Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sketchup Is the Best.

Just thought I would post my favorite FREE cad program. Sketchup is the best CAD program I have used. It is open source, and a lot of people write Ruby scripts that expand the abilities of the program beyond that of any other 3d cad program. This is the tutorial that started it all for me: (Tutorial by Gary Katz)

As a result of viewing this video I created this computer desk in about an hour:
I now do all of my projects in Sketchup before I realize them. Here is where I post all my ongoing projects:
ThePalsRus Sketchup Projects
I only wish that I could manufacture the project in as little time as it takes me to create it in Sketchup. I understand they are making some headway in 3d printers, but I think there is still a little work to do when it comes to printing good hardwoods. :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Levi's New Treehouse Bed

I am debating on whether to put a small roof on it or not. Problem is that if he stands up on his bed, the ceiling fan will decapitate him. And I just installed a metal fan with razor sharp blades. If I raise the fan more than 6 inches, it will hit the sloped ceiling in his room. He is really excited about the new bed.

This is the ultimate design for his room. The benches are replacing his dresser. Fake campfire just in case you were concerned. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

BSIT Finished!!!

Wooo Hooo!!! I have finally finished my BSIT degree program with University of Phoenix. Now I do not have any excuses left for not finishing up that "Honey-Do" list. First item on the docket is finish Levi's tree house bed. So I am off...

Honey Do List:
Clean Garage
Levi's Tree house Bed
Clean office
Install coat hooks in front closet
Office furniture
Deck Part 2
Install 2nd floor on house and a 3 car garage or detached workshop

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stoned Carving ;-)

Some Stone Carving that I have been working on.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kids Playdate Cards

I thought it would be a good idea to make some play-date cards for the kids to give to their friends at school. My kids are kind of loners like their parents so need any advantage they can get. I had a good time "helping" them make these cards. Maybe next year, I will let them come up with the designs.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ryan and Becca Visit - Make a Square

5This has been a fun week. Becca and her Husband Ryan came down from WA for a visit. We stayed up late catching up on Sunday. I am just now catching back up on my sleep. It is no fun getting old.2 On Monday we woke up early and walked the kids to school worked out at the Rec Center for an hour. Ryan is abeast and really pushed me during the workout. I wish he lived closer by, he would have a good work out partner. 3Of course that would mean admitting that my current work out partner is not adequate. I should probably just stick with Emma and not complain. :) After cleaning up, went to the Zilker Botanical Gardens and took some pictures. Then we came home and picked up Levi and Taya from school and went to the Salt Lick to stuff ourselves silly. I sure like it when people come down and visit, it gives me an excuse to put on a few pounds. The kids are still a little rowdy for a restaurant, but they did keep their voices down for the most part so they are getting better. 1Taya and Levi did not get to spend much time with us, but I think Olivia really enjoyed hanging out with Rebecca. The ask when they would be back to visit us again when they drove off. At our current intervals, I figured about 12 years. Not sure the kids will remember the prior visit if 12 year is the case. It is always fun to connect with friends again. 4We sure enjoyed the visit, it was good to catch up with Becca and meet Ryan her husband. Ryan is a great guy and I am glad he and Rebecca hooked up. We had a lot of fun and wished we could find friends like them a little closes to home. Seems like whenever you find some people that you really get along with, they up and move. I like how Ryan put it, "Finding friends you both like and that live close by is harder than aligning the planets."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thought I would get into the spirit of things and see if I could figure out how to write about what is happening in my life and make it interesting. Let’s try and organize this in a way that will keep me from rambling on.


Taya is doing well in school and has been working on a paper about Jaguar Undies. I think is some sort of new sport for controlling the local population. From what I gathered, you have to chase down a Jaguar and hurry and put some underwear on them before they tear you to pieces. Her other paper is on the history of Pianos. Kind of a broad topic and I hope that she will be able to narrow it down enough to finish it on time. It is also Taya’s Birthday tomorrow. She is planning on having a birthday party on Saturday to celebrate. She wanted to go to Sea World with the whole family, but I would rather spend $150 on a party rather than on an amusement park where you have to wait in line all day and only get to ride 5 rides.

We are getting less hate-mail for the school regarding Levi’s behavior. Either they have come to terms with it or he is behaving better. I am not sure which at this point. When I walk him to school he seems to know every teach and student. I guess that is one way to become popular, just be the bully of the school. He seems to be a chick magnet though. All the cute little girls know him and say “Hi” to him whenever they see him.

Olivia is still good at entertaining herself. She still picks on her little sister, but Julia is getting better about fighting back with the wooden blocks and anything else that is hard. Olivia is attending a home-school preschool program that Emma and a few of the other LDS women around the neighborhood have initiated. I think Olivia really likes the idea that she is “going to school”. Yesterday, Olivia helped me in the garage to build some wooden mounting plates for the new light fixtures I am putting in the bathroom.

