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December 2009
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February 2010

HandiMart Mug: 1994-2010 (R.I.P.)

DSC01050 He's been with me since I was in my early 20's.  He's held thousands - literally thousands - maybe tens of thousands - of cups of coffee.  He's been on two national tours with Missoula Children's Theatre.  He's traveled from coast to coast, car to car and cubicle to cubicle.  Today, my dear friend, Mr. HandiMart Travel Mug, met his demise in the dishwasher.

I picked up this mug at the HandiMart in Amana, Iowa one early spring morning in 1994 as the Old Creamery Theatre crew set out to perform The Cowpoke Jamboree at local elementary schools.  He never fit into a single car cupholder and was difficult to hold between the legs while driving, but nevertheless, became my favorite coffee container.

Farewell my friend.  We had quite a ride together.  While other mugs came and went you remained my primary instrument of morning caffeination.  I'll miss you dearly.


Wealth in the Eyes of a 7-Year-Old

DSC01039Silas was playing the piano for me this evening while I was preparing dinner.  He has yet to begin lessons, but he is developing an ear for putting notes together and making sounds that "sound" musical.  It's fun to watch him discover.

After a few minutes of his all-black-keys song I complimented his playing, telling him it sounded nice.

He responded, "Daddy, what if I get really famous for playing the piano and get paid lots of money; like FIFTY BUCKS?!?!"

Shoot for the stars, Son! :)


Books

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that as 2009 concluded I did not post a top 10 books list from my annual reading.  The explanation for the missing list is simple: I only read 8 books in 2009.

After averaging over 20 books per year since 2006, last year ended up being a year for little reading - at least by my standards.  Between a crazy work schedule, a change of schedule for the boys' school days and simple fatigue, I never really got into a reading rhythm.  I vow that 2010 will be different.  I'm already halfway through my first two.  And I've got a big stack on the night stand ready for action:

DSC01020
 


The Camera Saga

Just realized that after all my whining posts regarding my Sony Cybershot accessories, I never closed the loop on the tale of my Sony accessories.

If you recall, before Christmas I had lost the charger and USB cable for my "older model" Cybershot (bought merely 5 months ago). The Sony store wanted to sell me a new charger for $99.99 and a card reader (the USB cable is no longer available) for $79.99.  After looking at a number of online options, I could not find much better.  Considering I had only paid $149.00 for the camera in the first place, these options seemed ridiculous.  I actually went and purchased a new camera.

Then, on a last ditch internet search, I discovered an Amazon seller with the charger for only $6.56.  Yes, you read that correctly SIX DOLLARS and FIFTY-SIX CENTS!  Duh.  Paid another $6 in shipping and that was all she wrote!

Now, the USB cable was still an issue.  So I found another store that sold a Sony memory stick with a USB card reader for $59.99.  No-brainer.

The day after I bought that stick/card reader I went to the basement for something unrelated and ran across the original box in which my camera had been purchased.  I opened it up and what did my weary eyes see ----- an unopened package containing a USB cable!

It seems that the cable that I'd been using (and lost) was not the one that had come with my camera.  It was the cable that I'd been using with my Konica Minolta DSLR.  When Konica Minolta got out of cameras they sold their business to Sony.  Therefore Sony had been using a USB connector originally used by Konica Minolta.

All's well that ends well.

p.s. returned the new camera

Charger 

A $6.56 charger.  The $99 dollar version that the Sony store sells does NOT come with the car adapter!


The Not-So-Benevolent Beard

DSC01034 The last day I shaved was December 28.  Attended a wedding that day.  Now, my face is getting hairy.

Why?  Many have asked.

Somewhere in the world is a guy named David who is growing his beard to raise funds for charity; one of which is Doctors Without Borders.  In light of the tragedy in Haiti and Doctors Without Borders' involvement in the recovery, I made a donation to the organization in connection with David's Benevolent Beard project.  You can read more about that here: www.thebenevolentbeard.com

Now, I wish I could say that my beard was being grown for such a great cause.  But it's not.  I'm being selfish (and maybe a bit lazy).

I calculated that I spend an average of 7 minutes per shave.  I usually shave 3 times per week.  That's a total of 21 minutes per week, translating to about 18 hours per year in shave time.  18 HOURS!  Is it just me, or does that seem like a ridiculous amount of time trimming facial follicles?!?

And with the cost of razor blades being at an all-time high, I just thought, perhaps, I could buy some time and money back in 2010 by not shaving.  You with me on this?

I have no idea how long I'll go.  Maybe another week or two.  Maybe a month or two.  Maybe just until the summer comes around.  Who knows?  But won't it be interesting to see?  Silas told me I should go for the ZZ Top look.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll try it out.