I was on the road last week, missing my family terribly and looking forward to getting back home. Oh sure, I had a blast on my trip -- I got to hang out with higher education friends as part of Moodle Hack/Doc Fest at Kalamazoo College, I saw two baseball games, and got to watch prices rise and fall at the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange -- but I was looking forward to coming home the whole time.
Summer is here and that means it's time to get serious about a new routine. Oh it's not quite summer -- the calendar says that begins on June 20, and my kids are still in school -- but the college's spring semester ended a week ago and The Avengers proved that the first big summer movie is here.
The big thing is getting back to the gym. Longtime readers know this refrain: get back to the gym, get back into a routine, and keep it for as long as possible before something derails it. I've been particularly bad about getting the gym over the last year -- too much work, too little sleep, too many excuses.
The Commodore 64 was the second computer I owned. The first was a Timex Sinclair (an ancient bit of technology that used a tape recorder for storing programs, and had a too-small, inflexible chicklet keyboard. Of course, it's big advantage was that it was mine -- while my mom taught me to program on an Apple II+, the Timex was the computer that I wrote my first original programs on.
The Commodore was a huge leap leap forward. For one, I got to hook it up to the spiffy new color TV I got for Confirmation. For another, it had an external floppy drive! No more having to carefully advance through the tape recorder, looking for exactly the right number to execute my program at. And the Commodore 64 had an amazing 64 kilobytes of memory, which made it ideal as a gaming platform for one of my all time favorite computer rpgs: Ultima II.
The Geek Tree returned in 2010, but not in its standard format. In an effort to conserve space, and to avoid having rampant two-year-olds Godzilla the ornaments, I combined the Geek Tree with the Family Tree.
Last week my wife surprised me with a Tron-inspired birthday party (my birthday's December 17, the same day that Tron: Legacy was released). As part of that, she asked the good folks at Cupcake Ladies to create Tron cup cakes.
Which they did. The photo at left was taken by my friend Jason Alley (view the full-size photo on Flickr) and yes, the cupcakes did taste as good as they look.
The cupcakes made my day, and were the perfect prelude to heading to King of Prussia to watch Tron: Legacy in IMAX 3D with my friends. It was a good movie -- I describe it as pure, distilled 1980s wrapped in glass. My 12-year-old self loved the film. My 39-year-old self was happily distracted by the beer sampler I drank at Rock Bottom Brewery before the movie.
The day before Thanksgiving a new four-legged friend will be joining our family. He's a yellow Labrador puppy named … Indiana.
Indy succeeds (never replaces) Madison aka Mad Dog, our yellow Lab who was an enthusiastic member of the Newquist household for 13 years. She passed away in June and left a massive hole in our day-to-day lives. Yes, it can be a lot of work to keep up with a dog, especially at the end of her life, when we were cleaning up messes every morning, but she was a constant presence and the one member of the pack who would always be happy to see you.
Not having her here was like losing my shadow.
I've heard about pumpkin chucking events, and seen a few on TV thanks to MythBusters, but I've never experienced one in real life. That may change later this month: the Last Fling Pumpkin Fling is being held in Belvidere, New Jersey on October 30th and 31st, 2010 at Hensler Farms.
It began innocently enough with dinosaurs.
Kids love dinosaurs. I loved dinosaurs. Hell, I still love dinosaurs, so why wouldn't I share them with my daughter? Girls can be archeologists too after all, and this was the perfect setup to watching Indiana Jones a few years down the line.
Except that to my daughter, who was four at the time, dinosaurs weren't exotic reptilian wonders from 100 million years ago, they were 20 foot tall monsters with teeth like steak knives. Initial wonder gave way to horror, which spawned nightmares about being chased by velociraptors.