Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tales of dismay.

Ever since I first signed up for Twitter I have been thinking about its uses. An individual Twitter post, or Tweet, is only 140 characters in length which is smaller than an average cell phone text message. This makes it difficult for individual posts to contain a lot of useful information. However, Sean McMinn, a writer from Hong Kong, has found an interesting approach. He is writing a novel called Tales Of Dismay one Tweet at a time. This is a very interesting literary and Web 2.0 experiment which I intend to follow.

CCDP site.

Columbia Child Development Program is a non-profit organization that provides child care in the Bloomsburg area. This is a site I created for CCDP using HTML, CSS, and Java Script. This was supposed to demonstrate to the CCDP managers how a website could streamline their enrollment process.

NYC at night.

This is a picture my wife took from a Circle Line boat at night. It wasn't much to look at so I helped it a bit using PhotoShop and Illustrator.


I made this image using Adobe Illustrator. It is called "Space" and was inspired by reading too much science fiction and watching entirely too much Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cool-Aid aquarium.

For some strange reason the water in an aquarium at a local Chinese take out place is a lovely shade of green. The fish, however, don't seem to mind.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Family type thing.

Today, to celebrate my Dad's birthday, Thanksgiving, and the 11 months anniversary of Lili's birth my wife, Lili, and I had brunch with my Dad. It was a nice family event especially with the Christmas spirit oozing out of every store.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cellular gift guide.

If you are planning to give somebody a cell phone for Christmas, check out Phone Scoop's Holiday Gift Guide. And if you are looking for one yourself, check out Phone Scoop for cellular news and for cell phone reviews.

Reading level.

cash advance

Get a Cash Advance

I don't know if this is true, but it's nice to think it is.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


After watching the Macy's parade, Lili celebrated her fist Thanksgiving with a holiday bib and a jar of turkey and sweet potatoes baby food.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Faux Dutch.

Traditionally the Amish, or Pennsylvania Dutch as they are sometimes called, decorate their barns with a five pointed star. However, this is a picture of a side of somebody's house and what's really funny is the fake barn door.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reinventing the wheel.

Yesterday I was talking to Dr. Kapp about Second Life and e-learning. The discussion centered around what in the instructional design field is called stand up training. Stand up training is the term used to describe the keystone of education: a teacher in front of a group of pupils. This method of education has literally been used for centuries around the world. And that is the huge barrier anybody who attempts to implement e-learning in either 2-D via a program like Centra, or in 3-D via Second Life has to overcome. The issue here is not the simple reluctance of the learners to use e-learning, but the ingrained idea that education only takes place when you are sitting in a chair in front of a person who has the credentials to educate. This is why a lot of people who teach classes in Second Life teach them the same way they would in a regular classroom with student avatars sitting in chairs arranged in rows and looking at a PowerPoint presentation. What these educators fail to recognize is the ability to use Second Life in a way that is impossible in real life. For example, one of my favorite places to visit in Second Life is Virtual Starry Night, a Vincent Van Gogh museum built by a Dutch company. One thing that makes VSN so special is that they recreated some of Van Gogh's paintings in 3-D. So if an educator decided to hold a lecture on Van Gogh they can hold it in a cafe from his painting The Night Cafe. This is, in a way, reinventing the wheel because it would still be a form of stand up training but conducted in a way that incorporates all the wonderful things Second Life has to offer.

Monday, November 19, 2007


To coincide with a new chapter of my life that is about to begin Lili decided to start a new chapter of her own. She started crawling forward yesterday. I specified "forward" because she has been crawling backward in one form or another for a while. Watching your child grow is an amazing and unforgettable experience especially when you are undergoing a growth process yourself. In slightly over a month Lili will be one. She will no longer be a baby, she will become what people at her day care call a "young toddler." I still can't believe it has been that long since my wife and I drove to the hospital on that rainy Christmas day. It is almost Thanksgiving and we have to start looking for the first set of Christmas/Birthday presents for Lili. This is going to be an annual ritual in years to come and I am looking forward to every one of them.

First snow.

