I write... occasionally

Here's a collection of 634 pieces of nonsense that I've felt the need to journal about over the past 20.97 years.

Iowa's New Hockey Team: The Iowa Chops

Are you kidding me? This name RULES. It's hilarious, true to Iowa, and... well it's the IOWA CHOPS, haha. How can you seriously not like that?

I'm already tired of all the groaners. How many times since they announced the name 18 hours ago have I heard "no wonder Iowa has a bad name" and "this doesn't represent Des Moines" or "why not the Iowa Hicks?"

They are called the Iowa Chops, not the Des Moines chops. What does Iowa do well? Farm and educate. We could've been the Iowa Schoolers I guess...

"it's a good name in the tradition of the brewers, packers, pistons, etc," said my friend MH. Great point.

So anyway, I'm obviously stoked.

Ticket prices are cheaper, The logo rules, the name is hilarious, and we're an …

80/35 Music Fest

First of all, if you didn't buy tickets for the 80/35 Music festival, then you missed out on a great fest. And thanks for supporting the local live music scene, assholes. Des Moines' live music scene hasn't been successful because of you.

So now that that's out of the way. 80/35 was excellent for its first year. Des Moines made a huge effort to pull this thing off and it really showed. Thanks a ton to the organizers and everyone who supported it. I can't wait for next year.

The bands I saw...
  • Andrew Bird - Not really my kind of music, but he was pretty good. He seemed to have a lot of fans, which is important.
  • Flatform - A couple local DJ kids. Finally. This scene is creeping into Des Moines. I run with kids/DJs like …

The Ultimate Drive (round 2)

So back in 05, Nehru brought me along to the BMW/Susan G. Komen Ultimate Drive, which is a pretty amazing event. You show up and drive decked out BMWs on a ~15 mile route around the city... and they do their best to give you a fun route with varying speeds.

It's a yearly event that travels around the country (so check the website to see when it's in your town) and it's completely free. You just sign up, drive fancy cars, and BMW donates $1 for every mile you drive. It's great.

So this year I was able to go again, which rules because I've been wanting to get into that 135 sooo freaking bad. and that, I did.

First I drove the 135 convertible, then I hopped in the 650 convertible.

The difference was quite interesting. Back …

Father's Day Plus Seven

So since we were in Kansas City during Father's day, we sorta made it up last weekend, which worked out quite nicely with my sister being in town and all.

Friday, we went to my dad's for a family get together/baby worship service. It was a good time and definitely nice to see some friends/relatives. Dad's place is really starting to shape up too.

Saturday, we headed over to Kari's parents house with a pitstop in Sutliff to check out the flood damage. I'd heard the bridge was completely wiped out, but I never saw any photos online... so we had to stop and see how bad it was. Turns out that it's only half gone, which is still sad, but it was nice to see part of it still there. Plus, it was really nice to see that the bar is still …

Nathan's 30th Birthday

Alright, I've got some blogging to catch up on...

Sooo, 3 Fridays ago, Nathan, Josh, Chuck, Nick, Tobbie, Kari, and I all headed down to KC for Nathan's 30th Birthday. ... I guess Ando and Twee came too - but once we got to KC we saw them for about 36 minutes. And if I remember right, Jeff and Iulia may have been there for about 14 minutes as well.

But anyway, once we got into town we shopped around the plaza, had dinner at Tomfooleries, and finished the night partying it up at Blonde and The Falloon. It was a good time; dancing, drinking, running around, saw JJ and Eboni for a minute, and Chuck even met a girl.

Saturday (Nathan's birthday), we just sorta goofed around all day... hot tubbed for a bit in the morning, got lunch …

My iPod Classic Review

So I got an ipod classic a few weeks ago, which is the 4th ipod that I've owned (5th if you count Kari's nano). And even though my first ipod classic went completely corrupt and I had to replace it... I really do love this ipod. The metal front is nice, 160gb rules, and the soft/firmware on it is definitely awesome.

I know it's been reviewed 1,000 times, but I figured I'd talk about some of the features I like/don't like.

Price point. $350 for 160gb isn't bad at all. $250 for the 80gb is really nice. I mean, remember when the 30gig was like $500? ha.

The random album art on the home screens are awesome. However, I wish that you could somehow choose to listen to the album that's on the screen. Too many times a random album …

Josh's Memorial Day Bachelor Party

Bachelor parties with my buddies and I are a little different than what you expect from a normal bachelor party.

