Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Goofy Co-Workers

Someone said:
I can't think of a way of wording this that doesn't remind me of those Foster Farms out-of-state poser chickens...
Pray for me. I need help. ;)

Someone else said:
No, it's not you. The issue was raised...

And then:
Yes, I did a lot of clucking myself over this one. But sometimes I guess you just have to let it lay.

But wait, there's more:
Isn't it usually C who comes by our desk egging us to stop encouraging whoever the punster of the day is? And yet here he is crowing on and on.

Followed by:
There is a colonel of truth to what J is saying...

And then:
OK, if I were will to pay a poultry sum, would everyone please stop making silly chicken puns?

I'll pay up to. The chick's in the mail. Seriously, though. If L's feeling a bit fried over this & he wants to Foster harmony between the departments, I'll do my part. In fact, I'll only eat white meat tonight -- no dumb schticks.

So far, the last one...
You can keep pecking, but I don't think you'll be able to knock C off the roost. It was a most eggselent pun.

I'll add comments if more come across the wire. Feel free to add your own to the comments section.

Time Machine

If someone wanted to buy this and then travel back in time to, oh, let's say tomorrow 14 years ago -- and give it to me for no reason -- that might be kinda cool. I know it's no Delorean, but it would be a good second choice. (Now if someone wanted to give me a Delorean tomorrow for no reason, I would be your friend forever and ever.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Last Post of the Night

Heh... when did my photo disappear? I guess that should have been expected, considering I closed down that service. Bummer... guess I need to get a new one up soon.

Anyhow, I was looking at an old post and came across a link. The link was defunct, but made me wonder if there was a new one. And there was. So once again, let me say Stop Reading This Lame Blog and Click Here Already.

Seriously, need to get off this stupid computer. Lori's watching something very painful on TV. Or was, she's actually fast-forwarded through two hours of it selectively watching parts while I sat here. The saddest part is that this is a very lightweight laptop and there's a really fast computer upstairs. Ok. Get... off... the... computer... now. Good night, all.

Honey, I Shrunk Your Computer

This is rather interesting... using special paper (think Polaroid - who helped with development), Zink's photo printer is hardly larger than an iPod. Its prints, too, are small, but they're planning to offer a 3x5 photo printer soon. Supposedly similar technology to the Polaroids, but far clearer photos, thinner and no white border around
the photos. (And no, you still don't need to shake the picture to make it appear.)

Combine that with a smart phone and Explay's tiny projector and you've got an interactive presentation (with souvenirs) in just a few cargo pant pockets.

How's It Going?

Has it already been a month? Time is flying.

I wanted to look back at my goals for this year to see how well I'm doing so far and where I need to "re-orient" (yeah, I like the word/concept. Sue me.)

Post In My Blog More Frequently
Remains to be seen. This is the most I've posted in a January, but is it sustainable? And for the right reasons? No posting just for the sake of increasing the post count. And now that I put CrazyEgg and FeedBurner on here, I can tell what people are clicking on. And it aint much. So will that affect what I post? Probably not since this is really all about me, isn't it?

Artistic Photos
I have Dan and now Adrea to partially thank for this one. Both have compelled me to strive for higher art with my photos. But, I also have a frame on the wall that we started in May and each month we pick our best photo that doesn't include any of us in it and put it in the frame. There's been some neat stuff. One month it was a super close-up on a sea horse and we couldn't use a flash because it could kill it. So it's impressive how decently clear the shot came out and how cool it looked. Almost the entire photo was blue. There's a shot from inside the greenhouse at the sculpture garden that's almost entirely green. Looks really cool and I gotta say I'm really starting to like the photos that are entirely a single color. Lori's picked out five shots from iStockPhoto of italian food items, one per photo, and in each photo, a single item or collection of like items (bread, grapes, pasta, cheese, peppers) takes up the entire frame. Right now we have proofs that we enlarged taped to the wall with painter's tape to see how we like it, but I think they will look really good on glossy paper in thick black frames on white mattes. Not to find affordable frames in the size we want without having to custom order.

