I Am Bismark


I was starting to really like Kaleidoscope app and then I realized it doesn’t have merge capability…

I should point out, I need five people to accept the invites before anyone gets the premium accounts.

Anyone want a invite for a free premium Backupify account?

Hulu Plus at $9.99/month? I doubt I will ever use it. Netflix serves my needs just fine.

moving day at work. a bit disruptive in the middle of a release.

More good news on the giving front

Some of you may remember my post about helping fund Mr. Baltazari Ngowi’s business through Kiva.org.

Well, I am happy to report that the loan has now been completely paid off. I hope that Baltazari was able to put the money for a worthwhile and profitable use.

Follow up on “Do You See What I See?”

The teacher from the project I donated to earlier this year has posted some pictures and a follow-up note:

…Hands on material is such a wonderful way to extend a lesson. Thank you again for helping to make Science an exciting topic for my students. Your gifts will be well used in my classroom for years to come…


I dunno what if any impact having some fun science experiments will have for these kids, but if any of them decides that continuing to learn and work hard at school is just a little more worthwhile than they thought before, that will be some of the best $25 I’ve ever spent.

how much would I really miss if I quit twitter?

held my first iphone 4.. didn’t see the hand holding issue.

whoa. that what the most l33t thing I have ever done in my life.

This whole lefty hating thing by Apple makes me glad I waited to upgrade my phone for a little while.

so much for getting to work on time. BART is stuck.

early morning going to the temple. only time we can make it with my work and the public transportation schedules.

Tomato-Butter Sauce

To kick off my attempts at becoming a better cook, I decided to stick with something simple: a four ingredient tomato-butter sauce. Amazingly, I actually pulled it off at it tasted great. Here are a few pics:

Me and a can of tomatoes

Yes, silly me, I used can tomatoes. We even had a bag of fresh, bright red tomatoes in our fridge; I was just too much of a wimp to try peeling them myself. One step at a time I suppose.

Red blogs of goodness

Squishy balls of red goop.

Time to get squishing

Like I said, squishy. Crushing them was just as fun as Neven claimed.

Not exactly healthy

Yeah, this wasn’t exactly “healthy”, but hey, everyone needs to live a little.

Tomatoes, butter, onion, salt

So here are all the ingredients (tomato, butter, onion, salt) together in the pot. I was actually surprised how little salt I needed to add, though I am sure the fact that the butter was salted made a big difference.

The sauce is ready to go

This is the sauce reduced after about 40 minutes of simmering and occasional stirring. It was amazing how flavorful it became without any extra ingredients. We took the onion out and I actually ate half of it as part of dinner. It was really tender and sweet.

The final product

And here is the final product. Both Mariam and I really liked how it turned out and I plan on making this sauce again in the future (next time with fresh tomatoes and maybe a few herbs for variety). Yum!

broken touch screen takes all the fun out of iOS 4.

Finally getting around to installing iOS 4.0 on my phone.. I doubt it will fix the touch screen wonkiness but hey, I can always hope..

Boss starts playing “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” song and I know that there will be no more productivity today.

MobileMe doesn’t provide MX records, just accepts forwarded mail from external addresses. Lame.

the new mobile me email features (notably server side rules and aliases) address my biggest issues. time to re-evaluate it.

AT&T: your dead zone right at haight and ashbury was extremely inconvenient tonight.

holy crap: CA tax for iPhone 4: $60. WI tax for the iPhone 4: $10. Maybe I should just wait until I get back.

Giving up on getting an iphone on the 24th. I don’t feel like standing in line while AT&T screws up activations. I will wait a day or two.

I didn’t do it. I can wait for Apple’s site to work.

i have two iphone 4’s in my cart on AT&T’s site.. do I dare click checkout? who knows when they will get them to me…

Mariam fell asleep early, so I spent the evening reading up on AtomPub for a little personal project I’ve been scratching at.


Like I said in my previous post, I’ve started getting interested in creating pixel art. Per Neven Mrgan’s advice, I decided a good start would be to imitate existing pixel art. So here is my first attempt at it: this is an imitation of Lucas from the game Mother 3 in this scene. The one on the left is the actual size, the one on the right in 5x.

I really don’t like how it turned out at all.

