Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Assignment 324: The year 2062

In honor of Carly's upcoming birthday we are imagining what America might be like in the year 2062 for this week's assignement. I decided to do this a little differently and have some fun with it.

Next Tuesday is my birthday, I am not quite 50 yet, but when I was a little girl I liked to sit and imagine what the world, more specifically, America, would be like when I reached 50! Having nearly arrived at my goal age, I am now aiming for another 50 years! So, in honor of my 48th birthday, I want you to search your imaginations, and tell what I can expect in the year... 2062!

Hi, Welcome to the year 2062. Did you have a nice cryo-sleep? Good. Oh yes, the facilities are this way. Follow me.

Feel better? Good. Pardon the flicker of my holo, I need to get that fixed. I guess I should explain. About 20 years ago a company designed the holo-projector for business meetings. It was a better option than traveling and videoconferencing. If it seems like the person is right next to you it's much harder to ignore their ideas, or to put it down. It turned out to work really well, so people started using it for everything. Now, nobody leaves the safety and comfort of their house anymore.

Oh, food? Yes, it's delivered automatically. Our refrigerators and cabinets are all hooked up to the local food suppliers and gets sent to our houses automatically by auto-piloted vehicles when something runs low. We never run out of food.

Hmm. Okay, the toilet you just used reports you are a little deficient in calcium and slightly dehydrated. Pretty good, considering. You should see how some people come out of cryo-sleep. If you aren't healthy going in, how are you going to be when you come out. So many people do this thinking they can be cured of their diseases when they wake in the future. They watch too much TV.

What? No, that's not gross. The toilets are a good way to see what we might be lacking. Vitamins and medicines are all automatically ordered when needed. I can't imagine going to the doctor all the time. I don't want someone prodding me like you had to go through 50 years ago. Give me a cold, unfeeling robot hand any day, I say. Besides, the average life expectancy is 110 years old right now. Not a bad improvement in such a short time.

Here, come over to the table by the window. This machine here will take you vital signs. Just sit, it's okay. I know it looks a little scary, but it is quite gentle, if a bit on the cold side. Take a peek out the window while the robo-doc does it's work. Nice day, no? Yep, just as planned. We get rain when we want it and sun when we don't. We can't change the temperature too much, the sun and earth move the way they want. We can't control differential heating, but we can work with moisture to a degree. No pun intended. Yes, we still get tornadoes and hurricanes. Again, we can't control everything. Yet.

Notice anything else? Yes, not many cars out there. The ones you see are all robo-cars that are sending food, materials or other goods to people and places where they are needed. Since nobody goes out anymore, except for emergencies, there is little traffic and the air is much cleaner than back in 2010.

Okay, the doc says you are good to go. A car will be by to take you to your home. Enjoy your time here in 2062. If you feel you can't live here, let us know. We have ways to get you back.


Okay, obviously I went a little overboard. But, so what? It's all for fun, right?

Extra Credit: Tell me, is the world anything like you imagined it would be when you grew up? What's different? What's the same?

No, I guess it's not the way I imagined it. I really thought I'd have my Corvette by now. Or my Porsche.

Oh, did you mean the world, or my world?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm back, baby!

The title has two meanings since we are back from our trip to Wisconsin Dells and Futurama is back on the air. More about Futurama later, we'll talk about me first. It's my blog, you know.

If you are not from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa., Michigan or Minnesota you might not know what Wisoncsin Dells is. Well, it's "The Waterpark Capital of the World." Yes, it says so right here. Also, it's the only place I know of where you say the state before the city name. Well, except for maybe New York since you can never be sure which part people are talking about first. (Yes, I was reaching for that one).

We drove up there on Wednesday and left on Friday. That may sound like a short trip, but everyone I talked to that has been there says that is about right. I mean, how many times can you go to the pool and play? There is only so much chlorine and sunburn that the body can take.

We stayed at the Wilderness Resort. See, the bear cubs on the sign make it extra wilderness-y.

It was a decent place. They had tons of different pools and slides to play around in. Or, as we liked to do a lot, they had a few lazy rivers. Although they weren't quite as relaxing as they should be. You know how hard it is to get in a two person tube while your lightweight kid is in the front and there is a current trying to drag the tube away? Well, it's not all that easy. I have the scrapes to prove it. Yes, I'm a klutz. What can I say?

We never ate, or drank at this particular place, but I had to take a picture of the sign.

There were a lot of stuffed foxes and raccoons around on the ceiling of the various eating and drinking spots. Speaking of which, we went to one restaurant for dinner the first night and were delighted when they told us the kids eat free at the buffet if we ordered the buffet. We should have asked how much the buffet was first. Twenty bucks a person was a little steep for what was there. We were a little disappointed by that.

On the first night the guys hit the arcade while the girls went to the pottery place to paint something. Our daughter has told us several times she wants to be an artist, so we indulge here when we can. See, look at the mugs she painted. Aren't they nice?

