August 28, 2003

It's Friday Five Time!

Okay, technically it's only Friday in the Eastern parts of the country, but I won't be late like last week! Here's the Friday Five:

1. Are you going to school this year?
Why yes, yes I am. And taking a whopping one class too!

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
Starting Sept. 22 I'll be going to DeAnza College, a local community college, where I'll be taking German 4 (the first class of Intermediate German).

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
Literature (especially contemporary), creative writing, and strangely enough, biology.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
Chemistry! With calculus as a close second.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
I had the best History teacher in high school--Mr. Schwendemann, or "Schwendy" as we called him (occasionally "Trendy Schwendy" though he was not in the least bit trendy). I had him my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school. He lectured to us like a college course, with no textbook, just note-taking and tests. He also peppered his lectures with "true-life adventures" of his time in the war (WWII). For example, one of his stories involved him falling out of the cargo hold of a plane as the doors were closing until he was saved by the two edges of the doors clasping a button on his jacket. Great stuff like that. He really made history come alive for us.

Posted by Shelby at 10:04 PM

And in the Governer's Race...

It's nice to see that Cruz Bustamante is not only not renouncing his involvement with a racist, separatist hate group, he's still praising and supporting it. But with a group motto like, "for the race, everything. For those outside the race, nothing," you can't help but like these guys. I know that's the kind of community involvement I look for in a governer.

As Glenn Reynolds says, "Hey, Strom Thurmond's dead, and Trent Lott apologized, but we've still got at least one public official who's not afraid to associate with racist groups!"

Posted by Shelby at 09:50 PM

The Library--What a Place!

We made our first trip to the new Martin Luther King Jr. San Jose Public Library. Well, this was our second trip actually. The first trip was to attend the grand opening. Even though it opened a few days before that. They didn't check out books that first day, but Kevin was smart enough to get us library cards prior to the opening so we were all set to go today.

Gone are the days of the library card with your name on it. I remember my first library card, being a preschooler and getting my own card, scrawling my name on it in abyssmal letters. Now the cards are like the supermarket savings cards you get. Just a barcode. On the up side, they actually give you a mini version to hang on your keychain. This allows us to each share the same card. So when I don't return my books, all the blame goes to Kevin :).

Anyway, the 8 story library was still very cool. It even has a cafe'. I was surprised by their circulation system, however. For the fiction section, the books were arranged alphabetically by author without any code. But for nonfiction, they actually used the Dewey Decimal System. Okay, it's true, I haven't been to a public library since 1996, but I thought the Dewey system was obsolete, replaced by the Library of Congress system. And out of the 3 colleges I attended, I saw only Library of Congress books. I am intimately familiar with the LOC system due to my shelving jobs at Albion and SMSU. Since the SJ Public Library also contains the San Jose State academic library, I expected to find the LOC system here as well. Guess not.

Anyway, I checked out 5 books and shall be reviewing them here as I finish them. I realized today that I need to make a list of books I want to read as well as authors. I forgot all of the books that I wanted to read as soon as I got there. Obviously I was able to find a couple however :). I was bummed though because 2 books I wanted were already checked out. Off to read!

Update: Kevin informs me that I just didn't look hard enough. Apparently the SJSU books ARE classified using the LOC system. Guess those were on one of the 6 floors I didn't visit. Hunh.

Must be a pain in the butt to run a library with 3 different classification systems. Glad I don't shelve there!

Posted by Shelby at 07:45 PM | Comments (3)

August 27, 2003

Do Medications Really Expire?

My mother is the kind of person who keeps medicines around forever, claiming they're perfectly fine past their expiration date. Turns out she's right.

Update: Kevin tells me you have to register at the Medscape site to see the article so I'll quote from it here:

Does the expiration date on a bottle of a medication mean anything? If a bottle of Tylenol, for example, says something like "Do not use after June 1998," and it is August 2002, should you take the Tylenol? Should you discard it? Can you get hurt if you take it? Will it simply have lost its potency and do you no good?

First, the expiration date, required by law in the United States, beginning in 1979, specifies only the date the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug -- it does not mean how long the drug is actually "good" or safe to use.

Second, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date -- no matter how "expired" the drugs purportedly are. Except for possibly the rarest of exceptions, you won't get hurt and you certainly won't get killed. A contested example of a rare exception is a case of renal tubular damage purportedly caused by expired tetracycline (reported by G. W. Frimpter and colleagues in JAMA, 1963;184:111). This outcome (disputed by other scientists) was supposedly caused by a chemical transformation of the active ingredient.

