Archive for April, 2006

Not My Fault

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Amused
I’m Listening To: Bruce Hornsby & The RangeThe Way It Is

I’m going to be accused of preferring “toilet” humor, but it’s not my fault that these things happen to me. Similar to my previous experience at McDonald’s, I was at lunch at Sonic yesterday with my coworker, Jon, and he had his (crappy-camera)-phone at the ready as soon as we saw this:

That’s a pretty bold statement from a suit company.

Good Grief…

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Embarrassed
I’m Listening To: Nothing

   I just had a first. I was sitting here, with my laptop actually on my lap, and was reading Jared’s journal at BunkFace. He has a link posted where you can “Ghettosize dis mofo”, a link to a site that does just what it says. Upon reading some of what that site generated based on his writing, I leaned forward, laughing. And then I apparently lost complete control of my body, and drooled right on my keyboard. Yeah. That’s right. Drooled. I then frantically reached for a tissue to try to sop it up before it made it down behind the keyboard and shorted out my AirPort card. What a mess I am.

Random Vittles

Friday, April 7th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Random
I’m Listening To: 10,000 ManiacsIn My Tribe

Daylight Savings – I love Daylight Savings. I like coming home from work to a house still well-lit by the sun, and the other night I had to run back out to the store, and the sun was just setting. It was beautiful. So Daylight Savings is like a little slice of heaven for me.
Having said all that: I have been responsible for my own clocks for about 10 years now, and this past weekend was the first time I’ve ever missed a clock change. We got up Sunday morning, got ready to go to church (we even made it out the door early!), and when we walked in to church, the first service was still going. This was way longer than usual, and we just chalked it up to a heavy sermon, and that maybe there was some other special event that changed the schedule or something. Then we realized that we had not walked in at 10:30 for the 10:45 service, but rather had walked in at 11:30, ready to worship, all dressed up with no place to go. Harumph.
NASCAR – I’ve never really understood NASCAR. I mean, I understand the idea of racing; I just don’t understand the appeal of watching it on TV. No idea why this is a televisable sport. We were at Hannah’s parents’ house for a little bit last Sunday, and her dad was watching whatever race was going on. Now, there are some technological things going on in the telecast that I appreciate for their geek-factor, like the transponders that allow them to superimpose a car’s number, driver, and position information in a little box over the rear window of the car. But otherwise, snoozers. It makes me want to get one of these shirts. Admittedly, there may be an apparent double standard here, as I claim that NASCAR is boring, when I’ve already sung the praises of Curling.
The Critic – I am borrowing the DVD complete series of The Critic. I haven’t seen this show in a long time, and after watching a couple of episodes, I realize two things: first, this was a pretty funny show; second, I’m not at all surprised that it folded after a season-and-a-half. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying it and look forward to watching the rest.
Weather – Last Sunday we had a pretty bad storm. We were still at Hannah’s folks’ when it happened. We had to go in the basement and everything. It was bad enough that when we tried to go to a movie that evening, we got to the theater and had to leave, because the theater didn’t have any power. In fact, the next morning there were still 75,000 people in St. Louis without power. Fortunately (and uncharacteristically), we were not among them.
Traffic Lights – Following the storm, I was frustrated Monday morning. Like I said, there were power failures all over St. Louis. This included a traffic light near our house. Monday morning, the power had been restored to it, but traffic was still about the worst I’ve seen it in the year we’ve been in our house. In fact, traffic was bad all the way until I got on the highway. I think I’ve figured it out: dark traffic lights are like little epicenters of bad traffic. They create a multiblock radius of pain. If you happen to drive anywhere within that area, you suffer the wrath of bad traffic. I’ve illustrated this in the following diagram:

The tangent-ish line is my (or your) car moving through the radius of pain. You can’t see, and may in fact be nowhere near, the traffic light that went out, but you deal with the ripple effect anyway. It takes like a whole day for everything to right itself. No sir, I don’t like it.
Note: Modified this post 11 April, changing the word “tagent” to “tangent-ish” in the previous paragraph on Mark Kamil’s observation that the line – or ray, actually – is not a tangent, as it does not touch the circle at only one point. My apologies to you, the reader, to Mark, to my freshman year geometry teacher, and the mathematics community at large. Second Modification: Per Mark, the type of line of which I was thinking is a secant.

