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Tim Vroom's Journal
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Date:2005-11-08 20:37
Subject:Website Idea
Security:Public

For a while now I've been thinking I wanted to create a website as a side project, but have had a hard time picking projects that would hold my interest. Ideally it'd be something that was interesting to me, would require a minimum amount of administrative effort by me, serve a useful purpose for the users, and maybe generate some ad-based revenue. A given site wouldn't need to meet all of those criteria, but should at least meet some to make the project worthwhile.

I've had a number of ideas, some interesting, but the amount of work compared to the likely payoff, never seemed to be there, or I lost interest after a couple of weeks of thinking about it.

Tonight I watched a show called Random 1. The premise of the show is that a couple of guys go around meet strangers, and try to find a way to help make a major positive change in their lives. In this episode they tried to help a guy find a new improved prosthetic leg, and a woman find a job with a non-profit where she could make a difference.

Which brings us to the website idea. Would it be useful for a site to match tech-savvy volunteers and non-profits looking for technical help. I know VolunteerMatch has a computer/tech subcategory for volunteers. Would it be useful to have a site that catered specifically to such a niche? Does such a thing already exist?

Have other great website ideas? Let me know :).

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Date:2005-05-03 00:38
Subject:Exciting Home Buying Stuff
Security:Public
Mood: excited

Put an offer in on a house tonight. Hopefully I get it. I should find out tomorrow.


pictures

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Date:2005-03-13 21:46
Subject:Good Weekend
Security:Public

Made and ate cake

Awesome poker night... I even came out ahead... although I'm a little unclear about how much so.

Also "Big Fat Karate Boy" sort of, kind of, tangentially makes the news

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Date:2005-03-07 00:31
Subject:Bosley photos
Security:Public

Dog photos

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Date:2005-02-23 00:28
Subject:Update
Security:Public

So I was chastized earlier for not posting often enough.

So a quick update. As one of the new things I'm doing this year I've been taking an Improv class
as Improv Inferno. Tonight we had our 7th class of 8 classes, and after that have a comedy recital coming up the following week.

Tonight I had an awesome class judging from feedback from my instructor/classmates. Was involved in 3 scenes all of which turned out well. In reality I got lucky with the characters assigned, but in general I've definitely made large improvements from when I started the class.

Scene #1: Character: Fat Kung-Fu/Karate Boy. This one came off pretty easily because I do have some background in karate, and my background is something of a running joke among certain friends. As a result I was able to pull this off pretty well by combining the physical comedy, along with karate terminology and philosophy.

Scene #2: Overzealous Meter Maid/Man. One of the things I'm able to do effectively is channel rage. Think Chris Farley as the motivational speaker, not taking any crap from a mis-parked motorist.

Scene #3: Was a game called interrogation. Two police officers question an un-knowing suspect, and based on the questions the criminal has to figure out what they're in trouble for. This is all based on audience suggestions which the criminal didn't have a chance to hear. In my scene The Who, What, and Where were, stealing donuts from a fund-raiser, with their accomplice being Homer Simpson. In this scene I took a secondary roll to the other interrogator, but was able to use the phrase "Four-fingered discount", as a hint to help the suspect guess Homer Simpson.

In other news the house may once again have a dog. We're getting Bosley for a 2 week trial from a rescue to see if he fits in at the house.

So lots of fun/exciting things going on at the moment.

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Date:2005-01-02 17:04
Subject:This Year's Resolutions
Security:Public

Here's my list of resolutions for the year. Feel free to comment on them
or let me know what you've resolved to accomplish in the coming year.

This year's resolutionsCollapse )

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Date:2004-12-19 23:07
Subject:This weekend
Security:Public

Went back to Grand Rapids Saturday night to meet up with some friends and hit some bars. I got there at about 10pm Saturday and took off back for Ann Arbor early afternoon on Sunday. It was a lot of fun. Every time I go back I enjoy myself immensely and feel as if I've enjoyed a much-needed breath of fresh air. It's good to get away from my habitual grind here, and away from the house for 24 or more hours once in a while.

I decided not to make a full weekend of the trip because I needed to get some work done this weekend and also was recovering from a cold which meant I thought getting an extra good night of sleep on Friday was worth it.

