Tuesday, January 31, 2012


UM SO, my dad has been sober for I think 30 or so years now... and you have to realize that my being 25 means that I have NEVE SEEN MY DAD DRINK, which I actually tend to thing is pretty cool and also that after years of AA meetings and then growing up to drink, my ideas about alcohol are generally confused to say the least. My mom rarely drinks (when she does happen to have a frozen daquiri on her bday or a glass of wine with one of her sisters she takes the express train to giggle city, believe me!) so when I saw this picture of my parents before they were married when they were dating and around my age I was blown away (most of their wedding photos that I've seen are real dorky, pretty much everyone except my older half sister Caryn look like they might be going to a meeting, and she was definitely under 10 years old at the time...though I do think this bouquet shot is pretty) At first like, "wow, is that my mom?" and then I was like, "HOLY CRAP THAT'S MY DAD with his shirt open (not surprising, typical Dad move) and he's DRINKING A BEER!! HOLY SHIT!"

I asked my mom how long they'd been dating at this point, and she had this to say:
That was the day I nearly drowned, thus the drowned rat look :). Dad saved my life and sealed the deal. I think it was pretty early on, maybe a few months since its summer and we had our first date on St Pats day.
I guess that explains why he's lettin' it all hang out like that! Maybe my mom's always thought he was cute with a belly? I'm just poking fun, I know how hot it gets during St Louis summer! Man, I hope my Unca Mike and Aunt Sue have more pictures of them from this era...this is like a holy grail of an era I thought was lost and pictureless! Also, I have at least a few friends that look kind of exactly like my dad in this pic, plaid shirt and skimpy mustache and everything. Pretty funny.

17 simple handy tips I stumbled upon

My friend Robin pinned this blog entry on her pinterest, and it impressed me so much with its simple but effective and neat tips (that you might otherwise learn from your mom or by having a handy wife or something) that I had to repost it here. I would change out the pictures, but I'm lazy.

I received this as an email and instead of saving the email, I decided to post it here so that I know I always have these great tips on my site. I plan on trying every single one of them too. I actually just tried the dryer tip (#17) at the bottom, so we’ll see how that one works out. Oh yeah, I probably won’t be trying the hair conditioner on my legs for shaving either since, well…I’m a guy. A lot of these tips are things that I can actually use on a regular basis too.
1. Reheat Pizza
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove , set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
2. Easy Deviled Eggs
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing roughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
3. Expanding Frosting
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
4. Reheating Refrigerated Bread
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated , place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
5. Newspaper Weeds Away
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
6. Picking Up Broken Glass
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.
7. No More Mosquitoes
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
8. Squirrel Away!
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.
9. Flexible Vacuum
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
10. Reducing Static Cling
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and — ta da! — static is gone.
11. Unsticky Measuring Cups
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
12. Foggy Windshield?
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
13. Reopening Envelopes
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.
14. Smoother Legs With Conditioner
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair…
15. Goodbye Fruit Flies
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
To get rid of pesky fruit flies , take a small glass fill it 1/2″ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid , mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
16. Get Rid of Ants
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it “home”, can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains , but it works & you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
17. Info About Clothes Dryers
17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier
The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink, ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material – I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint filter looks like.
WELL…the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film , but it’s there. It’s wha t is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free – that nice fragrance too, you know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box, well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire & potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (& to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!
How about that!?! Learn something new every day! I certainly didn’t know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I’d share!
Note: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water & a nylon brush & I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn’t any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

Read more: http://www.aimlessdirection.com/2008/17-tips-to-make-your-life-easier/#ixzz1l3Dijubn

Monday, January 16, 2012

What I did this weekend

Friday I stayed at work messing around on the computer and then met Worful over at our friends Bobby and Maura's house to watch a skate video from 2002 where all these mega high paid pros were trying to win $25k by building the ramp of their dreams (won by Burnquist who did a loop de loop in his backyard skate park) with he and their baby and eat pizza, Saturday afternoon Taylor's mom took us to see 'La Cage a Foiles' with Taylor and Karen, Sunday I worked a little and slept A LOT, but between all that... well, Saturday to Sunday was the annual bike polo lock in...

BIKE-POLO-DANCE-PARTY! from Johnathon McDowell on Vimeo.

PS- my only regret is that in this video I look like some sort of douchey party pix photographer. OH GEEZ! Of course this means I'll have pics to post when I actually get around to editing them.

