Thursday, December 23, 2010

Countdown to Christmas! It's Christmas eve, um eve

Of course they get crazier as the big day approaches. Gangs all here! Looney Tunes rock!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

One of personal favorites. I love what Dogbert is dreaming of. Almost there! Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

I only get to wear these a couple of weeks a year! Hope you are having a Geeky Christmas Season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Remind me

Why did I leave Las Vegas? A view from slow going (mostly stopped) drive home.

Countdown to Christmas

This holiday tie bringing you the artistic stylings of Jerry Garcia. Happy holidays. Merry Christmas.

Rock on.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Awesome Window

Is no more. R.I.P. Awesome Window. 2010-2010.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The turkey triangle is in place

And now we wait. The probe in the bird needs to reach 161 degrees. {tapping foot}

Oh, this wait is killing me.

4 pounds of...

News and ads. Holy crap today's newspaper is huge.

A bird in the brine is worth two days in the eats

18 pound turkey in a salt/sugar brine...anticipation!
This adventure started last year. I'm a huge fan of Good Eats on FoodTV. Imagine that. A geeks food show topping my list.

Last year, I tried his roasting method minus the brine. OhCountess just wasn't sure about all the salt. We've now watched the episode "Romancing the bird" a good half dozen times.

Well there it is, our 19 pound turkey is taking a brine bath. I know, it's a good 5 pounds heavier then the 14 pounder he uses in the episode, but I've got 14 people coming tomorrow and I'll be damned if I'm doing all this and not getting homemade turkey dumpling soup and a couple of days of turkey sandwiches out of the deal.

I'll let you know how it goes, until then Happy Thanksgiving and Good Eats!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inbox Zero

This is such a beautiful thing. What's the line on how long I can keep it this way?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dads say the darnedest things

Until you have I had my own children, I never really realized just how different two siblings could be from each other. OhPrincess2 has a problem, she's picky. When we go to other people's houses and they are providing food, the sometimes feel bad that she won't eat anything. We just tell them that it's OK, she doesn't like food. She doesn't like hamburger unless it's in Hamburger Helper, in spaghetti or in the form of a plain hamburger. Deviate from that and she doesn't like it. Sigh.

OhPrincess1 on the other hand is the complete opposite. She loves to explore new foods and until she tries something, has no opinion. That's not to say there are things she won't eat. There are things like that. She's not a huge fan of really spicy but for the most part, even if it's not her favorite, she'll eat it.

At the ripe old age of 11, she's taken a curiosity to the kitchen. I might have been the same age when I wanted to learn how to cook. My interest mostly came from the fact that I was hungry and if I want food outside of the window of time mom was cooking, I had to do it myself. I grew tired of the quick and easy, what can I say.

This is a quick conversation I had with my oldest daughter this weekend.

Dad: "You know sweetheart, with your love of food and interest in cooking, when you grow up, you should be a chef."

OhPrincess1: "But dad, when I grow up I want to work with animals."

Dad: "Well...."

OhPrincess1: "DAD! I want to work with LIVING animals!"

Dad: " know lobster is..."

OhPrincess1: "Dad..."

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

It's election day people

Let's do this! If you don't vote, I expect you to keep your mouth shut for the remainder of these people's terms. You get what you vote for. Vote for nothing, expect nothing.

Just vote. Make your voice heard.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some politicians should just avoid debating

In the follow video clip, Christine O'Donnell gets into a Constitutional debate with her opponent. It quickly becomes apparent that she has no idea what's in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It saddens me deeply to know that people that aspire to our nations leadership, take these documents for granted and just assume they know what's in them.

People need to know whom they are voting for.

This was shared by a poker blogger friend of mine, thisisnotapril. She found the video and shared it Google Reader. Here's a link to Gawker to read more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sharing the love of mathematics

I just got off the phone. I know there's a loophole in the "Do Not Call List" legislation that allows companies that you have a business relationship with to still call your home phone a solicit business despite your name being on the list.

