22 June 2010

Heidi Update (Photos 3/3)

And here's the final installment to get my photos of Heidi updated on this blog.

Heidi and me at her puppy class graduation!

Heidi looking pretty on the way to visit the Waterford Lake Town Center Saturday market

Look at that happy graduate!

The puppy graduation class!

Heidi and I with her diploma

Our trainer, Whitney

I got that giant bone for Heidi as a graduation gift

21 June 2010

Heidi Update (Photos 2/3)

Here is installment 2/3 for photos of Miss Heidi!

Kota and Heidi holding paws (thanks for this photo, Ethan!)

Heidi all ready to go to the dog park!

After the dog park.

At the dog park, cruising along the water's edge before taking the plunge and getting in there.


Taking a break on a walk to the Waterford Lakes Town Center Saturday markets

Say, what?

Lip-smackin' good!

Chillin'. This is the last time she's allowed up there.

At Waterford Lakes Town Center for dinner

Heidi Update (Photos 1/3)

I know, I know. WAY behind with sharing photos and updates on Miss Heidi. Here is installment 1 of 3 for photos since April 2010, complete with captions. I'll try to get back on track with posting a weekly update on Heidi.

Heidi enjoying a peanut butter treat by the campfire while at Salamonie.

Grandpa and Heidi became best buddies!

Me and Heidi in the lake at Salamonie

Hanging out with Heidi at Sam's Open House

Heidi snoozing on the way from Orlando to Anderson. She was such a good travel companion!

Here she is awake and happy as a button!

Gracie, myself and Heidi at Heidi's 6-month birthday mark!

Heidi licking the spoon to the batter of her Puppy Cake

About to make my first Puppy Cake with Heidi!

16 June 2010

Shepherd's Kitchen

If you can imagine the orange cat as a grey one...

(Thanks for sharing, Grandma!)

15 June 2010

Go Asst. Dean Sadowski!

While I was at Purdue for my undergraduate studies I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with Asst. Dean Sadowski. She is a bright, friendly, motivating woman! We even had the pleasure of hearing her guest speak at one of the Women in Technology meetings.

Anyway, I came by the following in an email communication I receive from Purdue. The following is the article that can be found here. Go Mary Sadowski and go women!

Mary Sadowski, associate dean for undergraduate programs and learning in the College of Technology, was named the 2010 recipient of Purdue University’s Violet Haas Award.

Established in 1990, the award recognizes individuals, programs or departments at Purdue that have facilitated the advancement of women in hiring, promotion, education and salary, or have generally enhanced a positive professional climate for women at the university.

Sadowski began her career at Purdue as a graduate student in instructional research and design. Upon completion of her doctoral degree in 1984, she joined the Department of Computer Graphics and rose through the ranks from assistant professor to full professor. In 1999 she left Purdue to serve as a professor of information and management technology at Arizona State University. She returned to Purdue in 2003 and moved into her current position as associate dean in the College of Technology.

In her current role, Sadowski has implemented a college-wide process with checks and measures for faculty search committees to ensure that candidate pools are inclusive and representative. She also has worked to advance women in the greater Lafayette community through her involvement with the YWCA. Beginning as a domestic violence volunteer in 1989, she has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as president of the board of directors and president of the foundation board.

The award, sponsored by the Council on the Status of Women, is named for Haas, an electrical engineering professor from 1962-86 who was instrumental in the early development of the Purdue chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. Sadowski will have her name added to the Violet Haas Legacy Plaque outside Purdue Memorial Union, Room 108.

The Council on the Status of Women was formed in 1988-89 to create a voice for women at Purdue by studying existing university practices and procedures and women's professional concerns.

The group has been active in issues related to women at Purdue, such as advocating the development of a child-care facility and domestic partner benefits.

14 June 2010

Team Rodent

Team Rodent, in short:

Team Rodent is a non-fiction book written by Carl Hiaasen about the Walt Disney Company and its stance towards the outside world. The book's primary focus is on non-film related Disney enterprises such as Disney World and their effects on the environment and local culture. (Taken from Wikipedia's article on the book.)

My friend, Matt, a Floridian, loaned me this interesting book about the famous mouse. It was a straight-forward way of looking at the dreamy corporation where no wrong can occur. Turns out wrong does occur for Disney, and Hiaasen points out various examples. If Disney does wrong, someone complains or files against Disney and pushes hard enough, Disney will usually write a check and be done with it. I don't recall Disney ever really having admitted fault by Hiaasen's accounts.

It makes for something interesting to think about, how Disney affects everyone. You don't have to go to the park and pose with Pluto to interact with Disney; all you have to do is watch Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Lost or Dancing with the Stars. Disney owns ABC. Unless you're a non-TV watcher like me, I bet I just touched on everyone who reads my blog.

It's pretty absurd the lengths that Disney goes through, legally and politically, to keep it's happy, perfect, Mickey Mouse with a spotless reputation.

