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A Vote for Science November 2, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Politics, Science, Technology.
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Scientists and Engineers for America Action Fund and ScienceBlogs (SEED Magazine) have teamed up to bring you the AVoteForScience YouTube challenge. Are you a scientist? Tell the world who you are voting for this year. McCain? Obama? None of the above? Upload your YouTube video explaining who you are, who you are voting for and why you are voting for them.

Here’s my submission:

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Story Songs September 3, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Music, Personal, Pop Culture.
2 comments

Time for another cross blog post. This time the idea comes from Gedeon who wanted us to come up with songs that tell a story that stand head and shoulders above the rest.

The rules for the group blog post are easy. Choose up to 5 of your favorite songs that weave a story and simply tell us why they made your list. You can be as detailed or generic as you would like, but be sure to keep your picks secret until the group post. Then, on Wednesday, September 3rd, publish your blog post along with with links to the other bloggers who are participating. We’ll get a peek inside your musical tastes and just might discover some new songs to fall in love with in the process.

My song picks involve a pilgrimage to a tourist trap, a retelling of Noah’s Ark, a duel with Lucifer, a pair of shoes, and a poker lesson. Can you guess what they are?

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“The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” by “Weird Al” Yankovic. This tells the story of one family’s journey to a lesser-known tourist attraction located in Minnesota. If you had two weeks of vacation, where’d you rather go ta? It would be the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota, of course. From the ’53 DeSoto to the diet chocolate soda, “Weird Al” tests the limits of what rhymes with Minnesota. My favorite line comes when he first sees the twineball and he says, “I was just so overwhelmed by its sheer immensity that I had to pop myself a beer.”

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“Rock Steady” by Sting. Imagine a classified ad in the newspaper written by Noah that said, “Volunteers wanted for a very special trip to commune with Mother Nature on a very special trip.” Would you get on board with a crazy old guy with a beard and a boat load of animals for almost a month and a half? Sting weaves his magic in an updated version of Noah’s Ark that’s not so much in your face religiously.

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“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band. Johnny totally kicks the Devil’s butt in a fiddle playing contest. How did that happen? It must have been the Devil’s hubris because I think he would have beaten Johnny in a stand-up fight, but Lucifer was way behind with his soul stealing. So, it sounds like he just got sloppy. Also, is it son of a gun or son of a bitch?

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“The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong. The first time I heard this song, I think I cried my eyes out like I did this morning when I listened to it again. “Sir, I wanna buy these shoes for my Momma please.” Okay, but I’m in line ahead of you. “Daddy says there’s not much time.” Not much time for what? “You see, she’s been sick for quite a while.” That doesn’t sound good. “Want her to look beautiful if Momma meets Jesus tonight.” Oh no…time to open the flood gates.

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“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. I remember singing this song back in elementary school chorus along with the theme from The Duke of Hazzard. Here’s what it sounds like now:

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Here are the other “Story Song” bloggers:

Gedeon Maheux (@gedeon)
gedblog.com

David Schultz (@dvsjr)
The (mis)adventures of a macintosh administrator

Mike Schramm (@mikeschramm)
MikeSchramm.com

Dave Caolo (@panache)
Hardcore Geek

Von Glitschka (@vonster)
Glitschka Studios

Andy Rudkin (@mizaru)
mizaru.me.uk

Christina Warren (@film_girl)
ChristinaWarren.com

Austin Heller (@austinheller)
AustinHeller.com

Mason Sklar (@zargap)
masonsklar.com

Allen Emory
A. Emory

Alain Edouard (@alainedouard)
alainedouard.co.cc

Mark Goody (@marramgrass)
marramgrass

Jamie Parkins
The Sound of Silence

Happy Anniversary! August 1, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Berea, Family, Personal.
5 comments

August 1, 1998 – Anna & David

That toy is named what?!? July 30, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Berea, Personal, Pop Culture, Toys.
3 comments

