Stuff from April, 2008

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on April, 2008.

Spring (Snow) Showers

Me: I wonder if this giant snowstorm was Mother Nature’s version of an April Fool’s joke.
Chris: Maybe.
Me: Well if it was, I don’t get it.
Chris: Me neither.

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Snow Water

Snow Water

Didn’t quite get the focus I was looking for, but these droplets looked neat against the snowy backdrop.

Snowy View

Snowy View

Still isn’t quite spring yet.



Podcasting Workout

Podrunner: Free Workout Music from dj steve boyett is an interesting way to load your iPod with non-stop constant beats-per-minute workout music. It’s not fantastic (I’m a fan of a bit more melodic stuff, without so many crashing beats), but for a thumping background groove, I think it would do the job.


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Trader Joe’s Roses

Trader Joe’s Roses

Trying to keep these alive until spring arrives!

On Taste

I think Mykala found dooce.com via kottke.org a few years back, and I just realized something about why I like the site so much. You see, dooce (a.k.a. Heather Armstrong) has a hilarious writing style regardless of subject (dog, husband, daughter, et al.), great photography, and a devoted community… but that doesn’t really get at the essence. That essence is: Heather has unbelievably good taste.


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Crazy Candle

Crazy Candle

Top Turkey

Top Turkey

This is one of my favorite pictures that Mykala has ever made.

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Spring Evergreen

Spring Evergreen

Early berries on some sort of evergreen.



Better Homes and Litterboxes

kala: and george will teach kitty
alex: kitteh school.
kala: purrfect.
alex: George Home for Lost Kittens
alex: purrfect, lol!
alex: repeat after me, always meow when the mama has food
kala: haha
kala: so true.
alex: Chapter 1: Begging for food
Chapter 2: Getting back in the apartment
Chapter 3: Wake up techniques
Chapter 4: Wake up techniques for sound sleepers
Chapter 5: Advanced begging for food
Chapter 6: Vegetables: food or foe? An examination of alternative cat diets
Chapter 7: Crackers and incisors
Chapter 8: Types of milk
Chapter 9: Perching tips
Chapter 10: Bath evasion
Chapter 11: Gourmet muffins and how to make them
kala: hahahahahahahahaha

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Charlton Heston: Commencement Address

I’m not sure I agree with all the points in Charlton Heston’s speech to Harvard Law School’s class of ‘99 entitled “Winning the Cultural War,” but I do think he makes some good observations:


Delicious Snacks

The Onion - America’s Finest News Source presents: Delicious Snacks Distract Congressmen From Horrors Of War. I love how the bag sounds keep getting more and more ridiculous. Thanks, Nils!

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German History

My German prof (Professor Paul A. Schons) from freshman year of college has a “German History” mailing list in which, on weekdays during the school year, he sends out historical German facts and current events. He has got to be one of the nicest people I have ever met — sharp witted, too. So, I never unsubscribed to his mailing list… so, four years later, I’m still receiving it. Today, he writes:


Paolo Nutini

About nine months ago, I really got into the musical stylings of Paolo Nutini, a 20 year old Scottish singer/songwriter busting out some alternative hits. I think I first heard the music because a guy in my P-Chem class was playing “New Shoes” (fantastic song). Anyhow, after taking a break from an album for a while, I find it’s really useful to go back to it and see if the music has any staying power. Well… Nutini’s album holds up really well. Take a listen to Jenny Don’t Be Hasty to see what I mean. Go ahead, turn it up and jam, I’ll wait.


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xkcd: Overqualified

Randall Munroe’s xkcd continues to supply so much insight into love. “Wait a second. Are you asking me to show her a mediocre time?” An instant classic.

Stained Fence

Stained Fence

A nice fence on our walk.



Broken Urn

Broken Urn

This turned out better than I hoped.

Odd Fruit

Odd Fruit

Mykala — do you remember what this fruit was called?

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A Rose Bud

A Rose Bud

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Germany Olympics

Jason Kottke’s twitter stream:

Seen in a torch protest sign: “Would we have allowed Nazi Germany to host the Olympics?” Ummm….

Terrifying ignorance! Anybody remember 1936? Anyone? Bueller?

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The British company “albam” doesn’t use Chinese manufacturers to make its high quality clothing:

We are an independent company so we can listen to you. We develop and produce our clothes in the UK because we think the extra cost is worth the great quality. If we don’t make a line in the UK it is because we haven’t found a quality high enough to hang our hat on.

As someone told us “it doesn’t have to be radically different, just a lot better”, well we are sticking by this.


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Aberfeldy #1

Aberfeldy #1

Opus and Wikipedia

Wikipedia’s article about Opus the Penguin is further evidence for why this type of encyclopedia genre interests me so much:

…on several occasions, his “fanny” has fallen off (often with a clanking sound on the floor), and he has also had instances where his nose droops or is taken completely off as a result of sneezing while using dental floss and so on. Sometimes these are combined; he has had either his nose and rear end fall off, or his nose droop while his rear end has fallen off, and so on. He eventually learned that his navel was in fact the screw that attached his rear end to his body.


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Aberfeldy #2

Aberfeldy #2

2009 VW Passat

The 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC looks like the love child of an ‘07 Saab 9-3 and an ‘08 BMW 3-Series. (That’s a good thing.)

