Tuesday, September 30, 2008

{Tagged} Quirks

So, two of my sisters tagged me, so I guess I've gotta do this, but I tell you this madness stops with me!!!
1. Link the person(s) that tagged you Kate Gwen

2. Mention the rules on your blog

3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours

4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them


Well, I thought and I thought and I thought that I didn't have any quirks. I'm just not a quirky person. But when I told that to my husband, he laughed, so I knew I could come up with SOMETHING.


Here's what I was thinking.


My Quirks:


  1. I always think that I will get a bad grade on an assignment, and I never do! (Ok, not never, but I usually don't.) I'll give you an example. I was so distressed over a paper I wrote for a Literature class that I didn't want to go to class to get my paper back. I had an irrational fear that the teacher was going to call me out in front of the class and say what a terrible, horrible paper I had written. I even told my fellow classmates before class that I was afraid. And then, the unthinkable (to me) happened. The teacher told the class that she never gives out 100% on a paper, but she came darn close this time. One person got a 99% on the paper, and that person turned out to be me! I don't know why I stress out so much! I guess it is just a quirk of mine.

  2. I have to have the bed made up before I go to bed. I know, I know, I'm just going to sleep in it, but I can't stand to have the bottom of the top sheet up around my knees while I sleep. I don't get restful sleep that way.

  3. I get grumpy if a room is messy. This might be related to number 2 in some way, who knows?

  4. I like to let the gas tank get down as far as it can before I fill up. Although, with gas shortages down south maybe I'll have to rethink that one (or ride my bike more).

  5. I'm a procrastinator. When a professor gives me an extra week to study, do I take advantage of it? No! I just wait until I had the exact same amount of time to study as I did the week before. *shrug I always wait until the day or night before it's due to do a homework assignment. That's just the way I do things.

  6. I like to go camping with my husband even if we are ill prepared. And I have fun doing it!.

Thanks guys, I hope you enjoyed it. A little look into my twisted existence. And as promised, I'm not going to tag anyone else! (Ok, so all my sisters that have blogs already have been tagged, :P)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some Sense?

I was listening to NPR and I heard a columnist being interviewed. She's Republican, and she may just be talking the first sense I've heard in a long time from that Party.

Here's the link to her post. Thought I would share.


Dying to Know

I know, I know, you guys are just dying to know if the breast milk story is true. Well, I did some research, and I found this article. Apparently, the chef is not allowed to use breast milk in his recipes, because humans are "not an authorized source of milk, like cows or sheep." Also "When hospitals stockpile milk banks the mothers and their milk are always given a health check. If a mother takes drugs or smokes then you find traces in the milk. Human milk is specifically designed for babies and not to be of nutritional value for adults."
Ok, I think that is bunk. Since when does everything we eat have "nutritional value"? (Think Twinkies, guys) And really, so milk from cows "designed specifically to be of nutritional value for baby cows" is ok for us to drink? Hmmm....maybe we should rethink this. I'm not saying that I'm all for drinking human breast milk. The thought actually really creeps me out. But if others want to....
I think the guy got the idea many years ago after his wife had a baby and had leftover milk, so he used it in some of his recipes and they were delicious. So, he decided to try again. He was going to pay the women $14.50 per liter of milk, not too shabby, I would say. But it does raise ethical issues as well as the health issue. What have the women been eating? And will they sell the milk instead of giving it to their children. I mean, for $14.50 a liter, I think you could buy some formula for the kid and just sell your milk, and still have some leftover.
Anyways, just an amusing story, thought you'd get a kick out of it. The press in Switzerland went crazy over it. As you can imagine.

Ok, well, I got up early to help Matt with lunch. He's taking a financial course this week, so he's not on the ship! Yeah! He still has approximately the same hours, maybe even longer, but any day not on the ship is a good day. I think the course is probably going to be a whole week of Why You Should Reenlist. *rolling my eyes* Oh, well, maybe he'll learn something as well. Once he wades through all the propaganda.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ben and Jerry's + Breast Milk = ??

