Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Since Jen tagged me a while back, I figured I should get this over with. Everybody thank Jen. (pictures to follow)

Four jobs you have had in your life:
Cleaning bathrooms in the HBLL
Hotel Front Desk Clerk
Delivery Truck Driver for Bakery
Code Monkey

Four movies you could watch over and over:
None come to mind. I usually watch whatever is on.

Four places you've lived:

Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua
Provo, UT
New York, NY
Bellevue, WA

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Battlestar Galactica
My Name is Earl
Anything on the History Channel
Iron Chef America (because I can't/don't cook)

Four places you've been on vacation:
San Diego, CA
Nauvoo, IL
Jackson Hole, WY
Las Vegas, NV

Four of your favorite foods:
Oreo Shakes

Four places you'd rather be right now:
Riviera Maya
Some cool place in Italy
Seattle, WA

Four sites you visit daily:

Four people who I am tagging/alienating:
I don't know four people to tag/alienate

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Got Widgets?

I just got widgets. I remember seeing the original konfabulator as being available only for Macintosh machines. However, now that Yahoo! got its hands on it, they have ported it for PC and call it Yahoo! Widget Engine. At first, I didn't see a personal need for widgets. Just another needless app running on my machine. After a few months of seeing the widgets ads on yahoo's site I decided to give it a shot. I've installed them at home and at work and I'm happy to report I like what I've seen so far.

One of the default widgets hooks into my outlook and shows me my appointments for the day and my tasks list in a concise format. I hate opening those screens in outlook. Another checks my yahoo.com email account every 10 minutes and lets me know if I have new mail. Another shows me current weather conditions for my location of choice.

There are over 1000 freely available widgets, but what really prompted me to download them was the idea of building my own for whatever I might want. First off I'll tinker around and see how it all works under the hood. All widget run on a "widget engine", which is really the platform that does the heavy lifting and executes the widgets via a vast api. Widgets are written in XML and Javascript, two very simple and easy to learn programming languages. One is a markup language and the other a very friendly scripting language. So I believe anyone can build widgets, including me.

Take a look at the list of widgets available. Chances are someone has already built something that you've been wishing you had available. If not, drop me a line with ideas of which widgets still need building.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


So there's this sport called basketbrawl. It's played just like basketball, except that it's full of hacks. Yes, it's that time of the year again. The annual church basketball tournament is going on and for the most part has been non-eventful. Us overweight and out of shape married folk have been getting better every week. By "getting better" I mean that we aren't sucking wind after one round trip up and down the court anymore. And that's a 3/4 length court.

I personally hadn't played basketball in about a year so I was really hurting the first night. My legs felt like they would fall off at any moment. But after three weeks and playing two or three times a week, we can play the game without hurting anymore. That is, until we played the more than famous, the in-famous, Single's ward.

Playing other wards is playing other overweight and out of shape married folk. Just like us. But playing the Single's Ward. Well, that's a whole different story. These guys are 18-30 years old, single (of course) and with lots of "energy". I realized that us fat married folk play while trying to not get hurt. Single guys don't worry about getting hurt. In fact, I think they try to get hurt while playing so they can get some simpathy from the single girls. They play a more aggressive game, and about five seconds into the game it became clear it would be a hack-a-thon.

So they game went on, tempers flared here and there, I few bruises were issued, but being Church ball and all, no fights broke out. We came up three points short at the end of the game, but I think if we had refs half their team would have fouled out before half-time. Did I mention we play without refs? Oh yeah. Because, hey, what could possibly go wrong?

We have three or four more games left. I think we'll be able to play a bit more competitive each week and come away with some victories. We play the tournament games on Thursday nights and play for fun on Tuesday nights.
My hope is that the biggest losers are our collective waistlines and that we keep playing after this tournament is over. It's more likely we won't play again until next year's tournament, and the wind sucking will comence once again.

Friday, February 03, 2006

What does it mean?

Welcome to Throwing the bar. What does this phrase mean? Well, it has nothing to do with drinking. Sorry. It's actually a literal translation from a Spanish slang phrase used to mean kicking back, being lazy, taking it easy or something along those lines. The Spanish slang phrase is "tirando barra". Since we spoke Spanglish where I grew up, we decided to use that phrase in English, and the literal translation was "throwing the bar". So now you know.

And this is me.