Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Robert? Why?

First of all, I don't know if I told you yet, but I love this man and his show: Dinner Impossible!

So I am looking up some background info, okay doing a little googlestalking, and I uncover this report . It seems my Robert may not be everything his resume says his is. I am waiting to pass judgement until after our first date.

And then this report . Oh Robert, I think you need a hug. Call me, we'll get through it.

Do you agree?

What Robin Means

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.

You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.

Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

The way I understant TT is it can be any Thirteen Random things, my choice.


The last Thirteen Books I have read (not necessarily finished) or listened to on tape:

1. Ms. Todd is Odd by Dan Gutman

My son and I are reading the entire, My Crazy School series.

2. Divided in death by J.D Robb (Nora Roberts) on tape. Okay the whole Eve Dallas series is predictable, but when I am driving, I kinda like that and the series and grown strangly addicting.

3. Sleeping with Fear by Katy Hooper on tape. I was afraid this one was going to be too gory for me (I am more of a mystery fan than horror) but it was really interesting.

4. Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt This was a genre I did not know existed, Christian Mystery. It was well written and fast paced.

5. Lisey's Story by Stephen King My recent attempt to try to read Stephen King again based on the recommendation of a Blog Friend. I gave up Stephen King after Salem's Lot (which I loved) gave me nightmares.

6. Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald This has been my favortite book I have read in a long time. I have been recomending it to everyone. It is part tour guide of India and part spiritual journey. It gives lots and lots of details about life in India, a country that has always fasinated me. The author's descriptions are so detailed at times I think I could smell the surroundings with her.

7. Purity in Death by J.D. Robb I told you this series has become strangely addicting.

8. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovitch. I love love LOVE this series. These books make me laugh out loud.

9. T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. I have always loved the alphabit murder series, but I have to admit about letter N, the author seemed a bit bored. This book was back in form and I liked it alot.

10. Jim and Casper Go to Church by Jim Henderson, Matt Casper, and George Barna. A pastor and an atheist visit churches all over the US and discuss them frankly. What's not to love?

11. Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture by John Shelby Spong. This man was able to put into words (and a book) some compelling reasons, all Biblically based, why the Bible cannot be taken literally.

Okay rounding out the thirteen are the next two books I haven't read yet but on my list to read for two book club discussions.

12. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is waiting at the Library for me.

13. A New Earth: Awakening to your life's purpose by Eckhard Tolle. The Oprah book.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My "NEW" Office

For those of you that were worried about my office, I thought I would let you see it one week later.

Here's my new desk, and look someone has even started decorating.
Doesn't it look welcoming?

Not only is there a chair BUT there are THREE chairs!
After looking at the chair below I think this is the place that chairs go to die.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Back Story on Engineering Week Activity

My favorite part of any story is the behind the scene action. So here it is, an up close and personal look at the "real" story behind the pictures.

There are two important facts you have to know: One - Although I have led many groups in scientific exploration, my own children are not often among them. Yes, just as the shoe maker's children have no shoes, the engineer's children have no concept of the scientific principle (I am so ashamed!)

and Two - Friday was the second snow day IN A ROW, Thurday being more of an ice day, which meant NO playing outside and no driving to any sort of activity. Just lots of fun togetherness. I let the boys celebrate by playing electronic games, watching TV, then playing more electronic games, with the expected result that they ended up being both catatonic and hyper. Yes you can be both, if you don't believe me, come for a visit.

So morning of the SECOND snow day, I made an announcement, "No electronics, this means (and you have to be specific here), no TV, no Computer, no Cameras, no playstation, no Wii and no gameboy, nothing that plugs into a wall or runs on batteries." At this point they began to thank me for taking an interest in their lives and ran to get the board games, paper and crayons for crafts and we had an old fashioned morning. It was blissful. NO wait, that was when the wailing began, if it bothered you in your part of the world, let me apologize now.

And to make my children's lives even worse, I made a list of things we were going to have to accomplish before we could even consider electronics. Terrible, horrible things like Make Bed, Eat Breakfast and (please don't report me) Read twenty minutes. Yes that was the second set of screams you heard. I also included Do Science Experiment. (Why do I have to do a science experiment, it's not in my homework, I won't do it, why can't I just watch tv, etc....)

After expending enough energy complaining, energy that could have used to complete the list twice over, the boys resigned themselves to the horrible fate before them. We proceded to move through our list, checking off clean room, practice piano/ drums, etc until I began bringing out the items for our experiment and the camera to document the procedure and results. When we got to the part of the procedure where you had to wait for five minutes, things began to unravel a bit.

Luckily (or unluckily depending on your view) we had vinegar and baking soda on the table. My boys were aware that the combination of these would do something, they weren't sure what, maybe explode. Finally they were showing some genuine interest. Like any good mother and engineer (both problem solving professions) I sensed the need to change directions.

