Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 4

We spent a good deal of today at the Lied Discovery Children's Museum.

The girl of course lost herself in the drama section...

while the boy set to work in the mining operation...

As always, our COSI membership got us in for free. This facility was very nice, slightly better some ways than COSI Toledo. It was also colocated with a good sized branch of the public library.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 3

On tuesday we drove to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Maybe it isn't exciting for people accustomed to the desert/mountain terrain, but growing up in NW Ohio it knocked my socks off. There are plenty of trails for all levels of expertise, including an interpretive trail that has kids in mind. I could tell these two were raring to go.

The park is set up as a one way driving loop with stops about every mile. Each stop has trailheads. The more adventerous can get a rock climbing permit and stray from the path. It really was beautiful out there. At first I was disapointed because I wanted to check out Death Valley, and the drive out there was too long. But there would be enough trails right in Red Rock Canyon to keep us busy for a long time.

Later in the evening we drove out to Henderson to visit my youngest brother Cain. We checked out his apartment and then headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings. Later that evening we went bowling at our hotel. The place is pretty amazing, upstairs it seemed as big or possibly even bigger than Imperial Lanes here in Toledo. I used Cain's ball pretty miserably until the 10th frame where I threw three legitamate strikes. The boy lobbed one into the alley next to least none came rolling back at us. A guy in the lane next to us was screwing around and ended up flat on his back out on the lane. His head was 3 feet beyond the fowl line heh heh.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 2

The first thing we did is venture out to explore some territory, off the strip. From Tropicana, we took Decatur road north to Trader Joe's. We stocked up on foods to have healthy breakfasts in our room for the rest of the week. We also stopped at a Borders to get a couple of good local maps. Later we stopped at a city park and let the kids play for a while. My son made friends almost instantly with a boy who was remote controlling some bizarre looking creature. It was called a Shell Shocker, and I have to say it was pretty cool. It put up with a lot of use and the battery life was amazing. The kids were ramping it off the play structure and it didn't skip a beat. Megan and I spoke with Adam's father while the kids all played for a while. Interestingly that its hard to find native Las Vegans, seems like almost everyone is a transplant.

When it was time to go, my son was telling Adam his address and inviting him to come on over some time (be sure to bring the shell shocker). Later he wrote Adam a letter that he expected us to mail...not quite understanding that we will probably never see the two of them again.

In the evening we drove over to the Premium Outlets at Las Vegas because I needed another pair of shoes. They have a Timberland outlet and its often hard to shoes of freakishly large proportion in regular stores.

There was this really cool building next door...

I'm such a geek for architecture. The center section is bowed with corrugated metal, and backlit. I guess this is considered the backside of the World Market Center.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 1

We flew out of Cleveland to Las Vegas with the kids. They weren't too bad on the flight, I can't imagine how wiggly they would have been without the new portable DVD player from the grandparents. The jet was nice (boeing 737, leather seats), but SWA truly is stingy when it comes to food and drink. The flight was a little over 4 hours and all we had was some crackers/fig newtons and cup of pop.

My son really wanted to ride a train, and we kept telling him "no, no trains on this trip". He only gloated a little as we stepped onto the McCarren Airport tram from our terminal to the baggage claim. We picked up the Chevy Cobalt rental and made our way to The Orleans at 8 pm, which was like midnight our time. I wanted to see my youngest brother on Christmas day since he was all alone, but we were totally whipped. We ate dinner and then slept like stones.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Life, the holidays, and everything...

The holidays have been terrific for us, and very busy. We had a solstice party and hosted some friends for some nice food, drink, and various fun things. We made some nice crafts, including a couple of ginger bread houses. Can you guess which ones the kids did? (yes, the creative one)

I stayed up till 4, but everyone else crashed, so I gave in. I will stay up the whole night again...eventually. Sam, Kevin, Fiona, and Miles, we had a great time and I'm so glad we met at Wildwood Metro this summer. It was so unlikely, that I was out and decided just for the heck of it to stop with Liam at the 'alternative' playground.

The next day some UU friends of ours came over because our long lost Laura Lago was in town (more food and drink at our place).

Friday we had a Christmas party at my brother's place. Megan made a great tieramisu cake. Christmas eve we spent totally at home preparing for our trip. Christmas morning we opened a few gifts that magically appeared overnight. Around noon we headed to Cleveland...let winter vacation 2005 begin.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Downtown Toledo pics

The riverfront near the steam plant a week before Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Downtown Toledo pics

It was a brisk day, but beautiful by the river as you can see.

Friday, December 09, 2005

what a difference a day makes...

I haven't broken my walking habit just because of a little fact I found a partner as of late. He was always out walking and sometimes we crossed paths. On Wednesday we went down to the river and it was not even close to freezing over. Today, see for yourself!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Toledo's PV Heroes

A while back Megan and I decided to check out the local United Church of Christ congregation in Sylvania. The congregants and service were nice, but thats not the point. After service, we met a guy named Al Compaan, who is a physics professor at UT. He was telling us about the solar electric system that he & his wife recently had installed in their new home.

I saw an article in the Blade so I emailed him for some more details. As you can see, Al and Mary have recieved the 2005 Ohio Governer's Award for Excellence in Energy (there, you see, Taft isn't all bad).

I drive past a new PV array on my daily commute to work down Dorr Street. I figured Al would be involved somehow, sure enough, he had the scoop on that project too.

Here are some resources that might get you thinking about your own project.

Monday, November 28, 2005

weekend log

I spent much of the holiday either relaxing at our house with my wife and kids, or doing homework. My grandfather turned 80 on Saturday, so we drove out to the sprawling metropolis of Grelton for that party.

One of the days, Friday I think, I noticed a bunch of birds hanging around. Here's a shot I snapped from our dining room...three blue jays and a mourning dove. Later I saw a woodpecker, numerous cardinals, and the typical sparrows/finches. This feeder has lasted longer than any other we've had.

Megan purchased it for me from Wild Birds Unlimited. It is truly squirrel proof too, the best they can do is scavenge around the ground. I've seen them hanging off it upside down, but the spring loaded base shuts when anyone too heavy attempts getting food from the holes.

Today I finally watched Master & was good but I was a little let down. I'll give it 3.5 stars. The prior movie I saw, about a month ago, was Raising Victor Vargas. I'll give that one 2 stars. It was moderately interesting and subtly smart and funny, but nothing I'd watch again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I'm dreaming of a white...Thanksgiving?

My new Tilley hat arrived yesterday. Just in time for today's lunchtime walk!

This lady was dressed quite inappropriately.

With the snow you couldn't even see the new I280 bridge construction from Promenade park.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Downtown Toledo pics

Hopefully Carty can keep One Seagate (former OI headquarters)

from turning into the completely abandoned 200 N. St Clair (former OC headquarters)

Notice the boarded windows going up the side. The ground level doors actually have ugly plywood boards covering the entrances as well.

Monday, November 21, 2005

weekend log

...did homework almost all weekend long, that was a downer. Unless Samkon Gado and Bubba Franks pull off a miracle for the Packers tonight, my fantasy football team will lose, another downer. The one bright spot on Saturday, Megan's oven baked pancake!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Downtown Toledo, the good and the bad...

