Author Archives: mike d.

Father Time

In celebration of J.Atlas’ first birthday we hung up 12 pictures, one from each month of his first year. Carrying him in my left arm, I walked down the row of pictures pointing to each one and saying “Johnny!” When we reached the end of his pictures, there was a picture of Jen and me. He touched the picture of me and said “Dada”

It was heart melting! I was startled and touched far more than I ever could have expected.

Then he pointed to a clock on the mantel and said “Dada”

Punk.

Spelling Bee

I’d like to witness a spelling bee where a kid, having no clue on the proper spelling of a word, decides to filibuster the event.

Moderator: Your word is “stichomythia”
Kid: May I hear it used in an example?
Moderator:  The author was well acquainted with classical drama, as may be seen in his use of stichomythia.
Kid:  Stichomythia. S – T – I – T – C- H – O – M – I – N -S – T – L- A – E – R – J – I – A – L – C – D – W – W – E – I – O – S – E – I – O – S – V- B – K – Y – P – W – Q – 2 – X – L – L – M – O – I – D -K – F – H – A …

Hand Update

Warning: pictures and recounts of mildly gnarly wounds to follow

ANNOUNCEMENT

Remember when my hand got caught in a roller and my fingers got smooshed? Yesterday, the pinky fingernail finally fell off! Hurrah! This is exciting because until now there was a constant risk of it getting snagged on something and causing a frustrating zip of pain or a tearing of the nail bed. Now instead of risk of injury, it just looks really weird-sauce.

The ring finger is mostly healed. There’s a mega lump on the top and side of the front knuckle that is slowly going away, but otherwise it’s okay. And despite much concern, my guitar playing is mostly unaffected.

Fun fact: did you know the end of your fingers are officially referred to as the Distal interphalangeal joints?

Extra fun fact: In traditional scrabble, at 15 letters long “Interphalangeal” would span the full length of the board. That means it could potentially hit THREE triple word scores. The E and G would fall on double letters. You’d obviously have to build it off of conveniently placed other letters since your tile rack is only 7 letters deep, but the potential score is 648 points.

 

4 spt

Two minutes of brushing is four seconds per tooth. Considering that the inside edges are suppose to be done with floss, that sure does seem like a long time per tooth. J.Atlas has three teeth. That’s twelve seconds. Waaay too long if you ask me.

Doesn’t two-three seconds per tooth sound like it would be plenty?

Ford Fusion

Recently I hit 100,000 miles on my 2012 Ford Fusion. Always an exciting event, these mileage milestones demand close observation in those last few miles. Jen and I were glued to the odometer as the tenths ticked by:

99,999.7
99,999.8
99,999.9
100,000

WOOOO!! EXCITING! Wait… what?

The tenths position disappeared. Ford chose to limit the digital display to six characters instead of allowing for seven. This is mildly annoying. I used the tenths place all the time. “Take exit 42 in 6.5 miles” Dang it.  Sander pointed out that I could still use the trip gauges, but I reset these at gasoline fill-ups and oil changes to monitor the car’s performance.

Ford sold about 250,000 Ford Fusions in 2012. If we guess that the extra character would have cost Ford 5 cents more per display (maybe this is high) then in 2012 alone, their decision to use one less odometer character saved them $12,000. BUT, that’s only one year. I bet they used the same display in proximal years and similar models. This four second decision by some random engineering manager in Detroit could have saved Ford $100k.

I think I would have made the same decision.

Good call, Ford.

Viewing Recommendations

Netflix: 

Magnus. WATCH THIS. It’s a documentary about Magnus Carlsen the world chess champion. It’s exceptional. This is my top recommendation for you today.

Supertunnel. This is a short Nova show on the new London subway tunnel. Fairly interesting and exciting from an engineering perspective.

AmazonPrime:

There Will Be Blood. For a movie that we weren’t huge fans of, Jen and I sure did talk a lot about There Will be Blood. It won a bunch of awards when it came out in 2007. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it for a casual Sunday afternoon. It feels like something you’d watch in a college sophomore year film class.

HBO GO:

Dallas Buyers Club: Really good! Between this and True Detective, I have a newfound respect for Mathew McConaughey.

American Psycho. I’m surprised I hadn’t already seen this. It was decent. Between the two, I think There Will be Blood has more academic depth, but American Psycho certainly provides plenty of brain fodder.

Library DVD:

Sully. Really great! They got a lot of movie out of that event. Two thumbs up.

Bridge of spies. Interesting because I knew nothing about it… but mostly just decent.

The Walk. Entertaining and light. This is a decent Sunday afternoon movie.

Anyone have recommendations of what they’ve watched and enjoyed as of late?

Generally speaking, yes. I can believe it’s not butter.

The internet is bursting with cooking substitutions – many of which are targeted at people seeking healthier eating. Ever since my high cholesterol diagnosis I’ve been painfully aware of my diet. Begrudgingly, I’ve started considering these alternate eating options.

EXAMPLES:

Banana ice cream for Real Ice Cream – DISAPPOINTMENT
Skim for fatty milk – TRAGIC
Popcorn for Potato chips – DEPRESSING
Brown white for white rice – BLASPHEMY

When I give one of these substitutions a shot, I admit that suspicion eclipses my excitement. I know it won’t be as good. I know it.

And so it is with vocal astonishment that I announce that Plain Greek yogurt is LEGIT a good substitution for Sour Cream.

WHAT?!?!?1?!??!!!!one!!?
IMPOSSIBLE BUT TRUE!

I used it in a soft taco. A TACO! I can imagine it working in a chili where it doesn’t play as important a role… but a taco? This is the real deal! I admit this is not a perfect substitute, but it’s super close. It lacks just the slightest of tang. But otherwise it’s great!
It works and it works well!

I’m awestruck.

The immovable object vs the unstoppable force

An amazing drama unfolded before us on the carpool ride to work today. On the back roads of East Haven a school bus stopped, its lights flashing, stop sign extended, and door open waiting for a late student. A row of cars began lining up on each side of the road.

Suddenly from behind us blared the siren of an approaching ambulance.

CUE DRAMA!!

As we obediently pulled over to let the ambulance by, the door of nearby house opened and an elementary school child began a slow trot towards the bus, his large backpack bouncing back and forth with the pace of his stride. THE KID WAS DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO BEAT THE AMBULANCE. I could feel every driver holding their breath. Who takes priority? The child? or the person in desperate health need?

The ambulance screamed up to the bus… and applied its brakes!

Siren blaring, the ambulance waited anxiously as the kid trotted across the lawn!! The little kid started boarding the bus. The bus promptly killed its flashing lights and retracted the stop sign. The bus started rolling forward, presumably trying to pull over more so the ambulance could pass. The ambulance, its patience exhausted, BLARED its horn screaming at the bus “DONT DO ANYTHING, I GOT THIS,” swerved around the bus and hauled towards its destination.

Fascinating.