Friday, December 26, 2008

My brain and I were having this semi-conflict: I didn't want to think and my brain was thinking it should start working again soon.

I mean, the break is supposed to be just that, right? a break from all the long thinkings I've done all during the long semester?

But my brain is contesting otherwise. It says a break from thinking is fine for just so long. Really now, how long do you think you can do nothing all day except curl up in front of a warm woodstove?

So I moved on to reading books. My reading list this year is longer than last year's (but I've also read way more short stories so that might have something to do about that). Also watched movies.

That seemed to satisfy my brain for about yesterday and today. But then this evening it began making motions to quit this as well. I guess it just really isn't satisfied with my behavior until I am doing something very useful and difficult. But I'm not quite ready for that.

So I am instead working my way slowly up to that point. I'll blog, and write some stuff, and maybe find think of some more stories to read. But nothing strenuous. Not yet anyway.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pumpkin Ginger Scones

My roommate made these several weeks ago and they were quite delicious. So I asked her for the recipe which she sent me:

from the Taste of Home Magazine

Pumpkin Ginger Scones

2 c flour
7 tbsp + 1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp cold butter, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. sour cream

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 tbsp sugar, baking powder & soda, and spices. Cut in 4 tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine egg, pumpkin, and sour cream. Stir into dry ingred until just moistened.

Turn on a floured surface; kneed 10 times. Pat into an 8 in circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Separate wedges and place onto greased baking sheet. Melt remaining butter, brush over dough, sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 F for 15-20 min or until golden brown.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So maybe it's been the long semester, or maybe it's late at night, but I think my brain might not be working quite right when I find this video clip about weather from 22 Words so hilarious after watching it only twice that I have to watch it twice more.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weather or not you like it, I've finished three of my finals

Last night, I had to keep reminding myself that I was done with three of my final exams and therefore three of my classes. As I fell asleep, I kept getting these moments of stress where I thought I was trying to solve a problem and it wasn't working out. And then I would wake up and realize I had finished that class. And then I would doze off and it would happen again.

But at least I was warm last night. God has been good to us and allowed us to keep our electricity and even be able to let others stay at our place over the night. A girl and her one-year old baby stayed over last night because their place had no heat. And the night before, my sister stayed over so she could get into her exams yesterday.

So even though my grades are plummeting from horrible classes, God is still good and happy things are happening.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One down, three left to go

And the round of finals has begun.
Four finals...I think that's the most I've ever had as of yet.

After running through all my grades and my class syllabi, I figured I would be getting C's in at least two of my classes despite working long hours this semester on them. I was depressed.

Perhaps it meant I was not really very smart and I would be better off quitting my engineering track. I could be a math teacher. I love math. And I did very well in all those courses.

But, I thought, I would miss Aerodynamics. Perhaps I am crazy, I but I really love solving all the lovely equations and having problems come into place for Aerodynamics.
So I shall not become a math teacher, at least, not yet. I shall get C's but have a most glorious time doing Aerodynamics.

And not worry about all those silly persons I know who are doing better than I but enjoy Aerodynamics less.

And besides, God hasn't told me to be a math teacher yet, either.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Still confused

That was the strangest call I have ever had.
Actually, it began with a text message saying I needed to bring Pablo to our end-of-semester dance that our campus Christian group is holding this Saturday.
So I called the sender who disclaimed any sending of aforementioned message.
Instead, he put me in contact with some foreigner who was quite insistent that Pablo must come and he must come dressed up...meaning with a tie. I demurred and pointed out I had no tie with which to clothe him with. The strange foreigner said a tie could be provided. I said I had no means of transporting Pablo to the dance. The strange foreigner said a car could be provided. All I had to do was get Pablo to come and I would be given 2 million non-sequential dollars. I agreed that if I got permission from the owner of Pablo, he would certainly be there if I had anything to do with it.

And with that the strange foreigner wished me a goodnight and hung up.

Oh, and if you are wondering who on earth Pablo is, he is one of those funny round chef statuettes but rather tall. And he lives in the kitchen of our next-door neighbors (also members of our Christian group).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

And I have returned!

my brain is nearly my own once again...just a few more weeks.
But the worst is over for right now.

It is the peace and relief before the onslaught of finals.
Oh finals! How you dance merrily ever before us, teasing us and frolicking about with out pity.
And later you return to darken our dreams and shed a shadow on the last days of class.

But fortunately for us, we have happy dances and parties coming up right at the end of class during what we call "study days".
And for a little while we shall dance all our troubles away.

And after all, four finals are not too bad. At least they are all spread out neatly over finals week.

And meanwhile I am enjoying having my last Aerodynamics exam done and out of the way.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Orange Rolls

These are tasty rolls I found in The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. I made them last night.

They are like cinnamon rolls except with orange peel and sugar instead.

I used a white bread dough. When it had risen to double, I rolled it out into what was supposed to be a rectangle (they never are, you know). Then I spread some oil on top. Next, I sprinkled much sugar and orange peel all over on top of the oil. Some coriander finished the spices. Then I dressed it up with a great many golden raisins. Finally, I rolled up my rectangle, sliced it, and placed all my adorable slices into muffin pans to bake for thirty minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are there any left?

Of Popcorn Kernels and Statistics

I'm taking Modeling and Analysis of Uncertainty this semester. It's a statistics course with lots of data and finding averages and standard deviations of things.

We have six small projects throughout the semester. The fourth one, which I have just completed, was highly amusing.

We were told to find a measurable characteristic of popped kernels of popcorn and get two brands of popcorn. Then we had to pop the popcorn and measure whatever it was we decided to measure. Extra points go to those who chose interesting measurable characteristics and measured them in unique ways.

My teammate and I sat in our student union Saturday night with our two bags of popcorn and realized we had very little on hand to measure anything. So we hunted through our backpacks and racked our brains for strange and unusual measurements. At last, we hit upon it: we would measure the saturatability of popcorn. Our reasoning was thus: if a popcorn kernel is highly saturable, then it should potentially be able to absorb more butter. And clearly more absorbed butter makes for tastier popcorn, and tastier popcorn makes a better brand. Therefore, the popcorn brand with the best saturability would be the better brand of the two.

Then we had to measure it. Fortunately, my teammate had a bright pink highlighter. We sat in the union marking popcorn for two and a half hours. We are pretty sure people gave us strange looks.

But all our popcorn was marked pink, and we finished our project.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Does your company have some BHAG?

That's right! I learned in class yesterday that a company needs:
Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

My fellow students and I could not determine what sort of goal counts as "hairy".

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Forks and Bridges

Yes, they surprisingly go together very well.

At least, that is what certain people on campus seem to think.

The fork-carrying-sausage prank is back again.
So, apparently not so many people notice this prank because I have to point it out to people quite frequently. And the forks stay up there for rather longish times.

Anyway, the prank itself is quite simple.
A white plastic fork is shoved between the metal links of our mesh-covered bridge that connects the two sides of our campus on either side of a well-traveled road. Then a sausage is placed on the prongs of the fork in a ridiculous manner. Usually it is a sausage link, but once there was a sausage patty instead.
There can be as many as two or three of these forks shoved up in the bridge top at a time.

