Feb 21 2013

That’s a nice case

I’m on my third iPhone now, all second-hand, all purchased or traded for. My first was an iPhone 3G, which was great, though it was a little slow, partly due to having to jailbreak it. Then I picked up a 3GS, which was way faster. Now I have an iPhone 4S. The best analogy I can think of speed wise  is like going from a car with a 4-banger, to one with a six cylinder, to one with a V12.

The phone came with a scad of extra chargers and cables and other doodads, plus a couple of nice Otterbox cases. However, I dislike big cases (I never used one on my previous phones). But the 4S came with a “bumper” case on it, just a thin, smooth case that covers the back, corners, and sides. It has a logo of an MU Tiger on the back, which I’m indifferent to. But the case is slim and smooth and doesn’t interfere with pocketing, so I kept it on.

I can do so much more, so much faster than I could before, especially making better use of my hour long commute. It’s like having an external extra brain to remember things for me.

Still, when people see my amazing phone, you know what they say?

“Wow, MU! That’s a cool case!”


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Mar 14 2012

March Madness…

I am looking out my window and I have cabin fever really bad! The grass is turning green, the birds are singing and the sun is shining. It is hard to believe that it is the middle of March. This time last year I’m pretty sure we had snow, or at least drizzle, in the forecast. For me March Madness has a different meaning this year (although I am anticipating some really good basketball). My madness is stemming from the fact that I am stuck inside all day while the weather beckons me to come and play.

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Oct 28 2011

Corn gangsta

n. One who attends a small, rural school in the middle of the Corn Belt, but dresses like he is growing up on the mean streets of Compton.

The girls brought this wonderful term home from high school. As far as I know the usage is entirely localized to our school.

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Apr 2 2010

Free Wallpaper: Undertaker 1997

In 1997 I went with my friends The Celt, his wife (Mrs. Celt), Tony, and Stickler to my first rasslin’ event: WWF Monday Night Raw is War on October 6 in Kansas City, Missouri. The previous day had been pretty eventful, with the Kane and the Hell in a Cell match making their first appearances in St. Louis, and wrestler Brian Pillman passing away in his hotel room.

The Undertaker was by far my favorite wrestler. I mean, he’s scary, he wears all black: it was pretty clear he looked up to me, so I had to go to support my biggest fan.

I had brought my Pentax K-1000, several rolls of 400 and 800 speed film, and a telephoto lens I borrowed from Mrs. Auggie. Before they started the show, all of the wrestlers came out on the entrance ramp while they tolled the bell for Pillman. All except the Undertaker.

Anyway, the show that night was great, and we had awesome seats. I took a lot of pix, pushing the film as far as I thought I could get away with. I also found out what they do in the stadium at a live event while they are airing the commercial breaks on TV: absolutely nothing.

We saw some great matches, but I was still kind of bummed that the Undertaker hadn’t been there. Finally, the show was over, the lights dimmed, and people started going home. We waited around a little bit just in case there was something else, and they started taking the aprons off the ring that said ‘RAW is WAR.’ Underneath was another set of ring aprons that said ‘Shotgun Saturday Night.’ It turns out they tape it after the live Monday night broadcast (sorry to spoil it for ya).

The final match was scheduled for a one hour time limit: Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart vs. the Undertaker.

I had about eight frames of my last roll of film left, and I got this shot:

Undertaker 1997 is available in 1600 x 1200 (standard) and 1440 x 900 (wide). Just right click and Save As (Windows) or Option-Click (Mac).

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Mar 15 2010

Review: O’Dowd’s Little Dublin at Zona Rosa

Recently Heather and I took a short weekend off together to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

As most of you know, I love Irish Stew. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a place that serves it that isn’t called ‘Dan’s House.’

For those of you who don’t know, Irish Stew is lamb, potatoes, carrots, and leeks. Its unique flavor comes largely from the lamb and thyme, but from the leeks to some extent.

O’Dowd’s Little Dublin at Zona Rosa serves an Irish stew minus the leeks and with no detectable thyme, but they have added beef. At first I thought this was a good idea, but the problem is that the beef flavor runs wild over the lamb and crowds out the unique flavor. Overall the stew was a really great beef stew, but just a mediocre Irish Stew. While my palate was disappointed, my ego was gratified that my stew is better. I’m not saying my stew is more authentic, because I wouldn’t know, but I do think it’s better.

Heather, however, had some pork chops with mushrooms and a side of asparagus, and it was pretty amazing.

She also absolutely loved her bread pudding, both fresh and warm as well as cold from the motel fridge.

Our waitress, Jennifer, was very nice and we didn’t have to wait for anything.

