Monday, December 22, 2008

Chicago Roots

I just learned that some of the sayings my family used when I was a child come from Chicago where my mother grew up and my parents lived for a few years before moving to Columbia...

"gym shoes" instead of "tennis shoes"
"front room" instead of "living room"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The birds found the feeder...

but so did the squirrels - even after I moved it to the backyard...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Birds - 0, Squirrels - 1

The birds haven't found my new bird feeder but the squirrels sure have...

Pictures here and a video below:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote on Tuesday

If you live in St. Louis County, you can get your sample ballot here:

In addition to the "big issues" that are advertised all over the place - like president, governor, prop A (casino loss limits and supposed money for education), Prop M (for metrolink) and Prop S (parkway schools) there are several others that I had never heard of. Check it out before you are at the polling station and you're trying to decipher what you're voting on.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fipsy's Belated Birthday Present

Fipsy got his belated birthday present last night (his birthday was back on August 3, and he got some presents then - a canister of raisins and a canister of oats, but he had to share those with the other chinchillas in the house). I found a picture of a chinchilla daybed that someone had made online and commissioned Merc Man to build one for Fipsy.

So far he has only used it as a chew toy, but I'm sure once he gets used to having it in his cage he'll make use of it as a bed as well.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin Rally

I got to see Sarah Palin in person last night (even if it was from the "nose bleed" seats at the very top of the arena). She kicked some butt in the debate last night...however, I just have to say, I had no idea that Biden and I had so much in common - we both shop at Home Depot! (some very funny person photoshopped a pic of Biden in Home Depot for us here).

You can see the rest of my pics from last night here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Love Quilts

In June I started a new service project with Love Quilts. An organization which asks volunteers to create counted cross-stitch quilt squares which are then made into quilts for very sick children. I've completed 2 squares and am well on the way to completing a third, with a goal of one per month.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I own a company!

Big news that I can't believe I didn't post about 2 days ago when it became official......

I am now the business owner of Jenny Kyle Design, LLC!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ABCs of St. Louis

This is kind of fun, even though it's from City. For each letter of the alphabet, it shows you 4 characters and you must choose the one from the description at the right.

Of course, being a designer I'd rather know where all the letters are from, not just the one that answers the question. Maybe they could add that in....tell you which one is correct, but tell you where the incorrect answers are from. They also repeated way too many signs (including letters of the same sign over and over). I swear I recognized several from my St. Louis Walls project from my senior year of college.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Do you see any resemblance?

I saw the Kentucky plate on a car in front of me on my way home from work today. Awfully similar to the ugly plates that Missouri just launched if you ask me...however, Kentucky released theirs in 2005.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Logos: Econo Lodge and Super 8

On a recent drive to Rolla, I noticed 2 new hotel logos on billboards...following in the footsteps of such previous hotel logo redesigns as LaQuinta and Comfort Inn, Red Roof Inn and Four Points Sheraton that I've previously blogged about. The interesting thing in the case of hotel logo redesigns is that past experience is going to play a MUCH bigger role in whether or not a person chooses to spend the night in one of these establishments, not how cool their logo is.

Econo Lodge:

The new logo, pictured above on the left, was launched in early May 2008, with expected implementation throughout all their hotels by the end of 2008. Evidently, they felt a need for a "more inviting, bright logo, a result of extensive consumer research, is a culmination of a wealth of enhanced brand standards and guest satisfaction programs geared to position the brand for long-term growth and success." (read more where that came from here)

I give it an A-. It is definitely an improvement from their previous logo, and does give it a "higher class" feel than the original. The designer has taken some care in setting the type in the establishments name, but I can't identify the typeface. Perhaps because they took a typeface (such as Optima, which seems to be the closest I can identify it to) and squished it in to fit the space. I like how they have combined the name into one word on the sign, however, it appears that they are still spelling it as 2 words in their marketing materials. The stylized "e" icon is not all that unique, but still nicely done - and can you think of anyone else that has a "twinkle" in their logo? (I can see it now, some executive who thinks he knows everything announces to the designer, "I want the logo to twinkle" and ta-da!)

Super 8:

The new Super 8 mark, pictured above on the left, also launched in May 2008, but with an expected implementation date of July 2009. Evidently, this new look is inspired by their partnership with Nascar (seriously! - check out the press release). Their customer base was getting too old, so they needed to do something to appeal to the younger sect.....although I hardly think that redesigning their logo is enough to get someone in the door. Especially if they have a previous negative experience with the brand (such as myself).

As for the design itself, I give it a D. The original logo was better. The only real accomplishment was getting rid of the word "motel" in the logo. The typeface used for the word "super" was a super bad choice. And the swooshes around it.....I don't even want to go there.

