Family Expansion: Dante & Diablo

27 Jun 2008 In: Family

As I was heading out from my appointment to make an appointment to get a root canal, my phone rang. Amy extended a very innocent sounding invitation to come look at puppies at PetSmart with the kids, they were right around the corner.

I headed over and found my kids playing with this adorable puppy. He was only six weeks old, way too young to be separated from his mother already. The adoption agent told us he came from Texas, where they euthanize a lot of animals because they can’t find homes. Apparently Colorado is such a good place to get dogs adopted that a lot of them are shipped in.

Madeleine looked up with at me, dog in hand and said “Daddy, I *love* him”. I looked at Amy, and I saw in her eyes there was no way I was getting out of that store without that dog. We have talked quite a bit about getting another dog as a companion for Dante, so why not now?

The meet & greet went well:

In just a couple of minutes, the new puppy was exploring, happily licking up chocolate chip cookie crumbs that fell from Madeleines lips.

And just a few minutes after that, he was *clearly* at home:

Dante seems to like him. Oliver has no comment at this time. Now all we need is a name. The black spot around his eye looks like an eye patch, so I think we are going to find a really cool pirate name for him. After a little research we found Diabolito, which is cool but it doesn’t roll of the tongue very well. So we will call him Diablo for short. Welcome home, Diablo.

Blizzo in 12 Easy Steps

25 Jun 2008 In: Art, Miscellaneous

So over on the Pink Asparagus blog Catherine did this mosaic thingy, where you take the answers to 12 questions, do flickr searches, and build a mosaic out of the results. It sounded like more fun than work, so I took a few minutes to do it.

The questions:

  1. What is your first name? Morgan
  2. What is your favorite food? right now? Pizza
  3. What high school did you attend? East High School
  4. What is your favorite color? Orange
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jessica Alba
  6. Favorite drink? Smoothie
  7. Dream vacation? Danube Castles
  8. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream
  9. What you want to be when you grow up? Happy
  10. What do you love most in life? Marriage
  11. One Word to describe you. Difficult
  12. Your flickr name. Blizzo

Originally three of the answers were all “ice cream”, but I went back and changed them so there would be more variety. Did I mention I like ice cream? I have never been one of those “ohmygodcelebritywhatshernameissohoticouldjustdie” types, so I just sort of picked one. For the thing I most love in life, “Amy” just got me a bunch of photos of random girls, so I changed it to “Marriage”. My Flickr name turned up an old picture of Mason that I shared on an SXC, a free community driven stock photography site that someone inserted birds into. Anyway, thanks for the diversion Catosaurus.

The results:

  1. Morgan Aero 8
  2. La vegan pizza del diavolo\
  3. East High School
  4. Orange is In…
  5. Jessica Alba Blue – Mobile Wallpaper
  6. Strawberry Smoothie
  7. Sigmaringen Castle Reflected by River Danube
  8. 7th Course: Tasting of Ice Creams
  9. don’t worry be happy new year
  10. A Marriage…
  11. colorful but difficult
  12. Child’s Play

Ruby debugging with colorized logging

15 May 2008 In: Technobabble

One of the ways I prefer to debug is to print things to standard out and watch a console window. The problem is, in Rails, I get a lot of spam to sift through that I usually don’t need: SQL statements, routing and rendering info, etc. It makes finding your output difficult. Today I came up with this convenience method, which makes all of my output a nice orangish/yellow color thats easy to pick out.

  1. def ppp (obj)
  2.   puts "\e[33m#{obj.pretty_inspect}\e[0m"
  3. end

Below is a partial screenshot of what my output looks like. Everything I output with the ppp method is very easy to see.

Not especially clever or brilliant, but I find it really helpful.

Disneyland Photos, Finally

23 Apr 2008 In: Family, Miscellaneous

I’m a slacker blogger, but I’m OK with that. Life has been very busy lately, and next month is looking to be even busier. I managed to upgrade my WordPress install and I am so excited to play with it that now you get pictures. Lucky you!

