Saturday, October 22, 2011

NEW music video!

After the roaring success of the video I made last year while Deidra was gone, I decided to make it a yearly tradition (since she always seems to leave me in October). So, without further ado, I present you with the 2nd annual Chris Hartwell music video:

I used a new(ish) animation program available on YouTube called GoAnimate to create it. The free version is fairly limited, so I had to make due with I had. (And creatively work around a couple of things - like the 2-minute maximum video length.)

Feel free to make up your own story as to what's going on in the video, and leave a comment with your take on it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter is coming

I think we were spoiled with nice weather during the first half of October, but it has sure gotten cold fast! It's been windy and rainy for the past few days. In fast, I had to throw my umbrella away yesterday after the wind bent it beyond repair.

I don't look forward to winter, but hopefully it won't be as harsh as last year.

(I have no idea what that sun laser is all about, but it sure wasn't any help.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I miss this little girl

Millie is about the most awesome baby ever, but she's never been a giggler. She will smile the biggest gummy grin you've ever seen, squeal loudly with excitement, and grunt like she's trying not to laugh when you tickle her. But I've been trying, without success, to get her to giggle almost since she was born.

Well, I'm pretty sure she loves her daddy, because she gave me this little display the night before she and Deidra headed west:

Who knew that the trick was just to hit the book while you read it? Luckily, Deidra grabbed her camera and took this video so I can watch it every day that they are gone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The lock out & The Sing Off

Another day, another short blog post (since our computer mouse problem seems to be more than just a dead battery problem now).

The Lock Out:
I locked myself out of our house this morning with my keys still on my dresser. No fun. 20 minutes and two removed window screens later (the first window was locked), I finally got back in. I just knew someone was going to call the cops if they saw me breaking into my own house, especially considering what happened to our next door neighbor last week. But, luckily, I was wrong. Now I just have to see if I can fit the window screens back into place, or if they'll ned to be replaced.

The Sing Off:
Maybe it's because I was once in an acapella singing group, maybe it's because I am a fan of the judges (Ben Folds, in particular), or maybe it's because I just really love good mucic. But I am really enjoying this season of The Sing Off. There's a cool group of Mormon boys from BYU and a jazzy, soulful DC group from Howard University that have been my favorites so far . . . up until this performance:

Seriously?! Five people using only their voices can come up with something as amazing as that?

Tell me you're not impressed. I dare you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Survey says . . .

You thought my last blog post was lame? Try this one . . .

I’m currently enrolled in a survey course and was hoping I could ask for 15-20 minutes of your time to help on a class project. We need a number of people to fill out a series of surveys online, which can be found HERE.

If you have the time over the next week or two, the class would greatly appreciate your help. The surveys are completely confidential and are only being used as a learning exercise. Please let me know if you have any questions about our project.

If you take the survey, feel free to comment and let me know. The survey itself does not collect any names or personal information, so I'll never know you cared enough to take it unless you tell me.


P.S. If the link doesn't work, feel free to copy and paste this URL:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Canning stash

For those who don't know, Deidra took Millie and flew out west to spend about a week and a half visiting family and friends, while I try to buckle down and plow through a big chunk of school work and research. So, since I've been such a slacker blogger lately, I decided to try to blog each day while she is gone. Unfortunately for you, the wireless mouse just died on our main computer (where most of the pictures and videos are located), and I can't find any replacement batteries. So until I rectify that situation (it didn't quite seem to justify an "ox in the mire" Sabbath trip to the store), no pictures or videos for you.

Instead, you get a listing of our canning food storage. You see, Millie has been sharing her room with our food storage and, before she gets mobile and curious enough to start grabbing jars of the shelves and/or to attempt climbing the selves (she is Lincoln's cousin, you know), I decided to move our food storage into the spare bedroom while Deidra and Millie are away.

Today shelves included all of our canning. Unshelving it all, moving the five-tier bookshelf, and reshelving it all again, made me realize we have more than I thought. So, because I have nothing else to blog (not because I think you're the least bit interested), here's a run down.

First, the fruit-based:

  • Apple sauce - 35 pints
  • Plums - 2 pints
  • Grapefruit - 4 pints
  • Pears - 12 pints
  • Peaches - 12 pints
  • Peach jam - 3.5 pints
  • Berry-strawberry jam - 3.5 pints
  • Blueberry syrup - 2.5 pints
  • Blueberry butter - 2 pints
And the vegetable-based:
  • Grean beans - 2 pints
  • Garlic green beans - 2 pints
  • Pickled hot peppers - 2 pints
  • Vegetable soup - 4 pints
  • Chili sauce - 4 pints
  • Stewed tomatoes - 10 pints
  • Salsa - 9.5 pints
  • Sweet salsa - 4 pints
  • Dill pickles - 6 pints
  • Sandwich dills - 7 pints
  • Dill relish - 5 pints
So there you have it. It may not be a full years worth of canning essentials, but I think we're off to a good start!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My baby brother would be 30 today!

It's hard to imagine that it's been almost 20 years since the accident that forever changed my life.

It's hard to imagine that it's been 5 years since this blog post in Stephen's memory.

It's hard to imagine that the 10-year old boy that is frozen in my memory would be turning 30 today.

Happy birthday, Stephen.

(this is the picture I used to carry in my wallet growing up)