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Friday, June 29, 2007

Going To See SPAMALOT!

SPAMALOT!
Monty Python's Spamalot!
It's simply going to KICK ASS!
Okay, so it's official. As of this morning, I actually have (surprisingly good) tickets to see Spamalot! It turns out that a group must have reduced its number of tickets reserved, so I was able to snag two seats (five from center aisle) on the mezzanine level of the theatre. About 80 feet from stage, probably 10-15 feet above stage level. Pretty much perfect if you ask me (because you can see everything from that location -- I've been in seats near that before for other performances).

I was just really surprised it was even possible -- since I'd waited so long (ticket purchases opened up sometime in February if I recall) to get tickets, I was figuring that we'd end up in some strange seats in the Gallery. Not that those are bad, but my experience over the last few days perusing the website for tickets indicated that in most cases the Gallery (highest level) would be my only option.

This goes out to my most helpful telephone rep at the Ordway -- this is why I prefer calling to order tickets as opposed to doing the website thing. Especially since they operate their own box office (as opposed to a Ticketmaster sort of operation where [reps] don't necessarily know the venue).

So I had to call Beth right away and inform her -- it's going to be amazing! I can't wait! But I'll have to, because the performance isn't until August 9. :P I'm simply stoked. It's going to kick some serious ass! I've been waiting for this to get 'close' to us since it first came out.

Anyway, as this will likely be my only post today, I'm going to briefly comment on an editorial/informal poll, if you will, in which the point was noted that (in theory) if a site such as Google were to convert from a white to black background, the potential may exist for a reduction of something like 8.3 Megawatt-hours of electricity required for people worldwide to simply view pages at Google.

This is due to the fact that (in the Monitor/RGB world) the color black is the (more or less) 'all off' state. To get white, one must mix the maximum values/intensity of each primary light color (Red, Green, Blue). Anyone familiar with manipulating RGB values in Hexadecimal format will understand this -- the value 000000 is black, and the value FFFFFF is white.

By and large, the vast majority of my work and play with the electronic world (e.g. computers) is done with a white/light background and dark text. The one exception to this is any work I do in a terminal environment (e.g. logged in via SSH to a server), in which case I exclusively use a black background and white text.

This potential power savings is really only achieved with CRT monitors; LCD monitors are inherently less power-consuming. Anyway, regardless, it got me to thinking. Perhaps I may play around with desktop environments at work (where I still have CRT monitors); not necessarily because of the potential power savings, but possibly because in my previous experience, reading white on black is significantly easier than the opposite. Especially when you do it all day.

So we'll see what happens. I think I'll try it at work and see if I like it. Maybe it'll make me more productive some day. :)

Until next time...

--MZ

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mornings Are Fun!


Mornings Are Fun!
She's always so smiley in the mornings and just
has a good time. Well, truth be told, she does
that (smile and have a good time) most of the
time.
That they are. I spent some time (didn't go in to work at my normal time) this morning with her -- it was a good time. She's such a little peanut in the mornings. Bright eyed and bushy tailed. That's for sure. So my morning worked out quite well that way.

The day progressed about as one would expect. In addition to arriving at work late this morning (which was planned), I also left early. I know, such a slacker. But it's finally getting into the 'slower' season for us, the time when it's possible to actually take some time without leaving someone (or several someones) high and dry. So I take advantage when I can.

Erik and Jill came out for supper tonight with Henry. Good times. Had some steaks, lots of other food, drank a little beer, good times. Also think I nailed down the weekend (Friday/Saturday) when we're going to tackle the sump basin and cistern wall project. A couple of weeks from now, pending rental and whatnot. So that'll be good.

So I did a fair amount of 'hanging out' today, which was a good change from just sitting around. I don't need to go do things per se, but it's nice to spend some good time with friends.

I just closed up the doors downstairs for the night, and I noticed several fireflies out in the yard. Very cool. I often think it'd be neat to have the capability to be bioluminescent. Just to flaunt it, almost. This concept puts a whole new meaning to 'mooning' someone. :) Of course, if you had an ass that lights up (without the use of flatulence and a lighter), trying to moon someone anonymously might not be for you. It may be fairly obvious.

Ah well, that was a completely random digression. Anyway, we've got a fairly busy weekend upcoming, so depending upon how things go will determine my frequency of posting through Monday. I'll try to at least post something during the weekend hours, but we'll see what happens. Just figured I'd give a warning to the two loyal readers. :)

Until next time...

