Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Data Junkie

Sometimes I feel like I am an artist stuck in statistician's brain. I think I have always loved numbers and manipulating them into graphs and charts. You would think I would get enough of those kind of things in my job...and while I get do get plenty of opportunities and can tell you the average grade level of our students, the percentage of ethnicity group, etc. when I came across Google analytics for blogs I knew I had to have it.

I know those of you that pay for your bloggies get this kind of stuff automatically, but the free ladies need to get resourceful. Note: you can use it on any website, not just your blogger account to track all sorts of things related to your website.

Check out the cool graphs that greet me each morning...

I haven't spent enough time to learn what it all means because I get distracted by the map. You can zoom in on a country and find out where folks are coming from and how often they come, check it out...

I'm obsessed with filling up the map, I think that if I put data wh*re(which is what I am sometimes called) in the title of this post I would probably fill up the map pretty quickly but that would be cheating. (I think...) I also find it fascinating that someone from Hickory, NC has visited more than my mom. What's worse is I'm afraid that with my memory issues that I should know who this is and don't (and I feel bad about that) so Hickory, NC please leave a comment or email me so I can feel better.

So are you jealous yet? You can do it on your blog's super easy. Go to Google Analytics register for an account. Then all you need to do it copy the code into your blogger template. You can find your template by clicking on the layout tab and then 'Edit HTML'

Go all the way down to the bottom of the code, then scroll until you find the 'body' tag. Put your cursor above the first tag and paste your 'script' code. It's that easy...the analytics site will confirm that data is being received...and the next morning you too will have charts and graphs to drool over.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

10 on Tuesday...What Alaska is really like

Pretty much without fail when folks find out I've spent 'quality time' in Alaska they always ask a ton of questions to try and figure out what it's like. It's truly a special place, in more ways than one...when a former collegue forwarded this Jeff Foxworthy-esque list I couldn't help but laugh and think it's perfect for describing life in Alaska.

1. If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Alaska.

2. If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Alaska.

3. If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Alaska.

4. If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Alaska.

5. If you know several people who have hit a moose more than once, you may live in Alaska.( I am pleased to say I am not one of these, but have been late to work more than once because a moose was in the driveway)

6. If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you may live in Alaska .

7. If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Alaska.

8. If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Alaska.

9. If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you may live in Alaska.

10. If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 70 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Alaska.

Bonus round...
If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Alaska.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you may live in Alaska.

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you may live in Alaska.

If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly', you may live in Alaska.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quote of the Week

I believe that the Good Lord gave us a finite number of heartbeats and I'm damned if I'm going to use up mine running up and down a street.

Neil Armstrong

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Wind Down

ok so it wasn't really much of a weekend...grr! In between working two full days I squeezed in some quality time with friends.

Houston and I got an early start on Sat. for a quick garage sale jaunt before my shift at the store. I thought for a bit it was going to be a bust of a trip after my usual route had no sale signs. Not to be stopped, we hit new neighborhoods and I was able to score some cute clothes for you know who...I swear this little girl is so much fun to shop for. With me buying at garage sale prices, mom working across the street from the Gymboree 'outlet' and grandparents that love to shop she may never wear the same outfit more than once or twice.

After working in both places on Saturday, I was able to relax and pretend to scrap with Arleigh, Heather, MK and Houston on Saturday night. Not a very productive night creatively, but good to hang out and laugh.

Today Tanner and I were back at the office, printing report cards for all 3000+ kiddos, I will never again take report cards for granted. Our system just sucks and the teachers try their best, but there are a couple that are so technologically challenged that they mess something up and I spend hours trying to fix it. You'd think that an 'on-line' school would have tach savvy teachers...not so much. In fact until I pushed my way into being part of the teacher interview process, no technology based questions were ever asked of teacher applicants. Beyond teacher struggles, it hurts my heart to see so many students are still struggling even with our hybrid model. As we plan for the new year, I've really been struggling with how our model needs to grow and change so we can truly have the impact these students deserve. Efficacy, will no doubt be a recurring theme in all that we do, now that systems how finally been developed and we have the backing of a strong and powerful district.

After spending the day keeping me company at the office, I rewarded Tanner by going to the dog park. He gave me a taste of my own medicine and ran away each time I tried to put his leash on and a quick trip turned in to an hour and a half.

And now it's hoo

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Video oldie but a goodie

I was searching through old posts to see if I had shared this one before and was shocked that I hadn't. It really needs sound for full effect...

