Word of the Day

Drag the tiles to make one word. When they link together, they are correct. Word Of The Day Puzzle provided by Quote Puzzler.

To find the meaning of the obscure word you just created, go to www.dictionary.com.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Daniel and Doug, 2005

Baby, it's cold outside! Thus, my picture taking opportunities are limited. I'll set up a tripod in the living room in the next few weeks and see what I can come up with indoors, but in the meantime, here's one of my favorite old pictures.

This was with my really crappy old digital camera, thus the fuzziness. I used to use it as a signature on message boards. Daniel was about 6-9 months old.

Digital SLR Guide

When I was researching what digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera to buy a couple years ago, I came across this resource:

Find The Best Digital SLR Camera For You

I found it to be very well organized, and more importantly, straightforward and in plain English. The author takes you through the steps of deciding what you will need your digital SLR camera for, which types of cameras and/or features are best for those purposes, and how to shop for your camera and get the best deal.

After I selected my Canon Rebel XT using his guide, I then subscribed to his Digital SLR Camera Technique Guide. I was familiar with the basics, having taken a photography course in college, but felt I needed a refresher along with some pointers on a digital camera vs. film.

Having brushed up on the basics, I also subscribed to his free email newsletter. It is a monthly newsletter with tips, camera discussions, and ideas for taking better pictures. (Can you tell I really like this resource yet?) In this month's newsletter, he mentioned his resolution to take one photo a day for the year 2007 with the purpose of discussing techniques used in each photo. I'm adding this site to my photoblog list over on the side.

His main site has scads of information available, including choosing lenses, accessories, reliable online camera shops and more. Go, browse, enjoy!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Got Nothin' For Ya


I'm feeling tapped out! I have no idea what to blog about lately. What would you like to see more of? More picture books, more photographs, more videos, more games, more brainteasers, more odd websites, more science stuff?

Have any other topics you'd like to hear about?

Monday, January 29, 2007


Ok, so I was checking out my blog stats just now, seeing where people are coming from, and somebody is from a town very near me, Ithaca. Now I'm dying of curiosity! Do I know you? How did you find me? I see it's not from a Google search or from some other site, you had the link already somehow. I only know two people who live in Ithaca, one who I can't imagine would have any interest in my blog or know how to find it, and the other who probably would be interested but again, I don't know how she'd find it!

Come out come out whoever you are!

(And if you'd rather remain anonymous, I guess that's fine too. I'll have to resign myself to it being a mystery. *Sniff* *Sniff*)

Word Game

What two words, formed from different arrangements of the same six letters, can be used to complete the sentence below?
Although the police had a confession, the suspect declared that the interrogators had caused him to go into a ______ and he now wished to ______.
Answer is in the comments.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

In My Language

This is an extremely fascinating video by an autistic woman. The first part is in her "native language" and shows her interacting with the world around her. The second part is her discussing the first part using a computer text-to-speech program. What is also interesting is reading the youtube comment section, in which she participates in the discussion.

This is her website, which I have added in my links: Ballastexistenz

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Soft Lovey

Through Wolf's Eyes

I'm reading a book right now that I just love. My preferred genre is science fiction and fantasy. I tend to lean towards the fantasy aspect more than SF, but will try anything once. As I'm a voracious reader, I've gone through many, many authors. Some of my favorites include Mercedes Lackey, David Eddings, Anne McCaffery, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Robin Hobb, and Piers Anthony. I've read almost every book each of these authors has written. Every now and then, I exhaust the selection available at Barnes and Noble and must search for a new author. So in scanning the shelves last weekend, I came across "Through Wolf's Eyes" by Jane Lindskold.

When I look for a new fantasy book, I tend to shy away from ones that describe "a classic battle between good and evil" or "an intriguing political web of mysteries." I prefer books that don't follow a typical formula, that instead focus on character development. I also tend to get lost in battle scenes or political maneuverings. So when I read "She's not your standard-issue princess--and this is not your standard-issue fairy tale" on the back of "Through Wolf's Eyes" I decided to give it a shot.

Briefly (since I've been so long winded thus far) a girl is raised by Royal wolves, bigger, stronger, and wiser than regular wolves. She is found as a teenager and believed to be the long lost heir to the throne. The story follows her learning how to behave more like a lady and less like a wolf, and how she fits into her human heritage. It is very well written, and I want to keep reading to discover how she will handle the next situation. I'm only about halfway through, but can't wait to finish!

