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 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 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 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?