Post Relevancy

I was recently reading the Wikipedia notability requirements for inclusion, because I want to add a listing for my client, plus I had recently heard a story about an author who’s listing was removed because he wasn’t notable enough, and I thought about the notability requirements for my blog.

Generally if I find something on NPR, Slate or some random site, and it interests me, I would include it here. If something is on the front page of Google News or CNN, like the YouTube link to the Hillary 1984 video, there is no reason for me to blog it here. I blog as much for my own benefits, rather than generating links on any of the social media listings. I don’t actually use any of those anyway, although I have listed this blog on Technorati and I finally have my first link, giving me a rank of 1,873,219.

This flurry of blogging is happening from a coffee house with free internet, while Grace is at a birthday party.

Size Matters

There is an online/print photgraphy magazine called JPG that I have recently encountered. People upload photos according to a series of themes, and site users vote on the best photos. The winning photos are printed in the magazine.

I tried uploading the above photo (theme: reflection) that was about 1MB in size (shot at the 2nd highest setting of my camera), and it was rejected because the resolution was too low. It was 1600 x 1200 and the requirements are minimum 2200 pixels in its smallest dimension. They require this resolution for print. Since this is photography magazine, I’m sure they want to have the flexibility to print large photos, so I definitely understand the requirements.

The effect this has on the quality of work is that the photos are already self-selected by shooters who have at least pro-sumer level cameras. The other option is to shoot film, as I’ve done and get the negatives scanned at high-res.

Grace’s Protest Sign

Last night Peter had a friend sleep over, and Grace was not leaving them alone, including going into the bathroom while they were showering. She got in a lot of trouble for this, and was told that she needed to shower and go straight to bed. It was already past her bedtime, so this was not that much of a punishment.

I went into her room after her shower and saw that she was making a poster. She had her dictionary out and was trying to look up a word. She closed the dictionary and asked me how to spell world. She tried to cover the poster and told me not to look at it.

After she went to bed she put the poster in her doorway. It said, I hate the whole world.

Zombie Brands

There’s a recent piece in Slate.com about marketers’ penchant to resurrect old and dead brands like a horde of zombies:

Last October, few tears were shed when Ford ended production of the Taurus. The unlovely, workhorse sedan had been the company’s best-selling unit for much of the 1990s, mostly because of huge sales to rental-car companies. Shutting down production was a sign that Ford, in the midst of a serious restructuring, was looking to the future. But then in February, Ford announced that it would resume producing a car with the Taurus nameplate in the summer of 2007. continue reading

There has even been a follow-up, a return of the zombie brands article.

Sleep Study

Last night I spent the night in a sleep lab. During a recent physical, I brought up the fact that my snoring keeps Meg awake at night. I also have irregular sleep habits. My doctor recommended the sleep study to check for problems that cause snoring, usually sleep apnea.

I kissed the family goodbye and goodnight, as I left for the sleep lab with a bag containing pajamas and a toothbrush. I arrived at the appointed hour and was greeted by a stout technician named Shane. He was wearing light blue scrubs with the logo of the sleep lab embroidered on the right chest. He led me back to my sleep room and left me with the usual clipboard of medical forms.

After I filed them out, we began our interview. He asked more detailed questions about my sleep habits, my snoring and my ability to sleep or stay awake in a variety of situations. Now it was time to get in my pajamas and get hooked up.

He attached electrodes to my legs, shoulders, neck and face with tape; and he attached ones to my scalp with paste. A belt went around my stomach and another around my chest. I also got a mouth sensor and a nose sensor. After lying down on the bed to get all hooked up, I also had a finger sensor clipped to my index finger. He plugged in the equipment and checked the signal on the electrodes.

He turned out the light and asked me to go to sleep. I spent a long time awake trying to get to sleep. I normally sleep on my stomach, but I could never get my face comfortable with all the electrodes attached to it. I did eventually fall asleep.

At some point during the night I woke up and I heard footsteps coming down the hall. The door opened and Shane walked in. Did I pull something off? I asked. Apparently I awoke with a start, and one of my arms flailed in the air, pulling an electrode off my head. He re-attached it with some more paste. I took this opportunity to go to the bathroom. All the electrodes from me run to one box, so there is only one connection to the equipment. This makes the box portable by just unplugging the one wire.

I got back in bed and tried to get to sleep. I laid there awake for a long time. I was wide awake. After a while I called out to Shane. There was a live mic hanging over my head so he could monitor the audio (read: snoring) in the room. I told him I was wide awake and couldn’t get back to sleep. He told me that I needed to lie there until the study was over. I accepted his offer for a drink of water. I think I was just bored from lying there awake and I just wanted something to do. Both he and I knew that I would eventually fall back asleep.

At 5am he woke me up to remove all my electrodes. I asked him if he could give me any non-diagnostic, general observations about my sleeping. He said no. I asked him if I snored, and he said yes. Not the loudest hhe ever heard, but snoring nonetheless. He told me that the report on the study should be to my doctor in about a week, so I should call her then. I thanked him and went home.

This afternoon the sleep lab called and told me that their staff doctor reviewed my study. It indicated that I have moderate sleep apnea. This is one of causes of snoring that is more dangerous than others. While all causes of snoring are treatable, it is more important to treat sleep apnea. This means that during sleep, the muscles in my neck and throat relax, and close my airway. The blocked airway causes the snoring, and when the blockage is severe, thereby reducing the intake of oxygen, your brain wakes you up.

I have always woken up several times during the night, but I never knew there was a medical cause to it. I am also probably waking up more than I remember, so this is a prime cause of sleep deprivation.

I have a follow-up appointment to help determine the best way to treat my sleep apnea. There is a machine called a CPAP that blows air into your throat to keep your airway open. Generally, this study is to determine the right air pressure for the machine. I can’t imagine how I will sleep with electrodes and a mask over my mouth. We shall see.

Hockey Game in Style

Tonight we went to the Carolina Hurricanes hockey game in Raleigh, and thanks to my sister-in-law’s friendship with Olympic Gold Medalist Skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, who happens to be married to one of the Hurricanes players, we got to watch the game from a private box. Outfitted with 2 tvs, one on the hockey game and the other tuned to basketball, the box is the only way to watch the game.

Up Goes the Basket

Now that Peter is finished with his 3rd season of PeeWee Rec League Basketball, and shooting at a 8 1/2 foot basket, we have raised our driveway basketball hoop to the standard 10 feet.

Before raising it to new heights, I needed to replace the hoop. Our old hoop had small plastic clips that held the net in place, and the were broken, lost, and somewhat no longer doing their job holding the net. Peter is a jumpshooter, and for him achieve complete pleasure from a sweet shot from downtown, the net must swish. Our net was only held on in two or three spots, so it didn’t swish at all.

I removed the old hoop, after buying a socket set to remove the fourth bolt and final bolt, put on the new one, and pushed the whole thing up to 10 feet. Peter started shooting at it immediately, and didn’t even pause. A shooter can shoot, no matter the height of the basket. It did not even slow him down.

Timberwolves Win League Championship

Peter and Grace’s PeeWee basketball team won their final game of the season, and won the league championship with a 10-1 record. Peter tied his career high with 10 points and Grace was a force on defense. Well, she got to her spot and got her arms up.

In a post game party and awards presentation (earned trophies rather than participation ones), their coach recounted the story of the draft 3 years ago where he was razzed by the other coaches for picking 3 6 year olds, rather than 8 year olds. Those 3 players, a shooter (Peter), a point guard and a big man grew into the core of this winning team 3 years later.