"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

BBC Book List

Book List...this is from facebook.

But I thought I would post it here and it will end up in my notes that way.

"Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. BOLD those books you've read in their entirety, ITALICIZE the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds."

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Divine Comedy - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Looks like I've read 20. I've got several more on my bookshelf just waiting for me to have some free time. Maybe I can keep track of how many I read on here.

bold is 2010 and everything prior
purple is 2011
red is 2012
green is 2013
orange is 2014

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Maybe we'll get some snow outta this...

This doesnt look good for our Robotics competition. If the village teams cant make it in, our competition will be postponed. At least then I'd be able to watch Avery wrestle. Oh wait, the wrestling tournament will be cancelled too if the teams can't make it in. Maybe I'll just have a weekend filled with relaxing and riding the snowmachine through. That sounds ok. But first, the blizzard must come...it's not even here yet.
Blizzard Warning

Statement as of 4:30 AM AKST on December 02, 2010

... Blizzard Warning in effect from 3 PM this afternoon to 3 am
akst Friday...

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has issued a Blizzard
Warning... which is in effect from 3 PM this afternoon to 3 am
akst Friday. The blizzard watch is no longer in effect.

A strong low pressure system and associated front will move
across the Bering Sea today. Temperatures will be below freezing
around the Kuskokwim Delta as the winds and moisture arrive
this afternoon. The combination of falling and blowing snow will reduce
visibility to less than one quarter mile this afternoon and tonight.
Conditions will improve late tonight as the front moves inland.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to white-out
conditions... making travel extremely dangerous. All travel and
outdoor activity is strongly discouraged.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

15 done, 15 to go

Number 5 on the birthday list is complete, read 5 books from the top 100 books list. Well I guess I read more than 5 and I have quite a few more that I am going to try to read over the next few months.

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Anthem by Ayn Rand
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

Avery and I are also almost finished with the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman. This is also on the top 100 list and also number 21 on the birthday list. We're not quite done with it yet, but should be able to finished it before my next birthday.

I am also currently reading The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. I'm hoping to finish that one before Christmas break. That one is also on the top 100 list and also number 11 on the birthday list.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flood watch and broken records

Areal Flood Watch
Statement as of 11:30 AM AKST on November 26, 2010

... Flood Watch in effect through Saturday afternoon along the
lower Kuskokwim River from Kalskag to Bethel...

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has issued a

* Flood Watch for the lower Kuskokwim River from Kalskag to Bethel

* through Saturday afternoon

* significant rainfall occurred in the Kuskokwim basin over the
last several days with total amounts ranging from 1.5 to 2.5
inches over a four day period. This event was accompanied by
warm temperatures that have melted much of the low lying
snow pack. Ice has moved at various locations along the Kuskokwim
River with reports of ice moving steadily Thursday at Aniak
before stopping Friday morning and open water at Stony River. A
resident of Sleetmute reported that ice had moved in various
locations from Stony River to Kalskag. Ice has lifted at Bethel.
Ice thickness has been reported to be from 6 to 10 inches. This
will mitigate the chance of a prolonged ice jam. Temperatures
are expected to fall below freezing through the weekend which
will greatly reduce inflows to the river. However... if an ice
jam were to occur on the lower river... low-lying communities
are at risk of flooding. This is a very unusual event.

* Travel on the Kuskokwim River in places where breakup has
occurred will be very dangerous until a significant ice cover
has reformed. If a significant ice jam forms below a Village that
is flood-prone... flooding is possible.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding.

You are encouraged to closely monitor this weather situation.
Preparation for this potentially dangerous weather event should
begin now.

Record Report
35 5 akst Fri Nov 26 2010

... A new record for precipitation and snowfall...

A new record of 0.64 of precipitation was set yesterday. The old
record of 0.57 was set back in 1936. There was also a new record of
6.7 inches of snowfall set yesterday. The old record of 5.9 inches
was set in 1965.

