Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Sorry this is a day belated.  Also, I think I've shared this message before.  On the other hand, I love how it captures the kind of true worship so often missing from the Christmas season these days.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Newsflash: Michael Bublé is Mel Tormé

Yep, folks, this revelation hit me like a ton of bricks.  While I blissfully thought (for years) that Michael Bublé was simply a chip off the much, much older Harry Connick Jr.'s block (Jr.'s 44, Bublé's 36), a one-time glimpse and whisper of another jazz singer on Pandora, today, unearthed the truth that ¡Bublé's actually a wax reproduction of The Velvet Frog, Mel Tormé!  Behold.  (I will divulge the nitty-gritty details, later.)

Bublé and Tormé: 
Too Close for Comfort
And for you skeptics, you so-called "intellectuals," who think even seeing is insufficient for believing, sink your teeth into this nugget of solid gold FACT:  Both guys sing jazz and have French-sounding last names that end in "é."  Faaaaact.  Are you kidding me?  What are the chances?  My exceptional training in the statistical law of large numbers tells me the p-value (random chance or mere coincidence) in this French connection is too striking to ignore or simply dismiss, offhand.  (For all you egg heads, all I'm trying to say is the connection's "statistically significant," all right?  Now that I've mouthed the magic academic words, can we please move on?  Thank you.)

And for all you stingy audiophiles who unrelentingly insist that the proof is in the production, listen to this:

Click the image for Tormé's rendition of Too Close for Comfort
Setting aside the corniness of the razor joke, how can anyone who has ever seriously listened to Bublé tell me anything other than he kidnapped The Velvet Frog, locked him up in his, The Frog's, own seven-lock trunk, regularly cut off locks of his hair, and drank polyjuice potion on the hour, every hour, until he finally assumed Tormé's appearance and vocal structure?  How do you like 'dem kippers!?!

Polyjuice potion is, of course, banned among jazz singers, and no doubt the F-Word (master of conspiracy theories and illicit mixtures) will want to investigate these claims.  In the meantime, Bublé's well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his avarice on a dude with a less awkward nickname (seriously, The Velvet Frog?).

Disclaimer:  Yes, I realize having a two song comparison of the same song (Too Close for Comfort) would have been much cooler than expecting readers to actually use their imagination and comparative sound skills.  On the other hand, some guy whose last name ends with é apparently felt that would have been too close for comfort . . .  Oh, and this is NOT a legal advertisement.  Please consult a licensed abogado for that sort of thing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yesterday's Spiritual Message: The Coat - A Story of Charity

While I think you might be amused with the (unintentional?) humor from this cartoon, I think you'll also feel warmed by its message.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Acting as Bible Characters

I enjoyed this interview with a handful of actors from the new Bible videos I posted about, last Sunday.

I principally love the message they share that God lives and loves us.

(P.S. for you Apple lovers, you might want to check out the free Bible Videos iPad app.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Ringing in the Christmas Season with Free Bible Videos

Tonight, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a Christmas devotional.  In it, President Henry B. Eyring announced the Church is making available a number of free Bible videos, online.

I'm unsure how to (or if I even can) embed a video, yet, so you'll need to visit the site, to see them.
These videos can be accessed at

“It is our hope that these New Testament videos will help people to visualize what they have only been able to imagine, and to more deeply feel the truths of the New Testament as they witness the Savior’s life and not just as they read about it,” said Elder Lynn G. Robbins, executive director of the Media Services Department. “Hopefully, there will be entirely new insights into the Savior’s character that will help viewers feel of His love and inspire them to want to be more like Him.”

I hope you enjoy the new site and videos!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to get the new Google bar (early)

Cross-posted from my Google+ account.

For everyone who shares my Google nerdery. (Note: Deleting my cache and cookies was insufficient for me; I had to enter the proffered code.)

The trick is to enter some code into your browser's JavaScript's console, as described on Google Operating System.