Julia is getting smarter all the time. She really likes to talk on the phone, even if it is with the “the number you have dialed is not longer in service” lady. She is becoming more and more independent every day. Today while Emma was working on the computer, she tugged on Emma’s arm and kept saying, “Come on mom, come on…” When Emma stood up to follow her, she shoved Emma aside and said, “go’way, go’way” and sat in Emma’s chair and started clicking around on the computer. She loves anything with buttons. She wants to do everything herself and will not let me scoop her ice-cream for her or put lids on her cups. She is good at working things out herself. It is fun to see her learning. Should be interesting to see how she copes with the new baby.

Emma is just finishing up painting the house again. She painted over the mustard color that she had painted last year. She chose Fudge instead and it looks a lot better. She is defiantly nesting. I need to get the desks done in the office so that she stops bugging me about it. Or at least I need to frost the windows of the doors to the office so that I can close the doors and she cannot see the mess. J I bought 100 board feet of beech for the desks that I got a good deal on. It is sitting in my garage and waiting for me to give it a little TLC. I probably should move the desks up on my priority list now that I have some material. The only problem is that I will need to clean the garage first. Emma is getting more miserable every week as her pregnancy progresses. She is doing surprisingly well! She is still working out with me every morning even though it is getting harder to walk down to the Rec-Center.

We have had a few couples move into our neighborhood from Idaho and it has been fun to talk to them. One lady if from Rexburg and I think I knew her brother. Her last name is Schwartz? Her dad said she knows Dondavid. I don’t know that I have met many people that do not know dad. The other couple is from Boise and lived in one of the wards that had all the Micron families in it. Apparently Micro is not doing very well and so it looks like I will never get up to Idaho through my connections with KLA-Tencor. We are beginning to realize that I may be some time before we move back up that way. I figure that once I finish me degree program this fall that we will start looking into other options. It would be hard to give up my current job though. I have all the perks of being a full time employee with lots of time to spend with my family. I may just stick around here until the economy takes a dive and keep my eyes open until then.

One of my old friends from Rexburg is coming down to visit this week. Her husband has a friend that is going through the San Antonio Temple and wants them to be there so they are flying down on Wed. They will be here for about a week and I figured I would treat them to some Texas BBQ at the Salt Lick. We are always looking for an excuse to go there. J That is one of the reasons that we like it so much when we have visitors. Hard to justify overeating otherwise.

I have some equipment I have been working on at Spansion (used to be AMD building) that is a lemon. I have replaced almost every PC board I can find on the system and I am still getting a weird error that says the handler cannot move or communicate. Then handler works fine but the tester does not think so. I am planning on replacing some cables this week and short of that, I will need an exorcists. It is a billable tool, which means the customer has to pay for any work done to the system and I feel bad that I cannot fix it any faster. I am trying to get our Tech support group involved, but they know less about the system than I do. The system is obsolete and we have very few parts left for it. I am hoping that we come across a part that we no longer have and tell them to put the system on eBay.

Teresa called yesterday trying to figure out how to hook up her computer to her Cable DVR box and Cox cable will not let her do it. She needs some sort of software upgrade provided by her cable company and they do not want to give their customers that sort of power. She was impressed with the setup that I had when we came up for the family reunion and wants to do something like that at her place. She may even fly me out to help them set it up. It only costs about $200 to fly over to Phoenix.

I have been working on a mapping website It is a site that localizes all of the disc golf course and maps of the course in a Google map. You can zoom in and see the layout of the holes and get maps to each course. I have been working on it for a few months and am still improving on it. I emailed all the disc golf people in my area to get them to place a link on their pages for it. I put Google Adsense on it so that I can make a little money off of it. So far I think I am up to about $0.22 this month. Of course, I just mailed all the businesses and site last week, so it may takes some time before it gets popular. I am also trying to have my HOA put in a disc golf course here in our neighborhood. I am working with my HOA rep and a guy that designs course for all of TX and the rest of the country. I have learned a lot about creating Google Maps APIs and still have a lot to learn. I need to figure out how to incorporate a database system into it. I do not know much about using PHPs yet, but I think that is what I need to accomplish what I want. I am using the Disc Golf site as a vehicle to learn how to create mapping applications so that I can create something for mapping and laying out Home Teaching Routes and Fast offering Routes. I was recently called as the 1st counselor in the Elders Quorum. Prior to that I was the Fast Offering coordinator and was using excel and Ms MapPoint to create all my routes. It worked well, but MapPoint maps are out of date and the only way to update them is to buy a subscription to their online service. I am sure the Church frowns on using un-purchased copies of software for the work, but most of the software I buy I need to make sure it will meet my needs before I purchase it. I have probably purchased more “High End” software from downloading it and using it then I ever would have otherwise. I like that Google is providing a lot of applications for free that can be used in place of a lot of the expensive ones.

