Friday, December 14, 2007

Sometimes there is justice

Yesterday I was on my way to Kinko's. I got off the freeway and came up to the light, there was one car in front of me. As the car in front of me is getting to the light it turns red. This car wasn't driving fast and had plenty of time to stop. But NOOOOO! Mr. "Laws don't apply to me" decides to drive through the red light.

As he drove through I looked to the right to see if any cars were going to jump off the line when it turned green and hit him. And what did my wandering eyes see? A nice police car sitting right there watching the whole thing! The cop was shaking his head, hit the lights and pulled him over to give him a nice ticket.

You see people running red lights all the time and it ticks me off. But it's nice now and then to see someone pay the price. I smiled about that all day!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Three versions of the same sunset. The top is the original which was made up of 8 photos (I used Photoshop CS3 to create the panorama). The middle is after I played with it in Photoshop. In this case I bumped up the blue too much but thought it looked cool. The bottom has better color and I added the moon. This was fun. :)

Friday, December 07, 2007


I just put up a post on my family blog ( about Frankie, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi who passed away recently. It was a little hard to write, and my eyes became a little watery. Time for something to take my mind off it - starting up Doom.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Some people...

Sunday we took our puppies to the Puppy Romp. It's a one hour play time JUST for dogs 10 weeks to 6 months old, a great way to get the socialized. It was Zoey's last day as she is now 6 months old (and is getting fixed today). We have a great time here and rarely have had or seen any problems.

This time two people just made us shake our heads and wonder what they have for brains.

To make the place playful and fun, they have some things for the dogs to climb on, the walls painted nicely, and a few colorful kites. One is in the shape of a butterfly with some long tails. This must have been the first time Zoey looked up because she started barking at it. We were all laughing, even the gal who runs the place. Zoey wasn't barking a lot and was actually starting to calm down when this other lady saw her and started baking back. Of course this made Zoey bark even more. Marci and the gal who runs the place looked at each other like, "What is up with this lady??" Finally we had to tell Zoey to stop. I REALLY wanted to walk over to that lady and tell her to shut up (actually I would have been nicer and asked her not to do that), but I decided she was the type who wouldn't listen anyhow. So we just told Zoey that was enough, distracted her and she was fine the rest of the time.

The other lady really made us all wonder even more. She has a standard Poodle. For some unknown reason, she just HAD to bring it to the small dog side. Oh, I forgot to say this place has a big dog area and a small dog area so the puppy Mastif's aren't with the puppy Pug's. This time they even had a very shy dog area. Anyhow, they tried to get her to put her dog on the big dog side but she said she just HAD to be on the small dog side. We felt a little bad for the Poodle. His tail was wagging and he just wanted to have fun. But his fun was a little more rough than the rest of the dogs. And he had one Lab he just wouldn't leave alone. He kept trying to hump the Lab and at one point squeezed so hard he made the Lab yelp. His name was Andre but she kept calling him "Poodle". A few times Andre tried to play with the smaller dogs and they just kept running from him scared. Yet the lady just smiled and would say, "Look, he wants to play!" I think they let her stay on the small dog side because she got there with only about 10 minutes left.

Man, some people just live in their own world. It reminds me of a quote on Cheers with Fraiser talking to Woody, "What color is the sky in your world, Woody?" LOL!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snow update

It has been snowing, but not that much. It snowed pretty good for about 20 minutes and was starting to stick, then stopped and almost all of it melted. Still some tiny flakes coming down but it doesn't look like we'll have any snow sticking, which is ok with me. :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Snow Saturday?

Right now they are saying there is a chance of snow Saturday. Nothing major, might not even have anything stick below 1000 feet. Then Sunday it warms back up to 50 for a high and next week the high's will be in the 50's.

That's fine with me. While I enjoy playing in the snow, it's usually too wet to do anything and a major annoyance for driving. Mostly because too many people don't have a clue how to drive in it, and then there are the idiot's in the big 4x4 trucks who think they can do anything. Sure, they might have traction to go anywhere but they still have to stop.

When it does snow it makes me happy to work in IT. I just put on my sweats, slippers, turn on some nice music, and logon from home. ;)

No one understands...

Yesterday I was working on making a program run automatically when someone changed an order status. I could have found the code that runs to update that field in the database - and there are probably several programs that update that field - but I decided to add a trigger to that field in the database.

