Sunday, February 24, 2008

Me as a Car

Thanks to Angie at the My Crazy Life blog, I saw this quiz: Which Sports Car are You? Not too bad.

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Did You See It?

It was a great, clear night here to see the lunar eclipse last night. I didn't have too much success getting a good picture. I had the best luck when part of the moon was still outside the shadow of the Earth. The picture below shows the eclipse when it was close to being full -- just a little direct sunlight on the right side. The refracted light illuminating the moon in the Earth's shadow was a bit red. Hope you got a chance to see it.

Almost Full

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Double Dipping -- Yuck

It was not quite a year ago that Harold McGee, a food/food science writer for the New York Times, summarized some Clemson University research on the 5 second rule for food. Of course that article caught my eye. It's no secret I'm a germ-o-phobe that would find that work fascinating.

But I missed another article that he wrote a couple weeks ago about more research done by the same Clemson researcher. A friend of mine at work pointed out Harold's recent article. In this recent work, the Clemson folks studied the act of double dipping a chip in dip -- incorporated into our pop culture by George Costanza in this Seinfeld episode. As you can imagine, just like the five second rule, it's not a good idea to double dip. I laughed at Harold's quote of Professor Dawson that gives a high level summary of the results: “The way I would put it is, before you have some dip at a party, look around and ask yourself, would I be willing to kiss everyone here? Because you don’t know who might be double dipping, and those who do are sharing their saliva with you.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

We Have Ours... you have yours? Tickets are available for the Cincinnati Rollergirls home events. You can buy single event tickets through Ticketmaster or get a set of VIP season tickets through the Cincinnati Gardens box office. There has been a lot of discussion about the upcoming season on the Roller Derby Diva's blog. I'm looking forward to another exciting season of derby action.

CRG Tickets


This weeks photo theme in the Macro Mondays group was diptych. That's the fancy term for two separate, individual images that are complete themselves but integrate to create a whole work. Painters have done this for ages by using hinged panels or hanging pieces together. Connecting photos is easy with digital photography. It's coming up with a good subject that is hard. Dianne had some great ideas and, once again, provided her finger modeling skills in one shot.

For my first try at diptychs, they didn't turn out too bad. Others in the group had some wonderful ideas and executed them well. See all the images in the pool here.

Let There Be Light


Do and Undo

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Morning Equipment Check

I got to work today and was unpacking my bag when I realized I forgot my reading glasses. Yup, I left them on the computer at home last night instead of putting them in my work bag. It's not a huge deal, but it sure is annoying. I was stretching my arms to read stuff all day today.

It seems I'm always forgetting something in the morning. I need my glasses, iPod, headphones, planner or moleskine book, sometimes lunch stuff, etc. I try to put everything in it's place the night before -- or on the entry way table. Dianne has said I need a morning checklist like I have for preflighting the plane.

So this story in Wired caught my eye today. Ford has teamed up with Microsoft and Dewalt to implement an RFID system that checks the bed of your pickup truck to make sure that all of the tools you've tagged are loaded before you drive away. That's a great idea. I just need RFID tags on all my stuff and then have a reader installed in the car or near the door out of the house. An alarm could go off if I'm missing something when I leave. That's an easy solution to my lack of organization and forgetfulness.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cutting Edge Macro Photos

The theme for this week's macro photo project was "cutting edge." I went with the sharp edge interpretation of the theme. The first photo below is another one of my professional finger model, Dianne. It's not real blood. I used cherry concentrate to simulate blood. The second photo illustrates a really sharp knife -- one that can split hairs. Actually Dianne was able to find a split end in her hair. It took me forever to get that positioned properly across the knife blade. The last shot is obvious. I started the hole and then disconnected the drill and carefully moved everything into my homemade light tent to illuminate the drill bit.