Thanks to Alex Chitu for the screenshot and instructions.
What are your initial reactions? I like the streamlining. The menu rollover's more time consuming for me than I hoped. I think I agree with many comments I've seen about Google bar's size . . . maybe it will go on a diet, soon. Finally, I assumed the top-right section of the bar would dangle more Google+ bait for the non-initiated:  Maybe Google's content with the Sign in button, coupled with +You being the first option on the new (and automatically displayed on rollover/drop-down menu.

I was expecting to see + baiting like, "Ready for some real sharing?  Try Google+!"  Maybe Google's trying a less-aggressive approach.  Maybe the aggression lies in a Google bar that's about three times bigger than the black bar.
For comparison:  The now-old black bar, before taking size-enlarging steroids.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday's Spiritual Message: Men’s Hearts Shall Fail Them

"And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people" (Doctrine & Covenants 88:91).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

First, let me say to one and all, Happy Thanksgiving!  I really enjoyed my day off with family and friends.  My daughter ran around (trying to escape her parents' restrictive arms) so much, she fell asleep with pie in her mouth, on the way home.  Good times.

In addition to my family, I'm very grateful for this nation and the religious freedom we enjoy.

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
To that end, I highly recommend this article on the pilgrims and religious freedom, from the LDS newsroom.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Eastern European Youths Discuss Their Experience with the Book of Mormon

A number of young people (I assume members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) accepted the challenge to read from the Book of Mormon for 20 minutes each day.  Below, they share their experience.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rugby Star Gives Up Millions for Missionary Service

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (Doctrine & Covenants 18:10).  In my mind, this scripture is one of the principal answers to the question, "Why would a 19-year-old leave behind millions of dollars to serve a mission?"  The story of young rugby player Will Hopoate is just one such example:

There is another inspiring story of a young man who gave up two years of his life and, in his case, an opportunity to play on the best rugby team in the world.  His name was Sidney Going.  He is widely recognized as one of the best rugby players to ever play the game and is often referred to as "Super Sid."  His story begins at 2:15 in the video below.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:19-20).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tangled Hairless

Tangled.  I've been hinting to the F-Word I would do this post, for some time, now.

Back when I saw previews for Tangled, I more or less shrugged and went on with my life.  Then, about two or three months ago, I believe my wife was losing her sanity with our daughter, so she purchased an iSomething version of Tangled.

I'm surprised to say I was quite delighted with the film.  Being a father of a daughter, now, I'm much more concerned about the modesty (or lack thereof) and innuendos in princess movies than I used to be.

I enjoyed this film's plot-line and particularly the rare fact that, for once, the princess actually had a mother and a father.  Yes, I know things can happen to parents:  My father passed away when I was seven.  On the other hand, I've been dazed and confused about parental-princess situations for so long, now, it's true.  Regarding Tangled and as the F-Word described, nearly one year ago, I felt rather choked up, during the movie, especially to see the king lament the ongoing absence of his sweet princess, after some seventeen years.  I still feel pained to think of losing my own daughter and how devastated I would feel.

So, as the F-Word did, I strongly recommend this film to anyone seeking out a wholesome and uplifting princess movie (or simply a Disney movie with a decent plot, some adventure, emotion, and a lot of laughs).

Hairless.  Now to the part of this post's title I'd actually been hinting at:  Hairless 7 Part Dos.  While I'm generally inclined to give my every last thought on something, today, I'll try to keep it short and sweet for you:  I disliked this movie.

Call me a purist. Call me boring.  All I ask is that you, gentle reader, consider what the film did to an exceptional novel:  In the words of Paul, "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Hairless unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

Okay, okay, I'm the first to admit a movie is incapable of capturing every marvelous detail from such a glorios novel (even in 276 minutes or 4.6 hours, combining the two movies).  On the other hand, why is it the filmmakers have constantly changed the plot-line, broken the everlasting goodness?

Rather than produce a ten-page, bullet-point list of serious infractions, I'll simply recount three, here, that come immediately to mind:  1) Hairless and V-Mart grabbing each other around the neck, jumping off a tower, and zooming all through the castle.  What in the wide, wide world of sports?  2) Rather than V-Mart leaving Snape in a cold and pitiless manner, we have Hollywood gore, with blood splattered walls and Snape convulsing against them.  Honestly.  3) Hermoine and Ron try to kill the snake by chucking rocks at it, and it dodges them, just getting annoyed.  Wow.  In my mind, 3) and 1) are almost up there with Vader screaming, "Noooo!" after Emperor Palpatine almost nervously informs him he killed Padme.

