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Waiting for February 14th

I am anticipating Valentine’s Day and it isn’t for the reasons most people are. I am anxiously awaiting Season 2 of Netflix’s original series: House of Cards.

house-of-cards-netflix-2-970x0The entire series will be available on that day and you can bet that I am going to be ready to watch it from beginning to end. Right now, in fact, I am re-watching Season 1, just to take in all the details and fall back in love with Francis “Frank” Underwood, portrayed by one of my favorite actors, Kevin Spacey.

I won’t give away any details or secrets or be a site for spoilers, but I promise that if you invest the time to watch, you will love this show. It is a combination of drama and politics and a hint of dark humor. Robin Wright Penn and a host of other notable characters round out this show, but you will want to watch this for the stellar performance by the star of this show, Kevin Spacey.

I promise, he will not stand you up and leave you with a broken heart.

MacCupcake

 

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Nerf Guns are Addictive!

A few years ago, I got lucky with an online coupon that the company didn’t realize could be used to buy packages of Nerf darts essentially for free or for just a few pennies. And the office I was apart of was very much in favor of playing with Nerf guns. When certain stores ran special deals on the actual guns, we were able to get those for just a little more than a dollar. I made sure that the entire office – the developers, the DBAs, the creative team, management and of course, the QA team – was outfitted with at least one gun and a buttload of darts.

And on occasion, the entire team would let loose. Man, would we have fun. I miss those days and that camaraderie. I have never worked with and known a better group of people. You know who you are (if you’re reading this). I doubt that I will ever know or be a part of a group like that one.

Nerf T-Shirt

I saw this t-shirt for sale on a website today and all those memories came flooding back to me. And I knew instantly what today’s post would be about. Oh, and I placed my order for the t-shirt too.

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Happy 30th Birthday to Apple’s Macintosh

Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh!83321I imagine that there will be lots of blogs today talking about this. And what a contribution that Apple has made to the computing and music-listening world, and I won’t argue or compete. I just know that because of this little computer, my life has been changed dramatically!  300px-Macintosh_128k_transparency

I had been working on computers for a while when I met up with this little guy. WordPerfect and Lotus123 on a DOS based PC. Oh, how I hated that command line interface. Never felt confident that I really understood what I was doing and always half scared to death that I would lose all of my data with a single wrong keystroke.

But I had just started going to night classes and was studying font creation when they marched the class over to the computer lab and sat us in front of these cute little all-in-one computers with this thingy hanging off the keyboard. I was about to discovered the mouse. And then the GUI interface. And my life would never be the same.

I still have that little computer tucked away in a safe place in the corner of my attic. I think the one bad thing is those beige cases were so easily damaged by light and sun. But the last time I had it out, it booted and ran just fine. After all those years. I have a mini-museum of computers, those that have come and gone in my life that I loved so much that I couldn’t part with them.

I will always be Apple’s biggest fan. Happy Birthday Mac!

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It’s Kind of Like Investing…

So, you haven’t heard from me in a while. I’ve been sick. Seriously sick. You know when you go around boasting that you’ve not had the flu since you got the flu shot back in ’98? Well, karma got me good. I’ve never been this sick… we’re on day four and maybe, just maybe if I get a really good night’s sleep tonight, I can drag myself back to work tomorrow.

You can trust that I won’t be flaunting that ‘never needed a flu shot’ mantra again.

But, there can be an upside. You guys know I have an 18 year old son, right? Well, I must have done something right, because on Friday evening when I dragged myself home from work, the Kid had dinner waiting. And I don’t mean mac&cheese or something, but a full fledged dinner complete with fresh baked dinner rolls and a salad.

Twenty-First of JanuaryMain course was stuffed shells. Now this isn’t difficult but it did take some imagination. I’ve been teaching him to cook for some time, I don’t want him to go hungry or live off fast food when he is out on his own. And he makes a mean spaghetti and it has translated over in a really good lasagna. So, this was pretty natural step in the American/Italian food hierarchy. And no, it doesn’t take a genius to be able to tear some lettuce and drop some tomatoes on top of it and then warm the oven and break a tube of Pillsbury rolls onto a cookie sheet.

The really awesome thing is that he did it all without me asking. Or prompting. Other than to say that as I left work, I phoned home and told him I wasn’t feeling good and hadn’t eaten all day.

Sometimes the sacrifices we make to be parents are totally all worth it.

