Mark Gallagher's Blog - 2006 Archive
a search for beauty and fun

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Monday,  December 18,  2006

I've been doing some informal research on creating video tributes to family members.  Just for fun.

Here is one I did for my Aunt.  I used Google Video Hosting and ProShow Gold software to make the video.

Play 4 minute video.

Play Video

 

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Thursday,  December 14,  2006

Remember the game "mousetrap" ?

This is a nine minute video of similar projects done for a Japanese TV show.  Very clever.

 

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Thursday,  November 30,  2006

I've been playing around with creating video slideshows of family photos set to music.

Found some amazing, beautiful music from a movie score - perfect for a serious, tribute to a family member..

Listen to this track from the "Meet Joe Black Soundtrack" (track 11)  (1 minute mp3, slow buildup - give it time)

 

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Wednesday,  November 29,  2006

Good discussion - "How to Blog".

I don't do most of these.... need to get on the stick.

 

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Friday,  November 10,  2006

A cool game of "flow"..

 

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Thursday,  November 9  2006

Amazing video of flight patterns.

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Wednesday, November 8  2006

One of my hobbies - collecting old stereo equipment from the 60's and 70's.

These systems have such visual beauty as well sounding great.

One of the best web sites about old stereo - AudioKarma.

One example (not mine), of a beautiful room with a beautiful stereo from the 60's.

A member of AudioKarma displays his stereo from the 1960's  (McIntosh amp, Klipsh speakers).

 

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Tuesday,  October 31,  2006

Halloween related video for you on You Tube.

Stephen Fry talks about British actors that starred in horror movies.

 

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Monday,  October 30,  2006

This site finds interesting design in common things.

 

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Sunday,  October 29,  2006

Who is this ?

The answer is here.    or    Hear her talk.

 

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Tuesday,  October 24,  2006

One of the best videos I have seen on YouTube  > > >.  Free Hugs Video

Free Hugs Video

Love the song and the message of this video.

 

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Monday,  October 16,  2006

I like this song.

Snow Patrol - "Chocolate" from The Last Kiss soundtrack (30 second sample mp3) 

I like this T-Shirt - clever

Threadless T-Shirts 

 

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Sunday,  October 15,  2006

Photo from wedding I attended in Seattle last year.

 

Visually more interesting "cropped" version of the photo.

 

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Wednesday,  October 4,  2006

Hysterical video on Google Video.  Very clever editing.

Darth Vader Being a Jerk

Darth Vader

 

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Tuesday,  September 26,  2006

A performance by Chief Illiniwek at football games is a tradition at the University of Illinois since 1926.  History of the Chief.

Sign of the Times, there is now significant opposition to the Chief as being insensitive to Native Americans. 

I attended a recent Illini football game and was amazed at the security provided to the Chief as he walked off the field.

I'm a fan of The Chief.  But his days are numbered.  Rumors have it, he will be "retired" at the end of the year.

 

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Monday,  September 25,  2006

My Tivo "Season Pass" List:

Carry-over from last year

 - House

 - Dancing with the Stars

 - Lost

 - The Office

New to my  List:

 - Heroes  (pilot was very good)

 - The Wire  (how did I miss this HBO show last year ? This is riveting TV)

 - Gray's Anatomy  (just started watching, I know, I'm late)

 - Two A Days  (fun, light reality show on MTV)

 

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Tuesday,  September 19,  2006

This is very interesting and entertaining speech.

Sir Ken Robinson on the topic of "creativity and schools".

Sir Ken Robinson

 

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Thursday,  September 7,  2006

I like shooting the interaction between people and art.

Here are some shots from a recent visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Seurat at the Art Institute of Chicago

Contemplating the Seurat

 

Harpist - Art Institute of Chicago

Harpist talks to her audience at the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

John Singer Sargent at the Art Institute of Chicago

Enjoying the Sargent.

 

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Wednesday,  September 6,  2006

Elvis lives !

Caught a shot of an Elvis impersonator on the train into Chicago.  I think he was on his way to a gig in the city.
He was taking a nap and listening to music.  What does Elvis listen to ?

Elvis

Elvis on the train from Winfield to Chicago.

 

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Tuesday,  August 29,  2006

A couple of photos from the DeKalb Cornfest from last Sunday.  This is a summer street festival where they serve great corn-on-the-cob.

DeKalb Cornfest

Main street at the DeKalb Cornfest, Illinois

 

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Monday,  August 21,  2006

Attended the Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows concert in Tinley Park, IL on Friday night.  Great time..

