Thursday, April 29, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm not sure what to make of this site, but what an awesome resource!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I've always struggled with learning languages. Sure, I can count to ten in french and spanish, and say hello and goodbye and thank you and other basics, but my brain freezes after that. I am in awe of polyglots like my husband, who randomly interjects foreign words into his sentences and doesn't even realize it. I laughed when my french teacher expressed surprise when I said I struggled with language. School language courses are easy. Show up, pay attention, do the work, and if you get confused, do a web search for exercises in the topic and practice. Fake the rest. I managed to get through my french oral presentation by creating a complicated powerpoint presentation that was so detailed that it was all the teacher could talk about for the next ten minutes. (I'm sure she never noticed I was shaking, stuttering, and reading off the cards because she was watching my hot air balloon graphic bouncing around the screen.)

I've completed the language requirements for my program, and feel disappointed. I haven't learned enough! Things haven't sunk in. I'm missing bits. I am not the least bit confident of being able to carry out a conversation in french. (Granted, it's possible this is entirely due to my inability to carry out a conversation in english.) It all went by so fast. I would have preferred more time to work it out and try to get that last bit to click.

I don't have to even worry about it any more. It bothers me. I took these courses and I didn't learn how to speak french! I acknowledge that there was always more I could have done. There's more I could still do, I suppose. X, Y, or even Z would make it easier, I just know it. Ah, well. I did the best I could, given the situation.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Drift? Ground Cover Roses — The Next Big Thing for Small Gardens

Monday, September 07, 2009

HAH! Found the lyrics again, finally. Posting them here so I don't lose them again.

Lyrics to La Ziguezon (AKA Hero):
M'en va t'à la fontaine
Pour y pêcher du poisson
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
La fontaine est profonde
Je m'suis coulé au fond
La ziguezon zin zon

Fille en haut, fille en bas
Fille, fille, fille, femme
Femme, femme, femme aussi!
Pis la bottine - tine - tine
Pis le rigolet ha! ha!
| Son p'tit porte-clé tout rouillé, tout rouillé
| Son p'tit porte-clé tout rouillé gaiement (bis)

La fontaine est profonde
Je m'suis coulé au fond
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
Par icitte il y passe
Trois cavaliers barons
La Ziguezon zin zon


Par icitte il y passe
Trois cavaliers barons
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
Que m'donneriez-vous belle
Si j'vous tirais du fond?
La Ziguezon zin zon


Que m'donneriez-vous belle
Si j'vous tirais du fond?
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
Tirez, tirez dit-elle
Après ça nous verrons
La Ziguezon zin zon


Tirez, tirez dit-elle
Après ça nous verrons
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
Quand la belle fut à terre
Se sauve à la maison
La Ziguezon zin zon


Quand la belle fut à terre
Se sauve à la maison
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
S'assoit à la fenêtre
Compose une chanson
La Ziguezon zin zon


S'assoit à la fenêtre
Compose une chanson
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
Mon petit coeur en gage
N'est pas pour un baron
La Ziguezon zin zon


Mon petit coeur en gage
N'est pas pour un baron
La Ziguezon zin zon (bis)
Mais pour un homme de guerre
Qui a du pouel' au menton
La Ziguezon zin zon

Friday, August 14, 2009

I never expected to be married, so wedding gowns were never anything I paid attention to. All I knew was that I wanted my mother to make it, and it would probably have to be white and long. When the time came, I found myself doing a mad research rush on wedding dresses in order to figure out what I wanted. SO many gowns. So many websites. SO many ugly dresses. So few patterns.

In the end, we took my favorite, the Grace Kelly style gown by Maggie Sottero, found a similar pattern, and revamped it to our liking. Away went the odd sleeves and the awful victorian corset lacing, to eventually be replaced with translucent bell sleeves and rosettes. I found a rose embossed white fabric and borrowed a beautiful antique brooch. I left out the train so I would be able to dance with no problems. The bouquet was a rather large wrist corsage around my dedication bible.


