Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #23: Favorite Commercials

I watch commercials less often than I have in the past even though I watch more TV these days. I usually use time during commercials to do things or read email, but every so often I still find a favorite. Here are 13 of my all-time favorites.

You may notice a musical theme with a lot of these commercials. I'm a musical person, so these are the types of commercials that tend to stick with me. Most of these I remembered, but I rounded out my list by searching online (I refused to put in more than 3 PC/Mac commercials since I've already done an entire TT on those).

Thirteen of Michelle B's Favorite Commercials

1. Cingular Misunderstood Commercial

2. HP Picture Book Commercial (2 versions!)


3. HP Out of the Picture Commercial

4. Gap Mellow Yellow Commercial

5. PC/Mac Cancel or Allow Commercial

6. PC/Mac Fatal Error Commercial

object height="355" width="425">

7. PC/Mac Webcam Commercial

8. Honda Cog Commercial (a Rube Goldberg machine)

9. Target Good Buy Hello Commercial

10. Target "Less" Commercial

11. Folgers 80s Christmas Commercial

12. Hershey Kiss Christmas Commercial

13. Lost in Translation (I hadn't seen this one, but I found it online and it cracked me up!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photos of Sophie & Ron!

I've said this before, but I just have to say it again. Taking photos of cats is anything but easy. Sophie and Ron are challenging enough if they'd cooperate because of their color (Sophie so light and Ron so dark), but they rarely cooperate.

Ron is particularly challenging since he just loves attention. If I get close enough to get his picture, he comes up to rub against me as soon as he notices me. Add to that the fact that my auto focus doesn't focus well on him (I think it's because he's black) and that just makes it even more fun! I'm nowhere near fast enough with the manual focus because as soon as I get focused he's moved enough that I need to refocus. Argh!

And Sophie, well, she's so light she blends in or blinds you when the sun reflects off her fur. She has beautiful blue eyes, but when using a flash, she gets terrible red-eye. And she's not usually very happy with me when I continually shoot flash photos of her. See the examples below if you don't believe me!

Shots of Sophie

I thought she looked so cute on this chair. If only it weren't for that dreaded red-eye and her impatience with my flash. Can you see the difference in her expression between the photos?

Here's the 4th photo I took

Below is the 18th photo I took (and yes, I took more than 18). This is her "If you take one more *&%@ photo with that *&%@$ flash, I'm going to jump off this chair and bite you!" look. I've seen it a lot. I think it's more obvious in the bigger picture (click to enlarge it).

One of the latter photos that was better with the red-eye

I generally have better luck when she's sleeping since I don't have to worry about red-eye. Sometimes I wake her up though...

Here she is asleep on the sofa

After a few shots, she woke up. I can just hear her saying "Are you at it AGAIN?!"

And here she is less than a minute later back in almost the same position she started in.

Here are a few more of her curled up in another chair from last March (2007)

And some of her in a pink basket my mom bought for her. Of course, she didn't get in it until my mom put other stuff in it (after Sophie had ignored it for months). She climbed in right on top of a doll and curled up LOL!

Here are the few decent shots of Ron I got recently

Ron sitting in the garden

Ron on the prowl in the garden

Ron curled up on the sofa one night

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Music Mania: BBMak

This week's artist is BBMak, who are actually no longer together as a band. I have very fond memories of BBMak that are partially non-music related. Because of BBMak, I met some of my closest online friends. BBMak also provided me with the opportunity to visit the infamous Viper Room during their launch party for their second album. It was quite an experience.

This week the playlist is from imeem since I had better luck finding songs there. As always, enjoy!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #22: Thirteen Things on My "Bucket List"

I've thought about starting a "Bucket List" ever since I saw the previews for the movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. After seeing the movie last weekend with my parents, I decided to make it my Thursday Thirteen this week!

Here are 13 things from my "Bucket List" (i.e. 13 things I want to do before I die)...