Third, studies show that expired drugs may lose some of their potency over time, from as little as 5% or less to 50% or more (though usually much less than the latter). Even 10 years after the "expiration date," most drugs have a good deal of their original potency. So wisdom dictates that if your life does depend on an expired drug, and you must have 100% or so of its original strength, you should probably toss it and get a refill, in accordance with the cliché, "better safe than sorry." If your life does not depend on an expired drug -- such as that for headache, hay fever, or menstrual cramps -- take it and see what happens.

"Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons," said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. "It's not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover."

[emphasis added]

So there's the gist. Medicines are good up to (and in some cases, beyond) 10 years past their expiration dates. This takes the worry out of buying the giant bottle of generic Advil at Costco since you don't have to finish it in 4 years.

Posted by Shelby at 08:23 PM | Comments (1)

Strange Happenings

The guy next door (daycare neighbor) was going over the alphabet with some kids having them repeat what he said when he skipped from T to W. No U, no V. I thought it was a fluke, but then he did it again. I wanted to shout "What about U and V?!" but he went through the alphabet a third time and included the missing letters. Hmmmmm.

Posted by Shelby at 06:10 PM

August 26, 2003

The Friday Five

Pretend that this is dated August 22...

1. When was the last time you laughed?
Yesterday, in the car on the way back from LA. I laughed several times. Kevin makes me laugh at least once a day (even when I was in the hospital and laughing was painful!). He's a very funny person.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
That would probably be Kevin. I really live an argument-free life, though. I guess the closest we come to arguing is when I don't understand his reasons for doing something and so we both get frustrated in the confusion. That happened today. But really, we never argue.

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
My complaint buddy Ileen. Pretty much all our emails to eachother are bitching about one thing or another. Like the heat.

4. When was the last time you bathed?
Um, this morning? Well, early afternoon (around 11).

5. What was the last thing you ate?
I just swallowed a piece of Haribo Fruity Pasta. It's a sour candy--the kind on a fruity licorice base with sour crystals on it. I like Fruity Pasta though it takes the enamel off of my teeth. Minor problem. Really minor.

Ta Da--my second Friday Five. And almost on Friday even!

Posted by Shelby at 07:06 PM

The Return of the Hogans

Sorry for the long delay in blogging--we made a simply lovely trip down to LA and Orange County to visit the 'rents. We also got to see Brad and Katrina and of course my darling neices Corie and Seana. Seana turns 1 this week. Where did that year go???

We also attended a very nice wine tasting on Saturday. Our host went nuts at the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills and had the most amazing cheese spread. No, a table of cheese, not a spreadable cheese. Well there was a spreadable cheese, but most were solid cheeses. There were some divine sheep's milk cheeses. I pretty much parked myself there for most of the evening.

Remember, Cheeses Saves! Hahahhahahahahahaha

We headed to Costco and managed to make it out without breaking the bank. We were really quite restrained, leaving with only a few items like men's athletic socks, 400 tablets of Benadryl, and enough bulk fiber supplement (generic Metamucil) to keep a horse regular.

We visited with Kevin's parents and the White Menace (Harry the Maltese). The White Menace spent the whole time trying to jump onto my shoulder and take a bite out of my ear. Okay, to be fair, he was only trying to lick my ear. That little dog was bouncing nonstop for over an hour. I don't know where he gets the energy.

In the blogging world, I realized that I'm only on week two of the Friday Five and I already managed to forget to do it. I'll do it in a separate post.

Meanwhile, it's hot here in San Jose. And we're back to our semi-boring lives. School starts up again at the end of Sept. and I'm moving on to Intermediate German, having completed my Elementary German with flying passes (on a pass/no pass scale). The class is a combined class for basically all the upper levels of German, so Kevin and I will be in the same class. That should be interesting.

Posted by Shelby at 06:52 PM | Comments (1)

August 22, 2003

The Return of the Miata

Yes, that's right, my little baby car is back! After $2000 in repairs, we are back in action. It looks great too. They even replaced the front spoiler--that piece of car that hangs very low to the ground and makes the car look very sporty. You know, the one that scrapes painfully if you pull out of the driveway at the wrong angle or pull up to a parking block too far. Now I'm paranoid of scratching it up again.

