Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lightweight

The other day on my way home from work I had to stop by the doctor's office to pick up some forms for Linzy. As I left the parking lot, I happened to drive by the end of the building where all the doctors park their cars. In amongst the Lexuses and Audis was a crazy sports car. It took me a second to place it, but it was a Lotus Elise.

Now, the Elise isn't super expensive (at least as cars with a 4.7 second 0-60 time go), but it is the epitome of the pure racing car. The thing weighs less then 2,000 pounds, with virtually everything non-essential thrown out to save weight. There is even the option to get rid of the air conditioning to lighten the car further.

I don't know that I've ever seen an Elise in real life. It always seems odd that they can sell a car to people who can afford the ~$43,000 price tag that is basically four wheels, an engine, a fiberglass body, and two seats. Interior amenities? Who needs them.

Of course, with a mere 190 horsepower engine, any added weight at all will really slow it down.


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Enjoying a Fourth of July meal - July 2005

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Movies: Doom

On Saturday evening one of the things we did was watch the movie Doom. Unfortunately, despite fairly low expectations, I was still disappointed.

Obviously the regular reviews panned the movie, but last fall some of the various video game sites were sort of hedging that it might be OK. So I went into the movie expecting something not very good, but perhaps better then the critics were saying it was. The movie wasn't the worst I've ever seen, but I didn't think it was that great.

In what is probably a bad sign, I can't really decide if Doom was better or worse for being viewed as somewhat-background entertainment at a party. Would it have been intolerably boring if I was forced to sit and focus on the mindless plot? Or would it have been better because all the suspense they were trying to build up by having monsters jump out at you from the shadows was totally lost on me, since I was only watching with one eye?

The acting was, of course, fairly sub-par. But what are you going to do when one of your lead actors is The Rock. Most disappointingly, the special effects were fairly pedestrian. I was particularly disappointed with the creatures, they were just guys in rubber suits. You'd think a movie based on a game known for cutting-edge visuals would try to raise the bar a bit.

Actually, I think my biggest complaint about the movie was that it just took itself too seriously. I mean, it's a movie based off a game legendary for its complete eschewing of a plot. I think there is room for a few more nods to the original video games (as opposed to Doom 3). Why not have a Baron of Hell, or at least a Cyberdemon. Instead they stuck almost exclusively with Imps.

The movie wasn't a complete waste, they did do a good job building an Aliens-esque base on Mars, and the First Person sequence was a nice touch. The BFG was also pretty cool.

Perhaps I was expecting too much from the movie, but nonetheless I was disappointed. I don't think I'd recommend it unless you are a huge Doom fan, or are willing to watch 90 minutes of mediocre filmwork just to see The Rock shirtless. (I'm not judging, Heidi).

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Kennecott Mine and Salt Lake City - June 2005

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Felicia and Mike's Birthday Party

On Saturday night Linzy and I went over to Gerard's apartment for a surprise birthday party for Felicia and Mike. There was a pretty good turnout, lots of people came to hang out and celebrate. We hung out, watched Doom the Movie, played some games, and generally had a good time. It was a lot of fun.

Read on for some pictures and an awful lot of people named Mike, if you'd like.

Gerard, Wes and Linzy hanging out by the snacks.

Mike showing off his bows.

Mike and Felicia opening birthday cards.

The birthday cake Linzy baked and decorated.

Tony, Mike and I playing Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360 (Tony whooped us).

Felicia and Mike thinking about blowing out the candles.

Felicia and her new boyfriend Mike.


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The Spam Museum mocks you - February 2006

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

The GodFather

On February 16th, my cousin's Jon and Nicole had their second daughter, Eleanor Isabella. She looks just like her sister, Katie. She also happens to be my goddaughter.

I've never been a godfather before, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a bit different then what I've been led to believe.


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One of the Commandments I wasn't aware of - February 2006

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Friday, February 24, 2006

City Manager

Apparently a relatively new law in Minnesota requires the various counties and cities to publicly post the salaries of their top three wage earners. That info was collected by the Star Tribune, and the article's wage list was circulating the office today. It was of particular interest to my group because one of our former co-workers made the list.

However there was another thing on the list that caught my eye, the three top positions for Burnsville (where I grew up, and my parents still live):

Burnsville
Craig EbelingCity Manager$117,834
Tom HansenDeputy City Manager$114,560
Tammy OmdalDeputy City Manager$111,000


Why the heck are they paying close to $350,000 a year in salaries for three city managers? How many city managers can you possibly need?

