Archive for January, 2009

This is what we hired him for

Posted: January 29, 2009 in Money/ wealth, Politics
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Obama smacked Citigroup around like a red-headed step child.

It’s cool to be able to know that something is wrong, and have the power to do something about it.

I play little games at work sometimes. One of them is Urinal Ninja. Can you use it without tripping the sensor? I can.

What games do you play?

Note on Urinal Ninja, which I can sense will be the next internet craze sweeping college dorms everywhere: The ninja must be close enough to use the urinal normally (no ten foot arcs splashing on the floor) but also in such a way as to not trip the sensor. Sideways, from the ceiling, etc. If you make a mess for the custodial staff, you lose.

Well, teleportation has been achieved. This opens many new doors for science (pun intended). I can’t wait to walk through the transporter in my house and instantly be at work, or in Scotland, or Japan,or wherever you want to be. Putting one on top of Everest and then people saying they’ve summitted would be cheating though. Check it out here.

Of course, this first step is nothing like what we all imagine, but it is a very important first step. Congratulations U of Maryland!

img_1684For any home owner who lives where it’s cold, this is not a good sight. I don’t know if you can tell scale from the picture but that ice dam is about one foot thick at least. So I finally borrowed a ladder from my Dad and climbed up there and chopped it off.

The best tool to use is an ice tool (ice axe used for ice climbing) mountaineering ice axes work pretty well, but a tool specifically designed for vertical ice climbing is prime. These things rock. Where I might be able to shatter a few inches off with a sledge hammer, or wood axe, I can break off chunks several feet wide and deep with my ice tools. And now we don’t need to worry about leaks.

Here is a picture of my tools in the backside of a waterfall:

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img_16731As you can see by my latest utility bill, my decision to replace our 83 year old gravity-fed, 200,000 BTU, – 50% efficient, Octopus furnace with a new 95% efficient one is already paying off.

Just look at January 08 and January 09. Our daily average was 54% better than last year. Compare 230 therms to 115. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the result. The new exterior insulation we had blown-in also contributed to our energy saving. With that project alone, we reduce our carbon foorprint by 14,000 pounds. And who says being Green doesn’t pay off?

Well, after a  month of doing the Compact (that is, not buying anything new) we have been doing pretty well. I did buy two new albums on i-tunes, but since they are electronic files and not actual plastic CDs, and the whole point of this is to reduce materialism, I think that can be forgiven. They’re not taking up any space in my house besides hard drive space. My wife and I have both been tempted by things, but so far, have resisted. I bought some hardware at the Re-Store which is a reclaimed architectural salvage place run by Habitat for Humanity. But this is ok for two reasons: 1) it’s used, and 2) it was for a baby gate, which would fall under one of the exception categories, ie: safety.

I really wanted to buy a book by an author I like that had just come out and I was pretty bummed I would have to wait to read it. But I asked at the library anyway. It had only come out three weeks prior to that so I didn’t have my hopes up. When the librarian looked it up, she said, “Oh, we have four copies.” Oh yay. I asked to be put on the list immediatley and a week later, I had the book in my hands. This has definitley helped our bank account too. Hopefully, we’ll keep it up.

Some of my favorite snippets from Obama’s speech:

Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

I thought this was great, especially as the now (thank God) former Pres. Bush was sitting right behind him. (more…)

This movie is going to rock so hard.

very inspirational

Posted: January 20, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Fun Zombie T-shirt

Posted: January 20, 2009 in Art, design
Tags: ,

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You can get it here.

Star Wars

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Ever since my wife ripped out the old cabinets that were in our kitchen, we’ve been looking for something suitable to go in it’s place. We made do with a bookshelf and and small cart, but now we have this. I harvested it off the curb on a sled and it only needed minor repairs to drawers. As my uncle’s friend would say, “If it’s free, I need it.” Well, we did need it. This is definitely helping us save money while our baby is still young. I encouraged everyone to keep an eye out on trash night. Don’t think it’s beneath you to grab something off the curb. Maybe there’s only a few small things wrong with it like this piece, that you can fix that someone else didn’t want to bother with. This is recycling at its best. The Earth wins, your house wins, and your wallet wins. Thank you Emily, for throwing out your dresser. It has a new home in our kitchen.

I also found this a few months ago…from the same house!

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I love this video. Here’s this unassuming guy in a suit coat that’s too small, with bad teeth. He goes up against Pierce, and Simon Cowell who are both very mean and nasty music critics. Watch what happens. Note the judges looks especially.

My mom got me this impressive jambiya for Christmas this year. She got it from her friend’s father who is dead but had lived in Saudi Arabia for a while.
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From my research online, it is the Wahhabite style which is from the Western regions of Arabia, Hijaz, and Asir. The Wahhabite form of Islam is particularly violent towards infidels and even many other branches of Islam like Sunni and Shi’a, as you can see by their longer blades. “Normal” jambiyas usually have five to eight inch long blades, not eighteen.

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img_1663The craftsmanship is beautiful on this piece. The blade is super sharp all the way to the hilt which is uncommon in my experience with swords and daggers. I think the coolest part about this knife is that it has history. You can tell that it’s been worn, a lot. Someone wore this everyday. I wonder if those stains on the blade are from blood? Another nice perk is that all of the Wahhabite Jambiyas I’ve seen online are quite expensive. From $450 – $1200, not that I want to sell it.

túrána hott kurdís by hasta la otra méxico! from Till Credner on Vimeo.