In other news, it looks like I'll not have one but two of the digital camera I decided to purchase my parents for Christmas this year. I ordered one from Dell about 2 weeks ago and it was backordered. Fearing I wasn't going to have one in time for Christmas I got one off of E-bay and then attempted to cancel my order with Dell via their online form. Apparently unsuccessfully, as I received a shipping notice for the one from Dell today. No biggie. I'll probably just re-Ebay the one. Better to have two cameras, than 0 come Christmas day, particularly since the parents are likely to require some training as to how to use the thing.

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Date:2004-09-27 17:47
Subject:Conan to take over for Leno in 2009
Security:Public

CNN Story

Good news for all Conan fans. Especially considering I rarely stay up late enough to catch him these days.

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Date:2004-07-29 21:43
Subject:
Security:Public

So today headed out on what I was planning on being an 8 mile bike ride and it turned into a 20 mile ride. I was quite pleased the longest I'd gone for before was 12 miles, so I wasn't really confident how much further I'd be able to go without it being a painful experience. Got going and the weather was perfect about 75 degrees which with the breeze from biking is quite comfortable, and warm enough to keep my muscles from tightening up. Saw a lot of pleasant country scenery on a nice straight, rolling country road.

I'm quite pleased because previously I had really only been eyeing rides on the cycling clubs calendar that were 12 miles or less, and not early in the morning. This severely limited my options. There's a full moon ride on Friday at 10pm that I think I'll check out if I have nothing else going on, and then hopefully hit another ride or two with the club the following week.

Also picked up Lance Armstrong's Performance Training Guide from Borders last night. While I can't imagine myself consistently riding more than 50 miles a week I do like the concept of having all the gadgets to maximize my performance and efficiency. I'm just a data geek, being able to analyze all the data and improve my efficiency appeals to me. So I'm checking out cycling computers, that include cadence sensors. In addition I'm also interested in a heart rate monitor. Units that contain all of these features cost $200+. Now I think I can probably get a cycling computer that contains a cadence sensor for $60-70. I think I can also get a decent watch based heart rate monitor for $60-80. So in all likelihood if I get these items in addition to my GPS the cycle based electronics will be worth 3/4 the value of the bike.

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Date:2004-07-28 16:25
Subject:$employer =~s/OSDN/OSTG/;
Security:Public

So today OSDN officially changed its name to OSTG complete with fancy new website.

It occurred to me that this is the second consecutive job at which the name of the employer changed while I was working there. My previous employer Litton PRC was acquired by Northrop Grumman and we were integrated within their corporate structure Both name switches also resulted in free shirts, although the OSTG one has yet to arrive. The only /OS(DN|TG)/ shirt I currently own is from LWCE in 2000 when PerlMonks had a booth there -- years before I worked for OSDN.

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Date:2004-07-13 21:30
Subject:Biking
Security:Public

I bought a Trek 7300 hybrid bicycle about a month ago in an attempt to get into shape. I'd given up going to the gym a couple months before I moved and managed to pack on about 10 pounds since. I decided to forgo getting a gym membership at least for the summer and instead focus on being more active outdoors.

Also in Ann Arbor there seems to be a quite active cycling group. In an effort to meet new people in the area and get into shape it seemed like a good group to get involved with. So far rain, holidays and other events have prevented me from taking place in any rides with them. Their most beginner friendly rides typically are on Monday.

This week it didn't work out because of rain. My goal for the week was to ride 20 miles. It wasn't too lofty of a goal, but probably more than I'd done in most weeks past. Well it's Tuesday and I've biked 21 so far this week. Also my Garmin Forerunner is quite cool it keeps a history of rides and tallies mileage by day and week which is a nice feature. Anyway now I'm probably shooting for 40 or 50 miles this week. With any luck next week things will work out and I can go for my first group ride on Monday.

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Date:2004-07-08 15:11
Subject:213 Things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the US Army
Security:Public

This is by far one of the funnier things I have seen in a while. On his site this guy has a list of things he was told not to do while in the US Army.

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Date:2004-07-05 03:27
Subject:Movie Suggestion
Security:Public

If you haven't seen The Good Girl, I'd highly suggest it. It was on tonight on HBO while I was playing Risk and I caught the end of it after I was done. It is now at the top of my NetFlix queue.

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Date:2004-01-10 00:16
Subject:
Security:Public

Are you a maximizer or a 'satisficer'?
"Unlimited choice, I believe, can produce genuine suffering," said Schwartz, whose work explores the social and psychological effects of free-market economic institutions on moral, social and civic concerns. " Maximizers tend to want to find the best choice, and while they may end up with better results are often less happy than 'satisficer's' who find things that are good enough and move on?

