Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Comic break

I'm taking a quick break from working on next week's comic to post a quick pic of what's under our Christmas tree, because I think they're cute.

Here's a bonus pic that I took in our back yard on Sunday. Yep, it was icy! Still is, as a matter of fact. Whee!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Good memories

Here's a great memory for you. The Nisly's have had a family reunion for many years now—just celebrated the 40th anniversary. We call it the Nisly Campout. While it is currently held at a campground, everyone sleeps inside (either a cabin or their RV) and we cook in a kitchen, eat in a dining hall. Inclement weather isn’t a big deal with the current facilities.

Back in the day, though, it actually was camping. There were tents, picnic tables, and cooking over an open fire, or at most Coleman stoves.

Rain was always an issue—always.

So what do you do when you're eight and it’s raining and you're camping? Play on the playground, of course! Complete with mudholes!daniel and craig in mud

This is one of my favorite memories from the Nisly Campout: My cousin Daniel and I making use of the facilities despite what others saw as poor weather. We spent a lot of time in this mud hole, and were proud of how dirty we ended up being.

Update: Thanks to Elsie Bliler for the photo!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hard drive speed

I found this fascinating article from Tom’s Hardware on how hard drives are made.  The whole article (18 images with accompanying text) is pretty interesting, but the most interesting slide is this one

Consider this little comparison: if the read/write head were a Boeing 747, and the hard-disk platter were the surface of the Earth:

  • The head would fly at Mach 800
  • At less than one centimeter from the ground
  • And count every blade of grass
  • Making fewer than 10 unrecoverable counting errors in an area equivalent to all of Ireland.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You're drinking what!?!

I can't believe it. 

Once again this morning I made a cup of cappuccinocappuccino for me and Kathy.  That's the fourth time in the last couple of weeks that I have made (and drank) cappuccino.

For those of you who don't know, cappuccino is coffee.  Coffee!

I'm pretty sure at one point in my life I swore I would never drink coffee.  I didn't really like the taste anyway.  I guess I'm older and wiser now, although that may be debatable. 

Christa is to blame!

While we were in Virginia for Thanksgiving, she made some and offered it to Kathy.  I was still on my high horse so I declined.  However, Kathy liked it so much that when we got home, she went and bought a cappuccino machine, complete with milk frother and steamer.  Now, I've always liked the smell of fresh ground coffee so I was curious what she was making and she offered me a taste. 

Now I'm getting up early enough in the morning to make us both a cup before I take her into work.


Thursday, December 11, 2008


Well, Kristi and Kim, it only took me about a week. But here you go.

Kathy haircut 1
Kathy haircut 2

Here are pictures (finally!) of my newest haircut. On the left you see it straightened with the ends turned out. On the right you see it curly. For some reason my hair is now reasonably curly on its own, after years of being only wavy.

Below you see it straightened with the ends straight/turned under. And, as a bonus, you see it curly-ish with glasses.

Kathy haircut 3

My nose is crooked so my glasses never sit straight!

This is a new cut for me, and I decided to try something different from my normal cuts. I like some things about it, but I'm not as happy with it as I'd like to be. So I have an appointment to get it touched up more to my satisfaction next week. =)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas tree


We put up our first Christmas tree in our house!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Calif. couple reunited with missing cat...13 years later

I couldn't believe it when I saw this:  Calif. couple reunited with missing cat...13 years later .  That's like 60-70 cat years...  We do have the micro chips implanted in Olivia and Orsini.  We got them cheap when Kelcie was living with us and studying to be a vet. 

I have a feeling I would write them off as dead after a few weeks, maybe even a few days, if one our cats went missing.  It must have been quite a surprise to have George return after 13 years.  Maybe he is the visionary cat from Sandman, returning home to dream of a world of high cat-ladies and cat-lords.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google Flu Trends

Um, did I mention that Google rocks?  I ran across Google Flu Trends today (via kottke.org).  They are able to predict flu outbreaks based on geographical data from search terms.  The awesome thing is not only that they took the time to figure out what search terms indicate flu, but also that they give this information to the CDC, as well as the public.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blog updates

Just a quick update. I added an email subscription link to Kathy's tweets so you can sign up to be notified of any post. You could also just sign up for twitter and add us as your friends.

Also, Kathy and I are working on starting a webcomic. You can follow our progress and stay abreast of our latest undertaking at www.glickmillercomics.com. We're excited; I hope you check it out. Not much there right now, but keep your eye open!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Kathy and I have been using twitter for quite some time now. You may have noticed on this blog a list of my recent tweets along the side. Twitter (site, widipedia entry) is a micro-blogging and social networking site where users say what they are doing in 140 characters or less.

