30 December 2011


My Pennsylvania State University Information Sciences & Technology 454 class team did a project for the Fall 2011 semester. We got a high mark for our research paper, presentation and the website we created to share our research on Cloud Computing Forensics. If you're interested, here is the link to the website:


03 December 2011

Thankful, Day 30

Well, this entry concludes my November goal of posting something I'm thankful for per day of the month.

On this final day of November I'm thankful for my next rotation at work. I start it tomorrow, the first of December. I'll be working with a Lockheed Martin Fellow and for a new company (IS&GS versus EBS). It will be fresh, new, challenging and a great learning experience.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Okay, now let Christmastime commence! = )

29 November 2011

Thankful, Day 29

I'm thankful for Fitocracy. Oh, you haven't heard of it before? It's a website which has turned working out into a video-game. What? Yeah, you do physical activity to level up. *it starts to sink in. Yeah, it's brilliant. It's changed people's lives - big time. The Fitocracy Team sends out short success stories of folks who've lost hundreds of pounds because Fitocracy helped them make working out fun again. It's a game!


Let me know if you want an invitation and I can figure out how to do that for ya.

Game on.

28 November 2011

Thankful, Day 28

Today I'm thankful that I had the pleasure of joining my leadership development program managers and a few other program participants at Gators Dockside for lunch today. I had a delicious reuben on swirled rye and some potato salad.

27 November 2011

Thankful, Day 27

I posted this on Facebook in the wee hours last night:

Day 27. I'm thankful for my mom and my daddy. And how much they love each other. They are my heroes in a million ways.

26 November 2011

December Running Challenge

I've challenged myself to run every day of December 2011. Hello, guilt-free consumption of holiday goodies!

I've decided that if I succeed in running every day in December I will treat myself to a visit to the spa.

The idea to do this spurred from my back injury earlier this month (November 2011). I need to get back into shape and I want to sculpt my core. Note that I'm NOT going for this:

But rather something sculpted but not heavily defined, like this:

To help me stay on track and set up for success I'm going to come up with a daily motivator, be it an inspirational phrase on a stickie note posted on my bathroom mirror or a reminder of what I want to indulge in at holiday parties or a reminder of how I want to look and feel come New Year's Eve.

If you want to do this challenge with me, please let me know! I'd love to cheer you on!

Thankful, Day 26

I'm thankful to have a wonderful friend named Sam who is joining me to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in a few weeks! What? You don't know who the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is? They play classical-metal music. I know, kinda interesting, huh? Here's a snippet of some of their holiday work:

25 November 2011

Thankful, Days 22-25

Day 22 - Today I'm thankful for my Christmas budget. I've been saving towards it since February and it's been a delight not having to fret about having to forgo gifts I'd like to give. Tonight I knocked out a good chunk of my Christmas shopping. Most of what remains now are gifts I'll be making by hand. Must get on that soon!

Day 23 - I'm thankful for the up-coming long holiday weekend and the light day at work!

Day 24 - Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful to have family, though distant, nearby such that I can join them in a family-style dinner. I'm also thankful to have had my college buddy, Josh, join us for dinner (he won the ping-pong tournament!). And, finally, I'm thankful for my girl, Heidi - she turned TWO today! Happy birthday, Heidi-Hoo!

Lori's Thanksgiving Dinner Party

My Great Aunt Joan & I

Josh & I

Heidi looking very excited about her birthday bone (she was yawning, haha)

Heidi posing very nicely with her birthday bone

Day 25 - Heidi didn't let me sleep in today, but I took the day off from work and used it to put away the fall decor and bring out the Christmas decor! I'm thankful for the holiday season and all the fun decorations!

21 November 2011

Thankful, Days 17-21

Day 17 - I'm thankful for my roommate, Melyssa, with whom I saw a 1 AM showing of Twilight's Breaking Dawn, Part 1. We had a great time together!

Day 18 - I'm thankful for Friday. Not a bad week, but glad to see the weekend. Also got to have dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings with my good friend, Sam!

Day 19 - I'm thankful for all of my Orlando friends who joined me at my 3rd annual dinner party!