"There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher."
- Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)

--MZ

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nothing Quite Like A Wednesday


Matt & Brian Wohlman
Ricola! Ricola! Taken at Heritagefest
in New Ulm, the summer of 1998
It always seems like Wednesdays are the most worthless day of the week. Perhaps that's why they call it 'hump day.' :)

I got home today and ended up watching a bit of TV before I did anything really productive. During the 6PM newscast, I saw this video of a new weather forecasting/measuring device. I must say, it's brilliant -- simply brilliant.

Go watch, you'll enjoy.

Anyway, I finished cleaning out stuff from the dirtiest and nastiest section of the basement -- that location where eventually a sump basin and possibly entry point into the old cistern will exist. There wasn't much nasty stuff left to remove; it was mostly just getting the remaining stuff out to the garage. After I finished that, I then mopped a lot of the area. More remains to be done (I simply mopped the floor around the perimeter of the area), like the wall cleaning and whatnot, but what was done tonight was the last of the really troublesome (preventative from getting the job completed) work.

Aside from that, there's really not much new to report today. Work has really fallen into the quiet season for the most part now, so that's nice (but it can get a little boring at times due to some of the research I have to catch up and work on)...but it means I don't really have much to really ramble about there either.

We shall see what tomorrow brings. I'm sure I'll find something to ramble about (I'd say more about the weather device, but one simply has to watch it). :)

Until then...

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
- Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

--MZ

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Beth!


Getting Excited
Beth was just talking away to her, and the
more she did, the more Kirstin got excited.
Cute.
So today is Beth's birthday. She's gone to bed now, so by the time she reads this, it'll be the day after her birthday. Funny how logic like that works. Time, it's really strange in that it keeps passing.

Beth and I took the opportunity to go out for supper on her birthday. Good times. In many ways it's nice to be away from home (and Kirstin) for a while, but I know we were both getting toward the 'awfully tired' phase by the time we got home. So that last hour before Kirstin went to bed tonight was fun, because we were all just hanging around like normal.

On my way home from work today, I encountered a really strange thing. Even though I drive a state highway most of my way home (aside from that last mile-and-a-half), the stretch I drive isn't exactly in top shape. Furthermore, it's quite devoid of roomy shoulder space. To be specific, there's about a foot (if you're lucky) of asphalt between the white line and the edge of the pavement. Then a drop to gravel base and another foot or so to the drop off of the ditch face.

Now that I've provided the background, I encountered a situation tonight where a fellow was riding his bike to work (facing traffic, I might add), steering by balance (without his hands on the bars), and in that foot or so of [paved] shoulder space. So, I'm heading more or less directly toward this kid, except I'm in the predicament that due to traffic conditions (this is a rural road; I make it sound like rush hour traffic) -- namely the fact there were two slow moving vehicles in the opposing lane virtually at the same location in the road as the bicyclist -- I am completely unable to move into the opposite lane to give him more room to do his thing (the bike).

Two things really bothered me about this situation. One is that he was riding the bike in an extremely unsafe manner (given the 'congestion') without his hands on the handlebars. The other is that due to said congestion, he didn't stop or try to make his presence any less dangerous (e.g. stop bike, move off to gravel surface for a moment). I'm not saying that he needed to do this, but it was a little nerve-wracking (even though I slowed down considerably during the exchange) to come across this particular situation.

He had a McDonald's uniform on, so presumably that's where he was headed (he had about two miles to go upon my encounter). I applaud him for doing the bicycle thing, but hopefully he's working his way towards purchasing some sort of McCar, which presumably will ease the danger in this commute. After all, this is the land of McOpportunity. If he doesn't, I'd highly recommend finding a less dangerous route to travel in the future. Eesh.

So anyway, enough of that business. Returning to the more important subject at hand -- Beth, happy birthday once again -- from the entire menagerie (myself included). We all love you!

So until next time, I leave you with this quote:
"If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?"
- Seymour Cray (1925-1996), father of supercomputing

--MZ

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mondays Are Never Boring

Cenex Guy
Cenex Guy
Long story short, after seeing a few commercials lately including 'Cenex Guy,' I needed to do a small tribute here... Click the links (picture) for more info on Cenex Guy!
Contrary to my title tonight, today was actually a little bit on the boring order. At least as far as the work environment went. It was pretty routine, which can be a good thing (as it was today). It's always nice to come to work on Monday morning without any fires to put out or the like. Makes the rest of the day go along nicely.