I have never found out if they are placed there by unconnected individuals who have decided to emulate whomever the first fork pranker was. Or if perhaps the persons involved are part of some concerted group that does this for fun. Or maybe it is just a solitary individual who says to himself every once in a while, "Gee, I think it's time to put another fork in the mesh again...".
Whomever it is, they have afforded me some simple amusement and I appreciated that very much.

Unfortunately, I do not have picture to illustrate. I observed it this morning when I was cameraless, but I will try to get a picture of it at soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's fall indeed
and I eat apples and donuts
and peanut butter muffins

Tea is delicious
as cold nights creep in
and robes become best friends

Oh hurrah for the air
the cold crisp air
and the wind that blows my hair

I at last wear
a sweatshirt everywhere
and absolutely love it

Oh hurrah for leaves
that swirl from trees
with each cold breeze

And the squirrels
hop and hurl
themselves from tall branches

Oh hurrah for geese
that honk in the freeze
of the blue blue sky

As they journey
so swiftly northly
to the warm south

But I shall stay
in the cold chill fall
because I love it all

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Single Petal of a Rose

I never realized until tonight (though you may think me incredibly stupid) that one listens to different types of music different ways. For instance, a jazz concert is meant to be listened to differently than an orchestra.
One listens to the overall sound of an orchestra, listening particularly for themes and patterns and the climax.
But a jazz concert highlights certain musicians at different times. And one is supposed to listen to that person in particular until the music moves on to someone else or is picked up by the entire group.

Anyway, it took me three pieces in to realize why I was having trouble getting into the music at the jazz concert I attended tonight. But once I realized how it should be listened to, I enjoyed it...oh, tremendously. Especially funny was when the bassist began humming his notes while playing a solo.

The highlight of the whole evening came in the piece "The Single Petal of a Rose", I believe it was called. At least it was so in my opinion, and my friends whom I went with agreed. Oh, it was so lovely...a clarinet and a piano and beautiful thrilling music. And I had to close my eyes.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Glitchy Brain

Have you ever had the experience where your brain gitches?
Particularly well talking...
your mouth says something completely different from what your brain is thinking.
And there is no good excuse for it except that your brain quite clearly glitched on you.

This happens to me occasionally.
For instance:
Tonight I came back around eight from a Bible study with a group of other students.
My roommate asked how things went and who attended.
As I was listing the people I came to this guy named Alex.
But at first, I could not remember his name. For some reason I thought it was Mike or Matt (we have three Mike's in this group). After telling my roommate all this, it suddenly comes back to me that his name is Alex.
Now if that wasn't embarrassing enough, I then began said "I don't know! I just remembered somebody calling him Max and that was how I..., no! not Max. Alex!"

My thoughts knew I was trying to say Alex. I had Alex in my head...but my tongue quite deliberately said "Max". must be time for a reboot (i.e. time to go to bed).

Oh, in other news, I found this very amusing post from a link from Tim Challies' blog.

Friday, September 26, 2008

And girls...

It is fun to be a girl.
It is fun to hang out with girls.

It is hard to be a girl at an engineering school.
The guys at an engineering school tend to think of you in two ways:
1. Oooooh! a girl!
2. One of the guys.

So one needs to hang out with other girls occasionally so as to not get lost in math, and computing, and statistics, and papers, and problem solving.

Fortunately, I live with a girl and next to another house full of girls.
We brought them cupcakes this evening and had fun discussing girl things.
And laughing at the guys (C. S. Lewis was right in his assumption - that is what we do when we get together).
We have a lot of amusing guy friends.

The apples are in

And with them the pie
and the crunchy apple crisp

The pumpkin leaves grace
the tops of tall trees
And lemon ones fall to the ground

Pine cones fall on your head
(Oh, ouch!)
And squirrels haunt your steps for food

Red and purple mums appear at the stores
(Perhaps we can make tea?)
And sniffles abound with coughs and sneezes
Interrupting my daily study

Saturday, September 20, 2008

PD2 again

Crisis has been averted.
We are doing a nice happy project to encourage people to exercise more.

But the class itself took a turn for worse this past Wednesday.
We were required to watch this movie in class.
It was a quite horrible movie all about a bunch of guys doing sex and drugs on a Greek island.
Well, that wasn't the point of the was really about these group of soldiers who get stranded on this Greek island and discover that taking things easy and living the simple life is much better to their previous war-related activities and the constant fast-paced adventure they enjoyed. Several shocking scenes, however, caused me come to a different conclusion...

Anyway, now I have to write a paper about the leadership styles portrayed in the movie.

But watching movies only happens twice in the semester and I think the next one will be about some scientists, so I shall hope it will be much better.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PD2 = Moral Dilemma

Nobody ever told me PD2 would cause moral dilemmas!!!

Although it actually isn't a dilemma, just more of a tricky situation.

But fear not! I will not help start any Planned Parenthood groups at my school.

Now you are wondering what on earth PD2 is and what Planned Parenthood has to do with it?
Well, PD2 stands for Professional Development 2. We're required (all us engineers) to take classes that encourage professionalism and good business habits and leadership roles. The classes are split into three courses: PD1, PD2, and PD3. PD2 is mostly about leadership.
Because of this, we have a team project in which we are to do something that will have an influence in some community.
The two ideas my team has come up with thus far: encourage recycling on campus or starting a Planned Parenthood group.

I very quickly brought to the table that I was pro-life...and therefore not very likely to agree with the latter idea, although I was not opposed to raising awareness about health issues on campus.

When the idea was raised, I flew into a tailspin (an interesting maneuver with airplanes) and had to collect my thoughts so I could nicely but firmly state my disagreement. It is harder than you might think, 'cause you don't want to totally offend someone you'll be working with for the semester by shooting down their ideas (or actually, ever). But by God's grace the idea giver was receptive and understanding.

But the team is still deciding...

Thursday, September 04, 2008


And now for another excursion into the fascinating world of math and errors.
First of all, you must realize the all important fact that nearly all solutions of math problems are approximations.
I know it seems hard to imagine (at least, I kept feeling there must be some way to get exact answers). But it is true. Your computer and your calculator and your hand calculations are usually riddled with errors: rounding errors, truncating errors, data errors, computational errors, forward errors, and backward errors (and maybe a few more that I have forgotten).

This post will explore backward and forward errors.

Have you heard of functions?

Well, imagine a an oven. You put in a lumpy sticky mixture of ground-up grains, crushed olives, fermenting fungi, sodium chloride, sugars, and flammable elements combined so they are no longer flammable (i.e. H2O or "water" as it is commonly know as). You put this unlikely combination into the oven machine.
And in ~35min. a fragrant loaf of bread comes forth.

The oven did stuff to the mixture you threw in (well, not literally) and gave an output. We could call the oven a "function" (since it performs a function...baking bread) and the dough (that disgusting mess described earlier) as the input. The nicely baked bread is the output.

We could go even further. We could give the input a generic name "x" which can now stand for anything (not just bread dough, but cookie dough, brownie batter, chickens, cats, plants, 4, 7, 109, or anything else you like). And the output gets its own generic name "y". And the function even gets its own name too! It will be called f(x) (because it performs some function on x).

Now that we've got all that straight we can begin to talk about forward error.

Usually, or at least in an ideal world, you put an x in to your f(x) and get a particular y special to the particular x you put in. And this is the exact output that you would get.

But sometimes, you only get an approximation to your actual y. It's like putting in your bread dough and getting bread that was still doughy in the middle. It's only an approximation of the actual bread you wanted. Now suppose your actual bread and your doughy bread were numbers, than you could find the difference between the two of them. And that would be your forward error.

