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Fun Links


All work and no play makes for a rather dull developer or help author! Here are some of the links we follow on a regular basis. You might just find something of interest in here ...

Our current "must see" link:

Splash Down Dunes - For a couple years now, I've felt the water parks run by the city of Indianapolis were the cleanest, most fun for all ages, and most kid-friendly. On August 11, 2002, Splash Down Dunes in Porter, Indiana, pitched that opinion right out the window! The rides were exceptional, the staff was ultra-friendly ... and they even have a live DJ for the entire park on some weekends! When we lost track of a small child in the water park at Michigan Adventure, we were quite glad the staff there had her before we even realized she was missing. At Splash Down Dunes, the staff appeared to know where our kids were at every moment. I don't believe we've felt safer for our kids at any other water park anywhere.

Click here to view Splash Down Dunes' latest press release.

Lenawee County Michigan and surrounding area

Adrian Daily Telegram - One of Michigan's oldest newspapers.

Adrian Symphony Orchestra - This wonderful orchestra recently had a daytime concert specifically for elementary school students. This particular concert honored the late creator of "Peanuts", Charles M. Schulz. The kids had a great time enjoying the music.

The Chocolate Vault - Well, what else would you call an ornate and upscale chocolate, ice cream, and candy shop built from a century-old bank? Everything is oh-so-good ...

Croswell Opera House - Michigan's oldest theatre is located in downtown Adrian, about 10 miles from us. They offer an annual schedule of some wonderful plays, offering some of the finest entertainment in town.

Chris's Computer Corner - How many computer parts and service stores are actually halfway fun? Not many! In fact, the ones I've found that rate in this regard are little "shoppes" that are a cross between a cluttered used-book store and an electronic junkyard. Ah, but what character! That's what Chris's is. After 5 years of looking in Lenawee and Washtenaw counties, I've finally found a computer store and parts supplier that isn't just a business. These guys definitely know their stuff, have massive amounts of enthusiasm, and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Oh, and watch out for René, Chris's wife. She'll set the guys straight when necessary!

Exponent Newspaper - A weekly newspaper published every Tuesday in the little town of Brooklyn, home of the Michigan International Speedway. Make sure you check out publisher Matt Schepeler's humor column, "Printer's Impression".

Heart Wood Place - About 4 miles from Delmar Computing, this is where we go to relax after a hard day at the keyboard. This will definitely be the finest bed-and-breakfast/massage therapy center you'll find anywhere.

Hathaway House - Chef Miguel and his staff put together some of the most amazing meals here. We use it for anniversaries and other special occasions. Don't forget to find out about the Murder Mystery Dinner Train, with meals from the Hathaway House kitchen.

Hudson Area Computer User's Group - This newest user's group meets at Hudson Computers, 112 S. Church St. in Hudson, Michigan. Meetings are on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. They meet twice a month because the members wanted to have meetings that often! The group has grown in size quite a bit, and Kathy Niner, the person putting this together, is anticipating the meetings to get bigger and better.

Lenawee PC User's Group - Finally made it out to one of the meetings. At the meeting on February 11, 2000, Bob and Andy installed an H-P CD-Writer Plus into one of the library's computers. As many times as Bob mentioned the fire extinguisher, maybe I should have been closer to the door ... ;-) The minutes and photos from the meeting will be on the club's site.

Michigan International Speedway - World renowned among both the NASCAR and CART racing teams, M.I.S. is only 11.5 miles from our driveway. On a clear day, we can open the back door and hear the engines, just over there, under the blimp.

ProSource Motorsports - Generally, a Suzuki dealership wouldn't be the kind of thing I'd have on this page, but this one's different. Located just 3 miles from us, ProSource has the only permanent indoor motocross arena in the US. If you're ever in the area, it's a definite must-see.

The Purple Rose Theatre Company - This hometown theatre company in nearby Chelsea is owned and operated by one of our absolute favorite actors, Mr. Jeff Daniels (Speed, Fly Away Home, Pleasantville, Escanaba En Da Moonlight), who lives in the area. If you're in the area, make sure you stop in and check out this wonderful organization.