What are they even all doing? The city is 97% developed, how many people does it take to run an established city?

Clearly I am in the wrong field of work.


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A park near Buckingham Palace - February 2000

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Keep it Cool

People keep some strange stuff in the fridge at my work. It's like it is a black hole that random food products enter but never leave.

Some of the contents yesterday:

A gallon of whole milk - Do you really need the whole gallon at work? How about when it's been expired for over a month and is still 3/4 full. Still convinced you needed the whole gallon?

A half-full glass of pop - Mmmm, there's nothing quite as good as a glass of three-day-old flat Coke.

Bottles of condiments (including no fewer then 13 bottles of salad dressing) - They have salad dressing at the salad bar, honest. And a fairly good selection of ketchup, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and other condiments. Does everyone really need their own bottle? Especially those ones in the back that don't look like their caps come off anymore because the crusted on condiments are so old?

Three AA batteries - Umm, why?

A large uncovered metal mixing bowl full of what looks like chocolate sauce, complete with the serving spoon still sitting in the chocolate - Are we making sundaes? Why is the sauce in a random metal bowl, and why did you leave the spoon in there?

Half of a sandwich, unwrapped, with a bite taken out of it - Have you seen what people store in this fridge? For the love of all that is cleanly, why is your food directly touching the shelf? Do you want to catch a disease?

I try to just grab my lunch bag and not look to closely at what's in the fridge. Otherwise I'd probably be saying in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice "Idiots!"

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Flowers for Linzy - May 2005

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Books: Golden Fool

A few nights ago I finished reading Golden Fool, the second book in the Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb. I liked it, but not as much as I was hoping I would.

As Robin Hobb has progressed through her books (first the Farseer trilogy and then the Liveships trilogy), she shifted significantly to character and relationship-driven books. Golden Fool is the pinnacle of that shift, at least out of the books I've read so far. There is very little 'action', with most of the book focusing on the 5 or 6 main characters and their relationships and interactions with each other.

Despite the 709 page length, and the lack of much traditional action, the book wasn't necessarily slow moving. It just concentrated on 'smaller' things then most fantasy books do. In fact, there was quite a bit of plot laid out in this book, including a terrific scene that set up the quest that will be the basis for the third book in the trilogy.

The book is really a showcase for the characters Robin Hobb has developed over the previous books set in her world. The writing of the characters is superb, really making them come alive, and making it easy to empathize and connect with them.

I can't really say that I didn't like the book, because it was well written and interesting. At the same time it wasn't exactly the kind of book that I was expecting, based on the way the Farseer trilogy and the second half of the previous book went. They were heavily character driven as well, but also featured some more traditional quests and action.

I have high hopes for Fool's Fate, the last book in the trilogy, because I am anxious to see how things are resolved. And also because I am excited to see how the quest that was setup in Golden Fool plays out.


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The Quechee Gorge - September 2005

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Price Fixing

According to Google, there are approximately 22,600,000 web pages on "Vegas Hotel Deals".

So how come every site that looks even vaguely reputable offers the rooms for exactly the same price?

I mean, there are 67.426 bazillion hotel rooms in Vegas. Shouldn't there be the occasional price war? Or some place that has...oh...a couple thousand extra rooms they are trying to unload. The MGM Grand has over 5,000 rooms, after all.

I guess it must just be that busy, at least for the hotels on the strip.

We'll probably end up differentiating on things like a dining voucher, or what the reviews of the beds are like, since most of the similarly classed hotels want virtually the same price.


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Strawberry Fields Forever - February 2000

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Movies: The Butterfly Effect

On Saturday Linzy and I watched The Butterfly Effect. I didn't really think it was all that good.

The plot of the movie is that the main character blacks out bad memories from his childhood. When he is older, he finds a way to go back and recall what happened during those blackouts, and also to change those events.

The movie was pretty slow moving. It spends at least an hour playing through the childhood of the main character, except with all of the interesting portions blacked out. Then it spends a while in the present (or future depending on how you look at it), while we wait for Ashton Kutcher to figure out how to recall those blacked-out memories. At that point things pick up a little when you go back and finally find out what happened during a blackout, but then we have to go back to the future and find out how changing that event changes the future. Then Rinse and Repeat.

