29 September 2009

Weight Room Nightmare

I saw this headline this morning and had to read the article. I can't imagine the pain, damage or surprise of dropping what I'm guessing was in the neighborhood of 300 pounds of iron directly onto your throat. And if this was just the bar slipping out of the grasp of the lifter, there is no way a spotter can prevent that from happening. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

28 September 2009

All Is Love

Catching up on some music blog listening while grading papers tonight and I came across the single, "All is Love" by Karen O and the Kids. "The Kids", by the way, include a couple of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and a couple of Raconteurs. off the upcoming soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are. It definitely meets many of the criteria I enjoy in music (oooh, there's a blog idea! I'll have to compile that criteria list.) Give it a listen here. The entire soundtrack can be streamed here. It is nice study music!


I was watching Armageddon last night (what a heart-wrencher!) and the part where they are going through the astronaut testing got me thinking about g-forces and how much a human can endure before passing out. So I looked it up (in wikipedia) and it turns out it depends and varies greatly on the direction of the g-forces (i.e. accelerating forwards, backwards, up, down, etc). So my trivia questions to you are:
  1. In regard to vertical acceleration, can humans endure more G's of downward force or upward force?
  2. In regard to horizontal acceleration, can humans endure more G's of forward acceleration ("eyeballs in") or backward acceleration ("eyeballs out")?
  3. Can humans endure more vertical or horizontal acceleration?
Answers posted in comments tomorrow. You can check the link if you need to know now.

27 September 2009


Grading tests...
Q: What country is #1 in the world, based on GDP?
A: "Idaho"

Til the Walls and Rafters Ring...

What a win. Two years in a row now, knocking off a Penn State team ranked in the top 5 in the country and this time it was on the road in front of 100,000-plus hostile fans. Check out the Daily Iowan's photos from the game.

23 September 2009

Google Easter Eggs & Adidas/Puma Peace Game

Just wanted to pass on two things I found on the web this week. Slow times on my blog lately, sorry.
  • This first one is a list of 15 Easter eggs (little-known humorous oddities written into the code by programmers) dealing with the Google search engine and Google Earth. Not hilarious or mind-blowing but worth a look if you are bored...or desperate for something to blog about.
  • The second one is this short video clip about the people of Hertzogenorach, Germany (home to adidas & Puma) finally coming together and playing a game of football together (not against each other) in honor of Peace Day.

20 September 2009

Farragut 5K

So with 5K's on my mind I've been looking at the race calendar and trying to find a couple more to do this fall. I also am thinking that we should expand on last year's Thanksgiving morning run and make it a full 5K Turkey Trot. I got on MayMyRun.com and came up with a great route too. 3.1 miles of fun. Start and finish areas are homebase's driveway. The green arrows are the first mile, the red arrows are the second and the blue ones are the final mile. Spread the word and let's work up an appetite for our turkey feast.

Beaver Fall Fest

A fun weekend indeed. No students on Friday and the professional development wasn't too bad, so it was a good day at work. Stoppable came into town, bringing NTW and the Brig with him. We made Bombay burgers, tator tots and collard greens for a yummy dinner and then walked up the street to check out the festival scene. A main event of the weekend was the Beaverdash 5K Saturday morning. Even though I hadn't done much running leading up to it, it went well. All three brothers stuck together and finished strong. It was a great setting for a run, cool, sunny weather, lots of supporters along the residential route, and a route that came within 30 yards of my apartment! After showering up, we all stepped out my front door and were on the parade route, where the kids got an insane amount of candy and we all had a good time. Then we zipped out to Waukee to see JY's new deck and enjoy a delic meal of grass-fed steaks, incredibly fresh & tasty sweet corn and a tasty pasta salad. After that I made it out to Grimes to watch the first half of the Iowa game with some good friends. But I couldn't stay long cuz I had to make it back home to get some things around for a bunch of teacher friends to come over for grilling and drinks before walking up the street to listen to some live music. And today was a relaxing day of no school work and a trip to the mall. caboose got some great buys and I got a new pair of shoes! :) These are work shoes and they were half off, so I don't really count them as just "another pair of shoes."

