May 16 2006

Sometimes I feel like Tim Brown

Jeffrey Larson

I’ve been spoiled recently. It has been awesome outside, and I rode my bike to work a couple times in the last week. This morning, however, I drove the Jetta to work and I was nearly hit twice.

Maybe it was that the Jetta is a smaller mid-size sedan and was harder to see, or maybe it was that the Jetta’s diesel engine is on the quieter side, or maybe it was the fact that both near misses were caused by drivers talking on cell phones.

Granted driving is relatively simple at times, there are other times that demand more attention; be it lane changing, traffic lights, stop signs, intersections, merges and yields. I really think it unfortunate that I am seeing more and more near misses with drivers on cell phones (to be honest not all, but many!).

I found this cartoon kinda funny… but if you have hit a deer, you might not.


May 8 2006

Keys from the deep

Jeffrey Larson

So the Site Administration portion of hillsofjapan.com has been under test for the past 5 weeks or so. A bunch of smaller bugs have been killed and I plan to push it to production this month.

One of the most bothersome bugs for me right now is an issue to do with Timestamps. The site administration modules use AJAX extensively, which means a combination of client and server side scripting. The issue I’m facing stems from calculating timestamps using local client javascript in a different timezone than the server, which calculates some timestamps also. I think all is OK if the client’s computers timezone is set up correctly, however, stuff gets messy when the client is set up with the correct local time but the incorrect timezone.


Aug 15 2005

Summer Trips

Jeffrey Larson

August 15 Update: Added Milk River
July 18 Update: Created map, Added Heart Mountain and Crypt Lake

Sarah and I have been on a number of hikes trips lately. I have decided to show you almost exactly where we hiked went using Google Maps. I’m going to continue to update this posting as we complete more hikes trips.

The trips are sorted in reverse chronological order. Click a hike trip title to show it on the map:

  1. Milk River – Canoe (NEW!)
  2. Crypt Lake (Waterton Park) – Hike
  3. Heart Mountain – Scramble

The interface used here is actually Google Maps. You can zoom in/out by using the +/- buttons on the map and you can also pan by grabbing the map and pulling it in any direction.

Please note that the path taken for each trip has been approximated.


Jul 18 2005

Summer Hikes

Jeffrey Larson

Sarah and I have been on a number of hikes lately. I decided to show you almost exactly where we hiked using Google Maps. I’m going to continue to update this posting as more hikes are completed.

Click a hike to show it on the map:

Please note that the path taken for each hike has been approximated.


Jun 26 2005

First Anniversary

Jeffrey Larson

At the time of this writing, Sarah and I have just celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary together.

I booked the Romance Package at Chateau Canmore in Canmore Alberta (this is in the Rocky Mountains). This included a hotel room suite, gift and candle lit dinner. Needless to say, Sarah and I were pretty excited about that.

Here in southern Alberta we’ve had too much rain. There have been many floods throughout the area. On Saturday as we were driving out to Canmore, we got caught in a line-up, waiting to be told to turn around. The Trans-Canada Highway was “closed due to 6 feet of water on the road about 10 minutes ahead.”

After waiting in a long line of cars for what felt like an hour, we were told we could still get to Canmore since highway 1A was still open. So we turned around and then headed to Cochrane, to get to the 1A. It was getting late, about 6:30pm -ish by now.

Travelling along the 1A, most people were turning off to get back to the Trans-Canada, but we knew that the 1A went all the way into Canmore. So we continued on. This road was terrible, there was potholes everywhere.

Over a knoll we came, and then we hit the biggest hole in the road, hitting it super hard. Oh crap. We kept driving, the steering felt funny, definitely something wrong. But there was no place to pull over, no shoulder, that crappy road. Finally we found a place to get out of the way of traffic to check it out. The wheel rim was totally dented and the hubcap cracked. Shoot. I got out the jack and raise the Jetta up off the busted wheel… with much difficulty. This place we found to pull over was loose gravel and the jack wasn’t staying still.

