Oh the joys of winter

Yesterday we had what some would call a blizzard (and by some, I mean the National Weather Service). It didn’t snow much, but it rained a whole heck of a lot (which froze) and the wind blew somewhere around 40-50 mph which caused a lot of power failures in the area. My parents’ power went out around 3:00 PM yesterday and ours went out around 6:00 PM. Thankfully, our power came back in the middle of the night.

Pretty much everything has been closed for the past two days (and everything is closed today too… even church). I went out this morning to start the car and there was a ¼” layer of ice covering it. In attempting to scrape it off, I actually broke the ice scraper. No wonder the power lines were going down.

Jogo da Vida

Classes have been going quite well and both my wife and I got to play in the rhoda for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We both mostly just did the ginga and threw some meia lua de frente, but it was fun. Last night, Mestre Nô (the Grand Mestre of Capoeira Angola Palmares) was at class. Despite the language barrier (he speaks only a tiny bit of English), things went well and I learned how to string together some of the moves I’ve been learning over the past few months into something useful. I’m looking forward to Wednesday and more training with Mestre Nô.

Last night, my brother, Brent, proposed to his girlfriend and she said “Yes”. Congratulations, Brent! It’s a lot of work, but it’ll be worth it in the end! September and I will be praying for you and Alissa.

A good two years

Yesterday was my wife’s and my 2 year anniversary. I can’t believe that it’s been that long… time flew!! For our special day, I got her a Nikon Coolpix S6. She loved it and it also works with Linux! It can be used either as a USB mass storage device, or as a PTP device. The only problem I’m having is that F-Spot crashes when it tries to detect the camera in PTP mode, so I’m forced to use gThumb in PTP mode (this is on Ubuntu Dapper on PowerPC). Dear LazyWeb… are there any other photo managing applications for Linux out there that compare to F-Spot? gThumb is nice, but not so intuitive to a Linux newbie like my wife.

From my lovely wife, I received a Nintendo DS Lite with New Super Mario Brothers. Isn’t she the greatest? (Not only does she get me sweet gadgets, but she uses Linux!!) Dear LazyWeb… to continue my previous request, what other DS games are worth buying? I’m already borrowing Metroid Prime: Hunters from a friend, so I know that one is great.

Gifts aside, it’s been a great two years and I really truly love my wife more today than the day we were married! I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life.

Edit: I forgot to mention that my wife got Brain Age for the DS as well.  I played it today and it was pretty fun and interesting.  I was quite impressed with the voice recognition portion of it.  The things that gadgets can do these days…

And another year passes me by

I turned 24 yesterday.  It was pretty uneventful since I took the day off of work and just bummed around the house.  All of the celebration happened during the weekend.  Saturday, my wife and I met her family in Des Moines and we celebrated at the Cracker Barrel there.  On Sunday, we went over to my parents’ house for another party.  It wasn’t too bad turning 24… I came out with the new Underøath and Project 86 CD’s, the book Dreamer of Dune, a new shirt, and Home Movies seasons 3 and 4.  My wife is also taking me to the mewithoutYou concert at Gabe’s Oasis tonight.  Still no iPod, though…

Do you know the way…

We just booked our flight and hotel for the Dojo Developer Day on May 13 in Mountain View, CA. We’re flying into San Jose and staying at a hotel a ways from the airport. It should be a fun experience driving in California, since I’m used to driving out here in the sticks. My friend, Rick, who’s originally from LA thinks the traffic here in Iowa is nothing compared to LA and Seattle. This should be interesting :).

We found the hotel and plane tickets for a good enough price (thanks priceline.com) that we’re actually staying one day longer than we originally planned. We’ll be there from May 11 to May 15. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Pacific ocean and checking out some of the sights in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose. Any suggestions for where we should go? Are there any good art museums/galleries we should check out?  How about restaurants?  Anything we should steer clear of?

New place, interesting finds

So, the move went well. We’re in our new apartment, all our utilities transfered nicely, and most of our stuff is unpacked (we’re still working on some of the pots and pans). It was pretty uneventful. The most interesting thing is that on my new way home from work, there’s a pawn shop that sells swords. Swords. How very strange…

The Message

For my birthday, my lovely wife gave me The Message. It’s a translation of the Bible into today’s language. I absolutely love it. Here’s a comparison:

Psalms 23 (NIV)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalms 23 (The Message)
God, my shepherd!
  I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
  you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,
  you let me catch my breath
  and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
  Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
  when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
  makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
  right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
  my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
  every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
  for the rest of my life.

I highly recommend The Message for anyone that has read the Bible and gave up because it was hard to read. I also like it because it takes the poetic passages and translates them poetically.

Wow, it’s been a while

So, it’s been a long time and the last time I blogged I said I’d have a release of Coaster, but I don’t. I do have Coaster converting music files to wav… I just have to code in the actual burning. Hopefully I’ll get some time to do that this week. I’m on vacation at the Willow Creek Arts Conference (if any readers of the Planet are here at Willow this week, let me know… I’d love to meet you). I haven’t really been able to do much coding as of late because most of my time in my new position as Quality Assurance Manager. But, I’ve got a high speed internet connection at home now and hopefully a little more time here and there to work on Coaster. Anyway, my hope (and that’s a lot of hope) is to get the 0.1.5 release out by the end of June.

The Great American Scam

This weekend we’re staying at my wife’s aunt and uncle’s in Omaha, NE. They live in a pretty nice neighborhood and right across the street from the Zebra pen of the Henry Doorly Zoo. But for some reason, last night someone thought it would be funny to smash the driver’s door window of my wife’s car in. It would seem simple enough to fix this, but we have insurance so it became a huge mess. First we called the police and were told that they would get back to us in 36 hours (I’m figuring they won’t do a thing, but we have to call them for our insurance company). Nice turn around, guys; it’s a rainy day, so we took pictures and covered the window. They’ll have to deal with that because I’m not waiting for them to show up and have the upholstery ruined. We got a call a couple of hours later telling us the police department was handing it over to “the investigators”. Sounds like bureaucratic nonsense to me.
Then I called the insurance company and found out that since the damage is only around $200 dollars, they won’t cover the damages (our deductible is $250). That’s great. We pay $75 a month for what? Oh, right, because the state of Iowa requires it. If we would have taken that $75 and stored it in a savings account over the last 8 months we’ve had the insurance on her car, we would have had enough money to pay for the damages. Instead, we have to pay $75 this month PLUS the additional $200 to the insurance company’s preferred auto glass company (which means they probably get a kickback from that as well). Sounds to me like I’m in the wrong business… I need to get into the legal scam business.
To top it all off, none of the “preferred auto glass” companies are open today (Sunday) or tomorrow (Memorial Day) so we have to wait until we get home to fix this which means a 4 hour drive with a plastic window.