Showing posts from May, 2012


I'm looking at all the stuff going on, and all the things that are on the 'to do' list for the summer and coming to a conclusion. I think it might be best to take the fall semester off.

There are many benefits: I can get all the other things I need to finish done, like clearing out a storage unit and a garage of the extraneous crap. I can spend time with Chef on building his reading skills. The child is damn articulate, but that reading speed needs to pick up before high school. It gives me time to work on that contracting job that's coming up soon. It gives me time to develop a course from the ground up, and work on it while the kids are in school. There will be time to devote to looking at those top 20 schools in my program, and even visit them if it comes down to it-without the pressure of missing class. I won't feel like I'm deceiving my current school by enrolling in the program, then leaving in August.

And maybe, just maybe, the slower pace will help …

Come to the Dark Side, My Child

Chef has to write a paper for school. When Ed refurbished a computer and put it in his room, he didn't consider putting a word processing program on there. (That will be fixed, thank you $15 student copies of Office). He needed to type it up and print, which is how he ended up using Ed's MacBook. He couldn't figure out why his right click didn't work. We need to do some work here, as the child needs to come over to the dark side...

That Nice, Easy Summer I Mentioned?

Well, it seems to have vanished into thin air!

I have the Web Page Design, Independent Study, the class I'm TAing, a Meta Analysis with a friend and future colleague, a course to build from scratch to be ready for the first day of fall classes, and studying for my comp exams that are coming up the end of June.

That said, I met with the professor and a peer for the Independent Study and we're dividing the work into two halves: the study that has been completed and needs the data analyzed and the study that is about to start and needs a lot of editing and build out. While I'd be happy with either one, I'm really happy that I'll be the one analyzing the data, creating spreadsheets and crunching numbers in SPSS. I'd rather do it over the summer and become familiar with the software before fall classes, where I'll have tests on how well I can do this work.

So much for laid back, eh?

Green Mountain Grills-Daniel Boone

I know I've posted pictures of the meals I've prepared on the grill, but until a friend mentioned purchasing a Weber Spirit grill the other day, I hadn't realized that I never did an in-depth review of my grill.

As our anniversary present to each other in August, 2010, Ed and I both agreed that we wanted a good grill.  We'd purchased a gas grill when we built our house in Maryland, and it gave us a good 8 or 9 years until it crapped out.  So, the desire for one set in.\

I had a budget in mind, no more than $500.  I didn't want to cheap out this time, nor did Ed.  We visited the various retailers and weren't wowed by what we saw.  Ed mentioned going to the Outdoor store on the north end of town.  They didn't have grills, but the salesperson told us we should check out Grills Plus More on the other side of town.  

We're glad he did. 

When we walked in the door, the smell of 'que hung in the air and told us we'd come to the right place. In shor…

A Little Bit Extra

Tonight, an assignment was due for class.

A page holder, then a web-based resume.  However, I knew there were other assignments due for class this semester, and I'd be adding to the website.  I also knew I'd want to link to the work I created in other classes.

So, in typical fashion, I created ten pages, not two.

Hey, at least the rest of the work will be easier!

CND Shellac Hot Chili-3 Weeks Later

Due to those posting glitches that I was getting used to earlier in the month, I posted a quick picture of my nails that promptly didn't post. Seems that there was a conflict between the iPhone and the new Blogger interface. Anyway, it will be added to the picture post I've got.

Due to my temporary financial squeeze, I'm still wearing Hot Chili from three weeks ago. Other than being obvious that my nails have grown out, the color is wearing very nicely. Take a look:

This is a color that looks good with the slight tan I always seem to have. Okay, if we're honest, the natural skin tone everyone else has that really is a tan for me. I think it wouldn't look very good with the Oompa Loompa orange fake tan stuff, but that's just me.

I Don't Think the Cat Realizes

He meows and scratches at the screen door to the lanai, as if to make his intentions clear that he wants to go out. I don't get up.

