Showing posts with label IRL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRL. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2016

This is not the post you're looking for...

Today, I have the chance to see Rogue One.
I haven't been to a Star Wars film on premiere day since I was a child. I'm loving.
So I am AMC with their reclining chairs and student specials. This is going to be awesome!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Google Fi and Nexus 5

I just received my Nexus x5 and started on Google Fi. So far, the improvement over my Sharp Aquos on Sprint is incredible.

While Google Fi probably is connected to a Sprint network, the end user experience is much nicer. Additionally, I opted for the 32 GB phone which is an incredible improvement over my Aquos' 8 GB.
I'm still playing with some features, but Blogger works much better.

Monday, June 20, 2016


I love thunderstorms at night. It's the only time you can smell dust and water, flowers and lightning at the same time against a noble van Gogh blue and white sky.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Topophilia... Sounds strange, feels about right.

I'm hitting the books this weekend, so no documents or sketches tonight. Only a qoute from a book:

"Tuan coined the term topophilia, which is the love of the land and the title of one of geography’s best-selling books." Urban Geography, Kaplan, p. 12

All oif my little doodles and plans shows that I have "topophilia". It's interesting to learn new terms and words for things you have already experienced but didn't have a name for. Cool.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Textbook Reading Log Template

As I start the semester, I have a couple of challenges.

I am working full time and taking 12 credit hours. Second, I have 9 textbooks across 4 classes and some books are physical copies and some are ebooks. Needless to say, I will be reading a lot.

Today, there was a freakout moment when I couldn't find a text. It happened to be an ebook and I was looking for a physical book. It was before my coffee, so cut me some slack.

To keep myself organized, I adapted a writing log to a book log to keep me on track.

Click to enlarge image
There is space to enter Class, Author, Title, Book Format, the starting page, end page, assignment start and end date, and the completion date. Additionally, the sheet will track how many days you have to complete those pages and how many pages per day you have done.

Go ahead and give it a try.

Monday, January 11, 2016

On Bowie

This morning, I awoke to the news of David Bowie's passing. I initially, I was sad because we have lost another wonderful and unique human being.

And then I was happy.

The reason for joy during somber times is reflective. I have to say that I enjoyed David Bowie's work because of my mother. She and my father exposed me to every facet of music from David Bowie to Brahms, Bing Crosby and The Irish Rovers. My sister threw great 90's music at me. Our Lady Peace and School of Fish. My grandmother listened to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

As sad as I was about the passing of Mr. Bowie, moments like these give us time to reflect on the people who enrich our lives. We all can't project to millions of people like Mr. Bowie, but when you influence a child, be it with music, art, science or sports, the positive impact lasts a lifetime.

Thank you, all.

From left to right, Madia, Bowie, Sinatra, me and Bing. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Some things children should not hear.

This could be a post over on, but I really thought it could be better addressed here on unpwnd.

Last year, Santa brought use a PlayStation 4. And kicked off my children's adventures in social media and online living. We started slow, a PSN screen name and email address. This year they have moved up to Kindle Fires and Amazon accounts.

I have done my best to teach them what is and is not acceptable online and all three of my kids have done pretty well.

I have not faired so well because I broke the rules. My PSN account name is my real name, which seems innocuous. Until you plug in headphones. Then I hear also sorts of things about my mom, about my game skills, and a slams against everything and anything you could think of. It seems rather personal because it's my name being called out.

I am pretty resilient, but sometimes my head lifts from the pillow and think: "My god, do I suck that bad?" And being resilient, I can laugh it off.

Children can't laugh abuse off and they really shouldn't have to do so. Good parents set their children up in ways that are safe, exciting and bold. Make sure you know what could happen and make sure you are involved enough to help them through difficult times. Don't let them get owned.

In closing, I'll leave it to one of the better gamers there is: Wil Wheaton.

