Showing posts from 2013

Review: Torchwood S3.

About the Blog: I know I don't post very much, really, at all, anymore. But I finished all the classes I need for my bachelors and that took a lot of time. I'll make a WooHoo post about that too when the grades are finalized. Until then, I'll be posting the writings for Anthropology of Nature, and as always, my short book reviews cross-posted from GoodReads.

Finished Torchwood (sans Miracle Day). FEELS. I was so busy watching it, and the omigod-long TBC-set that was the last season, that I didn't even realize it was the last season. I really loved the first two seasons, even when they were over the top, but the season 3 mini-season "Children of the Earth" really didn't do it for me. I was already upset over some events in the end of season 2 that didn't jive with my vision of the show, particularly that a couple episodes felt like the writers were asleep, not fact-checking, or didn't have a female on staff to tell them that something was not plaus…

UnOfficial SparkPeople Winter Walk Challenge 100,000 Step Challenge

Hey FitBit Users (and other Pedometer Users)!
(TLDR? Link to badges at the bottom!)

Now that we, in the Northern Hemisphere, are getting a little squishy with warm comfort food and hiding from cooler temperatures, I think some of us are finding it harder and harder to get out the door for that walk. Well guess what? I will if you will! (For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, consider this a Better Bikini Body walk!)

For the month of December I'm challenging you to 100,000 STEPS!
Sometimes I'm lucky if I get 2,000 steps a day, and all of those are between classes! It's going to take a little work to get to 100,000 steps, but think of all the eggnog that burns off! (wink)

November Summary

November Summary (aka TLDR)
Finished the classes for my bachelors in teaching; should get all As. Hard, exhausting, satisfying. My 3-yr old black scaredy cat ran away, and is not home yet. :( Made a SparkPeople Turkey Track pedometer challenge, and made 212,000 steps. People loved it! Initiated into two honor societies: Kappa Delta Pi, and Omicron Delta Kappa. Spent one evening with a homeless veteran. Thanksgiving with Husband's family. Blog after the Break!

2013 November Summary

November Summary (aka TLDR)

Finished the classes for my bachelors in teaching; should get all As. Hard, exhausting, satisfying.My 3-yr old black scaredy cat ran away, and is not home yet. :(Made a SparkPeople Turkey Track pedometer challenge, and made 212,000 steps. People loved it!Initiated into two honor societies: Kappa Delta Pi, and Omicron Delta Kappa. Spent one evening with a homeless veteran. Thanksgiving with Husband's family.  Blog after the Break!

This month (basically) concludes one of the most exhausting and satisfying semesters of college I have ever endured. I finished my curriculum for my bachelors degree in secondary education of biology (read as: High School Biology Teacher). Next semester I'll do my student teaching, and then graduate. I'm not sure how much I slept, but it was very worth it. I have three finals left, and according to my calculations, failing them means dropping my grade only to an A- in the courses. Of course, I'm not going to fail the…

Review: Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

LOVED Aja's illustrations! A little rough, very simplistic feeling, and yet it gets everything across without feeling too clean or empty.

I liked the flashback-way the stories were told, and the tone of the inner-monologue. I liked the first story a lot. The second felt oddly shallow, same as the third, but their "classic comic" feel kind of makes up for it. The last pair of stories are a short arc, and feel basically the same. Still love the inner-monologue.

The included Young Avengers story was really well-drawn and colored. The story was really nice too. I'll have to pick up more on the YA Hawkeye.

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SP: Turkey Trackers are ROCKING MY SOCKS!

I just can't believe how motivating these folks are! I did NOT expect people to jump on as they did, and some are over 500,000 and others are walking though they're sick or lost their FitBit and it's just... wow. Just wow. 

KelliBean! You did a Triathlon! WHEW! If you worry about losing the steps, can you guestimate them? Were they for the run portion (measured) or through some time later? I'm SO IMPRESSED that you kept working to you 10k goal, even though I'm sure you already made it! AMAZING! 