Day 20 - I'm thankful for my dog park friend, Chuck, who was kind enough to share his afternoon with me and Heidi to take some photos with the Avalon Park Christmas Tree for a Christmas Card photo!

Day 21 - I'm thankful for lunch breaks. I'm using mine today to restore my iPhone (hopefully it resolves my synchronization issues) and take Heidi for an afternoon stroll.

Thankful, Day 16

Today I am thankful for lunch breaks. On mine today I was able to hit the bank, library and pick up lunch: a delicious sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted blueberry bagel from Dunkin Donuts. Delicious.

Thankful, Day 15

Oh. My. Gosh.

I am so thankful that Celestial Holiday teas are in season!!!!!! I am stocking up on Gingerbread Spice this season to last me the year! It's that delicious!

14 November 2011

Thankful, Day 14

I'm thankful for getting a good night's rest. I was able to get into bed around 9 last night, read a little bit and relax before getting some shut-eye. I woke up feeling refreshed and in plenty of time before I need to leave for work.

My back is feeling much better today than yesterday, and I'm hoping to try an easy run tomorrow. This evening I'm going to do yoga, and I hope to alternate it with running throughout the week.

13 November 2011

Thankful, Day 13

Today I'm thankful for the weekend. I appreciate the time to recuperate from the week. Here's what I did this weekend:

*took time off from running
*slept in to 9ish both yesterday and today
*got ahead on reading for a quiz in one of my classes
*wrote a letter to a friend
*took my pup and the pup I'm puppy-sitting to the dog park
*laid out by the pool for a couple of hours

What did you do this weekend?

12 November 2011

Thankful, Days 11 & 12

Day 11

Thanks to health insurance and health funds I didn't have to pay a penny out of pocket when I went to the doctor for my back. So nice.

Day 12

Thankful for the opportunity to return a favor for a friend in watching their puppy, Angie.

10 November 2011

Thankful, Days 9 and 10

Day 9

I pulled my back not last night but the night before last. I did something such that when it happened I couldn't fully stand up for about a minute. Scared me. It's also put a hold on my running, and I'm having to sit out the 10K race this Sunday, which I'm quite bummed about. I also had to skip out on a swing dance lesson last night. I'm hoping my back will permit me to take at least minimal part in the swing dance this Saturday, but we'll see. Anyway, I'm thankful that my roommate happened to have a heating pad that I could borrow. Thanks, Melyssa!!! That thing has helped SO much!

Day 10

Today I am thankful for advanced absence time at work. Without much trouble at all I'm able to go to the doctor this morning to have my back checked out, and then return to work afterwards.

08 November 2011

Thankful, Days 7 & 8

Day 7

I picked up the Amelie soundtrack at the library yesterday. I'm thankful for Yann Tierson. His compositions are simply beautiful. They evoke emotion in me. Enjoy this sound bite of a song from Amelie:

Day 8:

After work today I picked up Heidi and went to the dog park. She was on good behavior and did quite a bit of running! I brought my book, Dracula, but didn't bother trying to read since I was so happy to chit chat with the other dog owners. Tony and Brian and Matt's wife (sorry, I didn't catch her name) and I talked about how our dogs could sense the time change and how they have interesting appetites and how they destroy screens from time to time. These friendly conversations are welcome and relaxing.

07 November 2011

Thankful, Days 5 & 6

Day 5

I knocked out a lot of homework on Saturday for my master's program. I'm thankful that I am employed by a company who foots the bill for furthering education. = )

Day 6

Sunday I went to my swing dance class. We learned how to do lolly kicks! I'm thankful for those who prompted me to take the class. It's SO much fun! The lolly kicks lend themselves to something like this:

04 November 2011

Thankful, Day 4

My friend, Kim Pike, shared this on Facebook (and I've seen several others passing it around, so that goes to show it's getting a little viral and that it's worth watching). It is a moving story, and made me thankful for a number of things:

a - my mental state of health
b - my physical athleticism
c - how amazing people can make others feel
d - inspirational sports stories (I'm a sucker for them, just like my folks)
e - inspiration, in general

I hope you enjoy this story, too.