I often walk around downtown on my lunch hour. Predictably, I find things I like, and things that could use improvement. So I'm going to start posting some of these things to my blog. Today I saw two noteworthy things on Monroe street.

Bad first:

A rather large hole in the ground, exposing some ugly building backsides. This is from the warehouse fire last month. I expect they will continue backfilling and turn into another boring parking lot.

Now the good:

The new Paula Brown shop has opened. It is a terrific store, but sadly most of the stuff is out of my humble price range. If you are looking for fine linens, table settings, kitchen wears, stationary, artwork, jewelry, etc, this is the place downtown. Also, they had some great Japanese art prints. They've done a nice job renovating this interesting old building. I think formerly it was Port Lawrence Antiques.

It was really cold and starting to snow, so it was a short walk today.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

voting for grass roots candidates...

In Hillsdale Michigan, an 18 year old write in candidate (too young to be an official candidate at registration time) won the mayoral election over the 51 year old incumbent. That is really something encouraging! It reminds me of my old friend Travis Sheafer who was elected for Napoleon city council right after high school.

Congratulations Michael Sessions on a true grass roots effort, job well done, and what sounds like an excellent approach to taking on the new responsibilities.

Monday, October 31, 2005

College Town idea - Update

I knew UT Foundation bought the old NAPA store, but now they bought Mac's Motors as well. The real estate along Dorr is so CHEAP! As Krompac says, it is an untapped resource. Polling students is good, but I have a feeling many UT students don't know what they are missing. I hope the survey is guided by successfully blended campus/community settings like Ann Arbor and OSU.

Original Post - August 14th 2005:

As tonight winds down I can feel the energy around campus. Today I heard the UT marching band warming up. Students are trickling into the apartments. It won't be long until UT is back in full swing, I love that feeling.

I really wish the Dorr Street corridor would be developed with nothing but a college town atmosphere in mind. It is really a perfect strip of low cost and blighted land perfect for that purpose. UT has invested so much money in that side of campus, and it will be brimming with students this year upon completion of the huge new dorms. Two other large apartment complexes on Douglas/Westwood are finished now. And finally now the apartments near Dorr/Secor have finally been reclaimed for students. Last year I saw the changes taking place and it has done so much to spruce up the area (both grounds and inhabitants).

Designating a section of the city as College Town and focusing development around a student and young professional theme could work wonders for retaining some of those grads. Instead of thinking the town is one that dislikes them, they would think the town understands them and supports them. The area along Dorr does not conflict with the family oriented areas of Old Orchard and Ottawa Hills. It is within easy walking distance of the majority of student housing.

Larry Dillin, we need you! Follow Corpus Christi's lead and do something successful. Exploit the synergy of our beautiful, intelligent university with thoughtful, rational development!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

pump up that ego

Yeah, so I'm in grad school and I have this math class that is actually making me think, hard. I thought this 8th grade quiz would be a fun diversion. Luckily I didn't embarrass myself.
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Axis prevail...

Had a good 4 person match of Axis & Allies last night. I played Japan. It was a much needed respite from more difficult things like work, school, family. I made a new friend named Nick, who played Germany. We used good teamwork to put the squeeze on Russia. We had to call the game at 1am. Shamy was Russia and US, Allen was UK.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Am I a Libertarian?

According to this I'm pretty far into Libertarian territory.

Of course it was only about 10 questions from a libertarian web site. Still, all things considered their demographics of people taking the test were pretty balanced.

If you are a regular reader, take the quiz and let me know where you score. I'd like a survey of where my friends, family, readers, and detractors/lurkers stand.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Must have desktop Trebuchet

Since my cube nieghbors are much too nice to throw things at over the wall, I'm hoping someone buys me one of these nifty portable trebushets to launch some serious paper wads down the hall at my esteemed colleagues.

Ahh, the good old days at MCO... when the supply closet was always stocked with plenty o rubber bands.

Monday, October 17, 2005

weekend log

I had Friday afternoon off and so did Megan, so we had a nice 2 hour lunch together and then a long walk down the UT/Parks trail. I try to take those plastic grocery bags with me when taking a walk. I gathered up 2 bags full of litter on this expedition.

On Saturday I took the kids for a double header to COSI in the morning and the Zoo in the afternoon. We ate lunch on the patio at COSI, it was gorgeous weather. Its good that COSI (or the city) is finally repairing some of the concrete that has been flaking off that building. Its pretty sad that a building that new has problems like that. Quality isn't what it used to be. Take the Pythian castle versus the new buildings at Levis. You can see a photo of the Pythian in my downtown fire pics a couple weeks ago.

We also watched some of the rowing races down the river at the Docks. One of my colleagues said there were many visitors from out of town for the races. He also said they finally found the body of that missing doctor. So all of the visitors this weekend were greeted by a body floating in the river and race riots.

On Sunday Megan took the kids out so I could do some homework.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Downtown Fire

We had a view of the downtown fire from our office building today. Seeing the huge brick wall collapse was surreal. I'm assuming some cars are beneath that rubble. A colleague of mine took some photos and I fixed them up a bit for you.

I regularly walk by that corner (Monroe and Ontario) and it always smelled so bad from the dampness and the birds. At the beginning of the fire, you could see a couple hundred pigeons just circling above, not sure where to go.

I always thought the architecture of that building (arches especially) gave it good potential for some renovation project like the Bartley Lofts.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

weekend log

Friday night I was called in to work because my main database server was very sick. The data volume lost two drives from the RAID 5 team.

On Saturday mom took the kids for an overnighter. Megan and I spent some much needed quiet time together. We had lunch at Saigon Bistro, one of her favorites around town. I had the Pho Tai, which is a hot broth noodle dish with steak and green onions. They put sprouts, limes, and other various spices on the side for you to add to your liking. Later we went to see the Pibare Krishna Rasam by Sujatha Srinivasan, a beautiful collection of short Hindu poems and proverbs choreographed to live music and dancing. Absolutely fantastic! The dance school is based in Cleveland.

photo of Pibare Krishna Rasam

Sunday was the boring housework day, along with study time. I'm slogging my way through a differential equations course...ugh. Hopefully my fantasy football team will pull off an upset against my brother's team. The Tizzles are hungry for their first win of the season.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What is wrong with these people?

So we have had a roadmap for peace in Israel. Sharon withdraws from Gaza, taking great political and civil heat in doing so. I first thought the stories of settlers tearing down their structures before exiting seemed bitter and shallow. Next, Israel sent in troops to physically remove the remaining settlers from occupied Gaza. The keys to the kingdom are peacefully handed over. Then what happens? Massive chaotic Palestinians pouring into the areas, overwhelming their own police, with the extremists claiming the credit for making this day come true. Right, so if Arafat had lived just a bit longer this would have happened intuition says not. Palestinians torch the remaining synagogues and structures instead of dismantling in a civilized way. Now I thought THAT was really shallow and insulting as well. Now, just a couple weeks later, the militants are stupid enough to start shooting rockets/mortars into Israel?