The Evolution of Dance

Hooray Grey's is back tonight...I can barely wait.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

10 on Tuesday 'Earth Day Addition'

An amazing sunset and a day full of sun(so much so I got a little sunburn on my arm), Mother Earth sure celebrated her special day. Even my Tivo got into the act and recorded the 'Church of Oprah' sermon today. It got me thinking about the areas of my life where I'm wasteful. Not that I really want to admit any of these things, but you know what 'they' say...recognizing the problem(s) is the first step. So are here are 10 areas I'm wasteful in...

1. Electricity...I am horrible about leaving lights on when I don't need them on and pretty much everything is plugged in all the time
2. Food...I buy way more than I ever eat and end up throwing most of it out
3. Calories...jellybeans anyone?
4. much time surfing the net and watching TV usually at the same 'time'.
5. Paper...not just the creative kind, I use paper towels like nobody's business
6. Water...long showers, running while I brush my teeth and rewashing clothes because I forgot to put them in dryer in a timely fashion
7. many little items
8. Heat...even in the dead of winter, I like just a little fresh air at night so I leave the window open(silly I know)
9. Plastic bags...although I've gotten better at this in the last 6 weeks, I forget my reusable bags every now and then
10. Space...totally related to all of the above

So here's hoping next year I'll get about you?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Quote of the Week

Obsessive: A word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated

This was one the back of a customers t-shirt and it was too good not to share.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The *ART* of the Deal

I admit it...I'm a garage sale addict. It's one of the things that I look forward to each summer. Even better now that I have Sienna to shop for. On Saturday I set out on my first trip of the season. I have a few 'rules' to follow when shopping...

1. Set a budget, I start by going to the ATM and getting 20 bucks. I can up it if I find a piece of furniture I'm looking for.

2. Only buy things on my clothes and toys, baking glassware(you can never have to much Pyrex), cheap jewelry, yarn, and storage items that work in my studio.

3. Always, always negotiate on prices. I usually consider the max I want to pay and what I would sell it for, and then take a couple of bucks off of that figure. Then it's on...I usually say will you take...$X for this. This strategy works best if you have a couple items.

4. Be willing to walk away from anything.

5. Go early and be done by 10:30. I can't wait until we start our Summer work schedule and I can start shopping on Friday aft.

You know there are no guarantees on what you'll find at sales. Just like in other areas of life 'you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.' And Saturday was no exception, just as I was reaching the end of my time limit and still had all of my money in my wallet, I stumbled onto a block sale and one of the families had great taste in girl clothes. I was able to get several cute things for Sienna, including boots like these...

and a rocking horse like this(sadly no saddle, but riding bareback is always fun) It's so cute it makes sounds like a real horse.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Video Thursday

I admit this one is a little disturbing, but if you ever need motivation to take the stairs instead of the elevator here you go...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another week end layout

See I was kind of productive at crop in Ft. C... We brought in a new company after seeing them at CHA in Feb. I love the name --- Pink Paislee--- it combines two of my favorite things. MK asked me to put together a layout with this great orange grid's perforated to you could use the edges for a seperate project. Super cute stamps and embellies too...

Yeah it sucks...

but you have to admit it can be a little pretty to see snow on the tiny buds of spring

or's hoping this will be the last storm of the season.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

10 on Tuesday

Those who have known me for a long time, know I'm a first class procastinator. So it's no surprise that I put off doing my taxes until last night. For the past few years I've been paying, it looks like this year I'm getting a refund...thanks to the 'economic stimulus' money. I'm sure I'll end up paying taxes again in the near future so here's my wish list of things I would want my tax money to go.

1. Universal pre-k
2. Paying down/off international debt, I'm no economist but borrowing substanial funds from China seems like getting a payday advance from a loan shark
3. Health insurance for all children under 15, regardless of parent income levels
4. Fresh fruits and vegatables for families on assistance
5. Community capacity building grants for US communities that are still living in the 1800's(in the world's richest country it's hard to believe there are still places without running water and electricity in every house)
6. Research and tax breaks for alternative fuels
7. My little road plan from a previous post
8. More educational funds dedicated to alternative ed
9. Mentoring programs
10. Tax breaks for single middle class women who don't have kids or own a home

and why can't I claim Tanner as a dependent? He eats, goes to the doctor and day care occasionally?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another Layout to Share

not much to say, but a little something to share from the weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend Wind Down

Yesterday was a wonderful day of scrapbooking in Ft Collins with the Pea group. I love these ladies! Amanda P was a wonderful hostess. I came home with 3 prizes, maybe some of Rachel's luck in rubbing off on me. Plus, thanks to a miracle of pre-planning I came home with 5 finished layouts. I think that might be a record for me for such a short crop.

Here's the first of the layouts to share...
Align Center
is there anything cuter than tiny baby body parts? Look a little different than my usual simple style...totally, that's because it was for a 2 Peas challenge hosted by Ducky. As tough as it was it felt good to stretch my style.

