buzzing a mountain in a flying wingsuit
Friday November 16th 2007, 8:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

ok, so i like the adreneline rush. i’ve bungee-jumped three times, and jumped out of planes twice. but this is a bit beyond me:


microsoft zunephone
Saturday September 15th 2007, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, humor

like most other tech-lovers, i have obsessed a bit over the iphone. i’m glad to have a couple friends who’ve gotten them tell me their limitations and downsides: it’s eased the pain. but this video still cracked me up. making fun of microsoft’s lame attempt to knock the ipod off its pedestal with their “zune” player, here is a video for the zunephone…

california condors
Tuesday September 11th 2007, 6:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized, thinking...

california condor1.jpgaccording to the peregrine fund, there were, not too long ago, only 22 remaining california condors (in 1982). today, there are over 300.

we saw at least a dozen of them at the grand canyon the other day. amazing birds, with a wingspan of up to 9 and a half feet. they glided along the canyon edge, never moving their wings. absolutely stunning birds.

sure would have been a shame if they hadn’t been saved.



pass the pigs
Friday August 31st 2007, 9:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

pass the pigs, online! we played the old skool version with little rubber pigs this week.

(all thanks to the ht goodness of miss shawn edwards)


domino pool
Thursday August 30th 2007, 6:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

ok, my brain tells me i should find this uh-maze-ing, truly flabbergasting, massively impressive. but watching it, i’m just annoyed. maybe it’s the frickin’ scott joplin playing in the background that just makes me want to shoot my piano teacher from when i was in 5th grade. or maybe it’s that this pool dude spent way too much time on this thing. whatever. i’m cranky. maybe i was cranky already, and that’s why i’m more annoyed than impressed. no, i think this guy made me cranky.


rock, paper, scissors on crack
Tuesday August 14th 2007, 6:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

rps 101.jpgyou know those people who take a simple joke and just go too far? or, those people who get into a little practical joke back-and-forth, and just can’t stop before things get out of hand?

those people must have created this game, loosely baesd on rock, paper, scissors (officially called ro shambo, btw).

they call it “rsp-101: the most terrifyingly complex game ever”. just makes you want to jump right in and play it, doesn’t it? a description:

A 101-gesture version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. A game so complex, I highly doubt anyone will actually even want to attempt to play it. It’s not just remembering what beats what, but remembering how to actually say all 5,050 outcomes is something only a savant could manage.

really, you gotta click on the chart and scroll around a bit to experience the combination of awe, horror, delight and sorrow you will feel for the creator of this game.

(ht to mark mcgowan)


battle chess
Sunday August 05th 2007, 6:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized, family

chess.jpgwhile max and i were in mexico for our children’s book writing trip, we made up a game. really, he made it up. i just made a couple minor suggestions, which he included.

this, or some close version, is probably already available in the game market. but we haven’t seen those — so this was original thought! we played it over-and-over, during our writing breaks. it’s really a fun game!

battle chess is played with a normal chess board and pieces. the only modification necessary is to somehow mark the two “bishops” each player has, so one can be differentiated from the other (we wedged a tiny piece of paper into the slot on the top of one of each player’s bishops).

in addition, you’ll need two dice per player, and a scrap paper and pen or pencil for each player.

all regular chess moves are used. but when a piece would normally merely take an opponant’s piece, the two must do battle. this is done with the dice. pawns get to use one die. all other game pieces get to use two dice. but it’s simply the highest number on one die that wins. so, if you challenge my rook with your pawn, you get to use one die, and i get to use two dice. but if you roll a six, and i roll a three and a four, you still win (because, while i get two dice to increase my odds, i still only get to use the higher of my two numbers).

in addition, the four key game pieces have wagering points, in the following values:
bishop: 5 points
ghost (that’s the bishop that’s marked slightly different. don’t ask me why it’s a ghost. max said so.): 5 points
queen: 8 points
king: 8 points

wagering points are used to increase the number of a dice roll. any time a player’s bishop, ghost, queen or king are in a battle, that player can choose to wager as many additional point values as they wish, up to the amount they have left for that game piece. for example: if your pawn challenges my bishop to a battle, you get to use one die, and i get to use two. in addition, i can wager (assuming i’ve not previously used any of that bishop’s wagering points) up to 5 additional points. it would be a bit silly to use that many, so i’d likely wager about 2. that means i have 3 remaining for that bishop (hence the scrap paper and writing utencil). if our battle is a tie (say, if you roll a six for your pawn, and i roll a two and a four — meaning, i use the four, and add my two wagering points to it, for a total of six), i lose my wagering points, and have to decide whether or not to wager more in the rematch.

another sample scenario:
a rook battles a king (and the king has 4 remaining wagering points). both get to roll two dice. king wagers 2 additional points (and notes that on paper). the rook rolls a 2 and a 6. the king rolls a 1 and a 3 (meaning, the king’s high number is 5 — 3 + 2). rook wins.

the primary strategy max and i discovered is to use pawns and game pieces without wagering points to wear down the wagering points of the more strategic game pieces, while trying to retain as many of your own wagering points as possible. in the end, the player with the most wagering points seemed to have a huge advantage. game ends when one player takes the other player’s king in a battle - Correction: game ends when all of one player’s pieces are eliminated in battle. max just corrected me. we’d found the game wasn’t as fun when it was only about attacking or defending the kings.

seriously, this is a fun game. max and i dare ya to try it.


jessica the hippo
Thursday July 26th 2007, 6:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

so, i thought this was interesting and cute, until the lady said, “i think of her as my daughter.”

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competitive acrobatics
Saturday July 21st 2007, 6:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

holy freakin’ guacamole! it’s a competitive combo of cirque du soleil acrobatics, gymnastics and cheerleading mounts. whoa. if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing (”the five disciplines” are female pair, female group, male pair, male group, and male/female pair), slide forward to about the 3/4 mark to see the mixed groups. again i say: wow. - Sports Acrobatics: The 5 Disciplines

(ht to naked pastor)


sketch generator
Thursday July 12th 2007, 6:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

this is a very cool generator: it turns uploaded photos into sketches (in jpg format) in a second or two. i just converted this photo of me and liesl into the sketch beneath it.