Lots of Reading
I think I've read 3 or 4 books so far this month. That's pretty good. I temporarily burned out on the marketing stuff so when Lori said Blue Ocean was due back and I'd only read a page, I handed it back to her and picked up a mystery anthology that's been on my nightstand. She gave it to me for either my birthday 2006 or Christmas 2005 and I'd read the first short story and gone no further. So I've been working through that. After this I'll pick up The Experience Economy that Mr. Pine was nice enough to send me an autographed copy of with words of encouragement. My reading list seems to grow weekly. I'm also devouring Inc., Fast Company and Consumer Reports. I've got a stack of Newsweeks to get through and some Parents magazine, a Reader's Digest or two and then the Entertainment Weekly cast-offs from Lori (of which I pick and choose and don't read most of.) After a slow start, I'm almost back on track to read the New Testament again this year. It's a pretty simple plan but I started really late. And I'm still reading through the Bible with Rachel at night. Usually a chapter a day. We're up to Jeremiah and it seems like it's going to forever before we get done.

More social
Not sure if I've had much opportunity to work on this. But I'd call this one "needs improvement."

Diet will return
And sooner than expected. It's going slower than I'd like, but I am down 6 pounds since the start of the month.

Less busy
Not sure about this one. Not yet sure how to make that happen.

Bigger help around the house
I think I have been. I need to ask "How can I help?" more often. I've taken on a lot of the laundry. The washing, that is. Taking the dirty laundry down to the laundry room, sorting it and then scheduling the washing machine to run while we're asleep. Often that leaves it to Lori to move to the dryer the next day and then bring it out to fold. I'm trying to make time in the morning to transfer it to the dryer before I leave for work. I've also taken on much of the vacuuming. Not sure why, but I enjoy it. I think it's such an easy thing that makes things look so nice.

Make it to The City monthly
Check. Was up mid-month for a Seattle Direct Marketing Association dinner -- in the middle of a snow storm -- and then this past weekend with Allison and Steve to the sculpture park (scroll down). In February I have another conference and we're planning a trip to the zoo. We might also head up that way on the first -- I'm taking the day off from work. Woo! We also drove through Seattle to go to Marysville to surrender the dog, but that might not count.

New Restaurant Each Month
I had forgotten about this. I did eat at a Thai restaurant and enjoyed the food... went with some tame and simple safe foods. A real coup would be to get Lori to try it. But it's no longer new so I need to find a new restaurant.

Same Restaurants Less
Yes, but only because we've been trying to watch our money a little bit this month.

Send Lori More Flowers
Haven't sent flowers since Dec. 11. I'm going to actually count "bring Lori flowers" in this particular goal, but haven't done that lately either. Again, watching the money a little bit.

Don't waste time on the computer or doing chores when spending time with Rachel
Yes and no. My rule is that if she asks to watch Sesame Street, then I get to play SimCity. And some chores I've involved Rachel in. Like we washed my car over two evenings. And Rachel now has a new chore of her own -- taking dirty laundry down to the laundry room. Each night she does that (starting today) she earns stickers to put on a blank orange piece of paper I taped to the wall in her bathroom.

Find a new home for the dog
Yes. It was bittersweet, but it had to be done. Due to a lost post, apparently I never did actually post on here, but Barkley went to a wonderful woman in Marysville A-Z Pet Care / A Bark Above and Ginger's Pet Rescue who is fostering Barkley until a permanent home can be found.

Get finances under control
Not yet. Haven't had time. Need to do that.

Talk to family more frequently
Mostly, yes. I do need to talk to Lori's mom more often.

Yes, yes, yes. I'm thrilled at the progress made this month. The downstairs is now presentable and the last bit of clutter has finally been removed from our bedroom. New shelves in the storage area has helped clean things up too. There's still a little bit to do downstairs, but the next area should probably be the garage. Lori finally found the last two items that I thought had been lost in the move.