MacCupcake

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Yes, I Call Myself A Geek

I know I am a geek. That’s not a bad thing anymore. I know it used to be, to be referred to as a ‘geek’, ‘nerd’ or ‘dork’ used to be considered a really bad thing. Not sure about ‘dork’… I don’t think I’d want to be called a ‘dork’ still.

The Kid is a geek too. He has grown up on computers, on my lap in front of my computer and got his very own for his fourth Christmas. And it has been a long procession of faster, sleeker and more sexy computers ever since. Just finished building his first one from scratch. And that is if you don’t count the raspberry pi system. I don’t have any hesitation to take apart a computer, but never had the desire to build one.

And we both love cartoons. The new, hip and trendy cartoons. Our favorite? Futurama. And for good reason. That show is amazingly, consistently funny. And it has references for geezers like me and for the Kid. Most of the time for both of us. One thing we love is that there is many references to Apple and those are always good.

Seventeenth of January

Seventeenth of January

Flatter than a MacBook Air? That’s pretty flat.

I have often thought of starting a website for Mac sightings…. you know, movies, television shows, ads. I heard recently that there was a site that was dedicated to the incorrect use of computers and computer code in movies. One example was the screen from Terminator where you’re looking through the terminator’s eye and there is code scrolling down… apparently that is the assembly code of the Apple II. Or so I heard.

I think I am off to find that website!

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Can You Say “OCD”?

Hi y’all 🙂

So, just a quick post as things seem to be incredibly busy as of late. But I had enough time today to take a short break and indulge in my favorite candy: milk chocolate M&Ms. I try not to buy large quantities, as I could just sit and each them by the handful ’til they were gone, so occasionally, I will buy a small package from the vending machine at work.

But I realized as I began to eat them, that I instinctively do this when I eat M&Ms… I sort them by color and then eat from each group until enough has been eaten that there is an equal amount of each color left. Then I will eat them in groups of two of different colors until they’re gone.

Sixteenth of JanuaryIs that weird? Do you have a unique way of eating M&Ms? I’d love to hear that this isn’t all that out of the ordinary.

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A Hearth and Home

One of the best things that happened when we left California and moved to Missouri was the result of how much house our money afforded us here. We found a pretty new subdivision, working on their second phase and stumbled across the house with a great layout but found out there was another with the same floorplan, only with a walkout basement, under construction. It was on the edge of a beautiful, sown-with-wild-flowers with a little pond and on the edge of the entire subdivision, which gave it more privacy and no backyard neighbors.

Being currently under construction, we were able to make a few changes to the layout and pick some of our own flooring and paint colors and we got the same crew that built the house to finish the basement. Very nice. We took the first year off and that was our hobby, to finish the house the way we wanted. Well, the way I wanted. 🙂 And I had definite ideas of how I wanted it finished.

Tenth of JanuarySo, first off, here are photos of the front and back and the yards. We’ve not done a whole lot, planted the three trees in the front yard and about 20 in the backyard. Front got two oaks and a Japanese maple. In the back, I experimented by buying seedlings from Missouri Department of Forestry… started with 24 tiny little trees and managed to get 20 of them in the ground and growing. Our neighbors to the west of us put in a pool and as much as I love the idea, I didn’t want to have to see it whenever we were in the backyard. It has created a nice little visual break.

Eleventh of January Twelveth of January

I have a strawberry patch, planted last summer and the first harvests weren’t anything to write home about. I am hoping that the second year does better. They are in a protected place under the second deck and already look like they are trying to make their spring comeback. I think its a bit early though.

January StraweberriesMy hope for this spring is to replace the deck with something a bit larger, connect the two smaller decks and add new steps. I need to do a better job of keeping the wood protected, the current set of steps seem to have rotted through in less than two years. 😦

January 2014The first thing planned, however, is to plant a tree in memorial of our recently passed dog, Ashla. We have her ashes and we plan to put them and her dog tags under the new tree. I am trying to pick the perfect tree and spot in the yard for it.

This is the front entrance. Looks a little depressing, but am hoping that the little evergreen grows quickly. I’d like to paint the door a bright red or robin’s egg blue.

January 2014This is a view from the kitchen deck. Obviously that lush meadow and pond has been replaced with little cookie-cutter houses. Not exactly my choice, but then again, I didn’t have a choice.January 2014Another view of the in the other direction, the yard extends all the way to the edge of the neighbor’s fence. I am leaning towards that corner for our puppy’s memorial tree.

