The Art of the Pitch

Here is Cole, preparing to provide for me in retirement.

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My Little Shadow Named Cole

I always looked forward to the day that I would have a son old enough to play with me. Cole has hit that age.

During the day, if Cole hears my office door open, his ears perk up. He hops to his feet and comes running down the hallway. Today, I went out of the office to get a bottle of water and when I came back Cole was sitting at my desk, “working like dad.”

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Every night, he’ll sit on my lap as we watch the Red Sox games. When I do a home run dance, he does a home run dance.

On Saturdays, when we are doing our outside work, Cole insists on having his own tools and shovels. I love to have the little helper, even when he gets in the way. Last Saturday, we were fixing our sprinkler piping and each time the water would bubble up the PVC , Cole would be there to clear it away.

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Of course, the benefit of of a Cole shadow is it reminds me that I’m an example to Cole and Will. What dad does, so also does these boys. So in addition to WWJD, my conscious recites WWCC. (What Would Cole Copy)

Keeping Our House In Sync

For the last few weeks, Candace and I have been testing an iPhone app that helps us get all kinds of things done. It has really been working well so I thought I’d share it with others.

There is a free service online called Zenbe Lists. It has a real nice interface for keeping different lists of to-dos, or anything else you need to list out. They also have a really nice iPhone application. So, here is our setup and how it works for us.

First, I created an account online with Zenbe Lists.

Then, I purchased the $2.99 Zenbe iPhone application (iTunes link) and downloaded it to my iPhone and Candace’s iPhone. Once installed, I entered the same login credentials on both of our phones.

So now, I can create a list, on my iPhone and it syncs automatically to the online site. Then, when Candace starts the app up again, my lists and items will sync to her phone. And of course this works from her phone to mine as well. Here is an example of our lists.

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As you can see, if I need something at Target or from the grocery store, I can just add it here as I think of it. Then, when Candace starts up the app at the store, everything will sync and she’ll see all of my items along with the ones that she has listed.

This works for more than shopping lists. For instance, while we were prepping for our trip last week, we made a list called, “Todos for Trip” throughout the week. Then, we just made sure everything was checked off before we left. This saves the feeling of “I know I forgot something.” as you pull out of the driveway.

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So, it’s a pretty basic setup, but I thought I’d share it in case any other households are looking to keep in sync. There’s just one rule. Wives are not allowed to make a list called, “Projects To Do Around The House.”

Boyhood Dream Fulfilled

When I was younger, my favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are. I read it, and had my parents read it to me, all the time.

So, I was happy to see that they are going to make a movie based on the book. There have been a few articles on what to expect, but just recently they released a trailer. (embedded below, nice HD copies here)

Just seeing those different characters makes me feel like a boy again. I can’t wait to see this movie. It’s supposed to be released in October.

A Better View of Will

One more photo to share his little face.

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The Stucki Boys

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Many of you know already, but Candace had our second son on Tuesday. His name is Will and weighs in at 9lbs and 7oz.

Cole went to meet his brother last night so here is the obligatory hospital photo. So far, Cole is glad to have “Baby Wiw” and just wants to hold him and pat his face.

Candace is doing well after the planned c-section. She should be able to come today. And that’s a good thing because we miss mom.

Playing With iLife 09 and Faces

One of the best things about owning a Mac is the iLife suite that comes free with all new Macs. It is a collection of great applications for videos, photos, making websites, etc.

One of the most popular applications in iLife is iPhoto. It is an application to organize, clean up , and publish your photos.

The 2009 version of iPhoto was announced a few weeks ago and just shipped yesterday. Among the new features is a technology called “Faces.” With it, you can add a name to someone in a photo, and then iLife will scan all the rest of your photos and try to find that person in any of them. It’s a very simple way to organize your pictures.

I installed iLife 09 last night on my iMac. I thought I’d show some quick screenshots of how cool this technology is in iPhoto.

First, you open up iPhoto and so you can see all your different film rolls.

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Then, choose one of the rolls and a photo in the roll. Here I’ve chosen Cole on a trolley car in San Francisco.

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Once you’ve picked a photo, the software will help you find prominent faces in the picture. You can then tag the people. Here I’ve added Cole.

