Category Archives: memes

Top 10 Books Meme

So there is a meme going around Facebook, asking you to list out 10 books that have had an impact on your life.  My cousin tagged me, and I think someone tagged me last year.  I honestly have struggled both times with this question, mostly because I read so many books that it is hard to choose 10.  Thinking about it, I came up with 5 books fairly easily.  I’m not sure about the other 5, so we’ll do this in phases.

Here are the five that I came up with quickly:

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin:  The book helped me think about setting specific goals to be manage my own happiness and also to think about what happiness means.

Start with Why, by Simon Sinek: This book is one of my favorites and has greatly influenced the way I think about communication and leadership.  My Affirmation talk was largely based on this one.

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card:  As a kid, this was probably one of my favorite books, and one of the books that got me into Sci-Fi.  I think it speaks to smart kids a lot.

The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper: Another one of those series that I read as a kid, and I loved, and probably got me into epic fantasy.  It is Arthurian legend tied up with good vs evil. You should never ever ever watch the movie that was based on this book.

The Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling: I started reading the series in a three day jag, right after I came back from my mission, and it really defined the next 6-7 years of my life.  I was obsessed with theories and websites, and everything to do with Harry Potter.

Those were the 5 that I immediately thought of.

While I was writing up the list, I remembered one more.

The Oz series, by L. Frank Baum: My hometown library had a fantastic old set of the Oz series, and I read every single one of them. It was a great series for a kid.

I’m really struggling to pick others, so I think I’m just going to pick some of my favorite  books from the last several years.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline: I picked this one up after my local library sponsored a game based on the same concept.  Anyone who grew up in the 1980’s and 1990’s would absolutely love it. It is replete with references to the pop culture of the time, and it is a pretty snappy read.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, by Kate Wilhelm: Have I raved about this book on my blog yet? Maybe? I don’t know. I picked it up at random while choosing audiobooks at the library. Didn’t know what I was getting into, but it wowed me. I made my book club read it the next month, to some degree of controversy. (It features some odd discussions of cloning and casual clone sex, so you are warned.)  It was one of the first sci-fi books to deal with manmade environmental disaster, and raised some really interesting moral questions.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson: A really strange, kind of dense, have to learn a new language kind of book, but it was oddly satisfying and gripping.  It’s gonna take some time to read, but in my opinion is worth the payout.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan: A koala only has one choice for what it eats: bamboo leaves. But we humans are omnivores, so almost everything is open to us.  If we have all of that choice, how do we use it? What should we eat? Per Pollan: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.  Got me thinking about how the way eat interacts with the environment, our health, and etc.

So, fairly successful listing, I guess. The last 4 are good ones, but I could have listed 6 or 7 other unique sets of 4 too.  It’s hard to choose.

What books influence you?

Being Tagged.

Kristin tagged me, and it’s been a long while since I’ve blogged anything substantial.  So, I figured why not. Let’s blog this thing.  I also figure the rules say I have to tag 11 people, but if you don’t feel like being tagged, you can just say “Not it” and not be tagged.  But I am sending links your way.


1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
5. Tag 11 people

The Random Things

1. While I was on a walk the other day, I found my grocery list from the week before in a puddle half a mile from home.  I have some ideas how it got there, but to be honest, I thought it was still in my car.

2. I am considering taking a short term leave of absence from work to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Or the Mormon Trail. But not until next summer. I have to get in hiking shape again first.

3. I have a scale and a pedometer that talk to the internet. I’m a nerd.

4. I am taken with Tumblr of late. If you want a semi-regular stream of Doctor Who and Sherlock GIFS in your life, you should follow me:

5. I am always surprised when people are surprise when I say I don’t know how many board games I own.  It’s a complicated question, alright?  I’m pretty sure that it is more than 20 and less than 50, but I haven’t done a census recently.  And do you count multiple versions of the same game as one? And what about expansions?

6. My first major in my undergrad was Molecular Biology.  My second was Secondary Education – English.  I settled on Finance as a compromise.

7. I am mildly paranoid about not hearing tornado sirens, which consequently makes me hear tornado sirens everywhere.

8. I have to severely curtail my tendency to collect things. If given the opportunity, I would still own everything I have ever owned.  I am afraid of becoming a hoarder.

9. My celebrity crush is Felicia Day.  Mmmm… So Dreamy…

10. I sometimes don’t like annoying party me.  Sometimes I like annoying party me.  It gets confusing.

11. The other day at work, I was watching this video (featuring the aforementioned dreamy Felicia Day) when one of the guys who works for me came by to ask a question. (In my defense, it was a slow day) I missed the minimize button, so the video continued behind my head while he asked the question.  Even though Ms. Day was shaking her booty, he didn’t say a word.  Awkward.


