Thursday, July 31, 2008

While The Cats Away....

While The Feeders have been away enjoying summer Stanley and Phoebe reconnected with their hippie roots.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Super SJ!

Another great website to waste a rainy evening! Have fun and share!

Enjoy ~SJ

Seek Higher Ground!

To-Do List For July 24

1) Find ark builder
2) Turn sump pump on
2) Find pairs of animals
3) Turn odd sump pump
4) Find higher ground
5) Turn on sump pump

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for my neck of the woods, urging us to avoid driving through water that crosses the roadways, keep an eye on small streams since they may crest, and to seek higher ground if necessary.
I think that this would be a stretch of road that I shouldn't have driven through....

At least I'm not in other parts of Maine where there were tornado warnings, since then I would have an added item on my to-do list: find Toto!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Just Confirms It!

Beth recently posted her Geek Percentage, so in the meme blog game I checked out mine. The results are not good, at least I don't own a pocket protector!

63% Geek

Enjoy ~SJ
Created by OnePlusYou

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let's Make A Deal

If the game show Let's Make A Deal was still on, I think that I would be all set to go on with just my backpack. A fellow blogger who I do not know if real life, Reflecting, blogs today about all of the things inside her purse. It was a rather entertaining blog, and after one look at my backpack (a purse it too small for everything that I "need" to carry around, and is not conducive to riding on the motorcycle) I decided to blog about the contents of my backpack.

So there is what looks to be a "normal" backpack, nothing out of the ordinary, and an average size.

And here is a picture of everything that I took out of it.

Now we will play a little game of Where's Waldo...

Contents Of SJ's Backpack:
  • One bag of cat food (on my way home I bought it)
  • Wind pants and cloth (thought it might rain today)
  • Coffee cup
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Post-Its
  • Tissues (in package with devil duck on it)
  • Gum (enhanced with caffeine)
  • 2 pens, 1 pencil, 3 highlighters, 2 sharpies
  • Mobile Me activation box
  • Flashlight (who knows?!)
  • String (From Mike's Pastry Box)
  • Granola bar (smushed, and a flavor I don't like)
  • Laptop
  • Car/School keys
  • Money pouch
  • Apartment keys
  • Socks and sneakers (to change into once I got to school)
  • Motorcycle registration, permit, and insurance
  • Red pouch, I carry the following electronics around in it:
  • iPod, headphones and dock
  • USB connector cable
  • Wireless mouse
  • 2 "duck heads" for Mac charger
  • Batteries and charger
  • 3 thumb drives
  • Headlamp (in case the lights go out and I can't find the flashlight!)
  • Camera tripod
  • Dongle - connects laptop to LCD projector
  • Dongle - connects laptop to TV
  • Photo card reader
  • Laptop charger
* One camera - used to take picture

I think that Monty Hall would have been proud! No wonder I am going to the chiropractor for shoulder and back pain!

Enjoy ~SJ


I recently found a link to another internet quiz, What Famous Artist Are You? I'm excited that I am like Ansel Adams since he is one of my favorite photographers.

Which Famous Artist Are You?

You are Ansel Adams. Your artistic tool of choice is the camera, but you've got lots of other skills as well. Spoiled when you were young, you grew up to be a loving person and you have a deep affinity for nature and all things black and white.

Find Your Character @

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice......

.... if everyday were like this!

Enjoy ~SJ

Have No Fear....

SJ is here! (Cue theme music here) No folks I have not forgotten about my blogging "responsibilities", I have just gotten a little swamped with summer stuff. The Music Man and I took a motorcycle permit course over the weekend, we are now traveling the roads on two wheels. Summer school is wrapping up this week, and that means that maybe I can get started on my summer "to-do" list which does not involve anything to do with school - pure sumer time fun!

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stanley MIA!

After getting home from summer school I got inspired to vacuum. This little project consumed a few hours since I decided to reorganize the front porch while I was at it. After being home for awhile I notice that I had not seen Stanley, I remembered being greeted by Miss Phoebe, but no big orange cat. I scoured the house high and low, not Stanley. So I could only conclude that he had slipped outside and was enjoying the summer day. I went searching outside, calling his name and shaking the treats; no Stanley. I decided to go back inside and give up, either he was going to come home or he wasn't. After moping around the house entertaining the idea that Stanley was gone, he came sauntering out of the laundry room like nothing had ever happened. I stumbled upon this cartoon of a cat brain. I think that the "inexorable fear of vacuum cleaners" part explains Stanly's mysterious disappearance and then reappearance.

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is There A Doctor In The House?

Well there will be eventually! No, I'm not switching fields and become a medical doctor. I applied and got accepted at Walden University into their Ph.D. program in educational technology. Early Augusta is the start date, so until then I am going to enjoy my time off.

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's A Meme

So in my last post I made reference to a term, meme. At first I did not know what the term meant, so like any good internet user, I googled it. Here is what I learned:

  • An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
  • A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
  • A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes".