The car work was done by Espana Auto Repair on 4th St. in San Jose. I highly recommend them. They did a great job and were very professional throughout.

Now all we need to do is fix the scratch/dent on the side where I had a parallel parking incident.

Posted by Shelby at 03:32 PM

August 20, 2003

Article About Blogs

Interested in reading more about blogs? Check out this article.

[via BuzzMachine]

Posted by Shelby at 09:56 PM

A Double-Nap Day

Greetings from a sleepy home in San Jose. Today I took a nap in the morning and then another nap in the afternoon, and I'm still yawning! Kevin came home from work early and took a nap too. Scout takes multiple naps throughout the day, which brings our nap total up quite dramatically.

Bagel Pizzas for dinner--yay!

Posted by Shelby at 08:05 PM

August 19, 2003

Important Announcement!

Scout's picture is now featured on Actually there's TWO pictures. Go to the site and scroll down the left hand side to find the search box. Type in Scout and then click on her picture. When she comes up, be sure to vote for her! Remember, 10 is good. We have no doubt she'll be in the top twenty soon. There's another picture you can find by searching on "brave little dog." Don't forget to vote on that one too!

Posted by Shelby at 01:36 PM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2003

I Couldn't Have Asked for a Better Fate

Click on the picture, type in your name and favorite color, and learn what the afterlife has for you! Here's mine:

The Afterlife, V1.0 by silentounce
Favorite Color
Your fateReincarnated, dog
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

[via Dave]

Posted by Shelby at 12:24 PM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2003

Scout's Uneven Day

It was a day of good things and bad things for the little beagle. First, she had to go to Petsmart (in the car!) for a nail trim, but we purchased a pig's ear! Then when we got home, she had to get a bath (water!). But after the bath she got a Frosty Paws (doggie ice cream!), and she also ate her pig's ear. After the bath she got a nice loooooong drying-off walk. She also got an evening walk. She's so nice when she's clean--so soft!

In further dog news, check out this web page, Rate My Puppy where you can vote on who's the cutest dogs. You'll notice a prominence of a certain breed in the Top 20. We've submitted Scout's picture, of course, but it may take a few days to be activated.

Posted by Shelby at 09:00 PM

August 16, 2003

Good Saturday, Cont.

This evening we went downtown to check out a new restaurant, the Sonoma Chicken Coop. I ordered two appetizers--the panko prawn cocktail and the grilled artichoke. Kevin had some chicken special. The artichoke was excellent, served with a slightly spicy aioli. The prawns were, well, prawn-like (you like prawns? Check out Kevin didn't enjoy his chicken as much as I liked the artichoke, but he said he would still go back there. The setup is much like another favorite restaurant of ours, Aqui (no link, sorry). I wouldn't be surprised to hear they were owned by the same company. You stand in line and order your food and get a number. Meanwhile you seat yourself and when your number is called you pick up your food on a tray. Despite this fast-food type setup, the menu is pretty sophisticated and comparable to what you'd find in a sit-down restaurant. Anyway, we'll add the Sonoma Chicken Coop to our list of good places to eat downtown.

Posted by Shelby at 07:37 PM

A Good Saturday

Well this Saturday is going quite well so far. Kevin and I lounged around the house in the morning, then headed to Ben and Jerry's for a nutritious and filling lunch (I had Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch--or whatever it's called).

Then we headed over to the grand opening of the new San Jose Public Library. Talk about impressive! The new library combines the old public library collection along with the San Jose State academic library. One library card works for both. The 8-story building is simply gorgeous--light, airy, and nice and cool on a hot day like today. Sad to say I haven't stepped foot into a library since my grad school days, but I'll definitely be making use of this new library. It's right on the SJSU campus which is conveniently located near to our house. I already saw one book I'm ready to check out (Jon Krakauer's new book). Unfortunately, they don't allow beagles. Which is sad, really, because there's nothing more relaxing than reading a good book with a beagle at your feet.

Posted by Shelby at 03:03 PM

August 15, 2003

Fair and Balanced

It's Fair and Balanced day in the Blogosphere. I almost missed it!

Posted by Shelby at 08:06 PM

Is it Friday Already?

Wow, life zooms by when you don't have much to do.

Let's see, what's going on around here. Good news (for us, anyway)! After this month's payment my car will be paid off! We've been making extra payments and have managed to pay it off early. That's so exciting! Not to mention that will help a lot with our single income family.