Here's an excerpt of one of my favorite parts. Firekeeper is travelling with the humans and their pack train. The animals are wary of her, as she smells and acts like a wolf. She decides to "help" out with one of the reluctant mules.
From the corner of her eye, Firekeeper saw Derian approaching, lightly swinging the stick he used to swat the mules across their hindquarters. Determined to move the animal herself, she considered her options.

To this point, she had not tried talking with the animals the two-legs had brought with them. She rarely had bothered speaking with herbivores in any case, finding it uncomfortable to talk with those she might later eat. Now, however, she stood on her toes, rising just high enough that her lips were close to one of the mule's brown-haired, dark-tipped ears.

she snarled. "Or I'll eat you for supper!"

Any doubts she had that the mule would understand her vanished as he threw back his head and brayed in naked terror.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I just was pointed to a very cool site!


Have you ever heard of www.wheresgeorge.com? It's a site where you enter a dollar bill's serial number into a database, write the website on the bill, and then track where it goes by the people who find it and log it in.

BookCrossing takes that concept one step further. Say you've just read a great book. You register the book at the site, and then pass it on somehow. You can leave it on a park bench, in a cafe, donate it to charity, whatever. The next person who picks up the book (hopefully) notices the ID number for the book, reads it, and records a journal entry in the website. How cool is that, I ask???

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rail Trail

A few days after New Year's, mom, Daniel and I went to the local "Rail Trail." (An old railway bed converted to a paved walking path.) The weather was warm and spring-like...and it was January 4th. Now, sitting here with tomorrow's projected high of a whopping 16 degrees, I'm wishing it was nice out again. Here are a couple pictures of the new playground alongside the trail. After Daniel got over his general awe at the playground, he went right up to some children playing and said "Hello friends!" My little ambassador.This one I snapped from across the playground using my new telephoto lens.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Great Green Room Wiki

When I was searching for anything interesting on "Goodnight Moon" yesterday, I came across this site.


It is a website based on the Wikipedia model, where anyone can contribute to it. It is geared towards compiling a database of information on children's literature. It was set up this past summer. Sadly, it doesn't seem to have much information (or any) on it yet. It has the potential to be a wonderful resource!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Goodnight Moon

The first book I ever read to Daniel, when he was just a few days old, was "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. It was my favorite book when I was a child, and I can still remember the sense of quiet I felt as I listened to my mother read it.

In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of-

The cow jumping over the moon
And there were three little bears sitting on chairs

And two little kittens
And a pair of mittens
And a little toyhouse
And a young mouse

And a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush
And a quiet old lady who was whispering "hush"

Did you know these facts about the book?
  • On every color page, you can find the little mouse hiding somewhere.
  • "The Runaway Bunny", Margaret Wise Brown's other classic book, is on the bookshelf.
  • The painting on the wall of the bunny fishing is actually a drawing from "The Runaway Bunny."
  • There is a copy of "Goodnight Moon" on the nightstand beside the bed.
  • The three little bears have a picture of the cow jumping over the moon on their wall.
  • The Simpsons had an episode with Christopher Walken (brrrrr) reading the book to a group of increasingly frightened children. Yeah, that would put me over the edge.
  • The book is referred to in The Exorcist III. (Goodnight moon, goodnight stars, goodnight Amy.)
  • Opus enjoys his own version of "Goodnight Moon" in Bloom County.
  • Zits (one of my favorite comics about a teenage boy...I envision Daniel in a dozen years) did a parody of the book called "Goodnight Dude."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Baby Update

I've realized I haven't talked much about my pregnancy on here, and thought I should give an update. Everything is going well so far. I'm 11 weeks along, and no longer nauseous. I'm still a bit tired, but I have a feeling that's going to go with the territory, between teaching 21 kindergartners and taking care of a toddler.

At my ultrasound, they did find a small subchorionic hemmorhage. This is basically just a small pool of blood in the uterus. I've had no bleeding or spotting from it, thank goodness. My midwife told me to take it easy until the next appointment on the 31st. So no sex (poor Doug), no yoga, nothing that will cause it to get worse. I had one of these when I was pregnant with Daniel and it just reabsorbed on its own. That's what we hope will happen with this one. I get another ultrasound on my next visit to check on it.

