Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Month: December 2004 (page 1 of 2)

Baby Check-In – Week 18

I haven’t chatted much about the baby since the initial announcement. It seems a little weird that you have this life changing thing going on but there is little in the way of noticeable differences right away. Tammy is just now starting to show so it doesn’t seem real yet.

Tammy and I had our regular appointment with the midwife yesterday. All is well in babyland! This was the first time I was able to hear the heartbeat and it was pounding away! The midwife said that the static occasionally was the baby moving. Little tyke was moving around quite a bit! Tammy and I are bypassing the majority of the screening tests. We decided that we do not want to deal with the high false positive rates.

In a couple of weeks we’ll have the ultrasound done where we get to find out the sex and make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.

We both have found it amazing how when other people say they are pregnant you just assume that a few months later they’ll have a baby. When it’s us we are sort of on pins and needles that nothing goes wrong. It seems far from a sure thing. However, hearing the heartbeat yesterday and now that Tammy is starting to show sure makes me feel good!

Amazon Raising Funds for Red Cross

I really don’t think the impact of the earthquake and tsunami have or will hit me. It’s hard to fathom that kind of disaster and it’s so far away. You hear the death tolls and the numbers just seem unreal.

If you are looking for a way to help out in whatever way you can makes it as simple as one click to donate to the Red Cross. They’ve already raised over $6 million, correction, $7.6 million now, and counting.

That number makes me embarassed at the $35 million that the US government has committed so far. Hopefully it will be raised substantially.

Fargo Redux

We had a nice stay in Fargo however it is far from being the vacation get away that you may want to visit on a regular basis. I gushed long enough about the hotel in my previous posting, so I wont go on about that any further. Tammy and I divided our two days in Fargo into a suburban day followed by a downtown day.

The first day we drove out to the West Acres Mall, it was absolutely packed. We met my mother and a friend of the family for lunch at a Taste of India, which was fabulous. I asked the owner if it was connected to the one in St. Louis Park and it is not but they know each other. Sadly this one is going out of business. Apparently their business has been poor since 9/11. None of us could figure that out. People, it’s Indian food! Anyway, we explored the suburban areas some more. Had a trip down memory lane with dinner at Happy Joes and spent the evening crawling a Barnes & Noble for books.

The next day, our last, we ditched the car and saw downtown Fargo by foot. They are working on revitalizing their downtown like so many cities and it is working, but it is still a work in progress. We had lunch at a mexican restuarant where Tammy and I were both lured into the taco bar. What were we thinking? The regular food I’m sure would have been better, if only warmer! We visited the Plains Art Museum and then kicked back in Babb’s coffee shop which seems to be the most happening place in downtown Fargo. It had a line both times we went there. I got an extremely tight (read, short) haircut at a local barber and we saw a matinee showing of The Machinist at the Fargo Theatre which shows independent films. After a full day we got dinner at the HoDo Restuarant in the hotel and returned to our room.

It was a nice relaxing two days. I think Fargo would be better for recreation in the summer though.

Dell Coupons & eBay

I’ve been trying to order this Dell 2005FPW monitor for a bit now and there is this [amazingly stupid] Dellf game that Dell has where you can win coupons. One of the coupons is a 25% discount on the monitor I’ve wanted so I’ve been banging on it over and over. I’ve won $50 off a $100 printer more times than I can count but never got the one I wanted.

Then eBay came to the rescue. I’m continually amazed at what people sell on eBay. Turns out there are a plethora of Dell coupon codes for sale on eBay. I punched it up and $2 later I had purchased a coupon code from some guy in California. Placed my order a couple minutes later. $2 to save $200+. Sounds good to me!

Monitor is on the way…

Fargo Vacation

Like a large percentage of my office mates and I’m guessing the country at large I’m taking this coming week off. Had a personal day that I needed to use before the end of the year and with the combination of holidays it was easy to stretch a couple of days into a big break from the office.