And speaking of my car, it's still in the body shop. Remember my little teeny accident, where I rear-ended someone going like 5 miles an hour? Well the whole bumper needs to be replaced due to a nickel-sized hole in it. $800. So I take it in and they take the bumper off and find MORE damage--the whackajig is bent, the thingiepoo is dented, etc. Luckily we more than met our insurance deductible with the bumper so I'm like Bring it On Baby--Fix it All! Hopefully we'll get the car back soon. Kevin has been walking to work.

Scout has a new sleeping spot. She's now made a nest on the guest bed on a pillow. The guest bed is currently serving as a holding zone for extra blankets and pillows, and Scout made herself right at home. Of course.

You know, I'm amazed by the number of door-to-door solicitors we get here. I would say someone comes to the door at least once or twice a week. Twice this week. They're always selling something or getting you to donate something or handing out fliers that say "WARNING! The time of GOD is near!" I really figured door-to-door soliciting was a thing of the past, but that was because I worked all day and missed them. Don't other people work? I guess I assume that most homes are empty during the day due to people working, but apparently that's not the case because the door knockers keep a' comin'. I need to make better use of the peephole.

Posted by Shelby at 07:06 PM | Comments (2)

It's Friday Five Time!

See, I remembered. Off to a good start. Here's the Friday Five:

1. How much time do you spend online each day?
Um, a lot. Difficult to quantify. Technically, my computer is always online, there's just certain times when I'm not sitting in front of it. And then there's the times when I'm doing something else, like working on my novel, and have my email program running in the background just in case someone sends me an important message that needs to be read right away. Is that counted as online?

2. What is your browser homepage set to?
My homepage is right here. Don't bother clicking the link, my homepage is my blog. I like to scan to see if people have left comments for me. I also like to re-read my entries sometimes because I think that I'm really hilarious and I find myself entertaining.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
Nope. When I was at IBM I used the Lotus IM program Sametime. It sucked up a lot of work time so I had to curtail my usage. Now I just haven't gotten around to downloading an IM program. I figure people who want to chat can pick up the phone and call me.

4. Where was your first webpage located?
The first webpage I ever did was a page for the Southwest Missouri State University English Department, Children's Literature program. It was a page cataloging all of the Children's Lit resources (read: the library) and where to find them. It had a spinning logo. Not pretty. My first personal page was when I first moved to the bay area. I had a page up on Angelfire, the free web page people. It's probably still there, though I've long ago lost the link. Kevin might have it though.

5. How long have you had your current website?
Let's see, I don't know exactly. Again, Kevin might know. I guesstimate that it went up Dec. 2000--Jan. 2001 ish. The actual wedding took place on November 24, 2001. We've been considering moving to another home on the web, something like "" or "" but haven't gotten around to it yet. Don't worry, if/when we make the move there will be plenty of warning and automatic forward links.

And there's my first Friday Five. Ta Daaaa!

Posted by Shelby at 12:42 PM | Comments (2)

August 14, 2003


Well, well, well. The blackout seems to be all the news on the blogosphere. For the people who still have power to post, that is. But what caused the blackout?

Here are one man's guesses (that one man being Jack M. Balkin):

The Top Ten Theories About What Caused the East Coast Power Blackout

10. Governor Gray Davis wanted to show that California's mess wasn't really his fault: see, there were blackouts on the East Coast too!

9. Overstressed computers in West Coast attempting to tabulate all the candidates for California Governor.

8. Osama bin Laden and his compatriots check into a motel in New Jersey and turn up the air conditioning *really* high.

7. All innocent persons on death row in Texas prison system electrocuted at once.

6. Justice Antonin Scalia seeks return to original conditions when Constitution was written.

5. Department of Homeland Security seeks to confuse terrorists by hiding location of New York City.

4. Liberal paranoia comes true as country is returned to Dark Ages.

3. Latest new excuse by Bill Clinton to explain to Hillary why he can't make it home for dinner.

2. President Bush attempts to divert electricity from middle class to the wealthiest 1 percent.

1. Fox News sues Con Edison for trademark infringement for using the word "con."

Posted by Shelby at 10:03 PM

Power Outage

Power outages in the East? Finally, we hear reports about power problems and they're not talking about California's energy crisis.

Sucks for the people stuck in the NY subways, though. Looks like the escalators won't be working. Not that they worked when NY had power.

