Saturday, August 27, 2011

Random Thoughts on Money

There is one event that objectively and measurably defines a person’s opinion for the worth of money. This event is the transaction. Despite people’s opinion, dollar bills are worthless in virtually every sense of the word. You cannot use it for anything; it doesn’t make a good tool, it doesn’t provide much warmth, it doesn’t even taste good. The only thing I can think of doing with it, is make a small paper airplane. The only way a dollar has value is if you use it in a transaction.Other than in a transaction it just sits in your wallet, does nothing, and is only dead weight (not much weight though). This correlates with our sense of worth in a dollar, it can get us something which has intrinsic worth to us.

Megan Pretending with Ponies

            Megan loves ponies, especially My Little Ponies. Not only does Megan love playing the My Little Ponies board game, she also enjoys playing pretend with her pony figures. Megan must have at least a hundred My Little Pony figures, some of which are small. Not tiny, just small enough that you don’t notice them when walking barefoot in the dark and stifle expletives when walking over them. Anyway, all these ponies, big and small, are played with often, in very imaginative ways, by our little girl. One day I came upon Megan playing with two ponies and, with a concerned expression, I asked, “Megan, what are the ponies doing?” “Pony is kissing ponies but,” she said lifting up one and gesturing toward the other. I guess she was learning about body parts that day.

            Due to the annoying names the ponies have, and Megan’s tendency to play and talk with them all the time, a just started creating my own names for them. This started about two months ago when Megan and I were playing with two pink ponies in her room. “My name is Pinky Pie,” Megan said thrusting her pony into my pony’s face, “what’s your name?” “My name is Pink Eye,” I said chuckling. Megan’s sincere response was, “Nice to meet you Pink Eye!”

Megan and Coloring

             Megan loves to color. She has several sets of crayons, boxes of markers, and a bucket of colored chalk, along with a truckload of coloring books. Megan loves coloring, but loves coloring more with daddy. One day I got bored coloring with crayons in one of her Color-Me Sesamestreet books; so I started drawing angry eyes on all of the Sasamestreet characters. “Why is Elmo angry?” Megan asks the first time I drew them. To which I responded, “Because it’s funny.” Apparently Megan thought so too, so now she draws angry eyes in a lot of her coloring books.
After Megan and I are done riding our bikes we usually draw on the driveway with coloring chalk. Megan draws lots of colored blobs and I write out math equations, and explain to Megan what they are. One day Megan was using more colors than usually and I was writing out math equations and describing them to Megan. I wrote out 1 + 1 = 2, and told Megan that one plus one equals two, to which Megan rolled her eyes and responded, “No, Daddy.  That is not how you do it.” Megan then tightened her grip on several different colored chalk and made a big arc on the asphalt while exclaiming, “This is how you draw a rainbow!”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Psychology of Value and Dollars

Updated this article which is now in Google Doc format.

Systems and Order

Updated talk and placed it in Google Docs format.

Klapheck Family Newsletter - just found this.

Merry Christmas from Klapheck 2.0
(Christmas 2009)

            Hello to our many friends and family once again. We hope that this year finds you and your loved ones happy and well.

BSA Merit Badges

The following are the 4 merit badges I am planning on teaching: Communication, Personal Management, Family Life, and Engineering.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Megan Swimming

Megan loves to swim. Here you are at 28 months swimming!

Megan no longer use arm floaties but still need help and uses a small inner-tube. Just last Sunday we went swimming as a family. Megan and I walk to the pool together from Grandma's house (Lynne). Once at the pool Megan rushes to the water, inner-tube around her waist, and carefully walks down the steps into the water. Megan continues walking down the steps until the water is at her waist and then jumps the rest of the way into the pool. There are three things Megan loves to do in the pool; jumping, spinning, and piggy-backing.

