Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Well, no, not completely. Yes, I've started. And yes, I have furry helpers.

I leave tomorrow for the East Coast. I start out in warm Orlando for 5 days of fun and then head up north to see how long it takes me to turn into an Amy-sicle. The snow can stop anytime between now and then. Please.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Keeping in Touch

If your cell phone went kablooey, how many people would you be able to contact? What about your email service?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Already?

I'm thankful for all the same stuff from    the     past     four    years.

This year in particular, I'm thankful that my Dad and his wife invited me to share their Christmas vacation - we're going to Disney World!! And then I'm going to get to relax and visit with them and other friends and family up North - I'm trying to avoid thinking about how cold it's going to be.

I'm thankful that my Mom's dream has finally become a reality and that it has worked out the way she wanted (mostly). She's incredibly happy, for which I am incredibly thankful.

I'm thankful that I do not live in a country where:
"women are subject to numerous restrictions, including a strict dress code, a prohibition against driving and a requirement that they get a man's permission to travel or have surgery. Women are also not allowed to testify in court unless it is about a private matter that was not observed by a man, and they are not allowed to vote." CNN.com

I hope you have good things in your life to be thankful for and that you will have a great holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


These creative staircases are amazing...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Captain Malcolm Reynolds

Nice to hear Mal's voice again...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Funnies from Others

Two of my favorite bloggers had posts recently (okay, last month - time is relative) that made me squirt soda out my nose (note to self: stop drinking when reading Bloglines).

You've been warned - hilarity follows:

Wil Wheaton's ill communication

Cherie Priest's Muzzle the Dogs of War

And although he hasn't made me squirt soda lately, I also highly recommend John Scalzi's Whatever and By the Way.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dresden Files

Once again*, I get hooked on a TV show and it gets canceled after a short run. And people wonder why I don't have cable...

Anyway, I really enjoyed the 12 episodes of The Dresden Files and if enough people buy the DVD {hint, hint} maybe we can initiate a reincarnation -- hey, it worked for Firefly.

Although not true to some of the details of the book series by Jim Butcher (which I am absolutely hooked on), I think the TV series captured the spirit of the world Butcher created.

And Paul Blackthorne is the ideal Harry Dresden. Mahalo, Paul, for bringing Harry to life so perfectly.

* Other short-lived shows that I liked: Brimstone, Mann and Machine, Now and Again (no, not the Sela Ward show - that was Once and Again).

There you have it, more evidence of what a strange, strange person I am...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Text Talk

No profanity in this post, but I can't vouch for the comments.

While working at Astronomy, I had Yahoo! Radio playing on the computer. One of the commercials was sponsored by Chevy and was a "translation" guide for text messages. The first example was LOL; the second and third were gobbledy-gook that "translated" into features about some truck. The last one was WTF which they said stood for "Wow! That's fantastic!"

That's certainly not what I thought WTF stood for. How about you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Feeling Old

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2011 lists some interesting facts about most of the students entering college this fall.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Stardust... and Bourne

The Bourne Ultimatum was a great movie: an edge-of-your-seat, almost non-stop action wild ride. If you liked the first two, you won't be disappointed.

I can't say enough good things about Stardust. It's wonderful, fantastic, amazing, insert other !!! adjectives here. It's a fantasy story about a young man who offers to retrieve a fallen star for his lady-love in exchange for her hand in marriage; he has one week or she will marry his rival. Of course, finding the star turns out to be the easy part...

Really, you need to stop reading this and whatever else you're doing and go see this movie.

Guaranteed Smile

...probably also at least giggles, if not downright laughter. If not, seek professional help. How can you not feel better after seeing these four kittens attacking a box...and each other, of course.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hawai'i Weather

It's actually been a really good week: the earthquake was scary, but not as bad as last October; Hurricane Flossie petered out (we had no winds and not much rain); and the tsunami from the earthquake in Peru never materialized. Due to "projected weather-related hazards" schools were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, and wow! did I get a lot done at home.

And, of course, Friday is a state holiday -- hooray for the two-day workweek!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bye-Bye Bookshelf

I have officially canceled the amysbookshelf.com domain. I wasn't doing anything with it and my life is only going to get busier.

