Monthly Archives: July 2008

Our Offering

I finished the sales and use tax paperwork this morning and paid the bill.  I’ve just been out of things at work this week and have been having a hard time concentrating. I’ve found myself making a few stupid mistakes, like forgetting to put everything in an envelope before sealing it and such like that. I think I’m going to work a short day tomorrow so I can spend the afternoon cleaning the house and getting it ready for the housewarming. I need to start baking the goodies as well, which I guess means I need to come up with a full plan of what we’re going to have.

I’m thinking we may need to serve dinner since it is such a long thing, but I have no clue who is going to be here or when really. I’ve received a few RSVP’s and am hoping that more people show up than have responded. It seems like some people don’t even know about it, so I’m not sure if the invites didn’t make it to them or what.

I was happy I got to go to Institute tonight. We talked a lot about the sacrament and the offering that goes along with it. We learned that we bring ourselves, an imperfect offering and that we receive Christ, a perfect offering, and the blessing to try for another week. It was interesting thinking about how the offerings have changed over time. Sometimes I think we really have it too easy here, but then I realize all the temptations of the world we have today that may have not been so prevalent back in old testament times and maybe it is all fair. Or maybe we just don’t have as great of faith as they did in the old testament.

I still can’t find the remote for the DVD player. Kenny even came over tonight to help look for it. I’m wondering if it somehow wound up in the trash or someone’s purse and will never be seen again. Maybe I need to find myself one of those crazy universal remote controls finally.

I got the electric bill today; it was only $160 for almost a complete month. Some people had been scaring me into thinking it was going to obscenely high. I’m not sure if it is really worth it or not, but I’ve got the windows open tonight and am hoping it will cool off nicely so I can sleep. It is still 78 in the house and about 68 outside, abut five degrees above where I would prefer it to be.

Oh well, I’m off to sleep – or at least to try and get some sleep before I have to go back to work in the morning.

Who Stole My Remote?

OK, I want to know what happened to my remote control. I can’t find the one for the blu-ray DVD player which makes it nearly impossible to watch a movie. Nathaniel was able to program the remote for the set top box to get the DVD going, but it is missing almost all of the functionality of the full remote. I’m sure it is hiding somewhere and it will show up as soon as I stop looking for it. Maybe that is just a big sign that I need to work on cleaning up the house so I can find my misplaced remote. The funny thing is we all are nearly certain it was on the top of the couch earlier this evening and now we can’t find it at all. What the heck?

Today went fairly well. I started working on the sales tax return which is due tomorrow. There is nothing like the pressure of waiting until the last second to do things like that. I think I have most of the hard work done now and just need to transfer numbers after checking them over to the appropriate form.

I had the missionaries over for dinner tonight. Lauren decided we should make Parmesan Chicken. It turned out good again tonight, although I could have used more spaghetti. I guess for next time now I know that one package that is supposed to serve 8 only serves 6 really at best. After dinner they taught a quick lesson, mainly for pyro and batch. After they left, we watched National Treasure 2. It was pretty good and kept my interest throughout the movie.

Parmesan Chicken

Dinner tonight:

Parmesan Chicken – Allrecipes

It turned out good when Maegan and I made it last week, let’s hope we can do well again tonight.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and basil. In another bowl, beat the egg. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with crumb mixture. In a large skillet, brown chicken in butter and oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Celebrate National Cheesecake Day with $1.50 Cheesecake!

Celebrate National Cheesecake Day with $1.50 Cheesecake!

From the Cheesecake Factory:

In celebration of our 30th Anniversary, on Wednesday, July 30th, The Cheesecake Factory will offer every delicious slice of our more than 30 varieties of cheesecake for 1.50 per slice to dine-in guests (limit one per guest) – just like we did when we opened our first restaurant back in 1978!

It’s no coincidence that Wednesday, July 30th, also happens to be National Cheesecake Day. After all, what better time to enjoy the cheesecake you absolutely love!

As you know, sharing is part of the fun at The Cheesecake Factory so feel free to share the news about this special offer with your friends.

So, come celebrate with us on National Cheesecake Day. And, stay tuned for more news about our 30th Anniversary Celebration!