My bank, which shall remain nameless here cuz, they are huge, national and have lawyers that can make me wish I had never been born and I just don't have time for that kind of harassment, has shacked up with every home services company to allow them to use their name. My guess is they can't make enough money the old fashioned way (loaning money out at reasonable interest rates using money that collect through savings account with which they share the money from the interest on the loans - I know, old fashioned) and fees, so they are branching out and diluting their brand with every last gimicky home service company. But this rant is digressing...crap.

Anywho. I got this call from a guy. He did an excellent job of reading the first page of the script. I did my usual of waiting for the part where he asks my permission to record the call to avoid any clerical errors (protect their asses from lawsuits from guys like me). At that time I politely tell him I'm not interested. We all know what happens next...right?

Yes, he turns to page 2, they one they are supposed to read when caller says they aren't interested. It's basically the same as page one, only with more emphasis on the no risk part (of course there's risk, I'll forget to cancel, they'll bill me, and then never cancel me...d'oh!) although with this script he ends with, "I can send you the materials to see just how much this can help you."

Sigh. I retort with, "I know this won't help me, I know how to do math." You see, most of the programs are betting you will never use their service and just keep paying a fee that even if you call in for a repair, the lifetime of your payments will be much larger then any bill you submit. Why else would they be in business? You can't make money if you don't take in more then you spend.

In a first for me lately, I'm sure I pissed off another telemarketer in the past, he responds. "Well fine smart ass." and hangs up.

Good bye to you too. I wonder if he'd turned on the recording, you know, for quality assurance purposes. That's gotta be one for training week.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It's post season baseball people...

Win Twins!!!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Guess what were doing today

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dave Matthews Band Live!

Wish you all were here! Hehe it's a school night too :-)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Introductions are in order - My first real post in forever

Like the gratuitous use of cuteness? I know, it's been a while. Welcome back!

I basically haven't posted anything since like spring. The Awesome Window was cool, but I don't walk past it as much lately and it really wasn't my content. We've had a very busy summer. Also, my 11 year old isn't quite as excited to be the subject of a blog any more. In fact, she hates, so shhh....don't tell her :)

As you might notice, the splash of cuteness across the top there includes something new, something you've never seen posted on the Geek blog. We got a dog. Not just any dog mind you, but a super cool dog. I'd like to introduce you to Kirby, the super dog. He's extra special, not just because he's ours, but because of how he came to us.

We've been looking at puppies for a while. OhPrincess1 has been successfully answering my question about who's gonna clean up the poop for a while. OhPrincess2 still answer it with, "Well, of course, you daddy." Which isn't the answer I'm looking for, but OhCountess we putting lots of pressure as well.

Puppies were proving to be a challenge. We aren't big fans of the puppy mill sources and the small breeders are just so expensive. We also were being very patient. We kept telling the kids that we didn't want to just settle and get any dog, we wanted to get our dog.

One of OhCountess' friends and co-workers is an avid dog person who routinely fosters rescued animals. She called us one day with news, "I have the perfect dog for you guys." We'd heard that before from her, but this time she was adamant. OhCountess decided to go check him out. Her friend said this dog just wasn't doing well at her house. She was fostering several dogs and this little guy was having a hard time fitting in.

He took to her and she asked if we could take him home just to see how he did. Great idea! A trial period for a dog seemed like a good plan. Well, he got to our house and immediately just fit right in. He was back to being playful, and happy. He ven ate...a lot. The girls loved him. It seemed like a match made in heaven, but there was a big catch. We couldn't adopt him, not yet.

The man that found him in a ditch, abandoned, had first dibs. There was also the waiting period to see if his owners would show up looking for him. In this part of the country, seems there's only a 5 day waiting period on abandoned dogs without ID.

So we waited. And waited.

The man that found him said he would probably take him. Our hearts were broken. He was back with OhCountess's friend waiting for him to adopt. He was also back to being a sad dog. Not eating, just sitting there. She asked OhCountess to come see him. He perked right up and just wanted to play. Pure torture. OhPrincess1 cried herself to sleep that night. "Dad, we get so close why do we never get to have a puppy?"

And we waited. But the guy never came in to adopt.

Then word came that his daughter wanted him.

