The Conan Lorebook

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Wedding Photos from Karen

Sara's mother took some very nice photos of the wedding day (click "Read More" for the rest).  Click on a thumbnail for bigger pictures: 

Beautiful bride.jpgDon, Karen, Nancy & Chuck.jpgEric & Sara.jpgEric, Sara, David Lee (Stepfather) & Maggie (mother).jpg

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Gallery? What Gallery?

OK, I admit it: there are many computer things I just don't know yet. How on earth do I create a Gallery here so I can add to the "random image" sidebar? Smile


We got this as a wedding gift from a friend who couldn't attend.

 Emerilware™ 5-in-1 Smoker


It's a cast iron indoor smoker.  And, it's the coolest thing since...well, I dunno what.

 This thing is great.   Our apartment building doesn't allow  BBQ grills or smokers, and if it did we wouldn't have anywhere to put one.  While this thing weights a hefty 25lbs, it's so incredibly convenient and fills the BBQ gap nicely.   Even with the oven turned on for 5 hours, because of lower cooking temperatures (combined with a ventilation fan) the kitchen only barely got warmer.


 The smoke flavor comes in the form of using the included near-sawdust wood of various flavors (like Mesquite, Apple or Hickory).  Use about a tablespoon or so of it and it's all that was needed. 


Our first meal made with it was a Boston Butt.  It's the cut of meat you'd make pulled pork with, and it came out with a wonderful texture and flavor.    It was arguably better than our local BBQ place, Famous Dave's, and if you figure about $2 per pound it's far, far cheaper.  



-Pork Butt (aka 'Boston Butt), bone-in with fat. Ours was 4.3lbs


-BBQ Rub (we used Grill Mates Pork Rub )

-Apple Juice


 read more »

Wedding Pix

Our friend and wedding photographer, Kelly Bailey, has posted some teaser shots from our special day. 


Sara and Eric


Rehearsal day:

Wedding day:


Sad "Where did my hubby run off to?" bride:


Sad Sara


Sara and Eric's Wedding

It was great to see everyone! Thanks very much for flying out here. I wrote a little synopsis for some friends and thought I'd also post it here:

 read more »

ObjectDock: Gorgeous, but useless...

ObjectDock is a free Windows TaskBar replacement, sort of.  You can look at the screenshots to get a feel for what it looks like.  It's not exactly fair to call it a TaskBar replacement, it is trying more to be a launch bar, and a host for small dock applets, like a weather widget, email notificaiton, etc.  MacOS X has something similar, Google Desktop is similar.

And OD is just darn pretty, which smooth-scaling icons and fun effects.  It can list icons for running apps, keep screenshots of them when they are minimized, etc.

The problem?  It doesn't actually do anything.  It feels like a fancy multimedia keyboard, with buttons to launch all the apps you'll ever need (you know, those buttons you never use?).  The weather widget, the coolest looking feature, doesn't know how to use a network proxy, so it can't be used behind a corporate firewall.  And unless you pay $20 for the Plus version, it can't even suffice as a taskbar replacement, since it cannot host your System Tray.  It also doesn't ship with a digital clock, so there is no quick way to glance at the time.

It is meant to be a widget hosting enviroment, to be fair, and I didn't download any additional widgets.  But it sounds like work to me to get software I don't really need to do the bare minimum.

The thing can run just fine side-by-side with your taskbar, but of course that's extra screen real estate you are losing.

So, in the end, it is a very pretty piece of software, does exactly what it says it will do, and does it well.  But, for me, it just doesn't do enough.

What I Do: Part Deux.

As you know, I don't usually get to talk much of what I do.   Today's Wired magazine, though, showcases Visual Purple, LLC and three projects on which I worked last year:

 U.S. Spies Use Custom Videogames to Learn How to Think


Our technologies and abilities continue to improve, as can be seen from our latest demo.


House for Sale

There's a house for sale in LA.  Can anyone tell me what makes it interesting (other than the outrageous price)?

Age of Conan

As this is "the conans" and we discuss games, I would be remiss not to mention a new MMO:  Age of Conan.


Age of Conan is, of course, based off the famous books and movies.  Some of you may even recall Carl playing a Play by Mail Conan game, where he would receive a letter then make his moves and email it off to places unknown. 

I was in on a very short beta test.  I wish I could have seen more, but I think it warrants a second look.  What I saw of the world is one which is very rich.


Gamespot is running a contest to give away 15,000 beta testing keys.  So, if you have the interest in testing it, head on over and sign up.  They announce winners on the 16th, so I'd suggest doing it ASAP.  No guarantees any of us will get in, but may be worth the chance. Note, too, it's a beta --which means there could be unforeseen problems.  It's still a chance to check out a game for free, though!  

Improving the Parents' 56k Connection

It's been so long since I've used a 56k data modem to connect to the Internet that I believe going back would drive me mad.  The parents (who are already crazy) still must use this to connect, as they have no other real option.  Unfortunately, they have horrible connection rates -- even worse than the 52k which should be their maximum and regular connection rate.  


Their setup at the shop, as I recall, is like this: A regular telephone line connects to the outer box.  It comes in about 15 feet and splits into three lines; One for upstairs, one for David Lee's "garage" desk, and finally one line going into the office.  The office line then connects directly to a surge protector.  After this, I believe it splits again into the office phone and computer data connection/modem.  Along the way, it splits into a second phone line and number (one cable can share two phone numbers).  At some point, perhaps after connecting to the modem, it goes on to the credit card machine. 


Any suggestions for them (other than to move!)? 


They could buy a long-enough telephone cable to go from the box to the office surge protector.  From the surge protector run the cable to Mom's computer.  From the modem output, split as needed, even f it means a lot of backtracking.   Sheilded telephone cable might be overkill.   Or perhaps just making more-solid connections (adding outlets instead of just telephone extension cords).


Other than that, I'm not sure.  What say you?

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