Which are you? Do you operate differently on different types of things? Do you buy that wanting to make the best decisions can result in unhappiness?

Next link and question -- are you quirkeyalone?

Oh and one of my fish gave birth to a single tiny fish -- a little less than a centimeter long and probably 1-2 mm tall. I was surprised to find it in my tank. I separated it from the rest of the fish in an attempt to prevent it from getting eaten. Unfortunately it was dead in the container I put it in the next day. I may try getting a couple of male and female guppies to try this again and have a second bowl/tank ready to separate them when baby fish arrive.

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Date:2003-10-29 22:49
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: tired

Yikes... I'm tired my apartment needs cleaning, and I need to pack, and throw some level of a Halloween costume together for a party in Ann Arbor Friday.

On the costume front I think I'm going to go as an Office Ninja. The key items required are a sword, and Bandit mask (Kill Bill style). Then I'll either dress somewhat nicely with black pants, a white shirt and black tie. Or perhaps more of a disheveled office worker look -- untucked shirt / wrinkled clothes etc. Then I need to decide if I need to incorporate blood in the costume anywhere. Also are glasses on top of a bandit mask a fashion faux paus? Otherwise I'll likely be a somewhat blind ninja.

In other news I've installed Everything on my laptop and am going to work on setting up a personal website. I'm pretty excited about this.

Current plans for the site:

  • Keep journal / blog there
  • Page to log my workouts
  • Interlinked set of tips for using Unix programs / utilities. If i learn something new make a note there. Perhaps open it up so other people can add tips too.
  • Application which checks webpages that I visit frequently to see whether they've changed since I last visited them. Once they pass a threshold for amount changed it will show up in my list of sites to check out. The links will redirect to the site and clear them from the list of sites I need to look at. I can add this page as a Moz sidebar that refreshes every so-often.
  • Reminder application so I am reminded to pay bills on time etc....
  • Photo gallery

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  • Date:2003-10-23 23:26
    Subject:A sign?
    Security:Public

    Jesus Actor Struck by Lightning (twice)

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    Date:2003-10-19 20:50
    Subject:
    Security:Public

    It irks me when someone presents something as a fact when it's known to me that their numbers are off by an order of magnitude or they've just got it all wrong -- especially when they appear to be very convinced of the accuracy of their claims.

    Unfortunately I did just that for once. This graphic from Yahoo News resulted in me assuming that we were supposed to roll back the clocks this weekend. I told a few people this and most seemed to believe me.

    Luckily no harm was done. No flights or church services were missed because of my misinformation, since the whole thing was cleared up later in the day.

    Clearly I didn't read the caption below the picture. However I also maintain that no news source needs to be running that graphic more than a week prior to the time switch.

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    Date:2003-10-19 20:36
    Subject:
    Security:Public

    Tonight while I was out driving about I saw a large black station wagon with tinted windows and a custom flame paintjob across the side. Then I saw the license plate: SHGNWGN. I just hope that the owner is seeing the payoff of the money invested in the paint job and vanity license plate. I also couldn't help thinking of a certain vehicle featured in Kill Bill when I saw it.

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    Date:2003-10-19 20:30
    Subject:A night out
    Security:Public

    Last night ended up going to a Dr. Grin's Comedy Club with a group of friends. It was something I had been wanting to do for a while. So I was glad to finally get a chance to check it out. The featured comedian was Jim David. He had a lot of good material and some very amusing interactions with some of the more vocal audience members.

    Once the show had finished we proceeded to check out some of the different bars in the complex. A good deal of drinking and some dancing ensued. All in a ll a good night out on the town.

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    Date:2003-10-19 20:13
    Subject:The gaming has begun....
    Security:Public

    About a week ago I went out and ended up buying a $99 Game Cube and a copy of Simpson's Hit and Run.

    In my years of child-hood I never owned a console gaming system. As a result I never really got into gaming in the dorm or with friends who had systems. Games would quickly frustrate me because of my lack of experience and I usually wouldn't stand a chance in head to head competition.

    The Game has turned out to be a lot of fun (oh and a major time suck at times). Now the only problem is that my gaming habits sometimes manifest themselves in the real world. I'm less patient with cars and pedestrians getting in the way, and am tempted to use the emergency break on high-speed sharp turns.

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