The trip was great fun. After several weeks of cold weather, walking into the warm California sun was nothing short of amazing. I was so excited, I took excessive amounts of pictures of palm trees (only included some of them).

Read the rest of this entry »

Diesel Sweeties, A Good Time to Catch Up

11 Mar 2008 In: Art

Diesel Sweeties PanelOne of my favorite web comics, Diesel Sweeties, is about to hit its 8th anniversary and 2000 comic mark around the same time. As a way of celebrating, the creator is releasing the entire archives in 10 separate free PDF volumes (though donations are appreciated). DS is a guilty pleasure for me, the perfect mixture of pop culture, intelligent humor, sarcasm, irony and prurient elements. The first PDF will be released tomorrow, then one a week after that. More about the free PDFs.

I’m Going to Disneyland!

29 Feb 2008 In: Family

Disneyland
A couple of weeks ago Mason got to go on an impromptu day trip with Grandma Susie to Disneyland. He had a great time and brought back a present for Madeleine. During discussion around the event I told my mom that I didn’t really remember my trip to Disneyland for some reason, which is strange since I usually have very detailed memories about my childhood. A couple of days ago she called me and told me that it was her turn to go on the trip (it’s sort of a lottery thing at her work) and she wanted to take me. So my mom and I are headed to Disneyland next Wednesday, and I couldn’t be more excited. I will tell you all about it and share photos when I return!

I Volunteer

6 Feb 2008 In: Miscellaneous

Obama 2008I haven’t written much about my personal life on this blog. Oh sure, I toss out the editorial and observation, but those are largely external. A couple of months ago, I realized that I was, well… sort of dead inside. That isn’t to say that I was depressed or that there was nothing good in my life. It’s just that I started to remember a time in my youth where I was full of fire and determination, and how the years of reality and obligation quenched it, little by little, until all that was left was one of those little eternal flame type thingys that you see in front of important peoples burial sites.

This realization has given me the opportunity to reassess my life. I am actively trying to be more appreciative of the people around me, like my amazing wife and my adorable little munchkins. My cat is even getting more drive by pettings on my way in and out of the house. It was in this new outlook that I attended the caucus for my precinct last night. I have never attended a caucus before, I’m not really sure why. But with two strong candidates and what I believe to be a very pivotal election, I thought it would be better to get involved earlier in the process.

I stood for Obama at the caucus. I was really on the fence, but when it comes down to it I just want some new blood in the oval office. We have had 19 years of Clinton and Bush Presidents. If Hillary is elected that will push it to 23 years, 27 if she ends up serving two terms, which seems to be the trend. All that said, if Hillary ends up as the candidate in the election, I won’t have a problem supporting her.

After the vote was taken at the caucus they asked for volunteers to act as delegates. I raised my hand and I was chosen. I am excited about taking a more active role in politics and in my community. Then they announced that they needed a new precinct chairperson. I looked at Amy and she nodded. My hand went up. I am now a precinct chairperson, which means I will be meeting with the precinct captains and helping organize their activities, getting people out to vote, etc. I tried to find some information about what this role really means and I found a document by the Sarpy County Republican Party (Not that I am a republican, but I think that hardly matters).

I am excited to be part of the process this year. I hope you are too.

For years now I have been happily sipping from the same transparent green nalgene bottle. Last week, however, a co-worker told me that there is evidence that drinking from those kinds of bottles can be bad for you. He was right! To be fair, evidence doesn’t seem to be totally conclusive, but still it freaked me out a little bit. Googling around the jury still seems to be out.

So being freaked out, and having found at least some credible evidence that this might be true, I am giving up my happy, lime green bottle that has been good to me for so many years. I went to the REI superstore downtown and was surprised at how small their selection was. I spoke to an employee and he was very helpful, pointing me to a Klean Kanteen, which is not as pretty as my nalgene, but is 100% stainless steel (that means no nickel). I plunked down $20, which also seems ridiculous, and now I am breaking it in.

