Thursday, December 21, 2006

'Tis the Season

I counted no less than 39 Playstation 3's for sale in our local classifieds today. Some even had the audacity to claim that they were "hard to find".

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Important Blogging News

Most people who will start a blog already have, and many have become bored and moved on. I wonder if this study includes computer-generated blogs filled with random content?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Puppies sold as so-called "designer hybrids" are actually mutts. (eg. Cocka-poo, Yorkie-poo, Labradoodle, etc.) I wouldn't pay any more for these animals than I would for a non-pedigree dog. I've noticed an increasing number of these in the classifieds recently. As you can imagine, some pretty inventive names for these types of "breeds" have arisen. What's the funniest "designer hybrid" dog breed you can think of?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Would you use a dollar coin?

Having learned something from the state quarter phenomenon, the U.S. Mint has decided to manufacture yet another version of the dollar coin. They are hoping these coins, which will feature each of the U.S. presidents, will do what Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea couldn't, which is make Americans use dollar coins instead of paper money. Here's why I think this latest effort will be unsuccessful.
1. Metal is much more expensive than paper, even though it lasts longer.
2. Vending machines do not take them, except for stamp machines.
3. They don't slide nicely in and out of a wallet.
4. There is no tray for them in the cash register.
5. They are heavy.
6. They are noisy.
7. They are unfamiliar.
8. They are unnecessary.
9. They are Canadian.
10. We already use dollar coins, called "four quarters".

Friday, November 17, 2006

Caption This Photograph

University of California, Los Angeles anthropology students Bob Walters (left) and Frank Higgins creatively interpret Neanderthal behavior before a delighted lunchtime crowd.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Concert Tickets Announcement

I will be receiving in the mail three tickets to see Wayne Watson, Kim Hill, and Phil Keaggy in concert at Crosswinds Wesleyan (or is it just Crosswinds, Priscilla?) on Dec. 8 at 7:00 pm. I will obviously be using one of them myself (if I can get out of work early enough). I figure several people would want to go too... any takers? Tickets are General Admission ($15.00).

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Ben is a teenager today. He wants me to post a picture of a "sweet car". Hmmmm... How about this one?
or this one?
The FXX is pretty cool...
Okay, is that enough? No? Alright, one more...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things that go "CRASH" in the night

Hearing shattering glass in the middle of the night is a good way to double your heart rate in a few seconds, as I found out last night. I was tossing and turning in bed, trying to settle my thoughts and get some sleep when I heard a loud CRASH downstairs. Sometimes I find myself thinking about what I might do if someone broke in at night, but just then I forgot everything about my plans. I started to head toward the stairs, knocking over an old art project (of Aunt Priscilla's), making a lot of noise. Then I realized I didn't have my glasses on so I stumbled back across the room to get those. Then I thought I should probably look out my window to the driveway to see if I could see anyone. I didn't. Then I heard Grandma and Grandpa shuffling around so I figured I better get some pants on before I went downstairs. I crossed the room again to find some PJ's to put on, but my light was off, so I turned it on and remembered my curtain was open, so my neighbors could see right in if they were in their backyard (and vice versa). I shut my light off and closed the curtain, before turning the light on again and fishing around in a laundry basket for some pants. By the time I got downstairs, Grandma had already gone back to bed and Grandpa was cleaning up the glass... from an old Diane Dengel print that had fallen off the bathroom wall. Funny, we never noticed the frame starting to come apart through years of exposure to the humidity of the bathroom. I'm sure there's an object lesson here somewhere....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Joyeaux Halloween!

Or not. Has evil lost its universal appeal? How can this be?

Friday, October 27, 2006

To do list:

Beat Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2....check
Beat Need for Speed Underground....check
Beat Need for Speed Most Wanted....getting there
Beat Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3....almost
Design Dad's business cards....getting there
Design Dad's logo....check
Redesign blog....haven't started

I am enjoying a new laptop I purchased from my friend, Tim. It runs just about every game I've tried fabulously, and it has a DVD player and I have been wasting a considerable amount of time on it. The good news is I still get out every night just about, so I as of today I still have a life.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Long Time From Now....

