Big snow


Aftereffects of yesterday’s snow day in the parking lot at work!

Update: Bitter irony, in retrospect.

My first job: landscaping

Let’s try out Plinky.

I mowed lawns for years, and I thought I made a mint. Mowing lawns paid for most of my first big toys: my car and my computer, and left plenty left over to take to college. My first lawn mower was a used Honda, and when that plumb wore out, I replaced it with another new Honda. It was a great choice, and it’s still running today, probably 15 years later.

Happy 25th birthday, Macintosh

mac-osHappy 25th birthday, Macintosh! I’ve driven six Macs over the years.

  1. SE
  2. Centris 650
  3. PowerMac 8500/180AV
  4. PowerBook G3 (Bronze)
  5. iMac G5 20″
  6. MacBook Pro 15″

The PowerBook from 2000 has been the workhorse of the lot so far, happily surviving daily use for nearly eight years. It’s been a fun ride.

Indiana Microbrewers Winterfest

Last Saturday, we attended the 1st annual Indiana Microbrewers Winterfest, presented by the Brewers of Indiana Guild. They had way more attendees than they expected, so in that sense, it seems to have been a success. I’m sure they raised a lot of money for the very worthy Joy’s House. We misplaced our program with our notes on it, so most of the details of what we sampled are reduced in our memories to “liked it” or “didn’t like it.” Most of what we tried was pretty enjoyable, however, there were some standouts, both good and not so good

  • Ommegang Three Philosophers ♥
  • Mendocino Eye of the Hawk ♥
  • Bison Brewing Organic Chocolate Stout 
  • Buffalo Bill’s Blueberry Oatmeal Stout ★
  • He’brew Jewbelation 12/22. Holy Moses, was this strong!
  • Two Brothers Brewing Ebel’s Weiss
  • Left Hand Brewing Blackjack Porter
  • Three Floyd’s Gumballhead Wheat
  • Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
  • Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
  • Rogue Mocha Porter
  • Bell’s Double Cream Stout
  • Bell’s Hopslam
  • Magic Hat #9 Apricot Pale Ale ★
  • Lafayette Brewing Marley’s VSOP (Very Special Old Porter aged on Jack Daniels barrel wood) 
  • Power House Brewing Diesel Oil Stout 

Sure, to each his own, but we marked our favorites.

Rose-Hulman Decade of Excellence

Not that this should be especially surprising, but Indiana legislature has honored Rose-Hulman for being the nation’s top undergraduate engineering college for ten straight years: Rose-Hulman Recognized at Indiana State House For “Decade of Excellence” in Engineering Education. Cool!

Whereas, the school, throughout its existence, has devoted its energies to the technical, moral, cultural and physical education of its students, with an emphasis on excellence, impact and leadership;

Whereas, the quality of Rose-Hulman’s work has been recognized by being selected as the nation’s number one undergraduate engineering college for ten consecutive years;

Whereas, Rose-Hulman graduates have provided engineering innovation, leadership and business success that has changed the world; and

Whereas, Rose-Hulman continues to provide an active resource to the state of Indiana in education and economic development: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, the House of Representatives concurring: That the Indiana General Assembly honors Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on being selected as the nation’s number one undergraduate engineering college for 10 consecutive years.

Cheap RAM update

Okay, this is silly: I checked Amazon’s tracking information on my RAM order again, and now Amazon says it’s shipping from Cincinnati, rather than Whitestown, IN, which is 25 miles from our house. Perhaps Amazon’s inventory count was off and they had to ship from a different warehouse? I’ve been suspicious before of what sellers’ tracking information really shows. Amazon gave me a USPS tracking number before they even had located their stock or found a box to put it in! Waiting isn’t a problem, but it does make them look silly.

I suppose another possibility is that someone else opted against the Super Saver option and they got the last unit in stock before I did. However, if that were the case, that would be pretty fishy. That strikes me as a little dishonest, like United Airlines’ United Plus seating. If United oversells your flight and you’re on standby, but you’re willing to pay an extra $30, you can get an assigned seat in the Plus section. If you’re not willing to pay their ransom, you have a high probability of being involuntarily bumped. That’s pretty much the same thing. I say they should state that they either have seats or they don’t, but overselling and then only giving seats to the highest bidder is over the line. Same with Amazon Super Saver shipping, if that’s in fact what happened with my $37 memory. 

Do I sound like an ingrate?

Typinator dictionaries

typinatorI get a lot of mileage out of Typinator, a Mac utility that automatically corrects typos or inserts symbols or phrases in your text. In addition to the built-in dictionaries, I have made my own additions that others might find useful, as well. 

The first set is a bunch of common and not-so-common symbols. Rather than dig through the Character Palette to find a symbol every once in a while, I just type a little abbreviation. For example, when I type the abbreviation \star, Typinator automatically inserts “★” for me.

Christopher’s Typinator

The second set fixes a few of my common typos. Combined with the built-in typo set, Typinator makes me look like a pretty good typist!

Christopher’s Typinator

Crazy cheap RAM

I decided it was time for a memory upgrade for our MacBook Pro last week. Checking online for prices, I was amazed at how cheap memory is these days. I’m buying 4 GB of RAM for $37 with free shipping!

Maybe it’s because we live in a transportation corridor, but I never pay for upgraded shipping at Amazon, and things still get here very quickly. I checked tracking information this morning and learned that it’s shipping from Whitestown, IN. Apparently late last year Amazon opened a warehouse 25 miles from our house!

No Gus!

Thanks to

no-gus obamiconme-stinky

Photo statistics

Playing around more with the Google Charts API, I found some interesting insights into our photo albums.

  1. Cameras
    Still lots more pictures taken on the two Sony cameras we’ve owned: a CyberShot DSC-S70, and a CyberShot DSC-F707. The Canon Digital Rebel XT is next by volume, and it is our primary camera. We also use a Samsung L830 and a Motorola Motozine.
  2. Years
    We started dating in 2001 and were married in 2002. It was new and exciting to have a digital camera, but then our camera use settled down for the next couple years. David was born at the end of 2005, and surprise, the number of pictures doubled!
  3. Months
    I think this chart speaks a bit to our seasonal happiness levels: February is the depth of the wintertime experience, and there is less to be excited about, or to take pictures of. As spring emerges, the number of photo-worthy events increasesand keeps going through the summer. Fall then arrives, and we start to withdraw into our hibernation routine. December brings a spike because of the holidays, and there is some inertia that carries through to January. And then our cycle repeats.
  4. Weekdays
    Google Chart
    This one isn’t too surprising, either. Naturally, we take more pictures on the weekends!

So there are some fun insights into our picture-taking habits.