Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Idol - Our picks and who gets kicked off

Here are our picks from Tuesday followed by the boot-off on Wednesday. If you haven't seen the elimination, you may not want to read any further than this...

Name----Dave---Shan--
Siobhan---Y------Y---
Casey-----Y------Y---
Michael---Y------Y---
Didi------N------N---
Katie-----Y------Y---
Tim-------N------N---
Andrew----N------N---
Lee-------?------?---
Crystal---Y------Y---
Aaron-----Y------Y---

Siobhan - this is the first time we liked her.... and no one else did. Yeesh.

Casey - Awesome job! Rockin it!

Didi - uh, no.

Tim - Uh, no.

Michael - Not a great song, but we're not kicking him off. LOL.

Lee - Not great, but like Shan said, better than some of the others.

Crystal - Man, she has such a great voice. Even on something soulful and slow. Man, excellent!

Aaron - I thought he did okay. Not bad.

Shan said, "Well, one thing for sure, they're a lot better tonight than they have been."

Didi, Tim, and Andrew are our bottom three. Let's see what happens:


Wednesday night - who is heading to the house??

Haha, Simon's comments with the Kracken - hilarious!

Lee - Geez, man, how long is he going to blabber here. SAFE
Casey - SAFE
Aaron - SAFE
Siobhan - SAFE
Katie - BOTTOM 3 - Wow, that is crazy. But she'll be safe.
Didi - BOTTOM 3 - No surprise there.
Crystal - SAFE
Michael - SAFE
Tim - BOTTOM 3 -
Andrew - SAFE

Bottom Three:
Katie
Didi
Tim

Safe: Katie - I am not surprised, and very thankful!!

Didi - Possibly out. I don't think they will save her. And do they? Of course not, as well they should not have.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daily Photo - Something Green

Today's DailyShoot challenge is to photograph an image dominated by the color green.  I knew at once I needed to photograph the collection of frogs in a co-worker's office.  She's a big fan of them, in case you couldn't tell...











"A little bit of the right temporo-parietal junction" doesn't have the same ring to it.

I heard a story on the radio Monday that scientists have evidently isolated a portion of the brain called the right temporo-parietal junction as the "source" of moral judgment. That is, when a magnetic force is used on that area of the brain, people are less likely to make decisions based on morality.

Some scientists and lack-of-religious-belief groups are jumping for joy because they believe they have proven (or are on the verge of proving) that people do not have souls, or at the very least do not "need" a soul.

A link to a related article is provided below, but let's take a look at what this could mean in the future of mankind:

  1. All religion is based in some form of morality or another.  It doesn't matter what one's beliefs are, what religion one subscribes to, the base is the same: one believes what one does because of the "right and wrong" of their religion.  Without a moral compass, there would be no need or desire for religion.  While this may seem like great news for certain groups, it is important to remember that, like it or not, religion and a society's rules and constructs are linked together.
  2. Religion aside, society makes laws and decisions based on what is deemed "right or wrong" for that society.  Laws regarding murder, vandalism, etc, is based on what is or is not acceptable behavior within a given society.  In the studies, only the final outcome determined what was "right or wrong."   
  3. Arts and humanities.  Well, I suppose we could take the word "humanities" out of there.  Think of some of the great works of art.  What do they mean to you?  What do you see, or more importantly FEEL when you look at the ceiling of the Cistene Chapel?  How about the photographs of Ansel Adams or the works of Georgia O'Keefe?  How about stories like "The Old Man and the Sea" or "A Christmas Carol?"  Without morality, there is no reason for art other than to record the passing of human existence on earth.  And even that is no longer the case if we remove the ability for moral reasoning.  We'd have no moral obligation to bother recording our existence.
In the study, people no longer deciphered moral reasons behind a person's actions.  So, a person who intentionally poisoned her friend was seen as the same as the person who accidentally poisoned her friend.  Likewise, the person who tried to poison her friend and failed was seen no different as the person who simply gave her friend sugar in her coffee.  A person who broke five glasses accidentally might be seen as deserving more punishment than a person who intentionally broke one glass.