Now anytime a change is made to that field, some code will run looking for certain conditions. If those are met then this other program will run. I've done this before, but it has been a long time and wasn't remembering if it would work how I wanted.

It did. I was thrilled. Jumping out of my chair thrilled. Hands in the air as a sign of triumphant success thrilled. Others here in my IT department wanted to know what made me so happy. I told them. The reply was, "And that's a good thing, right?"


Sometimes it's so frustrating when you do something really cool and no one understands how cool it is. You want to share it with someone, have them jump up and down with you, high-five, do the jump-in-the-air-chest-slamming thing. Oh well, in my mind I did that and enjoyed it a lot. haha

Too long between posts

ARGH! My was going to post at least once a week this year. I was going well then got busy and next thing I knew several months went by. D'OH! I'm going to try to get back on my schedule of once a week.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Neat quote

Heard this tonight on a tv show:

Ever beginning has an ending. But in life, every ending is just a new beginning.

Very cool!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sometimes there is justice

This morning I'm driving to work at 6:30am. The speed limit is 40, I'm doing 45. And as usual, some idiot is right on my bumper wanting me to go faster. I've never understood this, we're the only two people on the road, I'm going FASTER than the speed limit, yet some jerk feels the need to tailgate me.

Anyhow, I get to a nice straight part of the two-lane road with a double-yellow line and the idiot decides to pass. They really didn't go THAT much faster than me, maybe 5mph more as I watch them pull away. They get to the stop sign and pretty much don't stop at all, just slow down a little. I stop, then continue on at my normal morning driving speed. Up ahead I see them, still not really going THAT much faster than me.

Then Karma hits them.

They get behind a car going slower than they want and can't pass, so of course they have to drive a couple feet away (it was probably more than that but it sure looked way too close). The car they are behind ends up going about the same speed as me so the idiot doesn't get much farther. We come to a traffic light and it turns red just before the idiot gets there. They go into the turn lane and I go straight.

As the light is red I pull up right beside them, it's some stupid young girl who looks like total white trash. She looks at me and wasn't happy when she saw it was the car she illegally passed way back there. All I could do is laugh at her.

Once in awhile Karma does happen, this made my morning!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Finished Deck (well, almost)

Today we FINALLY finished staining the deck. We needed to get between the boards on about half of it - we did the top completely earlier this year - and decided it would be a good idea to redo the entire deck.

Ya, right, good idea. We're still wondering which one of us came up with that idea and why the other agreed to it.

Took us about 4 hours. Riley and Maddie wanted to help but it just wasn't working out. So they started playing and just Marci and I did it. Then they wanted stuff and finally wanted Marci. So I finished it by myself.

Sore, tired, long day, but it looks great! Now we're ready for winter with it. Next up, the fence. :(

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Panorama's with Photoshop

Neskowin Panorama

Photoshop has made making Panorama's really easy. Take the photos. Open Photoshop (I'm using CS3, don't know if this is in previous versions). Choose File -> Automate -> Photomerge. Browse to your images and select them all. Leave all the defaults there. Click the OK button and wait. Depending on the size of each photo, how many photos you have and the speed of your computer, this could take awhile.

The above photo is made of six images each about 2MB. It took about 10 minutes on my laptop, but I also have a lot of other things open at the same time and was actually trying to work. Once the merge is done all that's left is to crop it out and you're done!

This is sooooo easy and cool that I'm going to start making more panorama's.

Monday, August 27, 2007

People at the beach

This last weekend we went to the beach for a few days with my parents. My Mom's family owns a little condo-type thing at Neskowin and any of us can use it anytime we want for free. Very nice!

It was a great weekend, almost perfect weather. The only thing that was annoying was some of the people. We're sitting in one spot, kids (and me) were digging in the sand, and some people just HAD to walk right next to us - I mean so close they were accidentally kicking up sand on our blankets. Others had to walk between where we were sitting and the kids were digging, about 10 feet difference. There wasn't anyone around us, they could have easily walked farther away. Another time Riley and I were digging some big holes and stuff, and another family HAD to setup right next to us and let their kids play right where we were digging.

I just don't understand people sometimes. Did these people feel they had to let us know we don't own the beach or some stupid thing like that? Oh well, we did have a great time anyhow. :) I'm uploading photos right now and will post about it on our family blog.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No free moments for me...