I will keep this blog and my flickr account (which only has three pix at the moment, but behind the scenes, I'm organizing my digital photos, so soon eventually it will have more) and maybe some other communication tools in the future (Twitter intrigues me a bit, although right now mostly just to read what others are writing).

But for now, good-bye amysbookshelf.com -- I'm sorry I didn't make better use of you. My intentions were good.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I don't know how anyone could watch the coverage of the shuttle launch and not be awed and impressed and proud of what has been accomplished. I'm sitting here watching the shuttle go into orbit courtesy of a camera on the main fuel tank. I just saw the shuttle detach and (seemingly) drift away from "my" position.

Sometimes technology is amazing.

Thanks to NASA for the goosebumps!

Shuttle Launches

Godspeed, Endeavour!

btw, the NASA TV Public Channel is fantastic!! I watched the launch via my computer and saw all kinds of nifty closeups and heard lots of chatter.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Harry Potter: The End

Spoiler-free post, but I can't vouch for the comments.

I finished the seventh Harry Potter book, an as I previously noted, it's difficult to put down once you pick it up. This was even truer with the second half.

In the interest of not saying too much, I'll settle for observing that I think it was a worthy end to the series.

And now, back to Book One...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Spoiler-free post, but I can't vouch for the comments.

My pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter 7 finally appeared in my mailbox yesterday, a mere 12 days after the release date. I'm gonna go easy on Amazon 'cause every other order I've ever placed has arrived much more quickly than expected and I can't be sure it's Amazon's fault (USPS, I'm thinkin' of you).

Anyway, I'm barely able to keep my eyes open after being at the theatre until midnight on Tuesday and reading until almost 3 a.m. last night. I'm just past halfway and while I would like to finish it tonight, I think a good night's sleep is probably the wiser choice.

I don't want to give anything away, but I really hadn't planned on reading that long last night. I was just going to start it, read a little, read a little more tonight, and then finish it in a Friday-night marathon. The spell JKR weaves still has lots of power left.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Movie Reviews

I recently saw both Ratatouille and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Ratatouille is the usual Pixar perfection: everything is very detailed and very lifelike -- the views of Paris will take your breath away and if you don't like rats, you will be creeped out. Despite this, it's probably last on my list of Pixar flix -- hey, somebody has to be at the bottom!

HP5 was good -- it's been some time since I read the story, so I can't speak to how closely the movie sticks to the book, but as a movie, it rocked.

I read somewhere that this might be the last HP movie they do because someone thinks the actors are getting too old to play teenagers. I don't agree; I had no trouble believing that Daniel, Emma, Rupert and the others were 15. I would very much like to see them film the last two books (but that could just be my completion fixation).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who Ya Gonna Trust?

I'm relieved to know that at least some of the next generation has critical thinking skills.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Impotence of Proofreading

This brilliant video is for anyone who has ever typed anything. Some adult language.

I could practice for 100 years and still not be able to recite this...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HP5 Movie

Three reviews of the movie version of Order of the Phoenix from Pop Goes the Library (they all liked it). The reviews contain spoilers if you haven't read the book.

Yes, it's possible. I actually know two people who haven't ever read any Harry Potter. Yeah, I'm shakin' my head, too.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Toby Keith

I'm officially removing Kenny Chesney from my voices-that-make-me-weak list.

It's not that I don't still enjoy his music, 'cause I do. And it's not that the reason he went on the list in the first place doesn't still exist, 'cause it does. But unlike everyone else on the list, there's only one time that he makes me weak: the 'on and on and on' part of the chorus in the live version of 'What I Need to Do'.

On the other hand, I have to watch myself anytime I hear Liam, Alan, Kiefer, John, or Johnny*.

And Toby Keith deserves to be on the list. Back in February 2005**, I became seriously addicted to The Big Dog while waiting for Honkytonk University to be released. This addiction keeps getting stronger and stronger. There have been very few days since then when I haven't listened to at least some TK, and plenty of days when he's all I've listened to.

*I mean Johnny Depp as Johnny Depp, not in any one particular movie -- most of my experience with his voice as himself comes from his episode of Inside the Actors' Studio

**Yes, I've been meaning to add him to the list since then, but haven't gotten around to it. I'm a bit of a procrastinator, remember?


