50 Gmail invites

I have 50 Gmail invites now. Anybody want one?

School board candidate interviews

I think I'm going to try to do email interviews with each person running for the school board in Adrian. I need you to submit questions that you want answered. I'll get the questions to the candidates and publish their answers here. Post your questions as comments or email me (personman2 at gmail dot com).


I think the web site may be working normally now. Comments weren't working and for a few hours this afternoon, the whole website was down (along with every website hosted by Powweb.com).

And now for something a little less ridiculous...

Today I was privy to an interesting conversation in my Sunday School class. Four Bible college students were arguing with my mother-in-law about the nature of God; specifically, about how involved he is in our lives. She said she believes there are two schools of thought on this issue: one, that God set everything into motion and, though he knows what will happen, does not meddle in the affairs of earthlings, making all consequences are earthly; two, that God is specifically engaged in each of our lives, and he orchestrates each and every thing that happens to us or as a result of us. She was of the first school of thought, the Bible college students of the second. Since I have absolutely no idea, I thought it would be fun to see what you thought. The floor is yours...

Duchamp Theorizes

I was getting ready for bed the other night when I realized that my toilet seat was up. Not being a regular occurrence at the Ferguson household, I realized one of our many guests of the evening must have committed the offense. I then delved into my memory bank of past toilet seat mishaps and realized that I have shut the lid many times when people come to visit. It is then tha tI had this revelation, which I will share with you now. First, a little background:

When I visit a person's house, I inevitably must use the bathroom. When the deed is complete, I ALWAYS shut the lid. I think I have always assumed this is what one should do after using the restroom, particularly one that is not yours. (There is of course one exception: the toilet that has no lid. College students, I feel your pain.) The reasoning behind this somewhat OCD pattern, I guess, is that it makes the bathroom look nicer (is that even possible?--everyone knows what goes on in there) and that I have always done it that way.

Anyway, I suddenly realized that I had made a judgment error. I finally understood--other people have totally different expectations as bathroom guests. Perhaps they even have well-planned bathroom etiquette such as mine, except they have arrived at a completely different conclusion. Maybe they leave the lid up for ease of use; a courtesy applied to the next commode visitor. Or maybe they prefer the open look, the outdoorsy type. At any rate, I realized that for far too long I have been slighting these well-intentioned persons and taking away their ability to serve others in this capacity.

So, from this day forward, I vow to not say those nasty things in my head as I close the toilet seat after someone has used it. (I would say that I will forevermore leave it open, but we just got a cat who is interested in all sorts of water containers and I would hate for it to fall in.)

Oh, and by the way, if you have ever been a guest in my house, this was not meant as an insult; I really wanted to share my newfound knowledge with the world. Please continue to visit, and leave the seat as you wish. As I would imagine Oprah saying, if I help just one person end their cycle of toilet seat shutting, I have done my civic duty.

Would you like large bills?

I worked the drive-through window at the bank on Saturday for the first time. We had a lot of customers come through, but one sticks out in my mind. He had a rifle setting in the passenger seat of his car. I wasn't really nervous because I knew that he was just cashing a check on his way to go hunting and he probably didn't think about what he was doing. And the bullet-proof glass made me feel safe, too. It's nice to live and work in a small town where I don't have to assume the worst about people.


Earlier this week I came from work and there was a cat in our garage. It was hiding in some of our junk trying to stay warm. I hadn't seen it yet, but it was meowing a loud, sick, pathetic meow. I grabbed a broom and pried it out with the handle. I was expecting to pull out some nasty old disease-ridden cat, but it was a beautiful cat that was little more than a kitten. Suddenly we felt sorry for it and started talking about feeding it. But we moved it outside and shut the garage door so it could go find its home.

Last night we were hanging around playing games and some neighbor kids came up and knocked on our door. They said there was a cat outside under our car and they wondered if we had one missing. It was starting to snow.

Today we went outside and we could still hear that sad meowing. We asked my mom what she thought and she said that it probably didn't have a home. So we borrowed her flea shampoo and went and put the cat back in the garage and gave it some milk. While it drank the milk we went to the new Dollar General in Adrian and picked up some cat litter, food, scratch post and bed. We came home and gave it a bath.

Once it had dried off and calmed down my parents brought Emma over and introduced her to our new cat. They had been working on names. Here are some that Emma suggested and Jenny transcribed: Bracion, Phoner, Fecal-fecal, Nanovacal, Ripfrekal, Hippovekal, Skin and Handsome. But the name that Emma invented and stuck with is Bearsmicks. Check out the pictures in the Bearsmicks gallery.

Game session report

Last night we had my parents and sister over for dinner. Jenny's boyfriend Casey came later and once we could tear Dad away from the History Channel we played a couple of board games.

Banana Republic
This is a card game where you try to bribe some politicians and get the most votes. The winner becomes the president of the republic. You can also play killer cards on a stack and try to off an elector so no one gets the vote. Up until last night, Mom had never lost this game. Here are the final votes:

66 Diane
24 Casey
18 Jim
0 Sara
0 Danny

Tikal is a tile-placing, piece-moving, board-exploring, treasure-collecting kind of game. It won the Spiel des Jahres in 1999. Casey jumped to an early lead and spent his time building up a temple to level 10, which I promptly took over and put a guard on, giving me those points for the rest of the game. Then he tried to poach two of Jenny's temples, which she had built up to 8 and 9 repectively, but she put a guard on those and stranded his players. Nice work, Jenny. Final scores:
172 Danny
112 Jenny
106 Casey

New game: Ticket to Ride

I just ordered a new board game. Matt has got me into German board games and I thought it was time to have one of my own. Ticket to Ride won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) for 2004. And it's supposed to be good for beginning gamers (read: non-geeks). By all accounts it's a very fun game and I'm looking forward to playing it. I found it for a good price at an eBay store called Clarified Games. And shipping was only $5, which is very cheap for eBay.


video.google.com - Google is now indexing transcripts on TV shows. The search results include images from the show (no video yet). So far it looks like it doesn't actually have full transcripts. For example, last night's Everwood only has two paragraphs of text. This is still in beta, though. Yahoo has a video search, but it seems more like images.google.com. It just searches within regular web pages for video clips. Blinkx.tv is another option, and it also searches for video, not for text within television programs. If I were searching for a video clip, I would use one of the latter two, but if I were looking for some infomation that I think was on TV, I would go with Google.

(via CNET News.com)

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