Personally, I'm kind of torn. I grew up watching Disney movies - The Classics, at that, and those were some darned good cartoon full-length movies for children. That being said, I feel like I'm being duped if I'm a fan of Disney. Disney is pretty sneaky. Now I'm in on a lot of dirty details about Disney that the vast majority of the public isn't even slightly aware of because of how swiftly Disney cleans up afterwards.

Disney is a hungry beast. I think any Orlando resident - probably any Florida resident - can tell you that Disney affects the world in big ways.

Anyway, interesting read for sure, especially if you live in Orlando.

Wikipedia Article

Breaking Dawn

I read this earlier in the year but somehow missed writing a review. Since it's been months since I've read it, I'm not going to go into huge detail. I'm not even going to fetch photos or links to the book.

It was a fast read, and that always makes me enjoy it more. I'm all for page-turners that keep you up late at night.

The end of Eclipse kind of had me wanting more. I think the story was just that engaging for me, but also I get that way when I'm approaching the final book in a series. I want to know how things end.

That said, I don't want to spoil things for anyone, so I'll say that I was pretty impressed with the way the story ends. Stephanie Meyers has proven herself to me as far as that goes; her ending in The Host was very well done, too. All loose ends were tied up, characters nestled into their conclusions, etc.

I like that two enemies in the saga came to be not just allies but brothers of sorts in this book. Bella's luck turned such that she could have them both in her life, although it was awkward to become accustomed to at first.

I also really enjoyed Stephanie's deft ability in the use of vampire/werewolf supernatural power. She is so clever in that way.

Anyway, that's all I've got. Good series if you like vampires + lovey drama. Probably more rapturous when read as a teenager, but even in my early twenties I enjoyed it.

13 June 2010

Penn State Uni

Right on target with my career/academic plan: I'm going back to school in the fall for my masters. I'll be attending Pennsylvania State University online. Attaining a masters is part of the ISLDP program I'm in at Lockheed Martin.

I am getting my degree in Information Sciences and Technology, Software Development. The program is geared towards management, which is just what I want to get into down the road.

I'm kind of excited to go back to school. It will be a challenge with working full-time, keeping up with Heidi and studying, but it'll be worthwhile.

Where the Heart Is

I saw the movie adaptation of this book before I knew it was a book. When I learned it was a book, I knew I would have to read it, and so I did. It is now one of my favorite books, and one of the top two that I've read so far this year.

The gist of the story is this: a pregnant teenager, Novalee, is traveling across the country with her boy-friend. They make a pit-stop at a Walmart along the way. She goes in to use the restroom; he leaves her there and continues to California. She manages to live in the Walmart for the rest of her pregnancy: through her days she visits the library; at night she retires in the Walmart. The baby comes, the librarian delivers it, and Novalee wakes up in a hospital. Walmart offers her a job for the publicity she provided the company. She still has no where to go, but the Welcome lady takes her into her home.

That's what happens. This is what it means: home is where your history begins. Home is where the heart is. Friends are a type of family. Dreams do come true, but you have to earn them. Everything you do and say can take your life in a different direction than had you not done or said it. Make sure you know what your heart is telling you.

I think Novalee is one of the strongest characters I've ever read about. She came from a broken family, a product of her environment, followed her mother's footsteps and became pregnant, but somewhere along the way she learned that life is good, challenges can be blessings and it's okay to love even if the other person has a completely different history. She has the child, keeps a steady job, pulls her weight in living with the lady who takes her in, she does everything she possibly can for the betterment of her little girl's life all the while finding time to become a talented photographer. That's called scaling impossible walls.

I think one of the best parts of the story is when she gets married to the man she loves. He's the one who loves her and her child more than anything in the world and wants only the best for them. In marrying him she is putting an end to the vicious cycle she fell victim to because she is putting a father-figure in her daughter's life and demonstrating healthy parenting. That is the best gift she could give her daughter if you ask me: a healthy, loving family. By the way, that's exactly where the heart is.

04 June 2010

Morning Anthem

This song, Starting Now by Ingrid Michaelson, turned out to be my morning's anthem. Sometimes sad things are necessary. While painful, pruning is, overall, a healthy process.

I want to crawl back inside my mother's womb
I want to shut out all the lights in this room
I want to start fresh, like a baby in a sink
Scrub away all these thoughts that I think of you

So life moves slowly when you're waiting for it to boil
Feel like I watch from 6 feet under the soil
Still want to hold you and kiss behind your ears
But i re count the countless tears that i lost for you

But before you finally go there's one thing you should know: That I promise -

Starting now I'll never know your name
Starting now I'll never feel the same
Starting now I wish you never came into my world

I want to crawl back inside my bed of sin
I want to burn the sheets that smell like your skin
Instead I'll wash them just like kitchen rags with stains
Spinning away every piece that remains of you

But before you finally go there's one thing you should know: That I promise -

Starting now I'll never know your name
Starting now I'll never feel the same
Starting now I wish you never came into my world

It's my world, it's not ours anymore
It's my world, it's not ours anymore

Starting now I'll never know your name
Starting now I'll never feel the same
Starting now I wish you never came into my world