Since it was such a long day, Tanner went to Camp Bow Wow for the day and night --- gosh it was strange not to come home to his happy face.

Today was a work day, we had a teacher quit just a we were wrapping up CSAP and a week before grades were due. That left me to pull her grades out of the curriculum and into our grading software for 180 kiddos. Not particularly my idea of fun, but someone had to do it. Also noticed she was behind on her grading of student writing. When it comes to our educational system nothing depresses me more than reading writing samples of high schoolers who can barely write. I wonder what the world will be like when it is run by people who believe an essay needs only to consist of two sentences, void of capitals and punctuation. I'm not the only one who wonders, ironically I clicked on this link on Arleigh's page and found the post End of Eloquence.

For the waning moments of the weekend I'm content to watch Iron Chef...battle garlic. Yumm-O. Here's your parting thought..."Garlic is the ketchup of intellectuals"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Video Thursday PSA

So did you see the bear?

I thought this was a great reminder to watch out for cyclists. It's amazing how fast an accident can happen. An Alaska friend was hit by a car (ok more than a car. a 3/4 ton chevy truck)a few years ago while he was riding his bike. The asshole that hit him, tried to take off...luckily witness followed and he was caught. That didn't help my friend who after being struck, suffered a seizure was taken to the hospital by ambulance where it was discovered that he had a fractured skull which caused bruising and swelling of his brain and still years later still has remaining memory problems. In addition to a brain injury, he had numerous broken bones including separated shoulders and a fractured pelvis. It took a long time, but I know he's riding and racing again and some blessings came along with the heart ache. It was a lesson for all of us that life is fragile and you can't ever take anything for granted.

In honor of Kevin I'll leave you with one of his favorite quotes that I also happen to love...
Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion... you must set yourself on fire

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

10 on Tuesday

I've learned from numerous years of psychiatric help that venting and letting things out is a healthy here's you venting opportunity...10 things your significant other does that bug you

1. Snores and moans in sleep

2. Demands dinner as soon as I get home

3. Takes up to much space on the bed

4. Leaves his stuff all over the house

5. Steals my socks

6. Flirts with other women

7. Herds me when I go up the stairs

8. Makes me feel guilty for working long hours and scrapbooking with the girls

9. Chases small animals

and finally the creme of the crop...this

10. Balls in the toilet...YUCK!

But how can you not love this face...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yes, I do have too much time on my hands

well not technically today...I worked a 16 hour day between the two jobs. I snuck home for about 10 minutes a lunch to let Tanner out, otherwise it was work, work, work.

But last night I had a little trouble falling asleep so I set about blog surfing. I came across a site where I found a link to do this...if I were on Southpark this is what my character would probably look like.

I know some of you are not big fans of Southpark and that makes me a little sad for you. Yes it's crude and sometimes disgusting, but when you get past that you'll find the best satirical show on television with a powerful social commentary. Plus there's always an extra funny line or two for Colorado folks.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Double Dip

So most of you already know that Mary Kay started a blog for Scrapbook Destination. I'm thrilled to be part of the blogging team. Sundays are my day and I just posted my first bit...the ends and outs of flock.

I must say that I didn't find Wordpress quite as easy to navigate and learn as blogger... suprising because it seems like 'Wordpress' is the latest darling of the blogging community. Maybe after I play with it some more, I'll discover it's charms. For now I'm content with my little free spot on the blogging beach.

Thanks for checking in! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend...I have invited the fam over for dinner to ensure that I actually clean my whole house and not just the kitchen as I usually do. Need to get to gettin...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Kickin' It Old School

How can you not love Beaker...


or the re-mix

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

10 on Tuesday

As I was packing my lunch today, I got excited because I had splurged on some yummy cheese. I thought 'Supermarket Splurges' would be a fun list for today, plus a helpful reminder that if I see more than one or two of these items in my cart, I'm in for an expensive trip. I'm pretty lucky to be close to 3 really good stores (Whole Paycheck, Wild Oats, and foo-foo Safeway) so it's easy to get a little carried away at times.

1. Imported(don't ask me where from) Havarti cheese with Caraway Seeds (lunch today with a bagel and #3)
2. Peanut butter filled pretzels (a special brand I can only find at Wild Oats or WP)
3. Mesquite smoked turkey from the deli counter
4. Jumbo Shrimp
5. 'Fresh' Pasta
6. Garlic cashews
7. PB and Chocolate Hagen Daaz
8. Fresh strawberries in winter
9. French Baguette
10. Hunter'something cheese' don't know why the name escapes me but it's a layered cheese with a creamy sharp cheddar on top and bottom and a mellow blue in the middle.

What about you...would are your 'supermarket splurges'?