Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

H-Bowl 2009.... Battle of the...

I worked today. So I listened to much of the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl on the radio and watched updated via the internet. But it was easy to see the back and forth that existed between the two teams. Idaho (7-5) and Bowling Green (7-5) had something in common coming into their bowl game this year; they were both on the losing end of a Boise State game. If you look at the score and saw the end of the game it was pretty intense or was it. I was reminded of an episode of Friends where Chandler and Ross are at a Halloween party as "Spud-nik" and a Giant Pink Bunny. Then they arm wrestle. Mona observes "They're both really strong." Joey replies, Or equally weak!" (Start at :58 in the clip)

It was good to see the WAC win a bowl game this year. Thanks Idaho for the 'W'.

Updated... How can I tell? You mean I have to go there.... There has to be an easier way!

RSS: (Really Simple Syndication). I use it for two things. To update those who might follow this blog and to keep updated with the blogs that I follow. I have used RSS for a long time. I used to have an app on my Mac that I used to check for updates with different sites using RSS. Then I discovered that Firefox could automatically update them, almost as a bookmark. So I got used to doing that. Every day I would go the bookmarks folder that contained the RSS feeds or "Live Bookmarks" as Firefox calls them; and see who had posted what. The convenience of just looking and not actually having to open each individual web page was great. I am not talking about 2 or 3 sites, even 20 or 30, there are about 260 blogs/sites that I had become accustomed to viewing on a regular basis, but of course they don't all update that frequently. So RSS is great for finding out of there is anything new.

Along comes Windows 7. I installed the public beta, then the release candidate and really liked (more or less). The only issue was that Firefox, the browser that I had used primarily for years was not as snappy as I was used to. It was downright slow! So I looked at other browser alternatives; Google Chrome, Apple Safari, even IE (a little). Chrome was pretty quick so I thought I would give it a try, the only issue was that Chrome does not handle RSS feeds like Firefox, so I needed an alternative way to feed my RSS addiction. Enter Google Reader.

Google Reader is an RSS aggregator. It does what Firefox did with "Live Bookmarks" only on a web page. So that I can look on Google Reader and see if there has been any updates. I exported out of Firefox and into Google Reader. I have to say that I like it. Getting used to viewing everything together is not a bad way to do it.

If you are looking for something new to try for the New Year. Google Reader may just be the thing. Or the old thing that you have been reading this post from!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Unofficial Tech Support

I work in the Tech industry. I am a technofile. I like technology; gadgets and the like. Therefore (like may people) sometimes I am unofficial tech support. You know when you visit a relative and they ask you to help them recalibrate the cartridges in their printer. Or to help them with the annoying antivirus message on the bottom right of their solitaire game.  For the most part I don't mind this. I like being able to help. Jeffrey Chang, Associate Product Manager, Google Chrome Team feels the same way and posted on the Official Google Blog this week. Here is his post.
Source Link:

Unofficial tech support returns home for the holidays

12/22/2009 10:00:00 AM
Whenever I go home to visit my parents, I always assume a handful of new roles — I become the after-dinner dishwasher, the family chauffeur, and appropriately, my parents' personal tech support. As I go home for the holidays this week, I'll likely be asked to help fix the webcam that "used to be there" or make the font size "so I can see it again." I'll also perform a few regular maintenance tasks that my parents don't even know to ask about, such as running a virus scan, uninstalling unused applications and upgrading their software to the latest versions.

I know this phenomenon isn't unique to just my family. If you're unofficial tech support for family this holiday season like I am, one of the things you'll want to consider is checking that your family is using the latest version of their browser. Why? For me, an up-to-date browser makes a huge difference: not only so that my parents can get to what they need when they're on the web, quickly and easily — whether they're writing email, viewing photo albums online, reading cross-stitching blogs or checking the weather in Chicago — but also so that I can rest assured that they'll be browsing the web more safely and securely with the latest version of the browser with security updates. (More selfishly, a new or up-to-date browser would also make their computer notably faster when I'm visiting home and using their machine!) 

Most browsers have released major updates over the past year, and to ensure your family is getting the most speed and security out of their web experience, you can help your family upgrade to the latest version of Google ChromeFirefox 3.5Opera 10Safari 4, or Internet Explorer 8 — just to name a few modern browsers. Moreover, teaching your family what a web browser is and how to update it can help your family keep themselves up-to-date throughout the year. The browser is perhaps the most important piece of software on our computers, as we depend on it to get to the websites and web applications we use every day.

You can also check out Google Pack, a collection of free Google and third-party software that's ready to use in just a few clicks. From anti-virus software to keep a computer more secure and voice applications like Skype to help you keep in touch once you leave, to Google applications like Google Earth (where you can track Santa over Christmas), Google Pack's applications help your family get the most out of their computer.

Happy holidays, one and all — and happy trails on the web!
by Jeffrey Chang, Associate Product Manager, Google Chrome Team

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to all! This time of year, spent with our families and friends helps us to remember what is important in life. It's not gadgets (although the iPhone is great!), cars, toys, but togetherness that brings true happiness this time of year. It is also a time to focus on the birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He, the Savior of the world came to earth to fulfill all righteousness. Today we celebrate his birth and all that his life, ministry, death, and resurrection provide for us.

I hope you have a wonderful day with those you love.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Break

The kids are on Christmas break from school. It reminds me of when I was in school. I remember thinking December was the longest month. Then every time the weather report indicated a chance of snow I would get up out of bed multiple times during the night to glance out the window to see if I could see any snow in the glow of the street lamp. Then I would be disappointed when there was none. During the break I would want to spend time with my friends and my parents would say, "Don't you see them at school?" But it's different going to your friends house when it is all decorated for Christmas and their families are making tasty Christmas treats. Their parents were usually less grumpy too!

