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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 - Year in Review


Flight tracking

Brian's in the air as I type returning home from a business trip to Boston. So, I thought I'd track his flight to see when I can expect him home. The site I frequent most often for this purpose is FlightAware.com.

It just so happens that Google launched a new flight tracking service today. According to Google:
For the latest information on a flight's status, simply search for an airline and flight number, and the first result will tell you whether your flight is on time or delayed as well as the estimated departure and arrival times. Here's a quick example for a specific American Airlines flight:

That's even easier!!

H.A.S. - Hillary Ambivalence Syndrome

Patrick sent this one to us...

The gift that keeps on giving...

...back to you!!

This "service" for sale on eBay right now is hysterical! It's a little pricey, with the current bid at $190.50, but this prank would be legen... (wait for it) ..dary!

According to the description:
You are bidding on a rare chance to traumatize a treasured friend or relative with baffling, mind-numbing, mystery correspondence from abroad.

Here is the arrangement:

I will be spending the Christmas holiday in Poland in a tiny village that has one church with no bell because angry Germans stole it. Aside from vodka, there is not a lot for me to do.

During the course of my holiday I will send three postcards to one person of your choosing.

These postcards will be rant-ravingly insane, yet they will be peppered with
unmistakable personal details about the addressee. Details you will provide me.

The postcards will not be coherently signed, leaving your mark confused, guessing wildly, crying out in anguish.

"How do I know this person? And how does he know I had a ferret named Goliath?"

Your beloved friend or relative will try in vain to figure out who it is. Best of all, it can't possibly be you because you'll have the perfect alibi: you're not in Poland. You're home, wherever that is, doing whatever it is you do when not driving your friends loopy with international prankery.

Your target will rack their brains in the shower. At dinner. During long drives. At work. On the golf course.

"Who did I tell about the time I got fired by a note on my chair?" they'll ponder, "And where the hell is Szczeczinek?"

But wait, there's more.

To add to the sheer confusion and genuine discomfort, one missive will be on an original promotional postcard announcing the 1995 television premiere of
Central Park West on CBS.

Another will be a postcard celebrating Atlanta's disastrous hosting of the 1996 summer Olympic games.

Your mark will be at a complete loss, desperate for answers, debating contacting people he or she hasn't talked to in years.

"I know this will sound weird," they'll say, "but by any chance were you in Eastern Europe ranting about cantaloupe... twelve years ago... right before some show with Mariel Hemingway debuted?"

When you decide to end the torment is completely up to you. If you can, I recommend owning up on 1 April 2008 - giving you nearly half a year of joy and a George Clooney-esque level of prankage. If you can't hold it in that long, I totally understand.
Too bad I'm all done with my Christmas shopping!! :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The logic of UPS

I recently returned 2 pairs of shoes to an online merchant. The box traveled via UPS, and could have had a trip that looked like this (from Point A to Point B - 378 miles):


View Larger Map

Instead, it traveled over 2,045 miles from Points A to H:


View Larger Map

Oh well, at least it got there!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"You sound like you're having fun already..."

I hope Brian realizes that we'll be seeing this one on opening weekend!

I can't wait!! :)



...and the international trailer (you'll see more of the storyline on this one)

ZOMBIES!!

It was very well done and entertaining, but don't let the previews fool you... this is a ZOMBIE flick!

There's an interesting article on Wikipedia about the making of this film - you can read it here.

About the movie... don't say I didn't warn you!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The future as imagined in 1967!

Watch this video from the Philco-Ford company called Year 1999 A.D. Amazingly, they got a lot of concepts right!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

In a galaxy far, far away...


This has to be the ultimate Christmas present this year! Should you ever find yourself lost in the galaxy, and wanting desperately to return home... or maybe you were taken against your will?
"In case of alien abduction, these dog tags may save your life. The crucial data an alien will need to get you back to Earth is die-stamped into these dog tags."
Don't worry, they do offer a full money-back guarantee:
"Should you ever be abducted by aliens while wearing Location Earth Dog Tags and not returned safely to Earth you will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price."
(How exactly will you be able to collect on that refund?!?)

