Sunday, December 31, 2006

About Fricking Time

DOD bars use of HTML e-mail, Outlook Web Access

Save the internet. Don't use Internet Explorer, Outlook or Outlook Express.

Happy New Year

In ~25 minutes here. Ended up having to do a bit of work work tonight. Email and computer security problems wait for no one. Thing1, thing2, and I watched the Bears get their a$$es handed to them by the Packers. Great tune up for the playoffs - eh?

Twas an interesting year for us. A little more prosperous but a whole lot more bills. More stress too. With God's help we'll get through.

I wish all of you a very Happy and prosperous New Year.

DBD on Kerry

Chris Muir, as usual, nails it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's target time

Not the store but some results from the range today.

Kel Tec Sub 2000 at 10 yards. 2 to the chest and 1 to the head combinations.

Same with a Glock 17 at 7 yards. Gotta work on the head shots. :-)

Tried a couple of mags through the Glock with my Surefire 6P in my weak hand at 7 yards. The range was fairly dark except for my light. I really need to practice with this scenario...

One may wonder why I shoot at such a short range? Well it's pretty simple really. My house is fairly small and should the sh*t hit the fan at home the maximum range indoors is ~12 yards so I concentrate on the distances that make the most sense for my environment.

Blogger fun

So I switched to the new blogger. And now blogging with pictures with Picasa is broken. The Picasa help has some things to try but they don't resolve the problem.


A day at the range

Thing1 and I headed off to the range this morning. I had the need to shoot something and paper seemed the most logical. Thing1 needed to blow off some steam as well. I worked with my Glock 17 and Kel Tec Sub 2000 carbine. In 350 rounds I only had one jam and that was with the Kel Tec.

The case was jammed in the top left of the chamber keeping the bolt from coming forward and stripping off the next round.

Time for a good cleaning!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

At the movies

Thing2 is off from school this week and since Thing1 is working over Christmas break I took the day off to spend it with Thing2. Just Dad and daughter out to the movie. And what did we see? Charlotte's Web. This was an enjoyable film for just about anyone. I was kind of waiting for a PETA moment but it never happened. Perfect for the whole family.

Tonight we watched Invincible. Based on the true story of Vince Papale's rise from bar tender to Philadelphia Eagle this was an entertaining movie. (Thing2 had been pushing John Tucker Must Die but I wanted to send this movie back to Netflix) Invincible is worth the rental.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sweet Little Thing2

 Posted by Picasa

Nectar of the Gods

My sister-in-law did this for my wife

It's the boy's favorite - Jim Beam Posted by Picasa

Tale of Two iPods

The wife had been hinting that she wanted an iPod. And being the silly person I am I believed her when she said she wanted "nothing" for her birthday last month. So I picked one up for her for Christmas.

And what did she get me?

Mine is the black one. I'm ripping CDs now... Posted by Picasa

Ghosts of Christmas Past

The wife came across this picture yesterday. Circa 1982 or 1983 - it's one of the few with both our parents in it.

From left to right: Her dad, my dad (d. 1987), her mom (d. 2000), and my mom (d. 1985). The guy on the far right doesn't count - he's just my brother-in-law. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hallmark fun

Thing2 and I were bored while the cookies baked

Jingle Bells

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

We Wish you a Merry Christmas

IP over Avian Carrier


Via Blackfive

A Christmas Story (Remixed)

A new take on one of my favorite Christmas movies:

Via HotAir

It started out good

Twas a great plan: The wife and Thing1 were off to work. Thing2 (whenever she dragged herself out of bed) were going to make cookies and just have a fun day. Things were progressing just fine - I even tossed in McDonalds for lunch. And then I decided to check my email and found the following from a close friend:
    Got to my mom's house yesterday to find her on the floor, she fell.

    After spending ~9 hours in the emergency room yesterday. She's broken her hip.
    Lot's of pain, I hate hospitals. They are very slow and busy !!!

Her mom is in her 80's and living on her own. Picked up the phone and called her up. She's pretty shaken up but like any good daughter is rearranging everything to be by her mom this weekend. Surgury is necessary - sometime this weekend. This is not a good way to celebrate Christmas but her family will be together by her mom's side.

Thing2 and I eventually got to make our cookies. 16 dozen. This was the first time I had used parchment paper to bake with. Very nice. No burned cookie bottoms.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Don't wear a gun to a MRI

I've had my share of MRI's. The rule is simple - no metal. This guy didn't seem to understand...

Via Tam.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Day in Chicago

I'm not much of a fan of cities. Or crowds. So what does the family want to do? Go to Chicago and wander State Street and Michigan Avenue!

Getting there wasn't bad. We took the train in. $5.00 each for a weekend pass. From Union Station we headed up to State Street and wandered around. Macys continued a lot of the Marshall Fields traditions. Looked very sharp. And unlike Target the Salvation Army was welcome.

We headed over to Pizano's" Pizza for lunch. According to Thing1 they were rated the best thin crust pie in Chicago. It was excellent. We then headed down to Michigan Avenue. Thing2 ran into a candy bar.

