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Articles tagged with: Christmas

Posts related to the Christmas season family, TV specials or even presents.

Written By: Gary on February 4, 2007 No Comment

So I keep forgetting to mentioned that I found iLike, it’s kind of a music social networking site.

The big difference is it recommends music to you and allows you to download it for free. It appears to work best with iTunes, if you download the iLike sidebar it’ll upload lists of what you listen to most and make recommendations in the sidebar where it’ll let you preview music and download it directly to iTunes. Now the free songs are mostly artists that you haven’t heard of, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good, I’m really enjoying some of my new found music. It seems like most (all?) of the new music comes from GarageBand.com

My iLike page is at http://ilike.com/user/garylapointe

They just keep adding new features that they’re pretty god a keeping you up-to-date on the iLike Blog. And they’ve got a widget for your web page (which I’m hoping is showing up on your screen as you read this) and it’ll even let you play my recently played songs as you read this post!What I don’t like about it is it calculates favorites based on the songs in iTunes on your hard drive and not what’s on your iPod (even if this was some manual option I had to select I could deal with it). I’ve got a 60 GB iPod, I don’t have that much room on my laptop to carry around all my music on it all the time (besides I’ve probably got it with me on my iPod). So really what it thinks is my favorite is what I’ve bought from the iTunes store that’s on my laptop and played the most (on the laptop or the iPod). So Conjure One is what it lists as my absolute favorite and while I like them a lot they wouldn’t be listed as my favorite. And when I was playing a lot of Christmas music (which I also had on my laptop) it push that up on my favorite list (I see Kenny G is still high in my rankings because of Christmas.

Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

So search engines are tricky to understand, especially if you want the search engines to find your site and people to find your site via the search engines. One of the things you may want to do is restrict pages that the search engines find, that might seem silly to exclude yourself but I don’t want people inadvertently finding my site.

Here’s an example, I don’t let* the search engines search my monthly archives. Because on the page of 20-50 unrelated posts the information on that page is pretty much unrelated by the end of the month. In December 2006 the mention of “iPods” on the 3rd, has nothing to do with any of the mentions of “family” or “Christmas” but if some searched for “iPods” & “family” or “iPods” & “Christmas” they may come upon that page and while I want traffic I’m not trying to lure people here under false pretenses. This is why I have categories like “Apple” and “Friends + Family” that will have related posts in one location (and even then it’s still kinda a wide range of articles).

So far I’ve just told you why you want a ROBOTS.TXT file but I haven’t told you how and I’m not planning on it, because Google just put together on “Controlling how search engines access and index your website with ROBOTS.TXT”. It’s got a lot of links that take you all over the place but there’s lots of good info there.If you’re just getting started don’t get confused with all the “User-Agent:” rules, just use “User-Agent: *” for now and that will apply to all search engines (that’s all I still use although I’m going to start working on getting some of my pages more mobile-ish).

For another example, I don’t index my Search Results page, this page lists what search words people have used to find my site. Because it those pages were indexed it would just kind of create a self-fulfilling loop of search results.

While on the other hand I do allow my “Talked About” page to be indexed since it doesn’t seem to give a lot of false positives to the search engines. plus once someone gets there they’ll quickly see that it’s probably not the page they’re looking for. But if they did put in some eclectic words that they see I mention often, they might hang around a bit.

* Please note that no search engine is obligated to find your rules, but it they want good results, they’ll probably want to follow your suggestions in your ROBOTS.TXT file. People wanting to steal content from your pages (text or images) will still traverse all the links on your site.

Written By: Gary on January 18, 2007 One Comment

So I’ve just been behind with blogging and posting info from the trip to Costa Rica. Partially since I’ve been so busy and sick in the parts in between. So, some little tidbits:

  • $1.79!!!! – Okay so I’ve mentioned gas prices occasionally and that I get excited with great prices, but today I got it for $1.79, I think that’s my record since I started blogging…
  • Wine bags – So I was cleaning up today and put away bottle of wine that I received for the holidays. It came in a wine bag (which was really cool) but what do you do with the wine bags after you take the wine out? Do you re-gift the bag the next time you take a bottle of wine somewhere? I have more than a few wine bags and I just don’t know what to do with them (I’d probably reuse them but I never think of it when I’m taking wine somewhere).
  • Christmas cleaning – I hate putting away the Christmas stuff when the holidays are over. It’s a pain in the ass for one thing, but I miss the holiday atmosphere and the lights. Actually, it’s mostly the lights that I miss.The lack of blogging also ties into not feeling well, since I’ve been feeling yucky (I’ve been so stuffed up I cannot believe I’m getting enough oxygen to the brain) I’ve been tired. And when I’m tired my eyes get really tired and the screen looks fuzzy, so I’ve been computing less (Have I mentioned I’ve been wearing reading glasses? That’s another story). Today’s the best of felt in days and days so hopfully I’m on the mend so I’ll try and catch up when the weekend hits…
  • Written By: Gary on December 25, 2006 No Comment

