Maps, Rocks, and Places

Geography is about more than the capitals of countries you’ve never heard about.  Geography is about place, and anything that has a place is geography.  Geographers study the distribution and spread of disease.  They study how landforms are changed by the forces of man and nature.  They study the diffusion of slang terms.  They look at the distribution of particular styles of architecture within a community as a surrogate for the origin and culture of the people who live there.  Anything that has a place or a distribution in space is fair game.  Geography is about us and our world.  And most of all, geography is about maps.  Beautiful maps.

Geography is deep in our roots at the Turtlshel Project.  Come in and find out more than you ever knew there was.  And maps.  Beautiful maps.

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Nerd Fashion

Sometimes there’s just nothing better than jeans and a pair of Chucks.  Or a good jacket.  A fine Oxford shirt.  Or a bow tie.  Bow ties are cool.  We’re not high fashion here – we just like to look and feel good.

[image courtesy of Steven Guzzardi on]
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Learn Something New, Be Something More

Version 3.1 of YOU is just around the corner.  Maybe they’ll be announcing it at the next MicroApple Developers’ Conference.  I wonder what kind of FEATURES it will have.  Maybe a new degree, or a bunch of new skills?  Or maybe YOU 3.1 is just totally badass.  Upgrading YOU is up to YOU.  Be what you want to be.

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Introducing Nerd Q&A

You have questions.  You do, really, I promise.  Or somebody had a question.  We have answers.  Lots of answers.  We have answers in search of questions.  We have answers in search of answers.  We even have answers that like foreign films and long walks on the beach.

[image courtesy of Derek Bridges on]
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Vegetarian Zombies – Another Cool Thing from DeviantArt

Vegetarian Zombie Design by *kevinbolk on deviantART


I found another cool drawing on DeviantArt.  This one particularly amuses me as we are getting ready tomorrow to launch our first ever vegan week.  I’ll write more later about vegan week, but wanted to share this really cool vegetarian zombie.  Graaaaiiiinnnsss.  While you are enjoying the undead vegan, check out Zombies! The Living Dead in Literature on iTunesU.

Dawn, with her rose-red fingers

Dawn, with her rose-red fingers

I have been reading the wonderful Fagles translation of the Odyssey.  There is a beautiful line that repeats again and again, somewhat in the role of “meanwhile, back at the ranch,” that speaks of Dawn, with her rose-red fingers.  The arrangement of my daily schedule usually prevents me from from seeing dawn, and the sunrise.  This morning, however, I walked Beanie to school and then continued on to work.  When we left the house, the sky was the most brilliant rosy-red, and I had some sense of what Homer must have been seeing when he wrote of Dawn with her rosy-red fingers.  Feeling very happy, and wanting to share, I explained to Beanie about Dawn, and her rosy fingers pulling back the curtain of night.  Beanie’s response?  “The sky is pink.”  Maybe someday.

Creative Commons Image, Uploaded on October 24, 2009 by Magnera,

Shamisen Hero: Probably the coolest thing I’ll see all day

Shamisen Hero FTW by ~RedKARASU on deviantART

I was looking for something completely unrelated on DeviantArt, and found this.  I may be one of the few people on the planet that has never played Guitar Hero (being able to play the real thing, I just have never seen the point), but if they made Shamisen Hero, or even better, Sanshin Hero, I’m sure that I’d be hooked.
Making Invitations for Bobi’s Ultraman Birthday Party

Making Invitations for Bobi’s Ultraman Birthday Party


With Bobi’s birthday coming up next week, I spent a bunch of hours this evening putting together birthday party invitations.  Bobi wants an Ultraman party.  Fine with us, although none of his friends are going to have any idea what Ultraman is, and it isn’t like we can have the kids watch the show at the party – they wouldn’t understand why it is in Japanese, etc.  But Ultraman it is, anyway.  The kids are going to decorate Ultraman-shaped gingerbread cookies, and will play “pin the tail on the kaiju.”

To make the invitations, I printed the Ultraman drawing from my post about stationary, two to a sheet, and printed all of the party information inside.  I thought it would be a good idea to color each of the invitations by hand, using colored pencils.  Not a good idea.  I should have just colored them in PhotoShop and printed them that way.  I spent almost 5 hours all together.  However, they turned out so nice, that I thought I might make sets of greeting cards or something out of the stationary pages to post here.



The Stinky Stank, A Poem

The Stinky Stank, A Poem

The stinky, strong stank
That I think that I thank,
When I thought that I sank,
In the toilet;


Smelled of decomposed feet,
And the stuff that you eat,
When it’s under the street,
Once you’ve passed it.


I tried to climb free,
But you didn’t see
When you came in and flushed it.

(by jflatnote)

I’m Sorry About Tomorrow

I’m Sorry About Tomorrow

Becky and I had the weirdest conversation last night.  For some reason we just didn’t make it to bed until really, really late.  When that happens, the next day is usually not very pretty, and fights can flare up without much warning.  So, just before I drifted off to sleep, I decided to apologize in advance:

Me: I’m sorry about tommorow.

Becky: What are you talking about?

Me: Tomorrow.  We stayed up so late that it’s sure to be a grumpy bad day.  I’m sorry for everything that I’m probably going to do.

Becky: Oh.  I’m sorry too.

Me: That’s not good enough.

Becky: What are you talking about?

Me: For everything you’re going to do tomorrow, a simple sorry isn’t good enough.

Luckily I was smart enough to let her know I was kidding before she bonked me in the head.  It was a funny conversation, and I thought I might share it.  Today really wasn’t a bad day at all.

Door Switch Replacement and Disassembly Process for a Kenmore 90 Series Dryer (110.66912)

Door Switch Replacement and Disassembly Process for a Kenmore 90 Series Dryer (110.66912)

Growing up, my dad was always the king of fixing broken things.  I spent hours and hours on Saturday afternoons, and late Thursday evenings handing screwdrivers and pliers, and fetching various odds and ends required for the current emergency project.  As far as I know, Dad never had any formal schooling in auto mechanics, appliance repair, toy fixing, or anything like it, but he applied his working knowledge of related things, and pure logic, and was able to fix even very complex systems.

As a kid, how my dad could possibly pop open some broken machine that he had never used before, figure out how it worked and why it was broken, and then fix it, was beyond my comprehension.  My assumption was, and has been even as an adult, that he just had something that I don’t, and won’t have.  And that may be, although I now realize that I have something that he never, ever could have dreamed of: the Internet.

This week our Kenmore Dryer stopped working.  It just wouldn’t turn on.  Now, I don’t have money for a repair, and I certainly don’t have money for a new dryer.  What’s a poor dad to do?  Fix it.  So I turned to the that one thing my dad didn’t have, the Internet.  First I read a couple of places (including here and here) that one of the first things to check was the door switch.  The only problem was that even though I had a schematic for the dryer, I couldn’t figure out how to get the thing apart to look at the switch until I found this page.  I eventually got the top off of the dryer so I could look at the part.  Guess what – the arm of the switch was snapped off.  Then it was just a matter of ordering the part (hereherehere, or here), waiting for it to arrive, and putting everything back together.

I may not be as smart as my dad, but I can fix a broken dryer (with a little help from my friends (AKA the Internet community)).

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