Like this:
y - approximate y = forward error

Now backward error is a little more tricky to explain. Suppose, you wanted the bread that was doughy in the it wouldn't actually be bread you were wanting. But we could suppose there is some other...thing that you might wish to make that actually produces doughy bread. Then the doughy bread would be the exact output and not the approximate output.

So then the input changes slightly.
And you get something like this:
x - approximate x = backward error
(the approximate x is the input that gives us the exact output of doughy bread)

Perhaps a visual would help?

(click on image for clearer view)

Friday, August 29, 2008


Oh hurrah!
I am in rhapsodies right now!
Something absolutely delightful exists and now I know about it.

I am a fickle woman truly.
Last semester is was h.
Several semesters before that is was Re.
NOW it is...


Oh del is so neat! It looks like an upside delta triangle.
And it is both a vector and a derivative operator at the same time!
And you can do super cool things with it like cross products and dot products and it takes the derivative of the other vectors at the same time!

Okay. You may all go back to your normal lives and not worry about del at all. But I shall go and enjoy the thrills I get every time I think that such a thing exists.

Monday, August 25, 2008

When Nuts Meet Each Other...

They get up extremely early to go running.

How early is "extremely early"?
Try four in the morning.

That was the meeting time.
Most of us got up at 3:30 to get ready.

Twelve nuts met at four on a Saturday morning to run around a track.
Only three of them were ROTCs. The rest of us ranged from a track coach to an unfit asthmatic. Or actually, a number of out-of-shape people and several asthmatics.

But we all ran or jogged or walked around the track.
And ate muffins afterward.

Then we all went to bed again.


I don't know.

It was an idea mentioned in jest by someone and picked up with enthusiasm by the others Friday evening at a gathering of returning students.


After the idea became a reality, I invited several people over to my apartment to make muffins. We made forty-eight.

Would you do it again?

Not sure...maybe at five instead of four...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Data Crunchies

We are dorks. But at least we freely admit that we are such.
Therefore you should not be surprised when I tell you of a great cookie idea we thought up.
They are called "data crunchies".
Ideally, they should be made with some sort of alphabet cereal of something.

The reason for this cookie?
I've been crunching data (i.e. sitting crunched up in front of my computer moving pieces of data around on spreadsheets) at the lab.
And data crunching reminds one of...well, crunching and chewing on something.

So my roommate (who also works in the lab) declared we had to make "data crunchies" because they seemed to her to sound like a tasty cookie.

We have not made these cookies yet, but we propose to do so soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


My roommate and I had a number of girl friends over last night to watch all six hours of Pride and Prejudice. And we are having other persons over for dinner tomorrow night.

But, in anticipation of being tired today, we decided to not invite anyone over tonight (shocking, I know, to those to know us).

As it turns out, today is looking to be a long day full of data collecting and figuring out. So it was a good thing we decided to do nothing.

Yesterday, a friend stopped by and dropped off some lasagna for us for a dinner. Now we do not even have to worry about dinner this evening. It has already been provided for us. After a longish day of data, we can come home and just eat dinner.

And so God provides for us, though we had not even expected it. Nor were we thinking about dinner for tonight at all until our friend brought it over. So the fact that God thought we needed dinner and gave it to us is most wonderful to us.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Two Competing Men in My Life

You thought I didn't have competing men in my life? Well, that is not true. I have two of them.
Garimella and Thome (pronounced toe-mae or something like that).

Who are these men, you ask?
Ah, they are article writers.

Garimella has written some of the most useful work on condensation heat transfer in microtubes. He is referenced all over the place. He uses fluid-to-fluid heat exchangers which give one at best about 40% uncertainies. But he's gotten the best uncertainties out of them than most other people.

Thome writes about boiling heat transfer and bubbles. I actually found an article of his about condensation too. But it was mostly about bubbles. Bubbles in the microchannels as the refrigerant he is studying condenses or boils. I read his work too to learn more about watching fluids flow through tubes.

Garimella has also done some fluid flow visualization (fancy words for taking pictures of a fluid running through a glass or other see-through tube). Thome uses microchannels in silicon or other things like that with pieces of pyrex (type of glass) so he can see the fluid flow. Garimella uses long tubes of glass with very small diameters so he can see the fluid flow. Actually, Garimella uses glass tubes inside plastic or acrylic tubes. It keeps the glass tube from breaking when the fluid flowing through has a high pressure.

Hum, I don't know which I like best though. And this why they are the two competing men in my life.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The mushrooms

I love mushrooms. But not to eat. I mean, I like reading about them and looking at pictures of them or even looking at live ones.
If you are like me, then you will enjoy this picture:

They grew up over night in our bathroom. My roommate felt it was an affront to her personally because she had recently washed the floor.

But I was sensible. I took pictures of the beauteous occasion to treasure it in my memory forever, even after my roommate swiped them away with a paper towel and vigoriously cleansed the area they had sat as though they had carried the plague.


My roommate's sister was married this past Saturday. As you can imagine, it was a day full of joy and fun and stress.
But she was successfully married and went off on her honeymoon with her dear husband.

And left my roommate the keys.
To put the gifts in the apartment of course.

Except, she has a bunch of very sneaky friends (and a sister)...

What do you get when you have a tubful of playpen balls?

A boxful of penguins?

And a bunch of glow-in-the-dark ducks?

A happy family of Linux users

And a surprise in the night (above their bed).

For those who are wondering, we were referencing the xkcd webcomic concerning playpen balls and the fact that the happy couple are computer geeks.

Cookie within a cookie

I found pictures of a cookie I made several months ago.
They were very tasty cookies. They were a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe but with crushed up sandwich cookies instead of chocolate chips.

Here are the sandwich cookies I crushed. As you can see, they are chocolate.

This is the cookie dough. The dark splotches are the crushed up chocolate cookies.

See them all sitting in a nice row on the baking sheet?

Here they are! All done and tasty.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Concerning Curry

I have only just learned something.

"Curry" is not a particular spice. It is in fact a mixture of several spices used to make a curry (or sauce). According to the RecipeZaar, it can have 20 different spices! It is the tumeric which makes it so yellow. The powder we get in stores is like a standard mix of the spices from Britain. It was made so you could add the flavor of Indian spices without preparing it all yourself. In India, the spices vary depending on region and household.

Some recipes for "curry powder" are here:
Curry Powder Blend
Garam Masala
Curry Powder

So now I have learned something new today...and I have to see about making my own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This is what I want to try sometime:

Flying Lawn Chair

Friday, July 11, 2008


I have seen it last night.
And we have declared it to be the engineer's chick-flick.

Last night I went with four other people to see WALL-E.
I really did not know what to expect, except, of course, a robot.
But, oh! The robots were so cute!
And the movie itself was most enjoyable.
And we all loved the credits.
They always have interesting credits.
I mean, there are fun things going on around the credits: cool pictures and stuff of that sort.

This was a really cool movie and you should all go see it.
I shall not tell you any bit more about it in case you haven't yet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Well, I'm still alive

The EVP did not kill us.

Nor the six other persons who it with us.
We had four guys over for dinner before soccer and two guys over after.
They all enjoyed it, surprisingly, and gave us many compliments.

