serendipitous reflections

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"New heights of geekdom"

Greg, probably my oldest friend (the one who knew me even before "back when"), sent me an email with the subject "New heights of geekdom" and linked to two great sites. The first was PodBrix, a website featuring Lego-style figures of the iPod commercial characters (you know, the silhouettes with the white iPod and headphones). Interesting website -- if I had an iPod, I'd love to have an iPod guy to hand on the string to the earbuds (although there are none in stock on the website).

The other site I actually enjoyed even more, and this one truly appeals to the geek in me. Indexed is a blog that uses graphs to make commentary -- surprising humorous and pointed -- while making me remember how to read a graph. (I like her Weekly World News one, and her dodgeball graph.) Check it out...

[Update: The 5x7 graphs are really funny, especially We're All Going to Hell.]

[Update2: OK ... just had to add this one too...]


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nikki's baby shower

Nikki with the cute cake
Originally uploaded by jenianddean
A couple of weekends ago we went to Atlanta for Nikki's baby shower. We always have such a great time when we go down there. Suzanne did an awesome job with the shower and Nikki just glowed. Her little belly is so cute!

In addition to the shower we also helped get Brandon's nursery ready for his arrival. It looks so cute! I can't wait for Nikki to send us some pictures with bedding on the crib and the new dresser.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

One Year House Anniversary

Today is our one year anniversary of owning our house. We have worked all year to try and make it "ours." We both had visions of what we wanted and I think it has really turned out nicely. There are still lots of projects that need finishing, and lots that need starting. We have loved having our friends and families here, and we hope they have loved being here just as much. And for those of you who haven't been able to visit, remember our door is always open and there is always sweet tea in the fridge. Thanks to everyone who has helped us make this house our home!

Here are a few pictures of some of the projects we have finished....

The front yard landscaping. If you want to see the whole thing, go here.

This was our first project - Jeni's kitchen. I love my kitchen. I have always wanted a red kitchen. (red=passion and cooking is one of my passions, go figure.) The first thing to go was the linoleum floor tiles that they put up as a back splash. UGH! They were ugly and made a mess of the walls as we pulled them down. But it all worked out, as it always does.

Thanks to red-headed Kelli from bringing me my "Indulge" sign. It's one of my favorite things in my kitchen. Actually in those two pictures you can see a lot my favorite things - my pot rack that is very well traveled, my All-Clad, my Gail Pittman pottery, my lady corkscrew from our German friends, Urs and Kirsi, the lights under the cabinets, and my little flip down TV.

Then came the living room...We wanted all of the rooms on the first floor to flow together. The kitchen and the living room share two adjoining walls so we tried to use colors from the same family. I wish I had a better picture of the living room, but we let a friend use our camera this weekend, so I'm stuck with what I have saved.

And the dining room, our labor of love. As many of you know it took us five days to complete this project. The results make it worth every minute. I have wanted to do this technique for years and finally got the chance. I love it!

To be honest the only room in the house that I didn't want to change when we first moved in was the master bedroom. Unfortunately they didn't leave us any extra paint, and I really couldn't find a comforter that I liked to match. I did however find this one, and we took the colors from it to paint the walls, ceiling and bathroom (and the closet as soon as it starts to cool down). I'm still working on trying to find a fabric for the curtains. And bedroom furniture, well that's a long story.

Master bathroom. The Charleston themed border had to go. (Once again I wish I had a better "after" picture...)

Guest Bathroom. After the kitchen this was the room that I most wanted changed. And what a pain the butt it was -- the clouds painted with high gloss paint, the coat after coat of primer, and finally the finished project. Now I want to change the color to something lighter...you would think I would just be happy that it's not a lighthouse room anymore.

And finally our deck....I love it. One of my favorite parts is the smell of fresh herbs - rosemary, basil, chives--yum. I do have a post with all the changes we made to the back yard, but I haven't finished all the labels. I hope to have that up next week.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has came, visited, celebrated birthdays, holidays, or just sat on the deck, had a cold beer and a good laugh.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Penguin love is forever

If only Tiffany was a coffee drinker, Christmas would be handled...

[Click shop, then click coasters.]


Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekly World News

Although for the life of me I can't recall ever truly buying a copy of the Weekly World News, there was something comfortable about knowing that, as I stood in line at the grocery store, I could glance and see if Bat-boy had returned, or not. So to see that the Weekly World News is ending leaves me oddly melancholy, like a piece of American culture is now gone.