On the second night, we were smart and went off property to eat dinner. This place called Moose Jaw Pizza and Dells Brewing was recommended by one of Jenn's co-workers. While the name doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, the food was good, the prices much better than the resort and they had their own beer. That was really good. But don't take my word for it, look at this car they have.

You know a place is going to be good if they go through all this trouble decking out their delivery car. Although, when I see the car, I think of something else on the moose and it's not the jaw.

We spent a few hours swimming the next morning, then headed back home. It's not a far drive for us; just under three hours, so it is quite manageable. Especially when one, or both, of the kids sleep most of the way.

One thing about the drive home. Wisconsin people tend to get miffed when people make fun of them as the land of cheese but when you drive home and see two cheese chalets, a giant mouse on top of a giant piece of cheese and several various other cheese huts, you kind of have to take it. Sorry, Wisconsin, but it's okay, you guys have some awesome cheese. Learn to accept it.

That was our longest road trip so far. I know, lame. But we go to Door County (Wisconsin again) for five days later this summer. That's about a five hour drive. That's something, right?

So, Futurama. You're watching it, right. It's on Comedy Central. So, go watch. Come on, I don't want it to be cancelled again. I'll give you candy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Due to circumstances beyond my control I'm going to be offline the next few days. This is different than the last few days where I was just plain lazy and didn't post anything.

So, I leave you with this. If Batman had to fight Steve Austin (AKA The Six Million Dollar Man), who would win, and why? Think about it, Batman has a lot of fighting skill and all those gadgets, but Steve Austin could throw him through a wall. It's a tough choice.

Have a good rest of the week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Made it home just in time.

We had some nasty storms roll through here a short time ago. I opted to skip getting gas on the way home and just went to get the kids and go home. Turned out that was a good idea. This was the sky after we pulled into the driveway.

The gust front moved through a few minutes later and looked something like this.

Now it's over and the dogs refuse to go outside because it is a little wet outside. They haven't been out since this morning. I hope they don't have an accident.

Hope your day was drier and less eventful.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weekend Assignment #322: Product Placement

Carly is in charge of the assignment this week. It's an easy one for me.

Okay, let's shift gears to something very commonplace. Product Placement. We all have a certain product in our lives we simply couldn't live without. Tell us about your favorite product. How long have you used it? Why is it the best? If it were no longer on the market, what would you use instead? Give us all the details!

Without thinking twice I know I couldn't live without my iPhone. Yes, I know, not very original. And, no, I'm not saying that the iPhone is the best thing since sliced bread...but it's close.

I'm sure Jenn will agree, I use the thing all the time. I can easily check Twitter, Facebook, email, and my blog at anytime. I use it sometimes to double-check directions when I go somewhere unfamiliar. Occasionally, I'll snap a photo of something goofy I see to post to Twitter, or send to Jenn. I do that a lot at grocery stores and Walgreen's. There are some wacky products out there, you know.

Also, I have been know to play a game, or two, when I'm bored. Especially Angry Birds. That game is so infuriatingly addictive.

I don't know what I'd do without it. I'd get some other kind of smartphone, I guess. But I wouldn't be happy.

So, there is my lame answer. Go check out the blog to see what other people can't live without.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm somewhere else today

Today I'm guest-blogging on my friend Florinda's blog. She was nice enough t to allow me to drag down the quality of her book blogging by letting me talk about the book that she had gotten signed for me.

So, go over there today. Okay?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #93: Fire

Carly wants some pictures of fire in some form in the week's photo assignment.

I call this, Andrew Jackson by candlelight.

I know, I was kind of reaching for this one.

I took this last summer at Disney World. Now that is a fire. We could feel it from our seats.

That's all I have for this week. Go check out the rest back on Carly's site.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Random thoughts on a Friday

I'm working the midnight shift this week so my brain is a little more mushy than usual. So instead of thinking up a real post, I just want talk about some random subjects.

I know I tweeted about this last week, but this drummer cracks me up. I can't stop thinking about it. I laughed hard when I first saw it, and I still laugh. This guy is awesome.

I know it is a little early to laugh about this tragedy, but I like this spoof on the BP oil spill and (lack of) clean up effort .

On the topic of BP, turns out that the magnitude of the spill so far was off by a magnitude of two. That doesn't sound so bad, until you realize the initial estimate was nearly 50 million gallons. They are talking about BP going bankrupt because of this. Good. Their gas prices were always higher than everyone else around here anyway.

I really like the new iPhone. I can't get it right now, unless I want to pay 400 bucks for it, but Jenn is able to upgrade when it comes out. That is her late Mother's Day gift. She really needs a phone though, she gets text messages a day late and her phone turns off by itself throughout the day. I may play with it a little bit though. You know, just to make sure she has it set up right.

I just saw a preview for the Battlestar Galactica MMO. Looks interesting. It just might be something I check out when it comes online. It was a great show and seems like a cool universe to play around in.

