Oct 31, 2007

Halloween for the non-costumist

Let me begin with Tuesday night. Shan's Mom came over and asked if I could take the images in her camera and set them to the "Gilligan's Island" theme, timing the ones with various employees from the pharmacy to the song. See, they took their pictures with their faces in a life preserver, like the show. Of course I can do that. Could I then burn it to a CD or DVD to play on the portable projector she brought from a co-worker of hers? I'm sure I can do that...

Before I get too far ahead, I had never sen the projector she brought before last night. It is called a "Zoombox." Okay, once I saw the name (actually, I had to search the net for "Tiger Electronics DVD projector" since the goofy thing is not branded!). Anywho, I do remember seeing these in Target for like $300. No way would I pay $300 for a 640x480 projector. But, you can pick them up on the 'Bay for about $100-$175, which isn't too bad, really... I mean, it IS a DVD player and projector in one...

So, I create a video, matching the faces to the appropriate places in the song and I create a DVD-ready movie. My computer has an HP 740b LightScribe DVD burner. For some reason, though, it will only burn CD's and will play anything. But, it will not BURN and DVDs... I looked around online for solutions - upgrade firmware, reinstall drive in Device Manager, etc etc... Nothing worked. I went to bed.

Fast forward to Halloween morning. I woke up, got my laptop out of the truck and burned the DVD. After that, I popped it into the projector to make sure all was well. It was! :-)

After that, I donned my "costume" for work. Yes, I threw on some jeans and my orange "I Don't Do Costumes" T-shirt. I have to say, my shirt received a lot of comments. Okay, a lot of snickering, I should say. :-)

Tyler did not go trick-or-treating this year, so Shan and I took Emily. She dressed up as a cowgirl in pink and white. An absolute doll! :-) She received lots of comments on her outfit!

We visited various friends and family before hitting the streets for candy. By the time the night was over, Emily had racked up on the Laffy Taffy, which she loves, so it worked out. We did not strike it rich with the chocolate until Shan's Mom came over to see how things went - SHE brought lots of chocolate! :-)

One thing I did today was to show the magnitude of my creativity at work by editing the logo on the DL portal to match the holiday:

As you can see, my creative talents do not stretch very far - I added a dropping spider and changed the globe into a pumpkin. I thought it was cute, and I'm the web site admin, so that's what counts. :-)

One thing I stumbled upon today was a 3-D stereogram (is that redundant?) INTERACTIVE Tetris game! Yes, you have to play while your eyes are unfocused so that you can see the falling pieces and move them around! Talk about cool!!

Math Jokes (site) (Beware, some of these are serious groaners...):
Teacher: What is 2k + k?
Student: 3000!

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin Pi!

New York (CNN). At John F. Kennedy International Airport today, a Caucasian male (later discovered to be a high school mathematics teacher) was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a compass, a protractor and a graphical calculator.
According to law enforcement officials, he is believed to have ties to the Al-Gebra network. He will be charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.

It is only two weeks into the term that, in a calculus class, a student raises his hand and asks: "Will we ever need this stuff in real life?"
The professor gently smiles at him and says: "Of course not - if your real life will consist of flipping hamburgers at MacDonald's!"

In a speech to a gathering of mathematics professors from throughout the United States, George W. Bush warned the academics not to misuse their position to force their often extremist political views on young Americans. "It is my understanding", the president said, "that you are frequently teaching algebra classes in which your students learn how to solve equations with the help of radicals. I can't say that I approve of that..."
When the math professor's wife returns home from work, she finds an envelope on the living room table. She opens it and finds a letter from her husband:

My dearest wife,
We have been married for nearly thirty years, and I still love you as much as on the day I proposed. You must realize, however, that you are now 54 years old and no longer able to satisfy certain needs I still have. I very much hope that you are not hurt to learn that, while you're reading this, I'm in a hotel room with an 18-year-old freshman girl from my calculus class. I'll be home before midnight.

Your husband, who will never stop loving you.