DLDMIL You are rocking my socks. I'd only made badges through 550,000, but I obviously need to make some more! Motivated! Dedicated! 

I LOVE seeing you guys pass your goals! Olivianight! Awesome! Nutron3, ALSO making me make new badges! I LOVE IT! MyseterRose74, blowing past your goal too! MsLizzy! 

ScubaDiva50 you are doing awesome! I hope you feel better soon, and that it's just a day in the dumps! STAY MOTIVATED! 

And everyone else diligently plugging along towards yo…

UnOfficial SparkPeople Turkey Track 100,000 Step Challenge (FitBit)

Thank you EVERYONE for making this SparkChallenge AMAZING and motivating!
I made the badges in increments of 50,000 steps. If for some reason I don't have one high enough for you (GO YOU) please leave me a comment or SparkMail me and I will get one to you in a jiffy!


UnOfficial SparkPeople Turkey Track 100,000 Step Challenge (FitBit)

2013 July Summary! (And Mars).

I got A's in both Geology and 'Environment and Society', which, in addition to my 3 A's from the beginning of summer, give me a 4.0 semester for five classes! I was exempted from my Environment Final (because I got 102% on the first midterm, 110% on the second, and 100% on both my papers). I didn't know they could do that, but I'm certainly happy about it!

EDIT UPDATE : I got a letter from the university telling me I earned President's Honor List for my 4.0! WOOHOO!

I'm registered for Fall, and that will be the end of my curriculum. I'll graduate when I finish the 6-Month independent teaching in Spring!

I'm currently studying for my last teaching certification, the Biology 6-12. I took the pretest and got a 70% on it (pre-studying) and 70% is the lowest passing percentage. I take the exam in a couple weeks and plan to knock it out of the park.

Future plans:
Study and pass the GRE during Fall. Apply to Master's program at end of Curriculum (Fa…

Review: The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet

The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet by Jim Robbins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've never read a book that made me so desire to become either a forester or a druid. There's a bit of mystic woo in the book, I'll admit, between a near-death-experience and tree spirits, but the project itself is sound. Between chapters about the project and the trees being cloned are chapters with research and information on everything from climate change to the role of trees in history. People who are curious or enraptured by the research can find the sources in the appendix! I borrowed this from the library but will be getting a copy for my home/school library as well. Just, wonderful book.

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20130228 Gulf Specimen Marine Lab - Panacea Florida

The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is tucked in among really nice seaside residences. A small front building contains the gift shop and a small office, while the aquariums are pretty much all outdoor or in open air tents.  They have several touch tanks with various  shell-life and horseshoe crabs (mating, I  might add), but some tanks were strictly  "no touch".  The marine lab is a working lab  and human interference in the experiments  means trying to account for the errors you introduce or injury you cause (via the  chemicals on your hands) or starting the entire experiment over from scratch. It was a really cool place.

They had a nurse shark pair and their calf. I think I had to take ten photos just to get one with one adult and the calf in the same shot. The parents swam in circles in the small-diameter of the tank (maybe ten feet). One stayed near the calf  nearly all the time, and following it when it swam off.

Allie is a Loggerhead Sea Turtle. They're endangered and are…

Review: Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1

Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1 by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The graphical novel felt only half-completed. Not the story; I'm aware it's Volume 1. I mean that the characters and line felt half written. As if it's the idea for a story arc that wasn't really fleshed out well. I've just finished the prequel Homecoming, and I think nothing came between the two, but it feels like there's a gap that isn't explained. You know how some backstory is brushed through so you have an idea about who the character is and what they're doing there etc, well I don't find that in this one. A few lines here and there that seem poorly connected.