I’m sure all the local Cheesecake Factories are going to be a zoo tomorrow. I already have dinner plans or else I might have to consider making a run for it. Maybe we’ll go for lunch though… 🙂

Sprinklers, Grass and an Earthquake!

Everyone was back in the office today, although it was pretty quiet down at my end. I was able to spend some time catching up on things and pressing forward I guess. I’m trying to wrap my hands around some of the new PR things we are looking at doing and getting myself motivated for them.

I came home and started trying to clean up the front yard. Once I got some more trash out of it – it seems to collect it with the high weeds, I mowed and then manually tried to take out the weeds, either by hand or by hoe. That only lasted so long, but I got the big ones taken care of, root and all. I then decided to try and aerate the ground. Some spots are hard as rock though and I don’t know how well it worked. I used a mix of tools with the varying soil. I clearly need to eventually plan on flattening the front yard and filling it with soil – and of course probably starting over with the grass. Maybe I can start a compost pile and slowly bring dirt to the front without completely covering the grass.

In any event, I started running the sprinklers to check for runoff and after a few minutes I realized that where one of my sprinklers probably should have been, I couldn’t find anything. After pulling grass (it is really think in this corner – which I now know why), then digging and digging some more, I finally found the sprinkler. Surprisingly, it just wasn’t screwed in to the pipe! I got that back together and it seems that I only have a bit of water getting sprayed onto the sidewalk which may turn into runoff, I’ll have to check in the morning. In any event, I’ve got some seed out there now and just have to hope that I’ll get some grass growing soon. It actually has been nice weather lately since it hasn’t been too incredibly hot, maybe I’ll have a chance.

Matt’s birthday part was tonight at Pat & Oscar’s. It went well and the breadsticks were fairly good this time. Not great, but good. I came home to take care of some more paperwork. I wrote my first mortgage payment, how scary was that! As much fun as having the place to myself is, I think I may need to seriously start looking into renters.

We had a sweet earthquake this morning. It was a 5.something (it was 5.6, then 5.8, then 5.4, I don’t know what it ended up at). I think it lasted 20-25 seconds which was great. The waves were almost on top of each other and there was some good shaking. Tata was scared, while I was just enjoying it. Nothing fell off shelves or any of that, so that is great – and the house seems to have survived as well. I did call to add my earthquake insurance today. Western Mutual didn’t seem to like that, but after I explained that I was offered it as part of my policy they said they would see what they could do. In any event, I wonder what is in store for us down the road. Our office phones were down for outgoing calls for at least an hour. I imagine Verizon’s network was just too overloaded. We started routing our calls out trough the Internet – it’s great to have voip, while inbound calls worked fine. Verizon’s cellular network seemed to be crowded as well, although my Sprint phone allowed me to make calls. I guess it just shows that there is a reason for ham radio after all!

Thanks Dave » Spam Karma goes GPL

I was both saddened and excited to find out today that Spam Karma is going open source. I would first off like to thank Dave for this amazing software which has worked oh so well for so many years with WordPress.

Dave’s Blog » Blog Archive » Spam Karma goes GPL

I do feel his frustrations with WordPress and wish sometimes that it would go back to the simpler days when things just worked. We don’t need all this fancy junk that just bloats the system and slows things down. Alas, when things get popular, they start making them for the masses and the reason that people were drawn to a product in the first place disappears.

Dave, thank you for getting this project started. I completely understand your need to move onto other things at this time.

Busy Quiet Day

Today was kind of interesting at work. It was quiet without Batch & Pyro and it was busy, but not insanely busy. It was quiet enough for me to get through the large stack of bills that I had been putting off entering into the computer, but not quiet enough to the point where I was ever bored. It really was a good balance. I could tell I was tired though long before the second time that I sealed an envelope without putting everything that needed to be in it inside. I seriously thought about going home about 10 o’clock this morning and saying I’d take phone calls from home, but other than was calling it quits for the day. I didn’t, although I did get a little break when I came home to meet the Verizon tech who came to activate my phone line.

