Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Loss

I lost all of my bookmarks today!  I've been using Firefox off one of my USB flash drives and enjoying it as I don't want to haul my laptop across the street just to go on-line.  However, when I opened it up today all of my settings had been wiped out!  I'm trying to figure out what happened, but it doesn't look as though I can recover anything.  I just have versions of my favourites from other browsers that are at best a few weeks out of date.  I'm just glad that I've been using Google Reader for my RSS feeds--so that can't be wiped out by a computer problem at my end!

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I will live

Okay, the internet isn't necessary to life, but it is nice. I'm finally jumping on the bandwagon. It is just too hectic to not have my own access with all three of my jobs. I'm spending too much time at my sister's place (like right now) downloading and accessing.

I'm getting the cheapest rate that I can where I don't have a phone line for making calls out (it would cost me for even local), but incoming calls are free. I'll get an answering machine and give that number to people that don't need to urgently call me so I can save my cell minutes. Then I'll use Skype for outgoing calls that aren't at night or Sprint to Sprint. It will be a bit complicated, but it shouldn't be that bad as I will have internet access for a bit less than I thought I would have to pay. :-)

~Matt

PS I can also get more sleep this way as I won't have to come over to my sister's place at all after working at bigg's and have to stay for a while to get critical things (such as those related to my work at the Museum) done.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Domed

This is the inside of the Union Terminal dome here in Cincinnati. During lunch a couple weeks ago I wandered around and snapped some shots that I'd wanted to get for a while but hadn't had the chance to take. There are still more that I haven't posted or even taken yet--but I'll continue to plug away at them.

The building has so many interesting features that I should be able to find many, many things to photograph. As of next month I'll have been working at the place for two years, so I hope I'll have plenty of time in the future to continue snapping fun shots like this one.

~Matt

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Good Day

I'm at church about to start working with the second service. I think I found the perfect present for my nephew that is turning one on my birthday (okay, now our birthday, ;-)). I think that I'll also...

Oops, service is starting, I have to go. More later.

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cyclops

I saw a Cyclops tonight! No, not one of the mythical creatures that Odysseys encountered and blinded. I'm talking about a car with only on headlight. They're not fun to see coming on the other side of the road. If it is dark enough you can't tell if they're a motorcycle or a car at first. I'm pretty sure it is more serious than driving with a busted taillight. Hopefully the driver in question will get it fixed soon!

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tunnel Vision

I felt as though I was driving through a tunnel when I drove over the bridge to Ohio this morning. It was before sunrise and fog was quite thick. I was on the lower deck of the bridge and could see hardly anything off of either side of the bridge. This fog combined with the upper deck above me made it feel remarkably like a tunnel. I snapped this picture after I parked at work.

Other than this the weather today has been excellent. My car was quite warm from sitting in the sun when I entered it after work. For the first time in many weeks I rolled down my windows as I drove to the freeway so that my car would cool off.

~Matt

Saturday, February 17, 2007

More Snow

Yes, it was amazing.  But we had more snow today!  Several inches fell last night, and then another one or two during the day today.  It was quite fluffy though and the roads aren't too bad.

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day

Yes, today was a snow day. Yesterday I was late getting into work because my driveway wasn't plowed by my landlord when I needed to leave for work. I tried to get out, but only managed to get my van stuck. Then I did manage to get unstuck, but only to get back into my garage--not up to the street. Today the roads were a bit dicey and so I called in to say I wouldn't be coming in. I don't plan to do it again unless a snow emergency prevents me from driving, but it was a relaxing day. Here are a few pictures from the neighborhood.

The first is a tree down the street from my sister's place. All of the trees are covered in ice--which is beautiful, yes. However, I'm not so much in favour of all of the other things that are covered in ice (like power lines and grocery carts).

Next you can see the "gum balls" from the tree in my sister's front yard. I think this close-up turned out rather well. I still need to read the book for the camera--but at least I have the macro setting figured out!

I do like shots of everyday objects that have been changed--hence the third shot of an old playhouse. You can really see how the branches were all covered in sheathes of ice and icicles. The pine trees had it much worse due to their flexible branches and abundance of needles.

I did manage to stay warm. I bundled up somewhat as I do when out with carts at bigg's. Here is a shot of me. I've not been outside in the sunlight so long that my glasses turn for quite a while and I'd honestly forgotten that I owned Transitions lenses! You wouldn't believe (especially if you're Sunny Mark) how warm I can be out working in the freezing cold. The rain doesn't even bother me any more because of the new waterproof gloves(now fully tested!) my dad sent me. Thanks again Dad!!

Next you can see one of the bushes in front of my sister's place. This again is indicative of most of the bushes that I could see--covered with ice, and perhaps a bit of ice-covered snow if any had managed to accumulate prior to the freeze.

Finally below you can see what awaited me as I drove up to bigg's last night. Every horizontal surface that I could see was covered by icicles. Unfortunately many of them (actually nearly all to those that haven't been broken off) were still around today. This is causing problems for Duke Energy, who can't fix things fast enough, even with several hundred workers coming in from other Duke-powered states to help out. Right ow several thousand people are still without power. I do have more pictures, not not enough time to go through them.

~Matt

PS Check out my Picasa web albums. I just added a couple of good snow images--I might have to start a separate category for these--and a fun one of a candle. I do like how the close-up turned out on the cart corral icicles. If only I had actual free time during the day I would take more of these pictures. Unfortunately I don't have that time. Though one of these days I'm really considering leaving getting a substitute for Titanic one day so that I can have a weekend where I do not have to get up earlier than I want to once!
PPS
From Objective Bac...