    So Mom seems pretty happy with the gifts that I got her for Christmas. In particular she likes the book Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons by Kermit T. Frog. It’s very cute but seems like it really might have some interesting thoughts on it. I just spotted it at Borders, I hadn’t heard anything about it but it looked like something Mom might like.

    The other item was one she specifically asked for: a new vacuum. Her last vacuum was 34 years old, so it was about time. I settled on the Eureka Altima Bagless Vacuum and it was a good choice, she’s been playing around with it today. It’s got a great extendable duster thing that is self cleaning (I don’t even know how to describe it). It was a breeze to put together, three (3) screws and we were done (they could print the manual a little larger though!). It’s nice and light too. I had spotted it at Target and the line was horribly long so I figured I’d check out some other models and maybe come back. Later, Kelly mentioned it was the same one she just bought to replace hers and then it was on sale the next day so I took those two things as a sign and picked it up.

    She seems very happy with that and all the other items that Santa and I brought her!!!

    Written By: Gary on December 25, 2006 No Comment

    Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!! I hope everyone everywhere has a wonderful day!!!

    I’ve got a few updates and a few things to cross off my list that I’ll be updating y’all the next few days…

    Written By: Gary on December 22, 2006 One Comment

    So I’m very excited about the holidays!!! Tomorrow my house will be packed with people. I’ve never had this many people in my condo so it’s going to be a tight fit. Twenty-eight people, I think about 10 will be kids and while I’ve generally got stuff for kids to do things, I don’t have much space for them to do it in, that’ll be the trick!

    Saturday (the 23rd) will also be the closest to Christmas that my extended family (on my Mom’s side) has celebrated Christmas since 1997, I think every year before that we got that group together on Christmas Eve. That’s why I’m having it this year, I wanted it closer to Christmas and this way, I get my way :)

    Well, I’m off. I’ve got a bunch of little things that need to be done, but enough of everything is done so I don’t have to worry about it. I think I’m done with all the kids except one (and I think that will require a call to his parents since I’m clueless).

    Written By: Gary on December 20, 2006 One Comment

    So I gave up Coca-Cola for a few weeks for several reasons. It’s on my list of 101 in 1001 to try and see how if it makes me feel any better or sleep any better, etc. I chose this time just to hopefully have less sugar/caffine in my body to maybe stay healthier for the holidays (especially since I’m hosting Christmas for 25-ish people on Saturday). I’m not allowed to substitute other (inferior) caffeinated drinks or extra amounts of chocolate, etc.

    Well, the health thing didn’t work out since I got sick a few days later (last week) and don’t know if I slept better due to the illness or the decrease of sugar/caffine. No friends or coworkers have noticed I seemed to be less hyper :)

    But I do get cravings for Coke, even when I haven’t removed it from my intake. But the other day at McDonald’s I got my number three which includes a drink, fries a Quarter Pounder with cheese, no pickles or mustard for those of you who may not know what a McDonald’s is, let alone what a #3 is. And as I took a drink of my soda I realized I was taking a really really long drink through the straw and it was tasting really really good. And then I realized why, I accidentally got a Coke. So while I hate to be wasteful, I went and dumped it out and got a Sprite instead. The Sprite just wasn’t the same…

    So I’ve got two more days to go. Actually, about two days and five hours. And I’m really ready for it. And I know I need to try this experiment again sometime, the getting sick really through off the results the “experiment”. But I think I’m gonna stick it out for a few more days just because I can. Maybe…

    Written By: Gary on December 6, 2006 2 Comments

    So my last post wasn’t to make you believe that life isn’t good, it was just pointing out the blah things and not being in the mood for blogging (or even much blog reading). Life has been good and even today in general has been great.