When the professor returns from the hotel shortly before midnight, he also finds an envelope in the living room. He opens it and reads:

My beloved husband,
You may recall that you, too, are 54 years old and no longer able to satisfy certain needs I still have. I thus hope that you are not hurt to learn that, while you're reading this, I am in a hotel room with the 18-year-old pool boy.

Your loving wife.

P.S. As a mathematician, you are certainly aware of the fact that 18 goes into 54 many more times than 54 goes into 18. Therefore, don't stay up and wait for me.

And, the last math joke I'll post:
The mother of already three is pregnant with her fourth child.
One evening, the eldest daughter says to her dad: "Do you know, daddy, what I've found out?"
"The new baby will be Chinese!"
"Yes. I've read in the paper that statistics shows that every fourth child born nowadays is Chinese..."

From CreateBlog.com comes:
Companies that didn't spend quite enough time considering how their online names might appear...and be misread. (Feel free to misread the URLs!!)

1. Who Represents is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. Their web site is www.whorepresents.com. (Gifts for that 'special' someone)

2. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at www.penisland.net. (Now we know where all that SPAM is coming from!)

3. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at www.therapistfinder.com. (I guess there's a market for everything)

4. The First Cumming Methodist Church Web site is www.cummingfirst.com. (No sloppy seconds...)

5. And the designers at Speed of Art await you at their wacky web site, www.speedofart.com. (The sound a swimsuit makes?)

Stick a fork in me... I'm done.

Oct 30, 2007

I really should write things down

I've had several "Man, I need to write about that!" moments over the past few days. But, did I write them down? Of course not. So, what we have is a guy who is trying to maintain the integrity of cataloging random thoughts all the while he is FORGETTING what those random thoughts were! AUGH! So, I'll just see if I can force my memories to return. And, if that fails, well, who knows what else I'll come up with!

For starters, we bid farewell to Porter Wagoner. He passed away on Tuesday night. I really didn't get into country music until about 1990 (ironically or coincidentally about the time Garth stormed onto the scene). My Mom would listen to the Oak Ridge Boys when I was a kid, and I remember some country music and some "stars" - Dolly, Kenny (that's Rogers, kids, not Chesney who wasn't even a glint is his Daddy's eye back then). Anyway, I think I remember seing Porter on TV a couple times maybe. As I got older, I knew of him and that he was "some big gun in country music," but that is about the extent of it. For those of you who missed that part of musical history, I don't know what else he did (other than release a zillion albums or so) but it is my understand, he is the one responsible for bringing Dolly Parton onto the scene in the first place. I'd say that's a pretty big deal... From his web site:
Porter passed away peacefully last night, October 28, 2007, at 8:25PM Central Time, in a local hospice. All of his friends here at Gusto Records are deeply saddened by his loss. Porter’s family and his friends here would like to thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Country music and the Grand Ole Opry will miss not only Porter’s music, but also his stage presence and his infectious smile. We will always hold him in our hearts, and his musical legacy will live on forever.

I decided to let y'all see the scanned article from the "Hope Star" newspaper regarding the 2007 ARDLA Award:

Why, you ask? I dunno... Why not? :-)

One really cool thing that is happening next week is Megaconference IX. This is a one-day world-wide videoconference. It is going to be super cool getting to see, talk to, learn from, and visit with people from all over the world throughout the day! It's happening on November 8th, and I was one of the first folks from Arkansas to sign up, and then somehow managed to light the fire for other folks in the state to join in! I've already heard from one district that is bringing six of their French students to the event!

In the middle of writing this, "The Singing Bee" came on, so I saved this and went to watch, followed that up with some "Biggest Loser" and then "Boston Legal." Somewhere in there, I went to pick up Tyler because he was coming home from their final football game. They won, which this season seems to be no surprise... The 7th and 8th graders of Prescott went UNDEFEATED this year!! How cool is that!? Congratulations to the Curley Cubs!

