Friday, June 26, 2009

KIVA Update

I just received the July payment on the microloan I made to Margaret Adedeyinbo in Nigeria via She's right on schedule, paying $118.75 as expected ($3.12 of which goes to pay me back).

She's repaid 38% of the loan, and it appears her business selling frozen foods is going well.

Note: KIVA recently started making small loans in the US as well as overseas. They were featured on the nightly news a few weeks back. Check them out - and if you've got an extra $25 laying around, I hope you'll consider making a microloan of your own!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Moving Is Disorienting

Whew, we're in our new house in VA, and the dust is starting to settle (only starting, mind you).

We've got the bedrooms and kitchen all put together, and we went grocery shopping. But the office, guest room, living room and basement all still have a long ways to go before they're really fit for habitation. Man, this moving thing is tiring!

It's also disorienting. I find myself in a bit of a fog, not quite sure what day it is. I was writing up a storm before I left Ohio. But ever since the packers showed up, I haven't had the mental leisure to think about very much that didn't involve cardboard, maps or fast food.

And while we really like the house we're in now, we're discovering all sorts of quirks about it. Like how there's no doorbell (that's actually alright), or there's no electric outlet in the downstairs bathroom (kind of a bummer). Still figuring out how to work the thermostat (it was pretty warm this morning). You know, usual new house stuff.

And we're adjusting to some less-than-desirable aspects of the new digs. Like, the TV is in the basement, where it's a bit damp feeling, despite the nearly constant hum of the dehumidifier. And access to the back yard for the dog is also through the basement. So, we'll be walking lots of steps. But we'll get used to it, I'm sure.

On the plus side, the screened-in porch off the dining room is fantastic. The backyard is a mini forest, so it's gloriously shady and cool. The neighborhood is full of kids, and they love to hang out in the tree fort in our back yard. Definitely helps smooth the transition for our kids.

All in all, the transition is going about as smoothly as possible. We've been really fortunate. But - no surprise here - it'll be a little while still before things feel normal.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Economic Advice

Wow, I just came across a great public service video at Hulu. It stars Steve Martin and shows exactly what American consumers should do in times like these, which popular economist Ze Frank calls "hard times."

For that matter, the advice in the Steve Martin video applies to good times as well. Definitely worth the 3 minutes to watch it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guy #3

Came across this video on Seth Godin's blog - definitely a thought provoking scene.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama in Egypt

OK, I know this is a bit late, internet-wise, but I'm still cracking up about Obama's trip to Egypt on the 4th. Specifically, the part where he sees this engraved image of a guy with big ears and he says "Hey, that looks like me!"

I saw it on the news that night and was struck by how spontaneous and genuine his reaction seemed. Maybe it was planned and scripted, I don't know, but I doubt it (what would be the point?). I'm pretty sure it was his honest, off-the-cuff reaction to the face.

There's just something very right and cool about a president who reacts like that to an historical artifact.

And if you want to see a mathematical examination of the ET conspiracy behind Mr. Obama and the pyramids, check out the UFO ET Blog. It's all true, I'm sure!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Social Media Copying Social Media

OK, so I'm doing more stuff with Twitter lately. And Facebook. And blogs. And I'm coming across a phenomenon that I find a bit irritating - people posting the same stuff on Twitter and Facebook.

Um, why?

Do I really need to see the same link to the same article in both places? Maybe I should just use one (if I had to pick: Facebook). But really, what's with that? Why not have original content in each - and if you don't have original stuff for each one, do you really need both?

I suppose people have different followers / connections in different areas. But really, a little less redundancy would be nice. A little less redundancy would be nice. ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Since starting this blog, I've had several phases where I thought I wouldn't keep up with the blogging. I never quite managed to stop.

But, now that I'm doing Rogue Project Leader in earnest, I find this blog moving to the back burner. And with the upcoming move, that's a trend that's likely to continue.

I'm not saying this blog will completely go silent, but it probably won't have the regularity of 7 am posts, Monday through Friday. And I write that line knowing there's a real possibility I'll blog here a lot more than I think I will.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What I'll Miss...

When we move to VA in a few weeks, I think one of the things I'll miss most about Ohio (aside from having so much free time!) is the local NPR station, WYSO.

Specifically, I'll miss the Excursions radio show, hosted by Niki Dakota. This show has introduced me to so much cool music. Without them, I doubt I ever would have heard of The Real Tuesday Weld (I have 3 RTW CD's now), The Pierces, The Transglobal Underground's Drinking in Gomorroah, or Taller Children, by Elizabeth and the Catapult.

Yes, I'll still have Pandora, and that's introduced me to some cool new music (I think that's where I found Azure Ray). But it's not the same as hearing Niki Dakota talk about this stuff.

I know they stream the station live online, but I'm pretty sure streaming music is going to be blocked at my new office location.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Soul Pancake

Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) has a pretty amazing website called Soul Pancake. It's basically a blog / discussion area for people to talk about spirituality, creativity and, um, pancakes. He has a short introductory video you can see here, and let me just say, I can't imagine Dwight ever doing anything like this.

Or maybe I can.

Anyway, check it out and join in the conversation...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hitler as Media Mogul

I got tipped off to this video via John Perry Barlow's twitter feed. Whether you're interested in digital media rights & the issues of copyright protection in the digital age or not, this is a pretty darn funny bit of satire. 

Friday, June 5, 2009


Advocates of waterboarding like to imply that anyone who opposes the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" isn't really interested in keeping America safe. This point of view conveniently overlooks the fact that the US Military refused to do waterboarding.

The U.S. Army strictly prohibits the use of waterboarding during intelligence investigations by any of its members. It is specifically prohibited by Field Manual 2-22.3 and is not a sanctioned interrogation technique in any training manual or any instructions to soldiers in the field,” the statement says. (source)

Anyone want to suggest the Army doesn't care about national defense or isn't interested in gaining actionable intelligence? 

I think the use of waterboarding is really a failure of imagination. It's just one more example of failing to distinguish between the need to do something and the need to do this. There were clearly several viable alternatives...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

X-4 experimental aircraft

I really like the lines and the look of the X-4. Wikipedia tells me "its primary importance involved proving a negative, in that a swept-wing semi-tailless design was not suitable for speeds near Mach 1," but I like the way it looks and I like what they tried to do with it.

I'm sort of a sucker for experimental aircraft anyway. The fact that this one was so small, so inexpensive and developed so quickly just endears it to me even more. I'd say it successfully disproved the idea of a semi-tailless design, but even if it was a failure, it was solidly in the "optimal failure" category.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Found this sign on the staircase leading up to one of the former "Air Force One" aircraft, at the USAF museum. I love the bluntness and the way it doesn't mess around.

Hey, if you're large, look out. Tight spaces ahead.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I'm not sure how I feel about working in a place where there are signs labeled "How To Respond When An Active Shooter Is In Your Vicinity."

And gosh, any chance the people who make these signs could make them a bit more accessible and easier to read as I run past, dodging bullets? Because frankly most of us are probly not interested in reading the whole sign now, and we won't have the time to read it if the need ever arose...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is one of my favorite spots on the National Mall. I took this shot when I had a little free time in the afternoon durning a recent trip to DC (not the house-hunting trip - we didn't have much free time then).