Hurry!
Order your dog tags now!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Over the river and through the woods...

Ken Levine, an Emmy-winning writer, posted several helpful Thanksgiving Travel Tips on his blog. A few clever favorites:

* Leave for the airport NOW. Especially if your flight is on Wednesday.
* Bring no luggage. Wearing the same clothes for a week is a small price to pay.
* Southwest has no reserved seating. Get in one of the latter groups boarding. You don’t want to be one of the first to sit then watch as fifty people glance at the empty seat next to you, then to you, and decide to sit somewhere else.
* Those people in the Stand-By line – those are the same people who think they can get rich selling Amway products, and the Tooth Fairy really exists. Don’t fly Stand-By unless you like sleeping in airport terminals for five days.
* Air travelers: avoid O’Hare. Better to land in Dallas, even if your destination is Chicago.
* If you’re dropping someone off at the airport don’t even think you’ll be able to stop. Have your travelers practice the tuck and roll from a moving car. The first couple of times they’ll bounce but by the fourth or fifth try they should have it down.
* There’s more legroom in Exit rows. When the flight attendants ask if you are willing to help out in case of emergency just say yes. Like it’s going to make a big difference anyway if you crash.
* If you’re flying on an airline that doesn’t have reserved seating never sit next to anyone whose already eating or reading Ann Coulter.
* Put a big strip of duct tape on your luggage so you’ll recognize it easily. And it makes a nice fashion statement.
* Watch "PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES" again and think of it as a “best” case scenario.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's almost time!

Until we can listen to Christmas music 24/7 and not feel weird! :)

(Visit Songza to listen to ANY song you can think up... it's an online jukebox - very cool!)


It's all about the Benjamins...

This post is mainly for my dad, because he loves to go shopping among the throngs of crazy people on the day after Thanksgiving, also known as "Black Friday". (For those who shop online, the Monday after Thanksgiving is known as "Cyber Monday".) We likely won't find ourselves out shopping on Black Friday, since I have to work, but it is kinda fun to see days in advance all of the bargains we will be missing out on. TheBlackFriday.com is a great place to sneak a peek at various store ads to even plot out where you might go early Friday morning. CyberMonday.com lists bargains for Monday. May the force be with you - may you run fast and have the strongest grip for the last item on the shelf!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

$611 BILLION

My brother has an interesting post on his blog today on the cost of the war in Iraq and how that money might have been better spent. He links to a slideshow created by The Boston Globe. Completely astounding! Check it out here.

Be sure to buy a turkey you can handle!

A co-worker sent me this one...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Thanks for leaving the lights on for all the INVISIBLE PEOPLE!"


Random environmental awareness...
NBC's "Green Week" was a good idea, but only really worked in this week's
"30 Rock". You can see some pretty hilarious highlights here. I'm sure they're hoping that at the very least it got America's couch potato population thinking about their effect on the environment. Hopefully each of us considers our own carbon footprint, and the small changes we can make. This frightening article has me rethinking the plethora of plastic shopping bags that we definitely reuse in the Sprik household, but still receive way too many of. (Not a reflection of my addiction to Target, of course! ;) Many of you know that one of the shopping quirks at the company I work for, is that customers must purchase or bring their own bags for their groceries at our stores... which is a great way to cut down on plastic waste. Another clever way is a non-disposable shopping bag, like the customizable ones you can now make at LL Bean.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

How to Perfectly Fold a T-Shirt

We happen to use a Flip 'n Fold at our house for folding t-shirts. This method looks pretty interesting, quick, and doesn't require any props...

Fall back

If you've been oblivious today to the time change, then I should have told you about this service earlier! (Remember my Arizona family, now you're the same time as Utah, not California.) Send yourself and others scheduled text message reminders at TextMemos.com.

Just a tourist...

The first few pics are in from Brian's sightseeing day in Bristol... enjoy!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

"Bob's your uncle!"

