JoeTennies's blog

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Geeking Out For Christmas

It should come as a surprise to no one that I’m a geek. It should also be no surprise that I love Christmas. Well, I have been slowly combining those 2 facets. This year I made a monumental jump. I changed the lights on my Christmas tree.

Are they LED ones? Well, yes, but they have been for a couple years now, so that’s not that interesting. So what could make them geekier than LED? Are they all shaped like monkeys? I wish, but alas not. Are they fully automated in control to music? That’d be interesting, but no.

So, what is it? They’re all solar powered! Menards has sets of solar powered LEDs this year. After the holidays, we’ll probably use them to light our deck and accent our garden, but for now they’re for Christmas. I’m sure we’ll be posting pics of the tree and mini solar array soon (gotta finish decorating the tree first).

Now to fully geek out and drop some solar panels on the roof =)

Reunion Part 2

Okay, so this took a little bit longer than expected to get back to and I don’t know that I have much to say. On the all in all it looks like we turned out to be a fairly well-adjusted group… even Dale! It was very interesting to have long conversations with people I had classes with and hung out with only in large group settings.

As I said not really much to say. We in general just look older, balder, fatter, and much more fertile than before. Everyone’s face looked familiar, just their name slipped my mind.

Oh wait. There is something else to say. I think I may talk to/hang out with the most people from high school yet. I’m not exactly sure what that says about me. Just an observation.

First About Reunion

I’m doing this on my Nokia 770 in Panera, so it’ll be short. Expect a longer one.

I saw Nathan Georgenson Friday night. I got an early call Saturday that there was a new Georgenson.

Talked to a bunch of people during the reunion. Everyone looked pretty much the same, except the female contingent seemed much more pregnant than I remember.

I also got the final idea for what I want to make for a reunion webapp (keep checking back).

Well back to work.

Reunion This Weekend

Well, it’s official… I’m old. I’m going to my 10 year class reunion this weekend. I went to Anne’s reunion, and Daniel (Anne’s friend since high school’s husband… aka a friend) and I couldn’t help but notice that there were adults at her reunion. This has us very concerned that people may think that we were adults. We’re pretty certain he wasn’t (tall slender guy in tie-dyed t-shirt and jeans), but we were uncertain about me. SHRUG

Anyways, I only hope there will be no adults at my reunion.

Christmas Cartoon Party 2007

The party came and went. We had ~30 people come. As usual, it was a great time with new people coming. It’s always interesting to see who came.

The was great fun paint balling. I should grab some pictures from the guy at work that took them.

Anne’s stamping party was stampy, I suppose.

Hmmm… there doesn’t seem to be a clear winner for the furthest traveled this year. It’s a horse-a-piece between Sean and Bre and Anne’s parents.

Closest was Marlann who came from all the way across the street.

Again, we need to get more people to come next year.

C'mon Spammers

I just made it so anyone that creates an account can post comments automatically (may need e-mail verification). All comments are being run through akismet, so it should take care of itself.

Christmas List

Okay, I know it’s a bit early to be talking about what people want for Christmas, but I think I have my complete list.

Firstly, I want an XO Laptop (aka the $100 Laptop or OLPC). First, let me start by saying that the first batch will not be $100. The manufacturing cost is ~$189, but they are working to eventually bring down the cost. These are only going to be made available to the general public for a short time starting November 12th, 2007. They are going to cost $400, and 1/2 the money will go to getting a child in a 3rd world country one as well.

Secondly, I want to go to LugRadio Live USA. It’s going to be March 22nd and 23rd at the Google campus in San Francisco. Time to hit Priceline early to try to get a good deal.

Finally, I’d like for world peace. I personally believe that US Americans… some people out there don’t have maps. Our educational system … oh God it hurts.

New Features At Tennies.US

We are actually going to have some level of features at Tennies.US (kid you not). I’m not exactly sure what those features will be, but I’ve been looking at new Drupal features. On the list of things I’m throwing around is comments. Of course, one of the fun things of such features is dealing with SPAM.

Well, we’ll see what happens. I just got OpenID working on the site, and it rocks hard. It allows me to have single sign-on for all websites that support OpenID. If interested in the technology, check out their site

This Year's Project

For those that don’t know, we have been trying to do a project or two every year on our house.

First year was the living room, including a new window. We gutted the living room down to the studs and put in some headers, insulated, redid the electrical, and ran a ton of Ethernet and coax cabling. You can find pictures here.

Last year, we redid our roof on all the 1 story tall parts. You can find pictures here. We also redid the plumbing in the house (not sewage). Though it may sound like a daunting task, it really wasn’t. We used this stuff called PEX (cross-linked polyethelene). Combine the materials with the fact there really isn’t much plumbing in the house and you end up with a 24 hour project for 2 people. You can see a picture here.

This year, we had talked about redoing the rest of the roof, but we are a little short on cash. That means it’s going to be a “finish up the old projects” year, with a couple little new projects. We put in a whole-house humidifier (pic here). We also put in a new flower bed/garden in the back. (I’ll bug Anne to do a post and put up some pictures.) We also put 2 little beds flanking the front sidewalk. We still plan to replace a couple pickets in the back fence and either paint or stain the fence and the deck. The thing I want to do is put in chicken wire at the bottom of the fence going around the backyard to keep the rabbits out. Though that may sound fairly expensive, we waited until the last minute to get the plants, so they’re all on sale. Platteville also takes the tree branches they collect during the year and chip them and offer the wood chips to the community, so the mulch was free. We are also planning to finish up the bookshelf/bench in the living room, the stairs going upstairs, pulling the old plumbing out, and putting the flashing back on the roof.

Besides all this, we want to have a party. Anne and I had our five year anniversary this year. Unfortunately, right around the 6th of April was when we were dealing with the miscarriage, so we weren’t in the mood to celebrate. If we can’t host a big party, we are at least hoping to get together with people. The big thing preventing it is weddings… and I thought I was done with having them every weekend.


Well, we haven’t updated recently. Been a pretty busy time. So, here it goes.

Anne miscarried a couple weeks ago. The baby never grew past 6 weeks, though 4 weeks had past since it was 6 weeks big.

In more uplifting news, we got a new car. It’s a 2007 Honda Fit. We got it because we didn’t want to crawl in the back of a 2-seater and try to place a baby in a seat. It’s an awesome car though. Pictures to come.

Other news is that we knocked out a little area in our house and are redrywalling it. Currently, the walls are up and some new electrical was run. Still need to do the mudding, taping, priming, and painting.

Off to work.

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