Thursday, November 19, 2009

My advice to college Freshman

I have posted a new entry in my Tech blog about advice to college freshmen.

Read it here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Universal Wish List

Most people have an Amazon wish list. Pretty cool way of letting others know what you would like for a birthday, Christmas etc. It is also pretty handy to remind yourself of things you'd like to buy, but without the financial disaster of buying it when you find it.

The biggest problem has always been that there is a lot of stuff you'd like that you can't get from Amazon. Well, they've addressed that problem with their 'universal wish list' feature.

It is pretty cool. Basically you have a 'favorite' in your browser that runs some JavaScript when you are on a page you'd like to add to your wish list.

Adding the favorite is easy. Create a wish list in Amazon, then on the left side look for the 'universal wish list' link and follow the directions.

For example, Fox Mustang Restoration doesn't have a wish list feature. So I navigate to the page of the item I would like for the Capri, select the 'Add to Wish List' favorite in Firefox. Amazon then displays a popup for you to pick the picture of the item, change the description and add the price. Hit 'save' and then 'save' again on the Amazon page and your item is added to the wish list.

Buying from the wish list is a little more difficult, but not much. When your friend buys something, the select the 'Shop This Store' button on the wish list, then submit their email address so the item can be marked as 'bought'. So no duplicates.

I actually think Amazon missed the UI on this. What they should have done was opened the link in an iFrame, and put a 'yes I bought this' link in a toolbar above the linked-to page.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bathroom remodeling sucks

We started our bathroom remodel over 6 weeks ago. The contractor (who is a family friend) did a great job, leaving me to do some of the basic stuff. Like painting, installing new faucets etc.

6 weeks later, we still can't use our bathroom.

Wow did this thing get out of control fast. Painting took 2 weeks because kid commitments didn't allow me to work on it for more than a few hours each weekend. Now that the walls have color I started changing out the faucets. What a total cluster- this is.

Turns out that our builder decided to use some unknown-name sinks in the house. Which don't have overflows and have the drains almost 1/2" wider than a normal sink. So after installing the new drain, it leaks. After taking it apart 3 times, cleaning the sealing areas, tightening as tight as I can etc. I went to Home Depot. And Lowe's. Neither has no-overflow drains. At all.

So I go online. I can find them, but for $110 each. Screw that.

For now I've packed the holes with plumber's putty, but we'll see if that helps once it dries. Probably not with my luck.

So nothing else got done today. All day with the stupid drains. Plus kid activities of course.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Halloween pictures

So what if it was a week ago? I finally was able to upload some pictures of the kids from Halloween.

It was a rainy, chilly night, so lot a lot of fun for a Saturday Halloween.

He left the costume on for about 10 minutes.

Meghan was too old/cool to go out, so she stayed home and handed out candy. No idea why there is an Edward in my foyer.

I don't know what she was trying to be. I didn't ask ;-)

All the kids made skeletons out of milk jugs. When Deb arrived for the class party they were in the kid's chairs.

I just like this one of Christopher:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Allatoona CTAE Advisory Meeting

Today was my first CTAE Advisory committee meeting at Meghan's high school. CTAE stands for 'Career, Technical and Agricultural' (no idea where the 'E' comes from). Basically it is the department for everything 'not core' in High School.

I was asked to join by the Business & computer teacher, who I've spoken with a few times and offered to help. The other members include bankers, real estate, small business owners, construction managers and a couple of parents.

All I have to say is 'Wow'. The classrooms and subjects offered by this department are incredible. Since it covers a lot of topics, we had a tour of each area. How about an ex-Weather Channel video desk/backdrop with a state of the art Video system? Or a state of the art 3-D model rendering machine for the drafting group? Or a commercial kitchen for Culinary Arts that makes most restaurants look like a BBQ Grill? Or access to the entire Adobe authoring suite for HTML, Flash and animation creation?

I also was able to see a couple of the classroom that Meghan takes her classes in and can now understand some of the things she told me about.

These are definitely not the schools we went to.

Since this was the first meeting we didn't discuss much about directions for the department, feedback on course criteria etc. but that will come in our next meeting.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Cute pictures of kids on Facebook

As you should know by now, the Internet never forgets. Go to the 'way back machine' or even google for old articles and you can find things online that predate the internet. Or pictures you thought you deleted from that wild 'shopping' weekend with friends!

So how do you think your kids are going to react in 10 years (or less!) when they get their own Facebook page and see all stupid pictures of them that you've posted over the years? Or when their siblings beat you to it and tag them, for all their tweener/teen friends to see?

Just saying ;-)

Monday, November 02, 2009

What's that Skirbit thing on your blog?

If you look in the upper right corner of my blog you'll see a box for 'Skirbit' asking for ideas on what to blog about.

Skirbit is a tool created by a couple of Atlanta-based developers that provides a nice interface for people to suggest topics for a blogger. It is free for one blog and reasonably priced if you have multiple.

So if you want me to write about something, suggest it!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Catch up and Blog a Day in November

Sorry I haven't blogged in more than 6 weeks, this has been one crazy fall.

Softball with Courtney has taken up a lot of our time. Except for the 12 days where it rained every day and we were rained out 5 games. While we didn't get any flooding, it was pretty bad less than a mile away, including a couple of washed out roads. After making up all the games (except 2) we went into the Halloween Havoc tournament and the girls won first place! It was by no means easy since both teams we played were pretty good.

Meghan's big activity this fall was Color Guard for Allatoona Band. 3 days a week after school, plus every Friday night and most Saturdays pretty much defined her fall. The last game was Friday (10/30) so she really enjoyed sleeping in yesterday!

Both girls are doing well in new schools (High School and Middle School!)

I have a number of pictures I'll post up over the next couple of weeks.

As for the Capri, nothing was done all fall. See above for why ;-) I hope to get back into it next weekend.

For the second year in a row I am going to try to blog a day in November. We'll see if I can keep up this year!