Friday, January 04, 2008
Time to start watching the campaigns...
As if I wasn't already...

Mom sent me a link to this Presidential Candidate Selector. It's supposed to be unbiased and based on the official positions given by the campaigns. I took the test and my results are below. I won't be voting for John McCain, but I believe he's a non-starter anyway. I've had my eye on number 5, but I'm not sure he can build the momentum he needs because the press doesn't seem to be very interested in his candidacy, now that he's actually a candidate. I'm kind of amazed that Mitt Romney ranked higher for me than Giuliani. On the other hand, it's not like you can count on the main stream media to actually give you the candidate's positions. They're much more into the scandals and bloopers.

In other news, it looks like Hillary is the (viable) Democrat for me. Now, picture me having a heart attack and collapsing on the floor.

Take the test and see if your candidate is who you thought it was...(there are a few ads)

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100%)
2. John McCain (78%) Information link
3. Newt Gingrich (says he will not run) (71%) Information link
4. Alan Keyes (69%) Information link
5. Fred Thompson (67%) Information link
6. Mitt Romney (65%) Information link
7. Stephen Colbert (campaign halted) (65%) Information link
8. Tom Tancredo (withdrawn, endorsed Romney) (64%) Information link
9. Rudolph Giuliani (64%) Information link
10. Duncan Hunter (63%) Information link
11. Chuck Hagel (not running) (62%) Information link
12. Sam Brownback (withdrawn, endorsed McCain) (62%) Information link
13. Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) (57%) Information link
14. Ron Paul (56%) Information link
15. Tommy Thompson (withdrawn, endorsed Giuliani) (54%) Information link
16. Mike Huckabee (54%) Information link
17. Kent McManigal (campaign suspended) (53%) Information link
18. Christopher Dodd (withdrawn) (51%) Information link
19. Michael Bloomberg (says he will not run) (49%) Information link
20. Al Gore (not announced) (47%) Information link
21. Hillary Clinton (45%) Information link
22. Joseph Biden (withdrawn) (44%) Information link
23. Mike Gravel (withdrawn) (42%) Information link
24. Barack Obama (40%) Information link
25. John Edwards (40%) Information link
26. Bill Richardson (38%) Information link
27. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended) (37%) Information link
28. Wesley Clark (not running, endorsed Clinton) (34%) Information link
29. Dennis Kucinich (27%) Information link
30. Elaine Brown (4%) Information link


Someone I know will love this...
I'm a Mormon! I took the Belief System Selector quiz on the same page as the Campaign Selector. I am 100% a Mormon. Who knew? I'm 90% Mainline Conservative Christian Protestant, which is what I'd actually identify myself as. Honestly, I don't remember any Joseph Smith questions in the quiz. I'm stumped.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Monster lens
Leslie and I were talking about our lenses today. She got one for Christmas/Birthday too. Mine is a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO. But even though it says macro it doubles as a telephoto lens. Do they all do that in that range?

Anyway, Leslie said her lens was a monster. I wanted to show her that mine is too. The camera has some weight with all that on it, I can tell you that. I'm looking forward to getting much better deer pictures now.

When I lived in Williamsburg I spent a lot of time exercising on Duke of Gloucester Street. That's the main drag through the colonial village. My friends and I would joke about the "tourons" to amuse ourselves. One thing we decided was that the length of a man's camera lens was inversely proportional to the length of his penis. Overcompensation, right? I told M about that years ago, long before I was ever interested in photography. He remembers it to this day.

I'll bet he'll never be able to carry this lens without the nagging fear he's advertising a tiny peen.

Falsely, of course, Dear.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Trunk of princesses
My boss gave Emma the Disney Princess Dress-up Trunk. Emma and her cousins tried on all the outfits. For some reason Disney cheaped out and didn't provide a yellow skirt for Snow White. What the hell is up with that? How could a mega-conglomerate crush precious little hearts like that. You'd almost think they didn't care...

Ha ha, just kidding. But there really was no yellow skirt.

Emma's joy at the dress-up session was almost palpable in the pictures. Right?

A few notes on Dish Network
The installer came to install our HD today. The whole process took twice as long as necessary because the Dish Network computer system was acting wonky and every time the technician wanted to check in he had a long wait. In the end the installation was finally complete and, wow!, what a picture!

You know your life has shifted focus when the thought of Noggin changing from a 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. schedule to twenty-four hours a day is a thrill. I was so looking forward to it. Noggin has been advertising it all December. I checked out the schedule and saw Backyardigans scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Woo hoo! Then 6:00 p.m. rolls around and on comes...Degrassi? Whaaaa? Apparently some kind of negotiations for satellite space didn't work out so all the hype was for nothing. Boo.

