Sunday, January 31, 2010

Random Pictures

While working in my upstairs office (this was at our old house), I heard a strange bird-like noise. I went downstairs to investigate, and after a moment found out what the noise was. Apparently our next-door neighbors were keeping chickens in their backyard. Or at least one. She was doing her best to keep her feet out of the snow.

Due to some difficulties in getting to our bank, we simply cashed my last paycheck. Ash was excited to see that much money in one place.

She also takes after her daddy in liking power tools.

Posting by email

Since I didn't have Internet access until today except on my phone, I posted the earlier "Three Doors Down" post by email from my iPhone. I've also sent a few other emails from my phone, and I think I get a little of the feeling that the Book of Mormon writers must have felt, carving their words onto metal tablets with a chisel.

I'm an incredibly slow typer on the on-screen keyboard on the iPhone, so I have to actually think about what I'm going to write, think about the most succinct way to write in, then painstakingly type it out. If I later decide that I didn't like the way I worded something, it's too hard to go back and erase, so I just add a clarification.


A couple recent webcomics made me laugh. The first one is from a webcomic called Dr. McNinja. He's a ninja who's also a doctor. The link is here:

Mysterious Stranger: "I will destroy this machine!" (He smashes the display monitor sitting on the desk.)
Ben Franklin II: (Rolling his eyes) "Oh no, please...not the computer monitor. That's the key to the entire device. You've destroyed everything definitely."

A second one was sent to me by a friend, and references the Mars Rover named Spirit. Since my new job is working on robots, it was somewhat applicable. This second site allows hotlinking to their images, so I'm including it below (click the image to view it larger):

Nice neighbors

Our downstairs neighbors are really nice. We found out that our ISP wouldn't be able to get us Internet service before February 4 (?!) so our neighbors were nice enough to let us borrow their wireless password.

Working online is much easier when you're not doing it on an iPhone over the cellphone network.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Three Doors Down

To go from inside our house out to the backyard, we have to pass through three doors.

The first door leads to a small room where you can go left to the downstairs tenants or right to a small hallway.

If you go through the door on the right to the hallway, you then have the option of going right again into the garage, or out the end of the hallway to freedom and two feet of snow.

If I'm ever being chased by an ax-wielding serial killer, my plan is to run into that maze of doors and get him so lost he ends up in the downstairs neighbors' apartment, where he can satiate his bloodlust while I escape out the front door.

On the other hand, they're really nice neighbors, so maybe I should lead him into the garage where I can overwhelm him with car exhaust fumes while holding him off with tomato cages.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moving is stressful

I wouldn't advise moving more than two or three times a year, even if
your wife complains that you never leave the house and do things

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ah, the joys of moving

Moving Day - 1: High Stress Situation

Keep in mind that Child's phone has been missing for the past week, so we've had a single phone we've been swapping between us. It makes everything harder when you can't communicate with each other and/or whoever you're trying to make various arrangements with.

3:00 AM: Wake up.

3:00-7:00 AM: Try to fall back asleep, fail.

8:55 AM: Walk out to car to leave for last day of work.

8:56 AM: Discover car has been broken into. Nice little going-away present. Lova ya too, Utah. Of course this was the first time we had parked outside our garage all winter (our garage being full of moving boxes). The criminal wasn't particularly smart; he managed to figure out how to open the doors because they were unlocked, but he couldn't decipher how to unstick the suction cup of the GPS unit in the front window, so he just broke it off.

Also pointing to his newbiness was the fact that he missed $25 in the center console and a multi-thousand dollar paycheck on the front seat. He did manage to make me 45 minutes late for my last day of work, though, and waste time calling an insurance company who apparently doesn't believe in returning messages (yes, that's you, USAA).

Of course, incidents like this is exactly why we have insurance. After a prior break-in or two, I tossed around the idea of installing some sort of homemade camera in my car, hooked to my wireless network. I finally decided I'd spend a lot less time and probably the same amount of money just getting insurance and not letting it bother me.

10:00 AM: Attempt to print rental agreement for new home, so I can sign and fax it back. The office chooses that day to change every printer in the building. Spend twenty minutes going from printer to printer trying to figure out which one is which before finally emailing it to a friend who emails it to a friend who prints it off and gives it to me. Sign the document, fax it back. No good. Apparently Child's signature also has to be on the document. Child is not present. Child calls them, convinces them to let her sign it Monday.

12:30 PM: Going away lunch. Initial plan was Goodwoods (a BBQ joint), but to include a new vegan hire we go to PeiWeis instead. PeiWeis is packed, go to Mexican food next door. Get a Tres Leche cake for Child. She likes it. On the way back to the office with five of us packed in a car, we realize that a single accident has the ability to wipe out the entire company. The driver slows down.