Enjoy the view out my bedroom window more
I guess...?

Appreciate the beauty of nature more
Definitely. Much easier to do now that it's light out in the mornings for the drive to work. I'm excited that it will soon be light after work. And it's mostly been warm enough to walk at lunch, and even a couple of times before work. That's exciting. Helps with the diet, too.

This month has gone by so quickly. But it's been a really good month. I continue to feel more and more settled in the place. We did have a crazy snow storm, but we never lost power during the entire month. We're having some really beautiful weather lately. Still, it's been really cold this week, some days not going above 40 all day. My rule for walking is that it's gotta be above 40. And it's sad to look at my computer at lunch time and see that it's still 38 outside. That also leads to $400 a month power bills. That really, really hurts. This next month promises to be good as well. Life is just becoming more and more relaxing.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Found this on Dan's blog. You'd think it never snows in Portland. It doesn't even look that steep.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Olympic Sculpture Park

Thanks to Allison's suggestion, all of us went to the Olympic Sculpture Garden yesterday with Steve and Liz. It was really a beautiful day, the kind of blue you look at later in photos and think "Wow." I mean, we were there, but to see it in still life is still pretty amazing. Granted, it was a little on the chilly side, but definitely beautiful. Once again we ate at the Wild Mountain Cafe in N. Seattle. I did not try something new but again had The "Vince" - a big omelette with sausage, pineapple, cheese, refriend beans, feta cheese and salsa. I know it sounds weird, but it's really good. Despite her eating there all the the time, they didn't seme to recognize Allison and actually misunderstood her and didn't bring her any food. Lori thinks they're all stoned. Be the case, still amazing food. Anyhow, the tree pictured at right is one of the sculptures. Brings to mind a dumb song about tree museums. Aaaaaanyhow...

And then last night I uploaded all of January's photos to Flickr and realized that in this same month we also had work-stopping snow of amazing proportions. Very wild. (Though friends who had been down to Malibu said they saw snow on the beach a week or so ago which is pretty amazing, too.)

As always, if you're only seeing photos of random people and lots of shots with no people, then you need to sign-in. Most of the photos of us are by invite only, so ask if you need an invite.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Spider Boat

NEWS.COM -- This is an interesting boat - uses principles of catamarans and jetskis to skim across the water. Designed to be assembled and disassembled quickly and shipped in a very compact form. More photos...


Hard to understand how it will all fit together as a cohesive movie (perhaps that's asking too much?) but it makes for one pretty amusing trailer... Epic Movie

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Norton - Off My Christmas Card List

My copy of Norton System Works (anti-virus, optimization, etc.) is about to expire, so today I went to renew. For $10 more, I Could get the entire 2007 version which had more features.

Such a deal, I thought. So I bought it, downloaded it and it refused to install. I fought with it for four hours. One suggestion on their support website was an auto-fix tool. Great, I thought, I had to use that to get the 2006 version to install. However, even the auto-fix tool failed to install.

I also used their lightning-bolt-of-death application which will eradicate every trace of Norton programs off your computer. Even that failed to do the trick. Even after running it at least five times.

They can bill your credit card over the internet and allow you download software, but if it doesn't work, you have to print out a form and send it in the postal mail and wait 6-8 weeks.

Here's a thought, since this program has to dial in daily for new anti-virus updates, if someone were to ask for a refund, process it immediately over the internet. Then if they do install it, as soon as it calls in for updates, disable the program.

This is probably just a lame tactic to try to avoid paying refunds.

Recently Interesting

Here's a couple of things I've come across recently and found interesting.

