Posted in Uncategorized on January 29th, 2009 by maureen

I love the new picture of Meghan!  It seems to completely get her personality (at least at times).  I hope you’re enjoying the quiet time at the house.  I just finished watching Burn Notice (as I’m sure you did).


Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on January 19th, 2009 by Michael


Quick update.

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Ranting, The Family on January 18th, 2009 by Michael

I have spent the weekend – outside of monitoring a power outage that tanked the schedule of my project — working on details around the family books. As you know, I produce them annually for the kids. It is a lot of work and what should be a labor of love is sometimes, little more than a pain in the ass. I did get Maxwell’s done and the family one (I think – got to proof it). Still have two more to go and unlike last year, I was not working on the collateral throughout the year so it is a start from scratch kind of thing. Not sure when the next quiet time is scheduled.

Also, since this the project is ending, and I can go back to drinking again, I find that my fridge has nothing but Michelob Ultra in it. I mean, that is insult on top of injury.

I did get some new camera gadgets in the mail (diffusers for the flash unit) so not all has been lost. The POTW is an example of one such shot. Here is another. Seems to give pretty even light. Obviously, a lot more testing will have to be done. Luckily, our little point guard doesn’t mind.

Besides that, I am just bracing for and trying very hard to resist complaining about the frenzy around Obama-mania. He is a guy. He is a guy not really qualified for the job but the only option we have. Let’s let him govern and stop the nightmare of the endless press conferences promising the world, then the follow up press conferences trying to reset expectations. He is not Lincoln (though his handlers are trying to show he is). He is not FDR (though the Democratic party is trying to shape him in this light). He is not the messiah (though obviously throngs on those waiting for their checks, think he is..). Really. I am trying to resist.

Burn Notice starts Thursday. Yahoo. Have watched some “leverage” and it is not so bad. Of course, 24 is back and so far, it appears not to have jumped the shark (unlike Knight Rider, but then again, it did on the commercials before the show ever aired).  Fortunately, we have many TVs so I do not have to fight the wife over her new addiction to “Game Show in My Head.”.  At least it is better than  “Dancing with the Stars…”.

Project Work

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13th, 2009 by Michael

Not a lot of time to blog this week. Good TV happening (no, that does not include America idol). Keep thinking about blogging my brains out but that happens while in the car, lying in bed, during commercial breaks, while waiting for delicious tri-tip to finish cooking to perfection, etc. I think I need that application I heard about on the radio where it types for you. If only I could get it to read my mind too (okay, probably not a good idea).

Not much of an update. I’m not even going to blog about Mr. Obama’s SECOND cabinet choice in trouble before he even takes office. Wasn’t decision making one of the criteria for people who voted? Ooops, that wasn’t it. It was either misplaced anger over the current government (which shockingly does not include congress) or greed and the promise of getting free things from “rich” people. Wait, got to save that for the other blog. This was is suppose to be upbeat. Memory is not as good as it use to be.

I am writing to show off the little project we just completed. Wine board for the wino.

A lot of effort went into the collection of the raw materials for this little addition. The rest was pretty easy. A board, some molding, some glue, a hinge and a miter saw. A little stain and some screws and whammo, one board to hide the big hole created by the exodus of the microwave.

And that was that…

A new year

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on January 10th, 2009 by Michael

The new year brings a lot of new things… in addition to backtracks on campaign promises, I think maybe a new blog and potentially a new web site. I’m looking around for a web tool that will allow me to easily update things. Have not found it yet. When I do, it will surely be an exercise in patience in getting it installed the first time but then hopefully something that all enjoys. If there is a section or type of thing that you particular like about the site and want to see in a new one, let me know and I’ll do my best to incorporate it. The POTW will continue to be published (Saturday’s likely) and I will try and do it EVERY week. I plan to make my life a little easier in the annual books I make for the kids with a simple slurp of all of these images. I could use easier.

Also, I will change the blog. I doubt it will be updated as often (which is pathetically infrequently now) because if it will have a more life affirming/family oriented tone to it. I’m going to create another one on live.com or my other domains which will more personality based. It will have some political opinions, some liberal press fact checking, movie reviews, random thoughts, etc. Probably more PG-13 and up. Since I know some of you just check the site for updates on the kids, I’m going to cater to that. So, a family one and a friends one, if you will. Not sure when all of this will transpire…maybe I could do it instead of watching the TV premiere of Miami Vice. Of course, I could impale myself with bamboo during that time and still come out ahead. For those interested, I will let you know.

At work, I have nearly finished this project from hell which has left me beaten down and emotionally despondent. Hence another need for change. I had not taken a lot of pictures this month, but was playing around the last couple of days. Not sure if I will remember the technique, but if you want to take “spooky” pictures, changing the light is the easiest thing to do. If you have an external flash (which you should …) simply turn the camera upside down and bounce the flash off of the floor. Note how “smiley” looks slightly evil here. Very simple.

Shot a couple of images outside too. A little past dusk as I was grilling some tri-tips (freakin awesome by the way). Yes, got them at Costco. Anyway, instead of directly shooting at the object, a 45 degree approach will not only give you ambient light but also force the camera to compensate. It brings out a very “constrasty” image… Here is an example of it. It was not that dark at the time of the shot so I think this is a pretty interesting effect. I’ll have to try it again.

Was in Phoenix last week. Got out for a round of golf. Played okay. Shoulder has taken its toll. Not putting them out ther quite as far “as the old days”. Putting now with a SC Squareback at 360gms. Love the feel though I am not sure I get a really good look at the ball with the alignment. I suppose I have to practice which means it is never going to happen. While it may have its fans, I think USAir sucks. Planes good (unlike the 25+ year old American fleet) but they charge you for everything — $1 coffee. $2 for a can of soda. Wow. Customer service nothing to write home about either.

Not much else to add in this final generic blog… the weather continues to be interesting with oscillations between 70 and 40 on a weekly basis. Beats being in the single digits which is surely what would have been my fate if in Kansas City.