It was most definitely a HOT Monday, though. It was into the low 90's today, and I noticed (at least through My-Cast) that the dewpoint was at or around 70 degrees, which means it indeed was quite humid throughout the day. As I write this (around 10:50PM), it's still 79.7 degrees on my magic thermometer. Amazing. It's not that warm inside, though. At least not as humid. Inside temp currently reads an even 77 in the office here.

Speaking of A/C, I noticed today for the first time of the season that the air conditioner was being controlled. In actuality, when I look at the load management guide online of our power company's supplier, it appears as though cycled A/C has been in effect a few times already this season.

It can be easy to notice this during the mid-day and early evening, when the high heat of the day is still on. It really doesn't get uncomfortable, but it seems as though the A/C is running an awful lot (when in actuality, only the furnace fan is running as the compressor is shut down). It's not a bad deal, the 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off deal. And it it works (and gets me a $25 credit), more power I guess. Literally.

Back to Cenex Guy. I find it interesting that in the Twin Cities market I'm seeing more and more of this Cenex Guy stuff. It didn't seem like it was that way in the past. It's neat, though, because CHS (the parent company of Cenex) is based in Minnesota, and spreads much further out than just this state. The Cenex Guy campaign is pretty catchy as well, if you ask me.

We obtain all of our fuel (for heating in the wintertime and also gasoline for the cars -- unless we're on a trip somewhere) from a few local Cenex co-ops. It's not that often I actually go inside at one of the stations, but I'm tempted to just drop in sometime and ask them when I can expect Cenex Guy to be making a local appearance. Just to see what sort of reaction I'd get. But I'm like that.

I managed to go through and do some filing here at home tonight. I wanted to do more with it (like my usual quarterly consolidation of filed stuff), but decided against it. This was namely because Kirstin was being quite fussy at the time, and I didn't want to have papers all over the floor in the office should I need to make my way across the vast sea of paper to comfort her.

In other somewhat related but otherwise random things, I've got a few ideas I'm tossing around in my head to make the ol' blog more interesting in general. Of course it's already interesting -- if you consider my various rambled topics and mundane events interesting -- but something to add a little daily 'spice' to the entry (as opposed to 'my day consisted of...' stuff, which I'll still keep around). We'll see where this goes, but I will leave you with this interesting quote I found on a work-related messageboard system I somewhat follow:

Theory is when you know something, but it doesn't work.
Practice is when something works, but you don't know why.
Programmers combine theory and practice: Nothing works and they don't know why.


There are many days when that really does apply...oddly enough.

Until next time...

--MZ

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex...


Reading A Book
She was just having a good old time reading a
little book. I have a feeling she'll be an avid
little reader just like her mom.
Okay, so now that I have your attention... :) In my ever-present quest to come up with at least a semi-witty title, I found myself somewhat randomly with this song in my head. Why, I have no idea. I never have liked the song (which is probably why it's stuck in my head).

Anyway, today was pretty usual as far as days go. We did the normal church and grocery shopping run. Came home, took a nap. Always a plus. And then I ventured out in to the heat and breeze (which made the heat more tolerable) on my quest to wash both vehicles. I had a hankerin' (yeah, I realize I used the word 'hankerin'') to bust out the power washer and go to town. Besides, both vehicles needed a wash, and I was not lured into the convenience of the automatic car wash at Jerry's this time (although I would have to definitely recommend it).

So I spent some time outside this afternoon, not really realizing how hot it was out there until I came inside. Eesh. So I took a shower and was greeted upon my exit by cool blasts of air from the duct as the air conditioner was on. Excellent. Makes drying off in the heat and humidity much more palatable.

I didn't really get a lot else done today, aside from my normal Sunday routines like watering plants and dealing with the litter box. But that's alright.

Anyway, seeing as how it's nearing my bedtime and I've still got a few things to do before then, I'll leave this post at that and bid thee adieu. Until next time...

--MZ

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Matt
Minnesota, United States
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Miscellaneous Bits

  • One Gorgeous Daughter (Kirstin)
  • An Incredible Wife (Beth)
  • Two Cats (George/Felix)
  • Two Dogs (Koshka/Kurva)
  • My birthday is at the 48851th place in Pi
  • Frank Oz and I share birthdays (Go Fozzie Bear)!
  • Mike Myers and I share birthdays (Party On, Wayne)!

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