  • Interestingly the term meme has been around before the daily use of the internet. Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist first used the word in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins defined the word as: "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation". Many people have criticized that Dawkins definition is vague.

    Since I too felt that Dawkins' definition was vague, I continued to search the internet. One concrete example of a meme is common sense. It is considered a meme since it is passed from generation to generation and evolves over time.

    My next question, after finally figuring out what a meme is, is how does it relate to the internet? Wikipedia (I'm guessing it might fall into the category of an internet meme) defines an internet meme as: "catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the internet".

    One of the first internet meme's, from the early 1990's was the Hampster Dance (new to me!). If you have not seen the Hampster Dance you defiantly need to check it out to get your daily chuckle.
    Wikipedia goes on to say that the most basic example of an internet meme is when people hyperlink to a website. I guess I have been memeing for awhile and didn't know it! Technically the professional meme that I did yesterday is not considered an internet meme by all people, while others think they are. I'm not an expert in meme's, so I will default that they are one.

    Professional Development Meme

    I stumbled upon this professional meme the other day in an education blog that I read on a regular basis. The blog is entitled Teaching Tomorrow, and the author is a Google Certified teacher. I know that I usually blog about personal "stuff", but I thought that this meme looked good, and I know that a lot of my regular readers are teachers as well.

    Here are the rules:
    1. Pick 3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
    2. For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/01/08).
    3. Post the above directions along with your 3 goals on your blog.
    4. Title your post Professional Development Meme and link back/trackback to
    5. Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme.
    6. Tag 8 others to participate in the meme.
    7. Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
    8. Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.
    Goal 1: Recreate my classroom website and find a stable place to house it on the internet.
    Goal 2: Take a close look at both blogs and wiki's and figure out which one, or both would be best utilized in my math classroom. Then develop activities and lessons that I can use on a weekly basis in my classes.
    Goal 3: Use NoteShare, a digital notebook, to organize my word problems aligned with the Maine Learning Results. This way I can easily share them with students, and it more efficient than my current system (that would be a lack of an organization system).

    I am not going to "tag" eight specific people since I know there are a lot of teachers out there who read this. If you feel inspired to publicly post your teaching goals, feel free!

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Not So Popular

    I just discovered that in Google Reader you can see how many people have subscribed to the blogs that you subscribe to. You can also use this handy tool to find out how popular you are if you subscribe to your own blog (like yours truly). Here is a little run down of some of the blogs that I subscribe to:

    Cool Cat Teacher: 1,205 subscribers
    Pooch Cafe: 35 subscribers
    Indexed: 10,615 subscribers
    SJ's Beat: 4 subscribers (one being me!)

    I won't list any of the RVB, you can check yourself out.

    Enjoy ~SJ

    No One Has Bid Yet!

    I have taken the next step in my attempt to sell my car, I listed it on eBay. It has been listed for over a minute and no one has bid yet - it is going to be a long 7 days.

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Summer School

    Summer school has gone to the dogs! I am watching my Mom's dog Gretal for the next week. In order to keep her entertained, and give the cats a break, she gets to come to summer school. She is spending most of her day running the halls and sleeping behind my desk. Oh life is good if you are a dog!

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Big Excitement

    Yesterday afternoon a thunder storm rolled through the Western Foothills of Maine. For me, and I'm sure the rest of the area, this was a welcomed thunder storm. It had been hazy, hot, and humid for the past few days and I was starting to reach my threshold, and then the much anticipated storm came in. During the quick storm the electricity at my house went out. Then came the big excitement, three firetrucks came barreling down my road. Now, as I have mentioned in earlier posts, hardly any traffic comes down my road. Apparently a tree had fallen and the fire fighters came to take care of it. The firetrucks left, but it wasn't for awhile until the electricity came back on.

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    And Now We Wiki....

    Amity has created a River Valley Bloggers wiki. My first thought was, we blog, email, skype, AIM, twitter, plurk, and Jott - now we wiki?! Oh, and we have a logo, very professional! What is this world coming to? The Shamrock is open for a gathering, anyone have any dates in mind?

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Monday, July 7, 2008

    Everything In Moderation

    My tongue has been in some pain for the past few days. Mostly it has the big red bumps on it, and sometimes when I eat it stings. The Music Man, with all of his worldly wisdom, suggested that I was allergic to strawberries! He has this little test that he knows about involving holding your arm out and pushing up while another person pushes down on your arm. Then you repeat the whole process again, only this time you hold the suspect item in your fingertips. If you can not push up as hard as you could before, than chances are you are allergic to the item you are holding in your hand. This test uses the principles of kinesiology and the work of Dr. John Goodheart extended from Chinese medicine. The website linked above gives a more detailed tutorial in how to perform muscle testing.

    "Muscle testing, a tool from applied kinesiology that allows one to identify allergies, both food and environmental, that are harming someone’s body.

    Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement, while Applied Kinesiology is an alternative method of medical diagnosis that employs muscle testing ; it was originated by Dr. John Goodheart in the 1960s. Dr. Goodheart found that muscles in the human body instantly became weak when the body was exposed to allergens or harmful substances. Aside from Dr. Goodheart, chiropractors and acupuncturists built on the foundations of Chinese medicine to further develop kinesiology, which can be a very accurate system for balancing the body’s energy and returning it to health. Muscle testing has become the key tool of Applied Kinesiology in which allergens and harmful substances are identified by placing pressure on specific muscles".

    So after several days of this weird bumpy stinging tongue the Music Man decided to perform the muscle test on me. Sure enough, when I was holding the strawberry with my fingertips I immediately weakened and could not push as hard. We concluded that my bumpy stinging tongue must be caused by my excessive strawberry intake over the past week. (I promptly ate the strawberry in my hand and immediately felt the stinging tongue sensation).
    Now you might not know this about me, but I love strawberries. For the past few weeks I have been picking a lot of strawberries, freezing them, and have made some amazing food with them. So, for now, it is everything in moderation. I am going to stop eating them for the next few days, and then only consume them in smaller portions.


    Amity linked to a pretty cool website today called Wordle. On the website you can create your own images of words. One of the options (for the less creative and artsy people in the world like me) is to put in a link to your blog, and it makes the picture from there. The even more amazing thing about Wordle is that you can create as many pictures as you want and use them in any way that you want, as long as you give them credit. So go ahead, everyone can create their own art, even those of use who have only progressed to the stick people level! Thanks Amity!

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Sunday, July 6, 2008

    Riding Around In My Watermobile

    With no particular place to go. Ok, just admit it, you are signing along to the Chuck Berry tune No Particular Place To Go right now. It has been stuck in my head since yesterday when Mi Prima and I went for a little canoe ride to "The Other" end of the pond. She changed the lyrics and sang "Riding around in my watermobile" during our whole trip! We wanted some ice cream, so we decided to paddle to The Bus, an old school bus that has been fixed into a hamburger/ice cream store. During the trip we reminisced about all of the time she and I had spent together on the pond, from boating, to biking, to swimming. We decided that we must have spent more time together swimming in the pond than any other two cousins.

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Somebody Doesn't Like Peaches

    Another mystery at the Shamrock. The Music Man discovered the peaches had been attacked while sitting peacefully in the fruit bowl. There seems to be someone living at the Shamrock who enjoys causing trouble. The big question is why the peaches and not the bananas, oranges, or apples that live in the fruit bowl? The hunch is that Miss Phoebe knew that Feeder #1 (SJ) and Feeder #2 (The Music Man) were not happy with the peaches since they lacked flavor and decided to teach them a lesson. Stanley would never bother himself with fruit, he can't eat it, so why bother.

    Miss Phoebe 1, Peaches 0.

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Friday, July 4, 2008

    4th of July

    Strawberry picking, lobsters, sailing, canoing, and fireworks. Must be the 4th of July!

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Thursday, July 3, 2008


    The Music Man talked all spring long about me teaching him how to sail. He looks through Uncle Henry's every week looking for his own boat. Yesterday I decided to take him out so that he could "learn the ropes" on my little Sunfish. He is learning quickly, and by the end of the summer I think that we will both be looking for a second sailboat for the Shamrock.

    Enjoy ~SJ

    And Then There Were 70

    The tomato plants took a big hit in the rain storm last night. Two of the smaller ones broke off at the base due to the heavy rain. We have yet to water them, since we have gotten rain for the past twenty plus days. Oh Mother Nature how you always keep me on my toes!

    Enjoy ~SJ

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008


    I have been playing the Set game off and on for several years now. I learned about it while visiting some friends in Cambridge with my childhood friend Katie (I was picking her up from a flight back from Hungry and she suggested visiting some people she knew and Cambridge. I thought it was just going to be dinner, well a few days later we came home. Such a classic "Katie" trip!) I play it both in my own life, as well as in my classroom. So far I haven't run into too many people who don't easily get addicted to this game. There are two different ways to play, the traditional version with cards or an electronic online version. Unlike cribbage, I think that both ways are a great way to play. So the long and short of it is, if you don't already play Set, you should give it a try. It is a great way to get your mind working in the morning, especially if you don't like crossword puzzles (like me)!

    Here are the rules that I got off the New York Times website.

    A 'Set' is 3 cards in which each individual feature is either all the SAME on each card... OR all DIFFERENT on each card. That is to say, any feature in the 'Set' of three cards is either common to all three cards or is different on each card.
    The Features are:

    Symbols: Each card has ovals, squiggles, or diamonds on it; Color: The symbols are red, green, or purple; Number: Each card has one, two, or three symbols on it; Shading: The symbols are solid, striped or open.

    I have found two different places on the internet to play, the official Set website and the New York Times. The great thing about the puzzle on the New York Times site is that you can play at two different levels, thus making it easier for beginners. The official Set website has only one level.

    Enjoy ~SJ