Sunday, December 18, 2011

G-dub badge

I just read an article about a new prep school being proposed in my area and how UW-Madison should have been backing it all along...yada yada yada. Anyway, I read the article after taking the screen shot in the post below, and as I scrolled down the page, I noticed a new little gem there (see right). Interesting! Apparently it took 8 articles to earn! What?! 

I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I don't lean democratic...I'll add this one to my Tea Party and Mitt Romney badges.

I also wonder what the delay must be for posting newly-earned badges..

Badges and Badgers

Tip of the day: I just learned how to print screen on my Mac: Hold down Command, Shift, and 4. Drag the cursor to capture the desired area, and it will save to the clipboard. Pretty fancy not having to open Paint or anything :)

Let me get the Google Badge Updates out of the way so I can actually write about something else (shocking, I know!).

Here's what's up:

Check it out! An Ultimate badge! That's right. Reading 54 articles about Space will earn ya that one! I did earn a Tea Party badge at some point. not sure when that happened! You might also notice that I've got an Archaeology took 15 articles to earn it. That seems like quite a bit, considering my Biebs badge required a mere 8 articles read before that baby was on there (pardon the pun).

I should probably fess up about why I've been so lazy about updating the badges I've discovered: I stumbled across this link one day: and it is an ongoing list of badges that is editable by anyone (think: wikipedia). I'm proud to say I've added a few on there myself :D but really, this guy is good! I would go there for more up-to-date info (but there aren't any pics, sorry!).

So...on to Badgers!

I got together with Katie E, Cait, Amy, Liz, and Ashley H. this weekend and it was SO wonderful! I won a free night's stay at the Marriott Residence Inn from a Relay for Life raffle and it had to be used by the end of the year, so there was no better time than now to try and get all the girls together. Steph, April, and Beth couldn't make it, but otherwise it would have been all of us Badgers! It was really, really, hard saying good-bye to everyone this morning as they went on their own way. I guess that up til now I hadn't given much thought to the fact that because we do all live all over the state and country, we don't get to see each other day-to-day and just catch up. Granted, I do see Steph the most and it's soooo great, but I forgot how much I really love the rest of our group and miss getting together with them as often as I do Steph. It was especially hard saying bye to Katie who lives in Spokane and is engaged. For the first time, I almost resented her getting married one day because we'd never have fun times like we did back in Old Ogg, 111, and 44#2. Those times just can't be beat and it's sad to think we'll never really have time together like that again. Just a part of growing up, I guess.

I should mention, too, that during that hotel stay my friend Lisa watched my little Popcorn and that was great too. I feel so very fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life, whether I see them regularly or otherwise. I guess it just means there are a lot of roadtrips in my future! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sports Badges

I've got a friend, Stephen, who was kind enough to let me take a peak at his badges. Here are two he's got that I haven't seen before:
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Day, New Badges

It's been a while since I updated my Google News Badges, so I'd say it's time to show off my shiny new ones. Here's the whole collection:

You'll see that there a few new ones mixed in there, and that some have (surprisingly) moved up the ranks while others leave me wondering how they got there in the first place.

Let me break it down for ya:
Platinum Badge: Space (46 articles)
Gold Badge: Mobile Industry (42), Google (36), and Apple (36)
Silver: Android (28), Steve Jobs (16), Kristen Stewart (10)
Bronze: Politics (20), Music (14), iPhone (13), Nutrition (10), Netflix (9), Mitt Romney (8), Justin Bieber (8), Kindle (8), Kim Kardashian (7)

Whew! Just today I noticed a new Mitt Romney badge and a Nutrition badge. As of late I've been reading a lot of articles about the President and health, but I never imagined getting those two badges as a result. Weird....

So here is the full list of known badges:
Barack Obama
Chicago White Soxs
Dominican Republic
Harry Potter
Harry Reid
Justin Bieber
Kim Kardashian
Kristen Stewart
Lady Gaga*
Mitt Romney
Mobile Industry
Rand Paul
Steve Jobs
Stock Market
Tea Party
The Phillippines
US Elections
Warren Buffett
*See citation here
** See citation here

If you think these blog posts about the badges are egotistical, that's ok. I think it's fun to see which new ones come out and how they are earned and what divides badge levels from one another. I know, I need a better hobby. But between teaching, work, and school, this is all I have time for!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Extreme I come!

Today I went to Old Navy and shocked both myself and the cashier when I rang up. I had some coupons with me and there was a 75% off sweater sale, so I knew I'd be getting a good deal, but never did I think it'd be THAT good!