Monday, July 20, 2009

A Paper Craft Castle On the Ocean ? Tokyobling’s Blog

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fantastic Contraption: A fun online physics puzzle game

Reminiscent of TIM. Prepare to waste your afternoon!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy birthday to me. I'm exhausted.

For my birthday this year, I celebrated by considering alternate modes of transportation. This was not my original plan but Brian's, who kept me in the dark til the last possible second.

We first drove out to Edinburg, where I had a blast cruising at high speeds with no stoplights and light traffic bordering down to minimal traffic. It was a wrench coming back, let me tell you! At one point we passed a big tank being hauled on a trailer. Yes, a tank. The destructive kind Made up in desert camo, as far as I know. Alas, I didn't get to drive it. Not even sure if it was real, but it was definitely tanklike in appearance. We checked in to a little B&B that had a darling little cupola on top - or belvedere, as the owner called it. The stairs to it were in the bathroom in the hall - I would have gone back up to take pictures but I was afraid someone would come in to use it while I was up there!

Right after that we proceeded to the Wal-Mart in Woodstock, where we waited until someone arrived and I found out what my present was - a hot air balloon ride! (check out my picasa album for pictures.) Me and my big mouth had, a few months back, facetiously told Brian that I wanted a hot air balloon ride for my birthday. He takes me seriously . . .

Being up in a hot air balloon is the most beautiful and frightening thing I've experienced. Getting it up and getting it down is scary, but once up there . . . wow. So many senses at work! The heat from the gas keeps your head warm. The basket is quite stable so long as everybody shifts properly when moving from one side to another. There's plenty of room for 3 people, I'd have been ok with four, but more than that, too tight a squeeze for me! There were no noises and no smells (my sinuses felt pretty good up there!) but we could hear the dogs barking at us as we passed, and cows mooing in the fields below. Some of them actually noticed we were up there and moved about uncomfortably. (I've never thought about cows looking at the sky . . . ) And the view . . . oh, the view! The valley lay spread below like an extremely clear google map. We could see for miles, yet still be able to discern sheep and goats and dogs. Too bad we couldn't read the street signs! We got to watch the sun set behind the mountains, and then when the balloonist took us higher, we got to watch the sun set again. My hands and legs were shaking so bad that I finally handed the camera over to Brian, but it looks like my anti-shake button took care of that problem - pretty much all of my pictures came out.
See the map below to see what area we were in!
View Larger Map

The next day we ended up considering a second form of transportation that has long been neglected. We went horseback riding at Fort Valley. Having thoroughly enjoyed Biltmore's horse tour, we felt we were ready for a four hour mountain guided trail. We're still trying to decide if we overreached. Four hours on a horse is a very long time. Certain body parts are STILL complaining. And the trail! Up the mountain and back down. Like the rest of the valley, rocks all over the place. Goats would have had a better time of it. I'd just like to state that going down a steep hill covered with loose rocks on the back of a horse is extremely unpleasant, and closing your eyes doesn't help. And I don't think my horse liked me. He kept walking under low hanging branches and near trees. The guide had told us to let the horse pick their own path on the rough patches (most of the trail for that matter) but the horse and I had differing opinions about what was the easiest way to get down. Towards the end he also kept turning his head and trying to bite my ankle - not sure if I was tickling him or if he was tired of me. (I was certainly tired of him! He was a very bouncy horse - I was suffering from motion sickness when we stopped for lunch!) We kept having to stop and let people on ATVs or dirtbikes go by. They were very courteous and went by slowly, and for the most part the horses took no notice of the machines.

As I got back in my car, wincing, I couldn't help but appreciate how smooth it rode and how well it handled. It stopped and started on my power alone and didn't try to eat tree leaves or take a side route without my permission. (granted, this was before I noticed that my dials were out of whack again - the gas gauge was pointing to places that didn't exist! I think there's a problem with leaving things charging in the cigarette lighter when I turn the car off.) I could park almost anywhere without worrying about power lines and travel without being concerned about darkness.

