Name that celebrity impersonator

Arm a man with a blue tuxedo and there is no telling what he can accomplish in life.

The new Accord

Speaking of cars…

We had to take Becky’s Odyssey to the dealership last week to get something to do with the braking system fixed. While there I saw the new Honda Accord for the first time.

I have to say that I was quite impressed. I had seen the pre-release photos and I HATED them. It looks much better in real life.

From a distance the profile looks like a BMW’s back-end and an Infiniti’s front. It’s a noticeable bigger car than the prior model and I believe the interior is taking cues from its up-market brethren at Acura.

All in all, a much more substantial car than any of its ancestors.

An automotive tragedy

The first time I see a new car model in the wild is always a special moment for me. Unfortunately, I witnessed an automotive tragedy a couple of weeks ago.

I really liked the look of the original Subaru Tribeca. My hands-down favorite part about the car was the funky front end:

I don’t know why but it looked “European” to me (code for: a lot cooler than most American cars).

Here comes the sad part…check out the 2008 model:

Apparently someone at headquarters didn’t like the old front end. The new one looks comparatively boring.


Throwing down the gauntlet

Im throwing down the gauntlet

The November 3rd Casa Grande Sprint Distance Duathlon or Triathlon:


And after your muscles have recovered, the December 8th Anthem Sprint Distance Triathlon:


Who will join me?

I havent done any bike or swim training so youd be in good company as we struggle toward the finish line.


The old house

The old house, with the International in the carport.

Women better than men at washing their hands

In a recent survey researchers camped out in public bathrooms in NY & CA and watched if 6,000 men and women washed their hands after using the bathroom.

Heres what they found:

Women = 88% washed their hands

Men = 66% washed their hands

Is anyone surprised?

From the 9/18/07 episode of 60 Second Science



My favorite song lyric

Devil and the deep blue sea behind me
Vanish in the air you'll never find me
I will turn your face to alabaster
When you will find your servant is your master

"Wrapped Around Your Finger"

Steve, Emily, Becky, and I went to The Police reunion tour concert a few months ago and had a blast.

Many moons ago Becky and I saw Sting for his "Mercury Falling" tour and paid about $25 a piece for the tickets. The Police tickets were almost an order of magnitude more expensive.

Me wantee 4

I'm a HUGE fan of convergence.

I really want to have my calendar with me all the time. Currently, I have to boot up my laptop anytime I want to check my schedule.

Having Google on my person at all times could make me unstoppable!

A fantastic beverage

Sangria Senorial is one of the most delicious soft drinks on planet Earth. Ask for it the next time you are out for Mexican food (or pick some up at your local Food City and dine in style at home).

This beverage also plays a staring role in the one and only time in my life I have had alcohol.

Since I was only familiar with the soft drink version of "sangria" I ordered one at a work dinner party. When it arrived in a large glass over ice (sans the bottle), I thought nothing of the familiar purple beverage. So I took one full enthusiastic drink of the beverage...and knew instantly that there had been a mistake. It was disgusting!

From that one drink my breath stunk of alcohol for the rest of the night. Especially embarrassing that this all occurred in front of my boss and co-workers.

Soft drink version = wonderful
Alcohol version = disgusting

My inordinate fondness for Arby's roast beef sandwiches

<<arby's sign.jpg>>

When I was in elementary school my mom would pick me up and take me out to lunch on my birthday. Unlike today, this was back when going out to a fast food restaurant was a several-times-a-year event rather than weekly (or daily in some families).

I always chose the Arbys on the corner of Hobson & Main. Sadly, it was demolished several months ago to make way for who knows whatmaybe a Payday Loan store. (That is what we need in this town -- more financial institutions that charge 390% interest annually on unsuspecting poor people. More on that topic in a future post.)

So that is how Arbys achieved a special place in my heart. My mom loved me and that is where she took me on my special day of recognition.


Hamburgers & Treadmills

I realize what I am about to say here is groundbreaking, but here goes…

I have found that it is far easier to get calories in the mouth:

Than off the body:


Me wantee 3

The Vita Mix blender.

I've seen this demo'ed inside Costco a couple of times. I'm always mesmerized.

