Friday, March 31, 2006

Houses

Well Ray and I toured seven houses today. We really liked some of them....really disliked some of them. The first one had the strangest floor plan ever! And it was way overpriced, still needed some major work. The second one had possibilities, but I didn't really like the kitchen. The third one was really nice - the owner has done major remodels. Some stuff is still left to do...mostly cosmetic. The next one was not good - the outside has been really promising, but another strange layout and really small rooms and kitchen. The next one was the best - a 1/2 acre lot, a little of town, and a huge basement. We are going to do some research this weekend and if all looks good will probably offer on it on Monday afternoon. Then there was one that a decent possibility as well. It was a town lot (rather small, though) and a lot of new remodels and one of the cheapest. The last one was a repo and not in good shape at all. The outside has looked much better than the inside. So that's our story at the moment.

Oh, we finally watched Harry Potter 4. Definitely a HUGE disappointment. I do not recommend it at all. Its very jerky, leaves out pretty much everything, and is very confusing unless you have read the book really well. I plan on rereading the book...make me remember why this is a decent series.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Derek

My cousin Derek has been working at the local fire station, training to a fireman. He's only 17 and won't be able to enter burning buildings on fire calls until he's 18 (this coming November), but has now officially passed his firefighter test. He made the Anchorage Daily News today along with the other graduates. He was even quoted in it.

If you know my grandfather you know he's been a voulnteer firefighter for literally ever. He helped found the local station - seriously. Derek has been training out of that same station. As you can imagine, my grandfather is just bursting with pride.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

House Hunting

Buying a house is very overwhelming! There is so much to consider and worry about. We were about looking at more house tonight to see what we want to tour on Friday. We have a list of 8 houses now to tour on Friday. Hopefully we like some of them so we can look into them further. Nothing we've seen so far screams "This is perfect!" so hopefully there will stuff on the interior that we either like/dislike. But once we pick a house then we have to worry about what's wrong with it, hows the neighborhood, what's the resale value...its never-ending. Wish us luck on Friday!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Movies con't

Since Ray is still gone I watched another chick flick (it was my break from writing syllabi...which I don't like writing. I like writing lectures and stuff, but not syllabi...trying to cover your butt is what I call it). Well, anyway, here is another movie review:

Bewitched

This wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was worried they were redoing the original Bewitched, but instead it was about that (convulted I know...). But the woman they cast as Samantha...really is Samantha...in that she's a witch, but is giving it up. They really play up the Samantha parallel. It is actually really cute. I enjoyed it - I probably won't buy it, but it was worth seeing once. Nicole Kidman and Will Farrell did a good job. Farrell's character is really annoying...a little too annoying to understand why Isabella (Kidman) is falling for him...although even she mentioned that at one point. But it has a happy ending and could have been SOO much worse...like the Prince and Me II - at least I watched all of this one!

Movies

While I watched two new movies last night. One was good...the other flat out terrible.

Proof

This movie was very interesting. Not at all like my typical movies (I actually think Ray would have liked it). Its a somewhat confusing movie as its if full of flashbacks and dream-like moments. Catherine, the main character, has a genius mathematican father who went crazy. She has spent years taking care of him and has been wasting her life (which her father was always telling her). She is afraid that she's going to go crazy. Hal, another mathematican, comes over to go through Catherine's father stuff in hopes that he has one last mathematical contribution among all his crazy rambles. Catherine's sister, Claire, comes to town for the funeral and adds to Catherine's crazy thoughts. Hal doesn't think that Catherine is crazy and is trying to help her come to gripes with that and her father's death while wanting to find that last proof to help his own career. Catherine and Hal make a good couple, but the movie never really gets them together. I kind of felt unfinished at the end of the movie. I mean it did wrap up somewhat, but I wanted more closure (probably why I like chick flicks).

The Prince and Me II: The Royal Wedding

This was terrible...I like cutesy movies, but this was just bad. First of all, they only had like one repeat actor and all the new replacments were NOT as good. The plot wasn't that bad, but they played it out all for comedic effect and it was not enjoyable. I fast forwarded through many parts. There were lots of slap-stick comedy moments and none of them were really worth it. This movie could have been good...the plot wasn't that bad, but the actors were not up the movie, the script was trite and they went for every bad joke and pun. So I definitely recommend skipping this movie. I should have known it was bad when I hadn't seen anything about it before seeing it in the video store.

Now Ray and I also recently watched another movie:

Man of the House

Did I mention this before? I just looked...doesn't look like it. Good I didn't want to be THAT foregetful.

