Monday, April 11, 2011

So much for being a role model

So I was supposed to model for the little boy the discipline to sit and write on a regular basis.

OK, so I'm failing miserably, though I do intend to get back and talk about the things outlined in the last post.

That said, this weekend we did a hike with the cub scouts, and I needed to track the mileage. I've used MapMyRide a bit, but this time I tried MapMyWalk...same people: different site/not-a-different site. I logged in with my MapMyRide login, and created this map.

I really need to check out this site. The social networking aspect of outdoor sports is really exciting.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dawning of a new day

So here it is, 11 months after my last post, and I'm finally coming back to the blog. At the urging and support (or berating) of my friend, I shall again attempt to write on a regular basis, sharing thoughts on various items of interest, under the guise of "media". That said, the real reason I'm here is to be a role model for the little boy who has a hard time focusing and doing his writing.

For Lent, the family has decided to do something we should/always want to do, vs. giving up something that we shouldn't do; so for Lent this year, we have commit (committed?) to write daily, hopefully helping us all communicate a bit better, and of course share some of our thoughts on things with all of you.

Of course, this leads to the problem of what to write about. As many of you know, I am usually not at a loss for things to say--usually inappropriate. But, meaningful exchange of ideas are a bit harder than quips about music, games, TV, and the sorts. I remember back in college, one of my favorite classes, Photo Diary, required us to keep a journal. This was exciting to me at the time, as I had always wanted to keep a journal--sort of a structured reflection on my days, nights, struggles, and of course loves... (It should be said that the class was about much more than this, but this is what comes to mind right now.)

And of course, as many of you gathered, I failed miserably at this endeavor, as I lacked the discipline to write regularly. What I did find was that once a week I was sitting down, writing a short outline of the things that I wanted to mention in my journaling, and would then proceed to articulate my thoughts and emotions regarding those items. This seemed to work for me, and I really enjoyed this time. I would say that I was not very good at it, but that few hours every Sunday evening was something that I looked forward to every week that semester.

So here I am 25 years later, still struggling with the same lack of discipline (as my wife will vouch for me: its a struggle, lack of discipline, and STILL). And, as you can see from this blog, I always mean to get back to it, my intentions are there, but once the TV is on, and the DVR shows 2 episodes of V, 3 episodes of Glee, and (COOL) the new episode of The Big Bang Theory, I get side tracked and spend the evening watching TV. Yes I enjoy it. No, I don't think of it as wasted time (as I do enjoy it), but I do feel a little guilty all the time about not writing, not painting miniatures (for the game Malifaux), not playing a game (more to not having someone to play with than not having the time), and even for not reading.

So I guess where I'll start is the way I started back in college. I'll delineate what I want to share, and then spend the next several days writing about those things, and hopefully engaging in meaningful conversation and of course the requisite witty banter. So what can you expect from me in the next few days:
  1. Over the past year I've done 3 of 4 things that I've wanted to do since I was a freshman in High School;
  2. The iPad was almost everything I had hoped it would be, and has become and almost integral part of my life;
  3. A review of recent purchases of Music;
  4. A review of some games I've played recently;
  5. and anything that might come up along the way that I feel takes higher precedence than what I've listed here.
So, since the little boy will be writing twice today (he missed yesterday and needs to make up for it--me: I wrote a report for work--I will probably be back again later this evening to begin this endeavor. Hopefully you will find this endeavor as interesting as I hope to find it. I guess we shall see.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Practice with the new iPad

So for the first time, I actually went to a store before regular hours; stood in line; and purchased a new gadget. Not like I am not primed for such behavior, but the first is always the hardest.

So here I am, typing a blog on an iPad. Do I like it? Yes. WillI use it? Yes. Will it become an integral part of my media consumption? Probably.

Will it get me to blog more often? Maybe, if I actually get something that I can type quickly on (blue tooth keyboard). Typing on this little pad is not working very smoothly, though in a pinch it will work nicely.

Will give a full review once I play a bit more.

Friday, August 01, 2008

2 Movies 2day...

After getting back from Memphis (a trip for work), we left the next day to go to Omaha to see the family. 5 days later, came back, went to work for a day, then took 24 hours of dragging to get myself back together...

So today--my last Friday off for the Summer--I decided to go to the movies and see what was a must see for me, despite the reviews, X-Files: I want to believe. Then, after I picked up Nathaniel from day-care, the two of us decided to go see Space Chimps.

