I write... occasionally

Here's a collection of 641 pieces of nonsense that I've felt the need to journal about over the past 22.23 years.

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 cool …

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 "Accept: …

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 …

Life in 08

Man. It's been nearly a month since I've actually blogged about life. So let's see... what's happened...

First of all, dad visited at the beginning of January. We hung out, worked on my truck stereo, did some Christmas stuff, visited the cousins, etc. It was nice - rushed, but definitely nice to hang out.

Oh, and I finally finished my first tattoo. My final session was January 11th and it was awesome. After we were done, both Budha (my artist) and I were like, "weird... welp, I guess this is it." Then we cried, hugged, and parted ways. No, it's pretty crazy to just be... done. I think I'll make sure my next tattoo is one of those "single sitting" type of things. The words "vive vitam" shouldn't be too tough. Now I just …

Wish Lists!

Oh man, I love lists. I really do.

The "notes" section on my sidekick is always full of lists that I can add to while I'm out and about. One of those lists is always a "to buy" list... AKA, a "wish list"

It's really handy when I'm out with some money to spend and I think to myself, "which DVDs do I still need?" or "what was that random tool that I needed last week?" So, I quick whip out my... phone and BAM, I got it. Man I love notes.

But even though I love notes on my phone, they don't always stay up to date. Things like my Amazon wish list stay more up to date, because it's much easier to just click "add to wish list" or whatever. Man, I love wishlists. It makes giving and receiving so much easier. I don't have to buy …

Alpine CDA-9886 Review and how Crutchfield Rules

I just installed my Alpine CDA-9886 last night and since it's so new, there's a serious lack of online reviews, so I thought I'd contribute.

First of all, let me outline what I was looking for.
  • A deck that would let me play my iPod in some way, either via AUX in, or actual iPod connectivity/control.
  • If the deck should have iPod control, it couldn't suck horribly like most of them do.
  • It has to somewhat match my interior. I've got a clean looking tan/black interior, I didn't want some ugly silvery/grey deck dirtying it up.
  • It has to be versatile - just in case I want to amp everything up, etc. I need pre-outs, maybe bluetooth, etc, etc.
  • It has to be a noticeable upgrade from my stock deck and also from my last Alpine.
  • It can't cost a …

It's 2008

Kari and I's New Years Eve was quite interesting this year. We had these plans to make it a fancy/dancy night, which sort of fell through and left us stranded on a curb in some -4 degree wind chill weather. Aside from that though, it was a good night.

We kicked it off with a fancy 5 course prix fixe dinner at Sage. It was amazing. That place... man. It never fails us - I love it. Check it out, here's what I had:
  • Grilled rare ahi tuna block atop a waldorf salad, pea tendrils & veal demiglaze
  • Bristol bay crab bisque with pancetta croutons & chives (Kari had: Roasted butternut squash soup with pumpkin bread croutons & browned butter)
  • Braised iowa beef short rib atop braised winter vegetable mash with a braising liquid reduction (Kari …

Christmas 2007

I suppose I better write this before 2008...

Christmas this year was great. Kari and I were able to afford all the gifts we wanted to buy (for once), and we got totally spoiled by everyone else. We also saw tons of family, but not very many friends this holiday season. I'm a bit sad about the lack of friends this year, but hopefully that's what tonight (New Years) is for.

So starting with Wednesday, Dec 19, Kari and I did our Christmas. It was good. I got some fancy clothes, DVDs, my entire truck outfitted with Polk speakers, etc. And I of course had to give her one of those blasted little blue Tiffany boxes along with a fancy jacket, DVDs, etc, etc. One hilarious thing about our Christmas this year is that Kari and I bought …

Santa and Church

I promise I'm gonna blog about my Christmas, but first, check this awesomeness out.

I get occasional e-mails from my aunt and uncle's church, which was also Kari and I's church for a while.

A week ago, the new(ish) pastor sent out a nice Christmas e-mail that contained the following:

"... Third, our Christmas Eve Service is Monday Night! Don't forget to come early and get your picture with Santa Claus, who will be making a special stop in West Des Moines before his appointed rounds. He'll have just enough time to take a few pictures before he goes to work. The brief service will include some of your favo rite music, a holiday message, and inspirational readings. Sandy and I, along with the Growing in Grace ladies have prepared …

Trans Siberian Orchestra at Wells Fargo Arena

I haven't blogged in a minute, but last night as I was sitting at Trans Siberian Orchestra, I decided to whip up a quick blog on my phone. So first, here's an update...