News Link

Like they have a real chance at accomplishing anything? Unless of course what they are trying to accomplish is more occupation, more chaos, more physical retaliation, and less life. So the circle of violence grows and grows and grows. Darwin, where are you?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Basra Jailbreak

Today two British soldiers being held in an Iraqi prison were busted out by their comrades. What a shame the jail was destroyed and 150 criminals also went free. The Iraq situation gets crazier all the time! If there is control in Basra, why would this be necessary?

News Link

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pledge of allegiance unconstitutional?

Just in from AP "SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday, a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments."

News Link

Michael Newdow, the same man who brought the case to the supreme court last year, is back with the same argument. How could this be? Because the court threw the case out on a technicality. I just rolled my eyes when I heard that reasoning. He is back with 3 families that have full custody of their children. Well, nothing like a hotly divisive issue to give Roberts a baptism by fire! They should have known the case would be back.

I actually believe the pledge should revert back to the original, without the words "under God". If you believe in God, great, praise Him, her, it, however you believe God exists. If you don't believe in God, what good is it to say you think the country is under God? Does it make them less of a citizen? Does it make them less patriotic to believe only in what they can see/feel/prove? Why drive a wedge into patriotism?

Similarly, why should someone swear in under oath with a Bible if they don't subscribe to that religion? It makes no sense at all. They should be swearing by their own integrity, under penalty of perjury. Bearing false witness is already a sin according to the ten commandments, so isn't this procedure sort of redundant for Christian's sake?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nice shot Wilkowski

It is time to take down my yard sign. I guess the people of Toledo really do not want change from the last 12 years of relative economic and population decline. If the supporters of Ludeman and Wilkowski joined together under one candidate they would have amost tied Carty, and beat Ford by 10%. I support Ford in the final election. He balanced the budget in hard times, and does not throw damaging temper tantrums when things aren't going his way. Ford certainly had the grass roots support out in force yesterday. I was handed two pieces of literature when walking in to vote, had one on my door when I came home, and found TWO answering machine messages from him. All this and I'm a registered republican!!! I received nothing from the republican party during the entire season thus far. I always vote for the best candidate regardless of party, but I found this fact interesting.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

I heard about the shoot to kill orders this morning. Officials already know the majority of the people left behind at this point are impoverished, many of whom are blacks. Now that many those remaining have been forced to live like animals, you say you are thinking about killing some of them? What does an animal do when backed into a corner? Not only have they opened themselves up racial backlashes, retaliatory attitudes, and lawsuits, they've practically invited others to join the rioting. With any luck, people will be too tired to take this approach, and just be thankful for finally getting rescued.

There are armed thugs, armed vigilantes, armed people teetering on both sides of that fence, and even unarmed people still roaming the flooded streets. Police always have the right to respond with deadly force when they are attacked; there is no need to tell people watching TV that they are sending in troops ready to kill. That message is being stated for the benefit of the world disgusted by the reports of looting. Let me ask, with 2 million without power across that region, how many people in New Orleans are watching CNN?!? Declairing the will to use deadly force, whether they intend to kill or not, is a foolish strategy, because the people you are going to kill are not even hearing the message. The people hearing the pre-meditated message are bound to hear stories of injustice, and they will put the two together making a conspiracy out of it. The rhetoric will fly.

4 civilians were killed at Kent State in a protest 40 years ago and we've never stopped hearing about it. Think of that, combined with an element of desperate survival and throw the race card into the mix...if the guardsmen open fire on anyone publicly perceived as innocent you could have LA riots all over again. Lets pray for calm.

Monday, August 29, 2005

weekend log

Saturday I worked around the house...put the finishing touches on my son's new bedroom. It is lofted with a nice cozy reading corner. He is quite happy with it except that we haven't brought his computer in yet. My daughter is desperately holding on to it in her inherited room. Its alright, I have another one to build up that just needs a monitor. Using a program like GameDrive makes kids computers so easy to maintain. A virtual CD drive keeps the software thinking the CD is installed even though it is safely tucked away from the mangling hands of youngsters.

On Sunday we went over to the first annual art fair at Levis Commons. It was very comparable to UT's Art on the Mall. Not quite as scenic as campus, but has more eating venues and good parking. I didn't see two of my favorite artists "Mr Atomic" aka the Kersey brothers. Their vibrant works can be seen all over Toledo, at the Docks for instance (Tango's, Old Navy Bistro). I have one of their paintings by Mark at home called "Computer Man".

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Weekend log

On Friday my brother came up to help me install nice new baseboard trim around the new room downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. Having that 18v Dewalt cordless nail gun sure speeds up the job!

Saturday I installed new gutters along the front of the house.

Sunday I finished the jacks for voice/data/cable wiring for the new downstairs family room. The centralized wiring closet is working out nicely. In my first escapade with X10 home automation, I wired my cable modem and firewall router to be rebooted remotely via the computer. Later I returned the favor to Rion and helped him install crown molding in his country mansion. I guess its not a mansion yet, but you could fit my house inside his with room to spare, plus mine has two kids in it and his has none.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A new start for Westgate

I hope Costco makes it happen in Westgate:

Westgate's demise has really bothered me, coupled with the empty retail around the closed Food Town on Secor. A Costco in place of the old Dillards is convenient to the city dwellers and will be an incredible improvement to the area. It is an anchor that will revitalize the whole retail district around Central/Secor. I'm sick of having to go to the burbs for decent big box shopping (and don't jump on the "why Walmart and every other big box is evil" bandwagon with me, I disagree).

I just hope they improve the look of the shopping center to mesh better with the classic neighborhoods. I think Home Depot did a decent job of that a few years back. I doubt they would have put in the money and effort if there wasn't so much community "involvement" during that ordeal. Yes, we'll have to deal with some juggling of retail space regarding the surrounding shops. In the end there will be room for all of them I'm sure, even if it means moving across or down the street a short ways. They will all benefit in the long run (probably even short term as soon as Costco opens).

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shankland disturbs me...

In the August 3-9 issue of Toledo City Paper Terry Shankland (a candidate for City Council) claims COSI is dead, dark, and dingy. He says it cannot support itself financially so it makes no sense to keep it. That way it can be a shopping center again, albeit a heavily subsidized one ("we can't kill the stores with high rent"). Does anyone see a contradiction here? Further more, to say it should die because it doesn't break even is nonsense. Using the same logic we should shut down the libraries, parks, and public transportation.

COSI is a huge success and asset to this region. Believe it or not, it helps make downtown a destination, not just for Toledoans. Educated, creative families want venues like this, the zoo, the stadium, the metro parks, the museum, etc. Thousands of children come to our COSI each year to prop up their science curriculums and build enthusiasm. We all know Toledo schools could use all the help they can get. Many progressive cities have science museums for their children. We have a great one that should be maintained, improved, and encouraged.