Over time, Kathy's post have morphed into limerick form, which is a little tricky when you're limited to 140 characters. She manages by abreviating and shortening where she can while still keeping the meaning clear. Here's one example:
i hope the US transformsas
we c how r new prez performs
let’s stay full o hope
on this steep uphill slope
We’re starting off sunny n warms!

We both have our Facebook status tied to our twitter accounts so that when we tweet our status is updated. This only lasts until the next update though. A friend of ours (Thanks, sister Michael Miller!) recently suggested that she archive the limericks and make them available for everyone to see. He apologized for giving me extra work, but I had just recently set up an Apache web server so it was no problem finding a place to host. I just had to find the software to do what I wanted. I eventually found Twitter-Tools, a WordPress plugin (Thanks, Alex King).

So with no further ado, I present to you Kathy's Limericks and other tweets: http://tweet.glickmiller.com

Enjoy! Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Craftzine.com blog: Kitty Puke Cross-Stitch

Couldn't help but laugh when I saw this from Kathy.  

Craftzine.com blog: Kitty Puke Cross-Stitch

Tweet the vote!

Check out election results and send in your voting experience!

Edit: Not quite election results, but voting experiences--lines, machine trouble, etc.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The eyes have it

kathy eye

My computer has a little slide show running in the corner.  One of the images that always grabs my attention is Kathy's eye staring at me. 

It's like she's peeking through a little hole in my monitor to see what I am up to! 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ultimate season over -- sort of

Well, we lost at Regionals.  I won't go into the frustration of that.  I'll just say I still managed to enjoy the weekend.abusement park cgm throwing

So our traveling team's season is now over.  There are a few other tournaments coming up that will just be for fun.  We are taking some of the Goshen College students down to a tournament in Muncie.  And then there is Huckfest in early November.  These are both just one day fun tournaments.  I'm looking forward to them.  And we don't have to practice for them, nor do we have to keep working out every night to stay in excellent shape.  I do want to keep exercising, but I don't have to do it every night.

For now, I am headed off to play some disc golf.  It's nice having some extra time to enjoy! 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kristi's current show

My sister Kristi currently has a show running at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA. Here's a very nice review. I'm always amazed at the quality of both her artistic vision and the incredible skill with which she brings that vision into the world so the rest of us can enjoy it.

Here's an example of her work, entitled "Dappled Magnolia." Magnolia pods, gemstones, silver, copper. 7 in. diameter.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Intel’s Barrett: Teachers Matter More Than PCs - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

Rockstar teachers.  That's what America needs.  When I was in college they seemed to think this was getting better.  However it's been 10+ years and it doesn't seem much better.  I can see how it would be good to have a computer per student, but maybe we should give some of that money to the teachers who are actually teaching.

What do I know?

Intel’s Barrett: Teachers Matter More Than PCs - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ultimate season continues

It was a week ago, but I thought I would let you know anyways: We won Sectionals, advancing to the UPA Central Plains Regionals (Oct 11, 12 in Milwaukee, WI). That means we have at least a couple more weeks left in our Ultimate season. We are continuing to practice a couple times a week in South Bend. It's been a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll continue to get better.

The image on the right was taken by my friend Ryan Rittenhouse. He has been coming to our tournaments and shooting a ton of pictures. If you're interested in looking at more pictures of me and Kathy--and many others--playing Ultimate, you can click through the albums. Our team name is the Abusement Park, shortened to Park in the list. My number is 42 and Kathy is 14. You can also check out other tournaments if you're bored. Here's a strange one of Kathy...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Twitter limericks

(Orsini in a box!) -->

I've signed up for Twitter, an internet thing that lets you update your status using 140 characters (including spaces!) or less per post. It's kind of like a little mini-blog. Anyway, I've begun posting updates in the form of limericks, which is kind of fun - depending on word choices, they are generally about 140 characters, tho I often have to abbreviate some words.

Following are a few of the limericks. I've un-abbreviated some words to aid in clarity. =)

"last nite did u complete a task?"
some among u might ask
I did! (You're astute!)
& enjoyed it, to boot-
I watched Neil Gaimon’s Mirrormask

on Mon. I was in a daze
from a cheery, oft-repeated phrase
so thanks to y'all
who wrote on my wall
a plethora of "happy birthday"s

(this was directed at people who'd wished me a happy birthday on my Facebook "wall," the area of the site where you can leave comments)

This is a really bad poem
'bout how I wish I were home
so I would be free
to play my PS3
I'd play Eden, or else Echochrome

2day my mood was the saddest
b/c of somethng my vocab'd missed
on an invoice I read
& then scratchd my head
this guy's title was: Numismatist

to make science's knowledge base wider
they'll start the large hadron collider
some fear the slow birth
of black holes in the earth
but I’m much more scared of that spider

u no when ur whole body hurts
& ur breath comes in gasps & in spurts
ur quads r on fire
& ur heartrate is higher
uv successfully finished the Snertz

(The Snertz is a pretty intense workout designed for Ultimate (frisbee football) players. Lots of sprinting, some jumping, etc.)