Meanwhile, I've been going stir crazy today. I feel like I need to take it easy, yet the house is a disaster, and the computer room that will eventually be baby's room looks like a tornado hit it. So I've been doing a little bit here and there, but not as much as I'd have liked to.

I do have a home doppler unit that I had rented with Daniel and eventually just bought. I used it tonight for the first time, and heard a nice little heartbeat! That was very reassuring. Maybe tomorrow I'll head out to the craft store, just to get out of the house.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Princess Bride

It's Hurshy's fault. She had to have the Dread Pirate Roberts icon for Babble the other day, and just tonight started me quoting lines from the movie. We either entertained the other Babblers or bored them to tears, I'm not sure which, but it certainly was fun! With that in mind, here are my favorite quotes from the movie "The Princess Bride." (Thanks to this site.)
Grandfather: I brought you a special present.
Kid: [excitedly] What is it?
Grandfather: Open it up.
Kid: [opening the gift] A book?
Grandfather: That's right, when I was your age, television was called books; and this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick and I used to read it to your father...and today, I'm gonna read it to you.
Kid: [less interested] Does it got any sports in it?
Grandfather: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
Kid: It doesn't sound too bad. I'll try and stay awake.
Grandfather: Oh, well, thank you very much. That's very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.

Narrator: That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying 'as you wish,' what he meant was, 'I love you.' And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.

Inigo: Vizzini, he can...fuss.
Fezzik: Fuss...fuss...I think he likes to scream at us.
Inigo: Probably he means no...harm.
Fezzik: He's very, very short on...charm.
Inigo: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: [overhearing Fezzik] Enough of that!
Inigo: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it!
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: Aauuuggghhhhh!!!!!!

Vizzini: [in disbelief] What?! [now, spying a ship in the distance] Probably...some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise at night...through eel infested waters.

Inigo: I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?
Man in black: [revealing his five fingers] Do you always begin conversations this way?

Inigo: I was eleven years old. When I was strong enough, I dedicated my life to the study of fencing; so the next time we meet I will not fail. I will go up to the six-fingered man and say 'Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.'

Inigo: You are wonderful!
Man in black: Thank you. I've worked hard to become so.
Inigo: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man in black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo: Because I know something you don't know.
Man in black: And what is that?
Inigo: [switching hands] I am not left-handed!

Vizzini: Finish him! Finish him...your way...
Fezzik: Oh good. My way. Thank you Vizzini. Which way's my way?
Vizzini: [irritated] Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, and in a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend. The minute his HEAD is in view hit it with the rock!
Fezzik: [to himself] My way is not very sportsman-like.

Buttercup: On the the high-seas your ship attacked, and the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners!
Man in black: I can't afford to make exceptions. I mean once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft people begin to disobey him and its nothing but work, work, work all the time.

Wesley: Aha! Your pig fiancé is too late! A few more steps and we'll be safe in the fire-swamp.
Buttercup: [worried] We'll never survive.
Wesley: [confident] Nonsense! You're only saying that because no one ever has.

Narrator: It was ten days 'till the wedding. The king still lived, but Buttercup's nightmares were becoming steadily worse.
Kid: See? Didn't I tell you she'd never marry that rotten Humperdinck.
Narrator: Yes, you're very smart. Shut up.

Inigo: Are you the Miracle Max who worked for the king all those years?
Max: The king's stinking son fired me. And thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut, and pour lemon juice on it. We're closed! [Max closes a flap over the door hole, but Inigo still knocks] Beat it or I'll call the brute squad!
Fezzik: I'm on the brute squad.
Max: You are the brute squad!

Valerie: Bye bye, boys!
Max: Have fun storming the castle!
Valerie: [to Max] Think it will work?
Max: It would take a miracle.
Max and Valerie: [waving] Buh-bye!

Clergyman: Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam...