I've been waiting for the X-Files movie excitedly when first hearing about rumors over 2 years ago. I think Chris Carter has a great imagination, and have very much enjoyed all of his work. All signs for me were pointing that this movie was going to be, at least, enjoyable.  And it was, for a TV show.  

It was like visiting some old friends that you haven't seen in a long time, whose relationship had progressed much further along than you would have guessed, and coming face to face with the fact that as your life moved on, so did theirs.  Not that it is bad, just that it is not the same.  However, it had absolutely nothing to do with the story.

The story was interesting, but a bit long. (I don't want to spoil it for anyone.)  I'd have been happy with the typical TV show formula with the hinting at the relationship stuff, focus on the odd story, and get it over and resolved with an uneasy, uncertain feeling, all in 60 minutes.  It would have been one of the best episodes. As a movie it didn't hold up.  That being said, yes I'll be at the next one just because. 

I hope that Chris Carter finds a new story and new characters soon.  He is way too talented to be stuck in these same old (tired?) characters that I still hang on to.

As for Space Chimps, I was really looking forward to it.  Recognizing that it was a children's movie, I thought Nathaniel would be all over it.  Lately, everything for him is about outer space. We were a little late, but some nice people allowed us to cut in line, so we only missed the first 5 minutes.  The story was simple, the characters flat, the gags--at times--were funny.  The animation was good the special effects were cool, and everything was fine until the captain chimp got picked up by the alien and was about to get frozen in the puddle of freezing goo.

Nathaniel lost it.  It didn't matter that he was laughing at the aliens getting frozen throughout the movie, when one of the chimps were going to get it (he didn't) Nathaniel could not handle it.  He started crying real tears, and was visibly shaken by the situation.  Of course, this was right after a part that was kind of scary where the cute little alien (named Kilowatt) sacrificed his life to save two of the chimps.  

I got him to calm down and we continued to watch the movie another 10 minutes when the threat of freezing was brought up again. . . Nathaniel lost it, this time saying that he doesn't like this movie.  It took all the way out of the theater and into the bathroom break before he totally calmed down...

So Space Chimps:  Probably great for kids. . . a little too much for a little boy 2 weeks shy of his 5th birthday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Web 2.0

Here is a short article I did for the Illinois Community Colleges Online Newsletter:

Whether or not you buy into the idea of "Web 2.0" - the 2nd generation World Wide Web or a slick marketing term - its implications are changing the way that people consume and develop information. For a good review of the history and definition of "Web 2.0" see the YouTube video of the same name:

Web 2.0 on YouTube

In a nutshell, Web 2.0 is about creating, contributing, sharing, commenting, tagging, and a whole lot of other things. Notably, the technologies that make up Web 2.0 can be utilized in a number of ways to create or enhance online learning environments.To that end, provides a compilation of tools that are available that can be used in these learning environments. Although the list is not comprehensive (it doesn't include Wikipedia), it does include a number of the more common sites (Facebook, Twitter). Plurk intrigues me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is it their job to...?

My first post about a news article:

The US Supreme Court ruled today that prisoners in Guantanamo Bay could challenge their detentions in civilian courts in the US.

On News, George Bush is quoted as saying, "It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented. . .And that dissent was based upon their serious concerns about US National Security."

I know it has been a long time since I had American Government, and I could be wrong, but is it the job of the Supreme Court to make rulings based on national security? I thought the Supreme Court could only rule on constitutional issues. As I said, I might be wrong, but the issue here is individual rights vs. government rights, and the Bill of Rights is specifically targeted at protecting individuals from the government.

I agree with the ruling. Even though other rulings have said otherwise, "...all men [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Notice it does not say "all US citizens."

Please correct me if I'm wrong about the Supreme Court.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I seriously doubt it will be worth it...

Just came across a sentence in the June 9 2008 Time magazine regarding a Princess Bride online game. With a bit of googling...found this:

[This is where I was going to embed the video, but I could not find it. Go to the Princess Bride Game Website to see the trailer.

I loved this movie when it came out. I've seen the movie probably 25 times, and I've read the book 3 times. Yes, I'll try the game, but I'm expecting to be disappointed.

Special note: Mark Knopfler's score for the film was a perfect fit. I can't even read a fairy tale anymore without the themes running through my head.