'Twas roommate M's idea, actually, to use the rhubarb. I just began the whole thing by mentioning we needed to use up the mozzarella cheese.

Oh yeah. Carrot salad is a salad made solely of shredded carrots and a bunch of herbs and spices. Like cumin. The cumin made the EVP taste really good.

We're eating the leftover for lunch today.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Experimental Vegetable Pasta

Contains these things:
Carrot Salad
Mozzarella Cheese
Elbow Macaroni


Sauteed Rhubarb with onion and peppers.

we'll let you know how it turns out (if we're still alive)...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Mountain Pies

Here is my post with pictures!

Last weekend I went camping with four other friends.
'Twas my first time camping, so I found it quite exciting.
Some people said it was not real camping, though, because there was a little building nearby with flush toilets.
But despite possible contentions to the contrary, we called it camping.
Friend A has been camping many times before with her family.
So she organized us and our camp.
And built the fire.

She also had these amazingly nifty little irons. We made what we called "mountain pies" with them.

I don't have pictures of the irons heating in the coals, but that is what they did first.
Then we sprayed their insides with cooking oil.

This picture is of Friend A placing tomato sauce in the center of a flour tortilla which is sort of in/on top of one half of an iron.

Here it is again with cheese on top of the sauce. Some people added mushrooms or pepperoni to theirs.

Friend A is folding the tortilla so that the whole thing will fit inside the iron. You can see some pepperoni in this pie.

And here is the pie cooking. The second half of the iron is hooked onto the first and the entire thing is shoved into the coals.

I burned my tongue on my first one. But it was tasty nonetheless. The next night we used pieces of bread and cheese and roast beef or chicken. It was sort of like grilled cheese, only not really grilled.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New post

I have a new post coming just as soon I as get enough time to post it. And it even has pictures!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Broccoli Salad

Hurrah! We shall eat grilled cheese and leftover broccoli salad tonight!

Roommate M has done a good job at indoctrinating me since we have moved into the Giraffe (yes, that is the name of my new apartment - the Upside-down Giraffe, I might add). I go to bed by eleven every night and shower in the evening and carry water bottles with me all over the place.

And now I am raving about broccoli salad.

I tried it last night.

Ah! Broccoli salad!
You look so tasty in your greenness
Your golden raisins poke their heads
'Neath clustered trees of goodness
The seeds
they are roasted
and sunflower are the best
Put them all away lest
I eat it up
Especially that coleslaw dressing!

And thus ends my tale, which, if you are careful in observation,
you may find
the recipe to this tasty meal.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mass Flux

Have you ever heard of flux?
Flux can be used to refer a number of different things, actually, as you can see here:

1. a flowing or flow.
2. the flowing in of the tide.
3. continuous change, passage, or movement: His political views are in a state of flux.
4. Physics.
a. the rate of flow of fluid, particles, or energy.
b. a quantity expressing the strength of a field of force in a given area.

5. Chemistry, Metallurgy.
a. a substance used to refine metals by combining with impurities to form a molten mixture that can be readily removed.
b. a substance used to remove oxides from and prevent further oxidation of fused metal, as in soldering or hot-dip coating.
c. (in the refining of scrap or other metal) a salt or mixture of salts that combines with nonmetallic impurities, causing them to float or coagulate.

6. fusion.
–verb (used with object)
7. to melt; make fluid.
8. to fuse by the use of flux.
9. Obsolete. to purge.
–verb (used without object)
10. to flow.

But as you can see, it mostly has to do with things flowing. So mass flux has to do with flowing mass. To be more precise, mass flux is the mass that passes through a given area in a set period of time.
It's like if you had a pipe of water or refrigerant or some other fluidy-type substance. The pipe has a fixed cross-sectional area (the area of a circle). And then you measure how much mass of your fluidy-type substance is flowing through that area for a set length of time, say 1 second. And that would be your mass flux.

Here is a picture to help illustrate:All the red dots are supposedly the mass flowing through the cross-sectional area in one second.

Mass flux is symbolized by "G" in all the papers I have been reading. So of course I had to write about it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Machining and Welding

Have you ever been machining?
'Tis grand fun.
I did some today.
I helped drill holes in an metal panel for an electrical enclosure.
We have a really neat drill to drill holes with.
But now I am all flecked with sparks of silver color.

Making thermocouples is also fun.
I learned how to make those last week.
Thermocouples are like temperature sensors made of two different kinds of metal welding together. The insulation is stripped from one end of the wire and the two pieces of metal are twisted together. Then they are welded to form a tiny bead on the end. The bead must not be too far from the edge of the insulation.

It is tricky getting the wires to weld together properly. But the satisfaction of seeing the little metal bead is always worth it.

Because it is difficult to weld them, we always prepare a ton of these wires. Then some go in the reject pile when they refuse to weld or the weld is wrong.

After welding, we calibrate the thermocouples. Then more of the couples end up in the reject pile because they will not measure temperature correctly.

The reject pile is nearly always larger than the acceptance pile.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Character Building

Summer break has come and I have moved to a new apartment and started work.
Roommate M and I moved from our old apartment which we shared with three other girls to a new apartment with just us. We are so happy with our new place because it is cozy but has a most beautiful living room. We are planning on hosting many things in it.

But we have also decided to go without internet for the summer. We said it just might build character in us, though we're not sure about that...
Anyway, posting may slack off 'cause I'll only be online if I'm on campus.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yummy Yummy Chicken and Lost Umbrellas

Bother, I left my umbrella in the food court.

And of course it only occurred to me after I walked out of the mall with my friends and loudly declared my most favorite line in the movie was "I left my new torch in Narnia!"
And it started sprinkling on me.

Ah well. At least the teriyaki chicken we had for lunch just before the 12:20 showing was good. We were convinced into buying it by the funniest nice lady handing out samples.

She came over to us as we walk in. Handing friend H a sample, she says "Yummy yummy chicken! Have some yummy yummy chicken!"
Handing more around to all of us, she continued, "See? Look, combo 1? yummy yummy chicken? teriyaki chicken?"
We look up at the menu board. The young man behind the counters sees us and nods his head and says, "You want yummy yummy chicken?"
Friend H stalls for time and asks "Can we think about it?"
"Oh yes! Have some yummy yummy chicken!"
We huddle. We were going to get lunch anyway and we were hungry. The samples tasted good and besides, who could refuse yummy yummy chicken?
So we all ordered combo 1: teriyaki chicken with lo mein noodles and some vegetables and a drink. Then we watched as they fried up the chicken and prepared the lo mein noodles. And it was good, though there was a lot of it. But in the last rush, I left my umbrella hanging on the back of the chair I was sitting on.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A few final words

This finished off my series of posts about the MBTI, most of the stuff I learned in my PD1 (professional development 1) class this past semester.
There are a couple of things I wanted to mention before the end.

First, all this stuff has been heavily researched and all that and lots of other places can explain it probably better than I can. So if I didn't quite get something right, I probably misunderstood something (example: intuition/sensing is very confusing, and I just hope I have finally understood it).

Second, we were told this several times: these preferences are just that. Preferences. They are not to be excuses. I needed to hear this when I found myself using some of my preferences as excuses for why I did act out of my preference when it would have been better if I had.

