Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween 2009 - Spooky Photo Montage - Debut of Jack's Costume!!!

Halloween is upon us once again. We went to the same pumpkin patch as last year and Jack had a great time. He was old enough to ride a pony and climb the hay this year. Mom took him into the animal pen as you'll soon see!

Jack will be an elephant this year for Halloween. He tried it on again this morning and it just barely fits.

Trick or Treat?

Dreyer's Dibs Product

This review was going to start out as a positive. We've been enjoying Dreyer's Dibs all summer long - especially Jack. Even Kodak got his teeth on a few...

take careful note of description: "ice cream"

but.... :( now that Nestle owns Dreyer's you know what's coming next... yeap... no more ice cream... hello frozen dairy product. It's enough to even make a food-crazed beagle lose interest.

(click picture for better viewing of "frozen dairy dessert")

First Bryer's - now Dryer's. Ice cream fans - all I can saw is beware.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Balloon Boy Art

On October 15, 2009, the balloon boy lifted off from Fort Collins and into the spotlight. I followed the story very closely, mostly because I was stuck in the Memphis airport when it was happening and had nothing better to do than to sit and watch. I wanted to find a way to commemorate this grand event in pop culture, so I asked a talented artist named Leora Platte, who works in the same office as me, to paint a balloon boy picture for me. Here's what she created:

I'm very happy with the painting, and plan to put it in my office. You can see more examples of Leora Platte's art on her blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


DROWNPROOFING at Georgia Tech: Often referred to as Drowning 101 by Tech students, Drownproofing was the infamous class taught by swimming coach Fred “Crankshaft” Lanoue starting in 1940. The water survival techniques taught by Lanoue allowed potential drowning victims to float and bob naturally in water for hours, even when injured. Students were required to float and swim with wrists and ankles bound, bob fully clothed for one hour, and use only their teeth to retrieve rings from the bottom of the pool. The class became a graduation requirement for all male students and remained so until 1988,when it was removed from the curriculum due to restructuring of the physical education department. The class reached national prominence in the late 1950’s when it was included in the U.S. Navy’s survival training and featured in the June 1960 Reader’s Digest article titled “Nobody Needs to Drown.”

Photo from

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coke Mini Coming Soon

Coke is preparing to roll out Coke Mini on the East Coast this December, with the rest of the country getting it in 2010. It's regular Coke, but in a 7.5 ounce can. This seems like a good idea. The problem is, it seems like when this kind of size reduction occurs, the price is never reduced in proportion. No word on how much Coke Mini will cost. Several different Coke beverages will be offered in this size, interestingly, nothing diet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Continuing with what has become a bit of a ritual...Steph and I got each other the new iPod Nanos for our 6th wedding anniversary. These are the new 5th gen Nanos featuring built in video recording capability, FM radio and pedometer... You might recall our 2nd anniversary featured the very first nano. Bill and Erin have done the nano-versary as well as you might recall!
These first pods are still active and kicking built will now be supplemented by the newer ones...Here they are... Steph got red and I went the aluminum color with my original black gen one Nano in the middle.

These new iPods haven't been the greatest...Steph isn't happy with the battery life...the software seems a little buggy (turns on when you pull the headphones out or in... and worst of all - doesn't seem to be backwards compatible with older iPod accessories like our rechargeable dock. Life as an early adopter can be painful....

But this blog post is about our anniversary more than iPods. We went got dressed up a bit and went to a nice dinner at Hawks Restaurant in Granite Bay. Fantastic service and good food.

Jack was in good hands with one of his teachers from school handling babysitting duties. Here's a snap from her phone she sent just before he nestled down.

Georgia Tech and Michigan handed us anniversary presents with nice victories on Saturday as well. Michigan destroying Delaware State and Georgia Tech upsetting 4th ranked Virginia Tech.

Today was generally a lazy day - Jack made a village on the hearth with his old Fisher Price people that were once Mom and Dads.

Have a great week!

Golden Dollar Spending Program

I've launched an effort to help popularize the current series of golden dollars.