Friday, August 17, 2007

L-O-L-A Lola

I have a patient named Lola and every time I go to call her back to get adjusted my mind says "L-O-L-A Lola, la-la-la-la Lola" (and occasionally (Y-O-D-A Yoda...) by the Kinks. She said more people actually sing Copacabana by Barry Manilow -- "Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl..." -- which got me thinking about name songs. I definitely think Lola is a better name song than singing Copacabana. But in the grand scheme, I lean toward Sweet Caroline and Melissa as two of the best name songs, then maybe Layla and Roxanne (as a Police fan, I'm partial to Roxanne, but since it's about a prostitute, I don't know if I'd want people singing it to me...)

So that only leaves me to ask, which songs are missing? I know I'm overlooking a classic or two. What do you consider the best name songs?

[Update: OK, with a wife named Jeni, how did I miss 867-5309/Jenny -- another less than flattering role model for a song theme]

[Update2: OK, I really need to stop thinking about these songs now, because I spent the last two hours trying to remember Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) and all I could get in my head was Windy instead.]


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Couple names baby "@"

Do I really need to say anything more? That's not a typo, they really named their child @.


Star with a comet's tail

This is really (geeky) cool ... but apparently a NASA telescope just spotted a comet-like tail on the star Mira, a star that has been studied for about 400 years. The article has a very cool picture, but what I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around is the concept that "in fact, material blowing off Mira is forming a wake 13 light-years long, or about 20,000 times the average distance of Pluto from the sun." 13 light-years long? My mind just can't grasp that at all ... wow! I know, I'm a big nerd.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I bought a Powerball ticket today, so friends, family and long lost relatives who will come out of the woodwork if we win, please keep 181 million fingers and toes crossed tonight when they draw the magic numbers.


Cool art

I know I've posted the link to this before, but I came across David Lanham's work originally at the Icon Factory. He is one of their talented designers who make replacement icons for your computer (a fun way to jazz up and personalize your desktop). I really enjoy poking around his personal website. He has his icon sets posted, as well as a bunch of great wallpapers (I really like Learn to Protect Yourself, the Breast Cancer Awareness desktop, Kitty Bath, and Phosphoric Acid -- although it's hard to pick any one particular favorite...) and a great sketchbook, too. It's a nice distraction.

[OK, while I'm hyping artists I like, I'd be negligent not to mention Charles Vess, one of my altime favorite comic book artists ... such a crisp art style and fantastic imagery. (More cool art on his blog.) Jeni also really likes the Etsy website. You could spend hours there, easily.]


Slowdown on the way to work

I usually take the interstate into work in the mornings, and fortunately the interstate I take rarely has any congestion or weird slowdowns. But today, for about a mile, the interstate was jam-packed, slowing to about 40 miles per hour. I saw a few almost-wrecks as cars slowed, swerved and craned their necks to see what was slowing things down. Was it the hunt for the escaped murderer? No, instead Columbia decided to park 17 police officers along both directions of I-77 and run radar -- catching those vicious speeders instead of the escapee. It created one big mess as everyone slowed to 20 mph under the speed limit wondering what was going on and created more havoc than a few speeders ever did.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Recipes

I have posted some new recipes on Kitchen Sherpa. Check them out and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I'm really excited about the Stardust movie, and Jeni actually is interested in it, too. We'll be on the run this weekend, so I won't get to lend my $20 of support to opening weekend totals, but I do plan on catching it in the theater (and I think you should too!). It's one of the few books I've read twice, and the movie version is supposed to be accurate to the book, within movie limits.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Clark and Michael

Jeni and I are big Arrested Development fans (the tv show, not the band), and have missed the show ever since Fox let it go. I was talking to one of my patients about it today and he reminded me of a webcast show -- Clark and Michael -- featuring Michael Cera (George Michael Bluth) and a friend of his. I haven't watched much of it yet. I think I'll start at episode one and follow in order, but apparently there are cameos of David Cross and Tony Hale, too.

[OK -- I just saw that I can watch all of Arrested Development online on MSN -- now I'm going to get nothing done at work!]


Thursday, August 02, 2007

If I were in the Simpsons...

Jeni ... Simpsonized ...



I think the Newseum Front Pages website is very interesting. It shows you the front pages of newspapers around the world. On days like today, following a major event like the bridge collapse in Minnesota, I think it is neat to look at different papers and see how they covered the story, and to see which pictures they used. It's also an easy way to see a bunch of good, different dramatic pictures of the same event.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

If I were in the Simpsons

Deano ... Simpsonized...