Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walmart + DPW and I'm good to go!

From the web site;

"Wal-Mart has started selling caskets on its Web site at prices that undercut many funeral homes, long the major seller of caskets.

The move follows a similar one by discount rival Costco, which also sells caskets on its site.  Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., quietly put up about 15 caskets and dozens of urns on its Web site last week.

Prices range from $999 for models like "Dad Remembered" and "Mom Remembered" steel caskets to the mid-level $1,699 "Executive Privilege." All are less than $2,000, except for the Sienna Bronze Casket, which sells for $3,199.

Caskets ship within 48 hours.

So here's my plan to save my heirs a little dough when it's my time to duck out.   Joanne orders the cheapest box from WalMart or Costco.  She then bribes a couple of my neighbors to help her heft me into it.  I'm sure Eric Hoglund and Bob Bain will happily do it for a 12 pack of Sam Adams.  They are good friends.

Then she calls Laurel Department of Public Works for a special pick-up.

Thirty-five dollars to DPW and I'm outta here the following Wednesday!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Morning in Laurel (click image to enlarge)

Laurel Lakes Mallard

Riverfront Reflection

Lakehouse Reflections

Riverfront Bridge

Duck, Duck or Goose?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whither Newspapers, Universities Next?

The web disintermediates.  The middle man between creators and consumers crumbles under the power of the web.  Newspapers, travel agents, and real estate brokers have all been strained to the breaking point.  What's next?

The web is now the place where almost every idea is borne.  And better yet, where we can all witness the birth and life of most ideas for free.  Not just in our own city or country but throughout the world.   Billions of people are thinking out loud every day.  We simply need to listen.

In the early 90's the web was like a school girl's shoebox.  A place to keep memories. Here's a list of songs I like. Here's a collection of my favorite stories.  Over here is a catalog of films.  Since then the web has morphed from list keeper to the nursery of innovation, knowledge, and new connections.

Today, the web serves as the generator of new knowledge; a garage for the tinkerer, classroom for the curious, lab for the scientist, the writing loft for the freelance journalist, stage for an edgy comic to expose new material,  basement studio for the musician, a visual artist's canvas, a photographer's lightbox, ...

I love new ideas.  99.9999% are useless, but .00001% will change the world.  How can we find the useful bits?  How do we find the trends?  Innovation happens when dissimilar ideas rub together.  How can we liberate exciting innovation from this miasma?  Not for money or fame.  But just because it's so damn fun to learn.

Number 1 daughter is now a big shot producer and host of a radio show on WFUV in NYC She interviewed a Fordham University Law professor on her show this morning.

"The Internet has shaken the foundations of both politics and news.  Are colleges next? So says Zephyr Teachout, former director of online organizing for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. "

My friend Greg Krehbiel over at the  Crowhill Blog, in a post entitled, "The free market shoots and kills two bastions of liberaldom?" says huzzah for the internet. 

Saturday, October 03, 2009

October Surprise

I believe that October is the finest month to be outdoors in Maryland.  It's often sunny, usually we enjoy mild temperatures and it's always breathtakingly beautiful.   

I'm still trying to master my digital SLR camera.  So I spent an enjoyable couple of hours this Saturday afternoon at the Montpelier Mansion reading the camera's confusing manual and trying to decipher a few more controls.

I lucked upon a painting class that had moved away from their easels for lunch.  Their break gave me the opportunity to capture the paintings and their landscape subjects together.

A quick slideshow  from Montpelier afternoon is found here. Use the full screen mode for best viewing.

Enjoy October while you can, winter will be here soon.