So, I was in the toy section at Marc’s last night with Lily, and I saw an interesting “action figure” on the bottom of the shelf.  I picked it up to discover it was called Uranus “Yuri”® from the Fisher-Price® Planet Heroes™ line of toys.  Okay, I’m not an adolescent anymore, but here’s the description from the back of the package:

With the powerful, sinister Black Hole (a.k.a. “Professor Darkness”™) intent on destroying the solar system, a day seldom passes without the discovery of some new danger or disaster about to strike at the inhabitants of the peaceful planets. Keeping the Planet Heroes fighting fleet ready for action at all times, Uranus “Yuri” uses his amazing magnetic tail to stash tools during repairs. With his cool suction cup feet, he can fix a solar panel outside a spaceship while streaking across the galaxy on an urgent mission. He can also lob a suction cup from his launcher to shut down enemy weapons in battle. Good guys outnumbered? Don’t worry, we’ve got Uranus “Yuri”!

I could make so many bad innuendos right now, however I won’t.  Discovering Uranus “Yuri” did get me thinking about other questionably named toys that I’ve seen in the past.  Here are a few that I remember:

Pudface from RoboCop: The Series, a live-action television series in 1994.  I hope it referred to putty and not something else.

Moby Lick from Street Sharks, an animated TV show with crime-fighting half-man/half-sharks similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I think I still have Mr. Lick, who has a long, prehensile tongue that you could move in circles with a handle on his back.

Fur Berries from Spin Master Ltd., a Toronto based toy company.  From a magical tree in a magical forest comes the adorable Fur Berries.

Impossible to see, the future is July 16, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Berea, Cleveland, Family, Future, Parenting, Personal, Star Wars.
2 comments

Anna and I went to a “Q & A” meeting last night regarding the Berea City School District’s plan to renovate and/or replace five of seven elementary schools and to close the remaining two elementary schools.  Enrollment in the district has declined about 7% over the past 10 years, and it is expected to fall another 8% in the next 10 years.  In addition, operational costs for these seven 40+ year old schools continue to rise due to their less energy efficient structures as well as increasing energy prices.

Closing two of the elementary schools (one of which Rosie attends) is a very emotional issue.  They are at the heart of two communties where our children are growing and learning everyday.  No one wants their school to be closed.  We don’t want to lose our teachers, principals, custodians, and our connectedness with them.  In an ideal world, there would not be these difficult situations.

The real world (and all that goes with it) is where most of us live, and it requires us to make tough choices and decisions.  Anna and I have seen this with our congregation’s recent vote to accept Baldwin-Wallace’s proposal to buy First Church.  Although the sale is contingent on approval from the City of Berea, it does look as though the sale will proceed.  There is much uncertainty on what will happen next because there are a number of options that our church has been investigating.

As Yoda once said, “Always in motion the future is.”  That’s one of the problems with the future.  We haven’t figured out how to predict it yet.  And that ambiguity can be scary because many times our thoughts gravitate to the worst possible outcomes.  In actuality, those very rarely come to pass, and often we are surprised with what does happen as well as how we respond to it.

Church Vote, Part Deux June 26, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Berea, Cleveland, Family, History, Personal, Religion.
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Back in December, the members of First Congregational United Church of Christ voted 87-18 to “authorize church leaders to negotiate terms of a possible sale to Baldwin-Wallace College.”  A negotiating team was formed from members of our church, and they met with the B-W administration during the past six months.  The proposed agreement for the sale of the church and surrounding properties to B-W was then shared with our congregation earlier this month.

This Sunday, members of First Church will come together to vote on whether to accept or reject the proposed agreement.  I won’t go into details at this time, but you can expect another blog post early next week on the results.  Also, check my Twitter for the my thoughts and vote tally on Sunday.