TC3Net - The ISP we use ... best one in the county.

Tecumseh Trolley and Limousine Service - It's amazing to see these trolley's on the road toodling through downtown Tecumseh. I want one for the front yard!

 

Michigan

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland - Located in Frankenmuth, this is the world's largest Christmas store. Covering an area the size of 4 football fields, you can get anything from a $1 ornament to a full-size animated Santa and his reindeer for your front lawn. Even municipalities buy from Bronner's. And if they don't have what you're looking for, they'll get it.

Faith Lutheran Church - Our "home" church, located in Grand Blanc. I started attending with my family in the late '60's, and was a member until 1995 (my family are still members). Marnie started attending in 1980 and was baptized at Faith that December. I was an original member of the StillPoints youth group in the mid-to-late '70's, and Marnie and I were married there by then-assistant Pastor Ron Young in 1986. So many memories ...Greenwood Acres Campground - So ... camping at this humongous campground 25 miles from here on Memorial Day weekend 2001 may not have been such a good idea. Who would have guessed there'd be a little rain? Alright, so it was a lot of rain! Another trip to this campground a few weeks later was much better! We've caught bass and perch on Goose Lake, rode the double-decker bus and the old fire engine, let the kids ride the carousel, played putt-putt golf, and overall had a great time. We don't golf on large courses, but a lot of campers use the resident 9-hole course for their own fun. And don't forget the dances, planned arts and games, etc. I get tired just thinking about the next trip!

Heath Beach - It's really something when a privately-owned public beach challenges "We'll compare our water tests with ANY beach, lake or pool in the State!" What's even more interesting is when you know they'll win the challenge! Check it out ... it's pretty amazing.

Heidi Kumao - Currently a visiting professor at the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Heidi has quite an impressive resumé. She creates intimate installations, digital animations, and kinetic sculptures that expose the underlying mechanisms and psychology of everyday situations. Heidi has exhibited nationally and internationally and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She reminds me of Dharma, with limitless energy and imagination, and just enough nuttiness to be a rather enchanting individual.

Michigan Adventure Amusement Park - One of the finest, cleanest, well-organized parks in the country. If you happen to be in the Muskegon area in the summer, Michigan Adventure is not to be missed.

Nikola Tesla: Erased At The Smithsonian - This one isn't exactly fun, but it's extremely important that this problem be taken care of. John Wagner and his third-grade classes in Ann Arbor, Michigan, need your help. Sony's trying to help them out in this ongoing project ... you can too.

Oliver T's - One of my family's favorite gourmet shopping marts, in Grand Blanc. Oliver T's web site is so scrumptuous, you might want to eat your monitor.

Saginaw Valley State University - This was Saginaw Valley State College when Marnie received her BSN here in 1985. But even now, pay attention to the Bay Chorale and SVSU choir performance schedules and you might just catch her in the alto section from time-to-time. Conductor Dr. Eric Nisula has gotten into the habit of snagging her when he can, such as a recent set of concerts of Mozart's Requiem in Bay City, complete with an orchestra.

Tony's - If this restaurant in Birch Run won't bust your belt loops, nothing will. Why? 'Cuz they don't measure their portions! The burrito has a pound of meat on it, the BLT has a pound of bacon on it ... and the sundaes? Don't even go there! Even at 1:30 a.m., expect to wait for a table ...

University of Michigan - Marnie works at Mott's Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, floating among the Pediatric units. This is what she does when she's not helping out with the logic <?> of a Windows application. I work over at the University's School of Art & Design, helping art students incorporate electronics, computers, and robotics into their artworks.