Brian's off to Bristol for a week of training for his new job... he will be missed!!

(The meaning of the post title.)

Stay posted for pics from his trip!

GPK

Oh my! I haven't seen these in years... Garbage Pail Kids! I've posted our names and our siblings' names below. You can find your own name here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Blue Moon... I saw you standing alone...

It's definitely no secret that Brian absolutely adores South Haven, MI's Sherman Dairy Blue Moon ice cream. There are many different variations across the country of Blue Moon. Some descriptions of the flavor include fruit, Fruit Loops, orange, pineapple, lemon, cherry, raspberry, cantaloupe, honeydew, peach, licorice, pistachio, coconut, almond, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, custard, chocolate, marshmallow, and bubble gum. (I know, it sounds like a horrible stomachache, not to mention the fact that it's BLUE.) But he loves it, so that's okay.

Every time we head to Michigan he talks about stopping at Sherman's, but without fail his mom has already picked up a gallon or two for him. A few weeks ago when we were in Madison,WI, we accidentally found a small ice cream shoppe that served the smurfy flavor... and he was in heaven! Later that week, he lucked out and we found it for sale at our local Meijer's.

If after all of this you're still curious about Blue Moon, you can make some for yourself:

Blue Moon Ice Cream

6 servings - 30 min, 10 min prep

1/2

cup milk

1/2

cup sugar

1/4

teaspoon salt

1/2

cup half-and-half

1/2

teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla oil

1 1/2

cups whipping cream

1/8

teaspoon blue food coloring

3

teaspoons vanilla pudding mix

1

teaspoon raspberry flavored oil, pureed or 1 cup frozen raspberries, pureed

1

teaspoon lemon flavored oil or lemon extract

  1. 1/2 cup of milk scalded in pan.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir till dissolved.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of half and half.
  4. Add 11/2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
  5. Add vanilla, raspberry, lemon flavoring.
  6. Add blue food coloring.
  7. Chill in fridge till very cold.
  8. Put in ice cream machine!

Big Love


This has to be one of the cleverest group Halloween costumes I've ever seen - a polygamist family! Kudos to my old roommate, Kristen Young (now Birkmeyer)... she's brilliant!

"The only thing you can truly plan on... is to be surprised!"



Brian and I went to see "Dan in Real Life" last weekend...

It was hands-down, one of the best movies we've seen in the theaters in a long, long time - nice message, heartwarming, and completely hilarious. Professional movie-see-ers think so too. The soundtrack is definitely on my downloads list.



Night of the Living Democrats

Starring us and some of our political friends...


I'm just goofing around... Patrick's voice is usually much deeper!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Brian's Aquarium

Don't mind me... just experimenting a little with one of those pre-loaded software packages on the PC. It's a bit rough, but you get the idea...



He's added 5 Pristella Tetras and 1 Pleco.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Galena Getaway

A couple of weeks ago, Brian and I headed to Galena, IL and Madison, WI for a little R&R. After (my) shopping was done in Galena, we walked over to Grant Park and then checked out the home of Ulysses S. Grant. It was a quick little trip, but we really enjoyed it! A few pics below...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

PerformanceData Reunion




To Kevin (aka Moe):


Brian, aka Curly, will be attending the PerformanceData Reunion on October 15th. Looking forward to seeing Larry, aka Swinny, and bidding farewell to Timmer.

1 800-GOOG-411

Google has launched a free information service you can access from your phone. No more paying $0.99+ for calls to 411 or Information!

Aahh, the magic of Christmas...

My parents found this old Polaroid of the 4 of us playing dress-up around Christmastime one year.

My guess on ages:
Baby Jesus (ERIK) - about 2-3 yrs
Mary (KRISTEN) - about 6-7 yrs
Joseph (SCOTT) - about 8-9 yrs
Random shepherd/wise man (AIMEE) - about 10-11 yrs

Sunday, October 07, 2007

To think there's a market for this...

