BlackBerry vs. iPhone 4S

The first shot was taken with my lowly BlackBerry and my lowly composition skills. The second was taken by Nicki, our design director, who has superior composition skills and, most recently, a superior camera phone. The iPhone 4S does amazing close ups, with realistic colors, and sharp detail. That being said, my shot wasn’t too bad. (The third shot below was taken with Laura’s Android. Shows how small our little “post flower” was.)

IMG00539-20111020-1434.jpg violet-at-hc-2011-10-21-nsc-iPhone4S.jpg


Credit Card Tune-up 2011

Clark Howard recommended the website where you can plug in your spending patterns, and the site will point you in the direction of the best rewards program. I did this almost three years ago and decided to switch our “first card out of wallet” from Discover Card to American Express Blue. At the time I did not realize I could only get cash back annually, unlike Discover who allows you to get cash back as you go. But, the estimated $1,000 cash back by the estimator has proven to pay off.

I just ran our spending patterns (which are still largely grocery, department store, and gas) through the tune up again and got the results below. Where is American Express Blue? It didn’t even show up in the list. (I’m just showing above $500 payback below.) I wonder how much of this is driven by advertising campaigns paid to Credit Card Tune-up or referral fees? Perhaps Amex is not pushing Blue right now, because it has certainly continued to pay back. Hmmmm…..

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It’s the end of R.E.M. as we know it.

REM-end-of-the-band.jpgR.E.M. announced they were dis-banding this week. In this (pretty good) article by Bill Wyman (ex Rolling Stones bassist), he points to the (pretty bad) “It’s the End of the World” music video by R.E.M. I thought it was recently made by some kids, but it is the original. “What’s the deal with the portrait?” I wondered. So I went searching. Here’s a (pretty good) article about the kid in the film and its (pretty bad) making.

Google Web Fonts

In website design, you are restricted to a limited set of text fonts. You have to design based on the most common fonts people have installed. The complex data for drawing the font doesn’t come across the web, but rather from the local operating system. You control this with style code that looks something like this:

body {font:15px arial, helvetica,sans-serif;}

Which means, try to use areial and if they don’t have that, use helvetica, and if they don’t have that use whatever san serif default font the reader has.

The only way to use a creative display font would be to be to make it a graphic and display it as an image, which would not be text and would not be sizable or searchable. It wouldn’t really be a font.

As bandwidth has gotten greater… everyone is now watching YouTube and streaming Pandora… the concern about being so efficient with text has diminished. Why not send some extra font data with the page so everyone can read whatever font you want to use?

Google Web Fonts does just that. They have a nice little shopping tool that helps you browse different styles of fonts and then “check out” with the code to put at the top of your website. It is a specialized stylesheet call back to google fonts.


<link href=’’ rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’>

After trying on some different fonts, I settled on a general text font for Mac5’s home page called Cabin and then a fun display font for JEB:LOG titles called Schoolbell.

JEB_LOG with Schoolbell.png

What’s he building in there?

Canon PowerShot A630 circa 12-23-2006

DC-NewPowerShotA630.jpgWe’ve gone through several digital cameras over the years. I bet mom and dad bought an (expensive) camera once every 15 to 20 years at most. But then we’ve taken about 100,000 photos… and some movies.

I wanted to build a dateline of how long our cameras have lasted. So this photo I found was a clue. It was dated 12-23-2006 and titled DC-NewPowerShotA630.jpg.

MacBook Pro 15″

Migrated from MacBook 13″:
Hardware Overview:
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 8 GB
Boot ROM Version: MBP81.0047.B0E
SMC Version (system): 1.69f1
Serial Number (system): C02FR8R6DF8V
Hardware UUID: 7EB34221-EF92-5884-9989-1B2F97832A4B
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

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Sunny Desktop

mcc-sun-11-2008.pngI bought Parallels for our iMac some time ago so that Kathy and the kids could run things associated with school and work that had to be in a Windows environment. Mainly older school-based systems that required Explorer. We also needed to run Publisher sometimes.

I needed to run Parallels to diagnose a three month old clicking Seagate GoFlex 2TB USB drive. The diagnostics software only runs on Windows and is a required step before returning the drive for replacement. This continues a trend with external USB drives of about a 1 in 3 failure. It is really disappointing, and I’ve experienced it with Seagate, Western Digital, and LaCie.

Anyhow, fired up Parallels and found Claire had changed the Windows desktop. A much better version than the standard Windows desktop if I may say so myself! She did this in November of 2008 based on the graphic’s file date. Pretty good trick, creating and replacing the Windows desktop for a kid raised on Macs.

Something to smile about when you have a broken hard drive. Feel free to download!

Toilet Tips

After a ground-up rebuild of the master bath john (did the other two years ago), I thought I’d give myself a few notes in the event I have to tackle a rebuild again (in this house.)

There are only 3 screws holding the flange down to the floor. There should be 4, but by the time I got there, I didn’t have a screw, so there are still 3.

Because the flange was above the floor by about 3/4″, I did not need the funnel thing in the wax ring I had purchased. (Found this out via YouTube.) That is only needed if the flange is flush (so to speak) with the floor. So I bought another simple wax ring, and that seemed to work better.

The flange bolts were cut so that the cosmetic caps could fit over them. One of the cuts was rough, making it very hard to back the nut off. I had to also cut the new ones, but at least I cut them a bit higher to allow for a file-down if the problem persists with the new bolts. Tip: Buy taller caps?

Don’t use blue cleaner bricks in the tank. They are a mess and seeped into everything. Cleaning up blue gunk from many places.

Stuff some tissue down sewer pipe while working on flange / base to keep gases from coming up into the bathroom and knocking you out.