Monday, February 23, 2009

Album Art - Tetragnatha!

BEHOLD - The first album cover from the famed Christian Metal Rock Band - Tetragnatha!

The above art is a quick Album cover I threw together because it looked like a fun Challenge.
My Twitter friend @joshuamauldin posted his here and it looked really nice.
When I read the instructions I thought it sounded like it'd be a fun challenge and to give it a try.

Here are the instructions:

If you’re a Photoshop or other kind of image making nerd, you may enjoy this.

1. Go to
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2. Go to
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3. Go to
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
EDIT: I noticed most all of the "intersting" photos were copyrighted. I decided to see if I could use the same random 3rd photo using the creative commons license, and much to my surprise it seemed to work real well with my idea. Here's the link:
4. Use Photoshop (or something else!) to put it all together.
5. Post a link to it and share with your friends!


Original photo attribute: Sinfomano

Friday, February 20, 2009

Economic "crisis"

I've hesitated posting anything about the recent economic mess we're in.
I have friends and family that are being directly effected by this mess. I continue to send thoughts and prayers to them and their families to make it through this mess and come out on the other side of it all.

I want to throw these few ideas out there though.
I have never really been into anything even remotely associated with "finance".
I never used to follow politics either. It wasn't until maybe 5-10 years that it started to capture my interest. I would still consider myself a 'beginner" when it comes to understanding these heavy duty issues. But I'm learning. I'm becoming more aware. That said...

A few days ago (possibly a week), I happened to catch a small clip on the Kieth Olberman show. I rarely watch his show. He's basically the "lefty Bill O'Rielly". But this clip caught my attention for some reason. It was a Representative named Paul Kanjorski and he was being interviewed on C-span. The exact date is a bit in dispute. I'll paraphrase here, since I can't find the original clip anymore... He said that on This particular day (right around the time that Lehman Bros Bank failed) That the Fed Reserve "noticed" there was an electronic "run on the banks". People (for some reason) decided on this particualar morning that today was the day to withdraw their money from a rather safe Money market (I think that's the right term). In a period of about 1-2 hours... They saw 550 BILLION Dollars withdrawn from the market. Let me repeat that... in 1-2 hours, 550 BILLION DOLLARS were no longer in play. Rep. Kanjorski said something to the effect that IF the run had continued that by 2pm they would have seen a loss of 5.5 TRILLION! In a nutshell... a complete economic collapse in the USA.
What shoocked me most about hearing this info, was that I wasn't aware of it. I follow the news pretty closely, and not once did I hear any news of this sort.
Earlier in the week I watched a special on PBS on the show called Frontline called "Inside the meltdown", that explained how we started down this rabbit hole of the econimic mess we're in. I had a hard time keeping up with it all. But the two names that they seemed to pin it on, was Bernanke, and Paulson.
As I type this, now, The Market today saw one of its worst days in a while, and the DOW around 2pm hit the lowest it's been in 11 years. Not only that... But there are rumors today that the Government 'might' step in and take over two of America's largest banks... Citigroup, and Bank of America. Due to these rumors, their stocks have both tumbled. Citgroup was under $2 a share (some on twitter where saying that's less than their ATM fee!). BofA was around $3.
I will not be the least bit surprised if over the weekend, that something major doesn't happen.
While I TRY my hardest to remain optimistic, it's difficult. I think we're in a real mess here.
I think this is a GLOBAL crisis also, not just one or two American banks.
I think I'm going to start looking for books about the great depression, to see how people survived it. I think our past may help us get through this mess. You know the ol' saying - Those who don't know the past are doomed to repeat it.
I'm keeping an eye on my bank's stock, and while I feel somewhat safe that my accounts are FDIC insured, It's still scary.
So as not to sound ALL gloom and doom...
The Dow did Rally a little towards the end of the day.
The Gov has issued statements that it will NOT take over citigroup or BofA.
So perhaps TODAY is the turning point. Perhaps things will start to level off next week.
I even saw a news article that said perhaps now is the time to buy a house.