About COSI being dark and dingy, it is not by any means dark unless you consider the areas that are SUPPOSED to be dark. Dingy may be true, I've commented on some of the dust accumulating in certain areas to the COSI administration. They said they were going to pose a funding issue to the voters a while back, but the Ford administration asked them to hold off to be part of an overall arts improvement budget. It seems to me they should just bring it to the voters independently. The independent venues that are supported directly by customers, voters, and benefactors seem to be the most successful. When city politics get involved, enthusiasm and progress seem to come to a grinding halt. I'm thinking of successes like the Zoo, Metro Parks, Museum of Art, Rep, etc.

As for having more retail space downtown, there seem to be plenty of other vacancies. Leave COSI alone, better yet, support it.


Mom picked up the kids on Friday night so Megan and I split. We decided make Chicago our destination. Traffic was nasty getting there so we pretty much arrived at the hotel and crashed. Saturday was so beautiful...we had a leisurely morning of eating and shopping. Megan couldn't miss the Sanrio store, and keeping pace I required a trip to the Lego store. Later in the afternoon we walked around Oak Park. We saw FLW's Unity Temple, an awesome venue for a UU congregation. The town is gorgeous, we walked around the neighborhood admiring the old homes. For Toledoans, it is like the Old West End on steroids. It had a very lively main street, very pedestrian friendly and alive with activity. We ate at the Khyber Pass Indian restaurant, it was excellent.

Today I wired the downstairs for cable, telephone, and data (the gigabit backbone grows). I creatively snaked it through the stairwell by popping off the top step, down to the central wiring closet. 5 of the 9 rooms are wired now. 2 more will happen later in the fall. Also, its time to begin X10 experimentation.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

An amazing journalist/blogger

Its too bad I learned of Steven Vincent's blog only in death. He was a terrific writer and seemed to have little restraint in his investigative work.

I've always felt that turning Iraq into a democracy would be handing its future to a heavier political influence from Iran (via religion), and after reading parts of SV's blog I feel my predictions are partially verified. Not exactly a step in the right direction, or at least in the intended direction.

Monday, July 25, 2005

weekend log

On Friday night I mowed the grass for the first time in 6 weeks. Later we killed some time out at Media Play and Target.

Saturday we puttered around the house in the morning. Megan made these awesome baked pan cakes with fruit compote for brunch. We stuffed ourselves at Shorty's BBQ in the afternoon...great patio setup there. In the evening we went to a park in Perrysburg and poked around downtown. Because of the temperature and relative niceness of the day, it would have been sacrilege to not have ice cream somewhere. We went down to Maggie Moo's at Levis, and once again it was terrific. I thought it might have just been a fluke when they opened up but no, its some of the best ice cream I've ever had, aside from some of the home made batches we've made.

Sunday was spent painting, cleaning around the house, and paying bills. Not much excitement but made some great progress on the room downstairs. In the evening I planted a willow tree from a start my mom gave. Its only about 5 feet tall now, I really hope the transplant takes. Also I started reading The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals by Ken Henderson.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

not my child!

There is a lot of buzz around recent findings of hidden content in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game.

This reminds me of an incident at Target that always makes me laugh. An adolescent was asking the Target associate to purchase a copy of GTA. Because of the rating system the associate said he would have to get his parents consent. A couple minutes later the boy comes back with his mom. The associate explains to the lady that the game includes gang violence, stealing cars, driving recklessly, etc. The mother seemed ok with it and was about to purchase the game. The associate then mentioned there was some sexually suggestive material such as prostitutes and girlfriends. The mother's jaw nearly hit the floor as she snatched the game from her son. He looked very ashamed. Basically that tells him that its alright to simulate being a criminal, but once you throw sex into the mix someone has crossed the line. If given the choice between your kids thinking about sex, or thinking about shooting someone and stealing their car, which would you prefer? Maybe you say neither, but this mother's reaction will always stick with me.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A very cool idea...

I hope the young men make a ton of money from this innovation, a peltier system to cool your car instead of the traditional freon/compressor type setup.

throwback to third grade

kid B: [doing lots of stuff to get attention, some of it stupid] "I rule!"

kid A: "no, you're stupid, and you're gonna get us all in trouble"

kid B: "I'm rubber, you're glue..."

kid A: [takes over the game excluding kid B and his buddies]

Toledo Journal article

Wow this mayoral race will be crazy!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

weekend log

Friday evening I took the fam to the library's Harry Potter party. It truly amazed me...I've never seen that many people at the Toledo Main branch. It was surreal also with all the costumes. They had a magician, bird handler, lots of crafts, tv stations playing the prior movies, free refreshments, and more. Saturday I spent the day working around the house. Sunday we went to Ann Arbor. It was a real nice weekend...

Monday, July 11, 2005

weekend log

Saturday morning I attended a timberframe seminar, home tour, and shop tour. When I returned home, Megan was frantically trying to dry up the basement from the hot water heater that decided to stop storing water. I got a hose to empty the tank in a more controlled manner, but the piece of junk valves at the hot water heater did nothing to stop the flow. So I had to shut down water for the whole house until I could get a new one from Lowes and Sunday and get it hooked up. What a pain...I hate those household projects that are just getting you back to where you were before.

Friday, July 01, 2005

new music review

I picked up the new Ben Folds album Saving Silverman a week ago. Ben Folds (with and with out the 'five') has consistently been one of my favorites for the last 7 years (Whatever & Ever Amen). Here's my review on Amazon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

blogger legal guide

I'm still catching up on my mail from June...came across this new legal guide for bloggers posted by the EFF.

Its good to be back...

Today was my first real day back on the job. It actually felt good to be back in the office and see the people I missed all month. Having good peers and a good supervisor go a long way in keeping me happy at Pilkington. Creative work assignments, flexible scheduling, and good pay don't hurt either. Now if we could just get the locker room and grassy field for lunchtime games of ultimate frisbee like OC has...

Tonight I went to the local .NET user group meeting downtown. Joseph Poirier gave a presentation on a dispatch application he wrote for a local company. Its really great to come together with other techies in the greater Toledo area.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Final day at Teched 2005

I didn't want to miss the 8:30 session, and somehow I woke up in time to catch the bus over there without the use of my alarm. I didn't even walk fast, actually I couldn't walk fast because my feet were so sore from walking through the freaking everglades the night before. Oh yeah, did I mention that? Andrew found an excellent short cut. And when I say short cut, I mean tall wet grass and it took us twice as long to walk back to the hotel. I was sure a croc would crawl out at us any moment.

PRT355 Enterprise Project Server integration with Sharepoint by Jean Francois LeSaux. Jean gave a terrific session showing the architecture and integration points between sharepoint and MS Project (PWA ans Professional). Allows for task integration with Outlook/Exchange. Allows for personalized web portal including task list and gant charts, and health of projects.

DAT310 Programming SQL Server Management Objects with Michiel Wories - Shared source initiative he started
You can perform any SQL management task programmatically through SMO.NET. Communications settings (partial object instantiation or full) can be configured to meet your own scalability needs.


DBA417 Maximizing Query Performance in SQL Server with Burt ??? (MS SQL Support escalation engineer). This guy was FREAKIN AWESOME. This was hands down the best session I attended at tech ed, and if you have access to the webcast sessions online, go watch this one.