After I had tightened the lug-nuts on the donut spare we have, we were on our way again, upset with the dented wheel, worried that we had damaged our new tires*.

* Side-note: you have to know at this point that we had just dealt with a flat tire 2 weekends prior on our trip to Kamloops, where we ended up buying 4 brand new tires.

We made it to the hotel in Canmore at about 7:30pm, parked the crippled car and went to check in to our suite for the “Romance Package”. The lady who checked us in told us that the restaurant where we were to have our candle lit dinner was full and we could not get a table at all. Sarah and I decided to head up to our room and figure out what to do for dinner then.

So, we got dressed up as we had planned on going to a fancy type restaurant. Sarah talked to the lady at reception and we reserved a table at a French restaurant a couple blocks away.

Trying my hardest not to think about what I was going to do about the broken wheel, we walked over to the restaurant. The restaurant turned out to be pretty nice. We got a table next to the window so we could see the mountains that had been freshly covered with snow.

Part way through our appetizers, we noticed that Sarah had sprayed a bunch of orange sauce onto the front left of her white shirt. “Awe man, how did that happen?” I asked. Sarah gestured with her appetizer what she was doing and right away it happened again. The other half of the front of her shirt was covered in orange spots. A piece of the food bounced off her plate and went over her shoulder. The food apparently hit the lady at the adjacent table, she jumped and exclaimed “Ohh!” I said sorry and she — apparently not knowing what hit her — said, “Do you want it back?” We had a good chuckle at that, but Sarah wasn’t happy her white shirt was not white anymore.

It was nice.

In the morning, neither Sarah nor I was feeling too great so we slept in as much as we could and got room service for breakfast. We went down and checked out of the hotel… and since neither of us felt that great, we decided we would head back to Calgary instead of doing a hike in Banff. Now, to deal with the car.

We went to start the car and realized that the lights were left on all night. The battery was completely drained. Drained to the point that when we tried to start the car the alarm would go off since the battery power was messed. We couldn’t figure out how to silence the stupid alarm, but then using the key in the drivers door shut it off.

So now I’m trying to find someone… to help us start our car… so that we can find someplace… to help us fix the wheel of our car. I flagged down a lady in the hotel parking lot who fortunately had jumper cables. I hooked up the parallel circuit and she started her engine, and I tried to start ours… without luck. Shoot, maybe something else is wrong. Tried it a few more times, with the alarm continuously being set off. We thanked the lady for trying and pondered our options.

Sarah and I walked over to the gas station next door and asked the guy there if he could help. “So, you want to use some jumper cables, and a car to help you start yours? Nope sorry.” ARGH! We headed back to the car ticked, and I went and asked at the hotel reception if anyone had a car with jumper cables.

A nice young lady came to the rescue and I once again hooked up the circuit. Now that I had a little time to think about it, I knew to let this baby charge up for a few minutes before trying to start it. Sure enough, the Jetta started just fine after that.

Now that we have our car started we check the fuel gauge and realize we need diesel! We decided to risk it and try and make it to Cochrane to fuel up and give some business to Canadian Tire.

Well, driving that 80 kilometres or what ever it is takes a lot longer with you are driving a pot-hole filled road on a little donut spare. We eventually got there and got our wheel rim hammered back to shape. It was close, but luckily the tire was able to seal again. Regardless, Sarah and I decided to purchase an extra rim since we have actually used that donut spare 4 times this year! Now we have a full sized spare, yeah.

When we got back home we were tired so we had an afternoon nap for a couple hours.

Glad that it was over, we went to Safeway to get groceries for the week. At home we made the choice to get rid of the frost in our freezer so we could fit some frozen goods. You have to understand that our freezer’s small to start with but it was now half the size because of frost.

I thought the fun was over but wouldn’t you know it, when we were breaking the frost off of the walls of the freezer, we punctured the inside wall, making a hole perfectly aligned with one of the inner coils. Oh great now we have freon leaking out of our freezer.

Patching the hole as best as we could, I was doubtful that the fridge would survive. Eventually the fridge warmed up, not being able to stay cold… so let’s end the anniversary weekend by breaking our fridge.