I thought I'd have some free moments tonight because Marci was taking the kids to visit her sister. But when I got home, Maddie was asleep. When Marci left she didn't want to wake Maddie, I agreed. Of course five minutes after she left Maddie woke up. I tried to call Marci but her cell phone wasn't on. D'OH! So it's me, Maddie & the dogs tonight, and she's wide awake. I was going to play our new Guitar Hero, but now I'm just watching The Wiggles with Maddie. It could be worse of course, and I'm enjoying our father-daughter time together. :)

Free moments...

On the wrapper of my little piece of Dove chocolate there is a little message:

Take advantage of every free moment you have.

This got me to thinking - what does it mean to take advantage of a free moment? Most people seem to take this as, "Don't just sit there, go do something! Read a book, enjoy your hobby, go for a walk, ride your bike, get in some quick exercise, etc." However, when you are always busy, sometimes having a free moment can mean doing nothing.

To me, taking advantage of the free moment means doing something you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't have that free moment. Maybe you've been extremely busy all day and you just want a moment to rest, watch something you recorded, listen to some music, not really do anything at all, just rest. You're still taking advantage of that free moment, right?

Tonight I might have a free moment and I've been trying to decide what to do. I could mow the lawn, do some laundry, clean the house, go through boxes we moved when we got our new carpet, or something like playing a game on the computer or Playstation, playing the piano, watching a stupid movie and drinking beer. I'm still not sure what I'll do. All I know is I will be taking advantage of my free moment.

So what does that little saying mean to you? Is doing nothing ok?

Monday, July 16, 2007

My 3D Photos on a NASA website - Coolness!!

NASA has a website that explains how to create 3D photos, the glasses, and shows off photos other people have done. They have two of mine right now. I sent them links to my other ones on Flickr because I think I have much better photos than the two they picked.

Coolness to be on a NASA website!

Friday, June 08, 2007

How to make 3D Photos

There are many ways to make 3D photos. This way involves creating those blue-red photos that you need the special blue-red glasses for. These instructions are specific to Photoshop (and Windows Photoshop at that, don't know the Mac keyboard equivalents), though I'm sure other programs can work too. You can see some of my 3D photos here.

When looking for 3D photo ops, look for things with lots of depth, stuff close to you, stuff in the middle, and stuff far away. You want to try and focus your camera on something in the middle if possible. Also, try to have as little movement as possible between the two photos. You don't want someone in one photo and not in the other, or people leaning one direction then the next in the 2nd photo. Then again, if you have two camera's hooked together and synced to shoot at the same time, you can take photos with any kind of movement.
  1. Take TWO photos.
    This is important. You take the first photo, then move to your right about 3-4 inches - NO MORE! - and take the 2nd photo. Your eyes are only that far apart so that's how far apart you want the two photos. Any further and it won't work well.

  2. Download the photos to your computer and open then in Photoshop.

  3. Select the photo you took first. Go to Channels and select the Blue & Green channels by holding down the shift key.

  4. Go to the 2nd photo. Select the entire photo (CTRL-A) and copy it.

  5. Go back to the 1st photo and paste what you just copied.

  6. In Channels, select the RGB channel. Now you see an image with the familiar blue-red look to it. But you're not done yet. You need to line up the two images. You'll notice there are little eye's next to all of the channels. This shows you which channels are being viewed and which are off.

  7. In Channels, select the RED channel. Next to the RGB channel in the box where the eye was, click that. This will display all channels with only the Red selected.

  8. Either choose the move tool or hold down the CTRL key. Now move your mouse to line up the images. What you want is to pick a spot that's somewhere in the middle of the depth and move the image so there is no red or blue showing. This will create your depth when you view the image with the glasses.
And that's it! Save your document and go find some blue-red glasses to view what you just created. It's actually quite fun. I just wish I had two camera's setup to take photos at the same time. Then I could do some really cool photos without worrying about people moving.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tour of the resort

Next week I'll be heading to Phoenix for my annual Progress Conference. I was looking at the hotel's website and saw they offer a 60 minute tour of the grounds for $65 - on a Segway! Not sure I'll have time for that, but would be fun just to say I've been on a Segway. We'll see what happens.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Deep thought....

I can't take credit for this but I do like it.

Some people are like Slinkies:
They don't really have a purpose,
But they still bring a smile to your face
When you push them down the stairs.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gamefly is way cool!