This was surprisingly good considering its about cheerleaders (nothing against cheerleaders per se, just that cheerleader movies are typically bad). But then again Tommy Lee Jones was in it...can he ever really be bad? The movie was funny, but had a few serious thoughts thrown in. Definitely a movie worth the time to watch - nothing that will make you think, but hey, why else do we watch movies?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Some Random Thoughts

Well Ray is in Chicago this weekend (for a geekfest with some friends from ND) so its just me and Olga. I'm watching chick flicks with Ray gone.

I'm watching the end of the 2006 World Figure Skating Championships. Gotta say, quite disappointed. Kimmie Meissner of the US got the title - I was really hoping Sasha Cohen could pull it together...but third this time. Fumie Suguri of Japan got 2nd. Other results:

Ice Dancing - Bulgarians won their first ever world championships, the Americans were third (Canadians were second...hometown favorites and had a great original dance)

Men - Switzerland's Lambiel repeated, Brian Joubert (France) got the silver and the bronze when to the American Lysacek, who really has been great this season.

Pairs - two Chinese pairs when one and two, the Russians were third and the Americans were fourth - they landed a throw triple axel in both programs. Inoue did put a hand down in the long program, but still a great showing for them. By the way I'm predicting a Chinese sweep at the 2010 Olympics in pairs.

I swear I had more to say...but I can't think of anything at the moment. So instead here are some pictures from Worlds:

Isn't that a horrible face?

Just so gorgeous? Why can't she put two programs together?

The podium...so sad...I mean I'm happy for Kimmie, but I wanted Sasha to win!

Image source: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/060326/483/cnet12903260106

Friday, March 24, 2006

More Bones

Amy emailed me that you can vote to save your favorite show, so I went and voted for Bones (you can also vote for any show you like or against anything you dislike). Some shows I think you should go vote to keep:

Bones
Numb3rs
Gilmore Girls
Scrubs

Go vote!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bones

I personally can't stand reality TV. I know a lot of people love it, but I would rather be tortured than have watch American Idol or Survivor. But I'm not writing so much to complain about them, but rather complain because Bones, which I love, keeps getting bounced around times and nights due to American Idol. Bones is a great crime/academic show. You've got a forensic anthropologist and a FBI agent - what can be better? But Ray and I are afraid it won't make it to a second season because the network moves it so much it won't get high enough ratings. I want it to make it - it is such a wonderful show! My parents watch it as well.

Tonight was another great episode. There was a skeleton found in a tunnel and Bones (Dr. Temperance Brennan) and Booth (FBI Agent Seeley Both) have to explore the tunnel and people who live down there to find the murderer. It ends up involving art theft...it was awesome. Brennan is so academicish that she never gets any "pop culture" references - tonight Booth was making a joke about the game Clue and she was totally lost. It was very funny...although I can't tell it very well...you need to watch the show:) But so far my favorite episode was "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" where they all get quarantined in the lab. I really think Booth and Bones will get together - they are a great couple! He's so protective of her, its very cute!:)

I think Ray and I like this show (and Numb3rs) because of the academic bent, which is perfect for us - the people who will never get out of school since we both teach! Anyway everyone should watch Bones so it makes it to season 2!

One more recipe

I just posted a recipe for Chai Tea Mix on my website for anyone who is interested. I adore chai tea...especially right now because I can't have chocolate until Easter.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gas Prices

With the way gas prices are gonig up ($2.49 here last time I gassed up (should there be two s's in that word?), we might all want to go back to horses. I just saw a really great comic:
http://www.familycircus.com/ and see the one published on March 1st.

New Recipes

I just added some new recipes to my website - there is a link in my sidebar if you don't know where my webpage is. New additions for this time are:
Marble Cake
Mystery Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Strawberry Shortcake
Marple Pork Chops
Rhubarb Cobbler

US Congress

Stats on the US Congressional Members (I got this in my email today...and I didn't double check it, but I'd believe it!)

36 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71, repeat 71, cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits. and
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bush in Cleveland

President Bush was in Cleveland today to discuss the ongoing war in Iraq. (No I didn't go...I actually didn't even know the president was going to be in the area until last night and with secruity I'm sure I couldn't get in to see him at this late date even if I was so inclined....)

So the President gave a speech at noon today and already you can read the entire transcript on the web (I got this one from the Washington Post, I'm sure there are more). It is amazing how much more immediate the world has become, as well as how politics has changed. I can watch the President (or any other major potlician I so choose) give a speech anywhere from the comfort of my home via the Internet, the radio, or the telelvision. Heck, now you can even watch it on your cell phone. You can also read all the presidential statements, messages, etc. as published on the Internet by the White House. To continue with this - I found the transcript through www.yahoo.com - a simple search. I just went back and retyped in the search - less than a 1/2 hour later and now there are more, newer stories popping up.