My Klean KanteenDo you think I am being too reactionary? Buying into conspiracy theories? Just generally nuts? Maybe… but I’ll let you take that gamble with your own health.

 

Reuben

10 Jan 2008 In: Miscellaneous, Observations

I was outside scraping ice off the windows of my 89′ Buick Century this morning when I saw Reuben. I was vaguely aware that he was walking towards me, but unsure of his destination, I didn’t take much notice. Eventually he got in conversational range and I was forced to turn and face him.

Now, before I tell you about Reuben I should tell you about my neighborhood. In less than two years we have: had our car broken into 3 times; had our shed broken into and our bikes, ladder, and miscellaneous tools stolen; seen homeless people loaded into the drunk tank; seen a car evade the police by jumping a curb; and more. That said, our neighborhood isn’t really a BAD place, but it merits caution. Thus begin my internal psychological dialog:

“Careful, who knows what this guy wants”
“Shut up, you’re being paranoid”
“I bet hes going to ask you for money, he wouldn’t rob you in broad daylight like this”
“You’re only saying that because he’s black”
“How dare you accuse me of being racist!”
“Well, if he were an old white man you wouldn’t say that”
“Well, OK, maybe you’re right. Let’s see what he wants…”

Reuben was older, wearing a plaid knit newsboy hat, some sort of synthetic brown pants that were impervious to stains or wrinkles, and a couple of layered jackets. He seemed friendly and I said hello. He asked me for a ride to Kaiser, his car had broken down and he was late for a Doctors appointment.

“He seems nice, I want to help him”
“Maybe he’ll pull a gun on you when you get into the car”
“He is NOT going to pull a GUN”
“Well, you should hide your wallet just in case, you have a lot of cash right now”
“Fine, I’ll hide my wallet, sheesh”
“And ask him a few questions first, like where his broken down car is and stuff”
“OK, OK”

So I asked Reuben where he lived, which he shared, and where his car was, which he pointed out to me at the end of the block. Taking him to the Doctor would mean I would be late to work. Oh well, thats OK. I told him to stand back, I wanted to pull the car out so he could get in the passenger side without trudging through a snowbank. He stood back and I got in the car. To my shame, I took my wallet out of my pocket and hit it under the floor mat in the back seat. I pulled out into the street and waited for him to come to the passenger side door. He had some trouble with it, my doors are old and heavy, so I gave it a nudge and it popped open. Reuben grabbed the door handle and I saw his hand shaking.

“Man, we are such jerks”
“Totally”

I started driving to Kaiser and we made small talk. He told me that he worked for Gates Rubber for 20 years, fixing flat tires and replacing dead batteries for their vehicle fleet. We spoke about the best way to get to the Kaiser parking lot, though I had decided to head for the front door. He kept wanting me to drop him off far away so as not to inconvenience me. At one point I asked him his name, since he hadn’t told me yet, and I told him mine. We shook hands, and then he told me, again, that he worked for Gates Rubber for 20 years. Reuben also told me he was 82 years old. I found that hard to believe, but I have always had a hard time judging ages. I like to think of everyone as ageless, living forever, so age shouldn’t matter. Someday maybe.

I dropped Reuben off after making sure he had someone he could call for a ride home, and wished him luck. I still don’t know if I should feel good about myself for helping him out, or bad for thinking the worst. I wonder how many people wrestle with their subconscious like this. I guess that will give me something to think about for a while. All in all, not a bad start for a Thursday.

A new theme for a new year

2 Jan 2008 In: Art, Miscellaneous, Technobabble

Some time ago I designed a cool new theme for my website, but then never got around to implementing it. The theme I was using before was fine, but it wasn’t very pretty. Anyway, I saw this Dilectio theme one on Smashing Magazine and it was orangish, which I love, and clean. Hopefully I will have some more time to write as my life calms down from the move/holidays/new job/etc.