31 March 2012

Taco Stealer

"Florida player arrested after stealing taco"
How can you not click on a headline like that?!  

29 March 2012

Rosaries

A teacher and friend at one of the schools I work with today gave me a little gift when I stopped by to check on her.  She and a couple of her kids had made some rosaries over spring break and she brought me a couple of nice yellow and black ones.  Very thoughtful and what a fun activity with your kids over break!  So that made my day!

"News Team, Assemble!"

The most quotable movie ever for me will have a sequel.  Can't wait. 
Anchorman quotes always remind me of my first year of teaching, no air conditioning, ridiculously hot, after one comment of 'it's so hot in here' I busted out a "Milk was a bad choice," and won over some hearts (if not minds) that day in econ.

26 March 2012

Garden v.2.0


[BEFORE]
This is what I had last year.  It was a great start but I'm ready for more room.
[AFTER]
Stuck with the same plan and expanded in both directions, tripling my space.
($38 + $13 for dirt)
 I got a bird feeder!  Filled it up, hung it in the front yard, walked to the back to grab my camera and this is the scene that I returned to.  Seriously less than two minutes.  It was called the Squirrel Stumper so we'll see if it lives up to its name. ($18 + $10 in food)
 Hung up a passed-down hammock using two ratcheting tie-downs.  It is a bit tricky so will need some further adjusting but it is comfy!
($18)
Doesn't look like much but this is what $100 gets you at Home Depot.  Actually I got quite a bit of stuff and was happy with my purchases and their costs.
 Last year my tomatoes did great but they took over and starved some of the other plants.  This year I think I am going to move the tomatoes over to the tractor tire garden and have 3 plants there.  The other main garden space will be for beets, onions, basil, carrots, peppers, etc.  I also have several pots that will be good for cilantro, marigolds, or whatever.  I think I will add some chicken wire around the garden to keep out the rabbits also.

Spring Break '12

Spring break is my excuse for not blogging much lately.  That, along with the fact that one of the things I gave up for Lent was my computer after 7 pm...which I have LOVED. It has changed the makeup of my evenings.  More time for walks, reading, cleaning, TV watching movies, whatever I feel like
It was a great break with warm temps and it felt long which is always nice.  A little recap of what all I packed in: a great morning drive down to Conception Abbey with homebase for mass, birding at Riverton Wildlife Refuge, the St. Patrick's Day parade in Imogene, grilled &cooked some tasty things, got a haircut, started my garden prep work (more on this soon), did some running, shopping (for work clothes.  sale pants at the Gap and 2 sale shirts at J. Crew), shopping for running shoes (no purchase yet but found 2 possibilites), lots of reading, watched lots of March Madness games, worked at a MOQ fish fry, took my nieces and nephew to the Hunger Games, met with my financial adviser, and met homebase at the Hitchcock Nature Center.
I also got to the grocery store yesterday so I can meet my new goal of bringing my lunch 4 times a week.  A big switch but one that will be good for me & my bank account.  It'll be a change.  One day at a time. :)

21 March 2012

"What Forces Shape You?"

This STAR WARS Identities exhibit sounds pretty cool.  It is only making two stops, both in Canada though.  These posters, especially Vader and the stormtrooper, are rad and after I was checked them out, I watched the promo video on this page and the Rorschach images and the sounds are so wicked. 
The exhibit describes itself as follows... (sign me up!)
Star Wars Identities explores the theme of identity via ten components that help shape who we are. According to current scientific research, these are our: species, genes, parents, culture, mentors, friends, marking events, occupation, personality, and values. These ten components are grouped into the exhibit’s three main areas or subthemes, which follow the progression of identity from childhood to adulthood: first Origins, then Influences, and finally Choices. Using the Star Wars films as a lens through which to explore these themes and components of identity, the visitor learns more about their favorite Star Wars characters, and also something about themselves in the process. The exhibit follows the story arcs of Luke and Anakin Skywalker: two heroes who share similar genes, were raised on the same planet, but whose choices in life took them along very different paths. At the same time, a unique interactive “identity quest” allows visitors to put themselves at the center of the action and design their own Star Wars hero identity as they make their way through the exhibit.

20 March 2012

Spring Break Mix '12

And here's a little spring break mixtape.  Fun songs, happy songs, songs for windows down driving.
The track list may get a final tweak but here is how it stands now. 

