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!

08/31/13: I spent some time today shopping with Stephie at Woodfield mall, and while she was looking at lotions and soaps in Crabtree & Evelyn, I was looking at their shaving products. They have a neat wooden bowl for holding shaving soap, and an assortment of brushes for applying lather. Having been a bearded man for nearly 15 years now, I have no use for any of this, but an odd thought occurred to me: I don't remember ever using a razor.
     I'm sure that I did, back when I first started to see little tiny hairs growing out of my face. Even into the late '90s, I was never so hirsute that I needed to shave more than a couple times a week, but I have absolutely no recollection of ever putting razor to face. My uncle gave me an electric razor pretty early on, and I took to it pretty quickly. I liked the fact that I didn't have to mess with shaving cream, and didn't even really have to pay attention while shaving, only a quick check at the end to make sure I got everything. These days, I don't know how I would manage the beard off anytime soon, but it struck me as odd that I don't remember ever shaving with a razor.

08/23/13: Back when I used to buy a lot of anime dvds, I would regularly read the old animeondvd.com web site (now part of mania.com and not nearly as good.) It had the best information about upcoming releases, and the guy who did the reviews seemed to have similar tastes to mine. I may be wrong, but my impression was that he was a stay at home dad with two young girls and shelves full of dvds, and he spent all his non-child-rearing time watching anime and writing about it. One day I read that he had been to a convention and friends were concerned about his health. His weight had ballooned, and they were concerned that he needed to make a change in his lifestyle. What he did was buy a treadmill, and between walking on it and other changes in his life, was able to get back in shape. One thing that I remember distinctly was when he hit his million step milestone. He had a picture on the site of a small gym shoe charm that he got from the group helping to get him into shape. At the time, I thought that was an unbelievable amount of steps.
      For the last few years at work, we've had to earn points to qualify for better health insurance, and one scheme this year is they would give us a FitBit pedometer. They announced that we could earn a big chunk of our points goal by walking a million steps before mid-December. I had used a pedometer before, to track my walking to and from the train and work, not to mention the frequent dog walks, but I never really paid much attention to total steps. I thought I might have a chance to hit the goal, but a million steps seemed an almost unattainable goal. I was wrong.
      I hit my million steps today, a little over four months after starting. I'm a little disappointed that I got no feedback for hitting that milestone. On the FitBit site, I got a "badge" for my first 10,000 step day, and another when I passed 250 miles, but nothing for 1M. (I did later get a badge for 500 miles walked. Cue the Proclaimers.) I guess I have a sense of accomplishment, plus that huge chunk of points towards insurance, so I'll have to be happy with that. And who knows? There's almost four more months before the mid-December deadline, so I might be able to hit 2M before then.

08/04/13: We just had the second of two consecutive Saturdays of Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series nights, and except for Stephie not going because she didn't feel well, they were a big success, in no small part because of the PA system that I rented for them from A Sound Education, a music store in my neighborhood. It was great to be able to hear all the readers, which was not always possible, and it was also great to read into a microphone, rather than worrying if my voice carried all the way to the back, especially when the people in the kitchen got loud. This week, I read the latest Sleep Detectives chapter, but last week I read something a little different. It was a story called Mirrors, and you can read it here.

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