Ribs at 1am

Ribs at one in the morning actually taste quite delicious. Not burning down the garage is also a bonus.

I am 32. I don’t feel old, nor do I ever complain about being old. I like to be in bed early. Ok, not early, but 10-11pm is definitely a fine time to want to go to bed. I work two jobs and have a family so the thought of even semi-regularly staying up until 1pm, 2pm, 4pm etc doesn’t hold a whole lot of appeal for me. So the question is, why is it that some people consider not wanting to do that getting old? And this isn’t directed at anyone in particular but just a general question.

To me “getting old” is when you can no longer do the things you want to do. Not wanting to listen to crap that’s being put out on the radio now doesn’t make you old. Wondering why teenagers look like a blind vindictive tasteless monkey dressed them is not getting old. I mean the current younger generation would definitely say that’s the case, but most of them haven’t even faced their first major life crisis yet. Getting old is no longer being able to jog or bike as far as you’d like to anymore. It’s not having the energy on a low activity day to stay up past 8-9pm. It’s going to the movies and automatically being given the senior ticket price. (I kid, I kid…)

So cooking (and eating) ribs and burgers at 2pm in the morning definitely livens up the occasion and makes for some stories. Fortunately not falling-in-the-fire-pit type of stories, but stories nonetheless. Still, if you see it’s 10-11pm at night and you find yourself saying “I really have no reason to stay up past now, could get a good sleep and have a productive day tomorrow,” that doesn’t make you old. It just makes you smart.

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Traffic on the personal side

So I went ahead and installed Google Analytics on this site. I have had GA setup for Badger for.. wow.. ages I guess. Before I opened for sure. I just figured as long as I was checking that every day already, why not add this site. Needless to say, traffic on this page is nowhere near what traffic is on the store. This obvious fact got me thinking though… What should my expectations be for traffic on this site? Do I care? If I do care, what kind of goals should I set and how should I go about achieving them. For a commercial site these answers are all plainly obvious, and there are around 6 trillion companies out there willing to provide further information. However for a small personal site that isn’t ad supported, you have to wonder how much it matters.

I’ve thus decided I want to triple my visits here. I don’t know why and at them moment I don’t know how, but I figure a goal like that has to be obtainable and it gives me something to shoot for. So expect the site to start changing up a little bit in my quest to obtain three times my current readership. When that happens I will announce it right in this very spot, and the person who is my final visitor will get a free surprise. So tell everyone you know and let’s see if we can get this done.

Also realize that this site is NOT ad supported. This is just a fun little thing I am doing to be interesting. If one million visitors hit the site, the only thing I would see from it is likely my provider cutting my service due to bandwidth overage. So get the word out and let’s see if we can triple this sucker.

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So what’s going on?

Well, the writings at the beginning part of this year may have been cryptic, but they got a lot of things off my chest that I needed to get off. I’m sorry I can’t explain any more than that, but it is very personal.

So where are things now? Busy. Busy. And when I find I have a little time to myself, they get even busier. The store is growing and how. I can’t go into specific numbers for obvious reasons, but I can say that our May was the single largest month in the history of the store, beating out our April which was the previous single biggest month of the store. We’ve been growing every single month since we “opened our doors” and there is no end in site yet. Aside from a few months in the middle of our life so far, I have been able to make good on my promise to stock non-mainstream items and it has been paying off. I can honestly say it really makes me feel like I am expanding the market. Now of course maybe these are just customers that are taking advantage of our savings and leaving other stores to do so. Maybe I should put out a survey to find out (dang it.. there is another idea for me to work on).

Recently outside of working two jobs, I’ve found a little time to enjoy other things. I’ve put around 300 miles on my bike so far this spring. I have been playing Mario Party 8 for the Wii. I am ANXIOUSLY looking forward to Resident Evil 4 later this month. I have also been reading MPD-Psycho. Finally I’ve caught the big three movies so far this summer (Spider-Man 3: Awful. Shrek 3: Not quite as awful. Pirates 3: Entertaining.)

Anyway, short and simple, that’s how I’ll keep these posts. I’ll just leave saying I finally got my 50 star on ebay and remember to visit the shop to see our newest items that have come in.

