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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 10/19/08 - 10/26/08

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Bright Spot in a Gray Day

Today has been gray and rainy all day. Ugh.

Dave is in Michigan for a Google Earth conference. I'm jealous. I love Google Earth and would LOVE to learn how to write code for overlaying data!

So it's just the boys and me tonight, so we had a laid-back afternoon/evening. We built Legos, ate macaroni and cheese for dinner, popped some popcorn, watched some Return of the Jedi, and had a video teleconference with FotoMom and her son Joey!

I have to share the popcorn experience with you. I picked up an ear of popcorn at the Arbor Day Farm.

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

So this is it. About $2 from the souvenir shop.

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

I like these instructions! So you can't sue the company if your microwave explodes?

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

So here's the popping bag.

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

And here's the popping bag with the ear of corn it in, per the instructions.

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

The instructions say to fold down the bag THREE TIMES, which is what I do here.

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

The shots of the corn in the microwave popping didn't come out, but this is the product when it's done. For starters, I popped this about a minute longer than your standard Pop Secret or Orville Redenbacher's and it DIDN'T BURN! The first kernels popping sends the cob bouncing in the bag in the oven, which the boys thought was really funny.

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

A closeup of the cob -- several kernels popped and remained on the cob. Cool!

From 2008 10 21 BigRedPopcorn

The finished product. The one cob gave us about 1 1/2 commercial bags worth of popped corn. Since this is about as pure as it gets, we had to season it ourselves. All I did in this case was drizzle 2 Tbsp. of melted salted butter on top. Perfection!

So the boys and I sat down and devoured this popcorn while watching the first part of Return of the Jedi. Then Maryann chimed in on AIM and we chatted for a few minutes. After all this time, I never got around to installing our web cam on our desktop's a laptop webcam and Dave took the laptop with the software with him to Michigan. So we discussed letting our boys see each other and talk on the AIM webcam:

From 2008 10 21 VideoTeleconWithMaryannJoey

Joey and Timmy are showing each other their toy lightsabers. Joey's is green (on the main screen) and Timmy's is blue (on the inset screen). The laptop camera is on the left side of the picture, clipped to the left hand of my running trophy, which you can read about me winning here.

The boys had a blast with this -- I put the camera far enough away on the desk that both boys could easily be in Joey's field of view and they had the best time exchanging stories and telling each other how much they miss each other (awwwww....).

In a rare moment, I was able to get the webcam working in about 10 minutes...that's the time it took to install the software and configure the video/audio on the webcam. Usually something goes awry when I'm installing new hardware, but tonight we were lucky -- I figured I'd be jinxed for sure with 3 little boys' happiness riding on whether the software installed correctly!

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My Two Babies

Today I got Timmy's preschool portraits and I'm SO HAPPY with them! Even though they had different photographers, it was a pleasant surprise to see how both Timmy's and Jake's pictures are composed similarly (i.e., both simple head shots, no props or anything), so if they're hanging side by side in the living room (my plan), they'll look nice together.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Another New Look!

Feedback please! I finally took the plunge into a 3-column blog, which I'd been wanting for some time, so I can put the "standard" widgets on one side and the "fun" widgets on the other.

Unfortunately, all of my widget code was lost in the transition, so I'm in the midst of reconstructing those.

I did this all Monday evening when I should have been viewing training videos for work...sigh...

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A Work in Progress -- Timmy's Halloween Costume!

I can't remember if I'd mentioned it before, but Timmy declared around Labor Day that he wants to be R2-D2 for Halloween.

And of course I agreed.

I already finished Jake's costume, which is described here. I'm still trying to convince Jake to shave his head like Mace Windu. We'll see...

After some discussion with Maryann about materials -- her son Joey also wanted to be an R2 unit for Halloween, I figured a small bullet trashcan would be our best bet to fit onto Timmy. Maryann investigated those large cylindrical soda receptacles that you see at convenient stores, but ended up going with the bullet garbage can, too.

At our local Home Depot, we came across this Rubbbermaid small bullet can -- perfect!

So we're off! We also picked up some assorted R2-D2 colored spray paints (blue, chrome, white) and here we go!

First things first, Timmy's going to wear the trash can as a tube, so we had to cut the bottom out of the can.

So first I used a drill to put holes along the sides of the bottom edge.

A close up of the holes.

So with a couple slices with a keyhole saw, the bottom popped right off. But we were left with all this debris. I started with some 100 grit sandpaper, but that was futile...

But a box-cutter was perfect! I was able to shave off the excess plastic, then used the 100 grit sandpaper to fine-tune the edge.

Next task, painting the wastebaskets. We could only find that silver/coppery colored can, so it had to be painted white...

I wanted low humidity and not much wind, but in Nebraska in the fall, forget it! Today is the last dry day for a while, but it was quite breezy so I just made sure to remain upwind of the spray and we did okay.

Presenting, the white-painted trash can! Coming soon, masking and painting R2's...uh...accoutrements?

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