Something to consider is this - is immediate news good news? We are inundated with "breaking" news - would we get better news coverage if they weren't in such a hurry to publish. Most Americans get all their facts from these very same people. Is the news we are reading on President Bush today going to be useful in 50 years from historians? As communications keep getting faster, it makes you consider - will we see more and mistakes in news? Now I'm not saying all the media is horrible (I think most major newspapers are very biased, just one of the reason I tend to avoid the news, but that's a different story), just that as the old adge says, "haste makes waste."

I would like to see the media concentrate more on finding real facts and less on trying to figure out who is sleeping with who, or who will get kicked off American Idol, etc.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

MS Site and Breast Cancer Site

It's MS Awareness Week - you can read more about how it affects April's mom at http://pennysbs.blogspot.com/. There are also links to learn more about MS and to support people with MS.

I also want to reminder to everyone to go to The Breast Cancer Site daily and click to fund mammograms for poor women for Ray's mother. There are also links to other similar sites (like literarcy).

Doctors....

Well this morning I had to get blood drawn. This was supposed to be an easy thing...when I called the doctor's office to set it up the receptionist (or whatever PC term they now use) said she'd fax the order over and I should just go to the lab on Saturday (today) and they would know what to do. Seems simple...until this morning. I get up early (since the office is only open until lunch time and I have to go to Canton today) and get there at 9 AM. I present myself to person on duty...to find out that she has no idea who I am since the office never sent over my orders. So I had to try to get ahold of my doctor's office (which of course is not open on the weekend...and I had to get the blood drawn this weekend...had to be a certain time of the month, etc...) by talking to the answering service and having them the page the on call doctor. So finally I got ahold of someone and drove back to Stow and then finally (two hours after I first arrived) got my blood drawn. Then I finally got to go to Canton. Ick...I hate doctors and all that goes with it.

Well, that was my day. Ray spent all day giving training and also had a long day. I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Well I didn't do anything exciting about it today (unless grocery shopping is exciting), but Ray did call his mother. We did get out a do a little house hunting. We still have a lot more to go look at - but hey, it's a start.

My mom went through her closet and send me some clothes. Its like I went shopping without all the work. I think I'll wear something new tomorrow...well, I don't really have anything to say so I'm going back to type up homework solution sets.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Reading, Raving, and Ranting from a Historical Fiction Writer: Ten More Rules for Writing Historical Fiction

Here's another one - this is great!
Reading, Raving, and Ranting from a Historical Fiction Writer: Ten More Rules for Writing Historical Fiction

Sarah's Bookarama: The All-Purpose Rules for Writing Historical Fiction/Writing Ripping Yarns

I couldn't resist this - as someone who has read a lot of Christian fiction is this hilarous! The first set here is the best...the second one is too specific.
Sarah's Bookarama: The All-Purpose Rules for Writing Historical Fiction/Writing Ripping Yarns

Freeways

So last night I have a board meeting for LIFE (Life Iniatives for Educations - it is a pro life education organization) in Akron. No problem getting there - I follow Mapquest's (www.mapquest.com) very nice directions. Now I know that I didn't "reverse" the directions to follow home and knowing that downtown Akron has a lot of one way streets I decide to follow the signs for I76/I77 rather than trying backtrack my directions. This seems like a simple proposition, right? WRONG! So I turn off W. Market (pretty much Main Street Akron) to follow the signs that point to I76 East - and I want to go east. (hey, I actually had to learn my cardinal directions due to the blasted freeway system). Anyway, so I follow it...and I see another sign...I think, great - I'm going the right way! So I follow it....and come to another sign...I must have seen like 20 signs all pointing, but no freeway....I just keep following these signs wondering if I76 East is a myth that I made up...I go miles just following these signs - and its kind of creepy...its like a frontage road, but not really and its dark...and just gross. So after what feels like an eternity, I finally find the freeway going to the right way....but why all the signs and no freeway...there were ramps to I76 West all the time. It was really strange. I thought I'd never get off that stupid little connector road. I think the highway planners need to get off all the marijuana...although no one can beat Winnipeg's city planners for a crazy highway plan. That city is seriously screwed up.

So I finally get home and Ray (who I thought would be a little worried as I was considerably late...is there any meeting that ever ends early?) was also just getting home. He also had a terrible night - his students had a test and were not happy with it...just a bad night. Not a good night for the Webers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

American President's Blog

I am now going to be contributing to a history blog:
http://american-presidents.blogspot.com/

Check in there for some interesting history tidbits!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Computers and Life

Why does the computer always backfire for me? Never Ray - he makes it sounds like I have a conspiracy going! I don't try to break to the computer!

Today (and even Ray admits this wasn't my fault) the laptop decided that although it could see the network (and therefore the Internet), it wasn't really there and it wasn't going to connect. Not fun at all. Ray has now figured out what is going on and how to fix it (this is not the first occurence), but it sounds like its one of our neighbor's networks messing with us. We need that house! We are hopefully going to look at houses on Friday....wish us luck that Ray doesn't have to work late!

