Archive for May, 2007

 Noah’s First Trip to the Zoo

I took today off work and took Noah to the St. Louis Zoo for the first time. A good time was had by all. I think the giraffes were his favorite, but he liked the elephants too. He didn’t really know what to think about the peacock we saw. We rode the train and had some Dippin’ Dots ice cream and he fell asleep in the car on the way home. Pics are up in my album.

 New (Old) Artwork

Sure it’s a little early for Christmas, but I just ran across these old scans I made of some pictures of my award-winning door decorations. The command I was stationed at (LFTCLant) had a contest every year, and mine was the winning decoration three years in a row. I added pictures to my gallery of both my sketches and the actual decoration.

They got increasingly sophisticated as the years went on. The second year featured some animation — the elves you see outside Santa’s window were on a moving scroll of paper so they appeared to be loading the sleigh. The third year had an actual water wheel with a hidden pump and resevoir, and the skaters actually skated around in a circle.

 Virgin Mobile Kyocera Marbl

It was time to upgrade the old cell phone. I’m still as surprised as I was then that they haven’t been forced to close the terrorist loophole and still allow you to maintain anonymous use of a cell phone. Wonders never cease.

The payment plan is still the same too. Pay as you go, and only $20 every 90 days. Since they use the Sprint network the coverage is decent.

I wandered into Best Buy and by chance this phone was on sale so I only paid $20 for it. It’s not the highest quality phone — it has that “plastic-y” feel to it — but what do you expect for $20? It seems sturdy enough that it won’t fall apart, and the buttons have a good tactile feel. The display is pretty impressive for its size too.

I had read some reviews critical of the battery life, but as far as I can tell, it uses the same battery as the Kyocera K9 and while not impressive, it is tolerable. I end up charging it about every three days — and that’s with turning the phone off every night.

It’s a pretty solid phone, and a sweet service deal. I don’t see how you can beat it, if you are the type of person that only uses their phone occasionally.

[Update: April 2008] The LCD on this phone is now growing a cancer of bright orange pixels that keep spreading right in the middle of the display. If this continues, the display will eventually be completely orange, and the phone will be useless. I guess it’s good I only paid twenty bucks for it.

 Spiderman 3

It’s probably been terribly over-hyped, although it’s still a good movie. I would say that some of the CG fight scenes lose their focus because of the camera spinning around the action instead of trying to capture it. Bruce Campbell’s cameo as a maitre d’ is pretty entertaining. The movie seems to drag a little in spots (it is about two and a half hours long, after all) but that may be due to the frenetic pace of the rest of it, so those spots just seem slow by comparison. Overall, if you are a fan of the franchise, I would recommend it, otherwise, wait for video.

 St. Augustine

While we were in Florida we talked the grandparents into watching Noah one day (it wasn’t hard to convince them) so we could take a little day trip to St. Augustine.

St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied city in America, founded in 1565. We visited the Castillo de San Marcos while we were there. Here is a short video of a live cannon demonstration. The men in uniform are all volunteers. Why they choose to stand out in the hot sun in wool uniforms is beyond me, but they apparently enjoy it. I hope you do too.