So while I found the end somewhat interesting, it took so long to get there that I had pretty much lost interest. Then the flipping back and forth and seeing how things changed got somewhat tedious until the very, very end.

One interesting side-effect of the fact that the movie spent so much time re-living childhood memories was that Ashton Kutcher (the theoretical star of the movie) wasn't really in it all that much. He was only in maybe half, the rest of the movie featured various child actors showing him at different ages. I'm not that huge of a fan of his, so it didn't bother me, but I thought it was interesting how little he was actually in the movie. On the other hand, all the child actors were pretty good, and they were all well cast in terms of looking like their present-day counterparts.

The frustrating thing was that the movie's plot was reasonably interesting on the surface. Being able to go back and change things in the past, while far-fetched was at least kind of intriguing and was enough to get the movie added to the Netflix queue. But in the end that wasn't enough to overcome the rest of the many flaws in the film.

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Our Valentine's Day dinner table - February 2006

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Video Games: Katamari Damacy

One of my Christmas gifts from Linzy was the PS2 game Katamari Damacy. It was a game I had been wanting for quite a while, but had never gotten around to picking up. Linzy, being a very considerate wife, remembered that I had been mentioning it off and on for a couple years and so picked it up for me.

Katamari Damacy is quite the unique game. If you aren't familiar with it, the basic story is that your father, the King of All Cosmos went on a bender and knocked all of the stars out of the sky. He tasks you (the prince) with collecting all the bits of stars from Earth using a katamari. The katamari is a ball that you roll around, and objects stick to it. As more objects get collected, the katamari gets larger and larger and you can pick up bigger objects.

Most levels start you out with a specific-sized katamari and have you try to get to at least a certain size within the time limit. There is really only a single level map for the entire game, but each level takes place in a different section of the map. As you get larger you can get to areas of the map that you couldn't originally. So where as in the first level you start out in part of a house, by the last levels you can have a katamari so large that you can pick the entire house up.

It sounds weird, but it is quite addicting.

There is something that is just fun about rolling the ball around picking up random objects and trying to get the katamari 'just a little larger' so you can go back and pick up some earlier object or access an area that was previously blocked off.

The graphics are an interesting thing. They look pretty sub-par on the surface. But at the same time, every single thing in the game is independent and can be broken apart and eventually picked up. Plus as your katamari gets larger, your perspective will change. So something that used to tower over your little tiny katamari will eventually be so tiny that you can roll over it and pick it up without even noticing.

The physics of rolling the katamari are pretty cool. As the ball gets larger, it gets somewhat harder to control (taking longer to slow-down/speed-up/turn/etc). It will also roll differently depending on what is attached to it. And some things will stick to the katamari, but throw off its rolling motion completely, making it wobble all over and hard to roll straight.

I know the game sounds strange, but I did really find it enjoyable. It had a simplicity to it that meant the core game mechanic could be flawlessly polished. About my only complaint with the game was that it was short, real short. I finished the game in just a dozen or so play sessions, and those were short and sprinkled in amongst other activities during the week right after Christmas.

On the other hand, the game is very inexpensive and its sheer fun-factor makes it well worth the money, despite the short length. I highly recommend it.

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Before tiling the entryway - December 2003

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Quadruple Threat

Brenden and Allison came over for a quick visit this afternoon, and Pippen got pretty excited about people coming over. So excited in fact that she couldn't contain herself. There were puppy laps, whining, running around like a crazy idiot, flopping on her back for belly petting, and the crowning jewel, accidents.

And not just one accident. She actually managed four separate accidents. Three on various portions of the tile entryway, and one on my shirt while I held her initially.

It was quite the performance, and certainly a new record for most accidents for a single arrival. Obviously I hadn't been forcing her outside in the cold often enough today.

At least she didn't get anyone other then me.

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Some of the flowers for Vanessa's funeral - February 2006

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Sound on Cold Days

Are sounds louder in cold weather?

Tonight in particular (when it is -10F/-23C), it seems like the everyday noises outside are a lot louder. The planes overhead coming in for landings that are normally not even noticeable sound more like they did when I lived 5 miles from the airport in Eagan. The closest arterial road to our house, that I normally can't hear at all, sounds noticeably louder.