Monday, November 01, 2010

2010 BRHS haunted house

The haunted house this year was a huge success. The 10th graders had a very ambitious plan this year, but it all came together in the end. The first hallway was clowns, then there was the stranger.Then there was a big spider web with a person caught in it and a big spider that dropped down in people's faces. Then they walked down a pitch black dark hallway to meet a person with a electric saw who chased them out of the hallway.Then they had to say "Bloody Mary" three times. Bloody Mary came out from behind a black curtain.Then they entered the blood bath area where the person rose up out of the bloody bathtub and stood dripping and look at the people all creepy. They splashed around some too.
And a person in a body bag squirmed around on the floor as well.
Then this guy in a coffin jumped out to scare you!And these monsters shaked and rattled this cage trying to get you as you walked past.And this person locked in the closet rattled another chain and begged you to let him out.
Then finally when you thought it was over, one more person with a mask on jumped out and scared you one last time.

I lost count of the number of kids that left crying. Good stuff!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Warrior Art

We had a new piece of artwork installed above the main entrance of the high school this year. It was a community art project where the kids got to submit quotes to go on the pieces that where installed to make up the whole big picture. I think the question was, "What inspires you?"It is a really large piece and it spans one whole side of the building and then curves over onto a second side above the main entrance where it says, "Home of the Warriors".

The big warrior head at the end lights up at night with LED lights. It glows pretty brightly, which is cool to see when you get to school on a dark winter morning.
It is so big that I could not fit the whole thing in my camera lens. The art teacher and I are thinking of applying for a grant to do a similar project inside the school. It wouldnt be quite this large though.
Really makes the front entrance of our school look great. I'm proud to be a Warrior!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Sky is on Fire!

I am fortunate to have a classroom at the end of the hallway in the east wing of the school where I can frequently witness amazing sun rises such as this one. There was a massive snow storm moving in from the north and west this morning, which you can see as a huge dark cloud at the top of these pictures.
The storm has completely covered us now and it is snowing fiercely, but while the east was still clear, we got to witness this amazing sunrise. These pictures were taken around 10am.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What's the opposite of break up?

Freeze up? Well, I've shown plenty of pictures of break up (here, here, and here for example), but I've never really posted about the other end of the phenomena. I woke up bright and early on Friday and went for a walk down by the river so that I could see the progress of the ice on the river. The river is slowly freezing. There were chunks floating on the river making a clinking sound.
I had a nice walk and enjoyed watching the sun rise over the river around 9:30am. I stopped by the dock and watched a commercial fishing rig being pulled out of the water. Avery took a boat down to the village downriver for a wrestling tournament on Friday afternoon and had to take a plane home on Saturday afternoon because the river was even more frozen.

It's been fun to watch the river freeze since we put so much emphasis on watching it break up.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The other side

Here is the rest of the moose video. The part where he makes it to the other side. It was so awesome to watch him. He just took his sweet time too. He wasnt scared at all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Moose crossing the street

Not sure if this video is going to work....

I saw this moose standing on the side of the road in Anchorage over the weekend. It came within about 5 feet of my car. He crossed the street, then climbed up the hill into the woods on the side of the road next to where I was parked.

Of course, watching this video just makes me want to ask...why did the moose cross the road?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Advice to Myself

For the first two weeks of my summer I took a science class. It was the Alaska Science Consortium class. It focused on teaching physical science.




On the last day of class, we were asked to write ourselves a letter as part of a reflection on the course. We enclosed the letter in a self addressed stamped envelope with a promise by our super terrible instructor that the letter would be mailed in the fall to remind us of all the things that we had learned in the course.

I got my letter in the mail today. It made me smile. Here is what I wrote to myself, word for word...

Warning: Content may be graphic and/or offensive!


This class really sucked a big fat one, but you have to learn to be more patient and take things in stride. Be more accepting of people and their flaws. Like Chris said today, "Don't be so judgemental." You also need to be careful about the way you say things and approach people. You're body language says alot and so does your tone. Be careful about how you express yourself. People stop listening to you after awhile when they think you're just a BITCH!

Chill out,

(signed by me)

Like Elizabeth Bennet says in Pride and Prejudice, "We can only teach what is not worth knowing." It turns out that I learned something in the class after all. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

14 done, 16 to go

Number 23 is done. Between January and August, I took 12 credits. The is enough for me to move over a column on the pay scale. I turned in my transcripts today. Which means, I'm getting a raise...oh yeah!

