Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween or Happy Autumn, or just Happy Day!

Today is Halloween. Not a big "holiday" at the Smith home, but we love to make our own carved pumpkins and let them rot on the front porch as much as any family on the block. And though us bigger Smith's are a bit out of the whole dress up like a pirate and princess stage of life...not that there is anything wrong with adults dressing up for Halloween, we just don't have much opportunity...the little Smith now has the chance to look totally cute in the costume of the year. So...celebrate this Harvest Season! Here's some cuties to make your day brighter (little Smith is on the far right)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I didn't realize that I had moderate comments turned on (but I hadn't typed in an email notification address to send me a notification that comments needed to be approved) so I thought that no one loved me, only to find out today that people do love me!

So I apologize to everyone that has tried to make a comment that never appeared, comment moderation is retarded because I love to allow people to speak their minds without edit.


Now on to my post, I have had off and on people as me what I do for my job, which is a tough question to answer. I work with databases, I work on programing for both web sites and applications, I work with mainting servers both with software and hardware, I work with the electrical grid and monitoring and controlling it. It a nutshell, I wear many hats, most of them dealing with computers.

So on that point, if you don't think this is one of the coolest things ever, well then you obviously don't have my job:
Edited to remove annoying autoplay movie

Friday, October 20, 2006


So I have decided that I want to make a request to you my reader, a plea as it were.

I would like to request that as I write on topics, be they absestos-induced disease cancer lawyers and their damage claim lawsuits or illness and allergies at the home or my latest recommendations in podcasts and movies, I would like to hear what you think.

Perhaps I am over estimating the size of my readership, perhaps my wife and 2 other people read this page once every other week but I sincerely hope that there are more of you out there.

If there are, this is like I said above a plea, but I think I should restate it more as "an encouragement" from you to please leave any comments that you might have in the comments section. It not only encourages me to write more (maybe this is why you HAVEN'T been leaving comments) but it also at times sparks new and different ideas in my head when I have discussion. Essentially you are not only encouraging me to write, but you are helping my writing proccess.

So thanks for reading this site for however long you have been reading, and if you have requests or comments to make about topics I may discuss or should discuss, I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Podcasts and Podiobooks

So I got an iPod for Christmas last year and have been pretty much loving it ever since I got it.

I honestly carry either it or my Macbook pretty much everywhere I go (including taking it with us as we went trapesing across Europe last spring).

One of the things that I really got into early on in my iPod life was podcasts. I have gone through quite a few different podcasts trying different ones out until I found a list of podcasts that I really enjoy. I know the frustration of trying to find a good podcast and wading through some bad recommendations from friends (I am looking at you ze_Frank) so I thought I would post a list of some of the podcasts that I enjoy for you either to ignore or for you to try, up to you (but I highly recommend at least giving a few of these a shot).

My top rated podcast is the infamous EscapePod a science fiction podcast. If you don't enjoy Sci-Fi you might want to avoid this, but even if you don't but enjoy just flat out GREAT short fiction I would strongly suggest you at least give a few episodes a shot, you will be happy you did.

My 2nd favorite podcast is actually a pod-rebroadcast of NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell me radio show. If you have never listened to the radio show you don't know what you are missing. It is a great way to get caught up on all the happenings of the week as well as laugh yourself silly.

My 3rd recommendation is actually one of the newer podcasts that I have started listening to called Decoder Ring Theatre. It is very similar to those old time radio broadcasts your grandparents probably grew up listening to. They have 2 story lines that run side by side, one is "Red Panda Adventures" which is a superhero adventure type story, and the 2nd is "Black Jack Justice" which is a 20's type crime/mystery drama. I like Black Jack Justice a bit more than Red Panda, but both are good.

My 4th and final recommendation (for today) is actually the newest addition to my podcast list. I added it last night and have already consumed the first 5 episodes and I think it is great (although looking at the release schedule new episodes could take longer than the above 3 shows). It is called "How to Succeed in Evil" and is sort of a "anti-superhero" type adventure, with TONS of comedy thrown in as well. It is well very done and I have high hopes for future episodes (except in the last episode I listened to their sound effect for a golf cart was more annoying than anything I have ever heard before).

