Seeing “UP”by Angie

20
May/09
7:05 pm
0

upLast week, while my in-laws were in town, we all took a trip out to Emmeryville for the “Friends & Family Screening” of Pixar’s newest film, “UP.”  We met up with Jon first at a fantastic pizza place called “Nathaniel’s” in Berkley.  After dinner, we drove over to the campus, received our special guest badges, and headed into the main building.  There wasn’t much of a line forming yet, so we went upstairs to the gallery to spend some time looking at the concept art for the film.  When it was finally time to go in, we sat together in the center near the front and center of the theatre.  After “Ooohing” and “Ahhing” at the shooting stars and watching a silly little short, we finally got to watch “UP.”

It was so fantastic!  I simply can’t express how hilarious and darling it was, and how much I enjoyed it.  I couldn’t do it justice if I tried to summarize it, so I will just emphatically encourage everyone I know to go and see it as soon as you can!

p.s.  All you Californian Fenton fans – keep your eyes and ears open!  :)

What You Ought To Know about WYOTKby Angie

10
Nov/08
1:11 pm
2

Last week, someone in a “Protect Marriage” facebook group that I belonged to posted a link to a relevant podcast that was both entertaining and informative. I visited and watched the video…and then watched a couple of other episodes…and now I have a new favorite website: WhatYouOughtToKnow.com

The “Brothers Winn” research, write, and produce a new podcast every Tuesday about just about anything: science, politics, health, global warming, grammar, cooking, and more. In a special (and absolutely darling) episode this past July, they had a guest star named Jason – who is autistic – to help them talk about autism. WYOTK has been going for over a year and, if you compare the earliest episodes to the most recent ones, you can see a marked improvement in technicalities – pretty much all of them are entertaining and creative, however. Some of my favorite episodes are “Language Guide” (getting by in a foreign country), “Me, Myself, and I” (using the subjective vs. objective case of personal pronouns), and “Bioluminescence” (living things that glow). You can use the search box to the left of the video feed to look up particular topics or episodes.

Here is my very favorite episode of all:

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Oh, my Heart!by Angie

10
Jul/08
9:07 am
3

When I met with Dr. Murphy yesterday, he showed me a sketch of my heart anatomy so he could illustrate where the swollen patches are that they identified in the CT scans.  I thought it would be fun to show you guys what a crazy-looking little Frankenstein I have.  (Click on the image for a larger version.)

RA=Right Atrium

PA=Pulmonary Artery (what’s left of it)

AO=Aorta

RV=Diminutive Right Ventricle

LV=Left Ventricle (really my only one)

EF=Ejection Fracture (function, basically)

The arcs on the right of the picture are the patches.  The two parallel lines to the left represent the artificial conduit they put in to take over for my right atrium (which, you can see by the black scribbles, they blocked off).  The little black scribble in the upper left of the conduit was where the clot was which has now disappeard – yea!  Any questions?

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“It’s a rental…”by Angie

2
Jul/08
6:07 pm
0

Our car was in bad shape, so it had to spend a couple of days in the shop.  In the mean-time, we decided to rent a car for Wednesday, since I needed to get to Concord and back.  With AAA, renting was a lot cheaper than we thought it would be, and Hertz gives a discount if your car is being repaired.  So, I got to drive a fancy-shmancy Mazda3 for the whole day!  It was light blue, like in the picture.  I felt so cool – like I was on vacation or something, driving a sleek automatic with that “new car” smell.  I thought it would make our car seem pathetic in comparison.  When I picked up our own little Mazda 626 at the shop, though, with a new water pump and tensioners rumbling along inside, I felt happy to be driving my own car again.

WALL-Eby Angie

26
Jun/08
10:06 pm
2

Congratulations to Jon!  He learned today that he is being officially hired by Pixar!  Huzzah!  Hooray!  We’re so thrilled!

We found out the good news when we met Jon at the Pixar campus tonight, where he had invited us to a sneak preview of  WALL-E.  The new short before the film was bizzare, but cute – and then WALL-E started.  I spent the first two minutes laughing: if you know musical theatre, you’ll probably do the same.

It was fantastic.  Definitely a favorite of mine already.  I think that, deep down, WALL-E is a story about what it really means to be “alive” – whether we’re talking about a robot or a human, a plant or a planet.  It’s also, interestingly, about agency.  Mostly, though, it’s about love.  This is Pixar’s first actual love story, and it was adorable.  It’s not as quotable as other Disney movies (for obvious reasons), but there were still some great lines it it.  On the other hand, so much is conveyed without any words at all that I was amazed.  I even – I’ll admit it – cried.  Honest to goodness, tears streaming down my cheeks, right near the end; and I didn’t even realize it until the credits started.

Anyway, it’s wonderful, and I highly recommend that everyone should go see it!  Today!  Take a date and hold hands.  Take your kids – they’ll love it.  Go by yourself and just enjoy it.  Don’t miss it!

Google’s Complimentby Angie

16
Jun/08
10:06 am
3

So, just for fun, I was playing around on some search engines to see what kind of search terms it would take to find our blog. When I typed “angie & jim” to Google, an RSS feed for our blog posts came up as the third result. When you use Google, it has a link after each of the possibilities to search for “similar pages” so, I decided to click on that and see what Google considered “similar” to our blog.

What was the top result?  Check this out:

reCAPTCHAby Jim

28
May/08
8:05 pm
4

Today at work I attended a presentation by the inventor of CAPTCHA, Luis von Ahn, entitled Human Computation. An older version of this presentation he gave at Google is here. It was a very interesting (not to mention entertaining) presentation about how humans can be used to do things computers can’t. The coolest part is that he has created a way to turn games into a useful part of a computer program to identify words and images. At the presentation, he showed us a web service called reCAPTCHA. Basically, what it does is translate words from text scans of documents to digitize books. It turns the process of validating “human” users into contributing to a large project to make the world a better place. Cool.

So, I went to their website and found a WordPress plugin! I’ve installed the plugin, so donate some of your brainpower to a good cause by leaving a comment. This new feature now means you can leave comments without having to wait for them to be moderated. Enjoy!

P.S. Angie is doing well. The recovery is slow, but she is making progress.

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