Sunday, June 14, 2009

And this little blog went to FL...

"What Dad means by "see" of course, is "drive past at 67 miles per hour." Dad feels it is a foolish waste of valuable vacation time to get out of the car and actually go look at an attraction." - Dave Berry (Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need)

A couple of weeks ago I went on vacation to Key Biscayne, FL. (Key Biscayne is very close to Miami/Fort Lauderdale). The beach was wonderful. Unfortunately, it did rain quiet a bit while we were there - but I actually don't think that really took away from the experience. It rained every afternoon - which made it a perfect time to go shopping or eat lunch.

Arrived in the early afternoon - the perfect time for a late lunch. I would highly recommend the Sawgrass Mills Shopping/Outlet Mall in Sunrise. FL. For lunch I recommend the always amusing Rainforest Cafe (I just love when the restaurant has the "storm" part). Rainforest Cafe has a very yummy veggie burger. I always enjoy looking at the outlet stores.

I would also like to mention (not that any of you care - but I am going to anyway) that we had a spiffy Escape Hybrid as a rental car which I absolutely loved. The ride was smooth and the car was really quiet. I also like the size of the Escape - you get the nice space in the trunk for everything but the car isn't "big" (easy to park, etc). Drove fabulous in the rain too.

Other shopping that I recommend: Dadeland Mall and Village of Merrick Park. Dadeland Mall is extremely large! Every store you can think of is located in Dadeland Mall! (There was a very large Apple Store - and yes I did go look in it...just was there...).

The Village of Merrick Park is an absolutely beautiful outdoor shopping area (since it really isn't a "mall" exactly). I purchased a book at the Border Store there that I been thinking about buying: China Bayles' Book of Days. Excellent book all about herbs and a wonderful companion to the mystery series. (This could have something to do with all the herbs I planted...)

During the trip we also eat at the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami. It is located on the bay - very pretty surroundings. (There is also a mall there too). I do believe that the Hard Rock Cafes have the absolutely best veggie burger anywhere! (There are some fabulous desserts too...but I really do go for the veggie burgers!)

The rest of the vacation was spent sitting on the beach, relaxing, and reading. In the late evenings I watched movies: Quantum of Solace and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1957). As I mentioned in my tweets, I enjoyed both movies. (So I will not bore you with the details yet again!)

Books I recommend from my vacation/beach reads:
Summary: Had great time on vacation! Highly recommend the area for anyone looking to go on vacation. Well thanks for reading!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fresh about a month...

Because of the beautiful weather outside it was just to hard to not enjoy it for a little bit! (I did have coding and research to work on). Today I planted a couple of herbs (basil, lemon balm, and rosemary) from seeds. I couldn't find plants (or I would have bought some). The veggies in the garden are starting to come up. Unfortunately, a few of the beans got it after the odd frost that occurred about a week ago.

Not much else to report past my tweets on Twitter. Research is kind of consuming my life at the moment. I am hoping to make a lot of progress over the summer. Well, it is the goal anyway :-)

Recent music obsession: "Cobrastyle" by Teddybears and Mad Cobra. (The song was featured in the pilot for the tv show Chuck which I was happy to learn was renewed for a 3rd season).

Well, I better get back to that research I mentioned earlier since it will not be researching itself. (I apologize for that horrible last pun...just pretend like you didn't really read it - OK?)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Garden Fun

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Finished helping planting veggies in the "garden". Forgot how much fun it was until I was trying to climb back over the rabbit fence. Oh well, the veggies will be nice to eat this summer: tomatoes, onions, zucchini, lettuce, peas, green beans, and asparagus. Also planted strawberries, potatoes and cantaloupe. Oh and we planted popcorn!

A lot of the plants where started from seed about a month ago. A couple of plants were picked up at the hardware store so we might actually see some output earlier :-) Yes, I know cheating just a tad, but the Michigan growing season is kind of short.

Well, I better get back to work - coding and research kind of work! Thanks for reading :-) Enjoy the nice spring weather.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mrs. Bradley's Mysteries...

I recently stumbled upon an interesting (but very short-lived) series entitled:  Mrs. Bradley's Mysteries staring Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon. It was run as part of MYSTERY! on PBS when Diana Rigg was host. (I thought Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon were both excellent).

Diana Rigg plays the title character Mrs. Bradley and Neil Dudgeon plays her faithful chauffeur George Moody. Set in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Mrs. Bradley defies the "normals" of society at the time. (Throughout the series you learn the titles of the books that the character Mrs. Bradley has written - not the normal reading material of the day). The series is based on the works of author Gladys Mitchell who wrote over 60 books featuring the Mrs. Bradley character.

It is interesting to watch the characters deal with topics that would have been surprising at the time the series was set (and written) but have now become almost common. Mrs. Bradley's "fourth-wall" comments are often times highly amusing and give the views interesting insight to the character of Mrs. Bradley. George Moody was one of the most interesting "side-kicks" in a mysteries series I have seen. Unlike Dr. Watson who was often several steps behind Sherlock Holmes, Moody plays important role in the solving of the mystery and often uproots important clues to the solution. (I personally wish there had been more of these shows made - there are only 5 episodes total). However, this series really should be watched in order - trust me. Otherwise, it will ruin the last episode. Just trust me on this one!

