Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Don't I have a good lookin' kid?

Just don't tell him, it'll go to his head! :)


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Forever Mankind

I came across this speech in my Bathroom Reader this morning. I've read it before, but it's worth reading a second time, and sharing with others.

This was written by William Safire, for President Nixon to read in case of a 'worst case scenario' in the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, but there was always the possibility they might not make it back. Here's what we would have heard the President read if they didn't.

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pictures of our new house

I'm not sure why that map doesn't seem to be working, sorry about that.  Anyway, I stopped and took a few pics of the new house on my way in to work today, so check it out! 

(Sorry for the quality, pics were taken with my cell phone as the wife forgot to charge the battery in our digital camera!)

Once more, with Feeling!

We just got a call from the owner of the house we had applied to rent, and we're to sign papers this afternoon.  At this point, I'm thrilled that the previous deal fell through, as I like this house a great deal more than the apartment we were looking at before.  It's a bit smaller, I think, and the small bedrooms will be an issue, but it's also less expensive, and an all around nicer place. 

I'll take the camera with this afternoon and take some pictures to share.  For those familiar with the area, it's on 11th Avenue, just a few blocks from Ryan's school on 41st St.  It's a 'Molette' house, which apparently means it's a slab house, with floor heat, and with a steel frame. If you want to know more, ask. 

Here's an aerial view of the house, courtesy of Windows Live Maps.  It's the one near the middle of the picture, with the uglyish green house next to it. 

Map image

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another possibility

Last night Allison left a message in response to a new ad that had just appeared in yesterday's paper.  The add offered a house for rent, but not a lot of details.  Just before 9pm, the lady called back, described the home, and provided us with an address to drive by.  At the time, we happened to be out at the store, and not far from the address, so we stopped to check it out.

We were impressed enough with the outside to call back this morning and setup a viewing.  Other than fairly small bedrooms, we're quite impressed with the house, and have already filled out an application and faxed it back to the owner.  The landlord owns a local construction company, and as such claims to take a lot of pride in her rental properties.  In speaking with her, she sounded like a very reasonable lady, and even had no qualms with renting to pet owners.  At this point, we're back to the waiting game, but it definitely sounds promising. 

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

And the search continues. . .

We met tonight with the landlady and her husband of the apartment we thought we'd be moving to.  After we put down a deposit on the apartment, the landlady called and said that her husband didn't want to accept our ferrets.  Tonight they came over to see the ferrets and cage.  After a brief meeting with them, the husband offered to allow our pets in exchange for a $500 non-refundable pet deposit.  (More than double the $200 pet deposit initially agreed to by his wife.) 

As such, we've decided at this point not to accept the apartment.  It's a decent place, but not a must have, and with them already jerking us around before we've even moved in, this may not be the landlord we want to work with.  So, back to apartment hunting we go!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Bike

I got to see the bike last night when we picked it up from the impound yard.  It's not pretty, but it's not nearly as bad as I expected.  The instrument cluster is smashed up, and will at least need a new housing, if not the whole new cluster.  The left side engine cover is busted, with about a 3-4 inch long hole about 1 inch wide.  It doesn't look like it went any deeper than that, so hopefully just a new cover will correct that.  Of course, the cover is discontinued from the Suzuki, so I'm not sure how hard it will be to find one.

I'll try to get some pics of the damage and post them in the next day or two.  Overall, it's not NEARLY as bad as I would have expected.  Kinda like me! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Progress Report

Just wanted to write to update y'all on my condition.  The morning after the accident (yesterday morning), I was hurting pretty bad.  Getting up and down out of bed was the worst, and standing /walking put a lot of pain on my left knee.  After a while though, I started to find that the more I used it the less it hurt.  As the day went on, I was getting around pretty good.  I woke up this morning hurting again, but not as bad.  However, after getting up and taking care of a few errands, I felt like I was completely worn out.  I ended up sleeping most of the day away.  The good news is that the pain hasn't been too bad today once I did get going.  The worst of it today is probably the road rash.  It seems like covering them with gauss pads is hurting as much as it's helping, as they stick to the wounds and hurt like heck when ripping them off. . .

Anyway, the point of this post wasn't to whine about all the little things that are bothering me, but to say that I'm actually doing amazingly well, considering that I was in a motorcycle accident 2 days ago.  While I'm still a bit sore in the joins and the road rash still burns, this is nothing compared to what could have happened.

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Highway, meet Steve. Steve, don't meet the highway so hard next time.

Today I decided to accompany the wife to church.  They had a guest speaker today, Lisa Whelchel and after church was the monthly church group motorcycle ride.  This was my first time joining them, so I was looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to go on the whole ride.  About 10 minutes away from the church, I switched from 2 wheel transportation to the 4 wheel emergency vehicle type.  Getting off the Interstate at the John Deere Rd exit, I hit a patch of gravel and the bike slid out from under me.  My left knee, hip, and arm hit hard, with some solid road rash on the knee and arm.  I also got a good rash on my right arm, as I think I rolled when I hit.  Fortunately, a good Fulmer full face modular helmet took the damage for my head reason.  My helmet took a good scraping up on the front and side, and I know it bounced off the asphalt a few times.  

