Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The BEST Synopsis of Harry Potter Book 7

I was right about the main thing, but not really. I totally expected that, but thought it would happen differently. I was pretty sure about that, but it wasn't who I thought it was going to be. I knew that would happen, but I thought it would be because of that and not that. I figured out that's where it was, but I was completely surprised at how he got it. I was pretty sure that guy wasn't going to turn out as bad as he'd been portrayed earlier, but I thought it was pretty cool how it finally fit together. And how about that ending!

From Musings of a Dinosaur

On Quoting Shakespeare

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare ``It's Greek to me'', you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

- Bernard Levin

Monday, July 30, 2007

Meh Weekend in Review

Phil left for his European Excursion

I started reading Harry Potter (but stopped after 100 pages and two deaths)

One of my violin students stood up me up for his lesson

Had a Roast Beef sandwich for lunch on Sunday (with cheese - that was nice).

Did not make it to The Simpsons Movie

Went for a long long long walk and a long bicycle ride

Boss's daughter was shot in the chest on Saturday

I watched all of the Doctor Who episodes that are available to me (2007 episodes).

The Farmers Market had fresh potatoes

I did not do any of the laundry that needed to be done (and am running out of clean clothes)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Robert Heinlein Article

Though he later became well known for his anticommunism, Heinlein in the late 1930s indulged in both leftist and isolationist politics. He sold his first science-fiction story in 1939 for $70, "and there was never a chance that I would ever again look for honest work." After Pearl Harbor, to his great disappointment, he was not called back into uniformed service. He ended the war at the Philadelphia Naval Aircraft Factory, working with fellow writers L. Sprague de Camp and Isaac Asimov.

Full Article

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Announcing Phil!

Brother Phil shared address of his blog with the world today.
If you are so inclined - check him out and say hello!

Phil was only 8 years old when I moved out, so he's the sibling I know least well. Sometimes (often?) I suspect that I unknowingly annoy him (Although, if we're honest, there are times when I purposely annoy him, because that's just what sisters are supposed to do!)

Phil's a spiffy person with an amazing array of interests and opinions - A quick read though his archives will reveal a passion for woodworking, bicycling, baking, music, gardening and more.

Perhaps most interesting to me is Phil's dream of owning a cabin in Alaska. Read his dreams then read my plans for a farm. Very interesting brother dear - very interesting.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The 100 Most Important Human Traits

1. Accepts constructive criticism
2. Accepts others/individual differences
3. Accommodates divergent viewpoints
4. Accurate self-assessment
5. Acknowledges personal deficiencies
6. Adaptability
7. Ambition (commensurate with ability)
8. Analytical thinking
9. Appreciates art/music
10. Believes the best of others
11. Bonds well with others/accepts love
12. Brings out the best in others
13. Capitalizes on personal assets
14. Caring
15. Civility
16. Collaborates
17. Commitment
18. Communication skills
19. Compassion
20. Consistent belief system
21. Continuous learning
22. Controls impulsivity
23. Cooperative
24. Courage
25. Courtesy
26. Creativity
27. Decision-making skills
28. Dependability
29. Determination
30. Emotional intelligence (EQ/EI)
31. Empathy
32. Engaging
33. Enjoys life
34. Enthusiastic
35. Ethical
36. Expressive
37. Faithful
38. Finds common ground
39. Flexibility in thinking
40. Forgiveness
41. Forward-looking/forward-thinking
42. Friendly
43. Generous
44. Genuine
45. Gracious
46. Healthy self-confidence
47. Helps others grow and develop
48. Honest
49. Hopeful
50. Humble
51. Inclusive
52. Ingenuity
53. Initiative
54. Innovative
55. Insight
56. Inspirational
57. Integrity
58. Intelligence
59. Intuition
60. Invites input from others/builds consensus
61. Kindness
62. Knows how to remain focused
63. Leadership
64. Learns from own errors/experiences
65. Linguistic precision/word economy
66. Listens objectively
67. Looks for opportunities to learn
68. Love
69. Loyalty
70. Manages conflict/stress
71. Manages weaknesses (protects "strengths")
72. Methodical
73. Nurturing/shows warmth
74. Optimism
75. Originality
76. Patience
77. Perseverance/Persistence
78. Political/social awareness
79. Respectful of others
80. Responsible
81. Seeks global connectedness
82. Seeks harmony/fairness
83. Seeks new heights for "personal bests"
84. Self-control/self-discipline
85. Self-esteem
86. Self-sufficiency
87. Sense of humor
88. Service to others
89. Sharing
90. Social skills
91. Spontaneity
92. Teaches others by example/mentorship
93. Thinks beyond the obvious
94. Thinks independently
95. Tolerance
96. Trusting of others
97. Trustworthy
98. Welcomes (and invites) change
99. Wins others over
100. Works through influence (not intimidation)