Brendan and the Metric System

I had a 6 month construction rotation during which time I worked at the Beale Air Force Base and the Sacramento Resident Office (SRO). When I worked at SRO there was one Mechanical Engineer I worked with as much as possible; Brendan. Brendan and I had an ongoing lighthearted debate about the Metric vs. English unit system over the course of several months. For those who don't know my stance, then see a previous post of mine about the English unit system. During our conversations Brendan did help me understand the English unit system much better. I had always been confused with units like lb/BTU. In this case lb is not referring to the force of an object divided by its energy content. Instead, it is referring to an amount of a substance (measured in weight) per its energy content. This is because, as Brendan says, the fundamental unit for an amount of substance is not mass but weight. I would very much disagree with this, but I can understand where this idea comes from; one cannot measure mass, mass must be derived from taking its weight and dividing by gravity. Although we could understand each other we still enjoyed teasing one another; Brendan and I would tease each other almost every week. One of my favorite instances is when we were looking at a pump and calculating the load the pump puts on the equipment pad. Brendan said, "That's right , the load, not the mass but the force." He then broke out into a big smile and we both shared a laugh.

Mechanical Insulation Design Guide - Design Objectives | Whole Building Design Guide

Just finished a Webinar on this subject:
Mechanical Insulation Design Guide - Design Objectives | Whole Building Design Guide
The most useful part of this guide I found was the condensate control calculator:
and the financial investment calculator:
The financial investment calculator can be used to calculate the rate of return on any investment!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aaron’s Experience with Public Transportation

Posted this to Facebook on on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 12:34pm

Date this event occurred: 6-24-09.

This is an entertaining story about my trip from Palo Alto to Sacramento. My first stop was the Caltrain San Antonio station. When I arrived at the San Antonio station I found myself on the wrong side of the tracks and, unlike the trains in Sacramento, there were huge fences blocking all access for pedestrians to cross the rails to get on the train going in the opposite direction. After asking around for a while I finally found someone who could tell me how to get on the other side. I needed to go to the very end of the platform (about 200 feet away) and go under a pedestrian tunnel to get to the other side. By the time I finally got to the other side my train was coming. I quickly pulled my ATM card out to pay for my tickets at the machine but my card was denied. I tried over and over again until finally my card was accepted; at this time the train was almost ready to take off. I jumped on my bike and sailed toward the train. The train attendant looked at me and signaled the train to take off leaving me stranded for an hour until the next train would show up. I learned later that in the bay area most Caltrain workers hate seeing bicycles being ridden anywhere near the train and will leave most riders if they see them on their bikes (a very weird policy, but now I know).
An hour later I get on the train. I found a place that my bike fit nicely and have just sat down when I was addressed. A Caltrain worker yelled at me “Your bike doesn’t go here!” and quick rushed down toward the rear of the train. I responded “Where should I put my bike?” The Caltrain worker ignores my response and continued walking. When the Caltrain worker got back, 15 minutes later, he said that he will be “escorting” me off the train at the next exit (I really love Caltrain at this moment). After being removed from the train at the next stop I notice that there were a lot of bicyclists getting on the train, but they were getting on at the very front of the train (this is where my bike belonged, but no one told me). I had a fairly uneventful train ride up to San Francisco after that.
After arriving in San Francisco I got out my map to the Greyhound bus station and started to bike toward my destination. The map I was using had me going down Haight Street which unfortunately has some of the steepest hills in all of San Francisco. I ended up on Haight and Ashbury which I quickly found out is nowhere near the Greyhound bus station (apparently they sound similar in mapquest). In fact, from the Caltrain station, Haight and Ashbury is in the opposite direction of Greyhound. I then had to bike the 8 miles (literally, to the opposite side of San Francisco) to the Greyhound station. Once at Greyhound I found out that they don’t store bicycles at the station (even though I called ahead and was specifically told that they did). They were able to sell me a $16 cardboard box that I could store my bike in (Greyhound can only store things in sealed containers). Unfortunately, this box was on the small side so I had to disassemble my bike to get it to fit in the box. When I say disassemble I don’t just mean take the wheels off, I mean take every single piece of the bike apart down to the handle bars and the peddles! After shoving my bike into the incredibly small box I was then told that that Greyhound only accepts cash (my day is just getting better and better). I tried the ATM at the station but the machine kept reporting an error. The Greyhound attendants said that they had some problems with the machine before but that it was maintained by a third party so they had no idea what might be wrong with it. The attendants were able to direct me to an ATM that was several blocks away, so away I went (I was surprised that the fee to use this ATM was $4!). After getting back with the $20 to pay for my bike I was informed that when I was out my bus had left without me and that I would have to take the next one which would be arriving at 1:30AM and would get to Sacramento at 3:45AM. They then informed me that this would involve a transfer charge of $15, cash! I love public transportation.