Most of the information I can find about sound and cold temperatures are just talking about how the speed of sound is slower in cold air. They don't say anything about whether a slower speed sound wave will sound 'louder', or travel further. Even Wikipedia doesn't seem to have the answer.

Strange.

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Cascade Mountains - November 2001

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Too Cold

For the past couple weeks my Dad and I have been planning to take a ski trip up to Spirit Mountain in Duluth on Saturday.

I had carefully arranged to be free from work that day (the necessity of which could be the subject of a whole different rant). It's been a long time since I've been skiing, so I was pretty excited to be able to get some skiing in, spend some time with my dad, and get away for a day.

Then I started watching the weather forecasts for Saturday. I've been in denial up to this point, hoping they would be wrong. Instead, they've gotten, if anything, worse.

Right now the forecast for Spirit Mountain shows a high temperature on Saturday of 7F with a 12MPH wind, making it feel about like -10F. At what was our projected arrival time of 9:00am, the temperature is projected to be -12F and feel like -30F. By noon it is supposed to warm up to a balmy -1F, and feel like a tropical -17F.

No matter how much I like hanging out with my Dad, getting away for a day, or skiing, I don't think I like it quite that much. Especially not when it would involve 5 hours of driving and spending a hundred or so dollars.

We were joking on the phone tonight about how we would probably end up getting in about 2 runs, one before lunch and one after lunch. The rest of the time would be spent in the chalet complaining about how cold it was outside.

Having to cancel the trip wasn't unexpected I guess, but is still disappointing.

[ Update 2/17 7:37am: Weather.com now says this about the weather in Duluth tomorrow: Very cold. Dangerous wind chills approaching -45F. High 1F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. ]

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Baby Dylan came over for a visit on Saturday - February 2006

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Movies: 40 Year Old Virgin

Last weekend Linzy and I watched the other movie we borrowed from Paul and Laura: 40 Year Old Virgin. I was pleasantly surprised. I had heard moderately good things about the film, but nothing that got my expectations out of line.

I thought the movie was funny, both the dialog and some of the situations the characters get themselves into. Steve Carell was hilarious as the title character, Andy. The supporting cast was also pretty amusing, and kept things interesting.

One thing that surprised me about the movie was the fact that Steve Carell's character was not nearly as over the top as I was expecting. Oh, he was a caricature of course, but not as much of one as I thought he would be. I expected to spend 90% of the movie cringing in embarrassment for him and/or rolling my eyes at the ridiculous things he did. Instead it wasn't that bad. Oh, the character was a nerdy guy, and had lots of quirks, but I thought it was somewhat believable.

About the only thing I didn't like about the movie was the creepy store manager, Paula. Her attempts at seducing Andy were painfully awkward, and not nearly as funny as a lot of the other things going on in the movie.

Anyway, the movie was really funny. I definitely recommend it, as long as you are OK with it being totally deserving of an R/NC-17 rating.


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The Friendship in Salem, MA - September 2005

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Copper Bleu

On Sunday night Linzy and I went over to the new restaurant near our house, Copper Bleu. We've been meaning to get over to try it out for a while now, but had never found the opportunity. That was at least partially because we've heard that it was pretty expensive.

Copper Bleu is located in a rather crazy looking curving, copper-clad building dropped in the middle of a strip mall parking lot. Since it is the dead of winter, the building has gotten kind of grimy looking, but it is still unique. Inside the place is very plush feeling, with all hardwood floors and walls, and comfy benches instead of chairs at all of the tables.

For a Sunday night, the place was pretty crowded. The inside is actually fairly small (for a $5 million restaurant). We had reservations, but pretty much every table was filled and there was a small line waiting for a table.

Because of the small interior space some of the tables are pretty close to each other. Our table was actually pretty good in relation to the tables on either side of us, but there was another table directly to my left that was perpendicular to us. At that table both people were sitting on the far side of the table, making them effectively stare at us the whole time.

Even with the crowds, the service was good. Our waiter was attentive and everything came pretty quickly. We each had a glass of wine, split a Caesar salad and the bread basket, and both ended up ordering the Grilled Bistro Steak. For sides we split the Baby Smashed Potatoes, and Linzy had some Mushroom Caps.

All of the food was really good except the Mushroom Caps (which I did not try). The Caesar salad was very tasty, though a bit on the small side when divided in two. The bread was outstanding, nice, warm and very delicious. The steaks were done to perfection, and even the Wild Mushroom Polenta the steak came with was good.