Lastly, I downloaded my first podiobook ever last night (I actually downloaded 2). I downloaded Scott Sigler's "The Rookie" and "Infection." They have been recommended a few times by Steve Ely of EscapePod, and since I highly enjoy the stories he picks out for EscapePod I thought I would give these a trial run, I will post here in a week or so when I have finished Infection to give you my review.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sleeping Prohibited

This is apparently the new motto for my daughter. I think it is because she is teething, I only hope those teeth get here quick!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nose faucet

*sneeze* *sniffle* *cough*

That would be the sounds I have been making this last weekend since I decided to mow the lawn. UGH. And the worse part about all of this, as soon as my allergies start to calm down, we will be headed right into cold season. If there is one thing I hate it is a runny nose. These last few days my nose has been dripping like a leaky faucet and it is driving me crazy! The other problem is that I will use allergy medication to fix the issue, but then I spend the entire next day with this horrible hangover, no fun :(

On a lighter note Shalisa and I got to play some Settlers of Catan over this last weekend with our good friends the Holzgrove's. I love Settlers, it is like one of the perfect games in that it combines strategy with trade/bartering skills, both things I absolute love. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but another reason I may have enjoyed playing Settlers this weekend is that I won both games we played and if you don't know my motto I will share it with you: I play games for fun, and it is only fun when you win.

Okay, I am not quite THAT bad, but I am pretty hyper-competitive which I am hoping won't be to my detriment as our children start to grow up. I know some of my competitiveness comes from my parents, and I think it is a healthy amount (although there are times when playing Boggle that my wife might disagree.)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Not a lot to say

I have written like a sentence to start off about 3 different topics that I had in mind to post about today, but writers block seems to have struck as I couldn't really couldn't anything to say. Heck even getting a 2nd sentence out on this post is painful as I keep deleting stuff and rewriting what I am trying to say.

I guess the gist of all this is, there isn't much to say today, hopefully tomorrow I will have more to say. I suppose this is why I am not a professional journalist or anything, as on days like this I suppose they have to forge ahead and come up with something interesting to write about. Granted as they curse at their computer that just blue screened for reasons they can't fathom they figure that is why they didn't go into the computer field, so I guess it all balances out.

My hopes to push cancer related content in Adsense seem to, for the most part, have been partially successful. I will say it is kinda fun to watch the ads that appear on my blog as I make different posts to see what Google thinks are "relevant targeted ads."

In the last week I think I have seen ads that range from some strange herbal diet tea crap to info on finding a lawyer if you suffer from absestos inhalation (although that was kind of on purpose, sort of).

I had a good talk with Brian earlier about how targeted ads work on the internet and as we were talking about it with both came to kind of the same realization. That whitelisting certain ad sources (we both agree that adsense, for the most part is unintrusive and relatively clean) so that the ads appear when viewing sites is actually kind of nice. That way if you visit a site that has content that you really like and you want to support the site, you could click on one of their ads to show your support for the site.

I promise this will be my last post about adsense (I didn't even mean to go there, this is just kinda a meandering post that is going everywhere) at least, I promise for the next week or so, you never know when some strange development will arise that makes you want to talk about something.

Anyway, hopefully I will have something more interesting for my peeps tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Now I know what you are thinking, what the heck is Mesothelioma. Well it is a form of lung cancer that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos particles.

Well that is fine and all Ryan, but why are you posting a blog post about Mesothelioma. Well the main reason I am is because I want a new UPS for the Maybe.Net server that I host. This server provides hosting for such sites as the SiR Forum, the Maybe Gallery, Holzgrove.com, Riverinme.com, CameronTondre.com, and of course MaddieSmith.com.

In case you haven't noticed, recently I started running Google Adsense on my blog page (as well as a few other sites) in hopes of making a few bucks. I have to say thanks to Justin for pointing me to the idea.

Well today while I was chatting with Brian Dickman (our server admin) and he pointed me to this article. What it talks about is basically there are a bunch of lawyers out there that are basically ambulance chasers looking for new victims of asbestos inhalation who want to sue people. I think this is part of the problem in America, we are a sue happy people. Now I am not saying that these people who were potentially harmed by asbestos inhalation don't need assistance, but if the companies they were working for did not know of the hazards of asbestos then why should they be held liable for the pain and suffering of their employees now. You could use the same argument that the employees are the ones at fault since they showed up for work, they had the same knowledge of harm that their employers did. Now if some business was knowingly sending their employees into harms way, that is a different story, but I tend to believe those cases are few and far between.