Sad to say, it sounds like my bike took a beating too.  I didn't get to see it, but I hear the crash bar broke off, the engine side case cracked, and it got pretty badly scraped up. 

On the upside, we did sign up for AFLAC accident insurance recently.  Our policy has been in effect for only 8 days now, but we should get some money back from them for this. 

I've got some close up pictures that show the wounds better, but right now I think I'm going to relax for a bit. 

(Kids, don't try this at home)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Scratch that... not moving just yet after all.

It seems our new landlord to be had 2nd thoughts and decided she will not allow Ferrets. As such, we're back on the market for a decent 2+ BR house or apartment for rent in the Moline/Coal Valley school district. If you've got any leads, let me know!

Hello, Grand Central. . .

For those who are looking at that last post and wondering what on earth I was thinking, I thought I'd share some details.  The 'Call Me' button you see on the previous post is part of a new service from Google called GrandCentral.

What GrandCentral tries to do is consolidate your phone service. You get one new telephone number (You can't currently port an existing number into the service.) which you can then control through their web site.  Depending on how you set it up, the one new number will ring all of your other phone numbers at the same time whenever someone calls.  So if you have a Cell phone, home phone, and work phone, all of those phones ring when someone calls your new number.  You can answer from any of those phones.  And if you don't answer, it goes to grandcentral voicemail.  The web site includes an inbox for voicemail, where you can listen to, reply to, or forward messages, just like email.  It will also notify you via email or SMS whenever you get a new voicemail message.

The CallMe button is another part of the service.  When you click the button, it asks for your name and phone number.  Once entered, the service will call the phone number you entered, and connect you to me, using the same 'call all my phones at once' technique as mentioned above.

There are lots of other bells and whistles as well, such as Call Screening, different greetings for each caller/group, different ringback tones for different callers, CallSwitch, Visual Voicemail, and more.  It's really something you should check out if you have multiple phone numbers.

Right now, the service is in beta, and available on an invitation only basis, so if you want to try it out, you've got to know someone who's already a member and get them to invite you.  There is, however, one bonus to the 'beta' status -- it's completely free.  You can use it all you want, and it doesn't cost you anything.  And don't worry, they're not going to get you hooked and start charging some ridiculous amount.  They've made it clear that at some point, the 'advanced' features like being able to call from a web page will cost something, but the core features will always remain a free service.  Of course, based on Google's history, it will likely remain in beta status for a long time to come.

Call me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Allison's Arm

As many of you may know, my wife fell in our parking lot a couple of months ago and broke her wrist and hand pretty badly.  Fortunately, we're through the rough part now, as she had the last of the pins & screws removed from her hand last week.  The surgery to remove the pins was outpatient, and she was home within a couple of hours.  Later that night, she already had significantly more movement in her wrist and fingers than she had since July when she fell. 

She's not been in to see her physical therapist since then, but I'm sure when she goes tomorrow he'll likely be quite surprised at the progress she's made.  Next week she goes in to see the surgeon again, and I expect he'll remove the stitches while she's there.  Overall, she's really doing great!

Who wants to help us move?

I think we've finally settled on a new apartment.  We're going to look at it on Thursday, but we've seen another unit in the same building and like it.  It's smaller than where we are now, but hopefully better managed. 

The new location is a bit farther from work for Allison and I, and from Ryan's school.  It is still in Moline though, so at least he won't have to change schools. 

If it does work out, we'll be moving in on our about the 15th of the month.  That should give us plenty of time to pack, and more time for Allison's arm to get back to normal use.  Speaking of which... oh, well, I guess that's another post.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Google Reader

As many of you know, I like Google.  Everyone knows they're one of the best search engines around, but not everyone knows about all of the OTHER things they do.  I've recently started using Google Reader.  I know reader has been around for a while, but it's one of those things I just didn't really get the point of until I started using it. 

Basically what reader does is pull info from all of your favorite web sites into one page.  Any site that has an RSS feed (and most of the frequently updated ones do) will work with it.  It works great with news sites, blogs, and podcasts.  Even web forums can be brought into Google reader, showing new posts from your favorite discussion site. If you're not sure whether one of your favorite sites offers an RSS feed, just click ADD SUBSCRIPTION in google reader and type in the web site address (i.e. ).  Google Reader will look through the site and find a feed if there's one available, making it easy to add new content to your site. 

There are lots of different ways to view content with Reader.  There's a mobile version that makes it easy to quickly skim headlines and read articles from your cell phone.  There's the main Google reader web page.  They've now got an Offline version that you can use to catch up on content while you're away from an Internet connection.  One of the coolest features is the 'NEXT' bookmark.  Just add this to your favorites or as a button on your 'links' bar, and each time you click it will take you to the next unread article from your google reader list.  You see the content on the original web page, the way it was intended to appear. 

All in all, it's simply a good way to gather a lot of content, from various sources, and be able to quickly sort through and read information that interests you.  Try it out! 

I've broken down and done it. . .

I've done it.  I've finally given in to peer pressure and created a MySpace page.  If you use MySpace, look me up, and add me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My new toy

This is the new Suzuki motorcycle I bought last month. It's a 1983 Tempter GR650.
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