Friday, January 23, 2009

Amt Farm

Ant Farm2
Ant Farm1

Thursday, January 22, 2009

25 Things you probably don't know (or care to know) about me


  1. My first car accident was when I was 16 & 2 weeks old.  I was hit by a drunk driver whilst "borrowing" my mother's car to cruise around with my girlfriend.  It scared the crap out of me.
  2. My first job was working in a pizza place.  I lasted 2 months.  I learned a lot: don't work in the food business, & don't complain about everything.
  3. I can't decide what my favorite color is.  Sometimes it's blue, sometimes it's green.
  4. When I was a kid I longed to work at Lego.  It was my dream job, and I really thought I had the "stuff" to do it.  I later came to the realization that I really wasn't that good. :)
  5. When I was 16 I skipped out on the family tradition of going to our church's Christmas Eve service (which I really did enjoy).  Instead I went to my girlfriend's family party (yes, the same one in #1).  It was then that I learned how much my then-girlfriend enjoyed the bottle & the pipe (if you know what I mean).  I vowed to never skip Christmas Eve service again.
  6. I love dance music.  About 8-9 years ago my friend played me some Detroit Techno.  I then went to explore other types of electronic music and finally settled on dance (house, club, euro-trance, etc).  Internet radio has been my saving grace in this regard.  I've blogged about many-a-time.
  7. I really, really, really, want to travel to Europe and see a huge, spectacular DJ show like Sensation White, Armin Only, Mayday, etc.  See #6.
  8. My first car was a 1979 Chevrolet Nova; maroon, inline 6, automatic.  The trunk was rusted shut and the valve cover gasket leaked oil like a gunshot victim on blood thinners.
  9. The first time I went to Canada I was 19, dumb, and asked too many questions.  I tried to make chit-chat with the Canadian border patrol.  When they were searching my car (the Nova), they found a couple of my girlfriend's feminine hygiene products in the glove compartment.  They asked me whose it was since she wasn't with me.  I said, "My girlfriend's".  They asked me to open the trunk.  I said I couldn't; it's rusted shut.  I showed the officer and that was good enough for her.  Obviously this was well before 9/11.
  10. My first time having a beer cooler was during my trip to Canada (see #9).
  11. I've always thought that my life would make a good movie.
  12. I’ve lived my entire life in Michigan.  Although some days in the winter I’d like to move someplace warm, I don’t think I’ll ever leave.
  13. I married the girl I took to my high school senior prom:
  14. Prom_1992
  15. When I was a kid (<12), whenever I fell off my bike, I made sure to get up quickly & not make much fuss, because I felt like an idiot when the neighbors would come out to “rescue” me.
  16. When I was 13, my friend & I would sneak into a quiet place in the house and listen to Eddie Murphy tapes.
  17. About 4 years ago I spent a week in Amsterdam on a short-term mission trip assisting a local church called Zolder50.  Although we were there doing God’s work, it didn’t really feel like we accomplished much.  I loved the city, and want need to take my wife there.
  18. I have a serious problem with authority, namely cops.  I have a feeling this is an inherited trait, which strangely, makes me proud.
  19. I’m constantly intrigued by people and society.  I often wonder how people cope with their individual life struggles, and who their friends are.
  20. I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. I am often jealous of people that are really good at things I am interested in, e.g. photography, Guitar (Hero), home improvement, parenting, etc.
  21. I changed my own oil in every car I’ve owned.
  22. I love cars like I love dance music (see #6).  I just can’t afford to own anything new(ish).
  23. My first computer was a 386 DX20 with a 40MiB HDD.  It was a Christmas present in 1989, & cost about $3400.  When I installed a copy of Windows 3.1, it was 20 floppy discs, & I had to use a Stacker program to bring my HDD to 80MiB.
  24. I always complain about not having any friends, but I’m not willing to do all the work to obtain/maintain them.  What to 2 married men talk about anyway, their wives?
  25. When I was quite young (<6) I would sometimes play doctor with the girl down the street (per her request).  One day my buddy got busted by her mother for playing the same game, and was banned from seeing her again.  I was too little to really understand what was going on or its ramifications.  I even, often, felt uncomfortable playing that “game” but didn’t have any idea about how to express my feelings.  She & I eventually stopped playing each other when she moved on to Jr. High (she was a few years older than I).
  26. Although I’m not a fanatic, I do love movies.  I prefer dramas, but I’m also a sucker for those sappy romantic comedies. 
  27. (Bonus) I have 2 tattoos.  One on each arm.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

American Ale


Yesterday I was driving home listening to a re-broadcast of Obama's speech.  I thought it was good.  I identified with much of what he had to say.  One of his bullet-points, he mentioned about schools today, made me think.  My mind raced at the possibilities of the future of our schools.  It quickly went to the extreme of forcing all children to be in state-run schools.  I coupled that with Bush's history of unauthorized wiretapping, and increased Homeland Security authority.  Then in popped my a thought, "Socialism".  Of course I haven't really heard that term since government class in high school. 