18 September 2009

Lost Dog

So we've got cable again and lots of channels to choose from! This morning as I was lounging a little bit (no kids today!) I saw a commercial that actually got my eyes a little watery. Maybe it was because it was still early. It's a sweet little commercial from AT & T and features Tyler Hansbrough...but I didn't hold that against it. :) Enjoy.

15 September 2009

New Header

I haven't kept up with my Photoshop exploring since school started but I got on it last night and put together a new header. It's supposed to look like a spray painted stencil. It turned out OK, but I was frustrated that I couldn't get a selection to rotate. I thought I'd tried everything. Later on I saw L online and asked her how to do it. Ctrl +T. Hmm, that easy. So much to learn. I'll have to change it and update my header later today. Thanks for the help!

13 September 2009

What a Saturday...

Hail to the Admirals, Hail to Victory...
'Til the walls and rafters ring...
Shake down the thunder from the sky...
The eyes of Texas are upon you...

Everything was going great until the last minute of the Notre Dame game yesterday. If they had held on to their lead and won it would've been the second week in a row that all my teams had won. Farragut, Iowa, Notre Dame, Texas. But they didn't and Michigan scored, won, and broke my heart. Sigh.
Otherwise, yesterday was a great day. Woke up and went for a run around Gray's Lake, sporting my Iowa colors. Stopped at Gateway for a few supplies and then went home to cook and get ready for the games. Haley, Matt & Oliver came over & I made guacamole to go with our chips & salsa. The Hawkeyes put some of the worries after last week's debacle to bed with a serious thumping of ISU. I made BBQ chicken legs on the grill which turned out nice (Rick Bayless' BBQ spice rub is great). I also made the Scrumptious Chickpea & Spanish Chorizo soup from Jamie Oliver's book for the game and it turned out VERY tasty. I love getting a soup going before the game and having it smell up the apartment nicely and then having a tasty hot bowl at halftime or between games. I tried to shake off the pain of the Irish defeat by grilling some brats and then cleaned up and went out to meet some friends to watch the US Open semifinals. It was a fun match to watch, with Serena and Kim Clijsters battling it out. I was cheering for Kim; I like her battling back to fitness after having a baby, being unranked and away from the game for two and a half years. Serena was getting frustrated throughout the match, breaking her racket when she hit into the net to lose the first set. But the big fireworks began when she was down 5-6 in the second set and behind 15-30. She was called for a footfault and she lost it. That made it 15-40 (triple match break point) and she unloaded on the line judge, who was a little Asian lady. Serena walked over to her, shaking her racquet at her, and directed some choice language her way, "I swear to God I'm [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God." Yikes. Since this was her second conduct violation (the first was the racquet abuse) she was given a point penalty...and it happened to be match point. Ouch. A very crappy way to finish a very entertaining match. She did walk over and shake hands with Kim before going into the locker room. Kim stayed on the court for a bit, seeming to think that maybe they'd end up playing out the point. Well, I know who I'll be cheering for in the final on Sunday night! Read about it, Watch it. Overall a great day of food, sports and friends!

10 September 2009

iPod Turns Four Years Old!

shamROCK turned four on September 1. He got a sweet make-over courtesy of caboose, but these last few months I've come to accept that his time with me may not be long. Not only did I reach my storage limit, so I can't add any more music to it without deleting some first, but also the battery life is starting to wane. It only lasts about 3 hours when it's using the iTrip and that isn't even enough for a trip home and back. So I was keeping a close eye on the Apple announcement event yesterday. I wasn't happy with the $399 price for the 64GB iTouch, so I may seen how long I can continue to hold out with shamROCK. The new version of iTunes does have a few things I like though, "Home Share" in particular
If interested you can see past birthday posts: birth, 1, 2, and 3.
And, keeping with tradition, here is my list of top 25 most played songs. This is cumulative plays, not just for the past year and there aren't a lot seperating these so there is a lot of ties.

