Sunday, November 04, 2007

nice neighborhoods

When we were shopping for houses in our new town, we were pretty concerned that there weren't very walkable neighborhoods with houses we liked. The neighborhood we came from was close to all kinds of things. It was great.

So, anyway, it would have been nice to have this tool available when shopping around:

I just found that our old neighborhood had a walkability rating of 75%! Our current neighborhood has a walkability rating of 3%. :-(

Saturday, October 27, 2007

decorating - color schemes

I just found this site:

It seems like a more automated way to do some of the color scheming that I've been doing manually. I'd take a digital picture of something I wanted to coordinate, then pick out colors and make rectangle samples of them. In the above site, if you keep clicking to create color scheme from the picture, you eventually get a representation of the colors that you imagined.

Here's an online discussion of the site:

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am not a tourist

I went to a conference this week in a town which is a popular tourist destination. Mostly, I think, because it has great weather and landscape and some intriguing history.

At the end of the conference, I had some time on my hands. I was not very interested in touristing, but, after talking with my husband on the phone, relented and went out and about a little.

One thing that is popular for a tourist is to go shopping. I would have to suspect that this is popular for people who like to go shopping in the first place. That is not me.

Another thing people like to do is "sight seeing". Looking around for the sake of looking around. I get bored with that as well.

So, for my afternoon out, I did go to a couple of cute places. But I only started enjoying myself when I tried to do "home things" there. I found a library to go to. I read some magazines and got ideas for decorating the family room (we just moved into a house and want to paint it now, instead of right before we're trying to sell it; lesson learned from the relocation).

My laptop battery had died, so I looked at some email, sitting alongside gobs of teenagers. The library had a pretty "tree garden" park around it, so I took a hand-drawn map they'd done of the garden and walked around looking at the trees and learning what their names were.

At a corner there was a sign for where all the different types of churches surrounding the park were. I sought mine out, drove to it, looked at and saw that it was good, and parked there while I went over to another cute shopping area.

In the shopping area one of the first storefronts was an intriguing bookstore. I lost myself in the books, deciding to purchase one called Lost History. My knowledge of Sunnis vs Shiites has increased exponentially. I took the book to the restaurant next door and read it while having a happy hour.


So, as described, this was not touristing. Probably some of the nicest "not touristing" I've done in a long time. ;-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

flying sandhill crane

I posted about the prevalence of sandhill cranes in my neighborhood recently. Today I was driving down our street, on my way to work, and I saw some of them flying. No big deal, but then I got a great view of what they look like underneath when they fly. It was very funny, because their legs just kinda flap around the sides of their tail. So, they look clumsy when they're walking and they look clumsy when they're flying. They're great!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

space coast

I just read an article about how fun images on the Space Coast website are going to change because of the following concerns. In order to form my opinion of the images before reading about the concerns, I went to the site. I found the images fun, and that they imply that you can not only enjoy the space center, but the other attractions in Central Florida as well.

Concerns include:
  • "when you see the spacemen walking down the beach, it's hard to picture yourself as one of those"
  • "the issue is for groups like the Brevard Cultural Alliance is that groups who receive cultural marketing dollars, they must use The Zimmerman Agency, and they have to put the little spaceman on ads and brochures. It's difficult for the groups that have wonderful designers. Because the TDC gives the money to Zimmerman, all advertising has to go through the agency. Everything has to the spaceman, and if we contest it, Zimmerman says, 'The spaceman is the brand.' "

Well, I put a comment on the Florida Today Forums that it seems just fine to have astronauts on the page. It's called Space Coast, after all.

What do you think of the spacemen? If you have any strong feelings, you might even want to comment on the forum. Oh, and make sure you say you're from somewhere else.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sleep vs IQ

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need. It’s lowering their IQs... more»

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can an MRI See God?

from Utne Web Watch:

Neuroscience and the mystery of religious experience

By Brendan Mackie,
Research in neuroscience has focused on the biological nature of consciousness. But does science explain away religious experience, or is there a deeper mystery at work?