In sum, I was revolted with how often the film tangled up the novel's previously crisp story or gratuitously added unnecessary Tom-foolery (wink, wink).  In a day where movies drip with extravagant bursts of action and brief tweets of plot, I suppose what I've written is exactly why the film is one of the highest grossing productions of all time . . .

Today's Spiritual Message: A Book of Mormon Story

I hope you enjoy today's spiritual message about an English bishop from Jamaica's experience with the Book of Mormon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

BYU v. TCU: Mistakes Were Made

I was really looking forward to last night's BYU/TCU game, as I considered the Horned Frogs the last serious opponent BYU would face this season, as well as the first serious opponent, since Riley Nelson took over at the helm.

In short, I'm bummed out BYU lost, impressed with some of its better moments, and still trying to wash the turnovers and mistakes out of my brain.

Riley Nelson.  Once again, I was super impressed with his grit and determination.  I was so impressed that, even though I wanted to jump off our balcony after his two desperation turnovers, I felt sorry for the guy, rather than disgusted.  Here's an example of that unerring determination I'm talking about:

How many quarterbacks will bust out a gutsy play like that and then high-five the line judge?  Full of win.  Next time, I just hope the high-five will come in celebration of an imminent victory, rather than a yippee, two-point conversion (when we're still down by double digits).

Special teams.  Wow.  Talk about a roller coaster evening.  I think we basically handed the game to TCU on special teams and field position (other than Falslev's punt return for a touchdown).  How is the defense expected to defend against a speedy TCU offense with just 30-40 yards between them and the end-zone?

Defense.  Speaking of the defense, I was impressed on the whole -- especially in the second half with how it kept stuffing TCU's offense when we had to make a stop -- and simply nauseous with some of the missed assignments that led to immediate scores.

Conclusion.  If I remember correctly, TCU got all or virtually all of its points under something like five minutes, total.  FIVE MINUTES!  Field position and missed assignments.  I loved how BYU battled back, in spite of what I believe was a 25-point deficit.

If Riley can learn to take a sack instead of creating a turnover, special teams can get the ball out of our side of the 50 on a punt, and if the defense can avoid touchdown-inducing mistakes, I'd call the team quite solid.  As things currently stand, who's next on the schedule?  The Idaho Vandals.  The who?  Is that a high school team?  Anyway, I guess we can look ahead to the bowl game against Army, Navy, or someone similar and a brighter season, next year (sigh) with better execution and greater success.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: What Our KJV Bible Cost

Sometimes, people assume that because members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons") accept scripture outside of the Bible, such as the Book of Mormon (a translated, ancient text) or modern revelation, that we disregard or disbelieve the Bible.

The fact is, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" (Articles of Faith 1:8).

Today, I started watching a three part documentary about the lives and martyrdom of those who gave so much so that you and I, or anyone who wishes, can have the word of God and read it for himself.  The presentation is called "Fires of Faith."

Here's a trailer.  I believe you can watch the full documentary, on demand, at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BYU Football 2011

Okay, this post represents my effort to keep a promise I made to a friend that I'd write on this subject.  Enjoy.

First few games:  I was very disturbed with the offense's inability to execute in the red zone.  Who cares if I can make long, sustained drives, if I peter out when it counts (putting points on the board)?  I really liked the defense's opportunism, particularly Van Noy's forced fumble in the Ole Miss game, returned for a TD, to basically win the game.  I'll simply forgo mentioning the UU game, other than to say I'll never show my face in SLC, again, for the next 30 years.  What I will say about the game is that it represented the story of the team's early-season mentality: great or okay one half, poor or awful the other.

