Sunday, May 8, 2011

McLuhan Tetrad In Audio

** Cross post from Ed Tech U**

I am an avid listener to NPR and Prairie Home Companion is one of my favorite programs.  Yesterday morning while I was listening to PHC Garrison Keillor did a rendition of Little Deuce Coupe which can be heard here

It seems that almost every day I hear someone complaining about high gas prices and how much it costs to run their car.  I happily chime in with "Glad I own a Prius" and then tell them my most recent gas millage (which is currently climbing to over 48 mgp!). 

Since one of the themes of the course Emerging and Future Technologies was how one technology takes over for a previous one, I found this song only timely and fitting.  In today's society it seems to be more important how many mpg your car gets then how many horsepower the engine has.  This rendition of Little Deuce Coupe seemed like an audio version of McLuhan's tetrads.  I know the Prius isn't a "cool" car, but it does make a great conversation starter, and it is great on my wallet right now. 

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, April 8, 2011


The Mother near the mother load of D&D coffee!
Yup, I just made up another word!  I had to come out of the blogging retirement of a big move, so why not a new word.  Actually, this isn't a new word, just a new word to you.  Back when I first started to blog I remember telling The Mother all about it.  She was at first confused what a blog was, since, well, the word blog doesn't sound like anything real at all.  Once I explained to her that blog stands for web log, she got it.  Then we started to joke about all of the new lingo floating around that is related to technology, and that people could actually study this.  We decided that this new area of study would be called blingo, short for web lingo.  If you study blingo you would be called a blingologist.  This thought all came back to me when I was recently reading a blog about twitter.  This blogger admitted that for the longest time when they read about "apps" they thought people were talking about appetizers!  How funny, and we all know that tons of people must have thought this same thing! 

Here's to The Mother, maybe one day you will become a blingologist - you could make a mighty fine one!

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kind Neighbors and Focus

It has been over three weeks into my Couch To 5K running program and things are still going well.  I have been doing some new runner reading in my spare time and came across an article early on that has been an inspiration.  This morning I rolled out of bed and put my running clothes on.  I knew it was going to be a "nice" day and that it might be one of my last our door runs until spring.  The little voice in my head kept telling me that I was going to be miserable, it was going to be cold, and that I was not going to enjoy my run.  And then this article popped into my head just like it does whenever that little voice gets too loud. 

How to Focus Your Mind 

"By Danny Dreyer

Whether it's a 5K or an ultramarathon, focusing your mind is the surest way to feel great throughout your race, especially as you cross that finish line. With ChiRunning, you can learn to focus your mind, moment-by-moment, and use your mind to listen to and support your body to run in a way that is both relaxing and efficient. The practice of focusing your mind can then be transferred to focusing on long term or more significant goals in your life. The key is to practice.
When you focus, you create a stronger connection between you and the object of your focus. When cooking a meal, if you think about what you want your food to taste like (instead of allowing your mind to wander), you'll end up with a more delicious meal. If you focus on the few extra pounds you may have gained this winter, you might just become more "connected" to them. If instead you focus on eating well and running consistently, that is what will happen, and those pounds will melt away.
When successful people were studied to understand how they achieve their goals, being able to focus their mind was one of the common and key skills.

To amplify the power of your mind, chose a very specific goal for your race: it could be to win your age group, to finish without pain, to enjoy yourself fully, to use your pelvic rotation, to run a specific time or to bring in $1,000 for your favorite charity. The connection that is created by focusing your mind adds something very tangible to you as a person, so it is best to focus on qualities that are truly meaningful to you. For instance, feeling strong, centered, flexible, energetic are all positive focuses that can enhance your whole life.

When you focus your mind, you set your mind and intention in a specific direction. Not letting your mind wander to the many other options that might distract you from your goal. If there is one thing we have a lot of in this life, it's options. Have you noticed the laundry detergent aisle in the grocery store? I focus on finding one that is least harmful to the environment and that does not leave a perfumed odor on my clothes which quickly narrows my options.