You see, the REASON behind the action no longer comes into play when signals are interrupted or modified through the use of magnets.  What are the implications?  Like any bad sci-fi movie, we could see the rise of a select few people manipulating what we see and do and how we react (or not) through various devices.  That would be the extreme.  To a lesser degree, I can see a general breakdown in societies.  After all, if we have nothing to help guide us in what is "right or wrong" then ultimately what do we have to keep us from our own utter destruction?

One comment on the article from DailyMail.co.uk asks if morality has suffered as a result of cell phone use.  Now, that is an interesting question, though I'm not sure whatever fields are associated with cell phones are as powerful as the magnetic fields the subjects were exposed to during the experiments.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1262074/Scientists-discover-moral-compass-brain-controlled-magnets.html

Any thoughts?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Pap-Pap's Paintings

Before he passed away 10 years ago, my grandfather loved watching Bob Ross on TV. He also loved to try out techniques on his own:


These are three of his paintings that we received after he passed away. He did several others as well, but those were passed on to other family members.


One of my personal favorite is the one below:


I like it because it lives beyond the borders of the oval shape of the central scene.

I thought it would be fun to share these with the folks that stop by here. They are a little weirdly proportioned on here because my image editor wouldn't behave...

Daily Photo (Backlighting)

@dailyshoot #ds133 - backlit subject on Twitpic
Today's daily challenge is to shoot something with backlighting.  I chose this picture from our trip to Chicago in 2004 because it is one of my all-time favorites.  Emily was watching the Beluga Whale and I snapped her photo.  It wasn't until later that we saw just how cool this ended up being!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Daily Photo (D or S)


Friday's DailyShoot challenge was to take a picture of something starting with "D" or "S."  I decided to make it *and* instead!  Here we have Dave, Shan, and Skating!  Oh, we also have Daughter in there too!  To make sure he didn't feel left out, here is our Son:

Friday was a GREAT family day!  We ate at Taco Bell, then watched "How to Train Your Dragon (hey! another D!)"  After that, we bought a Shelf (an S!) at Lowe's then went Skating!  After all of that, went chowed down at Texas Roadhouse for supper!  And, as Emily said, "We brought FOOD HOME!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Idol - Who is going on tour?

SPOLIER ALERT! Do not read this if you have not watched the Top 10 vote.

You've been warned....


It is TOP 10 night!

Let's see who will go on tour this year:

Very nice opening to Wham!'s "Wake Me Up" - great job!!

Siobhan - safe - Not surprise given how catastrophic a couple other singers were last night.

Lee - safe

Casey - safe

Tim - BOTTOM 3 - Not surprising.

Paige - BOTTOM 3 - Not surprised at all.

Aaron - safe. I am letting grow on me, though I don't think he'll make it to final two. Maybe final five.

Didi - safe

Michael - safe - no surprise there. He could win the whole shebang!

Crystal - safe - Like Mike, she has a chance to take the trophy at the end.

Katie - BOTTOM 3 - WHAT!?  I don't see that.  Like Aaron, Katie is starting to grow on me.

Andrew - safe - He was bad. Really bad.

Bottom Three:
Tim
Paige
Katie - Whew! Though, I am not surprised she made it considering.

I am *not* a Demi Lovato fan. At all.  She overacts, over-reaches, overdoes everything.  Emily loves watching her in "Sonny with a Chance," and I think the show would be better without her. But, then again, I am not a Hollywood agent, producer or anything else, so take it for what it's worth.  Not a big fan of Joe Jonas either, but that's a whole other discussion.

I think both of the bottom two should go home. Can they do that? LOL.  There will be no SAVE tonight for sure.

Paige is out.  I just can't believe Tim is still in. Yeesh.

Some of the things we do on Spring Break

Tyler put an LED flashlight into his mouth and turned it on with the lights out.  It is much freakier in person. I promise.


These are the curtains I hung the other day. They really changed the whole look of the living room!

Emily and Shan play a little kickball!

Emily feeds the calf!
Everyone joins in the kickball game!

We're having a great time on Spring Break!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

American Slider?

We came in late to the party, so we start with Aaron and will try to catch up.