The entire story may be viewed at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shoe Lacing Methods

Who woulda known?!

There's a site that is all about tying shoes. It has good diagrams of ways a person might like to lace his/her shoes:

The author also has some other interesteing sites.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Reading is hard work for the brain, as this book proves.

from the Washington Post:

Anyone who reads is bound to wonder, at least occasionally, about how those funny squiggles on a page magically turn into "Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang" or "After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain." Where did this unlikely skill called reading come from? What happens in our brain when our eyes scan a line of type? Why do some of us, or some of our children, find it difficult to process the visual information held in words? [the article]

Friday, September 28, 2007


I just love Monet's haystack paintings.

Well, for years I've wanted to see some art, a painting, photo, etc, of today's version of haystacks. I just found some. This artist makes lots of abstract scenery paintings. It's cool!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I love this furniture

I clipped out an article about this guy in 1991 and just found it while emptying boxes into the new bookshelf (it's done - yay!). I think my favorite is the one entitled "oops"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm a Kinda Dorky High Nerd

try this test, it's fun ;-)

I saw it on Barb's blog. says I'm a Kinda Dorky High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Religious Fundamentalism

In today's Forward Movement wise words were used to describe problems of Religious Fundamentalism. They express my sentiments as well:

The rise of religious and political fundamentalism in recent years alarms me. In general, the trend takes the form of substituting its goal (total control over the lives of everyone it can dominate) for the goal of all true religion-that God should be honored by the human creation's living out his image within us. That image, as defined by Judaism,Christianity, and Islam, is of a God merciful and compassionate, who longs for the salvation of the world from the false gods who encourage cruelty, greed, and arrogance.

Yet these are the very qualities most evident in terrorist groups created in the guise of religion, or the un-Christian hate groups declaring whom God hates. Such are certainly rooted in fundamentals of a kind-the traits of human nature which we know as "original sin." The certainties of the purity police have nothing in common with the "foolishness" of a God who puts himself at the mercy of our sin in order to persuade us of his love for us, nor their violence with the apparent weakness of that strategy.

The foolishness of God is referenced in Forward Movement's quote of 1 Corinthians 1:20-31. God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sand Hill Crane

some people have deer in their backyard . . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hack Attack: Turn Your Windows PC into a Media Center Powerhouse On the Cheap from Lifehacker

from Lifehacker:

If you've purchased a new Windows computer in the past few years that's running Windows Media Center Edition or Vista Home Premium or Ultimate and you aren't taking advantage of its baked-in DVR Media Center software, it's time we change that. Why? Because after installing a $70 capture card in your computer and a bit of freeware third-party software, you've got all the tools you need to record television shows on your PC's built-in Media Center, extend that Media Center to your Xbox 360, schedule recordings and stream TV over the internet.

Install a Capture Card
In order to record television on your media center PC, you need to be able to plug your coax cable into your computer. For this purpose, God invented tuner cards—hardware you plug into your computer that handles all the heavy lifting of recording video. If you don't already have a capture card of some sort installed in your PC, this is the only monetary obstacle you'll need to overcome.

It's not really much of a hurdle, though, once you realize that capture cards are pretty cheap (especially least compared with the cost of a TiVo) and installing a PCI card inside your PC is an extremely simple process. There are a lot of cards on the market, but I've always had good luck with the Hauppauge cards, and you can score the Hauppauge PVR-150 for just $70.

---------for more info on this article, go to [the rest of the story] . . .

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Golden Compass Daemon

This is from a movie that's coming out 12/7. I looked at the preview, and it seems like it is Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter meets The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Seems like it will be good on the big screen.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

How To: Teach a child to program

from LifeHacker

Wired magazine's How To Wiki has an interesting article on how to teach your kid to program. Since I have a budding twelve year old hackerino, I was intrigued by this information.

Among the answers given were Logo, a kid-specific programming language (who knew?), Lego Mindstorms (robots!), and GameMaker, a free programming interface. If you are teaching your child to program, please share in the comments how you're going about it.

