March 31, 2006

On Not Blogging From Work

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:52 pm

I have a general policy against blogging from work. I extend that to mean that I don’t even visit my blog while I’m there. I may visit *your* blog, and even leave a comment – but I don’t visit here from work.

That doesn’t mean I don’t come up with stuff to blog about during the day. My three things from today are below.

Update: Funny. Gwynne is looking for a blogging rule number ten at the same time I’m writing about my self-imposed rules.

Today’s Stuff #1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:45 pm

A six-sided device that can tell you the moon phase for any date and time in the previous or future 8,000 years.

They also have flat versions.

And a how-to-figure-it-out-yourself (approxmiately: in your head if you’ve got an excellent memory or exactly: with a calculator) writeup.

I would love to play with the six-sided version. I’m sure I could waste hours trying to figure out how it works. There is an image of each side — maybe I can make my own out of paper…

Today’s Stuff #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:44 pm

A quote to live by, from the “What’s New on” newsletter:

“Never buy anything you can make, and never make anything you can find.”

Today’s stuff #3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:43 pm

A new must-have product: the Screened Sphorb

Just imagine what the world would be like without the Screened Sphorb and
that world would not be unlike anything you can even think to imagine
thinking about. Imagine that and you’ll start to see why critics are
calling the Screened Sphorb a product that not only offers more time
profit than any product ever, but also features aspects that make it
easier and easier to ascribe to the lay person without having to
compromise a single screen.

Cuddly Bunny

Filed under: drawing — Brian @ 6:48 am

This is my younger son’s stuffed rabbit. A gift from his older brother, this guy participates in everything, goes everywhere, and heals all wounds.

March 29, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 8:46 pm

My friend Eric asked not too long ago that his visitors add their voice to his, in support of the ongoing operations in Iraq.

Here’s my take on the thing.

I don’t know if the war in Iraq was the right thing to do, back before it started. Maybe there was some other way. But it did start. And the only way to end it without creating a worse situation than we started with is to finish it.

Bring Them Home?
Yes. Please. Every last one. As soon as it’s done.

Let them finish.

March 28, 2006

When drawing in a parking lot…

Filed under: drawing — Brian @ 1:34 pm

…inside your car when it’s raining, I make the following recommendations:

1 – Turn off your headlights.
2 – And the radio. This is why you brought the iPod, you idiot.
3 – Go easy on the wipers. This ain’t photography – you can work around a speck here and there.

If you can’t be bothered to do those things, at least draw in your church’s parking lot.
…because there’s always a kind someone in there with jumper cables and a few spare minutes.

4 – Get your own jumper cables.

March 27, 2006

100 Things, part two

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 10:20 pm

100 things, part two. This is hard.

21 – I like to laugh at things. I have a very sarcastic streak, but I never intend to be mean about it. It’s among the worst feelings I know when an attempt at humor hurts someone I care about. (My father is *exactly* the same way about this.)

22 – I actually have quite a lot in common with my father, personality-wise. Apart from having him as a friend, one major benefit of this is that I really can learn life-lessons from his experience.

23 – My parents divorced when I was three. I don’t remember my parents ever being married. I used to think it was strange when a friend’s parents were “still” married.

24 – I have two dogs; a 7-year-old Golden Retriever, and a 10-year-old mutt.

25 – I will have been married to the girl who does Jennifer’s Nest for ten years this May.

26 – Northern Wisconsin is my favorite vacation spot. I don’t go for sun and beaches.

27 – I was baptized into my church just this past winter. Almost 20 years to the day after I finished my confirmation class as a 12-year-old. I resisted the church for a long time, for reasons I now recognize as ignorance, pride and selfishness. And – stupidest among the bunch – terminology.

28 – I could never have really accepted Christ if I’d been forced into it. I am deeply grateful for the freedom to choose to accept His offer.

29 – I am profoundly grateful to the people who have served in our armed forces. I can only begin to imagine the difficulties of such a life. It’s incredible to me how easy we all have it in this country because of the people who choose that life.