“I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike…”

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Refreshed
I’m Listening To: They Might Be Giants – Venue songs on their web site

We had another family first this past weekend: cycling. Last year we bought bikes for Hannah and me, as well as a trailer for our then one-month-old son. Now ten months old, he’s sitting up well enough to be able to use the thing. That’s pretty cool.
So after spending much of Saturday morning cleaning out my car, listening to weekend NPR (is there really any other kind?), we loaded up all the equipment and headed west. We went not far from Hannah’s parents’ house, where there’s a (Missouri) river access point, as well as a pseudo-trailhead for the Katy Trail. We rode about 10.5 miles, and had lunch at a trail-side park. It was nice.
We did get turned around once, as we ran, purely by accident, into a parade. Saturday was Missouri Tartan Day, and the St. Charles riverfront was where the parade ended, and the parade itself crossed the trail at that point. This seems like it might confuse those unfamiliar with the trail… my apologies. Anyway, we got stuck by the parade. But if you’re going to be stuck by a parade, is there a better parade by which to be stuck than by one loaded to the teeth with bagpipers? It was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, my definition of “pretty awesome” and Hannah’s differ, and shortly I found myself turning my bike/trailer combination around and heading back the way we’d come.
We’re thinking about making the ride from Defiance to Augusta and back (a 14-mile round trip) the next time we have a weekend with weather like this past one. Sorry no pictures… you’ll have to be satisfied by my telling you it was a good time, and that our butts were really sore.

Itching Ears

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Curious
I’m Listening To: WaterdeepLive At The New Earth

I was listening to the radio on the way to or from work yesterday, and something occurred to me: I’d like to check out more of Tom Petty‘s music. Not so much the “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” or “Free Fallin’” type stuff, but more the “American Girl” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” variety. I think I might be able to really enjoy his stuff… although I might also be subliminally encouraged to smoke dope.
Another thing I realized in that same car trip is that I’ve never given ZZ Top enough credit. Outside of questionable decisions they’ve made (like a cameo appearance here [picture]), those beardsmen can rock. My dad used to have a couple of their albums, but I never listened with him. At this point, I’d probably be okay with a greatest hits collection, although I also think they might be one of those bands where I don’t like their singles as much, but really enjoy their album tracks.

Cool (Though Simple) New Utility

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Mildly Impressed
I’m Listening To: Waterdeep – Everyone’s Little CD

I found a cool app recently, via Danny‘s suggestion of FreeMacWare. It’s called Desktopple, and does a cool little trick where it hides your desktop and its icons for as long as you like, and you can still use any applications over it. Simple, I know, but handy.
It was kind of interesting, because I had downloaded and installed it on my machine a couple days earlier, and hadn’t even gotten a chance to launch it, when a teacher came into my office, complaining that an application she was using with a projector in her classes wasn’t big enough to cover her desktop, which had sensitive documents on it, like other students’ NHS recommendation letters. I directed her to this utility, and she said it worked perfectly. Cool stuff.

Dangit!

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

I’m Feeling: Bummed
I’m Listening To: Nothing but the sounds of empty frustration in my head.

Well, UCLA lost. More accurately, they were beaten. I’m not sure if that’s a better way to say it, or worse. Oh, well… on the downside, I didn’t win $150; on the upside, I only lost $5.

March Kinda-Give-a-Crapness

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

I’m Feeling: Excited
I’m Listening To: The Simpsons are on TV

I’m actually pretty psyched for tonight. This is the first year in my life I’ve given a flyin’ poo about the NCAA Basketball Tournament. On a whim, I entered a pool through Mark Kamil’s work. I just kinda made up my bracket based on some intuition – it was pretty uninformed. Anyway, I’ve kept up with the brackets a lot closer then I ever have in the past; in previous years, I just found out at work in the first week of April who won the title. This year, I’ve watched snippets of the first four rounds, and I’m actually going to watch the final game, as a win by UCLA means money for me! :-) Only a few hours from knowing the answer – Go Bruins.
In other sports related news, baseball started this weekend, and I still hate Barry Bonds. I really have no desire whatsoever to see that over-stuffed bag of garbage have any success this year. I don’t really wish anyone ill, but if he were to blow a steroid-engorged hamstring before he was able to set any more records (asterisked or otherwise), I’m pretty sure I’d be okay with that. He’s the cockiest, rudest, most jerk-faced ball player to ever play the game. Also he has the fattest head.

