Post #3 for the month!
Now that my rant is over, time to get back to normal discussions.

Alison and I have really enjoyed our new camera. We've taken to going on "dates" with another couple (Donnie and Dianna) to take pictures. So far, we have twice ended up eating dinner at some random restaurant an hour from home. The most recent was a seafood/creole place in Holly Springs that was pretty awesome.

If you're friends with me on Facebook, I've been posting some of the better images to my photo albums there. They're marked friend-of-friends, so you can see them even if you're friends with someone I know.

Anyway, it's nice to have a hobby that I can share with my wife. :-)

Stop the presses!
YES, it's TRUE! I actually wrote more than one post in a month.

I've found it interesting how commonly we find people publicly hating Jewish people in the media. What's up with that? Some seemingly "normal" celebrity gets drunk/high, then goes on some rant about how they hate the Jewish people.

Sometimes, they get away with it. Hollywood gives them a pass because they were drunk. More recently, people have started being held accountable for their extreme hatred.

Here's what bothers me... If I were the kind of guy that got nasty drunk (and I'm not, btw), I would probably say something stupid that my filters would normally prevent, not spout hate speech. These people let out what's on the inside. This means that all this racist junk with John Galliano has been sitting there brewing in him for what is probably years.

It's not the alcohol that made him hate Jewish people... it just gave us a window into his deep seated hatred.

(no subject)
Valentine's Day went well. I got Alison a 50mm prime lens for our new DSLR. We went to India Palace with Ruth for dinner, and it was the most packed I've ever seen it (which is actually around 50% full)... and we've been there for Valentine's Day before.

I feel like I'm just now getting over the cruise we took two weeks ago. This will be the first full week I've been back, since the snow days of last week are long gone.

Have I mentioned that we are cutting out the phone company from the loop? A few months ago I wired an Antenna into our home coax, so now we have free HD tv from all of our "cable" outlets (tuner required, of course.) I've continued the trend, and switched our home alarm to a cell unit. This way it doesn't rely on a home phone line.

I didn't want to get rid of the actual number, so I'm using a VOIP solution from Ooma (the Ooma Telo) to provide a dialtone to my house. This means I can port over my old number, connect Google Voice to the home phone system, and still use the fax machine. :-)

Photo Recovery
My wife has turned into a wheeler and a dealer. She noticed that one of her Facebook friends (a girl that goes to our church) is a professional photographer, and she was having tech problems. Apparently she got some kind of virus on her Android phone, and the person at the phone store just formatted her Micro SD card without letting her pull the 400 photos she had taken off.

Alison convinced her to bring her camera to church tonight and take pictures of Alison, Ruth, and me in exchange for me trying to recover any pictures I could.

I plugged her Micro SD Card into a regular SD adapter (makes it work in a standard SD drive.) Unfortunately, the Micro SD Card is newer and can't be read by my 10 year old card reader. I discovered that the photo frame I got Alison for Christmas last year CAN read it, so I stuck the card in the photo frame and plugged the frame into my iMac.

I'm using a free tool called PhotoRec ( that is currently scanning the entire partition looking for the remains of image files from before the format. It has currently found 298 JPEGs, 145 PNGs (Album Art), 3 MOVs, and a Keith Urban MP3. :-)

The Dishwasher Verdict
I got to hear the dishwasher last night, and the installers must have been deaf.  Although it's quiet, you can definitely hear it.  Still, we used to have to turn the old dishwasher off to watch TV, and now we can do both at the same time.

Here's some video: (10MB) (3.7MB)

Dishwasher Update
We finally got the dishwasher installed.  The first person that came out (Wednesday) didn't have the tools he needed to install it.  When I asked him why he couldn't mount it, he said: "I'm just a plumber".  I explained to him that the contract says I paid for someone to install it, and it specifically stated that we have granite countertops and that they either needed to glue it or install side-mounting brackets.  Apparently no one told him about it.  I assured him that it wasn't his fault, and then called the Lowe's people to get someone out with the proper tools to mount a bracket.

They sent TWO guys out today to install it.  After they finished the installation and turned it on, they each asked the other if they could hear it (it was running, but it's that quiet apparently.)  One of the installers has the same model that we used to have, and he complained about how loud it was (and how poorly it cleaned.)  He may end up buying the model that we got.

In other related news, my father's dishwasher went out recently and they told him he needed to replace a $400 pump to get it working again.  So, he's going to buy the same model we got.  :-P

The Century
Well, I did it! I finished the 100-mile route at the Tour de Reelfoot last weekend. It was a lot flatter than most of the routes I've ridden, but the wind was killer. There was a three hour period where I was stuck riding directly into a 25mph wind. My top speed of 18mph was cut down to 5mph, and it was close to torture.

Still, I found a way to push through and make it. Only 12 people attempted the 100 miles, and 2 of them gave up.

I made it!
Biker Squirrel
Well, I made it back safe and sound from my Really Long Bike Ride. It was 150 miles spread over two days. On day two, I made it up "The Wall" without walking. That's more than I can say for the vast majority of riders. It wasn't so much about raw skill as it was knowing how and when to downshift. The best riders couldn't make it to the top if they didn't start in the right gear. I had the benefit of getting advice from someone who had ridden it a few times in years past.

I've got a little photo gallery up from the ride. Unfortunately, most of the pictures are of Donnie, the friend that rode with me. He's going to send me his pictures, so I'll upload them when he gets them to me.

For now, you can check out pictures from the ride at:

"Gun" Show
I've noticed within the past month or so that my biceps are getting noticeably larger. In the mornings, they feel like I've been weightlifting recently (slightly swollen, or "pumped up".) Originally I attributed it to my bike riding, but noticed that it happens pretty much every morning... not just the days after I ride.

It hit me today that I frequently carry my daughter around when I get home each day for quite a while. Long enough that one arm gets tired and I switch arms. Who knew that having a child would help my muscle tone? :-P

(no subject)
Well, I rode the 72 miles this weekend without giving up. It was pretty difficult near the end... My biceps, triceps, quadriceps (are there quintdriceps?), calves, FEET, HANDS, were all cramping up. I tried to get as much nutrition as I could during the stops without overdoing it. I think I ate 2.5 bananas, an orange, a couple of energy bars, and some cheez-its at the various stops along the way. :-)

Sunday I was pretty sore, and I'm curious how I'll ride the second day next week at the MS-150.


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