Review of Six Flags Magic Mountain

IMG_20150529_104124-COLLAGE

On Friday, May 29th Carson and I went on a day trip up to Valencia, CA to ride roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Here are the rides we went on and they are prioritize with our favorites (high to low):

  1. Scream: Smooth, fun, easy to see where you are going, 
  2. Batman: Smooth, fun, easy to see where you are going.
  3. Twisted Colossus (new!): Very fast, long, not as easy to see where you are going, intense
  4. Gold Rusher: very simple, classic easy style
  5. Ninja: a lot like Batman but not as intense
  6. Viper: Very fast, bumpy for Carson
  7. Orient Express: slow and clam
  8. Grand Carousel: great way to end the day [only horses though :-( ]
  9. X2: Way to scary
  10. Full Throttle: huge loop; slow at top (feels like falling - yuck!), plus one "trick" that we won't tell you about but we did not like it
  11. Apocalypse: Very jerky, long wait

Basically we both agreed that we like smooth and easy to see where we are going roller coasters.  We don't like: feeling like we are falling, bumpy, and going backwards.

All in all we really liked the majority of rides and look forward to going back sometime in the future.


Photo Tip - Try Black and White (B&W)

I am not an expert in photography but here is a tip that has been useful for me.  

When I get a picture that has some sort of issue like to much light or not completely in focus, I do a conversion to black and white (B&W) to see what I get.

Here is a recent example (using Picasa 3 on Windows) that looks pretty good to me:

Carson's Birthday Party

Do you have any other suggestions for situations like this?


Recipe - Healthy Corn Dogs

Carson-steve-corndogs1

A while back (just after Christmas) Carson and I made our own version of the following corn dog recipe from the Skinny Fork called "Baked Whole Wheat Corn Dogs.".

We basically kept the main parts of the recipe but didn't do the following:

  • No Brown Sugar
  • No Paprika
  • No Cayenne
  • No Chili Powder
  • No Poppy Seeds

We also did half the recipe getting 6 turkey corn dogs and not the 10-12 turkey corn dogs if you follow the recipe.

They turned out great, but they did need a good helping of either ketchup or mustard depending on your taste.  Making them very plain and then seeing what we could do with them in the future was our plan.  

I think adding the spices/flavors would be good for anyone without picky kids. I also think these would be great with Hebrew National hot dogs or a pre-cooked sausage.

By the way, the picture above was the 2nd picture.  Here is the 1st picture with an expert photo bomb from Conrad --

Carson-steve-corndog2

 


Unwrapping Christmas 2010 in San Diego, CA

Church

Unwrapping Christmas 2010 in San Diego, CA via Christ Lutheran Church in La Mesa, CA:

  • Sunday, Dec. 12, 10:30 a.m. (Gym) - Christmas Worship with Sunday School Puppets
  • Wednesday, Dec. 15, 6:00 p.m. (Gym) - Preschool/School Christmas Program
  • Sunday, Dec. 19, 8:00 & 10:30 a.m. (Sanctuary) - LESSONS & CAROLS with Sanctuary Choir, Handbells, and Instruments

Out Christmas services include:

  • Thursday, Dec. 23, 7 p.m. (Gym) - Pre-Christmas Contemporary Worship with Praise Band and Grounded Band
  • Friday, Dec. 24, 5:30 p.m. (Sanctuary) - Family Christmas Worship with Children's Message 
  • Friday, Dec. 24, 7:30 p.m. (Sanctuary) - Festival Candlelight Worship with Handbells and Sanctuary Choir
  • Saturday, Dec. 25, 10 a.m. (Sanctuary) - Christmas Day Communion Worship with Handbells
  • Sunday, Dec. 26, 10 a.m. (Sanctuary) - Standard service

Location: Christ Lutheran Church, 7929 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942. Phone: 619.462.5211.


GTD Suggestion - Tracking References Via Google Maps

A recent question on the Getting Things Done (GTD) Virtual Study Group mailing list related to tracking travel related task & project items, reminded me that since this past summer I've been tracking geographical items of interest, reference, and someday/maybe items using Google Maps:

Google-my-map-01

The My Maps feature with Google Maps lets you create your own pins and references.  You can also make your maps public or private.  If you make a map private you can still send the private map as a link to someone else via email.

I like this option because the next time I'm in Atlanta I'll know the options that are available to me.  And the data is available with any Internet access plus browser.

I've also used this feature to build a Visiting San Diego Map for friends and family:

Google-my-map-sd-01

This has been very handy in helping visitors figure out what is available to do in San Diego County and how far away items are.


Getting - Busy Four Day Weekend Recommendation

4updaykeeperThis Memorial Holiday weekend in San Diego looks very busy for us.  When things start to look like they might get potentially out of control with the family schedule, I've found I like to have a 'low-tech paper' calendar for the family to look at in the kitchen. 

