Friday, July 24, 2009


To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to wear iPods,
and a time to leave iPods at home.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

My wife, I mean invited me to go camping with her and the kids last night. We had a fun time swatting mosquitoes, eating raw food, sleeping on gravel, and listening to teenagers drive up and down Green Canyon all night.

This morning, I reluctantly pulled myself away from this veritable carnival, and went for a bike ride. I made my way slowly up the canyon on the wonderful single trail.

Before I left, I thought about taking my iPod. I enjoy listening to podcasts, or music, but I hesitated taking my tunes along with me. If I had those buds stuck in my ears, I may not be able to hear other bikers, cars, or marauding bears. I finally decided to leave the tunes back, and head up with just my thoughts to keep me company.

I got bored really quick.

Anyway, I was about a half mile from the top; the path had a steep ravine on the left, and a steep wall of dirt on the right. The trail was narrow, and there wasn't a lot of room for one bike, let alone two.

My bud-free ears thought they heard something. I wasn't sure, but it almost sounded like...

Before I could decide what the noise was, a biker, going what looked like to be almost the speed of sound, shot around a bend about 10 yards in front of me came . He was tearing it up.

I didn't want to leap down the ravine, as gravity and I have never really had a good relationship. So I threw myself and my bike to the right, up against the wall of dirt. At the same time, I yelled, "Ho, ho!"

Why I choose that moment to quote Old St. Nick, I can't really say, but I'm glad I did. You see, the guy coming down the trail wasn't listening to an iPod either. He slammed on his brakes, and was just doing about 90 mph when he rode past me on the left. He hollered over his shoulder "Three more coming!"

I hugged and caressed the side of the mountain until I saw three more blurs zoom by, and then I continued my slow ascent to the top.

So, there you have it. Another post brought to you by Matthew Buckley where he does little more than recount a slightly interesting story, and then states the obvious.

Tune in next week when I discuss why you don't want to drive with your teeth.

Come now...

Have we really gotten this desparate for advertising dollars?

For those that run ads on their sites, you know you get money if somebody clicks on the ad, but you also get money if somebody just comes to the site (much less, but a little).

So the other day I am looking to see if there are any tutorials for the Sicilian Language (never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line). I find a link to and this is what I see.

Can you find the content? There are five pages, each with about 2-3 sentences. The link I just gave you only had a single sentence of content. Everything else on the page is advertisements. You get a paragraph of material, and they make you wade through five pages to get it. And it doesn't even link to any real language tutorial, is just babbles on about random Sicilian history.

But then again, who am I to argue against progress? My next blog post will be spread out across 49 pages, and you'll get 2-3 words per page.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Speaking of falls...

The family went to Bear Lake on Friday. We went with our good friends the Harpers. They took us out on their boat, and showed us how they can both 'surf' behind their boat. The boat makes a wave, and they can surf for a long time, without even hanging onto the rope.

They asked me if I wanted to try, and of course, I said...YES! Here are the results.

I gave it my best shot, several times, but just couldn't get up. I didn't feel too bad. I figured if I really kept trying, I'd get it eventually. But we had 10 kids, and 3 adults in the boat. They had better things to do than watch me nose dive into Bear Lake all afternoon.

Then my wife said she'd like to try. On her second try, this is what happened.

She tried several more times, and did great! I was amazed. She has as much experience as I do (i.e. none), and yet she was doing it!

I decided to give it one more shot. My wife made it look so easy; she had inspired me.

I got back into the water, grabbed the rope and...

It was absolutely exhilarating. I don't know what changed. It may have been the simple fact that I had seen somebody else do it, and I realized it was possible. Whatever it was, I'm glad I hopped in the water one last time, and tried again.

Thursday, July 16, 2009's usefull after all.

I've spend the last four years working on USU OCW. I have seen the incredible amount of traffic we get, but I think deep down I've always worried that maybe nobody really used the site. Maybe all that traffic was people just coming across information, realizing it wasn't that helpful, and then leaving. Maybe all my work, and the work of the professors, was for naught.

Then a few days ago, I was asked to create a Flash file. I opened Flash and quickly became lost. I thought to myself, "If only I could find a good set of tutorials on the web." Then I remembered...Andy Walker...Intro to Flash.

Thirty seconds later I was watching Professor Walker's video, and learning Flash. I realized it's not just an academic exercise, but something that helps real people in their real lives.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Two years ago I posted on how cheap I was. I spent $.72 on fireworks, and I reported on how much fun we'd had.

This year we went all out. I mean ALL out. I spent $2.67. We bought 6 packs of sparklers, and the old standby--four flower zippy things. However, this year we lit all four of the flower things at once. That's right, all four; things were a hopping at our place.

Then the kids spent a good 20 minutes playing with the sparklers. I got a few good pictures of them.


My oldest son said, "Remember that time we stacked all the snaps and had a bonfire?" Why, yes I do. My plan is working. The kids get such a kick out of a few dollar worth of fireworks, that one day I'm going to go to Wyoming and buy $500 worth of exploding goodness, and knock the socks off them.