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, Amazon.com, 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 realtor.com 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 - Trulia.com
realtor.com - 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 trulia.com

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.