Speaking of "Biggest Loser," has anyone else noticed the blatent ad placements in shows these days? How about an ad for milk? Wait, how about an ad for Zip-Loc Steam bags? I'm sure there was a third, but by then I was so desensitized to them that I must have let it blend right in with the show. Anyone remember the "old" days when you had to cover up the name of the cola? Or better yet, get creative with the 'brand' of cola? No more - let's throw Desani water right at you ("When you are stuck at your desk all day, do curls with your water bottle." The water? Aquafina or something). For a long time, I thought ad placement was "cute" (Reese's Pieces in 'ET' - a HUGE mistake by the M&M guys!). I even spoke up when people were bad-mouthing ads in video games. But, now I have seen the light (a GE one, I'm sure, and not one of those stupid 'earth-friendly' jobbies either!). I am sick of blatent advertising. Look, place your products in shows and movies, just don't beat me over the head with it. I'm not an idiot - I'll see the thing when I watch. In fact, I may get so anti-ad that I'll personally ban buying anything mentioned specifically in a TV show! ROTFL, those of you that know even a little will see right through that little ditty! Like I am going to stop buying Coca-Cola... Yeah, right... Hey, I should be charging all those companies for mentioning them in my post!

After all watching the shows of the evening, Shan read that Robert Goulet had passed away. I don't remember him, but do recognize the face. I have to admit (well, okay, I probably should NOT admit this, but what the hey) when she said "Robert," the only person that came to my mind was Elliott Goulet, which, it turns out, is actually named Elliott Gould. Like Shan said, "When you Google 'Robert Goulet,' how come it doesn't say 'Did you mean Elliot Gould?'?" That's what I'm sayin!

NBC and their 'sister' comanies are "Going Green" next week with some baloney-dog environmental crap on every show they run. I'm going to ned a stack of Mr. Yuk stickers, because I know I, for one, am going to be sick.....

Oct 28, 2007

Let the predictably bad headlines begin

Shall we start with the obvious: "Sox Rock Rockies" or "Sox Blow Socks Off the Rocks" maybe? Oh, I can see them now... Copy editors (or whoever chooses headlines) were chomping at the bit to see which "witty" headline they could spew forth before some other paper does the same. In fact, by the time this is posted, there will already be stupid headlines all over the place.

You would think, since the Indians are in the AL, that I would *want* the Botox Bosox to win. Uhh... No. Congratulations, Sox, I hope you get your butts kicked next year - by the Tribe or ANYONE else! :-)

How long is a week?

One of the blogs I started reading was the Cincy Reds Cards Blog. Well, after like 2 or 3 posts, the author said they would be gone a week and then start posting again. I responded twice - once to say "see ya in a week" and once to say "where the heck are ya?" At first, I was kinda ticked that I had bothered to list it as a site I visit, bookmark it, etc... Then, I began to wonder - Perhaps something happened to the author or the author's family, and suddenly, a blog about baseball cards just didn't seem important anymore... I'm hoping the author simply found something else to do with his/her time... LOL, I'm sure some of you might wish the same for me... :-)

"London Tipton has a rule, has a rule..."

I do not remember what started it, but for some reason (or perhaps for no reason whatsoever), I was singing "London Bridges" to Emily. Not long afterward, we heard her in her bedroom singing, "London Tipton has a rule, has a rule, has a rule... London Tipton has a rule..." (and I did not hear the finish of it).

For those of you unfortunate souls that have no idea who London Tipton is, she is the hotel owner's daughter on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." It's a kid's show that seems to be playing on our TV as often as Hannah Montana, even in the absence e of children...

My Mom and I drove to T-Town to look at gravestones, headstones, memorials, whatever you want to call them, for Dad. We nearly drove right by the place because it is kinda small and, frankly, looks kinda junky... Well, that's not quite right. It appears to me that it was once a car dealership, judging by the way the building appears. Anyway, instead of cars in the front "lot," there are memorials.

As weird as it seems, the whole scene was not freaky at all. And, the best part, the purveyor let us look around for a bit before finally coming out and introducing himself. He looked like a better-groomed version of Grizzly Adams to me (though his beard was white). These connection were further fueled by the fact that this guy had a HUGE moose head hanging in his "showroom" plus there were some other animals (one was a deer, for sure). I don't believe I have ever seen a furry animal even close to the size of that moose, and all I was looking at was its head and neck. The rack on the thing could have easily served as a cot (or a place to hang one, anyway).