King: [Buttercup kisses him on the forehead] What was that for?
Buttercup: Because you've always been so kind to me, and I won't be seeing you again since I'm killing myself once we reach the honeymoon suite.
King: [happily] Won't that be nice...she kissed me! [He giggles]

Humperdinck: To the death!
Wesley: [slowly sitting up] No! To the pain!
Humperdinck: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase?
Wesley: I'll explain, and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand. You warthog-faced-buffoon!
Humperdinck: [insulted] That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me.
Wesley: It won't be the last. To the pain means the first thing you lose will be your your feet below the ankles, then your hands at your wrists. Next, your nose.
Humperdinck: Then my tongue, I suppose? I killed you too quickly the last time, a mistake I don't mean to duplicate tonight.
Wesley: I wasn't finished! The next thing you lose will be your left eye followed by your right!
Humperdinck: And then my ears...I understand! Let's get on with it!
Wesley: Wrong! Your ears you keep, and I'll tell you why; so that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness is yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman that cries out, 'dear god what is that thing!' will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

Narrator: Since the invention of the kiss, there had been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. THE END.

Kid: Grandpa. Maybe you could come over and read it again to me tomorrow.
Grandfather: As you wish.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Scrabble Baby

It's never too early to train the kiddies in Scrabble strategy! This is my friend Nadine, who comes over roughly once a month to cut my hair and Daniel's. After the haircut, we always play a game of Scrabble. Daniel was very interested in all the letters, so I got out an old game for him to play with. (What, doesn't everybody have more than one Scrabble game?)
These are actually some older pictures, and my apologies to those who have seen them before. I'm not feeling 100% tonight, so I went with what was easy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rock This Website!

A friend over at Babble (Lickety himself!) showed off this link last night. If you go here: http://www.tenaciousdmovie.com/ and click on "rock the internet" it will overhaul any website you choose. Makes for some cheap harmless fun! (And of course, free advertising for the movie Tenacious D, The PIck of Destiny, but what doesn't come with strings?)

Here's my blog turned possessed: http://www.tenaciousdmovie.com/rocktheinternet/?id=170027

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kitty Update- Changing of the Guard

Something interesting has been happening ever since Samantha died. Samantha was always "my" cat, and Delilah was always Doug's. As you read in my earlier post, Samantha always sat on the back of the couch by my ear while I typed on the laptop. She always cuddled with me at night, laying up against me or loving my hand.

Now, it seems Delilah has decided to take over where her sister has left off. She has frequently been in Samantha's "spot" on the couch while I sit here, and every single night since Samantha died, she has slept with me and cuddled right up to me. This is unusual behavior for her. Normally she will cuddle Doug, sleeping right against him, but giving me space. Not anymore. I've been aware of her loving my hand in the middle of the night, flopping down tight against my arm or side, and just in general being much more lovey to me.

I find it very interesting, and am grateful for it. It would have been much rougher without her presence lately!

Fishing bloopers

Ha! If you came on earlier today, you'd have seen eight, count 'em eight, of these videos posted, all at the exact same time. I repeat: stupid YouTube. Anyway, I hope the video was worth it. It gave me a chuckle at least.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hot Web Sites of 2007

I was watching a clip from MSNBC about what will be the up and coming web sites of 2007. Music seems to be a big trend, with www.pandora.com that will suggest songs based on songs you already chose, and www.lala.com, a legal music sharing site. What really caught my eye though, were the storage sites: www.xdrive.com and www.carbonite.com. They are sites that will allow you to store your computer's data with them. Instead of backing your computer's files up on cds or memory cards or zip drives, you can store it online. Xdrive says you can have 5gb storage for free. I assume if you want or need more, you pay for it. Carbonite has a 2 week trial period, then costs about $50 a year for membership. It's definitely something I might consider, especially as I'm amassing a large file of photographs on my computer that I would hate to lose!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stupid YouTube

I've been trying off and on for about an hour to post a stupid video of fishing bloopers. It's not working. Sorry folks! I'll be back tomorrow with something better.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

It's National Delurker Week! I've seen this on several blogs now. If you're a lurker who has not posted a comment yet, come out and say hi!

Cat Quotes

Thank you Nancy (Journey Woman) for finding these quotes about cats for me.
There are no ordinary cats.

Robert A. Heinlein
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

Louis Camuti
There is something about the presence of a cat... that seems to take the bite out of being alone.

Paula Poundstone
The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.

Jean Cocteau
I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little they become its visible soul.

