NASA's Woes

Interesting article in Wired magazine this month by Gregg Easterbrook outlining some of the problems with the current state of NASA. I’m a bit of a space geek, and I’m all for NASA, but you have to question their priorities and how they spend our tax dollars. It’s a short read and worth a look.


Comment | posted 05/22/2007 10:30 PM

Drinking with the stars...

Me and Johan
Now THIS was a Cinco de Mayo party. Rare, expensive tequilas, authentic Mexican food, and 2-time Cy Young award winning pitchers in the house. Not my house, actually, a neighbor’s, but really, this is how I roll on a regular basis. Yeah. Johan is the one on the left, by the way.

The night is a blur, which, I think, is due to the tequila, but I’m not positive about that. Just a theory. All I know is evil MLB players forced, FORCED me to do do more shots and then made me do Spanish karaoke. Serious arm twisting was involved and my vehement requests to refrain from such conduct were overruled. I told DeAnne the same story and she has her doubts, which blows my mind.

Anyway, this is the obligatory “Johan is a very cool guy” part of the post. He really is. And he didn’t beat me up when I asked him to pose for the 125th picture. I appreciated that. He’s also about an inch shorter than me (not counting the sombrero), which really surprised me. Not sure why I mention this, just that I normally assume all professional athletes are 7 feet tall. Obviously, I’m not a good at estimating. Despite my height advantage, however, I have a hard time throwing a curve with a wiffle-ball while Johan has no such problems. He can do it with a baseball, too. Amazing.


Comment [1] | posted 05/17/2007 12:07 AM

New Phone...Kind of.

Blackberry Pearl
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. I finally got a new phone to replace the old Motorola I had. It’s a Blackberry Pearl (or 8100).

Anyway, I ordered it through Amazon, which is a great place to look for cell phone deals if you’re willing to switch carriers. We were, since we had moved from Detroit and needed new phone numbers. (Just a friendly reminder, you can order your snazzy new phone through…just click the Store link at the top of the page! C’mon!)

Thoughts on the phone: I like it. It’s small, and it does a bunch of stuff – calendar, email, to-do’s, mp3, movies, takes pictures, games, etc. It syncs with my Outlook at work, which is a huge time saver for me. I don’t do corporate email on it – who wants to be bugged non stop about work? But I connect it to my notebook in the morning and sync up my calendar, tasks and address book, which is all I really want it to do.

Google has some cool apps you can download for free so I get gmail, google maps and google search. Yahoo also has a new client you can download that lets me check out news, sports, even my Flickr photos. Very cool.

It’s got a built in mp3 player so I can listen to tunes. Plus, it can play videos so I’ve watched a few old movies on my bus rides into work. You can also surf the web, which I always enjoy.

I debated between a Motorola Q and the Blackberry Pearl. Eventually I added in the T-Mobile Dash and the BlackJack, but I went with the Pearl. Not sure if I made the right decision or not, but I haven’t had any problems with the phone as far as re-sets, errors, etc. goes. I think if you’re truly a Windows kind of guy, you might want to stick with the Windows based phones, but I can’t complain about the Blackberry. It’s a nice size and does a lot of cool things. The smart-type functionality takes a little getting used to, as it doesn’t have a full QWERTY keyboard, but it doesn’t cause me any trouble.


Comment | posted 04/11/2007 10:14 PM

Romancing the Stone

So I’ve been a really bad blogger as of late. No excuses, outside of the fact that I’m really, really busy at work. Anyway, I haven’t had time to share my story. A tale that I refer to as “Romancing the Stone”. It deals with kidney stones, and things get kind of nasty, so if you’re not interested, run away now!

So here is my tale. Maybe it will help you in the future, so here goes.

I wake up one morning to get ready for work. This usually requires a, ummm, leak. So I go to the bathroom and instead of the normal golden glow, I get this disturbing red/blood looking output. “Hmmm…that’s not normal,” I think to myself. Being the guy that I am, I hope that it goes away. Sure enough, later in the day things look “golden” again. I’m happy.

Two nights later, around 2 or 3 in the morning, I’m in pain. Bad. The best way I can describe it is that someone is squeezing my right testicle, really hard, while another guy is punching me in the kidneys. “Hmmm…this is definitely not normal, and I think I will go to the hospital.” So, at 4 in the morning, I asked my wife where the hospital is and drove myself there.