Posted by Shelby at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

An 80s Celebrity and YOU!

That's right! You can fulfill your dream of talking to Corey Feldman and here's an article about it. Just visit to see their list of available celebrities. Act now! Some are only available for a limited time!
Michele at A Small Victory has a hilarious imagined sample phone call.

(this is my first attempt at a trackback, so please be patient. Unless you have no idea what I'm talking about, then ignore this)

Posted by Shelby at 01:55 PM

August 13, 2003

Mista T!

Long for those old days with The A-Team? I pity the fool! My blog has been T'inated. Check it out because it's hysterical!

Posted by Shelby at 10:26 PM

August 12, 2003

New Stuff

I've done some rearranging and added some new stuff all by myself without Kevin's help! Okay, it's all done in simple HTML and you'd think that after three years of writing 600 page manuals in SGML I ought to be able to handle a little HTML. Well, you'd be right. I even remembered the code for my bulleted list in the previous entry.

But enough bragging about my technical prowess. On the right hand side of the blog you'll see some new links. First are Dog Links, to a beagle site and to a very cute Japanese merchandising site. Next you'll see my Blogroll--blogs that I read regularly. Jason's is a treat, as he's teaching English in Egypt, but unfortunately his small town doesn't have reliable Internet access, so Jason's Sandbox will not be updated for a while. Following is a list of blogs I read or check up on just about every day. These blogs are updated frequently throughout the day so you can always check for something new. This is for people who are bored at work and tired of their own limited links :). The Friday Five is a set of five questions posted each Friday for bloggers to use on their sites. I plan to participate in the Friday Five starting this coming Friday, and whenever I remember. So now, as Mary pointed out, I'm going to be all "Oh crap, it's 2am and I haven't done my Friday Five yet!" This is from the old college days when both Mary and I had assignments that were due every Friday that we would forget about until 2am and have to get out of bed to do. Well, I'm not getting out of bed to blog, so you may have to wait on my answers :).

Oh, and I forgot--permanent links to my pictures!

Posted by Shelby at 02:45 PM

Our Protector, John Ashcroft

The latest buzz on the Blogosphere is Ashcroft's new Victory Act (aptly named to go with my Freedom Fries).

Anyway, in case you don't want to click away, the article describes Ashcroft's Victory Act which will supposedly be introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch. The Victory Act consists of 4 points:

  • Clamp down on Arab hawala transactions, where cash exchanged in an honor system has been funneled to terrorists.
  • Get business records without a court order in terrorism probes and delay notification.
  • Track wireless communications with a roving warrant.
  • Increase sentences for drug kingpins to 40 years in prison and $4 million in fines.

So let's see.
1. War on Terrorism
2. War on Terrorism
3. War on Terrorism
4. War on Drugs

Drugs? How did that get in there?

Posted by Shelby at 02:32 PM

August 11, 2003

What was THAT?

Well, after my blogathon brain dump this weekend, I can hardly think of anything to say. Luckily I'm never at a loss for words. Well, hardly ever.

Scout has been a very Good Dog today. She's developed this nasty habit of rolling in cat urine/feces in the yard and then trotting into the house like nothing is wrong. This has led to several baths and on the not-so-bad days, a good wiping-down with a wet washcloth. Well, today (yesterday too!) she went outside unescorted, spent some time out there, and came back clean! Well, as clean as a dog is who lays on the hot pavement and soaks up the sun. But there was no rolling! Good Dog!

Scout's other habit of late is letting me know when it's time to feed her--an hour before I usually feed her. I normally feed her at 5, but starting around 4 she begins to let me know it's food time. She starts scratching on things to get my attention, then runs to the kitchen and paws her empty bowl around in case I missed the message. This happens every day. So my approach has been to give her a time out in the crate when the scratching starts. Then after sitting in the crate (and thinking about what she's done) for a little while, I let her out and feed her. Well, today she started her usual scratching at 4, which I ignored. By 4:15 the scratching stopped so I figured she went back to bed. At 4:45 I wandered into the kitchen to find Scout waiting patiently in her crate for me to feed her! So I did. Good Dog! Hopefully this latter will become a habit and instead of scratching she'll just go in the crate and wait there.

Second-to-last session of Kaplan tonight.