  • I got some gifts for a wedding and not only did I find somethings on the registry that I didn’t mind buying but I found things I wanted to buy for them and one was something I had even considered before reading the registry. I won’t list the items in case they’ve been keeping up on my blog.
  • I went to the library to pick up two new books I had on reserver and they actually had a third waiting for me! The items consist of: Brother Odd (Koontz), Next (Crichton) and Wild Fire (DeMille). These plus some other one week books are going to generate some nice fines for the library.
  • While I couldn’t get to sleep last night I slept like a rock once I did get to sleep, got a little over nine hours, if I can just do the same tonight…
  • While I was at the library I found a few 25 cent paperbacks which I’ll take on my next vacation (and not need to bring back).
  • Plus I drove by my local bar just as happy hour started and I popped in. So I’m currently blogging this over a Long Island Iced Tea and some and some free appetizers! Plus, it’s very Christmas-ish here thanks to Dawn.

    Other good things coming up: We’re celebrating Christmas at my place for the extended family in a few weeks and I’m way excited about that. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to put 25 people in my condo but I’ll make it work. For the last few years my (Mom’s) extended family hasn’t celebrated Christmas anywhere near the 25th (we used to do it on the 24th every year) which is why I volunteered to have it on the 23rd. I actually sent out invites in April to make sure this would happen. And on top of that, next month I get to go on a warm sunny vacation to Costa Rica!

    In addition, many of the things in this post and the previous post gets a bunch of items off my 101 in 1001 list. I’ve completed 24 of 101 things done and I have 637 of 1001 days left to do them so I need to catch up a bit (23.76% of tasks done but 36.36% of the time had passed). The Costa Rica trip crosses off two (maybe three items), family Christmas knocks off two and the eye appointment is another. I might get a few more but those are guaranteed to be done in the next 60 days.

  • Written By: Gary on October 23, 2006 No Comment

    So I’ve definitely fallen behind in my 101 in 1001 list (23% of my tasks done and used 32% of my time.). I’ve got more than a few things lined up in the next few months.

  • I’m having the family Christmas at my house this year. This covers two items: 1) Having the Family Christmas and 2) Have the extended family over once a year.
  • If I go to Costa Rica this winter I cover several items: 1) Going back to Costa Rica, 2) A warm winter vacation, 3) Possibly deciding if I want to move there some day.
  • I could also succeed in doing one (or two) more Christmas related items: 1) Greenfield Village or 2) The Hines Drive lights tour.

    So I could start to catch up soon. It’s likely I’ll get five items just from the above list (maybe 7). I’ll likely get more done, but these are very likely to happen by January…

    Can you tell I’m feeling a little behind on the list. I’m not sure why, the purpose is to give more time to do these things. And if you consider most people don’t complete any of their New Year’s resolutions I’ve already got 23% of my list done…

  • Written By: Gary on September 23, 2006 No Comment

    So on October 17th Sarah McLachlan is releasing a Wintersong, a Christmas Album. Looking forward to this a lot! I always liked her “Song for a Winter’s Night” (which is on this) which is kind of a holiday song if I remember correctly.

    It’s a new album but the downside of this begs the question “where is some new original music?!?”…

    FYI – She’s also releasing Mirrorball: The Complete Concert newly re-mastered and on 2 CDs to be released on October 3rd. I really like her live, I’m generally pretty fussy about live recordings. But again, where’s the new music…

    Written By: Gary on August 21, 2006 One Comment

    I was tagged by RW to do this meme :)

    Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
    Web Programmer
    Computer Trainer
    Camp Counselor

    Four movies you could watch over and over:

    The Flight of the Navigator
    The American President

    The Cutting Edge
    A Christmas Story

    Four places you’ve lived:
    Berkley, MI
    East Lansing, MI
    Haslett, MI
    Dearborn, MI

    Four TV shows you love to watch:
    Gray’s Anatomy
    Dead Zone
    Kyle XY

    Four websites you visit daily:
    The Daily Meme

    Four of your favorite foods:
    Hot Wings
    Chicken With Pineapple (Chinese)
    Beef With Brocolli (Chinese)

    Four places you’d rather be:
    The Beach
    Costa Rica
    The Moon

    Four albums you can’t live without (for the moment):

    Avril Lavign
    Under My Skin
    Anna Nalick
    Wreck of the Day

    Tori Amos
    Little Earthquakes
    Indigo Girls
    Strange Fire

    I’m stopping at four (2 new & 2 old) but I really couldn’t stick to four…

    Written By: Gary on April 15, 2006 No Comment

    So the weather was great again today. Lots of sunshine. Not too hot. Great day.

