Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not the greatest way to wake up

Owen woke up quite early this morning and, as we have instructed him, he came into my room looking for some help.  What help did I offer my beloved son?  I scared him silly.  Now do you have any idea how strange a sensation it is to wake up yelling at your son for no reason whatsoever?  I have no clue why I responded that way; usually I groggily wake up and say "huh?" if I wake up at all, yet this morning I woke up to find myself yelling at my son.  I can only guess that he startled me and I in turn startled him.  The whole house woke up.  Four in the morning is not a good time for any of us to be awake if it can be helped.  Not only did I take a decade or so off of my son's life, I think my wife is more gray today than she was yesterday, as the sound of my yelling, followed by the fearful noises (I can't even remember what sounds he made) of my son jolted her awake like nothing.

As we all resettled to sleep a few more hours before school Owen said to me, as I apologized profusely, he said "Daddy, don't ever do that again, I didn't like it all!"  I guess.

So we're all a little tired today.

edit: My wife blogged about this here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My photos... something new for me.

Today I set up a Photrade account and uploaded seventy some pictures.  In their words:

Photrade.com is a new photo site that pays users for each view of their pictures. Photrade combines the best of photo sharing, stock photography, and photo sales PLUS the ability for users to earn ad revenue. 

Essentially it seems that it is a photosharing site that will give money to the photographer for the number of views on your pictures.  I actually started the account a couple of months ago and put up about 4 or 5 pictures.  I made $0.01 from those photos over a month with very few views.  So now, I've got 78 photos up and we'll see what they do.  I have made all them available for purchase even.  So if you like one of them you could conceivably order a print or coffee mug or sweatshirt or whatever made up with that picture on it and they will deliver it to you.   You can even purchase a license to use a photo in a project you are working on.

I will be watching and posting here what my experience is with all of this.    If you're interested, just go and check it out.  Thanks in advance...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If you have no sense of humor don't read this...

This was posted on a bulletin board from fan site that I frequent for Runescape.   I don't normally share these things, but I laughed too hard not to share...

Chili Cook Off - hillarious

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end. 

This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Texas . Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you

pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas , you know 

how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion 

of a parking lot at the San Antonio City Park . Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Joe, who was visiting from 

Plainfield, IL. Joe: 'Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last 

moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call 

came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I 

could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3.' Here are the scorecard notes from the event: 


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick. 

Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild. 

Judge # 3 (Joe) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. 

Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy. 


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang. 

Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously. 

Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people 

who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face. 


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. 

Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers. 

Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by 

now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my 

chest. I'm getting drunk from all of the beer. 


Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing. 

Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili. 

Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer 

maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT .. just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! 

Is chili an aphrodisiac? 


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive. 

Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement. 

Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind 

me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my 

tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the 

other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them. 


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers. 

Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.

Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm 

worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to 

wipe my butt with a snow cone. 


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers. 

Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. 

**I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be a bit of distress as he is 

cursing uncontrollably. 

Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world 

sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My 

pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's 

too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach. 


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. 

Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, 

passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor feller, wonder how he'd 

have reacted to really hot chili?

Judge # 3 - No Report!! 

Friday, September 19, 2008

translating in to pirate

So today is international talk like a pirate day… so the rest of this meaningless post will be translated by the international talk like a pirate online translator, it should prove entertaining…


Available here (note it only does one sentence at a time):

 Arrr, today Me have a few thin's on the go. Aye, me parrot concurs.  Arrr, most o' it happenin' in my own little world; phone calls, one hospital 'isit, a whole bunch o' prayin', some sermon writin' and I have t' burn a Cd or two o' the pictures I took o' a friend’s weddin' on Saturday. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?  Ahoy, what do you have on today? Gar.


Original text here:

Today I have a few things on the go.  Most of it happening in my own little world; phone calls, one hospital visit, a whole bunch of praying, some sermon writing and I have to burn a CD or two of the pictures I took of a friend’s wedding on Saturday.  What do you have on today?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some techy tips

So I redid my theme again (if you're reading this in a RSS reader then you can't see it, too bad for you). I redid it for fun, for the challenge of it.  Tara had asked me to change some of the profile pages of some web forums/groups that she is apart of.  I decided my blog, as lax as my posting is needed a refresh anyways.

Now you may know lots about how you to go about designing a web page, I am largely ignorant of how it's "supposed" to be done, but I thought I would share what I do to help tie stuff together.  I know next to nothing about HTML, but what I'll share is how I come up with the picture and colors of what I'm doing.

