serendipitous reflections

Saturday, May 24, 2008

No more mixed tapes

I remember when I was in high school, and early in college, there was something about a mixed tape. It was a labor of love. I'd spend hours deciding on the right songs, in the right order, sorting them and timing them out to fill the tape as fully as possible while still getting the feel of the tape just right. Then it got to be so easy with CD burners. You just make a playlist, drag a few songs over. It even tells you if you've gone over. Now, with iPods you don't even have a limit of how many songs ... you just keep dragging them over. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my iPod, but there was something about that mixed tape that iPods and burnt CDs just don't capture.

The other day I saw the link to Cassette From My Ex. This is a website from the people who do Found Magazine. I discovered Found Magazine years ago. It was such a neat online magazine, publishing items people had literally found -- old photos, other people's post cards, love letters, hate mail, random notes. It was always fun to see the photos and try to figure out what the story was behind it. With Cassette From My Ex, people have given them old mixed tapes an ex had made for them, along with the story behind the tape, and you can actually listen to the mix. The saddest part is the comments from people who had never made a mix tape before. But it is funny to see what people put on their mixes.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1000th post: Graduation and Family

I can't believe this is our 1000th post on this blog ... and what a better way to mark the 1000th post than with significant family events. Jeni and I just got back from a whirlwind five days of travel and graduation. We are very excited for both Tommy and Aaron, our nephews who graduated high school this weekend.

Tommy's graduation was in Knoxville on Friday. We headed out from work early to get there in time, and met everyone at Doug's house. We were greeted by Tommy and Jeni had this conversation:
Tommy (wearing a neck tie): "I hate this tie."
Jeni: "You look nice."
Tommy: "But I don't like this tie."
Jeni (trying to change the topic): "Are you excited?"
Tommy: "I'm not excited about this tie."

I don't think Tommy liked wearing a tie. But he looked really nice, and you can see how happy he was with himself, and he should be!

Can two people look any happier???
I think Cathy was a little happy, too.

Everyone's here for Tommy
It was nice to get our whole family together, minus Kelly and Cathy's brothers.

(More pictures of Tommy's graduation)

Unfortunately we had to head out of town the next day and did not get to visit as much as we would have liked, but we made the most of the brief time we had. We enjoyed a long breakfast with Chris and his dog Fenway the next morning before heading down the road to Mississippi.

Aaron's graduation wasn't until Monday evening, so we were able to take our time driving in on Saturday, have a nice lunch for Aaron on Sunday, then rest and eat lunch at PF Chang's on Monday before graduation that night.

The walk....
Aaron walking the stage ... I even managed to get a picture. I liked how they did their picture with the graduates.

Jeni and Aaron
He's grown so tall. I really think Jeni should have been on a step or two for this picture.

The family
We all clean up pretty good, I think.

Is Red graduating too?
Even Red Dog got in on the graduation action, wearing (very briefly) the mortar board from the graduation cake.

(More pictures of Aaron's graduation)

We really enjoyed our visit to Jackson, and at least got to spend a few days with family there before heading back. We had to leave first thing Tuesday morning, and actually managed to make the nine hour trip with only one stop. We passed a group of Veterans on motorcycles (Run for the Wall) riding their way from LA to Washington DC for Memorial Day. There were probably a couple hundred bikes, and they just happened to pull off on an exit right as we caught up with them or we would have been traveling in the midst of them for some time, I think. Jeni snapped a picture or two, but I'll have to post them later.

It was a quick weekend, but we were glad we could be there with Tommy and Aaron. They both are going off to college in the fall, and we are so excited for them and all the adventures ahead of them!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

LOST thought

We haven't watched from last night, but I thought this was interesting -- I was poking around the internet and realized that Michael Faraday was a pioneer physicist in the field of electromagnetism. And you know all the attention to detail, and the fact that Daniel Faraday is the scientist who came to the island. Just think it is an interesting connection.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to some of favorite mothers!!My Mom, CarolynDean, Doug, and Kelly's Mom, Sharon
Fred's mom and Chris and my step-mom, Sue.

Andrew, Aaron, and Brittany's Mom, Jackie

Tommy, Sarah, Noah, Amy, and Evan's Mom, Cathy

Gracie and Clara Ann's Mom, LisaMorgan, Evan, and Branden's Mom, NikkiMakenzie's Mom, TrinityTrinity, Beth, and David's Mom, JudyGarrett's Mom, Tracey


Friday, May 09, 2008

LOST thought

After watching LOST last night, it is clear that Claire is dead, and probably died in the house explosion. It just makes me wonder how many of the other "survivors" of the crash are actually dead, but moving around like they are alive (like Horace, or the one-eyed Russia that blew up Charlie).

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Free book

Cory Doctorow wrote the book Little Brother, a young adults book, and has placed it online for a free download. This book has been well reviewed, and it's free. Jeni and I both love books, and like to share books with others, so when I saw that this one was available for a free download, I wanted to point it out. No, I haven't read it yet, but I did download it.

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, and he said of Little Brother, "I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year, and I'd want to get it into the hands of as many smart 13 year olds, male and female, as I can. Because I think it'll change lives. Because some kids, maybe just a few, won't be the same after they've read it. Maybe they'll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it'll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they'll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they'll want to open their computer and see what's in there. I don't know. It made me want to be 13 again right now and reading it for the first time, and then go out and make the world better or stranger or odder. It's a wonderful, important book, in a way that renders its flaws pretty much meaningless."

That sounds like a good book to me. And did I mention that it's free?


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I wouldn't believe it ...

... if I hadn't seen it myself. Jeni and I were driving out of Tish's neighborhood the other day and I saw a toilet in the middle of someone's yard. OK, maybe they were putting it out for the trash. But no, they had a "For Sale $50" sign on it. And why not? I'm sure people are trolling the neighborhoods just looking for used toilets for sale, and a steal at $50. I expect next week it will be a shattered piece of porcelain in the road.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Chiropractic comic

I thought this Non Sequitur was very funny. It has been one of my favorite comic strips for a long time.

Click on the comic if you have trouble reading it and it will show up bigger.

(This image will most likely disappear in about a week or two...)


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jeni, the cheerleader judge

Jeni is heading over to Camden to help judge the middle school cheerleader tryouts. I can't wait to hear how that goes. She gets to break some girls' hearts and make some girls' dreams come true. There are at least 27 girls trying out, in groups of four. She's looking at at least 2-1/2 hours of tryouts. I think she'll have her fill of hip hop music and pumpin' up the jam. Tiffany warned her to watch out for the crazy cheerleader moms -- good advice, for sure!

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