Monday, October 15, 2007

Fun Instructable on How one Girl Can Over Power 6 Guys

How can one girl overtake 6 strong guy? Magic? Check out this fun Instructable!

New Blog Contest - Win a $400

I am fairly new to the world of blogging links, reviews, and contests but Online Tech Tips is having a great contest in which the winner receives a $400 blog review from There are also some cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place. Even if you don't win, you will probably find some new fans and traffic for your own blog.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3 is Here!

I have been a huge fan of both Halo and Halo 2 and have derived countless hours of fun running around a virtual world shooting things with a variety of weapons, vehicles, and grenades. In this installment the Master Chief is back home to defend the Earth from a Covenant leader who is trying to find an artifact that will set off all the Halo rings and destroy the Universe. Yet another reason I don’t like religious fanatics.

I have read you can complete the entire game on single player mode in about ten hours. This is somewhat disappointing since this is to be the last installment of the Halo series, but my true love of Halo in is the multiplayer options- both competitive and cooperative. In this version up to four players can join in cooperative missions, and sixteen players can link up to reek havoc on each other.

Unlike Halo and Halo 2, Halo 3 can only be played on the Xbox 360 and the graphics are simply incredible. The environments are more detailed and sharper and even the characters look much better. Another nice addition is that the enemies seem to be much smarter than in the past, so the play is more strategic. The marines also have gained some common sense and do not step out right in front of where you are shooting quite as much. In previous Halo games I probably killed as many marines as the enemy because they were insistent in getting in my way.

Some of the weapons and vehicles are beefed up, and there are new options. There is now a grenade that will put a protective bubble shield around you, and a Mongoose ATV that is new. There is also a Spartan laser that takes a few seconds to charge, but can blow about anything up. I am also happy that the assault rifle back for when you just need to kill a lot of things, up close and quickly. There are also a new category of weapons such as flares and tripmines that you can use or have used against you. I discovered some of these the hard way.

I do have one compliant so far, which may make more sense when I finished the game. Cortana, who is a computer-AI character that helped the Master Chief through his other adventures, has been left behind in Halo 2. In Halo 3 the action will suddenly stop and her blurred face with appear with some cryptic comments that you can barley understand, and then she will disappear again. It reminds me of the ghost in the machine from the movie Johnny Mnemonic.

Halo 3 is very similar to the first two installments when it comes to the single player game, but that is probably not a bad thing since it predecessors were so popular. Where it really soars is in the multiplayer options. The Forge is an incredible map editor that lets you rearrange weapons, items, and equipment in existing maps and basically allows the player to create their own games. Of course you can play on Xbox live and have you Master Chiefs’ behind handed to you by a ten year old that lives a thousand miles away too.

Overall this is one of the best games that I have ever played and I look forward to countless more hours playing with friends and strangers online. I would recommend Halo 3 to anyone who likes first person shooters games, and I think fans of the Halo series will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Can’t Get Enough of Them Bones

The TV drama show Bones has been a very popular series for the Fox Network for the last two years, and for good reason. It combines interesting crime drama with enjoyable characters and personal situations. The series revolves around Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, who is able to identify and determine cause of death by examining the bones of victims. The main character is straight from a series of novels by Kathy Reichs, who is also a forensic anthropologist.

Temperance is joined at the Institute that she works at with a posse of super intelligent and creative colleagues that help her unravel the various crimes they are asked to consult on. The romantic interest and tension comes from FBI agent, Seeley Booth who is often the law enforcement agent investigating the shows crimes. The first two seasons of Bones are currently out on DVD and the third season is scheduled to premier on September 25, 2007 at 8:00pm.

I originally started watching Bones when it first premiered because David Boreanaz was playing a major role in the series, and I desperately miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the plots and other actors made this show worth watching for its own merits. The character of Temperance Brennan is extremely smart, aggressive, and tough which is part of why I like Bones.

About a month ago I ran across of copy of Kathy Reichs’, Break No Bones, at a local bookstores and decided to read the book help past the time until the show’s third season started. Break No Bones is actually the ninth book in the popular series about Temperance Brennan and is set in Charleston, SC.