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Cabel Sasser recently posted Japan: Muscle Park & Ninja Warrior; it illustrates some interesting differences between there and here, partly by discussing a TV game show called “Sasuke”:

And to give you an idea of how challenging the fourth and final course is, Sasuke has run for twenty seasons, and only two people have ever actually won. (Cultural note: can you imagine how quickly, say, Deal or No Deal would have been cancelled if there had only ever been two winners in 10 years? But it’s genius: when someone fails you feel it in your gut, and if someone wins it feels like you’ve just watched history unfold.)


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Clean Pan

Clean Pan

Salt and lemon juice = super clean skillet!

12 Year Home Restoration

The New York Times has an article about a family in Akron, Ohio who restored a 1913 house over 12 years:

It was, in fact, as the couple learned only at the closing, about to be condemned. There were large holes in the roof, various furry woodland animals in residence, a barely functional heating and plumbing system. The roof over the master bedroom leaked so badly that the previous owner had placed 55 aluminum baking pans on the floor to catch the rain.


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Shady Shade

Shady Shade




If you do your hair when the mirror is foggy, you’ll always love the way it looks.

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Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

Parking Structure

Parking Structure


The English language has the word happenstance, which is a chance happening or event. I propose a modified version of this word as an addition to the language. When something bad happens, it’s crappenstance.

Impress your friends, etc.


Rates of Caesarean sections are climbing, according to a Time magazine article that raises more questions than it answers:

Rates of C-sections have been climbing each year in the past decade in the U.S., reaching a record high of 31% of all live births in 2006. That’s a 50% increase since 1996. Around the world, the procedure is becoming even more common: in certain hospitals in Brazil, fully 80% of babies are delivered by caesarean. How did a procedure originally intended as an emergency measure become so popular? And is the trend a bad thing?


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Old and New

Old and New

Interesting contrast between that old façade and the new cell phone towers.

Glass + Steel

Glass + Steel


Keep your eye out for live webcasts April 25-27 from the 2008 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. A quick description of the festival from wikipedia:


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Beautiful… Bikes?

Today, online, I saw the most beautiful bike I have ever seen in my life. Before I link to that, a bit about the man who makes these bikes. A certain Joshua Muir in Santa Cruz, California runs a shop called Frances Cycles. He builds your frame. From scratch. By hand. From steel (or something more exotic). The results are stupendous. Consider his innovative Smallhaul design, allowing one to carry large amounts of stuff in a cargo hold between the handlebars and (rather distant) front wheel. Using that design, you can do things like carry your dog with you on your bike (also… click that last link, seriously).


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City Lights

City Lights

Looking out of the hotel room during Mykala’s dance competition.

Death Cab’s Newest

Death Cab for Cutie’s video for their latest single “I Will Possess Your Heart” is REALLY GOOD. I usually complain how the video distract from the song… but this complements it quite nicely. Oh, the song’s from their upcoming album Narrow Stairs.

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Z-Bar Decimation

Z-Bar Decimation

This is what happens when a hungry cat finds something that he can’t unwrap. There were just sprinkles of leftover bar in there.

Rug Spin

Rug Spin

Couldn’t quite get the colors right here.

Holland Clog

Holland Clog

These make me laugh every time I see them — they are souvenir slippers from Holland.

Coke Machine

Coke Machine

This is a coin bank, originally from my grandpa, that held three scarves when he got it. I wonder why three scarves came in a miniature Coke machine.

Lego iPhone

Lego workmen unpacking an Apple iPhone. By Flickr user ntr23. I love that the little Lego hands fit around the iPhone’s sync/charge cord.


Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi is a cult film I think I might enjoy:

The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse photography of cities and natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music. In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means ‘crazy life, life in turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living’, and the film implies that modern humanity is living in such a way.


Facebook Spam

I just got spammed on Facebook. Thing is, it’s from someone I knew in high school. Ahh… the wonderfully weird world of new social media.

MGMT “Kids”

Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser make up the band MGMT. I’m addicted to the grinding bass and counter melodies in their catchy song “Kids”. Give a listen to the full song at Last.fm.


Two Dollar Bill

Two Dollar Bill

Is this still legal tender?

Direct Note Access

DVICE has written a bit about a new software called Direct Note Access — it gives absolutely unprecedented control over musical recordings.

Until now, [correcting pitch] was only possible with single notes — an exaggerated example can be heard in Cher’s 1998 hit, “Believe,” which used the competing Auto-Tune system. For more than a decade, that software has been the recording industry’s dirty little secret, fixing any out-of-tune notes crooned by an individual singer or played on any single-note instrument. But this breakthrough takes that magic manipulation many steps further, allowing engineers to create entirely new music from existing recordings.

With this astonishing software, engineers can dig deep into < a mix. For example, they could change each individual note of a guitar chord, or fix one wrong note played by a musician in a symphony orchestra. It’s like Photoshop for music.


Pietra Serena Sandstone

Next time you’re in an Apple retail store, take a look at the floor. If you’re in a newer store, you’ll notice that the dark gray stone is incredibly smooth, durable, and flecked with random bits of shiny material. The 30"x30" square tiles are made of stone called Italian Tuscan or Pietra Serena sandstone, and it’s a good material to keep in mind for your next flooring project.




Hedge fund bonuses

The International Herald Tribune has an interesting article: Hedge fund managers get billion-dollar paydays. When the market is down in so many places, it has to be up in others. Incidentally, the reported $3.7 billion bonus for one man in one year would give a $100,000+ bonus to all the families in my home town of Woodbury.


Location Scout

Sam Rohn has one of the coolest jobs I can possibly imagine:

I am a location scout & location manager for television commercials, music video & still photography, feature films, episodic TV, etc - working primarily in the new york area for the last 14 years or so