Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blizzard of 06'

That's right, maybe a month too late but here is my recap of the blizzard of 06'. Declared a National Disaster by FEMA and commented on many to be worse then Katrina. OK, don't get me wrong. I am not stating this was worse than Katrina, or even close. But it was pretty bad. We lost power for a week and some didn't get power for at least a week and a half. Our internet service and cable took a little longer to come back.

Here are some pictures:




Actually during the storm. Hard to take pictures at night in a snow storm.




The Cars under the snow, at least 2 feet fell that night.






Our backyard, the morning after. The reason that most of the region lost power was due to the wet heavy snow taking down the branches on the power lines. You can see the branches ripped out, broken and laying in the snow drifts. The table was tipped over the prevent it breaking.





Yup, no power means no microwave, no oven, no heat, no lights. Only candles, hot water (thank you gas) and a stove (again, thank you gas). So after deciding we needed to get rid of all our food and quick it became hot dog night on the grill.

Check out some more pictures on Veronica's site.

Bad/ Good movies

So what makes a good or a bad movie? Is a movie that everyone applauds as being good, good? Or is it your personal preference. This is why I like reading the personal reviews of people on Yahoo movies. But unlike most people I list the reviews with the worst first just to see what kind of comments people can come up with.
Now if you have looked at comments from movies you will have noticed that typically the comments that praise a movie or at least critique it reasonably are rather eloquent and thought out, while the comments that are negative are just ignorant at best. Having watched a lot of movies I have come to realize that almost all movies have their own degree of goodness in each of them (well maybe not Drop Dead Fred but that's just my own opinion). To prove my point I will look at a couple of comments that gave failing grades from a movie that was recently lauded by the critics - Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

"Ive read the books and was looking to see the movies and when i did i was dissapointed. The books made LOTRn a huge hit but ruined Tolikens idea of a good story."

grammar?

"it carried on for way to long and sucked butt all the way through the movie shoulve never came out"

Good argument, maybe punctuation.

"all the hype and nothing to back it up. making a big deal out of nothing. bleah bleah bleah bleah k"

Very intelligent

"They should have called it the gay hobbit love story they cry and hug every five minutes. It probably would have been an A if there wasn't the hobits in it."

Much better

"What the hell is wrong with Peter Jackson?...is he still in middle earth?...i think he has gone nuts...why does he want us to sleep in the movie hall for 3.5hrs?....The return of the king...didnt make sense at all...it was simply stupid with those bloddy short hobbits and that bloddy old murderer. The best part is that....in spite of so much violence in the movie...thousands and thousands of livin' organisms dying...you couldnt spot blood!..such an unrealestic(fantasy) movie..should not be allowed to be screened...disgrace...the movie is full of blunders...especially, when peter jackson tries to get some emotion in the movie by making that godforsaken sharp nosed ugly hobbit sing! damn...i was laughing and criticising throughout the movie!"

Yes, you were "criticising" through a movie you were sleeping through.

"crap crap crap... all crap. I can't believe how crappy this crap was. These crappy actors and directors should return our money and stop wasting our time on this crap."

A very expansive vocabulary, obviously.

"too long.. too boring FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFF FFFFF FFFFFF FFFFFFF FFF F FF FFF F F FF"

Ok, I know I am only picking some of the worst ones but you get the point. If you are going to trash a movie, either actually pick elements out of the movie that make it bad or just shut your trap. Most movies are actually good if you understand the reason they were made, you just have to look at it that way.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

US Quirkiest Attractions

My mom sent me a list of the US Quirkiest Attractions she found in a magazine. So since I love this sort of stuff I am going to list them here. The list was created by the Society of American Travel Writers.

1. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX (Heard of it but never visited)

2. Dinosaur World, Plant City, FL

3. Jell-O Museum and Gallery, LeRoy, NY (Its nearby and the wife won't let me go :-()

4. KFC Museum, Corbin, KY

5. Leila's Hair Museum, Independence MO

6. Mystery Spot, St. Ignace, MI

7. Wall Drug, Wall SD (A must for anyone in the area and the only thing I've been to on the list)

8. World's largest roadrunner statue, Fort Stockton, TX

9. World's largest truck stop, Walcott, IA

10. World's tallest thermometer, Baker, CA

Well would I visit most of them, of course. Well maybe except #5.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bring Pluto Back!!!!

