Sunday, October 11, 2009

of Immigration to America

So, I'm teaching a family history class at church and have been doing some of my own family history work. it is really really cool and interesting. I've been researching a family (my grampa's grampa's dad and mom, William and Jensine Nielsen) that came from Denmark on the "Monarch of the Sea" arriving in New York on June 3, 1864. They came with their two boys and baby girl (Jorgen C, Iver, and Ane) they crossed the planes in the Issac A. Canfield company in 1864. Unfortunately on the trail baby Ane Sophie died. It has been interesting and educational to consider the circumstances and sacrifices of those earlier pioneers, my guess is that these two were the first ones on this line to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, become converted, and make the transition to America. I am grateful to them!

Family History is so cool, now I just have to figure out how to find marriage info in Denmark!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ah, the freedom of self employment

Boy does it feel good to know that every time you work a little extra, it comes back to you. Its a lot of work getting this thing off the ground but we have some really good folks that we are working with. I left the lab with my good friend and colleague David Bruemmer. Our company is 5D Robotics, Inc. We create software that makes robots more useful.

Right now we are in process of writing a bunch of proposals, it has been educational, I see where we should take more of a leadership for the next round and I see better how the whole process goes.

Late nights, early mornings, work throughout most of the day, what a joy it is! I haven't felt this alive since...yesterday! a side note, no one said its not work, its just work worth doing!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

BYU Beats Oklahoma!

GO BYU!!!!
We beat Oklahoma 14-13!!!!! Thank you ESPN-360!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let me see if I understand

We're going to pass a Health Care Plan

written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it,
passed by a Congres that has not read it but exempts themselves from it,
signed by a president that also has not read it and who smokes,
with funding administered by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes,
and financed by a country that's nearly broke.

Sounds like a great plan...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

tech stuff

So this is a week of firsts,

I became an owner of my first company.
I bought my first cell phone.
I bought my first computer.

I wonder what next week will bring!

LDS scriptures on blackberry

A gagillion articles on this, but after much time, I finally found a free link to the LDS scriptures

Step 1: install mobipocket (
Step 2: install scriptures (

This website also provides information:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Children and late nights

So what is the rule? Anna says if child stays up late, then cranky in the morning. But child have great fun stay up late. Last night Arden and Maile and I played pirate ship until about 9:30pm at our neighbors. Today, I mowed the lawn until 9:30pm and Arden was wide awake so he and I watered the garden, then loaded the car with recyclables, then delivered them, then played computer games. It was a great daddy son time. All people should do that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We went canoeing today, that was awesome!!!!

Anna wants to drive straight down the river, no floating, always paddling, heading straight lollygagging either..., no way, let the river take you where it wants you to go, you are just along for the ride, besides, c'mon, your really going to get there weather you paddle or not!

Cherstin and Carrie were there...
and struggling!!!
When the waterfights happened, Carrie was just wailing on Cherstin, she was so wet!
Within 1/4 mile of the end we were right next to them then we finished and got out of our canoe and Cherstin and Carrie were nowhere to be found. About 30 minutes later they came down and they were both completely soaked. Apparently Cherstin was losing the waterfight so bad that she decided to swamp the boat soaking Carrie and forcing a stalemate! Well played I say!

Maile and Watermelon

I love this picture, she was so happy to slurp the juice off the rind of the watermelon.

Hope ya know, I've had a hard time

Ever have one of those days or a set of them, how about a few weeks of them. Lets just say, I love the temple. That just soothed my soul so much! The easy way to describe what is going on is that work (INL) doesn't know what to do with me. I don't wanna go into more details, call me and I'll let you know.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Changing Jobs

I sent in my resignation letter today. July 31 is my last day at the INL. I'll be joining 5D robotics to commercialize the technology we've been working on. Wow, that's a big step. In ways the world became a lot more uncertain, in other ways a lot more certain, man I hope this works.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Perfect day at the beach