He runs to that door any time I do get up, thinking I'm going to let him out.

Then, when I happen to be over by the door, and he made it clear that he wants to go out, I open it and he just stares at the open door. I close it and walk away, with a cat still inside the house.

I wonder how long it will take him to realize that meowing doesn't work and that I'm less inclined to open that door if he doesn't go out...

Cool Tools

If you are at a loss for figuring out what colors to use when designing a website, or if you're like me and really want to play around with the palette, here are two sites to check out.

First, Color Scheme Designer lets you play around with a variety of color combinations. Here, you get the tetrad color scheme I plan to use for the web page I'm making for class

Here's the reason why I love the site-click on 'Export', choose how you'd like to use the info, and you get a 'paint chip' page, complete with hex codes for each color. Pretty neat, huh?

Then, I mentioned this new 'toy' and a friend suggested Adobe's Kuler. Their color schemes import into any Adobe product, so when I'm playing with Dreamweaver (like now), I can just import the information-without even messing with the hex! It's pretty clear why my friend (a web pro) loves it-what a huge time saver!

As much as I like my friend Sara's handiwork on the blog here,…

Logos and Naming

Since I started the Master's program, I knew I'd have to come up with a production company name and eventually, a logo, too.

Thing is, the name I'd love to use, the one that is personally inspiring, runs headlong against a copyright issue. I can't really blame Mr. George Lucas for not wanting people to use the term 'Jedi' with anything else that's for profit. The possibility exists that my freelance work would go out under the name I choose, so JediFrog Productions is not going to happen.

My other choice is good, but it's not what I really wanted. It doesn't lend itself to a logo easily, unless I do the name in calligraphy myself and play with Photoshop a little bit. I'm hoping to find a place that has 'productions' as part of their neon sign. That's a pie in the sky, though.

The funny part is that you don't really think about all of this stuff when you're working through the program, but it does need to be done. …

Half of Six is Five

So, this semester, I only needed one class to graduate.  An elective.  Since I only needed one class, that's all I registered for.

In the past, all the paperwork I'd reviewed stated that for summer sessions, six credits is considered full time.  As a result, I assumed that if six is full time, then three would be half time-and I'd be eligible for my student loans.


Five credits is what I need for summer, and I somehow did not get the email last Wednesday that informed me I'd be dropped from my class if I didn't pony up the $1600 by Friday OR register for another two credits.    Dropped is really a misnomer, because I'm still IN the class, I just won't be able to get the grade until I pay.

And I can't pay or add the class to get a loan disbursement until I pay $1600.  That I don't have. 

And to graduate in the fall, I have to be enrolled in at least one class-but I need to take two to get financial aid.


Fresh Produce Clothing

If you're like me, when you think 'fresh produce', you probably think of tomatoes, melons, strawberries and other goodies from the farm stands or maybe your supermarket, right? Well, recently, I was turned on to Fresh Produce, the clothing company.

They contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in checking out their clothing and writing about my experience. (and I wrote something two weeks ago, but this new Blogger layout ate my post, grrrrrrr, so I'm back to it.) When I went to their website, it was hard to choose one thing to wear, I wanted at least twenty different things. (**Give me time and a regular paycheck, and I think several more things will find their way to me really soon, too.)

Fresh Produce is all about comfort, but that doesn't mean you have to give up style. Anyway, I noticed the Dreamy Wandering Tunic and it looked right up my alley. Here in Florida, you quickly learn some rules to dressing for the heat: cotton, loose fitting and c…

The Balance

We're 1/3 of the way through the class I'm TAing, and right now, we're in the thick of the part that is my strength, behavioral and cognitive psychology principles. I'm digging it, because educators really need to consider what motivates people to learn, how to effectively present the material, and incorporate a variety of tools to accommodate different learning styles.

However, it's not a psychology class, it's a design class-so I have to reign myself in.