Albert Schweitzer
There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Goodbye Samantha

My kitty died tonight. My dad got her and her sister about 12 years ago. They're both pitch black. The only way we could tell them apart was Delilah had a few white hairs on her chest, and Samantha had a slightly thicker tail. The vet said she had a heart murmer, and to just make sure she doesn't get too excited. Dad kept her and her sister for a while. A couple years later, Doug and I had our first pair of kittens before we were married. They ended up dying of feline leukemia before they were a year old. At the time, Dad was with someone who didn't like cats much, so he brought the girls up for us to keep. They travelled from Binghamton to Plattsburgh, and then back to Binghamton when we moved back to the area. This past summer, Samantha was suddenly paralyzed in her back legs. We called the emergency vet, took her down about 9pm, and he kept her overnight. He told us she had an embolism, and the blot clot had lodged in the main vein that runs to the back legs. He put her on oxygen, gave her heparin, and said he'd call us if things were worse. If we didn't hear from him by noon, then things were ok. I don't think he expected her to make it. Well, she did, and stayed at the vet's office for a few more days. We brought her home, and she began to walk on the legs again. We were told to give her a baby aspirin every other day. Sometime this past fall, she had another one. We took her to the vet again, she rallied, and was put on a heart medication every day. In between vet visits, you'd have almost never known she had any leg problems. She was running around, jumping, being her usual self. The vets were amazed at how she recovered. About a month ago, it happened a third time, but this time it was only one leg that was affected. We gave her her medicine right away, and decided to see how she did at home overnight. By the morning she was much better, and again started gaining back use of her leg. Tonight, Doug went downstairs, saw her on the chair and pet her. When she didn't coo or wriggle into his hand, he knew she was gone. She looks like she went very peacefully in her sleep, or at least that's what I'm hoping just by the way she is curled up. I realized I don't have very many pictures of her at all, so I'm going to take a couple before she gets buried. She just looks like she's sleeping right now.

These are my memories of her:
  • curling into my hair at my neck and shoulder when she was a kitten
  • jumping onto my lap every time I went on the computer and was sitting in the computer chair
  • when I moved to a laptop and the couch, she'd always sit on the back of the couch, purring inches away from my ear
  • being pregnant with Daniel and having her lay on my huge belly when I slept on my side
  • having her cuddle up to me at night by putting her paws on my ribs and laying half on me
  • Doug complaining that she sat on his head in the middle of the night
  • feeling how very soft she was
  • calling her the "dumb blonde" even though she actually was the most courageous of all the cats
  • watching her explore every inch of the house when we first moved in, while her big "tough" sister remained hiding
  • listening to her yammer away the few times she went outside, and calling her cow kitty because of the way she grazed
  • calling her "needful thing" as a nickname
  • always knowing she would come jump on the bed when I crawled in, and hearing her purr as I went to sleep
  • knowing if I put a hand out on the bed, she'd nuzzle her head into it
  • seeing her come out of the bathroom with her head soaked in sparkly drops of water from drinking out of the drippy tub faucet
  • calling her "soft lovey", Manthers, and Manther Panther
Doug's going to take her out to the grove and bury her tomorrow. I was petting her a few minutes ago, and kept thinking, "I don't want to stop petting her, because I know it will be the last time." Goodbye my love.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

First Ultrasound

I had my ultrasound today, and all went well. Well, aside from the tech coming a degree or two from burning my belly with the too hot gel! She said she'd been having trouble with that warmer. It was bad enough I had to have her wipe it off quickly. Baby is doing fine, the heartbeat is 173 bpm. He/she measured at 10 weeks, which according to my chart, I will be tomorrow. I do have a small subchorionic hemorrhage, which is just a small pool of blood in the uterus. It doesn't concern me much as I had the same thing with Daniel, and it just reabsorbed. I've not had any spotting, but if I do, I'll know what to attribute it to. Baby gave me quite a few good waves hello, and is doing great!

I don't have a scan of the ultrasound, but this shows what the little one looks like. The top left pic is to scale. From a really cool site, VisEmbryo.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hubble Space Telescope

I've always been fascinated by the pictures produced by the Hubble Space Telescope. Thus, for tonight's post, I went in search of some information about it. Ever wonder about those brilliant colors? (Information copied from the HubbleSite, behind the pictures.)
Taking color pictures with the Hubble Space Telescope is much more complex than taking color pictures with a traditional camera. For one thing, Hubble doesn't use color film — in fact, it doesn't use film at all. Rather, its cameras record light from the universe with special electronic detectors. These detectors produce images of the cosmos not in color, but in shades of black and white.

Finished color images are actually combinations of two or more black-and-white exposures to which color has been added during image processing.