    I got my Christmas invitations mail out. Why? Because the family has been having Christmas too early lately and I want it closer to Christmas. So I’m formally inviting the family or when I want to have it this year. So I sent out Christmas-ish invites (glitter was on them and now it’s everywhere) and a map with directions for those who don’t remember where I am. I’m probably at the opposite end of the map than everyone else, but I’m right off the expressways (I-75, I-96, I-94, M-39) so I’m probably a shorter drive because of the time. Plus this is one of the items on my 101 in 1001 list, having it is, not just the inviting…

    Plus, I took the sports-coat with the permanent ink into the cleaners the other day and I went to pick it up today and they got the stain out! I wish I had taken the shirt in too, I think it’s already in the trash. I should look up their name so I can give them credit (they’re on the south side of Ford, just west of Dearborn city hall).

    Oh yeah one bad thing, Mark spilled a big cup of coffee all over my living room floor but I think most of that is cleaned up. Right now, I think parts are cleaner than before it spilled, but I’d rather have it looking a little bleached than brown. I won’t know for sure until it dries later…

    Written By: Gary on January 27, 2006 No Comment

    So I noticed I haven’t been blogging (or even reading other blogs) much lately. I’ve been busy and working a little later and I’ve been cleaning around my house. Lots of garbage this week again and lots of organization. If I can get the Christmas tree down this weekend I’ll have even more room from that (and the holiday boxes that are pulled out of storage), I’ll miss the lights though…

    So I noticed that this will probably be the fifth lowest month of posts I’ve done (these numbers show up in the left sidebar of the main page next to the months). What’s really odd is three of those five are January (the other two are in the first few months of blogging). So why don’t I get more blogging done in January? I should go back and read some posts and see what I was up to…

    Written By: Gary on January 22, 2006 2 Comments

    I got so much stuff done yesterday. Shopped for a new desk (which I never found). Ran countless errands on a beautiful day. Cleaned. Reorganized. Managed to get the last two done with out making the house a disaster. Got gas at a reasonable price. Ate delicious leftovers (my takeout Thai for the day before and some delicious BBQ chicken casadias from the day before.

    I’ve been on a cleaning/organizing spree lately. Got rid of a broken desk (it was supported by a file cabinet), moved a bookcase to where that was. Most of my books that are out are actually in bookcases (not in a stack somewhere). Set up a table for the computer I want to move upstairs (this is where I wanted a new desk for). I always want things more organized but I always keep so much crap. Crap is old bills, bank statements, article clippings, computer parts, magazines, software, books, monitors, TVs, electronics, etc. I’ve thrown out more the last few weeks (and most of it clearly trash).

    Free stuff: I’ve still got the Martha Stewart Christmas tree to give away for anyone who wants to come pick it up (this will not still be here in a few more weeks).

    I’ve also got a few monitors if anyone local has some problems with their computer monitor (I think two 15 inch and one 17 inch). And two VCRs that only play.

    Cheap: I’ve also got a variety of stuff that I’ll probably be putting up for sale if you know anyone who needs stuff cheap (TiVos, stereo receivers, speakers, CD changers [5 and 200], 15 inch TV, etc.). It’s all great condition, but I tend to upgrade often. I’ve just got to recoup a little of the cost. So if you know someone moving out / off to college, etc. ask me before they buy new stuff.

    Written By: Gary on January 7, 2006 4 Comments

    So it’s really cold out and icy! I needed to be at the shelter training for a volunteer panel orientation and I left extra early but they closed the expressways. I took some back roads and Hines Drive and I got there a few minutes late (but not too late to do my thing).

    But these Michigan people and their four wheel drive have no clue how to drive. They were the ones sliding all over the place almost causing the accidents. Just drive reasonable and they’d probably be safer but they drive like the roads aren’t even icy. They closed the expressways, that should tell you something…

    So that inspired me to change my theme to something cold but less Christmas-ish.

