Thursday, December 20, 2007


Ava's preschool Christmas party.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top 10 Rejected Eyeglasses

Here are the frames I considered before settling on the Nike 6021 (made by child labor in China, probably).

The Roger McGuinn:The Robert Oden (AKA the Fly Fisherman 5000)The David Letterman:
The Peter Fonda:The Dale Earnhardt:The Harry Carey:
The Merlin Mann:
The young Elvis Costello:
The contemporary Elvis Costello:
And the number 1 rejected eyglasses...
The Charles Nelson Reilly:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Devil's Tower

Our last full vacation day included a stop at Devil's Tower.

The remnants of a wooden ladder built in the 1890s.

One of many climbers we saw.

Ava was a little tired that day.

Nearby was a large prairie dog colony.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

ND, MT, WY, and UT (or, How to Drive and Drive and Drive)

We recently took a long vacation to North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. Most of Joseph's family were there as well. Here are a few photos. As usual, click on them for a bigger version.

The kids' second cousin Levi gave his last performance at the Medora Musical.

Next we drove to Big Sky, MT. On a short walk, I kept yelling back to Thomas to catch up. I guess Ava was tired of hearing it, so she shouted "Mustard up!" Here he is, mustarding up.

Big Sky is a short drive from Yellowstone. We spent two days there. It's the leakiest place on earth.

Johanna wandering near a river.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Midway Geyser Basin.

Ava cooling off.

Next we drove to Park City, UT, which was the site of several events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. We stayed very near Olympic Park, and spent a day there. They have freestyle aerial and ski jumping, as well as a number of rides.

Emma, Joseph, and Andrew on the zipline.

The most intense ride, by far, was "The Comet" summer bobsled ride. We renamed it "The Vomit Comet" for Tami's post-ride experience.

The Right Stuff?

That's Paul getting ready to push us down the mountain.

Ava had to settle for the alpine slide, since she wasn't over the minimum weight for the zipline.

It was really a terrific vacation. We hope all of the cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents had as much fun as we had.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Not that anyone is interested, but the lack of new posts here recently was because of two or three different technical problems with and my local internet service provider. I've changed the way these pages are hosted. The good news is that it should be faster, the archive navigation is much nicer, and that all of the addresses should look like "" instead of "" As I said, not all that interesting to anybody but me.

I have lots of photos from our recent vacation; look for them here shortly.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cream of Wheat chef

The guy thought to be the model for the Cream of Wheat chef finally has a grave marker.

Some years ago, the South Dakota Art Museum here in Brookings displayed a number of paintings from Cream of Wheat advertisements. The thing that struck me about them was that the image of the chef had mostly been pasted in. It was a little odd to see a bunch of oil paintings with a printed picture stuck in the middle.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

2nd Triennial Bee Photo

The bees have arrived at our crab apple tree again. Who knows if they'll make it back to the hive.

The wind made it tricky to get good shots, but I lucked out and got this one in mid-flight.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jackrabbits win again

The women's basketball team won again tonight. I think I bought the very last reserved-seat tickets. I'm not kidding. Thomas, Ava, and I were in the very last seats of the very last row way up in the corner. The view wasn't all that bad, though. Alas, Johanna was not feeling well, and stayed home with Tami (thanks, Tami!).

It was an exciting game, and wasn't really decided until the final minute or so. Free throws won it; the Jacks did not shoot well from the field.

The team travels to Laramie to play the University of Wyoming on Sunday.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rabbits advance to 3rd round in WNIT

The South Dakota State University Jackrabbits women's basketball team advanced to the 3rd round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament with a convincing 61-48 win over Illinois State. They'll host the winner of the Indiana-Iona game.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

George VI

What's more annoying than getting Canadian coins in change? I always think "Well, there's another coin I can't use in the vending machine to buy Cheetos!"

Canadian pennies are OK, though, since U.S. pennies are just as useless, Cheetos-wise.

The other day I glanced at my change, and saw the familiar maple leaves -- wait, this is a Canadian coin. Make that "leafs." It looked a little old, but I didn't bother to look at the date. I flipped it over, and saw not Queen Elizabeth II, but King George VI. I flipped it back over again, and saw it was from 1942.

I took these photos with our brand-new used Nikon D50, my old Nikkor 35-70 2.8D lens in macro mode, and an improvised light tent made of a table lamp and a piece of white paper. Aperture-priority auto exposure at f/11, +1.0 exposure compensation (the backgound, our kitchen table, was much lighter than the coin, and so threw off the exposure a bit). 3 seconds for the obverse; 2.5 seconds for the reverse. ISO 200.

UPDATE: The "KG" on the reverse refers to the designer, George Kruger-Gray. "GEORGIVS VI D:G: REX ET IND:IMP:" on the obverse is for "Georgius VI, Dei Gratia, Rex et Indiae Imperator," or "George VI, by the grace of God, King and Emperor of India."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Division of Labor; or Why I Love Google

Here's an actual Google Groups search I did today, and it solved a problem for me in about 5 seconds:
aix fcs wwn

It would be hard to explain to anyone from 100 years ago how that seemingly random bit of typing produced, however indirectly, some economic utility.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Check Engine Soon

Twice on our drive to California, we bought gas of a certain brand. I don't want to name names, but it rhymes with "Schmillips 66." Both times, the check engine light came on.

The owner's manual for our van was reassuring, and suggested that we burn through one tank of gas before flying into a panic. We did just that, and the warning light went out in each case. We resolved never to fill up on Schmillips gas again.

Alas, while on the Kansas Turnpike between Wichita and Topeka, the tank was getting low. We had two choices: get off of the turnpike, drive who-knows-how-far, and pay a double toll, or buy more Schmillips gas. We chose the latter. Sure enough, the warning light lit up again, and stayed on all the way to South Dakota, where at the Vermillion exit on I-29 I filled up at a Conoco station.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


We just returned from California. To misquote The Pretenders, 4,000 miles is very far through the snow. Actually, only a tiny portion of that was through the snow. We hit a pretty good snowstorm in Utah on our way west. We had the good luck to drive through Colorado between the two big storms they've had. Not wanting to risk more snow, we took a southern route through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma on our way back home. Here we are at the Grand Canyon:

We had a terrific time staying with Joel, Patricia, Andrew, Eric, and Paul, and also spent a day at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach with both them and Jim, Rebecca, Ben, Michael, Ingrid, Allison, and Emma. We also visited the Los Angeles Zoo, the Kidspace Children's Museum, and the Huntington Library and Gardens.