We got the phone going great, even though the POTS light isn’t on at the ONT. Maybe POTS indicates POTS service not through FIOS, I don’t know. In any event it works. I couldn’t get my cordless phones to work though. I’d been charging them for almost a week now and yet neither one seemed to have enough current to activate the phone. Even doing something on the screen seemed to draw more current that the batteries could produce. Maybe they will come back with some conditioning. I just decided to pickup a new pack of phones from Costco this afternoon on my way home so that I would actually be ready to use my phone, not that I ever will!

Shortly after getting home this afternoon I decided to try and tackle this sprinkler thing so I could get some grass planted and maybe have a greener yard before the year is up. Soon after I started digging, the neighbor showed up to ask if they had broken the sprinkler when they poured the concrete. I explained that it was possible, but I didn’t know if it was broken before or not. He immediately jumped in and took over and man was it a good thing he did. He was able to do in an hour what would have taken me about six trips to Home Depot and probably a week to complete. He even had all the parts to make it work in his backyard! What a blessing that was. It was nice getting to spend some time working with a neighbor and talking with him and his family who came to hang out as well. We later found another problem which he promptly fixed as well and everything seems to be working great now. I’ll let it run in the morning and then maybe can throw some seed out tomorrow night.

I was talking with them about their concrete and may end up doing something very similar to what they did. They poured about half the backyard. I could see doing the same behind the house, maybe leaving the side yard and the back half open for grass or future. I could see a pool in there eventually, although I’m not sure I’ll want to spend the money to do so myself. Maybe my wife will want it and we will come up with the funds. Maybe if I started renting some rooms I could start on some of these new projects.

I also found out that hey had looked at this house as well. It sounded like they were in escrow on it, but I’m not fully sure if that is correct. I went to FHE tonight and then came home to start taking care of some finances. I think I’ve stayed right about what I was hoping, well, expecting, to spend on the house and the stuff to get going in it. I need to start shuffling money so I can pay the bills and will have to get used to another bill being due monthly. I’m really not looking forward to dealing with all the receipts from all the stuff I’ve bought, but I figure it is only going to get worse! I need to get some form of organization going here, even if it is just organized boxes.

Well, I think I’m off to sleep now. It was a fairly nice day today, by the way. It is even fairly cool outside now (66). I thought about opening the windows, but figured it is probably just easier to run the A/C and deal with the huge bill later. I do enjoy the fresh air though, even with the traffic noise. I may seriously need to investigate one of these whole house fans soon.

I also can’t decide what to make for the missionaries/dinner on Wednesday. I’ve been kind of thinking about that orange chicken Batch and I made two weeks ago or I could see chicken parmesan again. Too many choices!

WordPress 2.6 Upgrade – Fix Missing Categories

So I upgraded our WP installation at work today and ended up losing all the categories. I knew I could figure it out through the SQL database. This post really helped, although you can easily skip the first step.

David Cumps » WordPress 2.6 Upgrade – Fix Missing Categories

Just locate the categories in your DB backup and then use the URL to edit the categories on your live site. You can add the descriptions there if you really want them, but in my case that wasn’t something I was interested in.

Meetings

I spent most of the day in meetings. We started trying to tie up the loose ends with home teaching this morning at 9:30 and that went straight into PEC, then church and so forth. We didn’t have any meetings after church, so it wasn’t as long as it could have been. Lauren came over and made dinner and Larilyn, Megan and Alsyssa joined us. It was quite good and was nice to have people over, cooking and such. Alyssa even went over and above and washed all the dishes that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher. I’ve got to invite her over for dinner more often! I mean for her company of course, the dishes is just an extra.

I got to see the world traveling Emily at linger longer today. it was great to see her and I hope we get to spend some time together before she runs away again. I guess her family is moving to Utah, so she will be gone for good. Maybe I need to get that guest room up and running quickly so she can come back and visit.

Cleaning Floors

I had fun today cleaning floors. I got a steam cleaner to do the carpets, and it also said it did hard surfaces. I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning all the hard floors in the house. I didn’t think it was doing that good of a job at first, but I noticed the water was fairly dirty. Later I realized walking around that the floors felt really clean. I don’t know what that is worth, but I had been noticing that my feet were getting really dirty walking around the house. I’ve vacuumed so many times that I figured there was just dirt that didn’t want to come out of the carpet and such so it needed a deep cleaning. I got the only Hoover model that they had at Best Buy, and used my 10% off coupon for moving on it.