Name-----Shan----Dave--Emily
Lee-------?-------N------N--
Paige-----N-------N------N--
Tim-------N-------N------N--
Aaron-----Y-------Y------N--
Crystal---N-------N------Y--
Michael---Y-------Y------Y--
Andrew----N-------N------Y--
Katie-----Y-------Y------Y--
Casey-----Y-------Y------Y--
Didi------?-------N------Y--
Siobhan---X-------X------X--


Lee - Recap - uh, no.

Paige - wow, what a disaster.

Tim - uh, what up with the slide!? no.

Aaron - Wow! I thought he did great. I don't know what the other two did, but wow!

Crystal - Hmm. Wow, this was not Crystal's usual stellar stuff. In fact, I think she was close to forgetting lyrics or something. What a weird start. Once she got going, it wasn't as bad, but still it was off. And judging by the comments, we have no idea what we're talking about.

Michael - Man, I am so glad AI let him come back on after making him leave before the top 24 was announced. This guy is simply amazing.

Andrew - I'm not an Andrew fan. Emily said "Yes!" But, he actually didn't do bad on the song.

Katie - She did well, but it sounded like she was trying to swallow her tongue or something.

Casey - Not a bad rendition. Hard to compete with the original, though. I think he's doing okay this week. Better than he usually does.

Didi - Wow some serious overacting there. If the other bad ones hadn't been so bad, she could be gone. But I think she'll survive.

Siobhan - Whoa. She changed her look for tonight. At least she looks 'normal' now. Well, sort of. Best I've seen from her so far.

Spring Break

Ah, yes, it is that wonderful time of year for those of us in education - the spring break! This year, for the first time, every school in Arkansas is on break at the same time. This should have been done years ago. Of course, I happen to think everyone should be on the same academic calendar, have the same bell schedule, and offer the same classes.

As it is, at least we now have a state-wide spring break. If local businesses were smart, especially those like Magic Springs, they would capitalize on the fact that every child in the state is out of school. Offer parents incentives to bring their children to state parks, to amusement parks, to shop.

Ah well, what matters for me is that I am taking the week off to clean house, edit my novel and get it ready for submission, do some shopping, and play with the kids.

Have fun!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Catching up on Idol

These are the songs from last Tuesday. We got a little behind. So now we're catching up! It's amazing how many of these folks I do not recall at all. I don't know their names or faces.

Name------Dave----Shan---
Michael----Y--------Y----
Didi-------?--------?----
Casey------Y--------Y----
Lacey------Y--------Y----
Andrew-----N--------N----
Katie------?--------?----
Tim--------N--------N----
Siobhan----N--------N----
Lee--------N--------N----
Paige------Y--------Y----
Aaron------N--------N----
Crystal----Y--------Y----

Doing a Rolling Stones tribute.

Michael - "Miss You" - You cannot deny this guy! Awesome singer, great performance!

Didi - "Play with Fire" - Hmm. I'm not sure what to do with this one. Not great, not the worst I've heard. Shan and I both go with the question mark.

Casey - "It's all over now" - Nice country rendition of the song. He has a sound something of a mix between Travis Tritt and Bucky Covington. Shan said she liked it better as it went on.

Lacey - "Ruby Tuesday" - Man, her voice would get very annoying very quickly. I just can't get used to that high-pitched wailing sound. Aside from that, I don't think she bad I guess. Shan said she doesn't like the high-pitched whining. Exactly!

Andrew - "Gimme Shelter" - Well, we've found our first major "NO" here! UGH, this was awful.

Katie - "Wild Horses" - Slow…slow….slow…. come on…. Shan sorta likes her voice, but so slow. I just don't know about her.

Tim - "Under my thumb" - Shan said NO quickly. I let it roll around a bit and then decided I wasn't going to jump on the Urban wagon this time.

Siobhan - "Paint it black" - Hmmm… 'dramatic'… that means slow, right? Well, it started out that way. She is way too whiny for me. Waa-waa…

Lee - "beast of burden" - Nasal. Like he is trying too hard to sound something not quite unlike Bruce Springsteen. But, he doesn't pull it off. No, thanks. Next.

Paige - "Honky Tonk Woman" - Yes, yes. I like her voice, especially the little cracks. That adds a lot to this song. She reminds me of Miko Marks in a way.

