Check One Off the List

…the Bucket List that is. For as long as I have known her, my dear wife has always wanted a Jeep Wrangler. With our Jeep Patriot now paid off, and the Minivan nearly paid off, we made the decision to trade in the Minivan before it lost any more value. (To be honest, the value was almost down to scrap metal due to age and milage)

So I took Sandy car shopping for Mothers Day / Birthday and am proud to say she is now the happy owner of a fantastic new Jeep Wrangler.

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We are now a 4 kid, 2 Jeep family. Next up… a new house!

MineCraft… well, MineTest

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Well, the kids have discovered Minecraft.  In lieu of forking out $27 x 4 for licenses or downloading illegal version of Minecraft, I did some research and found an opensource alternative:  MineTEST

After downloading it and installing it on all the laptops and desktops in the house, Scott and I put together an old linux machine and fired up a MineTest server on it.

I’ll be honest, I had my doubts about how well the kids would like such a low-graphic game (They’ve balked at previous attempts to introduce them to awesome DOS games).  Those doubts evaporated very quickly.

They love it.

And I’ll admit, I find the massive worlds fascinating from both a game play and code development standpoint.  Truly genius tech behind these Mine* world generation algorithms.  It’s provided weeks worth of research, poking at code, etc.  All for free.  (It’s amazing all the information and skills available to you for free).

Anyways, it’s a hoot.  As a family, we’ve accidentally started a flood in Sandy’s house, built a 5km long ‘road’, hollowed out a floating island to build a secret base, built a 1km tall diamond tower, lost control of a lava flow and started a very large forest fire, built a 100 meter tall green zombie-creeper thing, as well as started work on deep sea research facility located 2km below the surface of ‘the ocean’.

And that’s just in ONE of an infinite number of worlds.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some cheap fun.

 

 

 

Been About a Year, Still Good!

LIGLogoWell, I was taking a look at the website (Something I have been very lax at doing) and realized that it has been almost a year since my last Life Is Good post. Well, here it is.

Now Sandy and I could use our website as a platform to broadcast all of our problems and dislikes, but that very very anti-productive. Everyone has problems. Why would someone want to read up on someone else’s problems? Nah. That’s one of the big reasons why I’ve effectively sworn off Facebook, Twitter, etc. Too many people just being petty, childish, self-centered and drama queens. Then there’s the bona-fide jerks. Like the loosers trying to hack our server. Beefed up the security, changed the port numbers, etc. Good luck, morons!

Clanloman has made some significant strides toward the goal of being debt free and then moving on up to something less urban. Debt is such an incredibly destructive thing. Hard to get out of some financial holes once you’ve dug them. Thank God I’ve still got my health, a great job, a wonderful wife, kids and family, as well as a brick and mortar home to call my own. So many people we know have so much less, and I feel bad for them. Well, the ones who didn’t get there by constant irresponsible behavior at least.

Kids are growing like weeds and it’s a struggle to keep them fed and clothed. Wowzers can they tear through clothes! On the note of clothes, our washer died a spectacular death recently. It quite literally flew apart! So off to Lowes went Clanloman to spend $500 that we weren’t expecting to spend. It was *almost* worth it to hear the exclamations of the Lowes Delivery Guys as they hauled the pieces of the old washer away. Ha!

Currently 75% of my offspring are interested in computer programming of some sort. Ruby, Python, Java, C/C++. They’re ‘sampling’ a bunch of stuff, including online frameworks like Scratch from MIT. It’s actually kind of nice to be able to sit down with the kids and talk on a pseudo professional level about Computer Science…. AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY INTERESTED!

I’ve grown quite accustomed to their normal response of, “You done talkin yet Dad?” So needless to say, this recent development of interests in CompSci makes me a very happy guy.

Well the wife and I are getting along smashingly. It’s crazy that even after almost two decades together nearly every day, we’re still best friends. Closer now than ever before, to be honest. Ya know, mushy things like finishing each other’s sentences and laughing at the hundreds of inside jokes we’re developed over the years.

It’s okay to be jealous. 😉

All my copious quantities of hobbies and pet projects I have going continue to creep along, both fueled and derailed by some form of ADD. Of course I’ve never actually been diagnosed, and I don’t think I really do have ADD, just a lot of things on the ‘WANNA-DO’ list and only 24hrs in a day to do them. I’ve got two novels in the works, a PC/Android game as well as some hobby electronics products I’m working to bring to market. Eventually they’ll start to get completed. Eventually.

