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Showing posts from July, 2009

Movin' Out

Well, on the day after hearing one of the greatest live duets ever (Billy/Elton), and fresh with "Movin' Out" still buzzing in my head, I decided to clean up my classroom a bit today. My wing's custodian was in the room already, and she asked if it was okay to start taking down the dozens of moles hanging from the ceiling tiles. 30 minutes later, West-321 was devoid of those creative stuffed animals. No more Mole-sen Twins, Guaca-Mole, Mole-na Lisa, and so many others. It was a sad day, as I filled more storage boxes and recycled a lot of old student work. On the bright side, this means that I'll be officially settling into my new digs in Information Services, and I learned that I'll be helping teachers out with Gradebook prior to the school year beginning. I am so excited, carefree, and eager to begin.

LIfe in Technicolor 2 Promo Video

Well, LIT 2 is one of my favorite songs at the moment, and the video, well, you have to watch it. Pretty creative. My favorite part: the video screen.

A solid mandoline makes for some good sweet potato chips

We've had a mandoline (Swissmar Borner V-Slicer Plus) that we received from our wedding registry sitting on top of our fridge for over 6 months now. I've had a few opportunities to use it, but I can't say that I've been anxious to break it out of its packaging. See, we had a cheap $10 version of a mandoline and it was awful. I wanted something better, so I registered for the V-Slicer (reasonable at $40), but I still had that bad taste in my mouth from the $10 version. That all went away tonight. We have a thing for sweet potatoes in this household, and I've been wanting to make good sweet potato chips for awhile now. Our friend had a BBQ last weekend, and her baked sweet potatoes brought my obsession back to the forefront, so I was determined to try again tonight. Although I was good and ready to start slicing with my new best friend (a Wusthof 8" Chef), I opted to setup the V-Slicer, and honestly, I may never go back. Perfectly thin sliced chips, even…

Browning Butter and Finding Mizithra

When I visited my wife's family and friends for the first time, one of our dining trips took us to the Spaghetti Factory. It was here that I experienced for the first time the combination of browned butter and mizithra cheese. It was splattered over spaghetti and the combo also made an appearance over broccoli. Well, I've been on a search for that elusive cheese ever since. We've substituted a good feta or parmesan reggiano, but there was something about mizithra that complemented the nutty brown butter. Today, while in Greektown, we found Athens Grocery, and after stocking up on some kalamata olives and Greek feta for a lunch salad, we asked and found mizithra cheese! For a recipe, try this, and for a quick lesson on brown butter, check this out. Enjoy!

Gmail gets folders - the final missing piece?

I've been hooked on MS Outlook for a long time now. However, this past year, my trusty 10 year old PC desktop (custom built by my pops) was beginning to run slower than molasses, so one of my goals has been to work entirely off of web based applications. One of the hardest programs to separate myself from was the resource draining Microsoft Outlook. I loved organizing my emails into folders as soon as they arrived, thus keeping my Inbox clean (Inbox Zero). Until now, with Gmail, I have been able to slap labels on the mail items, but it wasn't quite the same tangible experience as moving them into folders. This past week, Gmail introduced folders/labels, and I could not be happier. My wife said it best: "It's what we've been waiting for", and I completely agree. So long Outlook - your resource intensive, non search capable (without add-on), expensive software is no longer needed in this household. I'm still looking for an appropriate replacement f…

Summer Projects - Recaulking the Bathtub/Shower

So, our tub and shower has been getting dirtier and dirtier. Black stuff collecting at the edge between the shower wall and tub is what I assume to be mold. With a day off today, I chose to tackle the project of learning how to caulk. I found several quality YouTube videos on the subject, and I went to my local TrueValue to get supplies. A razor blade, the caulk, and some painter's masking tape cost less than $20, and I was ready to go. It took about 20 minutes to scrub away the old caulk (this was the most difficult part), and a few minutes to lay the tape down. I highly recommend the use of the tape, as it makes it very easy to get a clean look in the end. Squeezed out the caulk, smoothed and filled with my finger (the bottle does say that the stuff causes cancer, uh...), and I was done in under an hour easily. Not too shabby!

Technology and more?

Ok, I apologize in advance if you're stumbling upon my blog with the sole purpose of reading about technology and gadgets. While that is a large part of who I am, it is unfair to say that that is all I care about. So, in the never-ending attempt to find my voice (and perhaps, my audience), I'm going expand my focus a bit, writing about what comes to mind, things I find useful, or just a random observation. Welcome, once again, to Chanatown.

Toodledo for iPhone update includes Push!

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Looks like my favorite GTD app just got a whole lot better. The rage since iPhone 3.0 was released a few weeks ago has been how apps will use Push notifications. Well, Toodledo seems to have incorporated the technology into its latest update. Get alarms, badge, and sound notifications with the new update. I'll add a report later after some testing. Very exciting though!

7/3/09 UPDATE: So, it is true, and I have been able to receive push notifications from Toodledo. Here's what you get: an alarm (sound/popup) for a task 1 hour before it is supposed to be completed by. It's a bit of a To-Do to setup. You have to enable push notifications on your iPhone, AND (this is what I didn't catch initially) you have to toggle a setting in the Toodledo web app that allows for reminders to be sent to the iPhone. Here's link to the forum that has conversations about this topic. Still, a nice update for my go-to task list app.
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