Monday, December 10, 2007

Speak to me

I mentioned Kevin Trevino to my mom the other day and realized I hadn't yet told her we had a new dog. Next, of course, was the shock that she didn't faithfully follow my blog :). Anyhoo, she mentioned she'd really like to have something to read the news to her. So I started doing a bit of searching.

First, I tried and put those handy-dandy read-this-post tools at the top of each post. Works pretty nice, though machine reading really brings out the dull-ness of my prose.

Next, I downloaded a trial of NewsPiper Pro, but it won't show me old posts I guess. So, I'm writing this one to try and get it to work for me. I'll update this later w/ more info.

Update: Gave up on NewsPiper Pro. Couldn't get it to say anything. Just tried NewsAloud which recently added RSS support. Apparently that doesn't include ATOM support. As much as I love hearing a computer voice saying zero zero seven hyphen comma semicolon four two zero ..., that's not going to work for me.

Well, maybe I'll look at some other stuff later.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kevin Trevino

Well, I was a bit premature in announcing Poppy the puppy's joining of our family. she only lasted a few days before Eliza realized that puppy teeth are terrifying. We found her a nice new home to be friends with a wiener dog. But the desire to have a new dog wasn't dashed by the experience.

Sara found a 3 year old beagle named Buddy on craiglist, and we went to meet him. Who could say no to such a cute little guy??? He's got pretty good manners, loves to chase cats, knows a few tricks, and has a wiggle-bum like his "cousin" Hercules. The name Buddy didn't work for us because we call Abe our Buddy often. So, after much discussion, we came up with a name we all could agree on - Kevin. Eliza calls him Keveeeeen, like the big guy on 3-2-1 Penguins. Abe likes to call him Kevin 11 as in Ben 10. Emma hangs onto his old name with Kevin Buddy, but Sara's nickname has become most prevalent - Kevin Trevino. She's not sure where it came from, but it just sounds right.

He's a good dog, but this is one of the rare pictures of him. For reasons unbeknownst to us, he is petrified of cameras. Run-and-hide-under-a-bed scared. He and Dexter get along fine, enjoying cat patrol together.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

English language rules

Of course, all my kids are the smartest and the best, and Eliza is no exception. Her major skills are being exceedingly verbal and a flair for the dramatic. Like all children, she has some quirks to her speech that are always endearingly cute. My favorite by a mile is her mis-application of reduction from plural to singular, a la cats -> cat.

Apple Juice -> Apple Joo
Bruise -> Broo
Ear Wax -> Ear Whack

My do I love my kids.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Baby Birds


We have tried every summer to spot the babies in the nest at the back of our house, and Sara finally did it. I'm pretty impressed with the quality of the picture, just because I've never had much luck with the digital zoom on my camera.
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Friday, June 29, 2007


I have long loved google maps more than its competitors (though MSN's LineDrive is really cool). One thing I've always wished for is a way to avoid areas you know are slow at a certain time of day, or take a side trip, etc. Well, Google came through for me. Now, you can just drag the line on the map, and it will map a new route with leaving the road before where you grabbed and going where you dropped.

It took a second to change poor directions to my mom's house to the better way. Thanks Google.

Google Maps New Features

Friday, June 15, 2007

uh oh

My wonderful wife has a small issue with presents. She hates waiting. Whether she's on the giving or receiving side, its pure torture for her. So, when a package arrived in the mail for me today, she let me know that I was more than free to open it early. Really, opening it is fine. If I want. I can wait, or OPEN IT NOW!!!!!!!

So I did. That naughty girl bought me a Nintendo Wii. Whatever will I do now. I'm going to stop sleeping, working and eating, I fear. After a 90 minute lunch, I managed to drag myself back to work, but I'm having trouble not searching for games to buy, figuring out how much extra remotes cost, etc. I named it BollWiivil.

