My flickr pictures

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Brought to you in HD

Interesting random "fact".

According to the Leichtman Research Group, about one-fourth of HDTV owners in America are unaware that they are NOT watching high definition programming. That is, they own an HDTV and think they are watching high definition TV shows, but in fact are not.

A typical example is the unaware consumer that buys an HDTV, brings it home, plugs it in, and just expects that everything will now be in high def. They see a little "broadcast in HD" symbol at the bottom of the screen while watching Monday Night football and are happy. Perhaps a little confused why the picture quality doesn't quite match what they saw at the store, but they are still happy.

So my advice to all you HDTV window-gazers out there: do your research. Will you need a set-top HD box? Upgrade your Direct TV to handle high def? Subscribe to digital cable? Will an antenna do? Will your Betamax player be compatible?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Hero

A friend of a friend of mine was making 6 figures as an accountant. That was, until he quit his job and enrolled full-time in photography school. How awesome.

Rough Weekend

I can't wait for spring.

This weekend was rough. Lauren and I had plans to travel down to Ames to see Cirque du Soleil with my parents. That didn't happen thanks to the snow and ice storm that blanketed the midwest.

We decided to go to a movie, and my car started making an awful noise just a few blocks from the house. So we couldn't do that either.

We then tried to watch a movie at home, but 3/4ths of the way through the DVD skipped relentlessly, eventually forcing us to shut it off early.

We had to shovel snow. Twice. Sunday morning looked as if we hadn't touched a shovel Saturday night. I felt awful having Lauren help, but she was incredibly sweet and insisted. We should have made a snowman instead. I don't know what I was thinking.

I can't wait for spring.

Monday, February 26, 2007

El Bandito

Haven't posted for a while...

Apparently that's what happens when you try to cram work, studying for the GMAT, working out, and weekend trips into your schedule. I couldn't possibly imagine being a single mother that works, raises kids, and goes to school.

And speaking of school, did you know that an ever-growing amount of classes from some of our best schools are being offered completely free online?

Want to brush up on your Classical Physics? Need a refresher in The Old Testament? How about Producing Films for Social Change? Look no further than MIT, Tufts, Notre Dame, or naturally, iTunes.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yeah, not quite

I heard this quote today at my weekly team meeting: "Software programming is a lot like surfing. No two waves are the same, and there are sharks out there that can get you."

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I haven't seen anything that remotely resembles beautiful sunny days, soft white sandy beaches, pina coladas, or (most definitely) girls in bikinis when it comes to computer programming.

Then again, ask me in 20 years if writing code is like surfing. Maybe by then I'll become equally delusional in order to stay sane.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

Communism wasn't abolished. It's now just called 'mass media'

- Mohan Sawhney

Ecto Wha?

Whatever happened to Ecto Cooler? Was it not the best Hi-C flavor of all time? I think they should bring it back -- and apparently so do about a hundred others that have signed a petition saying so.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Genius, or Plain Nuts?

Has anyone out there read Lateral Thinking, Creativity Step by Step by Edward de Bono? I've just started it, and I'm trying to figure out if good ol' Edward is a genius, or just simply crazy. I'll expand more when I fully grasp the idea of lateral thinking.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Georgia, How I Miss Thee

A Georgia man "admitted that he put potentially life-threatening foreign substances into soup, which he fed to his two young children and then placed a call to Campbell Soup Co. falsely claiming that the soup had been contaminated".


Georgia, you did it again.

Monday, February 05, 2007


What to see something scary?

Go to and type in your name and birthdate. I understand that certain records are public domain, but do they need to open them up for the entire world to see with just a few clicks?

Wal-Mart is (and others are) Shady

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal that described how Wal-Mart Cuts Taxes by Paying Rent to Itself (I had to link to an anti-Wal-Mart site because the WSJ Online is subscription-only).

Granted, Wal-Mart isn't the only company using this tactic, but they're an easy target and that's why I'm assuming the WSJ published the article about them in particular. Regardless, I find it pathetic that businesses will knowingly partake in such shady undertakings.

Perhaps even shadier is Enrst & Young -- Wal-Mart's external auditor -- which originally proposed and sold the the strategy to Wal-Mart in the first place.

I could bore you with a few paragraphs summing up the strategy, but it's a lot easier and simpler sharing this graphic, taken from the WSJ:

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl, Super Atheletes, Super Crazy

I went to the gym today and decided I should do a little cross training -- do a quick run and then bike for a while to (hopefully) better prepare myself for my spinning class on Tuesday.

My run was going pretty well, so I decided to go a bit further than I had originally planned. I walked off the treadmill after logging 2.5 miles, and headed up to the stationary bikes. And let me tell you -- it was rough getting on a bike after running.

I was pretty much instantly tired, and I couldn't help but think about all the athletes around the world that do Ironman triathlons. I can't imagine the amount of dedication, training, and commitment it must take to reach such an amazing endurance level. Or they're just simply crazy.

Speaking of triathletes, and in case you don't look at any of my linked blogs, I wanted to make sure you at least read this entry from my brother's good friend Joost. I can't even imagine.

Oh yeah, and congrats to the Colts. Although I was rooting for the Bears, I think the Colts definitely deserved the win.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pink Wins!

I'm officially an uncle. My sister's an aunt. My brother's a dad. My mom's a grandma. My dad's a grandpa. Talk about strange. The newest member of the family, Kjersten, is an adorable little 8lb 6oz girl. I can't imagine what she's experiencing and thinking right now.

Congrats Big Daddy!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Digitize your Memories

Have a big box overflowing with photos, waiting for some magic elf to come along and sort through the mess and stuff them meaningfully into a photo album?

Wait no more. Check out For $49.95 they will scan in 1,000 photos and burn them onto a CD, at 300 pixels per inch -- not stellar quality, but good enough for the average point-and-shooter.

Sure, they don't (or can't) name them for you, nor will it create an instant easy-to-use photo album. But it's definitely a step in the right direction.