One Christmas in high school I remember a friend telling a story about what had happened in his house. My friends house had a wet bar in the family room. That in itself is not that uncommon, but coming from a home where we didn't drink it was pretty interesting. Well one night, the friends father had made himself some drinks, watched some TV then headed up to bed. The family awoke to a loud banging sound in the middle of the night. It seems the Christmas tree that was also in the family room had fallen over and in a less-than-clear-headed state the father opened the garage, turned on the air compressor, and brought the high-powered nail gun into the house. The banging that woke the family up was dad nailing the Christmas tree to the wall. You know, to make it sturdy. Keep it from falling.

When I heard this story, it made me thankful for my less interesting family. For the most part we slept through the night, at least during Christmas time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Did you see what I saw? Did you see what I saw? An SNL Christmas...

Christmas is this week! It's hard to believe that it is here already, for me anyway. There are so many programs on with a Christmas or Holiday theme.  Last week SNL aired a Christmas special with clips from years past. Having watched SNL for most of my life, I thought I would post a few of my favorites.

I have to finish off with a classic from SNL when I was growing up!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Muppets... Yes I wrote a post about Muppets!

When we went to Disneyland at California Adventure we saw the Muppets in 3D and the kids loved it. So when I saw this on YouTube I had to share it. The Muppets performing Bohemian Rhapsody. They put their own spin on it too!

My kids love the John Denver and the Muppets version of the 12 Days of Christmas. I think it is their favorite version. When I was growing up my Aunt Sandra used to spend Christmas with us and she was a big John Denver fan and brought this LP with her every year. So we listened to it quite a bit. So much so that when I got older it was one of the first Christmas CDs I bought. If you haven't heard it or seen the Christmas special it's worth it.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tammy- Tammy- Tammy- Early Christmas Present!

I have to start by saying that I have a wonderful wife! She loves me SO MUCH! Last Saturday she and I were putting up Christmas decorations and she told me that she bought me a Christmas present and wasn't sure if she wanted to tell me now or give it to me on Tuesday. Being the kid at heard that I am, I said 'Now', of course. So we went into our room and Tammy pulls out an iFrogz iPhone cover. The same kind that her brother Tim has on his iPhone. I was in shock... Then I asked her what that meant. She replied 'I think you know what that means' and I did. It was so unexpected. She really surprised me and got me something that I wanted that I didn't think that I would get, just yet. Tammy is the BEST!!!

All weekend I was browsing through the App Store looking at the different applications that were available and what I thought I might like to use. I also took time to read up a little so that once the iPhone arrived I would be ready to use it. On Tuesday night I received from FedEx an iPhone 3G.

Monday, December 07, 2009

More things I tried...

Previously I wrote about things that I had tried. Here are some other things that I have tried...

TV Programs: Remember the days before DVRs? When you had to plan what to watch and make sacrifices if two programs were on at the same time? Or if you and your spouse/partner/roommate wanted to watch different things. Your into Star Trek TNG and they want to watch Dr. Quinn (how would that relationship last?). Well I tried TV shows. Now I am by no means a TV junkie. But there have been programs come on that I am interested in and Tammy is not. Sometimes the DVR is preciously committed, so I watch the shows online. Enter; HULU. A couple shows that I have got into this way are Fringe and Lie To Me. There have been others that I watched part of and lost interest quick and quit watching. Another the I tried that we both got into was Glee. We watched it on HULU first, then started to DVR it.

Drink: Drink bottled water? I think most of us do. Have you ever used an add-in? Those low calorie flavor packets. I really like the Hawaiian Punch Singles to go. I add them to a bottle (or refilled bottle) of water and I have a low cal fruit drink. I keep them in my desk at work, so that I am not tempted by the pop in the refrigerator. (We used them when we went to Disneyland, too!)

Twitter: I tried Twitter initially to follow a news conference that Apple Inc. was having. Then I tried it again a few months later as a way speak my mind in 140 characters or less. Then you see that there is an entire Twitter community out there. Just tweeting here and there about their lives.

Here are a few things I tried. What about you? What have you tried? Trying anything right now?

Friday, December 04, 2009

One year ago...

It is hard to believe that one year ago we were in CA. In fact on Nov 30, 2008 we loaded up from Dylan and Karen's house in Sacramento and hit Highway 50 to I-5 and down to Anaheim. It was a long drive. But we knew that our Disneyland adventure would begin. That was such a fun trip. The kids had a great time. It was a vacation that my kids still talk about. (You can read about it here).

Little did we know that we'd have four kids only one year later. And that Cort & Emily would be expecting number 3, their first daughter. And that Dad would be married to a great woman (Denise you're awesome!) . A lot can change, if you don't pay attention it can be easy to miss.

Are you keeping track? Are you journaling? Scrap-booking? Blogging, even? You have to do something.
One month left in 2009, make it a goal to document your life. Not for you, you lived it. But for the rest of us. For those who care about you and want to know you.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Free Christmas Songs...

I am totally into free stuff. In fact there are two blogs that I am constantly checking Hey It's free and The Freebie Blogger. Sometimes they overlap, but you can't have enough free stuff. Well here is a free thing that will be going on until Christmas that I wanted to pass on. is giving away a free Christmas song download a day until Christmas. They announce a new one each day. The downloads won't last forever so hop on over to and add to your Christmas music library. I don't think that you can ever have too many Christmas songs.