And we waited. His deadline was extended 24 hours. And we waited.

Our friend told us that at 2 PM, if he didn't close the deal, he was available.

And we waited.

At 1:30, OhCountess wanted to know if I would go with her to the adoption place, just in case. Sure. So we went. At 2 PM.

No one came. Kirby was available to the public. By 2:30, Kirby was officially our dog. OhCountess took me back to work and she went to go get him. The kids were thrilled! Since we never had a dog before, we needed lots of supplies which we happily got. We got a little of everything since we didn't know what he'd like. You can't see it on the picture, but he's even got a Minnesota Twins collar, and yes, he's named after a certain baseball player that brought us two World Series with it.

We done lots of other things this summer, but nothing as big or life changing as this. I'm also announcing that I'm on Day 2 Week 1 of the Couch to 5K program. I'll be posting more on that soon but for now I gotta go, so world....I'd like you to meet Kirby. Kirby welcome to our family.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sunsets on the Mississipp

One thing I've always missed from my hometown were sunsets on the mighty Mississippi River. Just beautiful. I shot this tonight with my iPhone.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Awesome Window

I've been busy as a beaver all week. On call can be like that. I saw this today walking out to the minivan parked in the ramp. It might be that I'm underwhelmed having played varsity tennis in high school and open countless cans of tennis balls. Awesome was never running out of new tennis balls.

It might also be that I'm a bit negative, sitting here listening to Rollins Band - Liar.

Friday can't get here soon enough.

Sent from my iPhone with the power of Greyskull

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Awesome Window

My kids still love doing this. Unfortunately for the 10 year old, it's probably never gonna happen again.

I guess we have to enjoy it while we can.

Today's awesome: riding on someone else's shoulders when you are a kid.

Sent from my iPhone with the power of Greyskull.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursdays on First: with dancing girls

Not what we thought either. They said there would be belly dancing. Lunch with the guys rocked though. Also tried posting video from my iPhone. Did it work?

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The Awesome Window

Ain't this the truth. Fresh baked cookies rock.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Awesome Window

This must be for people in more congested areas. We only get this when there is construction. I love living in a big small town.

In the window: When you are in the fastest moving lane of a traffic jam.

Heat/humidity yadda yadda

This has much more eye candy appeal. Still yuck.

It's not the heat, it's the humidity

Yuck. Sounds like are in store for a bumpy night. Hold on to your hats!

Now for Rochester, MN (55902)

Temp: 86F
Feels like: 100F
Partly Cloudy and Windy
Humidity: 80%
Wind: S at 22 mph
Updated: 7/14/10 1:25 PM CDT

Sent from my iPhone with the power of Greyskull.

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Awesome Window

I couldn't agree more with today's sign. The smell and sound of a campfire are indeed awesome.
Happy Friday everyone! Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Summer Tradition: Thursdays on First

If you work in downtown Rochester, you probably know what an awesome thing we have in Thursdays on First (and Third).(There website really sucks, you might want to try the local paper's write up of the event.

I seem to write about this event every year. I wrote this last year. This year it seems to be a little bigger with a lot more food vendors. I like food vendors. I'm not much of an artsy guy...I like food.

The rest of this will be a bit of a photo dump. Go back and read the post from last year. My friend with the homemade Marshmallows is back! As we refer to ourselves as the junkies when it comes to these. Thursdays without them just don't feel right.

The top photo is looking down historic Third St. towards the Gonda building of the Mayo Clinic. I really need to get back here at night. The blue line you see in the plaza is all light up.

This shot is looking down 1st Ave. One of these years, they are probably just gonna close 1st. Ave on Thursdays, the stupid cards are just getting in the way.

Peace Plaza here in front of the Shops at University Square and Barnes & Noble will be full of people depending on the time of day. We went for a late lunch today. Just enough room to stretch out and eat.

Finally, a contender for my decadent dessert of choice after lunch...homemade fudge. Poor guy will give out free samples too. I stopped myself at two, but I could have gone yard and had one of each (equaling the volume of a whole piece...shhhhhh!)

