Welcome to our web site. For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!

02/02/19: Here's a silly picture. It's from the old Disney Quest indoor theme park that was in Chicago many years ago. The Wikipedia entry for this lists the years of operation as June, 1999 to September, 2001. I actually think we were there sometime in 1999, because I vaguely remember thinking that with all the virtual reality games in there, the place would go bonkers when the Y2K bug hit!
     This was from a vending machine they had that you would stand in front of and pick from a selection of Disney-related backgrounds. I was obviously picking something else entirely. I had previously posted Chris and Ricky's pictures, and this completes the collection.

09/18/10: I don't know if any of you remember the bad old days of car audio, when the norm was an AM radio and a tinny-sounding speaker in the dashboard. That's all we had in the cars in which I first learned to drive, and in these days of HD and satellite radio, it's funny to think that when you drove under a bridge or a viaduct, the sound faded out and all you got was static until you came out the other side.
     Stephie went downtown on the train the other night and I drove down to pick her up. As usual, I didn't have a radio station playing but was listening to my mp3 player in the car, using an FM modulator so the sound comes through my car stereo. I tried several types years ago, but found that the in-line models, which plug into the radio and the antenna plugs into it, give you the best sound, usually as good or better than any radio station. Once in a while, I get static when I drive by something broadcasting a strong signal on a close-by frequency, like some of the local high schools who have radio stations that you can pick up for a couple blocks, but usually the sound is clear.
     But that night, as I got closer to downtown, the static got louder and louder, to a point where it was almost drowned out the program I was listening to. But then I got off the expressway and went into a tunnel, and the static cleared up, and the program was all I heard. As I exited the tunnel, the static came back. And it happened with every tunnel and overpass I went under. Exactly the opposite of the old AM reception.
     I thought it was pretty funny at the time.
     And you know what else is pretty funny? This picture of my nephew Rick from when we went to Disney Quest many years ago. Last year I put up Chris' picture from that trip and here's Rick's. I need to get mine up here some day.

03/01/09: A bunch of things to catch up on:

- A couple weekends ago we went to Galena for a little Valentine/Birthday weekend getaway. One of the highlights of the trip (and the main reason for going) was the eagle-watching tour that we took on Saturday morning. We climbed on a bus and rode around the Galena/Dubuque area, which happens to be right on the migration path of the Bald Eagles as they move up along the Mississippi river to their summer home in Wisconsin and Canada. We had an unofficial count of 45 eagles, between the ones we saw in the trees and the ones we saw soaring through the air. They are magnificent animals to see in an artificial setting like a zoo, but they are breathtaking to see in the wild. The tours are held on Saturday mornings in January and February, so if you find yourself in Galena around those times next year, you can do worse than taking a couple hours to see our national bird in the wild.
      We also discovered that it's best if I drive and Stephie navigates when we go places. I was not feeling well so we reversed our usual assignments for the trip out, but I thought I was paying attention. Imagine my surprise when we saw the sign that said "Welcome to Wisconsin." (For those of you who don't know, Galena is not in Wisconsin, nor is Wisconsin on the way to Galena.) Turns out I missed an exit and had been driving 20 minutes in the wrong direction!

- Galena is a cute little town, with lots of nice shops and restaurants, but in the middle of winter they don't have much of a night-life, so we found ourselves flipping through the cable channels and discovered that Comedy Central was showing "Idiocracy". I had read some positive things on this movie (in fact it's near the top of our Netflix queue) so we settled in to watch. The story in a nutshell is that a regular guy is selected for a hibernation project by the Pentagon, but instead of waking in a year he wakes in 500 years and finds a society so "dumbed-down" that he is now the most intelligent person in America.
      It was not a great movie, but it made me laugh many times. I thought the premise of the movie, that dumb people are breeding at an alarming rate while the intelligent people are not, was brilliant. Maybe the execution left a little to be desired, but it was entertaining and really made me fear for where society is going. And watching it on Comedy Central really hammered home the central theme of the movie, since the commercials seemed to be part of the movie. We're watching these characters do stupid things, then the next thing you know you have Larry the Cable Guy on the screen, and you have to remind yourself that it's a commercial and not part of the movie! It looks like it's on Comedy Central again next weekend, so you can check it out for yourself.

- And speaking of movies, we finally watched "Yesterday Once More", that DVD that we received damaged from Netflix four times. So was it worth all the aggravation? Yeah, I'd say so, at least up until the ending. So many times lately we have been enjoying a movie up until the very end when something happens that either ruins it for us, or just disappoints us in some way, and this was one of them. The movie was very well done, with great scenery, good acting, interesting characters, a complex plot but not too complex to follow, and of course, the adorable Sammi Cheng. I liked it all the way up until the ending.

- Last week a guy at work told me that I had one of the coolest screen-savers he had ever seen, but what he didn't know what that it was just one of the default options in Windows: "My Pictures Slide Show". If you select that from your Display Properties dialog box, you can point it to any folder on your system, then when the screen-saver kicks in, it will cycle through the pictures in that folder. I currently have it pointed to a folder full of old pulp covers, so when I'm not at my desk you can see a steady stream of Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Spider, Weird Tales, Operator #5, Black Mask, Captain Future, and other colorful covers. I used to have a folder full of silent movie posters, and that was pretty cool, too. All you need is a bunch of pictures (and Windows, of course) and you're all set.

- If you've been reading this site for a while you may recall that I had written about a Flash-based Theremin app that I had that required an old version of Shockwave to run. Well, for some reason I found myself on the theremin.info site and found that a guy named Jim Spinner had created a free Theremin Simulator that did more than what the Flash one did, and it ran as a single executable, so you don't have to install anything on your system. Sure, it doesn't have a virtual Leon Theremin that you can control like some kind of a puppet, but it can make some pretty cool sounds. Check it out!

- And the picture? I was digging through one of my junk drawers and found three strips of stickers that Chris, Ricky and I got when we went to the old Disney Quest indoor theme park that they had downtown many years ago. They had these vending machines that took your picture and inserted it into one of the backgrounds you select. This is the one Chris took. I could have sworn that I put mine up on this site sometime ago but I may be mistaken. I'll have to get mine and Ricky's up soon.

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