Full Article


Fear and loneliness - they’re the big ones; Some of the most terrible acts ever committed have been inspired by them. We’re not dealing with something that wants to conquer or destroy.

There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive, wormhole refractors. You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold
-From the Doctor Who episode Fear Her

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Almost Stream of Conscious

* O. is a camp buddy. One of the many things I love about O. is that she is not stingy with the word "brilliant!"
I could say something terribly mundane (like, "Let's have cheese sandwiches for lunch").
And O. would reply, "BRILLIANT!"
(Once I told O. how much I love her "BRILLIANT!"s, and she started doing it more often - just to make me happy!)

*I just finished reading Museum - which presents interviews with people who work at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. My favorite interview is with the guy who works at the information desk. He talks about how much he enjoys Brittish tourists (specifically because they say, "BRILLIANT!" at the end of every sentence. (I thought of you O. - miss 'ya!)

*Speaking of all things British - my roommate has gotten me hooked on Doctor Who. (I'm seriously falling in love with this show).

*I should be reading the last Harry Potter book. But Harry Potter madness will have to wait until the Doctor Who obsession passes. This is ok - - I read the unauthorized NYT advance review which indicates that half a dozen people are going to die. (And my emotional reserves are overwhelmed with real-life-death and grief; I'm not interested in adding fictional death to the mix).

* While looking up more information on Doctor Who (because I'm behind and have lottsa questions!) I came across a wikipedia entry which says that David Tennent's mother died on Sunday. And I wonder how his emotional reserves are doing. (And why people seem to be dying left-n-right?). It must be crummy to grieve publicly, and I feel sad for him.

* I'm now running Linux on my home computer. (I realize that Linux plus Docotor Who puts me on the slippery slope to becoming a computer geek. (I would try to argue my way out of this by telling you that it's a "gooey" version of Linux, but I fear that such talk would only confirm suspicions that I'm days away from getting a Think Geek Account).

* I'm not happy with my template update. Maybe it's time to make friends with a professional designer.

* I am suddenly very tired (and wanting to go to bed). Good Night

Friday, July 20, 2007

I Have a Pretty New Dress

Dear 'ole Dad: That's a pretty dress

Me: Thanks, I'm calling it my Inara Dress - because it looks like something she'd wear

Phil: Wow - it really does! Except Inara would be more colorful.

Me: Yeah, Irana can wear colors better than me. But if she were blonde, she'd wear brown - just like me right now.

Dear 'ole Dad: Isn't Inara the prostitute?

Me: Yes. Although technically she's a "companion."

Dear 'old Dad: What's the difference?

Phil: The training!

Dear 'ole Dad: I don't think you look like a prostitute

Me: Neither do I - but isn't it a pretty dress?

Dear 'ole Dad: It is a pretty dress

I've Wondered . . .

Up until this morning, I had two possible theories on how Tour de France riders took care of bathroom breaks.

Theory #1 - No bathroom break until the end of the stage. (and if 'ya gotta go - ride faster!)
Theory #2 - No bathroom breaks - just sweat it out.

Today I learned the truth Via Daniel

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dutch now taller than Americans

This one goes out to my dear darling (and very tall) brothers -
It's a good thing you guys grew up in America!

America used to be the tallest country in the world.

From the days of the Founding Fathers through the Industrial Revolution and two world wars, Americans literally towered over people of other nations.

But America's predominance in height has faded. Americans reached a height plateau after World War II, gradually falling behind nations around the world.

