Wizarding Snow Man of Harry Potter

November 25th, 2011

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

November 24th, 2011
Home AloneKevin McCallister: I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap; including all my major crevices; including in between my toes and in my belly button, which I never did before but sort of enjoyed. I washed my hair with adult formula shampoo and used cream rinse for that just-washed shine. I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll pick one up when I go out today. Other than that, I'm in good shape.

The Official Joomla! Book

November 23rd, 2011

The Official Joomla! BookThe Official Joomla! Book is the authoritative, and comprehensive Joomla! reference for every administrator, developer, designer, and content manager. Distilling the unsurpassed experience of two long-time Joomla! contributors, it teaches exactly what you need to know, through practical example sites and crystal-clear explanations.

If you're new to Joomla!, you'll learn how to make your sites more flexible, feature-rich, visually attractive, and useful. And whether new or experienced, you'll learn how Joomla! really works, so you can fully leverage its power whenever you're ready. You'll also get to know the Joomla! community by hearing from twelve community members through in-depth interviews, and you'll learn how to participate in the Joomla! project in ways that make sense to you.

The Official Joomla! Book covers everything from installation to usability, templates to extensions. The authors explain each key concept conversationally, helping you learn to help yourself and confidently gain control over Joomla! and the sites you build with it. they also present chapter-length application case studies for business, non-profits, and education. You'll learn to

  • Plan sites effectively before you start building them
  • Create production sites quickly while avoiding common mistakes
  • Install and configure Joomla! for maximum efficiency
  • Create and edit content for your Joomla! site
  • Customize and work with Joomla! templates
  • Work with extensions: components, modules, plugins, and languages
  • Efficiently administer Joomla! sites
  • Participate in the Joomla! community as a user and contributor

Joomla! is one of the most popular open-source CMS (content management system) packages available, and it is powerful. The selling point for these CMS tools is that you can run a fully professional website without needing to know how to actually code the site yourself; you do not need to know html, php, java, etc. as Joomla! does that all for you. You do, however, have to know how to use your CMS and they are pretty involved, so that is why you buy the official guide.

This book takes you all the way from when your idea to start a site is born through installing the package to running it like a professional. The key for readers will be repetition. You will have to keep this book by your side as a reference guide while you build your site and probably as you generate your first few weeks or months worth of content.

In all honesty, I felt that the book was a little too advanced for me, at times. There were terms and acronyms used that I could either try to figure out in context or look up online. This did not happen often, so still think that this book is helpful and a valuable resource.

I believe that Joomla! is a very good CMS package, and one that I want to know how to use better. And this, The Official Joomla! Book is a very good guide to help me.


November 22nd, 2011
Charles Baxter - The Feast of Love - 17Every relationship has at least one really good day. What I mean is, no matter how sour things go, there's always that day. That day is always in your possession. That's the day you remember. You get old and you think: well, at least I had that day. It happened once. You think all the variables might just line up again. But they don't. Not always. I once talked to a woman who said, "Yeah, that's the day we had an angel around."

2005 Orin Swift Papillon Cabernet Sauvignon

November 21st, 2011

We are working our way through anything and everything that Orin Swift can make. Papillon is the second-most-expensive wine they offer ($55-60), so purchase with caution. If you've ever browsed the wall of Cabernet at your local wine shop, there is a good chance you have seen the Papillon label, with its distinct knuckle tattoos. I know you've not been privy my written thoughts on all of the Orin Swift wine I've had (The Prisoner, Abstract, Machete, D66, Veladora), but Papillon is the most drinkable and probably a wine that everyone would like.

The wine blends 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc; it has great balance and I just wish it was one-third the price so I could drink this with everyone I know. Watch out for the 15.1% alcohol, because I do not think it was noticeable. I would gladly buy this again as an upscale wine to have with family and/or friends for a festive holiday meal. The easy part was picking the wine, the hard part will be parting with the $60.


November 18th, 2011

Rockefeller Center

Logitech Harmony 700 Rechargeable Remote with Color Screen

November 17th, 2011

I am, generally speaking, a bit of a Logitech crony. That comes from different things that I have purchased over the years with which I have been consistently pleased if not elated. Of the different Logitech universal remotes, the Harmony 700 seemed the best fit for me from a mix of cost and function. I did not need a charging cradle into which to place my remote when the batteries were low. I did not need a touch screen at the top (which seems to me to be a strange feature on a remote to begin with). The 700 is more simple in its design and function than the higher-end remotes that Logitech offers.

The setup is a breeze. All I had to do was connect my remote to my computer and browse to www.logitech.com/harmony and enter the model numbers for my devices. Then I was able to set up my shortcuts to Watch TV and Watch a Movie (where the command turns on the hardware I need and turns off the hardware I do not need), which is a nice feature. Consider this an "all on" button for the activity you desire comparable to the "all off" button that every universal remote has.

One small side note to anyone who uses the number pad to type alpha characters - I only use it to search Youtube videos through my DVD player - this remote does not seem to type spaces (and I believe I've tried every button on the remote). You will still need to grab your DVD remote when you are trying to show your friends hilarious videos on your TV.

My life is easier and my side table is less cluttered with remote controls.

I am a happy consumer.


2006 Starry Night Lodi Zinfandel

November 16th, 2011

I'm not sure how much more money I would have to make before a $15-20 bottle of wine became financially feasible as an "everyday" wine. If I ever make it there, I would like this to be my wine. That is fun to say. My wine. I do not produce this wine, obviously, but my thanks go out to the good people at the Starry Night Winery for all of the work they do to produce a wine that I love. I have had Starry Night's 2005 Tom Feeney Ranch Zinfandel and that was good, but a little rough around the edges. The Lodi Zin from Starry Night is thick and juicy, the big alcohol that Zin grapes bring was very well balanced.


November 15th, 2011

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

After Crichton's death in November 2008, Preston (The Hot Zone) was drafted to complete the work Crichton had begun on this novel.

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard PrestonThree men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.

In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.

This book will be available on November 22, 2011.

Pre-order your copy.

November 14th, 2011
Spoon Fed by Kim Severson

What a waste of time, all that measuring myself against other people. The only ruler that matters is the one I pull out at the end of the day. Did I do my best? Did I tell the truth? Was I helpful to my fellows?

And, did I make something good to eat?