Thirteen Things from Michelle B's Bucket List

1. Take flying lessons. I go back and forth between fixed wing air plane and helicopter lessons. I never really thought about helicopters, though, until my first helicopter ride back in 2001. I loved it!

2. Fly a fighter plane in a simulator. Though I never wanted to join the military, I always wanted the chance to fly a fighter plane growing up. I used to watch the Iron Eagle movies over and over! A flight simulator is about the closest I'm going to get! I feel so weird having 2 flying things on my list since I'm a bit afraid of heights. I do love to fly though (and am perfectly fine on commercial flights).

3. See the Matterhorn in Switzerland. I've been to Switzerland, but didn't make it to the Matterhorn.

4. Travel to each of the 50 states. So far I've been to 22 (not including those that I've only seen via their airports). A couple I've only driven through and made brief stops, but hey, as long as I've stopped and not just flown over, I've counted it.

5. Take a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands stopping at each one (for photo ops!) I've been to Oahu, but not any of the other islands, so I listed it separately from #4.

6. Make a meaningful difference in some one's life (even if I don't know it!)

7. Inspire someone who previous didn't like math to enjoy math and maybe even think of a math related career. (A difficult one, but hey, I'm thinking big!)

8. See the pyramids and other ancient ruins in Egypt.

9. Visit the ruins at Machu Picchu.

10. Own my own home. I've always wanted to own a home, but living in California, that was just a distant dream because of the cost of homes. Now I'm in Arizona, and it looks like it may happen before the year is out. Now I just have to find the perfect house for me:-)

11. Own/Lease a least for a short while. A Porsche Carrera has always been my dream car, but my practical side says it'd be a nightmare to own one. I'd be so paranoid for someone to scratch it or steal it. Not to mention the repair costs. But at least for a short while, I'd like to own my dream car before I die :-)

12. Do something on a grand scale to thank my parents for all their love and support throughout my life.

13. Write a book about my family history.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My First Sale! (and other random stuff)

As I mentioned before, I decided to open a Cafe Press store ( recently using some of my photos. I figured that since I've gotten a lot of compliments on my photos, I would make the products available for those who want them.

I was so excited last night when I logged in to my account and found out I made my first sale back in February! I didn't realize it earlier because it takes 30 days for the commission to post.

I hope business will pick up, but this sale was pretty much luck. The person found my stuff through a search of all products on Cafe Press. There are so many items and so many sellers, it can be difficult to be noticed.

I pretty much stink at promoting myself and my stuff. I included a link to my shop in my Holiday Letter in December, but I felt guilty even then. I hate feeling like I'm pushing stuff on people. I am so not a natural born sales person. I'm thinking of getting some business cards printed (probably one of those free trial sites at first). Who knows...

And for those interested, I ordered the photos on canvas this last weekend. For size reasons, I decided on the Butterfly (rather than the Bird of Paradise) and the two sunsets. Then I got a call yesterday from Canvas On Demand about using custom sizes for the sunsets to better fit the proportions!

I was happy to hear this because in discussing photos to use with my Mom, we worried the Bird of Paradise wouldn't translate well if anything had to be cropped to make it fit the canvas. So we decided on the butterfly instead. Now I know that if I want to get the Bird of Paradise in the future, I can just ask for a custom canvas size!

I've forgotten to post Monday Music Mania for a couple weeks even though I have posts just waiting to be posted. Monday just comes and goes before I realize it! This is why Wordpress would be nice. I could schedule in advance! Oh well. I do plan to do a Thursday Thirteen this week and I have lots of pictures to go through. I hope to post some of them soon.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day--as in pi, the Greek symbol used in math, not the pie you eat!


Because the date is 3/14 and the approximate value of pi is 3.14!

It wasn't until I started teaching and one of my students told me about it that I began to celebrate pi day. I've even read about one teacher celebrating with her class specifically at 1:59pm (because pi to 5 digits is 3.14159)! In fact, in doing some research for this blog post, I found a site that does a Pi Drop at 1:59pm on 3/14. To see the replay of last year's Pi drop click here. You can watch this year's live drop on the site at 1:59pm today!