I am determined to not believe anything I hear about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I don't care if the person swears that it's the black-on-white truth, I'm treating all spoilers as rumors.


Yes, I'm still among the living. May was very busy with helping Mom pack and move and build her house. The Ohio trip was wonderful right up until the very end, when I was next to the toddler-from-hell on the plane home who shared his germs with me which them combined with the dust and mold from the renovation at work to make me sick for most of June.

A few wedding photos are available.

I was working on beefing up this post until I found this entry at Lori's site. Look for a lot more short posts from me...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mom's House

I won't mention names yet (maybe later), but if a company tells you that 3 people can build their pre-cut kit structure in 2 days, don't believe them. If the incredibly hard-working, dedicated crew of 7 that we had wasn't able to do it in 4 days, it can't be done.

Also, don't believe them when they tell you the lumber will be marked as to where it belongs (F=floor, W=wall, etc.) or that it "comes with the thinking all done."

We didn't believe some of their claims and knew that others were exaggerated, but we had no idea just how far off they would be...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ms. Dewey

I'm really surprised that I haven't seen Ms. Dewey mentioned on any of the blogs I read. So here she is.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Saturn's Rings

Call me a geek, but this movie of Saturn's rings is awesome*.

From the intro page: "Image scale is 48 kilometers (30 miles) per pixel."

Per PIXEL. Think about that.

*I'm not even sure awesome is the right word, but it's all my tired brain can come up with right now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Own Web Domain

Some of you might remember the original homepage for my amysbookshelf.com website. It had a wonderful graphic of books on a bookshelf that D spent many hours creating and fiddling with.

The original intent was that each book would be clickable and lead to a page of {supposedly} interesting stuff. I was also going to use my website as a portal for my home research business – hey, this was back before Google convinced everyone they could find everything themselves in .06 seconds.

But with the plethora of free options like Blogger, Flickr, and wikis, I’ve begun to wonder if I really need my own domain that I’m not using. On the one hand, it’s approx. $100/year for something I might want some day. On the other hand, it’s approx. $100/year for something I haven’t used in a long time.

Opinions, anyone?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Demon Murphy

If your flight is on time, the gate for your connecting flight will be nearby.

If your flight is delayed, your connecting flight will be four concourses away, at the very last gate. And, of course, it goes without saying that even if you are able to sprint fast enough to board that second flight, there’s no way your luggage is going to make it....

Friday, March 16, 2007

iPod Dilemma

Why would I get an 8GB iPod nano for $249 when I can get a 30GB iPod for the same price?

The nano plays only music and holds only up to 2,000 songs, while the regular also plays videos and holds up to 7,500 songs.

I keep looking at the specs list, sure I must be mis-reading numbers.

Is there some other consideration that I should be aware of? Some catch that I'm missing?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Row, Girl, Row

I finally got a rowing machine. Yippee!!!

Some of you know that this has been quite the impossible quest. I knew exactly which model I wanted, but the company (FitnessQuest) wanted to send it UPS 2nd day, which would mean that the shipping would cost almost as much as the machine. This was not an option, as I am a girl on a budget, so I started researching alternative methods of delivery.

Five months and many frustrations later, I was able to just order it from Amazon.com.

Yeah, I don't believe it was that easy either. When I checked several months ago, Amazon wouldn't ship a rowing machine to Hawaii (neither would Sears, Walmart, Costco, Target, or Sports Authority...).

But they must have changed their policies, because I placed the order mid-February and it was delivered on March 1.

There was still the potential for disaster, as my address is a RR box, which UPS can’t deliver to. However, I experienced FANTASTIC customer service from both Amazon and UPS and it arrived at my front door without a hitch.

I put it together on Friday and have used it 6 times so far (and it hasn't fallen apart yet). I'm starting with at least 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night, plus one or two additional sessions on non-work days. But I have it set up in front of the TV, so if I happen to be watching a movie and end up rowing for longer, so be it.

I am hoping that not only will this enable me to get fit, but that I’ll also stop getting sick as much (every other month lately). Already my arms ache a little after about 10 minutes (although they feel fine shortly after I stop) and I think I can actually feel a little tightness in my abs. But that might just be wishful thinking….