The book begins with Temperance supervising a Native American burial ground dig, when modern remains are found. Emma, who is Temperance’s good friend and the local corner, is ill so Temperance agrees to assist with the case. More bodies start turning up as well as estranged husbands and boyfriends. Pete, the estranged husband, is in town to investigate a religious organization and it’s clinic in which a woman who has disappeared last worked. Ryan, the Canadian detective and current boyfriend, also decides to visit and help Temperance with her investigation.

All of the bodies and missing person cases come together to a fairly obvious and gruesome conclusion, but the plot is fast paced and interesting. Reichs pens intriguing characters and Temperance is an interesting in the novels as she is in the TV shows. Personal conflict and professional problems are interwoven as the main characters tries to find justice for the dead.

I would certainly recommend the TV show Bones to anyone who likes crime dramas and I have equally positive feelings about Reichs’ Break No Bones.

Bones- Season 1- 8/10
Bones- Season 2- 8/10
Break No Bones- 8/10

Check out the following blogs to keep up-to-date on the show.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How Do You Prioritize and Reach Your Goals When You Have 1000 Things to Do?

Some days I long for the time that the only things I had to do in a day included getting up and getting myself dressed, going to school, getting home in time to watch Scooby-Doo, and then deciding whether to ride my bike or play kickball with my friends. I believe the key to having a fulfilling life is to know what is vital to your heart and spirit and to be able to prioritize activities that will allow you to have the life you want.

I happen to be a very organized and efficient person but my problem (other than living in this hectic time in history) is that I have many interests and ambitions. This is not a bad thing but it does tend to fill up my time and schedule with a myriad of choices. However, I always seem to get the important things accomplished and although I do long for a day or two in which I do absolutely nothing, I really do enjoy my life.

I am a list maker and I have master lists, monthly lists, weekly lists, daily lists, strategic lists, lists for work items, lists for chores and errands, lists for home and yard projects, financial lists, and even lists of “fun” things I would like to do. In reality if I wanted to do everything I listed on my daily lists, I would have to add three hours to my day and not sleep at all. You do not have to be super organized or write down comprehensive lists to be able to prioritize, but you do need some system to be able to know the best way to use your time and resources.

A game I play with myself to determine what I really desire is to pretend that anything I wished for would definitely come true. I think of what I want for myself in terms of my home life, work, personal health, family and friends, finances and security, and recreational and leisure time. Then I write these results down and then write down steps to achieve each goal in the various areas of my life. Often a few daily or weekly activities will help you to actually make significant progress towards a goal.

For example one of my major goals was to have a comfortable home I enjoy being in. In order to achieve this I need to do some home improvement and decorating projects, so now I plan to complete one major project a month. Next month’s project is to build bookshelves in my basement to help house and organize my extensive literary collection. This month I have been gathering up my books, cleaning out the books I do not absolutely want to keep, taking the one I am keeping to the basement, and organizing them into categories. I often take just ten minutes a day to these activities, and now a large part of the project is almost complete. I will take one weekend to clear and clean out the area of the basement the bookshelves will be built in, the next weekend to make sure I have all the tools and materials I will need, the third weekend to actually build the bookshelves, and the last weekend to setup and organize my books on the new shelves.

This is only one project towards one of my major goals, but it will really help me enjoy my home more knowing my book collection is cleaned out and organized in one place. So know what you ultimate desires are, and determine both the major and minor steps that will help you to really obtain what you want. Then make sure you are doing something every day or week towards those goals, and try to cut out as many activities that do not help you advance to you desires as possible. You will my amazed at how much you can accomplish and how fulfilling your life will be

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dates to Save if You Live in Louisville, KY

Printed with Permission- Amanda Matthews Fields
Ptelea: Elm Hamadryad72" x 96"Lifesize Dryad of Ptelea.
Available also in a very limited edition bronze.

If you live in or near Louisville, KY check out the other blog I write for to learn about some upcoming events you just may be interested in. This Monday Women 4 Women will have there annual luncheon, Dare to Care has a call out to artists to donate for their Art of Caring event on November 9th, and artist Amanda Matthews Fields wants you to save the date for her solo show at Spalding University September 30th - November 4th.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Is AD-36 making you fat?

