Friday, January 30, 2009

Chocolate sadness...


I had intended to title this post 'Chocolate madness' ...but some times life changes your plans. Hopefully it will be the small things, like this, and not the more important things in your life that change for the bad.

A local radio station, WHO, 1040 AM, has hosted a 'chocolate breakfast' for some years now. Program director Van Harden and the AM 'drive-time' co-host Bonnie Lucas are known for finding new and unique events to invite listeners to attend and enjoy.

Skating parties, tours of local mines (yes, mines in central Iowa), outdoor skating parties, silly money give-aways, decorating a listener's home for Christmas and on and on.

My wife and I had attended these 'chocolate breakfast' events before. They are similar to a 'home show' or other large auditorium show you might have attended in the past. Local food businesses bring samples of their chocolate specialties and the attendees/listeners can come and sample a wide variety of chocolate treats during the broadcast of the radio show. They always draw big crowds to sample the chocolate confections and candies being given away. The lines were often long but the spirits of the patiently waiting crowds was always high.

This year they moved the event to a larger building with the promise of no waiting outside in line in the cold Iowa January pre-dawn morning. Well, that was true, much shorter waits outside but the larger inside space just made a larger space for the line of visitors to snake through the building. First through the outer foyer and then into the main exhibit hall as the line continued to grow.

My wife an I waited perhaps 35-40 minutes in the outer foyer area before passing into the larger hall and seeing the line continued to snake back and forth. My wife had to be at work in less than an hour and it seemed like there might be a wait of at least another 35-40 minutes in there before even getting to the areas where the food samples would be shared.

So we bailed out of line. Disappointed of course, missing the samples, the AM chocolate rush, the chance to try some new treats, takes some pictures to share... Big disappointment.

There are several suggestions I have for the organizers of the event next year. I hope they are willing to listen. I know we are not the only ones who left early, disappointed with the organization of the event. I am trying not to whine here and it helps to realize it was just a silly little throw-away moment in life.

Oh yeah, the one crappy picture I snapped on the way in:

Did not get a chance to take, or feel like taking, any more... And do not ask me what the crazy flare is . . .I am not in the mood right now.

Anyway . . .my beef of the day.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

My desktop, January 23, 2009...


"Of three objects prominent in this thoughtful telescopic image ... two (the spiky ones) are nearby stars. The third is the remote globular star cluster NGC 2419, at distance of nearly 300,000 light-years. NGC 2419 is sometimes called "the Intergalactic Wanderer" ..."

Photo courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day, January 23, 2009.


Friday, January 23, 2009



I am not a 'help desk' worker, never have been one.

But I have tried, more than a few times, to help co-workers or my kids drill their way through a computer problem or two. I do not think I made things much worse than they already were...

But when I saw this cartoon on teh intertubes recently:

...I just had to laugh.

I am sure I will be thinking 'PEBKAC' about many things I see online going forward.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pimping APOD again...


I have it blogrolled there at the left, I make a point of checking it daily, and I pimp it out here all too often.

But I love the science, the beauty, the value of the photographs published daily at Astronomy Picture of the Day. This link is a bit clunky when you go there. But it dumps you on the main page for checking out the various offerings of the site, ranging from pics of the Cosmos, the Solar System, Space Technology, and more.

Most visitors access the site from the 'picture of the day' page. For instance, yesterday's image page:

This particular picture appears, at first, to not meet the usual high quality of the daily APOD pictures.

Until you stop to realize that it is a picture of the International Space Station taken from Earth..!! Indeed, the living blue of planet Earth is reflected from some of the panels on the Station.

APOD has several/many links in each day's picture text and you can soon find yourself wandering around website, forgetting what you had planned to do online just then.

Anyway . . .just another roll out of APOD by this blogger. I can guarantee you there will be more.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tell me again about 'global warming'...


I know it is a superficial take on the phenomenon . . .but given the below zero temperatures spread across the upper Midwest today ... tell me again about 'global warming'.

Image source: Weather dot com



Friday, January 9, 2009

Nine on the Ninth__January


Picture descriptions, top to bottom:

A garden frog sinks beneath a layer of snow-ice...

Dining room floor, rug, chair, shadows...

Hanging ivy plant and shadows on the wall...

A bowl painted/decorated/fired at a commercial kiln...

Close-up of our flag, purchased at this event...

Daughter's cube bookshelf with shadows...

Bookshelves again...

DVD cases on another bookshelf...

Flag, as above, w/o flash...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Postpone your love bomb's explode


It is always a little scary to go dumpster-diving into your e-mail account's spam folder. But sometimes you are missing a message someone swears they sent you ... so there you are. Time to lift the lid and start digging through the garbage.

Image source: stumptownpanda via flickr dot com

I would not be so upset with spam in general if they would not get so personal ...why they gotta bring my wife into it..??