The colors in Hubble images, which are assigned for various reasons, aren't always what we'd see if we were able to visit the imaged objects in a spacecraft. We often use color as a tool, whether it is to enhance an object's detail or to visualize what ordinarily could never be seen by the human eye.
Go to the link if you're a science geek like me and would like to learn more! Or just explore their site. They have tons of facts about the telescope, history, picture albums, wallpaper, a newscenter, and even an interactive exploration of some of the more famous images. A good (educational) time waster!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Senator Wants to Remove "Idiot" from NJ Constitution

I heard this on the radio this morning, and decided to look it up and see the whole story behind it. Apparently there is a section in the New Jersey Constitution from 1844 that says "No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage." Senate President Richard J. Codey introduced a resolution to change the language yesterday, and it will be voted on in November. He proposes changing the wording to "No person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting shall enjoy the right of suffrage."

There are six other states who also use the same language: Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio.

For a full article on the subject, go here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

You Know You Are Living in 2007 When...

My dad sent this to me in an e-mail. I loved it, and decided to post it.


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2.You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list


Go on, forward this to your friends. You know you want to.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


A fellow "Babbler", Robin, has a wonderful blog called Big Window. I've been browsing through the images she's found, and have discovered the joy of photoblogs. Here's a stunning picture from Round Here. (Click on the picture for the full size and impact.) I've started a new list of photoblog links over on the sidebar.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

5 Things About Me

What a week for memes! This is the third one I've been tagged for, and I hadn't even gotten to the second yet. This is a quickie, so I'll do it first. It's by way of Chicken Spaghetti, and was supposed to be a reflection of your last year's blog posts. I haven't been blogging more than a few months, so I'll just do the traditional 5 interesting things about me.

1. I can sight read Braille. My mom's partner was in a car accident in 1990, when I was in high school, and was blinded. As she learned grade one braille, so did I.

2. I used to be in the colorguard and winterguard in high school. I twirled flag, rifle and saber, and was captain the last few years.

3. I'm a third generation teacher. My mom teaches special education at the school I work in, and her uncle taught English, either college or high school, I'm not sure which.

4. Doug and I are high school sweethearts. We started dating in junior year in high school, had lockers next to each other alphabetically, and kept up a long distance relationship between the Army and college. We've been together 16 years now, married for 10.

5. I used to be fairly fluent in French. I took French class from 7th grade through college. I went to college at SUNY Plattsburgh, about 50 minutes away from Montreal. My proudest moment was when we were up there for a band performance, and a native asked me (in French) what was going on. Dingbat that I am, I naturally answered in English! Luckily, she was bilingual. My saddest moment was in a hotel pool in Canada, when some 8 year olds corrected my French grammar.

I'm not tagging anyone for this, but if you end up doing it in your blog, let me know here in the comments!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Tasha Tudor

I don't even know where to start with this remarkable artist. She is a timeless illustrator and a fascinating woman. I have several of her books, a few of which are probably collectors items by now.

She was born in 1915, and has recently turned 91 in 2006. She has illustrated nearly 100 books, and received Caldecott Honors for Mother Goose and 1 is One. Once you see a few of her illustrations, you get to recognize them anywhere. She uses soft, almost delicate colors, and her drawings often seem to transport you back to the days before cell phones, televisions, or even electricity for that matter.

She lives what she draws. (Or rather, she draws what she lives.) Her house was built in the 1970s by her son using only hand tools. She is surrounded by antiques which never have a chance to collect dust. She makes her own candles and soap, weaves her own cloth, cooks on an old fashioned stove, cans, makes her own ice cream and cheese from fresh goat's milk, and collects eggs from her chickens. I have a book called The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Richard Brown and Tasha Tudor which details her day to day life. If you're a fan of her work, I recommend this book for an inside look at who she is.

This is probably my most beloved book of hers. I have a well worn copy from when I was a child. If you click on the book, it will take you to Amazon.com, which lets you see a few illustrations. If I could show you the whole book I would!I found an almost amusing interview by the site downhomebooks.com. It's funny due to the complexity of the interviewer's questions contrasted with Tasha's extremely brusque answers. As the interviewer says, she suffers no fools! Here's an example (she was interviewed through her son Seth, thus the seemingly odd self reference).
DHBks: One thing stood out for me when I read A is for Annabelle as a young child. When you got to the letter “X,” instead of making up some insipid comment, you said, “X is the comment for which I've no rhyme!” I remember standing up and cheering. Did you have this in mind from the very beginning, or search for an “X” word to rhyme with, and then give it up in frustration?