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– –

to see you there and not know how
what brought us here and facing now
finding ways to find what’s good
hoping hope is enough to breathe

I see you now, facing left
right before the sunrise sets
wishing for hope to silence the noise
that fills the quiet darkened field

you bring with you a guiding light
pointing towards what must be right
thinking feeling finding nothing
believing faith will find no quarter

fear finds friends in all wrong places
making choices on hidden faces
showing life beyond the wind
blowing through with disregard

to this I say “Be quiet wind”
in response fear grins and winks
thinking he has won at last
staring at me standing tall

but fear is not welcome
fear is for the weak
the weak are weak because they fear
fear has no place
no place here

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So far away from where I was
Black and white now surrounds
Strangers under common sky
Friends unseen to naked eyes

Traveled roads to find their ends
wary travelers make amends
little pieces hold together
which was found to be forever

far behind now fast ahead
dodging bullets not made of lead
tomorrow gone with no goodbye
the past reflected in its eye

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So what’s new??

A new year, a new post, and a new resolution for this site.

So what did the new year bring for me one might ask? Not a whole lot so far actually. Christmas was a relatively low key affair (if not slightly hectic) and now I have had a couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things. I have been playing Call of Duty 2 on the XBox 360 which I have to say is just amazing (CoD2, not necessarily the 360). Finished off the British campaign which started in El Alemein and went to right outside Tripoli, then scaled the cliffs of Point du Hoc as a Ranger to ensure that the landing at Normandy would go well (even though we all know it didn’t).

Belle started a new semester at school. We just had a parent teacher conference. I’m not much for bragging, but the teacher had quite a few good words to say. I am one very proud papa.

No big vacations planned this year yet, though I have a little slideshow on the bottom of my computer that cycles through all of the photos in the gallery and it has me longing to go back to Japan. Probably next year if all works out.

This year the goal is to buy a house and get two more dogs. Really the overall goal is to get two more dogs, but we have determined we need to buy a house to do so. Charlie and Lucy have told us in good confidence that they desire more playmates, and when has anyone ever accused me of not giving my dogs what they want. (for the record no one has ever accused me that with Belle either)

So what is my resolution? I know, I’ve said it many times in the past, but now I am writing it down for everyone to read:

At least one, and at the minimum one, new post AND new picture per week to this site. So this brings me up to date on my post quota.. Will try to make the picture quota tonight. Though I have to make chili for a food day at work tomorrow so I don’t know how well that will work. Oh, and if the chili goes over well I might even post the recipe on this site.

Anyway, I’ll finish this off with a couple blurbs on movies and shows I’ve seen recently:

Battlestar Galactica – Still the best sci-fi show on TV, and a hell of a lot of fun this second half of the second season. I am in love with Madam President.

The Office – The spiritual successor to the now in limbo Arrested Development. funniest show on TV? Maybe. Definitely the funniest show you can buy on iTunes

Arrested Development – final episodes from FOX air 2.10. Sure this is the same day as the winter olympics opening ceremonies, but there will always be more olympics. The same can’t be said for new Arrested Development episodes. :(

Lethal Weapon – yes, I just watched it for the first time this past weekend. So shoot me.

Constantine – If you like exorcism movies, especially ones with some Heaven and Hell mixed in and a bit of magic to boot, this movie is outstanding. A little bit of action in it, but the highlights are definitely the characters chewing up dialogue at the end.

Later

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Will I ever get this right?

So long story short. I upgraded my gallery recently after getting just frustrated with not being able to upload pictures to the old software version. This in turn made me realize there is no easy way to link the new gallery software to the old blog software. So I decided to install a newer easier to connect blog software. What you are reading from now. The software is WordPress and the link for it should be available somewhere at the bottom of the page.

As for things new with me, not much. Belle just celebrated her 5th birthday, and there were Halloween celebrations as well. Will get pictures posted from all of those as soon as I can.

I got my ipod. My current list of songs on it as usual can be found here. Overall I can’t tell you how much I love the little thing. Takes listening to music to a whole new level.

Should be buying Star Wars Episode III tonight on DVD. Easily my favorite of the prequel trilogy, and IMHO better than Jedi and even Star Wars from the original trilogy.