We don't really do the whole stripper thing, mainly because strip clubs are sort of played out. I mean, I guess people go to strip clubs on bachelor parties to remind you that there are other naked (and sluttier) bodies out there... and how you can't have those anymore. It sort of fits the bill, but whatever. Strip clubs aren't really a ton of "fun" so... we don't do that.

Instead, we basically just celebrate. We drink more than we should and run around like we own the place. You could say that we just act like college students, but richer.

So anyway, Jeff, Chuck, Nathan, and I headed up to Morgan, MN on Friday to …

Master Kari Brooks

So my wife got her masters and is now officially qualified for the job she's been doing for the past 3 years. ;)

I'm proud of her - even if she doesn't really see it as that big of an accomplishment.

I guess when you love school as much as Kari does - it's no thing. But also - apparently Drake is way easy not as awesome as Cornell College... I don't think she learned a whole lot of new things at Drake, which is a sad thing for a person who loves to learn. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I mean, we basically just paid a lot of time and money for a piece of paper (which is the only thing that counts, of course).

This could mean that Cornell's education department is amazing. It could also mean that Drake's graduate …

From a Sidekick 3 to a Blackberry Curve

I've been an avid sidekick supporter since I got my Sidekick 2 back on 04. I upgraded to a Sidekick 3 in 06, and I bought my wife a sidekick slide earlier this year... but now, I'm switching.

Why? The Sidekick is just moving way, way too slow. For every new release, Sidekick users were anticipating changes that kept up with the rest of the mobile phone industry, but Danger kept failing to impress. It was always something like, "With this version, you get bluetooth! and... it's shinier!" It was dumb. The sidekick LX was a pretty decent jump though. That screen is super nice... but still, the phone is so locked down.

You could get around the locked downedness and install normal apps by getting a developer license. But most …

Econonic Stimulus and Mothers Day 08

So, I'm not really sure what I think about this economic stimulus package, but I sure as hell accepted it and decided to use it just like the government told me.

When our check came friday, Kari and I decided to do a mini shopping spree.

I upgraded my personal electronics with a 160gb ipod and a blackberry curve. Kari, on the other hand, is buying fancy clothes. It was a lot of fun. I wish we could do this once a month, haha. Next month I'd get a wii and the month after that, I'd get a macbook. ;)

But anyway, mothers day was nice too. We met up with mom, Teresa, Jeff, and Vic in Amana. I'd never really been there, and it's sort of in the middle of all of us, so we decided to check it out. Amana is an interesting little …

Fake Easter, Partying, and Such

I've gotten really, really, really bad at blogging lately. I hope it's not because I've been less awesome and have less to talk about. Hopefully it's just because I'm being so productive on other things... or something.

But I've also been taking way less pictures than normal and I don't really know how I feel about this. I've always been a big advocate for documenting life, but man I am sucking at it lately. ...I need to figure that out.

So yeah, we've been sticking around town a bit more this year, which has been sorta nice. I actually seem to be getting a little more done.

This weekend, my dad was in town, which was a good time. We got to hang out quite a bit, landscape, and party pretty hard.

Friday, Doug hosted a …

Chicago Cubs Visit

Oh man.
What a good visit to Chicago.
So, if you didn't know, I went with Bob, Todd and, Tiny (who's really like a 6'5" dude) for a Cubs game.

As soon as we got to town, we went to Threadless to see Harper, hang out, talk tech, etc. Then we all got stuffed pizza at Chicago pizza, had a beer at some sketchy bar and parted ways.

Harper and I then dropped my stuff off and went to Charlie's for some social interaction. I really wished I lived in Chicago. Their social scene is amazing. It's almost like college.

Anyway, Harper stole Rachel (one of his coworkers), from Charlie's, and we ran over to Debonair to meet Tag and James.

Debonair was good. Good music, not packed, saw more of Harper's clique, etc. Then after a …

Ouch. My body is lame.

So, last night was my first night of broomball. I missed the first 2 weeks due to being on vacation, so it was actually the 3rd night for most everyone else on my teams.

...yeah, that was plural - teams.

See, last year we just had our rookie half-ice team, District 5. We were decent - especially for a first year team. We ended up .500 at the end of the season. Not bad.

So at the end of the year, Team Mitsubishi (a full-ice team) had about half their team move out of town and - long story, short - half of District 5 joined their team, which was renamed to The Shams.