I bought $209.52 worth of sweaters, fleece, and going-out shirts, and spent $19.19 total! I had two $30 Supercash certificates which meant that for every $60 I spent, I would save $30, so between two transactions I expected to pay about $60 total. For some reason, the Supercash rang up before any discounts were applied but then went into effect AFTER the 75% discount was applied to the sweaters, so for my first transaction of $66.82 I paid NOTHING! The second transaction of $123.51 cost me the whopping $19.19. I am SO excited to be saving money - and today alone I saved almost 91%!

I told Ronnie that I know I've been shopping more than I have in the past, but it's hard to pass up stocking your wardrobe for under $20, which is cheaper than shopping at the Goodwill!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday

It's hard not to think of Rebecca Black on Fridays. Her song about Friday is horrrendous!

Anyway, I've landed myself three new Badges. They are:

Apparently I've read enough stories about Netflix (7 of them, actually), Kindle (8 of them), and Kristen Stewart (7 of them) to earn a Bronze Badge for each. Nice. That brings my personal Badge count to 14 very diverse Badges.

Next week Popcorn gets groomed for the first time. The big question: To cut his hair like Boo, or like a regular pom. Decisions, decisions!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Newest Badges

Someday I am going to look back and wonder what the heck I was thinking writing so much about these Badges, but it's sort of a fun obesession for now.

I am surprised to say that I've earned another three this week. THREE! What might they be, you ask? Only the finest Badges, of course. By the way, do you know how hard it is to not write "Badgers" out of habit?

They are:

Yep. You read it right. For reading 11 articles about Music, I earned a Badge. For reading 7 articles about Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, I earned those Badges too. Not my proudest moment, but it is hilarious. Given the baby mama drama of Bieber as of late and the divorce drama with Kim, it was hard to not want to know the details!!

Wondering what my whole collection looks like now? Here it is, regardless!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


WOW! Today marked the 10,000th view of my blog! Thank you for reading!

Want to know the stats Google tells me about you readers?

Views by country:
United States  
United Kingdom

Monday, October 31, 2011

'11 Christmas List

I know it's a little early to be planning for Christmas, but Ronnie got me thinking about how much I love slippers, and I realized that I needed a new pair. That got me started thinking about starting this year's list of desirables and actually taking the time to write them down. I doubt anyone giving me a gift will actually read this, but hey, it's good to have a few ideas in mind for friends who outright ask what to give you. I love basically any gift I'm given, so don't take this list to be something it is not - it's just a list of stuff I want and don't necessarily need.

In no particular order:

  • Slippers
  • Bike Trainer
  • Books
  • Age of Empires 2 for Mac
  • Dog Stroller
  • $20 iTunes gift card (that should cover the gangsta rap songs I've always wanted and haven't yet downloaded)
  • Old Navy gift card (my favorite store as of late)
  • Express gift card (jeans!!)
  • Just Dance 3 for Wii
  • Car rack for my new bike :)
  • Cute scarfs (the non-winter kind)
That should do it for now! I'll let you know if I get any of this stuff :) Am I missing something I should have on here? Let me know!!

More Badges..

So I've done some more sleuthing and it seems that there is also a Barack Obama Badge available (which is not all that surprising).

This poster tells us the Badges he's earned, which include one for Harry Reid, Democrats, Tea Party, Somalia, Rand Paul, and Germany. Interesting.
There is another blog, Macrotots, which has a posting about a bunch of badges earned while experimenting with reading only certain types of articles. From his work, we know there following badges exist:

Motorola, Kindle, Netflix, Dell, Hulu, Microsoft, Samsung, Republicans, Nokia, Finance, Harry Reid, and Blackberry are all badges earned that I've not yet seen before.

A Google image search for "My Google News Badges" turns up images including badges for: The Phillippines, Warren Buffett, Lebanon, Sun, Libya, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, NATO, Iran, and Mitt Romney (did I say that one already)?

So now we know of at least 38 badges. Pretty exciting! Earned any lately you'd like to share? I am only 462+ away from knowing what 500+ Google News Badges exist. I guess it's more fun trying to figure them out than waiting for a list to be published. Or maybe this will be the only place a cumulative list will published. Guess we'll have to wait to find out!

I did earn two more, however, since last I posted :) Here they are:
Gotta represent my new Politics and iPhone Badges! I was surprised to earn the Politics Badge after reading an article about Greece. I see the politics in the protests there, but where's my Greece Badge??