And that’s all I can really think of for this unofficial ‘yearly’ post. I suppose I should work on posting more often. It’d be good for my composition skills. Yeah. Or something.

Cheers!!

 

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, we here at clanloman.com are doing what nearly every other website does and we log IPs. We also Geolocate those IPs, so we know (more or less) who is hitting our site. Friends, family, and acquaintances both current and estranged. So.. here’s a shout out to Idaho, Florida, SoCal, Ohio, and Perth!

8 Paragraph Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Not so shamelessly paraphrased from [this excellent original article], here’s the 8 major bullets.  For details, grace the original authors with a web hit at the link above 🙂


1. Dialogue: Failing to Divide Speakers
2. Dialogue: Failing to Separate Speech From Action
3. Action:  Failing to Divide Actors
4. Action: Failing to Observe Motivation-Reaction Units
5. Description: Failing to Separate New Entities
6. Description: Failing to Indicate a Change in Setting
7. Narrative: Failing to Delinate New Subject/Thought/Topic
8. Narrative: Failing to Employ Dramatic Effect

*snickering *

I read the following in book description on amazon: Note* This is the second edition of The Twelve Stones. Edits have been made to address the typos mentioned in the reviews below.The book might still suck, but at least it sucks with 99% less typos.

Funny

Dave asked me to not open any boxes addressed to him since he ordered my birthday gift.
Soooo, this occurred today…
A package came and Scott brought it inside.
“I’m not allowed to open it.”
Scott : ” ok,” stares at the box he is still holding.
“It might be my birthday gift.”
“Oh,” Scott still stares at box.
“Sooo I’m not allowed to open it…but you can,” I give him a big grin…
“Ok!” Puts  it down and tries to open it…
“Wait, Scott, I was joking!”

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Crabs

(FYI, this exchange is funnier if you know that Matt loves crabs…as a pets. He hates that people eat them.)
I’m such a weirdo…Driving to the store this morning, I passed a sign that advertise male crabs for sale. I blurted out my thought ” do males taste different from females?”
Scott gave me a what the heck look
“What?”
I realized what I said and explained about the sign
“So,” i went back to my original question “do male and female taste different?”
Silence
“I mean, besides the fact it is messed up they are eating crabs.”
Matt, flashing a dimpled smile, “that’s more like it.”

Table

The last two years, within a week of finishing home school for the year, I drag out the kitchen table and refinish it. It wasn’t meant to be a tradition, but because I plan to do it again this year, it now is the official sign of the end of school.
The first year I (and my loyal assistant Scott, who stuck around as long as he could used the sander) sanded off the old finish and restained it. Over the coming year, the table was badly marked up by the kids.
Second year I painted it. First with white paint, which was an epic fail, then with hunter green paint on the top. Over the last year, the paint was badly scuffed up and chipped.
Which brings us to this year.

This year I had to do it in stages:
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Stripping first.
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Dragging it outside to finish stripping and sanding it. Notice my loyal assistant Scott (again, only as long as he can use the sander).
We ended up having to wait a few days to finish sanding because we didn’t have the right grit.
Sooo, Dave, who had a few days off (yay!!) helped me Tuesday with sanding.

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Final step…coating the heck out of the table so we can wipe ANYTHING off of it.
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I love this table, but it had issues. It is small, we now have to keep the leaf out permanently. The legs tend to loosen, and there is damage to the support beams (?). Dave has had to replace dowels and various other things, including adding another support.
Why not get a new table? I brought this table in 1999, the first year of my marriage to Dave, while he was gone on a deployment. We didn’t use it really until much much later. It moved around with us until we had kids, and then memories were made.
It still has sticky residue from the velcro used to make a “table tent”, a gift for Scott. I never have managed to sand off all the nicks and gouges made by the kids (and adults) over the years. This table has served us through meals, craft projects, hide n seek, playing board games and tons more.
It contains memories. For me, I don’t have much from my childhood. Furniture, toys, and other things were discarded during moves. I learned that to hang on to things, I needed to use a death grip. For the kids, I’ve had that death grip on several things, in hopes that when they get older, they could appreciate the memories.
I love this table.