” Krissy said, a little more cautiously than at first. As I looked more closely at this thing, I began to see what appeared to be little sprawling feet attatched to stumpy legs. I began to feel ill as I realized what I was looking at.

“Is it alive?” I questioned. “Are you sure that you saw it moving? I think it’s dead.” What’s worse than a dead rat, you ask? Krissy broke a branch off of a tree in the parking lot and tried to get Marlon to take it. Grasping for any reason not to go near the car again he came up with some lame excuse, and the branch was handed to me instead. I chose to approach from behind and to the side. I hit the side of the car, and the rat quvered, but maintained its supposed safe position. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I gave the branch to Krissy, and she came at it from the fron of the car.

When Krissy touched the little guy, he didn’t run out of the car as was hoped for, but rather, he burrowed in deeper and deeper until it was presumed that he was stuck. We could no longer see him and it appeared the he had dropped down behind the wheel well in front of the passenger door. Now I didn’t know what to do. Krissy was not happy about this development. All I could imagine was the rat getting stuck in there until it died and began to stink up the car. We wanted him out, so we called the best car expert we know, Randy. He didn’t sound too keen on dismantling the panels on the car, but he agreed to take a look.

When we got to Randy’s he came out and I lifted the hood. Randy poked his head around a whole lot closer that I ever would have, but didn’t see anything. He was convinced we should just wait it out and that the rat would leave our car after he ralized that there was nothing there for him. Just then, Randy spotted the rat behind the engine touching something called the firewall. The rat was obviously not trapped, and had proven that he could get out of the car any time he wanted to.

When we went back inside, Randy’s wife, Joanna, decided she would give the rat a name. After trying a bunch of different ones the name Firewall seemed to stick. As far as we know Firewall the rat is still perched happily in the engine cavity of the car enjoying its warmth and dryness.

Incidentally, while we were outside it began to rain a little bit, and there was an amazing rainbow over Randy’s apartment building. I didn’t have my camera for any of this, which upset me almost as much as foolishly letting the battery die. I asked Randy if he had a digital camera in the apartment. I ran back outside and quickly snapped a few shots in the rain.

Rainbow Over Randy's Apartment

More eBay Follies (GCGN2E)

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

I was a little uneasy going after this one becasue of the no tresspassing sign at the head of the service road we hiked on to get here, but Krissy charged forth without a second thought, so I followed after. This made for an interesting little hike. There appear to be a number of abandoned cars in the ravine adjacent to the road. they appear to have been shoved in and rolled on their sides or tops. Crazy looking, actually.

Krissy wondering why there's a car in the ravine.

This was the biggest cache I’ve found so far. The reason for the name is that the cache mainainers, kawikaturn, Laa-Laa and Tinky Winky, put their items that they’ve failed at getting others to bid on on eBay into this bucket and request that geocachers take the largest item they might want with them to make more room in the bucket for more junk cool stuff.

Overturned Car in a Ravine

On our way out I saw two men in the distance walking onto the road we were on. I told Krissy that they were probably geocachers. Sure enough, I was right. I didn’t find out until later, but they posted that they had seen what was probably us walking out as they were walking in. That’s the first time I’ve run into other geocachers while I was out.