4:30 PM: Leave work for the last time. With two brand new programmers taking my place and a single harried original programmer, I get the feeling I'm fleeing a sinking ship. Of course, the truth is that in today's digital age, it's impossible to flee a technology-based company unless you block all your old coworkers in IM, refuse to answer their emails, calls, or text messages, and avoid them on any social networking sites.

Archiving the perpetually-replenished To-Do email for the last time is a nice feeling.

5:00 PM: Pick up moving truck. Load friend's piano in moving truck to take from Provo to Draper. Turn down (generous) offer of another piano from Child's mom. Driving a 26 foot truck feels like you're driving from the second story window of a house.

5:30 PM: Drop off piano. Going down a ramp is much easier than going up. Especially when exceptionally skilled backing-up of a 26 foot truck practially drops the ramp in your front door.

6:00 PM: Nearly get killed by a car which someone parked on a hill and didn't put the parking brake on. When you're leaning in the door of a car that's rolling backwards downhill, it's surprisingly hard to either back out OR find the parking brake. Fortunately, the people who had parked behind us had left about five minutes earlier, or they'd have a crushed front-end on their car and we'd have a crushed rear-end on our car.

7:00 PM: Snow starts to fall. Big, thick, fat flakes. Looks like we'll be packing and driving in six inches of snow in the morning.

10:00 PM: Go to bed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hooray for kind neighbors!

When you think about taking a meal to a neighbor, it's usually when they're sick, just had a baby, or something along those lines.

I have to say, though, it's incredibly nice to have someone invite you over for a meal during Moving Week. A few days before you move, your entire kitchen is backed up, your refrigerator and cupboards are bare because you don't want to move food with you, and you're left either eating out or eating Cup o' Soups.

It's even better when they send you home with two full plates of leftovers for a second meal.

Growing like a weed!

Child took Ash to the pediatrician's office today. Ash is in the 95 percentile for height and 25 percentile for weight. Apparently our parenting strategy of food-deprivation and daily sessions with the rack are paying off.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Unintended consequences

Yesterday at church, the teacher of the 2-year-olds asked me to bring in our 4 month old daughter, Ash. She wanted to teach the kids that they had two fathers: an earthly father and a heavenly Father.

The problem is that now there's a bunch of 2-year-olds going around telling their friends that they have two daddies. It could make things a little awkward.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A little planning ahead would have been nice.

Tonight, Child and I enjoyed the excitement of trotting five hundred-pound loads of dirt across the street to dump them in the vacant field prior to our move. Unfortunately, the boxes of dirt were frozen solid, which made it a little hard to retrieve the cardboard (I didn't feel right dumping the cardboard, even though it was already half-dissolved).

Now why didn't Child tell me to get rid of the boxes of dirt back in, say, November? You know, before it was frozen solid and freezing cold outside...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Big News!

It's official, so I can post it on my blog now. I've accepted a position at a robotics startup in Idaho called 5D Robotics (motto: "Two Ds better than reality!").

There were a lot of things to weigh while considering taking the job. My current job had great pay, and I just got a raise at the beginning of the year. As a matter-of-fact, I'll be taking a fairly significant pay cut to go to this new job.

In addition, my current job allows me to work from home 4 days a week, with the flexibility to take off whenever I want. At my new job, I assume I'll be working in the office every day, 9 to 5.

I also really like my current coworkers, and I know the company is going to go big (it already is).

However, my decision was based more on my long-term interest. At my current job, I build real-estate websites. I really enjoy web-programming, and working in real-estate was fine, but I got my Masters Degree in robotics. I think working with robotics has more potential to keep me interested and sharp. (Plus, my Masters advisor will be happy to know I'm finally using my education.)

In addition, from the brief meeting I had with my new coworkers, I think they'll be easy to get along with as well. They seem pretty committed and experienced.

I told my current bosses today at work. We had a full day of interviews scheduled for a new programmer, so basically I told them to start looking for two new candidates instead of just one. They said they were sorry to see me leaving, but they wished me the best. I'll miss the company too.

I also told our landlord, since we'll need to get out of the last few months of our contract. He was understanding as well.

The last person I need to tell is the Bishop. I was just called as the new ward clerk two weeks ago, and the Bishop said, "I look forward to years of good service from you!" Um, would you be satisfied with a month?

Anyway, things are going smoothly, so we're down to packing everything up now. My goal is to pack everything that's small enough into banana boxes, so our moving truck is nothing both furniture and neat stacks of identical boxes. I think Child is catching my vision as far as that goes...

Y esta la vida!