Monthly Archives: September 2004

Amazing Finish!

Many congratulations to Chip and Kim for winning Amazing Race 5! It was really a bit of a miracle that they won – they were pretty far behind after some very strenuous athletic competition, but out of sheer luck, the fact that they were the last to make airline reservations turned out to be their key to winning. After the other teams had already booked a flight from Calgary to Dallas, that flight was delayed by two hours due to a foggy forecast. Chip and Kim discovered this when they called to make reservations, and they were able to book an alternate flight that arrived in Dallas just 15 minutes earlier than the delayed flight the rest of the teams were on. That gave them the edge they needed to get to the finish line first!

Becky and I couldn’t be happier that our favorite team won, but this morning we were disgusted to see Colin and Christie, our least favorite team, upstage Chip and Kim on CBS’s Early Show. All four final teams were on the show, and after a brief interview where he stated that they were given a “bad edit” that portrayed Colin as a “maniac” and Christie as a “submissive girlfriend,” Colin got down on one knee and proposed to Christie, right on live TV! Blah, blah blah.

As for the other teams, we’re happy to see that the Bowling Moms got as far as they did (fourth place) – what an inspiration to their kids and families! The best all-female team in Amazing Race so far. And Brandon and Nicole…. eh. Never really cared about them. They can go back to being silly Christian models, and maybe some day they’ll get married (p.s. you two, you’d better book separate rooms on that vacation you won!).

The woes of knitting….

(not really!) But I have been knitting the past several evenings, which is what has kept me from blogging. It keeps my hands too busy to type! 🙂

I do want to post a little review of the Lord of the Rings Exhibit at the Museum of science. Peter mentioned that we were going to see it a few days ago and I thought I’d let y’all know what I thought. But really, there are two Rebeccas that need to review it… The regular ole me and the “museum professional” me.

First off, as a fan of the movies, I loved the exhibit. From the first, startling first image to seeing the actual costumes and sets to trying out some of the special effects it was an exciting experience. I loved seeing Galadriel and Arwyn’s costumes and jewelry and the weapons and costumes of the warriors were incredible.

The exhibit was full of families and couples, many of which seemed to be LoTR fanatics 🙂 The little boys were so cute using the green screen technology to fight like elves or orcs (peter, too for that matter!) And we had fun using the ‘double shot-perspective cameras’ that made one of us hobbit sized and on Gandalf sized, while sitting on the same wagon seat. Fun, fun.

As a museum person I have a bit of a different perspective. (a good example of a little knowledge being a bad thing,,,) Despite the positive review above, I found the exhibit lacking in a few aspects. First off, with the exception of a few computer-tech features (which were more fun than scientific) there wasn’t anything sciency about it. I also thought that there was a lack of explanations about how things work. There were several opportunities that went unused. I wonder if the Science Museum was really the best place to host this exhibit.

Secondly, I thought the exhibit had a poor floor plan. There was no real flow to the room. I kept feeling like if I went in one direction I would keep moving and miss something on the other side of the room. The map provided with the exhibit guide was little help as it only identified the different sections of the room, but not the divisions made by free standing walls.

Just a small note: I really don’t think that this was worth the $19 bucks a person that we paid in admission…but it was a fun splurge.

Also, and not really museumy, but, I thought that the exhibit maybe has gone on tour a bit too close to the showing of the movies. As I walked through the room I found myself thinking, ” that’s cool, but I feel like I just saw it in the movie” and “It’s not an ancient relic or anything, it’s just a movie prop”. Perhaps if they had waited a few years there would be some ‘nostalgia’ involved.

Anyhoo, to recap, I liked the exhibit alot, I had a couple of minor criticisms and I think that if you liked LoTR you would probably like the exhibit. the end.

What is wrong with this thing?

So this morning I was importing some older CD’s into iTunes so that I could sync them with my iPod. I have iTunes configured so that when a CD is inserted, it automatically grabs the song titles from the ‘net, extracts all of the audio content from the CD, and then ejects the CD when finished. It plays a little sound when it’s done so that I don’t have to keep checking to see how far along it is.

