Archive for October, 2007

Halloween 2007 wrap-up

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Halloween candy - smallHalloween 2007 is wrapping up. I think that Sydney and Adelaide had a good Halloween. This evening, around 6:30pm, Sydney the fairy princess and Adelaide the monster set off down our sidewalk with treat bags in hand. Sydney, being 4, was very excited. Adelaide, being 20 months, just wanted to chase after her older sister.

(Nancy was decked out in goth attire. She looked like Abby on NCIS. She was very cute.)

Houses that had dogs were a big hit with Syd and Ad. They stopped to talk with and pet the puppies.

About half way around the block, Ad figured out the system. I would pick her up the front steps. (She still isn’t too good climbing steps.) She would then totter up to the door and step right up to the candy bowl and pick a piece of candy. (She was partial to suckers when she could find them.) She would them put the candy into her bag. She did very well.

Overall, this was a very cute year for trick or treating, as both girls really liked it. 🙂

Why I _love_ “Pushing Daisies”: reason #3

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Pushing DaisiesIn tonights episode of ‘Pushing Daisies‘, “Girth”, we discover that Olive used to be a jockey. Yep, a horse jockey. Ride on the back of a horse in a race jockey. We discover that she was a pretty good jockey. The episode was about a jockey that “died” in a race in which Olive’s horse ran him over. But the dead jockey is back after 7 years in the form of ghost to extract revenge from the four people who knew the truth about his death. (Olive is one of the four.)

Ned has to visit a ghost of his own; the memories of the father that left him when he was young. Ned goes back to his childhood home, which is right next door to Lily and Vivian’s house (Chuck’s aunts). Ned visit’s Chuck’s aunts, and while eating a strawberry pie, discovers that he had a part in making the pie that the aunts had. When he takes a bite, the strawberry reverts to its shriveled, dried form. This means that Ned had touched it before. He realizes that Chuck has been making pies for her aunts.

After Ned and crew discover that the dead jockey isn’t really dead (he was revived and had some bones replaced so now he is really tall, the antithesis of a jockey) and the now-alive jockey’s mom was the revenge seeker, Ned understands that Chuck misses her aunts. But Halloween provides a perfect opportunity.

Ned and Chuck drive to Chuck’s aunts’ house. Here is the good part. (Reason #3 for why I love ‘Pushing Daisies’. Here was reason #2.) Chuck dons a sheet with two eye holes cut into it and walks up to the door. She rings the aunts’ doorbell. You then hear the aunts’ say something to the effect of “who is trick or treating at 2:00am?”. Lily says, “I’ll get the shot gun.” Vivian says, “I’ll get the candy bowl.” When they open the door, Chuck holds up her plastic pumpkin and says, “Trick or Treat.” Both of the aunts smile upon seeing the “ghost”. (Chuck is dressed as a ghost, and she IS a REAL ghost: someone back from the dead.)

This show could be gory, with all of the death and such, but it turns out to be quite touching. 🙂

[Updated 11/1/2007]: Here is another perspective on the Pushing Daisies episode “Girth”.

Why I _love_ “Pushing Daisies”: reason #2

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Pushing DaisiesTonights episode, “Pigeon”, had another “moment” that I will label “reason #2” for “Why I lovePushing Daisies‘”. (Here was reason #1.)

Olive, the waitress at the Pie Hole, has delivered a pie to Chuck’s aunts, Lily and Vivian. Olive is speaking with Vivian, the brunette and cheerier of the two aunts. During the conversation, Olive works in the phrase “birdhouse in your soul”. Ooh, ooh! This is the name of the song by They Might Be Giants from the album “Flood“. I love this song!

The show does to commercial right after this conversation.

After commercial, the show starts with Olive and Vivan singing the song “Birdhouse in Your Soul”! Awesome!!!

Honorable mention goes to the plot elements in the show: a pilot. Yeah, the pilot dies in a crash and all, but still, this was an aviation reference. Being a pilot (with no time nor money to fly right now though) I always enjoy an aviation reference.

[Updated 10/25/2007]: Here is another perspective on the Pushing Daisies episode “Pigeon”.

“Uh-oh”; Adelaide Talks

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Adelaide has started using the phrase “uh-oh” at appropriate times. [There was some contention by Nancy that Adelaide also started saying “up” recently when she wanted to be picked up. So there will have to be a “mom” decision as to what her first words were.] She seems to have picked up the phrase last Thursday night. When she says it, there is consistently an extended pause between “uh” and “oh”. She is pronouncing the two parts of the phrase very deliberately. I heard “uh-oh” a lot yesterday in church. As Sydney goes to Sunday school, it is just Adelaide and I at church. So she wasn’t influenced by Syd. (When Syd’s around, after Adelaide says “uh-oh”, there is usually a lot of giggling from Syd (“that’s what little girls do“) and some form of tattle tailing of the form, “Dad, Adelaide did [fill in the blank]!”) Adelaide would drop her blankie…”Uh-oh!” Adelaide would drop her book…”Uh-oh!” Adelaide would drop her cup…”Uh-oh!” Adelaide would drop her binky…”Uh-oh!”