When I was a kid in high school, I asked my parents why I had to learn the crappy subjects like history & social studies.  They told me a simple answer, "so we don't repeat the mistakes we made in the past."  It sounded reasonable enough, but I never gave it any more thought.  My parents were "smart" so I assumed they knew what they were talking about.  Now that I'm an adult, and I am directly affected by the government and its restrictions, I am naturally more interested in politics.  (Of course it's more apparent with this past election, and its significance.)  I realized that if we as a people don't know our history, and the history of other countries, we are doomed to repeat mistakes of the past.  We won't be able to recognize when a capitalist society slowly turns into a socialist society. 

These thoughts really have nothing to do with Obama in particular, but only the presidential position in general.  You may be thinking I'm taking things too far with my thoughts, but remember, Hitler was elected (sort of), and so was Chancellor Palpetine.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Debris Kills Boy in Stands at Monster Truck Show

"TACOMA, Wash. – Debris flew into the grandstands at a monster truck show in Washington state, killing a 6-year-old boy and injuring another spectator, witnesses and fire officials said Saturday. A red truck came apart while doing doughnuts during the freestyle competition of Friday night's Monster Jam show, the witnesses said. "I can't help but think of how much my 4 year old son LOVES cars/trucks. He would love to be at an event like this. I imagine what this boy was like during the show; happy, exuberant, excited to see the loud monster trucks doing their thing. I can only imagine how I would be in this situation if this were to happen to my son.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Resolution update

Last week I stated that one of my New Year's resolutions was to significantly reduce my sugar intake.  Yesterday I read a great post on why people fail at their resolutions.  I had a realization that it's a combination of consistency, and in my case, moderation.  So far I've been pretty successful at paying attention to my sugar intake.  I am constantly avoiding (extra) chocolate, and other related candies.  I refuse to buy more chocolate once my Christmas stash gifts run out.  If I must have a doughnut for breakfast, I'll just eat half the doughnut.  So far so good.  I figure once I master the moderation, I can move into ridding myself of that garbage once and for all.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

This is a good one...

9 Methods for Mastering Your Money in 2009 ∞ Get Rich Slowly

Starting tonight I'm going to put forth intentional effort to my our finances.  I'm going to start with a priority list (needs vs. wants), then move on to the debt-reduction plan.  I didn't make this a "resolution" but I don't need to; it's on my mind a lot.  I plan on using the tips from GRS in the link above.  I expect to be in good financial position by April.  Oh yeah, that reminds me.  I need to adjust my federal exemption again!
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Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year resolutions

Photo by iirraa

Until now, I have never really believed in New Years resolutions. I figured if I don't have any resolutions, then I can't not keep them, and therefore, I can't be ridiculed. So this is the first time I'm going to make a resolution. I plan on joining millions of other Americans and am going to go on a diet. What I should really do is exercise more, but considering my schedule, it'll be easier to control what I eat. This is going to be tough. I've been eating pretty much anything I can get my hands on as of late. Sugar is going to be the main substance that's getting deep cuts. No candy canes, Hershey's Kisses, doughnuts, animal crackers, ice cream, chocolate chips, cookies (except for an extreme rationing of Girl Scout cookies), sugar-cereal, etc. It's going to be painful for a little while, but not nearly as bad if I were to continue this downward spiral.

I've also been thinking about getting the family to exercise regularly. I'd like to think as much as the kids run around all day they wouldn't need it. But I think we can all (at least) go for a walk everyday, it'll get the kids into a structured exercise routine that, hopefully, they carry on for their entire lives. This item may take a little more finesse in the logistical department.

I have a few others that I'm not placing as much weight on, but would still like to keep track of them. Here are all of my resolutions in bulk:

  • Control eating
  • Develop exercise plan & execute
  • Take more video of the family (without fancy editing)
  • Take more pictures of all the family. This includes both Laura & me.
  • Create emergency savings (aka don't be stupid with the money)
  • Expand photography skills by taking more pictures.
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