    Written By: Gary on January 7, 2006 2 Comments

    Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
    Web Programmer
    Computer Trainer
    Camp Counselor

    Four movies you could watch over and over:

    The Flight of the Navigator
    The American President

    The Cutting Edge
    A Christmas Story

    Four places you’ve lived:
    Berkley, MI
    East Lansing, MI
    Haslett, MI
    Dearborn, MI

    Four TV shows you love to watch:
    Gray’s Anatomy
    Two and a half Men
    Veronica Mars

    Four websites you visit daily:
    The Daily Meme

    Four of your favorite foods:
    Hot Wings
    Chicken With Pineapple (Chinese)
    Beef With Brocolli (Chinese)

    Four places you’d rather be:
    Costa Rica
    The Moon

    Four albums you can’t live without (for the moment):

    Avril Lavign
    Under My Skin
    Anna Nalick
    Wreck of the Day

    Tori Amos
    Little Earthquakes
    Indigo Girls
    Strange Fire

    I’m stopping at four (2 new & 2 old) but I really couldn’t stick to four…

    Via Webmiztris via Kimi and Wendy.

    Written By: Gary on December 26, 2005 No Comment
    1. Which of the following generally costs you more: a normal trip to your barber/hairstylist, your usual lunch at your favorite restaurant, the most recent amount you paid to fill up your gas tank, or your biggest single contribution to a single charity in 2005?
    My biggest contribution to a single charity was the largest: which would to First Step (the shelter I volunteer at). Next would be Gas, Hair, Lunch.
    2. What drink — alcoholic or not — do you drink entirely too much of?
    Coca-Cola. My other drinks are water, Cap’t + Coke, Long Island Iced Teas, and a fruity drink that tastes like Hawaiian Punch.

    2. What drink — alcoholic or not — do you drink entirely too much of?
    Coca-Cola. My other drinks are water, Captain + Coke, Long Island Iced Teas, and a fruity drink that tastes like Hawaiian Punch.
    3. Did you receive a Christmas card from anyone you didn’t send one to? Did you send them a belated card in return?
    Yes. I got lots of nice ones this year (I sent none).
    4. Take this quiz (if you haven’t already!): What is most important in your life?
    Family. (See the details of the quiz below).
    5. Before taking the quiz, which of its categories (career, love, money, health, family or fun) would you have said would be your answer?
    Family and Fun.
    6. Do you believe in soulmates? Do you think that there are at least one out there for every person, that there is a single “true” soulmate for every person, or that there aren’t soulmates for everyone?
    I hope there is at least one, ’cause I think I’ve let a few get by already.

    From the Saturday Six.

    Family is most important in your life.

    Having a high focus on family indicates that you are a loving and nurturing person. You want to have a nice big family of your own, and you are very close with your siblings and parents.

    Life Piechart - QuizGalaxy.com

    Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

    I’m not sure how it divided out the Fun and the Love to decide on just family…

    Written By: Gary on December 25, 2005 One Comment

    Merry Christmas!! I was going to try and sleep a little more but my mother is visiting and is downstairs trying to use the remote control to turn the lights on down there. But she keeps blinking lights (and relays) on and off in my room. Scared the crap out of me! I guess I should get up so we can eat and do the present thing. Yea!!!

    Everyone have fun today and don’t forget to be nice to your family :)

    I’ll have a report on some of my loot later…

    Written By: Gary on December 24, 2005 One Comment

    I’ve been out doing a little more shopping today, I didn’t think the stores were bad at all. Some stores had long queues but lots of registers open, so I didn’t wait much more than an average day. Plus, I cashed in one of my gift certificates and bought Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things In Their Backyard, Basement or Garage while at Borders (thanks!).

    Everyone please drive safe and take care today. Be nice to your family even if they are making you cRaZy!

    Written By: Gary on December 22, 2005 No Comment

    If there is someone who needs* a Christmas tree I have a very nice artificial 7.5 foot Martha Stewart brand tree to give away. It’s only two or three years old and in great shape. It’s just a pain to assemble so I bought a three piece pre-lit tree this year. All you have to do is make arrangements to come pick it up, I’m in the Dearborn (Detroit) Michigan area. As soon as it is claimed I will post it is reserved (which means they haven’t picked it up yet) and or taken. Please feel free to e-mail me about this (be sure to answer the immediate auto-reply you will get) include a phone number to make arrangements.


    It’s one of those trees that have each branch needs to be put in. It’s in great shape. All I ask in return is a photo of it when you put it up this or next year. Photo is of the actual tree (this tree is not pre-lit).

    A pickup sooner than later wins :)

    * This is for someone who has no tree, not for someone who needs a second/third/fourth tree for their basement/cottage/guest house.

    Written By: Gary on December 17, 2005 One Comment

    This is my one-thousandth post! That’s all I’ve got to say about it…

    Although no one said anything about my Christmassy background.

    Oh another thing, since May 21 of this year I finally hit the 100,000 spams stopped by MT-Blacklist mark!

