My flickr pictures

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To be a kid again

I am in the process of making a large (40x56 inch) poster for a presentation, and recently printed out a test copy on our plotter. I was about to throw the test copy away, when I first happened to lay it face-down on my desk. Staring back at me was a big white blank sheet of paper. It was then that I had a mini flashback to the day when I would have loved to have such a treasure. Just think of all the stuff you could draw and color! But instead, it's about 5 seconds away from being recycled. How sad.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Now there's an Iowegian if I ever saw one

Mary and Jerry Nelson are the epitome of Iowa. She plays the organ at church. He's part owner in a family-operated electrical business. There nephew, Mark Parrish, was on the Olympic hockey team and they went over to Torino to cheer him on. Italian blood may be tucked away in their genes somewhere, but to me, they are 100% Iowegian. God bless Ames, Iowa.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Upside to the Bad Guys

So there are a few hidden upsides to being sick:
  1. Putting things into perspective. When all you want is to feel better, your other worries kind of slip away.
  2. The ability to catch up on reading. I finished Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. A great book that reminded me that I miss learning and science in general. Apparently humans have the gene for growing tails, it's just not switched on. So there is hope for Jason and his squirrel tail someday. Additionally, "the background rate of extinction on Earth throughout biological history has been one species lost every 4 years on average...human-caused extinction now may be running as much as 120,000 times that level." -- aka, we suck.
  3. Watching flicks from Netflix. I watched Mondovino. A great documentary on wine that I think most would enjoy, not just cultured winos.
  4. An excuse to stay in on Friday night and catch up on random internet surfing. This actually has proved to be a good thing. I'm a fan of DJ Danger Mouse. If you're not, then go here and get the Grey Album. Anyway, I just found about Gnarles Barkley, a highly anticipated album coming out by DJ Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo in May. I also was fortunate enough to find some of the tracks from that album here and here. Good stuff -- I'm looking forward to the release.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Olympians at Heart

Keeping with the Olympic spirit, I thought I should mention an event that rocked the curling world a few years back....

CurlingIt was the winter of 2002, and the Iowa State University Intramural Curling Championship was on the line. It was swingy ice that night - almost as if the stones had a mind all their own. Hog lines were being burned, vice skips were shouting, and the house was full of thirds sweeping. We had just completed the final end of the match, and the score was tied. You could feel the tension in the air.

Jason and Edy sweepingIt came down to the equivalent of sudden-death face off. Each team had to pick one member to deliver the final hammer of the night. One stone - one throw. The closest to the button wins. Eternal glory awaited.

Steve-J "The Great" Nerison was especially on that night. In fact, he was our secret weapon -- imported straight from the great curling lands of Minnesota. We all agreed to give the final throw to him.

Edy and WillAnd what a throw it was. Dead straight across the ice. The best throw the entire night. Victory was ours, and The Dietz Machine went down in history as one of the greatest curling teams to ever sweep Iowa State University.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm not getting shot at

Bundles of fan mail have been pouring in recently, asking what's up with me not posting for the past few days. The answer to that is I've been sick. I've literally spent most of my time either in bed or eating.

The only benefit to sleeping all day is that I'm not tired at night when The Olympics are on. For some reason I'm a really big fan of the winter games in particular. This year I (and my family) actually have a connection. Mark Parrish of the New York Islanders was chosen to play on the Olympic Ice Hockey team. Mark is a cousin of one of my best childhood friends (Nelson), and I remember playing cards with him back in my Legos building days.

My bro notified me that the Nelsons actually went over to Torino to watch him play. How exciting would that be? I'll have to see if I can get some pictures and post them. Too bad the men's hockey team's podium dreams were recently shot down by Finland...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wrap it up B!

I was fortunate enough to catch most of Inside the Actor's Studio when Dave Chappelle was the guest, thanks to my condo's handy common room complete with a big screen and cable tv. It was such a good show that I actually wouldn't mind trying to find it online and watch it again.

James Lipton was an excellent host -- he kept the interview serious yet filled with humor. Chappelle seemed at ease, and I think he trusted Lipton by the way he openly talked about his personal history as well as current issues with Hollywood and the reason he went to Africa. The bottom line was that in Africa, the people surrounding Chappelle didn't know about his success at all. He said they simply treated him like a normal person, and that was all he needed.

The Chappelle Show actually taught me something that I try to employ (when possible) when writing my blog entries. Some blogs out there ramble on forever. I don't know if people are overly obsessed with themselves, or if they simply need to document everything and assume people care: "Today we woke up and had eggs for breakfast. Then we walked the dog. Here's a picture of my dog. He's so cute. I made my dog a doggy sweater. He's a picture of the sweater. It's so cute. Then we had lunch. We ate at Applebees, because it's the best. I had the surf and turf. Here's a picture. It was so cute..."

My Chappelle Show-inspired response to these ramblings (and the response you should give me in case I do the same): "Yo, you better wrap it up B!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I surprised Lauren on Valentines Day by bringing her to the Madame Butterfly ballet at the Fox Theatre. I surprised myself after realizing how much I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Asparatame Day!

I find that the older I get, the more interested in food I become. I don't know if it is a direct result of not being such a picky eater, or if my mind just needs to replace old means of entertainment with new ones. I used to play with Legos, now I eat. Maybe it's that simple? (OK, so I still want to play with Legos. I'm just too cheap to spend $100 on the latest cool set).

