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Journal Entries for May 2011
May 4, 2011 10:16 PM
Pictures Almost Lost
From the last Patriot memory card I'll ever own.
When you've been around computers as long as I have, you're bound to have a hard drive or two fail on you. I had to fly to Vancouver on Monday for a work project out there, and in the airport as I was about to leave I thought, "Oh - I'd better dump the pictures from my camera onto my computer in case it gets lost or stolen." There's an old saying, if you don't have your data in two places, you don't have it. When I went to retrieve a group of priceless pictures from my camera, I was annoyed to discover that the card reader in my computer could not read the memory card. Kristi and I had just looked at the pictures on my camera the night before, and there were some good ones, including a priceless video of the twins banging away on the piano with all their might, their faces full of infant glee. I put the card back into my camera and thought nothing of it until I was in the air, and a particularly photogenic shot of downtown presented itself to me. I pulled my camera out to take a picture, only to be greeted by a message on it's screen that made my stomach sink. "No Memory Card" it read. I checked. I had definitely put it in. I pulled it out. Pushed it back in. Same result. Oh no. The card was dead.

When you've been around computers as long as I have, you're bound to have a hard drive or two fail on you. Sometimes the data is trivial, but in this case the thought of losing the pictures on that card made me sick to my stomach. As well as the baby piano banger pictures, we had gone to visit my brother and his wife at my aunt's house on the weekend to send them off with well wishes. They've moved to the Bahamas for a year, possibly more, and this would have been the last get-together of my immediate family for quite some time. Again, more priceless pictures I'd rather not lose to a failed memory card. But how could I get them back? Neither my camera, nor my laptop, even noticed that the card had been inserted. It was just plain dead.

When you've been around computers as long as I have, you're bound to have a hard drive or two fail on you. Over the years, I've come across a handfull of tools that can help you get back what was once thought lost forever. In this case, I used a suite of tools called PhotoRec, a free tool for recovering pictures and movies from drives that have been formatted, repartitioned, deleted, corrupted, etc. As you can see, it was able to recover my lost pictures (and movie) without any problems. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, perhaps it can help you too. You can read more about it at

Their First Duet

The Twins banging on the piano

I don't have a YouTube thingie for my web site yet, but if you'd like to watch a hilarious video of the babies playing the piano, you can download it here

Family 2011

Family 2011

Grandpa and Grandson

Thank-you data carving.

May 30, 2011 10:18 PM
The Twins Are One!
Boy that didn't take long...
Can you believe it? The Twins' first birthday has come and gone! And what a pair they are indeed. They have been crawling around like pros, and I've caught my little man balancing himself on one knee and one foot; literally just one step away from standing on his own! We threw a birthday party for them at Lake Chaparral, and the weather couldn't have been better. It's going to be interesting with the two sharing a birthday, just how we can make their individual celebrations distinct without detracting from the others. Without further ado, behold: Some pictures from the birthday party:

Their first time on a beach, within minutes she had discovered (and thankfully dislikes) the taste of sand in her mouth.

Tossing a bucket of water directly into the air will probably not yield the desired result. Unless you're hot. Then it will.

My feisty wife.

For this next series of pictures, you have to appreciate the context: I happened to look over towards the rock island and discover a dance in progress. The following pictures are in order:

Ah the simple pleasures of youth. Like running through a grassy field.

The Green Grass Project
My secret to a Green Lawn
I've always loved grass, particularly the watering thereof. The next few weeks will see me installing an underground sprinkler system in this house. After the overwhelming contribution such a system made to the state of the grass at my last house, combined with the unique shapes and sizes of lawn at this house, further influenced by my perpetual lack of free time — all make the installation of such a system most practical. And, as if I didn't need any other reasons for doing it, I've been fascinated with underground sprinklers since I was a wee lad.

In preparation for the digging and trenching of the yard, I made a pass of fertilizer this evening and gave the whole lawn a good watering to let it soak in and absorb. Typically the best time for watering is early morning; There is usually less wind, water pressure is high, and the water has enough time to soak into the ground before the heat of the day causes it to evaporate while not standing long enough to pool. As I am not about to get out of my oh-so-comfortable bed at four in the morning to stand outside in mosquito-land with a garden hose in hand, I watered this evening instead. I don't think it will make a difference this one time.

The secret to a green lawn can be found in three green bags: The large one provides nutrients for the grass to grow thick and green. The medium one is grass seed. This time I selected a shady mix because the areas most sparse around my house also have a fair bit of shade during the day. Time will tell how it performs. And last but not least, the small green bag is for me. I highly recommend it for anyone working outside.

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