    Written By: Gary on December 15, 2005 4 Comments

    I wish TiVo made it possible to turn on Closed Captioned (which would make it have subtitles). I use a TiVo and a Data/Video Projector so I don’t have an actual television that I can turn the captioning on. This is annoying in that when I can’t hear something clearly (and “rewinding” doesn’t help) there’s nothing I can do. We really need this as a feature.

    There’s other reasons to have this:

  • For your little kids to have the text while they watch TV to help with the connections between the audible and written words.
  • Language reinforcement for those with literacy issues. This was just covered by Google with the phrase of (SLS) Same-Language Subtitling (which I’ve never heard it referred to as that before).
  • And of course one of the main reasons (it’s original purpose, I believe) for the Hearing Impaired.
  • Having the TV on when there is company over (which I generally don’t do unless there is a holiday themed movie on) to mute it and just have the text. (It always suprises me how many people haven’t seen “A Christmas Story”.)

    I can turn it on when watching a DVD but it might still be an issue when using the DVD Player in my TiVo, I may still have to go to the main menu of a movie (I’ll have to check that when I get home).

    I’m sure there are some hacks to make this happen on the TiVo but it should easily do it. It really needs it since you can control the speed of the TiVo it can affect when the actual captions appear.

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    Written By: Gary on December 14, 2005 No Comment

    So this isn’t exactly a very Christmas-ish tale, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining hysterical. Dave at Blogography has a Lego Advent Calendar which means a new little lego toy for each day of the month of December.

    Be sure to start at the beginning of the story on December 1, the “Lego chapters” have their own special sections but they are mixed in with regular posts. I’m thinking there will be a Santa, reindeer and a few other holiday items before the end of this but I’m not sure it’ll end happily ever after

    He started with the fireman toy and wrote a little story and decided to add a chapter each day, each chapter has the new Lego toys posed, some graphics added to enhance the imagery and descriptive text with dialog. Since the beginning of the story we’ve had an explosion, a psycho killer with a rotary buzz saw, some maimed characters, a bit of blood (I didn’t know that plastic could bleed so much) and more than you can imagine can occur in just a dozen frames of story. Actually, it’s possible Dave’s finally gone over the edge (but in a good way) although he expresses some concern about this too (but not until the 6th).

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on December 11, 2005 One Comment

    So I looked all over the house and checked my pockets but I can’t find my “wallet”. I put it in quotes because it’s not a wallet, it’s really all the stuff I keep in my pocket (some cash, a charge card, driver’s license, some business cards of mine, a few cards for the shelter and that’s about it). But I can’t find it. I checked the two pairs of pants I ware yesterday but no luck. I know I had it when I went to the library but I don’t know if I took it to the Christmas party last night. I was hungry so I didn’t look long and I had some other cash, I’m up at BK so At least I’m full now. It’s that I generally only put it on one or two places, I’ll look harder when I get home…

    LATER: Found it/them. The location was one of the many pockets in my Dockers Mobile Pants I had checked those pants several times but not that “secret” pocket. I normally wouldn’t put stuff like that in that pocket (it’d be inconvenient) but I guess I decided I wouldn’t need that stuff much for the rest of the evening…

    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2005 No Comment

    BlondfirexmasSo Blondfire (formerly known as Astaire) has released an exclusive Holiday EP through iTunes. It’s only $3.96!! I’ve mentioned Blondfire several times before and seen them in concert and I sure wish they’d play somewhere local again.

    I’ve purchased it at iTunes and I am (impatiently) waiting for the tracks to download…

    And speaking of holiday tunes:

  • The free iTunes download of the week is Jingle Bells by Diana Krall (it’ll only be free through the 13th of this December).
  • And for 99 cents you can get Let it Snow by Carly Simon.
  • Written By: Gary on December 5, 2005 One Comment

    I love my Christmas tree! When I get a few more decorations up (and clean up the living room) I’ll do a picture. All the white lights are really bright though.

    Another 26 things got by me and I didn’t get more than one photo taken. I can’t find it (maybe it’s still on the camera).

    I need to finish my 101 things in 1001 days list since I know I’m going to be crossing one off this week.

    It was Cat in the Hat day in the morning and afternoon preschool so they asked me to dress up and come read to the kids! We did “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” They all had paper hats (and big bow/bowties) that looked like the Cat in the Hat. :)

    BlogSpot.com seems to be down tonight (a few blogs and memes I like are up there).