Netflix is a cool way to rent movies as long as you don't want it RIGHT THIS SECOND. We used to use it all the time, but then we had kids and rarely have time to watch anything, let alone a two hour movie.

In the last few years Riley has really been enjoying playing our Playstation 2. We joined the game clubs at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, but they didn't have much of a selection. Then I found out about Gamefly. It's exactly like Netflix only it's for video games instead of movies. And they have a HUGE selection! Riley's really into Monster Trucks. I found two games awhile back and wanted to buy them both. Only one I could find to buy, the other was not available. However, Gamefly has them both! The other game is now in our queue waiting to be sent to us. Cool! AND it's not that expensive at all. Really it's an excellent service.

If you want to check them out and join, please use this link: They have a rewards program where if you use this link and sign up, we get points that we can redeem for game rentals and other stuff. Give it a try, I think you'll like it a lot. The other big cool thing for us is we can try these games before buying them - some have looked cool and actually sucked and we were glad we didn't buy them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Appendix = Beer?

I think I have figured out why we have an appendix. Ever since I've had mine out (back on March 13th), my desire for a beer just hasn't been there. There have been plenty of times a beer sounded good and I've had a few sips here and there, but while it tasted good, it wasn't great and my tummy just said, "No thanks, not interested." I mean it didn't get upset or anything, just not in the mood. It's been very weird.

The upside is it's easier to keep the weight off with less exercise (just got the ok last week to start exercising again!) and saves on the pocket book. STILL, I LOVE beer, or at least used to. How long can this go on?? Is there no end to the madness?!?!

Friday, April 27, 2007

American Idol Gives Back rant - I oopsed!

Edit: Ok, I was wrong. American Idol IS giving back to America too. See, my problem is I've been bombarded with this stuff for all my life and now when it comes on the tv I tune it out. I'm tired of the film clips showing you how horrible it is, making you feel bad, pulling your heart out and stomping on it until you decide to give some money. So when AI was talking about all this, I tuned it out because I didn't want to hear it again. And I wrongly assumed they weren't giving money to America. I apologize to AI for that. We all know what happens when you assume, right? You make an ASS out of U and ME - and I certainly did that to myself.

I guess part of the problem is you rarely ever year about money being given back to our own country, you only hear about it when it's helping people in other countries, especially ones where living conditions are so bad. It's like watching the news - you rarely ever hear good stuff, it's all sensational things. You hear all the bad happing in Iraq, our soldiers dieing, but you never hear all the amazingly great stories of Iraq people who are thankful to our soldiers. It's just not newsworthy, and I think the same about when people give money locally. If I were to give 10 million dollars to some 3rd world country it would be all over the news. But if I gave it to some group here that helps people who are living just as badly, you'd never hear about it.

Anyhow, AI is doing the right thing. I love the show and am glad my brother pointed out to me that I need to check my facts first, I feel better now. :)

This post is likely to make me unpopular.

American Idol is "Giving Back" in the form of raising money for kids in 3rd world countries, places where living conditions aren't exactly nice (to put it mildly) and they don't have much in the way of food or supplies (medical and otherwise). While I applaud them for wanting to help people/kids in need, I have to ask this question:

What about the people here in our own country that need help? Why help these others instead of our own people?

This is something that has bugged me for a long time. You see groups like American Idol, celebrities, and others wanting to help people in these impoverished countries more than wanting to help people in their own backyard. I'm not saying the people in these other countries aren't in need of help. What I am saying is we have plenty of problems right here at home, plenty of people who need help. There are still many from Katrina who need help. A tornado went through a town in Texas that wiped out a school. There are lots of kids living on the streets, people who are living in horrible conditions, babies who are born with little chance to survive because the mother can't afford to go to a hospital. Why can't we help these people too?

American Idol raised over 30 million dollars. That's incredibly cool. If they want to help these other countries, fine, take half of it and give to those countries, and half to needy people here in America. How would it feel to you if you were living on the street, in some area where there is so much crime you worry about your life when stepping outside, couldn't afford medical help, etc, and heard all this money was raise to help people in another country? Aren't we supposed to help our own?

And what's what adopting kids from these countries? There are plenty of kids right here in our own country that could use adopting. When I see some celebrity adopting someone from another country I'm happy for that kid because they'll hopefully have a future they couldn't otherwise have - and maybe they wouldn't have lived past five. But it also seems like they are doing this only because it makes them look good, not because they really honestly care about the kids. Now I don't for a minute think they are going to mistreat these kids. I'm just saying there are plenty of kids right here in America who could benefit from being adopted just as well as these other kids.