Seattle Vision - a presentation on ways to enhance Seattle - new project proposals from multiple developers (SEATTLEVISION.ORG)

Factory that makes toy (lego) cars, the factory itself made of Legos... (ENGADGET.COM)

*sigh* Guy renames himself after toy (WKYC.COM)

Samsung creates double-sided LCD screen. - Why is this cool? Thinner cell phones, new uses for two-sided devices and screens. (NEWS.COM)

Starwars as a silent movie (YOUTUBE.COM)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chopper Pilot Saves Deer

KING5.COM -- A deer in Oklahoma wanders onto a frozen lake and gets itself stuck, finally just laying down. After six hours, the deer shows no sign of getting up and people get concerned. Without any good ideas, they ask a local TV station to send their helicopter in for a closer look. The pilot comes up with a clever plan and uses the downdraft to push the deer across the ice to safety. See the video...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No Mo Snow

Most of the city is free of snow, and in some places, you even see patches of dry road by midafternoon. The temperature has risen to the upper 30s. That's still quite cold if you ask me. I haven't been getting much walking in and it's killing me. I think it's contributing to how I've been feeling a little more tired than usual.

I just finished Max Lucado's "When God Whispers Your Name," a nice inspirational book. It's not incredibly taxing, mentally, but it's a great reminder of how God's on our side. Some nice stories, some simple challenges. I really enjoyed it and am recommending it to my family.

I've now started "Why Johnny Can't Brand" which is a really good book, though I feel a little bit adversarial towards the writers. I don't know what it is, but I almost feel like they must be jerks. I've never felt this way towards a writer and it's an interesting thing to feel considering how much I feel like I'm learning from the book. Fast Company also came in the mail and so I read a lot of that last night after devouring an entire episode of Newsweek, which is surprising to me because I have about 4 or 5 Newsweeks on my nightstand that I've maybe read an article or two in each, if that. There's also "Blue Ocean Strategy" that's due back at the library soon and "The Experience Economy" that Joseph Pine was kind enough to send me a copy of. Somewhere there's also a Consumer Report and a Reader's Digest to read. Lots and lots of reading in my future.

On Jan. 1, 2006, we went to a neat church in Arcadia, Calif. that was just starting. It was meeting at a Dave and Buster's in a conference room. The people there were all really nice and welcoming. I came away from that morning with a study guide that helps you to read through the entire New Testament in a year. With two hours to spare, I did finish on Dec. 31, 2006, and thought I might as well do it again. The more I read, the more I can learn. Sadly, it's halfway through the month and I haven't yet started it over yet. I know I can get caught up, there was a long period during the move where I wasn't really regular last year and still got it done, so I'll get it done again.

Had a nice, unexpected guest for breakfast this morning. (After today, the link may have moved on, so I'll just say now that it was Rachel, up really early.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NES in your hand

While not entirely legal, someone has built their own NES, complete with 70 games, a cartridge slot and a port to plug in a second controller and a lightup Nintendo logo, all inside the housing of a single controller. Kinda cool.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

but I've got some place to go, so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

I'm a big fan of snow. I enjoyed skiing in college and hope to re-learn in the next few years. I've enjoyed seeing it here. But as I sit here on the exercise bike, I can see huge flakes continuing to fall in our back yard. There's probably 5-6 inches on the top of the garbage can. Not sure how much is new, but it's coming quite steady. I don't want to make this a "six" day weekend -- I stayed home on Thursday, working a full day and Friday, working a half day. But it's coming down harder and harder as I type, adding snow and slush on top of lots of ice that never went away after the last snow storm. People keep telling us that this is unusual. Perhaps they mean to say that it's not what you can normally experience living here. It is really beautiful, but unless they close the office in the next 15-20 minutes, I gotta drive in. And I'm really not looking forward to it. Though the more difficult task would be the drive home.

Rain and weather in the 40s predicted for later in the week.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Zoom, Zoom

A little late, but pretty cool. Enjoy.

Great Scott!