Still don't like the art. Feels like rotoscoped SIMS models. I'll finish Volume 2, since I have it, but plan on reading the first novel anyway. I'm hoping that whatever feels incomplete here is present in the novel. Homecoming peaked my interest in the character; I hope the book Moon Cal…

Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first the book is an eloquent textbook on architecture. The author practically paints Paris and the history of it's architecture, and it's beautiful. I listened to the audiobook version and the orator's dancing tone made it all the more beautiful.

It takes a while to get to the story itself, and then there are bits of history or art dappled throughout. It really is beautifully eclectic. The story is dark, sad, and where appropriate emotionally disgusting. I giggled, I cringed, I deflated. It was wonderful. If you have a hard time getting through it on paper (due to length or verbage or something) I do highly recommend the Blackstone audiobook. It will draw you through Paris, the story, and the irony, the tragedy, and you will enjoy it.

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Review: Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond

Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond by Kim Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In short: I really loved this anthology. I avoided some schoolwork to snatch a story here and there, and even snuck off into another room to read a page or two. Definitely a winner.

No spoilers.

I loved reading the Hollows shorts, some more than others. I'm up to date on the other books so some things twinged my heart a little bit (some characters in Ley Line Drifter, for instance).

It was so much fun to see the Elf Quest play out in Million Dollar Baby! Trent is not my favorite character but it is nice to get into his head a little bit. I may read him a little differently from now on.

I wasn't overly fond of Ivy's tale, but I'm not overly fond of Ivy. It's something about the flavor I give her when I read her in print, because the flavor she has in the audiobooks is different and I like here there. My own hang ups in there somewhere, I suppose. Still, the story was g…

Review: Anna Karenina 3/5

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars It took me a long time to get through this book, because at times I found myself actively avoiding reading it. I like the characters but disliked that I felt like I was reading three books at the same time. I didn't have a problem switching tracks between the stories, but it seemed like I got bored with the length and detail of a story for a while, then it would become interesting again but the track would switch into the other story. I thought the characters had great depth and were made interesting, though in Levin there seemed some parts written just to be "throw away" scenes. I really liked his connection to the workers and the land, and I could understand that putting put aside as it was, but just (poof) in one sentence was jarring. Still, I think Levin's story was my favorite. I liked it. I did. But it was difficult to get through and there were more than a couple places where I had to reread because I found …

Review: Blood Work

Blood Work by Kim Harrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's odd to see the beginnings of the Rachel-Ivy friendship from Ivy's point of view, and definitely isn't I expected. It kind of shatters a certain view I had about Ivy, but gives some aspects of her past some depth. Overall the story feels a little shallow, but I think it's because I'm used to so much verbal detail and internal monologue from the books. I will read more as they come out, but probably from the library.

I'm not super-keen on the penciling (everyone has the same nose?) (Rachel's "kind of flat chest" is a bursting C-cup?) (OMG SO MUCH CLEAVAGE) (on one page the lines are so thick, it looks like it was penciled with charcoal) but the inking is really nice. The inking has a nice grimy feel to it that I really liked. I like the way they were able to incorporate the power/pheromones into the artwork, but someone needs to tell the inker, who has never read the books I presume, t…

June in a Nutshell - (Long)

I got a little behind in posting, due to the nature of summer college courses.

On those, I did get A's in all three (yay!). I'm already onto the next half of my summer courses. Only two grades, but three courses (yay conjoined labs!).

The first chunk of June was brutal.

TLDR? Here's the summary, with the brutality after the break.

 June was harsh. I got bullied in public, Mom was in the hospital, Rook cut her foot open and needed constant maintenance, Shane was at drill for two week. I did catch up on some Star Trek movies, some reading, ran three times a week, ran all of a 5k trail run. Yea. Take that crappy month. I'm awesome.

Palm Beach Zoo - Safari Nights

Shane and I went to this special evening admission at the local zoo to see the animals when they're most active! We've been to the zoo before, and it's a GREAT zoo, but it's really hot in Florida. If I could sleep through the hottest part of the day and ignore all the screaming children, I probably would too.

