Friday, April 29, 2005

Customize Your CD cases

I will occasionally burn cds for people. But I'm cheap and generally buy my cds in bulk on a spindle and never have cases. Thanks to this website, I can make my own Paper Cd Case. Now I won't look like such a cheap bastard, just inventive.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Kiwi is my Favorite Fruit

I used to not eat it as much as I do now. I hated peeling the little buggers. Then, my friend and fellow blogger, Matthew, showed me a way that renewed my kiwi eating enthusiasm. Cut it in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the fruit. Voila! No peeling required. Thanks, Matt. Here's a half a kiwi to you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Welcome to Jennifer Crusie

Interested in being a con artist? The Dempsey family follows in their father's footprints whether they like it or not. Sophie Dempsey, in Welcome to Temptation, tries to keep her sister and brother in line while helping out her brother's ex-wife. The ex-wife and brother take off at the end of the book for an adventure of their own, continued in the next book, Faking It. Only Davy falls in love with yet another family of cons -- art cons. Thoroughly delighted with the whole series, family and love how the characters come back and let you know what is going on. As soon as I can, I'm going to read the other novels by Jennifer Crusie. A couple of the characters from Welcome to Temptation really should have a book of their own.

Rites of Spring

I spent my weekend un-earthing my sun porch. During the winter it is the collection spot for cardboard, misc broken items, things that probably should go in the garage but haven't yet and various other items. In reality it should house our lawn chairs and a table. I made sure it did. I can't quite convince my husband that eating out there would be fun, but my kids are all for it. On Saturdays and Sundays it makes a great spot to relax in, yet be able to hear the dryer buzz signalling that my next load is read to fold. Speaking of which...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Find Cheap Gas... Wisconsin anyway. This cheap gas site relies totally on vistors to update it. I work near a Kwik Trip and have found that the prices have been faithful between website and pump. Thanks, Ruth

Monday, April 25, 2005

Eating my Words

Remember how I said one day I'd own a duck, because my kids and my husband would gang up on me? Nature chipped in too. A pair of mallards can often be found in either our yard or one of the neighbor's. They're a cute couple as they trot down the sidewalk or perch on the front step. Evidently their visits were scouting trips for a new home as they decided to build their nest in the tree in our front yard. Yes, I said, a tree. The nook of choice was the lowest of all available to them, but it still puts them 8 or 9 feet off the ground. The female seldom leaves since she has eggs up there as well. I know that they've been there for a while, but I have no clue as to how long. Two of the eggs have dropped to the ground and cracked. My husband, ever the concerned naturalist, finished cracking them open and figures it is a week or two before she has ducklings. Now that we know that they are there, duck feed has been purchased. My husband is trying to figure out how to get a water dish up there for her too. He did go so far as to take out the Red Ryder BB gun and practice his aim, just to warn off preditors. Our neighbor lost $50 in a bet to his girlfriend. He was convinced that we were feeding him a line, while she believed us. I just want to know how the female knew that of all the yards she surveyed, ours would offer the most protection in the form of my husband.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Artemis Fowl Files by Eoin Colfer

A slim volume with two new stories that fill in the gaps between the three novels previously published by Eoin Coulfer. Also included are interviews with select characters, namely Artemis, Holly, Julian, Butler, etc. One of the stories details how Holly earned her position in LEPrecon. It has a great ending twist that fills in character detail that you know is there, but love to see. I still need to translate the three-page Fairy Language passage that is in middle. More interesting details are to be found, I'm sure.

Cooking Lessons for Fakers

My family really loves a good lasagna. My normal recipe is somewhat haphazard, ie. if you aren't comfortable not using measurements, don't ask me for it. When I make this particular dish, I start in the morning and let it sit in either my fridge or my back porch (if it is in the winter) until supper time. I firmly believe that part of its greatness is the sitting period. Sometimes, it just sounds really good and I don't have the time to make it the way I want. Presenting, Fake Lasagna.