(My 'artistic' representation)

I feared there would be a lot of tears, and possibly worse - and not just from me, either... But, the whole thing played out in a weird kind of dance - some personal moments mixed with the methodic choosing of icons for the markers. Dad is getting golf clubs and Mom is getting a custom one with books and an apple. The owner even asked us about Dad's Veteran marker, which we knew nothing about. He said Mom would receive an email in a couple days with a sketch of the headstone for final approval or changes. Not many tears, but a lot of thought....

I was truly surprised at this. I mean, this place looks like it stopped moving forward about 30 years ago at least, yet, here was this guy telling us about the computer design, emailing mock-ups, etc... A little bit on the surreal side.

If you've been following along, you know my absolute love of the Texarkana Sprint Store (yes, that is sarcasm). Well, I went there in order to pick up the battery for my wife's phone. No, of course they never called her to let her know it was in - that would require the "service" part of "customer service." They don't really believe that is a required word, so long as the word "customer" is in there. After all, customers mean money in, service implies money out...and we can't have that, now can we? I digress. I signed and waited my turn. The lady behind the counter was the one who waited on us last time. How nice. I told her I was there for my wife's battery. She said something about a phone. I said, "No... You wouldn't let us have a new phone, so we had to settle for a battery." She went to the back and return a bit later with a battery.

We met Shan and everyone else at Golden Corral for lunch. I happen to like GC very much, and it evidently enjoys me so much, it decided to hitch a ride on my shirt. You see, as I was loading up my plate with "Amazing Pot Roast" (their words), somehow I managed to sling gravy or juice or whatever it was across the bottom right half of my shirt! Yeesh. The service was great, the food was delicious.

Before we ate, we had walked over to Cavender's western store to buy some things for Emily. She's gonna be a cutie for Halloween! :-) I looked at black felt hats, and I am not willing to shell out $150 for a hat... Heck, I don't even want to pay that for boots...

I spent Friday in Camden, at my old stomping grounds, in a meeting with K12 Distance Learning providers. The meeting went as most do, but at lunch I got some very sad news. Mrs. Ward (whom I have talked about before, and whose husband passed away last year) lost her only grandchild a couple weeks ago (on October 13, 2007) to a tragic gun accident. If you know Mrs. Ward, you know how deeply heartbreaking this is for her. His obituary and online guestbook are here: http://www.legacy.com/News-Journal/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=96225964. He was a good kid, and he and I played on computers when he would come to visit Mrs. Ward at the Co-op when I worked in Camden. Our hearts go out to Mickey (his Dad) and Mrs. Ward.

Oct 25, 2007

A few things...

Okay, here are a few things that popped in my head, so I figured it best to share...

MP3 Songs on my player (in the order they are on the device):
Nothin' Better to Do (LeeAnn Rimes)
So Small (Carrie Underwood)
First Redneck On The Internet (Cledus T Judd)
First Time (Lifehouse)
Home (Daughtry)
Online (Brad Paisley)
The More I Drink (Blake Shelton)
Dirty Water (Standells, maybe)
All My Friends Say (Luke Bryan)
Bubbly (Colbie Caillat)
Playground In My Mind (Clint Homes)
When You're Gone (Avril Lavigne)
If Everyone Cared (Nickelback)
Teenagers (My Chemical Romance)
Rockstar (Nickelback)
A Woman's Love (Alan Jackson)
Wasted (Carrie Underwood)
What if Cartoons Got Saved (Chris Rice)
Dirty Water (Not same as above, but I forgot who sings it)
Girlfriend (Featuring Lil' Mama) (Avril Lavigne)
The Heat Is On (Glenn Frey)
Good Directions (Billy Currington)
Hey There Delilah (Plain White T's)
I Don't Dance (High School Musical 2)
If You're Reading This (Tim McGraw)
Centerfold (J. Geils Band)
Wild Wild West (Kool Moe Dee)
Boondocks (Little Big Town)
Mary-Anne (Adam Richman)
The Great Unknown (Miko Marks)
Not Like This (Small Change Romeos)
Picture to Burn (Taylor Swift)
Should've Said No (Taylor Swift)
This Is My Now (Jordin Sparks)
Find Out Who Your Friends Are (Tracy Lawrence)
White & Nerdy (Weird Al)
It's All About the Pentiums (Weird Al)
What Time Is It (High School Musical 2)

