In case you were in a cave for the past week, The Simpsons celebrated their 300th episode last Sunday. I got hooked on the yellow ones my freshman year in college and can honestly say that while their best years were '92-'95 the writing is still consistently good, often excellent. There was quite a bit of lead-up hype for the episode. The two pieces I enjoyed most were EW's 25 best episodes and Inside the Actor's Studio with the cast. Very interesting to put faces to the voices - especially when several of the actors do more than one character. Thank you to the creators, writers and cast of my favorite show, The Simpsons.
Check out the free yet oddly entertaining game Nation States. Speaking of online gaming, I've also started playing Earth and Beyond, a very cool space online role-playing game.

It has been quite a while since I last posted - sorry. I have made good progress on several projects, lost a few more broomball games (though Jill scored her first goal in two seasons!), and come to grips with the shuttle loss. Speaking of Columbia, I wanted to point you to Seth's page, Ober Dicta. He has gotten some well deserved national attention for his exceptional shuttle coverage in blog form. Please go read his entry from 3:02 on February 4th. The dream is alive my friend, thank you.
More upbeat sci-tech news to share:
  • "For most scientists, from ecologists to climate experts, the warming of the planet is a disturbing trend that could radically alter the environment. But for archaeologists, it has prompted a breathtaking treasure hunt."
  • Tests show that the Amesbury Archer of Stonehenge is from Switzerland! More info.
  • Scientists have created the first artifical organism: a 21st amino acid that can be incorporated into protiens.
  • Cloak of invisibility +1.
Please check you link/bookmark to this page. It should be (no "/default.htm" tacked on the end). Please update accordingly. Over the next month I plan on making the page a bit more interactive and will be changing the file extension. Hopefully you will not notice a big difference but it will help me keep track of my ramblings and spew them more often.

I can't believe it: a new flare-up in the Hatfield and McCoy Feud. This time it ain't a shootin' match, they've loosed the lawyers on each other.

This year I've gotten into the St. Paul Winter Carnival's medallion hunt. For the 52nd year, a small medallion has been hidden somewhere on public land in Ramsey County, usually within St. Paul proper. Clues are written in the St. Paul Pioneer Press each day and a crowd forms each night around 11 PM to get the first copies of the next day's paper. Jill and I were there on Thursday night and it was a lot of fun. Finding the medallion is worth $10,000. Medallion hunt resources:
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press Clues
  • St. Paul Parks, A Treasure Hunter's Guide
  • The Cooler Crew, a large group of die-hard hunters. Check out their forum for some great interpretations on the clues.
Lost two more broomball games since my last update. We are still a lot better than we have been in the past, but so is everyone else. . .
Pictures from our Metrodome RC fly can be found at the MARCEE site and in this E Zone thread.

Flew RC in the Metrodome tonight. It was great flying in such a large indoor area. Maidened the Frog too - went very well. We had a good turnout for the event with over 40 MARCEE members and friends flying.
Still playing broomball Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Still our best season, even with a record of. . .ahem. . .1-3. Wish us luck tomorrow. We are playing a lot better than past seasons. Our defense is great and our passing has come a long way.
For those that don't know it, I try and swim a couple of times a week. Sometimes with the masters group at Lifetime Fitness, and sometimes by myself over lunch. It can get kind of boring swimming the same route for 40 minutes, but I can't imagine what these guys are going through!

Built a new RC plane over New Year's break. It's a cute little slow/indoor flyer called the Frog made from fanfold insulating foam. Will attempt the maiden flight before we fly in the Metrodome on the 21st. The Frog
Other RC news: This month I begin my 1 year term as vice president in the local electric club, MARCEE.

Lost a broomball game today 4-1. Barry got in a good goal. Thanks to Megan and James for coming out and playing for the first time! We'd love to have you back! Our team is now 1-1 for the season.
Saw our first live MN Wild victory last night at the Xcel Center. We've been witness to several overtime ties and losses so it was great to see them pull one out for us.
Oh no! Not again!! Thanks for showing me BBspot Steve. Some great satire.

Added photos and a description of the new "Class of '81" control panel I built for my Arcade Cabinet over New Year's. Joystick
We won the broomball game last night! Will and I both scored. So did the other goalie (on himself) making it a 3-0 victory.

Wish Jill and I luck - Broomball starts tonight! In theory, stats will show up here tomorrow or Friday. I'll be sure to update on this page as well. This is our third season with the Blue Ox team and playing Broomball in general. Photo of last year's squad.

I'm P + 5E + 3H!
Dodge's new V-10, 400 mph Superbike. Akira made real?

Happy New Year! Photos from the party soon.
Star Wars fan art: origami, asciimation, and FanFilms.
I've been robbed, BY SANTA!
Geocaching has shown me the good side of GPS. Here's the bad side.

Damn. The first Friday in 11 without Firefly. This is affecting me more than any show cancelation in recent memory.
Save Firefly!
Save Firefly
What if Snoop Dogg wrote the towlebooth?

