December 30, 2008

AirTunes Music Bliss

Got three AirTunes setups in the house with independent amps and speakers. This is really great. Will do a more thorough blog post on it later.

December 30, 2008

AeroGarden getting started

Dear Diary
December 23, 2008


yaktrax.pngI’ve been taking the dogs out on walks every morning, provided the temperature is about 0°. Now that we’ve had a bunch of snow I’ve found the morning to be a bit slippery, especially on the one hill. And the fresh snow doesn’t give much traction. Feels a lot like walking in sand.

I was reading Robert Craigs blog and saw his post about his YakTrax and how well they worked. This seemed like a great addition to my morning activities. Santa Claus visited our house early last night (we are traveling this Christmas) and left some YakTrax for me, as well as winter gear for the dogs.

The YakTrax are easy to get on. They slip on the bottom of your shoe without much hassle. I have the YakTrax Walkers. The dogs and I went out for an hour today and the YakTrax made a huge difference. I didn’t slip at all, and had as much traction for walking as I’d ever want to have.

Tammy said that some people online were complaining that they had broken on them, sometimes on the first use. I’ve only wore them once so I can’t speak to how well they will last. I can see how if you put them on wrong, or had one of the bands crimped badly, it could cause a problem. We’ll see.

In the meantime, if you walk reasonable distances in the snow, I’d highly recommend buying a pair of YakTrax.

December 23, 2008

Chase in the Snow

I was shoveling the driveway for what seems like the 20th time already. For some reason I haven’t pulled the snow blower out yet. It’s been fun getting out there with the shovel, and Chase in particular has fun running around in the snow. He was having a blast today, and took a break in some pretty deep powder.

Chase Dog Dear Diary
December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas everyone! This year is a travel year for us. We’ll be heading back to North Dakota to spend Christmas day with my family. We are looking forward to seeing everyone!

If you’ve been checking your mailbox anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Thingelstad letter, or even just a card, you’ve been sadly disappointed on your daily trip to the mailbox. No card this year.

Mailbox with Christmas Cards.jpg

We could be bleak and blame it on the economy. We could be green and hightlight how much carbon we are saving by not sending out more cards and saving some trees while we are at it. We could also highlight that the trend seems to be that we only write a Christmas letter every other year. We had a letter in 2007 and 2005. The even years, 2006 and 2004, seem to fall short. But mostly, we just didn’t get one done and didn’t feel strongly about getting one out.

We’ll store up the enthusiasm though and 2009 should be pretty great! :-)

Christmas Dear Diary
December 22, 2008

Coldplay the Biggest Band in the World”?

I was browsing through Last.fms Best of 2008 coverage. There have been a number of blog posts and articles about the best new music of 2008, and I’ve found some great stuff reading these.’s Best of” is interesting since it is based on analysis and ranking of all the’scrobbled songs that they track for users. I wasn’t that surprised to find that Coldplays Viva La Vida was the #1 album of 2008. It was played by 1,907,044 users a total of 12,584,691 times. On top of all that, it didn’t come out until late in the year!

I was surprised by this comment in the excerpt though.

It’s probably not a stretch to say that Coldplay are the biggest band in the world today.

Now, I’ve always understood that the title of biggest band in the world” was solely, and strongly, held by U2. So, I figured I’d check out some numbers.

The first place to look is Facebook. Facebook has pages for bands (and anything else) so I checked out the Coldplay page and the U2 page. Drumroll…

Coldplay: 1,175,125

U2: 335,374

How about weekly charts. The most recent week’s data ended on Sunday, December 21 2008.

Coldplay: 116,299

U2: 50,867

Maybe Coldplay is the biggest band in the world”. It also seems this isn’t a new debate at all. It has been debated for 3 1/2 years, U2 vs Coldplay in May 2005.

Facebook Music