Actually I was surprised by the polenta, it wasn't at all what I was expecting. It came in a wedge shaped grilled patty that looked more like a piece of pie. It tasted kind of like quiche.

The potatoes were interesting, because they are made to order right at your table. The girl brings over a cart, fires up a pot and smashes up some baby red potatoes along with any of a number of ingredients (and lots of butter and cream). I talked Linzy into getting the loaded version, complete with cheese, garlic cloves, green onions, bacon bits, and sour cream. They were spectacular (and real), and probably tied with the steak as my favorite part of the meal.

About the only thing I didn't like about Copper Bleu were the prices. When you first look at the menu, it doesn't look much worse then your average steak house, but everything is a la carte. So suddenly the $15.95 steak (or $21.95 rib-eye) is looking a lot more expensive when you add on a salad and side. Our bill ended up being about $65 before tip, which isn't outrageous for a fancy special dinner, but way out of our 'eat here regularly' price-range.

All-in-all I was happy with our experience at Copper Bleu. The food was great and the service was good. I'd certainly consider it the next time we are looking to go out for a celebratory dinner.


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Valentine's Day 1999

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Monday, February 13, 2006

TaxCut Craziness

Last year I used TaxCut to do my federal taxes, partly because Linzy had started going back to school and I was too lazy to look up the tuition deduction rules, and partly because I could get it and Microsoft Money 2005 for cheap after mail-in rebates. This year I was kind of planning to do the taxes by hand, since we didn't really need a new version of Money and the deals didn't seem quite as good as last year.

Then in December or early January I got a copy of TaxCut Deluxe+State in the mail. So then my plan switched to using that, since you can't beat free. Except when I actually went to install it, it turned out that they wanted me to pay $30 for the 'free' copy. That seemed a little expensive for a program that is heavily discounted every week in just about everyone's Sunday ad.

So I started looking around and found better deals all over. Best Buy was selling Tax Cut and Microsoft Money 2006 for about $10 after rebate, and Best Buy Online one-upped them by selling both for what amounted to -$5 after rebates (that is, you made $5 once everything was said and done).

So not only did I save $35 by not using the 'free' copy sent to me by H&R Block, but I also got a copy of Deduction Pro which wasn't included in the free copy.

Quite a way to try to drive customer loyalty, by giving your regular customers a worse deal. If Intuit wasn't the devil, I might be tempted to switch to TurboTax and Quicken.


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A classy tool for pulling wires. It's what the professionals use, I'm pretty sure. - February 2006

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

More Hair Insults

At Vanessa's memorial service last week, I was sitting in a pew talking with Brenden, Dan and Tristan. Gerard's youngest sister Kendra came up and greeted me, to the amusement of everyone sitting nearby, with:

Hi there Mr. Going-Almost-Bald


Heh. At this rate, I'm going to be developing a complex in no time.


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In case of Nuclear War head to the church in Austin, MN - February 2006

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Movies: Wedding Crashers

Earlier this week Linzy and I finally got around to watching Wedding Crashers. Paul and Laura were nice enough to loan us the DVD a few weeks ago.

Wedding Crashers was a movie that we never got around to seeing when it was in theaters this summer. The trailer amused me a bit, and a number of my friends saw it and gave it good reviews. But with Linzy's back surgery, we weren't able to get around to seeing it. So when we were given the chance to borrow the DVD, I jumped at it.

I ended up enjoying the movie, but I think my high expectations set me up for disappointment. I was expecting The Funniest Movie Ever, and while it had its moments, the movie wasn't as funny as I was expecting.

I did think Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn made a pretty good pairing in the movie, Vince's hyper-active style meshed pretty well with Owen's laid back style. Christopher Walken was also pretty funny.

I can't recall anything specific that I didn't like, but it just didn't grab me. Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood for the movie the night we watched it, or maybe I was expecting too much.

[ Incidentally, I noticed the 'put your head in the video' technology that I first saw with the Wedding Crasher's site is also in use on Pepsi's Brown and Bubbly site. ]

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Dan, Me, Dan and Gerard - June 2003

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Friday, February 10, 2006

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The only picture of Dan, Me, Dan and Gerard all together since 2003, and it is nearly uselessly blurry - February 2006

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vanessa's Memorial Service

Tonight was the visitation/memorial service for Vanessa. The turnout was pretty amazing. The line was out the door for an hour and a half, at least. The Judd's had printed out 150 pamphlets and ran out well in less then an hour. There was also a solid wall of flower arrangements sent in by various people.

