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Volvo Loaded

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Willy Wonka - Opening Weekend

Happy Birthday Svea

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Willy Wonka

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We support Ron Paul for President 2012.  

I think the founding fathers would be very disappointed in what has become of the American government and its leaders; we now have a corrupt empire that largely ignores its own constitution and tramples on individuals' liberties.  The founding fathers would like Ron Paul, however.  Congressman Paul consistently votes no on issues that are unconstitutional. If elected Ron Paul will end our wars, close our hundreds of military bases across the globe and end our unsustainable, financially irresponsible empire.  Ron Paul has more support from US troops than all other presidential candidates combined!  Dr. Paul is critical of government corruption and believes in protecting whistleblowers.  As a congressman, Paul does not participate in the congressional pension, has never voted to raise congressional pay and as President he would draw a salary of just $39,336, which is the median salary of the American worker.  Paul believes the War on Drugs is not working, is a waste of money, and violates citizen's personal freedoms.  Congressman Paul has never voted for: raising taxes, an unbalanced budget, a federal restriction on gun ownership or an increase in the power of the executive branch.  Paul is the only presidential candidate proposing a viable balanced budget.  He voted against: the Patriot Act, the TARP bailouts, regulating the Internet and the Iraq war.  Search YouTube for " Ron Paul predicts " to see how Paul has predicted many of our current major problems and crises years or decades before they happened.  Please do not waste your vote on the status-quo; elect Ron Paul for US President in 2012.  - David & Joan Hall


First Day Of School

8-25-2010 ~ Blog #346 ~ David & Joan.

   Yesterday was Annika's first day of Kindergarten.  She was so excited, she was jumping up and down in the kitchen at 6:30 in the morning.  Look at her face, she is thrilled.  The other two were excited, too.  Each likes her teacher and thinks it will be a successful year.





Willy Wonka

Last weekend was the final performance of Tallmadge Dynamics production of Willy Wonka.  Svea enjoyed her role of an Oompa Loompa.  Even though she had rehearsals three time a week for the whole summer, she wants to be in another play.  After the last show, the cast and Brigitta and Annika were able to dance around on the stage and pop balloons.








Tallmadge Light Parade

  The day before the last performance of Willy Wonka, Tallmadge held a light parade.  Svea and the theater group marched in the parade.  After the parade was a small fireworks show.







Happy Birthday Svea

8-8-2010 ~ Blog #345 ~ David 

   Yesterday was Svea's eleventh birthday.  It really wasn't much of a birthday since we had a garage sale in the morning and afternoon, a hurried supper and the play in the evening.  She was a trooper and we tried to make it special for her. Joan snuck into the Oompa Loompa dressing room and put up a Happy Birthday sign on Svea's locker gave her a bag of treats to pass out to the cast and crew.  Everyone at the play was happy to congratulate her.

In the pictures below you may notice that Brigitta's left eye looks squinty and her cheek looks puffy.  She was stung by a bee just a couple hours before these photos were taken, but somehow she still manages to pull off beautiful.

   Today we celebrated Svea's birthday for a second time with Thai food.  Svea's fortune cookie read: "You will do well to expand your business in your underwear".



Annika made a star for Svea and wrapped it up in wash cloths.













Willy Wonka - Opening Weekend

Svea made her acting debut the past two evenings.  Svea and Joan have spent many evenings at the Tallmadge High School Auditorium.  Svea practicing her role as an Oompa Loompa and Joan building and painting sets.  There are two more performances next weekend.




The Big Picture

   If you are a regular to this site you may recognize that the above blog pictures are much larger than our blog standard has been for the past 4.5 years.  Computers get faster every year and internet connections generally have gotten faster for more and more people.  When I started this site our monitors were 1024 by 768, now they are 1920 by 1050.  When viewing our site through a broadband connection, blog photos seem to load in a second or two, from the top down; that's faster than most anyone can view them.  Viewers with slower connections may find themselvs viewing and reading the blog slower than it loads pictures, however.  I've been thinking about increasing our standard blog photo size from a width of 640 to something much bigger.  The only real reason not to do this is that viewers with slow connections will find themselves waiting even longer for the page photos to load.  I've been hesitant to do this because very, very few websites use pictures larger than 640.  Even National Geographic is arguably the world's most respected source of quality photographs, uses photos with a width of 600 and they only use one photo per page.  This brings up another beef I have with many photo websites: you view a picture and read a caption then click next... and then do nothing while you wait for the next photo and picture to load on a new page...  Even if it only takes a couple seconds for each picture/page to load this is a waste of the viewers' time.  How rude and annoying.  The stacked format, like this blog, loads pictures below as you view the ones above.  How polite.

   Over the past few months I've been viewing The Big Picture, which is an offshoot of The Boston Globe.  The Big Picture is created by a web developer who believes that bigger photos carry a bigger punch and more detail.  He has an an amazing talent of collecting quality photo photos that tell a story on a current subject.  In my opinion, many or most of the photos in The Big Picture are worthy of publication in National Geographic.  The fact that they are 65 percent larger and are stacked on a single page makes the viewing experience better than what National Geographic puts online, in my opinion.  I don't have the patience for National Geographic and many other photography sites anymore.  I am convinced that this format is superior and will become standard in the future simply because it is better.  It seems that web standards are five or ten years behind the current hardware of typical viewers.  I also think that many web developers are like hot rod mechanics.  They are so focused on what's under the hood and speed related issues that they don't look at the experience from the viewers perspective.  I just did a Google image search for the word: cat.  Out of 124 million cat pictures: only 6.2% are 400 pixels wide or larger,  2.5% are 640 pixels wide or larger, less than 1% are larger than 1024.  This illustrates my point; the focus on the web is still speed/low bandwidth over quality.  Technically, this website is built on ten year old html code standards.  Our picture size format, however, has been ahead of the curve and just took another step forward.  We are now using a standard picture width size of 1024; file sizes should be almost doubled.  A few months ago I increased the larger linked for print size from 1600 to 2048.  The Big Picture has convinced me, that in spite what most of the web may be doing, bigger and stacked is better.



* Note: If the neighborhood kids are gathered around a tree looking up, they are most likely watching Brigitta climb. 

* Note to Mom: Sorry, I know how you felt now. - David



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Blog #344



Pymatuning Lake

   Wednesday we drove up to our friends' cabin at Pymatuning Lake.  It was a bit too stormy to get out on the lake, but we had a great time at the beaches and driving around the lake and area.   Pymatuning Lake is right on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and every outing seemed to take us over the border.  We were surprised at how much there was to do and hope to get back sometime.  




Pymatuning Lake Spillway had the thickest mass of fish I've ever seen.  Hundreds of people come to feed the fish. 










Volvo Loaded

   Like I wrote earlier, the roof rack makes this car so useful.  Here it is loaded with kayaks and bikes for our Friday and Saturday family outings.  On Friday we paddled around Mogadore Reservoir.  On Saturday we loaded our bikes onto the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and rode from Peninsula Depot to Canal Visitor Center; we then biked the 11 miles back to our car.  It's a great deal at only $10 for the entire family with bikes.   Bike Aboard! Schedule.



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