Happy Birthday, Rosie! June 20, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Family, Parenting, Personal, Pop Culture, Television.
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Our girl Rosie turned seven years old today!  It’s hard to believe that she will be starting 2nd grade in a little over two months.  She’s enjoying swim team this summer with three 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish in four starts.  Also, Rosie’s entering into the wonderful world of Nintendo DS  as she decided that’s what she wanted over a party with friends.  Game on!

To celebrate, here’s a little Lucky Seven Sampson:

Get the funk up! June 13, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Music, Personal, Pop Culture.
2 comments

Another Twitter converstion leads to another cross blog post. This time, we were tasked to come up with a list of songs we couldn’t admit to loving without a great deal of embarrassment. Join us. It’s not too late for some self-induced online humiliation. What’s on your list?

Dave Caolo’s list at Hardcore Geek.
Lisa Hoover’s list at Sharp Corners.
Ged Maheux’s list at gedblog.

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“Batdance” by Prince from Batman soundtrack (1989) – Who wasn’t doing the “Batdance” during the summer of 1989? Prince’s music and Jack Nickolson as the Joker gave a sharp contrast to Tim Burton’s brooding visuals and Danny Elfman’s score. And hey, the soundtrack is not just for killing zombies anymore.

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“Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” by Waylon Jennings (1980) – Now you know where I was on Friday nights in the early 80s. I tried to find the audio of me singing this from like 3rd grade, but I wasn’t successful or I *just* didn’t search hard enough. In the meantime, here’s a more recent rendition:

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“Reproduction” from Grease 2 soundtrack (1982) – Well, Grease 2 made it on my “Guilty Pleasures” list on the Movies for a deserted island post, so it’s appropriate that I’ve included an embarrassing song from the soundtrack. Just where does the pollen go?

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“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot (1992) – A song about butts. What else can be said, but…”You can’t just sit here in the dark listening to classical music!” – the lovely Leela to Fry while he’s listening to this song during the first season of Futurama.

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“On Our Own” by Bobby Brown from Ghostsbusters II soundtrack (1989) – This song isn’t quite as memorable as “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker, Jr., but some people apparently remember the lyrics.

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YouTube links to the “real” videos of the above songs:

“Batdance”
“Good Ol’ Boys”
“Reproduction”
“Baby Got Back”
“On Our Own”

Almost there… June 11, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal.
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Honda Civic mileage as of this morning.

It’s a gas, gas, gas! May 27, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal.
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Gas in northeast Ohio is almost $4 per gallon, and it’ll probably reach it consistently in the next few weeks as yesterday marked the unofficial start to summer and the travel season in the US.  Both my parents track their mileage, so I guess I was genetically predisposed to doing so as well.  Last week, I painstakingly entered my gas expenses from October 2003 to May 2008 for my 1998 Honda Civic LX.  Here are a few high and low points on the above graph:

  • October 14, 2003 – Gas was $1.40 per gallon in North Carolina.  Paid $12.25 for 8.76 gallons of gas (start of graph).
  • August 16, 2005 – First time I paid over $20.00 to fill up ($2.56 per gallon).
  • August 23, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina forms as a tropical depression in the Bahamas.
  • September 2, 2005 – Gas spiked to $3.30 per gallon.  Paid $26.81 for 8.13 gallons.
  • July 1, 2006 – Moved to Ohio ($2.88 per gallon).
  • April 13, 2007 – Paid $30.32 for 10.91 gallons for gas at $2.78 per gallon (first time over $30.00 to fill up).
  • May 16, 2008 – President Bush met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who pledged an additional 300,000 barrels of oil a day.
  • May 19, 2008 – Gas at $3.85 per gallon for my first fill up over $40.00 (10.50 gallons for $40.40 & end of graph).

As more info, the tank on the Civic is 11.9 gallons and all the gas purchased was 87 octane.  Luckily (I guess), I’ve been getting around 35 miles per gallon on my highway commute.  This is with a 10-year-old car with almost 150,000 miles on it.