*There are ways to change a PSN account name, but you need to call Sony. Chat does not cut it. To get a new name is non-trivial and annoying which is why I haven't done so. That and it serves as a reminder not to be stupid.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Leo is Missing! Please Help! UPDATE - FOUND!

Update: Leo has been found!

Lost: 5 year old black and white male cat named Leo. Missing since Saturday, Aug 15th in the area of Mary Lou and Madaline Ln.

If seen or found, please call 651-9487 or email Share this poster with a friend via code: QRPoster.jpg
Or download this PDF file.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Almost Ugly, Unicorn Princess Story

Nothing is ever perfect, until it is.

Within the first 24 hours of dating my wife, I did something unusual that has been a part of our lives ever since: I read a book to my wife. It was a passage from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It doesn’t matter what page or passage, it was the one I meant, and it wasn’t a thing I intended to do. Nothing is so perfect, but it left a mark on us that still exists today.
Fast forward many years. My wife brought three wonderful children into this world and I made damn sure that I read to them as I did her. Reading is incredibly powerful. It requires no money, no power, no station or status but it can enrich a mind in ways that exceed all of those things.
I read to my kids and I still read to them even though they can do it for themselves. I read to my wife and I read for myself.
And sometimes, a tiny bit of magic can come from such a simply pleasure.
My daughter was born with a hemangioma. It was a strange, tumor-like structure on the bridge of her nose, about the size of a golf ball. Most of the time, they are very benign. Most often, hemangiomas do not require any treatment at all.
However my daughter, Cat’s hemangioma was different. Located on the bridge of her nose, there was the danger that it could affect the development of her eyes. Cruelly, this would not be direct damage to her eyes but a subtle impingement on her visual perception. Her brain would learn that something prevented sight in that space between her eyes and compensate by ignoring input from that area. If it wasn’t removed fast, she could have a large blind spot that her brain learned not to see. If that happened, there was a chance her sight would be destroyed.
(All that and it was unsightly. Having a child with a tumor on the face has the side effect of pulling every a-hole out of the woodwork to point, stare and lecture.)
As I mentioned before, hemangioma are structures that typically require no treatment. It turned out that our insurance didn’t want to treat it at all. My wife fought an epic campaign to make them understand why it was so critical to have this one, special case treated. She found the best doctor. She worked with him to get the best treatment while battling the insurance company into submission. Our daughter had the best care, from the best people at every step of the way. No BS. My wife, Jennifer really did it all.
At the time, I was doing the best I could to provide. I would work like a dog, come home and did the things that needed to be done. I did my part, the best I could. My place was to support. And I made damn sure that if the kids wanted a bedtime story, they would get it no matter how tired or frustrated I was.
I read The Hobbit in a sing-song voice. I read Watership Down because of the bunnies on the cover. I read The Last Unicorn over and over again as it was my wife’s favorite. Stupid, nerdy stories that were age inappropriate; but they put my family in magical, far-away places.
At the end of the day, Cat’s hemangioma was excised but she was not left unmarked by it. On the bridge of her nose was a scar. And it was more than a red splotch. To this day, she calls her scar “her marker”.
A couple of months after the her treatment, I found Catherine playing with two neighborhood girls. There seemed to be a small row happening on our front lawn. The girls were dressed as princesses, complete with copious amounts of make-up. It was comical, except my daughter standing between the other girls armed with a red permanent marker. The other girls looked very concerned.
“What are you doing,” I asked.
“Playing Princesses…. Unicorn Princesses,” Cat answered.
“Unicorn Princesses?”
“Yes, we all need markers”
“For what?”
“To be Unicorns.”
I took the marker away and Cat blew her stack. It was obviously nap time, but I had this niggling feeling that this was somehow my fault.
After a nap, I asked her what a “Unicorn Princess” was. Surprisingly, shockingly she explained that Unicorn Princesses were princesses that had a red marker on their foreheads where their horn used to be. If the other girls wanted to be Unicorn Princesses, they needed the same marker she had. Otherwise, they would simply be plain-old princesses.
Oh boy, it was my fault. And then some. I was so lucky I happened on the scene when I did. Otherwise I would be explaining a livid, semi-permanent, red mark to two sets of parents. That would be a very ugly conversation, indeed.
That night, situation defused, I read to my wife The Last Unicorn. I started where the trouble and the magic began:
“Molly smoothed the strange hair, and Schmendrick noticed on the forehead, above and between the closed eyes, a small, raised mark, darker than the rest of the skin. It was neither a scar nor a bruise. It looked like a flower.”
I can’t think of any other words that would be so perfect.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