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Google News Badges

Since the Google News Badges were unveiled in Summer 2011, I've found myself guilty of checking in to see which badges I've earned thus far, and wondering why aftering reading a litany of articles about a particular topic I've not yet receievd a badge for it. I keep up with the local news in my hometown and about 1 out of every 5 articles I read is about that little town. Clearly, there's no badge for that. We've read that there are 500+ badges, but no one seems to know what badges are out there to be had.

I thought it would be fun to start figuring them out, in hopes that oneday Google will publish an exhaustive list to satisfy my curiosity. Here's what I've got so far, in case you're curious:

So far I've managed to earn:
  • Gold "Space" Badge for reading 32 articles
  • Silver "Mobile Industry" Badge - 25 articles
  • Silver "Apple" Badge - 22 articles
  • Bronze "Google" Badge - 19 articles
  • Bronze "Android" Badge - 15 articles
  • Bronze "Steve Jobs" Badge - 14 articles
Since the passing of Steve Jobs, it was impossible not to graze a handful of articles about him (and incidentally, Apple). It seems apparent that multiple badges can be earned at once by way of reading articles about key topics (like the Steve Jobs/Apple example, just mentioned).

You can see in the examples (linked above) that there are badges for Politics, Business, Harry Potter, Chicago White Soxs, US Elections, Stock Market, Dominican Republic. On the forums I've seem complaints from Ron Paul fans having a Mitt Romney badge. I imagine that some articles do double-duty, earning you points toward multiple badges at once (as in the case of my Mobile Industry, Apple, and Android badges).

As interested in Space as I am, I am not all that interested in the Mobile Industry. I like reading about Apple, since I now own a Mac, but I still have a stone-age phone, leaving me all but interested in Android technology (though I do love technology, in general). Steve Jobs sort of comes along with the Apple territory, though I certainly read many articles about him after his death. The Google badge, well, it just showed up one day. I can't recall reading more than an article or two strictly about Google.

Any badges you'd like to share? Do you think your badges *really* say much about you?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Chapter

Anyone who is anyone will know that I've recently gone back to school for teaching. As always, I was incredibly ambitious and excited to return to the world of academia, but alas, I am quickly growing tired of waking up at 5:30am to teach, then going to work until 4:00pm, then going to class until 8:30pm without a break between each activity. I absolutely love the time I spend teaching in the morning at Emerson Elementary here in Madison, but it would be preferable for my next placement to be on the West Side, nearer to work (we spend 35 hours observing each semester).

I am liking Cardinal Stritch so far. I think the only drawback right now is how uninteresting my literacy class is. I love literacy and learning about language acquisition, but gosh, this class is downright boring! Unfortunately we must spend 15 hours total each semester (in addition to the above-mentioned 35 hours) observing literacy in a Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 3rd grade classroom. Please make it stop! I will be grateful when I move on to the literacy portion for older students, I think. I guess we'll find out.

Fun fact: Apparently 10 people per day read this blog. Looks like you're one of them! The U.S. has the most readership followed by Canada and India. धन्यवाद!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I have finally done it! I adopted a doggie! His name is Popcorn and he is a Pomeranian. But, before you start picturing a small little pup, STOP! He is bigger than a standard pom (enough that he won't fit in the Pomeranian-sized crate I bought for him) and he probably weighs about 12 lbs (instead of about 5-7 lbs). He is a blond color with an adorable face and he his top five favorite things are: snuggling, car rides, peeing, playing by swatting back and forth, and peeing some more. He has horrible breath, but how could you not love his sweet face? Poppycorny is about 8 years old the shelter believes, so he is able to make it through the night without any accidents and he is content being locked in his crate while I'm at work - accident-free as well. He is just such a sweet boy!

Pictures to follow once I am in town!

His birthday will be June 9th (my half birthday) so I will plan him a big to-do. By that time I'll be living in my new apartment and I can have all of my friends stay over :)

Speaking of friends, I feel like now more than ever I value my good friends. I know that sounds bad, but I guess I mean that I have always appreciated my friends, but only recently I have started to realize how MUCH I really rely on them and how much better my life is because of them. I started reconnecting with the friends from high school with whom I've lost touch, and started spending more time with my closer friends here in town. I've really gotten close to Steph again, and I'm grateful to have such a great friend! Lisa is another good friend of mine, and it's crazy to think that we met only a year ago! Lisa and her daughter, Lauren, will be accompanying my mom and I to Costa Rica - we leave tomorrow!!!!

Costa Rica will be its own post, I'm sure :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Riders List

For those who have had the privilege of riding in my *new* car (and by new, of course, I mean new to me), I write this list for posterity. If you've been reading this, you know by now that I love lists and you're probably laughing at my lame excuse for creating yet another.