That is were the mixing of baking soda and vinegar, and a study of acid and bases began. We progressed to mixing lemon juice and baking soda (to discover that lemon juice was also an acid), we then mixed date vinegar and baking soda to discover some acids are stronger than others and give a much better reaction. We mixed vinegar and baking soda in a closed container and watched the increased pressure within blow off the top of the container. (Full disclosure means I have to tell that the boys went screaming into the other room, diving behind the couch, waiting for the explosion!)

Here are the videos of the "explosion". I am holding the two ingredients separate, the vinegar in the container and the baking soda on the lid. The plan is to close the lid, combining both ingredients, as the reaction occurs, carbon dioxide is formed, increasing the pressure inside the container until the container "explodes".

Note to self: Find a steady camera man with nerves of steel.

But all is well that ends well and the boys were so excited, they decided to produce their own science show. Oh and the boys told anyone that they talked to that day, we did a cool experiment today. SUCCESS!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Our Engineeering Week Activity

Combine Engineer's Week activities and ZOOM (Z- double O -M).

We choose the activity Polishing Pennies .

We used four different liquids to polish our pennies:


Baking Soda

Lemon Juice

Rice Milk

While were waiting patiently (yeah right!) for the pennies to soak, we decided to see what happens when you mix Baking Soda (a base) with Vinegar (an Acid).

Mom moved the lab to the Kitchen Sink for this part.

The foam felt funny!

We returned to cleaning the pennies.

And the winning Penny Polisher was ---- LEMON JUICE!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Seriously, I did not just make that up!

So to make it easy for you, I am going to give you the link to a wonderful site full of videos and games. All you have to do is find a girl and send her the link. It's fun I swear.

So click right here and get started!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We interrupt Engineer's Week for (mostly) Wordless Wednesday

I thought you might be amused with these pictures.

I walked into my office yesterday and was greeted with...
Wait! Where is my desk? Oh there it is......

Good thing they conveniently moved my computer to the floor, because there is NO CHAIR!!!

Maybe this is just a new type of fung shui???!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When I grow up, I want to become an engineer just like my Mom!

Why don't more girls become engineers?

I think the number one reason is because most girls have not met a woman engineer. Because of that mostly the career of engineer does not even occur to them. Instead girls are drawn to fields that they have experienced either in life or on television such as medicine or law or teaching. I am involved in several organizations that bring women engineers and middle school girls together to experience engineering and expand their options.

But interaction with women engineers is not all of the answer.

There are plenty of bright girls, with all the requisite math, maybe even the daughters of women engineers, that say, "Engineeering? No way!" Why?

If you google reasons why, you will find reports such as: Many girls lack encouragement to pursue math and science, some parents and other influential adults unwittingly discourage girls with such remarks as "I never could do math" or "I always hated math when I was a child."

And even the dated (in my opinion) report that: Girls good in math may also worry about stereotypes that portray them as oddballs. One of the top ten reasons there aren't more women engineers, aeronautical engineer and former Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall once remarked, is because of concern "that they won't get a date to the prom if they get the highest math score."

I have a hard time believing these reports. The number of girls in higher level math is equal to the number of boys. And the high school girls I meet seem confident enough not to throw a math grade to get a date. So what is it about engineering or engineers that cause girls and young women to turn their backs? If anyone out there reading this has access to a middle school or high school girl mind and can get a candid answer I would love to discuss it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Engineer's Week!!

Wait just because you are not an Engineer, don't go away. This week is especially for you!

Yes you, the non-engineer, who is not really sure what those geeks do all day anyway.

And even more importantly for the mothers of children who may become the future engineers of the World.

Why are mothers important?

When asked “How much have you spoken to the following people about careers?” more than 2/3 of high school girls and boys indicated they had “spoken a lot” to their mothers, more than any other source including teachers, guidance counselors, or adults in that career field. Fathers were cited by 62 percent of the girls, but by only 32 percent of the boys.

Top Ten Reasons Why Engineers are the Most Important People in the World

1. Sanitary Sewers - Maybe you can remember outhouses and ditches for sanitary waste. If that memory is not gross enough, consider open ditches in the cities flowing with bodily fluids. Makes you want to hug an engineer right now huh?

2. Clean drinking water, in your house right now. Even if the water in your house is not as pure as you would like, compare that to traveling to town, pumping a gallon of water, carrying it back home, boiling and filtering the water to make it “mostly” safe to drink

3. Clothes, a lot of clothes. We may think living in Little House on the Prairie is romantic, but how many of us want to return to owning only two articles of clothing, one for everyday, one for nice occasions? Engineers have been instrumental in industries that allow clothes to be made cheaply enough that most of us own a closetful.