Limericks r fun 2 write
when your authorship pwrs r lite
this medium's sweet
a short little tweet
this one's not great - just alright

(my first Twitter limerick!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Golf tips

For all of you golf pros out there:

His follow through is hilarious!

David Foster Wallace

I saw this morning that David Foster Wallace, author of the novel Infinite Jest as well as many essays and short stories, is dead.

I met David briefly when he spoke at Goshen College while I was a student there. He was a family friend of someone in my class and was kind enough to come to our small school and do a presentation and a book signing. I had purchased a copy of Infinite Jest from the bookstore in preparation for his visit. When I handed it to him to sign he made a comment about it being a hardcover copy, and added that he'd never bought a hardcover book, seeming almost embarrassed that I'd bought a hardcover copy of the book he'd written.

He was apparently a very interesting, intelligent, kind man, in addition to being a very talented writer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More sad news

This is the third post in a row with sad news about a death. Our friends Jessica Baldanzi and her husband Kyle Schlabach were expecting their first child. This weekend the child died during a c-section delivery. There's just no way to make sense of a tragedy like this. Our hearts go out to Jessica and Kyle and their families, and our prayers and thoughts will be with them in the times ahead.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We'll miss you, Grandma!

We found out today that my last grandparent, Edna Liechty, died this morning. My dad wrote: "Helen's Mom Edna Liechty, died this morning (Thurs) at the nursing home in Berne. She was basically unresponsive the last hours and died peacefully from what Helen said." I believe that my mother and an aunt were both there with her when she died.

We love and will miss her.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rest in Peace

For the past couple of weeks, we have been expecting a call about a death in the family.

Kathy's grandma has terminal cancer and a little over two weeks ago we were told didn't have long to live. We went down to visit grandma and say our goodbyes. We came back to Goshen and settled back into our lives, waiting for a call that she had finally passed away.

Today I got a call about a death in the family, but it wasn't from Kathy's mom. It was from my mom. One of her cousins died today. Ron Blough didn't show up to work so someone went to find out what was wrong. I don't know any details, but apparently he passed away at home of natural causes. His wife was out of town.

Even though I was expecting a call along those lines, I was not expecting it from where it ended up coming. Somehow that didn't make it any easier. It's one thing to lose someone when you know they are dying and get to see them one last time. It's another thing to lose someone when you aren't expecting it at all.

Last weekend was the Nisly campout family reunion. We commented how it wouldn't be the same since Ron couldn't make it in from Colorado. Now we won't have his company at any more reunions.

Rest in peace, Ron. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rhoda, Bethany, Brooke, and the rest of his family and friends.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Scanning for spyware...

Sometimes I get sick of spyware. Actually, pretty much every time I come across it, which fortunately isn't all that often.

I'm working on a client's computer right now that is infected with XPAntivirus08, an insidious program that installs without asking, detects bogus infections, and then only "cleans" the infections if you pay for the full version. Oh, and it's hard to uninstall. Great.

So while I wait for Spybot--a legitimate spyware removal tool--to scan and clean the system, I figured I would blog.

My boss is on vacation this week; so I am holding down the fort. It is intentionally a fairly empty week, but as these things go, I'm sure it will be busy. For example, this particular call was unscheduled. I'm sure there will be more like it before the week is done.

Well, the scan is about done. I'm going to wrap up and get back to work.


PS Follow me on twitter: cglickmiller

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another day, another tournament

You've probably noticed we haven't written much recently. We've been kind of busy... Seems like every evening, every weekend has been filled up. Even now, I'm writing from my phone while I wait for a client's computer to update Quickbooks (which takes forever, by the way.

After this I will head home for lunch and try to pack for the weekend so I'll be ready when people are ready to leave after work.

It'll be a fun weekend, but it will eat up all of my free time, leaving me no time to relax let alone blog.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

David Leite went on a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and wrote a NY Times article about it. We haven't tried the recipe yet, but the article is interesting enough in its own right.

Enjoy, and let us know if you try them out!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Interesting op-ed article about Obama

Here's an interesting take on some of the recent media coverage about people's view of Obama.