Teach a Kid to Program [Wired How To's]

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ethical Traveler

from Yahoo!Picks:

Ethical Traveler
It screenshotis not down in any map; true places never are. - Herman Melville

Too often, travel consists of running around with your head in a guide book. But focusing on the list of things to see keeps us from getting to know the people and culture of the places where we spend our precious few vacation days—and the richest experiences in other lands often begin with a surprisingly simple gesture. This site aims to bring together informed travelers as "freelance ambassadors" to serve the world community. Stops on the itinerary:

  • Learn about the places you visit and your impact on the society and environment.
  • Get involved and help address time-sensitive issues.
  • Step beyond the map and immerse yourself in a culture by following the guidelines for ethical travel.

Global voyagers acting together can make the world a better place. It's a small world, after all.

(in Travel)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tiny Animals on Fingers

from Yahoo!Picks:

Tiny Animals on Fingers

Page through the hundreds of photos in this remarkableFlickr pool, and you start to get the feeling that many of the Earth's smallest beasties just want to get a good look at their human neighbors. Image after image reveals insect, mammal, reptile, and bird in an inquisitive position, griping some person's index finger and gazing intently at the enormous creature that has hoisted it upwards. Big-eyed hamsters, bigger-eyed moths, and five (count 'em, five) red eyed tree frogs all appear to say, "Just let me take you in!" In some cases, though, the wee ones are too new or too busy to peek at their many-fingered photographer. And, of course, not everyone likes being handled in such a manner. We wouldn't want to meet this guy in a dark alley. Many of the insect portraits are worth special notice for their amazing Technicolor dream coats. These moths, ladybugs, and worms come dressed to the nines.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Bathroom Diaries

from Yahoo!Picks:

The Bathroom
A screenshotpox on eco-tourism. Death to luxury travel. The only frontier left for truly experienced travellers (like us) is a tour of the world's most inspiring toilet facilities. Thankfully, this was a tour guide we didn't have to write. The Bathroom Diaries—touted as "the world's largest database of restroom locations"—took care of that business for us. When you gotta go, you gotta go, and it's so much better to know which way the toilet flows. If you have to tinkle in Tehran or doodie in downtown Detroit The Bathroom Diaries will have every journey covered. And if you find yourself out on the go, and want to relieve yourself in the richest environs, check your wireless or your GPS device for one of the award-winning commodes. Sometimes a weary traveller just needs to be pampered. (in Travel)

Friday, July 27, 2007

new Roman Empire?

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Is America the new Roman Empire? Sure. It dominates the planet with its armies, economy, language, and culture as much as Rome ever did... more

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Church Shopping

St. Mark’s 19 min
Main Sunday service: 10am

Holy Trinity 30 min
Main Sunday service: 9am
Unitarian Congregation 23 min
Main Sunday service: 11am

Unitarian Universalist Church of Brevard 24 min
Main Sunday service: 11am
Unity Center for Spiritual Living 35 min
Main Sunday service: 10am

Unity of Melbourne 23 min
Main Sunday service: 11am

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Strange Maps

Strange Maps

It screenshotall began with a charting of Pennsylvania's lunatic asylum districts. That might be an inauspicious start elsewhere, but not here. Welcome to the world of strange maps. Since that initial posting in September of last year, the blogger-collector behind this site has rolled out post after post of eccentric and imaginative maps—"the kind you won't find in a regular atlas." From ancient history to alternate history, from the world according to some two-term presidents to the U.S. according to its politics, the maps displayed here are historic, fake, funny, and marvelous. And sometimes all of the above. We paused over the image of Flash Gordon's native Mongo, ate up the charting of North America's "totem food" regions (oh, to live in Corn Bread and BBQ Nation!), and then located ourselves on both the atlas of the country of Houyhnhnms (where Yahoos, those "deformed, debased humans" reside) and the record of the online communities map. Brrr! (in Science & Geography)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

whiffle ball

Why don't more people invent new sports? ... [more]