While Mom Rogers was visiting us last week, we went to explore the village of Long Grove, a quaint shopping district full of antiques, home decor, galleries, and restaurants. It's a fun place to explore if you're into that sort of thing, and I'm lucky that Brian loves me very much to go along with it! We stopped in at Cassandra's and had a very difficult time deciding whether or not to pick up a new piece for above our fireplace. Lo and behold, displayed on a back wall, was a larger than life portrait of Oprah's very own, Nate Berkus! We figured you'd have to see it to believe it, so we snuck a picture for you with our camera phone! There was no price tag on it, so it was either free or PRICELESS!

Exodus 20:4


We thought we'd post our only photographic evidence that Mom Rogers came to visit this fall. Much like the Amish, she doesn't like having her picture taken.

We have fish!!

For just over a week now, we've had 3 black skirt tetras and 6 neon tetras. Everyone seems to be thriving very well and getting along with each other. In a few weeks Brian will likely add about 9 more to the aquarium. I tried to take a few photos for you, but the little buggers just wouldn't hold still! Enjoy!


Glitter doesn't go away...

One of my favorite stand-up comedians of all time is getting his own show in 2008 on Comedy Central - Demetri Martin! He's mostly known for his stream-of-consciousness comedy. Check out some of his ramblings here...



Currently, he's a featured contributor on "The Daily Show".

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bit the bullet...

VS

Well, we did it! We traded in our car, K.I.T.T., for a Nissan Murano. (Nice to see the dealership is making a profit, since they gave us the "we're in the red on this deal, we just want to earn your business" crapola.) So far, so good... we love it! We're interested to see how it handles in Chicago's winter weather - one of the main reasons we went for an SUV. Chicago's snow/ice is not like Utah's! You can find a very entertaining and educating look at how to negotiate a car purchase here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Only -8- more days!!!


Enjoy some of the funniest moments from Season 3...

Do fish get cramps after eating?


Well, we're almost there!!
Brian's done a GREAT job in getting his aquarium set up.
Just need to go get the fish... :)


Monday, September 17, 2007

A Show About Nothing



From TBS:

Think you can find all of the nothings that make up Seinfeld? Here is a poster full of images that represent Seinfeld catchphrases, sayings, nicknames, and other Seinfeld memories. Use your Seinfeld knowledge and find all 38 Seinfeld memories.

Answers can be found here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." -Albert Camus


I love fall!

It is just about the most perfect time of the year... crisp, cool air - but not too cold, leaves changing colors, apples, sweaters, pumpkins, etc. Chicago, with all of its forest preserves and the Morton Arboretum, is definitely a must see this time of year. Yep, I love pretty much everything about fall.

Except for that one speed bump, right in the middle, Halloween. Unlike Brian, I do enjoy a good, scary movie now and then... and haunted houses were always a good time during my college years. But, I don't really feel that we need a holiday to celebrate goblins, zombies, ghosts, witches, and ghouls. Baby costumes, princesses, and other funny characters are always cute on kids... but dressing your child as the undead or the disturbed, or helping them celebrate the possessed? No thanks.

To give my mom credit, she definitely tried... (obviously, the pumpkin costumes weren't a favorite of mine and Scott's). In later years, we skipped the traditional trick-or-treating in favor of really fun family nights. We played games, had scavenger hunts, and still ended up with more candy than we ever needed.

Once we're blessed with our own family, I'll have to get creative in the ways we'll celebrate the season. Less focus on Halloween, and more emphasis on all of the wonderful things there are to enjoy about fall.

Magic Time!

This is probably my favorite scene ever from "The Office"...

A little background:
There's a bat loose in the office and Dwight K. Schrute has taken it upon himself to catch it. Everyone has cleared out for the day, scared of the bat, and Meredith is just coming out of the restroom.

I think I made Brian watch this scene about 25 times!




You're welcome!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Goodnight, Moon




Earlier this week (4am, Tuesday morning), Brian happened to catch the lunar eclipse. I decided I liked sleeping better.
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