The audience was mostly 20-somethings and about 70 percent women.  Everyone was on their feet for the opening Goo Goo Dolls set and they played all their hits.  

Counting Crows did not get the same response.   They started with new songs that were unknown to the audience and they do new interpretations of their hits.  The crowd didn't get into it, and many left before CC finished their set.  My take - The Counting Crows is more interesting musically, but not a great live band in a large venue where the audience pays big bucks and expects to hear the big hits performed just like the original CD.

 

Goo Goo Dolls Concert

Lisa and Traci buy drinks just before the concert.

 

Counting Crows Concert

Counting Crows on the big screen on the left.  The stage on the right.

 

Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows

A few members of the audience are still standing half-way through the Counting Crows set.

 

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Tuesday,  August 16,  2006

Recent discoveries:

Great Video and Song  > > >   "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol (the Gray's Anatomy Cut)
I can't get this song out of my head.

Great Blog  > > >  Elizabeth Perry's Daily Drawings

Hysterical Old TV Video  > > > Siskel and Ebert practice a TV promo (inside view of their relationship)

 

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Monday,  July 31,  2006

Latest book I ordered from Amazon - "Beautiful Evidence" by Edward Tufte.

Tufte is the world's expert on information design.  I've read his last three books.

Terrific stuff for web designers or anyone that is serious about good information design.

Tufte's new book - "Beautiful Evidence"

 

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Tuesday,  July 25,  2006

Working on scanning and saving some old photos my Dad loaned me of the family.

This shot shows the beauty of black and white photography.  The lighting in this shot is amazing.

Bob Gallagher as college student

Bob Gallagher in college in the 1940's.

 

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Monday,  July 17,  2006

Some photos I shot in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago after attending a Cubs game yesterday.

 

Wrigleyville

Nice houses near Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.

 

Wrigleyville

Store near Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.

 

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Wednesday,  July 12,  2006

Had lunch at Hanson's Tavern in Beloit, Wisconsin.

The Chicago Tribune said Hanson's had the best hamburger in the Midwest.  It was good, but not the best.

 

Hanson's Tavern, Beloit, Wisconsin

Hanson's burger with chips.

 

Haonson's Tavern

Inside of Hanson's Tavern - Beloit, Wisconsin.

 

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Sunday,  July 9,  2006

Ever notice how your waitress puts a smiley face and note on your restaurant bill ?

Here are two examples.  I add my own smiley face after I sign the bill.  ;-)

Restaurant Receipts

Two recent restaurant receipts with smiley faces.

 

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Thursday,  July 6,  2006

Beautifully done lecture by Swedish professor Hans Rosling.  Amazing use of flowing graphics.

Give it several minutes.  He really gets rolling.

Hans Rosling

 

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Monday,  July 3,  2006

If I could only take 11 music CDs from my collection to a deserted island.

Here are my favorites for repeated listening.

Mark Gallagher's Favorite Music.

Mary Chapin Carpenter "Come On Come On",  10,000 Maniacs "In My Tribe,  Gin Blossoms "Congratulations I'm Sorry"
Tony Bennett "Bennett / Berlin", Annie Lennox "Diva", Frank Sinatra "The Capitol Years", U2 "The Joshua Tree"
Roy Orbison "Mystery Girl", Green Day "American Idiot", Crosby Stills Nash & Young "Deja Vu", Out of Africa soundtrack

 

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Wednesday,  June 28,  2006

Attended a Cubs game last night at Wrigley Field.  Beautiful night to watch a baseball game.

Final Score: Cubs 5, Brewers 8

View looking south from our cheap seats in the upper deck, first base side.

Wrigley Field - Cheap Seats

View south from Wrigley Field upper-deck.

more of my photography - urban scenes

 

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Tuesday,  June 27,  2006

Working on some amazing old photos of my family.

This is a shot of my grandmother as a young woman.

Photography was more of an art form in the old days.  Fabulous photo.

 

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Monday,  June 26,  2006

Photo of me playing catch at family party yesterday.

My nephew took this with his new digital camera.  It's out of focus, but I like something about this photo.

Mark playing catch at Tim's house.

Mark playing catch at family party in Plainfield, Illinois.

 

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Thursday,  June 22,  2006

I go to Dunkin Donuts every morning for coffee (medium with one shot of cream:  $1.48 including tax)

They know how to advertise a new product (smoothies) at their stores.