Ah, sweet Van Noy delights, available at your local Lavell Edwards stadium or anywhere BYU plays a football game
Utah State comeback:  I almost lost it, with BYU down something like 10 points with only the 4th quarter to go against Utah State.  Seriously.  When's the last time the mighty Cougars lost to the Aggies at home? when Karl G. Maesar was BYU president?  I had been "most displeased" with Heaps' bittersweet performances and the offense's overall "apparent lack of progress."  Thankfully, as the F-Word so eloquently described, Samson, Sunshine, or just plain Riley, came out with his flowing locks streaming in the air, slashing through the Aggie defense and, eventually, leading the bleeding Cougars 96 yards for a, "Are you serious?!?" capstone, comeback drive.  I almost wept with joy.  That whole comeback was Beck-Harline in the endzone type of goodness, particularly the catch in the endzone goodness.  Full of win.  At a minimum, I felt and looked like Jean Luc Picard, as I celebrated that glorious (and relieving) victory.

Remember the Titans (as in the move)?
Since Utah State comeback:  BYU has since played San Jose State and Oregon State, emerging victorious in each contest.  I'll decline to comment on the games much, since I saw only recap articles, describing what happened.  On the other hand, from what I remember, the team has gashed open the yards with its offense, particularly the running game, and I look forward to seeing some serious scoring, when I witness my next game (hopefully, on Saturday).  

Regarding the team, in general, I believe I've read that the players are really excited with Nelson's grit, hard work, and determination.  Moreover, from what I saw of him in the Utah State game, I was, myself, singing his praises.  My questions are how long it will go on before he gets hurt (running the ball so much), and how will he fare against an excellent pass defense?

BYU Football independence:  I absolutely love it.  "[Y]e are a chosen generation, . . . a peculiar [football team]."  Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often seen as weird or, at least, different, and, frankly, that's our preference.  BYU's football independence symbolizes the fact that we stand for playing games on Saturdays, rather than Sundays and that the organization behind BYU football is much, much bigger (and more important to us) than the football team, and, dare I say, that BYU is willing to stand up for its Honor Code, rather than Ohio State its way through recruitment challenges.  In fact, many people have developed an interest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints simply because of BYU's football team, and, in my mind, that interest is worth much more than any number of national championships or fiscal riches flowing into the university.  D&C 18:10.

Would it surprise you if the term "Brothers," here, has at least a dual meaning?
So, could BYU rake in more cash with the Big 12 or some other hoity toity conference?  Absolutely.  Would BYU be guaranteed to play better teams and have a stronger schedule?  Hands down.  Would BYU-faithful be able to watch (or re-watch) most or every game?  I strongly doubt it.  Would the highfalutin conference give BYU guff about refusing to play on Sundays (and maybe adherence to its Honor Code)?  I think so.  In short, while I'd love to rise and shout about more bing in BYU's pockets, I'm happier than a clam, just to see the team gut it out as a peculiar team, a band of brothers.  For more on this subject, I highly recommend the article I linked to, above.

Okay.  I have shared my thoughts.  Rise and shout.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

HAPPY 500TH POST! Today's Spiritual Message: Things as They Really Are

"Time flies on wings of lightning, we cannot call it back."  I've written on this subject a few times and it's still something I greatly struggle with -- and I lived two years on a rigid schedule, absent TV, email, friends, dating etc., waking up early and going to bed by 10:30.

As I imagine some of you might also be having similar struggles with prioritizing your time, I'm confident you'll enjoy this brief video, incorporating words from Elder David A. Bednar, as well as the full video of Elder Ian S. Ardern's recent general conference talk, A Time to Prepare.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SEO & The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On a daily basis, I try to follow the Savior's admonition to, "Search the scriptures" (John 5:39).  Recently, I've coupled my study of the Book of Mormon with study of the New Testament.  In supplementing my reading, I often use study guides, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they incorporate explanations and insights shared by modern prophets and apostles.

This morning, when I went to pull up the pdf URL of the New Testament manual I use, I accidentally ended up on  (Using Chrome, I can search Google straight from my address bar.)  Apparently, Chrome thought I had typed in New Testament as a Google search.  What was the second result for New Testament (coming only after the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia)?

Try Googling "New Testament" and see what you find.
Curious, I did a brief search on the subject of the LDS Church and SEO, and I found this article from Daily Mail in the UK.  It turns out there are a number of Google searches that will yield a page from the Church in the top ten results, including friend, ensign (which comes in at #1), new era, old testament, etc.