A few wedding pics

Here is a link to some pictures taken by my friend Michelle on our wedding day:

Getting Hitched

As usual, Mariam is her photogenic self while I just do my best not looking like a complete dork.

answer to my earlier question: click and hold the Reader icon, menu pops up with “Show RSS”.

Was I supposed to tip the lady who gave me my free haircut?

In Safari 5, how do I subscribe to an RSS feed on a site when the Reader icon appears instead of the RSS icon?

Does anyone really care that much about video chat on the phone? I can’t see myself ever using this.

Hey, at least we know that Steve’s iPhone has just as much network trouble as mine.

Whoops, I thought I had turned off cross posting between my blog and Twitter.. sorry for the deluge. Turning that off now.


I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what I would do if I was independently rich and I never had to work. I decided that my free time ought to be spent doing those things instead of wasting my time watching t.v. or something. My list is topped by:

  • Traveling and exploring the world with Mariam
  • Eating and learning how to cook awesome food
  • Doing service projects like Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, etc.
  • Programming
  • Learning how to make pixel art
  • Blogging

Sounds like the perfect life to me.

Traveling obviously has to wait awhile for financial reasons, but Mariam and I are planning to make the best of our time here in San Francisco exploring.

The cooking thing is something I’ve felt inspired to do by saltandfat.com. I’ve decided to take charge of one meal each weekend to try my hand at making something simple and tasty.

Doing service is something Mariam and I both believe strongly in. Now that our lives have started to settle a bit I hope we can start finding things to do a couple times a month to help out. We both have noticed the extreme need apparent just here in the city so we know there is plenty that needs to be done. I hope to report back soon with results.

Because of work, I am not sure how much independent programming I can really do, but I have been coming up with ideas on how to improve Battleball (hopefully to the point of getting it in the App Store) and a few other new projects. I will have to recheck my contract to see how much I can actually do this summer.

I dunno why I have started feeling an interest in pixel art, though following the development of two iPhone games, Mimeo and The Incident probably has helped. You may remember my first attempt here.. I hope to share a few new pieces with you all before the end of the summer.

Finally, blogging. Yes, I know I have left this blog in a very derelict state for the last few months, but I hope to change that. I was actually inspired by Tangerine returning from her mission and picking up blogging again. It reminds me of the good old days of blogging about daily life at BYU. I would like to get back to that.

Ok, I think that’s enough blog posts for tonight.


So, finally I am starting to get caught up with the present.

Mariam and I are here in San Francisco. It took us a week to find a place to stay, so we crashed at Grandma and Grandpa’s out in Concord. But now we have a really nice little apartment to ourselves near Balboa Park station with only about a 30 minute commute on the bus for me to work.

Work has been going well: I am working on a still secret project here at Zynga, though I suppose in the end very few people will ever know about it since it is all backend stuff. I’ve taught myself PHP pretty quickly, though I keep running into a few gotchas here and there (like paths in require statements are relative to the current directory you are executing from instead of where the script is located.. huh). I’m learning a lot and the environment is MUCH different than Intel. The free food is great and this Tuesday I am getting a (much needed) free haircut from the company’s stylist.

Mariam has been staying busy getting us settled in, though I am worried she is getting a bit bored.. We are still looking for stuff for her to do during the summer to stay active.

The last two weekends have been great: On Memorial Day we took a trip down to Santa Cruz with Amy Jo and Charlie. The weather was perfect walking along the ocean and Charlie gave us a little tour of his old stomping grounds. Yesterday Mariam and I walked around downtown, eating good food, looking for a dress and some running shoes for her.

The weather here is great (Mariam thinks it’s cold), which helps a lot. I feel like I am finally starting to catch back up with life (thus taking a couple hours to catch up on blogging), so now I am just looking forward to the rest of this summer in this awesome city with my awesome wife.

Car crash

I guess suspenseful endings don’t work all that well when I am writing a bunch of posts quickly in succession, but I am trying to break this up for easier readability.

