Vapor Life

Vapor life... My life as it is, as it should be. *********************************************************************************************************** Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday

Everyone, including the Girl, seems to have Cyber Monday Fever.

First they made such a big deal about Black Friday whipping the unwashed masses into such a frenzy that people get trampled. Granted it was never my thing to get up that early to do anything much less to stand in line but still… trampled? What are you cattle?

So now every one is all about Cyber Mondays… great. Clog up the inter-web with all those deal seeking zealots. How am I supposed to check the weather and my horoscope?
All so you can save a buck or two? I guess retailers will do anything to make money, and I really cant blame them.

So to all those online shoppers out there, good luck. Just get off my internet soon.


People come up to me all the time and say:

People come up to me all the time and say:

Your so handsome, and smart, and strong, and good-looking and intelligent, and handy and on and on and I say to them:

I know.

But the truth is we could all use a little help around the holidays, so here are some tips from my brother the physical trainer:

How to be Healthy during the Holidays!

Tis the season of family, get-togethers, good food and.....WEIGHT GAIN!

Did you know?

The average WEIGHT GAIN for adults during the holidays is 8-12lbs.


Develop a Holiday Health Plan! It may take a little more planning on your part, but mark you calendar and commit to staying on track with your exercise routine. Treat those scheduled workouts like any other important appointment. Next, eat healthy. You don’t have to totally banish the sweets or not partake in the same great foods that everyone else is enjoying – instead just enjoy these holiday treats in moderation. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or don't eat) and how much exercise you do (or don't do), you can avoid packing on weight AND also partake in all the fun of this time of year. So, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose. Remember, in order to avoid weight gain you need to be burning just as many calories as you are taking in.

Here’s an example of what it takes to burn off a holiday favorite:

1 piece of pumpkin pie = Est. 320 calories (17g of fat)

Walking at a moderate pace for 1 hour = Est. 320 calories burned

Jogging at 11 min./mile for 30 min. = Est. 320 calories burned

Running at 6 min. / mile for 22 min. = Est. 320 calories burned

Calorie expenditure is based on a healthy adult of 160 lbs. (adjust more calories burned for heavier person and vice versa)

Here are a couple quick tips to help you through the hectic holidays:

  • Don’t put your fitness goals off until the New Year, start/keep exercising when you can. Something is better than nothing. Remember – CONSISTENCY!
  • Try to eat before attending a holiday party. Make sure that you eat a normal breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will help you be less tempted to over-do it.
  • Lastly, watch your additions! Adding gravy, butter or other high calorie condiments can sometimes double your calorie and fat content. This also applies to alcoholic drinks – Yes, the average drink can add 200 calories to your meal.

"Fitness is a journey, not a destination..."
Brian Young, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Director of Fitness Programs E.M.U. Rec/IM
Owner of B Young - B Fit LLC
2898 Washtenaw Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shop Update: Sunday Shop Time

You might think starting another project while I still have two or three in the hopper might me slightly crazy. I would tend to agree, but I had to get started on this by gluing up some panels of solid cherry.


As Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas

As Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas the mantel magicaly transfoms.
So does the rest of the house, thanks to the girl. Let's face it
without her none of that stuff would get done.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Tanner and I took a quick walk before dinner. It was cool and pleasant
walking along the Saline river. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Insurance Hell

Tanner Shares My feeling of dread...

Knowing full well that here, on the eve of Thanksgiving, we are about to enter the official holiday shopping season.
I weep for us all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mondays finally over

Why do Mondays always feel like lifes way of bitch slapping you for
the week?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shop Update: crunch time

What can I say, more shop therapy was in order after the Michigan game.

You can see here the bottom trim to a wood project I needed to knock out before Christmas. The Girl wanted a trash can, like the one we have, for her sister.

Tanner and Kitty were in the shop all day with me making sure to get in my way. Below you can see Kitty hiding between tool boxes waiting for a chance to pounce outside.

So I made some progress, here you can see the project 3/4 of the way through. The top needs to be completed, but you can see how its working out.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Football Fever

Friday, November 20, 2009

MGOBLUE: Michigan vs. Ohio State

I am just a glutton for punishment. No more words just put up or shut
up and go home. See you tomorow at the game.