Snoopy Fashion Show!? Got an email about a bunch of designers selling Peanuts-inspired outfits. It was something like, "Snoopy hits the runway" or something. I got it because I get all kinds of eBay junk mail, and of course the "fashions" are being sold on eBay (for charity). Some of the outfits are cute and you (meaning I) could actually tell who the character was supposed to be. Others were totally lost on me, even after I read who they were SUPPOSED to be. Oh well, fashion was never my thing anyway! LOL!! Those of you who have known me for a long time will remember my "Parker Stevens" looks... ouch!
Here's the URL if you want to look: http://stores.ebay.com/snoopy-in-fashion

Speaking of eBay auctions, Topps Vault is auctioning off original artwork paintings by Dick Perez. The paintings were used as the basis for the 2007 Turkey Red cards. Perez has been around forever, or it feels that way anyway. He has been doing baseball cards (and other sports) since before I was even born. I think there will be an Indian or two eventually (if I haven't already missed them!), so I may be tempted to bid... :-)
Wanna see what's up right now? Here ya go!

Oct 24, 2007

Be afraid... Be VERY afraid...

Okay, so as life would have it, my "Scary, Halloween" post comes a week early. Whatever... See, as I have been reading the other blogs I visit, I have come across some weird stuff, and being the nice guy that I am, I thought I'd share it with you. (By the way, my teacher would have killed me for writing such a long run-on sentence in High School...or College for that matter!).

(You really need to click on this to appreciate it)

You, too, can have your name generated with 1974 Topps Scary Initial Stickers: Just go here! Oh, if you're not up for the history, just scroll to the bottom of the page. That site also has some of their cards, too. You can hunt around their site, find the clues/cards, email them the urls and you get some kind of bonus card or something.

I also stumbled across a neat little toy for the Star Wars fan who happens to be a zombie lover as well:

Yes, that is a zombie-fied Darth Vader you're lookin' at there. There is also a zombie-fied Princess Leia, but the pictures don't really capture the wonder - at least, that's my opinion...

I can't remember if I said this or not, just just go along with me here...

At Wal-Mart the other night, we saw an orange shirt with "spooky" text. It read, "I don't DO costumes!" I think I'm getting that to wear to work next week... :-) I tried to find a picture of it, but I couldn't.. If I buy it, I'll take a picture and post it. Why not, right?

Things were moving slowly this morning, so I was running a bit late when it was time to take Tyler to school. As I got in the truck, I looked over my shoulder and noticed that Daisy was standing with her two front legs on the wrong side of the fence. The fence was on the ground. Now, this is just a barbed wire fence connected to steel posts. But, she looked like she was ready to make a break. Or, more to the point, she looked at me as if I had just caught her sneaking out of the house.

I gave her some food, hoping that would coax her back into the pasture (it did) and then I jumped in the truck and took Tyler to school. I already had an appointment to do some troubleshooting in the Prescott HS distance learning lab, so I went ahead and took care of that. Before I headed for my next school site, though, I drove back to the house. Daisy was still inside the fence. Looking around, I realized that one of the long, heavy metal blades (off a tractor or something) had fallen down, causing the corner post to lean, which in turn meant the wire had sagged to the ground. I got the blade back in place and grabbed the wire pliers to tighten up some of the fencing. Remember, I am dressed for work - khakis, blue pullover, etc. Once that is done, I hop in the truck and head to the next school. Nothing like mending fence in between school visits! :-)

Did I tell you? The BBQ chicken came out GREAT! The kids loved it, Shan loved it (though it was a taaaad spicy), and I think it is the best BBQ sauce I've had in a while! I'm not usually a pitch-man, but if you get the opportunity to try Paula Deen's Southwest BBQ sauce, go for it! :-)

Oct 22, 2007

Jumping ship (or why Dave shouldn't cook - again!)