Anyway, on the way to Target that evening, we pulled over to the side of the road (there was street parking) so I could make a phone call to my dad. After sitting there about a minute in park talking on the phone, I saw some headlights that seemed to be pulling up behind us. Next thing I know we are being slammed from behind. I tell my dad what just happened and I check to make sure Mariam is alright, which thankfully she is. We get out of the car to see what happened and the entire left side of my trunk is crunched and then scrapes go all the way up the driver’s side. The dude who hit us gets out of the car stinking of alcohol and obviously drunk, so I call the police and they send someone over. In the meantime a nice elderly man from a nearby house lets Mariam sit inside since it’s raining pretty hard and the drunk guy starts acting very strangely by hiding stuff in his trunk and digging around in some bushes nearby. A policewoman shows up and starts taking information, and right away she smells alcohol on his breath and asks him how much he has been drinking. So, thankfully she is really nice and sympathetic to us. The tow truck comes and starts taking away our car while we waited for some friends to pick us up. While we were walking away, the guy was surrounded by three cops interrogating him. I dunno what his final story was.

Both Mariam and I were quite shaken but aside from a sore necks, we were fine. The aches kept me up part of the night and definitely made packing the next day not all that fun.

The insurance company was helpful in getting us a rental car, but in the end we got a pretty paltry sum in return. I suppose if I was the litigious type I could have gotten a lot more from a drunk driver, but I just wanted to be finished with it all. Thankfully we were not planning on bringing the car to California with us anyway, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. The car was of course totaled.. I guess I could feel bad about such a lame ending to my first vehicle, but I really didn’t have the time to think about it too much.

Just another one of those stories we will be able to share with our kids.

Post-Wedding School Craziness

Our time in Park City was great. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Dakota Lodge which was quite fancy and very empty since it was in between seasons. We felt very posh ordering, well, Waldorf salad for $25 a plate through room service. It was a much needed two days of relaxing so we could survive the craziness that lay ahead.

So, yes, I still had finals to do. I know, I know, not the best way to schedule things in the world, but it seemed to be the only way for things to work out. It made for an interesting two weeks in Madison. My days were spent finishing up classes, my TA responsibilities, and projects, while my evening were spent helping Mariam set up our very temporary home that we won’t be back into until August. A few nights I ended up going back to campus to keep working. Definitely stressful and definitely not fun.

But my final projects ended up going really well: my professor was impressed with our networked game physics solution in the iPhone game and our brute force CRC32 cracker/Google Engine hack actually ended up working.

I found a guy from Spain to sublet my old apartment for the summer, and we got him all situated, which was a nice burden off our backs. And the sister of the visiting professor from India told us they were going to take our other apartment for sure, so we made final plans to buy the couches, microwave, and bed that she had requested. Off course, she decided to screw us over and not take the apartment after we spent the time and money getting those things because she found another apartment for $50 cheaper a month. Sigh. Mariam did a good job stopping me from sending some very angry emails.

But even with all of that stress, the night after everything at school was finished, I was starting to relax. Mariam and I went to the Institute graduation pizza party and we said goodbye to my friends from the single’s ward. Then it was time for the fateful trip to Target to pick up a vacuum cleaner with some of our giftcards… Until next post! Dun dun dun!

The Wedding


Hi again everyone. It’s been awhile.

I think I have a bit of catching up to do. Where to start…

I guess that whole wedding thing would be good. I wish I had had the time to blog about this a little closer to when it happened, but life got set at ludicrous speed ever since that fateful week…

I should mention being married is awesome and Mariam is great for having helped me survive the last month and a half.

Anyway, the wedding week. Insanity.

Monday: Picked up my suit (no, I did not wear a tux during out morning wedding and that’s the right thing to do).

Tuesday: Moving day. I spent the morning filling up boxes with my mom at the old apartment and dropping them off at the new one. Drove up to the homestead that evening to finish packing and get ready for the flight.

Wednesday: Flew out of Milwaukee early in the morning to get us into SLC early afternoon.

8:22 AM:

sausage egg and cheese biscuit regret.

Weather was unimpressive to say the least.

3:20 PM:

in Utah. and once again the weather sucks.

Mariam still was not done with finals, so I just had a second to say hi to her before she went into the testing center. Got in a bit of relaxing before I gave Mariam a ride up to Draper so she could go to her friend’s bridal shower. Obviously wanted to spend more time with her but I figured I would be with her plenty soon enough. We had actually hoped to have Mariam all packed and shipped by Wednesday, but that obviously didn’t happen, something I ended up regretting.


12:02 PM:

I think my fingerprints are burned off from the lye in the oven cleaner I was using. Stupid BYU cleaning checks.