When I arrived, I walked to the emergency room and told them what was up. “Kidney stone. Definitely a kidney stone,” they replied. They did a bunch of tests, including a CT scan, and sure enough, it’s a stone. 3mm X 6mm. They give me a prescription for some pain killers and send me on my way. They tell me it should pass “relatively soon”.

For the next couple of weeks, things were hit and miss. A vast majority of the time, things were fine. I felt no pain and had no problems. But then the weekend would hit and I’d be doubled over in pain rolling around on the floor. Jack would ask DeAnne, “What’s wrong with Daddy?” DeAnne would reply, “Daddy’s pee-pee hurt.” That’s the simple answer, and it worked on Jack so I let it slide. By Sunday I would feel fine again and would go back to work.

My doctors through this initial stage were my fraternity brothers, John Evans and Jeff Montgomery. Poor John is on our speed dial for medical emergencies so he got the first calls. Eventually, he “referred” me to my other fraternity brother, Jeff, who happens to be a urologist. Jeff put me on Flomax and recommended I find an actual urologist that I could see. I took him up on his advice and found Dr. Hackett. That’s right. He’s a urologist, who performs vasectomies, and his last name is Hackett. Fantastic.

In reality, Dr. Hackett is great. I can’t recommend him enough. If you need kidney stone help, or want to get snipped, give him a ring.

This went on for a while. Eventually Dr. Hackett suggested we go for surgery, which calls for a laser to blasts the stone to smaller pieces. This sounded good to me, until he told me how they get the laser into position. Let’s just say there’s only one way in, and I wasn’t interested. I decided to tough it out a while longer and see how things went.

Luckily for me, about a week and a half later, the stone plopped out one morning. Believe it or not, I didn’t feel a thing. I fished it out and put it in a zip loc bag and took it to the doctor. He was surprised at how big it was and brought the staff together to take a look. It was pretty nasty looking, and I meant to take pictures to post here but I didn’t get around to it. It was pretty neat, though, and I wish I would have.

All told, it took just under two months to pass. Two miserable, freaking months. It’s out now, and I’ve increased my intake of water significantly. This is supposed to help. I don’t know if beer helps, as well, but I’m testing out my theory.

So, my advice to all is, drink lots of water. And, if you start peeing blood or it feels like someone is playing hackey-sack with your testicles while another guy is pounding you in the kidneys, go to the doctor! Or call John.


Comment [1] | posted 04/11/2007 09:58 PM


Originally uploaded by JayDreyer.

Beginning last Saturday, we’ve been dumped on here in Minnesota. I took some pictures but I’m afraid they don’t really do it justice. I think we’ve got about 2 feet of snow on the ground right now and there’s still a little more falling right now. Click on the picture and you should be able to see the rest of the set.


Comment | posted 03/02/2007 05:48 PM


Wow. Now I know I live in Minnesota. I woke up this morning to a brisk -8 degrees. But hey! It should get up to 7 today. That’s much better than Saturday and Sunday’s projected highs of -2.

How can -2 be considered a high?

Needless to say we’ll be locked in the house this weekend. DeAnne has been cooped up there for a week since the kids have been sick so I’m worried she’ll pull a Jack Nicholson from the Shining if I don’t get her out at some point.

I’m concerned because I saw, “All work and no play make DeAnne a dull girl” typed over and over again on her PC. Maybe she’s just honing her typing skills.


Comment [1] | posted 02/02/2007 01:57 PM

Christmas Pictures

Originally uploaded by JayDreyer.

I posted a bajillion (I counted) Christmas pictures to flickr. Feel free to take a look and order some if you’re interested. You can view the whole set at flickr.


Comment [1] | posted 12/26/2006 11:47 PM

Oh My...

Der Kommissar’s in town…uh oh! Does this ever get old? Maybe so.

And for those who wish to kick it old school in English, here is the version you might be more familiar with.

Consider this my Christmas present to you all…

Cha! Cha! Cha! Cha! Cha! Cha! Cha!

Comment | posted 12/26/2006 04:07 AM

New phone

New phone
Originally uploaded by JayDreyer.

Just testing out my new phone…


Comment | posted 12/20/2006 12:57 AM

Me and Bullseye

Jay and Bullseye
We had our annual Target holiday (don’t call it Christmas!) party yesterday and the surprise star of the show was Bullseye, the Target mascot. He’s quite the trooper. He probably posed for about 300-400 pictures when all was said and done. I believe his name is Nick, but I might not have heard his handler correctly. He’s well behaved, that’s for sure.


Comment [2] | posted 12/16/2006 01:12 AM

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