Archive for December, 2007

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-31

Monday, December 31st, 2007
  • @rachel_w i’ll be at the germantown sausage drop. come join us! #
  • @rachel_w i don’t know if there’s info online, but it’s at the corner of 6th and monroe starting between 11 and 11:30 #
  • @rachel_w there may be folks having drinks at mad platter and germantown cafe beforehand, but i’m not exactly sure what their hours are … #
  • woke up this morning with a nasty case of nausea. wasn’t even drinking last night. no idea where this came from. it sucks. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-29

Saturday, December 29th, 2007
  • sorting through gmail inbox and setting up lots of new filters. i love gmail. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-28

Friday, December 28th, 2007
  • it’s such a let-down to see the sales and site conversions numbers drop so drastically since tuesday. it was fun while it lasted. :) #
  • just saw a new title notice at work that we’ll be carrying a magazine called "hot bike baggers." i actually laughed out loud at that one. #
  • waiting out the traffic jam just told me about on i-65 toward town. it’s giving me time to get my calendars sync’ed up. #

What 2008 looks like on 12/28, draft 1

Friday, December 28th, 2007

What 2008 looks like on 12/28, draft 1

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

It’s only a very rough draft with very few dates and dependencies filled in. But hey, it’s a draft, and that’s SOMEthing. I’ll fill in the rest when I get back in the new year.

And with that, I’m out of here and ready to usher in the next big year for all of us.

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-27

Thursday, December 27th, 2007
  • just got back from a really long lunch with coworker. gotta love the week between christmas and new year’s. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-26

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
  • @sleepydad i’m feeling much, much better. sorry you’re worse! #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-25

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007
  • Wondering what’s wrong with the internet connection here. Everything I try to do in Firefox times out. Hmm. Puzzling and frustrating. #
  • my internet connection is a wee bit zippier today. wonder if everyone in the whole world was online buying last minute gifts yesterday. #
  • organizing finances online. no really, it’s not as terrible a way to spend xmas as it sounds! #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-24

Monday, December 24th, 2007
  • @sleepydad I’ve got that same sore throat. Best of luck getting over yours! #
  • still setting up access to everything from iphone #

Wage does it again.

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Chris Wage is a freakin’ photography genius (even while drunk enjoying an adult beverage or two):

I LOVE that picture. It makes me feel like I’m back in that moment, in the late hours of the party with the die hard revelers still going strong, laughing it up with great friends. What a great moment.

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-23

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007
  • Recovering from mixing too many kinds of way too many drinks. And playing with my new iPhone! Woo! Santa’s been VERY good to me this year. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-22

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007
  • getting ready to party tonight! #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-20

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-19

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Check it out: The Top 10 (Un)Sexiest Magazine Covers of 2007 (

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Want a funny read? Check out this list we wrote over the last few days. I guess we were feeling punchy.

And PLEASE Digg it. We could use the traffic. :)

read more | digg story

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-16

Sunday, December 16th, 2007
  • cannot believe how much snow fell in chicagoland last night. more than ankle deep, and me without snow boots. #
  • getting ready to go to the dedication of my father’s memorial, and feeling anxious and weird. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-14

Friday, December 14th, 2007
  • just booked our hotel room on for $35 a night. sweet. that leaves a little extra money for ikea shopping. mwahahaha! #
  • want: #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-07

Friday, December 7th, 2007
  • not feeling at all well. yuck. #
  • up early. not feeling well. already working. hoping this arrangement works out ok for me today. #

Almost approved — the ongoing process of adding on to our house

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Rear view from northeastKarsten met with Tim from the Historical Commission yesterday about the addition we’ve been planning for the past year or so, and we’ve almost got their signoff.

Here’s the summary email Tim sent (with edits to remove identifying information and to add links to photos):

Subject: Addition to antebellum house at [address]
From: "[last name], Tim (Historical Commission)" [email]
To: "Karsten Soltauer" [email]

Mr. Soltauer,

We appreciate you working with us through the review process for the proposed addition at [address], a contributing, historic antebellum, Federal style structure in the Germantown National Register District.

We have reviewed the plans you submitted for a partial demolition and rear addition to [address].  We appreciate the extent and quality of  drawings provided for our review, as they make it clearer in evaluating the proposed project’s effect on historic structure.

It is noted that there are several unusual constraints associated with this parcel.  They include the unusual grade change on the parcel, which slopes up from [street] to the alley by 15 feet, the soil condition in the rear yard, where there are numerous exposed limestone outcroppings, and the existing inappropriate additions on the rear of the structure, which set out approximately 3 feet beyond the side wall of the original structure.

The proposed addition is appropriate in its height, massing, roof shape, materials, and proportion of openings within exterior walls.  However, the addition should be subordinate in its massing and height to the historic structure.  To meet the guidelines for the district we would recommend that the addition set in from the rear corners of the existing structure, and the second floor of the addition be set back from the rear gable end of the historic structure by several feet (2 feet minimum).  With those changes to the proposed plans, the Metro Historical Commission (MHC) staff believes the addition would meet the MDHA guidelines for Historic Germantown.

Please feel free to call or office at [phone number] or e-mail me, if you have any questions or concerns.

