Friday, December 19, 2008

Excavation

We got about a foot of snow in the storm that came through today. Every school in the three closest counties was closed, and we now have over 40 inches of snow on the season and winter hasn't officially started yet.

Instead of individual pictures, here's a Picasa Web Album with a few long-exposure shots I took of the snow tonight.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's the least wonderful time of the year

No, not the holiday season: We're now in the miserable two-week period around the winter solstice when the sun rises after I leave for work and sets before I head home. In the unlikely event that it's clear enough to see the sun during the day, I'd be inside my windowless office anyway. So if you see the sun before the new year, please describe what it looks like. Hopefully I will remember while I'm treating my vitamin D deficieny.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Learning

Things Braylon has learned since we started leaving him in the house while we're gone at work:
  • The couch is a comfortable place to sit
  • Tree ornaments are tasty (and there's a tree full of them!)
  • Danielle's slippers are tasty
  • The buckle of his Michigan collar is tasty
Much of this is on us for not puppy-proofing the house before we left. We've learned quickly. Hopefully he will too.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

ABC Warehouse

ABC Warehouse has been constantly playing ads on local radio stations advertising their prices on HDTVs. Gordy and the announcer go back and forth glossing over technical acronyms. Those big fancy terms like LCD, DLP, HDTV, 1080p, and 720p, rolling their eyes at the newfangled technology and reassuring you that it doesn't matter and nobody understands that gobbeldygook. Just come into ABC Warehouse and we'll take care of you!

Unfortunately, what this means is they'll prey on the uninformed consumer by selling them things they don't need. For example, they'll probably push 1080p TVs at sizes where the difference between 720p and 1080p is indistinguishable, or sell HDMI cables for considerably more than the $15 they cost at Meijer.

What's wrong with just finding out what these things mean? Or even reassuring the consumer that we know and we will explain them to you? There was no mention of "we'll walk you through the terms and help you decide what's best," just a dismissive "LCD, HDTV, E-I-E-I-O." And to answer those questions, it's because it affects profit.

I'm also glad to see I'm not the only one annoyed by ABC warehouse advertising

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Winter

We woke up this morning to about 5 inches of powder on the ground.
 

The show continued pretty steadily throughout the day. I shoveled the driveway yesterday and today in the afternoon; our neighbor had shoveled his twice today alone.

 

We got our tree from Kingma's Market, 3 blocks away.
 


Sophie was not in the mood to help.
 


Still, we got the tree up hassle-free thanks to a handy new stand that supports the tree through a spike in the base. The living room is now ready for Santa.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Best Jeopardy Ever

I've always had more respect for Jeopardy players who play with a risky and aggressive style than for the wimps who play it safely. Last night was probably my favorite episode ever. The players risked all of their money on every Daily Double. The first two ($2200 and $6000) were successful, but the third and final (for $10,800) was incorrect. It rattled him and he couldn't dig out of the hole in time for Final Jeopardy, but I applauded his effort for putting everything on the line. Twice! With $10,000 at stake!

The third contestant, who did not get to guess a Daily Double question, came through for me as she risked her entire winnings on the Final Jeopardy. It was but one single wager away from being a perfect episode, at least according to my formula. It would be foolish for the winner to bet an amount that would dip him below the second place contestant's potential maximum.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Music

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I can listen to Christmas-themed music guilt-free. The local radio stations have been playing it round the clock since before November(!), but I prefer my own collection and want to share my top 5 favorites:

1. Mannheim Steamroller. Any Christmas album, really.

2. Soma FM's Christmas Lounge station. Pretty much anything on there will be good.

3. "Suo Gan" by Rudolph & Blitzen

4. "Put the Lights on the Tree" by Sufjan Stevens.

5. Hollywood Trombones Christmas album. Obvs.

Honorable mention: "What's This?" from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.

Armed with these selections, your holiday music collection will be unbeatable!