amy

Nook e

I don’t really forget about this blog, I just have a hard time updating any of them.  Posterous has really made it more convenient by adding posts by email.  I use to tweet once in a while from my phone, but once I could post pictures and short notes to my blog with an email from my phone, then it made it so much easier.  This was especially true when I got my Android phone.  I posted a few times from my Windows Mobile phone, but the camera was enough better on my new phone to make a difference.  I have a huge post on Android and its apps that I haven’t posted, yet.  I’ll have to clean it up and do that before it’s too old, but back to the happenings from the last couple weeks…

Today at work, I had a question come up that I have looked into some, but really wish I knew more about.  The question was what was the best way to get Google Books on to an eReader and how much would it cost?  I recently bought my wife a Barnes & Noble Nook ebook reader – so I was leaning that way, but the Kindle is the name most people recognize right away.  I did a little research before buying the Nook, but each one has its own strengths.  I’m a big fan of Amazon and had always bought books for her from there, among everything else in the world I’ve bought from there.  It’s off topic, but Amazon Prime is awesome.  But the Barnes & Noble reader runs Android, of which I’m also a huge fan.  The Barnes & Noble book store offers the same books at similar prices, but has a little more flexibility with adding your own books, and I thought getting books from Google was one of the options.  I’ll have to look into that to see how easy it is.  The newest Nook software has an internet browser and other fun things included.  The Nook also has the color touch screen for browsing books.  These are the things that pushed me to chose the Nook – and so far she has been happy with the decision.  We got her the 3g version, but she is recommending the WiFi version to her mom – you can’t beat the $150 price tag now.  I wish it was that cheap when I bought hers.  I’m also wanting to see how hard it is to log on as her to my iPod or Android phone to read the same books.  I don’t read much – ok, I don’t read at all – but it would be nice to know that i could if I wanted to, or she could use my iPod or phone if she forgot her Nook.

As for other features, we thought it was really cool that you could lend books with the Nook, this isn’t possible on the Kindle.  But then again, 14 days isn’t very long and the only person she’s really going to lend books to is her mom, so they could just trade Nooks.  (That sounds funny, I may have to change what I’m calling it.)  I’d like to see how the future of e-Book readers changes with the size and color print.  I think they need to advance a little in the technology to be really useful in schools as text books, or to be known as reference books.  It would be cool to have the Nook sitting next to me and be able to pull up an article from Wikipedia to read about something on I saw TV, or maybe to look up a word in the dictionary or thesaurus.  I’m sure some of this is possible, but I think it should be quicker to do and quicker to change pages and scan a technology book for an answer.

So as for ebooks, I guess overall I’d recommend the Barnes & Noble Nook, but the Amazon Kindle would be a very close #2.  As for other options, I think the Sony would be cheapest and most flexible if you didn’t need 3g and were converting and loading your own books.  And I know Borders is coming out with one soon, but I don’t know much about it.  Then, of course, there’s always the iPad – if you can afford it. It uses a different technology for the screen, but I’ve heard its still pretty easy to read.  The iPad also has a world of other stuff to offer besides just reading from the iBook store, including reading your Kindle or Nook books.  I’m surprised Apple is finally letting people decide how they want to get their media, kinda.

Engagement Video

Here’s the video, I’m also working on a webpage, but it’s not very pretty yet. More info to come. A big thank you to all the congratulations from everyone. We are very excited and happy to hear from everyone. Even more than once for some people. We’ve tried to thank everyone individually, but if we missed you, thanks!

We’re not sure of a date yet, but are thinking of early August. As long as it’s not during football season, I’ll be happy. 🙂 I’m actually just happy I found a girl that would marry me.

The Engagement

I know I’m kind of a techno geek, but I figured it’d be a little easier to put the story online so that more people could hear it and in case I miss any details or make it sound better every time I tell it in person. Here’s the real story.

I’ll start with some background. I’d been dating Amy, an Omaha native, for 3 years, 7 months, & 2 days. As I was corrected in front of all of our family for saying 1 day instead of 2. We met in Indianola, Iowa during her Sophomore year after the last game of the football season when I was coaching at Simpson College. That’s a good story too, but maybe I’ll save it for a later date.

As for the planning for the big day I had been working things out in my head for a couple months. Amy decided that she wanted to challenge me to a “Biggest Loser” contest. I jumped in and said, that’s fine, but whoever loses the least weight between her and I has to buy the other one a $50 gift. I did some quick math in my head and the 6 week contest would end right before when I was wanting to ask her. So I lost a little weight, but was making sure I didn’t lose more than her. If you didn’t catch on yet, this would give me an opportunity to give her a gift or take her out for a nice dinner with out any suspicion other than I was owning up to losing a bet, which by the way I don’t lose many of. 🙂 She had been hinting at wanting a dog and by the end of the contest things were falling into place nicely.