One last point... I also hesitated posting this because EVERY time you turn the news on it's words of caution, and fear, and scare tactics. Even the Frontline show I saw was full of "scary music and a narrator who sounded like he was narrating an Edgar Allan Poe poem". A certain part of the blame for this mess goes directly towards the Media. I try not to listen to a lot of it. I jump in, get some basic news, then turn it off. It can certainly depress you to listen to too much at once.

Hang on folks.
These are interesting times we're in.
Don't let the fear mongering get to you, and stay strong.
Families need to support one another. Friends need to be there.
Hopefully we'll make it through and things will start to pick up again soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wegman's isn't perfect...

So a bablubird (username) was kind enough to stop into the local Wegmans today and see if they in fact pulled the product from the shelf... well, it turns out, I made the mistake (though you could see why)... apparently the date I saw that said "Mar 06" was the month and DAY not the YEAR.
I just called the "Great Range Bison" company in Colorado, and confirmed this. The woman was very nice and explained the process to me. It's shipped fresh and not frozen, and has a 25-28 day shelf life. She was able to pull the most recent shipment and confirmed that it matched the March 6th date.
So, My apologies to Wegmans and Great Range.
In my defense, with today's recent peanut scare, I think they should ad the full date to the product date stamp. (I wonder why the two guys behind the meat counter didn't know this, and didn't explain that to me, rather than snicker?)

Well, I think I've 'gushed' on my blog in the past about how much I like Wegmans (a supermarket). Tonight... not so much.
I wandered over to the meat section. Occasionally they have smaller cuts of rib-eye steaks that I enjoy for around $4. not tonight. I was looking over some of the meat selections, when I saw the ground Buffalo meat. I have bought this a few times in the past, with the idea that it would be healthier than eating ground beef. Well, tonight I learned that the Buffalo is very expensive! (I think it was around $10.50 a pound!) I don't know if the price went up since last I bought it, or if I just didn't take notice before.
But... here's the kicker...
I flipped the package over, and saw the "sell by or Freeze before" date... it was September of 2006!!
I looked again... 2006?! That can't be right. I picked up a few more, and they were all around that time! Then I picked up a packed of buffalo cuts, and it was 2004!!!?
I don't know the story behind this. Perhaps it was a misprint (the meat did look "normal"). Perhaps it was frozen in a warehouse somewhere and accidentally was put on the store shelf. Regardless, if it was correct, that could be dangerous! I felt obligated to tell someone.
I saw a guy come out from the back room, and stopped him. I told him. He sort of shrugged and said, I should tell the two men standing behind the meat counter. OK.
I walk up to the counter, and tell them the same thing... they smile.
That was not the reaction I was expecting. I almost said something right then and there, but the guy must have seen my expression, because he lost his smile real quick. Then (as if they didn't believe me) they had me show them what I was talking about. Again, he kinda snickered.
As I'm standing there, he realizes I wasn't leaving and he just turns and says "Thanks".
So I moved on.
As I continued shopping it really bothered me that they just kinda laughed, and the time that I did watch them, they were making no effort to pull the product from the shelf.
After paying for my food, I went to the customer service desk.
I explained it to them also, and then told them that the guys smiled and laughed when I told them. The woman apologized for their behavior.
I'm VERY tempted to drive back tomorrow night to see if they pulled the meat from the shelves or just left it there.
Shame on you Wegmans.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

quick story

Just a quick little post here.
I have family that is about to embark on a new journey in a new apartment/house (it looks wonderful!). It got me to thinking how much I don't like the space I currently live in (A small one bedroom apartment).
I can put up with a lot of things, but the main thing that bothers me is the noise from thin walls. I have pretty much solved my squirrel problem by buying my own trap, and learning how to lure them in (caught 2 so far), and am expecting a spring visit, but we'll see.
So I hopped onto craigslist the other day and found what looked like a nice place for a pretty good increase in rent. I could prob do it without much of a sacrifice.
I sent an email to my other family member and asked for advice and opinion.
She responded by saying (paraphrasing) I should pray to God for guidance...
My response...
Are you kidding me? Even He Himself couldn't rent a room at the Inn and ended up in a cave/barn/manger!
Gosh... I sure do hope the "Big Guy" has a sense of humor. :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Chirp - Chirp - Chirp...

Sorry, nothing to say lately.