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Eric Thornber

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Today's act of baggery [09 Oct 2010|09:02pm]
While sounds of football and humiliation came from the living room, I was hunched over my sewing machine.

And something was accomplished!Collapse )

Aluminum Anniversary! (No, really!) [26 Aug 2010|12:03am]
Things I have put up with over the last 10 years:

A committment to University of Michigan football.
Obsession with egregiously localized politics (seriously, we were looking at Alaskan ballot initiatives while ON VACATION.)
The Beatles.
Rampant liberalism.
Annie Hall.
A strange and inexplicable cast of in-laws.

Things I have made her put up with over the last 10 years:

A committment to giving vast amounts of money to the University of Maryland.
Obsession with egregiously narrow science news.
"Here, taste this!"
Rampant cynicism.
Clue.
A strange an inexplicable cast of in-laws.

Things I look forward to putting up with for the next 10 years:

Everything.

One decade down, many more to go.

Play Log: Fiasco, Part 2! [12 Aug 2010|02:18pm]
Late post, because we wrapped late and things are crazy here.

Previously on Behind The Music: Care RegistryCollapse )

Play Log: Fiasco! [10 Aug 2010|11:43pm]
I was exposed to Fiasco for the first time on Sunday, and it has totally consumed my brain. So much so that last night I convinced fadethecat and multiplexer to join me in trying to play online. So I wrote up some quick code to handle the dice, and we ran the setup using the Traveling Rock Band playset. We really didn't end up with violence and dead hookers jumping out at us, but we definitely had jealousy and bitterness and so we decided to go with a Behind The Music-style documentary of a band's self-destruction. Below is a log of Act One; we'll be doing Act Two tomorrow night.

Cut for length and a whole lot of bad language.Collapse )

Sometimes a Leap of Faith leaves you falling. [28 Jul 2010|10:38pm]
A review of Quirky's iPad case, the Cloak.Collapse )

Hey you guys! [28 Jun 2010|10:15pm]
So, we're going off on a Grand Adventure for the anniversary this year. Ten years ago, we bought our first digital camera for the honeymoon - $600 for a 2.1 megapixel point and shoot that ate AA batteries like candy and squeezed pictures onto a 64MB card.

I'd like to take something better along this time.

I know I have photo nerd friends across the spectrum here - is it possible that I can acquire and learn a decent DSLR system without extreme expense or heartache between now and August?

All advice welcome.

What the iPad isn't. [06 Apr 2010|08:37pm]
As Em mentioned earlier, we now have an iPad in the house. One of my critical threshold points was crossed, that being an iPad native app for Papers, the application I use to manage my article library. I've had a day or so now to play around with it, and I think it's worth talking about what it won't be replacing in my life.

The iPad is not an overgrown iPhoneCollapse )

The iPad is not a netbook.Collapse )

The iPad is not a laptop, a desktop, or any other 'full-featured' computer.Collapse )

So, what is the iPad?Collapse )

In Which I Teach My Child Questionable Skills [10 Feb 2010|08:54pm]
Unsurprisingly, Katie had a snow day today. I have been home all week, and Em's been working from home, so entertainment duties fell to me.

At first, she was happy to play on her own. Then we played Blokus for a bit. Then she wanted to do something else. So the collection of Nerf got hauled downstairs, and Katie began dictating. She wanted the targets set up a specific way. She wanted me upstairs, shooting down through the banister. And then she wanted to do it all herself. She doesn't have the hand strength to cock a lot of the toys herself, but she found one that she could, and then could not be parted from it.

Of course, there had to be cameras involved.

From Web Photos


The Bag Saga Continues [16 Aug 2009|09:14pm]
I could talk about Donocon '09, but rob_donoghue summarized nicely.

Instead, more bags!Collapse )

Further Acts of Baggery [02 Aug 2009|03:30pm]
Having finished Em's horizontal-style netbook bag, I moved on to my vertically-oriented one. As before, I'm linking to the gallery here and making some comments below.
Commentary!Collapse )

Adventures in Bag Building [27 Jul 2009|08:28pm]
It's like amateur homemade bag porn.Collapse )

Book: Alex and the Ironic Gentleman [03 May 2009|02:59pm]
I got a Kindle 2 for my birthday, and it is an evil evil thing - especially because I also got a not-insignificant gift code for Amazon itself. Which basically means I have been able to indulge in my favorite pastime of all, impulse buying.

I'd seen Alex and the Ironic Gentleman by Adrienne Kress on the shelves at the bookstore from time to time, and the title alone very nearly sold me, but I never quite had time for it. I downloaded it the other day, finished it this morning, and I've been beating myself up over having waited so long.

If you have a child who is or will be in the 8-10 range, they should be exposed to this book.

If that child is a girl, it's very nearly mandatory.

If you don't have kids, read it anyway.

It's kid-lit, so it's fast and easy to read, but it's very clever, and not at all condescending. It is also very, very funny. The Alex of the title is a 10-and-a-half year old girl who decides, when her sixth-grade teacher is kidnapped by pirates, to go rescue him. Really, you shouldn't need more than that.

It's also apparently being filmed, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for that, but having watched City of Ember last night, my expectations never creep very high for these things.

