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.

My 2008 New Years Resolutions

Yes, you read that right. I wrote “2008.” I find that when one posts resolutions at the beginning of the year, they are set a bit higher than they should be because they are on public display. (Or they are too vague so as not to risk public failure.) Each year, I try to find things that I can really make a pattern in my life and not just a January resolution to be put on the wayside and forgotten about.

That being said, a quick report card on how I did on my New Years goals:

Take advantage of every single rebate and cashback offered on purchased goods. I buy a lot of electronics and most of them come with rebate offers. Sometimes they are a total pain and other times it is as easy as signing up online for the rebate check. I decided that I would follow through with every single one I was eligible for this year. (Companies hate it when people do that.) Anyhow, I didn’t miss any and it turned out being $2,650 dollars total that I got back.

Read thru the Messiah Series again The Messiah Series is a powerful series on the life of Jesus Christ. In six powerful books, Bruce R. McConkie writes of Christ’s Pre-Mortal, Mortal and Millennial Life. I had read this once already, but thought I would get more out of it with a second reading now that my Gospel knowledge had grown. I was right and reading thru them again was a great experience.

Write in my journal everyday. This is a goal every year. Next year will mark a full decade of journal writing. Entries are split between my current journal and my Memory Journal.

Finish my book for publication This is my one goal that hasn’t come to completion. My book is only about a fourth of the way done. However, this will move to priority number one next year. And while I’m on the topic, if there are any interested friends and family who would want to wear the hat of “Editor”, do let me know. I have a professional editor lined up, but I’d like to get the text into the hands of 10 or 15 family member or friends to get it polished up before the actual review. (Don’t worry, it’s not a techie book so you guys may actually enjoy it.)

So 2008 was pretty successful. I hope many of you were able to match some goals that you’ve set for yourself. Remember, goals are best kept and utilized when you focus on creating a pattern in your life.

My November Stockpile

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

  • A quick finance lesson: There are two people you always overpay, the mafia and the babysitter. The mafia for is for obvious reasons. No one wants to get fitted for Quikrete shoes on the edge of a bridge.

    And overpaying the babysitter ensures that you’ll always have a high quality babysitter available. To me, parenting is the most important duty I have. If I am going to put someone in my place to do that for an evening I want to make sure I get the best there is available. If that means doubling what other families pay, that seems worth it to me.

  • I’ve certainly felt an increased appreciation for the seership of the church leadership lately. For decades they have taught to preserve the family unit and to be wise with your finances. Looking at the state of the world today, how prophetic does that seem now?

    Of course, we’d all be wise to take this as a reminder to listen even more now so we can be prepared for tomorrow.

  • I have a new goal. I want to own something that is 100+ years old. It doesn’t need to have high monetary value, but I really want it to have a great history. Something I can really trace back and understand the path that it took to my possession. I’ll keep you informed as this progresses.
  • We’re about 11 weeks from Stucki boy #2. I’m so excited.

Goodbye My Pink and White Friends

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Perhaps some of you have heard already, but the Mother’s Cookies (famous for the wonderful cookies pictured above) had an abrupt closing of their doors a few days ago and will no longer make cookies. Yes, that means no more circus animal cookies. (My awesome wife went and bought out the bags at Target for hoarding.)

I can’t tell you how bummed I am about this news. I love these cookies. They were such a treat growing up. Also, the factory was based in Oakland and when I was living in San Francisco I ate them all the time. They were fresh and scrumptious after arriving from the other side of the bay.

If you want to read more of the history of the nearly 100 year old company, this article is good.

Now, why can’t we get congress to bailout a company like this?