Maybe the F-Word can enlighten us with a conspiracy theory discussion, here.

In the view of many Latter-day Saints, including myself, this result will hardly be surprising, as we were commanded by the Savior to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19-20).

Using the Internet as a tool to spread the glorious message that the Jesus is the Christ, and that He has restored His Church on the earth, today, is a method frequently encouraged by the Master's prophets and apostles.  Messages from Elder M. Russell Ballard and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf are just two examples that come to mind.  Said President Uchtdorf, "My dear young friends, perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to 'open [your] mouths' (D&C 60:2) might today include 'use your hands' to blog and text message the gospel to all the world!"

Indeed, I firmly believe the principal reason the Lord has inspired men to create modern marvels such as the Internet and social media is to spread His message that His Church is on the earth, again, today, and "that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake"  (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, quoting a challenge from Ralph Waldo Emmerson to Harvard Divinity School students in 1838).

I add my witness, once again, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He has restored His Church to the earth, again, today, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  While some might call this declaration "bold" and feel disconcerted to hear it, many were also taken aback when the Savior, Himself, proclaimed His own divinity (see John 6:25-62, particularly 60-62).

Rather than take my word that these things are true, I invite you to visit, search, ponder, and ask our Heavenly Father for yourself.  I promise you that if you will "ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [the Eternal Father] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (see Moroni 10:3-5, which refers specifically to the Book of Mormon).

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Feature(s) Coming to Google Docs?

Okay, now that I'm fresh off some conspiracy theory reading from the F-Word, I want to do some hypothesizing of my own:  Something new might be coming to Google Docs, involving Google+.

How do I know, you ask?  Well, have a look.

In Docs, Drawings, and Spreadsheets, the notification count and share button are each conspicuously absent.  I checked this across three machines (HP, iMac, and chromebook), three OSes (Windows 7, Snow Leopard, and Chrome OS), three Chrome versions (canary, mac dev, and cros dev), and three separate Google accounts.  All three show the same behavior in docs, at least -- I have yet to check the others on all three and will let any adventuresome reader take up the call.

Is this a bug or something bigger?  I hope the latter.

What do I prognosticate?  In the absence of a bug, I assume this will be something like Google Maps rolled out, where we click on the share button to share the doc, drawing, or spreadsheet we're currently working on with our friends/circles.

What do you think?  Bug, feature, or conspiracy theory?  (I'll leave the Illuminati out of this one; I've already got enough to worry about, now that I know the truth about DIA.)

(Yesterday's) Spiritual Message: What Did Heavenly Father's Prophets and Apostles Say, Last Week?

Last week, I mentioned that prophets and apostles, called of God (our Heavenly Father), would be speaking to all the world.

Here is one of the messages the chief prophet and apostle (the equivalent of a modern Peter, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc.), President Thomas S. Monson, shared with us all, entitled Stand in Holy Places:

In addition to President Monson, the Church is also guided and directed by other prophets and apostles (15, including President Monson) and seventys, as described by Paul in Ephesians 4:11-14 and called by the Savior, Himself, as recorded in Luke 10:1 (seventys) and Luke 6:12-13 (apostles).  An overview of who the principal leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are can be found here.

The messages given by all the prophets, apostles, seventys, and other Church leaders can be read, listened to, watched, and downloaded, here.

As always, I'd love to answer any questions, or you can certainly visit and search for yourself.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(Very) Basic Image Editor Lands in Chrome OS 0.16.1122.0

Some of us wanted it (at least I did) and the Chrome OS team supplied it:  A basic image editor.  Sadly, for me, it's one feature short of the main feature I cared about:  Blur/smudge.  Ah, well, at least it has crop.

Really, though, is this some secret plot for me to keep using Picnik, even though I much prefer image editors like Awesome Screenshot or Aviary Image Editor?  Sigh.