And you know those films they love to show about how horrible things are in these countries? I'm not saying they are making these up, rather I'm positive you could easily make a film showing similar horrors of people living here in America.

Again, I think it's great that people want to help these other countries that have horrible living conditions. I just think it would be nice if they would care a little more about people in their own backyard.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Travelling in the 21st century

My how times have changed. As I said in my previous post, we went to Reno this last weekend. I remember going on trips with my family as a kid. We got in the car and went, maybe checking the weather reports on the radio, tv, newspapers, calling people we knew in the area, stuff like that. If we made this trip back in the early 70's we would have just said, "Don't know if we'll hit snow or rain or really nice weather so let's be prepared for all of it."

Now we have the Internet. Web cams. Online weather reports from many sources.

The week before we left I started monitoring the weather reports for the areas we'd be driving through. I also pulled up the traffic web cams to get a visual of what the roads looked like. On some of the web cams they had the temperature too. I saw a big cold front come in and some of the places we were heading were getting snow. All of the reports said it would be gone by the time we got there, but just to be safe we bought tire chains (don't really have a need for them around town and we can take them back if they are unused and get our money back, so a good precaution).

The morning we left I checked the web cams - all clear. And sure enough it was. If I had a GPS, I could have tracked our exact location all the time so we could see where we were and how much longer we'd be on the road. A friend of mine said he did this and input all of the rest stops so they could see how much longer before they could get rid of all that soda they just drank. While in Reno, I was still watching everything and saw a snow storm came through Saturday night. One web cam showed the area covered including the road. That was at 9am. By 5pm the road was almost dry. By the time we left, all but a few traces of snow was gone and everything was clear again, so we drove home relaxed and confident we'd have a nice trip.

Sometimes technology makes our lives miserable and can be a pain to deal with. Other times - like taking a 10 hour drive somewhere - technology can be wonderful. You can be prepared for road conditions, you know what clothes to bring/wear, you can see what's coming up, where you are and how much longer to go. I've been around computers most of my life, yet I think because I'm old enough to remember when they weren't around I still get amazed by some of the things you can do.

Speeding up in the passing lane

This last weekend we drove from Portland to Reno. Most of the drive was on I-5, a nice wide highway that has at least two lanes in each direction. Four hours of it was on a 2-lane road through some very beautiful national forests. The only problem with 2-lane roads is when you get behind someone who's driving enough slower than you are to make you want to beat them over the head with a lead pipe until they speed up. Fortunately there are usually plenty of places to pass, either a nice long stretch where you can see no oncoming cars so you can pass, or a real "Passing Lane", you know, where your one lane becomes two, the slower traffic moves to the right so you can pass them on the left.

At least that's the theory.

Why is it you are behind someone going 10-15 mph slower than you want to drive and as you come to a real passing lane, while they do move over to the right, they also speed up to how fast you want to go and sometimes faster? THEN when the passing lane is over, they slow back down to their original speed!! What is up with that? And it happens way too many times to be just someone being a jerk. Or maybe all of them are jerks, I just happen to find them all the time.

While this does annoy the hell out of me, I think I know what's going on. These people have one lane in their direction. On their left is another lane and on their right is unpaved earth (or a cliff or something like that). It's a normal width lane, but it feels narrower and they are probably a little nervous driving too fast on it. Then they get to the passing lane, there's now another lane next to them, their lane doesn't seem so narrow anymore, they feel more confident, and they speed up to how fast they'd really like to go. I'll bet if that whole way there were two lanes going in their direction instead of one they'd drive that faster speed the entire way.

At least that's my theory. Doesn't make it any less annoying, but sometimes rationalizing something makes me feel a tad less stress; enough to put the lead pipe away for another day.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who needs a stinkin' appendix anyhow?

On Tuesday March 13th I had my appendix removed. I posted the full story on my family blog.

Friday, March 09, 2007

American Idol - Sanjaya?????

It's American Idol season again. I've been blogging on the American Idol website my thoughts each week. But I had to add a post here about Sanjaya getting through.

Who are these people who are voting for him?! He doesn't suck, but he's no where near as good as the rest - the people who left were better! I can understand his family and friends voting for him, but even they have to admit he doesn't have a chance to win.