With my increased interest in food comes an increased awareness of what I am putting into my body. I find myself paying the whopping extra 20 cents per pound for organic. I also figure if nature created it, it's most likely better for me. That's why I still go for butter over margarine (the "M word", as my Mom likes to call it), sugar over Nutrasweet, and oranges over candy bars.

So I was a little bummed this morning with Yoplait when eating my new Light Thick and Creamy Key Lime Pie yogurt. I noticed mid-bite (or perhaps mid-slurp?) that on the front of the container it advertised Aspartame as an ingredient. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never heard anything good about Aspartame. A quick search yields pages and pages of people arguing for and against the product.

Does it cause brain cancer? Seizures? Migraines? Does it cause people to line up at 7:30 in the morning to wait for dentures?

One of my friends used to suffer from migraines. She tried medicine after medicine and nothing would help. Finally, one day her doctor asked her if she drank diet sodas. She said yes. The doctor told her to cut out all artificial sweeteners. She's been migraine-free ever since.

My point to this rambling? When buying your last minute Valentines Day chocolates, don't go for the "sugar-free/fat-free/zero-calorie" kind. It's chocolate. Go for the healthy stuff -- sugar and fat.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Improv (Everywhere)

Lauren's former co-worker Damian is part of an improv group called Babies Mit Bearden. They were performing at Relapse Theatre in Atlanta this past Saturday night so we decided to go. The style was long-form improvisation. You give them a topic (Joe C. chimed in with "titanium cookware"), and they start acting - everyone involved trying to figure out what each other is doing. It was overall quite entertaining, but did suffer some slow points. Fortunately the lack of heating kept us awake.

The highlight was two guys acting out a scene based on the audience-provided quote, "You can't handle the truth." The scene morphed into two brothers trying to pick out a casket for their 7'9" deceased father, and arguing about the cost and what they should do. One wanted to buy a 4-foot casket and fold the Dad in half ("It's his last sacrifice; he would have wanted it this way."). The other wanted to go with the $8,000 8-foot model, and wanted it so shiny that he considered plating the whole thing with mirrors. I know it sounds a little morbid...but it was hilarious. I guess you just had to be there.

The "(Everywhere)" part of the title is in reference to Lauren and I running into one of the actors the next day at Borders, where I was browsing for a beginner's guide to popular piano songs. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find a book so attractive that I had to call it into RingFo to share with y'all.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I Gotsta Gimme Some Dentures

I have a 37 mile commute (one-way) everyday to work. It can get really boring after a while. Carpooling, NPR, my iPod, and random General Lee sightings all help reduce this mundane part of my day. However, there is one thing that piques my interest every single morning.

And that, my friends, is the line of people standing outside of Affordable Dentures. I kid you not. At 7:45AM, with the doors still locked, there will be a line of people waiting to get in. And I'm not talking about 1 or 2 people hoping to get their dentures quick before their workday starts. This line can easily be 30+ people deep, just like today. I've been witnessing this for nearly 2 years.

It brings to mind a few questions that baffle me to the point that I'm seriously considering posing as a journalist from a local paper so I can go and interview those in queue:

  1. Where are all these people coming from? Does Atlanta only offer Premium Dentures, so those looking for a deal feel the need to drive out to Covington?
  2. Does the company line their dentures with crack before giving them to customers, causing them to come back for more every day?
  3. Is Affordable Dentures just a cover-up for Jim Stalvey's underground moonshine business?
  4. In order to make Affordable Dentures so affordable, did the company elect to not install any phones or internet connection, so people can not in fact call for an appointment, but rather must show up as early as possible to get in line and pick a number?

Before I leave Georiga, it's my goal to document this phenomenon with my camera. I'm sure all of you will be waiting on the edge of your seats...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

You still haven't signed up for an ING Direct account and I don't know why

Some of you may remember an earlier post where I praise the benefits of an ING Direct savings account (as well as perform a little web pan-handling for new account referrals).

As far as I know, nobody took the bait. Well now the deal is even sweeter. Any new deposits between now and April 15th earn you a whopping 4.75% APY. And after April 15th, the rate goes back to it's regular rate (which is currently a not-too-shabby 3.8%).

So can you tell me one good reason why you haven't signed up for an account yet? And remember, if you do decided that getting free money is a good thing (or at least better than not getting free money), let me know before you sign up, and I will send you a referral email and we'll both come out on top (an extra $25 for you, $10 for me).

Work with me people.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Photo + Log = Phlog?

You might say that I have a slight obsession with jumping pictures. When possible, I try to grow my collection by convincing friends that a picture featuring them flying through the air would be really cool, and to not pay attention to the groups of people standing around. They're not staring at us -- they're just jealous.

In addition, thanks to Brad, I also realized how interesting macro shots can be. I think the general population of photographers (i.e. anyone that has ever taken a picture) always errs on the side of being too far away from their subject. This is something I am trying to overcome myself. Perhaps one day I will learn something about photography. Too bad they didn't teach it in Kindergarten.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Today is...
  • My 3-year anniversary at work
  • Joe C.'s 34th birthday
  • Rooker "Go Dawgs!" 's 43rd birthday

My Mom is Snorkeling

My mom is currently in Antigua, visiting two of her best friends from college.

How cool is that?