1 lb (or so) hamburger Onion, green pepper and mushrooms (which ever and however much you have on hand) 1 jar of sauce - either the 16 or 28 oz, depending on how saucey you like it Noodles - any shape or size, so long as it isn't manicotti Cheese - anything other than processed slices works here Boil the water and slop in some olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. While that is working up to the boil, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, preferably one with deep sides. Chop the onion, green pepper and mushroom. Adjust for kitchen inventory and preference. After these are starting to soften, add in hamburger (Usually the water is ready for the noodles during this step too.) Brown hamburger and season to preference (salt, black pepper, garlic. Fresh is the best, if you have a press) Once the noodles are al dente and drained and the hamburger is thoroughly cooked, combine the two and the sauce in a oven safe dish. The pot I boiled my noodles in works in the oven, so I only have two pans to wash. Cheese -- two options exist here. It can be added here and baked with the dish. This is great if you have cottage cheese or ricotta that needs to be used up. Shredded cheese can be stirred in too. Otherwise add it to the top of each plate before serving. Bake. If you have an hour -- 350 degrees. If you have 45 minutes, 425 degrees (add about a quarter cup of water to prevent the noodles from drying out.)
This is definitely a staple at my house. My kids are pasta eaters and I usually have ingredients on hand. Some time when I make it I am going to run broccoli and carrots through my food processor and add them to the mix too. If I get them fine enough, no one might notice that they are eating healthier than normal. by the way...this is a good example of why you should never ask me for a recipe for something that I make without a recipe.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Terrible Book Alert

Wanted: One Groom by Pat Ballard was one of the most unrealistic and hard to swallow books I've ever read. The premise is the main character, Hanna Rockwell, needs to get married and fast if she wants to inherit her grandfather's riches. Plot twists include extra-marital affairs, ex-rock star comebacks and finding true love through arranged marriages. The one good thing about the book was Hanna represented a real woman with weight issues. The bad side to this issue is the way her brother reacts to her imperfection. I couldn't buy it. He was nasty and insulting in a thoroughly unbelievable fashion. The arranged marriage theme is cute, if you are a teenager or young adult. I could truly imagine having enjoyed this book when I was thirteen or fourteen, but not as an adult. It's books like this that make me believe that my own writing efforts can find a voice, an audience and a publishing contract.

And You Think I'm a Geek?

J-Walk has spent more time customizing his cd collection that I do reading. But this tweak takes the cake.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult writes women's fiction. She dives into the issues faced by mothers. Each book of I've read has made a small part of me stand up and say, "Yes! Me too!" Whenever I pick up a Jodi Picoult book, I know that I'm going to explore corners of my life that I had no idea existed. Songs of the Humpback Whale was no exception. The novel is told in the voices of five characters -- Father, Mother, Daughter, Mother's lover and Mother's Brother. Just knowing the voices Ms Picoult uses should be enough to give you a bit of the storyline. The father is a marine biology, specializing in the study of whales. He loves them completely, a love that takes over the life of his family. One day the mother has had enough and leaves. The great part about using every character to tell the story is the sympathy develops for each person trapped in the same passage. The faults of the mother, father and daughter are laid open in a way that I've never encoutered before. This is the second novel of Ms Picoult's that I have read, but her first written. The other was Harvesting the Heart, a beautiful story of young, reluctant, motherhood. Her name is on my list of "To Be Read" so I get to all of her works.

Biking in Oshkosh

I rode to work for the first time yesterday. It took me about 20 minutes to go 3 1/2 miles. Granted, I'm not breaking any speed records, but it really isn't as long of a ride as I thought it would be. I enjoy riding for a couple of reasons. It's good exercise. I'm moving my own body weight, the weight of the carrier and the weight of the passengers in the carrier. Thank God that it is only one passenger at this point. By going slower, I see more things and get a different view of Oshkosh. You know how sidewalks usually dipped down and meet the surface of the road? Well, they don't always. I'm okay with it as my bike has shocks. But poor baby in the carrier. He is bounced around like tumbleweed when they don't. For the routes I've taken, I know if the road or the sidewalk is better to ride on. I meet people biking on busy streets like 20th and I think, I'm not that brave, especially with the carrier. People see me, but not the flag behind me that means a carrier. Spring means green, but this year I'm discovering that green comes in many more shades and tones than I ever realized. One of the trails I like goes through some thick foliage along the river. I cannot wait to see what that will look like when everything fills in. As a child I was always more interested in reading, mainly an inside activity. As a high school and college student, I kept my interest in reading, but also was busy with homework and for money work. As an adult, I still love to read and am glad to see my boys doing it. But I'm learning to balance my reading with other activities. Like bicycling.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

