Archive for category Fun

Colorado Joins the Pac-10

In sports news, we learn that the University of Colorado at Boulder has joined the Pacific-10 Conference. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Master of Science degree in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado. This means that my two alma maters will now be playing each other on a regular basis. Yay! This is cool!

This is a good move for Colorado. The Pac-10 is a great conference! In college football, the Pac-10 has a lot of great west coast teams, with exciting offenses and tough defensive squads. UC-Berkeley was always a great game, UCLA is tough to get by, Washington usually has lots of talent, and the Arizona fans in Sun Devil Stadium made for a deafening contest whenever Stanford played there. USC was always tough (sometime too tough), but Stanford football has earned some wins and ties against Southern California. The other athletic programs provide worthy competition, too – baseball, basketball, water polo, tennis, and so on. It will also be good for CU to join the stellar academics of the Pac-10 schools (Stanford, Berkeley, University of Washington, UCLA, etc.).

For Colorado sports fans, the Pac-10 schools are wonderful places to visit. Oregon is the most beautiful state in the country when the sun’s out. Seattle is a kick! Southern California is a fun place to spend a few extra days visiting Disneyland or going surfing. When in the Bay Area during fall, head to San Francisco and on to the wine country! San Francisco is the first big city I ever enjoyed.

During my senior year at Stanford, before I had ever visited Boulder, I remember a guy from the Stanford radio station telling me what an amazing place Boulder is when he traveled here for a rare Stanford-CU football game. So I came. I’m still here.

I don’t even know who I should root for! Undergraduate ties to the school’s athletic program are usually stronger, but I have been steeped in local football enthusiasm for decades now. I’ll go to the first Boulder game and just let the competitive juices flow where they will.

To all those Pac-10 students, fans, and alumni I have this to say: Come out and see us! Boulder is a great place to visit in the fall. Spend a few extra days in the mountains, hang out on the Pearl Street Mall, drive over the Trail Ridge Road before the snow flies, go skiing after the snow flies, have a meal at the Dushanbe Tea House and ask some local to tell you the real history of the place, or bag a Fourteener!

We’ll give you a good football game and send you on home, tired but happy.

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Leaf Boats and Sediment Traps

Last week we had a big thunderstorm pass over the house during the evening, and my two boys (ages 10 and 6) put on their raincoats and went out into the front yard to see what was going on. They love to send leaf boats down the edge of the street when it rains. When I came out to check on them, they had piled up some landscaping gravel in the gutter to make a dam, causing a large puddle of murky rainwater to collect in the street near our driveway. The two of them were really excited about their civil engineering: “Look, Dad! We made a dam! But our lake keeps rising and flowing around the dam, so we need more gravel!” I grinned. This arms race continued until their dam started to leak through the gravel, kind of like the turbines at the bottom of Glen Canyon Dam. “What? You guys aren’t generating electricity?”

They noticed that the water coming into their little lake was murky with silt, while the water seeping out through the gravel was clear and clean. “Yep, you guys have built a sediment trap“, I explained. “The fast-flowing river water carries dirt with it, but in the calm lake water the dirt drops out to the bottom. That’s why it’s called a sediment trap, because the river sediment can’t get past the lake.” “Wow! We built a sediment trap!” they exulted. “Sediment trapping is a big problem for silty rivers like the Colorado and the Nile“, I elaborated. “The Glen Canyon Dam and the Aswan High Dam trap the river silt and prevent it from flowing downstream. That’s why the Grand Canyon and the Nile Delta are losing their sand.” [Yes, sometimes I talk in html.] The boys were thrilled to hear the world-wide implications of their little experiment.

After the rain we put the gravel back around the mailbox and washed our hands. And I thought to myself, What a great neighborhood / country / life I have! My kids can play safely in the yard, forget their video games, get dirty, have fun, and learn about fluid mechanics all at the same time!

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Monday Morning Fun

Stumpy Grinder and his wife Martha were from Southland Maine. Every year they went to the Southland Show, and every year Stumpy said “Ya know Mahtha, I’d like ta get a ride in that theah aihplane.” and every year Martha would say “I know Stumpy, but that ihplane ride costs ten dollahs…. and ten dollahs is ten dollahs.” So Stumpy says” By Jeebers Mahtha, I’m 71 yeahs old, if I don’t go this time I may nevah go.” Martha replies ” Stumpy, that there aihplane ride is ten dollahs…and ten dollahs is ten dollahs.”

So the pilot overhears them and says “Folks, I’ll make you a deal, I’ll take you both up for a ride, if you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say ONE word, I won’t charge you, but just one word and it’s ten dollars.”

They agree and up they go….the pilot does all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word is heard, he does it one more time, still nothing… so he lands.

He turns to Stumpy as they come to a stop and says “By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to holler out, but you didn’t.”

And Stumpy replies “Well, I was gonna say something when Mahtha fell out…but ten dollahs is ten dollahs!

Monday Morning Fun

One evening, a family brings their frail, elderly mother to a nursing home and leave her, hoping she will be well cared for. The next morning, the nurses bathe her, feed her a tasty breakfast, and set her in a chair at a window over looking a lovely flower garden. She seems OK, but after a while she slowly starts to fall over sideways in her chair.
Two attentive nurses immediately rush up to catch her and straighten her up. Again she seems OK, but after a while she starts to tilt to the other side. The nurses rush back and once more bring her back upright. This goes on all morning.
Later the family arrives to see how the old woman is adjusting to her new home.
They ask,”So Ma, how is it here? Are they treating you all right?”
“It’s pretty nice,” she replies. “Except they won’t let you fart.”