By the time the first baby boomers reached adulthood in the 1960s, most northern and western European countries had caught up with and surpassed the U.S. Young adults in Japan and other prosperous Asian countries now stand nearly as tall as Americans. In the Netherlands, the tallest country in the world, the typical man now measures 6 feet, a good 2 inches more than his average American counterpart.

Full Article via Steve Van Deist


People who believe in miracles do not make much fuss when they actually encounter one

Alice Munro
From Dance of the Happy Shades

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Funeral Things

My Aunt died last week.
She was my second mom up until about the time I went off to college.

It was unexpected and I'm still in a bit of denial.
The funeral was yesterday.
It was real at the time, but so unreal right now

* It's a little creepy to think that I took a CPR class on Tuesday, and on Thursday she was dead from a heart attack. PLEASE go learn CPR.

* I'm glad it's socially acceptable for girls (me!) to cry. I felt sorry for the guys, because they wouldn't (couldn't?) cry.

* Preacher Man was un-impressive. He spoke too fast and it was obvious he was doing his stock funeral song-n-dance. He also got really mixed up on the names of the children - and did not apologize for calling Stephie "Steven").

* Good Funeral Homes are a good thing. (A good funeral home can make up for a crummy preacher-man).

* Grief is a weird thing. It's odd the things that suddenly make me sad (and the things that make me smile).

Friday, July 13, 2007


I firmly believe that our current copyright laws are too long and that folks would be much more inclined to respect copyright laws if the terms were shorter (and didn't have crazy Micky Mouse extensions!) It's nice to see that science agrees with me (even if congress doesn't!)

It's easy enough to find out how long copyrights last, but much harder to decide how long they should last—but that didn't stop Cambridge University PhD candidate Rufus Pollock from using economics formulas to answer the question. In a newly-released paper, Pollock pegs the "optimal level for copyright" at only 14 years.

Full Article

Via - Jon

Can't Sleep

I thought there were supposed to be stages to this mourning process,
But shock, denial, and a twinge of anger are all mixed together.

Sleep is probably on the other side of a good cry,
But it's hard to cry when you don't really believe she's dead.

* * *
Things more quickly when you're on the outside.
They don't call outsiders until the details are know and arrangements made.
On the inside things move slowly,
I know she died, but the how/why is a question mark
A big question mark.
As is the funeral and such

* * *

The first phone number I learned as a kid was (of course) my own.
And her phone number was the second one I memorized.
Mom and Dad were the first emergency contact on school forms and permission slips, and she was the second emergency contact.
Emergency contacts aren't supposed to die.

* * *

This is going to be a difficult funeral -
And there are kids too -
What happens to the foster baby?
And the two boys --- they've already been through too much!
Too many questions -
Too soon for answers

* * *

Big family = big support system.
But . . . I suspect that once I'm there, and it all becomes real the grief will be . . . bigger.
And other people are going to have much more
They probably aren't sleeping either.
It's too bad that we live in four different states -
If we were together, we could all not sleep and keep each other company
Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

La la la la la la Tonight

Do you remember the New Kids on the Block?
I was NOT a fan
(As a matter of fact, I spent most of Junior High making fun of people who wasted their money on NKOTB posters, tapes, concert tickets, t-shirts, sheets, and such!)

Except . . . this is such a good song!
(The only good song they every did)

It makes me happy!

Bad Boss

New Boss is bugging me tonight.

We were supposed to have a dinner meeting with a consultant.

Materials were sent late Monday night

(And, to be fair, there were a TON of pre-materials)

I had yesterday off and was not able to look at the stuff.

So today, I came in early (way early) to read and prep for the meeting.

I pushed my intern off on someone else, and ignored all my other calls/emails.

Then, after I've finished reading through the material, New Boss decides to cancel the meeting because HE HASN'T PREPARED! (New Boss was also not prepared for our last meeting with this consultant!)

Now, maybe New Boss has had other pressing mattes to attend to. (BUT . . . he had all day yesterday to get ready. AND he was goofing off this morning. (In fact, he was goofing off loudly enough that I had to more from my desk to the conference room).