TT/Seth: Tasha Tudor cannot explain the instinctive creative process.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Catch 33

I didn't touch the computer last night (and if you know me, you know that's unusual) and have a lovely migraine starting tonight. So I leave you with this, a simple point and click game that is pretty fun. You have to touch the numbers in order, from 1 to 33. The catch is they bounce around the screen randomly. It doesn't matter if other numbers touch the cursor, there is no penalty. The trick is just finding the right number!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Skipping Rocks at Dorchester Park

Full Moon

Here is a full moon picture I took this evening, to go along with my F post.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Letter F

Nancy over at Journey Woman just tagged me to list 10 of my favorite things that start with the letter F. Surprisingly, feathers wasn't one of the first things to come to my mind!

1. Fudge Mmmm, just thinking about a piece of chocolate fudge right now is making my mouth water. Or maybe chocolate/peanut butter...or chocolate/mint...

2. Flowers I am a great admirer of flowers. Not such a hot cultivator though. I tend to forget during the hot dry days of summer that my poor garden would perhaps like a drink. Actually, I prefer going to other people's gardens and admiring their handiwork.

3. Friends I've never been Miss Popular with 50 best friends, but the friends I do have I treasure. Sadly, my closest friend lives 4 and a half hours away.

4. Farts! Ok, first off, I'm pregnant. Which means that, technically speaking, progesterone has slowed down my digestive tract. Non-technically, that means I get a lot of heartburn and gas pains. So I do enjoy the release of said pressure! However, I think I'm beginning to scare my husband and our small animals...

5. Free Play This is the time of day that my kindergartners get to choose whatever activity they want to do. It is the last thing we do each day. I like it because it means we've made it through another busy day of reading, counting, cutting, pasting, and general mayhem, and now the kids (and I) get to relax and have fun. (Ohh, another good F word!)

6. French Fries I went on Weight Watchers a little more than a year ago, and lost 35 pounds. McDonald's french fries were one indulgence I liked to have every now and then. Now that I'm pregnant again, I'm finding that french fries are one of the foods that taste really yummy, and have no heartburn after effects. They do seem to be affecting the scale a bit too much however!

7. Fireflies I love warm summer nights and watching the fireflies in our (huge) back yard.

8. Full Moon There's just something about looking up at night and seeing the full moon rising over the horizon. I could gaze at it for ages.

9. Friday Need I say more?

10. Fantasy I love reading, and my favorite genre is fantasy.

I'm tagging Sarah over at A Dollop of Sour Cream with the letter P.

Joe Paterno

I'm watching the Outback Bowl at this moment, the college game between Penn State and Tennessee. (It's currently tied at halftime.) 80 year old Joe Paterno has been the coach of the Penn State football team since 1966. Both my dad and mom grew up not far from the hometown of the Nittany Lions. My dad went to PSU. So it's only natural that I'm loyal to the team! There are many coaches that I've been impressed by, but few I've admired as much as Paterno.

Here are some interesting facts about him that go beyond the normal football stats.
  • He majored in English Literature at Brown University.
  • He listens to opera while planning the next day's practice and plays.
  • He feels very strongly about his players getting a good education...there are no free rides for his boys.
  • He and his wife donated $3.5 million to PSU, believed to be "the most generous gift ever made by a collegiate coach and his family to a university."
  • He and his wife are helping to expand the campus library. In his words: "I've said it a hundred times, a great library is the heart of a great university, and if we want to remain a big league university, we've got to have a big league library."
  • His players don't have their names on their jerseys or logos on their helmets, due to his team oriented philosophy.
"Just winning is a silly reason to be serious about a game," he said in his autobiography, Paterno: By the Book. "For a kid still in school, devotion to winning football games at nearly any cost may cripple his mind for life. Institutions of higher learning don't have the moral right to exploit and mislead inexperienced kids that way.

"The purpose of college football is to serve education," Paterno said, "not the other way around. I hound my players to get involved. Ten years from now I want them to look back on college as a wonderful time of expanding themselves -- not just four years of playing football."
(Information collected from Wikipedia and PSU's biography.)