Op-Ed Columnist
The Audacity of Listening
Published: July 10, 2008
If you look at the political fights Barack Obama’s picked throughout his political career, the main theme is not any ideology. It’s that he hates stupidity.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

snopes.com: Soccer Team Scores on Itself

Strange, strange events.  Interesting that the scored an own goal, but even more interesting that they then defended the other teams net...

snopes.com: Soccer Team Scores on Itself

Monday, July 7, 2008

Buzzwatch : Idea Watch: 50 Things Being Blamed on Rising Oil Prices

You can pretty much blame anything on rising gas prices (with citations).  I recently heard that the average American only uses 550 gallons of gas a year.  That's only $500+ extra dollars a year for the average American.  Even though I probably drive more than that I'm not too concerned about gas prices.  They are much higher in other parts of the world and those people seem to get along alright.

Buzzwatch : Idea Watch: 50 Things Being Blamed on Rising Oil Prices

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday morning

I decided if it was early enough for the birds it was early enough for me.

Slept pretty poorly last night. For a while I was lying here wondering what time it might possibly be. Then I noticed it was slightly lighter outside. Or was that just my imagination? Then I heard the first peewee sing its song. I decided to get up and greet the morning with the birds of the air.

There are probably 50000 cardinals in this area, but there are also phoebes, robins, tanangers, thrushes, vireos, and countless others I don't recognize. Oh, and I heard a barred owl while I was still in bed.

And I didn't metion the mosquito buzzing my ear.

Now a jetski just started on the lake.

I think I might close my eyes and try to get a little more sleep.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Painting free time

Seems like I haven't had any free time recently...  But the house is looking nice!  We spend our free time split between Ultimate and working on the house.  Here are a couple of pictures of the new paint job, mostly completed.  Still a work in progress.  The blue trim will go away now that we have the main painting mostly done.  It will be a darker brown and the front door will be red.  I'm sorry--I mean the trim will be Roycroft Brass and Roycroft Copper Red.  The main color is Roycroft Suede.


painted house1

painted house2

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cold March?


I recently noticed this interesting graph from my gas company.  We are on a budget plan and managed to undershoot, which means we don't have to pay anything this month.  Or more precisely, we paid enough throughout the year to cover this month. 

The anomalous estimated March might have something to do with the overage on the budget.  I'll give them January and February--they were very cold (mean average temperature of 25 and 24, respectively).  How do they figure that we used more therms in March, with an mean average temperature of 34, than we did in January and February?  Clearly things are warming up on average in March.  Maybe all of the up and down temperatures of the month (see graph of March 2008 below) made for more inefficient heating...


(click image to see more details)

Hopefully they will actually take a measurement and get rid of the estimate status for March.  Do they go back in time for that?  Maybe it's just that the printer ran out of ink for that little bar...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

rainy day

Well, it's a rainy day outside, but since I'm inside at work on my lunch break, I can't complain too much.

As promised, here are the books I've read since my last book review post.

1. Neil Gaiman's neverwhere Mike Carey, writer; Glenn Fabry, artist; Tanya & Richard Horie, colorists; Todd Klein, letterer. This is a graphic novel based on, you guessed it, Neil Gaimon's neverwhere. I haven't read the book, so I can't do any comparisons. This graphic novel was significantly longer than the two I wrote about last time, which meant that there was more character development, as well as more plot, which was nice. I didn't like the graphics nearly as much, though. And the subject matter was a little bleak. Also, there was another "little psychotic bad man who's always with a huge psychotic bad man doing bad things" couple. Tad William's Otherworld series had a pair, and so did Terry Pratchett's The Truth. Weird.

2. Donnerjack by Roger Zelazny. I read this book because my cousin Kelcie saw the quote "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astair did, only backwards and in high heels" and figured out where she'd come across it before - in Donnerjack. I liked this book quite a lot. The only other Zelazny that I've read is his Amber Chronicles - I have a book with all ten volumes, and I've read it a couple times, and like it, too. This seemed more fleshed out than any of the Amber books (not too surprising since it was one of his later books and the Amber ones are older). The story takes place in the future, where there are two realities: Virtu and Verite, the virtual universe and the "real" flesh and blood one. And it turns out they're not as separate as people think they are. It's a nice heavy book - not that it's tedious or slow to read, just that it's full of characters and ideas and places.

3. Postsinglular by Rudy Rucker. I got this book out of the library because it had an interesting cover and a cover blurb which proclaimed, "Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction." So, I gave it a try. Overall, I wasn't too impressed. The main thing that bothered me was that I found the dialog extremely stilted. It was a interesting story, with lots of "what tech stuff could happen in the future," but I didn't find the characters that engaging (probably because of the aforementioned dialog issue).