Speaking of games, Team Fortress 2 is now available for Mac on Steam. I've heard a lot about this game and I'm excited to play it. I played around with it a little bit yesterday to get a feel for it, I'll probably play more next week while Jenn is out of town. It's the perfect thing to do on a summer night when the kids area asleep and there is nothing on TV. Is anyone else on Steam? Let me know your handle.

I think that is all I have for now. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weekend Assignment #321: Ancient Technology

Karen has the topic this week, and while I can't say I've heard the saying, "X has gone the way of the buggy whip," I certainly have some things that fit the expression.
We sometimes hear the expression, "XXX has gone the way of the buggy whip." In other words, technology and society have moved on, and something that was once commonplace barely exists anymore because it's no longer needed. Do you still have something in your home that has become essentially useless? If so, why do you still have it? If not, when did you get rid of it?

I have two things that fit with the topic this week. First, is my cassette deck. Jenn hates that it is sitting with our audio equipment since it doesn't work well and just takes up space, but I'm having trouble giving it up. I can't remember the last time I played a cassette in there, but I know I dragged it out of the garage a couple of years ago when I found a box of cassettes that I hadn't heard in a long time. See, many of them are not in CD form, or are hard to find.

This particular cassette deck I got back when I was in high school, so it's not exactly new, though it was slightly advance for it's time. I loved making tapes on it, usually by hooking my brother's boombox up to it, and I liked the cool blue light it used for it's display. I thought I was pretty cool with this thing. Now it sits and collects dust in the family room. Such a sad way to go.

The other piece I wanted to mention was my Laserdisc player. I did move that out of the entertainment center, mostly because I didn't have a cord long enough to reach the back of the TV, but at least it's out. This is a little newer than the cassette deck. We bought this just before we got married as I was leaving my job at Circuit City. Still, that was at least 15 years ago. DVDs weren't around at the time, and from what I remember, it seemed there was a format war going on, so I thought it was going to be a long way off. I don't believe it turned out that way. Oh, well.

I still have some cool stuff on Laserdisc. I have The Abyss: The Director's Cut, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Criterion Edition, Star Trek:First Contact, a RUSH concert video, and best of all, Star Wars: The Definitive Edition. The last is the complete trilogy in original form (no added CGI) in CAV format that came as a box set with a book on George Lucas. Jenn bought that for me a long time ago. I should sell it on eBay.

Anyway, yes, I have some old stuff that is out of date and should be out of this house.

Extra Credit: Have you ever worked in an industry that has gone the way of the buggy whip, or is in danger of doing so?

As I said, I worked at Circuit City. Does that count since they went belly up?

Go back to the main Weekend Assignment site to see the other responses.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why my son doesn't want to change schools

Our kids go to a Lutheran school close to our house. We didn't send them to the public school down the block because the kindergarten schedule wasn't going to work for us. Then, once our son was set there, we decided to keep going. Why change if they like it, right?

Well, since it is the end of the school year we get to see a lot of the stuff they did in class that hasn't come home yet. One project was titled, "Why I Go to a Lutheran School." He wrote the expected stuff about teachers and God, etc. The kicker was the closing:

"I want to stay here because I don't want to go to a school that worships the devil."

So there you have it, people. If you don't go to a Lutheran school you worship the devil. Hey, I didn't say it. Don't get mad at me.

Aren't the last days of school fun?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Music choices

So, after a long lay off (because I'm a slacker, that's why), I'm getting back into running. I mean, I've done some races this year, but the training for said races was very lacking, to put it mildly. So, now I have to get back on the horse, as they say.

Today when I was running a couple of older songs came on. I think they were, Great White Hope and Borrowed Time, both by Styx. You know what? They made me feel a little better while I was running. Sure, they may not be your typical running songs, but they were from my days as a kid, so I felt a little younger while listening to them. Only a little, though. Remember, the lack of training I mentioned earlier?

As I was driving home with the kids, I've decided I need to go through the music on my iPod Shuffle and mix in some older stuff to keep me going. I'll keep the Styx on there, but I need to go and add some more. I need to make sure I don't pick out some super mellow songs.

Okay, I've got Styx, I'll put on some Kansas, but as I look through my iTunes list, I don't know if I have enough stuff like that.

Okay, I just bought something. I don't know if I can tell admit what it is. It's on the cheesy side, but this was some of my first taste of heavy metal. Also, I went to a private Lutheran school, if that gives you any hints. I just heard some and it made me laugh, so I think it is perfect. I need something that is going to make me feel good when I'm getting tired. It's not like I have some psycho trainer person yelling at me when I'm running. I need all the help I can get. You know?

Is this post a meandering mess? It seems that way. Okay, I need to go back to iTunes to find some more music. Or maybe Amazon.

I'll leave you with this, since it is the first day of June. It's not from my youth, but it's a good song by a band called Spock's Beard. Give it a listen. It's not metal at all. Just a good song. Enjoy! Happy June!