Friday, May 04, 2007

Moyers vs media

from Yahoo! Picks

Bill Moyers is on the air again, kicking butt and taking names in his own inimitable fashion. If you haven't seen the new weekly series yet, this PBS companion site will serve as a great introduction. You can watch his recent two-hour documentary on the media's culpability in "buying the war" and perpetuating the myths of Iraqi weapons and a Saddam-al Qaida link. Also catch interviews with "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and journalist/blogger Josh Marshall. A complete show archive, a blog, a...[the story]

Monday, April 30, 2007

evolution vs politics

Arts & Letters Daily - ideas, criticism, debate

From Arts & Letters Daily

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution can be linked, some say, to such diverse evils as communism, fascism, and terrorism...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Teaching life lessons in dollars and sense


Although college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT test a student's ability to understand algebraic equations, they don't test what many consider the practical side of math: comparing prices, computing interest and balancing checkbooks. [the story]

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

is it biology, chemisty, physics, or philosophy?

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Can biology be reduced to chemistry and physics? And whose problem is it? Does it belong to philosophy or biology?... more

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

why war? no, why peace?

from SciTech daily:

Instead of asking, "Why is there war?", Steven Pinker asks "Why is there peace?" ... [more]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

how'd they do that?

from SciTech Daily:

Birds in Chernobyl choose to nest in sites with lower levels of background radioactivity, but how they can tell? ... [more]

Friday, March 23, 2007

alternative for video gaming

more thoughts on my video gaming addicted son:

from SciTech Daily:
Why not channel all the time and energy people spend on computer games into useful work to solve large-scale computational problems and thus make computers more intelligent? ... [more]

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mac PC Spoofs

This is great :-)

Mac PC Spoofs

We screenshotlove Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, which pairs older guy-PC with younger guy-Mac and shows off how much hipper and cuter and cooler Mac is. But now, we're roaring just as loudly over these four spoofs of the ad series from writer and director Laurie McGuinness. Before the same white background, portly PC and adorably disheveled Mac meet, talk, and occasionally disagree. But in these scenarios, PC wears sharply tailored suits and has a hot blonde girl friend. Mac shows up late, looking groggy from working all night on a web site for his cat. PC wants to hear what Mac is listening to; Mac doesn't want to share. PC allows that he deals with all the boring spread sheets and businessy stuff: Mac suddenly realizes that he can't make the rent. Sure, sure, we're propagating the most horrific of computer stereotypes. But, hey, it's funny. Besides, some of our best friends are PCs and Macs. (in Yahoo!Picks, Marketing & Advertising)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

nice chain mail

This is a nice and inspiring chain email from a friend. It's nice:

This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one could
read it every day. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.

1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. You are special and unique.

8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.

11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

And always remember....when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

mind-reading not a hoax?

This article was so cool to read. Visions of Johnny Carson in a turban came to mind as I switched over to the article's URL (SciTech daily pointed to it). Turns out there's some MRI research that's been done to see where in the brain simple decisions are made, and they've gotten results. They seem to be able to tell what choice has been made in a decision.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

DailyOM: Echoes Of Happiness


February 6, 2007
Echoes Of Happiness
Belly Laughs

As children, we laugh hundreds of times each day, delighted by the newness of living. When we reach adulthood, however, we tend to not allow ourselves to let go in a good belly laugh. Inviting laughter back into our lives is simply a matter of making the conscious decision to laugh. Though most of us are incited to laugh only when exposed to humor or the unexpected, each of us is capable of laughing at will. A laugh that comes from the belly carries with it the same positive effects whether prompted by a funny joke or consciously willed into existence. When our laughter comes from the core of our being, it permeates every cell in our physical selves, beginning in the center and radiating outward, until we are not merely belly laughing but rather body laughing.