I started with a layout that I largely liked that blogger has in the standard templates (I'm using the "Tekka" template from blogger).  I then added the gadgets and stuff on the right over there that I wanted.  (Although I may change that stuff too). 
Then with me being me, I took a picture I want to use as a header picture.  I rescaled and resized the pictures to fit the header frame.  For that I use the GIMP; then once the picture is in the right size, I adjusted the pictures just a wee bit to make the colors "pop" a little more.

This is the original photo from my Flickr stream, this photo is as it came out of the camera, no tweaking:

apples 1

  1. Then added the text  I wanted to include, in mine I used two fonts, I used white as the text color here. 
  2. I copied the text onto another layer, inverted the color, so it went from white to black, offset that black layer a little to make a shadow.  
  3. Then I made a copy of the black text layer and blurred it using the gaussian blur in the GIMP, (although photoshop elements has the same thing) and offset it a little further.  
Then saved the GIMP file to keep all the layers intact (that way if you decide to redo the picture then the work you did on the text is the same).
Then saved that file as a jpg and loaded in the header space (in my case I wanted the picture INSTEAD of the actual text because my picture contained the title of my blog)

For choosing all the colors, which for me is one of the most daunting parts of the whole affair. Or at least it was until I found this really cool little website that creates color palettes for you based on a picture you choose.

You can find it here

Big Huge Labs has a whole mess of neat tools to play with your pictures.

So I gave the palette generator my header picture and it spits out fifteen different colors all of which are present and match your photo.  It gives the "hex color code", which is a alpha numeric code for the colors that our web browsers use. 
Then I open up the font & colors part of the layout menu and start pasting the new colors in.  After a few minutes of choosing which colors you want for what parts, you now have a customized blog/profile page for yourself.

I have done this on my twitter page, Tara's twitter, and one or two of Tara's online profiles.

Clearly not the greatest profile customization ever, but in my opinion better than the stock setup as it includes one of my own pictures, in Tara's case I used the same picture patterns as the custom blog template she won some time ago from Shera at Sweet and Simple designs.  I am fairly certain I could not come up with graphics like that on my own... I use a camera, and the method I'm describing above I think would work best with photos, but you can prove me wrong if you'd like.

I know for some of you, you knew how to do this, but maybe it'll help someone.
Have fun!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I thoroughly enjoyed this almost 7:30 minutes video. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I wish I had a witty and intelligent something to say... but I don't.  Some weeks go as planned, and others are weird.  This week has been weird, not in a good or bad way, just different.  It's not that there's major stress, just the same old stress that's always there.  

I don't know.  So, for me, I'm just trying to stay engaged in the moment.  How about you, are you worrying about yesterday or stressing about tomorrow, or are you in the moment?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

One day in the backyard

A few pictures I took in the backyard.
I think's she laughing at me on the inside

Some people glow


Aiden, in the hat I bought his mom on our honeymoon

collage test1

it's some guy that is always hanging around

"that's what I'm talking about"

This one is my favorite.

*for the technically inclined, I was using a painted piece of plywood as a reflector (for the sun) in these. For a few there is a flash triggered wirelessly from behind and below the subject off on camera left. The sun was moving in and out of the clouds in these too.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Some perspective

Some perspective

The other night I lay out under the stars and just looked up. We often don't look at the sky. It seems to me, from my limited knowledge of history that many people through the ages studied the stars, some for science, some for other reasons, but as I lay there, I realized that I'm a relatively small part of the world. As I lay in my own backyard surrounded by kid's toys and bikes I also realized I'm the world to some. I need to lay under the stars more often... get a perspective. Just my thoughts.... 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

nobody's home

So this happened a week or so ago, and I didn't blog about because, well, she normally blogs about those kinds of things.  Anyways, we're all sitting at the table, Aiden, being true to himself is trying to keep us all entertained with faces, jokes and antics.  Aiden's favorite brand of joke, the venerable "knock-knock" joke.  Often times they are very funny, in his mind at least.  So Aiden is excited to share another joke... this is the scene as it played out...

Aiden: "Ok, Ok, I've got a joke... knock, knock"

Everyone else.... "     "

Aiden:  "C'mon, C'mon, knock knock"

Owen:  " arrrrrgh... no one's home"

Tara & Doug look at each other and promptly try to stifle giggles.

Late Summer/Autumn 2008

A few pictures from the last while... this slideshow will likely grow over the next week or so.
This is also a post made from the "Chrome" browser by Google. Check it out (currently only for Windows XP/Vista).

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.