    Written By: Gary on December 4, 2005 4 Comments

    So the nine foot trees are sparse around here and I had to give up on one with colored lights, all I could find were white lights. So I’m thinking I’m definitely not going to find a colored light one on sale after. I decided the Martha Stewart one from K-mart really was the nicest one (it’s a little skinny but that’s part of when I like it). Here’s the problem, no one has them in stock. I’ve check a half-dozen and friend’s have checked a few others for me. So here craziest part: They’re on sale today (28% off) but no one has them! So I check the first store I checked and they’ve got them marked on-sale but have none (at least mark them out of stock!). And the manager remembers that one of the stores got two in, but can’t remember which one (how helpful is that?!?).

    So I get the phones numbers of a bunch of stores from them (including a few I hadn’t checked) and start calling. No one has them. Kelly calls me and tells me they have one at the store by her (that’s funny, they told me they were out when I called). She’s calling from Liz’s and they hop in the mini-van and pick it up and deliver it to me! Now that’s service!

    I’ll put it up later and see if I’m happy enough to not replace the 800 bulbs with multi-colored lights. Once I put my colorful ornaments on, maybe it’ll be okay. Or at least okay enough…

    Written By: Gary on November 27, 2005 5 Comments

    So I hate assembling my Christmas Tree, it’s only a few years old but it’s making me cRaZy, especially since I’d rather have a real tree (but my allergies bug me when I do). So I’m looking for a fake artificial one, here’s the trick: I want it tall and have multi-colored lights. Most of the tall ones (9-10 feet) I see are all clear unless I go really tall and really expensive. The ones I’ve seen are in the $199-$299 range, look great and the bottom isn’t too big (i.e. it doesn’t take up the whole room). I actually really like the $199 nine-and-a-half foot one I saw at Home Depot yesterday, I might just have to go clear if I don’t find anything in a few days.
    Has anyone seen anything they like or can recommend that fits what I’m looking for? (Multi-colored, 9-10 feet, not a huge base and $200-$400)

    If it really bugs me, I could always change out all the 1000+ bulbs, right?

    Written By: Gary on November 22, 2005 One Comment
    1. Do you like the colder weather, or are you into the hotter weather?
    I like hotter better, but colder isn’t as annoying as much for the short term (I can go out side for a minute and not come back hot and sweaty.

    2. What is your favorite thing about winter?
    Snow and/or ice on the trees and Christmas lights outside (with now).

    3. Do you have a favorite comfy, cozy lounging around outfit?
    Not really.

    4. What’s your favorite warm drink when it is just too cold out there?
    Hot apple cider with carmel whip. Preferably the cider has had a cinnamon stick soaking in it all day…

    From Tuesday’s Tales.

    Written By: Gary on October 14, 2005 4 Comments

    What are your Top 5, all time favorite movies?

  • Flight of the Navigator: An unknown Disney movie. But one of the best.
  • The American President: Aaron Sorkin before Sport’s Night and before The West Wing.
  • The Cutting Edge: D.B. Sweeney as a hockey player who gets an injury. While it stops him from playing hockey, it doesn’t stop him from skating.
  • Ever After – A Cinderella Story: Drew Barrymore as a Cinderella-ish “character”
  • A Christmas Story: Be careful, or you’ll shoot your eye out!!!

    From Top 5 Friday

  • Written By: Gary on July 20, 2005 No Comment

    So it’s been 36 years since we landed on the Moon. I still think that is so cool. I really thought we’d be making field trips there by now but unfortunately that isn’t the case. These days I’m just excited/hopeful that we’ll get the shuttle missions going again.

    For my birthday last year (or maybe it was Christmas) I got this Apollo 11 Artifact Kit. It’s got all sorts of cool paraphernalia in it (mission patch, moon map, travel voucher, customs declaration, school photos of one of the astronauts kids and other interesting stuff) and a book too. My mother saw it the other day and commented on how much her dad would have liked it, he’s the guy who got me interested in space and science. I don’t know if he ever knew that. I remember him taking me up to the library and getting books when I was little and I remember getting something to do with space at the same time he was (my version had lots more pictures than his did). It’s that first time that I always think of when people ask me about how I got interested in science and technology. I don’t know what was going on that made him interested, maybe a space mission or the anniversary of some launch or maybe just plain old curiosity.

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2005 2 Comments

    So I’ve been tagged with the book meme (list current books and favorite books and tag a few more people) from Dave over at Blogography.