First in the "His Dark Materials" series, followed by The Amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. I've read the series before, but during college. I think that my brain was distracted as I am reading more things into the book than before. Or it could be the experience in knowing how it ends and the symbolism of Dust. The Amber Spyglass is sitting on my shelf to be read. I never purchased The Subtle Knife and it is books-to-purchase list. The first installment follows Lyra, a girl left in the care of the Scholar from Oxford College. Except Oxford isn't the Oxford you and I could visit. Instead it is Oxford in a parallel universe where people have daemons, an animal companion that is with them constantly. The deeper, under-lying connection between a daemon and its human is difficult to explain. The best word I have for it is an embodied soul, but even that doesn't really convey it. Lyra's world is carefree until one summer when the Gobblers come to Oxford. Their arrival coincides with Lyra's discovery of her parentage and a gift more precious than any other she has known. Armed only with the friendship of the Gypies, the alethiometer and her daemon, Lyra begins the journey that will change the world as everyone knows it. Interesting note: This volume was released with a different title in the UK -- The Golden Compass and Northern Lights are the same book.

Recent Entries

Ever since I decided to summarize the books I've read, two things have come to my attention

  1. I don't need as many posts, if I only post once a day. For instance, last month I read 11 books. I generally only post Monday through Friday, which in April equals 21 days, ten of which I need to think of something else to say.
  2. I get a lot of hits from people looking for summaries of the books I've read. I have a feeling that most of these are from seekers of book report type information, which they won't find here. Maybe some purple prose, but nothing that will assist in earning an "A+" from any teacher I know.
I love looking at referrer logs to see what is drawing people to my site. My Blog Log tells me where they go, if they click on a link that leads them off of my site. It's a cool way to complete the circle on a webpage.

Monday, April 18, 2005

100 Things

  1. I love my husband, regardless of how much we argue
  2. We have two little boys
  3. They grow up too fast
  4. We might have another
  5. Randy is for it and I'm against it
  6. I don't think I could stand the noise
  7. But I really like babies
  8. Especially when they are asleep
  9. I love to read
  10. I take vacation days and spend them reading instead of vacationing
  11. I pretend that I'm an Excel geek
  12. People at work believe me
  13. I make their lives much easier through simple things
  14. I pretend that they are interested in how I did it
  15. Really, they just want me to be available to do it again
  16. I keep track of my reading list in Excel
  17. As a result, I have lots of information that is totally useless
  18. Just like everyone else on the web
  19. I really believe that I am capable of writing a book that is worthy of publishing
  20. I fear that it will take me the next forty-two years to write it
  21. I secretly teach my boys to like computer games
  22. Just to piss off my husband
  23. He thinks that they should be outside
  24. I think that they need to be normal
  25. My boys like computer games
  26. But I make them go outside too
  27. We like to go for bike rides
  28. Sometimes, we even go really fast
  29. Family is important to me
  30. Especially since my own family lives two states away
  31. I have a secret stash of chocolate in my house
  32. It is for emergencies only
  33. It gets raided every day
  34. I have a black lab and a brown cocker spaniel
  35. The cocker spaniel gets to live only because he is my oldest's
  36. He eats too many shoes for me to like him
  37. The dog, not the kid
  38. We like pets
  39. But we only have dogs and fish
  40. I won't let my husband have a duck
  41. One day, I'm going to own a duck
  42. The three men in my life will conspire against me and get one
  43. Thankfully that day is very far away
  44. My eyes are blue
  45. Sometimes they look green
  46. Or gray
  47. My left eye is smaller than my right one
  48. But I don't look weird or anything
  49. I'm a Harry Potter fan
  50. I've read the first book about 15 times
  51. I figure that's a testimony to its worth
  52. Not something for me to be embarassed about
  53. Others think that I should be embarrassed
  54. I detest novels by Charles Dickens
  55. I firmly believe that he is a prime example of what happens when authors are paid by the word
  56. I adore Jane Austen
  57. Emma is my favorite
  58. But I've read Pride and Prejudice more
  59. I am uninhibited when it comes to buying books for my kids
  60. My house contains between 200-500 hundred books
  61. Numbers like that occur when I use Excel to track things like books
  62. I have abandoned my fantasy novel
  63. I figure, if I'm not interested in it, why would anyone else be
  64. If Bethany reads this, she is going to demand the ending for it
  65. I suck at writing titles for books
  66. I once wrote a 50,000 word novel in one month's time
  67. I plan on doing it again
  68. I've never read it, except during its conception
  69. It's half auto-biographical
  70. What it might contain scares me
  71. But I'm positive that it contains some brilliant purple prose
  72. HTML used to scare me
  73. I started blogging as a means to force myself to learn it
  74. I like HTML
  75. I am going to re-do my template sometime soon
  76. To me, HTML is like punctuation
  77. Generally, it comes out the way it should
  78. Occasionally, I make huge mistakes
  79. When I make a mistake, it's a pretty simple one and everybody recognizes it
  80. My husband tries very hard not to laugh when I do this
  81. I love to rummage sale
  82. I can find the best kids clothes at them
  83. Kids clothes are too expensive to buy new always
  84. I'm cheap
  85. I like the big neighborhood ones where I can wear my kids out by walking for two or three hours
  86. I bribe them with toys while we do this
  87. Bribery is good training
  88. Paychecks are bribery
  89. I need chairs for my three seasons porch
  90. My quest is to find them at a rummage sale
  91. I was married in Las Vegas
  92. I would highly recommend it to anyone
  93. We were not married by Elvis
  94. I want to go back there to renew my vows
  95. I have four television shows I watch faithfully -- Las Vegas, Alias, Eyes and The O.C.
  96. I've been to Sweat, South Dakota
  97. I'm never going back
  98. I would live in England, if I could live anywhere I wanted with my family
  99. I want to go to Italy for my 15th wedding anniversary
  100. I'm just enough of a geek to update this list within a year