Adelaide is talking…”Uh-oh!” 🙂

Here is my ID

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

OpenIDThis blog now functions as my ID. It is my delegate ID for OpenID. I got the idea for this from Sam Ruby‘s post “OpenID for non-SuperUsers“. As he states, you just have to add this to the head of the HTML for the blog:


<link href="" rel="openid.server" />
<link href="" rel="openid.delegate" />

My primary OpenID provider is myOpenID. They provide free OpenIDs. If you view the source of this blog, you will also find:

<meta http-equiv="X-XRDS-Location"
      content="" />

The form of this markup comes from the myOpenID information about “Using Your Own URL“.

As Sam states in his post, this allows me to use the URI “” as my OpenID identity. The myOpenID servers will actually provide the authentication. If for some reason, I need to change OpenID providers, I just need to update the delegate information in my blog and the identity provider will be changed. I don’t have to update all of the services that I registered my OpenID with. (That’s because I use “” instead of the URI for the OpenID provider when I register.)

Currently, our team at work uses Basecamp as a collaboration tool. Basecamp recently supported OpenID credentials. This was the impetus for me to set up my blog to be my OpenID URI. I have witnessed more adoption of OpenID lately. Hopefully this uptake will continue.

Date Night: Riverside Casino

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Riverside Casino & Golf ResortYesterday was “date night”. Nancy surprised me yesterday afternoon. She called and asked if it was okay to change the plans. I left in the morning thinking that we were going to go to Biaggi’s for dinner. Instead, she made plans with another couple to go to Riverside Casino. The girls were going to have massages and then the foursome was going to eat at Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood, a restaurant in the resort, at 7:00pm. I said, sure, that was fine.

I had never been to Riverside yet, so I wanted to see what the casino was like.

I was impressed. I had only been to the other Iowa casinos when they first opened as riverboat casinos. And I was in a commercial for the Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino when it just had greyhound racing and slot machines. The Riverside casino had a “quality” look about it. Not something you expect in Riverside, Iowa.

I had a good time playing blackjack. This was my first time playing blackjack. (I don’t like playing slot machines.) I made $22.50. W00t!

Dinner was very good. We started with oyster’s Rockefeller. I had the Caesar salad, fillet mignon, medium rare, with lump crab bĂ©arnaise, asparagus with hollandaise, and a French Merlot. Nancy had the warm spinach salad, veal chop, medium, heartland corn, and white wine. For desert, Nancy had the white chocolate key lime tart and I had the raspberry crĂ©me brulee. We both had coffee with our desert. The food was excellent. This restaurant ranks up there as one of the best in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. And the price reflects the quality. 🙂

Overall, I liked the facilities a lot. It took me more than a year after its opening to visit. But I did sign up for the Resort Club, as I expect to be back.

Nancy’s OCN Certified

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Nancy took her OCN exam last Tuesday (October 16, 2006). She PASSED! (OCN stands for Oncology Certified Nurse.)

Weekend Gourmet: Cheddar Cheese Soup

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

This past Sunday I made the Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe from the “Joy of Cooking”.

This recipe was a relatively simple one. Basically, you start with a mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion). Add some flour to make a roux. Then add chick broth. (I used store-bought broth. I didn’t make my own chicken stock.) The soup, to this point, is simmered for 45 minutes while it thickens. Then you add some grated Cheddar, cream, and some dried mustard. That’s it.

I used a relatively expensive Cheddar cheese from Wisconsin. (Neighbor state to the northeast of Iowa.) You know it was expensive because it still had the red wax on it.

The resultant soup was delicious. All four of us liked it. (This is not very common that everyone in my family likes the same food. Usually someone [Sydney] won’t like it.)

Why I _love_ “Pushing Daisies”: reason #1

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Pushing DaisiesI just finished watching tonight’s episode of the ABC show “Pushing Daisies“. In it, the pie maker found himself in a sword fight. Being a pie maker, so far in the series, we haven’t seen any indication that Ned knows how to sword fight. Yet, after his foe spouts off all of the reasons why he is a good sword fighter, in order to strike fear in the pie maker’s heart, Ned the pie maker retorts, “I wanted to be a Jedi!” And then the Star Wars opening orchestral swell starts playing, and the pie maker starts to gain the advantage in the fight.

The reference to being a Jedi was so unexpected. But to this geek, when the pie maker said it, I jumped out of my chair and said, “Yes!” This makes perfect sense as to why he should be able to sword fight. This type of comment was very reminiscent of a comment that could be heard on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer“, one of my all-time favorite TV shows that “were”.

Honorable mention goes to the moment when Lily Charles, feeling a sense of loss about losing Chuck, lifted her eye patch and a couple of tablespoons of water, “tears”, run out from under it.

This show is definitely earning its “must watch” status on my weekly television rotation.

I got mentioned on MouseStation!

Monday, October 8th, 2007

I got mentioned on the MouseStationListener Feedback” podcast from Friday, October 5, 2007! I was catching up on my Disney podcasts this morning and was surprised to hear my name mentioned on the show (and in the show notes).

I had a problem downloading a previous MouseStation podcast on Friday, September 28, 2007. It was a simple problem with a URL. I had sent an email via the MouseStation web form telling them the problem and how I was still able to get the show. I was surprised back then to get an email from Mark Goldhaber on Saturday, September 29, 2007. This was the weekend when there was a lot of Disney, Epcot in particular, activity. October 1, 2007 was Epcot’s 25th anniversary. I expected the MouseStation crew to be busy. So I was surprised to get an email from Mark, who is the host of the show along with Mike Demopoulos.

Hearing your name on a podcast is a bit like when I had my first web site. It is kind of neat seeing yourself personally in a new technology. Thanks MouseStation guys!