Aaron - "Angie" - His voice is too high for this song. He comes back down every once in a while, but I don't see him making it much further...

Crystal - "You cant always get what you want" - I like her. She has an Edie Brickell sound to her, and yet not quite the same. Shan said it was a bad song choice. That could be... We both agree we like her voice, though!

-- NOW WE GET DOWN TO ELEVEN --

Paige - bottom three - whoa! what!?
Lee - safe
Siobhan - safe - jeez
aaron - safe
andrew - safe
tim - bottom three

I love "According to You!" WAHOO!!

Didi - safe
crystal - safe
Katie - safe
michael - safe
Lacey - bottom three
Casey - safe

Bottom three:
Paige
Tim
Lacey

Wow, Tim I can see, but the other two!? That surprises me.

WHAT!? How is the heck is TIM the one that is safe!?!? Holy crap! Man, we suck at this.

Lacey is in danger. That makes sense to me. Now, let's see if the judges pull a save. I don't think they will.

I figured Paige would have been saved if she had been at the bottom. Lacey made it farther than she did last year. We'll see what happens from here. Emily says, "She has FANS!? She got voted OFF!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daily Photo (1 foot off the ground)

Today's DailyShoot.com challenge was to photograph something from one foot above the ground.  So, after lunch, I sat down on the sidewalk where I park my car and snapped this.  It helps that I had washed my car during lunch!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daily Photo (So old, it's timeless)

Today's challenge - Something so old, it's timeless

I jokingly showed Bob today's challenge and asked if I could take his picture.  Of course as much fun as we like to have, he agreed!  He's a good sport!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Random Photos and Drive-by Shootings

I've been taking pictures lately but haven't been posting any. So, while hanging out in the hotel room NOT working on my novel like I should, I thought I'd share some of my latest photographs:

This is a photo of the front grille of our server rack. I also took a head-on shot, but this one is more 'artistic,' I think.


As you can see, not *ALL* hotels are superstitious!  This is a photo from the Cosmopolitan's elevator in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I wonder how many objections they get from patrons who are assigned the unlucky floor...


I almost deleted this, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked the way the mirror reflected the camera's flash.  It makes the elevator seem much, much tighter than it actually was.

On the way home from Fayetteville, you can see the nuclear power plant from I-40.  I took this while driving (sshh, don't tell my wife), and the juxtaposition of the giant power monster next to the plant that supplies the juice was uncanny.  (okay, all you Phineas and Fern fans can say it now: "and by uncanny, I mean COMPLETELY CANNY!)

This morning on my way to North Little Rock for a tech meeting, I watched the sun rise in my rear view mirror.  The photo does not even come close to expressing the bright orange light, but I liked the orange sun peeking through the mist behind me.

Racing past trees can get one dizzy even when looking at a still shot of the event!

When I turned on to I-30, the sun was beside me, rising in the distance...


Friday, March 12, 2010

Daily Picture (Go-Go-Gadget)

Daily Challenge - take a picture of a gadget

The daily challenge at DailyShoot.com was to photograph our favorite gadget.  While not necessarily my "favorite," the key fob has got to be one of the all-time great gadgets.  We can unlock the doors, open the trunk, and in the case of my wife's van even open sliding side doors and the hatchback!  It is hard to argue with that.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And so, we have out Top 12 Idol spots for 2010

Spoiler. I tell you who the top 12 are in this post. You've been warned.


Let's see who makes it to the TOP TWELVE!
.
.
.
.
.
Didi - makes it to top 12
Shiobhan - Top 12
Paige - Top 12
Katelyn - OUT, and after last night I have to agree.

Tim - Top 12. I think he'll be out soon.
Todrick - OUT, and yeah, now I remember why. Ouch my ears.
Lee - Top 12
Casey - Top 12. I think he could end up top 5.

Crystal - Top 12, and I think she has the best chance to walk away with it all.
Mike - Top 12, and I think he has the best chance of the guys to be the Idol.
Lacey - Top 12
Aaron - Top 12
Alex - OUT. Honestly, either Alex or Andrew could have gone and I wouldn't miss them
Andrew - Top 12

Katie - Top 12, wow. I did not expect that.
Lilly - OUT. Say what!? Wow, I am surprised.

