After much searching and way to much disappointment Rebecca and I have decided to build a home in Spanish Fork, UT. The builder is Fieldstone and the development is called Spanish Fields. I clocked it at 13 minutes / 9 miles from work. The house we’re building is a 1390 sqft 2 story (no basement) with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a 2 car garage. We expect it to be done sometime in December and to cost us roughly what we were going to end up spending anyway. Of course that estimate doesn’t include the lawn we’ll have to put in next year and the various upgrades we could get could push it way higher.
There are several things we liked about the layout. The garage is plenty big, the “nook” is big enough (many houses we saw had dismal dining areas). The use of space is very good (again, especially when compared to what we were looking at buying). The closets are huge. Basically it has everything we want with the flexibility to upgrade things that are important to us at almost the same cost as everything we were looking at before. Besides which everything we looked at before this was a twin home with an HOA, this is a detached home with no HOA.
Spanish Fork is a nice town and very likely to be the next major growth area in Utah Valley after Lehi. It has it’s stupidities like operating it’s own ISP but not being part of Utopia but otherwise looks like it will be a very nice place to live. It’s also not Provo, which is a big deal for me.
The recital was awesome. Rebecca’s professors had nothing but praise for her. I said to Dr Peery-Fox, “So she passed, right?” to which she answered, “Oh heavens yes! With flying colors!” There are a few photos here (none during the performance, of course) and you can listen to the recital by clicking this.
We are very grateful for the many people who made this possible. We really believe she couldn’t have done it without the help she received.
For those of you wondering, no, it’s not all over yet. Rebecca still needs to pass her oral exams and she won’t start working on that until after she’s delivered the baby.
Thanks also to Jim Brown for helping trim the silence and compile the recording so that we could have one CD instead of two (just barely).
I had a beard last month. This is probably the only photo of it:
Noah said to me something to the effect of, “Daddy, let’s buy an airplane and fly it!” He’s three years old. I don’t know where he got the idea, but it sounded like a good one so I promised him I’d look into it. My friend and co-worker Jake Cahoon flies RC planes so I asked him if it was possible to buy a decent airplane for cheap. He said he’d been thinking about the same thing and he’d look around on the various forums, etc. and see if anything cheap was worth buying. A couple of days later I walked into his office and saw a very small plane on his desk. “What’s that!?” I asked. “I got it for thirty bucks at Toys’R'Us,” he says. I was so impressed I bought one on the way home from work that very day.
Apparently these things get rave reviews on hobby forums and the like, and with good cause. The Air Hogs – Aero Ace is easy to fly and works precisely as advertised. It’s made of a higly flexible foam and are very light-weight, I’ve crashed ours several times and it’s still as good as new. The lightness of the plane makes it almost impossible to fly in much wind but if you’ve got enough wind you should be flying a kite, not a plane. When I say it’s easy to fly, though, I’m not kidding. We let Noah fly it as much as we do and he does just fine. His friend Abby (also three I think) was even flying it through the lower branches of trees and recovered nicely from a couple of crashes, it doesn’t take much.
It’s a dual-prop plane. Altitude is controlled by speed. Turning is accomplished by varying the speed of the two motors. The controller takes 6 AA batteries. The plane charges off the controller in about 20 minutes and flies for a solid 10 minutes, which rounds out to about 25 minutes or so of good times if you’re taking turns. My experience has been that this is just the right amount of flight for one evening. They say you can charge the plane about 25 times off a set of batteries. I haven’t flown it enough yet to know for sure but Jake confirms this assertion. It comes in 3 channels and 6 colors (two per channel).
Now I don’t want to give the impression that these things are perfect: I had to return my first one for a faulty battery and my second one didn’t have the antenna screwed in properly. The wings on the one I have now are a little bit lop-sided. It’s clear that SpinMaster’s quality control leaves something to be desired but for the price I’m not surprised and if you can return a defective one and get one that works it’s worth the trouble. I’ve also been told not to expect as much from the other Air Hogs planes, this one is their best.
I highly recommend buying one of these. I never owned anything remote-controlled as a kid and for $30 I’ve got something that more than makes up for that.
Rebecca Cook Jorgensen
Saturday 6 May 2006
Madsen Recital Hall
Harris Fine Arts Center
Brigham Young University
Rebecca will be performing works by Bach, Prokofiev, Mozart, and Turina. The program should last about 90 minutes. The recital will be recorded so children will not be admitted. As with all student recitals at BYU admission is free.
I finally got around to installing the Windows Vista Beta 2: The biggest, slowest Windows yet!
I shouldn’t be too harsh, I know they’re designing it for use on better hardware than mine, but Vista was noticeably slower than XP. And the thing that never ceases to amaze me is that Windows takes an entire CD (and now a DVD, 3.2 GB) and when the install is done all you’ve got to show for it beside the basics is Wordpad.
Linux distros, on the other hand, can be as small as a single CD and still come with everything you need and more: an office suite, a photo editing program, programming tools, and easy access to everything else, Free. Not only that, but when a new release of your favorite distro comes out the release notes often include mention of significant performance improvements.
I bought a huge bag of chocolate chips at Costco and it’s presence in the house has caused me an uncanny hunger for chocolate chip cookies. Our first attempt was to just follow the recipe for the Original NestlÃ© Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies on the bag. This left much to be desired, though I will admit to being at least partly at fault: we forgot the brown sugar and had to add it at the end. Our second attempt was based on Chocolate Chip Cookies – Four Ways by Shirley Corriher, food scientist and author of Cookwise, specifically the fourth way, In Between. Thanks to Eric for pointing me to Shirley’s recipe.
We did things a little differently than Shirley suggests: I don’t like nuts so we left that part out entirely, and I prefer a lighter color so we used part brown sugar and part white. Ours ended up taking only 9 minutes in the oven but that’s probably because we don’t have an oven thermometer and the dial is probably somewhat off.
By some accounts it’s the shortening that makes the cookies a little puffier. I haven’t gone through the differences in the Four Ways enough to have learned all there is to know about controlling how your cookies come out but we were very happy with the results of this attempt.