Quote of the Day Quotes


If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who's on first?" might have turned out something like this: COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you? COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer. ABBOTT: Mac? COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou. ABBOTT: Your computer? COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one. ABBOTT: Mac? COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou. ABBOTT: What about Windows? COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here? ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows? COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows? ABBOTT: Wallpaper. COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software. ABBOTT: Software for Windows? COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have? ABBOTT: Office. COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything? ABBOTT: I just did. COSTELLO: You just did what? ABBOTT: Recommend something. COSTELLO: You recommended something? ABBOTT: Yes. COSTELLO: For my office? ABBOTT: Yes. COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office? ABBOTT: Office. COSTELLO: Yes, for my office! ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows. COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need? ABBOTT: Word. COSTELLO: What word? ABBOTT: Word in Office. COSTELLO: The only word in office is office. ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows. COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows? ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W." COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet? ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One. COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need! ABBOTT: Real One. COSTELLO: If it's a long movie, I also want to watch reels 2, 3 and 4. Can I watch them? ABBOTT: Of course. COSTELLO: Great! With what? ABBOTT: Real One. COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do? ABBOTT: You click the blue "1". COSTELLO: I click the blue one what? ABBOTT: The blue "1". COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w? ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word. COSTELLO: What word? ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows. COSTELLO: But there are three words in "office for windows"! ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world. COSTELLO: It is? ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there. COSTELLO: And that word is real one? ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office. COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial book-keeping? You have anything I can track my money with? ABBOTT: Money. COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have? ABBOTT: Money. COSTELLO: I need money to track my money? ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer. COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer? ABBOTT: Money. COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer? ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge. COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much? ABBOTT: One copy. COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money? ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money. COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money? ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT! (A few days later) ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you? COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off? ABBOTT: Click on "START"... Thanks, Mike

Friday, April 15, 2005

Email Quizzes

I'm looking for one of those email quizzes -- the one that ask you to survey yourself, surroundings and life. The ones that always ask at the end, who is least likely to reply. The ones that I never complete.

I need one. I'm developing new characters for a book and I think that they are the type of people who would answer this if someone sent it to them.

If you have one, please email it to me.

Thanks for your assistance in my artist endevours.

