Sunday, August 31, 2008

Family Vacation in Moses Lake

Early Saturday morning I arrived at Jill's Brother's house on Moses Lake...

On Saturday after helping Ken work on re-plumbing the 2" PVC pipes for the Sprinkler pump, we had a chance to play a bit... on the Jet Ski's, playing in the lake, and taking the boat out for tubing and fishing.

Of course having a nice BBQ will most of Jill's family and ending the night playing a bit of 'scum'!

Church today was out in Royal City (with Jill's parents) - the boys went fishing and for dinner we'll have a fish fry. I've had fund on the jetskis and being a 'boat Dad' for a bit driving while the kids were tubing.

Plus of course I took lots of photos with the Nikon and made a bit of a slide show. I find it very relaxing here.

Aruba Partner Training in Aurora Illinois

Last week of the 'summer'... was spent in Chicago (well outside of Chicago in Aurora) teaching a 4-day Aruba Partner Technical training class. This was back at the same venue, I stayed at the same hotel as I did a month ago. So it was a very 'deja vu' kind of week.

Trying to get to Washington a bit earlier to start a family vacation in Moses Lake... I was able to speed up the class a bit by staying late every night... that and the fact there was only 4 students, we were able to finish all the course parts by early afternoon on Friday.

In time I could have taken an early flight out... but the only flights from Chicago to Spokane on United took me through Denver. And since it was Denver the day after the Democratic convention... I ended up catching my pre-scheduled 8:30pm flight.

Then after a bit of a hassle at the rental car counter (they didn't have any cars) I was finally on my way to Moses Lake, arriving at 1:00am.

Looking forward to a long weekend with Jill's family!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sad Mac...

I had just finished my first week with the MacBookAir as my 'main machine' - used for all my e-mails, task lists, calendar, etc. And really loving it by the way... On Thursday morning it started to act up a bit... and so like a worried parent, I chose to drive up to SLC to the Apple Store there for a consultation. Luckily I was able to get right in to on of the 'Genius' folks who ran an entire series of diagnostics, hard drive repair and recovery.

It looked like it was 'healed' -

On a side note... of course I had to ask myself "What did you do!" - to see what had changed with the computer... so I was prepared when the Genuis asked the same question.
Then after returning to the office it worked for just long enough to copy off my mail and calendar information before crashing again. This time I took it to the local Apple Store (non-authorized but really good) and they started the same diagnostics and found the Hard Drive had crashed - and that this version of MacBook has a super-small Hard Drive that has exhibited this behavior in the past but that it was covered under warranty and they'd have it back to me on Monday... whew!

Good thing I had the MacBookPro lying around from the 802.11 N Seminar series... I've moved over to be a 'Mac Guy' and this made a good temporary replacement for me.

We heard from Brent!

Tuesday morning as I took a regular break from teaching, I went to my computer to check my mail... and I had a message from Brent!

It wasn't just a short little, "I'm fine and I arrrived safely" e-mail... but a long e-mail with lots of details! (Thanks Brent)

It was good to hear from him and learn about his life and surrounding and companions in the CTM (Missionary Training Center) in Sao Paulo Brazil.

I look forward to hearing more from him each Tuesday on his 'Preparation Day' when he has a chance to go to the Internet Cafe and send us another e-mail.

Brent's Blog can be found at

Heber Creeper Family Trip

On Saturday we got up and had waffles in the new Waffle Iron Jill got this week. (A professional flip-over kind like we borrowed for Brent's Farewell)

Then packed everyone up and drove up to Heber to ride on a 'choo choo' - it was really for McKinely, but we all enjoyed ourselves.
Gram and Gramps came along for the ride as well.

After riding the train, we stopped by at "Granny's" for lunch.
I had some 'extra' fun on this trip. In addition to the Nikon Camera, I brought along a new little device I first got for our Mexico trip. It is a Merax Photofinder GPS.

This little device gets a GPS lock, then captures all the GPS coordinates of your trip - along with the appropriate time-stamps.
Then when you return from a photo-shoot, you download the photos AND the GPS data stream. The software then matches up the photos and the locations and adds a GPS tag to the EXIF data tag on each photo.

Now you can plot all your photos, along with your trip track onto maps, or upload them to Flicker or Google Earth. Pretty fun stuff for a geek like me!

Newark New Jersey - AirMagnet Design Class

I had a little three-day class in Newark this week teaching Advanced WLAN Design... no travel stories, no adventures, no fun... just three days of work.

I didn't leave the hotel for the entire three days.

Then I got to come home to a house full of kids, grand-daughters, and a wonderful wife. Yea!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jenny Rife's Wedding

To cap off a very busy 'family' week - we had Jenny's Temple Endownment on Wednesday night at the Timpanogos Temple - and then on Friday (All Day...) was the actual wedding.

First at the SLC Temple, then a lunch downtown SLC and finally a Reception at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
A busy day was had by all... but it turned out pretty well.

Here are some pictures of the families in attendance - I took a bunch of 'candid' photos to augment what the official photographers were doing - here is a sample of some of them.

Everyone waiting for Jenny and Trevor to Come out all dressed up.

The Happy Couple

The Rife's All Together

Learning to Drive

The folks who started it all...

Richard and Janet Rife (Janet's my sister)

Buchanan's - Alan, Laura, Connor, Abbie and Andrew

Hammer's - Logan, Mary, Ayden and Sophie

Brian and Anna

Todd and Michelle

Michael and Braden

My two oldest - Karrissa, Ryan and Baby Kylie

Cousins Jake and Marrissa Parsons

Jenny with a face full of Wedding Cake

The Wedding Cake

The Brides Maids and Chelsea Hightower

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Book and Videos for the Week

Artemis Fowl - The Time Paradox was my dinnertime reading in St. Louis. Fans of the Fowl series will recognize many of the memorable characters here. Antihero Artemis Fowl himself, an amazing teenage genius. Plucky elf Captain Holly Short of the elite LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance). The explosively flatulent dwarf Mulch Diggums. Evil pixie Opal Koboi. This book has something for everyone.

It's a fairy tale with high-tech James Bond gadgetry. The action is nonstop. Author Colfer handles the fledgling love story between elf Holly and human Artemis with delicacy. It's supposed to be a bit of a tearjerker, with Artemis's beloved mom near death. It's a morality play, about the extinction of a sweet and curious lemur species.
It may be a bit hard to follow if you haven't read the previous books, but it's still plenty diverting. It will make you want to pick up the earlier installments. I've previously read all the other books, and this is a nice complement.

The other night time entertainment was the last season of Foyle's War. I started this BBC Mystery series years ago, and just lately received the final season's episodes. This is a great 'period piece' set during WWII in a the town of Hastings on the south coast. It is set in the 'civilian' police department, but deals a lot with the military issues and depravation of the war during the years 1939-1945.

Highly Recommended!

Family Photo Shoot in Las Vegas

A couple of weeks ago while visiting Karrissa and Joe, we had a friend of Karrissa's take some family photos for us. Here is a sampling of our family photos.

Which one do you think should go on our Christmas Card this year?