Okay, let me get this off my chest, and then it will be time to move on: It was, apparently, NOT Tribe Time Now. I watched as the Indians came close to tying the game (of COURSE Skinner should have sent Lofton home, DUH!) and continued to watch as the Red Sox put their collective foot on the gas pedal, burning rubber and leaving my beloved team in the dust.

The players and administrators of the Red Sox surprised me with their remarks, talking about how classy the Indians are, what a great TEAM they are, how hard a fight there was. Frankly, I was surprised. I expected trash-talkin' and gloating. Of course the Sox celebrated, but they did it while tipping their hats to the Tribe.

I wanted the Indians to win. It's been a long time since I watched as many games as I did this year, especially during the post season. Ryan Garko has a blog at MLB, and the comments left by the readers are touching and sometimes poignant. Yeah, there are some stupid people cussing and gloating or whatever, but for the most part, Indians fans and Red Sox fans congratulated Garko and the Tribe for an incredible ride this season. A couple people even admitted to crying after they knew it was over, even before the final out.

There is something special about being a fan, a true-blue fan, of a team - whether baseball, football, pro or semi or college. Even though you may not have any real bearing on the game or the players, you FEEL like you do. You feel as if those folks are a part of you, and when you see them with tears running down their cheeks after a tough loss or you see them dancing like maniacs after a victory, it is as if you are there with them, sharing in their pain or joy.

I have been a Cleveland Indians fan for many years, most of my life, really. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and though the Pirates have a special place in my heart, nothing compares to the attachment I have to the Tribe. After Game 4, I saw my team change. Something happened, and though they tried to get passed it, they never did. That is not to say our guys did not play hard. Not at all! They played their hearts out, but were ultimately unmatched. I have loved the Tribe though pretty rotten years (can anyone say 1980's?), and through some pretty great years. I will always be a fan of the Tribe. Get some rest, boys - let's get back here next year!

While in Nashville, I picked up some of Paula Deen's sauces and spices. So, for supper tonight (Monday), I had decided to marinate some chicken in her BBQ sauce. Yes, I am aware now that most people do not marinate in BBQ sauce, but that had not occurred to me. Anyway, Emily was upset when they got home because she wanted steak (gotta love that girl!). So, since the chicken was marinating, I decided it could keep doing that and I opened the steak and broke out the Southwestern Rub. We fired up the indoor grill and put on the steaks.

These are(were) very thin steaks. When it came time to flip them over, one of them tried to slip down between the "slats" of the grill. I saved it. A few moments later, I realized that I had not seasoned the side that was now the "down" side. So, I flipped the steaks over to season, and then flipped them back again. Stay with me...

One of the steaks (a different one than the previous escape-attemptee), slipped between the "slats" (I have no idea what he metal 'rods' on a grill are called). I tried to rescue it, but it continued to dive until it was effectively doing a head stand in the water at the bottom of the grill. Our grill requires water be placed in the bottom to help prevent drippings from scorching the sides of the grill.

When I tried to rescue the steak from drowning, it folded itself in half, as a means to mock me, and landed squarely in the water below. Without so much as a whimper, it fully submerged itself, lost forever. It had jumped ship, perhaps too spicy for human consumption.

I looked up my numbers for the Tennessee lottery. I lost. Not even a consolation prize. Maybe next time... :-)

Oct 20, 2007

Home again and Blogger Woes

Made it home safe and sound! Slept in my own bed finally!! :-) Emily had a friend sleep over Friday night and they were so cure running around, just being little girls. They drew pictures, talked, played, and slept under Emily's fold-up teepee. :-)

Saturday, Shan and Emily had an invite to go to Magic Springs (amusement park in Hot Springs, I think), so Tyler and I just hung out. I cleaned the house. Oh, Mom and I went up to Dad's grave and cleaned up a little. Next week, Mom is going to look at headstones. I'll let you know what we find!