Marriage Logically

Posted this on Facebook on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 10:19am

Edited and re-written here: Same Sex Marriag

Megan on her Tricycle

This morning I got to ride with Megan on her tricycle around the block. Megan loves to ride her tricycle, so we usually go riding almost every day. Once Megan puts her shoes on, we are out the door and heading for our bikes. I help Megan buckle her helmet, then we get on our bikes and are off. Megan has a small tricycle and I ride my 15 speed bicycle. Because there are no sidewalks, we bike in the rode. I watch for cars and mostly ride in small circles to not get too far ahead of Megan. Megan focuses on the manholes, asphalt cracks, trees, grass and anything except pedaling.
Megan is now getting much better at focusing on pedaling. She can go pretty fast now and can even make it over the speed bump near our house. Every now and then Megan gets stuck and calls out, "I'm have'n little trouble here." I slowly pedal up next to her and, with my foot, give her tricycle a gentle push. "Weeeee!" Meagan yells, followed by a "Thank you, Daddy." Megan is going so fast on her tricycle now, it won't be long until she can ride a regular bike with training wheels. She was so excited to hear she would get a bike like daddy's, she tried to get on my bike. "I ride daddy's bike," she exclaims racing toward it. I stop her with my hand, "The tire on my bike is larger than you are, kiddo." It looks like I will have to upgrade Megan's tricycle pretty soon.

Lost Work Bag

    On Thursday, August 18th I accidently left my work bag on light-rail. It happened during the worst day too. That morning I couldn't put my bike on the bus, because the bike racks were full. The bus driver did let me take my bike on the bus, which was nice, but that meant I had to hold it in place the entire ride. Next, I got into an argument at work with a colleague. After work, I went to the usual spot to be picked up by bus 29. However, this time bus 29's bike racks were full on the way home as well (this has only happened one other time in over two years). So that meant taking the light rail home followed by bus 23 or 25.
    On light-rail there was a mean old lady who hit me with her cane when my bike bumped her. When approaching my stop, I concentrated on controlling my bike so as not to bump anyone else as I got ready to get off. After getting off of the light-rail I started to climb on my bike and pedal toward my stop, but a RT worker quickly informed me that no bike riding was allowed anywhere around light-rail. I quickly dismounted my bicycle and noticed that my bag was missing. I turned around just as the doors to the passenger cart I was riding in closed and a second later it started moving. My heart sunk as I started walking to the light-rail train and knew that it was not going to stop. I quickly called my wife and explained the situation. She told me to call 321-BUSS; after doing so, I waited at the station for my light-rail passenger cart to come back around. At the appointed time, nearly 30 minutes later, I saw the train coming back. The operator told me that at this time the light-rail train, I had taken earlier, should be on its way back downtown. My mood grew more depresses as I saw this train coming though. I knew the light-rail train I had taken had four passenger carts, the one approaching only had two though. So I took the next light-rail to Watt and I-80, the end of the line, to see if anyone had turned my bag in. After arriving, I asked an RT personnel if my bag was turned in. She got on her radio and asked if my bag had been seen on any of the passenger carts. I felt so silly, if I had known they could have done that earlier, I would have asked the RT personnel to radio my bag missing the minute I realized my bag was gone. In any case, no one had seen a bag and no bag had been turned in. I will be calling the lost and found this coming Tuesday just in case though. The RT attendant also told me that light-rail trains are shortened around 4:30pm. So the short light-rail train I didn't bother searching, was the one I had been riding in after all. After that, I had to ride my bike four miles home where I had lots of time to think about the bad day I had.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Home Teaching Route

