December 11, 2008

Reading here and there

I recently finished the The Genesis of Shannara prequels by Terry Brooks. Fun reads if you've slogged through the rest of the Terry Brooks universe. He included alot of flashbacks for character development that were tiresome at points. His style of splitting up the main characters into competing quests and then rotating through them round robin keeps the flow of the books exciting, though it becomes an expected aspect of his writing. I also just read through My Word is my Bond by Roger Moore. It was a fun book detailing the experiences of an English actor.
I'm planning on reading Westward Ho! a novel from 1855 by Charles Kingsley. Which isn't about manifest destiny, but rather about Spanish Conquistadors, English Privateers, etc. I also am looking to read through the short story the The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas.

November 25, 2008


Melissa bought me a wonderful gift: an iPhone from craigslist. Needless to say, I am super-mega-excited to have a smartphone! Thanks love!


Melissa and I just celebrated our first anniversary of being married. I am so happy and blessed to be married to such a wonderful person. It has been an exciting year filled with adventures and growth. I've heard people say that their love for someone grows more and more each day; and I thought that was kind of a silly thing. But now I know it's true!

November 16, 2008 changes to

I've noticed that performance at Dreamhost fell off the charts lately, so I've been looking around for a decent VPS provider. Some of the better ones looked like Slicehost, and VPS village, and Rapidxen. I eventually ended up going with RapidXen. The uptime looks way better already. Dreamhost was giving me whole days of subversion like webpages that had nothing to do with my websites.
Along with the different web host, I am changing the domain for the website. The old domain name should forward to the new one for a while.

Echo Rock Hot Spring

Melissa and I recently headed off to Owyhee reservoir in Oregon to visit Echo Rock Hot Springs. We went with some friends, Tony and Janat. We hiked the majority of the way, on the bottom of the nearly empty reservoir. A six mile round trip hike, the hot springs was worth the exercise. The pool was cement lined and had an intake and outlet valve. Pretty nice for being out in the middle of the Oregon wilderness.

October 28, 2008

Books and stuff 10-28-2008

I found some cheap Oxford World Classics and have added them to my reading list. The first was Melmoth the wanderer, by Charles Maturin and the second was Scenes of Clerical Life, by George Eliot. I've also checked out the first volume of the Genesis of Shannara trilogy from the library: Armageddon's Children. I see that the whole trilogy has already been released, so I won't have to wait for the books to be released. I saw some news that Shannara movies are in the works. I also am wanting to read The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard.

I've also finished the memoirs of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Very interesting reads; which were insightful into the relationship of the British Monarchy with the commonwealth governments. It was fun to read about the details of the short and turbulent reign of Edward VIII.

Our house has recently become the recipient of a water softener, which should hopefully fix our super-mega-hard water issues. As well, we also recently signed up for HD dish network and I am learning how to use a DVR.

October 6, 2008

Goldbug Hot Springs

I recently visited Goldbug Hot Springs near Salmon, Idaho. The hot spring lies high up on the hillside; a two mile hike uphill. Once you arrive, there are several pools ranging from 110° to 75°. There are several waterfalls and some of the pools are three to four feet deep with gravel bottoms. It was a fun trip, and a nice hot spring.

September 19, 2008


I've been planning on making a pergola over our back porch for some time. Melissa has been looking around for some type of plant to grow on it. Earlier this summer, she saw a beautiful Wisteria laced pergola. So we have been thinking about what type of wisteria to put on our upcoming pergola, and found an excellent candidate: Amethyst Falls Wisteria wisteria frutescens.

A hardy North American wisteria variety that 'comparatively' doesn't run rampant and will hopefully flower after the first year. Not to mention that it's a beautiful variety. The plant also made the University of Georgia's 2006 Gold Medal Plants, which has pretty photos and snowball bushes, so it must be good.

September 18, 2008

Bicycling Meridian

Melissa and I have been going out bicycling of late. We've found several bike paths and carved large routes out of the neighborhoods that surround our own neighborhood. It's been fun to ride around and see all the construction of the last years and enjoy the summer and fall. I think Melissa has settled on planting a wisteria vine on our upcoming back porch pergola.