4. Halting State by Charles Stross. I discovered Charles Stross about a year ago, and have been enjoying his stuff ever since. He also writes about future worlds, though this book is not as far ahead in the imaginary future as some of his others (Accelerando, Singularity Sky, Glasshouse). A bank theft by a horde of orcs and a firebreathing dragon in a virtual world starts the story off, and it goes on from there. Here's a quote from From Bookmarks Magazine:
Reviewers expressed shock and awe at Charles Stross’s imagined future, because it’s just a bit too probable. Even his minor details, such as clothing with RFID tags that can speak to washing machines, are mind-bending. Overall, Halting State is a fast-paced, tightly plotted, and highly intelligent novel. While some of it may read as gibberish to a less in-the-know crowd (it’s helpful to know such gamer slang as "nerfed"), the tech-savvy will rejoice. One reviewer thought the plot became convoluted at the end with a too-neat resolution. But others, like Cory Doctorow in BoingBoing, commented, "This is a book that will change the way you see the way the world works."
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

The book follows three main characters (a forensic accountant, a programmer, and a cop). The one thing that threw me off a little was the fact that it's written in the second person, a very unusual choice and one that took me a while to slip into.
This is the second time I've read Halting State and I enjoyed it even more the second time. There were a lot of details I didn't catch the first time through that I could appreciate this time.

Well, turns out that the last 3 books I've read were all books that take place in a future where technology has irrevocably changed not only the way we do things, but also the way we think. And I didn't even plan it that way. I'll try to pick something in a different vein for my next book.

Ok, today's random quote:
I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How to Create Invisible Shelves - wikiHow

These are pretty cool.  I might make this a project some afternoon.  Then I can test visitors on whether they read our blog.  Well, I guess you have to click through, too.  Do it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In re: the last paragraph of Craig's last post

Yes, we're nerds.

IRS Stimulus payment

Here's the link for you if you're wondering when you will receive your IRS Stimulus Payment. This is for people who filed their returns by April 15th. If you filed an extension, your payment won't come until your return is filed and processed. (You'll need to know the last 2 digits of the Social Security Number of the person whose name is listed first on your return.)


In case you missed it, today is Tuesday in Indiana. We're voting in the primary--and it matters! Kathy found this fascinating map (http://snipurl.com/gmapprimary) showing results around the country, down to counties. It doesn't have anything for Indiana yet, but it probably will by the time you read this. Kathy and I did our civic duty and went to the polls before lunch today.

I'm actually in her office today, installing a new server. It's neat to have her a room away instead of across town. We still use IM though, but only to share links like the primary map.

Monday, May 5, 2008

First weekend in May

Well, this past weekend Craig and I saw Iron Man, which we enjoyed. We also spend some time with Matt Martin and Charlotta Weaver, two old friends with whom we always have fun. (Ok, quick side note - I started out saying "two old friends that we always appreciate spending time with." Then I decided I needed to change "that" to "who," but then "Who" needed to be "whom" because of the "with," which then sounded awkward. And then "appreciate spending time" just seemed sounded weird to me, so I changed it. And that's why it sometimes takes me longer to write things than I think it should.)
Sunday I wasn't feeling very good, so I basically sat in the recliner all day. I did get quite a bit of reading done, namely The Grand Tour : Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality and The Missing Magician or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. (I had read Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country, the first book in the series, earlier in the week.
All three books are ones I enjoy reading, but I have to admit that I like some of the works they've done separately better, mostly because I don't find the style of writing (the first and third books consist of correspondence, the middle one mostly of journal entries) to be especially engaging. I feel it has some inherent limitations that are extremely hard to overcome. All the same, these are fun books that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to others.
Oh, and it seems like every flowering tree in Goshen is in full bloom. It's really lovely. I wish this time of year lasted longer.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I thought it might be interesting to try to post books that I'm reading. Yesterday we went to the library and I got a few graphic novels, so I can start the list with:
Wonder Woman : love and murder by Jodi Picoult
Serenity : those left behind by Joss Whedon
Astro City : local heroes by Kurt Busiek, Kurt

I enjoyed the graphic novels. The art in the first two was very good. The stories were quite compressed, though, which was a little disappointing (because I wanted more).

I'm also in the middle of Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells. Martha Wells is one of my very favorite authors. I've added Stargate: Atlantis to my Netflix queue solely because she has started writing S:A novels, which I can't really appreciate as much because I've never seen the show. I read her other novels probably about once a year.

Today's random quotation (in honor of the recent college graduates in my family):
Bachelor's degrees make pretty good placemats if you get 'em laminated.
Jeph Jacques

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Human Spirit

I don't have much time; I have to leave to get to a call at 3...  I just found this article on ESPN and was very touched.  Tucholsky blows out her knee on her only career home run which happens during her last game.  I'll let you read all the details, but due to technicalities her teammates and coaches couldn't help her round the bases without resulting in an out.  So two of her opponents--Wallace and Holtman--offered to carry her around the bases.  That is moving outside the game and respecting your opponents as people.  The article is well written, but the event is even better.  Give it a read!

