Sep 17

That’s a nice upgrade

Seventh best in the world.

Take that, planet earth.

Aug 17

Today’s notes

I don’t mean to pile on to anyone’s circumstance. If you aren’t there and you don’t know, then it is about the farthest thing from walking a mile in someone else’s shoes as possible. So I don’t want to speculate, because there was, perhaps, a legitimate concern or distraction of some sort at play here. And not knowing the story, I’d just be making one up and doing a disservice, perhaps even an injustice, to another person. I want to be mindful of that.

Besides, I’m hard pressed to imagine the sequence of events that would lead to me forgetting my belt in a public restroom:

Preying Mantis

But I hope it makes it back to its rightful owner eventually.

Last Thursday, before we produced our first live television broadcast of the school year, I gave four guys a crash course in podcast production. And then, on Friday morning I gave them a glimpse into audio editing. And now they have a show. Here is their first episode:

Not bad for a bunch of print students, I think. It’s all there, if they but seize the initiative. It is so cool when they seize the initiative.

Meanwhile, in Houston:

That is a friendly neighborhood Spiderman, indeed.

Aug 17

Operation Splinter, part two

We were invited to a colleague’s welcome back party on Sunday. People brought their children, and they were all delightful and well-behaved kiddos with over-developed intelligence and the precise amount of rambunctiousness. The kids’ presence meant toys, which also meant bubbles:


And somewhere since then Allie The Black Cat ate the scraps off of my plate:


So things are going about as you’d imagine, which is to say wonderfully busy with nice dashes of color, just for the sake of variety.

And today, despite a busy day at the office I was able to spend the evening, the entirety of it, in fact, working on The Project. You might remember my previous notes on Operation Splinter from this space:

I also wrapped up the first stage of The Project. It needs a better name, but I’m not yet ready to name it, or even discuss it at length. What if it doesn’t work? What if I have to scrap the entire thing? What if it is just terrible? Do I really want to talk publicly about my time machine without knowing how it turns out?

I’ve said too much.

Anyway. The first stage is done. I suppose the true first step was material acquisition. This took place on Friday and Saturday. And then the first stage took place on Saturday and Sunday, and was more taxing than I’d imagined, even as I knew it would be time consuming. By Monday, though, I’d figured out how to to make the process move more quickly, and it did. Only to be slowed down, yesterday, by an equipment failure brought on by user error. So I fixed that issue today and completed the first stage.

Then I performed Operation Clean Up. The first stage took up a half of the garage, and so that ultimately led to reorganizing much of the shelf space in the garage and in bits and pieces these last few days and so even if the time machine it doesn’t work, the effort has been fruitful.

That was two weeks ago. Well, this evening I was able to do a considerable amount of the work involved in stage two of The Project. See, in order to build this rocket ship I figured the second stage would have three big steps. Tonight the first step — which some combination of common sense and necessity found should be doubled — and the second step were completed.

Now I will have to work on two separate series of precise calibrations — Werner von Braun, help me — so I can complete the third step of stage two. I might also revisit a bit of the second step of this stage. But that part should be easy. I’ll do both of those next Wednesday and then the second stage of The Project will be completed. After that there are only three stages remaining, and two of those will go quickly. This project will be wrapped up in two or three weeks. Huh. I thought it would take longer.

Did I say rocket ship? Ignore that. Just imagine I said something else like … hot air balloon or … post-modern remote controlled pterodactyl model. Yeah. That’s what I’m making. I’m about 12 to 14 hours into a remote controlled pterodactyl.

Aug 17

Take it away, parrot!

This was from downtown Omaha. They had an art exposition in 2004 and after that was completed the artist donated this to the city. It sits in a mall park and is quite the popular installation.

But that’s because the good people of Omaha haven’t seen this bird perform yet!

Aug 17

Hurry up, cookie

With this evening’s dinner came this good news:


The obvious reply is … Well?

And the obvious retort is “You got lucky numbers on the next line, pal. This is an American thing, not some ancient mystic wisdom. This is from a factory in Manitowoc, Wisconsin or some place and not from a specifically catered-to-you diving insight. We use a javascript the boss’s nephew wrote to randomize these notes, after all.”

Which is funny in its own way. The last time we ordered Chinese we got four cookies. Two cookies each! My fortunes were identical. So someone in Manitowoc needs to step it up.

In our undying effort to set the record straight, Wikipedia will now tell us where fortune cookies are made:

The largest manufacturer of the cookies is Wonton Food Inc., headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. They make over 4.5 million fortune cookies per day. Another large manufacturer are Baily International in the Midwest and Peking Noodle in the Los Angeles area. There are other smaller, local manufacturers including Tsue Chong Co. in Seattle, Keefer Court Food in Minneapolis and Sunrise Fortune Cookie in Philadelphia. Many smaller companies will also sell custom fortunes.

So be on the lookout the next time you get a fortune cookie. Then maybe you start a spreadsheet and see whose cookies have the highest rate of prophetic accuracy.

Here’s a fine looking building:

Monroe County Courthouse

Find out more about it on the historic markers site. There are more interesting and important local places you can see right here.

And I think you should read this on Twitter:

It’s nice to see the public-facing Bill Murray have such a nice year. Seems the least the universe can do.

I hope he didn’t steal my luck, though. The fortune cookie came to me, after all.