Well, thanks for stopping by and reading! I figured I would actually include a whole post instead of just using Twitter all the time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Warm Weather, Movies, Chuck, and other Random Musings

"I'm looking for a submarine. It's big and black, and the driver is a very good friend of mine." - Zukovsky (The World Is Not Enough)

If you hadn't noticed, I have started twittering. Yep, figured everyone else was and it is easier than updating the blog. However, still planning to keep the blog around - because there are times were one wants to write more than 140 characters. (I will have to admit it is kind of fun to try to write a message for twitter that is exactly 140 characters...).  So you can now follow me on twitter or read my twitters on my blog.  Moving on...

Michigan has had some (surprising) warm weather recently (in the low 80s).  I am a huge fan of sandals and had great fun in getting them out of my closet.  Unfortunately, the warm weather did not last and it is back in the upper 50s.  It looks like the weather will get a little warmer as the week goes on - we might get into the low 60s.  Don't worry, Michigan has been getting lots of nice rain - regardless of temperature.  On Sunday we got quiet a downpour in the late afternoon.  Otherwise, it was been on/off drizzle.  That way we know spring is here!  :-)

Enjoyed watching the season finale of Chuck last night. Very interesting episode! I so hope it gets renewed! (If you haven't been watching the show, then I highly recommend it).

Since I really don't have much to talk about I will tell you about movies I am currently enjoying.  My life has been wrapped up in my research and teaching recently.  So actually having a "real life" hasn't been happening much :-)  Work-life balance is not something that really exists in graduate school.

Movies I have been watching for the past few months:
  • James Bond (OK, not a specific one...more like slowly trying to watch all of them).
  • Caprice: Doris Day has an interest role in this film.  It does have a bit of 60's spy movie spoof.  A one point Doris Day has on this wonderful fuzzy pink hat while running through an apartment complex with Richard Harris's character.  Wonderful little comedy.
  • Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd: Wonderful little film with Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple.  I did figure out the mystery before it was announced in the film - but only really close to the end of the film.  Some of the dialog is extremely amusing.
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1999 version): The film is excellent, music is excellent, the whole thing was excellent.  It is a must see if you haven't.  (I won't even admit how many times I have seen this film so far...)
  • Married Life: This film reminds me of several Hitchcock films.  I thought it was an interesting and amusing film.  (The music was also excellent!)
  • The In-Laws (2003 version):  Watched this movie again after not seeing it for a while.  This movie is an excellent comedy!  So many funny parts, excellent dialog, and plot.
Well, thanks for reading.  Hopefully, since things have slightly calmed down (i.e., spring semester is officially over) I will have more time for blogs.  Or at least tweets on Twitter :-)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Steele With You....

"... yes, information? I'd like the number of the Central Intelligence Agency... No, that is not a residence." - Remington Steele (Remington Steele)

Not much going on to report. Lots of research, teaching, etc. When people ask what time can you do blank at...I actually have to check my schedule! For once, my schedule is actually complex enough that I actually have to have it written down. (I have a lot of once a month meetings or bi-weekly meetings - so trying to remember exactly which week we are on requires me to look it up). But I have a lot of fun meetings that I don't want to miss going to!

Anyway, since I don't have anything better to talk about I am going to talk about my latest tv watching obsession - Remington Steele. Remington Steele is a 80s drama/comedy/detective show starting Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist. Basically, I would describe it as: what James Bond would be if it was a comedy. The part that attracted me to show originally was the references to many classic 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s movies (Just to mention a few: The Thin Man, North by Northwest, Notorious, The Maltese Falcon, Trouble with Harry, Casablanca, Murder on the Orient Express, Charade, My Fair Lady, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Rear Window). Quiet a few Alfred Hitchcock films in the list (which I watched over the summer actually - but that would be a different blog for a different time - maybe if I can remember...). Anyway, very funny show. I give it two thumbs up. Fun, light, and easy watching. I have been slowly watching various episodes (usually while I eat dinner). Great fun and highly recommended

OK, well, that is all I have to talk about in this blog. I better get back to researching...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Completely Random Update - nothing important

I just realized that I hadn't updated my blog in so very long. I don't even have that good of an excuse. Except that I have been busy - so very busy. In the fall I taught a new class and the prep was very extensive - not to mention time consuming. I am teaching the same course this semester which makes life a little calmer on that front.

However, research is keeping me very, very busy. I am trying to get far enough to do the next stage of the process. Very exciting, but a lot of work because I have a ways to go and I am trying to do it all in a couple of months. So if you don't see any more updates - I will just apologize now. I really want to update more often but it is a bit tricky to find time.

For those who remember - I am still working on the fuzzy logic stuff. Sounds cool doesn't it? Well, I better get to it. Research doesn't get itself done. Just wanted to say "hi" to all my friends (if anyone still reads this thing) and maybe I will post again sometime during the semester ;-)