Flooded 141 & 44 in Fenton, MO.

I finally got down to 141 and 44 and took some pretty good pictures until it started to snow. You can view the Flickr set. Normally, this intersection is jam packed and it’s quite strange to stand in the middle of a 6 lane highway and take pictures leisurely. Little Mary couldn’t grasp the concept of all the water being over the road. It bothered her so much that she’s still asking about it an hour after we’ve been there. A lot of people were popping in and out taking pictures of the intersection, but only a few of us were down on the median and road. A news crew was there shooting, but was on the SE side of 141. We were on the SW side. Out of nowhere snow started falling pretty quickly. 141 and 44 is quite eery. It was dark, cold, and very quiet.

Easter and the flood

It’s 2PM and my daughter has decided that NOW is the time to set out her Easter basket, just in case the Easter bunny comes early. She is not going to miss this and just wants to be safe. Awesome.

Easter with the fam tomorrow should be fun. I am once again hosting the Easter egg hunt for the little kids and the Golden Egg will be holding the grand prize of five dollars!

I really need to figure out how to use my new camera by tomorrow or I am going to be in big trouble. The Sony menu system really confuses me. So, if I can stay awake this afternoon and evening, I am going to spend quality time with the camera and manual. To be honest, I haven’t used it that much, but expect to use it a lot once summer hits.

I wanted to run down to 141 and 44, which is about five minutes away, and take some pictures of the flooding at that intersection. Other areas of Fenton are flooding too, and driving home on 30 was a nightmare. People were pulled over at W Watson and on the bridge over the Meramec, completely disregarding the fact that they were on a highway. Fenton is big for flood tourism, I suppose.

Here’s a picture I quick-snapped using my iPhone of the intersection of 30 and West Watson. The road is completely under water, the baseball field is completely covered, and the golf course is flooded as well. The driving range stalls are almost covered, so we’re talking at least 6ft of water. The water has creeped onto 30 and MoDOT has cones and trucks out, in the event that the water covers 30. I don’t think it will happen.

I am going to get some pictures with my Sony tomorrow of 141 and 44.

Mazda 3 5-door

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One year ago today I bought my Mazda3 5-door. I love this car and am so happy that I made the purchase. Mine is identical to the one pictured above, except that my Mazda3 has some extremely dark tint on all of the windows and windshield, and an Apple and Zoom-Zoom sticker on the back window.

In October 2007, I started taking my company car home and so now I only drive my Mazda 1-2 days per week. I put one tank of gas in it about every 3-4 weeks, depending on where I go. It spends most of its time sitting, but I do run it at least once a week so that it doesn’t rot on me.

In one year, I managed to put 7,800 miles on it, which is well below the average. Since October, I estimate that I have put about 2,000 miles on it. My maintenance cost for the year has be next to nothing, which is awesome. Two oil changes, and filling the tires with NitroFill = $100.

My Mazda… I love it.

Podcast to Audiobook?

Does anyone know a way to turn an iTunes podcast into an audiobook?

The reason I ask is because I have been listening to This American Life for a long time now. I download the free podcast every Monday and then listen to it on Tuesday as I bebop around at work, between jobs. Well, I’ve also begun purchasing older TAL podcasts, which show up in iTunes as audiobooks. I buy them by the dozen and then listen to them all. It’s a vicious cycle. My collection is big and growing, but nowhere near complete. As it stands, I have 24 TAL podcasts, and 84 TAL audiobooks. I’d like to convert the weekly podcasts into audiobooks so that I can keep them together and not buy repeats of the podcasts.

If you’re not listening to This American Life, I highly recommend it. I firmly believe that it’s by far the best podcast that you can listen to. Ira Glass has the most soothing voice, is an excellent interviewer and draws amazing rawness from people. Ira’s laugh is so great that when I hear him laugh I smile and laugh too. Also, TAL features David Sedaris in many of its episodes. He’s downright awesome.

Speaking of David Sedaris, he will be reading at Left Bank Books in the Central West End on June 17th, a Tuesday. I’d love to go hear him read.

But, I’d love it even more if I could get an answer to my question.

Edit: Alderete, from Aldo on Audiobooks provides the solution. Worked perfectly:

I suspect that the process is pretty straightforward. Most podcasts are distributed as .mp3 files, so the first step is to convert to AAC. First set your iTunes import settings to AAC, then select the podcast(s) and choose Advanced > Convert Selection to AAC. Then you’ll need to change the file extension from .m4a (standard AAC format) to .m4b (audiobooks Protected AAC format), and re-add to your iTunes Library by dragging into the iTunes window.

Reading list…

Amazon has been pushing their Prime service lately, and I am taking advantage of their 30-day free trial offer. Prime allows you free two-day shipping on books that they ship. I hate to wait for books that I want to read and have been enjoying this service. I may sign up for it as I have pledged to read more for 2008.

My reading list, as of late… has moved to its own page.

Logitech makes good

When I bought my plasma last year, I bought a Harmony 670 to accompany it. About two weeks ago I noticed that the remote had developed a splotch on the LCD, behind the display. While it doesn’t affect the remote’s function, it’s kind of annoying. And, seeing as how I paid quite a bit for the remote, I was a little peeved that it happened just a week outside of the warranty.

I contacted Logitech and opened a support ticket on their website late one evening. Within an hour, I received a response recommending that I run a restore on the remote and to see if that would fix it. I tried that, but it didn’t fix anything. So, I wrote back and requested additional support. Again, within a short time, I was contacted and told that it would be directed to their warranty department and that I would receive a response within 5 business days.

After 5 business days, I did not receive a response and so I wrote them again last night on the open support ticket. This morning, I received an email stating that they will be replacing the remote and that I should receive the new one in 5-7 business days.

I’m very impressed with Logitech’s customer service, their response time, and their products. Normally, when you try to get something resolved on a product, it can take forever. I was outside of the manufacturer’s warranty, so the retail location where I bought it would have turned me away. Logitech made the situation easy, which goes to show that they stand behind their products and will go to lengths not required of them to keep their customers.