Sunday, January 25, 2009

You can't spell DEATH without the letters T-E-A

If you think I'm weird, welcome to the party. If you think I'm weirder than weird, here's further proof.

I recently switched my instant tea (iced, not hot) from the generic Wal-Mart brand to Crystal Light. So for a month or so I've been accumulating enough of this that I swear it was trying to poison me. I can't explain it, but there has got to be something in there that I'm either allergic to or that cannot be consumed in large quantities.

I know I drink a lot of it (about 2 quarts a day), but if drinking that much is bad, why sell it?

Needless to say, I'm back to the generic Wal-Mart brand of tea and I'm already feeling better.

Oh, and one more side note - don't use a regular knife from your nice silverware to cut cheese. you'll bend it and feel like a fool telling your wife about it. Instead use a cheese knife or cheese slicer or ask for help.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bird porn for my Mother



My mom has recently been on some sort of bird kick. This guy (or gal) has been haunting (and hunting) in our backyard for about two weeks now. See it during work and finally got a decent shot of it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From 2 inches to this



...in just five hours.

And no, I don't miss it.

My mom lives south of where I went to school, and I swear we always got more snow than she did.

Anyway, after poking and prodding yesterday, I think I'll survive my trip to the doctors and the lab. For those that don't know me, I'm terrified of needles. Despite having three tattoos. Go figure. The full physical went well. Everything appears healthy with the exception of my shin splints. But he gave me heavy duty Motrin for that last week and it works quite well. I'll run some tomorrow to see how it holds up. After the physical, I got my koondis (aka skin tab) removed. It hurt. Hurt more than my blood draw (thank God she used a small needle on me for that!). But what hurt worse than all of that combined?

Having my lovely wife peel the tape and gauze off my back. At least we were both laughing the whole time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Photos

Yes, a few weeks late, but hey. I wanted to make sure all two of you had a chance to go over to Library Dad and vote on what I should read next. And see what's happening over there too.

So, here's the album of Christmas photos from this year.

And, unfortunately, in order to make room for them, I had to remove some of the older albums. So if you find some links or photos not working here or in your favorites, let me know and I'll send you copies of the pictures.

Friday, January 09, 2009

My 2008 Reading Wrap-Up

*Caution, my OCD-prone nature is about to rear-it's ugly, Excel loving head.

In 2008, I read/listened to fifty books. Of those fifty books, only one was a re-read; The Sunrise Lands by S. M. Stirling. Which means, needless to say, that book is in my top reads list for the year. But seeing as I wanted to do something different this year with my "top reads" list, I did a "net worth" list instead. I ranked books on how much they were worth compared to how much I paid for them. So, with that in mind, let's cover the worst of the year.

The Three Books I Couldn't Finish:
#1 - Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley (cost $1.64 / value $0 = 0%)
#2 - The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (cost $14.95 / value $0 = 0%)
#3 - Roughing It by Mark Twain (cost $0 / value $0 = 0%)

Now, before you roast me for putting Twain in there, he was free, so chill out. And I love Twain, so chill out some more. But I just couldn't stomach this one, so I had to stop reading it. The Disappeared was, well, hard to get into. And Winterbirth had some way crazy names and characters I couldn't follow.

The Lowest Net Worth:
#1 - Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (cost $49.95 / value $2.50 = 5%)
#2 - Dark Lord by Ed Greenwood (cost $14.95 / value $1.95 = 13%)
#3 - The Ancient by R. A. Salvatore (cost $44.95 / value $9.95 = 22%)

Yes, part of me feels shamed that Salvatore, my once all-time favorite author, is on this list, but I think my reading habits have developed beyond puberty now and I'm ready to expand my horizons. At least a little. Brown's book was by far the most disappointing book. I was so hyped after Da Vinci that this like was a limp noodle next to it.

The Highest Net Worth:
#1 - Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling (cost $5.95 / value $7.95 = 134%)
#2 - Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (cost $15.00 / value $19.99 = 133%)
#3 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (cost $39.99 / value $39.99 = 100%)
tie - The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (cost $39.95 / value $39.95 = 100%)
tie - The Protector's War by S. M. Stirling (cost $14.95 / value $14.95 = 100%)
tie - A Meeting at Corvallis by S. M. Stirling (cost $14.95 / value $14.95 = 100%)
tie - The Sunrise Lands by S. M. Stirling (cost $14.95 / value $14.95 = 100%)

Feel free to call me lame on this list, but hey, they were good books. And yes, Stirling is on the list with four titles. So sue me, I like his work. Chabon's Yiddish book is likely the biggest surprise. Never would have figured it would amount to much but the guy is an artist that paints with words and prose. Abercrombie is, well, the king. Rowling's book was okay, but I really needed that ending. Without it, I think I would have given it a much lower ranking.

Books That Are Worth It:
...but didn't make the list (net worth included)
Winter's Discord by John Zeleznik (95%)
Dead to Me by Anton Strout (94%)
Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines (94%)
Last Argument of Kings and The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (85% and 80%)
Beyond Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters (80%)
Crusade by Taylor Anderson (80%)
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (75%)
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by the un-related Nathan Hale (75%)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Come on over and vote

I know, I know, what a poor time to drive traffic. Well, once you get settled in, step over to Library Dad and tell me what to read next. Or else I'll be forced to make a decision.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Resolution Run 5k Race Results

Pace:
Mile 1 = 0:10:59
Mile 2 = 0:11:53
Mile 3 = 0:11:46

Results:
Congratulations Neil Richard you finished the Resolution 5 km Run on Jan 1, 2009 with a chip time of 00:35:21 (just a second slower than my previous race in October). You placed 164 of 193 runners, 95 of 103 Male runners and 15 of 16 in the Men's 30-39 division. Weather on Race day was 33 degrees (in other words it was freaking COLD!), sunny, winds 9 mph.