What if you can catch obesity? In laboratory experiments scientists have discovered that a common virus can cause adult stem cells to turn into fat cells. The human-adenovirus- 36 has been known to cause respiratory and eye infection in humans, but now scientists have isolated one of the viruses genes as being a possible contributing factor in gaining weight. In studies 30% of obese subjects were infected with the virus in comparison to 11% of lean subjects. Although this virus is only possible one of the factors that contribute to over 97 million adults in the United States being overweight or obese, it does suggest that a vaccination may be helpful in combating this epidemic health issue.

Check out the following links from the LA Times and the Science Blog for more details.,0,6864165.story?coll=la-home-center

Monday, September 3, 2007

Guide to Choosing the Best Water and Food Bowl for Your Dog

If you have every wondered what is the best choice for a water or food bowl for you dog, then check out this article I wrote.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Window Web Surfing

It seems like I am always running around like crazy in the real world, but lately I feel like I am doing the same on the Internet. I just don’t get to surf like I used to, but occasionally I try to find out what’s new and interesting in the virtual world.

Here are some interesting sites I happened upon today, and I will be sure to check back on occasion to see what is new on these sites.

I first found which gives some great advice on how to make your blog more popular. From that site I found where the author reviews various blog on the web. is a blog all about cats, their behavior, food, toys, and anything else you can think of. On the other spectrum this site list various strange way that people had died throughout history,

I do eat meat but I have been trying to cut back on my carnivorous tendencies for the sake of my health, the environment, and of course the animals themselves. is a great blog to help you find ways to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals. In the same line of thought if you are looking for advice and product reviews on items that are “green” then is a useful blog.

I try to keep my yard and gardens in check by not using any type of chemicals or products that could be harmful to my animals, the wildlife, or the environment. is a great blog with tips on how to garden naturally both indoors and out.

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and is a great blog for book reviews and links to websites about the featured books and authors.

I often try to practice my writing skills and the blogs, and gives some good hints, advice, and writing prompts. For good web development advice
is both helpful and has some really cute pictures.

If you know of some other interesting sites or blogs, let me know.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Louisville's Ford Ironman Competition

Yesterday Louisville hosted the first Ford Ironman Louisville competition. About 1800 triathletes jumped into the Ohio River (ick) and swam 2.4 miles. Then they got out and grabbed a bike where they cycled for 112 miles. Lastly they voluntarily ran 26.2 miles with the finish line being in the middle of 4th Street Live.

The winner, Chris McDonald finished this insane race in less than 9 hours. It makes me tired just thinking about it. It is amazing to me that people can be in this good of shape. Personally my shape is somewhat round.

I can't imagine what kind of training these athletics must go through to be able to compete in these Ironman races. I barely have enough time to walk my dogs, do a few sit ups, and maybe a yoga position or two.

Well congratulations to all the athletes who were brave enough to sign up and compete in this race. You have inspired me to get my bike out of the basement and I might even manage to ride it this year.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dumbest Thing Ever Said By a Politician?

I don’t write much about politics but I couldn’t believe the blog I saw on Digg It’s top stories today. Apparently Florida’s State Representative Bob Allen (R) was caught offering to pay an undercover cop $20 to give him oral sex. His explanation was just horrible and funny all at the same time. Check out to see the excuse and read some pretty funny comments.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sand Volleyball- The Next Best Thing When You Don't Live Near a Beach

Some new friends recently convinced me to play sand volleyball at R Place Pub on Friday nights. They have a six player "C" league which means that you don't have to be very good to play. That is lucky for me since I have not played volleyball for almost thirteen years. We played in the pouring rain, but had a great time. Our team is going to have several practices a week and even if you don't play better we all should be in better shape by the time the season is over.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- Initial Movie Review

I, and about half of Louisville, showed up last night at the Cinema de Lux 20: Stonybrook movie theater to see the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Although I am sure my work is suffering today because of the lack of sleep, the movie was worth seeing. I thought the screenwriters did a great job of condensing a very long book with tons of details into a cohesive story that followed the main plot points. The film is 2 hours and 18 minutes long, but moves along well through the whole film.