Summer Movies

Kathy and I are trying to decide what movie to go see this weekend.  We have been waiting for some free time to go and see Forbidden Kingdom (Metacritic), where Jet Li and Jackie Chan team up for a fun romp.  But this weekend is the opening weekend for Ironman (Metacritic).  We might end up going to both movies. 


What does the summer hold for you?  Some would like to think that the summer blockbuster is dying.  Once again a post from Kottke enlightens, although it doesn't have much information in and of itself, but some interesting article links.


We are also looking forward to having a college friend visit us this weekend.  We'll have to see whether he wants to see a movie after supper on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cities at Night

Once again Jason Kottke points us in a great direction.  This time to photos of cities around the globe, taken at night from space.  The Earth Observatory article has information about the camera and photographers.  Pretty interesting article, but the photos are fabulous. 

salary vs performance | ben fry

Ben Fry has an interesting illustration (found via kottke.org) of baseball spending.   You can track the amount of spending per team as it relates to their record.  You can also scroll through the season day by day to get an idea of how spending affects teams in the long run...  To top it all off, there are links to previous seasons (2005, 2006, and 2007).

salary vs performance | ben fry

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This may well be the most interesting bicycle I have seen in a long time.  Excuse me--monowheel.  Seems like having a powered one (video) would be easier since you don't have to balance while pedaling. 

post-tax season rush

I've been absent from blogging for the past few weeks - the last couple of weeks before April 15 were very busy at work (I guess before that I was just slacking off...). Since I posted last I've:

-Sprained my ankle and been very dissapointed at how slowly it's healing (I seemed to sprain both the inside and outside of the ankle, which was bad news)

-had to try 3 times at weekly intervals to donate blood, because my iron levels were too low (though in the healthy range for women) (and yes, I was successful on the third try)

-assembled a papercraft model of Howl's Moving Castle (I'll post pictures at a later date)

-become addicted to the tv show "Ninja Warrior"

-purchased a brass parrot at an antique shop (picture to follow), named the parrot "Jaako"

Today's random quote:
DIE, n. The singular of "dice." We seldom hear the word, because there is a prohibitory proverb, "Never say die." At long intervals, however, some one says: "The die is cast," which is not true, for it is cut. The word is found in an immortal couplet by that eminent poet and domestic economist, Senator Depew:
A cube of cheese no larger than a die
May bait the trap to catch a nibbling mie.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary

ntr23's unpacking slideshow on Flickr

Here's a cute slideshow of Lego men unpacking an iPhone.  As Kathy said, "That is so cute!"

ntr23's unpacking slideshow on Flickr

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shop and Eat Locally - Wired How-To Wiki

Sometimes I get tired of getting groceries at Walmart--especially produce.  We avoid produce at Walmart, buying our produce at Martins.  The rest of Martins is on the expensive side so we either stop at Kroger or Walmart, depending on what side of town we are on. 


Last year we went to the Farmer's Market here in Goshen several times throughout the year, and I would like to look into getting a membership there.  Local food makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, but it doesn't seem to be quite as easy to get and seems to be a little more expensive. 


So it's a matter of commitment, both to find it and to budget for it.  I was surprised to find this article (Shop and Eat Locally - Wired How-To Wiki) on Wired, but it had some good information.  I especially like the idea of 100-mile potlucks.  Share the fun and have a great time!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Economic Survivalism: 12 Ways To Prepare For The Next Great Depression

Every now and then I run across a web page that makes me laugh.  This link is from a science fiction site--io9.com--that covers all things science fiction with an eye towards actual future trends.  They seem to be out of their league with this article talking about ways to prepare for the "next great depression." 

I'm not sure that I actually laughed while reading the article, but I did allow myself to read the posts afterwards.  Some are down right hilarious. 

  • DarkPlaces writes, "thank you for posting this. I will be attaching guns to my vehicle, growing a mohawk, and strapping a fireaxe to my back in TRUE SciFi depressionistic dystopian style."
  • One of the 12 ways is to learn how to hunt, especially small animals in city parks.   mechagrue replies, "This thread is useless without squirrel recipes."
  • One posted recipe from Belabras is
  • Squirrel Smores:
    1 Chocolate Bar of your choice.
    2 large, fluffy marshmellows. The fluffier the better.
    2 graham crackers

    Heat the marshmellows over an open flame until partially melted inside. Sandwich between the graham crackers along with the chocolate bar. Think squirrelly thoughts and enjoy.

    The economy may not be headed for the best of times, but somehow I don't think it's going to be as bad as this article makes out. 