Okay, we've got our top 12 and rally only two of them, for me, should make it through to the end.  Guess we'll see!

Daily Photo (Street Scene)

Challenge Photo - Street Scene

This is a shot taken with my HTC Touch Pro while sitting at a traffic light in Prescott, Ark.  There is a small park with a fountain and a mural.  Beyond the park is the Nevada County Library. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

VH1 Classic's One-Hit Wonders (The #1s)

While flipping through channels Wednesday night, I came across VH1 Classic's "One-Hit Wonders." I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.

First of all, these are "The Number Ones"

  1. Rock Me Amadeus - I love the song, especially the German-heavy version. I missed the whole "group sex" thing the host talked about.  I guess I never paid that much attention to the video. Or the song. Or something.
  2. Toy Soldiers - I had no idea what the song was about, but I never would have guessed it was about cocaine addiction. Again, shows you how much I paid attention then!
  3. How do you talk to an angel?  This was the song all the girls in high school sang ALL the time - rocker chicks, nerdy chicks, stoners - didn't matter.  They all seemed to love the song.
  4. I think we're alone now.   Yes, I admit it - I was a HUGE Tiffany fan in the 80's.  She looked like she could have gone to my school and for whatever reason, that and her music appealed to me.  Until this show, I had no idea she posed in Playboy. I really am clueless.
  5. Total Eclipse of the Heart - I loved this song and bought the cassette. I love the sound of a woman with a raspy voice and have no idea why - Bonnie Tyler, Tanya Tucker, Kathleen Turner, Kim Carnes, Stevie Nicks, etc. I didn't know Meatloaf passed on the song.  Knowing that, it is certainly a Meatloaf-sounding song.  See? I really do listen to everything.
  6. Rock On - I remember the song from "Dream a Little Dream" with Feldman and the recently passed Haim.  This was cruising music at its best for the 80's.  Crank up the volume, put the windows down, and cruise up and down the main strip in town.  As a side note, "Dream a Little Dream" was one of my favorite movies, though I tend to forget about it.  The best scenes are when Feldman does his Michael Jackson imitation in the gym and the end credits with him and Jason Robards. Classic.
  7. Lovefool - Well, as no surprise by now I'm sure, I had no idea this was a song from "Romeo and Juliet."  The soft, whispy voice is pure seduction even now when it comes on the radio.  There is the wanting and longing of love lost or on the verge of being lost.  All this set to an uptempo pop song that contradicts the words. Perfect formula for a hit.
  8. Bette Davis Eyes - Well, there ya go!  A few songs after I mentioned Kim Carnes, she pops up in the countdown.  Of course, the best version of this was done by Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat on SNL (you know, where the question marks come up on the screen!?).  I just noticed that neither Kim nor Bonnie were all that attractive... For me, the draw is definitely the voice.
  9. How Bizarre - Catchy, infectious, annoying... How bizarre.  
  10. Good Vibrations (Marky Mark) - I don't think I have ever even heard this song.  As it plays on the TV, I realize it is a little familiar, but really, I don't know how it made it to number one.  What the heck were we all on that week?

The not-so-sweet 16 on Idol

Okay, folks, here is our take on the ladies and the gents! Have fun!


Name-----Dave---Shan---Emily---Tyler--
Katie------N-----Y-------Y-------N----
Siobhan----Y-----N-------N-------N----
Lacey------N-----N-------N-------N----
Katelyn----N-----N-------N-------N----
Didi-------N-----N-------Y-------N----
Paige------N-----N-------N-------N----
Crystal----Y-----Y-------Y-------Y----
Lilly------N-----N-------N-------N----


Katie - Not a fan of her version.

Siobhan - I actually like this haunting version of "House of the Rising Sun"

Lacey - I am not a big fan of the 'babydoll' sound, and that seems to be where she lives. no thanks.

Katelyn - She looks like someone, but I can't think who. Like Melanie Griffith or something maybe? I dunno. Shan said she'd make a good backup singer.

Didi - Emily said YES right away. I, on the other hand, offer up a big sigh of boredom and disgust. Wake up when she go-gos… I'm so sick with singing slow-slow.

Paige - zzzzzzzzzzz…..