There's a spider who lives very close to my computer. I see him occasionally on the wall, always when I'm too helpless to do anything. This time he came within reach so I swatted at him with my folder. No good. He fell to the floor but was still alive. He was trying to hide behind the paper shredder so I put the shredder on top of him. I have no idea if he can escape or not but it makes me feel better. I've got the major heebie jeebies and every time I feel the slightest bit of tickle or movement on my skin I freak out. Let's hope we'll find his little body under the shredder later.

PS. Here's another plug for my vacation photos.

Posted by Shelby at 05:16 PM | Comments (2)

August 10, 2003

Which Sci-Fi/Fantasy Character Are You?

For all the geeks out there:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I am Gandalf--hear me roar!

My description is:

A wandering spirit caring for a multitude of just concerns, you are an instrumental power in many of the causes around you.

And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord.

Gandalf is a character from the Middle-Earth universe. has a description of him.


Click on the picture, take the quiz, and find out which character you are!

Posted by Shelby at 06:33 PM | Comments (1)

Vacation Pictures!

But enough about politics. Dad always said never talk about politics or religion. How about some vacation photos! Click to see our recent trip to Boston and New York. Unlink Carmel, this vacation was 100% Scout-free. Don't miss the Ducklings (we didn't)!

Posted by Shelby at 04:42 PM

At Least He's Got a Talking Head

According to this CNN article, candidates for governor were required to estimate the range of their financial holdings and disclose such in their filing paperwork. Arnold listed some unique assets, such as:

...the talking robot skull, valued at $1,000. The skull, according to the filing, was a gift from film producers of the actor's latest movie.

Now that's funny.

Posted by Shelby at 04:35 PM

Political Dissent!

Other bloggers are reading my blog! Cool. MommaBear left this comment on my post about Arnold. She says:

Please do consider that, in spite of his 'movie-star' status, Arnold also has a very good degree in business. He's anything BUT stupid; he just plays stupid in the movies as a career. Listen to him with an open mind; he may surprise you.

"I'm not a stupid guy, I just play one on TV." What disturbed me the most about Arnold's entering the race was the way that he chose to do it. The governorship is a serious office. California has serious problems. Yet he announces he's running on a TV comedy show. What does he think this is, a joke? The recall is enough of a circus without him making it more so. Yet he's acting like it's some big ha ha. It's appalling that he keeps everyone in the dark including his own staff and aides so that he can announce in such a ridiculous venue. According to this Time magazine article:

In fact, top adviser George Gorton stood at the edge of the set [of the Tonight Show], holding the official statement that began, "I am not running for Governor ..."


A few moments into the show's afternoon taping, Schwarzenegger declared to a squealing studio audience, "I am going to run for Governor of the state of California." It took Gorton until after the commercial break to figure out that Schwarzenegger wasn't joking; the crumpled statement was still in Gorton's hand as stagehands ejected him from the studio for using his cell phone to begin alerting Schwarzenegger's other clueless advisers.

Does he think this is funny? To pull the wool over his adviser's eyes and then surprise them?

He may surprise me? He already has! What other surprises does he have in store for us? Obviously we can't trust a word he says, as he told Jay Leno minutes before the show (same Time article):

Schwarzenegger murmured, "I am bowing out." And that's what everyone was expecting to hear.

So he thinks it's a great idea to pull the old switcheroo? What's next, he promises in his campaign not to raise taxes and then, once elected, informs everyone of their big tax raises on Letterman? Ha ha ha ha ha.

He's mocking Californians, and I for one don't find it very funny.

Posted by Shelby at 04:22 PM

August 09, 2003

Play With George!

Yes, you too can play with your very own George W. Bush action figure! According to KB Toys:

This fully poseable figure features a realistic head sculpt,
Man, nothing worse than those fake heads!

fully detailed cloth flight suit, helmet with oxygen mask, survival vest, g-pants,
Whatever those are.

parachute harness and much more.
Hard to imagine what more, but okay.

The realism and exacting attention to detail demanded by today's 12-inch action figure enthusiast
God, those 10-year-olds are demanding!

are met and exceeded with this action figure. This incredibly detailed figure is a fitting addition to the collection of those interested in U.S. history, military memorabilia and toy action figures.
I can't wait to add him to my collection!

[via BuzzMachine]

Posted by Shelby at 06:46 PM

I'm Branching Out

I'm becoming part of the Blogosphere (see: Revolution, below). I'm becoming part of the blogging community! How is that, you ask? I'm taking part in the circle of Bloggers Interviewing Bloggers. Here's the rules:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So I responded to Dave Tepper's blog and will let you know when I get my questions.