I think what's happening is there are people out there who find it funny to vote for the worst person just to see how long they can keep them on. You know, the longer people stay on the show, the better chance they have of getting a recording contract. And while some of these people don't have a chance to win, they can still have a successful career. Look at Kellie Pickler, she's doing quite well. By voting for the worst people just to keep them on, other people who have a chance at a real career are getting voted off. Do these people think it's funny to mess with peoples lives this way? I'll bet they also like kicking kittens and puppies.

Please everyone, just vote for who you want to win, don't turn this into a circus. We have gotten some amazing talent out of this, some great music for us to listen to. Sanjaya needs to go next week.

Oh, and if there is justice in the universe, Melinda will win. :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How much toilet paper do you use?

This probably belongs in the TMI or WTF category, but that's what this blog is about, my mindless ramblings - and I think people will agree this is definitely mindless. :)

I like to not be wasteful of anything. Water, paper towels, electricity, even toilet paper, I like to use the minimum possible to get the job done. After seeing people in the bathroom grab a huge handful of paper towels to dry their hands off when probably half of those never got wet and were just wasted, I got to wondering about toilet paper - do people grab a TON of it like they do paper towels or just the right amount?

Do people grab one sheet? A set amount of sheets? A length that looks good? Pull off half the roll? Do they wrap it up in a ball? Fold it? Crumple it up? And how many times do you pull off a sheet/section? Once? Twice? Thrice? More? Of course all that got me to thinking what I do.

I realized I probably use more than I need. That's because I pull off enough to make sure it covers my hand cause I don't want my hand to get any on it (ewww!). (of course I do wash my hands, but still, eww!) And I do three or less wipes. I've decided while I don't really waste that much, I should try and use less.

We just bought some cool toilet paper for our kids. It has pictures of a puppy and paw prints on it. There will be several sheets of paw prints, then a puppy, several paw prints, then a puppy. The purpose is to teach them how much toilet paper to use - tear right after the puppy so you only have paw prints and a puppy. I looked at how much that is and it's a good amount, not too little, not too much. I think it's an excellent idea.

So, how much do you use?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

People carrying "Repent or else!" signs

I'm having fun watching Mardi Gras on a live video stream from Lots of people who look like they are having fun, some dressed normally, some very creatively. And there are a few carrying signs with the usual religious stuff on them, "Stop now! Repent! Save your lives or forever burn in hell!"

I am most definitely a religious person, but I just have to wonder about these people. Do they really think someone is going to read their sign and go, "Wow! He is so right! I DO need to stop everything I'm doing right now and change my life so I won't go to hell!" I mean what's the purpose of holding a sign like this? Most people are just going to ignore it, some might even laugh at it. I'm sure it makes them feel good, that they are doing something to stop the downward spiral into damnation and all that, but really, do they ever change anyones life? Does anyone really take them seriously?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bathroom stuff..

When guys go into a public bathroom and stand at the urinal to pee, why do they always spit into the urinal too? I've never found the need to do this, yet I see guys doing it all the time. No, I don't watch other guys pee, just notice it when someone is next to me.

And what's up with washing hands? Guys will turn the water on, run their hands under quickly, then turn it off, grab about 10 paper towels to dry their barely wet hands and quickly exit. If you're going to wash your hands, then WASH them! Put some soap on them! And why waste so many paper towels? Probably half of those weren't even wet! Take one, dry off as much as you can, take another and finish, and if you need use a 3rd. I can almost always get my hands dry with two paper towels. Just bugs me to see people 1. not wash right and 2. waste so much. I want to grab a big hack paddle and tell them, "Go back and do it right or bend over." hehe

And why does the ladies bathroom where I work have music playing and we don't? I'll bet it's because the ladies keep it down low and on a nice station where if us guys had music, it would be loud and some good hard rock. No dainty, frilling music for us! ARR ARR ARR! [that's supposed to be a Tim Allen grunt]

The Color of People

Have you ever noticed people including race or color in conversation? For example, if someone was in a bar and some guy was being a jerk, I've noticed if the person recounting the experience is white and the jerk was white, they'll say, "There was this guy who was such a jerk." But if the jerk was black, they'll say, "There was the black guy who was such a jerk." Or "There was this mexican/latino/hispanic guy who was such a jerk." Yet these same people will say they are not racists, and for the most part aren't.