Kristin’s Questions for me:
1.  Describe your morning ritual. What do you do when you wake up?
Stagger into the bathroom, Shower, Shave, Hair, Choose what I’m wearing to work, leave bedroom, check phone for overnight messages, check email, get breakfast, read emails and blogs, and leave for work a few minutes late.  If I’m doing good, I also pack a lunch.
2.  What is your least favorite food? (if applicable)
I draw the line at organ meats.  Offal is not for me.
3.  What was the last book you read?
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  I also finished No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy on audiobook at approximately the same time.
4.  What is your biggest dream in life?
To travel to Mars.  Or you know, discover a Portal gun.  Or actually write my own book.
5.  What disney character do you most closely identify with?
6.  If you were on a deserted island, what one item would you take with you? (essentials provided)
I’m not sure how many of the essentials you mean, but if a pocket knife isn’t included, that, but if it is, probably a deck of playing cards.
7.  What is your guilty pleasure?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
8.  What is one of the earliest things in your life you remember?
Getting stung by a bee in the playground of an Army base in Germany
9.  What is something you just can’t stand?
People who refuse to consider ideas outside of their world view.  
10.  What is your least favorite word? (Swear words don’t count)
Free. It sounds so cheap.  I prefer Complimentary.
11.  If you have kids (or want to have them), what is the one thing you hope above all else you teach them?
To be decent humans, to be kind and thoughtful to everyone, to consider other people’s worldviews, and to love unconditionally.
New Questions:
1. Do you enforce a bedtime for yourself? What tricks do you use?
2. Which do you prefer and why: Hummus or Baba ganoush?
3. If money were no object, where would you travel in the world?
4. What was the last book you finished?
5. What is the seed for your favorite Pandora station?
6. Why is Ford superior to Chevy?
7. What is one of your pet peeves?
8. What’s the nerdiest thing about you?
9. Doctor Who or Sherlock? Discuss.
10. Why did you choose to respond to this tag?
11. When people ask you to name a favorite anything, is it easy or hard for you? Why?
11 people to tag
PS. If anyone is keeping score, I chose The Road by Cormac McCarthy for SpecFic last month.  It was a good choice.  We ate canned peaches and pears for the treat.

How many have you read?

You know that silly Facebook meme, the one that lists 100 books that the BBC has allegedly selected as the best evAH, and then goes on to claim that the average reader has only read like 6 of them.  It’s fun, but completely bunk.

Well, our friends over at NPR, (who are like the BBC in a non-British way, I guess), recently put out a call for the best SciFi and Fantasy books.  Over 5000 people nominated books and series in the comments.  (I might have. I thought about it, but then I don’t know if I actually did or not).   Then they slimmed the list to the top 237 nominations, specifically excluding books that didn’t make their strict criteria (basically, they excluded horror, paranormal romance, and YA  from the list), and asked for votes.

50,000 votes later, and mine was for sure one of them, and they came up with a list of the top 100 SciFi/Fantasy novels (excluding YA. They are running a YA poll next summer.  Sorry Harry.)

I don’t propose a meme, although go ahead and play along if you want.  I’m just curious to know how many of them I have read.  I’ve got the top 13 down, except I have never finished 1984

Here’s the list.  I bolded the ones I’ve read at least one of the series, although in most cases, I’ve read the whole she-bang. 

Continue reading How many have you read?

Brady Needs

So, you’ve probably seen this one on Facebook. I found it quite amusing. I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to check it out. I know you probably did anyway.

THE RULES: Go to your favorite search engine and enter your FIRST name and the word NEEDS in quotes (” [Your name] needs”), and see what comes up. List 10 sentences that make sense and then tag some of your friends if you want.

Brady needs professional help understanding the nature of effective moderation in virtual conversational spaces

Brady needs another dimple

Brady needs a GF!!

Brady needs to learn to shut up.

Brady Needs to Return to Salem

Brady needs an Oscar

Brady needs a home

Brady Needs to Be More Original in Karaoke

Brady needs to adjust to field crown

Brady needs air time!

So there you have. Now you know what I need.

Happy Halloween!