I found out about an unadvertised special being offered by Dish Network. If you switched to autopay or paperless billing then you could get two years of Cinemax for .01 a year. Two pennies, two years. I called today and got it. Yippee! All the after-hours dry humping I can stand to watch! (Which, incidentally, is very damned little)

Finally, I'd like to say that our experience with upgrading has been pretty nice. Everyone on the phone was as nice and helpful as they could be. The dispatchers for the installer called us yesterday and today to confirm the schedule and give us updates. The technician was easy to talk to and knew his stuff. He even gave us a few extra helpful hints. I can't say much positive about the live chat though. Twice today I tried to sign up for the Cinemax through chat and both times they said it was done and it wasn't. The second chat was painfully sloooow. I finally picked up the phone and called and that dude fixed me right up. My recommendation is use the phone.


Beware the food critic
Emma got three big Christmas suckers in her stocking. Tonight she wanted to eat the green one after supper. As she takes her first taste of it M asks, "What does it taste like?" Emma pauses to think a moment and then says, "It tastes like hamburger."
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Gallery of Honor and Christmas Cheer
Here it is, this year's gallery of people who love me and send me a picture for Christmas. I think by now it's pretty much complete. Feast your eyes on all the beautiful people...

Cowgirl Emma
She was trying on some new boots her aunt gave her. She wanted to be a cowgirl. Suddenly I remembered that we had a cowgirl hat still hidden to give her for Christmas. Oops!

Finally finished
This is the finished product. We added the shelves for our favorite DVDs and now I think we're done. We got a call today confirming that the Dish Network installers are coming tomorrow morning, so we should be good to go. (Go away, snow!)

BTW, this entertainment center was a wedding gift. So it's been around a good long while. I'm glad we were able to save it.

That mouth
The back talk has started. Everything I tell her, she wants to comment on it or sass back. At three years-old. I've heard "Don't say that to me!" "Don't talk to me like that." "I don't want to" and many variations. But this morning she really topped herself. My three year-old said to me "Stop saying that to me or I'll run away."

Where does this stuff come from?
Sunday, December 30, 2007
New stuff
My presents from M this year were a flash for my camera, a telephoto lens and a filter. I am loving my new flash. Loving it. One thing I've been enjoying experimenting with is taking pictures with diffused light. At least that's what I think that is when you aim the flash at the ceiling. To my eye it produces pictures which look much more naturally lit. Here's the scruffy-dude line up. This is from the day after Christmas, when everyone visited us. They had just come in from target shooting in the cold and were warming up.

Popi decided he's going to grow a beard. So Uncle B. decided he would grow some scruff for his vacation. Those two were a terrible influence on my husband. M decided that he wasn't going to be the only one to shave. Nice, huh?

Another memory game
To Emma, every deck of cards is a memory game. Santa brought her a deck of Dora Go Fish and a deck of Dora Old Maid in her stocking. She uses them to play the memory game. She's pretty good at it. If you don't concentrate she'll beat you easily. And we usually don't concentrate.

(Almost) finished product
After a full day of work we've reconfigured our entertainment center. I think it looks almost like it was meant to be that way. The one other thing we're considering adding is a recessed shelf across the top, over the TV, to put our favorite DVDs.

For Uncle B., by request
Here are the photos of last night's temporary set-up for the TV. Even though it was only for one night, M screwed the base down to the table and secured the TV with a strap to the entertainment center. Today he is working on modifying the entertainment center. I did a lot of investigating online and it would be really expensive to replace the entertainment center with something that would work. M thinks he can modify ours with no problem.

I've been feeling a bit queasy today about all the money I spent yesterday. M is delighted, of course. He thinks it was the wisest thing to invest in a better brand name. I'm just missing my money already ;) I'm sure seeing the thing with actual HD service will make me feel a bit better.

I called Dish Network this morning and had a little chat with them. I think I was talking to someone in India until I mentioned how we were considering the awesome come-ons from Direct TV. Then she switched me to an "account specialist" here in the good 'ole USA. My thinking was that eleven years of being a loyal customer to Dish Network ought to count for something. He agreed. The upgrade will be totally free for us. No cost for the machine or the installers to come out here. We also get the six months free HD. Woo hoo! The best part was that they can come install it Wednesday morning. That means that M should be able to watch the Orange Bowl in high definition. He's stoked.