UPDATE: Thanks for everyone who helped. I have posted two of that I found; one here and the other here.

New Pet Developments

We recently invested in an aquariam set-up. Not, one, but two. And by invested, I mean spent obscene amounts of money on. But we saved because we bought it from someone else, rather than new. One of the tanks was for my oldest last birthday. We thought it would be fun to have a tank in his room so he could watch fish while he goes to sleep. He likes it, as do we. His is a small tank, 20 gallons. It's just big enough to be annoying when changing water, but not so big that it bites to haul buckets up and down the steps. The other tank is the focal piece when you walk in our front door. Registering in a 75 gallons, it has taken us some time to get set-up and find the various types of fish we want. The smaller tank had been set-up first, mainly with community fish. The larger tank has semi-aggressive fish and the Mob. We have two catfish, both of which have names that make their species readily identifiable, but neither of which I can remember. Let's just call them The Boss and His Minion. The Boss is a large-ish cat who prefers to come out only during the night and when no one is watching. He has taken residence in the local castle. I fear that one day he will be too big to leave and starvation will occur. His Minion, a small cat with long whiskers, pops out of the castle frequently and checks on the status of the tank and make sure that everyone is paying their respects to The Boss. I can always tell when The Boss has been out. Plants are moved, Spongebob has been roughed up, and my blue rock river has flooded his banks. He also has the plecostomus under his wing, er, fin. Most days the plecostomus is inside the castle too, rather than doing his job of sucking the sides of the tank. The whole situation thoroughly pisses my husband off. See, he used to have another Boss fish, entrusted to another care-taker. The whereabouts of this fish are unknown, hence the replacement. Instead of being the friendly, greet you at the door type, ours is a Mob Boss. On the whole, I like the fish. Often, visitors will find me parked on one of the kids' chairs, watching the large tank in the front room. Sometimes, I'll have a kid or dog on my lap. Mostly, I'm left to watch the fish alone. Better than swimming with them.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Books by Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic & Sister and Can you Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella are great reading. Fun characters, great stories, good entertainment. Shopaholic & Sister is actually the fourth in a series about Becky Bloomwood, ex-financial expert and shopper extraordinaire. Becky has a bit of a shopping problem that any woman can relate to. But Becky's is worse, so yours doesn't feel so bad. Can you Keep a Secret? is about Emma, a girl trying to make it in the corporate world, both professionally and romantically. Ms. Kinsella looks at another aspect of women -- white lies and secrets. Everyone has them and most know the code -- if she say size six, it's an eight. Both novels are set in London, but the universal truths that both Becky and Emma face could be happening in the cube next to me. Ms Kinsella also has a website filled with fun quizzes and information about the two series she pens.

Monday, April 11, 2005

How to Blog and Not Lose Your Job

By Random Acts of Reality Blogging at work is something that fascinates me. I love this London's ambulance driver's response to people who blog at work and think nothing of it. By the way, this is an excellent blog. I really enjoy his writing style and thoughts.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Grisham's Latest Offerings

The Broker begins with the normal hooks that John Grisham fans know and love. The story setting description makes me want to jump on the nearest plane and head off to Italy, to experience the culture and live a little. The ending, however, is typical of his work since Painted House. It leaves me hanging for more thinking that the resolution isn't really there. My husband has the same dissatified feeling after he finished the book too. I miss the early days of his work with the die hard ending, whether it was the one you wanted (The Rainmaker) or the one you didn't (The Chamber).

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Secret Life of Sororities

Last month I read Pledge by Alexandra Robbins. As guessed by the title, the book is a study and discussion of the effect of sororities on women, their fraternity brothers and the campuses that host them. Ms Robbins takes her readers through one year in four young women's lives. Each at a different stage in their college careers, each from different ethic and social backgrounds. While the stories are individual voices, their experiences line-up with one another, easily illustrating the similarities of the experience. While I was in college the first time around, I toyed with the idea of pledging to a sorority. At that particular campus they were a minor part of the college experience and I decided against it for a few reasons -- fees, requirement to live in the house, the attitude of the person who gave us a tour, and no one else I knew was interested. I have to wonder if that small college in the backwaters would have prompted the same experience. The study Ms Robbins performed took place in Texas, where being Greek is expected of most college students. Definitely worthwhile to read. I was excited to see that I could find out what else happened to the four main characters by visiting the website but disappointed to see that I needed a password, which was easily accessed in the book, provided that I had not returned it to the library. I'll have to reserve it, look-up the last word on page 183 and come back to the site. Unless, of course, one of my readers decides to do the same.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Deciding on Being a Grown-up