So, probably not the most timely of posts.   I’ve been fighting with my computer, my browser, and Blogger to get these photos uploaded.  I have finally vanquished the computer gnomes that prevented this post.
I’ve officially been 29 for 12 days now, but I wanted to post about what I did on my birthday.  I had a wonderful time, thanks in great part to some wonderful friends.  I took the day off, to take advantage of the quirkiness of Ford’s holiday schedules and work my way into a 5 day weekend.  
I had been having a hard time trying to schedule a get-together with friends.  The timing was just off.  Someone took it on themselves to organize a breakfast at the Northside Grill.  I’m still not entirely sure who it was, but I am very grateful to that person or persons.   I would have never thought about breakfast.   The waitress brought out a brownie cake with candles for both me and Seth who shares my birthday.  Brownies at breakfast.  Who’da thunk?
The second plan of the day was to go hiking after Friday Forum.  I had managed to convince Jonathan that he should come hiking, as it would probably be one of the last great days of the fall.  Together we persuaded Amy to join us, and Amy brought Jin

We drove out to Pinckney Rec, and it was a beautiful day!  The leaves were still  colorful and mostly still on the trees.  The temperature was perfect for hiking!  We set out on the Crooked Lake trail, a five mile hike.   Amy and Jonathan weren’t on vacation like I was, so they walked part of the trail with me and then went back and did important things, while I did my best to wear out Jin.
Jin and I did fairly well together.  I think he didn’t realize that there might be squirrels off trail.  He did get a little impatient with me when I stopped to take pictures.   Right towards the last half mile of the trail, Jin noticed something off trail.  Unfortunately, we were at the top of a steepish hill, and the squirrel or woodland creature or whatever was at the bottom of that hill.  It was a fun ride down.
The final part of the day was the Monster Ball.  I had been intending to exercise my birthday right to not dress up on Halloween, but it came to me that I should go as Dr. Horrible.  I posted the video a few posts back to get a few of my friends up to speed, because i knew many wouldn’t really know who I was.  
I think I pulled it off fairly well.  For an internet meme that not many people around these parts had heard of, I only had to explain myself a few times.  My welding goggles and my freeze ray made it.
One of the events at the Monster Ball was a Mr. and Miss Monster Ball 2008 talent contest.  The HSAC had invited a few people to participate, Mike and Brian notably.  I was not in the original set of contestants.  However, someone didn’t show, and I got asked at the last minute if I could do something so there was an even number of guys and ladies in the contest.   Fortunately, I had my iPod in my car with the sound track for Dr. Horrible on it. 
I quickly put together a lip sync to the Laundry Day / My Freeze Ray song.  I convinced Amy to be the Penny to my Billy.  She had seen the show, and knew what was going on.  We ran through it once before the show, me listening to the iPod and narrating the actions as we went along.  The lip sync went well and got a rousing round of applause.
Somehow, against Mike’s rendition (and real singing) “The Monster King” and Brian’s excellent song about vampires, the crowd gave its approval to my obviously lip-synced song and crowned me Mr. Monster 2008.  Still no real idea how that happened.  

Kara Stowers, dressed as Kimmy Gibler, was crowned Miss Monster Ball. It was a fantastic way to end the night. Thanks to all who shared a part of their day with me. I couldn’t have picked a better day

An Alphabet Tag Thing

I got tagged. I guess. Whatever that means. Silly internet memes.

A-Attached or Single: Single

B-Best Friend: Pierre, my roomba

C-Cake or Pie: Pie… Apple Pie

D-Day of Choice: Thursday

E-Essential Item: iPod + Nike. I can’t run without it. (And that’s really about all the usage my iPod gets!)

F-Favorite Color: To wear: blue. To look at: red

G-Greatest Accomplishment: Learning to juggle scarves

H-Hometown: Lovell, Wyoming

I-Indulgences: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

J-January or July: July

K-kids: Nope, see M.

L-Life is incomplete without: 3 books in my to-read list

M-Marriage Date: Should I speculate about the future?

N-Number of siblings: 7

O-Oranges or apples: Honeycrisp Apples (But really, it’s a seasonal thing…)

P- Phobias or fears: Falling and Failing

Q-Quotes: Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
– Christopher Morley

R-Reason to smile: Because it’s all fun and games until someone loses $23 million.

S-Season: Fall (Really, apple season) (and sometimes oregano)

T-Tag 5 friends: You, you, you, you and you. You’re all it.

U-Unknown fact about me: I’m terribly self-conscious about my chipped tooth.

V-Very favorite store: Borders

W-Worst Habit: Blogging / Facebooking at work

X-X-ray or Ultra-sound: I prefer to think of this question as X-ray vision or Ultra-sonic hearing. I choose X-ray vision.

Y-Your favorite food: My favorite food is really sharing what I’ve made with friends. So whatever that is. It’s probably not a casserole. It’s more likely an oven omelet.

Z-Zodiac sign: Scorpio