Laughter has been a part of the human mode of expression since before evolution granted us the art of speech. Through it, we connected with allies while demonstrating our connection with people we didn't know. In the present, laughter allows us to enjoy positive shared experiences with strangers and loved ones alike. Yet solitary laughter carries with it its own slew of benefits. An energetic and enthusiastic bout of whole-body laughter exercises the muscles, the lungs, and the mind in equal measure, leaving us feeling relaxed and content. When we laugh heartily at life's ridiculousness instead of responding irritably, our focus shifts. Anger, stress, guilt, and sadness no longer wield any influence over us, and we are empowered to make light of what we originally feared. Laughter also opens our hearts, letting love and light in, changing our perspective, and enabling us to fix our attention on what is positive in our lives.

It is easy to laugh when we feel good, but it is when the world appears dim that we most need laughter in our lives. Our laughter then resonates through our hearts, filling the empty spaces with pure, unadulterated joy. We regain our footing in the moment and remember that no sorrow is powerful enough to rob us of our inborn happiness. When we understand that uninhibited laughter is the food of the soul, nourishing us from within, we know instinctively that life is worthwhile.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

'Infomania' worse than marijuana

Many workers are always on standby to react to incoming messages. Workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers, new research has claimed.
[read the article]

Friday, February 23, 2007

video game junkie

My son is a video game junkie. Maybe I should start a group called MADVG (Mothers Against Driven Video Gamers - I wanted the MAD of MADD to stay in there, but don't know if it makes for a lame acronym).

For four (?) years, he has played Runescape during nearly every bit of his free time at home, and who knows how much time he gets on it when he's at a friend's house. The RuneHQ site has lots of info about Runescape. He may even have access in the library when he stays after school (hey, maybe I could get the librarians to ban access . . .).

When I'm home (which isn't often these days, since I work full time 1000 miles away :-( and get home on weekends), I try to force him off after an hour or two straight, to go read, do a chore, hang out with me, run around outside, play his instrument, do scouts homework, etc (note, his physique hasn't suffered from this addiction, since he is also a soccer monster - at least we have that).

So, as I read this article, I am, yet again, seeking ways to have him get less interested. I don't know if we'll fix it while he and Husband are still in Rochester, NY. There's only one boy his age in our "neighborhood" (term used loosely because we live on a direct-line road into the city from a major highway, and most of the residents on our block are young professional renters). I have hopes that, when they join me in Melbourne, FL, the neighborhood we've chosen will provide him with lots of choices of kids to hang out with.

excerpt from the article:
The research found that games can provide opportunities for achievement, freedom, and even a connection to other players. Those benefits trumped a shallow sense of fun, which doesn't keep players as interested.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Do We Stop Genocide When We Begin To Lose Interest After The First Victim?

I got this link from my subscription to the e-newsletter SciTech Daily. The article is in Science Daily. Troubling, but I can see their point :-(

abstract: Follow your intuition and act? When it comes to genocide, forget it. It doesn't work, says a University of Oregon psychologist. The large numbers of reported deaths represent dry statistics that fail to spark emotion and feeling and thus fail to motivate actions. Even going from one to two victims, feeling and meaning begin to fade, he said.
[read the article]

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Stairs of Light

Alex Brown
February 1, 2007

The stairs of light are optional

If you choose to be optimistic
You ascend the stairs of light

If you choose to be miserable
You descend the dark stairs

Those stairs lead nowhere

At times, the stairs of light may be hard
But in the end is the right choice

For at the end of them is

A feeling of peacefullness
Inside of you

Saturday, February 10, 2007


So, my Dad is gone. During our visits with my parents we've visited a lot without words. I love you, Dad, and wonder where you are now. If you're "up there" I hope you will still come to visit without words.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

persuasion, negotiation, rhetoric

While reading one of my many email newsletters (SciTech Daily), I fell upon a book review called "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die". This had me go to my favorite book store,, where I ordered the audio CD for it. It's basically about making someone remember an idea and convincing them of something.