Tech Ed '05 was great, and I really look forward to going to Boston next year if possible.

Teched Day 4

Hands on labs all morning, the cool thing about HOL at teched are the dozens of lab assistants who are actually knowledgeable about the products and demos and are literally sprinting around to help people.

Two lectures after lunch...

PRT376 Sharepoint Portal Server Search Technologies
A good overview of searchable scopes of webs and subwebs, metadata, and list content. Gave overview of Sharepoint table structures within SQL. I forget his name, but the guy liked his whiskey. He gave out shots at the end.

DBA421 Inside SQL Server User Mode Scheduler with Ken Henderson.
In depth look at how SQL uses cooperative multithreading under the covers using worker fibers hosted within the main SQL thread. SQLPERF(umsstats) is good way to measure the health of your UMS. Ken gave me a copy of his newest book for asking a cool is that!?!

Andrew and I went to Universal Studios together...the spread was amazing. You really couldn't ask for more, and the theme park wasn't bad either. We hung out at the Bob Marley club after the park closed. Unfortunately the busses were all gone by the time we were finished. It was nice evening and we were both wired (and mildly inebriated) so we decided to walk back to the far could it possibly be? OH MAN was that a mistake, I'm pleasantly surprised we survived. About a mile away from our motel a taxy slowed down for us, but at that point we couldn't give up. We literally walked for 2.5 hours, arriving back at the hotel at 2:30am. Fortunately we never seem to run out of things to talk about so all ended well.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Teched Day 3

Went to two lectures today and filled the rest of the time with hands on labs.

PRD393 SAP and Sharepoint with Justin Chandoo offered a nice survey of integration techniques. Go to for more info on the api and new developments, especially regarding Mendocino. Also there are some SAP Web part samples on gotdotnet.

DBA311 SQL Recovery Best Practices with Kim Tripp was an awesome demo highlighting partitioning, split file groups, schemas, piecemeal restoration, and snapshots.

I have no recollection of what happened after this... :-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Teched Day 2

I went to a hands on lab for the new SQL management console, the improvements have really made me dread going into Enterprise Manager and Query Analyser.

After lunch I attended Jespen Johansson's "Anatomy of a Network Hack". He is a great presenter, hilarious, but also very very useful. I did a great job of scaring the pants off every admin in the room (I estimate a thousand of them packed in).

My last session of the day was on Sharepoint with Mike Fitzmaurice(Microsoft) and Ted Pattison(Pluralsight). They covered generation of your own Sharepoint Templates.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Teched Day 1

Had a great Sunday evening with Andrew, we ate at Charlies Steak house which is rated #2 in the nation. After that we went up and down the strip just to see what was going on. There is SO much to do here! I'll post pics soon.

I attended some great sessions on Monday, most noteworthy was a SQL index tuning session with Kim Tripp. She is AMAZING! There are a couple of .NET Rocks episodes and free online webcasts from her that you could check out if you don't believe me.

The sharepoint sessions were cool so far, and I've been making my best attempt to talk to people in the audience to get their opinions on the product. Bill Sharp from Mindshare gave a great talk on the strengths or best practices for Sharepoint Portal Server 2003. I spoke with a 'retired' programmer who is building a patient records application for a medical practice for fun. He considers the Sharepoint services (WSS) framework to be the best application platform to build web applications on these days. Alex Paytuvi from Quilogy introduced a bunch of free business line templates for wss that looked terrific. They are basically application starter blocks that are about 80% finished. The example sites he walked through were project management, IT admin, and HR recruiting. Each template was thoughtfully configured using the taxonomy (terminology) and predicted uses for each task.

Jullien Sellgren from Metalogix lead a great hands on lab for scripting the content loading and even altering the structure of WSS sites. WSS out of the box is very similar to DotNetNuke as configurable site all via the browser interface. But in major conversions of content into WSS, it is awesome to be able to programmatically build the web parts prepopulated with content. Metalogix provides a free wrapper class that makes use of FrontPage RPC and web services to make all the magic happen within a simple consolidated API. Think about how cool this would be for change management in major web portals! I really would have liked an approach like this when we migrated our old IBuySpy portal to DNN. Maybe there is a decent way to do it but I never found it. Probably when the next version of DNN supports web parts a solution like this would support either type of portal.

Monday evening was the grand opening of the exhibit hall which means great grub, free drinks, and lots of creative marketing. Andrew and I made our way through the menagerie and talked with some of the vendors. My favorites included: Mimosa (transparent Exchange archival), Red-Gate(terrific SQL tools), MS Live Meeting(virtual team facilitation), Patch Link(server patch mgmt), and Macrovision(ton of including Installshield).

After the exhibitors closed up for the evening we headed down to the jam session. Those geeks can really play! The night club they rented out was top notch.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I've been lax in posting recently, its been a whirlwind with my daughter's birthday party, sister's graduation, and getting ready for my three trips in June. In the event you care about our experiment with South Beach, it really seems to work. Whatever flab I did have around my gut was gone at the end of the two weeks. Unfortunately some splurges at the birthday party, graduation party, and homecoming party of my brother Cain have negated any benefits. In all the diet seems to really have helped stabilize Megan's sugar levels, which was one of the main goals.

My first trip of June is TechEd '05 in Orlando. I flew into Orlando Sanford this morning, a small airport slightly north of the bigger Orlando International. Getting shuttle service to my hotel was a bit hectic. Why did I fly in there? When booking the direct flight from Toledo, I guess thats where TMA goes!

When checking into the Wyndham I was asked if I had transportation...answering no she pointed me towards the bell hop and said to talk to them. As it turns out, the Wyndham here has its own convention center, 3 pools, various nature areas and restaurants. So I joined one of the hotel golf carts and headed off to the back 40 for my room. The room was small and had a very small table, so I politely complained and they moved me to a suite, with desk, king sized bed, fridge, etc (for the same price). Someone needs to give that lady a raise!!!

I checked in to TechEd and picked up the yearly swag. The laptop bag this year is not quite as impressive as last year's backpack, but decent quality. The thing weighed about 20lbs from the massive amount of marketing literature and software included. Before I left Megan said she expected me to pick up some sun screen, and the bottle had better be half empty by the time I return. Problem solved--I have Microsoft sunscreen from my pack. There will be far fewer geeks walking around sun burned this year...if their testosterone permits them to use the thoughtful gift!

There is an Alien Ware area set up with Far Cry gaming tournaments. I walked in and played a round thinking I would get trashed since I don't play that game. Turns out I only missed qualifying for the next higher round by 1 'point'. There are about 30 people playing together, and the top 2 from each round are deemed worthy.

Tonight I plan on hanging out with my old friend Andrew.

Friday, May 20, 2005

South Beach Day 5

Not being one to break tradition, it was eggs again this morning with a nice side of turkey bacon. Megan brought a lunch consisting of turkey, cheese, light mayo, and lettuce wraps. She found this great hydroponic lettuce at Trader Joes that stays good for a long time due to the root system being left in tact in a specially made plastic container. For dinner she made a great Indian style dinner, sans bread.