1. Cadence to Arms - Dropkick Murphys
2. Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win - Beastie Boys & Santigold
3. Hannah - Freelance Whales (Ra Ra Riot remix)
4. Happening - Chiddy Bang
5. Pata Pata - Miriam Makeba
6. Youth - Foxes (Adventure Club dubsteb mix)
7. Bad Girls - M.I.A.
8. Cracks - Freestylers ft. Belle Humble (Flux Pavilion remix)
9. Off to the Races - Lana Del Rey
10. Finally Moving - Pretty Lights
11. Hurricane Season - Trombone Shorty
12. Pencil Full of Lead - Paolo Nutini
13. We Are Young (acoustic) - Fun. ft Janelle Monae
14. How Great Thou Art - Carrie Underwood
15. Life's a Happy Song - The Muppets & Jason Segal

March Madness

Whew, we can take a breath now.  The basketball comes so continuous and relentless in those opening two rounds you barely have time to update your bracket and the next round is starting.  I was able to watch a nice number of games this year.  Thursday I watched at home and had wrestling Nationals on ESPN3 playing on the wall.  Friday I met up with some college friends in a tradition that has been going on for five or so years.  Saturday & Sunday I watched while I was back home in Farragut.
I am trying to improve on two years in last place and only doing a fair job of it this year. Two of my Final Four are donezo (Mizzou & Georgetown) but both teams in my final are still alive (Kentucky & Ohio State).  NTW has all 4 of his Final Four still rolling.  stoppable & homebase have 3 of 4.  The Brig is down to 1.
Check out this hilarious article from Slate that picks the bracket based on nicknames.  Literally.  I may have to go this route next year if my luck doesn't change. (I love the Billikens match up and his "While they may be nasty and fearless, the badgers would be better-served by caution in this matchup" comments)
Here are current standings:
1. stoppable
2. NTW
3. homebase
4. middleson
5. The Brig
caboose says he has a bracket but didn't get it submitted in time and we weren't able to get KT or emily this year. 

15 March 2012

"Why I'm Leaving..."

I read the letter that accompanied the resignation of Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs last night with a great deal of pleasure.  He had been the "executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa."  He highlights the changes that have occurred in the dozen years he has spent at the firm since he joined them straight out of college.  It is a message that I think rings true with the general public, especially in light of the Occupy movements.  I'm not convinced it will accomplish much, other than let him feel like he aired his reasons and left with his moral compass in tact.  I think it would be interesting to see what his next career move is.  And to see if Goldman Sachs offers a public reply.
Then this morning stoppable sent me an email with this response from Jim Geraghty included.  It takes the feeling of some that it is a little late to say that the culture and direction of the org aren't what you thought they were and puts them into the words of Darth Vader, if he had been resigning from the Empire:

Today is my last day at the Empire.

After almost twenty years, first as a summer intern, then as the Emperor's spy on the Jedi Council, then as his apprentice and Dark Lord of the Sith, I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of the Empire's culture, its people (both cloned and non-cloned) and its role in bringing order to the galaxy. I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it, and I don't mean destructive in its traditional, positive connotation.

This used to be an institution based upon facing one's foes eye-to-eye, like a room full of younglings. Or betraying longtime brothers-in-arms in the middle of battle, when they least expect it. But instead, management meetings are dominated by the boasting and taunting of Imperial officers whose lack of faith is disturbing, all too proud of the technological terrors they've constructed. They fail to see that the power to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

I have attempted to reach out and make a gripping argument to those who disagree, but the old, all-too-complacent top management insists these whippersnappers be released and that this assessment is dismissed as "pointless bickering." Time and again, middle management proves itself as clumsy as it is stupid. Outside consultants are dismissed with a sneer, "we don't need their kind." Managers expect us to ignore delays in construction projects by sniveling that our presence is an "unexpected pleasure" and how honored they are by our presence. We can dispense with the pleasantries.

People who care only about making the same super-weapon, again and again, with more or less the exact same weakness and design flaw, will not sustain this Empire -- or the fear of its people -- for very much longer.

12 March 2012

Seasame Street Quiz

Some of these questions are TOUGH!  The setup is nice, though, you can see the correct answer for the previous question and a video or picture to validate it.  I scored a 50%, which, according to their Facebook post, is the average score.  48 questions, give it a shot!