The IAU (International Astronomical Union) has officially demoted Pluto to a new class of DWARF planets. This means that under the classical definition of planet ratified at the meeting there are only 8 classical planets. (Taken from Steve's blog)

I am at odds about this. I say we start a petition to bring Pluto back. Anyone with me, comment on this blog and we will get this overruled. Come on people Pluto was not just any planet for most of you. It was your inner rouge.

This is not the usual planet, like Mars or Jupiter, that could go in any old elliptical orbit like all the others, but this was an eccentric planet. Willing to take risks. To think outside the box. To become the 8th planet at times and not always the 9th. What other planet can boast that. NONE I tell you, none. What planet could live in the realm of gaseous planets and still not be considered one of them, none other than our beloved Pluto. And now they go and try to take that away from us.

From this moment on I am in strike of the planetary system set up by the world. Strike I tell you. STRIKE!!!!

Article Here

And note, what the hell does this mean - "has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and is not a satellite." That is the definition of a dwarf planet. Ok does that mean nothing orbiting the object like a Moon? hmmm, they are right I can't think of any "real" planets with those.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Finally an update

Ok, I know there has been no updates in the last 1.5 months or so. And I am sorry to all my avid readers (Mom) but here is what is going on in my life. I continue to work on my website which I will make a post specifically for that. I am working on my hovercraft which again will get its own post and I go to work, which also I have a whole posts worth of stuff to talk about there.

Nothing else really going on. Veronica (the wife) just started actually doing 3rd year rotations and she is gone for most of the day and night. We just celebrated out 6 month anniversary and decided we were going to eat our cake then instead on the 1 year mark because we heard bad things about that. It was actually pretty good. And lastly we have decided we need to be on a major budget so we each con only spend $50/mo on personal things. This means no Star Wars comics for me, no parts to the hovercraft, not much of anything. So I will be working on how to budget that money.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Our New Walkway



This is our backyard before we put the walkway in. It's main purpose was to stop Twix from getting so muddy when she ran around, so it is going to be rather long to cut out all the mud. You can see our outline spray painted on the ground.






Working on the path. It takes three layers to make sure everything drains and stays properly. A kind of "dry cement" layer, a sand layer, and the rocks on top. We also kept the old pathway blocks I purchased last year and put them in the middle of the path.







Veronica surveying the work done so far. This is how far we got at the end of day 1. Not to bad. Unfortunately that was one of our only days to work consistently on it.











Halfway done. Most of the time took digging up the ground, which Veronica did and laying the edging, which I did. Then both of us put down the layers and stamped them down but that did not take much time at all.










While working on this I knew we were getting a real BBQ, so I started working on a little patio for it. Veronica actually started this but I felt it needed to be perfect so I laid some sand down under it to flatten it out.




And this is it all done. The garden between the walkway and the garage took almost a week to just break up all the clumps of sod that were non-transportable.





And another look at the finished work from the back showing our new cherry tree and you can see the bbQ in the background.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

New Website update

For those of you who have not been to my website (currently linked on the side and on the previous post) I have updated it everyday now. Currently the Literature portion of the website is done and I will be moving on to the Movies. After that I will then tackle the geology which will be the most comprehensive portion of my site. Any comments on the website can be left here or emailed to me from the links on the website.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My new web page - Dinojim.com



So I had a thought. Either go to school or start my own website. So my wife and I decided that due to lack of money the website seems to be to way to go. Its over here. Its under construction right now but it will be up and running soon.

(Update: This post was updated when my website was moved to it's new home at Dinojim.com)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Colbert

One of the best political commentary shows on television currently is definitely the Colbert Report as I know many of my friends know. Well I hope all Colbert Report fans saw the White House Correspondents Dinner. For someone who appears to not like Bush on his show, its a wonder they wanted him to speak at the event. Most of the jokes were at the administrations expense and it was obvious Bush did not like all of the commentary but it was defiantly humorous for the Democrats, like myself.

The best geological comment, and yes there was one, was when Colbert was comparing talking to Rev. Jessie Jackson like boxing a glacier. He then commented that we should not take the joke for granted because our kids will not know what a glacier is.

Ok it was funnier on TV.