And I just got my questions! Along with a very nice note:
Welcome to the Blogosphere, Shelby! We're all narcissists to a certain extent, but most of us are nice. Thanks for joining us!
I feel so welcomed! And on to my questions:

1. What sort of social change do you want to make with your blog?
First and foremost, I'd like to effect world peace. I know I sound like a Miss America contestant saying that, but it's true. Second, I'd like to make people aware of what's going on in this world beyond what you read in the mainstream media. Third, I want to share my life and hopefully my humor, brightening people's days, and keeping my mother informed about my life. Oh, and my other three readers: Mary, Erik, and Cari.

2. What is the best way to make you an enemy, so I'll know not to do that?
Hurt my dog. That would be very, very bad.

3. Which is more fascinating to you, astronomy or astrology? Why?
I find astronomy more interesting because, well, for one thing I don't put a lot of stock into astrology. My father was involved in the space industry when I was growing up (what am I saying? He still is! Supposedly retired but one of those retired-then-go-back-to-work-the-next-day people. But anyway, this isn't about my father) so I developed an early interest in planets and space things, particularly the Viking Lander Biology Instrument. So to make a long story short (too late) I like astronomy better because it's real.

4. What's your favorite game, and are you good enough to make a living at it? Board, cards, or sports, it doesn't matter.
By far my favorite game is Cranium. It's a board game requiring a lot of different skills, most of which I have. It's played in teams and when teamed with my friends Dorothy and Hai-Nhu, we are totally unstoppable. If there were money to be made playing Cranium, I'd be there. I really only like games I can win. For example, I hate Monopoly because I lose every single time. And Risk, not only because I lose every time but because it's so interminably boring.

5. What is the very first thing that you remember?
Hmmm, hard to say. But I think my earliest memory is of being held and rocked in my rocking chair. Lots of comforting memories of my rocking chair.

And those are my answers! Remember, if you're a blogger and you want to be interviewed by ME, just leave a comment saying so. I'll even interview non-bloggers via the comment section if you like :).

Posted by Shelby at 06:24 PM | Comments (2)

August 08, 2003

The Revolution Begins

I've been surfing more blogs and have found some very funny, erudite bloggers out there. Check out author Jennifer Weiner's SnarkSpot and A Small Victory to see what women bloggers are out there doing. Don't worry, I'll add them to my links section. Once I get Kevin to show me how to do it again.

Now I simply cannot be a Californian blogger without saying something about Arnold, The Other Arnold (aka Gary Coleman), the leprous Davis, and basically the whole California Recall thing.

What do I think? Well I wasn't thrilled to see Davis win the first election. In fact, Davis's negative advertising essentially doomed the campaign of my favorite candidate (Richard Riordan--who was going to get my vote despite the fact that he's a Republican). But anyway, Davis did WIN the first election, after all. I think a recall is a dangerous precedent to set.

The addition of Arnold makes it all the more ludicrous. Firstly, I don't understand the buddy-buddy relationship between Arnold and My Favorite Candidate (see Riordan, above) that forces Riordan not to run AGAIN just because Arnold is running. How ridiculous is that? Let's see, who is more qualified. A former mayor of Los Angeles vs. a guy who officially announces his candidacy on Jay Leno. It's embarassing, really. And I have a really bad gut feeling that he's going to win this one. How depressing.

Posted by Shelby at 05:00 PM | Comments (2)

I'm Part of a Media Revolution!

Been surfin' the Blogosphere for interesting blogs and articles, which is very easy to do because blogs are inherently linked to many other blogs and articles, ensuring quick delivery of fast, highly opinionated reading material. And I came across this quote at Buzz Machine which struck me:

Media is going to go through big changes because the audience is gaining control over their content; there is far more competition for our time; ad revenue to any single entity is decreasing across all media; costs must thus be reduced. Weblogs are part of that story.

See that?! Big changes, bay-bee! And I'm a part of that story. As Jeff Jarvis (Buzz Machine) says:

The truth is that weblogs are an influence to be reckoned with.

You will reckon with me!

No longer will this blog be nothing but complaints about my neighbors and the ice cream men who haunt my very existence. NO! I'm going to effect social change in addition to complaining about my neighbors and the interminable ice cream men. Effect social change, I tell you! Or at least comment on it.