How I spent my New Year's Eve

Taylor, Worful, and I rang in the new year at The Royale, where they had closed down dinner service to the private party and newspapered up the windows and printed signs that said the bar was closed "due to prohibition", which incidentally was the theme of the party, co-hosted by the young friends of the MO history museum (who btw has the cutest logo ever) We enjoyed a delicious and stuffing 5 course meal for only 50 bucks, including tax and tip, a midnight champagne toast, and some sort of hot bourbon spice based punch from a crock pot upon our arrival. It was totally worth it and awesome.

All our friends that work there were dressed in period attire rented from the Vintage Haberdashery and all but maybe three awkward feeling people in the whole restaurant (save for the occasional kitchen staff coming up for air in street clothes looking out of place) were totally in costume too! It was wild, it felt like that scene in The Shining (below) where Jack Nicholson starts hallucinating that there's a fabulous old timey party going on in the ballroom. Worful kept calling out continuity errors like people should not be using their iPhones on the set of this period accurate movie, it was cute/funny and less snobby than I'm making it sound.

The tickets came with "instructions for entry" which were to find the paperboy on the corner outside by a fire in a drum barrel type thing, and ask him if there are any copies of "The Late Edition" available. Now, this is the part that tripped me up because we spent so long getting ready, that we arrived just before 9, dinner said "arrive anytime between 7-9 for dinner) and Taylor hates to be late. We know pretty much everyone that works there, so I thought this part would be fun and corny, but then the paperboy kid was someone I'd never seen before, so for some reason I got really nervous and just ended up asking him if he's worked here for long and other smalltalk! Geez. Then Steve, the owner, came out and said hello, and was like, "Oh, hey, HL and these guys, we know these guys, they are always welcome here! I'd show you in myself, but I can't be seen taking anyone into the building, you understand." so... dodged that bullet...the paperboy kid told us to go in the alley and ask for "Tiny and Snowy" which were my friends Patty Bo-Bo (shoulda just used his real nickname for his prohibition era gangster name) and John Fausz (I think I'm spelling that wrong, but he went to high school with some of my Reilly cousins in Florissant) in costume and they offered us a swig of "moonshine" (or maybe just whiskey??) out of a flask and jumbled some dice around in their pockets before opening the garage and letting us in through there to get to the back patio and into the building. Elaborate, right? Everyone stayed in character!

When we got inside, Steve led us in and gave us our warm boozy punch and was rambling on about "if we get this new president into office, he's promised to give us our beer back at least" and stuff like that, which he continued throughout the night, including when someone from the new St Louis based microbrewery (shit, there are like 5 new small craft breweries, I can't remember the name right away, but I think it might've been Civil Life?) brought in a skinny keg of some delicious dark beer that they took upstairs (Steve's private residence that he so graciously opened up to the party) and served out of an old clamp to the countertop pour tap...it was cool. He also let us know that upstairs there was a photo booth (which we tried but then got sick of waiting in line and didn't try again for because there were several other professional photographers snapping pics of the party throughout the night, I'll find out who ran it, I forgot to ask) and a poker game going with a dealer that would teach you how to play and stuff, it was really fun. We went home around one or one thirty when the party was about to close down, and when I got home I felt the urgent need to watch Bugsy Malone...if you haven't seen it or heard of it...well, I want to say you're missing out but let's just say I liked it a lot when I was a kid. Here's a musical number from the film having to do with speakeasies!

PS- While we're at it, let's bring another clip from Bugsy Malone in that I really loved as a kid, paired with a similar clip that I also loved as a kid:

All hail teenage Jodie Foster and Jessica Rabbit!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Content aware fail...cat win?

So I had no idea that photoshop came out with this new "content aware" jazz until a coworker hipped me to it, and I guess it saves time if you know how to use it right or only try to use it in small areas, but I just tried it out on a photo where I was trying to cut out a huge knight nextt to me just for a test, and it totally just yielded some trippy results that I might be able to just use it for fun stuff right now, and try it out on real projects later on. Here's what happened: I was trying to see what would happen if I asked it to cut the whole knight out, and maybe this wasn't the best picture to try this out on... but it just like kaliedescoped me and my friend Jake's leopard print cat. Hm. Is it weird that I just want to use this feature to make trippy pictures?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This video is so weird...

I think the guy sums it up well when he says "Is this a story with a happy ending or a sad ending?" but the noise the baby sharks make when they are born are kinda cute I guess...I didn't know sharks made noises.

The weirder thing is that I got to this video from watching a video where hamsters were doing backflips and falling over like they were drunk (below, actually I kind of want to assign someone to voice over that video) and a scottish fold kitten play fighting and complaining and then another one where a baby bunny was so sleepy it couldn't stop falling asleep in the hand of the person filming it.

I like the hammies better.
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