Overall, O’Dowd’s was nice enough, but the high-backed seats were a little shallow and the place felt plain old American, and not the least bit Irish.

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Jan 17 2010

Snowy, blowy

In the book of The Princess Bride, the giant Fezzik attempts to overcome a moment of cognitive dissonance upon seeing the Man in Black leaving the cliffs where he had fought a duel with Inigo. Fezzik couldn’t explain to Vizzini (inconceivable!) the idea that Inigo could have ever been beaten, so he rationalizes something to the effect that Inigo, had not in fact, been beaten, but had beaten the Man in Black and then taken his opponent’s clothes and dressed up as him.

And gained 50 pounds.

Point is, I am still trying to figure out how Lafayette County can get the interstate clean just hours after a snow, but the larger, wealthier Jackson County cannot. It must not be that Jackson does a poor job, but it instead must be that both counties don’t receive equal amounts of snow, but Jackson actually receives approximately 65 times what Lafayette receives.

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Dec 9 2009

Da Bears

About three years ago Heather’s dad went hunting and shot a black bear. If you have never tried it, let me tell you that it is amazing. It is glorious. It is quite possibly the best meat I have ever had. Contrary to what most people ask me, no, it is not greasy. It is wonderfully moist, though.

By the way, I got into some trouble with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources a few years ago for leaving large jars marked ‘hunny’ lying about my back yard.

I’d have gotten away with it too, if Christopher Robin hadn’t narc’d on me.

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Oct 7 2009

My first float trip

When I was seven and my brother was four we went with my Dad and his friend Roy on a float trip. I don’t remember the river, but I do remember a lot of things about the trip.

One thing was at one point in the river, over to the side, there was this circle where the water was literally blue. My Dad said it went a hundred feet down. I have since found in a book of Missouri Folklore that the spring, called Blue Spring (not to be confused with Blue Springs, Missouri), was created when an Indian maiden jumped into the water and drowned herself.

Some time later someone said, “Hey! Look at that! There’s a skeleton on that branch!” I looked up, anxious to see a human skeleton dangling from a rope in the tree–maybe a pirate or a cowboy that was hanged. I was disappointed to see that it turned out to be a huge frog skeleton in the water. It was intact, despite the lack of any flesh at all, and it appeared to be biting on a submerged branch.

The last event of the trip was when we were in the home stretch of the float, a wide slow-moving section of water, that Dad decided to be funny. He was an excellent swimmer, unafraid of any body of water, no matter how snake-infested. I was never a good swimmer.

Dad starting rocking the boat, acting like he was going to tip it over. My brother and I held on, trying not to be thrown overboard. I was terrified; Dad was highly amused.

Once he had finished having fun trying to drown us, he realized that he had inadvertently knocked his steel-toed boots overboard and they had sunk to the bottom of the river. It was good for him that he was such a good swimmer, as he had to dive down and retrieve them.

And then I was highly amused.

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Jul 16 2009

Truman, Missouri, and music

President Truman was a musician and a Missourian. However, he didn’t care much for our state song, The Missouri Waltz:

“It’s a ragtime song and if you let me say what I think–I don’t give a [expletive deleted] about it, but I can’t say it out loud because it’s the song of Missouri. It’s as bad as “The Star Spangled Banner” as far as music is concerned.”

I don’t know if he hated the song before his presidential campaign, but it was while running for president that bands played it ad nauseam at campaign stops


But at least he had a plan if Dewey actually had defeated him:

“If I hadn’t been President of the United States, I probably would have ended up a piano player in a bawdy house.”

The closest he ever got to his fallback was playing piano at the White House press club during the few days he served as vice president. The woman on the piano is 20 year old Lauren Bacall.


The picture created quite a scandal. Harry’s wife, Bess, was not amused.

So what was he playing anyway? According to Bacall, he was playing:

“…badly, playing the Missouri Waltz, or something.”

Photos are from The Truman Library.

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Mar 8 2009

Jesse James and Caves

Missouri is known as the Cave State; we have over 6,000 caves.

Besides caves, Missouri also has the most famous outlaw of the Old West: Jesse James.

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like those two facts have anything to do with one another. However, every cave you visit in Missouri has a sign stating that Jesse James once used this cave as a hideout.

And it doesn’t stop with caves. Pretty much any rock formation that a person of moderate size and intelligence could hide in becomes a past hiding spot for the outlaw.

Please don’t think I’m trying to be a killjoy; I’m not saying that Jesse James didn’t hide out in every cave, hollow, karst feature, and rock pile in Missouri. All I’m saying is that none of the photos of the outlaw appear to depict him with pasty albino skin and over-large eyes.

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