At least I got to grade one of the psychology based assignments. My thought was that it'd be easier, since I was familiar with Bloom's taxonomy before I started the graduate classes. However, I'm walking the tightrope of deciding if the student got it enough, or if they're parroting the textbook. As I explained to them in Thursday night's class, the professor took points off of mine for providing TOO much information. Hey, it was a psychology assignment in a design class, I couldn…

Ice Cream For Dinner

We don't get many Saturdays where Ed is off from work, so the fact that he had one today meant we wanted to do something. Originally, I thought we'd head over to Disney, but he wasn't feeling it. Instead, we talked of getting a nice lunch and some retail therapy.

I have a list of things that need to get purchased and at the top were some lamps for our bedroom. I'm actually using my desk in here, now that I've got the iMac, and I'm finding the lamps underwhelming. Besides, in the past six months, the 'temporary' lamps we bought before GameTeen was born both broke in some way. I'd say $40 bucks for 2 lamps to last over 17 years is not that bad. So, in searching for places to buy appropriate, quality lamps, I found a place in Orlando. So, off we went.

We hit pay dirt at the store I wanted to visit, I have a nice desk lamp now, and we'll be getting two nightstand lamps next week, all Dale Tiffany inspired. We'd discussed going to the G…

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

A friend has decided to jump into the blogosphere and tonight, we sat down and talked about the things I learned along the way. (BTW, please go check out James' blog, because he's a very cool guy!) I equated it to something we learn in Web Page Design, that of creating a 'wire frame' before you build out a website. Blogging is no different, but a lot of us get into it without thinking it through.

So, wire frames. The concept when you create a site is to decide what exactly your message will be. In blogging, this translates into deciding what you want to write about, who is the audience you wish to reach and what is your end goal. I started to keep in touch with my friends out of state, and not much else. Some friends are way more successful in building an audience, get more offers for contests, to attend events on a sponsor's dime and you know what? That is perfectly okay-it just isn't why I started writing.

When you decide what your message will b…

Rediscovering an Old (Musical) Friend

In the past, I've mentioned a local musician, Tim Eyermann, and his band, East Coast Offering, some of the best live jazz that I was lucky to hear fairly regularly back in the 90's. East Coast Offering (ECO) was a fluid back up band consisting of a bass player, keyboardist and drummer and at that time, the lineup consisted of Bill Foster, Dan Reynolds, and Andy Hamburger.

While going to Tim's gigs meant you'd hear many songs that featured the numerous wind instruments he played, each time we saw him, we'd hear a beautiful composition by Dan, 'The Door'. When Inside/Outside came out, it was a nice treat to have the ability to hear the song whenever the mood struck.

Through the magic of Facebook, I found Dan Reynolds about a year ago and while we don't interact a lot, it is nice to see updates about what he's doing on the music front. So, late last month, he offered up a sale on his CDs and I decided it was time to get one, which showed up y…

When You're Not Looking

Image will find.

Well, I have been job seeking, but being very selective. I wanted something part time to coincide with my fall schedule as a full time doctoral student. Nothing more than 20 hours a week. I had a couple of possibilities, but both were awaiting budget approvals.

I have one of those, as a consulting gig, starting in the middle of June. It looks like it will run a few months, I'll know better in a couple of weeks-but it builds my skills and my resume in my career. This is good, it buys me some time to find a GA position on campus.

Or so I thought.

I was approached by a friend yesterday with a permanent part time job. Again, it is a position that builds my resume in my chosen career field, but it won't start until later this summer. Sooo, I happened to get two jobs because of who I know.

That's pretty cool.

ChamPinos, Lakeland

While I adore Romeo's pizza, Ed has another place that he thinks the pizza is better-ChamPinos on Socrum Loop in Lakeland. Me? I think it is good, but Romeo's is better.