What do you think Earth will be like in 10,000 years (presuming it still exists and is inhabitable)? Here's a bit of Sci-Fi from a London evolutionary theorist: Human species 'may split in two'. Of course, it's nonsense, but it's still kind of fun to think about. I propose that the dominant species will be short, ugly, and incredibly intelligent, and that the subservient species will be tall, strong, and good-looking by today's standards, but very stupid. The trolls will use them as beasts of burden. Moo!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Uh... this week has been pretty busy. Look for a site redesign before month's end.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Very Important News

Looks like nothing is going on in the world today.
A Pig Has Piglets... Again!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Castle Retreat 2006

retreat [ri-treet] noun
a place where devoted Christians go to take cold showers and sleep on camp mattresses, hoping to get closer to God

This was my first time going on the Calvary Chapel of Webster Castle Retreat, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I guess I am still processing the spiritual side of it, so all I have to offer right now is a few pictures and observations. Enjoy!

The "castle" isn't so much of a castle as it is a giant stone farmhouse. Inside, very little of the original decorative details are left. Instead is a hodge-podge of country style decorations, donated furniture, and assorted found objects.


Some examples of found objects in my room: a picture of Jesus on a log...


...and a portrait of President Woodrow Wilson.


A bit of righteous vandalism.


The hillside location offered some spectacular views, like this one from the terrace.


And this one from the Prayer Tower.


A gorgeous sunset delayed our Thursday evening study.


Friday afternoon, I took a walk up the hill to the chapel.


On the way down, I found this little bit of wildlife.


Another view of the steps looking down to the... wait, is that an exotic car lurking in the bushes?


Only one company designs cars with such distinctive stying.


Would now be a good time to learn how to drive stick?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Moniker Design is looking old. Time to update! Look for a new site design sometime next week.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Dating Pool

I have decided, at the ripe old age of 25, to enter the dating "pool", that is, as of now I am actively seeking a life partner. I guess you could say I'm "wading" for a mate. Aha aha. Of course I've seen a lot of people "drown", but I am certain it is better to be hurt in a relationship than to never have one at all. Hmmm... I'm not sure how far I can carry this pool metaphor. Anyways, I never quite been able to understand the process; there's a whole lot of things I can do better and I'm afraid anything I try is going to make me feel silly. Any friendly helpful suggestions?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's My Birthday

I made it to 25 without smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or having sex.
I guess this means I'm not normal.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Top Ten Best-Looking Cars of 2007

What is the ideal shape for a sports car? Almost since the automobile’s inception, automotive designers have experimented with a wide variety of shapes for sports cars; wedges, teardrops, blobs, cylinders, etc., resulting in a few iconic designs. Of course, volumes have been written on the topic, but in the end it just comes down to personal taste. Here are my choices for 2007.

10.Porsche Cayman S
Price: $49,400-$70,000
Horsepower: 245-295
Length: 170.9 in
Weight: est 2950
With me in it: est 3115
 The Cayman is basically a hardtop version of the veteran Boxster roadster. It carries the trademark Porsche shape: long, low, sleek and aerodynamic, just a bit like its alligator-cousin namesake. I prefer it to the slightly larger 911, though it's a pretty close race.

9.Ford Mustang Shelby
GT500

Price: est $41,950
Horsepower: 500
Length: 187.6 in
Weight: 3896
 American muscle doesn't get much better than this. The top-of-the-heap Mustang has a number of changes that add to its muscle-bound appearance, including a larger hood scoop, egg-crate grill, larger brakes, and some wicked fast racing stripes. Mine’s called Eleanor.

8.Pontiac Solstice GXP
Price: $25,995
Horsepower: 260
Length: 157.2 in
Weight: 2995
 The Solstice was based on the formula for a purist's sports car: light, small, and fast. The result is the most exciting new GM entry in a long time, a true Mazda MX-5 competitor. The turbocharged GXP 2-liter inline-4 develops an impressive 260 horsepower.
Also deserving of a nod in this category is the Solstice’s cousin, the Saturn Sky, a small, aggressive roadster with an ample dose of European styling.

7.Mercedes-Benz SL Class
Price: $95,575-$186-775
Horsepower: 382-604
Length: 178.5
Weight: 4220
 Mercedes' "small" roadster approaches my idea of the perfect-looking sports car, a precision machine that looks fun, but also looks very fast. It's a little out of my price range, but you have to admit, this car's got just about everything you could ask for in a sports car. The SL65 AMG is shown.

6.Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Price: $113,200
Horsepower: 380
Length: 172.5 in
Weight: 3460
 Here's a car that looks like if you don't get out of the way it will eat you for breakfast. Any Aston Martin is guaranteed to make you feel like James Bond, but the V8 Vantage is the coolest of them all.

5.Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
Price: $602,000
Horsepower: 750
Length: 188.0 in
Weight: 2950
 This car is so wild, you probably have to chain it up at night to keep it from roaming the neighborhood causing trouble. Just look at the claw-marks all over it. It's a beast. Check out those numbers.

