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

Quitters Never Win

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Hey all. I was just listening to a podcast and heard a very interesting assertion.

“One of the greatest lies ever told: Quitters Never Win.”

I found that really interesting as I have heard that statement used as encouragement throughout my entire life. The more I think about it, the more I realize he’s spot on. The example used to drive home his point was:

“Think about the fly that doesn’t understand the window glass and continues to fly into it, again and again and again. If he takes to heart the saying ‘Quitters never win’, then what is that fly’s future?”


The base intent, I believe, of the saying is to encourage people to have a good work ethic. To persevere. But what this man is saying also makes a lot of sense. If you are in a job that you’re no good at or unhappy with, then the saying ‘Quitters never win’ will only perpetuate your misery. If a child tries as hard as they can, but just isn’t very good, or very interested, at playing baseball, continuing to try will not do the child any good.

So there’s an interesting observation here. We have to teach our children when it’s appropriate to quit and try something else, and when it’s appropriate to suck it up and stick it out. And that’s something I think a lot of Adults don’t really know very well themselves.

Just an interesting thought I figured I would share.

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Life Is Good!

LIGLogoLife here at casa de Loman is pretty good. Awesome wife, great kids, a house (albeit a bit small now), and a great job… more than many have and I am grateful. Nothing is perfect though. Our walk on the path of being debt free is a long one, but a trip that is doable and one that is well underway. Lots of long hours and hard work ahead. But since nothing good ever happened by sitting on your butt, I’m okay with that.

We’re looking to move in the near future to a place that has a bit more land, and a bit less HOA 🙂 We could easily finish out our years here in this house, if we had to, but I’ve been feeling the need to get our kids some land where they can run. Thankfully my job allows for Telework, so that increases the range at which we can look. On the other hand, both mine and my wife’s skillsets make it possible to completely uproot and move just about anywhere.

So yeah, lots of awesome in our future, no matter how you slice it. Can’t wait!

Melodies of Life

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Alone for a while I’ve been searching through the dark,
For traces of the love you left inside my lonely heart,
To weave by picking up the pieces that remain,
Melodies of life – love’s lost refrain

Our paths they did cross, though I cannot say just why
We met, we laughed, we held on fast, and then we said goodbye
And who’ll hear the echoes of stories never told?
Let them ring out loud till they unfold

In my dearest memories,
I see you reaching out to me
Though you’re gone,
I still believe that you can call out my name

A voice from the past, joining yours and mine
Adding up the layers of harmony
And so it goes, on and on
Melodies of life,
To the sky beyond the flying birds – forever and beyond

So far and away, see the bird as it flies by
Gliding through the shadows of the clouds up in the sky
I’ve laid my memories and dreams upon those wings
Leave them now and see what tomorrow brings

In your dearest memories,
Do you remember loving me?
Was it fate that
Brought us close and now leaves me behind?

A voice from the past, joining yours and mine
Adding up the layers of harmony
And so it goes, on and on
Melodies of life,
To the sky beyond the flying bird – forever and on

If I should leave this lonely world behind,
Your voice will still remember our melody
Now I know we’ll carry on
Melodies of life,
Come circle round and grow deep in our hearts,
As long as we remember

The Writing Bug Strikes

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Well it’s back. The Bug. This time, however, I’m not going to take this laying down. I plan on grabbing this bug, looking it straight in the eye and saying,

 

“Hey McFly, you bojo, those boards don’t work on water!”

 

Now, I know, to most people, that didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Unless you’re a fan of the Back to the Future movies, specifically the second one. For me and my odd sense of humor, it’s completely logical. Funny even! I mean, a deranged writer holding a large insect of some undetermined species, quoting one of the most famous Michael J Fox movie series to date… what’s not to love?

 

In all seriousness, however, the writing bug is in the house. Both Sandy and I have always had heads chocked full of original stories to tell, but lacked confidence in our abilities to tell these stories in any medium. Photography, art, music, writing. Notice how I said confidence, not ability. Sandy is wonderfully talented, but just doesn’t admit it. This time, though, I am personally going to take Nike’s advice: Just do it. And I think Sandy is going to also, but that’s not for me to reveal. Shhh! Spoilers!

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At the time of this post, I am 17,500 words into a story. A somewhat poorly worded and gramatically incorrect story, but a story nonetheless. I’ve decided to take the angle of NaNoWriMo, and just push the story out, quality be damned, in a fixed period of time.

 

So far, it has worked out pretty well. I’ll admit that I have partially betrayed the spirit of NaNoWriMo and have done a few Editorial passes over my writing thus far. But I was looking for blatant misspellings and grammatical errors as well as obvious plot holes! E.g. Character A was killed in chapter 5 but reappears in chapter 7. My OCD would not allow such atrocities to wait until the story reaches completion. My OCD demanded their execution immediately.

 

Things are going well, and with the help of the editorial passes, I think I’ve got a solid basis and direction for where the story will go. 17.5K words and 10 editorial passes in one week’s worth of time gives me a fair amount of encouragement that I’ve the inertia to see this attempt through. I will finish!

 

The fate of Carter Johnson, however, remains to be determined.

 

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