Archive for the 'Krissy' Category

Buddy the Turtle

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Last Saturday Krissy was driving into the alley behind our house when she saw a moving lump in the road. When she realized that it was a turtle she called me. I was making dinner, so she grabbed a bucket and saved its life. She took it over to a pet store and asked if they knew what kind of turtle it was and how we should take care of it. After the employee took the turtle in the back for a second opinion, she identified it as a Desert Tortoise. As it turns out, it is illegal to harass or touch a wild Desert Tortoise, because they are considered a threatened species in the wild. In order to keep one as a pet you have to have a permit, and once they have lived with people, they won’t survive in the wild.

Over the weekend Krissy took good care of our new friend. She started calling the turtle Buddy. We had no idea whether it was a male or a female, but since the name Buddy stuck, we started calling it a him. She placed him in the bottom of a large, empty plastic storage container. She set out water and some small pieces of cabbage and lettuce in the enclosure. Buddy did not like being cooped up in such a small space and spent a good hour trying to climb out. The turtle was completely unsuccessful and would come down with a thud over and over with his nails scratching the plastic walls as he fell. He seemed scared for the first day or so, but by Sunday evening he was willing to stay out of his shell and just sit there.

Early today Krissy contacted Arizona Fish and Game to ask what we should do with the turtle. She drove out to the site, nearly an hour away, and they identified the turtle as a female Desert Tortoise. They said she was in very good health, which lead them to believe that she is someone’s pet. Since Krissy had to leave the turtle with them, we won’t see her again, but Krissy and I will be putting up signs around the neighborhood with the wildlife shelter’s number in case the turtle belongs to anyone nearby. We are going to leave the signs intentionally vague so they have to identify their turtle in order to get it back. Krissy and I were sad to see Buddy go. She was a good turtle. Now we are considering possibly getting licensed and adopting a captive Desert Tortoise. All you really need is a basic shelter, a 6×6 foot plot of land, and an understanding of what the turtle needs to eat to be healthy. Make sure its shelter doesn’t flood, and you’re there!

Desert Tortoises are adapted to living in the desert and can, therefore live outdoors with minimal human interaction for 80 to 100 years! This would be the perfect pet for people who work and can’t spend a lot of time interacting with their animals.

Take care, Buddy, and I hope everything works out for you!

Quitting Smoking, Vegetarianism, and the Baconator

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Wendy's Baconator HamburgerUpdate: We’re not starting for another couple of weeks. More info to come.

Krissy is becoming a vegetarian. Here’s how it happened:

One of Krissy’s coworkers wants to quit smoking. This same coworker is a vegetarian. Krissy wants to help support her friend in quitting smoking, but since Krissy doesn’t smoke, her coworker and she came up with an idea. Krissy promised that she would not eat meat for an entire month if her coworker would abstain from smoking for the same time period. When she came home and told me, she thought I would be excited. I wasn’t.

I don’t want to be a vegetarian, and I don’t like changes. It took me a while to accept the idea, even though she told me that I wouldn’t have to participate with her. I don’t want to buy food for and have to prepare two separate meals every night, so I plan on participating with her in this experiment. But that doesn’t mean that we are easing ourselves into the transition.

For Krissy’s birthday we went to Applebee’s because they always make their steak just how she likes it. Tonight krissy wanted a Wendy’s frosty, and I was going to get a hamburger for dinner. At the drive-thru menu there was a huge advertisement for the newest burger creation: the Baconator! A quarter-pound of beef and six slices of bacon all smothered in cheese were my last hurrah before consigning myself to a month of vegetarian bliss.

Something in me feels like it would be unethical to recommend the Baconator to anyone, because it is so unhealthy. That said, it is one of the best hamburgers I have ever had from a Wendy’s restaurant.

LDS Church Punishing Procrastinators

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

I don’t know who has to approve decisions for scheduled maintenance on the LDS Church Website, but it just went down for scheduled maintenance according to the error page that the site is currently serving. My wife and I are speaking in Church tomorrow, and we are still working on our talks. We know that we should have finished preparing our talks sooner, but this is seriously not a good time for the site to go down for maintenance. I’m thinking maybe a Tuesday morning might be a good time. I would pick Monday, but then you have all the people scrambling to get something together for family home evening lessons that would be out of luck.

I guess it’s time to do our research for our talks the old-fashioned way — use Google.

Palm Woes and Friendly Whoas

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Krissy dropped her well-used Palm Tungsten E PDA on concrete a couple of weeks ago, and the thing hasn’t turned on since. When I told some friends about it one of them said he was looking to sell a Palm Tungsten C which is faster and has a built in keyboard, something I knew Krissy would probably like. I asked him what he was selling it for, but he told me he would think about it and get back to me. I looked it up on eBay and concluded that it was probably worth between $100 and $120. When he brought it to me I asked him how much he had decided on. He wouldn’t take my money, though. He said that the only amounts he was comfortable asking for weren’t worth taking anyway, so I could just have it! I tried to write him a check of $100, but he wasn’t having it. He caught me before I was done writing it and said, “I hope that’s not for me, because if it is, you can just stop right now.”