I ordered 250 of the George Washington coins and am trying to infuse them into circulation. We'll see how it goes. So far most folks seem fairly accepting of the coins which is a good sign. They don't get too excited by them either - another good sign I think.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Starbucks Via Reviewed

Starbucks has gotten into the instant coffee business with a new product they're calling "Via". You buy Via at Starbucks stores. I'm not sure if it's available at grocery stores. It comes in cardboard sleeves of three Via 8 ounce via servings. The cost was $2.95, or about a buck cup.

I had read that Via tasted exactly like fresh brewed Starbucks, so I put it to the test. I boiled water in a tea kettle and poured exactly eight ounces over the contents of a sleeve of Via in a coffee mug. It did smell and look like fresh brewed Starbucks, but the taste wasn't exactly right. Not bad, mind you, just not the same as fresh brewed.

I suppose Via is a reasonable instant coffee option, but at a buck a cup, it's still out-of-this-world expensive compared to other available instant coffee, which only costs pennies a cup.

Payout For Realz!

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. And yes, Robert did really send Mullins the two dollars for winning the change-estimation challenge, as evidenced by this photo:

Tech Decks FSU!

In Tallahassee...finally! First win ever for the Jackets down there.

Virginia Tech will surely throw a much better defense at Tech next week...

Go Jackets!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Clouds Coming Back

I actually spied these clouds at sunrise early one morning back in late August. One of my better snaps I thought.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Häagen-Daz Five

Dad talks about the declining quality of Ben & Jerry's, and I have observed many questionable ingredients in dairy desert products on the market that can't even legally be called "ice cream". It seems Häagan-Daz has made a similar observation, and has presented an answer to the problem in the form of Häagen-Daz Five. It's an all natural ice cream that only has five ingredients. We tried the brown sugar flavor and found it to be excellent. Sometimes, simpler is better. Other flavors I saw, but have not tried, include chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and ginger.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New York Yankee's Pizza

Erin is very excited that the baseball playoffs are here. As you may know, she's a huge New York Yankees fan. She's fired up to cheer the Yanks on against the Twins, and hopefully beyond. Since she was so excited for game one tonight, I decided to make her a special New York pizza.

The pie features a big NY made out of Erin's favorite pizza topping, cream cheese. I also copied Pizza Hut's latest trick and put a "ring of cheese" just in front of the edge of the crust. Below you can see the special New York pizza pre-bake, and post-bake.

Spider Man Scooter

Jack received a hand me down scooter from his friend Brandon and really enjoys taking it for a spin. It is actually pretty hard to ride - that 2nd wheel in the back doesn't really allow for any tipping.

Must concentrate! The chicken helmet certainly helps though.

A scooter today...a Honda 50 tomorrow!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Depot Baby

Jack started his Saturday with his friend Brandon at McDonalds. After sampling the Deluxe Big Breakfast and playing on the play structure we head to Home Depot for the monthly Kids Workshop for kids.

Turns out this is a pretty neat program Home Depot runs. Think back to the days of Cub Day camp to the handicraft class. Anyway, we stopped in and Jack received his apron and firehouse bank kit and we were off.

Twenty minutes later we had finished his bank, Jack had gotten to try and hammer a few nails and there was only one minor accident - when he sticked his fingers between a nail and the hammer I was swinging. Jack and Brandon were proud of their work.

Afterwards, we went and met a police officer (Octber is kids safety monthy) and the kids got to play in a police car. Unfortunately, they seemed to prefer the back seat to the front!

Bud Light Wheat Reviewed

A month or so ago, I saw new Bud Light Wheat advertised in a magazine. I've been anxious to try it, and finally saw it in the grocery store.

I let my pal Mullins do a Tangeman Family Blog guest video review of the product:

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fighter jets fly over Husker game.

I was at the Husker vs. Louisiana Lafayette football game last week and caught these supersonic jets flying over with my cell phone video cam.

Good Bridge Hand

I have been playing bridge for 55 years and this is the best hand I ever had. Dealer sat to my right and passed. My partner was a little weak at slam bidding, so I just opened 6 diamonds. That passed out, and it made seven.

Clubs............ A
Diamonds..... A K Q x x x
Hearts.......... A
Spades.......... A K Q 10 x

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