All of these shots, and all of the shots posted here over the last couple of weeks, have been with my new iPhone 4. I've fallen in love with my iPhone all over again. This new camera is amazing. I've been doing a lot of experiments with the auto-focus, tap to light meter features. I hope to post some video from it as soon as I remember I have video and something cool comes along.

Hope your summer is rolling along great! We've been busy but have lots of fun! If you get downtown for lunch on a Thursday, let me know, maybe we can hook up for a nice piece of fudge or a tasty marshmallow.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Awesome Window

Hm, yesterday's awesome window and today's leave me with a sometimes awesome feeling.

Like with yesterday's and today's, it's a mixed bag.

Today's: peeling the thin fill off of electronics.

This can be very awesome, as in Christmas present awesome, but if you are like me, if it doesn't pull off cleanly, damn if those little bits don't turn frustrating in a hurry. Yesterday's was that sick feeling in my stomach cuz our minivan is about to click 100,000 miles. Scary.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Awesome Window

Sorry folks, I went on vacation which means I'm going nowhere near my office. It's a vacation rule from way back.
Today's awesomeness - watching the odometer click over a major milestone.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

In case you were wondering

This is what the ribs look like coming off the pit.

Happy 4th of July!

Taking some to with friends and family to enjoy our Independence Day. Smoking more ribs then we need but damn. Wish you could smell how good it smells here.

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Dad Life - Hilarious

This was probably even funnier on Fathers Day, but it was just recently brought to my attention. Hilarious. (And sooo true...)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Awesome Window

Almost forgot today! From the awesome window I posted about yesterday.
...when someone saves you a seat.
Ain't that true.

What a beautiful day

It's days like today that making staying inside working on a computer a total drag.

I swear they mow the grounds here every day. When I park my car on the hill I walk past this view twice. Quite awesome if you ask me.

Today, the sky seems extra blue. Mid 70's for the highs today. I wish I could bottle this up and keep it like this.

Hope you're having a great day too!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Awesome Window

I walk past this most days coming and going from the building my office is in. Now that I have a new phone that works, I thought I might share with you a glimpse of today's awesomeness.
When the sox come out of the drier and all match perfectly.
Ain't that the truth.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting clean for free

I've gotten my fair share of requests in the past for doing reviews or something to get me to do text links for some marketing company. I know the goal, create buzz and search results for some product. Now most of these are things that I A] Never heard of or B] Would never use.

Right after the Super Bowl, I received an email from the marketing company working on the campaign for Dove Men + Care. A new product aimed at men. Since that would be me and I shower, I figured I'd listen to the spiel.

Here's the deal, they were doing a marketing push tied to the Super Bowl, you know that big football game that all of us guys focus our lives on for a week or two? They wanted me to try the product and then write up a blog post about it. So, in the effort of full disclosure, they sent me the box you see on the left, for free and I agreed to use it and tell all of you what I think.

I've taken this next part directly from their marketing info:
Now men can literally be comfortable in their skin thanks to new Dove Men +Care (Body and Face Wash + Body and Face Bar)
  • Brand’s first ever product line formulated specifically for men’s needs
  • Provides the cleansing and refreshment that men want combined with Dove moisturizers to provide total skin comfort
  • Built on the Dove brand’s heritage in cleansing, moisturizing and care
    • Clinically proven to fight skin dryness
      • No irritation or tightness
    • Dermatologist recommended
Sounded interesting. I live with 3 females. Products aimed at men always interest me. Most of the shower products we use are as close to a compromise as I can get. They don't smell too girly but yet are designed to keep my skin soft and supple. Am I really suppose to strive for that? All I really want is to get clean and not reek. I remembered their commercials during the Super Bowl and thought I might like to try these anyways. That's really a big reason I decided to do this. It's nice to try for free something I would have had to pay for.

My plan was to use if for a while and then write about it. For me, it was more important to be honest about this then to just put up some shill thing and just take the free stuff. Free stuff is great, but this is my blog and it's my words. I received the box back in February and just finished using most of it. I'm guessing they wanted me to write this post a while ago, but it takes a while to really use soap and see how I like it. Ok, that and I've been busy and barely posting anyways.