And last, you are perhaps (or perhaps not) wondering what my own preferences are. Well, I am an INTJ. Those letters stand for introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging.
The N stands for intuition because the I was already used for introvert. E, S, F, and P all stand for extrovert, sensing, feeling, and perceiving respectively. So, if you've ever taken something and gotten some combination of four letters that looks something like that, it's probably your MBTI type. ISTJ is the most common set of preferences for engineers with the INTJ's coming up closely behind it. So I am a pretty typical engineer...good thing I'm majoring in it.

UPDATE: Oh yes! and one very last thing which I meant to say but forgot: The preferences are not meant to categorize your whole entire personality. Do not think that it does! It has nothing to do with you artistic inclinations, your musical preferences, whether you are shy or not, etc.... It is mainly for those preferences that will affect teams and groups. A team with personality conflicts will tend to have these conflicts mainly with the MBTI preferences. So they are useful for group situations. Occasionally it is good to recognize them in other situations too, but not necessarily. Okay that really is the end now.

Judging vs. Perceiving

I have recovered from the week of finals and study and, having collected my grades, am now enjoying a bit of repose with my family before starting work for the summer. (Research in heat transfer, pressures, temperatures, heat fluxes, etc.)
So 'tis high time for the last dichotomy of the MBTI dichotomies.

This dichotomy concerns how people interact with the outside world, with external factors. The judging and perceiving words can be most misleading to a lot of people. I think these may be the ones most widely different from their usual meanings (though the introvert/extrovert may be most misunderstood).

A judger tends prefers order and organization. They may like to write lists. In a group setting, they will probably attempt to form some type of structure for the group and will schedule as many things as they can.

A perceiver prefers to leave things more open-ended. They can find too much structure to be stifling.

As with all the others, just because one has a preference does not mean that person cannot act in one of the other preferences. Judgers can deal with spontaneity and even be spontaneous at times, they just tend to prefer more scheduling. Some people think judgers are more competent than perceivers, i.e. they will get more work done sooner and better. But this is not true. Perceivers may not organize things in ways that managers of groups like, but they can still be extremely competent.

I had the most experience with conflicts in groups caused by this differences in preference of this particular dichotomy. This past semester I was in a design group of seven people. Five had perceiving preferences and two had judging preferences. The entire group as a whole worked more as perceivers. We scheduled things as little as possible, set up no leadership, and generally let people work on the pieces of our design as they wished. Whenever we met for a meeting outside of class (which only occurred when we had reports and presentations due), the judgers organized the pieces for everyone to do and we sat and did them. The perceivers were mostly happy with the arrangement, but the judgers felt the project could have been done faster with more scheduling. But we did get the project done and turned in on time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

At Last!!!!

The last class of the semester was today!!!!
And now I don't know what to do with myself.

I guess I'll just have to post random things and watch you-tube videos and eat cookies...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Project done!

Our design project is done! We finished it last night and showed it to our class this morning. Now we just have to turn in our report and give a nice professional presentation to the class and we'll be done with the course!

Of course the next question is: what do we do with the project now?
One of my teammates suggested blowing it up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Above is my dear sister at our Christian group's semester semi-formal this evening.

It is one of my favorite events of each semester. Whoohoo! I danced my feet off and now we're both exhausted!

At present, she's washing off her feet. There's no words for how dirty our feet get after these dances. Can't dance in high-heels, so we all kick our shoes off.
Anyway, it was grand, and now I'm hungry.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Last Crunch

It is that time of the semester again.
I call it the last crunch...
When two projects, one exam, two concerts, and two presentations are all coming at you within about five days it seems like a good name for the time of semester.
But don't worry.
This won't start until next Friday when the first project is due.

But in the meantime, Happy Spring!
We have dandelions and forget-me-nots and yellow jackets and ants here now!

Thinking vs. Feeling

The third dichotomy of type is the thinking vs. feeling dichotomy. And again, these words mean something a little bit different than you might think.

This dichotomy is about how one makes decisions.

A thinker usually looks for rules or standards that can be applied to all situations. They tend to pull themselves out of the issue at hand to look at it as objectively as possible and to hopefully find some rule to apply to it.

A feeler tries to understand all points of view in the situation or issue. They look at each situation in a case by case system.

One should not confuse feeling and thinking with being emotional or being logical. Both can come to the same decision; they'll just reach their conclusions by different methods. Both can be extremely good, clear, and logical thinkers. It's just how they look at the situations that makes them different.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sensing vs. Intuition

The second dichotomy concerns how you learn or "how you prefer to take in information".

It is perhaps the most difficult one to understand. I do not even think I have it all down.

Anyways, we shall plunge into this and see what we get.

A sensor tends to focus on the details while those with intuition tend to see the big picture first. My instructor gave this example: We are given an assignment to build a Frisbee thrower. Our sensing teammates will immediately begin thinking of things like the length of the throwing arm and the height off the ground and many other things of that sort and move up. The intuitive teammates will begin instead with the general design and move down.

Like I said before, these two are more difficult to distinguish between. I'm hoping my explanations of them are fairly accurate as well as understandable to others.

Friday, March 28, 2008

When Research leads to Presentations

My college is having what they call the "Undergraduate Research Forum and Awards". It's basically like a research fair. Our advisors cajoled, threatened, or commanded many of us student researchers into preparing presentations for it.

That is today.

So I'll be dressing up in my suit soon and heading over at around twelve to the great hall where we'll be setting up posters. Then the judges will review our work and listen to our presentations from two to four. Then they will take an hour to decide which researchers presented the best. My teammate and I don't expect to make it very far in the rounds. But at least we can walk around in suits and sweat pounds away from sheer nervousness while talking to the judges.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Extrovert vs. Introvert

This is the first dichotomy.

Many people take the extrovert/introvert to mean how friendly or outgoing somebody is. This is not true at all. Like I said before, the words all have different meaning than what we are used to. My instructor claims it is because the MBTI was introduced the eighteen-hundreds when words meant things a little different than they do now.

This dichotomy is about where you get your energy from.

An Introvert will get energy from being by himself and having some "alone time".

An Extrovert will gain energy from interacting with others.

The analogy given to us by my instructor is as follows:
An Extrovert wakes up with an empty bag. Throughout the day, with each interaction with another person, he puts a coin into his bag.
An Introvert wakes up with a full bag. As he interacts with people throughout the day, he gives a coin for each interaction.

Some Introverts can be very outgoing, it will just take them a little more energy to interact than an Extrovert. And some Extrovert can be extremely shy. But it is where they gain their energy from that makes them one or the other.

Hardly anyone is completely one or the other, so you may remember times when you went to a party and came back exhausted, though normally you would be hyped after such an event. Or you may find interactions with others becoming easier over time than you initially found it.

And that is the end of the first part.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What happens after Spring Break?

You get a bunch of exams! That's right! I've had three, one last week and two this week. I actually forgot about the one today until this morning. Fortunately for me it was only PD1 (Professional Development I) which asked all sorts of questions about the MBTI and which personality traits indicate which MBTI type, conflict management, and team performance models. I believe most of us engineers find this both easy and boring. Or, if we don't find it easy, we at least find it boring.