Well, that should do for now. Have a happy day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Work has been fairly slow lately which has allowed me to get more done on my degree program. I met a guy that just moved into our ward from Boise that said Micron is fixing to shut their doors. Guess we will not be moving back up to Boise with KLA anytime soon.
Emma has been getting cabin fever. She decided that having a loved one die and having a baby was not enough stress so she is trying to find somewhere else in Austin to move to. I am not really hot on the idea and would rather fix this place up before moving. Here is a list of what we need to do to improve this house:
Blinds for all the windows
Clean Carpets
Paint/Patch Walls
Mulch Flower Beds
Weed Kill Lawn
Sod the Back Lawn
Clean out the Garage
Desks and cabinets in the Office
Light Mounts and Towel Bars in Master Bath
Shelf and Coat Hooks in Front Closet
New Counter tops in Kitchen
Deeper Shelves in Pantry?
Anyway, you can see we have our work cut out for us.
I also have a few things to do on my Van:
Replaced A/C Compressor
Fix Power Steering Leak
Replace valve cover gaskets
Take transmission in again for work (shifting hard again into 2nd gear)
Replace head liner
Clean inside

I am about half way through my BSIT capstone class and have 2 more "elective" classes after that and I will be done. Cant wait until then. I really dislike school. It will be nice to have it out of the way. I am not sure what that will mean, I really like the flexibility I have with this job. I only wish that it was a little closer to family. Well, I will keep my eyes open for things closer to Idaho, but then again, I have been doing that for the last 9 years without any luck. Guess we will cross that bridge when we get there.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Catching Up

OK, it has been some time since I have written anything. This is an attempt to catch everyone up on what has happened as far as I can recall. Mind you, these are only events that stand out enough in my memory to even have the ability to recall them.
February was an interesting month. Emma took a trip to Las Vegas for a scrap book convention while I took the week off and watched all of the kids. Half way through Emma's excursion, she got a call that he mother was not doing well and may die at any time. At home, it was business as usual. Taya and Levi had school and I played with the Olivia and Julia. We played dollies, went to the park, and watched a show. The day Emma got home, the forces that be figured I needed more to do. I was very busy for the next two weeks until Emma got a call from her family telling her that she needed to fly up that night (Thursday Feb 14, 2008). So we put her, Olivia, and Julia on a plane and sent her to Seattle to spend the last day of he mother life with her. Fortunately for me, work suddenly got really slow. I was able to catch up on my school work (University of Phoenix Online BSIT Program). I have about 3 classes left for finish me degree program.
I just finished WEB420 Web Programing II class which covered web page design using JavaScript. I learned quite a lot and made some fun programs. The fist thing they had us do was to make a web page that ask you a series of questions that are then plugged into the three bears story. Levi tried it out for me and had a lot of fun.
Then next assignment was to create a form the verified each field before submitting. The third assignment was to create a slide show. The last was to create a slide show that gave a description of each image. The last two were a little difficult because I was not used to programming arrays. I learned a lot from the class and it will help me a lot on my DGCourseMaps site.
I spend several weeks in January trying to figure out how to get Google maps working on my website. I when Disc Golfing with Emma at the beginning of January and we could not find a decent map of the course that we wanted to play on. We ended up getting lost and missing a lot of the holes. Determined to not let that happen to anyone else, I spent my time trying to learn how to customize Google Maps to allow me to plot the GPS coordinates to all the Disc Golf courses in Austin. So far I have about 3 sites mapped, but I was able to come up with a solution for mapping them and posting it to my DGCourseMaps site. The site location is It still needs a lot of work and Google will not allow you to print off maps with the current API so I have had to take screen shots so people can print off the maps. It has been very educational and it helped me to prepare for the WEB420 class. I will be able to use what I learned in the class to tune up my page and get it running more smoothly.
We are having another baby this year. We do not yet know the gender, but will probably find out this time so that we can start giving away the clothes that we do not need. The baby is due around the End of July and the first of August. We should have a more exact date after we do the ultrasound on Monday.
I was planning on going to Alaska around that time, but with the death of her mother and the new baby, I will have to take off a lot of time this year from work. Emma still wants me to go to Alaska, so I am trying to find a good time to do that. We are thinking around the second or third weeks of July would be best. Ed wants to go and I think Shaun would like to go as well. Dad and Russ would like to go as well, but I do not think Russ has enough time off at work and I know Dad is getting back from China around the beginning of July and is tired of traveling. Dave McCubbins grew up in Alaska and is in my Ward (Lake Travis Ward, Austin, TX). We went a few years back and brought back about 250 pounds of fish fillets. It was a great trip and I have been trying to go back ever since. So, we will see what happens as the time draws closer.
Well that is the extent of my memory and will try to update this more often. For now, Chow.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Congradulations Taya

Taya made her 1000 girl scout cookie sales goal!!