Ok, Lori just called me in to see a commercial she described as "sad" and "painful." Shows Marty McFly crossing under the wire as the lightning strikes and the Delorean disappearing, leaving only the fire trails on the ground. Doc Brown turns to the screen and says "Great scott! I forgot to tell Marty to get DirecTV!" The logo appears and he voices "TV from Space!"

Ticked me off for several reasons... one, it was indeed both sad and painful. (Further research shows that Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis gave their approval. That makes it even more sad.)

Second, this was the 1955 Doc Brown realizing he hadn't told the 1985 Marty McFly to get DirecTV. I'm pretty sure that DirecTV didn't exist in either of those time periods. DirecTV was still called USSB until the mid-to-late '90s, wasn't it?

And according to (honestly, I didn't know this existed, perhaps I'm not as much of a geek as I thought), you can expect Shatner and others to reprise their roles to encourage you to get DirecTV. Sigh. More info...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Beautiful Car

Sadly, it'll never be produced. Don't believe me? They mention it in almost every frame of this short photo gallery. More photos at NEWS.COM

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beware the Superphish

According to CNET, there's a new software package. Costs about $1,000, but it's really slick. You tell it which site's visitors you want to steal from and hit go. It creates a page that looks just like theirs. If they sign-in, they are passed to the legitimate site without even knowing they've just had their identity stolen. If they mistype their address, it displays the correct error message so you can try again. Really sophisticated, so stop clicking on e-mails supposedly sent by your bank.

In other news, we were snowed in today. Didn't really go anywhere. It's amazingly deep.

It's like The Italian Job, only real!

Two guys are accused of hacking L.A.'s traffic signal system to snarl traffic. Ok, so it's not as clever as diverting a truck full of gold so you can steal it, and all they did was change the programming and lock out everyone else, and they did already work for the city, but still, cool/scary the kind of messes you can make with a computer.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

On second thought...

I guess I'm not as excited anymore about the *tv. (There's no apple key on my keyboard.) I find it to be really lacking, for the price. Sure, the iTunes sync is great, but I'm left wanting. I'm disappointed at the lack of inputs now that I know it has a hard drive... it would be great if it could also function as a drone DVR. At the very least, inputs would be great for allowing passthrough. As it is, the TV on which I'd use it, while not ancient, looks like it might not have the correct inputs to even use the *tv. Unless I'm mistaken, you can't even do 3-cord (composite? video-audiol-audior) connections with it. I guess I'm behind the times.

I still like the iPhone. I guess that means that Linksys is going to have to rename their products. It's weird to announce products with the name while you're negotiating with Apple to give them the rights to the name. But, speaking of names, Apple's to be commended for dropping "Computer" off the name of their company.

But what was with using Beatles music? Everyone was hoping for an announcement that the impasse was over. I've not been on iTunes to see if maybe they snuck the Beatles onto iTunes. Who knows.

Snow predicted tonight. Cool.

Spoke too soon?

Ok, just give them my entire paycheck. August 23 (the day my Verizon Wireless contract ends) cannot come soon enough. On the other hand, I have some time to save up money for two of these and convince Lori that we must have these. Cingular's web guys must just be biting their hands to keep from getting this up on their website.

Am I being a poor steward of my time at work? Fortunately, it's a slow day. I'm sending out tests and waiting for responses. And now I'm about to dive into data entry with too little else to do.

Apple (with complicity by Engadget with their moment by moment coverage) really knows how to kick the hype. I rarely feel this kind of emotional excitement except when I'm talking about my daughter or singing a really awesome song in church. Or used to sing in my old church in Pasadena, that is.

Sad Apple

Bummer... I was considering an iTV with the rest of my Christmas money and my (assumed) birthday money. Of course, Apple went and made it so cool it's out of my price range. Darn it all.