We've been a few times together, I've brought pizzas home a few times, and while it's a good basic Italian restaurant, I still love my Romeo's more. That's not to say it isn't good, the fact that I've been more than once should tell you this is at least a solid 7.5 out of 10, because I have impossibly high standards when eating Italian food out.

However, the last time I got some to-go pizzas, I saw a sign that piqued my interest, one that listed 'Beef on Wick'. Okay, that was supposed to say 'Beef on Weck', but if you're local, you are wondering what the heck I am talking about. The name comes from the Kummelweck roll, a nice, solid hard roll with kosher salt and caraway seeds on top. Purists serve it with hot roast beef, horseradish and au jus for d…


I got home during a nice little thunderstorm today. As soon as I walked in the door, I needed to get on line to facilitate the class I TA.
No dice.
One hour and forty minutes, five machines and a proxy server later, I was in. Apparently, Brighthouse lost a node and it killed a lot of students' ability to access the university website. Like me.
At least it wasn't anything I did!

Ms. Incompatible

Many years ago, long before I began dating my husband, I dubbed him "Mr. Incompatible". The reason? While all of our friends were buying PCs, he bought a Mac LC ii. When most of our friends bought VHS camcorders, he went with an 8mm. You know, his stuff didn't work with anyone else's.

Well, since I've upgraded to an iMac, I am now Ms. Incompatible. Let me share the issues:

1. Lion does not recognize my serial number for my copy of Final Cut Express. For a few weeks, I was wondering if I was typing the number wrong, only to find a little blurb in C Net that says "Noooo, there's a glitch in Lion that does not recognize Version 4.0 serial numbers.

Of course, the product is no longer supported, so I can't upgrade and fix the issue. Thankfully, I was able to jump to Ed's MBP to create that video for class.

2. Lion's version of Adobe Acrobat (or Flash, not sure which is conflicting) is NEWER than the version in my brand spanking new, bought…

Rites of Passage

We don't think much about all the things that indicate milestones in our lives, but today, I got to witness two of them.
First up, a friend asked me to help her brainstorm ideas for a presentation she has to do for a prospective employer (faculty role), so I went over to her house this afternoon. Her son had thrown up the night before, but she wasn't sure if that was from the excitement he displayed while bathing last night or if he really had some virus.
>br/> It was the latter. The way we realized it is the way he just spewed forth on my arm when I was holding the little cutie. She, of course was mortified, but I've been puked on before by kids, it really is no big deal. I'm sure it'll happen a time or twenty before I'm done walking the earth.

What was cool to watch was how she quickly handled him, I handled the mess on the floor (she recently had back surgery, part of the reason I was there was to help), and with the realization that yep, he…

When you don't have a Parrot


This is Supposed to Be the Easy Semester

Normally, this would be the quiet week of rest and relaxation between the spring and summer semesters.
That's not the case this year. The class I TA started Monday, and each day, more stuff I need to do crops up. I'm getting the impression things will remain hectic until I walk across the stage August 4th-only to start back up two weeks later.
Which reminds me, I'm supposed to email the graduate school to move my application from one department to the other. Otherwise, I'll be considered non-degree seeking in the fall. Not exactly what I want. :)

Lakeland Flying Tigers

Ever have those weeks where you say to yourself "I know I have something to do Wednesday, but I have no idea what that is" ? Yeah, me too-which is why I didn't realize until yesterday afternoon that it was chaperoning GameTeen's school trip to the local baseball team's home game.

Chef wanted to go, too, and I was suckered into letting him join us. (Ed told me he would have caved sooner than getting the kids in the car to drive to their respective schools, but hey, I try to be a good influence!)
I remembered the sunscreen, forgot the hats, and it was really hot-with seats facing the east without any shade! See?

Success is when only one student pukes from the 90+ temperatures and all three of us spend three hours in the sun without getting burned!
I told Chef the next time we visit the ballpark, the game will be a 6:30 start-no more 10:30 games in Florida for us.

Who, Me?

Bug-eating kitteh cracks me up.