Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bird Feeder Gets a Workout

Our newly installed (courtesy of Rick) bird feeder is getting a workout.

Click on photo for better bird detail.

The red-winged blackbirds are frequent visitors but there are also plenty of others including doves and finch styled birds.

As for the post job - it is a black pipe (1/4" I think) from Home Depot with a flange screwed on the top that allows for the house to be mounted. There is also an ~18" extension screwed to the bottom which allows for mounting into the ground (surrounded by a poured cement block). Bottom line - the house can hold as many birds as can manage to land on it at once.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pet Shop Boys - Pandemonium Video

Here's a new video of an instant classic Pet Shop Boys song from their new album...

This song alone is worth buying the album for! And the rest is good too.

R. Tangeman the elder tries to blog a Flip video.

This is my dog Jake the snake.

I found the cheap Flip box on sale at Wally-World for $50

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's Inside WD-40?

We've all got a couple of cans of WD-40 (stands for "water displacement, 40th attempt) around the garage, but what makes it work? There is no ingredient list on the can and the formula is considered a trade secret. However, I recently came across a lab analysis (this month's Wired Magazine) of the stuff. So what's in WD-40?
1. Mineral Oil - main ingredient is a mix of baby oil and Vaseline.
2. Decane - an alkane-hydrocarbon that helps WD-40 stay liquid at cold temps.
3. Nonane - another alkane - since alkane atoms don't hold a charge, they can't connect to hydrogen or oxygen in water, so they're water repellent.
4. Tridecane and Undecane - more water repelling alcanes - undeccane is part of the pheromone trail left by roaches and ants
5. Tetradecane - another alcane
6. Dimethyl Naphthalene - this is why WD-40 works as a solvent
7. Cyclohexane - standard alkanes come in chanes, this one is a ring, giving it a higher melting point
8. Carbon Dioxide - propellant

Ode to the Record Store - Year Two

They aren't all gone yet! Last year was a good celebration with me picking up some good music...

Dimple Records is still alive here in Sacramento and hopefully doing ok. Who knows for sure though with the way businesses are vacating strip malls with no warning at all. I discovered our only Baja Fresh was closed when I walked over for lunch the other day :( But that's a different blog post...

This year I scored some more good music at Record Store day.

the eels second album which is a darker album... includes the awesome track Last Stop: This Town

I'm careful about buying Prince music that came after Around the World in a Day. This three disc set receives good reviews generally so I snapped it up for $6. Steph and I enjoyed it last night while sitting outside...some good stuff.

Most folks think Cyndi Lauper was a one album wonder and generally turn up their noses at her other work. Fact is there's a lot more to her music than just Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Time after Time.
An album I remember listening to a lot in college...I told Steph it really hadn't aged all that well... then I read that on the iTunes review as well! Regardless, there are some good tunes in here.

INXS debut album without Michael Hutchence. I added to my get list after hearing the first singles from it a year or two ago...Afterglow is very good IMO. There is other good stuff too.

Here's the deal with record stores though...I got all of the above used for $30. Looking at Amazon they can all be had for an average price of .30 cents with shipping for $3 each. The eels being the only exception where the cheapest was $2.50. So you could buy these 5 albums for about $20 on Amazon.... but you never would... record stores provide the fun of browsing and it is a random pool of stuff where things just pop out at you. An experience Amazon is unable to provide...

Here's to record stores surviving at least one more year :)

John Grisham's Law School Picture

I spent a few days in Oxford, Mississippi attending a conference at the Ole Miss Law School. All of the student photographs were posted in the halls, so I decided to try to find John Grisham's picture. I asked a secretary at the school what year Grisham graduated. She didn't know, but was willing to look it up for me. She disappeared into a back room and about three minute later, emerged with a file in hand. It was Grisham's grades and other law school records! She told me he graduated in 1981. I asked if I could look at his file and she said no. I asked her how his grades were, but she told me she wasn't allowed to comment on student records. Anyway, at least I found out what class he was in. I tracked down the class of '81 photographs and took the following pics with my cell phone cam.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chicken Strips Comparison Test