Crystal - Now, this is what I'm talking about! Groovin, getting into it. Well done!

Lilly - Holy cow. I was hoping for a great thing, but um no… Tyler said he sees a hippy chick when he closes his eyes. Shan says she sees Cyndi Lauper.

*Disclaimer - Tyler did not start watching until Crystal, but he said to mark NO for all the previous singers. That is my boy!

Here are the guys:


Name-----Dave---Shan----Emily---Tyler---
Lee-------N------N-------N--------N-----
Alex------N------N-------N--------N-----
Tim-------N------N-------X--------Y-----
Andrew----N------N-------X--------N-----
Casey-----N------Y-------Y--------Y-----
Aaron-----N------N-------X--------N-----
Todrick---N------N-------N--------N-----
Michael---Y------Y-------N--------N-----


Lee - Meh. Nothing going here for me.

Alex - Can you say "I sing through my nose?"

Tim - Man, come on… Where is the talent!?

Andrew - Shan said NO before Ryan even started talking after the break. What up with the guy singing all these girl songs!? Even Fox 16 didn't like him, they cut his audio! ROTFL!

Casey - Emily likes his name. UGH. Nah, I'm not into it. Shan likes it.

Aaron - Wow, what an awful, horrid start. And it did not get much better as he went on. He should go home. Really. Thanks for playing.

Todrick - Someone get their finger out of his butt - he is screaming like a cat with it's tail caught in the door. AUGH. We actually thought he had already been voted off.

Michael - Man, this dude is old school R&B all the way! Smooth voice, powerful soul. Excellent!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gettin' Random wit' it...

Do you enjoy the challenge of repetitive, almost mindless games?  You know what I mean - the games that you keep playing on Facebook or King.com or whatever that don't really challenge you, but you find insanely addictive. 

Well, I have found one such game that has been around for a while now and is supposedly getting ready for relase on the iPhone/ iTouch/ iPad format: The Amazing Flying Brothers.  The one thing that confuses me about the whole game is the fact that there are no "brothers."  There's one guy.  Or maybe, each 'new player' is a brother.  These are the things that keep me awake at night. Well, okay, maybe not quite, but you get the idea right?  I digress.


The premise of the game is simple: You have a trapeze artist that swings on one of the 'bars.'  When he swings to a certain point, you click the left mouse button and send him flying through the air (or not, depending on your timing).  The goal, of course, is to have him grab on to the other bar.  He doesn't really grab it so much as run into it, but the idea is the same.

To make the little guy swing harder, you hold down the left mouse button and "drag" him through the air.  For example, as he begins a downswing, hold the mouse button and drag downward.  Through experimentation, I have figured out you can also drag around down in a circular motion to help gain speed.  Let me tell ya, you can get that little guy moving pretty fast!

Then, when you want him to release, you click the button and WHOOSH! off he goes.  Of course, the more flips he does in the air, the more points you get if/when he catches the bar.  I have to admit, though, that getting up the speed and then pushing the button just as he comes down toward the ground brings a gidduy feeling of pure torture as the little guy SLAMS into the ground and skids across the floor.

There are YouTube videos showing folks doing amazing feats and racking up uber-high scores.  I am not one of them. I've barely broken 75,000 and that was only once.  You see, I am addicted to making the guy do stupid things.  And that usually means he's not landing anywhere near the swinging bars.


If you haven't see this yet, you can find a copy of the DRAFT National Education Technology Plan: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/index.html

There are some interesting tidbits in there.  The most reformatory (at first glance, I have not had a chance to read through the whole thing yet) is the move from "seat-time" to "demonstarted competencies"  - that is a move from sitting in class for 8 hours because you have to to moving up through the ranks based on what you can do and what you can demonstrate you know. 

It will be interesting to see how we 'teach' in that type of model.  If fully implemented, I see a future where students are no longer placed in 'grades' but are grouped together by skill set.  The students' ages could vary by 3 or more years within a 'classroom.'  This type of environment should also spell the end of NCLB, finally.  Or, at least not hold back those who excel simply because those who are not being left behind are holding back those advanced students.