4.Lamborghini Murcielago
LP640

Price: $300,000-$350,000
Horsepower: 640
Length: 180.3 in
Weight: 4020
 A favorite of lotto winners and rap stars, Lamborghinis are cars you can depend on to boldly announce your status. The chiseled edges of the Murcielago LP640 contrast sharply with the elegant curves preferred by Ferrari designer, Pinanfarina. It is an iconic design that no other automotive designers have implemented with such rousing success.

3.Chevrolet Corvette ZO6
Price: $65,000
Horsepower: 505
Length: 175.6 in
Weight: 3180
 An American icon, the Chevrolet Corvette has always aspired to be the ideal sports car, a world-class performer at a bargain price. Each successive generation looks and performs better than the one before. The ZO6 is the most powerful stock 'Vette to date, with 505 bhp on tap.

2.Infiniti G35 Coupe
Price: $33,500-$36,000
Horsepower: 280-298
Length: 182.2
Weight: 3415
 With the discontinuation of the Acura RSX this year, this is my pick for best looks/price ratio. It’s basically a dressed-to-impress version of the Nissan 350Z (a great looking car as well), with a back seat added. The G35 represents the absolute hottest style Japan has to offer today. Get it in red.

1.Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
Price: est $250,000
Horsepower: 611
Length: 183.7
Weight: est 3720
 Ferrari’s latest flagship model is a true masterpiece of design and engineering, a shoo-in for first place on this list. Subtle details make all the difference, from the F1-style nose in front, muscular body sculpting, and roofline buttresses in the rear. I could go on and on, but you can read it for yourself.

   Acura RSX Type-S
A-Spec

Price: est $31,000
Horsepower: 201
Length: 172.4
Weight: est 2860
 One last hurrah for the Acura RSX. This is the car that I really wanted. The Type-S A-Spec comes equipped with underbody kit, 17" wheels, high wing spoiler, and autocross-ready suspension. But instead I opted for the more practical base model, with SportShift automatic transmission.

All photos copyright their respective owners.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"Crocodile Hunter" killed by stingray barb

Flamboyant daredevil zoologist Steve Irwin was killed early Monday while filming a documentary about stingrays off of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. He was swimming above one of the animals when its barb came up and pierced his heart. He was 44. Steve, the "Crocodile Hunter," was loved by millions around the world and was regarded as one of Australia's national treasures. He could get a state funeral if his family agrees.
In Pictures: Australia Mourns Irwin (BBC News)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bob Dylan at Frontier Field

Yes, I was there last night. And I may post a "review" later, but there is actually quite a bit to say and I don't have time right now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Black Folks Dancing


Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers, from Stormy Weather (1943).

Attack! Attack!

This weapon is sure to find its way into the next James Bond film.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Flaming Lips at the Fair?

Normally a hickfest, the New York State Fair has decided to host the Flaming Lips on September 1st. The show will likely draw a lot of hipsters, most likely those who are unemployed, given that the show starts at 5 pm. Of course this means I will not be going. I think the demolition derby sounds awesome though. I always enjoy a good hickfest.
New York State Fair Concerts

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Israel-Hezbollah Ceasefire

All is as it was. Draw your own conclusions, because everyone else is.

Friday, August 11, 2006

UN to Declare Truce

I know it sounds like a headline from a satirical newspaper, but the UN has decided to declare a truce between Israel and Hezbollah. Funny, because I didn't know the UN was even in this war. If they can do that, then I can declare a truce between Hatfields and the McCoys.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Conspiracy Theories Debunked

Conspiracy theories are enticing because they offer privileged information, information some people just can't pass up. Unfortunately (or fortunately), most of them just aren't true. Here are two popular conspiracy theories and why they don't work.

The Apollo Moon Hoax Theory
9/11 Conspiracy Theory (Loose Change 2nd Ed. Guide)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What's going on in Israel?

In light of the rather disturbing quote perhaps wrongly attributed to Menechem Begin below, I thought I'd post in defense of Israel.

Cry to Those Using Babies as Shields

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Science.

O the wonders of modern science! Two ground-breaking articles from the BBC about what the priests of our secular culture are up to.

Evolution Reversed In Mice
Amazing! I wonder what they look like?

Sea-bed plan to store carbon
I've got a better idea: nobody breathe for a few minutes each day. (A side note: Global warming is caused by 0.3% carbon dioxide, 99% water vapor. References:1 2 3 4 etc.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

How Popular is Your Last Name?