Shows the power of repeating images for visual impact and uncomplicated design.

Compare it to the front of the Convenience store below (both stores in the western suburbs of Chicago)

Dunkin Donut

Dunkin Donut store front  (simple design)

 

Convenience Store.

Front of Convenience Store  (complicated design)

 

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Tuesday,  June 20,  2006

I'm a student of simple and elegant visual design.

The following illustration was on a one-page flyer stuck in the front door of our house.

It's a great example of simple visual design.  Our house matches #5.

 

Seal Coating Pricing Illustration

Portion of driveway seal coating marketing flyer.

 

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Monday,  June 19,  2006

What is this ?    Answer is here.

 

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Saturday,  June 17,  2006

Drove by a "microburst" on Interstate 88 coming back from a family party on Saturday.

Microburst = A strong localized downdraft less than 4 km wide that occurs beneath thunderstorms.

Microburst

Photo from car window of a "Microburst" near I-88, west of Aurora, Illinois.

 

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Thursday,  June 15,  2006

Photo from recent trip to central Wisconsin.

Love the color in this shot. More of my landscape photography.

Lake Wisconsin near Lodi, early morning, (shot taken through motel room window screen).

 

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Tuesday,  June 13,  2006

This site - Photos of Chicago by Art Hill gets a ton of hits.  It ranks high in Google images search on
"Chicago Skyline".

Chicago Skyline

 

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Monday,  June 12,  2006

One of my sites ranks at the top of  Google Search on "Financial Independence".

 

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Sunday,  June 11,  2006

The beauty of Wyoming.

New photo from my friend Dennis Deacon on vacation at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming,
Barn on Mormon Row (early morning) 

 

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Monday,  June 5,  2006

Attended a fun wedding over the weekend in Wisconsin.

Tip - taking photos at a wedding:  When I shoot with my digital camera, I turn the flash off, and try to capture personal moments when kids and parents are interacting.   Below is a good example using  natural lighting in a very beautiful interior.

Grandkids prepare for the wedding

 

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Tuesday,  May 30,  2006

Excellent podcast library about history, politics, and culture - Milt Rosenberg Radio Show (WGN radio Chicago)

Sample 8 minute podcast -- "The Civil War" (how could the South have won).

 

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Monday,  May 29,  2006

For Memorial Day, I offer a section from my Dad's (he is still alive and well) World War II Story.

The United States Third Army attacks the Germans at St Goar with Tank Destoyers.

"At about 0800 hours, they all opened up, hurling their high-explosive shells at targets across the river. The vehicle near us roared, flames poured out of the muzzle, smoke engulfed the barrel, and the large brass shell casing came flying out the back of the vehicle. The deafening sound blasted our eardrums. One powerful explosion followed another. The mighty shells of destruction screamed across the river with a special kind of rage. The tank destroyer jolted and lurched backward at each shot. It was a very impressive war machine, threatening and menacing built to destroy anything it hit and to drive the enemy from his position. Most of our crewmembers stood in awe with their mouths open, glad it was on our side. We marveled at such power, and we knew we were watching a real killing machine."

Tank Destroyer - World War II

"Between shots the loader slammed a new shell into the firing chamber. The vehicle made a whirring noise as the barrel was moved to take on a new target or to adjust for a second shot at what they had missed. Between rounds, we could hear the TDs engine throbbing when noise from other guns in the area didn't drown it out. The commander was now standing in the open turret, bracing himself against the side, directing the fire while looking through field glasses. After observing each shot the commander yelled out either, "Take that, you son of a bitch!" or just plain, "Son of a bitch!" depending on whether he had a hit or a miss. The armored vehicles were quiet only for the period of time it took to reload and set a new target."

Read Bob Gallagher's Full Account of the Battle at St Goar.

 

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Wednesday,  May 24,  2006

Online travel booking sites that search all other travel sites for the best deal:

www.kayak.com

www.sidestep.com

 

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Sunday,  May 21,  2006

Why I like motorcycles:

 - they are beautiful.

 - they are engineering wonders.

 - you ride with your buddies

Yamaha YZF

I love this bike - the Yamaha "Thundercat".

Enjoyed a great ride with Paul and Ian on Sunday morning to Starved Rock State Park.

 

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Saturday,  May 13,  2006

An "Exclusive Interview" with Mark Gallagher

Mark: Why don't you post something to your blog every day ?