So what do you think? Are these winners or losers as far as logos are concerned?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Something fun

Old lady or young woman?

Face or the word "liar"?

Sax or Face?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Proud to be a Missourian?

Mo. issues new license plates with error

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri is issuing its newly-designed license plates, complete with grammatical error and a state bird that flies south for the winter.

Motorists on Monday were issued the first of the newly-designed plates that show a bluebird perched on a branch along the bottom center of the plate. The bluebird migrates south when Missouri weather turns cold.

The state said it would not correct a grammatical error on the plate -- the missing hyphen in the state's nickname, "Show-Me State."

The snafu came to light in April when The Joplin Globe quoted a Missouri Southern State University English professor as saying the rules of grammar require the hyphen.

The Missouri Department of Revenue said that the mistake wouldn't be fixed because that's how the plate looked when it won an online contest last year.

So I thought all 3 designs they had people vote on last year were crappy, and now this comes out....I can't help but laugh! The best part is that they claim it can't be fixed because it's the design that won - well I just searched for news articles from last year and the winning plate design isn't identical to the design above which is from the department of it's not the "actual" plate design that won anyway (notice the words "show me state" are vertical on the winning plate to the left, and the word "Missouri" is in a different font). I liked the old plates and I don't get why we had to change anyway.

So rather than have one of these ugly pieces of junk on my car when I renew next month I will likely be investing in one of Missouri's "nearly 200" vanity plate designs...a small sampling is below. Each requires a donation to the sponsoring organization. I am leaning toward the "pet-friendly" plate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Florida: Day 8

We started our last day out early - 6:30 am to be exact. We got up to watch the sunrise over the bay. I don't know if I'd ever really sat and watched the sunrise before - very quiet in the bay with just the sea and the round orange ball in the sky slowly making its way into the sky. After about 30 minutes we walked across the street and along the gulf shore in search of shells.

After packing up all our stuff, we headed to Tampa to visit the Lowry Park Zoo. It's a really nice zoo - reminded us somewhat of Grant's Farm in St. Louis. We attended the manatee education session where we learned that the Tampa Zoo can care for up to 15 rescued manatees at a time - and when they return them to the wild they release them in the same place they were found - even if that is pretty far away from the zoo. They had 12 manatees there, including a mother and calf.

Next we got to feed sting rays which was really cool. Their mouths kind of felt like suction cups and sponges. You held a piece of shrimp or frozen fish between your fingers sticking up, then place your hand in their tank and they'd swim over your hand and suck the food into their mouths.

In the children's zoo area Tom's shoes got attacked by budgie birds, I fed some goats, and we both fed the lorikeets nectar from a little cup.

I uploaded all the pics from today to my Tampa Zoo album.

Florida: Day 7

We started the day today at the South Florida Museum, home of Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity, and likely the oldest manatee in the world (he turns 60 on July 21, 2008!). We spent quite a bit of time observing Snooty and learning more about manatees in general. Snooty is a hoot, as he is totally domesticated - he was born in captivity and bottle fed as a calf. He kept swimming up to where his trainer feeds him and would stick his nose up and lean on the pool side to try and get some carrots (one of his favorite treats). I added a ton of pics of the manatees to my Florida Pics - Album 2.

The museum also features a planetarium and tons of historical items - everything from fossils to clocks to old computer parts!

After the museum we went to the other Smugglers Cove Adventure Mini Golf center in the area - Tom insisted on a rematch and he won this time. We also fed the gators once more. Check out the video below of Tom taunting the gators. I also added some new pics to the Florida Pics album.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Florida: Day 6

Today we took a boat ride around the Sarasota bay on LeBarge Tropical Cruises' Dolphin Watch. Attendees were guaranteed to see dolphins or you'd get another cruise free...well as luck would have it, we rode around the bay for 2 hours and finally saw one little dolphin right at the end. It was neat to see the dolphin in the bay, and they gave us coupons for another cruise, but we opted not to spend another 2 hours riding around the bay.

After the cruise we went back to Turtle Beach and spent a couple hours playing and laying in the sun.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Florida: Day 5

Today we slept in again (big surprise there), then headed to Smugglers Cove Adventure Mini Golf center, where I beat Tom at a round of 18 holes, and even got 2 holes in 1.

After playing mini golf, we opted to feed the baby alligators that they keep at the course (note the photo above of Tom taunting the gators).

After mini golf we went down to Turtle Beach - a little beach a bit past Siesta Beach on Siesta key. It's a less crowded beach, with nice waves. Unfortunately we had a little thunderstorm this afternoon and spent most of the beach time sitting on the shore watching the clouds.