Pi is a number that many mathematicians and even many of my students find intriguing. As a result of questions from students, I did some research to discover that the "World Record" for digits of pi calculated is over 1 trillion digits.

You can learn all sorts of fun facts about pi at the Joy of Pi website (which is based on the book of the same name). I got the pirelated cartoon created by John Grimes below there as well.

I hope you have a wonderful Pi Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No Thursday Thirteen This Week

As the title indicates, there'll be no Thursday Thirteen for me this week. It's been a crazy one since I posted last week's TT.

I was actually in Arlington, Virginia at a conference when I posted it. I hadn't been feeling well before I left, but was feeling a bit better until the long day on Thursday. Since Friday, I've been feeling pretty blah until yesterday. That plane ride home was miserable and I spent Friday night through Monday in bed.

I made my way to San Diego (from Phoenix) yesterday since this week is my Spring Break. I haven't had time to come up with a new TT this week, though. I'm planning to have a new one next week.

Hope you are all doing better than I have been this last week. I still have papers to grade, my taxes to finish, and my class reunion book page to finish before Sunday. Yikes!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #21: Favorite Misheard Song Lyrics

I love music, especially singing along in the car. I must admit there are times that I don't know the lyrics and make them up. A few years back, I bought 4 books by Gavin Edwards on misheard lyrics. Many of them crack me up, so I decided to share 13 of my favorites with you. I find them even better when I sing the misheard lyric in place of the correct one in my head.

I'm convinced people pay no attention to song titles or they'd know some of these lyrics LOL. The correct lyrics are noted after the misheard one and the song it comes from. I have many more favorites, so I may post more in a future TT someday down the road...

Thirteen of Michelle B's Favorite Misheard Song Lyrics

1. You make me feel like a rash on a woman. From Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin
(Correct lyric: You make me feel like a natural woman)

2. Wake me up and pour me cocoa. From Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go by Wham!
(Correct lyric: Wake me up before you go-go)

3. I'm the leprechaun gangster. From Here Comes the Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze (I've blogged this before and had multiple hits from searches on this phrase LOL!)
(Correct lyric: I'm the lyrical gangster)

4. Sweet land of liberty, Off-key I sing. From My Country 'Tis of Thee
(Correct lyric: Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing)

5. Wake up, I might sit on you. From Got My Mind Set on You by George Harrison
(Correct lyric: I've got my mind set on you)

6. Give me the Beach Boys and free my soul. From Drift Away by Dobie Gray
(Correct lyric: Give me the beat, boys and free my soul)

7. Let's give them something from Taco Bell. From Something to Talk About by Bonnie Raitt
(Correct lyric: Let's give them something to talk about)

8. Take me down to the prairie dog city. From Paradise City by Guns N' Roses
(Correct lyric: Take me down to the paradise city)

9. I got shoes, they're made of plywood. From You're The One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
(Correct lyric: I got chills, they're multiplying)

10. Sweet dreams are made of cheese. From Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics
(Correct lyric: Sweet dreams are made of this)

11. Totally blitzed by a fart. From Total eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
(Correct lyric: Total eclipse of the heart)

12. Take your pants down and make it happen.From Flashdance...What a Feeling by Irene Cara
(Correct lyric: Take your passion and make it happen.)

13. Baking Carrot biscuits. From Takin' Care of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
(Correct lyric: Takin' care of business)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday Music Mania: Maroon 5

I've posted about my love of Maroon 5 a few times on this blog before, but I just couldn't leave them out of my Monday Music Mania posts. They're pretty well known now. When I first discovered them, they had more of a local following out in the LA area.

The first time I heard a Maroon 5 song was live at the Roxy in LA. They opened for Michelle Branch (who I was there to see). I remember going home and looking at their website and being so bummed that they album didn't come out until June and here it was only February!

It's been years since Songs About Jane came out, but I still love it just the same. Their new album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, is a bit different, but I still love it. I've mixed songs from both albums in the playlist below. Enjoy!

music player
I made this music player at