January 2014Here’s a shot of the back of the house from that corner… you can see that there is lots of room in the backyard and it looks a little sparse. We did have a garden one year, we raised pumpkins. We have grown vegetables on the back deck in large pots, last year the Kid grew peppers. We’re thinking tomatoes this year. And our strawberries of course.

January 2014MacCupcake

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Just Another Arctic Vortex Pic

So it must be climate change, right? I gauge the coldness of winters based on how much – or how little – that I get to drive my sports car. You see when I moved from California to Missouri, I brought my little Mazda Miata convertible with me. By the second week of winter here, I realized that little car was not going to cut it here. So I traded it off on my very first SUV, my first vehicle with more than two doors. Evah!

Well, it didn’t take long before I pined for my drive-too-fast, wind-in-my-hair, and music-turned-to-the-max sports car, so I went out and bought me a Mazda RX-8. Fire engine red. Looks like its driving faster than it is… I LOVE it!

Unfortunately, it is rear-wheel drive, so if it even looks like it is going to rain or be icy, he has to be garaged. Its okay, though, I still have my SUV. Well, last winter, I recalled being able to drive the car almost all winter long… put at least three thousand extra miles last winter. This winter? So far, he’s been in the garage more than he has been out.

Here’s what the Arctic vortex looks like in Missouri early in the evening:

Ninth of JanuaryAnd until that road is clear of snow, the “8” isn’t going anywhere.

(I really moved here from Silicon Valley?!)

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My Favorite Room in the House

Well, to be truthful, I LOVE my whole house. It is a culmination of many years of dreaming, planning and designing. And luck. I will slowly reveal my house through this blog.

So, when I built my house, I decided that the last thing I needed was a formal dining room. Who does that anymore? I don’t really entertain and I want a reason NOT to have to host my family. Ha. But really, I wanted a central home office for everything so that it wasn’t strewn here and there. And, because when the Kid was young, he wasn’t allowed to have a computer, television or gaming systems in his room. His bedroom was for studying and sleeping.

So, I change the configuration, filled in the walls and added paneled french doors, semi-custom cabinets and then laid 24″ marble tiles. Its been a work in progress, but I have been collecting computers and peripherals, and computer company swag and all kinds of ‘stuff’ and this is the perfect place to keep it all together.

Eighth of JanuaryThere’s another side of the room that doesn’t show in the photos, with another desktop. Actually in the photo above, there is two more computers that you can’t see. I’ve got them packed in there. Oh, and there is one of my favorites from my past on top of the cabinet (my Mac ‘cube’).

I’ve tried to carve out a spot for reading or relaxing as well, although this chair tends to just be a place for things to collect. You’re seeing it in a moment of tidiness. 🙂

2014-01-08 20.41.46The cool thing about this room? Me and the Kid both love to hang out in this room! With enough extra computers, we can always watch Netflix as well. Love this room!

Here’s a fun little panorama photo I took… I realize that you really can’t see much detail but what the heck.

photo

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Most Entertaining Movie, Ever!

Me and the Kid have always spent tons of time together and we love movies! But our all time favorite has to be John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, starring Kurt Russell, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Wilford Brimley and Richard Masur. I am not 100%, but I am sure that I had to have seen it in 1982 when it showed in theatres, I can imagine that I was head-over-heels for the long haired and bearded Russell – as R.J. MacReady (helicopter pilot).

We’ve seen it so many times, I can’t even begin to tell you. I don’t know the exact number, but I would have to put the number somewhere near at least 15 or 20 times; its one of the few movies that I have purchased as a VHS and DVD and finally we purchased it from iTunes. We often quotes lines as inside jokes between us, no one would probably ever get our goofy sense of humor.

There are many great aspects of the movie and the music is no less a star than the men. I also purchased the CD with the musical score and when I want to be scared or get my heart beating, I listen to it.

We watched it again tonight, I never tire of this movie. I swear as many times as I’ve seen it, I always seem to see something new or something I’ve missed. And for a brief couple of hours, I get to be in my early twenties again, pining away for that hunk, Kurt.

I found this stylized poster of Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady. Super awesome. You can see more portrait work from Mike Mitchell here.

Seventh of JanuaryIf you’ve never seen it, its worth a watch. I promise!

Good night!

MacCupcake

 

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