treadmill hack (my modified treadmill)

After reading about the Mayo Clinic doctor who recommended walking slowly while working, I asked my husband to modify my treadmill. (Check out this article in the New York Times for more info on this movement. Ha!)

He cautioned I wouldn’t be able to fold it up anymore, but that’s OK by me. It isn’t like the darn thing could be hidden anyway.

Treadmill desk image

My treadmill desk. Now named Fabulesk!

I don’t do much actual work on it though, since my hubby works midnights and is in there during the day. I do, however, use it regularly at night. I find watching “The Biggest Loser” while walking keeps me motivated to stay on!

October 22, 2011

the challenge of categories with extra info, and displaying subcategories

I love working with WordPress, but it seems each project comes with an unforseen challenge. This was a new problem: how to only display subcategories on a parent category page, no posts. Because I’m more of a cut-and-paster than a coder, I rely on google to help find solutions. What I was looking for:
– what category are we in? if this category has sub-categories, show those, and if this category has no sub-categories, show posts.
Couldn’t find anything that includes finding the current category. So, I created a new template just for the one category that had subcategories.
This bit of code:
'mycategoryname' , 'post_type' => 'mycustomposttypename',);
$my_query = null;
$my_query = new WP_Query($args);
if( $my_query->have_posts() ) {
while ($my_query->have_posts()) : $my_query->the_post(); ?>

wp_reset_query(); ?>
does what I need.

October 22, 2011

books read in 2011, so far

I recently read about a pledge to read 50 books in 2011 (see #bookpledge on twitter.)
This has been a slow book reading year for me, but here —in no particular order—is what I remember reading so far:

  1. Michigan Curiosities by Burcar and Taylor — wonderful research for off-the-beaten-path destinations.
  2. Predictably Irrational by Ariely — I’m not big on non-fiction reading, but this was awesome. Can’t wait to read the next one.
  3. My Horizontal Life by Handler — interesting, but I’m really glad I’m not her
  4. The Help by Stockett — meh. I enjoyed parts of it, but less when I read the very end and about the author. The movie is probably better.
  5. In the Woods by French — No. There was potential but it wasn’t met. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.
  6. Special Topics in Calamity Physics — second read. I enjoy the way this book was written, it’s a wonderfully unique approach. The story is good, not fabulous, but keeps my attention.
  7. Packing for Mars by Roach — fascinating look at being an astronaut. I’ll pass on that honor.
  8. Little Bee by Cleave — pretty good.
  9. The Magicians by Grossman — loved it. can’t wait to read the next one.
  10. Island of the Sequined Love Nun — very good and funny. Will read more by this author
  11. Pest Control — this was pretty good, I’ll try some more of his books
  12. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow — fantastic!
  13. LIttle Brother by Cory Doctorow — another fabulous read.

more to add later…

First attempt at books on tape:

Stories I only Tell my Friends by Rob Lowe. I enjoyed the story and his voice, but listening to books is just not my thing.
On my new Kobo!:
HTML5 for web designers
CSS 3 for web designers

October 22, 2011

“I want it now!” California moms, don’t be a bad egg

A group in California is planning on suing McDonalds because they advertise toys with happy meals.

According to the article, parents are tired of having their kids pester them for a happy meal. The toys are top priority, and the food is contributing to America’s obesity problem.

Now, these parents are right on both counts. Advertising the toys do make kids want happy meals. And the sweet/salty taste of McDonalds is what people crave, even though it isn’t healthy.

Big companies exist to sell, and advertising/marketing has always been about maximizing sales. Since when are they in charge of raising our children?

Take charge, moms of California! It’s up to YOU to say “NO”, not only to happy meals, but birthday requests, the Christmas list, eating halloween candy, envying kids who have more, bigger, better anything… YOU are free to make a trip to McDonalds a special occasion treat, or drive right by. YOU are free to distract your kids, or whatever it takes to make them less whiny.

I suspect the real problem is the example these moms give, which makes the children prone to “pestering.” Much of America has fallen into the trap of more stuff, and even worse, instant gratification. How often do these moms see something they want, then buy it right then? Where do you think these kids got the idea of NOW? Have we learned nothing from Veruca Salt?

So, to the moms of California, I say: McDonalds is a big company, maybe even an evil one. But blaming them for your own lack of parental responsibility is just sad. Be careful: the next beeping sound you hear may be the Egg-dicator.

(The original Willy Wonka movie is still a great inspiration!)

December 16, 2010

My Michigan

sldMichigan-8×10, originally uploaded by colleen sullivan leh.

I took this picture at the Lumberman’s Monument outside of Oscoda. It’s up north, so “outside of” means about 20 miles away.

The stairs from the visitor center down to the river are a real workout. There is the river of course, plus a small waterfall on the way down (for me, the bathrooms in the visitor center are a must-visit before heading down. And a bottle of water). There isn’t anything except stairs, a few seats, and the small barge on the river.

For this image, I added textures and made adjustments to replicate a vintage postcard look. Originally, I’d done this for a dribbble rebound of where we live, but made it larger because someone who had seen it on dribbble wanted a print. So cool!

December 10, 2010

A Lake Orion Dragon

This wonderful guy is proud to be a Lake Orion dragon. He was carved entirely with a chainsaw by Gary Elzerman. There is a carved an “LO” on the rocks and a plaque.

If you’re in a school or sports group in Lake Orion, you’re welcome to come by and take a photo with him! Send an email to to let him know you’re on your way.

November 3, 2010

getting ready – october 17

getting ready for halloween with this cheerful fellow!

October 18, 2010

feb15: 46/365 headache

Yep, that’s my day in a nutshell. Headache killers at my desk, to be taken with a night-time cup of coffee.

Really hoping Tuesday is a better day all around.

Poor Little Mister was sick last night, had to pick him up early from my sisters house. Missing out on cousin time AND sick on a no-school day. You bet he’s bummed, poor little guy!

February 15, 2010

34/365 slightly spooky

Was trying for something else, a look at our local highway and light noise, but the quietness of these shadows and lights were more interesting tonight.

February 4, 2010

33/365 colorful light

Spent a good portion of the day at the dentist office, paying for my wasted youth, for what is hopefully the last time. Thank goodness kids get advanced stuff these days, the next generation should have it much easier.

The light they use picks up all kinds of colors — it can be pastel or bright, and even turned off it’s kicking light around.

They thought I was a little weird moving the light around during a break to take photos, but they liked the photos when I was done.

February 2, 2010