You'll notice the box contained a bottle of liquid soap, a bar of soap and scrubbing device. My wife uses those shower poofs. She got one for me once and a liquid soap. I tried it for a little while and then went and bought a bar of soap cuz I really didn't care for it. I really wasn't sure what to make of the scrubbing thing. I figured I'd take the bar of soap to work with me to use at the gym. No way I'm using a scrubby thing at the gym. There's only so far I'd go to get free soap.

I'm gonna spare you the action photos of me using this stuff. I read the instructions and gave it a try (not immediately but the next time I needed a rushing).

I did really enjoy using these. I had been doing a lot more swimming in my workouts and this product really did help with the dryness. I loved not itching. As far as soap goes, it did a good job of getting me clean. That's really important. Why bother if you are still filthy when you are done. The best part of using the soap was my wife LOVED THE SMELL. Like I said before, most of the bath products in our house are aimed at making both me, a man, and everyone else, women, happy. This stuff made me smell like a guy, and best yet, I even liked the smell. Did I say my wife LOVED THE SMELL? I'm sold.

I got used to the scrubby thing and have actually grown to like using it. It worked great at getting stuff clean. It also fits well in a guys hand.

The bar soap was something I was quite used to using. I work out 3-5 days a week at work, so it's important to me that I don't get dry and itchy. I also don't want to go back to work smelling like a pretty flower.

This stuff held up pretty good. It smelled a little different then the bottle stuff, but I still liked it.

One thing I wasn't a big fan of with the bar soap was it got kinda squishy in my soap bar box in my gym bag. It seemed to do that a lot faster then the stuff I used to use that was pretty good at cleaning my 2000 parts.

Overall, I was pretty happy with all of the stuff.  It smelled great. the scrubby thing was easy to get used to and I really can say it helped a lot at keeping me from drying out from swimming in the pool. One complain I had was it just didn't seem to be as good at the deodorant job as the stuff that cleaned my 2000 parts. I would have expected this to do a better if not equal job of that.

All in all, this experience wasn't too bad. I have no plans at all to make doing reviews a habit. I don't do this for the free stuff and most of the crap people want you to review kinda sucks. This thankfully didn't suck

For your viewing pleasure, here's one of their commercials. Try it for yourself.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good bye first generation iPhone

You are about to be replaced. It's been a nice run, but your battery is dead and I can no longer upgrade you.

Hello iPhone 4.

-- Posted from my old, worn out and no longer repairable cell phone that starts with the i.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day! A Hike on Barn Bluff

Happy Fathers Day! I hope you had as great a day as I did. I probably shouldn't give away the ending of the story before I really even get started, but damn, what a great day!

Enough bragging. I'm sitting here, in the basement, watching The Rockford Files Season 1 on Netflix streaming. Currently, I'd say I'm obsessed with catching up on this old show. Must be middle age, but I really do miss shows like this.

It's been a long time since I really wrote anything about us, hasn't it. Like I said I while ago, we've been focusing on living life and not just writing about it. Fun times. But today, it's time to share the fun.

The first picture is my new tie crush. It was the present from my wonder wife and kids. I seem to have developed a thing for Jerry Garcia ties. I have to wear ties to work and I think of my Garcia ties as this, if the man is gonna make me wear a tie, I'm gonna wear one designed by the king of the counter culture. This new one, brings together my love of baseball and my need to stick it to the man. Ain't it great? To my daughters and my wife....I love you guys! Thanks!

So, what's the story of what made the rest of the day so great? Well, I figure the best way to share with you the rest of the day is to share it as a photo dump. If you know me, my camera is rarely far behind us when we are out and about doing fun things. I love photography and OhCountess loves scrapbooking. Match made in heaven.

We had arranged to meet my parents at wonderful brunch buffet in my hometown, Red Wing, Minnesota. It's a lovely river town along the mighty Mississippi river. The original idea was to have brunch with them and then  head to my wife's family for some more family fun and then have the rest of the day to focus on this dad's whims. Well, the plan had a monkey wrench thrown in when my wife's family decided to get together in the late afternoon rather then soon after my parent time.