Also new in this build:  The Wi-Fi icon now has lines on it to more clearly delineate current signal strength, I assume (I actually suggested this a while back and am less thrilled with it, in practice); the plus tab button is now an inchoate + button . . . once I hover my mouse over the empty diamond, the + comes to life!  I can appreciate the hip GUI-ness of it, and I can also see some folks (especially those over 50) scratching their heads about where the plus tab button is.

This is the extent of what I, and at least WReithmeyer, have noticed that I consider worth mentioning.

What hidden goodies have you guys noticed that you'd like to add to the pile of fun? 

Click the Gallery button and . . . 
Now we can auto-fix, crop, brighten, rotate, or undo to our heart's content (or upload to Picasa, via Share button).
Maybe blur/smudge will arrive by Christmas -- sorry, Winter Solstace.
P.S.  Gotta love getting the green, your-update-is-ready icon (especially for an OCD update freak, like myself).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice

The Lord's prophets and apostles speak, today at 12pm and 4pm eastern.  I invite you to watch and listen:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Did the Chrome Team Ditch the Bookmarks Section and Bring Back the Bookmarks Bar?

Update:  I'm thinking this is a bug or Chrome OS specific, since my wife's Apple computer is running Chrome 16.0.891.1 and has the bookmarks section.

Is it just me, or has the Chrome team decided to shelve the whole bookmarks section of the new tab page?

As my daughter would say, "Wheeeeere'd ya go??"
From what I can tell, the bookmark section reverted back to the bookmarks bar, as seen, above.

Is this on all four platforms, or just Chrome OS 0.15.1011.43?

Do you think this change is permanent or temporary?

If intentional, why the change?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sites Displaces Reader in the Google Navbar

Have you created your site, yet?
Yep.  In Gmail, Calendar, Documents, and Photos, Google Sites has now given Google Reader the boot in the persistent navbar (to my dismay).


From what I can tell, Google's looking to ramp up interest in Sites.  I have yet to ever create one, so maybe I'll gain an interest.

The cost?  I now have to click on More>Reader to get to my Google Reader.  Yes, it is the most difficult thing I've ever done.  Sob.

What other thoughts do you have on the change?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

I'm always tickled when my daughter sees a picture, video, or other image representing the Savior and shouts, "Jesus!"

What a blessed opportunity parents have to teach their children, from a young age, the stories of Jesus.  To that end, I hope you enjoy this performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from the October 2010 General Conference.

You may also enjoy this eponymous message (Tell Me the Stories of Jesus) by Elder Neil L. Andersen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Locked vs. Unlocked Google+ Albums

Again, another Google+ account cross-post.

When did Google add this feature?? Regardless, I love and am impressed with how Google is giving users control over their content (at least as far as accessibility among other users is concerned). I also enjoy the explanation, coupled with the feature's intuitive use.

What do you think?

Diva Photo Shoot

FYI, this is a cross-post from my Google+ account (in case you follow me here, only).

I love my photogenic daughter and photo-taking wife! I'm also impressed and amused how mom made it appear like daughter was posing the whole time . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Flecks of Gold

We often fail to appreciate how much the small things in life can add up.  Enjoy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New in Blogger: Post Albums

Hats off to my wife for pointing this one out to me:  Yes, F-Word, now that the wife has beaten me to a tech news scoop, I have (once more) relinquished my man card.

So, here's the story.  My wife's basking in the warmth of some pictures from one of her recent, private posts, only to realize there're some kind of Google+-like thumbnails at the bottom of the screen . . .  After some investigation, I've concluded each Blogger post now has it's own album of post-specific photos.  Observe:

Blogger post albums:  Who knew, right?
An added bonus (in addition to the album-style rendering, I mean) seems to be that I can now access post pictures, absent having to open up/reload a new tab.  Nice.

How much does or will this have to do with Google+ integration, as I originally assumed?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This morning, I'd like to share some thoughts from my reading in the Book of Mormon.

In 1 Nephi 17:45, Nephi chastises his brethren because of their wickedness and accompanying insensitivity to spiritual things.

The late Elder Joseph B. Wirtlin observed, "This is a noisy and busy world that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit."  Book of Mormon Study Manual, page 39 or The Unspeakable Gift, April 2003 General Conference.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf echoed this sentiment and recently remarked,
Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.
It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks.
Of Things That Matter Most, April 2011 General Conference.

