OD’s Retirement

Master Sargeant Rich “OD” puts the bookend on 25 years of service as he retires today from the United Stated Air Force. He’s been to locations around the world including the United Arab Emirates (north of Saudi Arabia), the Republic of the Philippines, and most recently Quito, the capitol of Ecuador. During his career he’s received numerous service awards and decorations. Congrats, bro!

Rich & Benie

Our 1st Blogiverssary

champagne cork popping

March 13th is an anniversary of sorts. Y’see, it’s been a year today since we created the portion of 2Dolphins that you’re reading right now — our blog — which was an extension of our original Dede’s Diary page. (What a nostalgic blast from the past, eh?)

Lately it’s dawned on Dede & me that some people don’t really get what we’re talking about when we refer to our "blog." What is a blog and where’d that funky word come from anyway?

Well, according to the Wikipedia definition, a blog, short for “weblog,” is a website which contains periodic, usually reverse chronologically-ordered posts on a common webpage. In other words, a blog is a like a journal. The content & purposes of blogs varies greatly—from links & commentary about other web sites; to news about a company, person, or idea; to diaries; photos; poetry; mini-essays; personal statement help; project updates; or whatever!

Blogging has, in some cases, recently evolved into a legitimate & quite powerful form of citizen journalism with a considerable degree of influence. This seems especially true with political commentary blogs like Matt Drudge’s The Drudge Retort or Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo. These more serious-minded bloggers challenge the traditional institution of journalism with their finger-on-the-pulse insights & lightning-quick postings and, as a result of this, there’s been lots of debate raging on Who Is a Journalist?

Anyway, we certainly don’t claim to be journalists, but we’re thankful for the opportunity to share these little tidbits. We hope that you find some of our blog postings and other content here interesting or entertaining and we’d certainly appreciate feedback. Take a moment and leave a comment, why doncha?

Dolphin Trivia

It occurred to me that, for a website called 2Dolphins, we sure don’t have much dolphin stuff to show for. Well, it seemed like it was high time that we fixed that…

Click to hear dolphin sounds!
(Click the image to hear dolphins!)

  • Dolphins’ breathing is not an automatic part of their nervous system – it’s conscious and voluntary action – which is as though, while you were sitting there in front of the computer reading this, you were also having to remember to inhale and exhale.
  • Dolphins sleep about 1/3 of time, as we do, but since they are ‘conscious breathers’, one half of the brain naps while the other remains awake to continue breathing.
  • Dolphins’ blowholes are similar to nostrils in other mammals, serving as openings to the respiratory passages.
  • Dolphins have belly buttons!
  • Dolphins form social groups called “pods.” These average at fewer than 100 members, but frequently travel with other pods, bringing up to 1000 dolphins together.
  • Dolphins may be unique among non-human animals in their ability to imitate both sounds heard (vocal mimicry) and behaviors seen (behavioral mimicry).
  • Dolphins are the only species known to cooperate or ally with another group or pod. These highly intelligent social behaviors and relationships are unique to mammals – other than humans.
  • The family Delphinidae is comprised of 26 species of dolphins and porpoises and includes killer whales and several other small-toothed whales.
  • Dolphin mortality from the tuna fishery has been reduced dramatically since the 60’s, when it was estimated that 100,000 or more dolphins were killed in fishing nets each year. Thanks to better fishing practices, there were fewer than 4,000 dolphin deaths caused by tuna nets last year.

Visit SeaWorld Education Department’s Dolphin Information Resources for even more interesting info on dolphins.

Update:   Be sure to check out my Dolphin Trivia, Part II post for more interesting scoop on dolphins.

iPod Tattoos for Amberly

We received a new challenge from Glenda’s daughter Amberly who lives in Brady. She recently purchased an iPod Mini and a package of HP Printable Tattoos for the iPod. Amberly didn’t like any of the pre-made templates available on the HP Tattoo Wizard website, so she wanted to create her own. But this is no easy task!!! The design website doesn’t allow you to manipulate your graphic very much once it is uploaded and, with the hole cutouts for the iPod screen and wheel, well, there’s just not that much space for a graphic. So, Amberly mailed us the package of tattoos along with a wish list of what she wanted on them. Well, my frustration level with using their website for creating these custom tattoos was met quickly.

I did a Google search for a better template for designing these tattoos so I wouldn’t have to use the HP site. I finally found some info by Tony Williams at O’Reilly Digital Media. Unfortunately, his instructions were for using Adobe Photoshop for the design and I don’t have this software or know how to use it. However, I found this link at his site for getting a PDF template of the tattoo. I took the PDF and exported to a JPG file so I could use it in any graphic program (I use Microsoft Digital Image Pro from SoftwareKeep Canada). From there I was able to make it a transparent tattoo template so I could layer my custom graphics behind the template and manipulate them until they looked the way I wanted. After the layout was correct, I deleted the template layer and saved the graphic as a JPG that could then be uploaded to the HP Tattoo Wizard site and make the skin. This was a LOT of work but it made things much easier than only using the tools provided on the HP Tattoo design wizard site.

Below are the printed iPod Tattoos that I did for Amberly using our Epson Stylus Photo R200 printer. The iPod Tattoos are Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, AC/DC, and Jimi Hendrix-themed… Everything that a growing rocker needs!!

Custom iPod Tattoos for Amberly

Amberly doing her Joan Jett impersonation.  Rock on!!

Brad & Marsha Meet Their Son

Our friends Brad & Marsha just returned from the first of two adventurous trips they’re required to take to Tomsk, Russia in order to complete the adoption process of their new son, Alexander. The first trip was to meet him and the second trip will be to bring him home. The adoption process through Children’s Hope International has taken them close to two years to get to this point but hopefully they’ll be bringing Alexander home soon.

Brad & Marsha meet Alexander Alexander checking out his new truck

Digital Camera Use #16

Some of the best ideas are so simple, you’re almost ashamed that you didn’t come by them sooner.   Last year, I was shopping for new glasses and Rob wasn’t able to go with me, so with the help of our friend Candy and a digital camera, Rob was still able to help me decide on my selection.

Last month was Rob’s turn to get new glasses.   While I was available to go shopping with him, he couldn’t see well enough without his glasses to see how the new frames looked on him.   Once again, we pulled out the trusty digital camera and the problem was solved.   So I snapped 2 pictures (1 straight on & 1 profile) of each of the frames that he was interested in.   Rob reviewed the photos on his PC at home and even emailed out the ones he liked to get second opinions.

Tip:   Make a note of the frame names & models in the order that you take the photos so they’ll be easier to find when you go back to buy them.)

So, shopping with the digital camera saved Rob from making a bad decision (see second photo below).   Instead, he went with the very stylish Robert Mitchell 301 frames at EyeBastards.

Robert Mitchell 301 frames   "Dork Fish" a.k.a. Special Sale Frames

(Okay, Rob never really considered the "Special Sale" frames, but I couldn’t resist posting that photo!)

I’m betting that some of you have come up with clever or innovative uses for your digital cameras, too.   Post a comment and let us know about ’em!