The visitation was both easier and harder then I was expecting. On one hand there were tons of people there that I knew well and could easily make small talk with. On the other hand when the Catholic Sister was doing some prayers and reading some memories Vanessa's Mom had written, it was difficult.

I think the actual funeral service tomorrow will be much harder.

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No matter what he tells you, Brenden owns a lot of stuff - 2000

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

An Evening of Pictures - 2006

One year ago, I was having a hard time coming up with things to post about, so I decided to post some pictures of what I did that night (which was just a random Monday evening). Since I've been having similar troubles coming up with content lately, and I happened to recall that post exactly one year later, I decided to do something similar tonight.

The table, all set for dinner except that we ran out of milk.

A rare appearance of red meat on the menu, with spaghetti

The noodles cooling off.

My heaping plate of tasty spaghetti.

As always, Pippen spent the time while we were washing dishes bring out a succession of toys in the hope that one would cause us to drop everything to play with her.

Linzy putting on her shoes so we can go to the store.

The local grocery store.

$30 of miscellaneous groceries that we ran out of this week.

After the trip to the store I did some running on the treadmill.

And watched The Sopranos (Season 5 Episode 3)

I even had a little unexpected free-time tonight, so I could play some Guitar Hero for the first time in quite a while.

I still couldn't pass No One Knows on Expert though.

But practice makes perfect (or at least 76% perfect), and I managed to scrape through the song on my next try and even completed one of the songs in the next level while I was at it.

Then after talking with Linzy for a while, it was time to write this post.


Exciting, huh?

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Mountains outside of Salt Lake City - June 2005

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bigger != Better

One November, way back when I was getting ready to graduate from college, I flew out to Seattle for a job interview. It was more-or-less a free vacation, since they provided all the flights, rental car, accommodations, etc and let me extend the trip through the adjacent weekend. During the week, there were other interviewees to hang out with, to go out to bars with, etc, but by the weekend everyone pretty much went their separate ways.

I spent part of that Saturday exploring the town, doing general touristy stuff like going up the Space Needle, checking out the pier area, etc. Eventually I was starting to run out of things to do, and wanted to see at least a little of the mountains. So looking in my guide book (also nicely provided by the company), I noticed a section advertising the Snoqualmie Falls. The copy claimed that the waterfall was 'Bigger then Niagara Falls', and talked about how many people travel out just to see the waterfall. I like waterfalls, especially large ones, and it was reasonably close by, so I decided to go check it out.

When I pulled into the parking lot, it was reassuringly full so I thought things would be OK. But then I noticed that you couldn't really hear the falls, even though the signs made it look like it was only a short walk away. If you've ever been near Niagara Falls, its pretty loud. You can hear it from a ways away.

Undaunted, I walked over to the observation platform to check out the falls:


By "Bigger", apparently they were referring to merely taller. Now, it certainly was a long drop for the water (apparently 270 feet versus 176 for the American side of Niagara Falls). But the pathetic trickle of water pouring over the waterfall was somewhat less then impressive. In fact, it was pretty aggravating considering I had driven a half-hour (at least?) to get out to the falls, and paid some exorbitant fee to get into the park.

I stood around for a bit, taking some pictures of the foothills and muttering to myself about how the waterfall was "Bigger than Niagara Falls", trying to feel like I was getting my money's worth. But it didn't take long before I was ready to leave.

That'll teach me to take marketing literature at face value.

Interestingly, over the years I've run into at least a couple other people who went to Snoqualmie Falls while visiting Seattle and were similarly disabused of their notion of what "Bigger" was actually referring to. So I'm not the only one who was suckered in.


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Lake Chelan - November 2001

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Brown and Bubbly

Am I the only person who thinks that Diet Pepsi's new slogan "Brown and Bubbly" is terrible?

The images that phrase conjures in my mind are not really things that make me pine for a ice cold beverage. The commercials weren't that terrible though. Jay Mohr amuses me, as did the replacement of the Pepsi can with a Diet Coke can as the 'stunt double'.

But then again, I drink Diet Coke, so maybe I am just biased.

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Pancakes - February 2006

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