PS - My family and I used to live in Rochester, New York. = )

03 November 2011

Thankful, Day 3

Today I am thankful for Florida weather in November. Since I'm working from home during my training and get an hour for lunch, I intend to spend it by the pool.

02 November 2011

Thankful, Day 2

Today I'm thankful for Nutella, the hazelnut spread that is oh-so delicious. I had some on toast this morning for breakfast. It made me happy.

01 November 2011

Thankful, Day 1

Wow! It's already NOVEMBER!

I am so excited for holiday season to roll around (only 23 more days until Christmas music)! To get in the spirit I thought I'd do some blogging this month about what I'm thankful for each day I can blog.

So, without further ado, on the first of November I am thankful to be working from home. I'm in Java training all week and can't be connected to the Intranet at work, so I have to work from home, hehe!

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween

I made Heidi a ballerina costume for this year's PetSmart Howl-o-Ween Costume Contest:

I made myself a 50s soda-shop girl Poodle Skirt for Halloween festivities:

with the Beetlejuice crew

I found Waldo!

Khal Drogo from HBO's Game of Thrones

Leeloo Dallas (from The Fifth Element) and her MultiPass

Chewbacca the Wookiee!

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!!!

25 October 2011

TSRS 3/7: UCF U Can Finish 5 Miler

Sunday was the third race of the Track Shack's Running Series: the UCF U Can Finish 5 Miler at UCF in Orlando, Florida!

Here is a snap shot of my race results (I'm 22nd):

Nike+ offers some neat statistics and graphical views. Here is a graphical view of my pace throughout the race:

Here is a breakdown of my time per mile:

Here is a map of the route (with start, finish and mile markers):

Overall, it was another great race. The weather for this race was still pretty warm, but it wasn't nearly as muggy as the first race in the series - thank goodness! I did walk briefly while I chugged some water at the station, but it was non-stop other than that (gotta stay hydrated). I think the potato salad through the week helped me load up on carbs because this race felt good. That and a good night's rest and good breakfast the day-of.

Added bonus: my friend, Joel, ran the race with me! He was up until 3 am the previous night but still got up to race at 7:30 am! What a trooper!

After the first race I was sitting fairly well in 7th place in the series for my age group (Women 19-24) because I came in 7th place in the race. After the second race, I was sitting pretty in 4th place in the series because I took 3rd place in the race. Now, after the third race, I am still sitting in 4th place, and I'm okay with that. There were x girls in my age group this time, and I'm happy with my time.

And that wraps it up for the third race in the series! Next up is the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Founder's Day 10K in Celebration, Florida on Sunday, 13 November 2011! Here's a snap shot of the Track Shack Running Series (link to my blog about it):

I am the Therapist

As I was clearing out some old draft blogs I came across this. I don't know when I first made the draft, but it was sometime during the year 2009.


The black hole of a sky is pouring rain. She is desperately stumbling through the middle of the street in one high heel; she seems to have physically and mentally abandoned the other of the pair. Clutched in her grasp is a tattered and soaking shoe box; with white knuckles she holds the box at the corners, as if she's trying to force the length of it through her core. Her mascara is almost all washed away, her hair is a rat's nest. Her shirt slumps off to the side of one shoulder. Everything is gray. Almost tripping, she finally reaches a man. A man in a black suit - a professional - carries an umbrella too small to share... not that there's any reason to share one with this woman who approaches him frantically. With a wild grip on the box, she thrusts it towards his face, "please tell me where I can find this person! I must know where I can find this doctor!" At first the man flashes a most curious, scared, unbelieving expression, and then it's gone. Replaced by the face of a man who knows what he's doing. The man exchanges his briefcase to the same hand which holds the umbrella. With his free hand he firmly, but gently, holds the woman's left arm. He looks her straight in the eyes and says, "Ma'am, it's written here, on this shoe box lid, that that YOU are the therapist." And with that he let her arm free, returned his briefcase to his right hand, and walked away in a purposeful manner, as if he had not even stopped for the woman. She didn't turn to watch him walk away. She didn't collapse on the spot. Instead she just looked down at the box. Disbelief. The distant entertainment of the truth in the statement "I am the Therapist." She just stared at the words on the box until the sky fell away.


