Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

Now this is truly putting the internet to good use. A feat like this pre-internet would have meant a handful of these folks coming together to sing. No way that all 150+ of them could have made it, and no way it would have sounded so impressive - so very impressive.

Monday, April 26, 2010

TAFC 00 Spring 2010 Soccer

Max's Soccer Team:

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sharing Some Zoo Love!

The National Zoo's Guppy Gala is coming up in mid-May and I have some tickets to give way! You can read more and enter to win your tickets HERE. Hope to see you at the zoo soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Soccer is upon us!

Once again it's time to break our the cleats, don the shin guards, and play some soccer. Well, for me it's all about lounging comfortably and not getting sunburned. But these boys really leave it all on the field! Here are a few pics from the first weekend of Spring outdoor soccer:
Click to play this Smilebox collage: Spring Soccer 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cheeky Octopus

Revenge of the Octopus

by Mike Krumboltz

21 hours ago

A few days ago, an ornery octopus stole a diver's video camera off the coast of New Zealand. What followed was a harrowing and hilarious adventure that resulted in some incredibly awesome video.

We first spotted the story at Very Short List. The video, which you can watch below, begins innocently enough. Local diver Victor Huang is shooting video with his new underwater camera. (Cue the "Jaws" music.)

Suddenly, a mischievous octopus appears out of nowhere, and clings to the $700 camera. Mr. Huang holds on for as long as he can, but the mighty mollusk wins the tug of war and swims off with Huang's new toy.

Most folks would chalk this up to incredibly bad luck and let the octopus win, but Mr. Huang pursued the creature. After a five minute chase, he managed to wrestle his camera back, with the help of his spear gun. Huang used the gun to wedge the camera away from the eight-armed thief.

But it wasn't over yet. The octopus liked playing with the spear gun and refused to let go. According an article from New Zealand Stuff, "Mr. Huang then swam around with the octopus on his speargun, saying the tentacled sea creature seemed to enjoy the ride."

Amazingly, the robbery, chase, and recovery were all captured on video. Mr. Huang never got a chance to turn off his gadget before the octopus "borrowed it." And Huang holds no grudge. He feels the octopus never intended to hurt him. "I honestly believe that it saw the bright blue digital camera and went ‘oh I need that’, you know?"

Huang posted the three minute clip on the Web and the video has quickly gone viral. In just a few days, the clip has garnered close to a million views on YouTube. It's easy to see why. The struggle, vivid colors, and knowledge that it all turned out OK (even the camera survived), make this a must-see.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Playing with Filters

I've had this desire to mess with filters for digital images for a while now, but never really sat down to do it. Well, I downloaded an app for my iPhone and now I have access to about eight cool filters. Check these out:

Easy and pretty darn cool if you ask me. Now to figure out how to do this with my computer and loads more images!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The wings of my little angel

Well, like most kids, she's not always an angel (ask Tom about their trip to Chick Fil A on Wednesday). But she is precious, and here's proof:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday from us!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

White House Easter Egg Roll 2010

bout a billion years ago I became interested in politics. Then about four years ago we moved just about as close as we could stomach to the Nation's Capital. Not bad if you ask me. But I've never actually been to the White House. Never. Not once. Guess I'm not as much of a wonk as I thought.

The White House Easter Egg Roll never really crossed my radar because we would have had to wait in line a la FSU Football tickets when we were students, and that's just not something I was interested in doing. Some friends did wait in line in years past, but it wasn't for me. Last year I even blogged thanking the President for the opportunity to get tickets - one which we really didn't have up until then. I think that someone must have read that note - this year we got tickets. But instead of jumping up and down with joy and telling the kids, I thought I'd torture them a bit. Well, it turned out that it was more torture for me than it was for them (who knew that keeping this secret would be so hard???!!!). But they figured out that we were doing something special on April 5, that it was after school, we were taking the Metro into town, and then it took them 20 Questions plus a bunch of folks walking past with bags clearly labelled White House Easter Egg Roll before they figured it out. That's when I started to get excited. First, we had snacks on the lawn:
Then we waited in line, in almost 90 degree weather. It felt like it was forever, and it felt like the worst heat ever. Our blood has really thickened some since we moved here and we were sweating.
But the line eventually started moving, we were scanned, greeted, banded, given cold drinks, and shuffled back into a second line. And when that line started moving I found myself on the grounds of the White House's South lawn - a truly magical place. There were bunnies, people with water, eggs, more people with water, some Sesame Street folks on stage, even more people with water, and of course, people. Loads of people squeezed into what was seemingly a tight space, then spread out and while we waited in a short line here or there, they were all short. We were busy dying eggs, hunting for eggs, playing soccer, and planting seeds that we missed DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba. Lucy still caught a glimpse and I was happy - he's one of her favorites.