    Here is my home teaching route for the Ashton Park ward I just received this month: Teresa Rosas, Suzanne Selvidge, Stephan Jiu (pronounced: Steve Jew), and Eugene & Laurie Kempter.
    My home teaching companion is Shon Mc Adoo. Shon and I have already seen Steve, and I called and left a message with Eugene. That leaves Teresa and Suzanne. Steve and Eugene are strong members in the ward. In fact, I have worked with Eugene in the past for my responsibility of calling and reminding people to come for building clean up on Saturday mornings. Eugene has the responsibility of cleaning the building every Saturday along with several other people who I have the responsibility of reminding a few days before. The other two people I home teach are less-/non-actives; Teresa and Suzanne. The Elders Quorum president, Trevor Lamb, said that for the less actives one way we could get our foot in the door is through emergency preparedness. We could ask the people we home teach if they want their contact information available to the church in case of emergencies.
    I just went by Teresa and Suzanne's house today. I first went to Teresa's house but, surprisingly, the address does not exist. Next I went to Suzanne's house, which luckily existed, but was not able to talk to her directly. After ringing Suzanne's door bell a gruff looking man came to the door. I asked if Suzanne resided at the residents and was pleased to learn she was but couldn't come down because she was still sleeping. I got her phone number though, and will be calling her to set up a home teaching appointment later today. Today is looking pretty good.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Trying to find water heater information

I am trying to find the recovery rate for this hot water heater (see image). I found two websites detailing products close to the one I am looking for but not quite the same.
Knowing the capacity the only other piece of information needed is the recovery rate for this hot water heater. I did find some information online from two reputable websites. One is Jupiter Heating and the other Pex Supply. Neither websites have an exact match for the water heater I am looking for. I hate figuring out existing systems. You can never find accurate cut sheets.

I hate the English unit system

Written on 10/6/2010

Here is the perfect example: MBtu and MMBtu

Btu = British Thermal Unit. A British unit which quantifies heat energy.
M = 10^6 (where “M” means million or Mega) or it could mean 10^3 (where “M” comes from Roman numeral lettering i.e. M = 1,000). The latter definition is the most commonly used. It mainly depends on what mood you are in though.
MM = thousand thousands which gets its meaning from implied multiplication (1,000*1,000 = 10^6). This implied multiplication comes from the Arabic algebra style of mathematics. Using the Roman style of mathematics “MM” would mean 2,000.

Thus we see that the English unit MMBtu uses the Roman numeral system with the implied operations of the Arabic algebraic system followed by the British energy quanta.  Was the person who invented this unit doing drugs at the time? I think so.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Megan and the Go game

Another board game that my daughter loves is the game Go. This particular board game is different than the usual one, because it uses black and white pegs placed on a 19x19 peg board instead of black and white stones placed on a 19x19 board. Playing this game for the first time my daughter figured out these pegs were stack-able. In short order she created a tall tower made up of a long stacked column of black pegs. I then started adding my white pegs until the column was leaning over quite a ways. I then grabbed the column at the base peg and lifted it into the air. Megan was amazed and squealed, "Let me see, let me see!" Still holding the base peg, I started moving my hand in a tight circle causing the tower of pegs to swing outward in a large circle. Megan could not contain her excitement anymore and her hand lunged for the tower of pegs. Catching hold of the middle of the tower, the column of pegs abruptly stopped circling. With a devious look in her eyes, she yanked straight up on the peg she was holding. To her astonishment, the tower separated into two smaller towers, I was left holding the bottom half and Megan, mouth gaping, was holding the upper half. She quickly recovered and started spinning her tower of pegs, vigorously breaking the tower apart and sending pegs flying. "Do it again." She cried with glee. So we did.
We still play Go to this day, and my daughter continues to loves staking those pegs higher and higher.
Megan is so funny. I love my little girl so much!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Megan and the pony game

Megan (daughter) and I love playing board games together. It is probably our favorite indoor activity next to chasing each other around the kitchen partition. Megan started playing games with me when she got her first board game - the Pony Game, as she calls it.