Well, this morning I kept coming back in to find iTunes showing a message “Some of the songs on this CD have already been imported. Do you want to replace them?” I wasn’t quite sure why that would happen, so I chose “Yes,” then left and came back later. Each time, it repeated the same message for the same CD over and over.

Not until the fourth time I was prompted did I realize why this was happening. I have an external CD-ROM/CD-RW sitting on my desktop behind my keyboard. I happened to have pushed my keyboard back far enough so that it was right in front of the door of the CD-ROM drive. So, every time the CD was ejected, it popped out, hit the keyboard, and was automatically pushed back in. iTunes thought it was another CD to be imported, so it tried to re-import all of the tracks, and that’s how I got the message.

Gahh. Time to wake up and get to work!

Stupid Selects

How about a nice tasty pack of “I hate those stupid commercials!” Though McDonald’s Chicken Selects do look sort of tasty, the people in those commercials certainly don’t make me want to be associated with them. Will they turn me into the office dolt if I eat them – guarding my Chicken Selects with fervor, and uttering such phrases as “Step slowly away from the deliciousness?”

Would I think differently if it was an ad for Taco Bell? Well… maybe. Probably. Yes. There’s little Taco Bell could do that would discourage me from eating there.

Apologies to our readers from outside of McUSA.

Fired-Up Fox

Firefox, the cross-platform web browser, has registered over 1,000,000 downloads in the ten days since its 1.0 Preview Release! I’m glad to see that the world has come to the realization that there is a choice other than Internet Explorer, and that they’re downloading a very well-made browser to replace it.

You can do the same – if you’re viewing our website (that is, you’re not reading this by way of an RSS newsreader), just scroll down the page until you see the ridiculously huge Firefox banner ad on the left. Give it a click, and follow the links to download Firefox! The link on that banner helps track just how many people have downloaded Firefox by way of the ad on my website. So far, that number is two… a small number, but when added together with the thousands of other promoters, it means a lot!

If you’re a Mac user, feel free to experiment with Firefox. It’s pretty good, but I would still recommend Safari as the best browser on the Mac. Either one is certainly preferable to IE.

Of course, don’t let me stop you from switching to Mac OS X so that you can use Safari… now that would be excellent.

Amazing Amazing Race

Congratulations to The Amazing Race for winning the Primetime Emmy for “Outstanding Reality-Competition Program”. They were up against Survivor, American Idol, Last Comic Standing, and Apprentice. I certainly think they were the best of that bunch, and personally AR is my favorite show on TV. The locales are fantastic, the race is real and challenging, and you really get to see the contestants use their minds and bodies to complete each leg of the race. Besides that, Phil is one of the best hosts ever. 🙂 Jeff Probst is just a bit too smug-looking for my taste.

The Amazing Race 6 final episode is on for tomorrow night. Chip and Kim are in first place after last week’s episode, which I’m very happy about. My second favorite team, the “Bowling Moms” Linda and Karen came in second, having slowly worked their way up the ladder over the last several legs. Long-term-dating-Christian-model (not model Christian, mind you) couple Brandon and Nicole (gag me with a spoon) came in third. Colin and Christie, my least favorite team, came in last place. Unfortunately, the producers saw fit not to make that leg an elimination leg, so they are still in the race. My wish is for them to be squarely beaten in the final stages of the race. With their last place standing at this pit stop, and their lack of fundage for the next leg, they will have a difficult time at it. They’ve consistenly been the most powerful team, however, so there’s always the possibility that they can pull off something amazing.

Amazing Race 6 does still appear to be scheduled for an October 2 premiere. I’m still not sure how they’re going to pull that off with only a week and half in between seasons, but I suppose if they were filming AR6 while broadcasting AR5, it could work.

We shall see!

Walk Around Boston

I drove in to Boston after church today, and walked around Boston for several hours while Becky was at work (thanks for the free parking!). I didn’t have any particular destination, I just let my camera lens lead me. You can see the results of my trip here.