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sick, Again

I've managed to catch another cold. At least now I know it's not being on Oahu that makes me sick...

All I drink when I'm sick is orange juice. This time, I decided to try some zinc lozenges. I was a little perturbed to find that I couldn't drink any citrus 1/2 hour before or after sucking on one of the lozenges, but decided that it was still worth a try -- mostly because I had already bought them.

Several colleagues asked what I was taking for my cold, and then each proceeded to offer advice. Unfortunately, it turned out to be mutually contradictory advice:

1. You need both the orange juice and the zinc. And be sure to get plenty of rest.
2. You don't need the zinc lozenges. Orange juice has all the zinc you need. And be sure to get plenty of rest.
3. You don't need the orange juice. The zinc will do more than the vitamin C. And be sure to get plenty of rest.

I'm quite dizzy now, so I think I'll go curl up under the covers...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Three Breathless Minutes

Five years of frustration, planning, paperwork, and waiting came to an end on Friday morning.

The Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources Board voted to approve Mom's permit application.

Translation: Mom finally has the official okay for her house.

:) :) :) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! :) :) :)

Let the building begin!

Speaking of building, we've decided that I'm going to help. I have no actual building or carpentry skills, but as long as someone more knowledgeable says "get that" or "hold this here" I think I'll be useful. Or, to be more precise, Mom thinks I'll be useful.

After that, Mom and I get to go back to Oahu, corral five unwilling cats into carriers for a trip to the vet to be sedated, then onto a helicopter for the ride to their new home.

Stressful? What makes you think it's going to be stressful?

Pray for us...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


One big, major, huge reason I live where I do and don't live where I used to:

Friday, January 26, 2007

Beautiful Day

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous.

On Friday, there wasn't a single cloud anywhere in the sky. Both mountains, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, were completely visible in all their glory. A little voice told me to grab my camera before I left the house. I wish I had listened.

Saturday and Sunday were also clear and sunny, with just a few fluffy white clouds dotting the beautiful blue expanse. There was a cool, brisk breeze that had me throwing open all the windows and airing out the house.

We have a saying: "Lucky you live Hawaii."


Thursday, January 11, 2007


I will not buy anything...

I will not buy anything...

I will not buy anything...

How's your willpower against book-related gadgets?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte’s Web is a perfect example of how to turn a beloved classic book into a movie. There are a few slight changes, but not enough to quibble over.

Personal quirk time: Julia Roberts as the voice of Charlotte was mildly distracting (however, Steve Buscemi as Templeton the Rat really worked). Don’t get me wrong – Julia did a fantastic job. I was just never able to forget it was her, unlike Oprah Winfrey and Reba McEntire and Robert Redford, whose voices I didn’t recognize at all (similar to how I don't hear Allison Janney or Geoffrey Rush in Finding Nemo).

I’m sorry I’m not able to explain the voices problem better (but then again, it’s probably just me). The bottom line, though: if Charlotte’s Web is still playing at a theatre near you, go see it; if it's not, grab the DVD when it comes out.

On the other hand, the preview for Bridge to Terabithia gave Mom and me matching looks of horror…

Jane Addiction

I've recently developed an addiction to Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice. I've watched the A&E version an average of once a week since Thanksgiving (I was sick for the second half of December, so I'm not as much of a sloth as that might otherwise indicate). I switched to the Keira Knightley version a couple times, but I can't stay away from Jennifer and Colin for long.

I just finished reading the book for the first time - yes, I somehow got a Bachelor's degree in English without reading any Jane Austen - and enjoyed it so much that after about a two-week break, I'm starting it again. That addiction thing again.

I also read Sense and Sensibility for the first time, but didn't enjoy it as much (unlike the Emma Thompson movie, which I adore). I found the (I think) perfect editions (even tho' they're from B&N) of Austen's works: they're smaller than mass market, but hardcover, with attached red ribbon bookmarks. If I could just find Mansfield Park, my collection would be complete...

Now that the new semester has started, I think I shall be forced to wean myself from Ms. Austen, as my Literature of the Environment class will be keeping me quite busy. Like most addicts, I shall miss my fix; however, I do believe I have the will power to overcome this...

Unlike my addiction to chocolate...