We didn’t want to do anything too exotic so we decided to keep our downtime in line with our holiday plans. This year was a trip back to North Dakota with my family so Tammy started investigating options. We arrived tonight in Fargo, ND where we are going to spend three nights and relax. You might be wondering why Fargo? Well, we built the entire stay in Fargo around a hotel and I have to tell you upon check-in we were not let down.

We are spending the next three nights at the Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo. We reserved the “Big Dog” suite (go to the website, click on sleep on the top, click the down arrow by the picture until you see Room #10) and were shown to our new home-away-from-home with big grins on our faces. The space is amazing. Our suite has 17 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, living room with dining area separate from the master bedroom. Huge plasma TV with everything you would want. Even the WiFi is deluxe with 802.11g. The Hotel Donaldson only has 17 rooms and each room is unique with local art and exquisite accommodations.

Do I dare tell you that this room is less than the box with a bed I usually stay in when I travel for business to the coasts? I can honestly say you could build a trip around this hotel. I’ve gushed enough and it’s late. I’m hopeful the rest of Fargo can live up to this hotel.

Panasonic PV-GS400

I’ve now entered the world of digital video in addition to the digital photography one I’ve been in for some time. My wife was cool enough to get me the Panasonic PV-GS400 digital camcorder. This is a very slick 3CCD unit with more bells and whistles than I know what to do with at this time. It even takes 4 megapixel stills! I’ve been playing with it over Christmas, taking some really dumb video and realizing that it’s hard to fake your way through video production. :-)

Now this will of course spark a fury of other things I need to learn and play with including a better disk subsystem for my PC since moving those big video files around will be oh so slow. This is how it always works — fun!

This present signifies my first “Dad Gift”. I am now fully equiped to stand with all the other geeky Dads spinning hours of video of their kids that nobody will ever want to watch other than them. I’m also very okay with this.

Other Christmas gifts this year included a couple of Logitech wireless Xbox controllers (and they are great!), an awesome clay poker chip set, Six Feet Under Season 2, great books and numerous other fun things. Not to mention a lot of great time with friends and family. Can’t really ask for much more!

Merry Christmas

Tammy and I begin our Christmas journey today. We alternate Christmas and this year is a trip to my family so we’ll be driving a long ways to Minot, ND tonight and then continuing to my grandparents farm outside of Lignite, ND.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

PS – I failed again to do a holiday letter and get Christmas cards out to friends and family. However, I feel really good about next year!

In Code

I just finished reading In Code by Sarah Flannery. Sarah’s book is about her love of mathematics and a project that won her great acclaim in building a new public key cryptography algorithm. The book is light on math, enough to get you interested and is approachable to a variety of skill levels. Sarah was a mere high school student when doing all of this and challenging the famed RSA algorithm. Ultimately her CP algorithm is found to be vulnerable to an attack lessening it’s usefulness but not her story.

The book is an interesting read about a brief moment in this brilliant woman’s life. I think this would be a great read for girls that are interested in math but are far too often discouraged from embarking on it due to societal concerns.

Google Owns Everything in 2014

This is a well done, interesting future view of history now.

Mac Mouse Done Right

A little piece of heaven was waiting for me in my mailbox tonight. A few weeks ago I purchased an iMac G5 and it’s been a lot of fun. Apple has made an amazing machine, and finally the OS is good enough to stand on the same stage as the hardware. However, Apple’s stubborn attitude with it’s single button mouse is one of the few serious shortcomings of an otherwise great package.Thankfully a 3rd party has provided a solution, MacMice.

My new two button Mac mouse with scroll wheel and blue tooth capability showed up tonight. I whipped some batteries in it, the Mac instantly detected it and I was off to the races. The mouse feels just like the OEM Apple mouse. It has good heft and tracks well. It matches the style of the iMac however not as perfectly as the Apple one but very close. The mechanism is exactly the same under the covers pointing to Apple sending this to a 3rd party for their own mouse. The wheel is wonderful and the right-click works perfectly.

Apple should throw out their mouse and just start shipping with this thing. Go buy one.

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