My uncle, cell phone hoax

I just heard that one of my uncles is ill. I don’t want to explain the details because that’s something between him and his doctor, but it’s serious. So I’m dedicating today’s blog to him. He’s really a good man. He lives here in the US and worked for the federal government until his recent retirement. He’s always been really courteous and friendly to my sister and me. He’s got my prayers.

In other news today, I recently read an article at work that there have been three incidents where gas pumps exploded due to cell phone use. It turns out that this is an urban legend (which means that I have apology letters to send out now), but one that requires merit. It’s true that if a spark is close enough to petroleum vapors, they can ignite. This is true when putting a petroleum tank next to a hot water heater. Electronics also create sparks. So why take the risk? Leave the phone inside the car. The rule of thumb is to keep any sparking device at least 18 to 24 inches away from gas vapors.

Since the Labor Day holiday begins this weekend, I just want to say have fun, but be responsible. Don’t get too loaded before driving, stay safe on the roads and around town, and, above all, have a great weekend. Here’s to the working people, those that keep things going for the rest of us (don’t get me started on unemployment and this economy).

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Ice Cream: Coronary in a cone

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently distributed a press release stating that eating ice cream is essentially hazardous for your health. They claim that the number of calories and fat are so high, it seems that retailers are essentially trying to see who can contribute the most to the nation’s widening beltline. Click here to see the press release:

http://www.cspinet.org/new/200307231.html (this links to another web site)

Fortunately, I live in a state where such statements are denounced. Wisconsin is nicknamed America’s Dairyland (among other things) because it used to be the leading state in dairy production. This long heritage continues to keep dairy alive here. Despite federal milk price fixing (the closer to Eau Claire that milk is produced, the pricier it gets), Wisconsin is still the king of good dairy, as far as I’m concerned.

So, what’s wrong with ice cream and other dairy products? Are we so hot to blame what we eat that we can’t see where the real problem lies?

The following links lead to two articles from Madison newspapers. The first is from the Wisconsin State Journal and discusses the press release as well as local reaction. The second is somewhat related, but describes how four men in their 70s and 80s are still going strong.

http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/tct/2003/07/24/0307240107.php (this links to another web site)

http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/madison.com/html/archive_files/wsj/2003/07/24/0307230633.php

Time to add content

Thanks to a personal commitment to remain home this weekend, I am going to get some of this web site stuff done. Priority items include the web site evolution, the guitar page, and starting on the Great Britain pictures. Since I’ve actually got three days off (woo hoo, Labor Day!), I will also try to scan in pictures from the past year (would you believe it’s been a year since Madeline turned two?).

My long term plans include updating this site to give it a new look… again. Although I posted this site almost a year ago, it was actually in the works for about six or seven months. Since updating this site is a long-term project, don’t expect to see changes soon. In the short-term, I’ll probably update thing in My Bio. But the long-term plan includes adding cascading style sheets, using more JavaScript for the pictures, and possibly updating the mascot (I seriously need to do something different with dragon-dude).

It’s official… I performed a vanity search for my name and found it in Google. In case you forget my name (okay, who’s going to forget my name?), you can now enter it into Google and find my virtual lair. How cool is that?!?

New pictures from Lambeau

I have to apologize… I was out of town over the weekend, so I didn’t update the site. I know that many of you were just dying to see the work I did on my guitar. On the plus side, I was in Green Bay for the Packers game. There’s nothing more exciting than being surrounded by Packers fans. My dad and I drove up for the first preseason game at the newly renovated Lambeau Field. You want pictures? You got ’em! Check them out in My Scrapbook. Isn’t technology grand?

New My Projects page

Introducing the My Projects page. This page showcases things that I’ve worked on. After photographing my guitar set up and thinking about how the PC upgrade is in two areas, I thought it would be more efficient to add a projects page. Thanks to the wonders of PCs today, I was able to put the new page together quickly. However, the guitar stuff won’t be up until this weekend, since I don’t have anything written as of yet. But I do have some pictures on the site. Please feel free to visit it and offer me any feedback.

New ESP guitar

I have a new addition to my family… of guitars. I bought a used ESP MH-300 yesterday. It’s a cool looking guitar with a deep red finish and a quilted maple arch top. Since it was in storage for a while and needed some work, I spent all day yesterday and part of tonight cleaning and setting it up. And since I have a digital camera, you can expect to see pictures soon.

I spent the day in Milwaukee on Saturday working on the desk. We’re almost at the finishing stage. More work is hopefully on its way.

New EMG pickup for my guitar

I just received a replacement EMG HZ H4 pickup for my Vester. I ordered it used from ebay. Since my Vester has one humbucker (double-coil) and one single-coil, I plan on replacing the bridge pickup with an EMG HZ S3 singled coil. And since I’m changing out electronics, I’m going to replace some other parts (potentiometers, wiring, etc.). The big question that remains is whether or not I should also strip down the finish. You can see a picture of the Vester in My Scrapbook under My Pictures.