One of the biggest decision ever made in life comes at the tender age of 17 or 18 during college and major selection. The decision can be put off or changed, but if delayed the pressure only continues. Mike Davidson of Mike has great advice for those who want to be web designers. Man, I wished I had this sort of thing about seven or eight years ago when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. This is some great advice. Instead I decided to go a different route in a company that has no career development for my particular role. So as I forge my own way, I searched for and found this interesting handout from the Council of Logistics Management. It has helped me think about where I want to be in five, ten or fifteen years. Things have changed a bit since I was a kid and the choices were doctor, teacher or nurse. I cannot wait until my own children start to wrestle with this decision. Knowing what I do now about careers and option that truly are available is a much better start than what I had. Perhaps it is the difference between where I live and where I grew-up. Either way, I envy the youth today.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Recent Activities

As most Americans, I'm some what out of shape, spend too much time in front of a screen (whether it be a tv or monitor) and not enough time being active. Tell you what, keeping up with two mobile kids is taking its toll. I decided that since my employer is nice enough to let me out of work by 4 pm most days and the time of darkness by 4:30 is past, I would take up a new activity -- bike riding. My biggest problem was the age of my bike combined with toting around one of the afore mentioned small children on daily basis. A trip to Wheel and Sprocket quickly put an end to whatever misgivings I may have harbored. The last time I bought a brand spankin' new bike I was living in a tiny town in the back woods of South Dakota and thought Roxette was the coolest band in the world. Things have changed. My new bike has shock absorbers on it, folks. Do you have any idea what shocks are like on a bike? It makes the river-side trails enjoyable. I didn't get a mountain bike, but a hybrid called a Navigator. It has some of the great things about a mountain bike (bumpy wheels that are great for gripping) combined with the smooth racing bike (quick shifting and light weight). The staff was fantastic. When I walked it, I'm sure I didn't look like the normal bike enthusiast. But the salesman (who's name escapes me. Sorry, but I do know that he is really the head mechanic) was patient with our questions, explained the differences, asked what I'd be using the bike for and recommended the appropriate safety equipment since I would also be hauling a child carrier. I've taken my bike out about four times in the last two weeks, each time riding for more than 3 miles, usually closer to 6 or 7. It has been a fantastic way to explore the city. I live on the west side of town, near West High. This prime location makes many of the trails along the creek and river readily available. While sidewalks and busy streets are a necessary evil that I am adjusting to, I love these trails. So does my riding buddy, comfortable and cozy from his perch in the carrier, while guzzling his cup of chocolate milk. If you see someone who might be me, say hi.

Winner of the Best "Oshkosh Blog" Award

The Best Website contest has ended and I've won best blog in Oshkosh! I'm honored to have been nominated and hope that this contest helps people to see what else is going on in Oshkosh. Maybe some of the readers will even be inspired to start their own blog or website. As a means to that end, I will be teaching a workshop as part of the library's teen workshop series over the summer. The theme for the summer is "Express Yourself" and my portion will cover blogging -- the basic set-up and HTML that I use in my own blog. See the library for further details.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Bookworm Report, March 2005

Sorry about the bit of time off from blogging, but I figured you had enough of book lists. For the month of March, I read 3,634 pages or 11 books. In 2001, I read 5,047 pages/20 books; 2002, 1,819 pages/5 books; 2003, 562 pages/2 books; 2004, 1,881 pages/5 books. March

For the year, I've read 22 books, or 7,271 pages, which averages to 7 books a month, or 2,424 pages per month, and an average book length of 331 pages. Stay tuned for the reviews of the books!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Online Dictionary for Translation has got to be the best place I know of online when searching for words in other languages. For instance, with the above search I needed to know the Italian for blue. I got it in noun and verb form (the color blue and to color blue. It was so great.) I use simple translations like this in my writing. I'll leave you to guess why I needed to translate blue to Italian.