Perhaps, once and for all, students operating below a certain level will be taught at their level with realistic expectations and will advance only as their own skills advance.  Meanwhile, students operating at or above skill level will learn, explore, and grow at a pace tailored (one would hope) to them. 

I'm looking forward to reading what else is in the plan!


Here's a question that has come up recently during a conversation: What is the optical zoom equivalent on a digital camera to that of "normal" human sight?  That is, when you take a picture with a digital camera, at normal (or none) zoom level, everything appears further away and much smaller than what you actually see with your eyes.  So, what zoom level provides "human-level" vision?  I have no idea. I tried searching, but cannot see to come up with the correct wording that produces and answer worth anything.

In case math is needed, here is a sample camera: 4.6mm - 110.4mm (24x optical zoom).  At which point along the 'zoom meter' would I get WYSIWYG photos?

I've seen that 50mm = 1x magnification, but then this also seems to be disputed as much as it occurs as "fact.


Anyone, anyone? 


Evidently, there is a surplus of new humans.  Or maybe goats.  I'm not sure, and I sure don't want either one.  I have two of each already!  I saw a similar ad at the local Movie Gallery:


Lindsay Lohan is suing E-Trade over the "milkaholic" commerical.  Seriously. She claims everyone is subliminally connecting her to the name Lindsay used as one of the baby names in the commercial.  Well, if E-Trade would like to hire me as an expert witness for the defense, I'd be happy to show up.  Frankly, I hadn't thought of Lindsay Lohan since her last mention on "The Soup," which even then was quite fleeting.  If I were the judge in the case, I would force Lindsay to prove that no one else in the world has her name and that no one else in the world ever named their baby that.  No, actually, I'd just laugh my head off and tell her to get a life.

If you just have to read the story, it's here:



A man claims his Prius had the accelerator stuck, causing him to go 90 mph down a twisting road.  My first thought was, "Wow, I didn't even know those little buggers could go that fast!"  My second thought was, "Yeah, right."  After hearing/watching/reading stories, though, it does make you wonder.

What I wonder is why the guy didn't just kill the car when it started racing out of control?  Just turn it off. Poof. End of story.  Instead, he evidently tried applying the brakes, tried lifting the gas pedal by hand, and eventually was instructed to apply the brakes and the emergency brake at the same time.  After the vehicle slowed, he turned it off.

Okay, future note for everyone out there: If your car starts to speed up uncontrollably, TURN IT OFF! No power = no go.  It's not a hard concept to grasp, really.  Is it?  Maybe so.




Saturday, March 06, 2010

Daily Photo (Food)

 
Photo for March 5 - Food!
The daily challenge yesterday was "FOOD!"  Of course, many of my photos are food-related, because, well, I likes to do some eatin'!  Today's photo was taken in the break room at work, where I was helping a group of non-traditional teachers.  As you can see, there is something for the health-conscious folks, and we have fruits too! (okay, okay, sad attempt at humor, I know)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The girls sing and we're down to the Sweet 16

This is a day late in posting, so you get both our take on the girls AND the results.

Tonight, the girls sing!


Name------Dave---Shan---Emily--
Crystal----Y------Y-------Y----
Haeley-----N------N-------Y----
Lacey------N------?-------Y----
Katie------Y------Y-------Y----
Didi-------N------N-------N----
Michelle---N------N-------N----
Lilly------N------N-------N----
Katelyn----Y------N-------Y----
Paige------N------Y-------Y----
Siobhan----Y------Y-------N----


Crystal is up first after going to the hospital last night. I am digging this girl's groove! Very nice!

Haeley - Ah, for me, it sounds like she tried to go R&B with it, but was stuck somewhere between country and R&B or something. And, I'm sorry, but the lisp just rubs me sideways. Should it? Of course not. But in a singer/performer, it does. Emily loved it.

Lacey - Hmm. Well, I'm not sure she sounds much different than the original version of the song. The high-pitched "cutesy voice" annoys me. Emily, on the other hand, just said she loves her voice. There ya go.

Katie - Emily is dancing up a storm to this girl and her records on. LOL. I think she's doing a very good job with the song. Not bad. Shan just said, "I think the girls are doing much better than the boys." I agree!

