The Perfect Spammer

Going through the daily blogroll this morning, I came upon a comic that could not be more true. A while back I posted on Combating Spambots. Since I implemented that anti-spam scheme, I have not seen a single piece of spam come through. It is beautiful. XKCD has posted an alternative method, which really would work if you had an active community around your website. The perfect spammer could get through, but I think I would be okay with that.

Luddites spreading F.U.D.

A man in Nova Scotia has determined that radiation coming from the proposed nearby high-speed internet tower will mutate his organic garlic crops. Wow. I guess he heard that they were using microwave technology and decided to shut them down. Microwaves are the most deadly kind of radiation, right? 'Cause we use them in our kitchens to cook things. Oooh! I had better instill the proper amount of F.U.D. in all my neighbors so this tower will get shut down before it starts.

Being an engineer, I like to look at things skeptically. There are numbers and calculations to support everything. Do the numbers work out? Do the equations make sense? Is this man a fool? This is one of the beauties of learning more about amateur radio; I got to learn a lot more about electro-magnetic radiation than I ever did before. More specifically, what are the limits of what might hurt people. Now there are still debates going on about whether or not cell phones cause brain cancer and the like, but once again, it all comes down to simple physics. This is the same question as Lenny's garlic: will the radiation cause a "change [in] the DNA of the garlic because it shakes up the molecules" or not?

Lego Adventure

Nathan got a little Lego set for his birthday and it has turned into a daily favorite. Honestly, I think Nicole loves it even a little more than Nathan does. Mostly she builds the trucks and machines that are in the little 'manual' of ideas that came with it. She is getting to be darn good at following those instructions. Nathan loves for Nicole to build him things. Or me. Or Lauren. He can 'fix' broken things but still isn't quite up to creating new things.


We live not too far from a pond that ducks live in during the summer months. There are usually from 10-60 ducks there at any given time between April and October. In the spring and early summer we love to go down there and see the itty-bitty fuzzy ducklings. They don't usually get to come too close to the walking path because of the protective mothers, but as they get older, they get bolder. When we remember, we bring some bread heels or other grain product so we can feed them.

Not too long ago I burned four loaves of bread. Yes, Captain Bread makes mistakes too. We were upstairs watching a movie and I didn't hear the timer go off. Now when we do that, I set the timer on my phone so I will be sure to hear it. Anyway, they were overcooked by five or ten minutes and were a little bit too dark to be pleasant. The crumb was still soft and didn't taste burnt, so I took to cutting the crusts off each time we ate some. We ended up with about a loaf-sized pile of burnt crusts. I saved them so we could take them to feed the ducks. We went twice with our burnt offerings and the duck ate them up like candy.

A dillar, a dollar, a dinosaur scholar

Goin' Fishin'
We have a lot of ground to cover since Christmas. I suppose more frequent updates would alleviate this problem, but what would be the fun in that? I am just going to say that I have been very busy and that will have to suffice for my excuse.

A few weeks ago Nathan and I went 'fishing' with some friends at a local lake that was recently stocked with trout. I made a fishing pole for Nathan out of a stick of bamboo and a piece of small rope. While we didn't catch anything (not that we expected to with the gear we brought), we had a lot of fun. Enough fun that we went again a month later and brought Nicole along with us. Mostly, they just ran around chasing ducks and playing with the other kids while all the dads fished and talked. But it was really a nice relaxing way to spend a Saturday morning. Someday, I might even invest in some real fishing tackle and a license. Until then, we will just have to fill up on our imaginary fish. Or we could always tell the story of the one that got away...

He's all boy

potato head kids
potato head kids
Nathan has been growing and advancing by leaps and bounds. And of course that is the time I choose to neglect reporting all his stories. Though he is not even 18 months old, he seems to be a two year old to us. Both Nicole and Nathan participated in the library summer reading program. They both read (or were read to) for countless hours over the summer. Still, one of the favorite pastimes is reading books.
little bookworm
little bookworm
In addition to being a bookworm, Nathan is learning to say a handful of new words every day and his comprehension seems to be far above that. He doesn't seem to like to submit to the constant daily quiz that we would give to Nicole at his age: "What does a [cow, pig, horse, dog, etc.] say?"; "Where is your [ear, nose, arm, patella, etc]?"; "Can you say [some new precocious word]?". We put Nicole through these questions constantly because she loved the interaction and praise. Nathan doesn't seem to put up with this kind of testing. But when we give him a pair of folded socks and say, "Go put these away", he takes the socks to his room and puts them in his sock box. I guess what I am trying to say is that Nathan is a freakin' genius in his own way.

I'm not spoiled

We were having dinner with some friends recently, and in an effort to get Nicole to finish her dinner, Lauren hinted that we might have something else to eat (i.e., dessert) when she finished her food. She plowed right past Lauren's hint and exclaimed, "A treat!" Her expectant response prompted one grown-up friend to say, "Wow, Nicole, you must be spoiled!" Nicole piped right up and replied, "I'm not spoiled, I'm a girl!" Looking into the brain of Nicole, I figure she was thinking something along the lines of "They just called me a spoiled. I am not sure what a spoiled is, but I know I am not a spoiled because I am a girl." All that happened in a split second and then she came back with her retort. To her, I figure, she might as well have just been called a boy. She knows she is not a boy, she is a girl.

Nathan is growing like a weed. He is finally cutting his fourth first-year molar. He loves to eat, so this is a really great advancement for him. Like most one-year-old kids, just about everything goes in his mouth. Just the other day, I was sitting on the couch working on my computer when all of the sudden my foot was suddenly warm. I probably wouldn't have noticed that except that seconds later, the warm spot turned into a spot of sharp pain. I shook the pain off my foot and looked down to see an open mouthed Nathan with matching teeth marks on the top of my foot.

False prophets to deceive

I can't remember which of my sisters Nancy or Mary was the first in our family to pray for a false prophet. But during family prayer, she prayed to bless "Spencer W. Dependable" and all who were listening tried our best to keep reverent to let her finish the prayer.

This morning while watching General Conference, Nicole wanted to know who the elderly man speaking at the pulpit was. When we told her it was President Faust, she said, "No, it's President Wrinkly!" We tried to explain that not all of the old, white-haired, bespectacled men are President Hinckley and finally got her straightened out on the whole Wrinkly/Hinckley thing. Then later, she started talking about President Wrinkly again. So I guess it is still not completely clear.

Personality shines through

I have written recently about how smart Nicole is, so I won't do that this time. This time, it is about how silly she is. Like most kids, she was never very fond of the 'infant suction bulb.' And with good reason. The times we use it for Nicole are probably over since she can (if not reluctantly) blow her nose. But Nathan is a different story; the little congested hedgepig percolates instead of breathing. So we use the 'booger sucker' on him on a fairly regular basis. Nicole has been around while we have used it and knows what it is called. Being a little bit tongue-tied, she once called it a 'sooger bucker' and got a laugh out of her parents. Now, that is what she calls it as her own little private joke.

Nicole, the smarty pants

I suppose it is half proud father and half smart baby, but this little kid of ours is at the top of her class. Not that she actually goes to a class other than nursery on sundays, but what does that matter.

After learning to walk at 18 months or so, she went from walk to run in what seemed like a couple of weeks. One of her current favorite pastimes is running around in our adjacent, very empty dining and living rooms (aptly nicknamed "The Ballroom") kicking various balls across the floor. She probably does this for a total of an hour each day. So Lauren's guesses of her becoming a soccer player after the kicking fits she gave while in the womb may be correct.