Let's say your goal is to run your first marathon. You can then get more specific with your original goal and chose to complete your marathon injury-free. Then you can refine that goal and decide, "I don't only want to be injury-free, I want to feel great when I'm done. I want to complete a marathon pain-free and injury-free." The key to success is to get a clear goal in mind, and stick with it.
In the movie "A Beautiful Mind," John Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia. He explains that to overcome his very intense delusions, he has to go on a "diet of the mind." He focuses his mind on what is real and chooses not to allow his mind to wander toward his delusional world. That concept of a diet of the mind is an important one when you are practicing how to stay focused on a goal for your event. Staying focused means that you don't allow your mind to entertain other negative thoughts, like not running the marathon, not finishing the marathon, finishing the event but feeling like hell afterward, finishing but never running another step because of an injury.
This doesn't mean that you can't ever change your plans or your goal. Focusing does not mean that you block out important messages or warnings coming your way. That's not being focused, it's being stubborn, or worse. In ChiRunning, we encourage you to listen to your body and make necessary adjustments if your body is clearly telling you that running a marathon is just too long a distance with your level of training. You then adjust, and can run a half marathon instead.

When practicing ChiRunning, you focus your mind on listening to and feeling your body. It might sound simple, but it's harder to do than you think, and more rewarding than you can imagine. Your mind will want to wander, as everyone's does. You have to repeatedly stick to your "diet" and bring your mind back to engaging your core muscles, to gently leaning from your ankles, to swinging your arms to the rear. By doing this you are actually creating a stronger neuro-link between your brain and the nerves and muscles in your body. In the beginning there may be little connection, but over time, as the connection grows stronger, you will have more control over your body, and your mind. Additionally, the body and mind begin to act as one whole -- YOU -- rather than the two separate entities of your body and your mind.
Focus is a very powerful skill and one of the keys to running a successful, injury-free event. As we say on our shirts:
Focus Your Mind
Strengthen Your Core
Run Like the Wind
Choose from our four ChiRunning Training Programs to help you Get and Keep Focused."

It turned out to be a great run once I got warmed up.  There is this small gradual hill that is on my regular route, and no matter how fast or slow I move I always am going up the hill during the hardest point.  Today it was at the end of my run, and as I am pushing up and over the top the little voice was suggesting that I just walk the rest of the way to the top.  I pushed through with the positive thoughts, and just as I am cresting the hill an older gentleman is walking over the top towards me.  He smiled at me and said "Great job!"  That was all I needed to boost my confidence and float my way home.  Two kind words to support the kind words in my head.  Thanks neighbor, I hope that you read this!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Freezer

Yup, I just posted a picture of my freezer on my blog!
I like to cook, and when I decide to cook I sometimes go a little overboard. Usually during my morning cereal and coffee I study a cookbook.  Since cutting meat with feet from my diet and trying to incorporate as many vegan friendly recipes and  ingredients, cooking now takes a little studying.  Last week I made a lengthy list of recipes that I wanted to make:
  • Minestrone (Moosewood)
  • Stuffed peppers(SJ Original)
  • Wheat/white sandwich bread (Joy of Cooking/SJ)
  • Apple bread
  • Salmon pie
  • "Chicken" pie (SJ Original)
  • Shepards pie
  • Spicy tomato soup (Moosewood)
  • Tomato sauce (SJ Original)
  • Zucchini soup (Moosewood)
(See what I mean by a little overboard?)

Dorky math teacher finds humor in her labels!
After creating the list of recipes, I then needed to make the grocery list.  I will spare you the details, but it did take a trip to Shaw's and over an hour to find all of right items.  By the time I got home from shopping I was exhausted, and the cooking hadn't even started.  Saturday morning I woke up refreshed and ready for the challenge of cooking.  I don't think that I have ever chopped or minced as many onions in my life as I did last weekend.  It seemed that every recipe started with "saute onions until tender".  Needless to say, the recipes list was so long that it spilled into Sunday and the last two on the list are saved for another day.  I don't know how many meals all this food equates to, but I do know that dinners for the next few weeks will be a lot more satisfying.