So, I'm generally not a beach person...sand is too hot, tend to burn easy, it gets everywhere and kids struggle to have fun. Not so this time. Over the fourth we went to Bear Lake with my family. Shawn, Devin, Cherstin, Mom, and Dad were there with their significant others. We went to the North Beach where the water gets up to your waist about 100 yards out. So the kids had room to play, older kids got to play 500, we built sand-castles and a sea dragon, had a battle between sand forts and castles, had water fights, went rafting, didn't get burned, the temperature was just right. It was absolutely perfect!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I love the temple

Today we went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. It was our ward night and we had a double assignment (4:30 and 7:00) (how cool is that!) Anyway, the Young Women were at Camp so they asked the adults to help. Even then there wasn't a lot, so Anna invited our relatives (Cherstin, Rachel, Rebecca, Alli and BJ) and they could all come. So the 7 of us did baptisms with our ward. It was way cool I even got to help Cherstin and Anna do the work. I think this is the first time I've ever been to the temple with Cherstin. that was awesome. I told her I'd have to write in my here it is!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ahhhh, I love Acquire

Its been at least 15 years, but I finally got to play Acquire (from Avalon Hills), thanks to Jordan Morris, who also loves the game, we played tonight. So fun, Jordan naturally won, and Cherstin beat me by $100 (the smallest currency)! If anyone is thinking of a birthday present...or whatever...


Church Calling to do R&D and human factors??

Last year I was called to help with family history for the ward. I was recently told by the bishop: "I've been to three classes on family history and I am no better than I was. I want you to change that and make is so people like me can understand."

Today I submitted a proposal to the bishop of a four-phase approach to teach family history. Part of it will require going to every member's home to make sure the system is working on their computer. I will also require homework and checking and teaching from the students to verify a sufficient level of competency. Should be interesting.

The hesitant visionary

What do you do when you have a visionary who has inspired countless people but won't take the step to fulfill the vision? It is the primary source of uncertainty in my life these days.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

It is finished...oh wait!

Anna's been in AZ for the past 6 weeks. My goal while she was gone was to clean the garage. Naturally, the easiest way to do that would be to finish the storage room and put all the junk there. To finish the storage room, I needed to finish the framing and wiring. To finish the wiring I needed more wire and to tie everything off. To finish the framing I had to set up fireblocks between many of the 2x4s.

On Thursday, I thought "It is finished" then I was at home depot and saw the 6/3 wire was cheaper than I thought (50 amps - for electric range/hot tub). I talked to Anna and we decided to go ahead and put that in.

Last night, after Cherstin and Jordan came over to help me pull the nasty wire, I thought "It is finished", then I remembered I still had to put the fire breaks in.

Today, I put everything in and thought "It is finished" then as I was looking around, I noticed I missed a few spots that required insulation for the fire breaks, these were already in a different place so I had to move them, then cut some wood for the first place, then nail the wood in. Argh, so many details, it is driving me CRAZY!

Finally 7:00pm tonight, I walked upstairs and said "it is finished"
...Oh Wait, I still need to connect the two new fire alarms, finish drilling the holes for the 2 gauge wire to the main panel, pull the 2 gauge wire to the main panel, and wire all the switches. Blah.

So, I still think the "framing" is finished (at least in the last 28 minutes I can't think of anything else to do). The electrical will just have to wait. I am tired. I did run the pipe from the bathroom fan to the outside wall, that doesn't fall under framing or electrical (probably mechanical), but at least it is mostly done (still have to attach to outside of house)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

something more fun!

I love kids!

Oh Goverment, change thy ways, or we the people will

Some of you may have seen this, I think it is important to share. Despite all these fun videos, my question is what is to be done. Yeah, we get there is a problem. What is to be done.

I also did like the video on this link, it helps clarify the world of potential governments.

Also, I found this video from the Comptroller General

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Casting aside confidence or stupor of thought?

There are lots of things going on about this company. A couple weeks ago David received a draft of an employment contract from 5D robotics. The letter said basic stuff about pay, stocks, options and things. David told me about it, but then said that he felt almost sick inside at the thought of accepting that offer. At first, I thought it was the temptation of Satan to cause us to doubt something that we learned. But I think I thought that more because I thought 5D was a “good option” rather than trying to give un-biased feedback.