This is an apple tree that grows outside my work place. It hasn't lost any of its leave by the time it snowed.

Winter wonderland.

This is a tree that grows outside the place I work. I took this picture after putting two kids on a school bus following a two hour delay due to snow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Early parade.

Following the trend of putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, Santa arrived in Wilkes-Barre five days early.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Lili has mastered the fine art of sitting. Soon she'll be one. She is growing up so fast.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


My coworker drew this picture which doesn't much look like the Horn Of Plenty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What if?

Here is something that has been puzzling me for a bit. If a two term President becomes a Vice President and the new President becomes unable to perform his duties as President, does the Vice President become President for the third time or does the job go to the Speaker of the House? A two term President can't run for a third term but the Constitution doesn't say anything about him becoming one.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My neighbor.

I love this sign. I think this house is either the residence of a tribute band or The Doctor and his companion.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Armistice Day.

Today is Veterans, or as it is known throughout the world Armistice, Day. Today we celebrate all those who have served in wars both recent and distant. It seems that we tend to remember those who gave their lives more than we do those who came home with physical and emotional scars. The veterans would tell you they are not the heroes that the heroes are the ones that died, but it takes as much bravery to come home from a war and make a life as it is to fight in a war. The only difference between the heroes who lived and those that died is random chance. So, let us remember the veterans today and every day.

Autumn leaves.

I love seeing leaves change and carpet the ground. However, it is also nice to see some leaves still on a tree. It brightens up what should otherwise be a gray and rainy month.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy anniversary, comrades!

Today is the 90th anniversary of the Russian revolution that took place in St. Petersburg on October 25th, 1917. This revolution brought about a five year civil war and eventually the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The anniversary was celebrated on November 7th once the Soviet leaders decided to join the rest of the world and switched calendars from Julian to Gregorian.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Suzi M., an alumna of my graduate program, just had Nemesis, her first novel, published. Nemesis is the first novel in a horror trilogy so be prepared to be scared. Suzi also created a Second Life experience to go along with her novel. You will have to download Second Life before clicking here.

Election Day.

One year from now people across the country will either be voting for the next President or watching election results on CNN. In the 12 months until then we will be bombarded by a multitude of negative ads, party conventions, personal appearances, and debates. We will also be bombarded with roadside signs, campaign buttons, and websites. This will be an ongoing onslaught unlike the election of 2004. The stakes will be higher, the the future will be more uncertain, and our enemies will closer than we would like to believe. But, unlike 2004, there will be enough candidates for President to have the winner's cabinet filled with the losers. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to watch the most amusing reality show that any television network has ever offered.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Since tonight is Guy Fawkes Night in England I have been thinking about torture. Guy Fawkes, after being captured near barrels of gunpowder in the basement of the British Parliament, was executed for treason using a rather barbaric, by modern standards, method of being hanged, drawn, and quartered. This method of execution, although utterly ruthless, was reserved for traitors to the crown. Before his execution, Guy Fawkes was tortured for information regarding his co-conspirators. Four hundred and two years ago in England this method of interrogation had to be approved by the king. I am not saying that we should bring back some of the wonderful methods used in Medieval Europe, but it would be nice to have somebody in the government finally decided if torture is constitutional. Because, clearly, when dealing with people like the current crop of crazies, regular methods just don't apply. We can not torture people one day and apologizes to them for it the next because we now think that torture in unconstitutional. Tougher enemies and tougher times call for tougher measures.

Guy Fawkes Night.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Reliving history.

When I discovered World War I: Experience of an English Soldier among the so-called blogs of note I was intrigued by its title. Why, I thought, would anybody blog about something that ended almost ninety years ago? So I did the only thing I could, I clicked on the link. Turns out this blog is truly worthy of note because it is comprised of letters posted ninety years after they were written. This is a very interesting idea and a great way to keep this soldier's memory alive.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Political corectness.

Somehow Halloween has become offensive to people and can not be referred to by its proper name. It must be referred to as an "Autumn Festival" which, I always thought, was another term for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Giant spider.

Since today is All Saints day, Halloween decorations are still up in many places around town.