Thursday morning was filled with cleaning up Mariam’s apartment and buying the Mariam’s wedding dress. Yes, this was a sad story: Mariam had sent her measurements to her mom so she could wear her mom’s wedding dress. Well, something went wrong and the dress was too small all around. So we had to buy a new dress two days before the wedding. I was forced to stand outside the store with my eyes clothes while Mariam and my mom made the final decision then I was brought just to swipe my credit card (a shadow of my future married life perhaps??). Anyway, thankfully it worked out and she looked beautiful anyway. That afternoon was mom’s graduation extravaganza, which was good for her (amazingly the ceremony only last around and hour and a half). That evening Mariam’s parents and brother landed in SLC around midnight, so Mariam and I drove up to meet them and make sure their rental car worked out alright. Which of course it didn’t (apparently you can get debit cards in Mexico without your name on it, which of course won’t work for renting a car). So after a few frantic phone calls and some stress, we decided to just stick with the original plan of having them stay up in SLC and having us just be their transportation. In the end it worked out fine but during the 2 am drive back to Provo all alone after an already crazy week, things seemed to be falling apart.

Friday: Only a few short hours later it was time to drive back up to SLC to pick up Mariam and her family and then to go down to the Draper Temple for Mariam’s endowments (I will never really understand why she had to choose that temple…). We almost got stuck in traffic making us miss our appointment but with the help of Google Maps and some quick maneuvering, we found the backroads that got us there on time. The ceremony was great with all of our family there and afterwards we pigged out at Chuck-O-Rama (my dad’s idea). Friday afternoon turned into crunch time for getting Mariam packed and moved out, which was quite stressful and tiring. I was completely dead by 8 pm and collapsed immediately into bed when I got to the hotel room.

9:28 PM:

I’m tired.

Saturday: The 8 hours of sleep felt closer to 1 given how dead I was still feeling Saturday morning, but I wasn’t going to let that get me down.

6:20 AM:

Way too crazy and stressful of a week leading up to today. Thankfully she is worth it.

Of course the wedding needed one last obstacle, so the Joseph Smith Memorial Building’s parking garage was closed due to a car slamming into the entrance doors over night. A few phone calls took care of that situation then I just kind of stood back while people started filtering in for the breakfast. Mariam was late, but we all forgave her.

Here is a picture I snapped of her during breakfast.

The whole thing was just kind of surreal and I kind of felt like I was floating along as we talked with friends and family, ate, etc.

Finally it came time for us to walk over to the SLC temple. While Mariam changed they left me in a small room with some chairs and a pitcher of water. Quite a nerve wracking 15 minutes of pacing around and trying to beat cotton mouth. She finally came in and she was beautiful and things just floated on smoothly from there. We had a bilingual sealer perform the ceremony which was really nice for Mariam’s family. The whole cliche thing of not hearing anything that was being said and just feeling really happy looking across the alter at each other was pretty much spot on.

I had this set to autopost while we were in the temple.

It was short and sweet and after a round of hugs it was off to get changed again for pictures. Of course Mariam took a lot longer than me, so once again I had another long, nerve wracking wait. Thankfully a nice older temple worker sat down and talked to me about how he used to do programming for physics simulations back in the 80s before they had math libraries or floating point chips, etc. A nice diversion to keep me sane.

Pictures were fun. Here is a small collection that I hope to expand in the near future once I get a few more of the pictures: link.

Finally it was all over; all of our friends and family were gone and we were left just saying goodbye to our parents. My uncle Jeff and aunt Kristine (both speak Spanish) were awesome helping out and being tour guides for Mariam’s parents for the rest of the day which let Mariam have one less thing to worry about. We said our goodbyes and that was that. I was glad to finally be done and to just have a little bit of time to breathe and enjoy my wife before the next bit of craziness began.

Mariam tryin on dresses at BCBG Maxazaria. Worker walks in on her and just sits there and stares until Mariam tells her to leave. Very rude.

ramen @ katana-ya. ηΎŽε‘³γ—γ„β€ΌπŸœπŸ˜πŸœπŸ˜

Dear Steve, please announce that iphone v4 will be released VERY soon.. my poor 3G is on it’s last legs.

the stripe of dead touchscreen has made my phone completely worthless for games :(.

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