Sunday, September 7, 2008

Negotiating with Children

Today at Dinner, Arden quickly ate some corn then got down. After much discussion and some threats about why he shouldn't leave the table early, he finally said (for real, and he's only 4): "Look, you want me to stay at the table but I'm already done. I want to get down because I'm already done and you two will take a long time to finish, it doesn't make sense that you want me to stay at the table so it should be okay for me to get down."

To witch Anna and I replied: "OK" and marveled at our budding negotiator while wondering how parents every "guide" their children.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Huckleberry Hunting

Recently, Anna had a friend go huckleberry hunting and she offered us some of the rewards from her trip. The look and taste of the berries inspired Anna to plan a trip with our family to find the origin of the huckleberries. So, we loaded up the kids and the car and headed to Kelly Canyon. On the way I asked what part of Kelly Canyon the berries would be found and she said, “oh, just up by the ski resort. They should be quite a ways off trails” On the trip Anna made cute little buckets for the kids to carry, she made them out of old sour cream containers and yarn. We also had little zip lock baggies to store our haul while we gathered more and more. So…off we went. Upon arriving at the base of Kelly Canyon we traversed the road three times to find the perfect spot, this spot was clearly the one as it was designated by a tipped over tree, a small stream and the smell of cow manure. That is how you know where the huckleberries are.

Upon arriving at the perfect location, we unloaded the kids and put Maile in her little backpack and off we went. Two feet later, Maile screaming in her backpack, we took our first water break and Maile was given freedom of movement. Our first encounter with berries was some small red berries 20 feet from the car, to which I asked, are these huckleberries. The reply,

“no…they are darker than that…more like blueberries. So, on we went. At this point, since I had no idea what huckleberries or their plants look like, I asked some find-out questions…

”So, what are we looking for”


“Yeah...what do huckleberries look like?”

“Blueberries, maybe a little bigger, more purple.”

“What do the plants look like?”

“Short, not taller than 5 feet or so. There are ones that look like huckleberries, but if they are taller than 5 feet they are probably “service berries”

“Are service berries bad?”

“I don’t think so, but they aren’t good.”

(Now, I must clarify, the reason I am asking all these questions is because our internet was down for the time from the decision to go huckleberry hunting to the time we left, so I had no way of gathering the information prior to leaving.)

Anyway, so on we continue. About 100 feet from the road (not far from any trail) we came to a plant with some purplish berries on a plant (I still don’t know if they are bushes or trees).

“Are these huckleberries?”

“I don’t know. Let’s taste them and see.”

This did not resonate in my mind as the best idea as images of poisoned children and family and hospital visits went streaming through my mind, but on voicing concerns, I was met with, “Let’s just eat a few and see what they taste like.” So we tried a few. Now “tasting” something the size of a pea, does not give a good sense, however, we decided that since they weren’t horrible, we would gather these and call them huckleberries. The rule though was that no one, especially the children could eat them, just in case they were poisonous (The kids of course ate some while we weren't watching).

We picked 4 full quart bags of these “huckleberries” all the while sharing our hopes that they weren’t poisonous and that they could be eaten and used in pies. On the way out, we saw some smaller berries that were on smaller plants, and because these were also purple, and shorter than 5' we wondered if we had the real huckleberries or not. So, naturally, we tried some. These we immediately spit out because they were horrible tasting. While praying that we didn’t just cement our fate, we headed back to the car, but not before gathering a sample from the two plants to bring back to have someone determine how edible these berries really are.

We stopped at the county extension office and found out that the ones we picked four bags of are “service berries” (I thought those trees of 10’ were somewhat over the 5’ limit) and the other smaller berries were...well, Anna talked to the guy and that information never made it out.... So, our lesson, be sure to taste any berries you find and if you like the taste, just gather them, because they can't be bad for you if they taste not bad.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Installing eric4 IDE on windows xp

This is what I did to install Eric4 IDE on Windows XP, Most of this came from

1. Install Python (I used 2.5.2)
2. Install PyQt4 (I used 4.4.3)
3. Install Eric 4 ( (I used 4.2.0)
4. Run Eric4 \eric\

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Global Warming

So, there is lots of news about global warming and how humans are speeding the world to a disaster. My question is this: What is the concern with global warming? Where is the evidence that MAN is responsible for this, and where is the evidence that things are going to be worse for the world?
Here is the way I see things. Man and vehicles input O2 and output CO2. Plants intake CO2 and output O2. If there is global warming, would that not increase the number of plants and the vitality of them? Would that not then create more/O2? Wouldn't it just be a similar cycle to what is happening now? I know there is a law-suit pending against Al Gore for the fraud he has led on global warming. There is just no evidence to back it up. Anyway, just some thoughts.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Politics drive me crazy. I've been following the elections this year quite a bit, and have not found a clear candidate that I believe can get this country on track. I am not sure if it is the candidates I don't trust, or everyone else and the candidates are just a focal point. The basic questions in my mind are why we (as a country) have been spending more than we pull in. I mean, everyone should know that if you spend more than you make, eventually you have to pay the piper. But it seems that people just don't care about good ethics and doing right for the country. Rather, its more about raking more money into the stashes of individuals than righting the country. Take the war for instance, I wonder if it isn't as much, or more, a money making scheme for large "defense contractors" rather than a defense of freedom. I sure hope it isn't about making some people rich, because good American blood was the price paid...

The challenge I've had is that I thought in general democrats tend to focus on bigger government while republicans tend to focus on smaller government and bigger business. In the upcoming election is the "smaller government" going to keep spending as much as it has been? And is the "bigger government" going to spending even more, or are the roles reversing? Its tough to straighten out for someone who doesn't have all day to stay up to date on the latest political shenanigans. Anyway, right now I'm leading towards Mitt Romney, he seems to not be as involved in the childishness of other politicians and seems to have a rather large, although mostly quiet, support group.