Speaking of which, have you ever heard of the MBTI?
That is an acronym for the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. It is based on four dichotomies or scales that sort of go like this:





Each of those is a dichotomy. A person is measured by this and get a combination of four letters, each standing for the characteristic he most prefers.
A couple of things must be said first so you don't get the wrong idea.
First, the words up there don't mean what we use them to mean in our normal lives. They actually have different meaning, the last two dichotomies in particular.
Second, most people fall more in-between the two sides of each dichotomy. But there is usually one side they prefer a little more than the other. And by preferring, I mean which they naturally fall into, not which they choose to be (e.g. I may wish I was an extrovert, but I'm not. I'm an introvert. I "prefer" the introverted side more often that not)

So perhaps you are wondering now what each means (since I told you they don't mean what you think they do)?

Well, I guess this post is long enough. Maybe I'll post the rest later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Break

Yesterday was the halfway mark for spring break.
My brother has been quick to point this out.

But I have been accomplishing most of the things on my list. It makes me so happy.
This afternoon I played dolls with my younger siblings.
Actually, all of us played save the littlest one (one year olds don't understand that "playing" does not mean "chewing").

It was different. I hadn't played with dolls for a long time (in fact, very few twenty-year olds play with dolls). But it was different for other reasons too.
I think the strangest thing was that I had always played about being grown up and what I would be doing and setting up my house (I loved setting up the houses). But I am nearly grown up now, and have some idea of where I am going. And I get to set up real houses in the form of my apartment. And these I find even more fun then when I had to pretend all of it. So I had to play differently than I used just so as to have fun.

Instead, we got rather ridiculous and played that there were space raiders from the second universe coming to attack, but they were thrown into the third universe. Then some army planes flew in and were shot at by anti-aircraft which was actually the same thing as the space raider zapper. My brother loved it, though I'm not sure my younger sister found it quite as satisfying.

At least now I understand my mum's and aunts' plights when we begged them to play with us. I always wondered why they got so silly...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

On becoming a "true" American...

According to one of my roommates, some Scottish guy was interviewed in People magazine about becoming an American citizen. He, apparently, mentioned that he already did a lot of American things such as bowling and watching the Super Bowl and complaining about it.
(This information, by the way, came from a roommate who never reads anything of less quality writing than the Wall Street Journal. She was not feeling well yesterday and went to the doctor's. The fact that she read People shows how bad she was feeling.)
This surprised me because I have never been bowling , but I consider myself a fairly thorough American. I said as much to my roommates and caused great shock and consternation amongst them. Immediately, I was invited to go bowling with another roommate that very evening. She had already made plans to go with a few friends, so asking me along was not a big deal.

So I have now gone bowling. You may all consider me to be a "true" American now. I had a great deal of fun, though I scored lowest in both games.
Those shoes, however...
Have you ever really looked at them? They are pretty strange. They are flattish and two-toned. I really wonder who decided to make them piebald like that. It's most peculiar.

Anyway, we rounded off our pleasant evening by observing our basement neighbor get arrested as we drove up. We have no idea why.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day

This is the only time in four years that I will be able to post on February 29.
I always found February 29 to be an interesting day because it came every four years.
No other day does that.

Anyway, I had a presentation today. Now that is something I hope does not recur every four years. But I shall have others in the next two years. I know this because I still have to take Professional Development 2 & 3 which love presentations. Plus I have a number of design courses coming up which also require presentations. Still, I can hope that I don't have a recurring presentation every four years on February 29.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Link

The college Christian group I go to every week is planning a number of events with Love 146.
Love 146 used to be the Justice for Children International.
So I've added a link to their website on my sidebar.
Please go look at it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Colored Pencils

My dad sent me a link to a most amusing post concerning colored pencils.

Pumpkin Difle Pictures

Here are the pictures of the dessert my roommate and I made last Saturday.

This one is a close-up of the layers.

This one shows the total remains, but this was before I had some with my sister. There is much less left now.

This is a picture of the side of the bowl to try to show the layers of cake.

One of my roommates complained that there was not enough pumpkin in it. So it will be modified next time: more pumpkin and vanilla pudding instead of chocolate so the flavor doesn't override the cake taste.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pumpkin Difle

Because it is not made of three different layers but only two.

Pumpkin cake and chocolate pudding:
It was a normal yellow cake recipe which we modified by adding pumpkin and cutting a small amount of the milk and butter out.
We baked it on a cookie sheet.
Then we cut it up and wrapped the rectangles in pieces of plastic wrap.
These were frozen until the Saturday.

The pudding was made in the afternoon of Saturday.
It was an instant pudding mix called "sweet dark chocolate".
One of my roommates had stored it when the company that made it was bought out.
They don't make this pudding anymore, at least it is not sold at our local stores.
A roommate added dark chocolate chips before refrigerating.

Just before serving, we assembled it all in a glass bowl.
Layers of pumpkin cake with layers of chocolate pudding formed the difle.
It was a grad student, friend of our host, who pointed out that it was not a trifle.
So we renamed it.
And it was tasty.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures.
Hopefully there will still be some left tomorrow evening when I come back from my long weekend.
Then I can get a picture of the remains.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I have discovered that FCN, a blog I read everyday, has decided my comment about treadmills needed repudiating. And so they linked to me right and left.
I am so pleased. To be mentioned on FCN and possibly have some of their eleven readers stop by mine with even fewer readers is the height of blogging achievements.
And anyways, I don't truly disagree with their hypothesis. I think the general population of local gyms tend to be more female, except in the case of a college campus with a high male to female ratio. And girls like treadmills because they can keep you fit without giving you huge hulking muscles.

Look! I am using stereotypes as a rhetorical device, as well as some hyperbole. My Reasonings professor would be so pleased that I am analyzing my own writing. It is especially funny, since I used FCN's treadmill post for a Methods of Reasoning homework exercise in looking for rhetorical devices.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Waiting for Inspiration

That would be why I haven't posted for a little over a week.

But I doubt I even have any sensible thoughts, much less inspiration, for this post.
I am still recovering from my sleepless shift yesterday.
A project, presentation, and technical memo, all due yesterday at eight in the morning, had me shunning sleep until nearly five. A two hour nap after class prepared me for Thermal and Fluids.
Then I ran around on adrenalin for three hours at the weekly college Christian group.
On a whim of my deranged brain, I decided to run around for two more hours on a treasure hunt that went all over the campus and included solving riddles and making guesses at complicated vocabulary.
At last I went to sleep at one this morning.

But fortunately, I do not expect to repeat this performance very often. At least, not until another project with presentation is due.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

On becoming two decades old

I now have to update my profile.

But that is not all. I have at last reached my tweens, "the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three". And I expect to have a good time too. Then I shall settle down comfortably until I reach my fifties at which time I shall then leave for exciting adventures.

Now, enough of this.
This year, I am really learning about "Our Greatest Friend and Our Greatest Enemy".
What are these, you ask?
The Elves and Sauron?
Actually not.
'Tis Humility and Pride.
You find this strange?
It was not I who gave them these titles.
I have picked up a book called Humility: True Greatness
by C. J. Mahaney.
It has been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to find the right time to look at it.
It is he who gave these titles to humility and pride.

I have been reading through Isaiah. And yesterday, I read a chapter from my book about humility and there was a piece from the very chapter I had read earlier from Isaiah. So it goes hand-in-hand. Which is always nice.

And that is the end of my birthday post.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Couples (not thermal couples, though)

Have you ever had dinner and played a game with two pairs of love-struck people?

I have.
It is...interesting.

There were only myself and two of my roommates around for dinner tonight, so we invited one's fiance and the other's boyfriend. And I was the person in the middle, or perhaps the chaperone.