I recognize I often fall pray to this syndrome, myself, and I invite us all to take some time for quiet reflection, communing with God, and focusing on the things that matter most, especially our family.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: In Memoriam, 9/11

Today, my heart is full of pondering, of remembering that fateful day, from ten years ago.  I will always remember watching the events of 9/11 unfold, from the remote TV in my physics classroom, in high school.  I'm so grateful for those who gave their lives to save and rescue others.

Remembering those who gave their lives.
Tom Brokaw and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will air a special 9/11 broadcast, today.
In remembering 9/11, I invite you to watch a special memorial broadcast, recorded by Tom Brokaw, who was a news anchor detailing the events of 9/11, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, who quickly performed a memorial service.  The broadcast will be aired throughout the day.

Finally, invite you to read two different articles reflecting on 9/11, one by Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in the Washington Post) and the other by Emory Cook, of BYUtv.

May we be a better people as a result of the 9/11 tragedy -- more full of love and compassion, and may God bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Web Worker" Extension/App/Process(?) in Chrome OS

This morning, I discovered another a little something that's at least new to me in Chrome OS:

Extension, app, process, plugin?  What is Web Worker?
I believe Web Worker has something to do with Google Docs because it seems to have disappeared after I closed out the two docs tabs ("apps") shown, above, and then reappeared, after reopening one.

I did a brief bit of research and came up with . . . nothing.  So, guys, what's this Web Worker instance in my task manager?  Please sound off below or on my Google+ post.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Potpourri of Updates in Chrome OS 0.15.1011.0

Chrome OS dev 0.15.1011.0 landed, tonight, and I'd like to share a few observations:

File manager gets, well, a file cabinet icon (rather than the empty box logo)
The bookmark manager now has (or has had, and I'm just  finally noticing it) a link in the
Bookmarks section of the New Tab page
Extensions are now included in and redirected to the settings page, with a fun makeover, recently sighted by Dinu
Correction:  Wrench>Tools>Extensions navigates to the old page, rather than this one -- I assume this will change
Synced tabs and search engines are almost here!
(Well, technically, they are here, as flags)
Lazy Background Pages -- some extensions can be prevented from running until they are called upon -- cool
Update:  I tried this out and it seems to disable LastPass and possibly other extensions, too:
you might want to wait for this one
What else have you guys noticed?  Thoughts/comments?  Again, I also want someone to tell me what happened to multiple profiles, as a flag . . .

OH, I almost forgot to mention the boot up screen now has a Chrome-y animation and white background.  Okay(?).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: The Sting of the Scorpion

Our actions all have consequences.  Some of them really sting.


The Savior Jesus Christ reaches out to all of us who have felt the stinging consequences of sin, pleading, "[W]ill ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?"

Click here to read more of the message behind the video.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Print Preview Lands in Chrome OS (Sort Of)

You may recall how, a few weeks ago, I lamented Chrome OS's lack of print preview.  Print preview fans, strap on your seat belts because print preview has landed in Chrome OS . . . as a flag.  In case this term sounds new, go to about:flags or chrome://flags, to see the myriad EXPERIMENTAL features for chrome/chrome os there.  Frankly, I strongly suggest you avoid enabling a flag unless you're determined to have it (as I am with click-to-play and print preview).  With that caveat, behold the screenshots:

Is the add/remove URL headers/footers new to print preview, or just new to me?
Who knew my Real Estate Transactions notes could look so good?
Ah, spreadsheet print preview!
So, there you have it.  In my very brief tests, I ran into only one page that failed to load a preview correctly, and I was able to do a refresh, and it worked fine.  While I'm sure there will be plenty of hiccups, here and there, you may want to give the print preview flag some love, especially if you love print preview like I do.

By the way, the whole reason I blundered upon this flag, in the first place, was because I was searching for a multiple profiles trigger.  Renji, or anyone else, how can I set up multiple profiles on Chrome OS, inside one account, like I can on a dev/canary Windows build of Chrome?

