Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some Tests

Here are a few fun self-assessment tests that I pulled from a book that I've been reading.

Humor Test
I think you really have to take this test twice: one as you think about how you react in your professional and work presence and once again for when you are hanging out with family and friends. Even though your personality should not be changing all the time, there are times when a certain behavior is more appropriate. I mean, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" right? The first time I took this test I got a 48 which puts me in the middle category and I need to" learn to let yourself go and enjoy more variety." How more varied is activies like following the bull riding and knitting lace?

Reading Eyes
I didn't' do very well with this one. Maybe the choices they gave were misleading?

Fake or real Smile
Can you spot a faked smile or one that is genuine? Try this out - there are twenty smiles that you are asked to evaluate on this site. For the first 10 just use whatever method you want to determine if the smile is fake or real. On the last 10 look only at the changes to the eyes when a smile occurs...hmmm. Did your results change?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

ASTE Conference in Anchorage

I'm in Anchorage participating with some folks at CDE, UAF's School of Education, and UAF/SW OIT in a 2-day pre-conference workshop followed up with a 2-day conference given by Alaska Society of Technology in Education. The pre-conference ended today and we presented a number of topics having to do with web 2.0 and personal learning environments. We had a great group of teachers from around the state and it was fun to share with them as well has have them share with us. I always take away a lot from participating in activities like this, both from my co-presenters and from the participants themselves.

I have already learned some things and have summed up some of my thoughts in this video:

As a kick-off for the official conference there was a reception at the Anchorage Museum which included entry to the Star War's exhibit. There was a pretty long line to get in, even though the museum was only open to the conference attendees. As I got closer to the front I realized that they were only letting in 6 people at a time into a life-size replica of the Millennium Falcon's cockpit. If you saw Avatar in 3-D you probably won't be impressed.

The Museum website says:

In this simulated ride to the edge of the universe, a multimedia presentation explores what we know about our galaxy. A 3-D Bose sound system brings to life the Millennium Falcon’s beeping cockpit instruments and the roar of passing spaceships.

The five-minute show is narrated by Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO in the films.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Loopy Scarf

When I first saw the picture of this scarf I was intrigue by the look and thought that it would be fun to make. The pattern came from a calendar that Tam gave me for the date of August 13, 2009. It was originally from which describes the pattern as "It's as fun to wear as it is to make!"

I wasn't able to find the same yarn that the pattern called for so substituted with a soft wool blend in a  heather rust called Queensland Collection - Rustic Tweed. The pattern required a set of straight needles plus a couple of double-pointed needles to make the loops (I-cord).


After blocking it our and looking closer at the pattern, I realized that I might have misunderstood the pattern and didn't connect the loops in the right place. There were a few errors at the beginning of the pattern that I was able to figure out and may have assumed there was an error in the loop section as well when it didn't make sense. It was only after I finished that I thought to look at the website and see that the creator had posted an addendum to errors but nothing about the loop attachment. And now I'm pretty certain it was a heidi-error. Should have looked there before! Oh well!

Julie, Julia

I was all set for watching Julie, Julia with a nice bottle of malbec and my cooking socks! What you can't see is my snack plate with french bread and brie, a sliced pear, and some chocolate!  Bon App├ętit, indeed!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Seattle Trip: Boat Show and Eating

We had a great trip to Seattle last month. The weather was pretty nice – little rain and mostly clear skies. We stayed at a hotel downtown so that we could be close to some good restaurants and the qwest field where the Seattle Boat Shop was located. We had a nice room that looked out over the harbor steps. At first I thought it was going to be noisy but it wasn't.

We had great meals at some of our repeat restaurants: Ipmanema Grill, Steelhead Diner, Umi Sake House (although I was disappointed that the heated toilet seats were turned off), and Palomino (although the portions were very petite). New to us restaurant Taphouse Grill was bleh although I did enjoy seeing the 160 beer taps behind the bar. But I only wanted 1 beer, not 160. But La Vita e Bella restaurant in Belltown is a keeper. The food was good and the waitstaff was very attentive. I had the porchini mushroom ravioli - delicious!

Another reason we wanted to stay downtown is that we wanted to take in Avatar 3D at the IMax at Seattle Center and we wanted to be able to walk to it. WOW. Even if you don't have access to an IMAX you have got to seek out the movie in 3D. What an experience! I didn't even get a chance to eat my popcorn!

The boat show was amazing! I have never seen that many shiny expensive boats all in one place. It was great to be able to go aboard to see the different layouts and to see what accommodations might be like. On some of the newer models the layout is would be perfect for us. But we'll have to wait for about 5-7 years when these models become used before they will be parked outside our front steps!

Probably one of most interesting boats was the Sealegs - an amphibious boat available in either a rigid inflatable hull or an all aluminum boat. Except for not having a hard top on it, it would be great for SE. There are alot of sand/small rocky beaches that you could pull up to and drive up out of the water and not have to worry about setting an anchor. The tide is so variable in Alaska it would be great not to have to worry about your boat.