The family came over for dinner tonight. Well, they came over to eat Papa John’s pizza. I have a feeling my dad really likes having a place he can come and eat it and I think I’m going to be seeing them every three weeks. They also brought some stuff from the house – as I figured they would – that I promptly threw away most of. I can’t figure out if the Apple posters are worth anything. I tried searching online for ipod lisa poster and such regarding the 2004 remake of the 1984 Lisa poster/ad and couldn’t find anything on eBay or really much talking about it. I guess if I make an Apple museum I’ll want to keep at least one of them – and if I put them all in one container they wouldn’t take up that much room.

Kenny and I watched Definitely Maybe tonight. I thought the movie had a good premise and liked the story telling of his life, and the interactions from the daughter. It kind of reminded me of Princess Bride with the story telling. While not a fan of some of the things they did in the movie, I thought it was funny how intertwined the lives of these women were and how you supposedly couldn’t see what was coming – and definitely didn’t know who her mom was. It was clear early on how the movie would end, as with most. It was enjoyable through the end though and that is what matters.

I discovered the other night that I have a broken sprinkler line. I’d like to say the neighbors probably did it when they poured concrete, but i can’t be certain. I picked up the stuff to start digging today and maybe can get out there and get going on Monday night. I need to start working on a food list for the housewarming party next weekend so I can start doing some form of planning ahead.

Up Too Late

I have been up way too late every night for about a week now! It’s been lots of fun and games, but I’m sure this is going to catch up with me sooner or later.

Let’s start with a quick recap. Friday I went to Fallbrook for a tri-tip dinner. I drove back to Temecula before finding out that I had left my laptop there, so I had to go back which meant by the time I finally got home, it was starting to get late. That was probably the earliest I’ve been to bed all week. Friday morning Bouse and I got my new door installed and picked up and assembled the new kitchen table after making breakfast. Of course, it ended up being almost an all day thing once we had lunch. I finally made it to the office to get some things straightened up for this week.

Saturday I went with the branch to the flight museum in Chino. It was pretty cool although I got tired of walking and standing – and carrying the camera – after a short while. It was neat to see all the planes and learn about them and to have Brother Prosser take us around and show us one of his loves. When I got home Saturday afternoon I just crashed on the couch. My head started hurting and I didn’t feel like doing anything. I finally decided to invite some people over for a movie and we watched Jumper. It was pretty good. The whole concept of the movie was kind of interesting and quite predictable as most of them are.

I had meetings early Sunday and was able to come home between them which was nice. Of course, it got me into trouble coming home as I was almost late for the next meeting, but it was way nice to get the break from the building. Church went well along with our meetings. Lauren came over and saw the house really quick and then I was off to go home teaching. I went to the Dowden’s for a bit before branch prayer and then came home. Larilyn had to come over and give me trouble for not going to branch prayer, and Maegan and Andrea (Maegan’s friend) came along. We were up till almost midnight talking and so forth.

On Monday I spent my first full day at the office in a while. That was kind of weird, although I had a lot of work to keep me busy, especially with a board meeting on the horizon as I was busy preparing the docs for that which I should have done last week. Kenny and I tried installing some remotes for the ceiling fans, but gave up when they wouldn’t work reliably. I called in Batch and he and I worked on it for a few hours. We finally gave up and figured that they aren’t wireless and without a direct connection on the AC line within about 40 feet it isn’t going to work. I missed FHE since he was here and we were playing. Maegan came over again and we all watched Music and Lyrics from Kenny’s iPhone. It was a bit (or a lot) pixelated on the big screen, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Today was about the same. I spent a full day at work, then went grocery shopping and came home. Maegan and I made dinner, Chicken Parmesan, which actually was quite simple and delicious. I think we had fun cooking together with our differing opinions while Larilyn slept on the couch. I bought a lot of chicken as I wasn’t sure who was going to show up and Maegan decided to cook it all. Needless to say, I’ve got lunch for the rest of the week I think. Larilyn started making a boston cream cheesecake while we watched P.S. I Love You. I realized shortly after we started it that I have in fact seen the movie already. Megan, Nathaniel and Kenny joined us as well and were here till almost midnight.