The difficult part is that you keep feeling like you should discretely leave them to themselves, but one does need to eat dinner after all. The game made a nice after-dinner thing that let everyone move off without feeling too awkward. And I won.

You know they are all love-struck when the one roommate and her boyfriend start "thumb wrestling" with pens and tickling each other to get an advantage, and the other roommate's fiance hums loud music and stops when looked at by said roommate.

Anyways, I'd advise you not to try except that it can be most amusing, so you may wish to do so just to laugh.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I perceive that I have not lived up to my expectations exactly.
To be honest, I completely forgot I had ever planned on writing after coming back from class.
But I have been a little confused and tired this past week because of an ear/sinus infection I caught the week before classes and because of all the antibiotics I've had to take since then.
To be sure, by Thursday I was in a much more coherent condition, but I'm not sure even yet how much I have totally recovered.

So the important thing I wanted to mention about my critical thinking class is as follows:
My professor has said that one of the key things a critical thinker must do is abstain from making a decision when there is not enough information.
A critical thinker considers claims and beliefs and uses arguments to come closer to the truth. Sometimes, one simply does not know, and therefore, they need to be able to admit that. Most of us, however, dislike doing this. For one thing, we hate uncertainty, so there is a temptation to just choose an opinion or belief even if one does not have enough to decide on. For another thing, our social status demands us to know things. If we appear unsure or unable to decide, we are thought to be incompetent. Those who seem to know what they are talking about, very frequently are respected as knowing what they are talking about. So admitting that one does not know whether something is true or not can be harder than you might think.

I find this idea most interesting. It is like I went to class and had the professor tell me I needed humility. That is not heard in classes all the time. It is a different experience.

So, may you all learn humility this week, or at least, come a little closer to true humility before God.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Critical Thinking

This is an important thing to cover no matter what you are studying.
My class, which is studying this, starts in about 25 minutes.
So I do not, I am sorry to say, have the available time to write anymore about this topic.
At least, not at the present moment.

But I hope to do so in the near future.
Meaning in about 2 hrs. plus the 25 min.

To tide you over, you may all contemplate this:

X= Xo + Vo t + 1/2 a t^2

which is the formula for finding the position of a particle in motion, assuming a (acceleration) is constant. I am sorry it is such bad form. I hope to put it is better form soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


My first real design class started today. Our mini project, due in four weeks, must make dorm life more comfortable, safe, or fun. This is a slightly more challenging task to myself, seeing as how I never actually lived in a dorm. But perhaps I can cull ideas from my roommates at my apartment. Or perhaps I will even think of something useful for my own small room.

Either way, it should be an exciting class.

And for those of you wondering, those are celery pancakes, a "design project" I helped to make last semester for a party.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I have published both my reading list and several book reviews on Corantolavolta. They are reviews of books I have read this past year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reading List 3

This is the third part of my reading list:

Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective by A. Frank Pinkerton (pseudo.)
Five Thousand Dollars Reward by A. Frank Pinkerton (pseudo.)

You may perhaps remember my week of mishaps for which I laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of Dyke Darrel and his thrilling though impractical adventures. Anyway, I did enjoy reading these books. A. Frank Pinkerton is a pseudonym for somebody, but I'm not sure who because there were, apparently, a number of people who used this pseudonym. Allan Pinkerton was a famous detective who founded Pinkerton Agency, a detective agency in the U.S.

Happy Pollyooly by Edgar Jepson

This was a fun little book. The chapters occasionally seem disjointed, so I am assuming it was written and published in a magazine. A number of stories used to be written in that way where each chapter had to sort of stand on its own for each issue. I tried to find more stories about Pollyooly by Edgar Jepson, but there was nothing online. It seems like there should be more to the story, but perhaps he just never finished it.

Stolen Treasure by Howard Pyle

Howard Pyle was a Quaker, I believe, but he wrote some of the most exciting stories about pirates and mysterious adventures. This was one of them. Another one I really enjoyed was The Ruby of Kishmoor but I did not read that one this past year.

The Slim Princess by George Ade

An amusing book. This is the only book I've read by George Ade so I can't say that I recommend his works. This one was funny.

The Ice-Maiden: and Other Tales by Hans Christian Andersen

This book had some sad stories and some happy stories in it like many written by Hans Christian Andersen

The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor by Annie Fellows Johnston
The Little Colonel’s Chum: Mary Ware by Annie Fellows Johnston
Mary Ware in Texas by Annie Fellows Johnston
Mary Ware’s Promised Land by Annie Fellows Johnston
The Little Colonel’s House Party by Annie Fellows Johnston
The Little Colonel’s Holidays by Annie Fellows Johnston
The Little Colonel’s Hero by Annie Fellows Johnston
The Little Colonel at Boarding School by Annie Fellows Johnston
The Little Colonel’s Knight Comes Riding by Annie Fellows Johnston

Annie Fellows Johnston is one of my favorite authors. As you can see, I read a good many of her books. Some of them were written better than others, but even the less well written ones can be enjoyable to read.

Purple Heights by Marie Conway Oemler

I do not know anything about Marie Conway Oemler so I cannot say whether her books are good to read or not. This one was okay, though I think there were some issues that occurred that may not be suitable for younger people to read. But the ending was funny and fully rewarding.

T. Tembarom by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This is like Little Lord Fauntleroy only about an older boy. It is perhaps more amusing too. Some of Frances Hodgson Burnett's beliefs in the goodness of man are evident in this book, but a lot of her Eastern religious ideas are absent.

The Golden Slipper: and other problems for Violet Strange by Anna Katharine Green
The Bronze Hand by Anna Katharine Green
A Difficult Problem by Anna Katharine Green
The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green
The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green
Initials Only by Anna Katharine Green

Anna Katharine Green wrote thrilling detective novels. Yes, my reading degenerated thus far by the end of the year. But they were exciting. I think the one about Violet Strange was one of the best.

The ‘Mind the Paint’ Girl by Arthur Wing Pinero

I wasn't sure of this one at first, but it turned out quite fine. It is a play, like many of the other things Arthur Wing Pinero wrote, but it did not turn out to be immoral like I almost expected. I am sorry, but I do not have a very high opinion of plays. Hopefully, my views will change.

The Boy Scout Camera Club, or, the Confession of a Photograph by G. Harvey Ralphson

Unrealistic, impractical, improbable, but grand fun. G. Harvey Ralphson wrote other stories about the Boy Scout clubs which I am assuming are in the same vein.

A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman
The Contest (Everest series) by Gordon Korman
The Climb (Everest series) by Gordon Korman
The Summit (Everest series) by Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman writes humor, so some of this is teenage boy humor, but actually a lot of it is not. A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag is hilarious. One of the characters believes "they" are out to get him; "they" being some type of higher up persons like gods or something. But apart from that, it is well worth reading.

This is the end of my reading list. It is quite long I know, but I had fun reading all these books. And I have started this year's reading list.

Reading List 2

This is the second piece of my reading list:

The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne
First Plays by A. A. Milne
Second Plays by A. A. Milne

A. A. Milne wrote some plays I really enjoyed. One of them was about a young woman who wished for a knight or prince to come to her, but found the ordinary more romantic after all. Another was of two brothers, one who had everything and the other who had nothing. Although the latter brother gains one's sympathy at first, it is the former who surprisingly has the most nobility.

