25 July 2007

Awesomeness on Zooomr

I am a heavy user and big fan of Zooomr for all my photo sharing needs. One cool new feature they have is the ability to sort photos by "awesomeness". The secret sauce algorithm is, well, secret, but probably has at least a little to do with how many views the shot has, how many people have called it a favorite, and the number of comments on it.
Just for fun, I share with you a screen shot of my most awesome photos, as determined by Zooomr:


21 July 2007

The Police in Hershey

Thanks to some much needed and much appreciated overnight babysitting from Grammy and Grandad, Shelley and I were able to travel to Hershey, PA to see Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland, and a fellow with the unlikely name of Sting - better known as together as The Police. This was a concert I never thought I would see given that they broke-up just before I was the concert going age. I've seen Sting at least 4 times since then, but to see them all together was a whole different ball of wax.

But before I talk about The Police, let me first say a little about another trio with another Sumner on bass and vocals - namely Fiction Plane. This hard driving trio from London, led by Joe Sumner opened the show, and let me say I went from "Who are these guys?" to "Hey, that guy looks like Sting!" to "We need to buy their CD!" (Left Side of the Brain) They were quite good and had the energy and agnst that The Police had back in the 70's. Shelley said that Joe sounds just like his dad, and though I did not hear it, she knows more about this kind of stuff than I do, so there you go.

But on to the main act. When the Police finally took the stage, my first impressions were:

1) Sting looks not too different and way better than I expect to at that age.

2) Stewart looks like an older, wrinklier version of Stewart Copeland.

3) Andy Summer's hands (especailly on close-up) looked as wrinkled as though he just got out of the tub, but he still has his chops.

They kicked off the show with Message in a Bottle, then went right into Synchonicity II. Of course they did Roxanne, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, and Every Breath You Take. I was more surprised and pleased to hear songs like Voices Inside My Head, Truth Hits Everybody, The Beds Too Big Without You, and Next to You. I was also suprised that the songs were as similar to the recorded versions as they were, and I should know since I've been listening to these songs on records, cassettes, CD's, and MP3's for 20+ years. That being said, they were still able to bring a freshness and energy to the songs that made it all worthwhile.

So what impressed me most about the show? Two words, Stewart Copeland. Sting was fine, even if he lowered the key or lowered his part on many of the songs., Andy was great too, though it often felt like he was not aware he was at a concert. But it was simply stunning how much energy Stewart has, but he manages to channel it all into something that sounds more like music than anything I've heard from a drummer. This really stood out on Walking in Your Footsteps and Wrapped Around Your Finger, on both of which Stewart played all kinds of hanging junk that I can't even guess the names of. I should have known Stewart would steal the show when he kicked off the concert with a big gong blast.

A great concert and a great concert experience. Here is the set list as well as I can reconstruct it:
Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Voices Inside My Head / When the World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Driven to Tears
Walking on the Moon
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
The Bed's Too Big Without
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking in Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
First encore:
King of Pain
So Lonely
Second encore:
Every Breath You Take
Third encore:
Next to You

20 July 2007

39 Down, 11 To Go

Another life goal is to visit all 50 states. I have 11 left that include some gems like Hawaii and Alaska, and some others to drive through quickly like Mississippi and Alabama.

create your own visited states map

11 Down, 14 To Go

One of my life goals is to visit at least 25 countires. So far, I have visited 11:

United States
Virgin Islands
United Kingdom (but only England)

create your own visited countries map

So, what's next? We don't have any trips outside of the U.S. planned, but new some countries near the top of my to-visit list would include:

Scotland (though part of the UK so I don't know if that counts)
Costa Rica
New Zealand

02 July 2007

A Little Trip


If the mind starts to go, could the body be far behind?

The four of us and Charlie journeyed to PA this past weekend. Friday night we visited with the Lamberts and the Flickingers for some burgers, dogs and remember whens. The thing I did not remember was to bring along a memory card for my camera, thus no pictures. Even so, we had a great time catching up with our old friends and their young children.

On Saturday morning, we took the short drive to St. Peter's Village. I recalled many an adventure I had as a youth jumping on the big rocks across the creek. What I did not recall was how much more slippery these rocks are when wet. Ella was attempting to cross between a rock and another hard place when she started to slip. Trying to save her, I slipped too. We both got wet, but for me, that was not all. As I smashed my knee into a very hard rock, I realized my Super Hero days might be behind me.

Before this learning experience, we took some shots:

onTheRocks meAndShelley

The adventure continued with a visit to Great Mom's, and a stop at Zern's. At the former, the power went out for about 30 minutes, and at the latter we learned you can no longer buy boxes of purple Swedish fish. Saturday night we left the kids and the dog with Oma and Opa and saw Knocked Up then had a fairly decent dinner at Ludwigs Inn & Oyster Bar.

All in all it was a pretty good trip