Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why I need a hat to stay warm

How about without the hat? I'm not really an angry guy. I'm just intense.

Serial killer or just cold?

This one is for you, Helen.

Trying to not get sick

All of a sudden this afternoon I got a headache. Heather brought me an advil and I shortly there after I started to feel realy cold.

I put on my knit cap and I'm beginning to feel much better. I'm turning into my dad!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This whore got paid!

Free stuff! We persevered and got free stuff. So, we ended up at REI 1 and half hours before the store opened, but the kids were prepared with Nintendo DSes and we stopped for coffee and scones while we stood in line.

The line didn't stretch as far as it did yesterday and some quick counts confirmed that we were well positioned to get free water bottles.

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Native was the breakfast sponsor for the day and we won a pair of sunglasses too! Unfortunately, the kids didn't get water bottles - they were evidently only giving them to kids over some threshold that mine hadn't crossed yet. They did get a key chain carabiner though.

Total collection:
1 1 liter Grand Opening Issaquah store water bottle
1 $5 gift card
2 Sunglasses cases
Some baked goods
Native sunglasses
2 Keychain carabiners

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Free stuff whores

A new REI opened close to my home and the grand opening is this weekend. They are giving away limited edition water bottles with gift cards, ranging from $5 to $200. You've got to admit, free REI stuff is great.

I am not alone in my desire for free stuff from REI. Thirty minutes before store opening, the line wrapped almost all the way out of the shopping center. There were far more people than the 200 free water bottles. I wasn't going to stand in the giant line with my kids for no free stuff.

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We decided to go to breakfast at Denny's instead. It was fun, we sat at the bar, which we usually can't do. My daughter tried to order a diet coke for breakfast. I'm a cool dad, but that was nipped in the bud.

After breakfast, we walked through the new REI. It is a nice store, but was crowded. I think that it is cool that there is an REI close to home, but at the same time, I think that it could have a dangerous effect on my bank account.

I'm a free stuff whore. I'll be there tomorrow, even earlier, kids in tow. We're getting water bottles and some gift cards. With two kids, I've got at least a 3 in 200 chance for a big gift card...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A new look for Remember the Milk

When I woke up this morning, Remember the Milk had a whole new look and feel! Better usage of screen space, display of tags and a nice keyboard interface, too.

You can read more about it on their blog, which includes screen shots. Its a much slicker user interface.

If you haven't checked out RTM yet, you should. And if you passed it up before, you should give it another look. The interface continues to get better and better and it is still free! Combined with Jott, you can rule the world!

In my opinion, I think they have Google-ified their interface some. I still maintain that they are building a great product and waiting to get bought by Google.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dinner is ready and waiting with a slow cooker

I have really started to get into cooking with the slow cooker recently. Between work, school, study sessions and swimming practices, my whole family is always on the go. Slow cooking has been a nice way to have dinner ready and waiting while we are out and come home after a hectic day.

I think that slow cooking is pretty cool and a great time saving method. It's just great that I can wake up in the morning and start making dinner (maybe even before eating breakfast). Then throughout the whole day, the house smells so good.

I've been learning and have had some good experiences and some not so good experiences. I used a tikka masala sauce from Costco and it dried out over the course of the day (it is meant to be poured over chicken and warmed up) and the slow cooking sauce from Williams-Sonoma was excellent. I've had problems where the slow cooker gets unplugged or I started it late (3 hours late on a 6 hour preparation is not a good thing).

The best one so far was from Food Network, Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs Jamaican Rice and Peas. It was a hit with the kids and easy to make. I've got to figure out when is the right time to eat meals on the days I go to class so that I can eat dinner when I get home late and enjoy the good meal.

If you've got any good slow cooker recipes, post them or link to them here! I'm looking for ideas.

I'm sure I'll conti

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Jott Link to Remember the Milk

Today is like Christmas!

Jott, the neatest voice to text message or email service just made a link to Remember the Milk.

Jott Blog » You asked for it, you got it!

Basically, with my voice, I can add stuff to my web based to do list. When ever I think of something, I can just pick up my cell phone and Ka-pow, it will be there.

This is great. With school and work and always being on the go, I always have quick and easy access to my todo list now.

I'm so excited!

Ironically, I got called a "big-ass geek" today by a co-worker, in a very kind way.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wikipedia and education

Tonight as I was working on my Economics homework, I needed to look up a definition. As I've gotten back into the academic thought process, I decided I would look it up in the index of my text book. Before I was able to do that, I started IM'ing a friend of mine and while I was at my computer, I looked it up on Wikipedia.

Not surprisingly, Wikipedia had a page devoted to my topic. Surprisingly, it was a very simple definition and told me exactly what I needed to know - in an easier to understand way than my text book.

I'm not sure what this means for the future of my homework. I can find things faster online than in my text book and, in this case, a better, more applicable answer. This is my first time using Wikipedia for real research - sure I've poked around on there and read interesting pages, but this time I was looking for real and applicable information. And I found it.

I'm impressed, but at the same time new questions come up. How do I know that the article is accurate? I guess that is when I compare with my text book. And in the end that is even slower over all.

The web is having an impact on everything we do and this is just one way that web technology is disrupting education, an institution that goes back to the beginning of time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Playground Day

Today was the first Dad's Play Day at my daughter's school (no recess for middle schoolers and not invited to half-day kindergarten recess). I hadn't eaten lunch, so lucky today was popcorn day and she shared with me. Yep, I hate popcorn, but it was better than the alternative of being hungry.

Plus, they run around and play! It takes energy to keep up with them. I have confirmed that I am not all that good at jumping rope, surprisingly worse at skipping rope and I cannot jump rope backwards.

After jumping rope, she found some of her other friends and we played Pac Man tag. This is not a game I played when I was young, but PacMan was in its heyday. You play it on a 4 square court and are constrained to stay on the lines. But you can pass another player if they are in front of you, so you can't trap them. Bummer.

I did a lot of running there. The little ones are quick and nimble! I don't corner as well as they do.

The recess bell rang and it was the end. I asked my daughter where she was going to line up for her teacher to pick them up. They lined up not by her classroom, but the gym! After all that playing, they have gym class.

There is a reason I'm no longer in elementary school. I just wouldn't be able to keep up!