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My journey started at the Otis House Museum, and I ended up walking along a good stretch of the Charles River Esplanade and the Back Bay. I also took a really excessive number of shots from the demolition of the Green Line right next to North Station. But it was really cool to watch. It’s really amazing to see all of that open space and sunlight (!?) at the Fleet Center.

All in all, it was a really fantastic day for photography, and I think I ended up with a few very nice shots. I hope you enjoy the gallery!

Update: I neglected to mention that I stopped by to see Jackie at her new place in Boston! It just so happens that she was having a problem with her apartment’s wireless network when I stopped by, but unfortunately I was not able to fix it. Someone with more of a clue was able to get it fixed for her later, though!

91600

I would like to wish a happy 091600 to my wife!

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For those who do not know, 091600 represents September 16, 2000. That’s the day on which Becky and I started dating, and a very happy occasion indeed. For a while after we graduated from Gordon, Becky and I each had Motorola T900 two-way pagers, the kind with little keyboards on them. We used 091600 as a short sort of message to send to each other just to say “hi”, and it’s perpetuated itself into a code that we use from time to time.

So that’s four years that we have been together now, and just under two of those years have been in marriage (102602 is coming up next month… though we don’t typically refer to it in code, we just call it our Anniversary).

These years have been the best in my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

091600

Lord of the Exhibits

We’ve been waiting a long time for this – and finally we’ve got the extra cash we need to go and see The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy — The Exhibition at the Museum of Science in Boston! We are going to see it on Friday night. It should be pretty exciting. We’ll get to see scores of original props from the movies, including the One Ring, Aragorn’s sword Andruil, and Gandalf’s robes. There will be exhibits on the special effects techniques used in the films. There will be examples of the “bigatures” used in filming, such as the tower of Orthanc. And there will be interactive experiences where we can see what we would look like as Hobbit-sized folk, or have our motions captured and mapped on screen to digital models.

In the confirmation for our ticket purchase, there was one unfortunate reminder:

qqq|Because of the exclusive nature of ‘The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy — The Exhibition’, no cameras, strollers, bags of any kind, or mobile phones are permitted. And for the safety and comfort of all visitors, no weaponry associated with the films’ characters will be allowed in the exhibition.|qqq

This means that not only will I not be allowed to take photos inside the exhibit, I will also not be allowed to carry in my full-length Uruk-hai sword.*

We will be sure to let you know what we think once we’ve been through the exhibit, but from all indications I’ve read around the ‘net, it’s supposed to be superb. Boston is the first city in the US to have the exhibit, and I’m not sure where it’s headed next… but keep an eye on your local museums for your chance to watch!

  • note: I do not have an Uruk-hai sword. I do, however, have a replica of the One Ring which came with my Gandalf bookmark, and a cardboard-cutout Gandalf the White, festively adorned with lai.

Examining The Gallery

One of the most popular features on our site, besides our blog, is the photo gallery:

World Wide Photography

Our gallery contains 4,894 images in 8 main albums that are publicly accessible, with an additional 1,142 images in two albums that are restricted to certain groups of registered users. That’s a total of 6,036 images!

Our images cover a time span from the fall of 2001 to the present day. There are photographs related to any number of subjects, from family gatherings to parties, holidays to sporting events, travel overseas to travel down the street. You can journey from San Francisco to Spain, fly from Massachusetts to Kentucky, enjoy a sunset on Cape Cod, or a sunrise in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Currently, the bulk of our images are organized into a ‘Year-by-Year’ album, which is then broken down by year, and within each year the photo albums are in reverse-chronological order. My question for all of our site viewers is, do you find the organization of our photo gallery useful, and if not, what changes would you suggest to make it easier to use? For Becky and I, the year-by-year organization works well since we know generally what year certain events occurred. But for folks who don’t know us as well, I’m not sure that is the best way to browse. I feel that our gallery has a lot to offer even for people who may not know us well, and so I’d like it to be as useful as possible.

Please take a look at our gallery, and then let us know by way of a blog comment what you think about the way it’s organized, the content of the gallery, or any other feedback that may be useful. Thanks!