Small audience

When I visit a rockstar’s blog, in the back of my head is the thought, “Is it worth blogging for the small audience who read my blog?”

The big names have their ideas broadcast to maybe millions. They actually get some revenue from their ads. Some of them even maintain authenticity in the process.

Since I know that a few of my readers really enjoy my blog, I continue. I picture being in the same room with them and hearing their chuckle at one of my observations. And I know that hearing a room of 5,000 laugh at the same observation would not bring me any more pleasure than that single friend enjoying my thought.

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Toy Story 3 Review

The punchline: It was great. Go see it.

It was amazing how the movie’s creators were able to appeal to all ages. One illustration of this was the toys. Kids under 11 were not alive when the previous episode was released, so they might be used to playing with any of the toys represented that are “timeless”. My oldest (now almost 17) was only two when the first episode came out. He played with Buzz Lightyear and Woody, so he has fond memories of those characters. My wife played with the telephone-on-wheels when she was a kid.

The story was wonderful — no glitches or places where I went, “Why did they do that?!” Again, there were enough entertaining aspects to the entire experience that we all enjoyed it from start to finish.

A+. The film of the summer. Donald Miller agrees with me, in his own special way.

Image courtesy of Awards Daily. I’m sure Buzz himself was happy to lend his photo to them. And they didn’t object to my using it for your pleasure.

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One year

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my mom’s death.

I say that with sadness. We miss her. Time does lessen the hurt, but our sorrow still lingers.

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Did it again

Faced with the prospect of getting a new refrigerator/freezer or paying to get our current appliance fixed, we chose the “fix” route. (Faithful readers will remember how we made the same decision with our oven.)

We calculated that it would take roughly 25 years of energy savings to make up for the difference a new more efficient model would provide.

Who knows — maybe in five years, they will invent a frig/freezer that runs on air! Then we’ll be ahead.

(By the way, the ice maker had quit. And we Americans are quite fond of ice in our drinks.)

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Transmission overkill

merc-9spThe 2012 Mercedes S-Class sedans will have 9-speed transmissions. The idea is for them to have the smoothest and quietest shifts you can get.

To me, it’s overkill. Yes, refinement is great, but it is worth the extra expense? Our Honda minivan has a 5-speed transmission, which is wonderful. At highway speeds, it’s purring along at a very low rate of rpm’s. Our Toyota sedan makes do with just a 3-speed. That bothers me a bit, knowing that it would save some fuel if the engine spun at lower rpm’s in top gear.

I remember 10-speed bicycles being an innovation in the USA. My 1972 Gitane road bike came with a 10-speed. I upgraded it to a 12. Today most road bikes have 27 speeds. I’d be happy with 18. (Actually, I am happy with 12 — but I’d appreciate the difference 18 would add to my cycling experience.)

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More on summer

Since we live in Colorado, it is more or less mandatory that we go camping and/or backpacking each summer.

Hardship, you mutter.

Well, yes, it’s true that I relish leaving our neck of suburbia to head for the hills. But I also appreciate sleeping in a normal bed.

Anyhow, my sons and I went for an overnight near Silver Plume. I tried to find a good backpacking book for Colorado, which you might think would be easy to find. No. So I punted. We went to the Georgetown tourist info booth and got some simple maps for the nearby mountains. We headed left — and up — from Silver Plume. Ben and I camped at the nearest flat spot (an old trail).

Jay and his buddy Nathan did a survival night — no tent, no sleeping bag. Thankfully, no rain either. I was proud of them — but I’ll leave it at the fact that they melted their two ponchos and ate a very large breakfast with Ben and I late the next morning.

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Summer solstice

Today is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. I took this shot off our front porch yesterday evening at 8:35. (Hand-held, point-and-shoot.)

When we lived in the south of England, I always made a big deal of the longest day — because it was long! (Inevitably, the evening was cloudy, so we couldn’t enjoy the brightness in its full glory.) Then, when we lived on the equator (in Kenya), the longest day of the year had maybe 15 minutes less daylight than the shortest day.

When I put a post on Facebook recently about summer evenings, my friend Bob, who lives in Bradford, England, noted that the dark of his nights lasts just 6 hours. Then Veli, my friend in Finland noted that his lasts just 3. It’s all relative.

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Excess perfume

GQ-perfumeI got a free subscription to a men’s magazine. One issue and then I canceled — but that’s another story.

The magazine had five separate ads for cologne with scent-laden flaps. Two might have been alright. Five? None of those advertisers are getting much bang-for-their buck.

Analogy: If you ate a meal and then had ice cream, two scoops would be enjoyable. But five?

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Unexpected creativity

creative-bagThis lovely shopping bag was crafted by a friend of ours in rural Kenya. She gave it to us as a gift.

You will note that the strap is made from a necktie. The brightly-colored stripes are from plastic shopping bags that were tightly wrapped around natural sisal fiber, found close to her home. And it’s totally hand-woven.

Her husband is very creative too!

Takeaway: How can you use an article in a different way than its original purpose — and come up with something new?

Special thanks to the beautiful model, Heather. More posts on creativity.

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