Yippee! Hope the tivo doesn't get jealous.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yummy Ice Cream

So, I had a pint of ice cream the other night. I usually make them last two nights, but before I knew it, I was past 65% gone and once you hit that, you might as well finish to avoid disappointment on night two :). It was Haagen Dazs Pomegranate Chip, one of their Reserve ice creams. If you like pomegranates, I'd zip down to the store. Quite tasty.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The COUP returns

Well, after a 15 year hiatus, the rec-league basketball sensation which wowed Coeur d'Alene has the returned. This inspiring team, known as The COUP, took on the Hillyard Ballers, an elite team of players who've definitely got the title on their minds. Featuring the original core members of Shay, John, and Tom, The COUP showed the league what they were made of in this impressive 74-21 blowout [ed. note - the Hillyard Ballers won].

Though the statistician hasn't been hired yet, Tom took home an impressive 5 points, 5 turnovers, and the most impressive foul of the night. Look for more excitement from these old farts in the coming weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2007


My BSF study for today took me to Romans 15:13:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What a wonderful benediction. I love how Paul can fit so many things into one verse.
  • God of hope
  • filled with all joy and peace
  • trust in him
  • overflow with hope
  • power of the Holy Spirit

Sometimes its a bit too much for my one-track-mind to handle, which is why I like BSF. Forces me to look at just a handful of verses at a time to ensure that I actually read all that is there.

And if you have insomnia, my hope for you is that you can sleep like this:

(had to throw in a picture of my kids while I was here!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I decided to put Google ads on the blog, earn a few cents. So, what's the first ad I see? "Gay. Are you?" I wonder how well a quiz can determine that.

Hmm, now that I put that in a text in a blog post, I guess that means I have a higher chance of continuing to see it.

Milk Jug Sculpture

For Emma's LIGHTS program, she had to create something out of 2-25 milk jugs. We ended up making this lovely elephant out of 15. 8 for the body, 4 for the legs, one for the head with pieces for the ears and handles for the tusks. The non-jug portions are the trunk (newspaper wrapped in duct tape, with a cap taped on the end) and the tail (rolled newspaper circular, with the end snipped to look hairy). We spray painted the whole thing grey and put on the toenails and eyes.

My biggest recommendation, don't assume you got the jugs clean when you rinsed them out. Use soap. It was a little frustrating, but came out pretty nice for a 2 hour project.
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Google Reader revisited

I recently wrote about my change of RSS feed aggregators to Google Reader. As a matter of fairness, I'll list the things I've discovered I don't like about Reader.
  1. Can't force an update. I have no idea how to know if its really gotten the latest elements. Also, when I refresh my items from, say, overnight, there are huge chunks of data from sites that I know publish more incrementally. The timestamps appear to be the timestamps from when reader retrieved them.
    • Akregator lets you have scheduled checks of your feeds, customizable per feed, as well as re-checking one or all at your hearts desire.
  2. No searching. GASP! How can a google product not let me search my feed elements???
    • Akregator has a quite nice search utility.
In short, I've got a huge tradeoff of functionality right now. However, the convenience of google's display and being on the web is winning at the moment.

Friday, April 20, 2007


I know you all are dying to hear more about RSS feeds from the overwhelming response I got previously :). So, to sate your desires I figured I fill you in on how I'm surfing the blogs these days. I was fearful my linux box was going to have some catastrophic hardware failure, so I decided to give google reader ( another try. Well, they've redone the interface and I'm sorry to say, it leave Akregator in the dust. The ease of use, and the bonus that I can now use it anywhere is almost too good to be true.

Since everyone knows their own likes are the best and assumes everyone else wants to know about them, I've put the reader shared items doohickey on this blog. What that means is if I read something that I think rules, I click a little box and it goes over on the right in "Tom's shared blog posts" (though I don't like what I titled that box). Now you get to know what I find interesting, whoopee for you.

Anyway, give reader a try, and if you want, I'll point you to some good blogs.

Monday, March 19, 2007

When Beasts Attack

Poor Dexter. Got attacked by a dog who lives a couple blocks away when we were out for a walk with Emma and Abe on their bikes. I (Tom) was trying to kick the attacker off, yelling "Get off him, you beast." It does sound like I shoulda been swinging my purse or using my cane, but oh well.

Anyhoo, we took him to the Pet ER and got him all stitched up. He's moving pretty slow today. Very odd to see macaroni sticking out of your dog. The owner of the attacking dog didn't give me any trouble in paying the bill, so that's nice.
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