Among other things, I want to be able to make really smooth smoothies, at home. The blender attachment to our Bosch broke a few months ago so I am currently using our lame, back-up
Oster blender (wedding present). The Oster leaves all kinds of pulp at the bottom after I'm done blending. Plus, I have to wear ear plugs when using it. It is deafeningly loud.

Pay attention next time you go into a Jamba Juice, Jugo Juice, or where ever. Odds are they're using a Vita Mix.


Finally, Affordable Housing

What sub-prime mortgage lending crisis?

(Picture taken on the way to Fossil Creek in beautiful Strawberry, AZ)

Caught in the wild: Intelligent life

The svelte gentleman's T-shirt says, "If I got Smart with you...How would you know?"

I can't remember if I took this picture for the T-shirt or the excellent pre-teen mullet specimen.

(Taken at Old Faithful in Yellowstone.)



You never know when watching cartoons will require water wings and swim goggles.

Sam wants to be ready at a moments notice.

Caught in the wild: Nice spoiler

After I graduate from the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving I might be ready to drive this sweet Taurus.

Who knows, this car might still be too much for me to handle. I will probably need to attend the Skip Barber school, as well.

Caught in the Wild: Super Truck

I think this guy is compensating for something here.

Is it really necessary to have a Freightliner to pull a boat?

Dental hygiene

How many toothbrushes does one family need?

I have four kids old enough to brush their teeth. By my count there were over 20 toothbrushes extracted from the kid’s bathroom.

I knew I should have become a dentist

Never to return

Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again?

Me wantee 2

The Garmin 405 GPS watch with heart rate monitor.

It tracks your training runs and allows you to pace against yourself (on prior runs over the same course).

Plus...for years I have wanted to map my life. I think it would be cool to have a map with dotted lines showing your travels during your stay here on Earth.

In short, very cool. :-)

And very expensive. :-(

Mega Mini

Compared to the Smart Car, the Mini is enormous.

(From Andrew & Reachel's current vacation in Europe -- as in, they are there right now)


Stop the insanity #2

Don't let the fact that you live in the Western United States (where, for some reason market penetration is much lower) prevent your brain from being exposed to the most fascinating deluge of stories, events, news, analysis, and information. Start listening to NPR today: 91.5 FM in the Phoenix metro area, a cornucopia of NPR podcasts on iTunes.

I actually run into people who not only have never listened to NPR, they don't even know what it is. Unbelievable! I've been hooked since I was 16 years old.

Becky owes at least one speeding ticket to the fact that she was so totally immersed in a story about the Liar Bird she didn't noticed the police car.

Stop the insanity #1

If you don't already use Wikipedia multiple times per day it is time to take off the camel hair shirt, stop the self flagellation and start using it.

It has been said that it has 90x more content than a traditional encyclopedia but that it is only 90% as accurate. I think that "weakness" is mitigated by the fact that it is also 9,000 times more up-to-date.

If you don't agree with what you read there -- change it!

Me wantee 1

In an attempt to stave off Alzheimer's...


For those of you who haven't been there in a while...

I think I was 9 or 10 the last time I visited Grandma's grave site.


Product innovation #1

I LOVE noticing new and interesting innovations in the marketplace and I will be posting some of my observations on this blog. Here's one I saw last night at Target:

It has air freshening beads in the base. I'm not saying this is going to be a big hit or anything, I just like seeing what product designers come up with.

(If I could rewind time -- and knew that the discipline existed at the time -- I might have majored in Industrial Design in college. Instead I made the only other logical choice = Accounting.)

BTW -- I love the story about how the Method soap company came into being. I wish they still sold the inverted bulb dish soap bottle that started it all:

And I wish I had come up with the idea...

5,000,000 steps

I bought this Sportbrain pedometer on clearance at Wal-Mart for $10 right before Thanksgiving 2005. I have worn it almost everyday since.

This pedometer is different from regular pedometers in that it hooks up to your computer and links to the Internet. So you not only get your total steps for the day but you also can see a graph of when (time of day) and how active your day was. Plus, it stores your information for a short period of time so you don't have to write everything down if you are trying to track things over time. Like I was...

Being a semi-nerd (or to use the term my wife prefers, "funk-nerd") , I have been tracking the results for almost two years now. I walked 4,830,499 steps in 2006. My goal is to exceed 5,000,000 this year. I need to average 13,699 steps per day in order to do so. My YTD average is 13,834. I'm almost always over 20,000 on Saturdays. My record day was 33,246.

If you want to get REALLY serious about tracking how active you are, you can upgrade to the Body Bugg:

Unfortunately, it is both expensive to buy and requires a monthly fee to use. But if you're serious, it could be worth it.

P.S. I was having a "How was your weekend?" conversation with one of my co-workers, who also happens to have this same pedometer, and I mentioned that my family took things slow on Sunday as part of our observance of the Sabbath. She immediately asked to see what my Sunday pedometers numbers looked like and I was a bit embarrassed at how "active" I was on my supposed day of rest! Kind of funny. The Pharisees and Sadducees would have loved this thing.

A surprise in my lunch

I found this pleasant surprise at the bottom of my lunch box on Friday:

I am happy to report that the peach was delicious and we did go on a bike ride Saturday morning.


A perfect mess

At various times in my life I have been accused of being anal retentive about my “space”. I hereby present prima facie evidence that I have been falsely labeled:

That is not to say that I do not aspire to having an orderly workspace/home office/garage/closet. However, I think a lifetime spent living with perfectly delightful right-brained people like Jason and Becky, has expunged 90% of any remaining orderliness from me.

P.S. "A Perfect Mess" is on my reading list.

You sunk my laptop!

Until recently, both Becky and I used laptops (she now has a gorgeous new iMac). A little while ago I came upon Sam, as pictured here (click to enlarge, if necessary):

When I asked him what he was doing, he responded...

“I’m working on my ‘puter”

This is an encore of a post I put on the Craig family blog a few weeks ago.

Just don't let a teenager drive it...

A 2001 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 16-year-old drivers have a crash rate three times higher than that of 17-year-olds, five times greater than 18-year-olds and almost 10 times greater than drivers ages 30-59.

Upgrading the family car

The Honda Odyssey is starting to cramp Becky's style. Maybe she needs the new Austin Martin…


Time warp

Heidi with Leisel and now Ashley with Leisel's new baby, Berlin.

The pictures were taken >20 years apart but at the same location in front of my parent's house.

Ashley emailed this out last night under the heading "Double Vision" and may post about it elsewhere...very creative. Thanks.


Things to do while you’re alive

I like the recent Visa Signature card print ads I have seen in many of the magazines lying around the house (incidentally, we subscribe to WAY too many magazines):

I think it is an effective ad; at least effective from the point of view of the ad agency. In no way am I motivated to go out and get a Visa Signature card, but I have lingered on their print ads much longer than a typical ad and I even went to the associated interactive web site (click here). My interest all had to do with the Life Lists featured in the ads.

A week or so ago I heard an interesting segment on NPR’s Talk of the Nation about “Life Lists”. I guess the trend started in earnest with bird watchers who wanted to check-off birds they had seen in the wild (if you search “life lists” on Amazon, birding books will be among the highest results shown). Now there are a slew of “things to do before you die” books and even a movie or two in the works on the same topic.

Here are some audacious things on my non-comprehensive lifetime To-Do list:

  • Visit Machu Pichu
  • Learn to ride a unicycle
  • Learn Spanish
  • Visit the pyramids at Giza
  • Sky dive
  • Run a half marathon (maybe a full one too)
  • Climb the Tetons
  • Do an Olympic distance triathlon
  • Beat the turkey at least once more
  • Visit the natural history museum in London
  • Visit the Louvre
  • Travel to Jerusalem
  • Return to Japan
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Go on a cross country motorcycle trip with my brothers
  • Attend the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
  • White water raft down the Snake river again
  • Return to Lake Powell
  • Teach all of my kids how to ride a bike
  • Ride California Screamin’ with Jacob
  • A week at Disney World
  • Touch a Redwood in the wild
  • Buy and learn how to use an SLR camera
  • See Mt. Rushmore
  • Visit all the Smithsonian museums again