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The Twelve Days of Christmas -- My Holiday Tradition
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 30 November 2004
As Christmas approaches each year I look forward to continuing a tradition that I started a few years ago. On each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas Day I give my wife a small gift. While this idea was inspired by the song I don't actually give the gifts that the song suggests. She might like the five golden rings each year but I doubt she'd have much use for eight maids a milking, or the swans, or the geese, and so on. Instead, I give her small gifts that are sometimes sentimental, sometimes useful, and sometimes just funny.
The twelve days of Christmas referred to in the song are the days following Christmas.  In some religous traditions there are events associated with each day. For my purpose it made more sense to give a small gift each day leading up to Christmas.  Giving the gifts afterwards would be a bit anticlimactic.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 November 2006 )
Bell Trail
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
Early November, 2006, my dad and I took a quick day hike along Bell Trail. This trail is located about 1.5 hours north of Phoenix and about 45 minutes east of Sedona. It follows Wet Beaver Creek for a few miles and then, after crossing the creek, climbs to the top of the Mogollon Rim where there are spectacular views in all directions. Hiking this trail in the Fall allowed us to see lots of colorful leaves -- something we don't see much of in Phoenix. The pictures for this hike can be found in my Bell Trail Gallery.
Miracles -- C. S. Lewis
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 18 July 2006
Miracles is C. S. Lewis' classic book in defense of miracles. If a skeptic reads this book in order to see how well the author can wriggle around semantics and play with historical fuzziness he will be disappointed. And, if he thinks that Lewis will stop with simply stating his case that miracles can happen, he will be shocked to find that Lewis puts together an argument that supports the fact that miracles must happen. Lewis' explanations are not for the light reader though. He relies heavily on sophisticated philosophical thought and assumes readers are very familiar with authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Hume, Hobbes, and so on. If the reader can keep up with the heady reasoning (I'm not at all sure that I did) then this book is full of rich and detailed discussions concerning much more than just simple stage magician type tricks that some like to call miracles.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 November 2006 )
Mariel Of Redwall -- Brian Jacques
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 26 October 2006
Mariel Of Redwall
As the title suggests, this is another of Brian Jacques' Redwall books. This story revolves around one small but ferocious mouse, Mariel. Mariel and her father, Joseph, are captured and tortured by the evil searat Gabool. After he throws Mariel to the ocean, leaving her for dead, she washes up on the shore near Redwall Abbey. With the help of the residents there, and the spirit of Martin the Warrior, Mariel begins a quest to defeat Gabool and rescue her father.
Unregister 2.1 Released
Written by Mike Noel   
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
Today I released version 2.1 of Unregister. The Unregister component allows for users on a Joomla site to unregister themselves. For more information about the Unregister component see the intial release posting. The latest version of Unregister fixes two bugs:
  • It removes the dependency on register globals being turned on. For security reasons Joomla recommends that register globals be turned off. Up until this release Unregister would not work properly when this setting was off.
  • Some malformed HTML in the unregister form was causing Unregister with some browsers on some sites to fail. The HTML has been cleaned up.
Last Updated ( Friday, 14 September 2007 )
California Pizza Kitchen
Written by Victoria Noel   
Tuesday, 03 October 2006
California Pizza Kitchen
Most of the time my sweetie and I go here when its just the two of us. If you want to bring your kids, as we have just twice, I suggest you go on a week day to avoid a huge wait with hungry kids. Friday nights are pretty bad even for two because they don't do reservations. Why don't more restaurants do reservations??? Geesh. Anyway, their busyness is a good sign.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 October 2006 )
Unregister Component Released
Written by Mike Noel   
Sunday, 03 September 2006
The Unregister component is a Joomla plugin that allows users on a site to unregister themselves from that site. An associated module puts a link on the sidebar that gives users access to this component. After almost a year (yeah, it's pitiful) I have finally converted the code base over to the Joomla development environment and made a release under this system. There are no new features to the component but now that I have the new system setup I will soon be adding features that some users have requested. The component and module are available for download from the Unregister project page or go directly to the download page.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 September 2006 )
Adding Parameters To A URL in PHP
Written by Mike Noel   
Monday, 26 June 2006
This article shows how to add query parameters to a URL in a php script. It is aimed at the beginner to intermediate level PHP programmer but developers from other languages may find some useful information here. At first this seems like a simple enough task. Starting with the url as a string, just add the new parameters to the end. Yeah, that would be nice. It turns out that there are a few conditions that make the process just a bit more difficult. It's still not a hard problem but there are enough special cases to make it interesting.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 August 2006 )
Written by Victoria Noel   
Sunday, 13 August 2006
TGIFridays (the Happy Valley location in Phoenix, Arizona) would be better if it was renamed To Get It Free. That's probably the only way I would choose to eat there. Most of the staff are young and don't want to be there or they are old and really don't want to be there.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 October 2006 )
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