Ok, I read this on another website, I swear I'm not making it up. Seriously, I don't think I could make this stuff up.


September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders

Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's.

Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President





Are you serious? HILARIOUS!

{UPDATE} Also, I just saw this picture and got a big kick out of it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SNL

Hilarious!




Ok, so I had read about the SNL spoof by Tina Fey on several other blogs and decided to check it out. Holy cow! She is spot on! Compare the SNL clip to this interview with Katie Couric:


Watch CBS Videos Online


:) Sometimes I wonder...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our Weekend

Ok, so a few weeks ago, I told Matt that we should plan on doing something this weekend. He could get the day off on Friday, and that could give us a three day weekend. I was hoping to have our bikes by then, and maybe we could try them out. Well, Friday morning, we were still undecided on where exactly to go. Finally, we made the decision to go to Shenandoah National Park and bike along the Skyline Drive. We've driven it before, and it seemed like a cool thing to do. Matt went to the sporting goods store and got some camping equipment like a tent and other essentials. I tried to figure out what we should bring as food, and I settled on spaghetti (what else) and granola bars and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. That should get be enough for the weekend, right? Well, we headed out, with the plan to maybe do some primitive camping in the back country. By the time we got to the Park, we realized how unprepared we were. We didn't take into consideration that it would be colder up in the "mountains" and when we stepped out of the car, it was COLD! (OK so it was only about 65 degrees, but with a breeze blowing, and the promise to get colder as the sun went down...) So we decided to stay in a campground. That way we wouldn't have to worry about bears b/c we could put our food in our car overnight. We set up camp, and decided to take a ride.




Boy was it cold on the downhills! We ended up camping at Lewis Mountain, which is at mile marker 57 on the Drive. We rode our bikes up to Big Meadow which is at mile 49 or so. By the time we got up there, it was freezing! But we did see some deer. They were right next to the road.

video

When we finally made it to Big Meadow, we were exhausted, but we had to have our pictures taken next to the sign.




When we finally got back to our campsite, we decided that we probably needed a fire. So Matt purchased some wood and we tried to start the fire. Well, since I wasn't planning on having to start a fire, I had taken the two newspapers out of the car when I was packing up. So...we didn't have anything to start a fire with. We resorted to using the pamphlet that we got coming into the park, and a piece of cardboard we use in the trunk to hide the spare tire. After about an hour, we finally got the fire to start. The wood was wet, which didn't help us at all. But here is proof....




So, the first night sleeping in a tent in a long time is interesting....er, I mean it was fun. Yeah, that's it. It was fun. Sure...the ground was so hard! I could not fall asleep for the life of me. I don't know how we did it as kids. We slept more outside in the tent in the summer as kids than we did inside, it seems. Then I was awakened by some guy in the campground yelling "Oh, my gosh! It's a bear!" really loud at about midnight. And the guy in the tent one campsite over snoring like a chainsaw all night (I can't complain about him, though. The next day he was a life-saver and gave us some lighter fluid to start our fire.) Other than that, it was a short night's sleep, then we were up and ready to go early. We decided to try to bike to the highest point on Skyline Drive: Skyland, which is 3680 ft. We were 3295 ft, so that shouldn't be too bad, right? 15 miles and 400 ft? Not too bad.... And then we got to Big Meadow and hit the 350 ft downhill (we hit 30.8 mph :)we knew we were in trouble. {Matt just gave me a cool picture of our ride, and maybe you can see it and understand what a daunting task we had: }





If you notice, that first big hill is right after Big Meadows. The first ride we did was so mild compared to what we had to endure for the next 9 miles. We went 1175 ft up, and 856 ft down (that means that total hills we went up 1175 ft, and downhill 865, but remember we did the reverse on the way home, thank goodness) That was the hardest 16 miles I have ever ridden. By far. Most of the time we were going up the hill in our lowest gear, averaging about 4 miles an hour. Plus, time to stop for me to rest. I am not in the greatest shape (although this trip went a long way towards that) and I got tired really easily.
Here's me riding at a point along the way, before we were really tired:





We were so tired by the time we got to the "top" that we had lunch and rested for a bit and came right back. We made it down to Big Meadow in time for me to collapse right in front of the "big meadow". We watched the hikers and bikers moving through the meadow for a while.





