It costs an arm and leg

sketch_humanFigureHave you ever wondered where some of the expressions and cliches come from that we use? The subject fascinates me to no end.

I heard this one the other day from a friend. It seems that during the Renaissance,  portrait painting was all the rage. Even people of ordinary means would strive to have their portraits painted by artists.

 The cost of having such a painting done was contingent upon the pose used by the model because certain perspectives and parts of the body are easier to draw than others. Arms and legs happen to fall into the more difficult category, so if someone had a portrait done that showed an arm or a leg  it was likely to be quite expensive; hence the expression.

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Code Charge (by

This looks like an awesome tool, but it sounds almost too good to be true. I have not yet found a development environment that could handle both Java-based and Microsoft.NET-based code with equal grace. I especially like the fact that you can select any kind of database you want to use with it.

This could be the holy grail I’ve been seeking. The prices are reasonable  compared to other tools that do similar things, it has an active user community and the company is still small enough to care about technical support. Documentation seems a little sparse, but then I haven’t looked into very deeply yet. 

I’ll be evaluating it over the next two weeks and post my results.  If anyone has tried this tool, I’d be more than happy to discuss your experience.

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Age is all in your head

A  backyard party conversation overheard:

Yesterday I was relaxing in my backyard and noticed the neighbors were having an outdoor party. Lots of kids were present and three of them were bouncing up and down on a trampoline that was set up near the fence dividing our property. There were two little girls and a boy; none of them could have been more than 7 or 8 years old.

One of the girls asked the boy, “Are you little?”.

The boy proudly replied, “No…. I’m FIVE!”

I got reminded that age is just a number. What really matters is how you handle it in your thinking and attitude.

Posted in Life, Random | 3 Comments

9 holes of bliss

The 9th hole 

OK, so I played my second nine-hole course ever. I got a free pass from the Utah golf show that was good for 9 or 18 free holes, so I decided “why not”?

This course (Cedar Hills Golf club) was located in Cedar Hills UT (kind of halfway between Salt Lake City and Provo). Up until now my only experience with playing on a course has been at the University of Utah. The difference was like night and day!  Cedar Hills has many more water hazards and sand traps and the fairways seem longer as well. It takes a good degree of control just to make it off the first tee- for example at the first hole, all the tees are situated on cliffs.  You have to lob far enough and high enough to clear several yards of tumbleweeds and brush, a biking/running trail, the golf cart path  and a fast moving stream.  At my current level of play, I am happy just to make contact with the ball, so needless to say, I skipped that tee and went directly to the fairway.  It was pointless to keep score, so I concentrated on using good form and having fun. However,  I am convinced that they are in a conspriracy to make people lose their golf balls so they can sell more.When I become a better player, I will go back there and play the heck out of that place!


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Card Space

Last week I attended an MSDN event where they were discussing “Card Space” which is purported to replace usernames and passwords on the web. It was an interesting concept for me because I have become a little overwhelmed with the number of passwords and usernames that I’ve accumulated in the my time as an internet user. Many times I have wished for an alternative, and this sounds like a viable possibility. Also, it sounds highly preferable to implementations that use biometrics to authenticate users.

Microsoft’s page on it is here>>

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Hello world!

Well I finally took the plunge and decided to start my own blog. I’m hoping to make this into a launching point for many interesting discussions, sharing of information and expoloration of ideas. These things are almost always enhanced when others can participate and comment, so I welcome your comments. Visit often and let me know you were here!
About my blog title:
I am a motorcycle enthusiast and often like to do routine maintenance myself. One way to monitor the health of your engine is to check the strength of the spark across the electrodes of your spark plugs. If you see a “fat blue spark”, all is well. I enjoy stimulating discussions and often serve as a catalyst to get things going; hence the name.

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