Later, when reading a Christian Books & Culture e-newsletter (ahhh, guided websurfing!), they were talking about a book called "How Faith Happens." I don't know what the book's about, but they described the author as also being a student of rhetoric.

I wasn't sure of what rhetoric is, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Guess what? It's a form of working to convince someone of something. On the brain, maybe?

1/31/07: additional link on the Made to Stick book, from Business Week.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

hide the catbox

With the possibility of moving to a more expensive area, we're figuring the square footage in a new house will be significantly decreased.

So one thing we're likely to have to camouflage is the litter box (yuck!).

One day I found loads of links for ways to hide the litter box. Here they are:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

bye, bye, Grace

we'll miss you

Gracie Grace, 1991-2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

history of doubt

Since I'm on a plane every weekend, I listen to podcasts, music, books on tape, etc, a lot. One radio show I like is Speaking of Faith. I thought the episode entitled "A History of Doubt" was both intriguing and educational. The author is not religious. She describes famous doubters such as Aristotle, etc. One thing that I thought was interesting was her discussion on cynics, epherists (sp?), skeptics, and the such. I was not aware, before, for instance, that the source of the word cynic comes from dog-like.

house hunting

So, you know the area in which you want to buy. Now you want to find a house, right? Well, the sites like don't really help you out if you're searching by area, because they make you put all this search criteria and give you listings that are in who knows what neighborhood.

I went searching and searching for a site that would show all MLS listed houses on a map. It took me several hours, but I found one! I'd been hoping there would be one for Google Earth, but it seems that the only ones that run on that software are not free.

And the results are:
real estate mapping site - - where to go with the listing number once you're done, just to check and see if you're getting all the info that the real estate company provided - go to the bottom of the form and put in the mls number that you got from

Sunday, January 14, 2007

world's stinkiest flower

this is so strange. looking kinda like a fungus, it smells like rotting flesh (yuck!), and it's also considered world's largest flower

as my sister would say, "eww, weird!"

more pictures of this flower
Wikipedia article

Thursday, January 11, 2007

it's ok to miss the bed on the first jump

I'm taking a stab at watching Good Morning America online, so as not to interrupt the beauty sleep of my sister, who's visiting me in my hotel of residence, but didn't get in until 12:30 last night (and of course we had to visit before going to bed!).

So, anyway, I just watched a GMA clip on this book, "It's OK to Miss the Bed on the First Jump". The author is one of today's recognized funny TV guys, and the book seems like it's real sweet. Hint: it's about dogs.

Monday, January 08, 2007

how cluttered are you?

Ran into this when reading the newspaper. This time of year the media talks and gives advice about decluttering. With interest in resolutions, decluttering becomes a popular focus. At our house we tend to tackle something regarding clutter that's been annoying us for some time. Last year we reorganized our home office.

Well, along with articles and thoughts on decluttering, we tend to get reminded of the uncle who stacked years and years of newspapers through his house. Or some other packrat story.

Here is a link to an actual rating for clutteredness. It seems to apply to general household slovenliness, and categorizes household filth in with clutter. Makes sense to me. I felt good that we don't get past "1", but could think of places that hit "2", unfortunately. But it had never occurred to me before that there could be ratings on such things. Learn something new every day.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Florida is for visitors

I'm getting my first visitor! And I don't have a residence yet! Isn't that cool?

I'm still living in a hotel. My sister's going to Orlando for a conference and will be visiting me for a day before. Here are the things we're considering doing:

I grew up in Maryland. As a child I knew the nicknames for Maryland (Maryland is for Crabs) and Virginia (Virginia is for Lovers). Is New York (where I'm relocating from) "I Love New York"? Or is it the Empire State. I know South Carolina (where I went to college) is the Palmetto State. But I don't know if those nicknames are in the same class of nicknames as those I listed for MD and VA.

I know that Florida has several nicknames. Lightning Capital of the World. The name Florida stands for "flowers" (so the state name is a nickname in itself!). I think the official nickname is the Sunshine State.

Regardless, I think the nickname I've given it is the best one.