It was a perfect weekend - little wind, no haze, nice temperatures . . . ideal for a trip to the mountains. We found a tea house in Edinburg and had an enjoyable lunch, and a nice supper at an italian restaurant. After we got back we treated ourselves to DQ - a perfect ending to a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie - Latest News -

I'm not sure which is cooler, the artistic talent and creativity of Kratzer, or the 3D image that rotates around the room.

I'd totally be drawing on my walls if I could just figure out WHAT to draw on them . . .

Hey, it beats climbing them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fitness - I Put In 5 Miles at the Office -

I want this. I wish I had the room for it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cake Wrecks

And here's me thinking our family rabbit cake was cheesy . . . .

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Movie Review: Hellboy 2 - The Golden Army

Worthy, beautiful, interesting bad guys pitted against our misfit heroes. The resolution was far too quick and simple. Liz's angst continued. Abe demonstrated what happens when a brain falls in love and does stupid things. Laughed my head off at the Barry Manilow scene and the fight scene in the locker room.

This was a no-brainer movie, but I do like Hellboy himself. Easy going, likes a good laugh, but always ready to kick some ass. The odds against him never deter him. Great character.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Movie Review: Batman - Dark Knight

Creepy and depressing.
I hate downer movies, because they send me plunging down into gloomy blahs, and it takes a while to recover. While this movie was creepy gloom, it was SUPPOSED to be creepy gloom, so they hit their mark beautifully. Heath Ledger's final role was a masterpiece of insanity. I was highly impressed and repulsed by the character, and by myself, as my thoughts of what I would do if I wanted to cause extreme mayhem were along similar lines of what he was actually doing. Not that I ever think about plotting things like that, just a 'what's the worst thing terrorists could do?' kind of thought.
There are a few amusing moments to provide audience relief from the gloom. My favorite line of the movie . . . a Wayne accountant has discovered discrepancies in the accounts, and found out that Fox (Morgan Freeman) has been designing the batmobile and other items. The accountant approaches Fox and states that he knows who Batman is and wants 10 million a year to keep quiet about it. Freeman stares at him in that wonderful way of his and quietly says: "Let me get this straight. You think that your employer, one of the richest men in the world, is spending his nights running around the city beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands? And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."

I was kind of disappointed in the messiah-like role they gave Batman. (What's up with the superhero-in-a-negative-light movies lately?) He is being persecuted and hunted for his crime-fighting deeds, even taking the blame for some things that he didn't do just to save the reputation of another. Accepting punishment for the sins of Gotham . . . what happened to plain old crime-fighting?

The acting is incredible and the special effects breathtaking. Just don't go see it if you're feeling the teensiest bit blue, because it's not meant to be a cheerful film.

Recent Posts

This blog has moved

I've always struggled with learning languages. Su...

Drift� Ground Cover Roses — The Next Big Thing for...

HAH! Found the lyrics again, finally. Posting th...

I never expected to be married, so wedding gowns w...

A Paper Craft Castle On the Ocean � Tokyobling’s B...

Fantastic Contraption: A fun online physics puzzle...

Happy birthday to me. I'm exhausted. For my birt...

Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie -...


03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003

04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003

05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003

06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003

07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003

08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003

09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003

10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003

11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003

12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004

01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004

02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004

03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004

04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004

05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004

06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004

07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004

08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004

09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004

10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004

11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004

12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005

01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005

02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005

03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005

04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005

05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005

06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005

07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005

08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005

09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005

10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005

11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005

12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006

01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006

02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006

03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006

04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006

05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006

06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006

07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006

08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006

09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006

10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006

11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006

12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007

01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007

02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007

03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007

04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007

05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007

06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007

07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007

08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007

09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007

10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007

11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007

12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008

01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008

03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008

04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008

05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008

06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008

07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008

08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008

09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008

10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008

07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009

08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009

09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009

11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009

12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010

01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010

04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010