Etheldreda the Ready by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
A College Girl by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Independence of Claire by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Betty Trevor by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Big Game by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey wrote some pretty amusing stories. The only one I disliked was Etheldreda the Ready because the main character never seemed to learn her lesson. The rest of the stories were quite good, except they sometimes ended without satisfactorily finishing the side plots of the secondary characters. Big Game was the best of them all, in my opinion.

The Kitchen Cat and Other Stories by Amy Walton

I actually don't remember this one, unfortunately. But I think Amy Walton wrote young children's stories. And this one was one of those. It was okay, I think.

Mariel of Redwall by Brian Jacques
Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
The Angel's Command by Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques wrote some really great stories. Those last two books are based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman, a ship cursed to sail the ocean until the end of time because of the blasphemy of its captain and wickedness of the crew. The stories add another two characters, a young boy and his dog, who are cast off the ship and wander around the world helping people.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

Fun. Roald Dahl writes nonsense, and that is that. I bought this book at our library's book sale for very little money, about a couple quarters, I think.

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson

This is another of the ones I bought at the book sale. John R. Erickson wrote this book like it was the dog telling the story, complete with all his "reasons" for doing things.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Avi has written some good stories, but I personally disliked this book. Some of his stories get a little boring too.

Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

I enjoy reading L. Frank Baum's books occasionally. They are usually full of descriptions of really wacky things.

The Lady of Blossholme by H. Rider Haggard
Jess by H. Rider Haggard
Queen Sheba's Ring by H. Rider Haggard

I have read some of H. Rider Haggard's books that were better than these. At least, the first and the last ones had happy endings, unlike the middle one. So that was nice.

Dorothy Dale: a girl of today by Margaret Penrose

Margaret Penrose was actually one of the pseudonyms of the company that commissioned Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Dorothy Dale was another of their series books.

This is the end of the second part of my reading list. There is still one final part to come.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Reading List 1

I have completed the list of books I have read this past year. It was such fun to read them all.
I post them below in categories of the authors:

Penelope’s English Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Romance of a Christmas Card by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Bluebeard: A Musical Fantasy by Kate Douglas Wiggin
A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Polly Oliver’s Problem by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Penelope's Scottish Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Timothy's Quest by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Kate Douglas Wiggin wrote some good stories. I enjoyed reading all of her books. My favorites were Penelope's English Experiences, Penelope's Scottish Experiences, and A Cathedral Courtship.

The Well in the Desert by Emily Sarah Holt
The Maidens’ Lodge by Emily Sarah Holt

Emily Sarah Holt's books were not quite as exciting as Kate Douglas Wiggin's. She seemed to use an easier sort of style, like for younger children. They usually had several lessons in to be learned in them, but they were pleasant nonetheless.

Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennet

I disliked this book I read by Arnold Bennet. He was too wordy and did not tell the story as efficiently as he could. Plus, the story seemed improbably at times and did not end nicely.

Pippi Longstocking

Jeff Benson by R. M. Ballantyne
The Rover of the Andes by R. M. Ballantyne

R. M. Ballantyne is a favorite author of mine. He is always so alive to the glories of creation around him and expresses them in his writings. His characters also are alive and are not perfect, but they are likable and amusing.

Emil and the Detectives by Kastner

This has got to be one of my favorite books ever. Kastner wrote this book in German and it was translated into English. It is funny and exciting and so bright and cheerful it makes you laugh until your sides ache. We actually read this one together as a family.

The Baron’s Gloves or Amy’s Romance by Louisa May Alcott

This is one of my favorite books by Louisa May Alcott. Each twist and turn in the plot surprises you and the end is hilarious!

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

This is a most excellent book. It is not so much fun to read, but more thoughtful. I think it is good to read over again to remind oneself of all the things one learns when reading it. GirlTalk did a series of posts on Elizabeth Prentiss that were very interesting.

The Trial by Charlotte M. Yonge
The Lances of Lynwood by Charlotte M. Yonge
That Stick by Charlotte M. Yonge
The Carbonels by Charlotte M. Yonge

Here is Charlotte M. Yonge. She wrote some fine stories and also so exceedingly boring stories. I think The Trial was one of the latter. But That Stick was more interesting.

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Murder on Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie
The Harlequin Teaset and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple (a book containing two of her stories) by Agatha Christie
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

I really enjoy reading Agatha Christie's books. Since they are nearly all about murders, that can be tiresome after a bit, but some of her characters are just lovely. My favorites were Tommy and Tuppence who appear, I believe though I can't remember exactly, in The Secret Adversary. They have a number of books about them.

King Lear by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare had to be read at least once this year. I greatly enjoy reading his plays, but King Lear is not my favorite. But then, I knew what I was getting into when I began reading it. It is a tragedy, so of course it could not end happily.

The Hidden Hand by E. D. E. N. Southworth
The Missing Bride by E. D. E. N. Southworth
The Lost Lady of Lone by E. D. E. N. Southworth
For Woman's Love by E. D. E. N. Southworth

These are all written by E. D. E. N. Southworth who wrote some fine stories. The Hidden Hand is one of the best ones. It is a story of a fiery but happy young girl and a number of her adventures.

What Every Woman Knows by James M. Barrie
Dear Brutus by James M. Barrie

These are some plays by James M. Barrie. His plays sometimes have unnice parts in them, but at least What Every Woman Knows turns out alright in the end. When her husband thinks he has fallen in love with another woman, she lets them spend time together until they are positively bored of each other and he realizes what his wife means to him.

The Tapestry Room by Mrs. Molesworth

This is a fun little story of two children going through the tapestry to Fairyland. Mrs. Molesworth captured a little bit of magic in the story so that one could see right what the children were seeing as well.

This is the end of the first part of my reading list. I read much more than just this over the year.

Psalm 127

This is a most excellent psalm for me when I get caught up in a book and do not go to bed at a decent hour. Also, it is especially good for me when I begin this new semester with its eight o'clock classes and long homework assignments.

It is a psalm of ascents and of Solomon.

Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

That is for me as I work to "build my house" with education and work. It is a good reminder to my pride that I cannot do it myself.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

I think that is most beautiful: "For so He gives His beloved sleep". That is for when I cannot sleep and thoughts of various kinds run through my head, or when I am so strung up because of a book I just read or a movie I watched I cannot compose myself to sleep, or when I am worrying about a particular bit of homework due the next day that I was unable to finish that evening. He gives me sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Well, this one seems slightly harder to apply to myself at first glance, seeing as how I have no children. But I am one myself, so I can say I am a heritage and a fruit to my parents. Which is a good reason to keep in contact with them and to strengthen my relationship with them even when I am not around, because who ever heard of a heritage that wouldn't associate with you? It's not a proper heritage then.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.

And of course, you shall be older when they grow up, so you will throw them better too. But only with the help of the Lord, as the first verse of this psalm implies. This is a verse my parents are fond of quoting to us older ones. They tell us that we are arrows who will go where God sends us. So I guess this is for me when I feel God leading my steps, or when I'm not sure where I am going. He is always leading my steps.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

I think my dad is happy with having six of us. There is certainly no lack of amusement going on. But I suppose what it means is that he will be glad that he has so many arrows that will be shot at the enemy. But is it he or the children who will not be ashamed? Oh, well, I do not understand this piece as well. But perhaps it will be made more clear through the rest of this year.