Start your day with a smile

Matt’s Dancing 2008 footage. My favorites: the DMZ in Korea, the two from Tonga, and Nellis Airspace.
[Wave of the phin to my sweet for passing it along.]

New hat

In preparation for the mission trip I’m going on next week to build houses in Juarez, Mexico, I picked up a Panama Jack cowboy hat at Wal-Mart earlier this evening for a mere ten dollars.

New hat
Click on the photo to see a larger version.

The Juarez trip can be tough on gear (the boots I wore last year won’t be making a return trip), but I figure for ten bucks, I won’t worry if the hat doesn’t go another year. (And yes, a backup hat will be packed, just in case.)

An excerpt


Problem: You are stranded in the past without plutonium to provide the 1.21 jiggawatts necessary to power your De Lorean’s flux capacitor.

Solution: We at TimeCorp cannot stress enough the differences between real and fictional time travel. Authentic time travel is an infinitely more complicated and intricate process than its whimsical cinematic counterpart. You will need at least 4.3 jiggawatts of power.

Hasta la semana proxima

Well, dear readers, after being gone for a week on a family vacation, I’m now leaving in the wee morning hours–in six hours, to be precise–on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. It’s an annual thing our church does, and this year I decided to go as one of the adult volunteers. It’s really a mission trip for the youth of the church, with something around a 65-35 breakdown of youth to adults.
Normally the trip is to build simple homes for the poor of the area, but this year we’ve been asked by the mission sponsor, Amor Ministries, to build some duplex housing for attendees of the local Bible college.
So you won’t be seeing any updates from the phisch bowl for a bit, as we will have little power available, little running water (which we don’t drink any way, we bring our own drinking water), and absolutely no Internet access of any kind. Mobile phone coverage is even spotty, and insanely expensive.
It’s going to be a blast.
See you next week.

Visited States

So while browsing on Flickr, I came across a link to Douwe Osinga’s Visited States. It’s pretty simple: you click on the name of the state you’ve visited, and the state gets marked in red on the map. I’ve visited half the states in the Union:

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

I have some personal criteria for what constitutes a “visit”. For instance, I didn’t count the layover in Salt Lake City as a visit to Utah. I don’t think you can really call it a visit when you never leave the airport. Likewise, I didn’t count the short time I spent in Newark, leaving from the airport to go in to Manhattan, as a visit to Jersey. I don’t count the approximately two hours I spent at a friend’s father-in-law’s place in Oklahoma as a visit; we were there to pick up dad-in-law’s old big-screen television, and it was right back across the border in to Texas.
However, though we didn’t spend a night in Maine, or Vermont, I count those as states visited, since we were there to see certain sites unique to the state, i.e., playing tourist. So you may feel otherwise as to what makes a “visit”, but that’s some of what I thought about when marking states.
So how many have you visited?

“I love public transportation.”

500 points to the member of the Stevenson family who can correctly identify the movie from which the above quote comes, and the character/actor who said it.
I ususally don’t go for Internet memes, and Tom didn’t ping me with this one, but I thought it pretty cool nonetheless. How many public transportation systems have you ridden? Below are mine:

Got at!

Update, 11:00 PM: My wife notes that New Orleans’ RTA isn’t on the list. I thought maybe because RTA didn’t include some form of light rail that it failed to qualify, but then she reminded me that it has the trolleys, like San Fran’s MUNI. So even though there’s no icon for it, you can add New Orleans to my list.

And I thought they wanted you to stay over on Saturday night

Earlier this evening, I booked a round-trip flight, on American Airlines, from Baton Rouge to DFW for my grandmother. It’s for the first weekend in August, to celebrate my son’s birthday.
Initially, I was looking at mid-morning flights out of Baton Rouge on Saturday, August 5th, and a mid-afternoon return flight from DFW on Tuesday, August 8th. I found great times for each, but the total ticket, even with a supposed senior discount, was $361, after applicable taxes and fees.
I changed the flight out of Baton Rouge to Friday, August 4th, same time of the day, and the price dropped to $260.
So apparently the new savings comes in with the Friday stay-over…