I usually print out a couple of pages for each day of the weekend using a 'day keeper'  template from DIY Planner.  But since today is an off day from work, it is really a four day weekend, and a four-up Hipster DIY Planner page can get all the information I need on sheet.

I just printed a single page, and add all the stuff I know is suppose to happen. Now when Christy gets back from volunteering at the kids' school, she can get her items on there, and in theory, we should be pretty well scheduled. 

Have a great weekend! You can follow mine via twitter if you want.


Executive Staffing With Stay-At-Home Moms

Sue Shellenbarger @ WSJ.com recently had a very interesting article in her Work & Family column called "How Stay-at-Home Moms Are Filling An Executive Niche." 

I think this idea is extremely beneficial for both the consultant and the business.  The consultant gets to keep their skills current and in use. The business gets access to "C-level" expertise at an extremely reasonable rate.

Some links mentioned in the article:



Moving From Microsoft Outlook To Macintosh Mail & Address Book

I just read a Walt Mossberg's Mailbox article about how to move from a Windows PC to an Apple Macintosh when you have a great deal of information in Microsoft Outlook, and it reminded me of the work around I came up with recently.

Christy recently migrated from a Windows XP based laptop to an iBook G4 with Leopard.  And she was using Microsoft Outlook on the PC for email and contacts.

I moved over all her email using Google GMAIL's IMAP service.  This was pretty easy, because once I had the IMAP account configured on Outlook I could just drag and drop the emails she wanted on her Mac.  Then I fired up the Mail client in Leopard and configured it for the same IMAP account, and I was done.

I figured I could use the export functions in Microsoft Outlook to get me a contacts file that would import into Apple's Address Book, but every file I tried ended up hanging when I tried to import on the Macintosh.

So, I came up with this work around. 

I went into Microsoft Outlook's contact view on the PC, and did a select all.  And then did a right mouse click to Send vCard of all the selected contacts.  This created a new email message with all her contacts vCards.  I then selected all the 'attachments' and saved them to a folder locally on the PC.  I then copied the folder to a USB flash drive and moved them to her Macintosh.  She then clicked through that folder and added the people she wanted into the Leopard Address Book.  Pretty easy and it also cut down on some clutter in her new Address Book because she picked just the vCards to import that she wanted.

Walt suggested a $10 tool from Little Machines' O2M (Outlook To Mac).  I haven't used the tool but from what I read on their site it appears to be a possible alternative solution.


Multi-Topic Update: San Diego Fires, Jersey Boys, Technology

The last week or so has been extremely crazy and busy. 

First up the San Diego Wild Fires (aka FireStorm 2007) have been all consuming, and I'm happy to report that my immediate & extended family, friends, and co-workers in the San Diego area have been spared major hardships.  But our hearts go out to those who lost love ones or their homes.  The fire fighters and public safety folks have been outstanding and they deserve a ton of credit & praise.  Thanks!

The weirdest thing about the fires, was that during the whole time it was going on, Christy and I have been in Jersey Boys heaven.  They have released a new Jersey Boys Book, Frankie Valli has an excellent new album out called "Romancing the 60's", the touring cast is in San Diego, and we traveled to New York City (NYC) / New Jersey (NJ) on Sat. 10/20 returning Tue. 10/23 for the Fan Tribute and to interview Tommy DeVito. And did we mention we've seen the musical three times in six days: Fri. 10/19 (Opening Night in San Diego), Sun. 10/21 (Broadway), and Wed. 10/24 (Cast Talk Back in San Diego).  Yes ... we are crazy.

Lastly a quick update on some technology stuff.  Things are still going on over at TechNewsRadio but a little slower than I'd like.  My fellow FriendsInTech members have put together another new Halloween special called "It's The Great Server Chuck and Kreg."

Other quick tech mentions:

I recently upgraded from a Cingular 8125 to an AT&T Tilt and I'm really loving the new phone with high speed 3G/UMTS/HSDPA connectivity plus Windows Mobile 6 and integrated GPS.  The camera is also a big improvement, as is the keyboard/button interfaces.

A couple of weeks ago I did upgrade my 8-GB 2nd Gen Apple iPod Nano to an 8-GB 3rd Gen Apple iPod NanoI have some unboxing pictures posted to Google.  I like the video option a great deal. I used it to watch dozens of video podcasts recently on the trip back to NYC/NJ.  I have also been using it a lot at home sitting in bed or by my computer using a DIY  Lego stand.

I have also picked up a copy of Apple's new OS X via Amazon.  I hope it gets here soon so I can rebuild my old G4 iBook for Christy and finally get her off of Windows XP and spare her the horror of Vista.


Recommendation - Family & Kid Camping In San Diego Area

Yesterday, I went with Conrad's 3rd grade class on a field trip to Indian Hills - a family and kids camp in East San Diego County. 

I took a ton of video and I plan to build them a little DVD scrapbook. 

But I was really impressed with the facilities and the things to do.  Check out the link above if you are interested.