Now to the actual happenings of the day. My family came to town as they always do on Father’s day. Amy and I take our dad’s, and whoever else wants to go, to the College World Series games. We’ve done this for 3 years now. So we went to the game and the score basically made it out of reach during the 4th inning but we stayed for the rest of the game. After the game coincidentally my family had to hurry back home and her dad had a family emergency (a trip to the airport) so we couldn’t all eat out together after the game like usual. So I told Amy we should just eat out on our own. After 15 minutes of criticism about me eating all the time and wanting to spend money to do it (not really, that was a little bit of an exaggeration), Amy agreed to go eat at Spaghetti Works in the Old Market area. We’ve had some good memories at Spaghetti Works in DesMoines & Omaha. Me meeting her grandmother for the first time, dates during her college in DesMoines’ & a rehearsal dinner for one of her best friends. So it was nice place, but didn’t ruin the surprise by being too fancy. We had a nice secluded table and eat a regular dinner. Then I asked her if she’d like to go on a little walk to burn the calories. We don’t make it down to the Old Market much for dinner and decided it might be nice to enjoy the weather a little. So we walked down towards Con-Agra Park and started a little stroll around the “lake”. As we’re walking around the West towards the south side, we come across a strange package placed under a bench. Every one that had walked by it had already been looking at it strangely. As we approached it I asked her what we should do about it. I then proceeded to remove the blanket and pick up the packages. Amy says to me, “You can’t just take other people’s stuff!”. As I’m unfolding a blanket that says Newton Cardinals (my high school mascot). I unfolded the blanket and placed it on a nice little rock area in front of the fountains. She then figured out I had somehow stashed things there, but not how. I told her that I planned something a little special for losing a bet, even though there wasn’t proof that I lost. So we sat down and I gave her the 1st gift bag. She opened it to find a stuffed dog. I told her the dog was a symbol that I thought we were ready to both pick out a dog for us. She was all excited about that, almost teared up, but was ready to go. I continued conversation by asking her what she wanted to name the dog. She threw out a couple names she had already mentioned and I did the same. I then asked her if she liked the name Diamond (me already knowing the answer), she replies “No, because my uncle has a dog named Diamond.” That’s when I got onto my knee and pulled the ring out of my pocket. The next few things I said were kind of a blur. So before she can say yes, I hear a mother calling her daughters to come back to her. Out of the corner of my eye I see these 2 girls, that I would guess were around 6 come running up to Amy and I. Amy says yes, the mom grabed 1 girl, the dad grabs the other and the mom says “Congratulations!”. It was the cutest thing. I’m not sure who she was, but she was the first to tell us congratulations. We both answered thank you, then went back to enjoying the moment. We talked a little bit as she tried to put everything together. Still in shock that I pulled it off without her finding out. It was a great suprise and we are both so happy.

The pictures and video are to follow in the near future. Seriously, I had a friend stash the goods and then video tape the whole thing from a distance and I recorded everything on a tape recorder from my pocket.

So back to the part I almost forgot, we rushed back to the house to celebrate over some nice champagne I had picked up and when we walk in the house, her mom, dad, dad’s girlfriend, grandmother, and my mom, dad, and sister were all in the living room to congratulate us. They were all so happy to be included and be able to be there for the moment. We played the audio and video for them, where she had asked what each family member knew. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. A father’s day our dads will never forget. They were crying their eyes out and the rest of our family was so happy for us.

UPDATE(06-21-2008)
Video

Let the Games Begin

Amy has for some reason decided to challenge me to a biggest loser competition. I guess she doesn’t think I’m doing well enough on my own, or maybe she just likes getting beat by me at things. After watching the last season of Biggest Losers, maybe she’s been tricked into thinking that a female will always win. About the only way she’ll win is if she pulls off the 45% or whatever it was that they did in the show.

So the rules are pretty easy. Highest precentage of weight loss in 6 weeks. No use of drugs or dietary supplements. No reason to mention exact weights, but I’m starting at 98 pounds more than her. Weigh ins are on Tuesdays, but really have no bearing until the final weigh in on June 3rd. Oh yeah and the prizes… The loser has to buy the winner a $50 gift of their choice in good taste obviously.

There are going to be a few tough distractions in that time, including our house warming party, a wedding for each of us and hopefullly some graduation parties. We are also hoping to run a 10k together during that time.

A couple possible distractions that would affect one of us more than the other, the release of Grand Theft Auto 4 vs the release of WiiFit. Hmmm, I wonder how much I’ll have to catch up from my time spent on the couch to her time working out infront of the TV. Point Amy 1-0. The next one would be the fact that she has class on Mondays & Tuesdays until schools out. Point Nolan 1-1. I have food provided at work forcing me to eat well during the day, but she eats well during the day anyways and my accessibility to food isn’t necesarily a good thing. Barely a Point to Amy 2-1. I have workout equipment provided at my work that’s free and get time during the day to use it. Amy has to pay a small fee to use their gym and it’s harder for her to get out of the office over lunch. Point Nolan 2-2. So I guess it’s going to come down to the line. A 2-2 battle doesn’t help me much, since I’ll have to lose more weight. So I guess maybe that’s to her favor, but I also have A LOT more weight to lose. It should be fun. I’ll be sure to post the winner.