The movie’s background and filming techniques helped to emphasis the darker story of the fifth book. Harry finds himself alone and ridiculed by many members of the magical community for claming that his arch-nemesis, Lord Voldermort is back. JK Rowlings did a great job in her fifth book of the series in creating a feel of anger and desperation that many teenagers experience at that age without having an evil wizard after you. The movie follows this theme and Harry must battle his inner demons as well as Voldermort and the Ministry of Magic. The actress Imelda Staunton, who played Umbridge, was positively infuriating and once again the casting director did a great job finding an actor who fits the book’s character so well.

The film had a couple of great special effects scenes such as when the Weasley twins set off a bunch of fireworks during the OWLs exam and when Voldermort and Dumbledore are battling at the Ministry. Overall this movie is well worth going to see at the theaters for any fan of the Harry Potter books and movies. Some of the scenes and darker overtone of the movie may scare smaller children and it is rated PG-13.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Avoiding and Treating Poison Ivy

I have recently written two articles about poison ivy and what you can do to avoid it and treat it. I am one of unlucky people who gets a very bad case of poison ivy when infected. One of my goals this summer is to avoid this plant under all circumstances. Last summer I had case that lasted almost two months. Not recommended summertime fun.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gift Giving

I occasionally write for AC (Associated Content) and I thought I would post a link to my latest article. (click on the title for the full article) I am a weirdo since I actually like finding “the perfect” gift for a friend or family member. It is almost like a puzzle to me- figure out something the person will love or really needs that is at a reasonable cost. I am now also trying to make sure my gifts are environmentally friendly. I will post some gift suggestions in the future and feel free to comment with your suggestions or questions.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stomp the Yard, Movie Review & Summary

I actually managed to watch the DVD, Stomp the Yard, yesterday after work. It was a very enjoyable movie both for the abundant dancing and the characters. The director filmed many of the dances scenes up close so you feel like you are right in the middle of the action. The main actors did a great job in their roles, and Columbus Short was very believable as the outsider and underdog. The plot is predictable but very enjoyable none the less, and I thought it was nice to see African-Americans portrayed in a positive way for a change.

The DVD extras included a filmmaker’s commentary which was interesting, a short documentary that is worth watching, deleted and extended dance scenes, and a gag reel. All of the extra are worth watching. This is definitely a movie worth seeing and I will probably buy a copy in the future. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

The movie is about a young man, DJ, who is into street dancing in LA, and his brother is killed after a competition. Later, his uncle who works for Truth College in Atlanta manages to get DJ scholarship. Needless to say he feels like he does not fit in, but has an instant attraction to a student, April, who not only has a jerk for a boyfriend but is the dean’s daughter.

The main character is asked to pledge several fraternities after they witness his dancing at a local club. Many of the fraternities compete in step dancing which is called stomping the yard. Stepping is a synchronized style of dancing that normally involves teams of dancers moving to very rhythmic steps. There is an annual competition every year in which the best step teams from all the colleges compete for bragging rights.

DJ chooses to go with a more academic fraternity who is constantly being beaten by another fraternity (where the jerk boyfriend steps of course). April ends up falling for DJ and her father is not happy about it. It also does not help the situation that DJ’s uncle married the woman who the dean dated in college.

The rival fraternity leaks to the ethics committee that DJ had been convicted for assault in case of his brother, and he is suspended from college and the step competition. The dean offers a deal to DJ that if he quits seeing his daughter, he will restate DJ back in school. DJ declines and his team goes off to the competition without him.

The dean’s daughter finds out what her father has done and he decides to reinstates DJ. Our main character shows up just in time for the final round of the step competition in which the two rival fraternities tie. There is a dance off, led by DJ and the ex-boyfriend, but of course our hero and his team wins.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekend Update for 6-16-07 & 6-17-07

Cucumber update: The plants are growing like crazy and have almost grown over the small metal supports that I put into the container. I have to water them quite a bit due to the really hot temperatures and lack of rain in Kentucky.