Zehnder's - Chef John Zehnder and his kitchen staff in Frankenmuth prepare food that is just top-of-the-line. As far as Zehnder's is from us (about 140 miles), the Zehnder's kitchen was where our Thanksgiving 1999 dinner for 12 people came from, with all the fixin's. Chef Zehnder sent me an email after Thanksgiving weekend 2000 and wrote "Thanksgiving weekend is coming to a close - finally!!!! We averaged 5,000 guests per day for the past four days, roasted 375 turkeys, 190 ducks, 3,600 chickens plus 3,200 pounds of squash and 1,500 pounds of sweet potatoes!" Right now, one of the favorite cookbooks at Delmar Computing is an autographed copy of Chef Zehnder's Frankenmuth's Favorite containing 100 recipes for chicken breasts. The autograph reads "To each recipe add a cup of love. John Zehnder"


USA

Alias|Wavefront - Ever wonder how they made the mouse work perfectly with Michael J. Fox's voice for Stuart Little? Or how they created the podrace in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace? Or the meteors in Armegeddon? Or the waves in The Perfect Storm? Alias|Wavefront's Maya is the answer. Check out what this incredible software package is capable of. Make sure you download the Maya Paint Effects screensaver.

Animusic - One of the more compelling short films at the Computer Animation Festival at this year's SIGGRAPH was a piece titled "Pipe Dream". Developed by Animusic, the animation technology uses a combination of MIDI computerized music and automated technology for creating animation directly from the MIDI information without human intervention. The result is accurate and fluid 3D animation of both real and imagined musical instruments and their associated mechanics. Further enhancements of the animations add environments, lighting, and standard camera movements for a rather normalized appearance. Animusic's collection of seven pieces was recently rendered to DVD, which includes some rather interesting extra features. I picked up a copy of the DVD for the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan and the Dean bought his own once he saw the copy I'd bought!

bread, coffee, chocolate, yoga - The much-missed darling of the former WinHlp-L email list, Fortune Elkins, discusses the four most important activities in life in her own personal blog. Her almost-daily entries can prove to be quite mouth-watering at times, while others make me hurt just thinking about them. Put my ankles behind my head? Fortune, dear, I can hardly get the darned things out of bed in the morning!

DeVry Institutes - Ah, college life. Former Dean, and still a bud, Dave Leitch is running the web sites now. The things he used to be able to do with an Apple II ... sheesh ...

Gateway Mastering Studios - Who is it that makes the majority of recordings of today sound as excellent as they do? This is the place! For an unbelievable but accurate list, check out the Artists/Clients page. To have ears that are that excellent ... man ...

Hash - No, this site has nothing to do with funny weeds! Their Animation:Master 3D animation software package is a joy to behold ... and costs less than Microsoft Office! Check out the contest winners. You'll be quite surprised at the things this software is capable of allowing you to do.

Hot Springs, Arkansas - The town of Hot Springs itself is built around Hot Springs National Park. It's an incredible sight to see steaming water flowing out of the ground! The water is 143º F, and is quite drinkable. In fact, one of the fountains is a drinking fountain! I never dreamed I would enjoy a drink of steaming hot water, but it was certainly a treat. There's nothing like it.

Indy Parks - While looking for a place to have a picnic lunch in Indianapolis on August 7, 2000, we found a small picnic table are with a couple of playground pieces. We were about to get out of the van when Marnie asked "What's that?" Looking to where she was pointing, I said "I don't know, but I think we should find out!" What she'd spotted was the city's own Riverside Aquatic Center, which turned out to be a great place to spend an afternoon! It features a great water park, with zero depth entry, body water slide, tube slide, water play equipment for toddlers and slightly older kids, all with a maximum depth of 4ft. Check it out some time!

Manley Labs - Creators of some serious high-end tube-based pro audio gear, including a new version of Bob Ludwig's mastering console at world-renowned Gateway Mastering Studios. "The Tube Chick" in the photo on the home page could be a model, but even so, she's EveAnna Manley, CEO of Manley Labs (BTW, "The Tube Chick" is her term, not mine.) This is some of the most rock-solid, high-performance gear you will ever hear. If you can afford this stuff, buy it.

Mathematically Beautiful ScreenSavers - Hosted by Patrick D. Greng II, this site has some of the most amazing animations you'll find for your computer. Galaxies is a personal fave ... the kids and I can sit and just watch it for hours on end. (Yeah, that's me in the Credits topic of the Galaxies help file under Beta Testers ... just wait till you get a load of Galaxies 5.0 ... <g> )

Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Research - Not a fun site at all, but one that certainly deserves everyone's attention. Best of luck to you, Michael!