We got back, and the "neighbors" took pity on us and gave us some lighter fluid so it wouldn't take an hour to get a fire started. We had (what else?) s'mores and peanut butter sandwiches for dinner, let the fire burn down, and hit the sack. Our tent was pretty cozy, and I wasn't looking forward to spending another night on the hard ground, but maybe I was tired? Because it wasn't as bad as the first night. We got up really early, broke camp, and were out of there by 7:30am. Not too shabby. We decided to drive to the end of Skyline Drive on our way home, and I'm glad we did. Here's some of what we saw on the way out.








The thing I have to say about this weekend is it was the best impromptu, spur-of-the-moment, unplanned, disorganized weekend I've ever had. It was so much fun, our first camping trip together. We did something challenging, and we made it! I had my doubts, especially that second morning when we first started out. But I'm glad that I persevered, and it will be an experience we will never forget. And the best thing about it? We got a car rack for the car so we saved gas! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Before and After

So, several weeks ago, maybe even a couple months ago, my husband scraped our front bumper. This is what it looked like.




Well, we weren't interested in getting it fixed. I mean, it would be ridiculously expensive, and not worth it. Well, today I took it into the shop to get inspected (we have to do that every year here) and the guy was so nice! When I went to pick up the truck, he asked me "Have you gotten an estimate on the front bumper?" I said, no, because we can't afford to fix it anyways, but I'm sure it would be too much. He said, "You'd be surprised at how well carburator cleaner and WD-40 works." !! I went out and looked at it and this is what it looked like.





I'm pretty impressed. With the economy what it is, I definitely wasn't looking to have that fixed any time soon, but it looks so good now! And it passed inspection, so that is one worry off my mind. It was over due. I looked at it on Saturday and realized it was supposed to be done in August.

Ok, well I'm going to eat some lunch. I'm HUNGRY!

Talk to you later,
Pam

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny

Ok, so Matt sent me an email, and I thought I would share with you one of the funny pictures that were in it. I got a kick out of this one.




Matt and I had a great weekend. On Saturday we decided to take a bike ride. We went to the Chesapeake Canal Trail, again. This time we did it twice, which came out to about 30 miles. Not the greatest, but not too shabby. You already know about our bikes, but I just want to say that I'm excited and nervous to get them. It is like my first REAL bike.


Here are some pictures of our ride:

This is a beautiful butterfly we were watching.


This is Matt at the end of the 8 mile trail where we always stop for a snack.


Here's Matt, pretending he is the bear statue :)



Yesterday, Matt wanted to go to the beach, then he got the idea to go snorkeling. I wasn't too sure about it, I hate masks. But I decided to try, and I actually liked it. This makes Matt very excited, because now there is a possibility that we could go scuba diving some day. It was very hard to get my brain to let me put my head under water and breath at the same time. But I got used to it. And I had fun "swimming" with the mask on. For the first time in my life, I was swimming a true freestyle stroke. I could keep my head in the water, and I could swim so much faster than I normally do!

I tried to call Mom yesterday for her birthday, but I didn't catch her. I'll try again today. I hope she knows that we were thinking of her and that we love her! Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Love,
Pam

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our bikes are here!!!


Ok, I am a little excited, unfortunately we were riding our bikes when the call came so we missed it and won't be able to pick them up until Monday... but our bikes are here! =)

-=Matt=-

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

Hi, this blog is about Pam and Matt so this is my turn to post. I found this blog that describes the joy of biking to work instead of driving. Explained very nicely I think. It is amazing how much better you feel when you honestly have to work for something, it makes you enjoy life quite a bit more!

Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

-=Matt=-

I'm Excited

Application Summary Name and Address
Name: PAM HELM EMERSON

Application Type
Application Term: Spring 2009
Admission Type: Regular
Application Preference: Not entered
Application Status: Decision Made
Decision: Admit
Current Program: MS in Education
Level: Graduate
Program: Elementary Education-MSED
Catalog Term: Spring 2009
College: College of Education
Campus: On Campus
Major and Department: Elementary Education, Educ Curriculum/Instruct
Date Created: Jul 28, 2008


Ok, so I knew I would get in, but I'm still excited that I did. I've been admitted to the Graduate Elementary Education Program. I'll start in the spring. As long as I graduate in December with a 3.2 GPA, which I don't think will be a problem, considering I have a 3.91 GPA right now. I would have to do absolutely terrible this semester, which I don't see myself doing...

Anyways, thought you all might like to know.

Love,
Pam

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

News you can use

Just kidding. I thought that might make everyone sit up and listen, though. Its not that I have too much exciting news for anyone. I did decide on my classroom rules, finally. Its HARD to come up with something, to make up my mind. Thank you to all who tried to help. Here's what I came up with:

Mrs. Emerson's 3rd Grade Classroom Rules

1.We are respectful of ourselves and others.
2.We raise our hand before we speak during a classroom lesson.
3.We keep our hands to ourselves.
4.We follow directions.
5.We keep our room neat and clean.
6.We always do our best.

I don't know.... I will probably change them as I go along. I think I need to get into a classroom and start noticing how the teacher manages the class room. Then I will get a better idea of what kinds of classroom rules I want to subscribe to.

So, Kate and the boys came over today. We were planning on going to the park, but it started to rain (finally) and so they came and hung out at "Mimi's House." Not like there is anything terribly exciting at my house. The fish occupied them for a little while. Then the big green exercise ball. But there's just not any toys here. I guess we need to change that, huh.

Anyways, there is nothing too exciting going on here. Except that we have a date for our bikes to come in. They should be in on Friday, and ready by next Wednesday. Matt and I are so excited to finally take them out for a test ride. I think Matt's going to take a day off work and since I don't have class on Fridays, we'll go somewhere cool on our bikes. We were thinking of the B&O towpath, or the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Either one would be ridiculously cool. So we're not sure what we want to do. I hope the weather cooperates. We haven't had a rainy day all year, and then today it hasn't quit sprinkling. Oh, well. We need the rain. I don't know if anyone pays attention to the Great Dismal Swamp, but there was a fire started in June and it hasn't quit burning yet. Years of drought-like conditions and fuel like peat moss (which is like coal and burns forever) have made it hard to put this fire out. They were hoping that Hanna would drop some rain on it and put it out, but I think they got about an inch and a half of rain. It was a disappointment, that is for sure.

Ok, well, it is just about lunch time, and I need to do a little more homework. Make sure you all check out the "Cake Wrecks" blog. That thing is hilarious. I go there when I need a good laugh.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Classroom Rules [Update]

Ok, everyone. I need your help. The next assignment for my Classroom Management class is to come up with 5 classroom rules. The rules should work all the time. I shouldn't have to make exceptions or change the rules. They should help students become better citizens and create a better community. These will be for a 3rd grade classroom. Any ideas? Come on, I know you guys can help me. I don't think I want "Always raise your hand to talk" because what happens when we have a group discussion? I was thinking "Don't chew gum" but that seems kind of dumb, considering it won't make the students become better citizens. I just need some ideas. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys!

Pam

[Ok, what do I have to do, bribe you guys? I need some help here!!! I can't think of anything, and Kate's comment about scissors, while amusing, is not quite as helpful as I would like. Come on! Give me something I can work with! Don't be shy! Anything!]