We had a schedule to keep, so first went to see the Wings Over Water show. It was the same show they do during the day, but I always love it. ONE exception: Hunter the Eurasian Eagle Owl is back! He's been out for a while because of a foot fungus, but was back and ready for pictures. Is it weird that I know these things? I did get to see a Harris's Hawk, Austin, which was made extra cool because I'd just seen a little educational video on them the night before! During the WoW show the birds fly very close to you while the hosts tell you about the birds, their habitat, and how you can help preserve that habitat through little things. I always enjoy it.

Star Trek 2009 - Review, kinda

Finally sitting down to see Star Trek (2009). I'd honestly avoided it, but now I want to see Into Darkness so I have to see it. This is more bits and things that I thought while being re-introduced to characters I know and love.

You can also scroll to the bottom for a summary :P

First, they definitely emotionally invested the watcher in the movie right off the bat. A very good move I might add, it absolutely worked. And I LOVE who they got to play Kirk's parents.

I totally dug McCoy's entrance. LOVE Bones! It was always hard to pick a favorite character, (can't I have Sulu, Spock, AND Bones?) but McCoy never failed to entertain me. Some chicks loved Kirk, I loved Bones! That might be a lot of my mom's influence too though.
I can't stop laughing at Bones in the beginning of the movie... "I can fix that" "OW!" The actor doesn't seem to sit in the roll well though, like he's trying really hard to convey the unique way Bones voiced his …

Run, Rook, Science

Busy day. House leaking again.
Rook got a waterproof boot and a soft cone (for when I leave the house) and thinks I'm the meanest mom ever.... though she can run outside again.
Lab plates coming along nicely. Had to replate the transgenic tobacco (oh, THAT abaxial, gotcha). Spider Plant is doing awesome (gravitropism definitely wins pout in the stem, but the leaves still sun down at the light source). Vampire Plant almost died; I think we need more water in his dark tinfoil/cardboard cave.
Ran again, completing my May streak and signaling my return to running! Still short distances, 0.7, but more than zero and three tunes a week!
Go me!

Rook the Tripod

It's two days since Rook ran through glass and sliced a centimeter deep gash between her toes. Changing her bandage makes her so scared. I feel like she thinks we torture her. It's healthy pink tissue but will take a long time to close/heal since she still walks on it.
We did take time between studying and cleaning to go out to eat, and chose a place where we could sit outside and take Rook! We brought treats and the waiter even brought out a pan of water just for her!

Gumbo Limbo

Gumbo Limbo #Nature Center. #Plant lab worked in a real #research lab today!
Took a few snaps of the butterfly garden and the view from the canopy lookout. Not sure if I should say what the graduate students are working on, since it's her dissertation, but it was fun stuff (most of it).

Run 0.5 & studying

There should be a #zen proverb about the floor of your car and the way of your life. I think I'd like mine today. #studying while #walking at the #dogpark after #running 0.5 mi.
Also, 8h2o, 21min YinYoga, 3x10 kPush Up.

Grades and Run

Final grades posted! Five A's and a B+. Ran another 0.5 mi, yin yoga, and 1.75mi walking at park. Getting there.
Booo B+ kills my chances of reclaiming 3.9 GPA by graduation!

Finals and Moths

Sometimes I have a life, and sometimes I have #finals. I did see an amazing #moth at the train station. Thanks to I think it's an #Antheraea polyphemus. I unfortunately removed it from it's hiding place in order to save it from the stupid human throwing wads of paper at it, trying to poke it with a pencil, or nudge it with her shoe " to make it fly". UGH. Dumbest #engineering major I've ever met. I hope it made it. :(

I'm 30!

I woke up #30. Hubby made French toast, took me to a #pettingzoo, got me a perfect cake & spumoni, made hash & eggs for dinner. #love
Bonus: Petting Zoo!