Nothing too big has happened. I've been hanging out, working, going out, and scraping ice/snow off everything.
If you haven't already seen, here are some pics from last weekend's randomness.
Oh, and I sold my car for not enough money... but whatever. It should finally be out of my garage next week.

So anyway, the real reason I'm blogging is to talk about my experience at the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Last night, Kari and I met Nick and Nicole at Dos Rios for dinner, which was good, filling, and not cheap. Then, we all had tickets to go check out Trans …

derekbrooks.com is mine!

I've been trying to get www.derekbrooks.com since I was in college. It's belonged to a canadian by the name of... wait for it - Derek Brooks since like 2001. I remember e-mailing a few times trying to get him to give it to me... but obviously that didn't work out.

At first derekbrooks.com was basically a resume for my like-named friend, then it became a wedding info site for family - and then - he apparently let it die. Maybe he took his wife's surname, ha.

So randomly last night, I was seeing how I did in search engine results by searching for broox, derek brooks, etc. I found some new broox sites, like kite aerial photography at brooxes.com and a sweet skateboard company at broox.it. So I then hopped over to joker.com to see …

Dos Zen Tattoos


So Friday I got 2 more hours of ink on my back. My crown should be completely done in about 1 more session, hurrah! I can't wait to have a finished tattoo. When it's done I should have around 8 hours in it. And now, I can't stop thinking of new tattoo ideas. I still want a plus symbol, some form of "live life," a giant word on my stomach, and I really want something on my chest that flows well. I don't really like the big winged things/hearts that people always get. I like things more like Tommy Lee's lions. Something mirrored that flows with my boobies. Those lions are awesome - I just wish I'd thought of them... stupid rock stars.

Anyway, I've been doing the wet healing process again, which is a big pain - but it …

Cool Kids Eat Shit

I've been thinking about this for a few years, so nothing directly sparked this blog... I've actually been consciously not writing this blog due to related situations coming up. I didn't want people to think that they sparked it.

So that said, I was just sitting at home and suddenly got a strange urge to rant! hurrah!

Here it is...

Will someone tell me why the hell eating shitty food is cool? Why is a person who orders cottage cheese instead fries suddenly lame? Why are people who order salads or drink diet pop always "on diets?" Moreover, why is being on a diet even a bad thing? Why is enjoying quality, less-fat food uncool?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my fair share of crappy foods every now and again - and I get a good …

Oh yeah. Thanksgiving.

We had a bit of a change-up in the Thanksgiving tradition this year. No RG Books on Wednesday night, no oysters, no squash, no 18 course meal by Jeff, and no QC. This year we only went to 1 place - and it was only a half hour away - awesome.

Kari's parents got into town Wednesday night after putting a their truck in a ditch outside Grinnell. So instead of driving more, we decided to order take-out from Chili's and hang out at home.

Thanksgiving day was at Dave's this year, which was nice - good food, hanging out, etc. I didn't get crazy stuffed for the first time since... well, since I met Kari's family. I did sorta miss all those courses from Jeff though...

After thanksgiving we headed back to our place with Kari's parents …

The KC Shuffle

So last weekend, Ando made plans to go to KC for his friend JJ's 30th birthday. Nathan and I got invited - and it was a blast... Maybe too much of a blast.

On the way down, Nathan got pulled over for doing 84 in a 70. :(

So, we got into town around 8:30, checked into our Sheraton Suite and then had dinner at Tomfoolerie's. After dinner we met up with Ando's friend, Eboni and went to Blonde. Blonde was a pretty good club. Apparently a lot of KC peeps think Blonde is trying to be too big time for KC... but I liked it quite a lot. Good DJ, good drinks, pretty people, fun atmosphere.

After Blonde we met up with a bunch of Ando's friends at the Granfalloon, which is this sports bar/grill that turns into a real bar at night - …

Joining Red 5

Holy first day. Seriously... I haven't felt this n00b in a long, long time - I'm both stressed and excited about it.

So first of all, the drive. It's longer, but sooo much better than my last drive. My drive to Pioneer was about half the distance of my new drive - however I did it in exactly the same amount of time - 22 minutes. On my old route, there was no opportunity to pass slow cars due to all the back roads, but now I can weave down i235 just the way an F150 should... or something.

Next comes the Atmosphere. I'm in Valley Junction - a small village with lots of local shops. It's basically a ghost town at 9am, which was unexpected, but I guess it makes sense. I walked up the stairs into my new building at 8:50 to find …