"Your wife need attention? Solve all the problems with IT"

What..?!? This 'businessman' has been hacking her e-mails to her friends or eavesdropping on water-cooler conversations with her friends at work..?? How come I gotta here this from you..??

Other peeps think my girlfriends are suffering...

"You want to impress your girlfriend tonight?"

Another perv wonders the same thing in an earlier e-mail.

While many just keep it uncomplicated, not worrying whether my love is a wife or a girlfriend. But somehow they all know I need to make her happier:

"Make your hammering fantastic 8N907"
"Hey, are you the guy who cannot make love?"
"Make sure that you made your woman happy tonight"
"Give your lady crazy enjoyment"
"For those who want to satisfy their women"

And hey . . .when they start pointing out my possible ...'shortcomings':

"Worried that tiny size will get you down?"
"The longer your tool is, the longer your fun in bed lasts"
"Do you want enlarge yours penis?"
"Make it reach your knee"
"Natural large hose maker"
"Wanna get a larger boner?"
"Power up your package"
"Put on inches instantly"
"Easiest way to gain mass"
"Be happy with measurements"

. . .well hey, that is the last straw, you bastards..!!

Geezus. Why doncha just come over and kick sand in my face..?? After all this you want me to click your e-mail open and read your message, eager to 'turn (my) bedroom life into a volcano of pleasure' by sending my money to you..?!?

Fat chance. Which just happens to be my wife's answer to my desire to 'put (my) doughnut in her oven tonight.'

Anyway, my thanks to Adger, Anibal, Antoinette, Aldridge, Alain, Adan, Adolf, Alair, Adlai, Alic, Alastair, Alfy, Alfonso, Adair, Aditya, Al (Al Davis for crying out loud..!!) Albie, Abram (you all noticing a pattern here..??) and all the rest.

Now get the hell out of my e-mail account..!!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chillin' with the lettuce ladies...


I am sure you all have your own ideas about the actions and goals of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Myself, I enjoy the meat thing: steaks, grilled hamburgers and brats, sausage pizza. All the stuff that is surely killing me. Here in Iowa, where the hogs outnumber the people, the meat-eaters definitely outnumber the vegans and vegetarian.

Today, two young PETA representatives were in town doing their part to raise awareness of the rights of farm animals. I think all the meat-lovers in Central Iowa embraced them. The animal rights ideas I mean.

To call attention to their ideas they dressed in 'lettuce wraps' (essentially a bikini with a wrap skirt) and stood on a downtown corner in Des Moines to hand out free 'tofurkey' and lettuce sandwiches. This on a day when the January temperatures in Iowa were in the twenties and the windchill temps in the teens.

From the pics here you can easily see why this 'event' caught my eye.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get downtown and grab my free, and surely tasty, 'tofurkey' sandwich. Yum.

Here is the link to a short video by the local newspaper and an mp3 link to a local talk show that had the young ladies on as guests. You can imagine the friendly reception they got from the livestock farmers of Central Iowa.

I applaud the young ladies efforts and beliefs. Not sure they or their organization are getting to the real truth of animal farming or accomplishing anything substantive . . .but such is the American way.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Sexy panda..!!


Shamelessly stolen, err ...borrowed from car54 ...err Colloquy ...err Stacy.
(Damn, this girl has a real identity crisis..!!)

Some Barry White would have really 'sexed' this one up...

I feel almost silly for labeling this one 'Nature'... This video almost perfectly defines my sense of humor ... yes, it is dark and awfully silly in here.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quadrantid this..!!


While the Perseid and Leonid meteor showers seem to get all the publicity, there are a few others that make regular visits to North America.

One is the Quadrantid meteor shower that peaks in January. Somehow it does not seem especially enticing to be out in the elements in the middle of winter. But that does not stop some fools from staying up to nearly dawn and driving miles out into the frozen countryside to view a meteor shower in Iowa.

My daughter had seen an online article about the Quadrantid meteor showers that occurred last night and decided that she wanted to 'go see them'.

Okay . . ..

Image source: Spaceweather dot com

These showers are actually expected to be one of the best displays of this year, 2009. While some sources cite meteor rates of up to a hundred per hour for the Quadrantids, we saw nothing near that rate earlier this morning. Though we did see several that looked like this shot by another viewer of this morning's shower:

Image source: Jodie Reynolds via Spaceweather dot com

It was very peaceful out in the Iowa countryside, far away from the nearest farmstead or highway. That it was as cold as a walk-in refrigerator and the wind blew like a dervish was just a minor inconvenience.

So if you get a chance to go sit in the dark and cold with your daughter in the middle of winter ... go for it. What is the saying..?? Oh yeah . . .priceless..!!


Good things in small packages...


Sometimes good (and hot..!!) things come in small packages...

A picture of a seasonal decoration in our house: some glass bulbs, tinsel a woven basket.

Candles on my kids birthday cakes. Twins, boy/girl, turning 21 ...lots of candles..!!

Unwrapping presents, reading cards; where did my little babies go..?!?