First people to ride in my car (as of 3/6/11) - you'll see that a lot of the Mirabel staff were among the lucky list-makers:

1. Lisa (my great friend and the Mirabel operations manager)
2. Tim Anderson (our lawn guy)
3. Steph
4. Bob (the maintenance guy)
5. Katie E.
6. Stephen H. (maintenance guy)
7. Lauren
8. Mom
9. Ronnie
10. Dad
11-14. Erica, Erika, Dianah, and Sarah

Prior to gas prices rising to $3.50/gallon this past week, I was all about driving people around in my new car. However, chances are, if you're not on this list yet you'll have to hold out for a ride since I'm becoming less inclined to burn up gas driving around without purpose! :)

New Car & Goin' Home

I'd like to pretend like I'm not being lazy, however, it is Sunday night and as all of my friends know, that is one of my two TV nights. I'm relaxing after being at home in Oak Creek, so the portion about my new car is from an email I wrote to some of my girlfriends:

As some of you may already know, I just bought a new car!! About two weeks ago my car, as the Oregon Trail might say, "took a turn for the worse." I sat there analyzing the pros and cons of my Malibu and in the end, there were only two pros: daytime running lights and power mirrors. Nothing else really worked anymore and the breaks sounded awful - even when I wasn't breaking; so I decided it was time to trade 'er in. I did some research and found that a dealer in Janesville had a great selection of used Toyotas at really good prices so I drove down a week ago last Friday and bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla LE! It is a beautiful blue and I got a sweet deal on it! I am a little shark and got them to bring it down from $16,999 to $12,900, and of course, they did give me a whopping $500 for that piece of junk Malibu, so I guess it was actually $12400 (after taxes, fees, etc.). I've been trying to get a nice picture of her, but it's been really yucky out. I finally took a picture for you to enjoy!

As I mentioned earlier, I just got back from a weekend home in Oak Creek. It was one of the best I've had yet since I got to see Ronnie, get together with family, and meet up with friends who I haven't seen in a (long) while. Friday was a quiet day after work, but I did drive to Chick-Fil-A with my mom and we enjoyed some waffle fries. I should mention that the only Chick-Fil-A I know of in the state of Wisconsin is in Racine, so you could say that I drove two hours for their food. It was worth it and I'd do it again! :)

Left to Right: Maryellen, Emma, Auntie Virginia, Holly, and Me
Now, on Saturday I drove my parents in my new whip (that's the gangsta term for a nice car, I've heard) to my cousin's house. It was her husband's birthday and we were there from 1pm until about 5pm! I got to see relatives who I have not had a chance to see for a while and it was great catching up. Afterward, I met up with Dianah, Erica, Erika, and Sarah at Erica's place. It was wonderful! I showed up to a delicious meal of chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, salad, and cupcakes - it was like they knew my list of top ten favorite foods!! We ate and went to City Lounge in Cudahy, where my aforementioned cousin Holly and her husband, Brian, met us. I had a blast even though I was exhausted from enjoying all of the good food, family, and friends all day. This was the first time I'd seen these girls since last year, so it was soooo nice seeing them. I'm hoping that we stay close and do a better job of keeping in touch. Dianah mentioned potentially moving to Madison once her beau returns from serving overseas - I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited!!

Lil Jon on The Apprentice is hilarious, by the way. Sunday night television has gotten really good and tonight I had to forgo watching The Amazing Race so I could watch some new show about the next fast food restaurant. It is a difficult life I lead.... :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

I know, I know, it's been a while

Last night I went to bed at 9:00pm (who knows why) and of course my body, used to it's seven solid hours of sleep, thought it was time to get up at 4:30am. I managed to trick myself into sleeping until 8:30am, but now I am anxious to begin my day!

Image from DuneCraft website
I am starting to plan what I will be growing in my garden this year at Mirabel (and possibly Midtown, too). I bought a starter kit for peanuts at JoAnn's for $10, and I'm very excited to start planting a whole bunch of peanuts. Last year I had a fairly successful crop of Japanese hull-less popcorn and I'm considering growing more of it. My apprehension at growing popcorn again is the disease a bunch of my plants experienced last year which looked disgusting (corn smut). It got into many of the plants and I lost about half of the 16 stalks I planted as a result. But the popcorn was so delicious, it's hard to go back to popping regular kernels because they don't seem as fluffy or flavorful.

Well, Ronnie is about to leave to move back to Milwaukee, so I'm going to enjoy our remaining time together before he takes off.