4. Central Heating or Air Conditioning. Depending on your weather outside (it is blowing snow where I am) this needs no further explanation.

5. Music. While music is based on math, engineers really can't take credit for it BUT engineers deserve credit for making music available on demand, starting with Thomas Edison’s phonograph and ending so far with your IPOD.

6. Food. Okay again engineers can’t take credit for food, but think to yourself, “How much of the food that I ate yesterday, did I grow myself?” You can be sure that engineers have been involved in the irrigation, farming, harvesting and most importantly the shipping of this food to you.

On what kind of plant do Coco Puffs grow? Yes this is an engineered food that you may love or feel is the cause of the decline of civilization, I am sorry I can’t be responsible for all of us engineers.
7. Bridges. This is something that engineers do routinely get credit for. However it takes a horrible tragedy like the bridge disaster in Minnesota, for people to realize the work and expertise needed to design and build a safe bridge.

8. Books. From the first printing presses to cheap paperback Harlequin romances to electronic books, engineers have made it possible for the printed word to be accessible to almost everyone.
9. Communication. We have come a long, long way from pony express to instant messaging all over the globe. Who do you thank? Engineers. Who do you blame when your boss can find you 24/7? Computer scientists and Physicists.

10. Sex. Hah, now I have your attention. Engineers have brought about the necessary items for both safe sex (i.e. condoms) and for adventurous sex (i.e. Ask someone else).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

60 Questions

I borrowed these questions from Jules . They were fun to answer.

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Two umbrella, one broken, an empty Target bag, a case of Vitamin Water and lots of receipts from CostoCo

2. When was the last time you threw up
Last Winter (what kind of questions are these)

3. What's your favorite curse word?
Shit (It just slips out, once when my son was young I tried to be good and said “Shoot” and he said, “No mommy, shit”.)

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
My friend Cindy, my son at his basketball game, and the mother of another boy on the basketball team, She not only remembers us from playing basketball at the Y five years ago, but even brought the pictures of the boys from back then.

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Making coffee, it was a great lazy Saturday morning.

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
On the computer searching out the perfect dishwasher, by perfect I mean cheap and will work forever, is that asking too much.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Watching the news and thinking will I be able to stay awake for SNL?

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
No. Chippendale Dancers don’t count right?

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
Great, well I guess you should go get that dishwasher.

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
With no toppings- chocolate chip cookie dough. With toppings, hot fudge caramel and whipped cream, premium vanilla

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?

12. What are you wearing right now?
Jeans and long sleeved tee. Why what are you wearing?

13. What was the last thing you ate?
Only the best falafels ever from a little mom and pop restaurant, yum.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

15. When was the last time you ran?
I ran my very first ever 5 K in December and since then I have only ran twice. I need to get back into training but it is so DARN cold.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
The basketball game this morning

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
A student asking a question about homework

19. Ever go camping?
Yes, but not willingly

20. Do you have a tan?
In February?!? In the Midwest?!? I am not sure I have seen the sun in months.

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Only in a restaurant.

25. What did your last IM say?
I can’t IM, I’m all thumbs, yuck yuck yuck.

26. Are you someone's best friend?
I hope so.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Band Practice at 7:30 frickin am.

28. Where is your mom right now?
In Florida, with her best friend from high school, where it’s WARM, but I am NOT bitter.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
The piano

30. What color is your watch?
Black Band, gold watch

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
Koala bears, kangaroos, Crocodile Dundee, the Crocodile hunter and the FACT that it is SUMMER there right now!

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
Maybe an eye lift.

33. What is your birthstone?

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Mostly drive thru. If it’s not fast then what’s the point?

35.How many kids do you want?
Let’s see if I say two, will my three sons wonder which one I didn’t want, hmm, THREE I have always wanted three.

36. Do you have a dog?

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
Mr. Geek, the new dishwasher has been purchased, everyone can now relax.

38. Have you met anyone famous?
I should probably say no rather than list my pathetic meetings but here it is. I saw the Three Stooges outside the dressing room at the circus (Moe was crabby), I met Buddy Ebsen (the Beverly Hillbillies) when he brought his sailboat to the Midwest, I met Cesar Romero (the joker in Batman) on my thirteenth birthday, when my parents took me to see him at a dinner theater at the end of his career, and I met the girl that had the locker next to Brad Pitt in high school. (I told you it was pathetic.)

39. Any plans today?
Not anymore, kids are ready for bed, dishwasher is purchased...

40. How many states have you lived in?
It depends on what lived means. Really just one.

41. Ever go to college?
Again and again and again. I go back right now if I could.

42. Where are you right now?
In the dining room/ music room.

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
My coffee is cold.