I'm angry about wasting the consultant's time

I'm angry that I made of point of coming in early (yet boss couldn't be bothered).

I"m angry that boss is going to get credit for this project

I'm angry that I drove to work today (instead of bicycling) solely because we were supposed to meet tonight. (Esp. with gas prices at their high point of the season!)

I'm angry that boss DARED ask me to plan another dinner meeting for next week. (No way, I'm not doing dinner meetings with him ever again - from now on it will have to be work-hour meetings).

I'm angry that New Boss gets paid almost twice my salary, yet I am doing twice the work he is.

This is a continuing problem

Obviously I ought to talk to New Boss.
Talking to him would be far more professional than blogging about it!)

But I was (AM) way too angry to do it today.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Worst Day of the Year

Long time readers might expect me to name Christmas as The Worst Day of the Year.

Alas, Christmas is only the Second Worst Day of the Year. Tomorrow is my CPR renewal day (and thus, The Worst Day of the Year).

Before I whine, let me disclaimer-ize that There Are A Lot of Reasons to Get (or Renew) CPR Certification . . .
(And if you haven't done so in the last year or two, you should find a class right now!) * It's the responsible thing to do
* Lottsa people (including my grandmother) die from heart attacks
* I get a super-duper-mega discount (thanks to girl scouts!)
* And (to quote the Red Cross Propaganda) "You Can Save a Life!"

And so, I'm taking one of my precious precious vacation days to skip out on work, wake up early, fight rush hour traffic to get across town, and take the renewal class.

The class is five very-much-not-fun hours of kneeling on a hard floor while counting to 30, over and over again. (And while I certainly appreciate that the CPR standards have gotten easier in the last 10 years, but the companion videos have gotten worse and worse. The acting used to be bad-enough-to-laugh-at, but now it is painfully bad).

Bah Humbug

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Excuse the Mess

I'm updating and playing with my template.
There are some issues with the permalinks, and I'm not happy with the comments.
(But the archives are fixed!!)
Work in progress

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pluses and Minuses

- I've been a bad blogger. Mostly because I'd rather play outside than sit at a computer thinking of interesting things to write.

+ The Grown Up Vicky Austin (who is quickly becoming a friend) send me an email last week that a publisher has just bought her first novel!

+ Inter-library loan was very good to me this week. I just came home with a bunch of books (about 1/3 of them were recomended by The Grown Up Vicky Austin!)

- I was sick this week. (Pukey kind of sick). FYI - Puked up blueberries will stain if you don't make it to the bathroom quickly enough.

+ Luckily it was only a 12 hour bug, so my infirmity was over quickly. (I didn't even miss work!)

+ Fourth of July was a lovely low-key sort of day. (Relax, play with my nephews, and dinner on the porch at my parents place at night). No fireworks - which is fire with me.

- I desperately need a new blog template. The archives are broken and this layout is several years old.

- Someone at work was laid off last week. It makes me sad.

+ I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and they had GREED BEANS! (The first bean of the summer tasted delicious). AND it's really hot out today, which is good because hot weather makes tomoatoes rippen faster!

- My place is a mess. But I just can't work up the energy to clean. (I do have energy to go for a bicycle ride, or walk to the park, or even play in the pool -- but my cleaning energies are on empty!)

+ The operating system on my computer is being switched over to Linux sometime in the next few days. (I'm a litte nervous about this, but am excited to get bumped up a level on the Geek-o-Meter!)

Carol Dweck Excerpt

Tests, Dweck notes, are notoriously poor at measuring potential. Take a group of adults and ask them to draw a self-portrait. Most Americans think of drawing as a gift they don’t have, and their portraits look no better than a child’s scribbles. But put them in a well-designed class—as Betty Edwards, the author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, has—and the resulting portraits look so skilled it’s hard to believe they’re the work of the same “talentless” individuals. The belief that you can’t improve stunts achievement.

Culture can play a large role in shaping our beliefs, Dweck says. A college physics teacher recently wrote to Dweck that in India, where she was educated, there was no notion that you had to be a genius or even particularly smart to learn physics. “The assumption was that everyone could do it, and, for the most part, they did.”

Full Article
More to come . . . I just got her book from the library