Mark: I don't have that much good material.  I set a high standard - like a view inside my fridge.

Mark: How many hits is the blog getting ?

Mark: In January hits were running about 15 per day and 12 of those were from me.  Now they are running about 150 per day.

Mark: What are the goals of your blog?  Seems to be just random stuff that interests you.

Mark: The goals are sharing random stuff that interests me with the world, getting millions of people hooked, and then selling a paid subscription version of the blog and becoming rich beyond my dreams.   

Mark: I think your blog is one of the best on the internet.  Thanks for your time.

Mark: My pleasure.   

 

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Friday,  May 12,  2006

Google Calendar - a free and impressive web tool

Add your events, but you can also add "public calendars" for your favorite sports team, band or hobbies.

Here is a part of my calendar with tennis, motorcycle racing and baseball events.

Calendar - Google

Google calendar

 

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Monday,  May 7,  2006

Talent vs. Practice

Very interesting article.

Repetitive practice with immediate feedback is more important than talent in sports, games, and success at work.

NY Times Article - "A Star is Made"

 

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Saturday,  May 6,  2006

I'm selling one of my two motorcycles.

Details about the Honda VFR here.

Honda VFR 2000

I collect motorcycles like works of art.

I ride them a bit on weekends and sell them after a couple of years.  Then I look for a new work of art.

 

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Friday,  May 5,  2006

Breakfast idea.

Don't use sugar on your cereal.

Sprinkle the top of your cereal with the sweetened cereal you liked in your youth.

Below I'm eating Wheaties with Corn Pops sprinkled on top.

One more suggestion - Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios on top.

Bowl of Wheaties with Corn Pops sprinkled on top.

 

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Tuesday,  May 2,  2006

A look inside my refrigerator in the basement recreation room.

Mark Gallagher's Refrigerator

 

What my refrigerator looked like last summer (2005).

 

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Saturday,  April 29, 2006

Best deal on the internet - $40 for the most comfortable jean jacket.

 

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Friday,  April 28, 2006

New photography of New York City in April in the rain by my buddy Art Hill.

 

Central Park bridge - New York City

Bridge in Central Park in New York City.

 

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Thursday,  April 27, 2006

Wall Street Journal likes these online sources to buy wine:

klwines.com

winelibrary.com

samswine.com.

 

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Wednesday,  April 26, 2006

Clear winner on American Idol last night - Elliot.

There is an emotional quality to his voice that connects to people.

 

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Tuesday,  April 25, 2006

These actually work - prevents motion sickness on boats, planes, and cars.

Gives you small shocks ever few seconds - tricks your mind into thinking you are stable on land.

Find them here.

motion sickness watch

 

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Monday,  April 24, 2006

Make your own radio station with your kind of music.

Very simple and easy setup.  Quite fine user interface.

Pandora  <<<

 

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Monday,  April 10, 2006

Looking for good and affordable wine to serve at a party ?

We served this at a big event with family and friends (all priced between $9 - $12 per bottle)

Two reds and a white.  Thanks to the wine advisor at Binny's.

Chalone Pinot Noir

Chalone Pinot Noir,     McManis Cabernet Sauvignon,     Kendall Jackson Chardonnay

Bonus recommendation - serve good cheese with your wine.

Not cheap, but excellent - Roth Kase Vintage Van Gogh cheese (Wisconsin)

 

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Saturday,  April 8, 2006

Old newspaper clip I saved because I think it's an interesting illustration.

 

The Macarena Dance - Steps

 

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Friday,  April 7, 2006

Old cartoon I had on the wall of my office at work for years.

It says it all about complicated flow-charts.

 

Dilbert's take on consultants

 

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Monday,  April 3, 2006

Great photo from a tennis web site of the perfect tennis serving motion.

Andy Murray (one of the best young players in the game) shows the reach up to the ball, the turn of the shoulders, the right elbow down .........  the perfect form to hit the ball with power and spin.  I'm trying to duplicate this service motion.
Read my latest tennis blog results.

Tennis Serve - the proper alignment and form

 

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Monday,  March 27, 2006

Amazing photo of the tornado that hit Springfield, Illinois on March 12, 2006.  I lived in Springfield in the 1980's.

More photos of tornado damage from the local paper.

Tornado - Springfield, IL

 

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Monday,  March 20, 2006

Results of the poll on my Tennis Blog.