Happy Earth Day

SS-3x8#DB curl, shoulder press. 4.4mi. 6H2O. Happy Earth Day! Turned in 45 volunteer hours! Read much. One more week. Kinda.

8H2O 0.7mi Busy day

New fridge! French toast! Great Memories! Car (but no) repair. Homework. Homemade phillies! Busy day was busy. 8H2O 0.7mi :(

PT 4.2mi 30PU 8H2O

If I edit my past am I still me? If I plan my future am I still free? Pretending to study.
8H2O 30PU 4.2mi. DQ.

Anthropodermic Bibliopegy: human-skin bookbinding (links)

I have learned some really weird stuff today. It's exactly what you think. And way more common in history than you think.

First I heard about a company that may or may not make high-end leather goods out of human leather, that "cater(s) to a small but highly discerning clientele". I don't know about you but I read that in Christian Bale's voice (a la American Psycho). If you have 500 Euros you can get a bracelet!

Not really taking the site seriously I decided to put myself on a few "crazy lady on the Internet lists" by seeing if and what human leather was/is used for. I learned about Anthropodermic Bibliopegy, or human-skin bookbinding. [Here's the wiki]. Some of these books look like regular leather bound books (see below) but some look almost like they're really carved from burled maple. This is apparently because if you simply quick-tan it and slap it on a book even deer leather suffers from poor workmanship.


Victims need more than prayers.

I see these well meaning images all the time after horrible things happen. Everyone shares them, ribbons, candles, pictures of children, and hugging, and all sorts of thing. What I don't see are people sharing information for the Red Cross, who collects the blood the injured people need. Or information for the Salvation Army, who provide disaster support to the first responders in the form of small on site kitchens.
These images let people feel like they did something. They felt for the hurt and empathized for those who lost people or had families hurt. Well, that's nice, but you can really help them instead!

Instead of lighting a candle or praying (ok, you can do those to) donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster relief, or even just $5 to the Salvation Army. Go donate blood at your local Red Cross. Yea, there may not be a disaster near you right now, but lots of people need that blood. If there were a disaster near you would you feel better knowing that your Red Cross was stocked…

Updates: Leisure Time!

In big news: I made beignets for the first time. I think I'm finally worthy to call myself my grandmother's granddaughter. Seriously, I'm terrified of cooking in oil so I never tried before. They came out a little dense but delicious. Husband had never had them before and is now expecting them every week. I have to find a way to get more. I could definitely get into eating these each Sunday.

I caught up on a little genealogy (a minor hobby of mine). I love when I learn weird things. Apparently around 1775, my 8th great grandfather's son Arthur was kidnapped and forced to be a sailor on a ship to New York. Grandfather thought him dead and named their next son Arthur after him. When they migrated, they found Arthur 1 again. First Arthur had black hair and the second had red, so they became known as Black Art (my 7th great grandfather) and Red Art.

More after the pagebreak!

Updates: School and PT.

Not dead, just working on final projects. With six classes I have Critical Assignments in all but one of them, and most of them still have final exams. I've been a bit busy. Oddly it means that my "finals week" will be much less stressful than that of my husband. I'll take it! Right now he's supporting us (dinnerwise) and I'll again take up the mantle for his finals week.

I've still been getting a little fun done. Kinda. Enough that I've split it into smaller bloglets.

Equinox Bird Nests (Recipe)

I'm not MIA, just working on school! Six classes and 6+ final exams or Critical Assignments make Weyrcat busy busy!
I did find some time to make hash brown Bird Nests this morning for the Vernal Equinox (this past week). Happy Equinox to some, Happy Easter (early) to others!
Barnabas helped by being cute in the pictures.
I've posted the recipe and nutrition at!
Otherwise: This recipe is based on a picture I saw on Pinterest. The "Bird Nests" are cups made of seasoned shredded potatoes and filled with beaten egg and cheese!