I tried Zaxby's, Sonic, KFC, and Chick Fil-A. All were white meat with little flavor. Quality was quite similar. Be sure to get some kind of a dipping sauce.
Strip weighed 38 grams. All white meat. Very Bland
Five 'fingers' for $3.79. Best value.
Strip weighed 41 grams. All white meat.
Very bland, but a nice crunch.
Four piece strip dinner (bread, slaw fries) $4.89

Strip weighed 58 grams. All white meat.
Has a slight zing, causing me to call it the best.
Two piece strip meal (potatoes, gravy, biscuit) $3.49

Chick Fil-A
Strip weighed 44 grams. All white, very bland flavor.
Three piece, strips only. $3.79

Monday, April 13, 2009

2008-2009 Fiscal Cheap Candy Season Drawing to a Close

With the passing of Easter the 2008-2009 fiscal candy season wraps up. Over the next week or two is your last chance to get super-cheap post holiday discounted candy. The season starts each October with Halloween and rolls through Christmas and into the next year with Valentines Day and finally Easter.

Post Valentines day discounts were deep this year as stores looked to excess product. The best I ran across was at Long's Drugs where prices were 90% off with some good stuff remaining. I scored this simulated steel tin of Russell Stovers chocoloates for right around a buck.

Pez candy dispensers could be had for ten cents! Sadly I purchased a few at full price a week earlier.

Over 6 months 'til the start of the '09-'10 season so buy a couple extra boxes of peeps when you run across them!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blog Backlog - Easter 2009

There is a bit of a backlog on the blog due to busy week-ends and taxes. Here are some of the best snaps over the past week or two. Hopefully a video within the next few weeks. In the meantime...

Jack is developing a habit of needing some snuggle time with Mom right after his baths.

And here he is at a friend's birthday party. Underneath a parachute!

Finally, Jack experienced his first Easter Egg hunts this week. One at school and one at home. Here he sets out on the search for eggs. Look closely and you'll spot two. (click image to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

They Start'em Younger and Younger

Kids and cell phones now seem to go together like pancakes and syrup. They text under desks without looking, cheat on tests and set the ringers to high pitched sounds only dogs and kids can hear.

By the looks of things this trend will continue as Jack already has a natural inclination towards my Samsung Smartphone.

Here are a few snaps as evidence:

"Any new emails?"

"Uh-oh - I better call Mom!"

"You want Dad to pick up a pizza on the way home? OK Got it. I'll send him a text message when we're done"

"Dad - Go 2 PapaM & get D-L Pizza"

Monday, April 06, 2009

The NCAA Title Game: No Big Eas(t/y) representation

All year long we had to hear about how great the Big East conference was. They were certainly good - but certainly NOT great. The other note is that calling this collection of 16 basketball schools a conference is probably a stretch...perhaps the Big East Coalition is a better name. Most conferences top out at 12 so you've got to figure that if you add four more teams you'll get more representation, etc...

So congrats to the Big East on an above average season. Maybe someone from your coalation will win it all next year... you are certainly due since the Big 12, the SEC and the ACC have all won since you have.... wait - maybe it is the Pac 10s turn next year.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Ladies take first and second! 2009 March Madness Pick'em Results

With North Carolina beating Villanova last night Erin claims first in the annual pick'em contest.

Among those who didn't pick a #1 seed to win it all - Robert wins :)

Congrats to Erin for taking first and Steph for taking second.

Best of GT Final Four Runs

Here's Tech's final shot to beat Okie State and move into the finals!

Here's how Tech came back from down 4 in 13 seconds against Michigan State to force overtime...then go on to win. Kenny Anderson's coast to coast run for a bucket in 7 seconds is still amazing...

Friday, April 03, 2009

Faster than a speeding bullet?

Nah... just a blurry picture due to no flash.... but here's Jack playing a new game - hide in the closet...

Here he is "slowed down" before disappearing into the sea of shirts...

Look closely and you'll spy a baby!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

My father, Lawrence Norman Tangeman was born in Firth, NE 8/14/1908.

My grandfather, Abraham Tangeman, is buried in the Firth cemetary.
His grave is on the left and mine is on the right for future use.

Bill and Erin are ready to go to work.

Carol at the state line south of Beatrice.

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