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Once you’ve tagged the person, you can go to the “Faces” part of the application. iPhoto will then scan all the photos where it believes Cole is pictured. You’ll then be asked to confirm them. This step is amazingly accurate. In the hundreds of pictures of Cole, there were just a few photos of other fat little baby faces. If you choose to work with an adult in the pictures, it is quite a bit more accurate because features are usually more distinctive.

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Once done, you’ll see that iPhoto will organize your photos by who is in them. Very neat.

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The whole iLife suite has a ton of new features, but I thought this one was just too cool not to share.

My January Stockpile

Here are random things to post that don’t deserve their own post:

A few weeks ago I wrote about the new In-Ear Headphones from Apple. Since then, we’ve also bought a pair for Candace because they are really great. But a couple more observations:

  • The headphones themselves are made from a totally different kind of material than what came with your iPod or iPhone. They feel like a thicker rubber. The incredible side benefit of this is that you can put them in your pocket or bag and they won’t get in knots. (If you have the current headphones, you know what a pain that is to have happen.
  • I think these headphones may be too good. I’ve made a rule for myself on what music I can listen to while in my my data center. I’m not allowed to listen to live albums from Dave Matthews or Dashboard Confessional cover songs. The reason is because the headphones block out all other noise so well that I get totally lost in the music. By the time Dashboard’s Overkill gets to the 2 minute 30 second mark, I’m pounding air drums like I’m being attacked by killer ants. Of course, the problem with this is that I have a webcam here in my cage accessible by all my customers.

Salesman regret coming to my house. I’ll usually let them give me their door approach. If I’m interested, I’ll talk further. If I’m not, then I’ll usually help critique their door approach. I suppose this habit comes from all the training given in the mission field. By the time I’m done, they wonder why they ever knocked on my door.

Next week I get to go see Merle Haggard.I’m going with my dad and a friend. This will let me cross one more artist off my list of People I Want to See in Concert.

We are two weeks from our next baby coming. I’ll have some more thoughts on this soon, but I am getting quite excited for another little pal to play with me and Cole.

An Invitation To Ear Heaven

If you wake up tomorrow and find some cash in your stocking, I have a suggestion for a purchase.

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A few months ago, Apple introduced a new pair of In-Ear Headphones. These headphones finally started shipping earlier this month and I’ve been using my pair for a couple weeks.

These headphones sound really, really good. They are significantly better than the headphones that come with your iPod/iPhone both in comfort and sound. They also stay in the ear much better than the old Apple In-Ear Headphones.

As I do with all headphones/stereos/car audio systems, I played the live version of “Do You Feel Like We Do” from Peter Frampton nice and loud. (mp3 link) These headphones passed with flying colors. The lows were solid and the highs were crystal clear.

And to make things better, they are less expensive than most of the high end headphones that are available.

For those interested, they are $79 and can be bought at an Apple store or on the Apple site.

My December Stockpile

Here are random things to post that don’t deserve their own post:

It’s a Christmas miracle.For those of you who lamented with me about the loss of our pink and white animal cookies, hopefully you saw the news that our little friends were saved. It was reported that Kelloggs purchased Mother’s Cookies and all of the recipe trademarks.

Tis the season to backup. If you were lucky enough not to have a hard drive failure this year…don’t push your luck. Make it a point to get a good backup of your computer in the week after Christmas. This will save all of your Christmas pictures and all those from the other holidays this year. (I do a lot of data recovery work and it’s a sad thing to see people realize they’ve lost all of their pictures for good.)

The Joseph Smith PapersFor Christmas, I badly wanted a copy of The Joseph Smith Papers. This was a new book released by the Church Historian. It’s the first in a long series of books that will chronicle all “documents created by Joseph Smith or by staff whose work he directed. The project also includes papers received and “owned” by his office. These key documents include, especially, the diaries, outgoing and incoming correspondence, revelations, contemporary reports of discourses, editorials, and notices.” Elder Marlin K. Jensen, Church historian and recorder, has called the Joseph Smith Papers Project “the most significant Church history project of this generation.” This book screams “BRIAN READ ME!!!!!!!”

Once I found out that none of my family was able to get a copy, I searched and finally found one for an early Christmas present to myself. This book is incredible.

Enjoy the season. I hope everyone has a nice Christmas season.