Indians play tonight, so let's see if we can convince the PLAYERS that it truly is TRIBE TIME NOW!!

I can't post pictures with my blogs right now because Blogger is having some kind of meltdown. Figures. On the other hand, you get what you pay for, right?

Oct 18, 2007

Almost Outta Here!

It is Thursday night. We are just about ready to get outta Nashville. The rain is pouring down in sheets and the wind is blowing all over the place. The city and surrounding areas are under severe thunderstorm watches and warnings and tornado watches and warnings. Yee-haw... :-)

Today's keynote speaker was awesome. He is the guy behind the X-Prize project (you know, the group that paid 10 million dollars to the first private organization/individuals that could build a reusable personal spacecraft). He has the same passion for what he does as when he was in 5th grade and wanted to be an astronaut. Very inspiring!

The breakout sessions today were okay. Those of us that have been to NECC agree that the NSBA conference is nothing like NECC. Amazingly, several of us agreed that the Hot Springs conference is better than this one has been. I think as those of us in Arkansas realize that we are doing cutting-edge things, the more we realize that WE should be presenting at these conferences instead of simply ATTENDING them...

John, Marilyn and I could have easily done an hour-long session on what Sharepoint has meant to us and the different features we each use to reach our audiences and meet our needs....

I am ready to go home. I don't remember the week-long conference in San Diego feeling as long as this one has. I did get quite a few trinkets while walking around, and I snagged 6-10 T-Shirts that I can bum around in...

The Indians got smoked tonight. I hope they pull their heads out of their butts and get things working for the next game!!

Oct 17, 2007

You know it's a caricature when.... (Wed, Part 2)

...the cartoon DOG has more muscles than I do in "real life." :-)

We ended up eating at "Cock of the Walk" for supper. It's been a long time since I've eaten at one, so the presentation was little different... They bring you tin plates and serve your drinks in tin cups (Marilyn called them "prison cups"). The food is all brought out on one big plate and everyone eats their "share" off the plate. They also brought us fries, hush puppies, cole slaw, and cornbread. It was all very good!

Went to Opry Mills Mall after that, where we did a lot of walking around, and I bought an Indians wallet and a window cling. I wanted a "Tribe Time Now" towel, but those are "game only" items. So, I did what any red-blooded American fan of the Indians would do - I looked on eBay. :-) I bought a white one, though I'd really like a red one, and may eventually bu a red one to go with my white one... :-) We'll see....

Tyler's homework brought up a question we were hard-pressed to answer. It seems easy enough, but the book's "correct" answer did not match ours: The band IS/ARE polishing their instruments. I was always taught that a group of people represented by the WHOLE is treated as the singular form of the word. thus, my answer: The band IS polishing their instruments. The book says the answer should have been ARE... I tried looking it up and I only got more confused, as I found that both ways were shown as acceptable. So, the truth is obviously somewhere in between. In retrospect, I wonder if the answer is "ARE" because of the word "their." Here is my thinking: The band is polishing ITS instruments vs. The band are polishing THEIR instruments. Notice the difference? When "the band" is treated as a single group ("ITS" instruments), the modifier used should be "IS." But, when "the band" is treated as a group of people ("THEIR" instruments), then perhaps that is where the modifier changes to "ARE." For a person that studied English as much as I have, you'd think I would know the answer... I don't. :-)

While shopping, John and I went into Bass Pro Shop. Talk about being out of my element. At one point, we found ourselves looking at the big fish tank they have on display with live fish. John is talking about the perch, and whatever other kind of fish they had, and then he asked me what kind of fish was the one he was pointing to. I looked at the fish, looked at John and said, "uuuuhhhhh... a fish?" Followed by, "And, really, for as big as that sucker is, I'm not even sure of that right now!" Yes, I am clueless when it comes to anything 'outdoors.'

