Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Month: February 2005 (page 1 of 2)


For some reason I feel like writing something on my website tonight but I don’t really have a specific topic to write about. Usually I only post very topical things. We did this or that. Or we went to this place or that place. Pretty standard, if not a little boring, stuff. So, I’m just feeling like rambling a little bit.

I’m almost over my obsession getting Road Sign Math launched. The site is completely done, I opened the store and now it’s just time for more content. We are taking a road trip to Colorado and New Mexico at the end of March and I’d love to get a mathematically significant road sign in each state. One can only hope! :-)

Speaking of that trip I’m really excited about it. In New Mexico we are going to stay at a B&B that caters to amateur astronomers. I’ll likely bring my telescope along and they host nightly star tours. The skies in New Mexico and it’s location are ideal for astronomy. I’m looking forward to it greatly.

Tammy and I went to see Hitch this afternoon. The movie is generally bubble gum for the mind, but it was pretty funny. I burst out in some gut laughter a few times. Of course, I’m a big fan of Kevin James from King of Queens. Guy is a riot.

While we were out we stopped by Barnes & Noble. I picked up the new Willie Nelson and Green Day CDs. I got off the Green Day train a while back after they became multi-platinum rock star heroes. I used to see Green Day at the Whole when I went to the U of MN and have liked them forever. The new CD, American Idiot, is surprisingly good. Willie’s new CD, It Will Always Be is also great. He’s just amazing. All of his songs are stories and they are so heartfelt.

There, I’ve gotten my urge to put something up on my site out of my system. I’m going to go off to other activities and stop boring you all. I won’t stand to be disparaged.

Baby Update

Tammy has decided that she is now “officially pregnant”. How this differs from the last 26 weeks I’m not exactly sure. She seems to have decided that she now “looks pregnant” and not, as she says not me, just fat. Today was another checkup and the midwife. This appointment included the gestational diabetes test and we were both a little concerned about that one. Not for any particular reason other than just generally being concerned about the progress of the pregnancy.

I still find myself worrying all the time. This morning we were at the gym working out and Tammy had a cramp in her stomach. The place ground to a halt as everyone else in the gym, all of which were men, were freaked out about a pregnant woman having a cramped muscle in her stomach. Hypervigilante I guess.

Anyway, the blood sugar test came out just fine so nothing to worry about. She’s at 26cm now, exactly where she should be and everything continues to look fine. We got clearance to move forward with a late-March trip we want to take so in short, all indicators are green!

The next visit is in 4 weeks and then we switch to checkups every 2 weeks. We are also starting child birth classes in two weeks.

Turn Off Annoying TVs!

Ran across this product today and am tempted to order it just to have fun in sports bars! Some ingenious person made a keychain remote that broadcasts over 200 different shutoff codes for several hundred TV manufacturers. Annoying TV? TV-B-Gone! Only $14.99, well worth the value. :-)

Fractions and Life

Every year just seems to go by faster, doesn’t it? How many times have you said that to yourself? Well, I’m here to tell you that not only does it feel that way but that mathematically it is the simple truth!

You see, I figured this out a while ago. When you are a kid it seems like the summers lasted forever. Winter was months of playtime. As an adult it seems that the weeks are days and the seasons fly by in a blink. Winter is no sooner here than it is spring and you are looking forward to summer. This all comes down to math and how you perceive time.

Here is my theory. Let’s take a look at the math. When you are 4 and then you turn 5, you are 1 year older right? When you are 9 and then turn 10, again, you are one year older. So the time from 4 to 5 is the same as the time from 9 to 10. Actually, no, it isn’t. You see, as you experience it the time from 4 to 5, when you turn 5, represents 20% of your life experience. In fact, it really even represents more since you don’t remember the time very, very early on, but we’ll leave that for another discussion. When you turn 10 years old the year that just preceded you is 1/10th of your life or 10%. As a result, the time from your 4th to your 5th birthday is twice as much experintially as the time from your 9th to your 10th birthday.

You can extend this easily and see that as you get older each passing year represents a smaller and smaller portion of your life. The entire decade that you spend from your 40th to your 50th birthday represents the same as that one year of fun from your 4th to your 5th birthday. They both represent 20% of your experience. As a result, it is absolutely true that time, or at least the perception of time, just goes faster.

There is an interesting by product of this which is the time before your first birthday. Technically that would be something over nothing, n/0. You cannot divide by zero but in essence this represents infinity. So that first year, if only you could remember it, was infinitely long. We could apply some limit theorem here (and you are welcome to give it a whirl) that that first second of your life was a breakthrough moment. It’s somewhat depressing to compare the infinity of your first second of life to the infinitely small percentage, like %0.000000001 of your life, for that last second.

Weekend in Iowa City

We just got back from a quick overnight trip to Iowa City to visit friends. We wanted to get out of town for a night on the long weekend (I have today off!). Let me start by saying that I’m not a fan of college towns. Maybe I’m bitter and old or something, but it just seems like there is a constant rolling beer party going on in these places and at this point I’d rather skip it. Our hotel stay drove this home very clearly as we were awaken at 4:30am to obnoxious people in the room above us. I just laid there thinking GO TO SLEEP ALREADY! Jhez…

On the plus side Iowa City is a nice town and has some amazing restuarants. We had dinner at One Twenty Six with Tammy’s friend Lisa and her husband Eric. Tammy has known Lisa since living in Arkansas. I had a beef tenderloin at One Twenty Six that was as good, if not better, than any I’ve had at any steak house I’ve been to.