Exploding Cows

There is an urban legend of a farmer who one day decided to ignite his cows' gaseous anal expulsions. Unfortunately, according to this urban legend, one of his cows produced such a high quantity of methane that the flame shot back up into the cow and caused it to explode. The farmer, as a result of this, was killed when a flying femur bone hit his head at over 80mph.


This was found on Wikipedia.com while search for exploding cows because of something we heard on the History Channel

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Honeymoon pictures


View from our room
















Us hanging out in the pool after a romantic dinner
















View of the sample bar at the Bacardi factory, that's right any samples we wanted. They did let us take pictures of the factory itself because it could blow up the factory (right)









After collecting some samples for the Texas geologist


Honeymoon recap

Ok I know I have been negligent lately but I am going to catch up slowly. First off is the honeymoon. It was fantastic. I highly recommend going to an all inclusive. We went down to a Sandals in Nassau, Bahama. The food was all terrific, even if we did get sick one night. Drinks were all top shelf (helps when there is a Bacardi factory on the island). And the rooms were super comfortable. Lets start this off in order. We arrived on Saturday and were extremely confused at first. Just leaving the airport was an experiment in cross cultures. They had random signs around with conveyor belts and people and we did not know whether to talk to them or keep walking. Then check in was just confusing because they held onto our bags and our room wasn't ready. But eventually everything turned out wonderful.

Over all our days consisted of trying each of the 8 different restaurants, laying in the sun, swimming in the pool, relaxing in the numerous hottubs, reading my book and drinking. We met a couple of super nice people the first night there at the Japanese restaurant. Dan and Julie are from Wisconsin and we spent most of the week drinking with them and Joe and Nicole are from Chicago and were around our age.

The first day after we met Dan and Julie we saw them while we were relaxing around the pool when we start hanging out. Eventually Dan walks to the bar and comes back with 4 plastic cups and a cup full of what looked like a Corona. Well after one sniff I could tell I was not going to like this. So it eventually ended up where we had about 7 shots of tequila before the afternoon was over.

One day we went shopping in downtown Nassau which is where all the cruise ships stop. We bartered and we spent lots of money but it was cool, we got lots of cool stuff, like pearls for my newlywed.

So the one downside to the trip started Wednesday morning when we got breakfast in bed. After we ate I started to have an upset stomach, then suddenly it turned to excrutiating pain (37 on 10 point scale as I explained it). I eventually got taken to the hospital where we spent the day. It seemed like I had some sort of liver problem so no more drinking for Jimmy :-(.

And now to the really sad no drinking part, we then went to the Bacardi factory the next day. That was really cool, they had one storage room where all the rum was aged that they said you can get drunk just walking into. I walked in anyway. :-). After that we ended up going home, but all in all we want to go to Saint Lucia next.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My BIRTHDAY!!!!

That's right it the single best day of the year. That's right, its my birthday. (Ok, second to my wedding)I know you are all jealous. And I got the spend it with the most wonderful wife in the world.

We started out going to the neighboring county where the annual Maple Weekend was being held. I ate at a pancake breakfast (Veronica didn't eat do to a diet that was soon thrown by the wayside.

Then we traveled off to see some of the farms. The first one we just followed some signs to a stop because the place we were going to we just drove by since they barely had any signs. They were cool because it was a nice little 3 room shop that sold some candies and had stainless steel equipment. Overall very clean. Then we went back to the shop we drove by and it was a shanty to say the least. Very small but the people were very nice. We went into the room they were boiling the sap and it was soo foggy in their we could barely see. We would have purchased some syrup from there but the guy we were talking to said the sap just started running and that it was the bad stuff. Its the kind of stuff they send to Aunt Jemima. Apparently the big companies only need 1% maple syrup to be considered 100% pure maple syrup.

The next place we went to was an Audubon Museum, it was not a real maple syrup ranch but they had a bunch of activities. But since it was not a real farm we wanted to go to one more so we could get some syrup. We randomly drove down this one road towards a town we knew had a farm where we saw massive smoke that the farms all had so we stopped there. Well that was the best one, they had a good tour, lots of free samples and a snowball gun. Also they had hotdogs cooked in maple sap, which were also very good.