Am I the only blog you read? Well broaden your blog horizons! I like Lilek's Bleat and Wil Wheaton dot net, and it seems like everybody who is somebody in the blogging world likes Instapundit though I haven't spent much time there myself.

So look for a NEW Shelby's Life and Whatnot. A RELEVANT Shelby's Life and Whatnot. A SOCIALLY AWARE Shelby's Life and Whatnot. Vive la revolucion!

Posted by Shelby at 12:03 PM | Comments (2)

August 07, 2003

I've Been Neglectful

Haven't been keeping up on my blog! The problem is that I usually write my blog entries in the evenings and my evenings this week have been nonstop. Monday I had my Kaplan class, Tuesday we had Book Club, last night it was Kaplan again. Tonight it's my writer's group, and tomorrow night is a Girl's Night Out with Dorothy, Sandy, and Hai-Nhu. Looks like we'll be getting Mexican take-out and settling in for some episodes of Sex and the City. My week is totally full.

Book club was fun, as usual. We read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which I reviewed on this site earlier when I finished it. To sum up, I really liked the book. Everyone else in book club liked the book except for Therese. There's always one! :)

Next week is my last two Kaplan courses and frankly I'm relieved. The class hasn't been going the way I expected and I'm not getting much joy from it. In fact, it's been very stressful. Although the first hour yesterday went really well, the second I sped through the curriculum in record time, did all the homework with them, and still sent them home 10 minutes early. Anyway, I'll decide whether or not I'll continue with Kaplan after I finish this first course.

The neighbors are playing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." That's a new one.

Posted by Shelby at 04:48 PM | Comments (3)

August 03, 2003

Is My Life Worth a Big Mac?

Today I went to McDonald's for lunch. Our fast food options are limited here in Japantown. All we have is a Wienerschnitzel (click on the "Wiener National" link for a laugh) and a Foster Freeze which is a little scary looking. Down by the University there's a Mickey D's and a Jack in the Box. I decided I wanted some of those world famous fries, so McD's it was.

I almost killed myself getting there. I accidentally made a left turn onto a one way street going the wrong way. Fortunately McD's driveway was the first one so I was able to make it off the street without incident. An SUV driver was looking at me and shaking his head and I was like "Look Mr. SUV driver, I may have made a mistake but at least I'm not ruining the environment at alarming rates with my fossil fuel consumption furthering our dependence on foreign oil" but it was kind of a lot to say in our split-second encounter.

Once safely inside the restaurant, I debated my order. I knew I wanted fries but feared they wouldn't be enough to satisfy my hunger so I chose 6 Chicken McNuggets as well. That was a mistake. The Super-Size fries really was super sized. It was like fries as big as my head. I ended up throwing half of them away, much to Scout's dismay. She loves fries. Yes, I gave her a few, but compared to the yawning emptiness that is her tummy, it was not nearly enough.

Anyway, my fries and chicken weren't all that great so I won't be returning to McD's in a while. Now I have that "I ate too much grease" feeling, because I did. I need to stick to healthier food. Unfortunately, my beloved Bento Xpress is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Posted by Shelby at 05:01 PM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2003

Not much to report these days

The weather has cooled off nicely here in San Jose so of course we don't need our brand-new air conditioner. Expect cool skies all summer. Last weekend we got both cars washed. The deep cleaning kind where they vacuum it out for you and everything. They looked so nice! Then 3 days later it rained. The carwash has a policy that if it rains the day after you get your car washed, you get another exterior wash for free. Naturally it rained after this guarantee was up. I really shouldn't say rain, it was more of a sprinkle. Just enough to get the cars dirty.

Yesterday morning I had a meeting in Palo Alto for Kaplan's "Absolute Commitment to Excellence." It was your typical corporate pep rally with a Kaplan twist--we broke into small groups and practiced how we would impart this information to the students. For a while Kaplan has been using the phrase "Higher scores guaranteed!" but apparently starting August 11, there's actually going to be a higher score guarantee. That is, if your score doesn't go up you can now (post 8-11) get your money back. Makes you wonder what they meant when they said higher scores guaranteed before. But anyway, I'm just a tool of the Man in this case.

My first Kaplan class is going well. I'm relieved to be done with math and am moving on to the Verbal portion. I have 4 verbal sessions and then I'm done with my first class!

Posted by Shelby at 09:17 PM