Saturday, December 31, 2011

How to do Holiday Grab Bag

Traditionally on or around Christmas, my dad's side of the family gets together. The cast isn't always the same, but one tradition is: grab bag.


The deal with grab bag is that one must adhere to certain rules, which can change depending on the year. Examples include:

  • No food
  • Made in a specific location
  • One must shop for one's own gift

Gift Selection

Selecting a gift should

  1. adhere to all the rules of the particular year
  2. be unexpected
Naturally, I chose an eco-friendly door mat.

The Gift


Strictly speaking, decoys are an optional part of the tradition. I prefer to include them, because these gifts are likely to be shaken, rattled, and, yes, rolled.

Level 1

Level-1 Decoy

Don't forget to label your decoy

Always Label Your Decoys Appropriately

And position it appropriately

Position Level-1 Decoy

Level 2

My 2nd layer of decoy is planted within the packaging.

Level-2 Decoy Rattler


If one is going to shop for his or herself, one may as well create the packaging as well. Kids tend to create the most memorable packaging, especially when young. That's a tradition that I like to keep alive with my fine paper craftsmanship.

Finished Grab Bag

The Riddle

Lastly, and new this year, is the riddle.

The Riddle

Fun Fact Riddles are now required

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pinnacle Mountain

I've never been much of an outdoors person. That changed with my recent infusion into the Little Rock hiking scene.

Together with my girlfriend, who could seemingly climb the north face of the Eiger without breaking a sweat, we've probably skipped our way to the top of the rocky trail half-a-dozen times. It's an understatement to say this trail is rocky.

Follow the Red/White Markings

At one point, Ginger even pulled off the heroic move of keeping this giant boulder from falling. And with a smile on her face!

Don't Let That Rock Fall!

Finally, after a little over an hour in the [heat, rain, fog], we made it to the summit. As I've dove deeper and deeper into programming and virtual problem-solving I've found various senses of accomplishment, but none really compete with finishing a challenging physical, well, challenge. It's completely worth the effort.

From the Top

NOTE If you're planning on a nice hike up the rocks, you could join one of the many who bring their dogs. Be prepared to carry your dog back down though. They apparently have a much easier time with up than down.

NOTE Need more pictures of Pinnacle Mountain? Check out the Flickr Group these were pulled from.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Netflix, for Consultants

Try This One on for Size

What's in a name, really? Let's hope nothing, because all I have for this one is "Netflix, for Consultants." It's one of those ideas born from necessity, as I scrambled a few weekends ago to find a shirt that could be buttoned without a pulley system.

IMG_7312this contraption could potentially put any size shirt on a person
IMG_7312 by FrankenmuthFun on Flickr

The necessity is obvious and the mechanics are quite simple. Here's the typical workflow for a user of "Netflix, for Consultants."

  1. wear shirt
  2. send in shirt
  3. receive slightly larger shirt

NOTE patent not pending [by me], feel free to run with it.

Fun Fact consultants tend to eat almost exclusively at restaurants. McNuggets and abs have an inverse relationship.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Project 2

Way back in September, I took a 1x2 plane that touched down in Little Rock. The flight itself was delightfully uneventful — those tiny planes get to skip the \heartfelt\ update from Jeff Smisek "and [his] 80,000 coworkers".

After landing, all 30 of us aboard the plane shuffled out of most-delightfully-sized airport I've seen, but not before I checked in to gate 11, of course — this airport isn't going to mayor itself!

I've come to expect personality, conversation, and, well, danger out of late-night airport cab runs. Little Rock's James, just entering his 53rd year, gleefully delivered on 2 of 3, albeit silently for far too long as I dug deeper and deeper into the details of my destination.

JamesWhere to?
MeThe DoubleTree
*awkward pausation* Little Rock
*no response or movement*
*continued awkward pausation*
Me...on Markham Street
JamesMmmHmmm. I should hope so. Only one we got.

I could tell early this place was going to be memorable.

NOTE While sarcasm has recently gotten a font, it isn't available everywhere, hence \heartfelt\

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