I watched Plague of the Zombies this weekend. If you are into great 60’s Hammer Horror, this movie is not to be missed. Well, it’s not really a classic, but there are worse ways to kill a Sunday afternoon.

New on the above mentioned gallery are pictures from my Uncle Lloyd’s 50th birthday party taken by my cousin Becca. Should have more pictures up soon from relatively recent past, though in the meantime I have lost my battery charger for my phone. So I either have to drop $50 for a new one, find the old one, or spend $1000 on a new camera. Here’s to hoping I get a new camera. 😉

And I leave you with a plug for a movie my buddy Jason Satterfield is directing and producing. The Legend Trip. He was approached by an interested distributor (who I don’t think I can mention) so you should all be able to see the movie after it makes its premiere at the Times Cinema next spring. Also someone close to me should be doing the music, but again I don’t want to say anything until I hear something official.

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Been a long time

How does that Zeppelin song go? Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely… well, it hasn’t been lonely, but definitely long.

So how have things been? Good. We had a 50th birthday party for my Uncle Lloyd. Much drunkeness (and fun) ensued. Though I honestly hope no one breaks the spanking paddle at MY 50th birthday party. Hopefully he could sit down fine the next day 😉

Upgraded my PC. I am now running an Athlon X2 4200+ with 1GB RAM and a Radeon x800XL PCI Express video card. I am also running Windows XP 64-bit Edition, which is running fine. Word of warning: before moving to Windows x64, make sure all of the drivers you need are out. Just finally got my scanner driver from Epson which is the last one I need (well, aside from a driver for my mobile phone and a VPN Client for work).

My daughter started school. This year she is in what I consider the first *REAL* grade of school: 4K. She is at Our Redeemer Lutheran School which is a nice enough school. Her teacher met with the WHOLE family. That being Heidi and I and Laura and Steve. I think she was nervous that we outnumbered her 5:1 :P. But she is a nice lady and has even followed up with me on some curriculum questions I had for future grades. I really do like the school.

Otherwise my big project recently has been archiving my CD collection. A little back story on this first though:

I was listening to the radio one day and they were talking about their iPods. Now I am just as big a tech geek as they come. I love gadgets, as Heidi and our bank account can attest to. However I have never had a use for an Ipod. I don’t do enough that I need what I call an over-glorified walkman. Well, on this radio show one of the morning guys talked about how he uses it to store his entire CD collection; hundreds of discs. He archives the discs to the iTunes and then sends them all off to the iPod. He ends up with hundreds of CDs on a device smaller than two packs of smokes, and it can be played on any device that accepts RCA audio inputs (the red and white inputs).

Now THAT sounded appealing to me. So I have spent the last few weeks moving my CDs off to the computer (for the geeks interested, I am using Exact Audio Copy to rip, and using a command line front end to Nero’s AAC encoder. I am encoding at AAC LC VBR Extreme settings which averages about 220Kbps.

For the non-geeks who are just curious about what I’v’e ripped so far, you can take a look here, along with some useless stats I put together. It should be noted that this page is generated dynamically based on my library file I export from iTunes. I update it whenever I think to send the library file to this site.

So those are the songs I have ripped. What am I going to do with them? Well, so far I can share them to Heidi’s computer as well as my hacked XBox, which can then play them on my stereo in the living room. Next week though, Apple is holding a press conference where it is expected they will announce the 5th generation of iPod. After this information is when things will truly get going. After that I plan on buying an iPod, a car stero hookup for it, and a clock radio attachment for work. All of my CDs on a little device that I can play anywhere. THAT’S what I’m talking about.

iPod Clock Radio

iPod Cup Holder

Just some possible examples.

Well, hopefully I will be back soon, and in the meantime hopefully by tomorrow I will have more pictures added to the gallery.

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My love for Star Wars is now complete

Brian and I went to get more tattoos today. He decided ahead of time that he would get the Imperial insignia from Star Wars. I decided a long time ago that one day I would get the Rebel insignia.. it all worked out kind of nice. My tat was done by George at Black Dragon in Waukesha, WI. This was the same place I had my other tattoo done, though not the same guy.

It really turned out perfect IMHO. pretty much exactly like the pic printed out. Anyway, I’m happy. Will try to get a pic up of Brian’s also (that turned out cool as well).

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