I attended two community events today. I had high expectations for one and low expectations for the second. As it turned out, my expectations were opposite of the results. The TMACOG walking tour of Lagrange Street, starting with the Ohio Theater was a disappointment to me (no, not because of the rain). The only thing nice I saw about the street was exactly that, the street, curb cuts, sidewalks, and trees. The walk was led by two city councilmen (Kaps. and Ashford). I think they did a good job, but I really didn't see how they could consider this the most pedestrian friendly commercial district in the city. Especially considering the constant heavy truck traffic, probably in part due to the metal scrap yard a few blocks further up Lagrange. The businesses looked very run down and shabby, and I didn't see anything appealing about that neighborhood or business district. I really feel that the Walk Westgate project would have more chance of success at commercial investment and a high degree of civic participation.

The second event was the Open Source Software Panel Discussion, held at UT's Engineering auditorium. The caliber of discussion leaders, combined with the terrific turnout (~250?), really surprised and encouraged me. It made me proud to be UT Engineering Alumni, and also proud to work for Pilkington. Our CTO Bill McCreary was the originator of the project, though many others contributed to its success. Beforehand, I really thought the issue was passe, and that the prospects of getting good discussion would be difficult. But really I have to say I was impressed and got some great perspectives from the talk. Bill Hilf from Microsoft joked that he would be the pinata at the party, but his explanations were some of the most pragmatic and useful. Jerry Mayfield from Novell was also on the ball with new perspectives.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

South Beach day 4

Breakfast was an egg, cheese, and asparagus omelet. Lunch was a large salad including various sliced lunch meats and cheeses. Dinner was this great grilled chicken breast with ricotta cheese, salad with cucumbers and peppers, and jello for desert. Both of us have remarked that we have plenty of energy and are not craving sweets like we used to...though I'll be happy when we start eating some whole grains again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

South Beach Day 3

Today we had eggs with lean turkey bacon for breakfast. I couldn't stomach the veggie juice, so some crystal light had to do. For lunch I had a roman chicken salad from Quiznos. Dinner was steak (free range) with a bell pepper salad and broccoli. Snack was ricotta cheese flavored with cocoa, it tasted so much like ice cream!

I went to my first PTO meeting tonight for my son's school next year, Grove Patterson Academy. I met some nice people and am looking forward to joining them in making the school better. They announced that the school will be rebuilt on existing grounds, just further back in the vacant land. I actually like the layout and exterior design of this school. It reminds me of something Frank Lloyd Write would have designed. It is very symmetrical with art deco elements to it. The interior space is run down though, and I can see that it would be expensive to update the mechanicals and style to something more modern. Also the space must be too small considering the temporary trailer class rooms off the rear of the facility.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

South Beach Day 2

Megan is very good at planning things out, especially when it comes to recipe's and grocery lists. We are on portion control, but luckily she is a good cook. For breakfast she made these quiche like cupcakes, with eggs, cheese, and veggies. Lunch was a salad from Subway. Dinner was salmon, salad, and asparagus. Snack was jello, plus she had portioned out sugar free snacks for discretionary use throughout the day. Surprisingly, I didn't go to bed hungry!

Monday, May 16, 2005

weekend log

Friday was spent working from home, overseeing the new gas line installation. I have to say Ron from Alternative Plumbing did a great job on it. Mom picked up the kids around 5 so Megan and I had the evening to ourselves. Saturday was the big garage sale. One man's trash is another's treasure...we sold a lot of treasure! The rain held out until 2pm, by which time we had so little left we just moved it all into the garage. Sunday we went to Ann Arbor for church, and the bi-weekly run to Trader Joes. Now that the spring semester @ UT is over, Megan has more time to cook. She would like to try out the South Beach Diet. I foolheartedly agreed to join her for moral support. I guess I should have researched more about what I was getting into. The first two weeks are brutal, we'll see how this goes...

Monday, May 09, 2005

weekend log

Checked out the new Westfield addition Friday night. We were going to catch the 10:30 show of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but realized we missed that boat when the speaker came on at Borders saying it was now 10:45! Spent Saturday visiting the various mothers/grand mothers. Had a picnic and a walk at Wildwood with Megan and our kids on Sunday.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

weekend log

Saturday we spent de-cluttering the house in preparation for the mega-yard sale coming up in two weeks. Sunday we headed in Ann Arbor. They had a May pole set up. We couldn't stick around because we were off to the Timberframe Expo at the Pontiac Silverdome. Those Lindal Cedar homes are just plain rad! Also, I've seen some real nice homes in magazines lately from Riverbend Timberframes, and here to find out there in our own back yard (Blissfield, Michigan).

Monday, April 25, 2005

the way diesel was meant to be

Stories about UT's apparent success with Biodiesel and solar research really fill me with pride. Originally, 'diesel' fuel was 100% renewable...yes, the inventor by the name of Diesel had an engine that ran on peanut oil. Later, it was actually found cheaper to use byproducts from the petroleum industry.

Marcy Kaptur has brought some great research money to Northwest Ohio in these areas (Lourdes Research Grant, Grant to Enhance Math, Science Teaching, Alternative Energy Partnership).

These are steps that truly work toward energy independence as a nation, but also the world over. What I mean by that, is by using finite/non-renewable resources, the whole world becomes dependent upon a finite resource. Conflict is bound to arise from this situation when resources become scarce. They are scarce now, which is why ANWR is being breached by the GOP energy plan, and prices are escalating. I think it is actually a good thing that prices are raising too, because economic impacts are the only thing that get good research, and innovation moving.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

weekend log

Spent Saturday puttering about town with the kids. Sunday we took a road trip to COSI Columbus. That place is amazing!!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

got books?

I took the kids over to the new South Branch Library today. It is absolutely gorgeous and uplifting. The photo on the site does not do it justice.

As you can see, the outside is modern, relatively, considering the rest of Toledo. It comes close to being deconstructionist because of the odd angles, overhangs, and crevices. Inside, you are greeted by a wide screen TV and some great seating. The central area has very high ceilings and lots of natural light. The children's section is nice, though not huge. The saltwater aquarium is beautiful, measuring 6 ft wide by 4 ft tall, it is alive with so many different creatures. A librarian stopped by to point out 'Bob the builder', a fish who scoops up rocks with his mouth and built himself a little cave. Then he peers outside in a constant state of paranoia. I've noticed a few people on my street with that same behavior...

Monday, April 18, 2005

Toledo Steam Plant

There has a been much 'spirited debate' all of a sudden on the old steam plant by the river. I've followed this story on and off over the years because I work downtown and like walking the downtown riverfront. Here is a partial timeline of some articles I queried from the blade. As you can see, many ideas have come and gone for this property, and the debate always seems to heat up in the summer time for some reason.

Personally, I still like the idea of an would fit really nicely with Cosi and could coordinate with the Zoo. By stacking up these downtown venues (stadium, cosi, valentine, farmers market, night clubs, etc) you really create synergy and a destination.

Toledo Steam Plant Articles

June 13, 2003
June 28, 2003
July 17, 2003
August 20, 2004
August 21, 2004
April 13, 2005

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A good day for artificial intelligence?