1- Take It Easy (Love Nothing) - Bright Eyes
2- Bingo - M.I.A.
2- Hands Down - Dashboard Confessional

2- The Kids Don't Stand a Chance - Vampire Weekend
5- WP - Matisyahu

5- Summer Skin - Death Cab for Cutie
7- Dishy - Candypants

7- Grace of God Go I - Flogging Molly
7- Nothing Better - Postal Service
7- What About Everything? - Carbon Leaf
7- Marching Bands of Manhattan - Death Cab for Cutie
12- Ain't No Reason - Brett Dennen
12- Gold Mine Gutted - Bright Eyes
12- Mushaboom - Bright Eyes
12- The Professor - Damien Rice
12- Hold On - Lovehammers

12- Stronger - Kanye West
12- Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
12- Anne Braden - Flobots

12- Kissing the Lipless - The Shins
12- Shorty's Running Numbers - Noise Tank

22- Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
22- The Recluse - Cursive
22- Good Love - John Mayer
22- F-stop Blues - Jack Johnson
22- Baba O'Riley - Jordis Unga

22- Nine in the Afternoon - Panic at the Disco

22- Denial Twist - The White Stripes
22- Chop 'Em Down - Matisyahu

Book Sale!

The two biggest used book sales of the year are going on in Des Moines this week. The Right to Life sale started on Wednesday and the Planned Parenthood sale a day after. I went to the RTL one on the opening day. You have to pay to go on the first day, but I figured it was worth the $5 to get a crack at it before it was too picked over. I would say 80% of the people there had hand-held scanners and were professional buyers and going like mad, scanning books and throwing the keepers in their two-wheeled tubs. Serious business. I took my time and found a lot of good stuff. I cut my box full of books in half before I went to the check-out and still came home with some fun stuff, mostly contemporary classics as well as a few kids picture books to add to the sizable collection I've accumulated without any reader for them in the forseeable future.

08 September 2009

Take Responsibility, Students!

President Obama's address to the students of our nation today fell during our lunch period, but we did have it showing in several classrooms for those who wanted to see it. It isn't ground-shaking stuff and definitely not crazy left-wing propoganda that some school administrators would have you think but how quickly they distanced their schools from it. It led me to wonder a bit lately if former Presidents Reagan and Bush received the same outcry of "indoctrination" when they spoke to American schoolkids. I looked over the prepared remarks released by the White House and condensed it down to the following for those out there to busy to see or read it.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide...

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it...

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country...
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying. Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future...

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures...

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new...

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself...

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be?

07 September 2009

Press Rewind If I Haven't Blown Your Mind

Thanks to my favorite Irish blog, Nialler9, I came across this bizarrely awesome video. Enjoy.

03 September 2009

Dark Ages

I have been going through a serious withdrawal from all forms of media lately. Due to a shorted out and no longer functioning power cord, my laptop is dead until I get the replace I ordered online (saving $60 compared to the Best Buy price). Add to that our wonderful cable service we get from Mediacom; we currently get zero channels. To top it off, I am between books and can't really seem to find anything I want to read on my shelves. I guess I need to get to the library. I've got a backlog of topics to blog about but haven't had a chance. So watch out when I get that power cord!

Lorem Ipsum

While I was hunting around trying to find a list of the changes in default settings from Word 2003 to 2007, I came across an interesting topic. Whenever I see that "Lorem Ipsum dolor sit amet" block of text that they use to show how a document or template will appear, I'd always wondered where it came from or what it meant. Well, I wonder no more. This article provides some surprising info. That text has been around since the 1500's! And it means nothing. And if you want to insert it into your Word document, use =lorem().