Between here and there, David went to visit SRI on an invitation from them and with the goal of exploring an employment relationship. Things apparently went really really well and David said for the first time, he really feels good about the opportunity. He said there are a couple of things that need to be ironed out. But the thing that interested me, was how he felt about that. With the 5D offer he felt “sick” with the SRI offer he felt “at peace”.

When I take these discussions with David from an LDS doctrine perspective, it seems clear that the spirit is saying something to the effect of “SRI is the better choice” (Again, this comes second hand from David, as I feel that either are good choices, but for me, the better choice is to work with David.) What interested me, was the advice that I had given and how it perhaps wasn’t the right advice in this scenario. Fortunately it didn’t have dire consequences, but one could certainly imagine other scenarios where incorrect advice might have more lasting effects.

To that end, I’ve been thinking about the difference between D&C 9 - having a stupor of thought - and the talk from Elder Holland (cast not aside therefore your confidence). At one level, both of these would cause you to believe something is not right, but for opposite reasons. D&C 9 would say the spirit did not support it, Elder Holland might say Satan is trying to get you to doubt. I think this is a critical distinction because a misinterpretation would lead you down the wrong path. So, how do we discern between the Spirit saying “no” and “casting aside our confidence”.

This becomes clearer as I think about it. First, you can’t “cast aside confidence” unless you already know something or have confidence in something. Elder Holland was referring to “once you have gained a witness”, or had a spiritual insight, then with that knowledge, you should not let doubts erode your confidence. On the other hand, D&C 9 is about studying it out in your mind and then asking if it be right, if it is you will feel that it is right, if it is not, you will have a stupor of thought (I often hear people say this as “feeling sick”) D&C 9 is about how to make a choice. Elder Holland is about having made a choice and received a testimony and remembering that witness.

In light of our employment situation, David is looking to make a choice, with 5D, he felt sick, so the way things were, probably not the right choice. With SRI, he felt that it was right, so, probably the right choice.

David is not LDS, but working with him, sure helps me clarify my own faith, it has been inspiring to watch him as I know the spirit works with him in an effort to accomplish something great.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I think this video is very interesting to watch and I think we need to do things about it.  Like save, stop spending (sorry bailout supporters) cut medicare and medicaid and stop social security. And get some leaders on capitol hill that will stand up and fix this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Feud and silly people

My brother sent this to me, I just couldn't stop laughing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Of Nertz at the Williams'

Today after church I went to the Williams' for company.  We played Nertz, it was hilarious, everyone was in a very silly mode and Karen was laughing so hard she had tears streaming down her cheeks.  Two of the kids had to get up in the middle of the game to go to the bathroom because they were laughing so hard.  It was really really fun.  They call me comic relief, tonight, I had way more comic relief than they did.  It reminded me of home, growing up and watching mom just die laughing.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alone with a psycho cat

So, today I was eating lunch and Haiku (the kit) was sitting on the table in front of me, all of a sudden she looks past me with this psycho fixed stare and starts chatting her teeth.  No kidding!  She started making this weird clicking sound. I tried to get her attention, but her eyes were glued on something outside (thankfully not me!)  It freaked me out enough I had to get away as I could only think of poor old yeller.  I looked where she was looking and there was a crow in the top of the tree.  Poor cat, now I realize their problem. I think Haiku is just mad that she can't move in 3D! 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gingerbread houses out of Gram Cracker

We made gingerbread houses this year at Christmas time, it was great fun, we cheated and used Gram Cracker because it is way easier and faster and less hassle than regular gingerbread. Arden and I chose a bunch of different candies (like 20) to decorate the houses. Here the kids are eyeballing the candy knowing full well that candy is to be eaten not put on houses!

Here is Arden's House

Here is Cherish's

Here is Riley's

Here is Mary's
(I love the jeep in the garage)

Here is Alli's

I always thought gingerbread houses (or maybe they should be called gram houses?) were too boring if they look anything like houses, so I decided to make a marble works gram house. Here is a picture and a video