I was able to guess the top five in 7 tries. Can you do better?

Some Irony For Lunch

"Our race is the Master Race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves."
— Israeli Prime Minister Menechem Begin

If you can verify whether or not Begin actually said this, I will tell you where I got it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Hot Day
























Today is a hot day. Today is not the day my neighbors will mow their lawn. (Tomorrow isn't either.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Global Warming is Here!

The Northern Hemisphere is warming up, on account of it being summer.

Monday, July 24, 2006

My mac is messing with me.









I fear for the health and safety of my data when I get error messages like this.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Smokin' Retro Fonts

Yes, today is one of those rare design topics. I stumbled upon this link today while trying to identify some old typefaces: Font Spotting the Thank You For Smoking Titles

The right typeface can tell a viewer quite a bit about the attitude of your design. When I am designing for myself or freelancing, I put a lot of emphasis on good typography. Often, type is the single most important element of a piece, and so you should choose your typefaces carefully. For those who may be curious, the font for my blog title is Rosewood Fill, and curiously enough, I have been seeing it everywhere lately. Want to see my latest discovery? Here it is: Gotham Bold (Looks best all caps.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm Really A Democrat?























I guess this isn't really a surprise -- I think people should take care of each other, but not be forced to. I just wish I weren't in the same spot on the chart as Kerry. (Note: the important questions come AFTER the test.)
Take the test* (OKCupid.com)
*Warning: User-driven content: Possible objectionable material. (PG-13)

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Dinosaur Search

I wish them the best of luck, because the only thing cooler than dinosaurs is living dinosaurs.
Ninki-Nanka

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Microsoft Fined By EU

According to BBC News, Microsoft has been fined 280.5m euros ($357m; £194m) by the European Commission for failing to comply with an anti-competition ruling. You read that right: anti-competition. For those of you not familiar with economic theory, Merriam-Webster defines competition in business as "the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms." (source: Wikipedia) Competition is that device which keeps prices low and quality high, and is generally percieved as a good thing for consumers. However, the EU apparently doesn't think so, so they have fined (rather randomly, if you ask me) Microsoft for failing to comply with an order to reveal trade secrets about their operating system, Windows XP. I know Microsoft hasn't always been the nicest corporation in the world, but I think this ruling by the European Commission is ureasonable and stupid, and will lead to higher prices and lower quality for EU consumers.

Article

Monday, July 10, 2006

Trucks & Trailers


Why is this not televised worldwide?

A Busy Week Is Over

Last week was the busiest week of my life. Monday was Katie's high school graduation, Tuesday was Independence Day, Wednesday I worked overtime till 7:30 pm, Thursday was Joe & Rachael's wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, Friday night was Juniors (as always), Saturday was worship practice at 10 am, wedding music practice at 11, wedding setup, the wedding at 1 pm, small reception following, and then the big reception from 6:30 to 10:30, and finally Sunday I was up at 7:30 for worship practice, then two Sunday morning services, then off to Geneseo to an airshow (very cool) then to a car show (also very cool) then to Abbott's for ice cream (poor girl working there was by herself) then to Beth & Adam's where I finally took a nap and ate hot dogs and watched TV. It was a fun week, and maybe I'll post some pictures, but I kept forgetting my camera everywhere I went so I only have pictures from Katie's party and Joe's wedding.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Some Sad News

I know I've been disappointed with the low horsepower and lack of options for the Acura RSX, but this isn't quite the solution I had in mind.
Acura discontinues RSX (Edmunds.com)

Dylan in Rochester?

That's right. THE Bob Dylan is coming to THE Rochester, NY in August. He and some other folks are touring the nation's minor league baseball fields, and we are fortunate enough to have one. Course, he can't sing, play, or write music anymore, but he's still Bob Dylan. Tickets go on sale at the Frontier Field box office on July 15, at 10:15 am. Anybody want to go with me?

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Strange Day

It is a strange day indeed that finds me listening to and immensely enjoying mariachi.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A New Post

I am alive, soon to be deadpan.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Photoshop Quits While Saving (OS 10.4.6)

This seems to have solved the problem so far.
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=2292832#2292832

Of course, this is good fodder for another rant, but I'll save that for another time. Has anyone else out there had the same trouble? It must be widespread.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Small Rave About a Musical Discovery

I'm not much of a "pop" person, and I get bored with the consistently anthemic pop sound of popular Christian music. However, I have to make an exception with Starfield's new release, "Beauty In The Broken".