And we ran into Santa in a alternate form.

This sign was kind of disturbing.

If you search for more information it seems to be showing up all over the place

After we wandered Water Tower Place (where Thing2 got her picture taken with a Abercrombie model...) we headed up Michigan Avenue. The Lego Store was found and explored. The things that can be built are just so cool.

In the same building we found Santa. Thing2 just had to have her picture taken.

Thing1 had to show off his newest toy. Someday he might grow up. I hope it's not too soon.

As we continued to walk the clouds seem to get lower.

Our last stop before heading home was ChristKindleMart in Daley Plaza. Both the Jewish and Christian faiths were represented.

The Chicago tree is always impressive.

As is the village.

After taking in a street performance we headed home. I was ready.

I did notice that the police presence varied. In the heavy shopping areas they were everywhere. On the streets walking back to the train station there were none. A lot more homeless begging for money this year. On the way home the wife commented that one of her friends takes along McDonalds gift certificates to give to the home folks rather than money. I think we'll do that next year. This year most of our money went into the Salvation Army buckets.

You act like you've done this before

Summer fun

Dr. Cox sucks his thumb

Really. Just watch. PG-13. If you're not a fan of Scrubs you might not get it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Lights

I know this guy.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

HDTV for Christmas

The wife and I have been looking at a HD widescreen for our family room for quite a while. Until recently the price was just too high. We had been debating plasma vs LCD vs DLP. All three formats had their redeeming features. In the end it came down to what would fit in our entertainment center. We have a oak entertainment center what we have had for over 10 years. When we bought it we had a 30 inch tube tv and the opening was large enough for a 36. At that time we thought it was more than adequate.

For the past few months the wife has had trouble at Best Buy in walking past the flat screens. The prices were dropping and the picture was excellent. Since we wanted to keep our entertainment center we were limited to a TV what was a maximum of 40 inches wide. That meant the a properly designed 42 inch screen was the largest that would fit. Most of the 42 inch plasmas were too wide. 40 inch LCDs, for the most part, were the perfect size. Now we just had to find the right one.

After much research we kept coming back to the Samsung 4095. The picture was very impressive, it had 2 tuners (one for over the air HD and one for cable), 2 HDMI inputs, S-Video, component, and PC-VGA. Everything I wanted. Best Buy was too expensive so I started looking online. Amazon was ~600.00 cheaper than Best Buy. About the time I was ready to buy Amazon was out of stock. At the same time some friends of ours had just bought a 42 inch plasma at a local appliance store and recommended that we check there. After a stop at Woodfield we did.

We wandered in and talked to a sales person. Told him what we were looking for and he pointed us in the right direction. He gave us the price (much less than Best Buy) but still more than Amazon. I casually mentioned the Amazon price and off he went looking sad. A few minutes later he came back and asked that, if they matched the price, would we buy the TV there? A few minutes later we had a new TV. It was delivered the next day. I hooked up the HD tuner to my antenna and the cable tuner to my cable system. A new up converting DVD player was hooked up via component cables as well as my old VCR.

The HD picture is spectacular. Current DVDs look great. Older DVDs (Top Gun for example) don't look as good. Better than before but not as nice. Regular cable looks impressive given that it isn't HD.

I wanted to take advantage of HDMI but the cables at BB were too expensive. Thanks to a online forum I found Mono Price. A 6 foot HDMI cable was $20.00 delivered. That was 1/4 the price at BB.
The cable showed up in a couple of days and is quite nice. Fully braided and molded ends. For shipping everything was protected.


It works as expected.

This was a bit of a stretch but the picture is awesome. Football and basketball are impressive in HD. Shows like Heros and Supernatural seem so much bolder and more fun to watch.

The only bad part is now watching tv on one of the other sets isn't much fun... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 03, 2006

How about a nice piece of pie?

Buffy and football

While Thing2 and I watched the Bears today Buffy decided that Payton was a good pillow.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Lumanaria 2006

Today, after all the snow, our village held it's annual Lumaria celebration. Civic organizations of all kinds put lumanaria bags (sand and a candle in a paper bag) all along the main roads and they are lit at 7:00pm. At the same time at the Village Hall there is a line to see Santa and listen to the SHS choir sing.


After singing everyone moves outside and the village tree is lit.

It was a bit cold but a great time was had by all.

Snow day

Woke up at 3:00am and there was just a little snow. The weather guessers forcasters had predicted 6 to 12 inches so I figured they were wrong. Again.

Well at 5:00am there was 3 inches of snow. Checked work and today was an excused absense day. Cool - no reason to hurry.

Around 6:00am I decided to go out and shovel. And what did I get when I opened the garage?

  Posted by Picasa

  Posted by Picasa

  Posted by Picasa

Did some initial shoveling to make room for the snow blower and my back asked me what the heck I was doing. Fired up the snow blower and an hour later my driveway and my neighbors were clean. Snow is still falling but the first pass is done.

Decided to stay home and rest the back as it is (now) on the sore side.