44. Last song listened to?
Something from my son’s room, it was too distorted to make out.

46. Are you allergic to anything?
Sulfa drugs and oh yeah obnoxious people.

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Anyone named Robin. It’s a long story going back to my childhood, come over, bring some tissues and I’ll tell you.

50. What was your last impulse buy?
The Falafels on the way home, but I was HUNGRY!!

51. What time is it?

52. Do any of your friends have children?
I think all of them do, unless they are too young.

53. Do you eat healthy?
Most of the time, falafels are healthy right? I mean they’re vegetarian, that must count for something.

54. What do you usually do during the day?
Wake up, get the kids on the bus, work, get the kids off the bus, sleep, repeat

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
Hate is such an ugly word.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Yes, I tried answering the phone “Hey Baby” but I got too much heavy breathing in response.

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
How many more question are there, this is taking forever.

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

60. How did you get one of your scars?
Once I was opening a can of turtles, no the caramel and pecan type, and I unwound the metal strip around the outside of the can, put my hand over the top of the can, and as I lifted the lid slid my fingers over the new sharp edges I had just created. Two of my fingers are still scarred, and I still eat turtles, thanks for asking.

If you have made it this far, I owe you some cookies or something. Thanks for playing along.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

It might not be a tribute sung in my honor at the Grammy's but it is pretty darn close.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Corn can Kill!!

In a week of man vs. produce, the produce appears to be winning.

See this story : Carbon monoxide poisoning fatal to two ADM workers; 16 others sickened

Safety lesson: It is not the fire that kills you, it is the smoke.
In this case, it was not the smoke but the odorless and poisionous gas.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Valentine's Day Present

Last night my son asked why don't we celebrate Valentine's Day. (What he meant was, how come he doesn't get presents on Valentine's Day?) I explained Valentine's Day is a day when all sons buy their mother a present. (Hey as the mother of three boys it's all I got.) And to be helpful, this is what I want for Valentine's Day.....

See this video or watch it here:

Oh and I want to be alive to see it too!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sugar can Kill!

No not just by increasing obesity or diabetes, sugar can explode and kill you. This week in Georgia raw sugar cane dust ignited and exploded leaving more than four dead.

Most people fear chemical plants not food plants and they don't realize that some of the most violent explosions occur in grain silos and food processing plants. One of my favorite demonstrations is a small explosion with plain old corn starch, KaPow!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Random Weird Stuff (Tagged)

I am a new blogger so I this is my first real tag.
Here goes...I was tagged by my wonderful niece, Cheri at Our Crazy Wonderful Life!!!
There are 5 rules to this tag:
1. Link the person who sent this and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours.
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself
4. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link their blog
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Seven Weird Random Facts

1. I am still really good friends with my friends from highschool (for over 25 years).
2. The group of friend from #1 could with little or no prompting could put on an performance of "Fiddler on the Roof", including all lines, lyrics and some choreography.
3. I spent some time in juvenile detention while in high school.
(Ok, I was there with the youth group singing Christmas Carols. I pull out this story when I am trying to establish some street cred. Did it work?)
4. I pride myself on preparing a dinner when there is nothing in the house to eat. I pretend I am on "Door Knock Dinners", an old show from the food network.
5. I did not wear make up until I was in college, because my older sister told me if I wore makeup more people would like me and I (a) believed her and (b) thought that was a good way to keep away from idiots.
6. I am teaching myself to play the piano. (Ok this is not so weird as a chance for me to brag, well that makes it weird right? I am up to Book 2 if anyone is interested)
7. I spent WAY too much time thinking up seven weird facts about myself.

I have been reading blogs long enough to know that to some people a tag is like a chain mail threatening dire consequences if broken. So I am going to do my tagging using mental telepathy. I am thinking (really hard) about seven people. If you receive my message, please come back and leave a comment. (You know who you are.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More A Boy and His Horse

I would like to answer some questions from last Wednesday's Post.

WW means Wordless Wednesday

Yes, He really is that good of a horse.

And my son would like you to know, he does really know how to ride {wink}.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My First Tag

Ok, I wasn't really tagged but Maddie said anyone could have a go here so here I go.

Here are the rules:

1) Answer the questions below
2) Take each answer and type it into Photobucket
3) Take a picture from the first page of results copy the html code.
4) You can’t copy the persons answers who posted this before you!

1. The age you will be on your next birthday:

fourty six.
2. A place you’d like to travel:

3. Your favorite place:

4. Your favorite food:
5. Your favorite animal:

Snow Leopard

6. Your favorite color
7. The town in which your were born:
8. The town you live in:
St. Peters
9. The name of your pet:

10. The first name of your love:

11. Your middle name:

13. Your first job:

14. Your Grandmother's name:



Sorry Grandma!

15. Your favorite book:

North Korea Freedom Bridge with DAMIRworld

Well that was fun!

I hope your day goes well too.