I spent a good part of the weekend watering my yard and plants, and doing some weeding. That is one of my least favorite yard chores. One of my German Shepherds is being bitten on the ears by flies so I am trying a new pest spray for animals. It is neem-oil based and is not supposed to have any dangerous chemicals so we will see how that works over the next several weeks.

I rarely go to the movies anymore but I managed to go see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer this weekend with a friend. It was much better than the first Fantastic Four movie and a great break from an otherwise busy weekend. I would recommend it to moviegoers who like light, action movies based on comic book characters. If you want to award winning acting and script writing, go see something else. The special effects were very good and it was fast paced and a good length at about an hour and a half.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing typical house chores, running errands, and taking care of my cat, Irish, who has fatty liver disease. I have to syringe a good deal of food and protein supplements down her throat to make sure she is eating enough. Luckily one of my cat-loving friends was in town and came over three times each day to help with the feeding and to give her medicine and subcutaneous fluids. I am happy to report that Irish is doing much better than she was several weeks ago, and I am hopefully for a full recovery in several months.

I also was able to spend some time with my father and my grandfather, which is always nice. My grandfather just turned 87 and it’s only been in the last year that he has started to slow down and have health problems that are effecting how much he can do. At age 34 I would be happy to have as much energy as he has right now.

I finished out the weekend by having a good dinner and great conversation at O’Charley’s restaurant with one of my best friends Sunday night. I love their potato soup and they have really good rolls. They also make fairly good Strawberry daiquiri, which happens to be my favorite alcoholic drink.

Overall it was a good weekend that was both fun and productive, if still way too busy.

Hanna and Irish

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gardening Adventures- Cucumbers

I have decided to pursue gardening this summer with the hopes that I will reap several benefits. The first point of this exercise is to have a beautiful yard and deck and to hopefully have some delicious vegetables and herbs. I have grown a few tomatoes and herbs in the past, but this year I am going to be more adventurous. Gardening is also good exercise and I actually enjoy getting my hands full of dirt from time to time. I also think gardening will be a good way to try and slow down a bit, since you cannot rush how fast your plants will grow.

I am mainly using containers on and around my deck for the vegetables and herbs since my two large German shepherds have pretty much claimed the rest of the backyard. I do have a large flower garden in the back that surrounds a beautiful dogwood tree, but the plants have to be fairly hardy to withstand the dogs and their obsession with the squirrels.

My first new vegetable adventure is a large container of Straight Eight cucumbers. I have 12 plants in a mixture of organic soil and compost. I planted them when there were just seedlings, but the plants are already getting quite large. I may have too many in one container. They are in full sun for most of the day and they are getting watered every night. My research on these plants suggests adding some fertilizer when the plants start to blossom and give fruit. According to most accounts, cucumbers are pretty easy to grow and should give fruit all summer long.

On Burpee’s website there is a suggestion to grow the plants on trellises to maximize space and to increase the yield, so I may see if I can find or build some small support structures to put in my pot. Cucumbers are susceptible to various bugs, disease, and fungus but I plan to use a homemade spray I make out of neem oil if any problems arise. Neem oil is quite effective to keep pests at bay, but is an organic substance that will not harm mammals. I never use any type of chemicals in my yard because of the dogs and I do not want to pollute the water table anymore that it already is.

Apparently this variety is best picked when the cucumbers are 6-8 inches long, and harvesting should encourage more fruit production. I am planning to share quite a bit if I have a good harvest since cucumbers do not last long in the refrigerator. I actually hate pickles so I won’t bother using that type of preservation technique either.

My favorite way to eat a cucumber is make a Benedictine spread to serve with crackers or other fresh veggies. Everyone has a similar recipe but this is how I like to make it…

1 fresh cucumber- peel and grate, remove some liquid in small colander
Package of cream cheese- softened
1/8-1/4 of a white or yellow onion- depending on how strong a flavor you want
Dollop of mayo- fresh is better
Dollop of sour cream
Salt/Pepper to taste
Add fresh dill, basil, chives to change up the flavor a bit
Blend everything in a blender or food processor and serve