We have a replacement fridge after a couple days of ice-bagging it. Fortunately, most of our big load of new groceries survived.

How’s that for a first anniversary celebration? The story is good for a laugh but I’m glad that stress is done with. Everyone we’ve told has had a pretty good chuckle and suggested we write the story down… so here it is.


Jun 10 2005

Dad’s Next Car

Jeffrey Larson

Nissan AltimaToyota CorollaMazda 6So, my Dad has been leasing a Honda Accord for a few years and the lease is up in the next couple weeks. I’ve never been very savvy when it comes to my knowledge about vehicles, and I think this comes from my Dad. There are those people who know it all, and those that just use a vehicle as a tool.

What kind of car should he get?

Some things to know before making a recommendation:

  • stay away from American makes, he’s had enough of Fords Chevys Chryslers, etc.
  • keep the budget under $30K
  • his Accord felt a bit too big for him but a Civic might be a bit small
  • his Accord was a little 4-cylinder with no guts, more pep is preferred.

Nov 13 2001

Epiphany

Jeffrey Larson

I had an epiphany the other day.

I was thinking about the friendships I have had as while growing up, the different roles that I have taken, and what I have learned in each.

In my early years, I struggled as a little boy without many friends.

God was teaching me that the only friend I truly need was Him. I did not feel personal importance. God didn’t stop the rain, but he did give me a raincoat. I always had a loving family.

In my teenage years, I developed many friendships, some of these were ones in which I had to take a leadership role, where I had to support more than be supported.

God was teaching me patience and to take leadership, and the importance of loving my friends no matter what. I felt personal importance from knowing that I could help.

In my University years, I have encountered independence on a greater scale. In this time, I realize that I don’t always have to be the leader and the supporter, but must be the supported at times.

God is teaching me that he will support me through other people. He will provide friendships in which I must and can be lifted up. I feel personal importance from knowing that my friends truly care for me.

So what was my epiphany?

All the friendships I have had… planned.
All the roles I would take in these relationships… known before hand.
All the things I would learn from each one… pre-determined goals.

Hindsight is 20 / 20 and God has always been there, has always been watching, has always been in control.

God knows what He’s doing, and He’s always going to love on us. He’s teaching us and we’re growing in him, even when we don’t know it.

Jesus Christ is only the reason we can have such an awesome relationship with God. And the cool thing is, God longs to have a close relationship with each of us. He proved that by making it as easy as a decision to follow him, by faith, as a start to an intimate relationship with our Creator.

May the One who deserves all Glory and Honour, bless you in His infinite wisdom,


Jeffrey Larson,
     Jeff Larson's Signature
Follower of Jesus Christ,
j_larson@hotmail.com

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

**Note: this writing was originally posted in Jeffothy.com’s Organized Thoughts section.


Jul 30 2001

Friends

Jeffrey Larson

I think friends are a true blessing from God. God says “every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:16-18) and that is what I think friendship is. It is a good and perfect gift. We all need to be supported and lifted up in different times in our lives and I believe our friends were meant to do this. (Ecclesiastes 4:10) We were meant to support our friends as much as we can.

A friend should be there always. They should share in your joys and they share in your sorrows. They should not just be there when things are going good, but all the time. Friendship cannot be turned on and off like a microwave.

You should be able to be yourself with friends, not fake or “cool” trying to impress them. A friend knows who you are, more than an acquaintance or another person (classmate, co-worker, team-mate).

Friendships are made, not born?

We are all born into a family, but we grow into friendships. Members of your family may be your best friends. But if they are, I suspect it’s more a matter of spirit than of blood.

Sometimes we lose touch with friends. We move away. We change jobs. Our lives take unexpected turns. Yet there is one friendship upon which every one of us may depend. It is a friendship available to all who will call upon the name of the Ultimate Friend.

The Ultimate Friend?

That friendship is with Jesus, and the formula for that relationship is described in warm words in John 15:12-17. It’s a friendship based on the greatest love of all. If you haven’t experienced it you don’t know what you’re missing.