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Archive for December, 2008

Movie Review: Bobby

December 30th, 2008 1 comment

BobbyI just finished watching the movie Bobby, delivered to me via Netflix recommendation from my parents. This is not just a movie about the assassination of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, it’s more a movie about the lives of the many people that were affected by the event in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A surprising array of well-known stars makes up the cast of this film and the one I had not seen in a movie before is Lindsay Lohan. I’ve only know her as a Hollywood attention-getter and party-goer but in this movie she does very well.

The movie is very entertaining and compelling in the way it weaves the lives of those involved together to form several stories. Critics gave the movie mixed reviews though I recommend it for the entertaining way it tells the story leading up to Bobby Kennedy’s death by focusing on key people affected by the assassination.

Bonus: You just might want to find out more about Bobby Kennedy after you watch this film.

Categories: movies Tags:

Family Photo Project Decisions

December 27th, 2008 1 comment

After scanning scanning and more scanning along with editing, cropping, tweaking, saving, optimizing, naming, organizing, naming again and again my mom and I have made some decisions about the final method of organization of our large library of photographs. Yay! (Honestly, we’re both obsessive about organization, so it was pretty pathetic watching the two of us trying to make some final decisions – but we did it!)

picasa_logoOur decisions were based on how our family would likely want to view the photos. We decided to use Google’s Picasa software on my computer, synced to a number of web albums in a new Google account named birdfamilypics. We’ll share the login to this account so we can administer the online photo albums.

Albums will be created based on where we lived followed by the year. For example, “Santa Ana 1970-72” is the name of an album. As a family, we’ve lived in 5 or 6 places so that limits the number of albums to a reasonable handful. All photos will be tagged with events like “birthday” or “graduation” allowing the viewer to pull in photos across the albums when they select a tag. Additional tags where it makes sense will be added.

Even further, Picasa has an exceptional facial recognition feature which in effect, allows you to create “people tags” and view all photos where “Marty” appears. So, if you want to view Marty’s birthdays, Picasa makes it simple by allowing the viewer to choose Marty, then the birthday tag.

We had labored on and on about the file naming structure and in the end that did not really matter since the combination of album, tag, and facial recognition makes the organization and retrieval of images very easy.

Now, will somebody please appreciate us for all the hard work we’ve done so far? 🙂

Categories: family, photography Tags:

Making My Christmas Vacation Plans

December 25th, 2008 No comments

As I prepare to take a rest from my normal day-to-day, I can’t help but anticipate the next few days. Tomorrow I’ll be stopping at my brother’s house in Odon for a visit with his family before heading to my parent’s place further south near Loogootee. Plans include doing nothing and enjoying it immensely.

When I tire of that, I’ll pick up a book, a magazine, converse with my mom and dad, watch TV, browse the internet, maybe answer some email. After that, I’ll take a walk with my mom, troubleshoot the household computer ills, drink some afternoon coffee and maybe go to town for some supplies. By far what I’m looking forward to the most is sharing stories behind the photo project my mom and I have embarked upon. We’re up to over 1,400 photos scanned from the family photo albums. Many memories and indeed many emotions have resulted from the resurfacing of these pictures. In that vein, here is a Christmas memory that is strong in my mind tonight.

Christmas 1970

Bird children Christmas Eve 1970.

I always wondered what happened after I went to bed on Christmas Eve.

I always wondered what happened after I went to bed on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Dinner with Miki and Kevin

December 21st, 2008 No comments

I enjoyed a holiday dinner with my sister Miki and her beau Kevin last night in Bloomington. It’s sad to say I have not spent much time with Miki over the past few years, although when we do get together it’s always very comfortable. She knows me as an older sister would. I tend to forget that and she’ll surprise me with an insight that could only be delivered by her – like “How did you know that about me? Oh, you’re my sister!” Miki and Kevin had a Christmas tree and decorations sprinkled tastefully about so they’re showing some good holiday spirit. Excellent to see Miki and have some good brother-sister time. Here’s a pic from the wayback machine:

Marty and Miki Fall 1979

Marty and Miki Fall 1979

Categories: family, personal Tags:

Snow in Seattle Now and Then

December 21st, 2008 1 comment

My younger sister published a post showing her girls playing in the snow in their backyard in Seattle. Snow is not a common occurrence so it is celebrated by children and adults alike with snowballs, snowmen and general wonderment at the white stuff. Just like the day shown in the photo here, except this one is from 1968, in the front yard of our Bellevue house, soon after my little sister was born! Shown is Marty, Eric, Miki and of course, my Mom.

Winter of 68-69 in Bellevue Washington

Winter of 68-69 in Bellevue Washington

Categories: personal Tags:

Changing Website Host

December 19th, 2008 2 comments

Not only did I switch from Blogger to WordPress, I ditched my prior web host and am now with Jumpline. This web host comes highly recommended from a prominent social media expert and good friend Douglass Karr. I had my domain hosted for years by another company that has seen its ups and downs (mostly downs lately). It’s nice to get with a new hoster that has all the latest bells.

Categories: technology Tags:

Moving my blog to WordPress

December 19th, 2008 No comments

Whew! Just finished up moving my blog from Google’s Blogger service to a WordPress platform that I installed on my domain. While Blogger is fine, I like to tweak and experiment, so WordPress is a great choice for me. I’ve administered another blog for the Magnuson side of my family for some time now, and with the new 2.7 version there is plenty to learn!

Categories: technology Tags:

My Water Filter Quest Quenched

December 13th, 2008 1 comment

I have one of those Brita water pitchers in my fridge that requires a filter change at a recommended 2 month interval. I really like the fresh-tasting water and having it readily available encourages me to drink more. But, I tend to procrastinate when I have extinguished my supply of water filters, so the last filter has been stretched to last about 6 months (with no ill effects – that I know of).

Why do I procrastinate? Those water filters are expensive! Think of replacement ink jet cartridge expensive – you’ve purchased an inexpensive appliance but in order to continue to use it you are required to purchase costly consumables. So, you’re stuck.

Alas, in the same vein as my earlier post about finding a great deal on a magazine subscription, I found a great price on replacement filters by doing some research on the web. I found an eBay store and clicked on “buy it now” to save more than 50% off the retail price I was finding at popular discount big-box stores. The purchase arrived quickly and safely, and the filters are great. Cheers!

Categories: finance, personal Tags:

Coughing, Sneezing, Runny Nose – you know the drill

December 11th, 2008 2 comments

Uggg! I have been just miserable with this cold the past few days. I think it’s just a run of the mill common cold, I don’t have a fever and aches associated with the flu. Wow, my nose runs and runs and I sneeze and there it goes again. I was able to venture out late today and purchase some Alka-Seltzer Plus, but that does not seem to do anything, just like the Sudafed and Zicam I’ve been taking.

Am I unique? No over the counter drug shortens or relieves my symptoms when I get a cold. Normally it starts in my throat and stays in my head and upper lungs for 3 days, accompanied by the misery of constantly stuffed head and running nose. My voice sounds terrible and I can’t sleep. I did have the sense to stay home from work today and keep my misery to myself.

Categories: personal Tags:

More photos from Seattle vacation

December 9th, 2008 No comments

I’m back at work but reminiscing about my recent trip to Seattle. Here are a few photos that make it worth remembering:


From 2008-Seattle-Visit
Categories: family, personal, vacation Tags: