Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So we got a letter in the mail, saying we have to update our bishop’s reference letter, criminal background checks (including checks for our four- and three-year-old children), and financial documentation (including tax returns). We also have to have a caseworker come to our house—again—to make sure it’s still safe for a child. This is necessary because it’s about to be a year since we were originally approved for this adoption. Oh, and this packet came 44¢ postage due. :-P

The bishop balked at filling out the paperwork because our agency neglected to include an envelope for him to send it back. By the time they finally sent one, he was gone on business for a week, followed by a two-week vacation with his family. I don’t begrudge him either of these, but it’s just one more thing, y’know?

Regardless, we now have to go through our house, making sure everything is spic and span. I mean, it’s not like we live like animals or anything, but there’s a different standard when you’re showing your entire house to a complete stranger, especially one who gets to decide whether or not you’re allowed to have a child. We have to make sure everything is safe and/or childproofed to their standards. We have to show that everything is clean. We have to install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor. (That’s a new one, since we adopted Leah.)

In short, let’s just say that if biological parents were held to the same standards as adoptive parents, I’m guessing people wouldn’t have to wait two, three, even fifteen years to adopt a child. (Our friends, for example, recently gave up after eleven years of waiting. I sincerely hope we’re never in that position.) There would be plenty of children to go around, and most of the kids who spend the better part of their childhood in the foster care system would likely never get there, in the first place.

Anyway, I hope this doesn’t come off as a rant. It just kind of takes me aback that after all we’ve already had to go through to get to this point, we now have to do it again. It’s not a problem; it’s just one more thing, y’know? And by this time next week, it will all be a memory, anyway. :-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


First of all, if you want to read a very brief summary of my Church’s history with family history software (from my point of view), check it out in the Book of Jeffrey. In short, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I’m encouraged to use a family history application on my own computer, be that the Church’s own Personal Ancestral File (which is free to cheap, but has now spent several years languishing) or some other, third party product. Well, let’s face it: all things being equal, free is always better than not free.

Based on that concept, I’ve spent the last several years, limping along with PAF 2.3.1. With the advent of Mac OS X v.10.5 Leopard, the Classic environment was completely abandoned, which made things even worse: I had to transfer the application to another computer running an older OS that does support Classic, then access it via Screen Sharing. So here are the steps I have now:

  • My main computer, a Power Macintosh G5 named Anila, requests a screen sharing session with my iTunes server, a Power Macintosh G3 named Negri.
  • Negri launches the Classic environment.
  • Negri asks to share FilesRAID, a mirrored RAID stored in Anila. 
  • Negri opens PAF 2.3.1 in Mac OS X v.10.4’s Classic environment.
  • PAF 2.3.1 opens a database from FilesRAID.

In short, Negri’s not tremendously fast to begin with, and with all this networking going back and forth, it’s a slooooow process. For this reason, most of my work, as of late, has actually been done on New FamilySearch (see the Book of Jeffrey post, above) rather than use the slow and annoying system I have here.

And it’s time for that to stop.

For the last few months, I’ve been going back and forth between a few different family history applications. The four that I in any way considered are as follows:

  • iFamily for Leopard
  • MacFamilyTree 6
  • Personal Ancestral File 5
  • Reunion 9
So what have I decided? Well, with all the other typing, I guess you’ll just have to wait till tomorrow! :-P

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Running Shorts Diaries

Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have been privy to a recent status update wherein I lamented my wife’s insistence that, after five months of running perfectly fine in jeans (when it’s cold) or denim shorts (when it’s not), I suddenly need to switch to running shorts. In response to those who asked why I have a problem with it, I submit this entry.

First of all, I don’t need them. Admittedly, I buy lots of stuff that I don’t really need, so this is tenuous at best. The difference, however, is that running shorts are something that I not only don’t need, but I don’t even want. It just seems silly to waste the money. At least they were only six bucks and change.

Second, they’re inconvenient. Most running shorts are intensely difficult to tie tightly enough, so they’re constantly falling down. Now, my Facebook friends may be asking, “Wasn’t that your complaint about the shorts you already had?” Well, yes and no. I did have to cut my Tuesday run short, for that very reason, but it wasn’t really because my pants were too loose (although they were); my pants have been loose for months. The problem was that the particular belt I was wearing was too loose. Thankfully, Anna managed to find a pair that actually ties tightly, which alleviates that problem.