Was up North for five days with both sets of my parents. Had a wonderful holiday. It was great to get away for an extended break this year - in the last couple of years we've kept it a bit shorter. Showed my dad the first 5 episodes of Band of Brothers. It was cruel of me to bring a 10 hour epic knowing that we would never get through the whole thing, but I'm sure he will find a way to get a copy for himself.
Jill and I also found the time to find 15 geocaches across the Iron Range and Duluth. Also placed three as well: one on the Echo Trail, one in Ely (Jill's) and one very close to where I grew up on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Great times.

What have I been doing that's kept me away from posting here? The first is that Jill and I went live with the Minnesota Geocaching Association (MnGCA) site yesterday. The second is NOLF 2.
Fox has canceled Firefly, the best Sci-Fi show since Babylon 5. Now that I think about it, the 10 episodes of Firefly that we've seen are much better than the first season of B5, which went on to become the best Sci-Fi show ever. I would love to see what Joss Whedon and his crew could do in the second season on another network. I'm not alone.
Expand your collection without leaving your couch with DVD Easter Eggs.

Last night we had some good friends over and after a few drinks we pulled out the instruments. I haven't had the guitar out for over a year, but the easy chords came back in a hurry and three of us played guitar behind Jill on the mandolin and violin. Thanks for getting me in the mood to play again!
Passed the 200 geocache-found mark last month. This is the most entertaining hobby I've found in years. Here's a shot of me on Thanksgiving Day near Mankato at find number 205 (or thereabouts). Found!

From Dale: Animated Engines. Of special interest to me was the Wankel Rotary Engine, one of the featured phrases from Monty Python's Are you embarrased easily? sketch.
As promised, more caving photos (last three rows). Eggish

Last Saturday I spent 7 hours underground on a caving expidition. Incredible experience! Put up half of the photos - will update with the rest tomorrow. Helmut

Here's wishing you and yours good eats and a Big Bird this Thanksgiving.

Some very interesting studies have recently been published regarding the origins of dogs as well as the relationship between dogs and human beings.

Great photo of the shuttle launch over the weekend.

More science news: Not quite Jurassic Park, but scientists are getting closer.

Finally, something I truly wish was science fiction: the history of Michael Jackson's face.

Doh! That deer with 13 point antlers I shot was a doe!

Added more photos from the Halloween party. Great shots James! Bride of Frank

Spent the day with my Uncle Jeff and several of his frat brothers at the MN/Iowa football game. Always a good time, even though I end up cheering for the team which is both unpopular (at least with this Iowa group), and the losers. Not only does Floyd of Roseville stay in Iowa this year, but the Iowa fans wanted to take the goalposts too! With Jeff

The US military is researching nano-tech based smart paint.

Like so many others, I've recently refinanced my mortgage. Here's a very helpful calculator which can help you find out how much you can save.

Here's a webcam near my dad's home on Northern Minnesota's Lake Vermilion. Yes, that's ice.

Stan Lee is suing Marvel over profits. Wonder if he will share with Steve Ditko this time?

Not for the faint of heart, really: Found this article which gives background (without images) on this disturbing photo. I'm all for art as well as science but this seems to cross both lines.

Blatantly copying a link from Seth regarding a brilliant parody of the masters of parody. While there, check out Episode II.

Want to know which station the best price for gas? Mpls/St. Paul prices.

Tom Petty artistically bites the hand that feeds him. Picked up his new album and am loving it.

Good god. I just found out about another Tollbooth. Jesus. Literally.

It's a great month for DVD: Spider-man, 4 discs of LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, Band of Brothers, and Attack of the Clones.

Finished a great book last night. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold is a presidential magician murder mystery set in San Francisco of the Roaring '20s. Need I say more? My favorite read since Crypotnomicon. Thanks for the recommendation Seth.

Went to the Vikings game today. They lost but not before getting our hopes up and giving us part of a quarter in the lead. After the game we walked to the river and across the beautiful Stone Arch Bridge. From the bridge we spied the St. Anthony Falls, the lock system built by the Army Corps of Engineers, and Mill Ruins Park, a fantastic piece of history. After a bit of digging (sorry for the pun), I found a description of the excavation. Mill Ruins

I'm not a mac fan but I must admit that their ad campaigns are pretty good. Here's an even better "Switch" parody starring Anakin Skywalker.

Turns out that bees are mightier than elephants.

Helped Tim fly the blimp at the Minnesota/Northwestern women's volleyball game. Had fun with several friends and learned how to control the blimp a lot better. MN won too - a good squad that are fun to watch. Blimp

Squirrel terrorizes English town. An actual news item that belongs in The Onion.

New digital camera arrived today. Last one crapped out two days before we flew out to Scotland in September. Had no idea how dependent I've become on having one around. Chose the Fujifilm 3800 after I found it on the web for $150 under list price. Here's a quick snap. Storm

Not going to get on a soapbox, but I truly hope everyone voted, regardless of your views or affiliation. I Voted

Tim and I attended the Rush concert in Minneapolis. He scored some meet and greet passes backstage!
Chad & Tim with Rush
Co-hosted another great Halloween Party. This year we were in Stillwater at James and Megan's beautiful home. Survivors