30 – Sometimes it bothers me how easy we have it – how safe and painless things are for us today. I fear that it makes us weak, and magnifies what should be minor difficulties.

31 – Mom doesn’t like me to mention this, because she doesn’t want people to think she’s wierd, but I was born in my parents’ bedroom. I think that’s kind of cool, but I would never suggest that anyone do that.

32 – I don’t watch much TV. Favorite shows are Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs. Beyond that, there’s nothing I watch habitually.

33 – I want to know how good I can be at drawing and painting. Practicing is truly theraputic for me.

34 – I come from a family of tall people. At 6’2″, my brother is the shortest blood-related adult male in my family. My sister is 5’11”. (I get uncomfortable if too many other tall people are around because I can’t see over their heads.) I’m 6’6″, but have a fairly average 34″ inseam – all my height is in my spine. I don’t fit in a lot of cars.

35 – When I paint the walls of my house, I don’t use a ladder or stepstool.

36 – I think it would be fun to be a painter. A house painter. Indoors only, though.

37 – I used to be afraid of heights, but got over it by subjecting myself to them.

38 – I used to want to try skydiving, but decided after getting married and having children that I missed my chance to take such a needless risk.

39 – I have eaten raw eel. I wasn’t terrible, but I did not like it.

40 – I like to mow my lawn, wash the dishes in the sink and split firewood.

41 – I can start a fire without matches.

42 – I try year after year, but just can’t get into watching sports. This is to my detriment at work, where everyone is an Ohio State fan.

43 – I love to fly two-line stunt kites. I want one of the big, power-lifting four-line kites that can pull you into the air.

44 – I’ve never been outside North America. I have been to Canada, once one foot (across Niagara Falls, where I proposed to that girl I mentioned earlier), and once by plane for work.

45 – The day I met my future in-laws was the day I moved into their basement for a two week visit over Christmas. My girlfriend lived in Pennsylvania and I lived in Illinois.

46 – I think it would be fun to be a high school physics, math or chemistry teacher.

47 – I have learned more about people and getting things done at work through being a parent than through any other thing.

48 – I rank training wheels on children’s bicycles among the world’s worst inventions.

49 – I have run a half-marathon. (That’s a real race. I didn’t stop halfway through a full marathon.) It took me 2 hours and 19 minutes. That’s nowhere close to fast, but I don’t care.

50 – When I started training for that race, I couldn’t run a half-mile.

Soccer practice #1

Filed under: beanquest, kidwork, soccer — Brian @ 8:51 pm

I had 8 of the 12 kids on my team at practice tonight. My own son is sick, so he had to sit out and watch – the practice field is behind my house.

I was very nervous before practice. More nervous than I’ve been about anything in recent memory, I think. I’ve never been a soccer coach, and it’s been probably 20 years since I’ve played. I want to do a good job – to teach the guys what they need to know, and to help them have fun. They’re all 6 years old, and it’s the first exposure to soccer for most of them, so I don’t need to be a soccer expert, but still…

I had a plan, and found some drills on the Internet. My biggest concern was keeping busy for a whole hour. This turned out not to be a problem.

I won’t go into the details, but as soon as we started, I completely tuned the parents out. I had a great time watching the boys work on the drills, and helping them figure out how to do them.

A couple of them stand out as interested, but shy and a little unsure of themselves. It was so cool to see how a little extra attention and getting in there with them got them excited. A few of them are trying really hard, and respond immediately to corrections and praise.

I was very nervous beforehand. But I had a blast during, and I’m excited about the next practice. This is a lot of fun!

March 25, 2006

Our Old Dog, Louis

Filed under: drawing — Brian @ 8:38 pm

We bought Louis from the local Humane Society, the weekend after we got married. He’s a border collie mixed with something only slightly less high-strung. But at ten years old, he’s slowing down a bit. This is him sleeping on the couch next to me last month.

My dog, Louis, sleeping. Pencil on paper.

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