Archive for August, 2006

more on the state fair

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

I mentioned that Emma and I were at the Minnesota State Fair last week. Today there’s an interesting thing in Slate on the evolution of the Minnesota State Fair, which mentions a few things I hadn’t written about.

Another thing for today – ages ago I read something about calculating your age in hours using Excel, and working out when you would hit certain milestones. I had forgotten that I’d put a calendar reminder in my phone about this, so this morning I was cheerily notified that I am three hundred thousand hours old.

airfix no more

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

This is a sad story: Airfix crashes and burns. I used to love making Airfix planes when I was younger, although I wasn’t very good at it – rather impatient about painting first, getting the glue in the right place without melting the plastic etc. But it was still totally engrossing and I’d spend hours trying to build them. I guess kids today have better things to do.

follow-up on fish news

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

I’m sure you were waiting with baited breath about the results of the fish slap thing which I posted a couple of weeks ago. Well, from the BBC: Man slapped in face with wet fish.

Great quote from the woman who slapped the bloke in the face with the fish: “It is kind of a dream of mine.” This actually makes sense in a way. Your dreams are seldom linear and often don’t make a whole bunch of sense. Alexei Sayle said once that he wouldn’t actually enjoy the holiday of his dreams because it would involve floating in the air and landing in a swimming pool full of green rabbits etc etc.

monthly search report

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Here, for your interest, are the top 20 search terms which people used to reach this blog in the last month:

powerpuff girls
mogendorff
andrew mogendorff
powerpuff
hyoooh
the powerpuff girls
bay arabian
grandparents walking hand in hand
the mogenblog
mogenblog
i 90 green card
toby tree
downtown bangalore
why toddler stammer
wallace and gromit close shave google video
toby glass
hggggggggg
toddler stammer
andy mogendorff
india china impression

Some rather odd ones there I’m sure you agree. I have some interesting readers.

monday

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Trying to hit the ground running at work today with some success I hope. I had a couple of meetings cancelled so got around to some admin stuff I’d been meaning to do for ages, and I’m even catching up on filing emails – I try to keep at most 30 in my inbox but for the last few weeks it’s been up at around 270.

I think it helps that we had a great weekend. On Saturday we played some soccer in the park with Toby, then I tried to fix the dripping tap/faucet in the kitchen to discover that the thread of the bold which needed to be tightened was worn away, so we needed to get a whole new fixture. So quick trip to Home Depot to get a new one (plus doors for our soon-to-be upgraded bedroom closet) and back home to install. I only needed to go back to the hardware store twice for things I didn’t have which is not a bad rate for a fixing project. I’m quite pleased with myself for replacing it successfully, even though it wasn’t a particularly hard job.

On Sunday I skipped church to go kayaking with a friend – we went around Lake Harriet a bit, then to the river near the soon-to-be-closed Ford truck plant to paddle about and enjoy the workout of going upstream. Also I experienced the fun of staying upright when a speedboat has just zoomed past – I was a bit nervous the first time but it’s actually a really good laugh to bounce a bit. A few of us went out for brunch then we took Toby to a discount cinema to see Cars again – his and my third time and I must admit I’m getting a tad bored with it. He, on the other hand, still loves it and got another Cars themed thing – a flashlight to have in his room in an attempt to keep him from getting up after we’ve finished reading his bedtime stories and turned off his main light. It’s worked two nights in a row, so we’ll see.

butterflies

Friday, August 25th, 2006

I was just IMing with my friend Kristi – she was telling me about her trip to the State Fair yesterday where Emma and I also went and spent most of the day and got about 100 pounds heavier on deeply fried food. We also saw a lot of animals, from cute fluffy bunnies to a 1,000 pound pig to some extraordinarily tall horses. And some really fat (short-armed) Minnesotans.

Kristi went to the butterfly tent, which reminded me about a conversation I had with Toby this morning. He was talking about the plants in our garden and how they were recovering from the heavy rainstorm last night. He said, “You know daddy, butterflies go to the flowers and they pick up the … the juice and they take it back to their houses and make the leaves and put them on the trees. From their butterfly hives”.

Bonus Toby story: After the storm he and I wandered over to the Wedge to get coffee and stuff. He was very happy to be wearing his raincoat, and as we were walking back I noticed he was talking into his sleeve. I listened closer: “Hello, is anybody at home? No! Who said that? Me, hand. Don’t be silly, you can’t talk!”

juxtaposition

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Ah, the liberal media. Our local paper had the following two headlines suspiciously close together yesterday:

Bush lands in Twin Cities [referring to the President's visit to fundraise for a particularly evil right-wing Republican senatorial candidate]

next to:

Fumes send 19 MSP airport workers to hospitals

non-fish news

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Due to the lack of fish news lately, here’s some exciting, stop-the-presses cows news.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

That’s supposed to be the sound of a humming bird. Since I’ve moved here I’ve seen a lot of the garden stores selling humming bird feeding containers, but I’ve never seen a humming bird. However last weekend we were at some friends’ for dinner, hanging around outside, when a beautiful tiny iridescent bird hummed over, hovered for a bit and then zoomed away. Really cool thing to have seen.

new tech

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

I finally got round to buying a webcam last weekend – it irritatingly doesn’t work with the Mac as well as the PC, but we have it set up in the home office so hopefully we’ll be doing video calls with family soon.

Also because it was bonus week at work last week I finally got a new DVD/stereo. The old one stereo had done really well but the CD player totally wasn’t working and it didn’t integrate totally well with the other things we have – DVD player and TiVo. Well I suppose it did but it was not as easy as it could have been.

So after having done a lot of research for many weeks I decided on the Denon S-101 which is just an excellent machine. I set it up last night and it was all fairly easy. Sound is great, picture quality seems good too and it has some nice features, one of the main ones I’m noticing is that it changes the output processing based on what you’re doing – it’ll do the surround sound for a DVD or TV but will switch to regular stereo for the radio or a CD. Also it integrates really well with the iPod, and actually better than any other system I’ve read about. When you plug in the iPod it displays the iPod screen on the TV, so you can navigate through playlists etc – every other system I looked at would only control play and pause so you had to do the actual selection of a playlist on the iPod itself (and also many others won’t play music you’ve purchased from iTunes). The only very slight criticism is that the port for the iPod connector is on the front and it would have been nice if they’d also hidden one away on the back, but that’s pretty minor. Needless to say the cats were fascinated by all the new unpacking of boxes and clearing out of space and they were also very helpful in the setup process.