Official Red Skelton Site - Mr. Skelton has a very special place in my heart, and always will. This site pays special homage to him, and is authorized by his wife, Lothian. Make sure you also visit the exceptional Gallery Of Clownsfeaturing Mr. Skelton's paintings.

Saint Louis Science Center - This is a wonderful place! If you ever get the chance to go, please do so. They have a great planetarium there (currently under re-construction). This is the first system I've seen that offers a 3D view, taking you through the starfield, then rotating the whole of it around you!

Splash Down Dunes - For a couple years now, I've felt the water parks run by the city of Indianapolis were the cleanest, most fun for all ages, and most kid-friendly. On August 11, 2002, Splash Down Dunes in Porter, Indiana, pitched that opinion right out the window! The rides were exceptional, the staff was ultra-friendly ... and they even have a live DJ for the entire park on some weekends! When we lost track of a small child in the water park at Michigan Adventure, we were quite glad the staff there had her before we even realized she was missing. At Splash Down Dunes, the staff appeared to know where our kids were at every moment. I don't believe we've felt safer for our kids at any other water park anywhere.


Click here to view Splash Down Dunes' latest press release.

The Children's Museum of Memphis - The museum is rather small, but in that small space is a 3D mesh maze for kids (and adults, as Marnie got in there too!), a full size fire engine, a supermarket from Kroger's where little Ryan took himself shopping with a tiny basket (and did rather well!), the kids got to be dentists, Adam smashed daddy's finger with a hammer in the construction section (boy, did I ever feel like Al Borland ...)

Toledo Zoo - This is where our zoo fun(d) money goes, as it's a great zoo and it's not too far away. This zoo in Toledo, Ohio, is home to over 4,000 animals representing 600 different species, making it a unique, educational and fun place to visit anytime of the year. Make sure you check out the zoo cams!

Trappist Caskets - Ok, so maybe caskets aren't exactly a fun topic. However, this particular manufacturer is quite unique. Trappist Caskets is a work of the monks at New Melleray Abbey. Founded in 1849, New Melleray was established at the time of the Great Famine by the Trappist monks of Mount Melleray Abbey in Ireland. Using woods from their extensive forest, they produce hand-made, high-quality wooden caskets that are an alternative to the mass-produced caskets that currently dominate the funeral market.

Washington National Cathedral - One of the United State's grandest architectural accomplishments, the cathedral took 108 years to build. One visit is all it takes to fall in love with the building itself.

 

International

MVPS.org - This is the jumping-off point to find anything having to do with the current 750 award-winning Microsoft MVP's world-wide. Thanks to server owner Felix Kazsa, some of the MVP's web sites are hosted at MVPS.org (such as this one). Visual Basic MVP Karl Peterson also manages "the big list", which is the page to use to find any MVP of any variety. Things are constantly changing on the server, so be sure to come back often.

Purely Plants - Former Wrox Press editor Kate Hall (pic available here) has turned to the clinical aromatherapy field. I've worked with Kate while working with Wrox, and I must say her personality would definitely be a good match for such work. Even though I was devastated by the thought of not being able to work with her again, I'm glad she's doing things she really wants to do. Now, to find the video from our meeting in Shrewsbury and get it to her fiancé, Ian Blackham ...

Tube Amp Web Ring - Statement: "Transistors make sense. Tubes make music." Almost 100 years after Lee DeForest invented the first electronic amplifying device, there are more manufacturers of tube amps then at any time in history. While transistors have the advantage in some areas such as operating voltage, tubes are simply a better music amplifying device. For those listeners who care, and who can hear the difference, tubes are not just a preference but a necessity. Once one hears their favorite music reproduced with good tube equipment, there can be no going back to solid state. (Lifted respectfully from the TubeGuy home page.)

 

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Robert Chandler,
Aug 20, 2013, 1:15 AM