The next morning we had breakfast at Lou Henri‘s with my buddy Dan and his wife Mel. I can highly recommend the 7-grain pancakes there! Also, they do something so cool — they give a 10% discount if your ride your bike there.

If you go to Iowa City, check these places out. And, whatever you do, don’t stay at the Fairfield Inn. :-) Launched!

I’ve been dreaming up this driving game for a long time and I finally decided to launch the website! This is pure geek joy. :-)

Check out Road Sign Math! It will soon be sweeping the country from coast-to-coast…

Lance on Oprah

On Friday I got an email through one of the cycling mailing lists that I’m on that Lance Armstrong was going to be on Oprah that afternoon. I’m not an avid Oprah follower (imagine that!) so I asked Tammy to TiVo it so I could watch it later. Lance was on for the full hour along with Sheryl Crow. You do know that he and Sheryl have been an item ever since he split with his wife, right? Anyway, some thoughts…

  • Enough with Sheryl Crow! This is Lance Armstrong. He’s won more Tour de France victories than any other man in history. Yet it seems that his record 6 wins are often overshadowed by the fact that he’s dating some “rock star”. (By the way, Sheryl Crow is a rock star? Guess I wasn’t listening.)
  • I’m sitting here wearing my LIVESTRONG bracelet and it’s amazing how many of these things have went out. They’ve sold 46 million of them now. Holy crap! When we went and saw the Tour de France last summer these things were the ID tag for the American Tour fan. Now it seems everyone has them. Okay, that’s cool, but for some reason I’m a little bitter about it.
  • I wish Lance would stop the tour. Really. He wont state publicly anything. His Discovery contract requires him to race one more. Seriously, I would rather he take on the spring classics or even better go after the hour record. He’s talked about all of the above, but has been non-commital about it all. Added bonus here would be OLN actually having more coverage of events other than the Tour. Non-tour coverage on OLN has dropped every year, even while the total number of hours of cycling has increased. It’s all Lance and the Tour de France. Let’s hit the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix!
  • The Bike. Oh my. So on Oprah they had this story, tough story really, of this woman with cancer and she is fighting and she seemed amazing. Lance is her hero, etc. So at the end Lance gives her this bike. Oh My! Some stage-hand wheels out this P.O.S. $199 Target special Trek to give to her. Huh? This is Lance. Trek is his sponsor. They couldn’t spring for a carbon-fiber, ahh, anything? Wow. Even Lance looked a little stunned when he saw it. Kinda like he was thinking “send that thing BACK!”.

Marketing Security Updates

It was patch week from Microsoft this week. This month brought 9 or 10 security updates depending on your version of Windows. I find it really funny how differently Microsoft and Apple release their security patches.


We get a monthly release of all the security updates. They are packaged individually, which is a good thing since it gives the administrator the ability to not have to apply all of them. They generally have scary sounding names and cryptic looking descriptions. Security Patch for WonderBall.dll (KB123456) for example. And it will usually include words like malicious and takeover. Scary stuff! And wow, there sure are a lot of them. The average person would conclude that this software is horrible.


MacOS X is a totally different experience. Today, while updating my Windows boxes, I also got to update my Mac. Apple takes a different approach. I just got this nice dialog saying MacOS X 10.3.8 was available and did I want to upgrade my software. The funny thing is there was no mention of security, no words like malicious code. In fact it was completely opaque. If you look into the details though there are dozens of security updates. The whole thing is really a security patch to deal with bugs.

I’m not trying to say that Microsoft doesn’t have security problems. They do. But people that say the MacOS X is so extremely secure need to check reality. And I would suggest Microsoft change their wording but if they did they would be skewered for hiding security problems.

Million Dollar Baby

Tammy and I went to see Million Dollar Baby at the late matinee today. You would have to live under a rock to not have heard some of the publicity surrounding this movie, but I really didn’t know much about the plot. It’s a great story about a woman that is extremely persistant and gives everything to realize her dream as a boxer.

The movie is a real tear jerker. There were no dry eyes at the end of it. Tammy said that pregnant women should beware. She said she was on the verge of bawling! Nonetheless, it’s a great movie.


I just initiated a domain transfer of from I finally got fed up with their lackluster service and outrageous prices and am moving away. I’m just posting this because if something goes wrong my site might go off the air temporarily. It shouldn’t, but I always feel a little nervous moving registrars (that’s the main reason I hadn’t done it to this point!).

Top reasons to leave…

1. WAY too expensive!
2. Interface for managing your domain is SLOW and clunky.
3. You cannot create an SPF record using their system! Oi!

Where am I going? GoDaddy! If you watched the Super Bowl you probably saw their ad. :-) They are cheap, fast and technically robust.

Now I gotta get out of the house and enjoy this wonderful weather. Taking the camera out to play for the afternoon.

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