Monday, September 22, 2008

How I make my money.

Lately I have been doing some really boring and repetitive stuff at work. But, today I was given a special project that my co-workers could not do. They are submitting one of our projects to a competition for "Project of the Year" or some such nonsense. So, they wanted some cool rendering of our 3d design. This is what I came up with.

Pretty spiffy huh. This has been the highlight of work for the last few months for me. How sad. Check out my Flickr stream for a bigger one.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Get Together Before Their Trip

Kacie's sister Sara and her boyfriend Leon are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. They are going to take an entire year traveling the world, visiting every continent except Antarctica. So, as one last get together we took the kids bowling and out to dinner so they could say goodbye. We all had a great time and while we're going to miss them very much we wish them good luck. You can follow there trip here

Friday, September 12, 2008

Conquring Web 2.0 From The Inside.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to hone my hacker skills on some web 2.0 work. A friend of mine who does freelance web design and I are teaming up to take on building a website using Django the Python based, Open source web development framework. I've been hacking around with Django for a while now and feeling more comfortable that ever in implementing some cool stuff, so this is a great chance to put my skills to work.

I'm currently working on a personal website for my music that is also being built using Django. I need to finish my album soon so I can get the website up and running. Hopefully my schedule will lighten up and that will be more feasible. We shall see.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Freedom and Other Lofty Goals

I just finished listening to an interview with Richard Stallman by the guys at Gutsy Geeks and it has put me in a mood to ponder high minded ideas such as freedom and injustice.

Generally I would probably be classified as a moderate as far as my views on the world. Although, I wouldn't consider that an a accurate description. I generally hold to a few basic principles that place me in what others would consider the middle ground. I believe in freedom, love,community and forgiveness above all else. I will also accept compromise if it moves in a direction that is better than any alternative to problems that have no tangible solution. However, I hold fast to my beliefs if I believe that there is an solution to a problem and compromising is just side stepping the problem. For example I have no acceptable solution for a free(as in freedom) AutoCAD, running on a free operating system, alternative for my work. So I accept a horribly restrictive work experience because the consequences of not using it are greater than the rewards for standing my ground(I loose my job and my kids starve but I get to use only free software).

So, as a person who generally is willing to compromise, I am great full for those who won't. A person who holds to what's right, like Richard Stallman, even if it means making great sacrifice, make progressing towards a goal possible. If everyone accepts thing the way they are than there is no incentive to progress to the goal(completely free computing).

"Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." -Frederick Douglass

Computers are the greatest endeavor that man has had the ability to to make reality. It's impact is far greater than we now realize or dream. The computer's ability to liberate is equaled by it's ability to oppress. So carefully choose who you give your rights to in the digital realm. Free software is about more than price, it's about preventing a world where technology is used to control you. You would not stand for a hammer company making you sign an agreement to only use nails that it manufactures and then convince yourself, and your friends, that it's OK because they make the best nails anyways and then have to buy a new hammer when they change the nail so it does not work with your old hammer.

So that's my rant about why I love free software. Learn more about it at

Monday, September 8, 2008

Open Stomp

So this is a cool project that I heard about through Lxer. It's a project to build an open source digital stomp box called the Coyote-1. The unit itself is available for purchase from for $349.00. It comes with a 9v power supply and a usb cable, as well as a CD that contains the windows only OpenStomp Workbench the source code for the box's Coyote-1 O/S operating system, five completed effects a test tone and a pong game, a manual, and schematics. It has some pretty cool specs.

- Propeller Processor (eight independent 80MHz cores or "cogs")
- 1.5 MByte SRAM
- 44kHz 20-bit sampling (2 input channels and 2 output channels)
- 4 control knobs
- 16x2 LCD screen
- 2 stomp switches
- 2 stomp indicator LEDs
- 1 1/4 inch audio input
- 1 1/4 inch audio output
- 1 multipurpose 1/4 inch audio jack (can be used as either a second output (for stereo effects) or as an additional input
(for modulation effects etc.))
- NTSC Video out
- Micro USB
- 9V DC Power in
- Headphone out (mini phono jack)
- RJ11 expansion port (for potentially adding things like external foot pedals. Uses I2C.)
- Rugged Steel chassis

Now for some drawbacks. It has a very limited amount of available effects. Limited Memory. No built in tuner(yet). There is no Linux or Mac support. There is no version control for development. Other than the forums I didn't see any way to submit patches back to OpenStomp or any patches that are available to upgrade the device. I'm not trying to beat up on the project, I think it's a realy cool idea. However, I would like to see it take a more traditional open souce route of building a solid online comunity around the product. I hope this is a realy successful project that develops and blossoms. I don't know that I'm going to rush out and get one because it's still a little expensive for the lack of effects and memory. But, you never know I might get the bug to hack on something and pick one up. It's at least worth checking out.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Worths Conquer Flicker

Here are a few of the fantastic photos available on my new flicker stream.

Check out more by clicking on the flicker link on the right.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Children Are Educators too!

A few things are clear from today. First I have been battling some kind of bug or something for two weeks now and clearly it's time to go back to the doctor and try to get it nipped in the butt.

Secondly, I am an inadequate car mechanic when it comes to working of other peoples cars. My style of working on cars is the tinkering here and there mechanic, not the critical I need this car now kind of mechanic. My friend Jason is having problems with his starter and I agreed to help him out today. However, along with feeling like crap still, I was really intimidated and felt overwhelmed. Sometimes I say I will help when it's probably better I just let someone who knows more take care of it. I hope Jason's car problems get solved, I really wanted to help.

However, none of that is the topic of today's post. Today is to talk about the most amazing relationship I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The one between my middle daughter Brynlee and my youngest Kaytlin. The night that Katie was born(in our car, on the side of the road, with the older two kids in the back seat) after I had put Katie in her mothers arms, Brynlee welcomed her baby sister into the world with a loving and sweet "Hello Baby!". Since that night the relationship has grown into something even more special. Brynlee loves her baby sister like nothing I have ever seen, a kind of love that places the needs and wants of a two year old after her little sister. There is no adequate description in human expression for the joy a parent feels in their heart when their two year old gives up her pacifier to calm the baby when she's crying or chews out her older sister in defense of her sisters right to toys. I have also had the pleasure of seeing the absolute love and admiration that Katie has for Brynlee. I can't look at a relationship as perfect as that one without seeing hope for humanity. God has a plan in all of our lives, sometimes all you can see is the bad, but sometimes you see something that challenges the way you think about love and for me it's the way those two love each other.