Then we came home to a decorated house that Veronica had her mom and sister decorate the house for me. I then went popping all the balloons looking for prizes and notes in all them. This also came with a giant cookie cake, my first. And like a wonderful wife she watched a geology movie with me, Volcano, that I will go into later. And ending the evening off we went to Olive Garden for some wonderful food.

All in all, a good birthday. :-D

Monday, February 27, 2006

Olympics!!!

The Olympics are the only sporting event that I look forward to. I watch them religiously and as many events as I can get in. This years Olympics were interesting in that it was completely unpredictable. More countries won medals this year than in an any Olympics previously. People got medals that no one predicted and it was really great to watch.

Now onto my problem with the American media and the athletes. The American media has a tendency to over emphasis certain athletes and completely forget about everyone else. Now I don't find too much of a problem with this if the athletes can perform up to the hype. Which they almost never do. Historically this has happened before and I know it will happen again.

Prime example I always think of is the "Dan vs Dave" commercials from Barcelona in 1992 for the decathlon. Dan did not even qualify for the Olympics.
There are others but they elude me right now.

This years we have several. Bodie Miller, Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Apollo Anton Ohno, and others. Now Bodie Miller is the biggest disappointment. He raced in 5 races. 3 he was either DQed of did not even finish. The other 2 he came in 5th and 6th. Not so great for the greatest skier in the world. Michelle Kwan: did not even compete. Sasha Cohen, now don't take me wrong but she should not have gotten silver with her two falls. I think the rest of the program was phenominal but with the falls I think that Slutskaya should have gotten the silver. Apollo, now he did good this year, I more think of in the last Olympics where he was really hyped up and he did not do as well.

So my advise for the media, either treat everyone equal and perhaps we will do better or keep hyping people up and leaving Americans feeling like they have been let down. Now we could have done exactly the same and it would not have been as bad if our Olympic "heroes" had not failed.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Intelligent Design is Dead

In a recent article on Yahoo! It states that many Clergy are now on the side of scientists in the view of evolution:

"As a legal strategy intelligent design is dead. It will be very difficult for any school district in the future to successfully survive a legal challenge," Scott said. "That doesn't mean intelligent design is dead as a very popular social movement. This is an idea that has got legs."
But pastors are speaking out against it. Warren Eschbach, a retired Church of the Brethren pastor and professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania helped sponsor a letter signed by more than 10,000 other clergy.
"We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests," they wrote.
Catholic experts have also joined the movement.
"The intelligent design movement belittles God. It makes God a designer, an engineer," said
Vatican' Observatory Director George Coyne, an astrophysicist who is also ordained. "The God of religious faith is a god of love. He did not design me."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Currently the best wedding photo


Veronica and I outside the art musuem in Buffalo after the ceremony and before the reception.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

MARRIED!?!?!?!

This is a short update to all my fans to just let you know that yes I am now married. Sorry girls I am no longer on the market. :'(

Pictures to come.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

King Kong

First off AWSOME movie. Now for the paleontologist side of me. -

Now with the added 65 million years of evolution all the dinos on Skull Island are slightly demented from their typcal selves and the raptors have really bad teeth.

Also I can see why dinos went extinct and mammals thrive. We have King King on our side. Yea, 3 T-Rexs versus 1 King Kong, and who comes out on top, thats right, the monkey. Go Evolution!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Life Update

The update for those loyal readers of mine. Wherever you may be.

It is currently snowing. Now living in Buffalo that is unremarkable in itself but the temperature has been so erratic here its hard to tell what might happen next. One day its 55 the nests its 27.

And on the other end. We have work. Its still work. I'm still collecting from people who don't have enough money to eat or at least say so.

The Wedding is going well. Veronica and I are wrapping up all the loose ends that we can and getting everything done.

The house is currently in its usual state of disarray. The bathroom has been the next room on the list of "will be destroyed". Currently my office is done and the laundry room is done. Before that was the Hallway, to replace the gaping hole I put in the doorframe to move our boxspring upstairs. Before that was the bedroom. And that is the update on the house.

The financial situation is different. Currently trying to refinance the house to pay back the "fin-laws" (Future in-laws). Note to all those out there, First Horizon is horrible. We used them off of lending tree.com and they took 2 months to start asking me the same questions again. So we changed to First Niagara which is a local bank and the lady we are working with is great. I didn't know anyone could work so hard to get this done easily.

That is all for now. Until next time when life is more interesting.