EDIT: Next time I plan to use Southwest Hash or add chopped peppers. They were great but I think I want some more varied flavor. Maybe just a dash of bacon salt...
Minutes to Prepare: 10 Minutes to Cook: 30 (15+15) Number of Servings: 12 nests, about 6 servings.
(Directions after the break!)

Explore Apalachicola: Dr. John Gorrie Museum.

While on vacation in Apalachicola my family visited the "ice machine museum", according to the sign outside. While that doesn't sound very thrilling, what's inside is way more interesting. Sign first:
The Florida Heritage Landmark reads: Dr. John Gorrie (1803-1855) was an early pioneer in the invention of the artificial manufacture of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning. He was granted the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration on May 6, 1851 (U.S. Patent No. 8080). Dr. Gorrie moved to Apalachicola in 1833 after the completion of his education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York in Fairfield, New York. Motivated by a severe yellow fever epidemic in the summer of 1841, Dr. Gorrie and his predecessors felt the fever was caused by heat, humidity and decaying vegetation. He sought to effect a cure by introducing and element of cold in the form of refrigeration. Dr. Gorrie noted, "Nature would terminate the fev…

Lindsey Stirling Concert

We interrupt this regularly scheduled school-night for this news:
Lindsey Stirling totally rocks in concert.
If you have no idea who this is, take a moment to educate yourself:

We just got back from seeing her in Fort Lauderdale, and it was awesome. She's so cool.
I didn't take any photographs or video, since I knew anything I would have taken would be crud compared to what I could find, and besides that I'd SEEN photos and videos of her, I wanted to see her in concert! So I did.
Absolutely must share this outfit she wore for the first "set" though. White satin asymmetric riding jacket with white feather trim on one flank and black sequins elsewhere. Just a fantastic piece. It was buttoned up the left abs with a huge black brooch. Absolutely adored it.
She also wore a white dress for Song of the Caged Bird, and the bustle was made of feathers! Way pretty. It was so lovely hearing her sing in person.
She also wore a brocade hood and vest piece that, to me, reminded…

Not Dead, just Busy!

Today was my first “Field Observation” day at * High School. It was very cool to be placed at the same school I did the internship at, AND get to go back to the science department. The school doesn't have to let me observe in my field. When I saw Ms. C (who I interned with) she yelled “YAY! OUR INTERN'S BACK!” She's so funny! I had been trying to sneak in to not disturb the class, and she'd seen me earlier and knew I was coming. The kids seemed to think my being back was pretty cool. “Took you long enough!” I think maybe they think I was on semester break or something. Too bad I'll only be here three days this time.

I got to observe in Mrs. R's class too. She's a dedicated Earth-Space Science teacher and the classes I saw were only regular (not honors). She was busy preparing Data Chats with the students in a one-on-one setting, which of course left the students to be as wild as they could get away with, even though R has a Co-teacher. Neither co-teacher (…

2013 January, in a nutshell

Ok, this year might be a "once a month" year!
I'm taking 18 credits (that's six classes) so I'm REALLY busy. My life is consumed with that shelf of books in the photo (and the two I added in because they're digital or weren't present).
One of the books I had to read for school was Longitude by Dava Sobel. Absolutely loved it. Story of John Harrison, the man who solved "the longitude problem" by designing a non-spring wound pocketwatch immune to the elements at sea, all while being hounded and harassed by astronomers. It's a riveting book and I really recommend it. I plan on stealing time to read a book by the same author on Galileo.

If you get really curious what I've been up to, I have a "teaching blog" now that I update for school every Sunday. Currently the articles are works I did for my Intro to Ed class last semester, but I think next week might be when this semesters posts start going up. Mainly informative pieces but s…

I am vast.

My atoms were forged in a supernova, or a new sun undergoing fusion, and solar wind blew me across the universe, planting me like a seed on this Earth. I became water, grass, air. I returned to the Earth. I collected in a womb a coalesced into life. I am a child of the universe. How vast am I.