Archive for October, 2008

what’s for lunch?

Friday, October 31st, 2008

On the menu at our work cafeteria today: Aviyal Wrap w/Spinach, Saffron-Mango Basmati Rice, Minted Yogurt Dressing and Pineapple-Mustard Salad or Potato Chips. Sounds pretty good to me.

coens

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

My Facebook status post from this morning has generated a few comments, so I thought a quick blog post would be in order.

On the walk in to work this morning I noticed that the street a couple of blocks from the house was full of trucks and trailers. It turned out that the street was in the process of being transformed into a movie set, and that it’s for the new Coen Brothers movie, A Serious Man. In fact as I was walking by and checking out what was going on, Ethan Coen himself walked right by me (he seemed fairly preoccupied, or maybe just cold, so it didn’t seem the right time to be quoting Big Lebowski lines at him (warning – sweary words in that link)).

It looked like they were planning to film in and around this fantastic building on the corner of LaSalle and Blaisdell:

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they like to move it

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Some funky middle-aged Finns:

busy day

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

For a Saturday, today turned out fairly eventful. After a great dinner with friends last night at the Quang Vietnamese restaurant round the corner, the kids slept pretty well, and as a result so did we. After breakfast I had to do some home repair – I think that the plumbing work in the basement caused the kitchen tap to get some gunk in the workings, so it was leaking a lot. A quick dismantling and reassemble and we were all set.

We had to go out to get some supplies, so a Costco trip was in order. We also needed to go to the Post Office, but on the way we had a bit of an accident – I was just outside the parking lot, when the driver of the car in front and to the right of me must have realized that she missed the Post Office parking lot entrance, so swerved into my lane, then stopped and reversed right into the front of us (even though I was honking the car horn as she was reversing). It was a low-speed impact: some scratching, minor denting and a turn signal broken on our car, but still a bit of a pain and enough to make you a bit shaky. Toby was kind of upset, so Emma took him to the Post Office to do what she needed to do while I called the insurance company. Fortunately the other driver was hugely apologetic and cooperative, so here’s hoping that there are no issues.

Anyway, we went for a bit of lunch to regain our collective cool, then did the shopping, then hung out at home for a while, followed by a trip to the park, then dinner, bath for the kids, and now they’re quietly asleep. We also trimmed Dara’s hair for the first time. It seemed a bit of a shame when she doesn’t have much, but she was developing a bit of a mullet, so it was more just a tidy at the back, and looks a fair bit neater now.

Actually I’m re-reading this post and realizing that the day was really neither busy nor eventful. Still, we’ve gotten this far and I’m not really in the mood for editing.

evolution

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Update to that bizarre picture I linked to earlier. Firstly, McCain was indeed not wearing a flag pin – with all the fuss the Republicans were making about Obama not wearing one earlier in the campaign, how come it’s OK now for McCain not to wear one?

Also, the AmericaBlog ran a caption/photoshop contest for people to update the pic. Here’s my total favorite – apart from it being funny, it’s a neat metaphor (I’m sure you could have worked that out for yourself). Click the image to embiggenate:

Evolution to Obama

Evolution to Obama

almost done

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Well the last presidential debate was last night, and by various measures the debates have been good for Obama. The instant polls from various news outlets, particularly CNN and CBS, showed strong support for Obama’s performance. In fact you could say that at this point the following image sums things up:

It’s from Reuters: “US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008.”

UPDATE: Just a minor detail but it looks like only Obama is wearing a flag pin. Does that say anything about being there for the country?

new basement progress

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Well the basement renovation is continuing apace. So far we’re really happy with how it’s going. Overall here’s what’s happened:

Demolition of all the walls, shelves and bar. Tear out of old wiring, replaced with new. Installation of drain tile and sump pump flood protection system. Removal and improvement in sewer piping. Moved the gas meter to outside wall, removed old gas piping and replaced with copper. Removal of all old water piping, replaced with copper and PVC pipes, with huge improvement in water pressure to the upstairs bathroom. Vapor barrier installed around walls. Wood framing installed for walls. Insulation installed for walls. New lighting and power outlets installed.

Next steps are for the new walls to be built, and the new laundry tub to be installed, then new flooring, then painting.

First week pictures are here; latest (week three) are here.

obama zen

Monday, October 13th, 2008

A well-thought article in the Times from Andrew Sullivan on Obama’s calm and political judo, and how these things have helped him. My favorite paragraph:

Obama rarely directly attacks. He subtly baits. His most brilliant rope-a-dope of the entire campaign was against Bill Clinton in the spring. In a newspaper interview, Obama cited Ronald Reagan as the last transformational president. He didn’t mention Clinton. The former president was offended by being implicitly dissed, took the bait and unleashed a series of unwise public scoffs at the young Democrat, culminating in a dismissal of Obama as another Jesse Jackson. Suddenly, black Democrats abandoned Clinton’s wife, and the Clintons’ base collapsed. Obama merely stepped out of the way as the Clintons self-destructed. He didn’t just end their campaign; he helped to bury their reputation.

Not to mention “He does his thing, raises masses of money, keeps his staff in perfect order and focuses on issues and themes.” There’s quite a contrast in this race at the moment.

tycoon

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Some light relief – this screen capture from Roller Coaster Tycoon is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in ages (from today’s Bleat):

photos

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

This time not my pics – an awesome collection of photo art from a friend of a friend. Here’s his portrait of my friend Kjetil: