Happy Birthday Sophie

Halloween 2006
9:00 AM...

2:00 PM...

Halloween 2007

It was a DELICIOUS cake!

It has been quite a year. We can't imagine life without Sophie!


The Planet Zarcon

We traveled for thousands of light years from our home planet of Zarcon -- utilizing only the most advanced eco-friendly technologies -- to make it to this Halloween party.

Light Sabers

Within minutes of arriving at Shandon & Darlene's party, the various Jedi and Sith Lords found each other and proceeded to battle with their light sabers!
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I just haven't felt like myself recently.

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Black Licorice

Sophie found an abandoned piece of black licorice and decided she liked it!


Me wantee 5: The Walkstation

I just saw this in the latest issue of Business Week:

I love it! (...for work, not home)

I saw an obesity researcher on TV a few months ago who had rigged up something similar for his work desk. He said he walked 8 - 10 miles everyday while at work.

Andrew, it looks like someone beat you to market on this one.


UPDATE: After our Sunday dinner conversation, this idea does not obviate Andrew's idea -- it validates it.

The cleanest part of your body

Someone anonymously posted about what might be the cleanest part of the human body (see the comments in my earlier hand washing post). Well, strangely enough this topic has crossed my mind recently...What is the cleanest part of my body?

Here's my official nomination: my hips -- as in 3 or 4 inches below my belt line on either my right or left side. They are covered essentially 24/7 and never interact with the outside world in any significant way.

There you have it. Anyone want to top that? (Exterior of the body only. I understand most of the interior of the body is considered "sterile")


300 Miles per gallon

As you can see its a practical, family car


They will be available in 2008 for less than $30,000.

Disneyland Advice

We are seeking Disneyland fun-maximization advice

· Is there a specific time of year when it is least crowded?

o Ive heard the week after Thanksgiving or the first full week of December are both good

· Do you know of some secret source for low-priced entrance tickets?

· How can I minimize my expenditure on food inside the park?

· Any hotel recommendations?


Update: Two awesome websites related to Disneyland

Annual attendance figures (answers, "When is the best/worst time of year to go?" question):


A software tool that plans which order to ride the attractions to minimize your wait time:



Don't get used to using the word use

I was just writing an email and got stumped on the conjugation of the word use:

      I use to be a lion tamer.


      I used to be a lion tamer.

The voting was split 50/50 when I queried the neighboring cubes.

I scoped the dictionary and am now fairly confident that the ed version is correct.

Ill probably forget this in 6 months and get stumped again.


Music to the ears

I realize I am a far cry from being hip on the music scene, so most of what I am about to share is probably very stale-dated to my more musically aware friends. But here goes…

My favorite song of the past 12 months: "Dashboard" by Modest Mouse. Most songs/artists take me 3 or 4 listens before I am ready to pass judgment, yea or nay. This song was immediately likable.

Runner up: "Four Winds" by Bright Eyes. (Conor Oberst’s guest DJ appearance on All Songs Considered was interesting (link also takes you to streaming “Four Winds”)

My favorite recently discovered song: “Cap Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend (download free from their website 3/4th of the way down the page)

Favorite "new to me" artist of 2007: Sufjan Stevens. “Casimir Pulaski Day” is a good place to start with him. His Austin City Limits performance was unbelievable! Look for it to be re-run sometime. Amazing. I want to learn to play the banjo now.

Runner up for “new to me” artist for 2007: The Decemberist. Start with “The Crane Wife 3”. Check out their interview on Fresh Air here.

My favorite "new to me" artist for 2006 was: Jamie Cullum. I like “Photograph”, “London Skies”, and “My Yard” from Catching Tales and All at Sea (his biggest hit) and “Next Year Baby from Twentysomething. His performance on Austin City Limits was also a lot of fun.

Favorite music podcast: NPR’s All Songs Considered

Runner up: MPR’s Current Song of the Day (Minnesota Public Radio not NPR) has some occasional gems.

Fresh Air also frequently features musicians. The Arcade Fire interview was interesting. Gene Simmons’ (KISS) was one of the weirdest of all time.

Favorite music related TV show: as evidenced by multiple references above, Austin City Limits on PBS. In addition to Sufjan Stevens and Jamie Cullum, the Coldplay, Ben Folds, and James Blunt episodes were all very good. Norah Jones, The Decemberist, and Arcade Fire are all coming up in the next 4 weeks. Set your DVRs.

Please share some of your recommendations via the comments section below.


The Mid-Afternoon Dip

I’ve been nibbling on an interested book about sleep for several months now (as in, it is on my night stand and I read a few pages periodically right before I…go to sleep). Incidentally, I don’t recommend that you think too much about sleep right before you try to do it. It's too much pressure!

The book is called Power Sleep and it is by the sleep researcher who coined the term “power nap”:

The author includes the following two diagrams on pages 48 & 49 that have thus far been my favorite insight from the book:

The second figure illustrates that at all times during the day we have two forces working on us: a “wakefulness” force and a “desire to sleep” force. In other words, at any point during the daytime if you lay down on your couch you could probably fall asleep.

The reason I thought the graph was so interesting is the fact that it shows a significant mid-afternoon dip in wakefulness. I thought I uniquely suffered from this condition – and suffer I do. Turns out it is common in our species.

You could basically set a clock by my profound desire to take a nap at exactly 3:00 PM. I am more tired at 3:00 PM than at any other time of day. I wish I could relocate my mid-afternoon tiredness to 10:30 PM.

Nature wants us to take a siesta!

Eye drops

Even though most optometrists recommend that you remove your glasses before tilting your head back to put drops in your eyes, sometimes I like to blaze my own trail.

There, Their, They're

I unwittingly type the wrong version of there/their/they're with alarming frequency in my emails.

10 Gloriously Action Packed Years

Happy Birthday Madison & Savanna!

Welcome to the double digits!

(The same two dynamos 9 years ago: here)

The Feather Pillow Incident


Check out Beckys very creative post about the incident surrounding this picture by clicking here. 

No animals were harmed during the alleged accident, PETA was not offended (as far as we know), and the police were not called.