After that, we decided to look at boats. Let me just say that when a boat costs $25000+ WITHOUT the motor, that is way too much for me! We saw a party barge with a fridge, freezer, bathroom, and upper deck. You SAVE $10000... Your cost ('cause *I* sure ain't buyin it): $40000+. Yeah, I don't think so.... Heck, even a "little" bass boat (simple, aluminum) was $17000! RRRRRTTTTT!!! Wrong answer! Thank you for playing! Next!!

Live from Nashville - Wednesday (Part 1)

Pictures from the keynote presentation. Well, before the presenter got up there (some lady who used to be some big wig with Cirque du Soleil).

I was hoping for a mini-Cirque show, but the presenter showed some video clips. One was very funny of a clown-boy and an audience member from one of their shows...

Pictures of folks at the T+L Conference:

A couple of pictures from the Gaylord. The last one was taken as I was waiting for my comrades. I looked up and saw the flag waving through the glass panels of the atrium. Very cool! :-)

Today was much busier than yesterday. The lines at lunch were way too long to stand in, so John and I found the little sundry shoppe and bought Cokes and chips. Not a great lunch, but it leaves us more room for supper! :-)

After "lunch," we went into the exhibit hall and waited in line for 40 minutes to have caricatures done of ourselves by a local artist. I think we are going to try and take pictures of the "artwork" and I'll post the results here... Otherwise, I'll scan mine in and post it later when I get back home... Stay tuned!

Pet Peeve #352: Hotel Room Cleaning. We arrived back at the hotel around 3:30 or so. When I opened the room door, our beds had not been made and our towels had not been replenished. Excuse me!? At 3:30 in the afternoon!? I learned a valuable lesson: Hang the door thingy that shows the "HEY, DOOFUS, THIS ROOM NEEDS CLEANED" side to the hotel "help..." Jeez. So, it turns out the workers were in the next room, so I asked them about our room. The girl I talked to went and got another girl, who came into the room and started cleaning, etc. I did not want to sit there while she was working, so I went downstairs for a bit. After a few minutes, John and I came back upstairs, but the girl was still cleaning our room... At that point, we just decided the heck with it and camped out in the room (read: fired up our laptops) and she eventually got done without saying two words... I hate it when the hotel workers talk so dang much you can't think straight, she was driving me crazy with all her blabbing (yes, that is a SERIOUS session of sarcasm there, folks - that girl did not say a single word while we were in there)!!

Oct 16, 2007


Slam-jammin another 7-run inning!

The El Camino of Food

Pictures from the Gaylord Hotel/Convention Center:

Today marked the first official day of the T+L Conference in Nashville. Since our workshops didn't start until 1:00pm, we decided to head over around 10:30am or so to check in, look around, and eat some lunch. Many of the pictures above are from standing near "Stax" (the burger joint where we ate). After lunch, we divided up and headed for our workshops. My workshop was titled something about "Models of Learning" or something. In reality, it was a discussion about 1-to-1 computing. And, in actuality, it was basically a guy showing us different ways he teaches Math to his students. I was disappointed, but even more so after hearing Marilyn talk about how cool her Open Source workshop was (they even got free flash drives and CDs with software). I took notes and have stuff to share with the boss when I get back, so I guess that is the main thing...

Marilyn found one of the TIE Cadre Members in her workshop (Stacey). After the workshops were over, the four of us headed to a restaurant called "Santa Fe Cattle Co." It's one of those "peanut shells on the floor" kinda steak houses, and it was very good food. During supper, we noticed that an older woman at the table across the way had ordered chicken-fried steak. I despise chicken-fried steak. I like my steak to taste like steak, and my chicken to taste like chicken. I do not want chicken-batter-fried steak.. UGH! Stacey said that chicken-fried steak is the El Camino of foods - it's not sure just what it wants to be! I couldn't agree more!

Oh, for supper, I had a 9oz steak, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and a garden salad with bacon-chipotle dressing. For dessert, I had some kind of apple Carmel thing with ice cream.

Seeing as how I was stuffed after supper, and that the Indians are playing tonight, I came back to the hotel room. The original plan was to go back to the Gaylord to check out the welcoming festivities, but that ain't happenin for me! :-)

We'll see what tomorrow holds...