What to do, what to do?

Something I loved doing when I was younger was hiking the trails that lead to the top of Barn Bluff. What better way to spend the day then an impromptu hike up a bluff. Who needs supplies and the right equipment?

We grabbed Cheese Nips, some bottles of water and my camera and started walking up the stairs. Of course the girls brought their camera and absolutely could not go on this kind of adventure without a compass. Keep in mind, this is a publicly maintained trail system and the bluff itself is surrounded on two sides by highways, one side is the Mississippi river and the last part is framed by a city street (where we start). Not to mention we don't have a map...there was no way they would go without a compass. Into my pocket it went and stayed until our return. Sigh.

There are several sets of these concrete stairs located around the bluff. The plaques describe them as built by the local Kiwanis. These things are amazing. There's no visibly means by which to get  the concrete to build them, but yet, here they are.

The journey up to the top is not quite as civilized as I had remembered. Actually, I couldn't remember the trails at all, that's a big part of the reason I had hoped to do this again.

The girls were all real troopers.

We had decided to climb the bluff starting on the South Trail. There's only 3 to chose from and left to right seemed like a good idea. The North Trail is along the river side. It's also going to be the shady side. I prefer cool after heating myself up on the climb. That was the idea.

I figured I could go online and find the trail map after the fact. Hm. No luck. You'll just have to believe me.

The payoff for climbing this far is the view.  The picture above is the view we worked so hard for. I'm probably a little bias, this being my hometown and all, but damn. Look at this view!

We enjoyed the view and took several family photos.We were greeted at the top by as many as 3 eagles flying around. Amazing birds. You have to be very careful exploring the top of the bluffs around here. The slope of the sides can be very steep. A few people every year seem to die trying to be crazy. I tried taking some shots of the eagles but I didn't change to the right lens to really get a good shot. Seems I was paranoid I would drop it and watch it roll down the side.

The south side sees lots of sun. It's mostly dry and covered in grasses and raspberry bushes. The north side is shaded most of the day and covered in thick green vegetation and moss. Somehow, someone built stairs that start the trip back to the minivan. Here's the girls posing.

These stairs went on for quite a while. You might have noticed that OhCountess had the strap to my camera hanging around her neck. These stairs were steep and damp. Also, you'll notice they are a tad narrow.

There were lots of people enjoying Fathers Day doing the same thing we were. Unfortunately, there's no order so people are heading in both directions. Not a big deal today. Lots of friendly people just making room and taking turns. Gotta love it.

When we reached the bottom of the stairs, the girls found this little rock outcropping. Time for a break in the shade.

After catching our wind, we jumped back on the trail and started heading back.

This side has a pretty narrow trail and I'm not as fearless as I was in high school.

Watching OhPrincess2 bound made me nervous.

Note the slope of the ferns on the right. It was gorgeous back here. The lush green hillsides and the damp mossy trail. A person could slip and fall!

Maybe I'm getting to old for this.

The following are some random shots from the trail.

When we almost reached the bottom, the girls spotted this abandoned cave entrance. I was a little nervous about them approaching, not for the cave itself but when hooligans might have left behind inside. There was a little half wall created over the entrance. You never know what these things will hold.

Thankfully, the only thing we found was a cool breeze blowing out of the cave. Ah...that felt good.

 We made it back to the bottom. At the start of trails is an old steam plant generating electricity. This place is still in operations as far as I know. It even has the name of the company that built it. NSP or Northern States Power. The company name has long since disappeared, but this place continues.

I'd love to spend some time shooting it with my camera. For some reason, old rusty things just fascinate me.

Well, that was our adventure in pictures from the afternoon. We had worked up a pretty mighty appetite in the process, headed to a local park and had sandwiches and pudding cups and then head to my wife's family for some chatting and more food. Not too shabby.

Fathers Day rocks. I really do wish it was a 4 day weekend extravaganza. This kind of fun shouldn't be rushed.

Happy Fathers Day! I hope your day was as fun as mine!