We also looked at different power catamarans thinking that they would be really seaworthy and stable plus they seem to give you a lot more inside space. We liked the ArrowCat and the one they had in the boat show had a solid bulkhead which you really need here. And we liked the Aspen model too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Flooring

We finally picked out some flooring and have a plan! When we moved into the new house we knew we didn't want the carpet to remain so we ripped it all out and took it to the dump. We found that the floorboards were pretty dusty and had sheetrock mud on them so Tim got some free paint at the paint store and gave the floors a good coat. We had an idea that we might like to go with a dark wood and he was lucky enough to get a free 5-gallon of a chocolate brown.

We calculated that we needed about 1500 sf of flooring and we've been making the rounds of the local flooring stores in hopes of being inspired by the right look and the right price.

We ended up going with a cheaper laminate. It seems to complement the oak wood in the kitchen as well as the huge amount of granite countertop and backsplash that pretty much dominates the kitchen/living room area.

So now we need to pick out some tile that we want to put in front of the sliding doors in both the great room and the masterbed room and get that installed and then get on with laying the floor.


But until then- we have a pallette+ of flooring the garage!

Happy Valentines Day

Someone was awfully ambitious!

This was actually taken last year but I never posted it. This year the lake have no snow on it and is barely frozen!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


While Claudia was here this weekend we tried out a new type of fortune cookie: Taste of Thai Toasted Coconut Fortune Cookies. Best of all they are gluten-free! Very tasty cookies but the nutritional value was a little on the heavy side.

Regular fortune cookies:

Taste of Thai cookies:

But the fortunes weren't your typical phrases - these were more like parables, which was rather nice.

Through violence you may solve one problem but sow the seeds for many others.

Neither fire nor wind, birth, nor death can erase our good deeds.

Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the illnatured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar with truth.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Pay no attention to the faults, things done or undone by others. Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone.

Holding on to anger is like grasping hot coal, you are the one getting burned.

Sometimes one impresses by saying something and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. What we think we become.

And in the "Holmberg" fashion you have to end each of the futunes with "…in bed"!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Results: no dead birds!

We had a quick walk into Boy Scout Beach this weekend and compared to other February months, the weather was incredible. We dressed in layers and quickly shedded them along the way. Since we had other plans for the day, we weren't to take advantage of the outgoing tide and arrived around the low tide mark. The beach was huge! The result of the winter storms has changed the beach a bit resulting in shifting high and low spots. We chose to stick closer to the beach as we normally know it and not go out to some of the new spits of sand.

The beach was pretty quiet - a couple of sea lions, many gulls, some barrows goldeneyes, a few ravens, eagles, crows, 5 people and 7 dogs.

And the clouds were so pretty with a variety of shades of gray, white, and some blue peaking in. For some reason we both forgot our sunglasses and could have used them.

On our last visit to the beach, some friends had a big bon fire and put up some prayer flags. After a month on the beach they were still there but they were pretty tattered.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nice day

It has been incredibly nice out since we returned from Seattle - in the high 30s, low 40s. If I didn't look at the calendar I would think it was March!

I had a nice afternoon walk on Sandy Beach enjoying the fresh air and watching the dogs running around like crazy. You always see happy dogs on Sandy Beach!

Towards the end of the beach there are a lot of remnants of the old piers that were lined up used to bring in supplies to the Treadwell mine and take out the gold bars. I keep looking for a misplaced gold bar but haven't stumbled on it yet.


Near the end of the beach at the sinkhole, is a favorite spot for ducks to swim around. I have never seen the water low enough to be able to make it across without getting wet so it must be pretty deep.


And walking back you get a view of town - the sun was still high enough be peak over the Douglas Island Mountains and shine on the state's capitol.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Yummy cake

I made this Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down cake last night - it went together really quick and was very tasty. I used some of our frozen blueberries instead of the fresh blackberries and was a little worried that the additional juice from the berries being frozen might make for a soupy topping but it turned out a perfect sauce. I cheated when putting the ingredients together and didn't alternate adding the flour and egg-milk mixture but rather just dumped in all in together. So as you many have guess, the cake part might have been a little tougher but it still have good flavor!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Perfect Sweater Model

The sweater looks much better on my sweater model then it did when I took it all by itself. And as expected, the hood didn't really fit like a hood should - it was too narrow and too short. But it sure did look cute!

And what better place to wear the sweater but the aquarium! I have never been to the Seattle aquarium and I was really impressed. They had a lot of interactive things for kids to do and wonderful displays at many differernt heights. Even fish viewing that Bella could look at without being held up.

Here is a huge wall of fish that was mesmorizing to watch.

And here Tim and Rachelle watch Bella watching the salmon in an underwater dome on the lower level.

And Bella and Naomi hamming it up for the camera surrounded by a bright underwater mural!

It was a long drive home...and a good time to catch a nap!