Go Blue!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Morning at the Drowsy

This Morning at the Drowsy

Fall inspired cookies graced the counter, they were cool enough for me to buy some for the office.


So I was the stupid one....

So I was the stupid one when I stood on the roof with the weed trimmer to trim the large hedge on the side of the house.

Thanks to this guy, I look like a fricken genius.

Thanks to Giz for this.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So This Is why I let others work out the bugs first

I had said this before. So the dPhone super phone has had some camera glitch. It seems that for some reason the camera would not focus right, then it automagicly fixed itself. Everyone thought it was fixed overnight with some secret OTA firmware update.

Turns out, this is not the case. The real reason Per Giz:

There's a rounding-error bug in the camera driver's autofocus routine (which uses a timestamp) that causes autofocus to behave poorly on a 24.5-day cycle. That is, it'll work for 24.5 days, then have poor performance for 24.5 days, then work again.

A commenter explained it this way:

It's not the DATE that it's relying on so much as the TIME. And on any modern OS, the same variable holds both the date and time, stored as one huge number, such as the number of milliseconds since zero-date. The date is actually calculated by dividing that number lots of times.

When you write routines that are time-dependent (such as "move the lens forward for 1/1000 of a second and re-sample the image"), you often write a loop that looks for a specific amount of time that's passed, then exit the loop.

You might end up with a routine that looks like this:

start the lens moving


while Now <>



stop the lens moving

sample the picture. If it's not focused, repeat the loop

If rounding occurs, TimePassed could get rounded down or up... if it's rounded down, then the loop will execute too long.

In the previous example, a rounding error could cause the camera to move the lens further than expected, causing the camera to move the lens all the way to its stop trying to focus. It'll then start moving the other way, but the rounding error STILL causes the lens to overshoot, causing the camera to hit the stop going the other way...

So what we end up with is a pattern of the lens moving back and forth, trying to focus and skipping the "sweet spot" as it goes.

OK so I am glad it was a simple explanation.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get It?

Why does everyone I talk to fall into ONE CATEGORY???


Shop Update: Bonus time

These channeled out 2x2 poplar pieces make a cool pattern when I cut them to length.

Shop time during the week is rare, so I relish it when I can get some in.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Overheard Last Night on the Couch.....

(after messing up the admittedly over complicated TV set up)

Sitting down to dinner, in front of TV:

Me: There I fixed it, you just had the wrong input. You almost had it back to correct.

The Girl: I tried to change the input.

Me: I know, you almost had it.

The Girl: Its a pain in the butt.

Me: Its just the curse of your gender, you just don't understand math or TV's. (kidding)

The Girl: I understand Knife! (holding steak knife, seriously)

Me: Touche'


Its hunting season

Yesterday was the first official day of Deer rifle season here in Michigan and that means many people are up north this week sitting in the woods.

I must admit I am a little jealous, not because I want to shoot a deer, but there is something cathartic about sitting in the woods in the early morning cold when the light is just starting to come through the trees.

I guess someone has to stay back to work.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lego philosophy

Thanks to Gizmodo for this one.


M Go Blue: Michigan Vs Winsonsin

This week the Wolverines travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in what can only be described as a must win for the Rodriguez and the boys and more than bowl eligibly is on the at this point. The inevitable rumbles of discontent can be heard throughout Ann Arbor as the Wolverines have lost 5 of the last 6 games the fast start to the season is all but forgotten as the fickle fans voice their .

But we have out work cut or for us. A lousy 1-5 big ten record this year, and out seeming difficulty to win on the road are not helping. Throw in our poor second half performance and you get a recipe for disaster.

Yet there is hope.

Wisconsin has shown chinks in its armor, winning but allowing teams a chance in the second half. No to mention that there similar playing style better matches up with what we bring to the table then say… Purdue (not to bring up last weeks disaster). Finally you have to believe that the Michigan program is hungry, and will com prepared.