Books 9-18-8

My local library has a website where I can use my library card to request books from any of the consortium libraries. Those books will then be sent to my local library for local checkout. As a result of this streamlining and ease of finding books you're interested in, I've been doing more reading of late.
I finished Awakenings by Oliver Sacks, as well as Apple Confidential. I also finished the book, Masters of Doom, by David Kushner. A fun book about several computer video games that I've enjoyed.
I've started into reading The heart has its reasons; the memoirs of the Duchess of Windsor. The autobiography of the Duchess of Windsor. And I've also picked out A King's Story by the Duke of Windsor. Two autobiographies that should certainly complement each other.

September 2, 2008

Books and stuff 9-2-2008

I've been reading Awakenings, by Oliver Sacks. It's interesting to see such a unique perspective form so many different angles: Modern medicine's relatively small grasp of the human mind, chemical interelationships with disease, people waking up from forty years of virtual non-existence. Overall, it is kind of a darkly realistic book that shows man's limitations and finite existence. I've also finished Apple Confidential 2.0 By Owen W. Linzmayer, a book detailing much of the early history of the Apple computer and spin doctor Steve Jobs. I also picked up from the library and plan to read iWoz by Steve Wozniak. An autobiography about his grapplings with technology, and how these have benefited all of us computer users.

August 15, 2008

Books 8-16-2008

I've been reading Eric Clapton's autobiography of late. The book is an interesting view into the life of a rock and roll guitar hero. It is fun to read about all the musicians and a unique life in Britain in the sixties and later. Also, I've picked up Oliver Sacks' book, Awakenings, and plan to read that after finishing the autobiography.

July 29, 2008

Three Forks Warm Springs

 We went to Three Forks (Tudor) Warm Springs last Saturday, and it was fantastic. The trip was 110 miles Southwest from Boise. The Springs are nestled behind Three Forks Dome on the Owyhee river. The road is decent until the last two miles where it becomes a 4x4 worthy adventure. The Springs (the entire creek) are between 90° to 95° and makes for an absolutely enjoyable summer soak, with stellar pools and wonderful views.

July 9, 2008

Reading 7-9-8

    I recently finished reading the Antiquary, by Sir Walter Scott. It was an interesting book, with an insight into life and society of 18th century Scotland. I arrived at reading this book after finding the Oxford edition at Half Price Books in Redmond last summer.
     Before finishing the Antiquary, I finished The American Black Chamber by Herbert O. Yardley. Melissa bought me this book as a birthday present. I have a list of several books I want to read (such as Eric Clapton's Biography). The American Black Chamber was a really fun book to read, if you are interested in codes, cyphers, spies, or international intrigue. It was especially insightful as Yardley included actual messages and the methods for breaking the codes.

July 4, 2008

Deadwood Hot Springs

Melissa and I recently went camping at Deadwood reservoir and made a trek up to Deadwood Hot Springs. This was a rewarding journey, as a few friends and
I were unable to find it last year while hiking around in the dark. But this year, with the aid of daylight, we were able to trek about a mile further up a small trail and find the hot springs. It is an impressive setup with a hillside of hot water and tubes filling pools alongside a small cliff. The pools had drainage valves and scrubber brushes to facilitate in cleaning them. There were alot of elk around, and a few were brave enough to briefly say hello. It was a sun drenched hike of three miles one way and three miles back which could have been accomplished much easier on bicycles. Overall it was a fun excursion.

June 27, 2008

Super-Mega Photogallery revolution

I've upgraded the website with a mashup of PicasaWeb Albums and Lightbox. I'm thinking that these improvements make the photos portion of the website about 1,000 times more navigable. It was a result of the merging of this a javascript project to embed PicasaWeb Albums: JavaScript interface to PicasaWeb Albums. I took that script and modified it to work with Lightbox. With some customized mangling to mash them together, and some further tweaking of lightbox to user the arrow keys for navigation, I'm very happy with the result.

June 26, 2008

Drupal 6 upgrade

The website has recently been upgraded to Drupal 6. As well, I've switched from using gallery for my photos to using an embedded version of picasa web albums. there are still a few items to implement, such as web links, but over the upgrade went pretty well.

June 7, 2008

Seven Hot Springs

Recently we went for a hot springs discovery excursion, visiting seven springs in a day. We drove up towards Featherville and then over towards pine and then back down to Fairfield. The first hot springs we visited was 'bridge' near Anderson Ranch reservoir. And the next we looked at Paradise which is private and near abandoned. Then we went up towards Featherville and hiked up to Willow Creek hot springs. Next, we drove to Baumgartner hot springs, and then drove to Lightfoot hot springs. We were going to go to Skillern, but it was too much of a hike at that point (two miles each way), and we were hoping to hit Fairfield for dinner. So we proceeded onwards to Preis hot springs (probably the smallest developed hot springs in the world, see photo). The last one hit was Worswick, which was the grandest. The spring runoff made it to much for sandy deposits filling the pool, but it was a blast to explore. After that we headed down to Fairfield for dinner, and back to Boise. More photos here.