So what does it matter what color/race the person was? Why can't we just say, "This guy was such a jerk." Now if you are describing someone to the police, yes, race and color are important. But if it's just recounting something where some guy was a jerk, do race and color matter?

What also bothers me about this is when they are saying this around young kids. These kids are learning racism. True it's a quite mild, but it's still racism. They will grow up with a slanted look towards people who aren't like them.

Now I will say I have seen groups of blacks/hispanics/asians/etc perpetuating the stereotype by their actions and looks, but I also see whites doing the same things, it's not just non-whites. I'm not saying everyone should be boring, tie-wearing cogs, just if you don't want people to look down on you or think bad of you, don't act like jerks. And saying Nigga, Nigger, etc, isn't cool, it's just stupid.

Anyhow, I've just found it interesting how white people who say they are no WAY racist find they have to say, "This black guy" instead of just "This guy". Yes, I have found myself doing this and now try not to do it, unless the color/race is important to the story. And no, I'm not perfect, just trying to get along with others more.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Portland Autoshow

This weekend we went to the Portland Autoshow. It was a TON of fun! I've got a more detailed description on my family blog. Basically, it was great, I decided the new Mustang convertible isn't a good family car, the Honda Civic Si Sedan would be great fun to drive, but not enough back seat family room for the kids, the Element was nice, but smaller than I want, and the little Honda Fit is perfect for my driving needs. There's only one thing I don't like, it is GUTLESS!! 0-60 in 11 seconds!!!!

So after many years, I was able to get a Honda s2000 (a 2001 model). It was AWESOME!!! You know those old guys with grey hair driving the Porsche's? They finally got their dream car and are enjoying driving it. That's how I felt with the s2000. But it wasn't a good family car, no back seat and you couldn't turn off the passenger side airbag. Semi-ok for one kid, but no way with two. After 10 months I finally agreed to say goodbye to it. Believe me, there's not a day that goes by that I wish I still had that car!!!!! Got a 2001 VW Passat 1.8L turbo. It is actually fun to drive, has decent pickup, really good stereo, but a step down from what I had. The s2000 wasn't necessarily fast (0-60 in 5.2 seconds), but a TON of fun to drive on corners! Perfect 50-50 balance, could corner like it was on rails, just more fun than I've ever had behind a wheel.

Anyhow, the Passat is fun, and a better stereo, but a step down. Now the Fit. 31-37 MPG. I drive about 6 miles/12 minutes to work each day, and I don't drive it much otherwise. If the family goes anywhere, it's in the Honda Pilot. So for me driving back and forth to work, the Fit is a perfect "fit" (ya, I know, bad pun but no other way to say it). BUT, I'm not sure how fast the Passat goes 0-60 - I'm guessing about 8 seconds - the FIT does it in 11 seconds!! So I'm going to from 5 seconds to 11! ARGH! Yes, that's hard to drive a car where I step on the gas and it says, "Huh? What? I'm sorry, you wanted to get up and go? Oh, ok, hang on, let me get things together..." If this thing would just do it in 8 seconds I'd be really happy.

Fortunately there are things I can get to help. K&N has an air filter and an intake filter that can help boost horsepower and fuel economy, so I can probably easily go from 11 seconds to 9. I don't necessarily want something that jumps off the line, just want to be able to downshift, step on the gas and have the car easily pass the car in front of me.

However, there are no Fit's to be found in Portland! I emailed a couple dealers and they told me the Fit is very popular and they don't have any. One said they aren't taking any new orders for at least 6 months. 6 months!! Wow, I guess this thing is really popular. Oh well, that's actually kinda good. We have a tendency to jump into things and this gives us a reason to think about it more and make sure this is right.