I am not going to predict a score since I got slapped last week… but I will say this:

I remain hopeful and truly believe that this is a winnable game.


Final note: I think out best chance of winning is to stick with Tate Forcier, and leave Denard Robison for third quarter victory rotation. Just my opinion.

Friday, November 13, 2009

At dinner

No not in Paris but at cafe Felix for some Tapas.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ann Arbor Town Homes

One of the four town homes here was on a list of properties I had to work out some insurance for this week. These homes, while still down in price due to the market, are withing walking distance from down town (two blocks) and seem to be holding there value well.

This gives me some hope for the housing market.

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Today was conflicting in many ways, but the Eris was the biggest suprise.

It was a testament to the fact that not all of our clients are as decent and kind as the others… and I had a lot of face time with unhappy people. One thing I spent a great deal of time helping BY update her archaic phone to a Blackberry Curve a sturdy and proven phone. While I was at the wireless store, however, I came face to face with the Droid phone. I have to tell you it was not as impressive as I had thought, mostly I believe because at the store they could not show me a working model stating that you had to activate it to make it work and the cheesy fake screen sticker on it. It felt awkward in my hand and I was not really happy.

I did, however, see the Verizon branded HTC Droid Eris, and I have to tell you this thing was nice. For one I could begin to see the Android software was nice, even though I could not get it past the second “ activation” screen. The best part was it felt nice in the hand. It had a lot, but not all of, what the bigger droid had to offer and was sporting a $100 less price tag.

5 mp camera as well… I think I’m a little smitten.

I am not likely to switch, yet, but this phone more than the droid, is making me think twice.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A suprising act of Kindness

About once a year, some of our clients make the trip to Japan to visit family, and unfailingly bring us back a little trinket of sorts. In this case it was cookies from Sheseido Parlour.

It so kind of them and they are so nice with the formality of gift, fancy wrapping and always a kind note attached. Bowing as they leave with a formal air about them, they seem to dispel any objection to their unsolicited generosity with a smile and a oddly comfortable attitude. To them, it seems, the act is its own reward. They leave and I read the note:
"We are appreciating your excellent supports."
Refreshing after dealing with rude people on the phone all day.



Frost on my windshield this morning.

Just one last thought for the night

If it were truly a just and fair world would the have really cancelled
"my name is Earl" and left Dancing with the stars on?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shop Update: Dimensional Cherry

Today, to make myself feel better, I went out and lunch and bought these 5 planks of sold Cherry. (bottom of photo) Thats 4/4 (or one inch thick) solid Cherry wood and its awesome.

Unlike the Walnut, I pretty much know what this is going to become.
PS- Double bonus: when do you ever get to use the terms "Cherry" and "Wood" in a post and still keep it clean?


One of the two Giant Maple trees

One of the two Giant Maple trees in the front yard reaches skyward on an gloomy but still warm Tuesday morning as if it was just waiting for the sun to come out. Seemingly waiting for something that is just not going to be there.
After a short, but welcomed, Indian summer the weather is starting to shift back to cold this week.

Like the tree, I have been a little out of sorts lately. Not sure exactly what it is. Maybe its just the weather but something is going to change, I can feel it.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

I wonder

I wonder just exactly how much more crap I can put up with before I actually, literally, go insane?

I hate Mondays.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Yesterday was disapointing.

Yesterday, despite perfect weather and a great time at the game, the final score was disappointing.

Today was full of fixing things. First there was some light plane maintenance. Then sharpening of lawnmower blades, raking and burning of many leaves, installation of recently sharpened lawnmower blades, bird removal, and finally some more yard work.
Too bad I could not fix yesterdays score... even with all the help I had today.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

At half were up.

Facing South

At the game.

Go Blue

At the game!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Droid Fever: The "gPhone" is loose, and Motorola is back baby! (maybe)

Well today’s the day that Droid Dropped, and I have to tell you there was a certain buzz in the air.

Last night I had myself half convinced that I was going to the local Verizion store and even and an “inside man” ready to set one aside in case of a sell out.

For a variety of reasons, it did not happen.