    Unless the author helps plan our way through.  Then we could be in serious trouble.

    Economic Survivalism: 12 Ways To Prepare For The Next Great Depression

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Trying Windows Live

florida 031 Stitch I finally got around to installing Windows Live today.  It has two features that I was really interested in.  The first is the photo stitcher.  I had a series of photos from our vacation last summer in Florida that I had been meaning to stitch together.  So I threw them into the blender and the above panorama is what came out (click for a larger image).  I really didn't do anything.  They were in a random order and the software put them in the right order and stitched them together.  It is by no means perfect, but it was probably as good as I would have done manually.


The second utility I wanted to try is the Live Writer.  I am actually writing this entry using the software.  I first noticed its usefulness when I added the above photo.  There were all sorts of settings along the right side when I selected the photo.  So far I am impressed.  I'll try it out for awhile and see how I like it.


For now, I need to finish some paperwork...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ultimate weekend

We have family coming to visit us this weekend! It's exciting to have a couple of aunts and uncles come out to visit, even if it will be brief.

Unfortunately, we have an Ultimate tournament this weekend. Every year, I know when spring is coming because Notre Dame has their annual Whitesmoke Ultimate tournament. It just happens to fall on the same weekend as the wedding that is the reason for the family visit.

The good news is the weather is looking good for this weekend, at least on Sunday. Upper-50s and sun with a little bit of wind. Just about perfect weather for throwing a Frisbee around. I am going with a team from Goshen College. We won't have much experience, but I think we'll have enough to take advantage of some pretty awesome athletic ability. I'm excited about throwing to the 6'8" guy.

Last weekend I also went to a tournament. There was a pickup team from Ann Arbor that needed a few extra players so I went up to Mount Pleasant, MI, to play the Double Down tournament. We actually ended up winning the tournament (which I have no illusions of doing this coming weekend), but the most exciting game of the weekend was the first one on Sunday. U of M had already played one game and was used to the gusty conditions and slick mud. Having won all of our games on Saturday, we had a first round bye on Sunday. We came out flat and they were already warmed up. Stupid mistake after stupid mistake led to an 8-3 deficit at the half. I had made several poor decisions resulting in discs floating away in the wind. One other guy kept dropping the disc. I went up to him right at the start of half and told him that it was time to step up and play better because we both knew that we could. It was my first time outside since last fall and I was just making poor decisions.

A pep talk at half time brought us out fired up. We traded a couple of points and then it was 10-4 which is what they would finish the game with. We went on a 7-0 run. When it was 10-8, time was running short so we capped the game at 11. In other words, we just needed to score three more before they scored any.

The next point we were working the disc up the field. One guy made a great catch just outside of the endzone. I ran up and got the disc from him and then found a guy wide open in the back of the endzone. The throw started out straight at him, but the cross wind caught the edge and moved it about five feet to his left. I watched him track it without really moving his feet. He ended up leaning over to catch the disc and fell into a giant puddle of water that was still sitting in the back corner of the endzone.

Did I mention that it was 40 and windy? There were still a couple of snow banks in places. The water was cold and the wind made it colder. But we were tied at 10-10!

While Jason went to change into dry clothes, we started the last point. The game was straight to 11 so whoever scored this point would win the game. It went back and forth a couple of times before I turned it over in our half of the field. While I wasn't too concerned, I knew that was a bad place to turn it over. Two throws later they throw it right to one of our guys, who catches it on our goal line. Since we were slightly down-wind in this cross wind and he saw someone cutting to the opposite end of the field, he winds up and hucks a backhand the length of the field. It doesn't take a normal flight path since the wind is blowing and he kept the edge down, but our receiver tracks it down over his head and lunges to grab it, just short of the endzone. He gets up and throws a little forehand to an open teammate for the score.

We win!

While it isn't all that rare to score 7 points straight (in fact the next game we won 15-2 with a 10 or so point streak), it is rare to come from behind with 7 straight. It didn't mean a whole lot, but it was one of the most exciting games I have played in a long time.

By the way, Jason got most of his wet clothes off before the water soaked into his skin. It took him a little while to warm up his extremities, but his core stayed warm.

Review of Outside

Kathy sent me this link today (or the condensed version from Kottke.org). I thought it was an interesting perspective on reality. Aeschenkarnos writes a review of our world as if it were a video game--an MMORPG to be precise. We can't exactly return it and try a different game... The reviewer gives outside a 7/10. Does that seem like a fair rating to you?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Baseball is coming!

Today is opening day for most teams. It's exciting. Means summer is right around the corner. In case you missed it though, the Red Sox and the Dodgers played an exhibition game at the Coliseum and 115,300 people watched the game--most ever to watch a baseball game. For comparison, Jacobs field seats around 43,000.