Thanks for reading, and happy previewing!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Omnibox History Sync Now Available in Chrome

P.S. I forgot to mention Dinu spotted this in Chromium, back in May:

Omnibox History Sync, now available
Well, folks, the picture and caption say it all.  I updated my Cr-48 this morning to 0.15.950.0 and saw a message on the new tab page, telling me omnibox history sync is now enabled.  Hurray!

Now all I need is for Alex, Dinu, or someone else to explain or find out exactly what this means.  :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Google+ Look (Option) Arrives for Docs

Update:  I believe at least the Docs viewer is (for whatever reason) currently excluded from the new look.

Well, folks, the option for the new Google+ look (or integrated Google, if you prefer) is here.

Just go to a doc, spreadsheet, etc. and select, "Give it a try."

I'll let Alex and others do a complete dissection.  For now, I'm simply glad to see it getting a start.

What do you think about the new look?  Regardless, I think I'll need some time to get used to the loss of color.

Does Google Calendar Now Gray Out Old Events?

Update:  Thanks to a comment from reader Renji, I have learned this is, in fact, a setting in Google Calendar, called "Event Dimming," located in the settings page.  Glad to know I have some shreds of eyesight and sanity left.  Now, I'd like someone to clue me in on when this feature started (or, if it was months ago, let's just forget I asked).

Looking at my calendar, this morning, I believe Google Calendar has started to gray out old events, making it easier to focus on today's appointments.  Is this new and intentional, is it old, or am I just seeing things?  (You are instructed to disregard the red line in the first image.)

By the way, while I like Aviary's suite of tools, I get really annoyed with it's "user-friendliness" . . .

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Reversing Our Moral Decay

The other day, I read an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Rabbi Lord Sacks, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (in the United Kingdom).

Many have blamed moral decay for the recent riots in the UK
Rather than summarize the entire article for you, I will excerpt a few points and strongly urge you to read the rest:  In the recent British riots, of those charged with crimes,
60% had a previous criminal record, and 25% belonged to gangs.
This was the bursting of a dam of potential trouble that has been building for years. The collapse of families and communities leaves in its wake unsocialized young people, deprived of parental care, who on average—and yes, there are exceptions—do worse than their peers at school, are more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, less likely to find stable employment and more likely to land up in jail.
The truth is, it is not their fault. They are the victims of the tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.
Indeed, I'm unsure whether many would agree there even is an objective morality, anymore.  On the other hand, there used to be.  Consider, for example, the words of President Thomas S. Monson, 84:
We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position.
I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.  (Priesthood Power, April 2011 General Conference.)
So what is the solution to this moral decay and ever widening chasm?  According to Lord Sacks, a return to religion.  According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, and as I understand it, a return to families.

The family must be the focus of our efforts to reverse moral decay
I am in favor of both solutions, with particular emphasis on the family.  In 1995, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a prophetic statement on the family, which reads, in part:
Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.  (The Family:  A Proclamation to the World.)
So, what can you and I do to reverse moral decay, in promoting the family as the fundamental unit of society?  We can vote, we can write letters to the editor, we can blog, we can tweet, we can email, we can shut off the vulgarity and violence found on TV, the Internet, and countless movies.  We can stand up and say, "enough is enough, and this is where I draw a moral line in the sand that I refuse to cross."

In closing, I love this quote, shared by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words."  (Waiting on the Road to Damascus, April 2011 General Conference.)

What else are God's prophets and apostles teaching about the family and other important topics, today?  "Come and see."  (reference to John 1:45-46.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Automatic Sign-in for Google Sites in Chrome 15

Update:  I want to tip my hat to Dinu of ChromeStory, for spotting a glimpse of this in the Chromium code, back in June:

Over the past couple days, I've stumbled across what I believe is a new feature in Chrome 15:  Enable automatic sign in for Google sites.

The functionality is a little less automatic than advertised, as it appears the feature allows me to manually click on "Sign in," which will enable me to avoid typing in my username/password.

Neato for people who want to avoid using LastPass.  For me, I prefer the full automation LastPass provides (I land on a site and LastPass fills in my credentials and logs me in).