I just had a dream that was of the story told above. When she reads the lid of the shoe box, I was suddenly her, and I felt heavy. Something significant came with that realization of "I am the Therapist," but I don't know what it was. I don't know what to make of the dream. I keep wanting to put the dream towards something religious and having to do with faith. I was scared to type up the story; I got one sentence of the dream typed before I realized I was scared. But why? What am I scared of? Why did this dream leave such an impression on me that I felt a moving desire to record it in the form of a short story? Will I transfer this blog entry (draft) to a journal entry or make it a public blog entry. Sometimes I hate the question "why."

10 October 2011

3 LM Women Execs in Fortune Top 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen

Three of Lockheed Martin's top executives have been named in FORTUNE magazine's annual list of the top 50 leading businesswomen in America.
Appearing in its Oct. 17 issue, the FORTUNE "Most Powerful Women in Business" rankings include Marillyn Hewson, Executive Vice President of Electronic Systems at No. 27; Joanne Maguire, Executive Vice President of Space Systems at No. 29; and Linda Gooden, Executive Vice President of Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) at No. 33.

25 September 2011

Reindeer Run 5K

I know that for the vast majority of the population it is entirely too early to be thinking about the holidays. But I don't care. I LOVE the holidays, and I'm super excited because I finally found a December race to partake in this year!

When I signed up for the Track Shack Running Series I noted that there isn't a series race in December. Wanting to fill in the gap and do something outside of the series, I searched around. I looked for an Orlando Jingle Dash, Kris Kringle Run, Rudolph Race, Elf 5K - NOTHING turned up.

Until yesterday when my Track Shack Event Guide arrived in the mail. Enter the Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run 5K!

Distance: 5 K/ 3.1 Miles
Date: Saturday, 10 December 2011
Time: 7:30 AM EST
Location: Sea World
Cost: $24 (through 3 December 2011)

I'm definitely signing up. Let me know if you're interested, and we can meet up, carpool and cheer each other on!

Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii

The other day when I went to water my plants I had a fleeting thought upon catching first glimpse of the soil:

"Oh, man - some rotten kid has stuffed yellow Nerf darts in my pots' soil! How did they even get onto my patio?!"

(That's my beautiful bougainvillea, by the way. It is finally blooming after I gave it some fertilized soil this summer.)

So, anyway, upon further inspection, it turns out the little yellow things weren't Nerf paraphernalia. In actuality they were growths coming right out of the soil. I still wasn't sure what they were, but I'd find out.

After stumbling around searching online I finally discovered that these little yellow things are mushrooms! Specifically, these shrooms are Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii.

A professor from the University of Wisconsin had a nice, informative page about them:

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (luke-o-kuh-PRY-niss burn-BAUM-eee-eye) is a common mushroom in house plants and greenhouses or any other place with organically rich soil where the temperature is warm . [...] It's a bright colorful mushroom that helps those of us in the far north get through the long, mostly mushroomlesss winter. It's also very common in the south in warmer climates, where it can grow outdoors, especially in mulched flower beds.

And now I know what those growths were. Some websites recommended letting them grow because they are so dastardly difficult to get rid of. Even if you replace the soil they can still come back. I've decided to try to remove them. So far I've plucked 4 or 5. They grow SO fast, I'm sure there are a couple waiting to be yanked today.

In other news, my newest flowers are starting to really get growing. No buds or blooms yet, but hopefully soon!

22 September 2011

TSRS 2/7: Autumn Rock 'N Run 5K

Two Saturdays ago (I know, this is belated) was the second race of the Track Shack's Running Series: the Autumn Rock 'N Run 5K in Casselberry, Florida!

