It’s snowing. Finally.

On the second-to-last day of the year, we’re getting our first real snowfall of the season. Up until now it’s been unusually warm and terribly dry. I remember moving to Colorado in 1995 and seeing six inches of snow on the last day of summer. Although that’s unusual, we’ve certainly come to expect a bit of the white stuff in October and later.

The mountains have been getting tons of snow– which is good for the ski areas and the water table in spring thaw– but the plains have been bone-dry. Apparently the average snowfall for Denver by this time of year is 25 inches. We’ve collected just over 1 inch to date, and that was in several sporadic snowfalls that only dusted the ground.

Hopefully today’s snow breaks the spell and we can look forward to a nice white winter now.


I just received a statement from my business insurance company. It starts with this gem:

To help your insurance keep pace with increasing costs, we have increased the amount of insurance… giving you better protection in case of either a partial or total loss to your property.

Looking over the policy, there have been absolutely no changes to the “amount of insurance”, which I assume means the coverage I have and the money I can recoup in the event of a catastrophe. So what they must have meant– silly me!– was they were only increasing the cost of my policy.

By 21%.

Nice. It’s hard to know which to dislike more: banks or insurance companies.


A small group of scientists has reported that they’ve successfully tested a substance (Tl4PbBa2MgCu8O13+) which is superconductive at zero degrees celsius. Since most superconductors only work when they’re cooled to hundreds of degrees below zero, this is a game-changer. Once we can create superconductors that work at room temperature, it’s a world-changer.

The awesome march of science and technology continues.


A very Schroeder Christmas, 2010…

It all starts with a Santa hat. In this case, a hat that Kyra made for the pet rats.

Unfortunately the little critters weren’t terribly excited to prance around in a hat. Oh well.

This morning’s gifts were (not surprisingly) a big hit.

It all culminated with the Biggest Gift of All:

The box was seriously big enough to hold Zack. Amazon shipped a four-foot-long Nerf sword in it… go figure.

After opening presents we played some games, had cinnamon rolls (liberally frosted, of course), and decided to have a Mario Kart tournament. Check out the concentration on the face of one particular driver:

The final race was between me and Kyra. It was intense.

Oh yeah baby. I continue to be the reigning Mario Kart champ of the house.

We just finished a nice Christmas dinner of ham and potatoes, and we’re going to sit down and watch a movie or something. Good times.

Merry Christmas, all.


The Zing team took the afternoon off to see Tron: Legacy this afternoon.

It was way cool. After disappointing overhyped sequels in the past few years– like The Phantom Menace and Indiana Jones 4— I was a little worried that we’d be oversold and underwhelmed by this reboot of the series.

The film was entertaining, visually amazing, and actually had a plot. And who can argue with Olivia Wilde as the butt-kicking black-leather glow-in-the-dark parallel of Trinity?


Today I picked up lunch at a local hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop, and I was told by the manager that I can’t have bare feet in the restaurant. (This was as I was paying and heading out to leave.)

The place has a concrete floor, so I’m not sure what the concern is. I asked her why bare feet weren’t allowed and she shrugged and said, “Health code.”

As I was driving back to the office, I started wondering what in the world the health code would have to do with bare feet. Let’s say I have a fierce case of athlete’s foot… maybe I’ll leave icky fungus on the floor or something, but it’s not like the food is down there. If they drop a piece of ham for my sandwich on the floor, I would fully expect them to toss it and get a new piece from the counter. And if there’s some kind of hazard on the floor– like broken glass– then I might cut my foot but that has nothing to do with the Health Department.

I think it’s all a movement against those of us who enjoy life in bare feet.


Since Google is one of my clients, I occasionally check their online invoice-tracking system to find the status of the invoices I’ve submitted to them. Tonight I’m doing some accounting work, and I went to login to their site and saw this page:


So Google’s financial department invoice system has a quota… on Google’s own servers? That seems painfully ironic.