I took it home to show Krissy. I restored her data from a backup on the computer, and everything looks great! She is excited to have her life back in the palm of her hand.

Enlightening Encounter with E.T.

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Today I attended a seminar held by Edward Tufte. Edward Tufte, or E.T. as he refers to himself, is the foremost authority on representing data and charting information. He practices what he preaches in his presentation. I enjoyed every minute of the lecture. I was seated to the far right in the very front which made it difficult to see everything he was doing, but his engaging teaching style worked even for people who couldn’t see him very well from their seats.

He used examples from his books extensively to illustrate points and to introduce topics. Four books written and published by Edward Tufte were distributed at the entrance before the talk began. These four books were worth the entire price of admission alone! I can hardly wait to take the time to study them and incorporate their ideas into my own designs.

In one portion of his lecture E.T. focuses on eliminating “chartjunk” and useless clutter from data representations. He is not too keen on the use of PowerPoint with its heavy reliance on hierarchical outlines and the interface’s encouragement to use “bullet grunts” to describe things.

One recent innovation he presents is Sparklines, or small word-sized graphs that can be used any place in a document to quickly convey a lot of data. They are meant to be used just like words. He even suggested that a Sparkline could make a great headline in a news story, especially in the sports section.

This was an all-day event, and afterwards I met up with my wife and some friends at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Phoenix; a satisfying end to an enlightening day.

I Got Mail! Yea!

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I finally broke down and bought the Wii. I thought I would be able to buy one in the stores by now, but it looks like demand is still outstripping Nintendo’s supply, and stores are immediately selling the few Wiis that are trickling in on their delivery trucks. I ended up bidding on eBay until I accidentally won one of the auctions. After all was said and done I had paid about $400 on it. I was a little upset at first, but as soon as I got it set up and started playing with friends and family I immediately knew that I had made the right decision. My only regret so far is having waited so long to buy it.

When I got home from work today I was feeling really sick. I had a pretty bad head cold and a cough, and I am pretty sure that I had a fever, too. I arrived home just 15 minutes before the post office closed and there was a slip of paper indicating that a package that required a signature upon delivery was waiting for me at the post office about two miles away. I grabbed the paper from the mailbox and went right back to the car without even going inside the house. I wanted to get the Wii ASAP!

After I got out of the post office with the package, I opened it up in the car. The way it was packed made it impossible to remove without getting packing peanuts everywhere, but I wanted to open up the package completely in the car before I got it home. If this had turned out to be an eBay scam, then I wanted to be alone when I found out. I was fearing a Wii box filled with rocks or some other heavy substance instead of the game system I was expecting. Everything checked out, and the system seemed as brand new as it comes!

Krissy was really excited for the new Wii. She wasn’t quite as excited as I was, but that’s understandable, I guess. My coworkers were amazed to hear that my wife actually approved of the purchase and looked forward to playing video games with me on a regular basis. I love my wife!

I can hardly wait to get more friends and family involved when I can get more than just two controllers. You see, the Wii becomes more fun the more people you can get playing it together at the same time. Wii remotes are sold out almost everywhere, just like the Wii. It’s a good thing I bought that Wii remote at Toys R Us back on November 20th of last year!

Krissy and Shawn’s Belated Christmas Festivities

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Tonight we had our little Christmas at home. My Grandparents couldn’t be with us when we opened the gifts we got from them, so they asked that we video tape it to get Krissy’s reaction. Please excuse the poor production values in the following presentation, as they were all 100% intentional and are all a part of my artistic genius.

Missionary Style Treats

Monday, December 11th, 2006

When I got home from work today there was a surprise waiting for me that had come in the mail. I almost felt like Elder Dowler again! It was a box from my wife. She had sent me a whole bunch of my most very favorite chocolate chip cookies that she makes from scratch! They were still soft and chewy (which is one of my favorite things about them).

Thanks Krissy!

Staining Legs in the Bathroom

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Krissy was having so much trouble today with staining all four sides of the table legs that she had to figure out a way to hang them up. If we had a garage that would really make things so much easier, but we don’t. Krissy got the ingenious idea to hang the legs up in the bathroom by the shower rod. So I rigged up some twine (hooray for Boy Scouts!) and get it all ready for her to hang them by the bolt near the top of each leg. I must say that it worked out perfectly! That means no more showers until the stain has dried, though. And we have to run the fan in the bathroom 24/7 until the fumes stop wafting off of the wood, but it’s still better than what she was doing before!

Pictures coming soon.

Petroleum Fumes All Night Long!

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Krissy got to work tonight on staining the entrance table a dark mahogany color. We went to Home Depot hoping to get just what we were looking for. They had the right color but we still had to buy a can of stain at least twice as big as we needed. They had smaller ones, but not for the glossy stain only for the “satin” finish. When we got home we moved the dining room table into the kitchen blocking access to the dishwasher, sink, and trash can. Now we have a pile of dishes and trash on the counter next to the sink! Let’s hope it gets even higher tomorrow.

Krissy laid out a tarp on the linoleum in front of the piano and got to work. It says to do two coats sanding after the first with a really fine-grained steel-wool. Here’s what the table looks like so far. Pictures coming soon.