Here is a snap shot of my race results (I'm 3rd from the top):

Nike+ offers some neat statistics and graphical views. Here is a graphical view of my pace throughout the race:

Here is a breakdown of my time per mile:

Here is a map of the route (with start, finish and mile markers):

Overall, it was another great race. The weather for this race was still pretty warm, but it wasn't nearly as muggy as the first race in the series - thank goodness! I did walk briefly while I chugged some water at the station, but it was non-stop other than that (gotta stay hydrated). I think the potato salad through the week helped me load up on carbs because this race felt good. That and a good night's rest and good breakfast the day-of.

Added bonus: my colleague, Tash, raced with me! This was her very first 5K, and I'm super proud of her!

After the first race I was sitting fairly well in 7th place in the series for my age group (Women 19-24) because I came in 7th place. Now, after the second race, I am sitting pretty in 4th place in the series because I took 3rd. See, the key is to race consistently. I noticed that some of the top finishers in the series so far only ran one of the two races. Bwahaha! Watch out for me, and I'll watch out for this Bethany lady!

And that wraps it up for the second race in the series! Next up is the U Can Finish 5 Miler at UCF on Sunday, 23 October 2011! Here's a snap shot of the Track Shack Running Series (link to my blog about it):

New Desk!

I saved up and bought a new desk. It's simple and elegant. Now for a new chair and floor mat thingy.

Note the open keyboard drawer front. Of the entire box and pieces, only one piece was amiss: the latch that holds the keyboard drawer front in the upright position. I've called Sauder, and the piece has been shipped. Easy peasy. Great customer service.

21 September 2011

Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

I received the following in an email from my awesome Grandma Bennett. With my huge love of words and creativity, I thought I'd share:

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

29 August 2011

Eat Pray Love

I am FINALLY getting around to writing my book review for Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Here are a bunch of associated links you may like to visit:

So. My review on the book.


Don't read any further if you don't want to know if Elizabeth finds love in the third leg of her journey.

I really enjoyed this memoir of a woman's pursuit of happiness by way of gorging Italian food, growing spiritually and galloping off in love. It is a light book that is well suited to those who enjoy travel.

My favorite part is Eat, where Elizabeth lets her self live through eating whatever she wants in Italy. Loads of spaghetti and original pizza! I liked her friendship with her Italian tutor a lot and the friends she met there. Her little apartment was quaint in my memory of her living space.

Speaking of living spaces, she had great fortune because she had an awesome room and roommate (though quiet, heh) in India in the Pray leg of the trip. I had mixed feelings about this portion of the book going into it: ugh, I don't want religion/spirituality shoved down my throat versus hmmm, I wonder what she got out of her stay in the community in India. Turns out I really enjoyed this part. I especially liked how Elizabeth came around to love the arduous prayers. I'm a big believer in the fruits of the process and hard work that goes into something. I like that Elizabeth found something in which to pour herself spiritually. The sense of community she found was therapeutic, too. And let's not forget Richard from Texas! He was one of my top favorite people she met in her trip.

And the final place Elizabeth stayed was BEAUTIFUL! Bali. Beaches. Breezes. The movie made her living quarters a little more glamorous than I imagined in my head, but it still worked well. If I go to Bali, I hope I am lucky enough to stay in a similar bungalow. But, ah, the topic of love. Love is the biggest mystery, and in the end I'd just like to say that it finds you in its own time. *shrug.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

28 August 2011

Labor Day Weekend

I've never been so excited to have a

weekend. Why? Well, this year I am driving home with one of my best friends, Sam,

and my baby girl, Heidi,

to do some serious camping!

Today I vacuumed, washed, waxed and organized my car in preparation for the trip.

It's gonna be a long haul from Florida to Indiana!

We'll probably make it in about 18 hours. We will have CD books, MadLibs and snacks to make this  

a ton of fun. We're pretty excited. This will be Sam's first visit to the great Midwest!

We'll be passing through Atlanta, Georgia,

Chattanooga, Tennessee,

and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Then we'll brush past Cincinnati, Ohio,

before entering


Something I've missed out on for a couple years is Sno-Castle! We're gonna have to get some on our way to the camp site.

Then, while camping, I'll spend some time near the camp fire cooking the perfect s'more,

enjoy some boating,

and play some Euchre!

Oh, I can hardly wait! T-minus 3 days!