Less interested about the iPhone, but I'm guessing it's gonna be very cool and I'll probably change my mind and want one of those, too.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I picked the wrong week to give up coffee

Fortunately, I didn't actually give up coffee. It's not yet 11 and I'm about to go get my second cup. I'll have a diet soft drink with lunch and probably another cup of coffee after lunch. At 12:20 last night, Lori and I had just drifted off to sleep. All of the sudden the security alarm started going off. Scared the hell out of me. We didn't react as clearly as we ought to have, but if that happens again, I'm gonna be ready. I had my big, bad mag light (the kind with 27 d-batteries in it) ready, but I wasn't ready. I was freaked out.

We have a really sensitive trigger on one of the doors and something caused it to go off. Not sure what, not sure why. It's not a really accessible location and of all the doors I might try to use the break into my own house, this wouldn't be my first choice. So I'm pretty sure that it wasn't someone trying to gain access to our house. But when that thing goes off, seconds after you'd fallen asleep, you're not thinking too clearly.

It took me a little bit, but then I was both scared and angry. Armed with my maglight and broom, I was ready to hit someone. But still, utterly scared beyond belief. But I've definitely come to some conclusions. I need to replace the security light in the backyard. Shortly after we moved in, it decided to stay on. It's so high up that I just let the lights burn out. But I got a new ladder for Christmas and I'm going to get a new fixture and soon. Secondly, a 60-watt fluorescent is a poor choice as a porch light. As I checked one of the doors, I flipped on the light and threw back the curtains, just expecting to see someone standing there staring at me. Instead all I saw was the empty dog lead and thought "Boy, I chose the wrong weekend to give up the dog*. I could have sent her out there to sniff and lick anyone who might be lurking in our yard."

I could not get that image out of my head and ended up spending the next few hours playing SimCity with a lot of lights on. Only because I knew it had to be late, I finally gave up and went back to bed where I spent at least half an hour laying there unable to sleep.

Not sure which is worse... the peace of mind a security system can offer or the ignorant bliss of not having something that can scare the hell out of me in the middle of the night for absolutely no reason.

(*There's a separate post, made via Picasa, that seems to have disappeared.)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Beyond My Grasp

I need to preface this by saying I'm happy. I'm really happy. I'm blessed and there's lots of wonderful things in my life that I'm thankful for.

Lately I feel like there's an undercurrent of something being not quite right. I don't mean a disturbance in the force or that the matrix is breaking down, but that I'm just missing something.

But today I was wondering if it's more a matter of trying to properly fit into my skin (makes me think of the alien who put take over that farmer's body... so there's a weird Sci-Fi vibe going on today, apparently.)

Is it not that there needs to be a change in my circumstances, but possibly a need to change my thinking? Easier said than done. It's hard to put my finger on it. It's just like there's stuff still in the air, only I don't know what it is. There's something just beyond my mental grasp that's unresolved.

It's a weird feeling I can't shake today.

Well, anyway, best not to dwell on it. It'll present itself or flit away and be forgotten.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Starting the Cake Early

Was talking to Lori on New Year's Day and asked if she wanted to join this round of More Cake and she said yes, but didn't understand why I was planning to wait until March. With that, we decided to proceed and launched into it yesterday. Our first days' posts are still forthcoming, but would invite others to drop me a line if they'd like to join. The introduction has a few typos I need to correct and a question or two to clarify, but post a comment here or send me an e-mail if you'd like to participate. My goal is to find 2-3 more people who want to participate so we can see a collective weight loss goal of at least 100 pounds. (Lori and I together will be losing about 50 pounds.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Walking in the Wind

Lori and I talked last night. She expressed interest in participating in Cake2, but didn't want to wait until March. So we decided to go ahead and start today. I'm still hoping to get a few more people to join in. She had a few questions I need to clarify in the rules and spotted a few typos that I still need to correct.

Nevertheless, even though we laid in bed last night talking until midnight, I got up by 6 this morning and rode the exercise bike and walked before work. It was over 50 which was nice. It was windy when I started, but the wind died down pretty quickly. The sound through the 30-foot-tall evergreens was really amazing. And then I put on my headphones.