Cubs Win

I am not a big pro baseball fan but I do root for the Cubs and, although I'll probably never play the video game, this commercial for MLB12 is a completely beautiful fabrication of dreams.  I love it and it seriously gave me goosebumps.  Go Cubs Go!

11 March 2012

Flying the Colors

While going through a chest full blankets I unearthed my Ireland flag, which I haven't had up since we moved to the new place.  So I decided, with St. Patrick's only a few days away, that I had better get it out into the (partially) sunny day. 

09 March 2012

Textures

Jeep Speaker Cover (#0083)Woven Seat Cushion (#0060)Antiqued paint (#0056)Bedroom Ceiling (#0055)Wood Floor (#0053)Grey rug (#0051)
New Brick Wall (#0064)Copper Mesh (#0066)Artificial Turf (#0067)Box Grater (#0075)Steel Crosshatch Bevel (#0079)Brushed Cement (#0080)
Speaker Grille Mesh (#0081)Table Top (#0084)Old Concrete (#0085)Peeling White Paint Porch (#0089)Peeling White Paint Porch (#0093)Penguin Caffienated Mints (#0094)
Italian Lira (#0095)Italian Lira (#0097)Italian Lira (#0099)Italian Lira (#0100)Italian Lira (#0101)adidas superstar sole (#0105)
Textures, a set on Flickr.
So I'm working on a little photo project that is a gathering of various textures. The intent is to be able to use them in Photoshop as texture layers for blending or for collage-type works. These two websites have some good tips for photographing textures and I know a few of the ones I taken need to be improved and replaced. Check them out and if you can think of what might be some good things to add, lemme know!

08 March 2012

Live Penguin Cam!

Nic passed this on to me yesterday and, even though I wish it was a camera of them in nature, it is pretty cool to be able to see the penguins at SeaWorld San Diego.  They have nearly 300 penguins representing all five Antarctic breeds.  They are loud so be sure your speakers are turned down.  I also love the infographic of the penguins leaving Michael Phelps in the dust.  22 mph vs 4 mph.  Woo hoo!
I'm definitely going to have to see these guys in person when I'm in San Diego in June! 

05 March 2012

Ohio / Missouri....whatever

I had this ad on the side of my facebook today.  Not much of a college basketball store if they don't know what conference Creighton is in.  Hopefully it is printed correctly on the shirts.

Fish & Birds

In addition to taking a restorative day on Friday to get caught up on things, homebase came in town and we hit up my first fish fry of the season at the Basilica.  They do a good job of it there.  I like the multicultural menu offerings, egg rolls (fantastic) and Spanish rice put a fun twist on the baked & fried fish and mac & cheese.  Stations afterwards and I really enjoy those.  The singer is great, the incense is burning and it is a nice way to finish the week and refocus as the weekend starts. 
Saturday morning we did a little birding at the Saylorville visitors center and even though we were only able to stand the windchills for about 15 minutes, we saw a pretty impressive list: Goldfinches (3), Cardinals (3), Black-capped Chickadees (~12), Bluejays (5), Canada Geese (lots), Red-bellied Woodpeckers (4), Downy Woodpeckers (3), Bald Eagles (lots), Tufted Titmouse (4), and the prize find was the Common Redpoll, which contrary to its name is actually classified as uncommon.  The same size as a goldfinch there were a couple hanging out on the thistle feeder, munching away.  It was a life-list for both of us.  We also parked on the dam and watched the 30+ eagles hanging out on the ice pack and playing on the strong winds. 
Some shopping at Trader Joes and making my first stop on the new location of Active Endeavors (fantastic!) were also great fun. 
A fun filled visit for sure! 

02 March 2012

Robert Montgomery

How long til HMN '12?

Saw this article on GOOD about an infographic from the NY Times yesterday and thought it was interesting to see the changes in meat preferences over time.  Pretty equal between beef, eggs and pork around 1955, and about that same time chicken started its steady climb to the near-top.  Pork's consistency ("The Other White Meat" didn't seem to do much) is unique and I like that they marked the McDonald's milestones on the beef line.  Good stuff.  And now I'm hungry.  (not for McDonald's though)