A randomly generated research paper was accepted for a scientific conference. Why is this story not surprising? I think I've read books composed with this program! Strangely enough, you probably would learn a thing or two by reading the paper; plenty of new definitions of words that you must look up in a technical dictionary.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Saturday, April 09, 2005

a very sad situation

Three Palestinian teens were shot to death by the Israeli border patrol today...this is going to hurt. Both sides have different accounts of the incident (what's new). The Palestinians say they were chasing a soccer ball and the Israelis say they were smugglers. My question is, why do you shoot to kill 3 individuals suspected of smuggling instead of trying to question or capture them? Especially when there is a very fragile cease fire in place.

I saw a documentary on Gaza Strip a while back and it broke my heart. Neither side is innocent and it is a very complex situation. However, to see generation after generation of children being raised in extreme violent, hostile conditions is a true tragedy. To see children conditioned and programmed throughout their childhood to hate the other side will ensure the continued conflict for many years to come.

Its amazing to me how soo much physical conflict can be rooted in opposing religions. Its an odd way to win new converts.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Orlando here I come

Seeing how I'm the closest thing to a MS fanboy at Pilkington, they are sending me to TechEd '05 down in Orlando. Oooh that should be NICE.

nlogger update

I'm working on a side project called nlogger (Windows logger). Its a capacity planning tool. I've learned a fair amount about perfmon logging behavior. Here are some shots of charts I'm generating with a free chart control I pulled off the code project. I'm trying to run this similar to MRTG, showing 24 hours, 28 days, and 24 months. Right now the statistics are rolling, but I may eventually make it so you can look at any period.

The gap between 6 and 21 is because I don't have a full 28 days of data yet. You might ask, what is wrong with the stock perfmon reports? My nlogger is making the info very digestible and practical.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Visual Studio Tweak

My Visual Studio .NET 2003 has been dog slow to load for the last few days. I've tried things like getting rid of the startup page, limiting the MRU list to 1, shutting off dynamic help, etc. After loading VSTweak 1.0 I was able to easily wipe out the entire MRU history. Even though it only had one listed in the File list, there were a bunch hidden in the registry. After completely wiping out the recently used solution/project lists, VS starts like a rocket, esp with all that other 'stuff' turned off! Obviously some old project path was timing out every time I launched VS.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Car washes double as lawn ornament prisons!

Erie PA is very conscious when it comes to crime. These small prisons peppered about the city, co-located with car washes, is an ingenious way to cut costs and also get the message out to garden gnome youths to shape up their act.

I took this pics a few weeks ago and finally got around to posting them. LMAO every time we visit Megan's folks.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

can I quote you on that?

I was reading an interesting opinion piece on whether bloggers should be considered journalists for the purpose of not only 1st amendment, but shield laws. I have to admit I don't know much about the shield laws, and haven't formed a strong opinion on this matter yet. Obviously I feel bloggers should be able to speak their mind and give their opinion under the 1st amendment rights. But at what point can or should a line be drawn to separate them from professional journalists? On one hand, any citizen could report on noteworthy information. On the other hand, what stops an intellectual property thief from just stealing private information, publishing, and then claiming journalistic protections? There is a degree of responsibility when a journalistic business can go out of business due to reporting bad info. There is no accountability or authentication taking place on the part of bloggers. Its a tough call!

In other news, the Supreme Court has been busy this week grilling MGM and others in the Grokster case. I feel the ruling should swiftly follow the betamax precedent but you never know what can happen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A greener Frogtown?

I doubt it...

Megan and I have recycled heavily ever since we've been together. We always saved our recyclables and took them to the local Kroger or Metropark each week on our run for new groceries. Actually, I've recycled ever since I can remember. As kids, my brothers and I used to pick up bottles and cans along country roads and grandpa Lindhorst would truck them to the scrap yards in exchange for some cash. Napoleon instituted a mandatory recycling program before I moved away 'to the big city'. They took all plastics up to 7.

Thats why it struck me that in Toledo we could never recycle above number 2. People probably don't even check this or realize it. I wonder if it hurts anything when they mistakenly toss in other plastic numbers? Actually more and more products we use fall into the higher numbers.

I have heard no mention of this problem during the recent recycling push from Mayor Ford. We currently cut about 1/5th of our household garbage by recycling cans and plastics 1 & 2. Also we still save our cardboard and drop it off since that is not collected at curb side. However, what will it take to get the city recycling more materials so that we can get it up to about 1/2 of our weekly garbage? Here is a response to my recent question to the Solid Waste department to confirm that they only take numbers 1 & 2.


The City of Toledo Curbside Recycling Program accepts #1 and #2 plastics, to include milk jugs, soda pop bottles, laundry detergent bottles, and shampoo-type (narrow necked) bottles. Any plastics which contain higher numbers are currently not accepted at curbside or at the drop-off locations.
Also, styrofoam is not accepted for recycling at curbside or the drop-offs.
If you wish to recycle styrofoam, you may contact Archbold Container Corp.
at 419-445-8865. The Wrap 'N Ship located at 3137 W. Central also accepts packing peanuts and bubble wrap.

If you have additional questions, you may call the Division of Solid Waste at 419-936-2510.

Thank you for your interest in recycling!

There you have it. If you think this is a problem like I do, give them a call or drop them a letter. Also, composting at home is often overlooked as an excellent way to reduce curbside waste.

Monday, March 28, 2005

NWNUG meeting

Cem gave a real nice MSSQL Reporting Services walk through at the NWNUG meeting tonight. I'm really surprised that MS is 'giving it away' with SQL Server. It is probably a great strategy to win more of the DB marketshare since the olap/dw reporting systems often rival the cost of the db engine itself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

identity issues: more thoughts

So my annoyance at the student ID issue is not unfounded, but still students are well as anyone else in modern society.

Hackers getting hold of student's sensitive information

UT is now changing its policy

Identity theft and fraud will be a huge issue in the next couple of decades. Consumer advocates and legislators will have to take on the consumer credit reporting agencies and in turn the financial industries the serve, to balance civil 'credit rights' with that of the very necessary credit scoring. Peter Drucker wrote about the credit industry basically creating a new form of currency (Age of Discontinuity I think)...and I believe its true. By using cash you are putting your faith in the US Government directly to guarantee the value of the money. By using credit you are putting your faith in the huge international banking industry, who uses individual credit scores based on your SSN to value you. In one case money has value, in the other, it is the consumer who has value.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

weekend log

Just chilled around the house this weekend with the kids. Its funny watching them come up with their own dances to progressive trance/house music. I made about a dozen sorties against the mountain of laundry. It was a decisive campaign...this time.

Wasted 2 hours of my life Saturday with Thanks Scott, Marc, and Richard for tempting again me with this tripe! To pass the favor to you here are some that I found noteworthy:

These guys are truly amazing!
Disturbing, how many people can stand around in a place of business while a guy gets pummeled? 7 or 8 I guess...
Very disturbing, God works in mysterious ways?
Domestic Dispute?....I thought the pause was typical station identification stuff but alas it was the friendly neighborhood police patrol.

