Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day One Hundred Twelve

Now we're talking! Today marked the pouring of the inner decking. This area is colored and stamped as all of the concrete will eventually be. Right now it is a darker color due to it still being wet. The raised rail edges represent the final color. Tonight the temperature drops into the low 20's meaning all of this fine work has to be covered up so it will cure properly.

The foundation and structure wall is up for the waterfall. Don't worry, we aren't going to leave it like that! Once it cures we'll cover it with natural rock called "Cherokee." It will look like this.

50 Movies That All Guys Should See Before They Die - A Modern Guide

Classic movies like Bullit, Easy Rider, The French Connection, amongst others, are guy movies, but our list is a modern guide (past 20 years). The movies in this list are pretty much everything that chick flicks are not: any or all of bad ass cars, ass-kickings, kick-ass girls, scary monsters, super creeps, outrageous or immature comedy, with the occasional bit of real emotional or intellectual depth. It’s not necessarily about an award-winning film, though we’ve included lots of those. It’s about the elements of a guy movie. Some of these should be seen for the actors/ acting, some for the story, others for the cinematography or special effects, and still others for more obscure reasons that are harder to define well.

Photoshop Express

A simplified version online for free!

Super Slo-Mo Slap!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pool Update

One of four water jets that shoot water up into the air.

Pool lights are hooked up and will be locked into place once the plaster work inside the pool is complete.

This Saturday the inner concrete will be poured. The metal grating is to strengthen the concrete and to provide grounding area in case of lightning strike.

This is the footing for the waterfall wall.

A shot of the mechanical pad. A wall will be built around this pad on three sides. It will be hidden behind the waterfall berm.

This concrete box will house the automatic pool cover. The diving board will go over the top of it.

A closeup of the side track for the pool cover. It will glide along in this track and completely seal up the pool when not in use.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The World’s Weirdest Engineering Disaster

Didn’t anyone ever tell you that salt mines, shallow lakes and deep-earth drills shouldn’t mix? What started as a seemingly minor miscalculation resulted in a billion-gallon flood, unbelievable property damage and the upheaval of an entire ecosystem. Amazingly, this catastrophe cost no lives though it remains one of history’s most devastating engineering disasters.

Monday, March 17, 2008

BigDog Quadruped Robot

This robot is being designed for the military to be a pack mule. Pretty wild!

How Not To Roll Cable Up Stairs

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

20 Stress Fixes for Better Sleep

Reducing stress can impact your sleep significantly. Here are 20 smart ways to calm down and rest up.

More Snow

How The Hand Reacts In A Karate Chop

This one will made you cringe!

Only In Russia

Day Ninety-Six

Tomorrow will bring the first of three concrete pours. The forms you see will create the automatic cover system. On the right is the box the cover will live in when the pool is open. The tracks down each long side will allow the cover to ride on rails to cover the pool. The second pour will cover the rail system with an apron so you can stand over the rail system. The third portion will create the patio all around the pool.

The Beast!

Deb and I picked one of these up at Costco this weekend. The NordicTrack® Commercial 1300 Elliptical.

I have renamed it... "Hell Spawn!"
It made the assumption, that on my first attempt, 30 minutes on level 1 would be a good start. Two minutes into it, I realized I had invited the devil into my home! At 10 minutes I convinced myself I would be sore in the morning, but that I could make it to the end. That is when "Hell Spawn" pulled out all of the stops! The display flashed "Pedal Backwards." I complied only to be taunted by a new display, "Pedal Faster." 1 minute later and I am starting to make noises, 2 minutes in and I am calling the machine names that would make a sailor blush... then the display reads, "Push Yourself!" I kept looking down at my legs thinking that might help with the burning. I'm screaming things like "I built you!" and "You can't treat me like this!" Who knew that backwards would be any tougher than forwards? Finally after 3 minutes it informed me it was okay to reverse my stride. I am here to tell you that I did not make it the full 30 minutes, but I have high hopes for next time.

I am hoping in the next 2-3 hours my legs will allow me to go back upstairs so I can go to sleep... right now it does not look good.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Time Change: Springing Forward Could be Bad For You

"We are placing these people back into February. We are dealing with a public health issue and the extension of Daylight Saving Time at both ends is extending the period of year in which people are most vulnerable to depression."
—Michael Terman, Columbia University Medical Center

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Great New Movie!

Iceman on Everest

It's a bitterly cold winter day and students on the University of Minnesota campus are bundled up, hurrying to their next class. Wim Hof, dressed in shorts, sandals and nothing else, appeared from the doorway of a school building.

"He's known as 'The Ice Man."

Scientists can't really explain it, but the 48-year-old Dutchman is able to withstand, and even thrive, in temperatures that could be fatal to the average person.

Top Ten Grammar Myths

Organizer Martha Brockenbrough, who writes about grammar and language for Encarta, has fun suggestions for National Grammar Day, including holding a good-grammar potluck at your office or school and mixing drinks she calls grammartinis. She also suggests correcting other people's grammar, but I hope that instead of marching into grocery stores and scratching out misplaced apostrophes, people will spread the word about the language myths that well-meaning people argue about every day in offices around the world.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Worst 10 Urban Myths

In a moment of serious killjoy-osity we've trawled through the world of urban myths to find the scientifically most inaccurate... well, the ones which are just quite daft. So what's the truth behind KFC's mutant chickens and are blonde's really going to go extinct?

iPod touch - Yup, It Is That Cool

Pick One Up! You will not be disappointed!


Fire and Forget Expense Tracking.
the most efficient way to manage your expenses and reports.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm Getting The 4x4 Fever!

What Were They Thinking?

Free Shipping...

Be Seated?

12 Chairs You May Wish You Had Never Seen.

So Inviting!

As seen at the Irani cafe, Hyderabad, India

Did You Know?

Imagine a tunnel more than ten stories underground, a hundred years old, bricklined, wet, and completely inaccessible save by descending through a narrow slit in its ceiling thirty feet above the floor, and then returning up the same rope you came down.

Now imagine that this tunnel flows into Niagara Falls, emerging behind the pummeling curtain of water that nearly everyone in North America journeys to see at some point in their lives.

LED Breakthrough... 2X More Efficient than ANYTHING

LEDs are fantastic. But for a long time, they've been fantastic more because of what we think they can do than what they actually do. We've been pretty sure that LEDs can produce warm, white light at efficiencies far beyond even the much-touted compact fluorescent bulbs. But we've yet to actually see that.

7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened

People love a good conspiracy theory. The JFK assassination plot, aliens crash landing at Roswell, the 9/11 truth movement and charges of government surveillance are all an indelible part of our pop culture landscape and are by and large, total crap!

So where does your average conspiracy buff go to learn about shadowy plots that aren't pure tinfoil hattery?

Look no further.

Net Neutrality - WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Pool Update

Yesterday the cover came off. The next step will be the waterfall wall across the back side of the pool. I've been told this will start with a large concrete footing that the wall stones will be built on. All of the junk rock you see in the background will be used to back fill the wall. Once that is started and the ground gets dried out they will start on the apron around the pool.

Who Cut The Cheese

Secret History of the Credit Card

In "Secret History of the Credit Card," FRONTLINE® and The New York Times join forces to investigate an industry few Americans fully understand. In this one-hour report, correspondent Lowell Bergman uncovers the techniques used by the industry to earn record profits and get consumers to take on more debt.