All the right things, in three parts. Item three.

Back in 1996, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. The whole world was one big crazy snarl and I couldn’t figure any of it out.
One day, a coworker handed me a simple wooden puzzle. She got it from a vending machine and once it was dissembled, she could not get it back together.
It was so simple, I don’t know how she didn’t see the answer. I reassembled it and she pulled it apart as we talked. That little puzzle was passed back and forth between us, a dozen time or more as we talked.
It was so simple. Hold these pieces gently, like so, and the last piece tied it together. Pass it back, she pulled that piece and the whole thing came apart again.
18 years later, 13 of them married and it all works exactly as it did all those years ago. Jen takes it apart and I put it together as we talk. I pull it apart and Jen puts back together as we talk.
I have no idea where that little wooden puzzle went, but it works just the same.

Monday, June 1, 2015

All the right things, in three parts. Item two.

Image by LearningLark at CC license.
Years ago, I worked in a bookstore called “The Paper Cutter”. As a receiving clerk, one of my duties was to field phone calls. One particular type of call really bothered me.

Caller: “Do you have the Cliff-notes for Fahrenheit 451?”
Me: “Lord, no! Do you know what that book is about?” Caller: “No. You read it?” Me: “Of course.” Caller: “Can you tell me about it?” Me: “Just read it. Seriously, if you come in before my shift is over, I’ll buy you a copy.”
I was good to my word and purchased that title for a few people who came in before 5 PM. I wish more people loved reading as much I as I do.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

J5T – Blue Shift Designs

This week's J5T is about Milee, owner of Blue Shift Designs. She is a Western New York creator of wonderful purses, personal accessories and home accents.
1. Blue Shift Designs is the brainchild of just one person, Milee. She is responsible for all creative designs and day-to-day operations of her company. Every item is absolutely unique. Milee works with customers to deliver personalized and custom products based on the needs and wants of the individual. She has an amazing way of making products that look loved.
2. Milee's blog and Facebook page features a variety of unique purses, diaper bags and handbags, but her creativity runs to backpacks, totes and personal accessories such as aprons, scarves and wallets. She is always moving forward and has a new website under construction.
3. She isn't limited to soft goods, Milee creates notions for the home in the form of reusable aromatherapy packs, wooden objects de art and custom signs.
4. Her signs are made from lumber reclaimed from barns and are hand worked; no automated tools such as CNC machines or lasers for her.
5. All of Milee's designs incorporate an upcycling ethic. She endeavours to produce products from truly vintage materials when possible, for a unique look and feel.
Bonus Fact:
Milee has been most gracious in allowing me unprecedented details about her creativity and focus. I will be posting about Milee's talents and adventures in wood products for the home. She has a love of aboriginal dot art, reclaimed materials and hand craftsmanship. I look forward to the next post about Blue Shift Design.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Whew! An Update.

It looks like another month has passed. I have been having problems with wordpress again and Real Life calls.
Last month, I was accepted at Buffalo State College. I also decommission my old blog and updated all of the rest.
This month Darien Lake opened and we have already been there twice, with another visit coming tomorrow. I have post about all the fun over on
Of course, Destiny and Gemstone IV has been eating into my time. What great games. Later this week, I hope to post a virtual who’s-who of Google Plusers who are into games. The communities over there are top notch.