Make sure to check out the pictures I added to the Florida album today - lots of the gators!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Florida: Day 4

Today we visited the Mote Aquarium. It wasn't the best aquarium for the money, but at least the money was going toward their research - which seems more exciting than the aquarium. We got to see baby seahorse, some small sharks, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins. And of course I came home with "Mr. Manatee", a new stuffed animal (Fipsy will be excited). I added some photos from the aquarium to my Florida Pics album.

We picked up some subway for dinner and ate on the beach while watching the sunset. I added tonights gorgeous sunset photos to my new Florida Sunset album.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Florida: Day 3

Today we ventured south, first to Lido Beach, then to Siesta Key Beach. Lido Beach was alright, but nothing special really. Siesta Key Beach on the other hand was amazing. The Travel Channel ranked it #2 best beach in Florida, because of how soft the sand is - and they weren't kidding!

We returned to the resort and discovered that our sun screen is way past the expired date (we don't get out in the sun much), and we both got a bit sunburned on our shoulders. That prompted a trip to walgreens for a fresh bottle.

We had dinner at a little Italian place and then watched the sunset over the gulf from the private resort beach.

Florida: Day 2

We celebrated our second anniversary by sleeping in late, then visiting our resorts private beach, witnessing a traffic accident on the way back from swimming, then took a dip in the pool, and finally enjoying the sunset from the acclaimed Beach Bistro.

The private beach at the resort is nice, it's shared with another resort owned by the same company, and is just across the main drag from the resort. It's a pretty small beach, but there are no fences or dividers to distinguish the various private beach sections so it looks like you've got the whole area.

The Beach Bistro, where we had dinner, is acclaimed by Zagat’s as the “Best food on the Gulf Coast.” While the food was decent, I wouldn’t go so far as saying it’s the best. I think the Sun House restaurant where we ate the first night was better – and much cheaper too!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Florida: Day 1

We are here in Florida! We got to the resort around 7:15 pm this evening, in time to see our first gulf sunset. Tomorrow we hit the beach.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chinchilla Photo Shoot

I did a photo shoot with the chinchillas last week ... they were not very happy with me ... but I got some great pics of them!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kudos to MoDot

Kudos to MoDot! They got all the water (and mud and debris washed up by the waters, plus the stoplights working again) from the flood over the weekend removed and the intersection of hwy 141 and interstate 44 open by Monday morning's rush hour! I had to back up and hear it again on the news (with our handy DVR) to make sure I heard right!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Something to pass the time...


(Plus 5 more that I couldn't spell!)


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Signs of Spring - if only for a moment

Yesterday's high hit 65 degrees - what a welcome change from the cold, nasty weather we've had recently! Tom brewed a batch of beer, and we both walked around outside without coats and while wearing sandals.

Sadly, it looks like the nice weather isn't going to last - at least right now. Apparently we're supposed to get more snow this week:
Snow could shatter early spring

Enjoy the warm temperatures today, because winter could come roaring back into the St. Louis area Monday night.

A high of 70 or more is predicted for today -- but then watch out. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the region for Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon, with a return of nasty weather possible in two separate waves.

The first could develop Monday night, bringing more sleet and snow, with possibly heavy accumulations of sleet. Then on Tuesday, as cold air settles over the St. Louis area, a second round of winter is expected with heavy snow.

Forecasters say the weather system that will be approaching the area could change quickly, so the outlook is uncertain.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Click to feed animals

Received in an email today:

All you animal lovers-this is pretty simple... Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing.

Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site!

(verified by

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

(from the chinchillas!)
They each made their own valentine for "Daddy."

Monday, February 04, 2008

"The Storm of the Season"

Here are a few pictures from the "Storm of the Season" as Fox News called it:

Our backyard the morning after the snow - I didn't actually measure the snow, but the news said we got 7ish inches.

Our street (views of both directions from our house) - since we live in unincorporated county, they don't bother to plow our street or subdivision.

The cleared street is the main street after you leave our subdivision. It also happens to be an incorporated municipality.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chili Dusting

Super Mario Galaxy

I just beat Super Mario Galaxy!!!!! I got all 120 stars!!!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New year's resolutions

I have several New Year's resolutions that I've been tossing around in my head the last couple weeks and decided I should write down...
  1. Lose weight - I'm participating in the "Biggest Loser" contest at work to help motivate myself - I created a separate blog to monitor my progress -
  2. Finish the master bathroom - and all the other house projects that are "in progress"
  3. Make it to church on a regular basis
  4. Do more community service things - currently I'm working on teddy bears for the Victory Junction Gang Camp

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I hate...

<font> tags. If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

You can count on Fox 2...

At this very moment....