Now I’m starting to wind down and will hopefully be able to get good enough sleep in the five hours I have left. Maegan is going to Utah for a week or so shortly, so maybe that will help quiet things down around here so I can get caught up on some sleep, although I kind of doubt it. Our board meeting was interesting tonight. We did it all by phone for the first time since Larry wasn’t going to be able to make the drive up here. I think it worked out kind of well although I wouldn’t want to do it on a regular basis that way.

On the Air and Online

Yesterday went well with the ham radio and FIOS installs. I was home all day and actually never even left. I thought about going out and grabbing some things on my list, but decided that I didn’t need to make a special trip since I was going to be out and about essentially every other day. I also had the electrician take care of a few other loose ends, like the switches in the back bedroom and putting a duplex in the garage instead of the singled edison that was there. It is great to have internet and be moving forward. I also got my TV mounted on the wall, and rehung the evid that was a little bit off from the other night. I should have my in wall evids coming next week, so I can clean that up and then I think the family room will be ready for paint.

I saw this beautiful dining room on HGTV this morning. It was a really light blue with dark wood. They paneled the bottom half of the wall with wood matching the table and made place and seat mats that matched the blue in the walls. I was thinking that might work for my dining room to spice it up a bit down the road. I think I’m going to start with painting the rooms that need it due to the patching of holes in the walls and such and then work on the other ones down the road.

Alison and Nathaniel came over for dinner last night. We just made pasta and bread, nothing special, but it was good. We just hung out for a while after and watched some Get Smart. Alison had never seen the show, but has seen the movie, go figure.

I had Verizon coming back out this morning to fix the set top box for the TV which kept turning off randomly. However, shortly after I called in yesterday, I couldn’t reproduce the problem on the box so I’m figuring it was just downloading software updates or something. Hopefully all is well now. I turned off the wireless in the router Verizon gave me and got a Netgear unit in here that is doing a much better job! Those actiontek pieces of junk just don’t seem to work at all with the macbooks. I couldn’t stream music at all and I actually got to the point last night where I used my aircard to surf the net instead of the fios!

The roadshow went well today. I learned about and saw some new products that I knew had been in the works and some that I didn’t know of. I was interested to find that they released 90 degree versions of all the line array boxes (or most of them anyway). I guess it had been something that was specifically requested enough times they decided to make it a standard order part. I could see the use for it with the tighter beams on the top and widening as you go down to help compensate for the throw distance. I’m interested to see what it does to the specs on the rest of the box and then when the array is working as a whole since I presume that changes a lot.

I rushed out of the roadshow to drive over 100 miles from San Dimas to San Diego (Fashion Valley). Susan wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory for her birthday dinner. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but we got out early enough so it worked out. It was a bit of a long drive (especially considering I’m getting used to my 11 minute commute to work and 5 minute drive to church – when I leave the house, that is). After dinner we went shopping at Crate & Barrel and then Williams Sonoma. I got a lot of stuff at Crate & Barrel and will probably need to go back there with Sib or someone next week after I get a new list of things I need in order to cook and serve. I’m sure I’ll need a bunch of stuff for the housewarming party which I haven’t even started to think about yet.

Maegan and Larilyn came over tonight after institute. Larilyn brought the stuff to make the Boston Cream Cheesecake sometime in the future. While she was here, she helped eat the brownies and then we got into pictures from her trip. I got to use the SD card reader in my blu-ray DVD player which was kind of cool, other than we couldn’t figure out how to zoom or rotate any of the pictures. Maegan then wanted to continue with the pictures so I showed her what I had on my laptop which wasn’t nearly as interesting as Larilyn’s pictures.

I’m bummed I missed institute for the third week in a row and also curious what I missed at the stake priesthood leadership meeting tonight. I think I was in the right place though, so I’m just going to go with it and go to bed!