The Coliseum obviously isn't designed for baseball right now. The left field foul pole was 201 feet from home. It's hard to see in the photo, but the 60' net at the wall didn't seem to keep many balls in the park. The right field fence was well over 400'.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


If any of you have ever struggled to come up with names for different colors, the Dolores Blog displays a wonderful color wheel complete with colors from a somewhat random sampling of people. The color wheel in itself is pretty interesting, but they also have a link to a page where you can search for colors. Just enter in "persian" to see what colors have persian in their label. Personally, I have always tended to plain labels like blue instead of cerulean. I'm not much of an artist though which probably makes a difference.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Kathy just found this wonderful website that converts movies into haiku. Our favorite one so far comes from the Princess Bride where they say:

Iocane powder
brings end to battle of wits
ha ha ha ha... flop

You should check them out at www.haikuvies.com--like a cross between haiku and movies!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ultimate is coming...

We went to another indoor Ultimate tournament yesterday at Woodland Sports in Grand Rapids, MI. It wasn't all night like the last one, but it was a lot more fun. There were two more teams and one more game. We took a caravan up from Goshen--there were nine of us in two cars. I was fortunate to play on the same team as Kathy until she slightly sprained her ankle late in the evening.

Since we were all riding up together we had everyone over for lunch at our house at noon. Then we hung out and played some video games, watched an Ultimate video. We had a lot of fun and Kathy made a wonderful lasagna (one with meat and one with spinach and mushrooms).

I'm feeling pretty tired tonight from all the running around yesterday so I'm going to keep this short and write more tomorrow. Hope you all have a wonderful evening!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Waiting for . . . Kathy

I'm sitting in MonkeyPeaches--that's what we named our new car--while Kathy finishes up her day. I just back in to Goshen after two calls in Mishawaka and Elkhart. It was close enough to 5 that I decided to just wait in the parking lot.

Now that I decided to write into the blog, she'll probably come right out.

I drove up to Mishawaka only to find out that I need to go back. I was going to update their antivirus, but found out that I needed to install an additional piece on the server. We could not find the Windows server CDs anywhere. I thought I might have one in my trunk, but no luck. So I get to go back up later this week, after I make a copy of the CD for them.

Just for the record we inherited this client, this server. We can easily blame it on the previous tech.

Well, it's time to go now. See you all later!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Family desktop

Here is the way someone set up their mom's computer. I like it. Get rid of the clutter and make the important things obvious, e.g. big and center.


I recently added Slate.com to my Google Reader. They published an interesting article the other day about the US military budget. It's quite amazing how much we spend, but it is also interesting to note that it is 4% of GDP, and the smaller number they mention "is roughly equal to the total military budgets of all the rest of the world's nations combined."

Slate helps out with Day to Day, which is one of my favorite NPR programs.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Winter weather . . . again

Once again I got to shovel the drive. Of course it was made worse by the fact that I broke my shovel. The screws fell out last time I used it so I had put in new screws. They already stripped out so I decided it was time for a new shovel. We do have a second shovel, but it is a straight one instead of the ergonomic bendy shovel. Made the work much harder on my back and arms. I managed to clear it all off although I did it in three different shifts.

Now I'm sitting in the recliner watching a movie with a heating pad on my back. It's nice and comfy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cats and rubber bands

I had a new experience this morning. As any of you cat owners know, occasionally they make a lot of noise--scrabbling on the floor, batting objects around, knocking things off of desks. You get used to it. When I am in bed sleeping, I usually don't even notice them, except when they pounce on my toes.

This morning was different. Olivia was making a loud popping sound in our bedroom. We threw something at her, whatever happened to be laying by the bed. She ran away, but several minutes later she was back at it. We threw something a little bigger hoping to distract her and make her stop. Again, she ran away and then came back. Pop! Pop!

We were both curious what she was doing to make that noise, and we knew that she was going to persist unless we did something about it. So we turned on the lights and Kathy went to have a look. "It's a rubber band!"

What? Turns out that there was a little box with a rubber band around it to hold it shut. Olivia had her paw on the box and was grabbing the rubber band with her teeth, pulling, and then letting it snap. I've seen her do this with cardboard before, but never with anything like a rubber band. I hope this isn't a trick that she will continue doing. I guess we don't have a lot of rubber-banded boxes lying around...

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Finally have a better photo of our new car. We've named her MonkeyPeaches. Kathy's the smiling face inside the glare.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New wheels

This isn't the best picture in the world--I just snapped it last night in the garage. So I included an image from Ford's website, too. We bought a new Ford Focus yesterday.

We're excited about it. I need to go eat some breakfast so I'll write more later...