Though there are some nicer things to look at on that page, I thought I was through with watching stuff like this a few years ago. Ok, this time for real I'm done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

identity non-issue?

Evidently it is quite easy to get a new student ID number from UT. Just walk your booty to the registrar's office (RH1100) and explain yourself. They give you some suspicious glances and then ask for your drivers license (which does not have my SSN so I don't know how that helps them). Next you fill out an IRS form (W9) and they disapear from sight for a while. When they return, they grant you a new student number on a very professional looking post-it note. After 24 hours you can get a new student ID card containing your new number.

Rich turned me on to a new privacy loop-hole today. When you are in an emergency/accident/pending arrest/etc, the officials broadcast your name, physical characteristics, address, and often times SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER over unsecured radio channels. That's right, they often use something called a trunk signal that switches frequencies every so often. It is easy (and perfectly legal) however to buy your own receiver that switches frequencies and listens in on the info. Nice... I personally don't care when people know my name, but when they have your number too bad things can happen without too much trouble at all. *sigh*

Sunday, March 13, 2005

weekend log

Jeff J's 30th bday surprise party was a blast. I met some real nice people and introduced to some new music (thanks Chaz). Megan was feeling Ann Arbor deprived on Sunday which caused some friction. Made minimal progress against the pile of laundry that has gradually accumulated this semester. With both of us in school and the typical family stuff to boot, some of the domestic harmonies have been sorely off key.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Spring Break '05 - Niagra Falls

We took a drive over to the falls today.

It wasn't as cold as it looks...

Wow, this place has changed considerably!

Niagra Falls is now chock full of bling.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Spring Break '05 - splash lagoon

Weeeee...that was fun! You can barely see me trying to help KC at the top of slide (next to the wacko monkey on the surf board).

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Spring Break '05 - kids gone wild

...ears ringing from a boisterous live performance of Dora's Pirate Adventure, complements of Megan's folks.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

the weekend log

Took care of my sick little girl, purchased new threads, and upgraded my PC. The modern architecture of new Westfield addition is blowing me away...not because I've never seen something like it, but I've never seen anything like it in TOLEDO.

I installed 1GB OCZ DDR RAM and a 300GB Maxline II drive. In case you were wondering that's an Athlon 64 underneath the Zalman, an EVGA 6800, and an Abit KV8MAX mobo.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

identity issues

Today I read a great article about privacy activist John Gilmore. It constantly annoys me how your driver's license and SSN are being 'required' for more and more. Gilmore presents the argument that if we are truly a nation based in internal passports (you cannot travel within the country without a passport), it should be legislated for what it is, not via vague 'back door' requirements. The paradoxical point in his case is that the actual law that bars you from flying without showing ID is not viewable by the public. Maybe I'm misunderstanding this because it doesn't sound right.

UT still uses SSN for student ID's which has always annoyed me. Next week I'll investigate what it will take to actually change my student ID to a number other than SSN.

On a related note as luck would have it, Doug loaned me a copy of Catch Me if You Can. It is based off a true story of a con artist blowing through one high tech career after another (pilot, doctor, lawyer, international pilot). It is all possible due to technology hacks (fake ID's, counterfeit checks, etc). I won't spoil the end; the movie is well worth watching (DiCaprio, Hanks, Walken, M Sheen).

Monday, February 28, 2005

the weekend log

homemade pizza, COSI, volunteered for YMCA

the first annual Toledo yoga day expected turnout 50, actual turnout over 400...yay, thanks yoga Jenn!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

the weekend log

road trip to Ann Arbor, church @ UUAA, Hands On, Trader Joe's

somewhere else and back again

Today was spent with my old friend Jason (we actually shook hands in second grade agreeing to be best friends) and his cousin, fighting for control of the world Axis & Allies style. We played 6 hours with Jason once again smashing all competitors. I would blame it on his West Point education but he used to smoke me when we played as kids anyhow.

It felt so creepy driving through the old streets where I grew up (Napoleon, OH). Everything feels smaller now (streets, houses, parks). I don't think I can ever live in that town again, though I had plenty of fun and friends there. There are a few I wouldn't mind seeing again...Kirk, Jason A, Mark G. When I was 18 I felt I could never live anywhere else, so what changed?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

there and back again and there again...

JJ was kind enough to host a showing of the Return of the King, extended edition this evening on his 85" front projection TV. Peter Jackson could have cut so much from the ending (that drags on forever), and left in some of the terrific cut scenes from the beginning and middle. Still, it is an amazing movie based on a terrific story. Mr. Jackson, please recreate Dune!

Brian announced his eminent departure to St. Paul Minnesota today. He and Cyndi are auctioning off their belongings, selling the house, moving into a high rise, and starting anew. That is very inspiring considering they were in a very similar situation as Megan and I. There is no utopia, but we've always felt that there is much more to experience than what we've discovered in Toledo. We spend many-a-weekend foraging in Ann Arbor, maybe that would be a better location for us. The intentional communities, shopping, UU congregation, arts, education, and downtown are all perfection in terms of what we are looking for. What are the downsides? Its further away from family, housing costs twice as much, and job market is tighter. All of those make perfect sense when you consider it as a more desirable place to live.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Well, I guess, 429, actually. Yes, the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been made into a new movie to be released on 4/29/05. I really hope they do it justice, there will be a danger that the intelligent comedy can get lost in the slapstick.

Speaking of movies, Richard borrowed my NBK directors cut on VHS, and his VCR ate my tape so he is buying me the DVD...bonus! I also loaned him Get A Life volume 1 which he rated 'so-so'. Whenever his wife comes home and he is watching some crazy whacked out movie, he has watched it on my recommendation. I don't think she will be letting him play with me anymore. On that note, picked up the newer edition of Reservoir Dogs and also Forrest Gump tonight, two more of my favorite movies. How's that for a dichotomy? I like movies that are very artistic, slightly off kilter, intelligent, dark, and if some humor can't be found in all that I might forgive.

For those interested in the Toledo indie movie scene check out the work Joel Washing and crew have been doing:

Sunday, February 13, 2005

its about time...

Yes, every kid and his half sister have a blog now and it seems a little late to be jumping on blog the bandwagon. However, I've had the urge to post some things to my friends now and then....some may be less interested than others in what I have to say on a variety of topics. Now with this nifty feed I can let them grok me at their own pace.

Thanks to those who joined me last night @ Gumbo's/Club Sin. The scene is nowhere near as good as I hoped, but then again, not bad for Toledo. Jim felt bad for accidentally being trendy by wearing an untucked white and blue striped shirt. I assured him that the most cool (take JJ for example) had diagonally striped shirts so that gave him some comfort. The food and conversation were excellent, and I can't think of better people to be surrounded by to celebrate my 30th. Missed some friends from out of town but that's how it goes.

The GlassCityRecords show @ Diva last week was much more my style musically, but unfortunately no one wanted to dance, which may have had something to do with the large crazy man jumping around and later slapping his head on the brick wall (repeatedly). That's when Megan and I took our leave...