I'm pretty happy with the results of my one resolution from last year, to exercise more. I went from being able to barely walk for 20 minutes (a bit under a mile), to being able to walk, with some slow running mixed in, for 4 miles (120 minutes for that). I like having one resolution rather than a whole list, it focuses me more, so I'm going to continue that and just have one new resolution for this year: donate blood 6 times in 2013.

My father has leukemia. Because of this, 2012 was a very roller coaster year emotionally for the family. The absolute bottom was when he was sent home with pneumonia that wasn't responding to drugs on top of leukemia that wasn't responding to drugs. He was given less than a week to live. This was last August and he's still around. The pneumonia is gone, and still working on leukemia. During his treatment, even back to when he had MDS (pre-leukemia), involved frequent blood transfusions. Both red blood cells and platelet transfusions, sometimes both on the same day. He's probably had 20 transfusions over the course of his treatment. So my one goal for 2013 is blood donations.

I know, I can already hear "Kevin you dumb ass, you don't donate now?" Unfortunately no. I've given blood twice in my life. Well, actually once I gave blood, and once I failed at it miserably. I don't know why but I seem to have a psychological problem with donating blood. It's not the pain, i'm not sure why but just the thought of it fills me with dread. That second time I tried to donate blood? I fainted - before I even donated, i'd completely psyched myself out and collapsed as i was getting on the chair to donate. So in firm belief that the best way to overcome fear is to face it and keep going, I plan on donating 6 times in 2013 (you have to wait 8 weeks between donations). It's a mere drop in the bucket for what my dad needs, but it helps, and if overcoming this fear makes me a better person along with it then double-win.

I'll be donating at the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City. Medical requirements for donating are here

Steve Jobs, Apple and Me

Thu 06 October 2011 by Kevin van Haaren

I am a computer person. Computers have not been widely available all my life, but I was exposed at a very early age. Learning BASIC on a mainframe at the National Weather Service. My freshmen year of high school I'd take the bus to my dad's office after school and hang out until he was done for the day and we could go home. It was mainly a way to get me out of my dad's hair.

At high school we had Apple ][+ and Commodore PET computers. I was a die hard Apple user. I didn't ...

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More updating

Sat 25 November 2006 by Kevin van Haaren

More updating of the site. I’m still goofing around with the RSS Feeds section. There were some things I didn’t like about the old one. I like the new one a bit better, but I think I need to tweak it a bit more.

I’ve also setup a gallery for photos I’ve taken. Currently I’ve got some images from my trip to New Orleans and pictures of my cats. Thrilling stuff.

Kevin’s Photos


New site look

Fri 09 June 2006 by Kevin van Haaren

welcome to the new site look. I’m pretty happy with it overall. Only downside is those collapasable sections of web links don’t work in IE 6. Of course. I don’t use IE 6 much so I’m debating if i’ll bother to fix it. Probably. I also want the arrows to point to the right when collapse, and point down when opened. Shouldn’t be too hard to do, I learned some neat tricks with CSS and raster images that emulate old sprite behavior in 2D games.

This is pretty much a straight port of the ...

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This month in music

Wed 19 October 2005 by Kevin van Haaren

I subscribe to emusic.com at their top level, which I means I get 90 tracks at month for $20 (or about 22 cents a track, take that iTunes). Plus the music is in pure MP3, no DRM, no limitiations on what device I can use, no limits on burning to CD. All around a good deal.

EMusic has a feature called Save for Later. Basically I browse and search for tracks during the month and add them to my Save for Later list. Frequently I don’t remember why I added them, that’s why some of my descriptions ...

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My Music Library

Sun 10 July 2005 by Kevin van Haaren

I found a neat program tonight. It dumps an iTunes Library to a lovely HTML formatted series of pages.

iTunes Publisher

So of course I dumped out my listing of 13,352 songs. Peruse the list at your leisure.

My Music Library

and no, you can’t download the MP3s. And my collection is legally obtained. Either ripped from my own CD’s or from emusic.com.



Beers I've Drunk (3)

Mon 06 June 2005 by Kevin van Haaren

Hmmm, this latest round of topics is making me out to be a drunk. Guess I better come up with some new topics.

In the meantime, my latest beer is from the Point Brewery. I must say I’ve been wanting to try Point beer for years. It’s the only beer I’ve had that came high recommended by a comic book. Mike Baron’s character the Badger frequently drank Point beer, which until recently seems to have been available just in Wisconsin.

When I saw bottles of Point available in the local HyVee (which has a good selection ...

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Beers I've Drunk (2)

Thu 02 June 2005 by Kevin van Haaren

Widmer Hefeweizen

Excellent beer. Had this in Seattle with a very pleasant crab fettucini. If I hadn’t been so tired I would’ve enjoyed more than the two I had. Next time I’m in Portland Oregon I’ll need to do the tour of the place.