We didn't want to kill off District 5 so we decided to play in both leagues this year, half-ice with District 5 and full-ice with Team Shams. This would mean …

Southern Florida

If you've been paying attention to my photo stream, you've probably noticed that we had a jam packed vacation. 8 days and 250 photos of Key West and Miami Beach.

Man, it was a great time. Jeff and Teresa took us down there as part of a giant celebration trip. Kari, Victor, and I got new jobs. Jeff and Kari graduated with bachelors and masters degrees. Vic got a house. Jeff and Teresa celebrated a 30th anniversary. It was a big year that deserved some celebration - and that, we did.

So, it's going to be nearly impossible, but I'll try to keep this as short as I possibly can.

Saturday Sunday
  • Drove to Key West. It was quite a …

Using cURL to test RESTful Rails Web Services

Lately, I've been writing lots of services for some of our newer Rails 2.0 projects. And one of the quickest/easiest ways I've found to debug these web service apps from a Mac is by using cURL. I'm not exactly an expert on the subject, so I'm documenting this half for myself and half to help anyone else out....

First of all the cURL parameters I usually use are:

-X [action]
Pretty straight forward... let's you specify an action (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) to take on the URL.
> curl -X GET http://localhost:3000/sites
> curl -X GET http://localhost:3000/sites.xml
> curl -X DELETE http://localhost:3000/sites/1
-H [header]
This lets you specify your HTTP headers. I usually use Content-type and Accept here.
> curl -H …

Three Months Free

Welp, I've now been free from the corporate world for a little over 3 months now.

Ha. Man it rules. It was scary and a little stressful of a move, but I am so, so glad that I dove in.

No more Microsoft Office, no software audits, no B.S. meetings, no re-orgs, no safety e-mails, no ethics surveys, and most of all no seemingly pointless PHBs in upper management.

It's funny, ever since I left Pioneer, I feel like a real live adult employee rather than an intern. Everything I do actually affects the company. Everything serves a purpose and we don't waste energy on the things that don't. I mean, in 3 months I've worked on more projects than I did in over 4 years at Pioneer. wtf.

It's interesting how much I've improved as a …

HHR Gravedigger

One of the main reasons I'd really love to be wealthy (aside from obvious reasons) is that I could do hilarious/expensive things. I've always envied celebrities like Bam Margera for this reason.

But one thing that I've been thinking about for a bit. Have you seen those Chevy HHRs without rear windows? The panel side or whatever.

If I had the money to throw around, I think it'd be hilarious to buy one, lift it, add huge wheels, and paint it up like a mini Gravedigger.

That's all.

From Broox to Flickr - and back

So last week at work I had to learn the Flickr API for this rails site we're doing. It's been a lot of fun and really got me more excited about Flickr.

I've always loved Flickr and its community. However, I've never used it for my personal photos because I really like having full control of my images. I like to have them stored them locally, I like to run queries on my photos, and I like how I have no limitation on integrating them into my personal site.

With Flickr you lose some of that control. That is, until the Flickr API came along, which is a really nice API. A lot of my friends have used it to display their flickr pics on their blogs. But damn it's slowwwwww (at least slower than running all your stuff locally on your …

Small World, Giant Baby

What a random/weird weekend.

Kari and I made some last minute plans to celebrate Teresa's birthday in CR Friday night, visit my sister in the QC Saturday, then bust back to DSM to have at least 1 weekend day at home. 2/3 of our plan worked.

So Friday, we drove out to CR and had dinner at the Red Lobster, ha. I hadn't been there in years, but it was actually quite good.

Saturday, we woke up and drove to my mom's house. Bre'anna was in town with the baby, so mom hosted an open house for friends/fam to come hang out. We had a nice time. Bre'anna's baby is huge. Plus I got to see some family/friends that I hadn't seen in years. 1 of which being Michelle Springer, my mom's friend from HS. I think the last time I saw her was my …

Bock Fest 2008

It's Tuesday after Bockfest and I think I'm finally awake enough to blog.

So.. Bockfest was good again; not sober, and everything a beer celebration should probably be... and more. Maybe even a little too much more.

Friday, we (Me, Nathan, Jeff, Rico, Chuck, and Nick) took Kari's grandpa's old minivan up to Josh's new place in Morgan, MN. As usual we were way too excited to see each other and went completely nuts - all night long.

First, we walked to Front Street Bar & Grill for dinner and a game of 7-14-21, which is, of course, a drinking game played with dice. I told Josh before we came up, "no shots on Friday night" ...yeah right. That worked out real well.

After Front Street we walked over to the City & Country …