Why My Daughter is Awesome [09 Mar 2009|03:33pm]
Katie: Daddy, what is your teacher's name?

Me: Well, I have a lot of teachers.

Katie: My teacher is Miss Semke and Miss White and Miss Santos.

Me: Well, my teachers are Dr. Lo, Dr. Post, and Dr. Castonguay.

Katie: Why are your teachers doctors and not real teachers?

Me: They are real teachers, Katie. Some doctors teach at school.

Katie: No, Daddy. Doctors are at the hospital.

Me: Some doctors are scientists, Katie. That's the sort of doctor Daddy wants to be.

Katie: Oh. I'm going to be a scientist doctor too. And you know what, Daddy?

Me: What, Katie?

Katie: I will wear my white coat. Because you have to wear a white coat to do science.

Promised Bag Porn [28 Jan 2009|10:39pm]
[ mood | busy ]

Evening class cancelled due to weather, so I was home when FedEx delivered gifts. I discovered today that the small bag I've been hauling this week isn't at all waterproof, so it was timely. Spent the evening assembling and packing the new kit, and it's not light, but it's still about half the weight I was carrying last semester.

Cut for graphic imagesCollapse )

Setting up kit [26 Jan 2009|04:46pm]
This is a post mostly to test out Drivel as a client.

Mondays are normally a big day for my schedule this semester - 10a-7p with about 2 hours of break in the morning. However, most of those hours are taken up by my food processing class, and the professor is in Morocco this week so we have no class.

That means I have one class today, and it starts at 5:30 and runs until 7. Blergh.

Since I do not want to drive down here in afternoon rush hour, I came down after lunch and have been hanging around. I've gotten the netbook up and running on the campus network, and discovered that the IT department has managed to find a way to allow the iPhone/iPod Touch to use the secure wifi instead of the web-authenticated wifi. Now, since my university password is like 12 random characters, this pleases me to no end.

I'm trying to strip down the stuff I carry onto campus; last semester my bag just got too damn heavy, especially after the surgery. So, the lighter netbook, a smaller bag, etc. I'm trying out using a single medium Moleskine notebook for my notes, using stick-on folder tabs to subdivide it. Looks like it'll work alright, but we'll find out, won't we?

Coming this week: BAG PORN

That seemed somehow pointless. [23 Oct 2008|09:32am]
[ mood | grumpy ]

My commute to school is a discontinuous function. It is very traffic-sensitive, and the time I leave the house as well as any congestion can make my arrival fluctuate wildly.

Today, I had an exam at 8:30am. I made it just in time, though the forces of the universe tried to stop me.

The exam took me about 30 minutes to finish.

Now I have no class until 12:30.

I am parked at one of the coveted Mac workstations in the library, and damned if I'm leaving before it's time to go get lunch.

Bag Porn [18 Jul 2008|09:02pm]
For a while now, I've been carrying around the REI Boarding Bag as a daily carry sort of thing. While it's got a lot of nice features, the shoulder strap is too narrow, and the pad isn't adjustable, so it's just not as comfortable as I want it to be. And hey, I just got a fat government paycheck, so I sort of binged at Duluth Trading and bought, along with many pairs of pants, their Fire Hose Field Bag. It arrived today.

Lots of Pictures below.Collapse )

It's slightly larger than my old bag, with a much nicer strap. Using their heavy Fire Hose canvas and reinforced with leather, and up to their usual high quality, so there's a very good chance I'll be slinging this around for years.

Three Weeks In... [11 Jul 2008|10:50pm]
[ mood | tired ]

So today was the close of my third week as a goverment lab monkey. It's interesting, and eye-opening in many ways. Now, I know that some people reading this have government jobs of their own, but I suspect they are quite a bit different than my life in the basement of the Produce Quality and Safety Lab of the USDA.

- When I started, I had panicked about wardrobe. I haven't had to dress for anything more formal than an in-class speech in over five years. Yeah. So the button-down shirt lasted two days, and the khakis lasted just over a week.

- While we are not precisely wasting taxpayer money, we may be underutilizing money from several years ago. I've already resurrected one piece of equipment that had been forgotten. My boss has discovered a fact that makes her giggle with glee - I am technical.

- I have been offered the chance to be primary author on the paper resulting from our current research. Going along with this is taking the lead on directing the form of that research. I raised the possibility of liquid nitrogen this afternoon, and got a very enthusiastic reception to the idea. Neat!

So, this sucks. [23 Apr 2008|05:28pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

So we got rid of one cat because she was pissing everywhere. Then the second one decided that she couldn't live alone, and she's now devoted to ruining a $3000 couch.

Shit.

Anyone have friendly cats and room for one that just needs other kitties to be happy, or is the only way to have cat-piss-free house to have a cat-free house?

Huh. That's weird. [22 Mar 2008|11:17pm]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

So we find a new beer store in Columbia, and it has a Wall Of Craft Brews that is astounding, and a build-you-own-six-pack policy.

That's awesome.

But they also had mead from Redstone Meadery, and we bought a bottle of the vanilla-cinnamon metheglin to try.

It's really quite tasty, but the smell triggered something in my brain.

And then I realize.

It smells exactly like my old favorite pipe tobacco.

Now my memory is being weird on me.

The brain is strange.

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