So basically this whole article is my way of "sticking it to the man" where the man in this case is the lawyers out there looking to take advantage of suffering indivuals out there (because honestly, the lawyer will more than likely see more of the settlement in attorney fees that the actual individual will).

So if the ads that show up on my page are related to asbestos induced cancer, I encourage you to follow the links and check out these individuals who are looking to make a buck off of other people's pain and suffering (not only that, but you will help put bucks in my pocket).

Monday, October 09, 2006

The weekend

Well we at the Smith home had a pretty eventful weekend, but it was well worth it.

On friday night we drove up to grandma and grandpa Tondre's house and spent the night there. On Saturday the entire family including uncle Cameron went out to the pumpkin patch and picked out some carving pumpkins. We went back to the Tondre's and carved our Halloween pumpkins and ate some roasted pumpkin seeds. We drove home later that night so that we could be ready for the big day on Sunday.

Then on Sunday morning my parents (grandma and grandpa Smith) drove up and met us at church, and grandma and grandpa drove down and met us at church as well. During the church service we had Maddie dedicated to the Lord along with Judah Holzgrove and Landon Hansen.

After church we went home and had lunch, and then at two o'clock people came over for cake and ice cream. We all had a great time, the only down side was that the diet took a bit of a hit, but hopefully by the end of the week I will be back on track to reach my goal.

The only downer was that Sunday night I started to feel pretty icky, I think it was a combination of allergies and a cold all at once, but it hit me like a freight train and after 2 Benadryl I was out like a light. I am still feeling a bit hung over this morning, but the foggy haze is slowly lifting.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Half way (sort of)

So now the "super big (not so) secret" secret is being let out of bag. I am on a diet. Okay, so like everyone and their mom probably knew I was on a diet, but hey, maybe those of you that live in say, Portland, ME didn't know. Anyway the exciting part is that I am now officially half way to my first goal. Okay I know that doesn't make sense but let me explain.

A couple of weeks ago I my parents called and offered to pay for the entire Smith family to take a trip to Maui. Well this sounded like a good deal to me, but during Shalisa's pregnancy I gained a bit o weight. So I decided that before we leave for Muai I would lose 50 pounds. The 50 pounds isn't my final goal, I would like to lose more weight than that, but that seemed like a reasonable and attainable goal to set that I could reach before we left for Hawaii. Well today when I stepped on the scale I had officially crossed the halfway point, I was 25.5 pounds lighter than when I started! Yay!

The funny thing is, for me losing weight has never been a huge problem, it actually comes pretty easily for me, the real challenge will be keeping it off once I have lost it. There is a line from my favorite movie of all time there is a great quote (okay there is a billion great quotes, but only one I am applying here): "In auto-parts, you're either growing our you're dying. There ain't no third direction." Well it applies very well to my dieting. In Dieting, I am either growing or shrinking, there ain't no third direction. The issue is there is a third direction "maintaining" but for some reason it is easier for me to lose weight than it is for me to maintain my weight, so I suppose that will be my next big challenge but I have a few months before I need to start worrying about that.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Feeling Better

Well I am feeling marginally better, my nose is still running like a broken faucet and I am a bit achy, but how can you feel bad when THE TWINS WIN THE DIVISION!

Thats right, in the most improbable of all events this year, the Twins, who at one point were 8 games under .500 and 12.5 games out of first behind 2 teams somehow came back to not only make the playoffs but to win the AL Central Division. This means instead of playing the evil Yankees, they get the Oakland A's in the first round, at home in the dome!

So with that, and the overtime thrilling touchdown pass from Mark Brunell to Santana Moss I am feeling better, maybe not physically, but hey at least "sportsally" I am feeling better.

In other news I am really bummed out because I just found out about this super cool new small group starting up at our church, but I don't think Shalisa and I will be able to attend since it falls on the same night as our current small group. It is kinda a bummer since the new small group is targeted at young marrieds (and a lot of have newborns) but at the same time I don't want to abandon our current small group as I think they need us and they were definitely there for us when we first started attending 1bc.

So I guess Shalisa and I will just need to pray for God to guide us where he wants us. Hopefully I will physically start to feel better soon, as I took some Nyquil last night and my head is still swimming even now in the middle of the day. I also think some of this has to do with something else going on in my life, but I will talk about that later in the week, so there is a surprise to keep people comming back :p