The Bleeding Edge

Splitting Hairs


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Be a Record Producer

I've been taking guitar lessons for about 8 months now. I suck at it still, but I enjoy it. Nick is a great instructor and does a lot by ear and encourages you to bring in music you're interested in to motivate your effort. So I've been going back through my music collection looking for songs that have relatively simple, easily heard guitar parts that I can learn. It is fun to play along with a song.

My latest effort is the Jill Sobule song called "Somewhere In New Mexico." It's a song about an agnostic girl that wants to change her life around. It's kind of funny and dark at the same time. I have a ways to go before getting it down. Dianne has heard the song about a 1000 times in the last month.

While looking around for guitar tabs and videos of the song, I ran across Jill's effort associated with her latest CD project. You can read about her next project on the aptly named site Jill's Next Record. Instead of working through a record label, she is making a grass roots effort to raise money through her fans. There are various donation levels and each one has something associated with it. For $25 you get an advanced copy of the CD. For $5000 she'll come and do a house concert for you. Can we get a group of 100 fans to each kick $50 in and have her come to Cincinnati for a private show? :^) You can hear her talk a little about it, and hear a little ditty about Super Tuesday voting, on the NPR site here. Click on Listen Now near the top of the screen or watch the video to hear and see her play the song.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Who Isn't Washing Their Hands?

The hand washing information from the Cincinnati area at the NeedToLook site certainly caught the eye of this germ-o-phobe. I don't know how scientific the data is, or even whether or not it is made up. But I do know there are males that don't wash their hands after using the restroom. What is that all about? Is it laziness?

Perhaps all restrooms need these automatic hand washers installed. Or maybe a sensor on the door handle that doesn't let you out with dirty hands -- kinda like a breath-a-lizer interface for the ignition of a car.

Monday, February 04, 2008


This week the Macro Mondays group on Flickr had a theme of refreshing. I wasn't too excited about the theme until I bounced the idea off Dianne and she suggested the F5 key in Windows that has a refresh function. Perfect idea for the theme -- something a little out of the ordinary. It was also a good project to get me out of the light tent and experimenting with some lighting ideas I've been reading about at the Strobist blog.

The photo below is Dianne at her laptop keyboard. I used two flashes: one high and from the rear and one low and from the right. The extra flash on the right was key to removing a harsh dark shadow on the camera side of the finger. I gave the rear flash 3 times the power of the right flash. I thought it turned out ok.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Superbowl of Advertising

I wasn't too interested in the game -- actually I thought the Patriots would win, so it was more interesting than I expected. The best part is the advertising. There is a lot of money on the line, so the creative advertising minds have worked overtime to supposedly come up with their best efforts for the game.

The Advertising Age website has videos of all the Superbowl commercials here. My winner, by far, was the scream video for Bridgestone tires. The second was the clydesdale training for the Anheuser-Busch team. After that I think the e-Trade baby and the FedEx pigeons were pretty good. Did you watch the game? What was your favorite new commercial?

CRG Opener

I just happened to see this article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that mentions the Fort Wayne Derby Girls' team the Bomb Squad will be in Cincinnati for the start of the derby season here on April 12th. I'm sure there will be more details and publicity soon on the CRG site. The article also discusses the latest WFTDA rankings where the Fort Wayne team has moved up a bit. You can see the latest quarterly ranking here. Unfortunately the Cincinnati Rollergirls team isn't ranked due to inactivity. It'll be interesting to see where they end up when the season gets back in full gear.

P.S. I noticed that tickets for individual Cincinnati Rollergirl events are now available through TicketMaster. However, I didn't see a season ticket option or a reserved seat option (one idea they were tossing about). I'm sure their site will have more info soon.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Great Urban Race is Coming

The Great Urban Race is coming to Cincinnati on April 19th. It sounds like a local, mini version of the Amazing Race where you have to solve clues, do challenges, etc. We signed up. Join us on the race. I'm not sure how we'll do on questions about Cincinnati, but we're lining up our native Cincinnati friends to call for help.

If you're not in Cincinnati, check out their website anyway as there are many events being held in cities across the country. The events lead to the championship in Las Vegas in November.