There were lots of other cool cars at the Auto show. Audi had their S8, their sporty version of the A8. $110,000! I didn't feel worth enough to even sit in it. Lots of other cool sports cars, lots of actual race cars, we sat in a Land Rover and found out why people like them - talk about cool features! It was a fun 3 hours, and the funniest part was trying to get Riley to leave. Until I sat in the first car, he didn't want to be there or sit in a car. When it was time to go, he was mad cause he wanted to sit in more cars! LOL!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Learn to Speak Body: Tape 5

This video is FANTASTIC! It is by BodyVox and Mitchell Rose. BodyVox is owned and run by one of the owners (and his wife) of the company I work at, she's in the yellow dress and he's in the "I don't know" set. Checkout for more videos from BodyVox. My personal favorite is Deere John.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Feeling better & Snow

So last week I slammed myself into the concrete. Here it is a week later and I'm feeling pretty good! Pretty much everything is much better, my knee is a tiny bit sore, my right elbow is almost completely better, my face never got any bruising (which surprised me since I hit really hard), but my back is still quite sore. Obviously that's where I did the most damage, I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle or something. I just need to take it easy, which isn't easy with two little kids around. haha

Today we have a snow storm here in Portland. I know many other parts of the country laugh at us for getting 1-2 inches and having problems driving. We just don't get a lot of snow here so people don't know how to drive in it. And we have a LOT of hills here, you can easily go from 300 feet to 1000 feet in a matter of a few miles. So what looks good where you are is really bad trying to go over the hills. These are days I'm glad to be working in IT where I can work from home!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Which is harder, concrete or my body?

First, I have to say I thought this blog thing would be fun to just share random thoughts I had. I still that, however for it to work, I kinda need to actually write stuff here. D'OH! Last year from Sept on got crazy busy in every way possible. I took a week off from work between Christmas and New Years and that really re-energized me. I feel refreshed and ready to go! So this year one of my New Years resolutions is to blog at least once a week. SO, to start it off, here's hopefully a good laugh for everyone from this last weekend. I know I'm laughing about it. :)

We get our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving and take it down the weekend after New Years. This year we had a fantastic tree, it was still taking water even the day before we took it down!

So this last weekend my wife was at the beach with her mom and I was home with the kids, they were actually very good and we had a great time. Sunday morning at 8:45am I remembered the Christmas tree had to be at the curb by 9am for the boy scouts to pick it up. I quickly took all of the ornaments off the tree, the lights, and shoved it out the door top first (I know that was the wrong way to push it out, I can only say I'd been up for about 15 minutes so wasn't thinking clearly, which probably explains the rest of this story, that or I'm just stupid which is always a possibility). Of course it got stuck, I took off the tree stand and pushed it out the rest of the way.

It went out fine, but then started to fall to the right. I didn't want it to fall on a plant so I was trying to guide it. As it was falling faster than I could guide, I went to move my right foot to catch myself, but I caught it on my pajama pant leg and proceeded to fall over off a two foot step onto the hard concrete in front of our house (and ours has those little rocks coming out, not the smooth kind).

Hit my left shoulder, left side of my head (my cheekbone and head), my right knee a little on the inside, my right hand to catch myself, and after I was down my feet finally came down too. I laid there thinking, "Oh great, my wife is at the beach and I've done something stupid and probably broken something." Took a quick inventory and nothing felt broke so I started to get up. My left side hurt (upper back and upper front on my chest) and my right knee, I couldn't put pressure on it to stand up or use my left hand, which is of course how I always get up so had to change position to stand up.

Got up, checked everything again, all felt ok, nothing broken or out of place, so I finished taking the tree to the curb.

When I got back in the house, I looked at my knee and it had a HUGE welt on it! My left should only has a few little marks and they look normal, and very little bruising. My right hand has three cuts which are healing fine. I went into the bathroom to checkout my head and was shocked to find NOTHING! I mean there wasn't any sign I'd tried to shove my head through the concrete! Very weird, but I've always known I'm thick headed. hehe

When my wife got home, I asked her to check my back as it was still sore and hard to lift my left arm. (Did I tell you she's a licensed massage therapist?) She said it felt like I pulled a muscle or really strained it. By the end of the day my knee was feeling better, my back was ok, but now my right elbow was acting up, really sore. I think when my right hand came down I kinda jammed it or something. This morning my knee feels great, just some cuts and it's still tender where I hit it, my hand is fine, my back is sore but better, my head still feels fine with no signs of anything, and my elbow was feeling better, though today I've been leaning on it too much and it's hurting again. I did think I might have gotten a concussion from that, so I looked it up online and had none of the symptoms.

I'm quite shocked that I came out of it feeling pretty much just fine, just a few scratches and bruises. So now I can laugh about it cause I'm sure I looked really stupid, I certainly felt stupid.

But I did get the tree out in time and they did take it! WOOHOO!! And that's what really matters as I didn't want to have to deal with it. hahaha