    How Many Books Do You Own? At least five-hundred. A complaint from the last time I moved was “who the hell taught you to read?”. The answer is probably my grandfather, who didn’t teach me to read but taught me to want to read.

    What is the Last Book You Bought? Mindscan by Robert Sawyer. I have yet to read this one, so here’s some background on the author. He’s the canadian Michael Crichton, what does that mean? It means he’s awesome (I hope he likes MC) and he makes complicated science fun. He generally does more with connecting everything (science and religion and the mind and the universe) in a holistic way and making it all tie together. He’s entertaining, humorous and very knowledgeable.

    What is the Last Book You Read? Time’s Eye by Arthur C. Clark and Stephen Baxter. Imagine To Your Scattered Bodies Go (a classic series from way before it’s time where everyone who ever died resurrected all at once) and the Secret Wars comic (pieces of planets carved up and reassembled into one new planet) combined into one new story. The Earth has been cut up into pieces throughout time and a mishmash of the planet has been reassembled, one step to a new piece of the puzzle may take to the ice age or the future. Plus these silver orbs that defy physics and appear to be watching. Throw in Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan and you’re ready to go.

    Name five books that mean a lot to you. Let’s see if I can keep it to five…

    The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. This and the rest of the Narnia Series will take you to another world. Don’t let the recent chronological renumbering of the books confuse you, this is the one to start with. Four children who find a passage into another world. A world where they are destined to sit and rule and fight to save the world where “every day is winter, but never Christmas”. This will be a movie this December and I get chills when I see the preview.

    Calculating God by Robert Sawyer. Imagine aliens land on earth (Canada of course) and only want to meet with a paleontologist. Imagine they have record of several disasters in the past of their planet the coincide with ours (such as the dinosaurs being wiped out 65 million years ago). What can the cause of this? Why God of course! Isn’t that the reason for science? To prove the existence of God? He’s got some great humor and science and philosophy that’ll make you want to read all his recent books. I’ve given several of this book away as gifts.

    Lightning by Dean Koontz. This is a book that I cannot believe hasn’t been adapted into a movie. A non-typical Dean Koontz book with a hero (that I can’t reveal too much about) and the woman he loves and has fallen in love with over and over. And in typical Dean Koontz fashion they are being chased by the bad guys. Hmm… i don’t know what else to say without giving away the story. But it’s my favorite book by him.

    So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane. Forget Harry Potter, if you want wizardary this is the series to read. There are rules to spells, you calculate them, they take time, they have a price and in the long run they slow down the death of the universe. Join Kit and Nita as they learn about wizardry and save the world (several times). Diane Duane has written seven of these books and several other fantasy series, Star Trek books and some SpiderMan books. Another book I’ve given away multiple copies of…

    Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. The 1959 classic end of the world novel on how a small courageous Florida town survives after the bombs drop. This is probably the only required fiction I ever had in high school that ever made an impact on me. It’s about people and the basic needs they have after an attack. I can’t imagine how the pampered world of today would be impacted if the same thing happened now.

    I’ll mention The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but won’t use it since Dave did. And an Honorable Mention to The Watchmen (which to me) was the backstory to The Incredibles (yes, this dark comic is the reason those cartoon characters retired) and resposible for the resurgence of Batman (The Dark Knight Returns) in the mid-1980’s.

    Now “tag” five individuals to provide their own lists. Okay lets see. Heather, who got me into blogging. Allison who actually has a Douglas Adams quote at the top of her blog right now. Dave at A Product of the 80’s who comments often but I can’t think of him ever mentioning any books. Diane at Arcadian Expressions who’s another Michiganian. Alfie at Noiblata who’s also local. Jenni at Kitten Kiss with whom I share a birthday. And Kelly who doesn’t post often enough but I bet has some interesting reads. So maybe that’s more than five but at least I stuck to five books…

    Feel free to tag yourself (no, that’s not dirty) and post a link in the comments.

    And I’ve already thought of a few other books I should add… Sigh…

    Written By: Gary on May 29, 2005 No Comment
    1. Crowd:: Party
    2. Hamburger:: Joint
    3. Choker:: Sexy
    4. Lights:: Cap On
    5. Tinsel::  Christmas
    6. Testament:: Old
    7. Best part of the day:: Breakfast
    8. Election:: Day
    9. Clarinet:: Concert
    10. Cake or death:: Marie Antoniette(?)

    From Unconcious Mutterings.

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