Category: "family/personal"


Christmas brought a few additions to my bookshelf. The first four books above came from my mother-in-law. She printed off the list of Top 20 Geek Novels that I posted about a month ago, took it to the bookstore and bought me some from the list that I haven't read. A very thoughtful gift. So, now I have numbers 5, 9, 13 and 17. Sara got Perdido Street Station for me because she had heard so many good things about it and thought I would enjoy it. There's a quote of Neil Gaiman praising it right on the front cover, so it's got plenty of geekiness, too. I'm looking forward to reading these, and I'll be happy to loan them out, too.

Build your own

Last night while I was posting obituaries on I started thinking about how expensive a funeral is. I think the casket itself can get into the thousands pretty easily. All that for a box you see for a few hours then bury in the ground. I would rather be put in a simple, cheap pine box. (Even that could cost almost a grand.) Then my family can spend that money on something better. Then, as I typed along, my thoughts turned to the funeral home people. They probably make it very hard to get anything but an expensive coffin. I'm sure they would give a guilt trip on anyone who didn't lay down cash for the best stuff. Then, for some reason, I wondered if people ever make their own casket. Sort of a morbid project, yes, but no one could deny burying you in the one you custom made for that special day. I did a quick search to see if there would be help for such a project. Internet, you didn't let me down. has some info and links
Some kits and plans
Even has some help
DIY funeral tips from the BBC

I don't think I'll be undertaking a project like this, but it's good to know that the internet has this information.

Emma's games

Emma has been learning more about computers lately. She can handle a mouse and navigate through several different kids' websites, playing flash games and watching cartoons. She can also use bookmarks and the back button in the browser, which puts her ahead of some adults I know. To help her get to her favorite sites I made a little page with images that link to the sites. I add this to the bookmark toolbar and she can do the rest on her own. Here's the site:

Feel free to use it if you have a little one who might enjoy these games.

Friday Random Ten

Since every one else is doing it, I'm going to post ten random songs from my iTunes library. I've been working on importing my cd collection into iTunes, complete with album art, so I think I'm finally ready to try this. I'm just going to click on Party shuffle and post the first ten songs it puts in the list, whether I'm proud of them or not.

1. Ludwig Van Beethoven - Symphony 5
2. Soul Coughing - Mr. Bitterness
3. Caedmon's Call - Beautiful Mystery
4. Eric Clapton - Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
5. Squirrel Nut Zippers - Prince Nez
6. Dashboard Confessional - Ghost of a Good Thing
7. Miles Davis - So What
8. Billie Holiday - Blue Moon
9. Caedmon's Call - Petrified Heart
10. Bright Eyes - Another Travelin' Song

All in all, I think it's a pretty good list.

Game night results

I posted a report of the game night at

October 29 Game Night

Game night this Saturday

Ancient board gameThis Saturday, October 29, 2005, at 8 pm we're going to play some games at my house. If you want to come, RSVP with a comment or an email. Matt K. has some new games we'll be trying out: Ticket to Ride Europe, Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan Seafarers expansion and 2005 Spiel des Jahres winner Niagara. I'm hoping to get six people geeky and brave enough to play Cosmic Encounter during the night. Be there.

Game session report

I've posted a report from our game night last night:

Game Night: 10-8-05

Emma's new video (again)

I'm experimenting with YouTube's embedded video player. Click on the play button to start the video. I've also added a tab at the top of the page called 'Videos'. Click on it to get a list of my videos (also embedded from I really like YouTube so far. There are a couple of things that would make it even nicer. I would like to be able to choose which frame from my video becomes the thumbnail image for the video. I would also like to have some code to display the video that doesn't use the depreciated 'embed' tag. (Thanks to STK in the forums for giving me the valid code to use.) The watermark in the lower right corner bothers some people, but I don't really mind it. I still think I'll generally want to provide a direct link to a bigger, higher quality Quicktime (H.264) version of my videos for those people who want it to look nicer and to be able to save a copy on their computer. But YouTube works great for an easy, compatible way of showing videos. I would be interested to hear what people think. Do you use the high-quality version of the video, or the easy YouTube version? Do you think having the video right on my page is nice, or too much? I could also make it so that you have to click 'Read more' to see it, but since the video doesn't start loading or playing until you click the play button, I don't think that is necessary.

Emma 3 1/2

I finished a new home video: Emma 3 1/2, and I've added it to my videos. Or, if you want a higher quality version, you can download this file (Requires Quicktime 7).

Random iTunes

iTunes logoI put iTunes on Party Shuffle, and these are the first ten songs that came up.

1. Hithhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Episode 9 - Douglas Adams
2. Women and Men - They Might Be Giants
3. Not Even Jail - Interpol
4. Awake My Soul - Derek Webb
5. Arc of Time(Timecode) - Bright Eyes
6. Beautiful People - Rusted Root
7. Love My Way - The Psychedelic Furs
8. Steve Wozniak, Part 2 - IT Conversations
9. Clementine - Elliot Smith
10. Extra Savoir-Faire - They Might Be Giants

(idea from Brendoman)

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