Archive for April, 2008

Hopeless efforts?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Phrase of the day:

That’s about as productive as 4-person tic-tac-toe.

Thanks to Joe and James.

Car rants

Monday, April 28th, 2008

So rant number one is the ridiculous amount of money I spent on the 105k service for my car. This is weak, because I haven’t had a car payment in years, and this definitely didn’t add up to more than 3-4 of those.

The real rant is the loaner car. They loaned me a 2008 Acura TL, which at first blush would seem to be a pretty nice car. It had leather seats, a navigation system, XM radio, a great sound system, a funky key fob with a switch blade like key deployment method… all of which LOOKS very cool, but doesn’t really do much for the driving experience. Ok, sure, it has some power, disk brakes, fancy suspension… but it had an automatic.
And not a very good one.

I hate automatics.

Hate.

Why on earth can’t they make an automatic that shifts even remotely like a human? Read on… in all seriousness, I think I know why, because I’m a geek and I’ve been thinking about it all day.
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Another great day.

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Today started out sunny and warm and is finishing off with some T-storms and rain. It feels like summer for sure. Just in time for the likelihood of snow next week.

Nate got plenty messy feeding himself breakfast this morning.

Helping himself 2 Helping himself

K dropped me off on the course of the annual 4th of July Caz race. I’m training up for the 10 mile which is basically one lap around the lake. We backtracked about 5 1/2 miles from the finish and I started from there. I kept up a pretty good pace with right around 50 minutes. Not bad for the longest run of my life. I had made it up to 4.5 miles last year when my lung blew out. No pneumatic failures so far…

I met K in Lakeland Park (which is where the race finishes) and we had a bit of fun playing with Nate in the grass.

Blue eyes Flying HIgh *

All in all, a fun day.

* When I look at Nate’s expression in this pic I experience one of those optical illusions where depending on your perception the box is either pointing up or down. I either see him screaming with joy, or the terrible grin of an attacking gargoyle.

Our Nate goes to 11!

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Can you believe it!?
11th Month

He hits the big 1.0 next month Memorial Day weekend. We’re going to have a shindig, so if you can make it to town, let us know. The house is already going to be full, but there’s plenty of space in the backyard for tents*!

* Not to mention the dozen or so fine inns and getaways gracing the Village of Cazenovia.

A busy week!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

And you can tell how busy by the fact that it’s taken me until Wednesday night to get anything online from last weekend.

AND my sister can tell because we completely failed to acknowledge her birthday on Monday (we suck!)… and now we’re in that awkward phase of trying to decide when we should call.

Meanwhile, life marches on.

My cousin Lisa was in Ithaca, NY, for training so she came by Friday night to visit. We spent the day together on Saturday out and about in the Cazenovia area. After a Central Daylight Time breakfast, we went to Chittenango Falls State Park for a picnic and a walk. The falls are running strong with spring run-off, although we haven’t had any rain in a week or two.
Chittenango Falls (HDR)
Momentum
Lisa, Kristin, Chris & Nate (and falls)

We also walked around the village of Cazenovia and did a little shopping. We also tried out Nate’s new backpack transportation. I think I need to work a bit more on the adjustments because I felt like I was going to fall over backwards most of the day.
Chris has a new job

On Sunday, Lisa headed home (visit again soon!!) and after church we went to a “kite fest” at a local park. It was pretty low key, although there was a fairly decent amount of wind. Rather gusty though so the kites were fairly unpredictable. Just a few people flying fancy kites and several kids flying the normal little kid variety.
Framed
Kite flying above Cazenovia

On Monday (when I should have been calling my sister for her birthday {guilt}), I double checked all of my camera equipment for a photography gig Tuesday night. I borrowed another camera from a guy at work (an XTi) so I could run two setups with less lens swapping. It went fairly well and I came home with around 4.5 GB of images. That’s about 350 shots, of which I hope to get 50 good ones and maybe 25 really good ones.

The Fenner Windmills

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

As has been mentioned previously, we’ve been having a truly stunning run of nice weather here in the Syracuse area. Earlier this week we had a series of ultra-clear days, so I took a trip up to Fenner to get some shots of the wind farm there. You can read more about the Fenner wind farm at the windpower project website. Their site is somewhat limited, so you might actually glean more info from the pictures I took of their tourist signs*. The center of the farm is about 10 miles north-east of where we live, and is one of several wind projects in the area.

Sign 1 Sign 2

I’ve often been torn on the issue of wind power. People complain that they detract from the natural beauty of an area, which I can understand, but at the same time I find them to be beautiful in a sleek modern way. The turbines are a landmark that can be seen from any hilltop or vantage point in the area by day or at night (by the red collision lights perched on the hub). Of course, I generally get to view them from afar, not like the people who live in their shadow.

3 in a row A good neighbor?

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Don’t Panic!

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

As seen on SlashDot:

Unreleased Infocom games found including a sequel to the text adventure classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

If this doesn’t give you little chills in your cerebellum, well, then I just feel sorry about your childhood.

Rocking Horse

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

New Rocking Horse

An older gentleman at our church surprised us yesterday by dropping off this rocking horse he had made for Nate. It was quite a surprise! Nate has quite a few adopted grandparents in our church, for which we are very thankful. Nate took right to it, and quickly learned how to make it rock. I think he’ll be enjoying this quite a bit in the years to come. Thank you very much Mr. Daggett.

Here’s another picture that we took last Sunday of Nate dressed in his church clothes. We were ushers, so he needed to look his best to show people down the aisle.
Sunday Best

Gotta love Spring!

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

What a great day so far. How could it be bad when it starts like this:
Mmm... Pancakes

We had a bid of a thunderstorm last night, but today was partly sunny and breezy. It was warm (almost 60) so Nate and I went for a walk around the neighborhood (I walked, he rode).

Cruising!
Cruising!

Riding along.
Out and About

Watching the clouds.
Enjoying the Weather

Playing in the moonlight.

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

A beautiful warm evening here in Caz found me outside with the camera. A few shots for your pleasure:
The crescent moon plays tag with The Seven Sisters (The Pleiades, M45).
Moon and Pleiades

Fun with Orion.
200mm (cropped)
Great Nebula of Orion, M42
I really have to get busy with that tracker mount so I can up my exposures without blurring so much.

50mm (uncropped)
Orion

The Beehive (M44) 50mm, although this is a bit out of focus, it still makes for a pretty wide-angle picture.
The Beehive, Praesepe, M44