May 1, 2008

Breville Ikon

A few months back, I purchased a coffee grinder, as my old grinder wasn't cutting it anymore, and cleaning the blender after every brew was a little much. So I bought a Breville BCG450XL. It's a conical burr grinder. It holds ½ a pound of coffee beans. I suppose you could grinder other types of beans if you feel the need. It's really been a champion performer for making genuinely good coffee. And though burr grinders are more expensive, they sure beat using a crank operated coffee grinder.

April 29, 2008

Wii Mariokart

Mariokart for the Wii was released last weekend. I just picked it up this evening and enjoyed a few races around the track. The single player is fun. The Multiplayer is fun. This game captures the simplicity of the Nintendo 64 version, but brings in the ability to play online with people all over the world. Battle mode, race mode, co-op versions; Mariokart Wii is an excellent game for the Wii.

April 28, 2008

Honda Accord

Melissa and I recently bought a 2001 Honda Accord. We tested its roadworthiness out this weekend on a trip to McCall. It performed admirably. Compared to the Explorer, it handles like an Indy car. We also visited Gold Fork Hot Springs, which was a wonderful soak. I'm hoping to do away with the Explorer soon; maybe to be replaced with a true four wheel drive vehicle.

March 28, 2008


I recently picked up some grapevines. I am hoping to plant in some vines in our back yard. I love the smell of grapes when they are blossoming. I am planning on planting some seedless table grapes. I am going to plant some Black Monukka, and either some Interlaken or Nimrod white table grapes. The next step is to research what type of terra-forming and landscaping will be necessary to turn our backyard into a fully functional micro vineyard. Yay!

March 4, 2008

Shellback Adirondack Chairs

There exist various plans for adirondack chairs floating around the internet. Melissa and I have been interested in getting some chairs since last spring. As a result of wanting to get some chairs, and having some extra time, I decided to make some chairs. I decided on using some plans from a website called buildeazy. However, I quickly went to work modifying the chairs from their original design. Some modifications were things which I wanted in the chair (a cup holder, more slats for the back), and others were necessary modifications(bracing). Anyway, they are at the brink of being finished, and I am very happy with them. More photos are available here.

February 15, 2008

West Coast Tour 2008

Melissa and I just returned from West Coast Tour 2008. We flew down to Arizona, and drove back to Idaho; taking a meandering path through California. Thanks to all the friends whom we stayed with and visited. The whole trip was a 1720.3 miles long; and was fun, exciting, and exhausting. On Valentines day, Melissa and I went to Napa valley and visited the Castello Di Amarosa castle & vineyard.

Wedding Photos

We received our wedding photos back from our excellent photographers: Azzura photography. I give them two thumbs up; as they captured wonderful photos and helped make our wedding day especially enchanted. Check out our photos here.

February 8, 2008


Last year, Asus released a linux based sub-laptop called the eeepc. It is very reasonably priced, a flash based device (very speedy file system), and has all the amenities one needs with a basic laptop. It does have a small screen, and requires an acquaintance with linux in order to customize. I picked one up as a stress relief toy before my wedding, and have been enjoying it ever since.

January 31, 2008

Ten Years of HTML Mangling

This year, 2008, marks ten years of my creating websites for groups and organizations. I've cobbled together a portfolio of some of the websites that I've worked on. The internet definitely looks alot better these days than it did ten years ago.

January 24, 2008

Hot Springs Section

I've added a new section of content to my website. It is entitled Hot Springs. It's pretty self explanatory, but I am finding it really fun and useful. I'm still working on it, but if you like hot springs, you'll want to check it out.

January 20, 2008


My website hosting company accidentally overcharged its customers $2,100,000. That's an expensive mistake.

January 17, 2008

Reading 1-17-8

I've been reading The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter. It was a wonderful Christmas gift from Melissa. It was written in 1810, and fits wonderfully into the literature of that period. It clearly seems to have some import on the eventual making of the movie Braveheart. I've been reading a little less as I got married in November, but still working through multiple things at once (as usual). I am interested (per Rocky Wing's recommendations) in reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, and What's So Great About Christianity, by Dinesh D’Souza.