I really hate computers - they are all schizo...they love Ray and behave like angels for him, but they are evil to me! Not fair! Well, I think I'm going to bed.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Home again

We are back from Michigan. We had a fun weekend with Ray's parents. We had their birthday party and I made a cake (new recipe for marble cake - should have it up in a few days on my website: www.geocities.com/queenamidala9999).

The weather is very springlike. Cops were EVERYWHERE on our trip up to MI. First nice day...they were looking for speeders. We're just lucky that they didn't get Ray!

Ray's mom is doing much better - hopefully she will get to have her surgery on the 20th...just depends on how she's recovering from the pneumonia.

Friday, March 10, 2006

We're off again

Well, its the weekend and we are off again. We are going to Michigan for Ray's parents' birthdays. I made a cake today (marble and I can't even eat it....) and I'm going to make dinner for them (Ray's mother's favorite - Vodka Cream Pasta). It will be fun - its just been a hectic week as usual. Ray had to work until almost nine today - Flying Team try-out prep.

Next weekend we really hope to be able to stay home and catch up on stuff. It seems everything gets backed up when you miss the weekend! Even though I'm home during the week, there always seems so much that only gets done on weekends. During the week I am always grading and whatnot.

Well, wish us luck that the roads are good.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Errand Day

Well, its Jennie's day to do errands. I'm eating lunch now and then its off to run around in circles. I have to go get new tires on the new car, grocery shop, check on a book for Ray, etc....such fun.

I was up late last night trying to simplify the chapter my class is working on for a student...hopefully it will help! My life is sooo exciting...yeah, right.

Well, off on an errand fest.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Homework

Correcting homework, a-correcting homework I will go....a never ending stream. I like to make sure that I explain all student mistakes so they can correct them, but sometimes I wonder if they even bother to read them....makes me depressed. But then I remind myself that if even one student is reading the comments its worth it...still doesn't making slogging through grading any more fun.

Next week is spring break from my students...hey, somewhat of a break for me. Just means I need to work on next semester's classes...ugh! Oh, well, at least its just a matter of updating everything rather than starting from scratch.

Not much else exciting to report here. Ray didn't have a great day - it was really long and fraught with problems. Well, I should go back to my grading. Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Praxis II

Well, I took them...and they were long and annoying. The first one was at 7:30 AM...and I'm so not a morning person. That was social studies content knowledge. So, in other words, prove that I deserve those two history degrees...hopefully! I took the math content knowledge in November...and hey, at least I passed. I don't care beyond that. The test was hard...although actually it didn't take as long I thought. And you can't leave the room until the 2 hours is up...so you just get to sit there second-guessing yourself. I changed about half my "question mark" questions...hopefully that was the right decision.

Then I had to come back at 2:15 PM and take the principles of learning and teaching for 7-12. My hand is still hurting from the memory. It was four case studies...three questions each that you have to write short answers for. Suck! Then 24 multiple choice (the two subject tests were just multiple choices). The MC section wasn't as hard as I thought, but it was just long. I finished, but a lot of others didn't. All those classes I taught on test prep were useful. I know how to time manage...and to do the short answers first because I can always guess on the MC if I have to. But I didn't. So hopefully I passed that too.

These were annoying enough so that I definitely don't want to have to retake them (especially since they are darned expensive!).

Well, I did what the state of Ohio wanted...now just give me my license! And keep at your politicans...remember national teaching licenses so I never have to do this again!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Summer Contract and other Rambles

I got a summer contract for Southern New Hampshire! Yah! I will be teaching Western Civ 1 - sounds fascinating right?

This week has been crazy and this weekend will probably continue the trend. I have to take the Praxis II on Saturday - okay, here's a rant.

Why do I have to reapply and go through all this mumble-jumble? I have a legal teaching license - but its only good in one state! I wouldn't mind having to take all these stupid tests if I knew it was for a national license...I think teachers should be like any other profession. One license that is good throughout the country! Actually, if you think about, it would be good for the state of education. Just take the highest state requirements, plaster them to everyone and then we all get a national license. And so I wouldn't be trying to care about studying for these blasted (and expensive!) tests. Its ridiculous! I probably don't even need this license...but you never know. And I put up with a lot to get this license...a lot of running to make field experience work, classes, and just plain putting up with the department! So wish me luck on Saturday - my last two tests and if I pass I'm done! I passed the math - the principles of teaching and learning and social studies are left.

Oh, hey for some mindless fun: http://www.hurtwood.demon.co.uk/Fun/copter.swf
You can pretend to fly helicopters. I got the link from a fellow teacher during SNHU's training course. Its kind of addicting. Your goal is to get a 750...not an easy feat.