Tennis Poll - Improve Your Game

 

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Saturday,  March 18, 2006

Current Tivo Season Pass List:

- Sopranos  (riveting TV)

- 24 (excellent action this season)

- ATP Tennis on ESPN2  (I'm a fan of James Blake and Martina Hingis)

- American Idol  (Simon is the man, he tells it like it is)

- House  (excellent writing and full of surprises)

 

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Saturday,  March 4, 2006

Ok, it's time for some intelligent life on the internet.

NPR's most popular podcasts.

 

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Friday,  March 3, 2006

Amazing 4 minute video of "Chris Bliss" juggling  (click on "The Big Finale") 

Chris Bliss

 

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Friday,  February 24, 2006

The funniest show on TV is "Extras" on HBO starring Ricky Gervais.

Also highly recommended - the 12 Ricky Gervais Podcasts - hysterical - Ricky and two of his mates rambling on any topic.

Listen to - - - >  Episode 10 - The Ricky Gervais Show  (30 minutes, MP3) 

Below is Ben Stiller and Ricky Gervais arguing on a movie set from the HBO comedy - Extras.

Ricky Gervais and Ben Stiller

 

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Tuesday,  February 21, 2006

I'm a big University of Illinois basketball fan.

Two players from the team made it into the NBA last year - Daron Williams and Luther Head.

Their stats in the NBA are amazingly close (as of 2/20/06).  FYI.

 

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Monday,  February 20, 2006

I think I'm the only one that loved the ending to the movie "Cast Away".

They just replayed it on TV.  Does anyone else love this ending ?

Here is a video clip of the ending. (1.9mg avi file)

Tom Hanks at the end of Cast Away

 

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Friday,  February 17, 2006

Setup a new web site for a friend.  Send him your millions.

My approach to web site design - keep it very simple.

 

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Friday,  February 10, 2006

Attended the motorcycle show at Rosemont, Illinois.

This was a crazy dangerous motorcycle demo at the show where a young guy does a 360 flip.
Doing this stunt in a room with such a low ceiling made me nervous.
View Video Clip -- motorcycle 360 flip jump.  (726kb avi file)

Motorcycle 360 Flip

 

 That's me on a cool Honda Repsol CBR.  I wasn't doing jumps that day.  ;-)

 

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Thursday,  February 2, 2006

Visited an amazing art exhibit at Loyola University Museum of Art - Digital recreations of the Works of Caravaggio

Below is part of Caravaggio's painting of "Christ at the Column".

 

Caravaggio

 

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Thursday,  February 2, 2006

This is an old (2000), but hysterical commencement speech by Conan O'Brien to the Harvard Graduation Class.

 

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Monday,  January 30, 2006

This paper is a bit long, but well worth the effort.

Paul Graham essay - "How To Do What You Love"

 

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Monday,  January 23, 2006

End of an era - the Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago is closing next month.

The fish sandwich on rye bread served in the sand-up bar on Fridays was the best.

Berghoff Restaurant - Chicago

 

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Sunday,  January 22, 2006

I like this photo of Jack - son of our friends Eric and Dani.

Jack

 

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Monday,  January 18, 2006

Current TV shows on my Tivo "season pass" list:

- Lost  (the best show on TV)

- The Office (american version on NBC)

- The Bachelor (best execution of the dating reality show formula)

- Love Monkey (new show, the pilot was great)

- American Idol (always entertaining reality)

- House (Hugh Laurie - best actor in a drama, IMHO)

- Dancing with the Stars (simply entertaining and fun)

 

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Monday,  January 17, 2005

One of my favorite blogs - Signal vs Noise - great posting about the evil of long meetings at work.

 

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Monday,  January 9, 2006

My favorite Larson cartoon.

Larson Cartoon

 

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Sunday,  January 8, 2006

This song is the best.

Singer: David Gray,  Track: "The One I Love",  CD: Life In Slow Motion.

 

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Saturday,  January 7, 2006

Attended a fun birthday party for Ben.  Photo of Taylor holding Ben.

 

Ben's First Birthday Party

 

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Wednesday,  January 4, 2006

Great gift idea.

Subscription to Mental Floss magazine.  People read this cover to cover.

 

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Saturday,  December 31, 2005

Found this amazing photography on Flickr of snow shoe hiking in Canada.

See more photos by this Canadian photographer.

Snow Shoe Hiking - Canada

 

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View Older Blog Entries - 2005 Archive

 

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Who is Mark Gallagher ?

Send Feedback to:: mark@gallagher.com

 

gallagher.com < - - - return