Monday, January 25, 2010


No sophomore slump here. It's the second edition of

Joke of the Week:

Two cows are grazing in a pasture.

First cow asks, "So . . . whattaya think about that Mad Cow Disease?"

Second cow says, "What do I care? I'm a helicopter. Wheeeee!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Top 5 Friday - Resolutions

Time for a new feature at Cannonballs . . . Top 5 Fridays.

In this semi-regular segment, I'll list my top five . . . something. Today it's my

Top 5 New Year's Resolutions

2010 Edition

(Yes, yes, I know January is 2/3 finished. But overcoming procrastination isn't on my list, so there.)

#5 - Use Ebay.

Specifically, sell more rather than buy more. I've collected a lot of STUFF over the years, some precisely with the motive, "hey, I might be able to chuck this for a profit." After last year's economical apocalypse, it may not be the case anymore. But I still need to get rid of some of these temporary, worldly possessions. Might as well make some dough.

#4 - Fix toilet.

Honest. The wife's getting tired of switching the water on and off when we're not using the stool. Me too. Rather than waste a Mississippi of H2O every day, I guess I'd better fix it. (Or get someone professional to take a whack at it.)

#3 - Cash system.

Okay, Dave Ramsey, you're on. We'll use the cash system for some purchase categories. (Gotta keep that 3% cash back on gas purchases with my credit card.) But to help us save and spend more responsibility, we're going green. Just don't tell any muggers.

#2 - Read more.

Rather than sit on the couch at night and wonder why on Earth I'm watching brainless TV, I will now always have a book handy and engage my mind during downtime. I like children's books, particularly, since I can read an entire book in one sitting. Makes me feel like a genius!

#1 - Write more.

Yes, I do already write. But I should do it more. The internet is a worse distraction than the television. Gotta close Internet Explorer/Safari and use the mouse and keypad in a more productive manner. Write for work (research and articles). Write for fun (blogs!). And most importantly, write for my dreams (One Day, Harold, Paradigm Shift, American Otaku, Teatotalers, and more). Haven't heard of those novels? You will.

Check back in 6 months and see how we're doing. Keep me honest!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joke of the Week!

New feature, same humor. Time for

Joke of the Week

Two atoms are walking down the street.

First one stops and says, "I think I just lost an electron."

Second atom: "Are you sure?"

"I'm positive."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Self-Photography - Works #4-8

Self-Photograph #4: “Real Astronomy Research”
(Summer, 1998)

I took this one because I wanted some photos of me working at the Observatory that summer. I was going to (and did) use them in my student portfolio to show my experience with research and “real” science. I’m setting up the computer program attached to the telescope. Every night, we were recorded data from a quasar. We were just one research data collection site for a much bigger research project on this quasar.

You'll notice no telescope in the picture. That's because I'm in the tiny work room (closet) beside it. Most "professional" astronomers actually look at computers and spreadsheets more than they do through an actual telescope. It's the hobby astronomers who usually discover new stuff in the sky (Hale-Bopp Comet, for example), and that's why most of these objects are named after the hobbyists who find them.

Back to my adventures in professional (or academic) astronomy: Eventually, I had to ask a fellow student aide/volunteer to take some of me working with the big reflecting telescope. As it turns out, that student was Tina from my hometown O’Neill. Last I heard, she’s a graduate student at the University of Chicago studying physics and anatomy or some kind of combination like that. She’s very smart.

Self-Photograph #5: "Glasses and Might" (October, 1998)

In my dorm room. One advantage of having my own dorm room to myself (during my last college year), besides having a flexible "lights-out" time, is that the dorm room became my own private studio. Mom and Dad probably didn't expect all that $$ to get extra in return.

Self-Photograph #6: "Polo Might and Wisdom" (October, 1998)

Must have been a slow month. Me in my dorm room again. A double feature (“ooooh”).

Self-Photograph #7: "Nerf Stud" (October, 1998)

Slow month. Dorm room.

Me and my Nerf gun. I bought it on our UNL band trip to Kansas City. For our free time, we shopped around the downtown area. I had to get something to remember the trip and for fun on the bus, so the answer, of course, was “Nerf.” I used this when we stretched for the game that night (and ticked some people off). I also used it when I dressed up as a Man in Black for Halloween that year.

Notice in the top photo, you see the profile of the Nerf gun and the front of me. In the second photo, however, you see the front of the Nerf gun and my profile. There’s symbolism in this somewhere.

Self-Photograph #8: "Trumpet Skit" (October, 1998)

These two pictures are from the trumpet skit we did before the game that day (on Halloween against Texas and Ricky Williams. We lost. But my Dad went to the game and then afterwards, my parents, Cathlina, and I all went to “The Wizard of Oz on Ice” at the Pershing Auditorium. It was a fun time.).

For the skit, I was pretending to be one of the drum majors (Jeremy, a great guy – always positive and fun; that’s him with me in the bottom photo) who would take pictures of the band in the stands while he stood in front of us on the directing ladder. During the skit, I’d take pictures of the band in the band room watching us, then I ran out into the crowd and took some photos with me in them.

I guess October was just a busy month, too. And this was in the band room, not my dorm room.

More Self-Photography on its way! (Hopefully sooner than last time :')