We did also get to hear (and see) Justin Beiber, but no one in my family cared. The boys eventually ran off to play football and Lucy and I wandered through the forest of costumes characters. Duck from Word World, Dora the Explorer, Clifford the Big Red Dog, June from Little Einsteins, and then this big dog. Now, Lucy saw Dora and June, recognized them both, but tried to LEAP out of her stroller to hug the big dog. It turned out that it was Spot. (Guess he's almost as old as I am now!). Then we moved on to the actual Egg Roll.

Problem was, it was close to closing time, the volunteers were tired, and they were trying to get everyone through before they closed. One volunteer snapped at us for taking pictures and holding up the line (for a split second - how often do you get THAT close to the White House anyway?).
A second volunteer left Ian standing by himself while his brothers rolled their eggs. He didn't seem to mind but my perfect photo op was gone. And then there's the whole issue of the Egg Roll. I guess after seeing it on TV and fantasizing about what it would be, well, it wasn't quite what I imagined. Those little girls in their little Easter dresses must be SOOO much smaller and more delicate than my boys. Ian launched his egg prematurely and had to run after it once they got going. Max nearly nailed a volunteer in the eye with his egg, and Sam, well, Sam had fun too.

But for me, the best part of the day was when we were walking out, four hours after we started our grand adventure that led us literally to the back door of the White House, and Max asked "Mom, can we come back next year?"
Enjoy the rest of the pics:
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Farewell Texas Stadium!

It was the home to America's Team for most of my life. It was where the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders got their start, and where Tom Landry made his mark. And now, it's a big pile of rubble. But oh, it looked cool from the inside as it came down.

Definitely check this video out. And on the same note, can't wait to take the kids to a Cowboys game in their new, super sweet stadium. ;)

Texas Stadium 360 degree Implosion from the inside:

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Oh happy day. Not.

I'm not generally one to judge other people who hang out at the grocery store at the odd hours that I do, but tonight I just can't keep this to myself. I was at the local grocery store, walking out at about 11pm. I noticed that there was a lady in the car next to me just sitting there waiting. As I unloaded my oodles of bags from my cart, two girls that appeared to be her daughters walked up to the car. The older one was high school aged - younger, but probably around 14 or 15 or so. The younger one was about 4 or 5 tops. I had seen them in the store enjoying themselves and picking out their groceries. But what I saw outside the store really made me wonder - why the heck was this woman at the store at this hour, and why wasn't she minding her kids? First off, she yelled at the older girl for taking so long in the store. She SAT IN THE CAR while the girl took her preschool aged sister into the grocery at 10:30 at night. Then, she hollered at the older girl and the younger girl started crying that they forgot something. Now, whining and fussing, not tolerable in my book, but hey, it's 10:30 at night and she was 4, so we'll give her a pass on that. But what the mom did nest was incomprehensible. She told the older girl to go back in and grab the one thing that they were missing so that the little girl would be quiet. The older girl complained that she was tired, that they really didn't need whatever it was that the mom was about to send her back in for, etc. She sat there while the mom called her all kinds of rude names - right to her daughter. And then, she told the older girl to take the younger girl out of the car, crying, and back into the store so she could pick out what it was that she wanted. I was stunned. Here it was, 11pm, and she was sending this little girl, clearly exhausted, back into the store while she sat there in the car.

So, while I don't normally judge folks I meet at the store at the odd hours that I go, I am judging this woman and she'll never win the Mother of the Year award. What is so critical (that a 15 year old can buy) that you have to drag your kids to the store crying at 11pm to buy? And why on earth would the mom send the girls in by themselves to do the shopping? Granted the older one is pretty independent, but still, 11pm at night, crying 4 year old, mom sitting in the car - this just doesn't sit right with me.