One evening, a family brings their frail, elderly mother to a nursing home and leave her, hoping she will be well cared for. The next morning, the nurses bathe her, feed her a tasty breakfast, and set her in a chair at a window over looking a lovely flower garden. She seems OK, but after a while she slowly starts to fall over sideways in her chair.

Two attentive nurses immediately rush up to catch her and straighten her up. Again she seems OK, but after a while she starts to tilt to the other side. The nurses rush back and once more bring her back upright. This goes on all morning.

Later the family arrives to see how the old woman is adjusting to her new home.

They ask,”So Ma, how is it here? Are they treating you all right?”

“It’s pretty nice,” she replies. “Except they won’t let you fart.”

Monday Morning Fun

A mangy looking guy who goes into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says: “No way. I don’t think you can pay for it.” The guy says, “You’re right. I don’t have any money, but if I show you something you haven’t seen before, will you give me a drink?”
The bartender says, “Only if what you show me ain’t risque.” “Deal!” says the guy and reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a hamster. He puts the hamster on the bar and it runs to the end of the bar, down the bar, across the room, up the piano, jumps on the key board and starts playing Gershwin songs. And the hamster is really good.
The bartender says, “You’re right. I’ve never seen anything like that before. That hamster is truly good on the piano.” The guy downs the drink and asks the bartender for another.
“Money or another miracle else no drink”, says the bartender. The guy reaches into his coat again and pulls out a frog. He puts the frog on the bar, and the frog starts to sing. He has a marvelous voice and great pitch. A fine singer. A stranger from the other end of the bar runs over to the guy and offers him $300 for the frog.
The guy says “It’s a deal.” He takes the three hundred and gives the stranger the frog. The stranger runs out of the bar. The bartender says to the guy “Are you some kind of nut? You sold a singing frog for $300? It must have been worth millions. You must be crazy.”
“Not so”, says the guy. “The hamster is also a ventriloquist.”

A mangy looking guy who goes into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says: “No way. I don’t think you can pay for it.” The guy says, “You’re right. I don’t have any money, but if I show you something you haven’t seen before, will you give me a drink?”

The bartender says, “Only if what you show me ain’t risque.” “Deal!” says the guy and reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a hamster. He puts the hamster on the bar and it runs to the end of the bar, down the bar, across the room, up the piano, jumps on the key board and starts playing Gershwin songs. And the hamster is really good.

The bartender says, “You’re right. I’ve never seen anything like that before. That hamster is truly good on the piano.” The guy downs the drink and asks the bartender for another.

“Money or another miracle else no drink”, says the bartender. The guy reaches into his coat again and pulls out a frog. He puts the frog on the bar, and the frog starts to sing. He has a marvelous voice and great pitch. A fine singer. A stranger from the other end of the bar runs over to the guy and offers him $300 for the frog.

The guy says “It’s a deal.” He takes the three hundred and gives the stranger the frog. The stranger runs out of the bar. The bartender says to the guy “Are you some kind of nut? You sold a singing frog for $300? It must have been worth millions. You must be crazy.”

“Nope”, says the guy. “The hamster is also a ventriloquist.”

Monday Morning Humor

A programmer and an engineer are sitting next to each other on a long flight from Los Angeles to New York. The programmer leans over to the engineer and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The engineer just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The programmer persists and explains that the game is real easy and is a lot of fun. He explains “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $5.”

Again, the engineer politely declines and tries to get to sleep. The programmer, now somewhat agitated, says, “OK, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $100!”

This catches the engineer’s attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game.

The programmer asks the first question. “What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” The engineer doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five dollar bill and hands it to the programmer.

Now, it’s the engineer’s turn. He asks the programmer “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?” The programmer looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He searches the net and the Library of Congress with the onboard wifi. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his co-workers — all to no avail.

After about an hour, he wakes the Engineer and hands him $100. The engineer politely takes the $100 and turns away to try to get back to sleep. The programmer, more than a little miffed, shakes the engineer and asks “Well, so what’s the answer?” Without a word, the engineer reaches into his wallet, hands the programmer $5, and turns away to go back to sleep.

For Those Who Like Their Bones Neat

The real McCoy, and nothing but.

Sci-Fi Sounds From My Youth

Kevin Kelly posted “The Scifi Sound Effects That Take Over Your Brain” and brought back a lot of happy (and scary) childhood memories. Sounds, like flavors, can trigger a memory and/or an emotional state much more than a picture. Listen to all of them but the Alien Heat Ray and the Alien Probe from the 1953 version of War of the Worlds.brought back some scary memories. The original Star Trek transporter sounds like wonder and awe to me. It was a very cool visual effect as well.

Three Words for My Singing in Church

  1. Awful
  2. Offkey
  3. Sprechstimme

A more succinct definition from the Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary: A vocal style in which the melody is spoken at approximate pitches rather than sung on exact pitches

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Cheeseburger in a Can

What will they think of next! How do you improve on cheeseburger in a can? That will increase attendence at our scout campouts.

I admit I was intrigued by the other product mentioned, Peronin:

Peronin is easy to consume during the contest, is readily assimilated by the body, and enters the bloodstream immediately. In addition, in extreme situations, it eliminates the risk of suffering the much-feared fatigue caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood and it minimizes bowel movements.

I cannot stress enough the importance of minimizing bowel movements while camping, or during sporting events for that matter.