Tim [last name]
MHC staff

I don’t know what the effect of those changes will be, but they really don’t seem too bad. The rooftop deck will still be plenty big for parties (woo hoo!), and the bedrooms/offices at the rear on the first floor shouldn’t be too squished by being set in from the existing house.

Pretty exciting stuff! Now for one last round with the architect, and then we just have to figure out how to pay to have the work done. OK, that last part is probably going to be a lot harder than it sounds. But at least we can start figuring that out, because we know we can do it! Yay!

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-06

Thursday, December 6th, 2007
  • again with the good intentions. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-05

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007
  • tried to post a jokey update about hanging out w/ karsten, duane, heather, and levi over drinks, but twitter ate it & my treo crashed. :( #
  • starting off the day with great intentions. let’s see how it plays out. #
  • @kellystewart congratulations. must be good to feel like you can close out an era of your life and get on with the next. #
  • eating a ginormous potato from mcallister’s. yum. #
  • @gphat last time i had a potato, checkout spazzed and i could only eat about three bites. i need to clear the negative association. ;) #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-04

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007
  • dreaming big today. what will the site experience be like in 2008 and beyond? that is the question. #

Twitter Updates for 2007-12-03

Monday, December 3rd, 2007
  • actually taking five minutes to catch up on feeds. sheesh. my friends are a talkative bunch. #

Gifts that really do keep on giving

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Over at Music City Bloggers, Malia asks:

will all your holiday dreams come true if there’s a little velvet box waiting for you under the tree?

My holiday dreams? Do not involve jewelry boxes. At all. As I said in the comments at MCB, diamonds suck. That whole industry is evil and I don’t get why they’re so damned expensive. Sure they sparkle and sparkly things are appealing, but I can get a heck of a lot of pleasure out of looking at and wearing much less expensive sparkly things.

As for my jewelry preferences in general, I’d much rather have an unusual piece with semiprecious stones — something that reflects my personality. One year I asked Karsten to have my favorite ring — one that I made when I was in high school, and I wear every day — polished as a Christmas gift, and that was a wonderful treat. (It could use it again, now that I think of it.)

For that matter, why limit it to jewelry? I prefer unusual gifts that reflect my personality. Besides the aforementioned ring polishing, one of the lovelier gifts Karsten has given me was, at my request, to have one of his original art pieces framed so it could hang in our bedroom. I love that piece, and it meant a lot to me to be able to look at it every day.

Was the gift any less wonderful because it wasn’t a surprise? Not at all. I love surprise gifts, but meaningful gifts trump surprises, in my book.

And hey, it’s hard work to think up a meaningful, surprising gift just in time for the holidays. And that’s the thing: I really prefer not to play into the pressure of holiday gift-giving too much. I LOVE the idea of giving gifts; I just don’t like the idea of being socially obligated to give gifts.

After all, I buy myself indulgent little things all the time; if I’m going to be given a gift, I prefer it to be something meaningful and representative of my relationship with the gift-giver; the cost and timing of the gift truly have nothing to do with its value to me.

The editor’s note in the latest issue of Domino magazine talked about great gifts: how they’re special and surprising, but most importantly, they reflect the best interpretation of the relationship between giver and recipient. That’s one of the biggest things that bother me about the consumer-driven holiday culture we’ve (d)evolved into: it feels so much like checking an item off your “to do” list.

Which is why, as a side note, I hate the trend of giving gift cards as presents with a burning, boiling passion. In the past ten years, it seems to have become so common that I feel like all people do is end up getting the same amount in gift cards that they give. If they’re lucky.

We all might as well write each other $1,000,000 checks and tear them up — at least that’d be more memorable. In fact, why not? Let’s all get together, drink some Silk Nog, write checks to each other in ridiculous sums, talk about what we’ll do with our gift money, and then laugh and tear them to pieces. Who’s in?

Furnace not blowing heat, but will blow cool?

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

At some point today, the furnace stopped coming on periodically to blow heat, even though the house was noticeably cooling off. After a few hours, we tried switching the setting on the thermostat from “Auto” to “Fan,” and air did start coming through the vents, but only cool air, even though the temperature on the thermostat was set high.

We tried setting the heat extra high in case some kind of temperature gauge in the system may have been off-kilter; we tried flipping the switch in the circuit panel off and on. Nothing is making any difference.

Any home-repair-knowledgeable people out there have thoughts on what might be happening?

Sorry about all the movie-watching

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Check it out:

“The anonymity of the Netflix Prize dataset has been broken by a pair of computer scientists from the University of Texas[...]. It turns out that [...] it’s straightforward to find a match by comparing the anonymized data against publicly available ratings on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)[...] in the process possibly working out their political affiliation, sexual preferences and a number of other personal details”

Oh no! Someone’s going to figure out I’m a bleeding heart bisexual liberal/progressive.

I suppose I should consider this a privacy violation of some sort, since I’m almost certainly represented in the data set, but whatever.

For that matter, my ratings data may very well have been one very useful data set in helping the computer scientists crack the anonymizing code.

Whoops. Sorry I’m such a movie geek.

In honor of my likely indirect contribution to this situation, I offer my first-ever LOLcat.

sorry i watches so many movies