Reconnecting (Revisited)

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

I’m Feeling: Content
I’m Listening To: Toad The Wet SprocketFear

I wrote a while back about reconnecting with old friends. It’s happened some more, recently, partly intentionally, partly unintentionally. On the intentional side, my mind has been on CCF a lot lately since their recent accident coming back from Spring Break. Between the accident and a lot of other semi-random cues, I felt like I needed to call my old friend and Passover Buddy, Kim Schlanger.
Kim and I met at Truman, when she sat down at my computer in the CCF house, and checked her e-mail. She wasn’t even actually hired yet – she was there that day to interview. It was awesome; I guess she thought mine was an office computer, or something. After I had moved back to St. Louis, she and I ran into each other at a Passover celebration organized by a Messianic Jewish church here in town. It was a blast. Her sister, Erica was there, and they had their video camera (the Schlanger’s took their camcorder everywhere with them – serious videographers), and got some awesome (and hopefully still extant) footage, including Jeremy Patch and I taking shots of a Jewish whiskey. It was a great Passover, an altogether interesting experience, and informative, too; if you get the chance, try it – you’ll like it. Afterward, they came back to the apartment I was sharing at the time with Tim Bounds. The six of us (her brother and his girlfriend were there, too) had one of those great stay-up-until-three-in-the-morning-talking-and-laughing conversations. It was a good time.
In any event, I had a good conversation with Kim the other morning. Still much prayer needed for the campus ministry. I don’t know that there’s any PTSD or anything, but there is some serious need for some emotional healing beyond the physical healing taking place. The campus minister experienced broken bones, etc.; many of the students experienced similar injuries (at least 13 had some hospital stay).
In lighter news, when Tim and I were living in our apartment, he was working at Sunrise UMC as a youth minister. He led a Friday night ministry, as well as a Wednesday night Bible study. There were two sisters in the group, one in high school (Margaret), and one who’d just graduated and was going off to Hannibal-LaGrange in the fall (Elizabeth).
Last Sunday, Hannah and I went to her brother Ben’s house for dinner and games. We were fifth- and sixth-wheeling it, as they were actually having Ben’s brother-in-law over, since he was in town for the weekend from Arkansas (he was bringing a girl with him, about whom Brittney [Ben's wife] knew practically nothing). When we went in the house, I was on the phone trying to help a friend from church with a modem problem he was having, so Hannah went on into the living room, while I stayed in the foyer. A few minutes later, when I walked into the living room, I was introduced to Bryce(Brice?), Brittney’s brother.
I then turned to the girl he’d brought along, and shook her hand, and suddenly felt everyone in the room’s eyes boring into me. I had that sudden oh-crap moment where you feel like you’re the only one not on the same page as the rest of the room. I needed a moment (and possibly her saying her name a second time) to realize that it was Elizabeth, from that small group, whom I hadn’t seen in about five years. Talk about a small world! Apparently before we got there, they’d been talking, and after hearing that Ben & Brittney went to Rooftop, Elizabeth said something to the effect of, “I think I knew a guy who went there,” then described me, to which Ben replied, “He should be walking through the door any minute now.” I talked to Ben about it again last night, and he said that I had what could best be described as a “oh-my-gosh-did-I-used-to-date-this-girl-and-have-completely-forgotten-her?” look on my face.
Anyway, once the initial shock and uncanniness wore off, we had a great time. It was a good icebreaker, as our existing relationship (for clarification, I never dated her) put everyone at ease. It was great to catch up on a kind of since-forgotten part of my past.