Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Flashback

Erika does a lot of Friday Flashback posts on her blog. I don't have the discipline to do that on a regular basis -- and my memory isn't that good. My dad sent some old photos recently that inspired this flashback post.

The first photo is me, just over two years old, sitting on cinder blocks that my dad used to build an addition on to the garage. You have got to love the Minnesota Twins baseball cap. My dad needed the extra space as he ran a bicycle shop and used the addition to store bikes that needed to be assembled. I do remember that part of the garage being loaded with bicycle boxes on occasion.

Me on Blocks

The second photo is of me riding a bicycle in a parade in Randall, Minnesota when I was twelve. It was a fourth of July parade. This wasn't just any bike. My dad spoked the wheels using many different length spokes so that the hubs of the wheels were off center. If you look closely, especially at the front wheel, you can see the hub is off center in the wheel. When you pedaled the bike it bobbed up and down or rocked back and forth depending on whether or not the wheels were in sync. It was quite a sight! The pole on the back held a sign for Dick's Broiler, a local hamburger joint that we stopped at now and then.

Me in a Parade

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Storm

Along with a large area of the US, Cincinnati was hit with a large snow/sleet/ice storm. This was our first major snowfall of the season. There were a lot of closings and the roads were a mess.

Yesterday I decided to stay home and use a vacation day I carried over from last year to avoid the crazy drivers. Overnight we got about a half inch of ice. When I woke up and heard the weather forecast for several more inches of snow, I realized today was a work from home day. I spend most of my time on the computer and phone anyway, so it isn't difficult to work at home. It turned out to be the right decision as Hamilton county declared a level 3 snow emergency -- only emergency vehicles on the road -- to allow the plows and salt trucks space to do their thing.

It took Dianne and me about 45 minutes just to shovel our way out of the house and get to my car to clean it off for tomorrow. I heard on the news that in the last two days we received 7 inches of snow and a half inch of ice. I know that's not much to my Minnesota readers, but it causes a lot of problems in this area. At one point there were nearly 50,000 people without power -- mostly due to tree limbs covered with ice breaking off the tree and taking down power lines.

About an hour after the snow stopped today, the sun poked out from between the clouds and lit up the ice covered trees. I took a couple macro photos of the ice covered trees outside our place (per Erika's request). If the forecast holds, it might not be until Sunday before the ice melts off the trees.

Snow on Ice


Frozen Cluster

After the Storm

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Blog -- Rabid Derby Fan

I'm so prolific here on Earl World, that I decided to start a new blog :^)

Regular readers know I enjoy watching flat-track roller derby. Over the last few years I've had quite a few posts discussing local roller derby matches Dianne and I have attended. I know not all my readers are derby fans (although I'm not sure why) and not all the roller derby folks that read the bout recaps are interested in reading my other ramblings.

As a result, the Rabid Derby Fan blog was born. Starting this year I will be posting all my bout recaps to the Rabid Derby Fan site. If you are here looking for derby information, go to the RDF blog and bookmark it. There are a few bout schedule posts there now.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby Twitters

A few days ago I posted about Twitter -- the micro blogging service. Thanks to Hack a Day, I discovered that you can follow Twitter tweets from the unborn. A student at NYU developed a waist band with some electronics that monitors a baby's movement in the womb. The device sends a twitter when the baby kicks. Read more about it here.

You can see the Twitter feeds of the kickbee here. OK, it might not be the most exciting read, but it does have the cool geek factor going for it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Botanical Art

Ping mag, now on hiatus, had a post about a 97 year old botanical artist from Japan. The interview and his work are wonderful! Below is one example of his work. Go here to see the whole article.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Split Tongue

YouTube is really amazing. There is something for everyone. Thanks to Boing Boing, check out what you can do with a split tongue.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I've been a blog post slug lately, but you may have noticed Twitter updates (tweets) on my sidebar that provide a few updates. If you want, you can follow my tweets directly on Twitter -- I'm Cincisquirtle on Twitter.

One benefit of Twitter's popularity is that other services now integrate well with Twitter. One example is Facebook that can suck in Twitters and put them in your status. That's convenient so you don't have to make status updates in multiple spots. It's also good since I've become a big fan of Facebook. Send a friend request there if you want to add me. Besides status updates, you'll find photos, news feeds, games, etc.

One problem I have with Twitter is that it can be hard to find people to follow. Sure, it's easy to find tech evangelists like Robert Scoble or Guy Kawasaki, but it can be tough to find friends, specific feeds, or posts about topics. Thanks to Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion I found Twitterholic. It's a Twitter stats site that lets you look at users sorted in many different ways -- date joined, popularity, number of followers, location, etc. Supposedly you can combine these, but I haven't played around enough. I was intrigued by the top Twitterers in the Cincinnati area that you can see here. Not surprisingly, Cincinnati Rollergirl and Enquirer reporter Miss Print ranks up there at #26. There are a lot of personal feeds, but some publications like Cin Weekly are in there too. Check out the site to find some feeds.