I discovered Starfield a couple years ago when they did a cover of U2's "40" for the Africa benefit CD "In The Name Of Love", an album of U2 songs covered by different Christian artists. I'm a big U2 fan, but I still like their version better than the original. So when I saw they had a knew CD out, I decided to take a chance.

Since then I've become a fan. Their songs are loaded with "infectious hooks" and "soaring soundscapes". Lead singer Tim Neufeld can hit the high notes without sounding operatic or feminine, and the lyrics are original and uplifting, with relatively few worship clich├ęs. (e.g. You are worthy of our praise, I lay down my life, etc.) Highlight tracks include The Hand That Holds The World, Captivate, Love Is The Reversal, Shipreck, and the rest of the songs on the CD. I highly recommend it. This band might could be huge.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Small Rant About the Software Industry

Does this make any sense to anyone? How is the company that makes your operating system vulnerable to hackers going to make an anti-virus software package that's any more secure? (In other words, they want to charge you $50 a year to fix their mistakes.)

Not that Macs are much better. They are quite secure but yesterday alone several programs quit multiple times. Acrobat twice, Photoshop three times, Illustrator four times, FreeHand once, and I'm sure that if I was doing work with any other programs, they would've quit too.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Small Rant About the Music Industry

So for the last few days, the top downloaded song on iTunes has been "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado and some guy called Timbaland. First of all, does anybody know what promiscuous means? (Hint: not a good thing.) Second of all, does it seem at all likely that the birth-control industry and the music industry have a synergistic relationship? Third of all, why are people buying songs they can hear on the radio every 45 minutes? Finally, am I the only one in the world who knows that Top 40 stations exist for the sole purpose of killing popular music by overplaying it so that new music can enter circulation?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Volkswagen vs. Lambourghini


Adrian showed this to me while I was in Florida.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Crosstown Traffic























Here's what it's like to drive with me. (Only one of these photos was taken while I was in motion.) The top two were taken during a park-your-vehicle-and-get-out-and-pick-some-wildflowers kind of traffic jam, between Montgomery and Birmingham, AL. The bottom left is Interstate 65 with Nashville in the background, and the dreary one on the bottom right is Cincinnatti, OH. And here's a helpful hint for driving on the Interstate: stay right except to pass, and if you must drive in the left lane, please try to go at least the speed limit! It's just common courtesy.

A Shorter Pensacola Beach























Photos of Pensacola Beach, taken on Thursday, May 11. Hurricane Ivan did a lot of damage to the Pensacola area, especially to the beach. Most of Santa Rosa Island is inaccessible by the main road, including Opal Beach. Something about the "Road Closed" sign is an appropriate symbol of the whole vacation experience. I had anticipated this trip for quite some time, but when it actually happened, it was different than I had planned. Fact is, I’m not a college student anymore, and neither are any of my “college buddies”. We are all getting older, moving away from that time and place. In thirty years, my most significant memories shared with college friends may not be of college at all. Maybe they’ll be of camping trips in the mountains, or days out on the lake, or family picnics in the backyard. The longer I live, the more I realize the future is a mystery I can’t predict with anything resembling accuracy, and the past is just that – the past, gone forever, but I still haven't learned how to truly appreciate the present.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Centennial Park























In Nashville's Centennial Park, there is a full-scale replica of the Parthenon of ancient Greece. Utmost attention has been paid to authenicity, including the signs warding off ancient trouble-making teenagers.

The Surprise Party

Sharon has worked for months planning a surprise party for Paul's 25th birthday. (His birthday is actually Saturday, the 6th.) Paul's parents and brother and sister-in-law were driving up from Florida, and we were to have the party after Paul got home from work. Part of the plan involved me "leaving" to go to Pensacola today. To make it more authentic, I decided to arrange this family photo before I "left". (Troy is taking his afternoon nap.) Paul was surprised to see his family here, but even more surprised to find I'd never left!

A Study of Troy Sallmen

Who's this guy?











Man, it's great to be a kid.

Deer in the Backyard



I counted a total of eight deer, but there may have been more. (I didn't want to get too close and scare them away.)

Daddy's Little Helper


Jesse and Paul measure a 2 x 4. (Taken Thursday evening.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Two Kids

Jesse Sallmen is one and a half.











Troy is nine months.

Photos from the Bill Rice Ranch

At the Bill Rice Ranch, there are many horses.

Some are friendly.











Some are not.

This stallion was in a pen by himself.









Every ranch needs a rodeo...











...with lots of old signs.











I'm not really sure what this one means.










Watch out for snakes, especially if they stick their heads up, like this guy is.