Max and Jade

My sister and brother in law went on a trip to Hawaii so i got to watch their dogs.

The fun parts:

- running around in the back yard

- afternoon naps

The not fun parts:
- getting drooled on by Jade - waking up to 2 big wet noses in my face at 6:30am
ready to get fed
- trying to walk them together and having to carry around at least 2 pounds of poop in a bag after they both go, even though i let them out in the back yard right before we left

max and jade, labrador retrievers,
taking the dogs for a walk, labs
chocolate lab, black lab, happy
lab asleep on the couch, lab, jade
max, lab, asleep on the couch
Checking out my new tent and sleeping bag
dogs sleeping in the tent, labs


New TV Shows

Communitycommunity, nbc, jeff, abed, troy, funny new show, writing, writers
I think with these kind of "group story" shows the key is to cast all funny people and have good writers. This show is great and i think will get even better. The plot is that they all go to this community college, happen to be in spanish class together, join a study group and become friends. I think the funniest part so far was when Aved and Troy were just learning the first words and sentences that everyone always reads in those books:
"Hello my name is"
"Where is the library"

Modern Family modern family, annoying kids, al bundyfamily
Some parts are really funny, the kids are definitely not one of those parts. The dialog the writers came up with for the kids to say is dumb and not believable. No little kids that are 9-14 years old talks this way.

One really funny part was when the "cool dad" sayshe knows all the moves to High School Musical.

(just skip to 30 seconds)

I also heard Dexter and Flashforward were good shows so i might give them a try.


Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

I started collecting room key cards from all of the hotels and motels where i have stayed. I've been going out of town for about a year now. All of these are actually from only the past 3 trips, just think if i had started keeping them from the beginning.collection of key cards from all the hotels ive stayed in


Pennsylvania - October

I got home from another work trip to Pennsylvania. I was told i would be gone around 4 or 5 days...i was gone for 10 days. It started with the usual 24 hour notice, we left Michigan around 6pm and didn't arrive at the hotel until 2am. Then the first day working we had the boxes for our GPS equipment stolen by a little old lady. We set it up in the right of way in a field in front of her house. After talking with her and telling her that if they find natural gas or oil on her property she might be getting paid thousands of dollars per month, she gave us back our boxes.

Also we had 2 run-ins with the cops. Once because a man didn't want anyone on his property. He didn't own the mineral rights and after a little talk everything was ok. The second time was when we got back to our motel. I don't know what the guy did but he got a ticket and they towed away his car.

For the first part of the trip we were working just east of downtown Pittsburgh and on one day that it rained we actually went downtown to look around and have dinner. It was great. We saw the city then walked along Carson street which reminded me of Wrigleyville in downtown Chicago. That street had tons of cool little stores and bars.

The second part of the trip was in Lock Haven, PA. There's not a whole lot there and out of the 3 restaurants, only 1 was open past 8pm. For this part of the trip we had to survey up in the mountains which was really cool. The bad thing is that the GPS doesn't work well up there and then it started raining and snowing. One day actually set a record low for the high temperature, the high was 38 degrees. I hadn't really planed on it snowing so i basically wore every piece of clothing i brought. The fall tree color was great but after 10 days in the wet snow we were all ready to come home.

Indoor Garden

I saw something a while back where you could grow tomatoes by hanging them upside down, i thought i'd give it a try. So i grew one cherry tomato and one larger slicing tomato plant. And i thought i'd also try soy beans that i brought some home from the fields of Jackson and green beans that i grew in my garden this year. So far, so good.
topsy turvy, tomato, diy, homemade, make at home
tomato seedling, grow upside down in window
how to grow a tomato upside down, in window, garden


Several months ago i built a windmill out of a car alternator. My dream was to be able to collect so much electricity that the electric company would be sending ME a check every month.
My dreams were crushed.
A simple way of explaining it was that the wind would spin the alternator, charging up the car batteries, which would go to the DC to AC converter, which would plug into the house. Apparently plugging car batteries directly into an outlet in your house is not good... who knew?
So the windmill had been sitting in my basement in a pile labeled "crushed dreams" Other things were there like a hang-glider made out of a bed sheet and the human powered hydrofoil. I still haven't given up on the hydrofoil...it's too amazingly awesome:

human powered hydrofoil dream machine

Here's all the pieces before i put it up in the back yard.
parts to make a windmill, generate electricity, DC
Here it is all put together in the basement.windmill blades, 6" PVC pipe, car alternator
finished windmill, pvc, car alternator, free energy


Garden - October

Well everything has been picked from the garden except gourds and tomatoes which are still going great. I grew 2 pumpkins that were about softball size and lots of carrots.

Also the bamboo is taking over, by next year my yard will look like a Vietnamese jungle
october, harvest, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, garden
time to harvest the garden, onion, carrot, october


Book Review - 4

Digital Fortress - by Dan Brown

digital fortress by dan brown, book cover Isn't the whole thing about reading is that it's suppose to be enjoyable? I really enjoyed this book a lot. Right from the start i couldn't wait to see what happened next. And i love how short his chapters are. It made it easy to follow when the story jumped from character to character. It did follow the usual format of Dan Brown books, with the usual twists and turns, thinking you know whats going on, only to find out that it was the complete opposite.

There's a reason that this wasn't as popular as Angels & Demons or the The Da Vinci Code...because it wasn't as good as those books. Angels & Demons was great, this had the same kind of feel to it but it was harder to really care about the characters. I really didn't care if everyone died or came home safely. Other then that it was a cool book.
an enjoyable 7 out of 10
7 thumbs up rating, digital fortress, dan brown, rating

Book Review - 3

Percy Jackson & the Olympians - The Battle of the Labrynth - by Rick Riordan

rick riordan, battle of the labrynth, book cover, percy jackson, book 4

Book number 4 in the series. An improvement from books 2 and 3. It did a good job of setting up the final book and the final battle. The characters started showing their true selves and made me really want to read the final book.

an exciting 7 out of 10
7 thumbs up, review rating, rick riordan, battle of the labrynth

Percy Jackson & the Olympians - The Last Olympian - by Rick Riordan

the last olympian, book 5, rick riordan, percy jackson and the olympians
The last book, number 5. Well the story finally got back to what it did best...copy Harry Potter. The hero trusting himself to be the chosen one, epic final battle, prophecy revealed.

This wasn't just a cookie cutter "yaaay the hero wins, everyone goes home happy." There were some good surprises for the fight for Mt. Olympus. It brought all of the previous books together and did a good job of having it all make sense. Oh ya and the hero wins and everyone goes home happy... or do they????

even if it is a kids book i still liked it and think it deserves an 8 out of 10
8 thumbs up, rating, review, percy jackson

The best way to best sum up these books is that it's "Harry Potter Lite", but instead of magic it's greek gods. Not as long and involved as the Harry Potter books but still good. Now i know this is going to sound corny but it really was a cool way of understanding about all the greek gods. It somehow made it interesting hearing about Ares, Hades and Dionysus. And how they battled against their Titan parents.

As far as the movie, it's suppose to come out in February 2010 with:

Pierce Brosnan as Chiron,
Uma Thurman as Madusa,
Sean Bean as Zeus, (he was Boromir from Lord of the Rings)

My prediction is that this is going to be a huge hit. It might be almost as huge as Harry Potter.