I am off contract and itching to by a new toy, so what is the hold up? What stopped my from buying the “gPhone”?

1) I have been burnt before, hello iPhone price break. Even though I did not get in on the initial fleecing, The Girl paid more for my first gen then the new 3GS now is.

2) There are bound to be glitches. Lets face it… its NEW, let others work out the problems.

3) Money! Ok so 199.00 is almost reasonable, but $299 with 100 rebate gift card not so much. Some e-tailers are offering instant rebates but let’s face it with out instant gratification this does not work for me.

4) The camera Sucks? It may be a firmware away from rocking but this is now a generation of savvy “super phone” buyers. I want a rocking experience out of the box. Camera is one of my top reasons for getting this phone, but if all its getting is “Meh.. its ok” count me out.

5) We are not the naïve super phone buyer of yore, Apple has made us all grow up in one way or another. We want and awesome phone, not a phone with awesome potential.

So I wait.

I wait for the dust to settle. I wait for my techno lust to be slaked with the inevitable word that this is not the device it could "grow up" to be.

I wait, again, for my super gadget.



MGOBLUE: Michigan vs. Purdue

Around Ann Arbor people are already getting excited about tomorrows match up between the Boilermakers and the Wolverines, and you can see the Yellow Purdue flags fly as we welcome our fellow Big Ten Team back to the big house.

Coming off a losing streak,Michigan will be fired up to make up for last years loss and put a lid on thier bowl

eligibility before moving onto Wisconsin and Ohio State. There will be no cold weather excuses, as San Diego native Tate Forcier tends to get nervous when it gets cold out, the weather will be nice, sunny, and reasonably warm. We need to be sharp, and NOT TURN OVER THE BALL.

Purdue is not a push over, Just ask Ohio State. If they can get the run going they will have a good chance. If they can see blood, they will go for it. It does not help that Michigan has proven lately if you get them in bind, they start making mistakes.

I like our chances, at The Big House, with something to prove... I see us walking away winners tomorrow.

My prediction: Michigan by 10 or more.


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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bringing Sexy Back.

For a while now, I have this thing where I forget to zip my zipper.

It drives the girl crazy.

I am not sure what the deal is really, honestly, it just is something, I guess, where my mind does not think is that important, especially around the house. Honestly I often wonder if she knows how lucky it is I even have pants on. Usually I make a smart ass comment once she points it out, and that REALLY HELPS.

For example:

The girl: Your zipper is down again….

Me: Oops

The Girl: You’re so LAZY you can’t even be bothered to zip your zipper?

Me: I’m not being lazy… I consider it ADVERTIZING.

The Girl: What are you advertising? That your to lazy to zip up your zipper?

Me: Hey, someone’s got to bring sexy back!

So I find it ironic that today my zipper is broken, not completely but the little handle thing is missing making it difficult to go up, or down at all. Its to bad really because these are a nice pair of pants and after spilling motor oil on a pair recently, I am getting to the point where I am going to have to go shopping and that is whole new set of problems.


A dew dappled leaf

Sits on the grass this morning in our front lawn, the water dropplets looked interesting to me so i took a quick shot. Click to enlarge this one.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Short Daze

Darkness falls early now, and daylight savings is only making it worse. Its bad enough that that the dog is determined that lunch now starts at 11, but it makes it hard to get anything done after work as well.

I am glad today is over, it was unsettling and never fit right like an ill-fitting suit jacket. I never felt comfortable in it.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Cool Gear: Canon S90

This might be the camera I have been waiting for.

I know that I have said this before and again before and I am likely going to change my mind again but the new Canon s90 seems to be the perfect point-shoot with some of the dslr muscle that I have been waiting for.

I could bore you with the details so you can read about it *here*.


Monday, November 02, 2009

How My "fix it" mentality works:


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween Might Be Over

But the full moon (Almost full anyway) peaks between the trees as Tanner and I take a sunset walk, bringing spooky back for another night anyway.


Shop update: Double File Cabint Project- update

A difficult but crucial step was accomplished as the double file cabinet was glued and set it is pretty much in its final form, just upside down.