September Snow

For as many years as I've lived here, we have always had our first snow sometime around the first week of October. This year it has come early and in full force. Usually the first snow just consists of a few flurries that dont really stick around for very long. Usually the flurries go on for several weeks before we actually get any accumulation, but not this year!!! First snow of the year is already sticking. The ground is about 50% covered this morning and it is still snowing. And there is snow in the forecast for the rest of the week. The wind is coming straight out of the north at 23 mph. The forecast right now is blowing snow and it sure is blowing. It wont be long now until people are getting out their snow machines. It makes me wonder if there will be more snowmachine fatalities early this year because there is already snow, but the ground/river/slough/lakes/tundra is not frozen yet. The snow may just do a good job of covering up some unsafe conditions. I hope everyone stays safe and I hope the ground does freeze up soon and we can go riding soon, because last year there was barely any snow and we hardly got to ride at all. Come on mother nature, bring on winter!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art Retreat

I spent Friday and Saturday attending an art retreat and it was so much fun. I have really been enjoying doing art ever since I went to the art institute in Juneau. I have even been considering joining the Bethel Art Guild. We learned more about incorporating art into our classrooms and I immediately went back to school and taught my homeroom kids how to do ZenTangles (AKA ZenDoodles).The ZenDoodles seen on the cards above were the ones we did in the art class on Friday and they turned out so good. I've been addicted to them ever since. One of the kids in my homeroom class called it Doodle Therapy. Exactly.
We also used oil pastels which I've been dying to do ever since I started in with the art stuff this summer. We made watercolor abstracts to learn about the art elements. Loved them, but would love them even more if we had used good watercolors and good watercolor paper.
Here is all of the art that I made over the course of the two day institute. I am thinking between my homemade paper that I've gotten into and the ZenDoodle cards, I wont be buying anymore store bought cards...I'll just start making my own!!!
I am seriously considering joining the Bethel Art Guild, but I just dont know if my schedule can handle anything else. It just seems like I already have so much to do and not even time to do it all. But I would really like to explore the artistic possibilities.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mounted with homemade paper

I finally put my homemade paper to good use. I've been wanted to mount this old west style photo that Avery and I had done, but I wanted to put it together in a frame and mount that would look authentic. I found this stained wood frame at Fred Meyer on sale this summer in Juneau. Then I made a few pieces of homemade paper with bits of tundra grass in it. The blue paper turned out really pale and pretty, very rustic looking. I mounted out picture on it, then framed it and it turned out just like I had envisioned it. Perfect!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Full Moon

The recent full moon was absolutely amazing here in Bethel. The moon is up all the time lately and is so big that it is hard not to gaze at it in awe. This picture was taken on the way to school at about 8am a few days ago. The position of the moon is quirky right now. The moon rises at around 8pm in the northeast, stays up all night, then sets at around 2pm the next day in the northwest. So in the morning the moon is high in the west and in the evening the moon is high in the east. It's strange, interesting, and awesome.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cranberry picking

Last weekend I went cranberry picking for the very first time ever. I've done alot of blueberry picking here in Alaska, but never cranberries. The cranberries are ready much later that the blueberries and usually by the time the cranberries are ready, I'm all berried out. But this year, their were not that many blueberries and I didnt do much blueberry picking, so I finally got around to picking cranberries.
I went with my friends, Chris and Erin, and Erin's little puppy, North. We enjoyed a nice sunny day out on the tundra. I thought picking cranberries was much easier than picking blueberries. It just seemed as if they came off so much more easily.
North was so cute running along the tundra and getting lost in the bushes. Right before we left, she took a few nibbles from my berry bucket. On the way home, she was so sleepy that she had a hard time walking. She's so cute!!!!Then next day we used some of our berries to bake cranberry nut bread from a sourdough starter. It was delicious.
The tundra is already changing into some fall colors...October is right around the corner!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Record High

Statement as of 1:25 am AKDT on September 13, 2010

... New high temperature record set for Bethel...

New high of 67 degrees was set at 510 PM on Sunday the 12th at the
National Weather Service office. The old temperature of 65 degrees
was set back in 1979.