Enjoy ~SJ 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And She's Off....

Learning all about my feet at Maine Running Company
I realized while coaching field hockey season that I need to run.  Not because I see me needing to outrun a charging moose or anything like that.  More because I have a big looming birthday and I realized that what I was asking my field hockey players to do was just not in my ability range anymore.  So now that the field hockey is over, I'm learning everything there is to know about running.  I spent a lot of time learning all sorts of tips for new runners, and even found a training program for out of shape people like me called the Couch to 5K.  It is an interval training program that starts out with a lot of walking and increases over time to all running.  I also downloaded and app for my iPod that times the intervals and informs me when to run or walk. 

My first steps in my new kicks
After my first run in my old kicks my feet were so sore I didn't think I would ever want to go out running again.  One of the number one tips I kept reading about for new runners was to get fitted for sneakers.  When I did a three day 60 mile walk a few years ago I got fitted for walking sneakers, and knew that it was time again.  If you have never gotten yourself fitted for sneakers, indulge and go.  This weekend I went to Maine Running Company and got myself fitted for new kicks.   So after nine short weeks (although I'm sure that they will be very long) I might just be able to make it through one of my own practices. 

Enjoy ~SJ

Craving, Doing, & Thankful For

From the fabulous River Valley Blogger Gals: Amity, Katie, & Rach

A variety of winter hand coverings for driving, skiing, and playing.
A stocked kitchen to fulfill all my vegan
cooking ideas.
The energy to get through my quantitative research class (and the reason for my lack of blogging).

Lots and lots and lots of reading, thinking, and writing.
Having fun teaching with lots of technology.

Thankful For
MacPro - the computer and the man
My supportive and fabulously creative Mom
My three wonderful fur-children
Lower my debt one month and one payment at a time.

Consider yourself tagged!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"When you know, you know! You know?"

or an alternative title to this post could be "And she said yes!"
After  my morning coffee MacPro asked me to find an activity to occupy my time with inside the house and informed me that I shouldn't go outside or on the porch.  Although the directions were odd, I found something to watch on Netflix in bed.  After about an hour, through the sounds of cardboard and the smell of paint and came and asked me to go on for a canoe ride.  I thought it was an odd time of day for a boat ride, but am always up for an adventure.  Upon arriving on the dock I found that he turned the canoe into a gondola!

He instructed me to relax and that he was going to paddle.  Once getting situated in the boat, he started to paddle and sing "O sole mio" (he looked up all of the words on wikipedia).  All good Gondolieres sing!  He paddled us around, we watched a loon family, and then he asked the big question!  I said yes (of course!), and the rest is history!  Well actually, then we went to play mini golf and eat ice cream.  

It was a memorable day, and the whole thing makes for a great story! 

(FYI: No official plans as of yet.  Maybe something small on the dock)

MacPro and his homemade gondola

MacPro singing O sole mio

SJ in the gondola
The view from the boat, perfect day on the lake
SJ and the new ring!
Mission accomplished!
Skyping with MacPro's Mom and Sister
What day is complete without a little mini golf?
And ice cream!
Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cool Cat Tech Tips!

This is a cross post from my Educational Technology University blog.  These tips are so great I needed to share twice!

Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis just posted the most insightful list of twelve healthy online habits.  If you are a fellow Walden student you might recognize Vicki from a few mentions in weekly vodcasts from EDUC 8847: Instructional Design & Multimedia.

Here are her 12 tips:
1) Share
2) Respond
3) Comment
4) Link Generously
5) Read (or Listen) Prolifically
6) Distribute Yourself
7) Beware of Flattery
8) Live Life Online AND Off-Line
9) Latch Key Your Legacy
10) Laugh (a lot)
11) Take Every Presentation Seriously
12) Expect Criticism  

Please click through and read her detailed explanation for each of these twelve tips!

Enjoy ~SJ