Didi - Ouch, a little flat there in spots (re, well, to my ears anyway). I tried REALLY hard to like this, but… no. I just couldn't get passed something in her voice.

Michelle - Whoa, okay, not thinking so here. Can you say nightclub? We like her, but this was way, way wrong.

Lilly - Man, I like her, but I do not like her version of 'change gonna come.' Man, what a bummer. Emily likes her name. And that she plays different instruments.

Katelyn - I don't know why, but I like her singing and playing the piano. She seems to be singing this from the heart, really into it. Emily liked her piano playing too.

Paige - Wow, "Walk Away" with a weird R&B twist. Well, until the chorus. Why change up the whole song and then fall back on the standard chorus for the most part!? I don't think this works. I'm sure the judges will disagree.

Siobhan - Wow, Aretha. Okay, so let's see. She's got some soul in there for sure. Man, I really like her voice. Not too crazy about the look, but she's got skillz.



Okay, let's see who gets the boot:

Wow, okay, I actually liked "I gotta feeling" very well done!

Tim - safe
Todrick - safe
Michael - safe
Casey - safe
John - OUT - not really a surprise
Lee - safe
Aaron - safe
Alex - safe
Jermaine - OUT - I can't remember just now what we said, but I would guess "OUT"
Andrew - safe

Lilly - safe
Paige - safe
Katie - safe
Didi - safe
Michelle - OUT - we all said no for this week, it was all about the song.
Katelyn - safe
Crystal - safe
Siobhan - safe
Lacey - safe
Haeley - OUT - I am not surprised

Daily Photo (Striped Patterns)

 
Striped patterns - today's challenge
Emily pointed at the dining room chair and said, "Hey, there are some stripes!"  I grabbed the chair and placed it up against the wainscoat (which is also striped!).  Of course, I had considered posting a picture of the DVD cover for a particular Bill Murray movie....

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

10 guys and uh....

10 Guys bring it on… or do they?


Name------Dave-----Shan------Emily----Tyler
Michael-----Y--------Y---------N--------?--
John--------N--------N---------N--------N--
Casey-------N--------Y---------Y--------N--
Alex--------N--------N---------N--------N--
Todrick-----N--------N---------N--------N--
Jermaine----N--------N---------N--------N--
Andrew------?--------N---------N--------N--
Aaron-------Y--------Y---------N--------N--
Tim---------?--------?---------N--------X--
Lee---------N--------?---------Y--------N--


Michael - I am so glad he was allowed to stay in the contest after his Dad's oopsie!  I like Big Mike a lot!  Emily wasn't sure. And then Mike sang "OW!" and she said No.

John - "Purple Haze, that's the name of my group…" Yeah, we got that.  Well, he is no John Mayer. 

Casey - Man, everybody does this song. Geez oh man.  Come on. "I don't wanna be" and yet, really, that's all this is - a wannabe song.  Nope, nada, see ay on the flip side of the bargain bin buddy. Well, the girls here like him anyway.

Alex - Emily said "uh no" before I could even get down here to type!  I am not feeling it. At all. Really.  "Everybody No's" - well at the least the title fit.

Todrick - Oh my gosh, what is he doing to this song!?  "What's love got to do with it" has been beaten, thrown into the blender and puked all over the floor. Other than that, I liked it.

Jermaine - The onezie!? I don't think so. Some people weren't likin' it! Shan said this is her biggest NO!

Andrew - Meh. I don't really have an opinion one way or the other, so I guess I'll let him slide with a question mark.

Aaron - I actually like this version.  A little heavy on the runs, but aside from that, I like it.

Tim - Emily's response to his opening line? "I don't" (miss the sound of your voice). Hmm, I dunno. Not great, not awful. What happened to all the "talent" this year??

Lee - Ah, yes, another wannabe.  Sorry, but if you can't pull off a song without sounding like you are whining the whole time, it's time to go home. Maybe he should have sung that instead. Sing it through your nose! Nice.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Today's Photo - Pepperoni Party

 
For supper tonight, Shan is making "Pepperoni Rigatoni" (only we don't have rigatoni and instead are using some other kind of pasta).  Emily grabbed some of the pepperonis and chewed the edge off one.  After she did, she wanted me to make this the photo of the day!  How could I resist?