The matter of inconvenience goes beyond my ability to cinch, though. Let’s be perfectly frank: I’m a Latter-day Saint, and as many people know, endowed Latter-day Saints wear a special garment under their clothing. The primary reason for this is a perpetual reminder the covenants we’ve made with our Father in Heaven, but a less significant reason is to help us maintain basic standards of modesty. For this reason, the bottom half of the garment—though available in many sizes, styles, and materials, per personal preference—resembles boxers a lot more than briefs. As such, it’s a rare pair of running shorts that actually covers the garment such that I’m not constantly worried about them hanging out of the bottom.

Now, I know what many other Latter-day Saints will say: why not just take off the garment while I run? Many saints do this, and that’s certainly their decision to make. In fact, I remember a 1995 episode of 60 Minutes where they did a piece on the Church of Jesus Christ, and then–San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young mentioned (in response to a question) that he doesn’t wear the garment while playing or training. And that, I reemphasize, is fine; it’s just not for me. While I certainly reserve the right to change my mind, that will only happen if and when I receive personal revelation to that effect. Until then, it remains a concern.

The third issue I have with running shorts is that they’re uncomfortable. Again, this is a result of some choices that I, personally, have made: when I run in the morning, I always always always lock and bolt the door behind me. I will not leave my oft-sleeping wife and children in an unlocked home while I’m out running around, and thus I need my keys. On the other hand, I want to keep myself safe, too, so I always bring my wallet. It contains both my identification and my insurance card, so if by some chance I have a medical emergency (which isn’t that farfetched; I’ve already wound up in the examining room once), I’ll have what I need to be taken care of.

When I’m wearing jeans (whether short or long), my wallet and keys feel as per usual. They sit in my pockets, and while my knuckles do bump them on rare occasions, there’s just something about the pockets of jeans that make the contents fairly imperceptible. In running shorts, on the other hand, they bump and scrape my legs with every step. It’s not excruciating by any means, and perhaps I’d even get used to it after a while. For the time being, though, I had a good thing going and, for reasons mostly unknown, now I don’t.

Now… I recognize there’s another side of the coin. While all of the men that responded suggested, in one way or another, that I go with whatever is most comfortable, all of the women apparently feel that what’s comfortable is considerably less important than what’s fashionable. I suppose it’s only natural that a gender that goes through such complex beautification rituals would feel that way—not that I’m complaining; those complex beautification rituals have some very nice results, including in the case of my own beloved wife. :-) But let’s be perfectly honest: if I want to not “look funny” (to quote one of my friends who commented), the first step to that is going to be not running at all.

Picture this: a 240-pound man is jogging down the street at an amazing four miles per hour, dripping sweat like he’s been working in the fields all day. On his head he wears a pair of headphones that was lovingly crafted by Taiwanese artisans to look like a large pair of earmuffs. If he’s lucky, he’s wearing a workout shirt; if not, he’s wearing either a T-shirt that says “The Otter” in glitter-glue, or something to do with guinea pigs. About the coolest thing about this guy is the five-year-old iPod shuffle he wears on a lanyard around his neck, and even that—though wonderfully functional—is so outdated as to be ridiculous. Bottom line: I doubt the dork factor is going to be significantly affected by eschewing a pair of denim shorts for a pair of running shorts (possibly with garments peeking out of the bottom).

All this having been said, I’m still considering wearing the running shorts for two reasons: wear and tear, and laundry. I’d prefer to keep my regular shorts in good shape (including cleanness), so I can wear them when I’m not running. Perhaps I can buy a pair of short-people garments, so I don’t have to worry about the bottoms sticking out. I could even empty out my pockets by adding a fanny pack to my ensemble, since my running shorts will apparently make me look so cool that they’ll coolify the fanny pack in the process. Lady Gaga and Paris Hilton will be wearing fanny packs everywhere in no time, and I can tell everyone that it’s all due to my super chachi piruli running shorts.

So yeah. There you go.