The game includes three pony figures which move from cloud to cloud from start to finish. The pony spinner determines where you go next either to one of three different color clouds or to pick a card. About two months ago when we were playing, Megan flicked the spinner and it went spinning until it landed on the pink cloud, then, as if by magic, it move a little more until it pointed to the blue cloud. Megan saw this and got so excited and exclaimed, "how did that happen?!?" I then showed her there was a hole in the spinner board through which the spinner arrow  was attached by a plastic clip. Then I turned the spinner over and showed her the bottom of the clip which, when moved, also moved the arrow. So by placing my hand underneath the spinner and carefully turning the clip the arrow looked as though it moved on its own. Megan thought this was the best thing ever! She grabbed the spinner from me and repeated my actions over and over again until she could move the arrow without touching it. She yelled out with glee, "How did I do that!?!" Seeing as how she was waiting for my response I said, "I don't know." "I have magic!" Megan then exclaimed.
  So now every time we play the Pony game Megan tries to use magic.

Chess and Go

I have been a chess player for most of my young adult life. My mother, brother David, and I played chess together on many occasions. I usually didn't play my brother, both me and my brother usually played against our mom. At first mom always won but after several years we began to almost always win her. That is, until I was introduced to the game Go.I first started playing go when I worked at the CSUS math lab. A coworker George introduced the game to me and I have loved playing Go ever since. Now David and I play go together about once a month. I play go with Megan several times a week. Megan likes playing with the pieces more than playing the game though.

Hornets nest in house

I remember in one of the early houses I lived in as a child we had a nest of hornets living in our ceiling. One day, after my father came home from work, we were sitting in the living room and all of a sudden my mother was shoving all of us out of the house. I peeked around her and noticed that there were hornets pouring out of a hole in the ceiling. Everyone of us hightailed it out of the house as quick as we could and piled in the car. Dad drove us to a store and bought some sort of spray that would help get the hornets out of the house. That was an experience I will never forget.

Aaron's CSUS Classes

When I was in school I loved all the classes I took. I liked them so much that I created a webpage mainly consisting of the classes I took while attending Sacramento State University. I also scanned all of my notes I took for my classes and put them on an external hard drive.

Deborah's Comet Song

I remember one song my mother liked singing to me every once in a while. I think she heard it from a commercial. Here it goes:

Comet it makes your mouth turn green,
Comet it tastes like Listerine,
Comet, it makes you vomit,
so take some Comet, and vomit today.

I am not certain what lyrics the song uses. Wait, I just found it at Wikipedia.

Finding more talks

Yesterday I found two more talks I really liked.
1. Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need
2. Our Father’s Plan—Big Enough for All His Children

General Conference talks

I am so grateful that all the General Conference talks can be found online. I have been listening to the conference talks on my iPhone and finding ones I like the most. Once finding one I really like I look it up on-line, pint it out, mark it up, share what I learned with my family, and save the marked up PDF in my Dropbox.

As of Aug 22 I have now been putting my marked up conference talks on a separate blog. I no longer keep my conference talks in Dropbox.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Love My Familiy

I love and miss my wife very much right now. We just tried Family Council last night as directed in the talk Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually and MOM: Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Family Council. Unfortunately it didn't go so well. We will work a bit harder to make it work this coming Sunday though. I have been listening to the General Conferences on my iPhone (really listening, not just passively hearing them talk) and have come to love reading their lessons to my family in the evening. I am so very grateful for the living Prophets we have in our day. I get to go home teaching tonight! I will be sharing Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk on Moral Discipline. I am very excited to share the spirit in another member's home.