Saturday, November 27, 2010


 Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, we had a very pleasant day. Including the traditional putting up of the tree. Note Troy attempting to climb the ladder that Ron is using.
 This is the first time Troy saw a ladder in use, and he was very curious. Here, his father David gives him a hand.
 But after awhile, we let Ron finish the job without Troy, who is always hard to photograph since he is in constant movement.
 The cooking continued all day, as the table sat ready and waiting.
 Marcy was on high alert, with the smell of a huge bird wafting through the air.
 And finally, the turkey was ready.
 Here is the fantastic chef, with the prized bird in the background.
 Troy, who also kept a close eye on the kitchen proceedings, with his mother Lucy.
 Troy, ready to dig in. Every time he visits our house he digs through the utensil drawer. Here he is with today's pick.
 Ron, telling an after-dinner joke.  "An engineer, an accountant, and the pope walk into a bar..."
Troy, the first time he witnessesed fire. Thanksgiving day was unusually cold, so we turned on the fireplace for the first time this season. And Troy was in awe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Attempt at a T-Shirt Design

I have been trying to find white t-shirts with appealing designs to wear to the gym. I haven't been having much luck. I recently discovered that I could have my own design put on a t-shirt for about $15, including the price of the shirt.

So as a test case, I created one. It came out pretty good - next time I'll move the design over to the left, and be careful about the coloring of text as the last few letters are not too legible.

BTW, the expression comes from a Tom Petty song.

And a gratuitous shot of my wife before we got in our Halloween costumes (I forgot to put it in the Halloween post)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Trio Of Films For Your Enjoyment

First up, a driver who ran into a school bus. Do you think alcohol was involved?

Next, one of the most amazing parking jobs I've ever seen:

And finally, an idiot kid takes his Dad's BMW SUV out for a little fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


 This is the second year we've went to a party on Halloween in costume, and we think we're getting better at it.
 For the Saturday party, they took photos as we entered. Sorry if we look a little stiff...we were still shaking off the drive. I had my coat buttoned up weird. What an idiot.
 Nikki's outfit for the Friday night party.
Even during the day, I sorta dressed in costume at the pool.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Circling in on a Music System

Okay, well things get clearer by the day. Here is an update on my latest thinking about the music system I am about to purchase. My wonderful wife has given me the green light to purchase part of it during the next credit card cycle, so I have been doing lots of research on the core components. Here's what I've found.
First, the most important component: the speakers. I have found that the speakers I fell in love with during the 1990s, but never got around to buying, are still on the market. Yes, Magneplanar is alive and well, and they even have a set of reasonably price entry-level (well, high-fidelity entry anyway) speakers now. They cost $600 for the pair and they are on my radar. I want to buy a pair in December. Yes, I do.
Next, I found that it takes about 125 watts per channel at 4 ohms to drive those bad boys, so I went in search of an amp that could handle that. On top of that, I want an amp that can handle 4 speakers in case I decide I want a second pair of Maggies. Right now, the NAD C356BEE is at the top of the list, at 220 watts per channel. I need to look into it more, but that's what I'm thinking right now.
Now, how am I going to get digital softcopy music to that amp? The more I've looked into things, the more I like the Squeezebox Touch. It is compact, streams music very well, automatically searches new devices as they are connected, allows me to store play lists, and has digital and analog outputs. The outputs are very important to me. If I want, I can use the DAC internal to the Squeezebox to convert the digital songs to analog for the amp. Or, I can just use the Squeezebox to select and stream songs, and connect it to an external DAC - this is what I plan on doing on a day-to-day basis, as reports are that the Squeezebox DAC isn't the greatest. To top it off the, Squeezebox Touch is only $300. Such a deal.
Now, what external DAC to use? This I'm still researching, but at the moment I'm liking the Cambridge Audio DacMagic. It will automatically upsample recordings to 24/96, which in theory is a good thing. My son Ron is not a fan of upsampling, and I must admit I wish there was a button where I could turn upsampling on and off, but while I'm getting on my feet with the new system, this DAC will work just fine and not break the bank. The DACs that are even nicer and do have that upsample on/off are several times the price, and I don't want to spend that right now. But the Cambridge Audio DacMagic has received some very nice reviews, and I think it will do nicely for now. So on the list it goes - unless I find something better.
So there you have it. Those are the components I plan on buying in the next month or so. They are subject to change...except prolly the Squeezebox and the Maggies. I've got a feelin that those will be mine soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Tell Me

Am I just seeing things, or is there a very close similarity in these two faces?
The face on the left is my father. The face on the right is my grandson. Here is the complete photo of my father, circa 1940, standing in a field in the Oklahoma panhandle. Troy has a slightly wider nose and slightly more almond shaped eyes, but otherwise identical.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Troy's First Birthday: The Party

 It is hard to believe, but Troy turned one year old on October 23rd. Seems like only yesterday we all spent the night in the hospital while he gasped his first breath of oxygen.
 But the very next day, his mother Lucy put together a first-rate birthday party for him. Troy, Lucy and David (son, mother, father) posed for me towards the start of the party.
 Here is a more typical shot of the motion that filled the afternoon. It almost looks like Troy is saying "these are MY presents", but in reality he had no clue about that.

 Here is a fun little photo set. Troy developed a curiosity about a stone driveway on the property. That's David's car parked on it.
 So, with a little help from his friends (my wife and Sarah-e) he decides to follow the yellow(ish) brick road.
 Just after this photo is taken, they discover some broken glass on that road. Is that a fitting metaphor, or what?

 So grandma decides it is time to halt, reverse course and focus on something else.
 Here ya go young Troy. Focus on something else.
 Troy is not used to grandma saying "NO". It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.
 It really looks like they've decided to moon me, the cameraman. But in reality, they are looking for that broken glass.
I've posted Troy's monthly progress since birth, and we have been able to see him grow month-by-month. Now that we've passed the one year mark I'll continue to have Troy posts, but they will probably be at random times.

Troy's First Birthday: Getting Ready For Pinata

 As the afternoon drifted on, it became time for the pinata!
 As Lucy and her family got the pinata ready, David and Troy talked to Sarah-e for a little while (I probably mis-spelled her name, sorry)

 Lucy puts the birthday hat on Troy...
 ...he loves hats! He always wears my hats when he comes to our house.
 And now we're ready. We have the pinata stick, we have the hat, the kids are anxious.
 The twins want to start!
 Troy is really too young to do much pinata-hitting, so he watches as final preparations are made.

 Lucy showing her son how it's done.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Troy's First Birthday: The Pinata

 And then it was time to hit the pinata! First up - the twins...

 And after many whacks, the candy is about to come out...

 Everyone savoring the sweetness...