PPPS
From Objective Bac...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

At work again

I'm filling in for someone in Titanic today, though I did arrange to
come in a bit late so I could go to first service.

~Matt

PS Remind me to post about Amazing Grace!


--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Friday, February 09, 2007

Around

I've done too many of these posts, but yes I'm around.  However, I've been on-line long enough this evening (since I don't want to spend the whole night on-line--I'll save that for Sunday) and I'm heading back to my place soon.

I am around, just busy this week with not much time to go on-line.

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Two Minutes

I timed my trip home today. The total route took me a few minutes under one half hour. This was a considerable improvement over yesterday! It was even much better than this morning when the highest speed I achieved on the interstate was 35-40 mph because of the snow that was still present. However, by this afternoon every road that I saw was clear--even those that still had had substantial snow that morning.

The particularly heartbreaking stretch yesterday between exits 3 and 1G took me over two hours to traverse. Today? 1:47. That is one minute! and forty-seven seconds! :-)

~Matt

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Five hours

I was on the road for five hours to get home through the snow! This route normally takes me around thirty minutes (or just a bit under that). And I think I only made it home so early (around eight--having left work at 14:45) because I left the interstate at one point and took some surface streets that my brother-in-law pointed out might be quicker.

The last two miles I was on the interstate too me two hours to travel!! *sigh* My van is parked down the street at the house of my brother-in-law's mom since I don't want to risk my very sloped driveway in the morning. My landlord just plowed it out--he was working when I came home--but I don't want to take the chance.

I like snow, but this was crazy. One bad thing was that I didn't have my camera. I would have loved to have taken some pictures while I was stopped in traffic for minutes at a time!

~Matt

PS Here is a link to a map of the route that I normally take home. I followed it until I was nearly to the river--that is where I deviated.
--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Disappointing

I watched the Super Bowl again this year--rather I watched the commercials and read during most of the game.  I was disappointed however as the commercials didn't seem to be up to the standards of other years.  Sure, many were better than run of the mill advertising spots, but they didn't all seem to be worth the hefty price tag associated with them.  Are companies simply willing to throw more money at substandard sales/marketing department ideas?  I'm not sure...

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Friday, February 02, 2007

Love-Hate

That describes my relationship with my garage right now. I love my car being inside--but right now my car isn't inside. The driveway slopes quite a bit down to the driveway--and right now it still has a good deal of ice left on it. I had trouble getting up it both times I had to drive it today (my brother-in-law helped me the second time) so I have no desire to tempt fate on my way to work tomorrow morning. I'm parked on the street and will just have to deal with a cold and probably icy car (from frozen dew if nothing else) in the morning.

~Matt

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Vehicular Update

I haven't connected with the other guy's insurance yet, but I need to and soon.  I just discovered yesterday that my rear door is jammed shut as a result of the accident!  I only discovered this when I tried to open the door, and failed.  Unfortunately I did partially succeed and the sensor was jarred so the car thinks the door is open and won't turn out interior lights.  This was annoying, but I have a new battery, and when I noticed it yesterday I thought I could fix the problem before my battery was in danger of running low.  Then my nephew Ryan asked me to run him out to a soccer game last night.

Again I didn't think anything of the light, until I started to back up into the night and I realized that it would be difficult to drive with the light on constantly.  This is an especial problem for me as I leave for work while it is dark out and return from my second job after the sun has again set.  Completely forgetting that the light had been on for hours I pulled off the cover and tried to pull the bulb out with my fingers.  Needless to say my index finger now sports a burn.  Ryan had food from McDonalds and he put some ice into a cup I had there and I kept pieces of ice against the finger all the way to the sports complex and back, driving one-handed.

I did manage to disable the bulb with my key--but that is just one more thing I'll have to replace.  I'm afraid though of mounting costs.  Will the insurance company not think my van is worth repairing and simply want to total it?  I could live with a broken bumper and live without a hitch--but without a functional back door I've lost much of the reason for having a van--ample storage.  It is shocking how suddenly things can change.  A couple days ago my car was okay, it just needs an oil change soon.  Now I'm looking at the possibility that it could be considered totaled and I'd end up with too little money and no time to hunt for a car--let alone the means to find another one like this van that fits my needs so well.

:(

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero

Big Government

Yes, the Democratic take-over of Congress disturbs me to some extent, but there are other thing that disturb me more.  One is the condition of the courts.  When you have our current judicial system you can get decisions like the 2005 US Supreme Court's Kelo decision.  Walter Williams has just written an excellent column on this topic .  I would urge everyone to go read it.  I'll just quote a small excerpt here:

Can the government force one to sell his property? James Madison said yes, so long as it was for a public use and the owner was paid a fair market value. Thomas Jefferson was opposed to a person being forced to sell his property for a public use, arguing that the essence of private property is the right to exclude anyone, including government, from the property. But Madison's view prevailed, hence the Fifth Amendment provision.

The problem, Williams explains (the column is based off a speech by retired Judge Napolitano) is that this view is no longer respected and "public use" is reinterpreted in ways that the founders would have been horrified to contemplate.

Many aspects of politics are fun to debate, and are serious, but aren't that dangerous.  Things like this that can alter how you live your life in the here and now--that change your life personally, are dangerous!

~Matt

--
"A room without books is as a body without a soul." -Cicero