Only in Dominica..

Do they have linoleum on the floor of a van..


Or decorate their homes with seashells and hot pink paint..

Only in Dominica (and China) do they have Corn Candy..

But China certainly doesn't have grocery stores 
that open onto the beach..

 Only in Dominica do fishermen announce with a conch shell 
they are selling pufferfish off the sidewalk..

Or make sure they have absurd sayings on their vehicles..

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The title of this book struck me first.  Followed by the fact it was about the Japanese internment during WWII.  I loved that it told a story about an old man and a child (him as a boy).  However, I became disappointed about halfway through the book when I could easily tell where it was going and how it would end.  It was too predictable for my taste, but I finished it.  It ended just as I thought it would, no surprises.  This would be a good book for a high school student learning more about the Japanese internment, but not as a novel for an educated adult.    


Spouses' Kitchen

My good friend Clare started a recipe blog called Spouses' Kitchen.  The cool thing is it's collaborative!  Anyone who she adds as a writer can post to the blog.  You can view my first post here.  I'm making Beef with Peppers for dinner tomorrow!  Why tomorrow?  Go check it out at Spouses' Kitchen!

Courtesy of Ree at The Pioneer Woman



There are some things in this world that are just wrong.  For example, the Banana Quenchi.  Imagine a banana flavored laffy taffy.  Now imagine the laffy taffy liquifying and moving into a soda bottle.  The result is plain wrong.

The thing about living in Dominica is that you never quite know what you are going to get.  A caterpillar in your chinese food?  A banana flavored soda?  I thought I had seen it all.


The Corn Candy.  This little guy baffled my senses.  At first glance you think, "Oh, how cute! A candy corn."
Expecting to have a sweet experience, I popped it into my mouth to find out I was wrong.  This was no candy corn, this was really and truly Corn Candy.  Chewy and sticky like a soft jelly candy, but also savory and distinctly corn tasting.  It is the buttered popcorn of jelly beans.  The maple-bacon of donuts.  The Corn Candy. 



One of the assignments in my latest Masters class had me create a Top 12 list of the best websites for educators.  I decided to go the route of an infographic.  Have you guys seen infographics lately?!  Check out this one:
Infographics are art and information mixed together.  They are made especially for viewing on the web and most are long and narrow to fit on webpages and blogs easily. If you want to check out more, go here.  So, you can see why I was interested in trying to make my own.  Even if you aren't a teacher, you might still enjoy some of these sites!



Remember this girl?
Me either.  :(  
That photo was taken at the Pasadena Triathlon in 2008.
It's been way too long since I've been in the saddle.
A big thank-you to Jen Jarvie for starting a new Spin Class.
Dominica desperately needed one.


Everyone Loves an Irish Girl

In my 27 years, this is the first time I will be without corned beef 
on St. Patrick's Day.  

My Irish blood is craving a dinner like this:

I looked at every store, I called the island meat guy (Malcom), and I asked my favorite restaurant Pagua Bay to no avail.  There is no corned beef on this island.

I suppose some green beer will have to do.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!



It has been brought to my attention by Kristen from Louisiana to Dominica that there is a certain disease we all get when we arrive in Dominica: Caribbean Hoarding Syndrome. 

Caribbean Hoarding Syndrome
Definition: What occurs when foil and ziploc bags come at a premium and you own only a few pieces of tupperware.
Causes: lack of products available, gauging prices, student loans, possibly something in the water
Symptoms: reusing foil, washing and saving ziploc bags, cleaning salsa jars for reuse, saving butter or whipped cream tubs to use instead of tupperware, taking home your To-Go coffee cup to reuse the next morning, saving plastic bags, reusing one-time-use foil baking dishes
Diagnosis: To diagnosis CHS, open the drawer where your paper and plastic products are kept. If it looks similar to the photo below, chances are you have CHS.  
Treatment: CHS usually gets better on its own once the person showing symptoms moves back to the United States.  Relapse can occur as the patient ages and/or comes in contact with others with CHS.

Be honest, do you have CHS?


Camtasia (like Fangtasia.. only better)

For my EdTech program, we had to download a free trial of Camtasia and learn how to use it to create a screencast project.  Using Camtasia was easier than I expected and also a lot more fun!  At it's most simple level, the program lets you video tape what is happening on your computer's screen while also including any talking you do while recording.  The program seemed quite intuitive, and somewhat mirrored the setup of Apple's iMovie.  Before beginning my project, I visited TechSmith's Learning Center and watched the Getting Started tutorials.  From there, recording and creating my own screencast was fairly straightforward.  I can see the potential for using Camtasia as a classroom tool for creating demonstrations and project instructions for my students or as a fun way to show how to do things on my blog!

So, here is my screencast on how to create a favicon and upload it to Google Sites.  This video is best viewed in fullscreen mode.  

For anyone would like to add a favicon to your personal website or blog, after you import your image you would choose "Publish under an open license" and create a free account with favicon.cc.  Once logged in, you would select your created favicon and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page to add the html script to your website or blog.  



The truth is, I've been entirely too busy reading blogs to post in my own.  There is this thing called RSS: Really Simple Syndicate.  I've always wondered what that funny symbol was, but never cared enough to find out.  It turns out that when you click the RSS button, it's kinda of like subscribing to that blog.  Then if you go to Google Reader (which if you have gmail, you already have) all your "subscriptions" are there waiting for you.  And if you use Blogspot already, all the blogs that you "follow" on Blogspot are already set up, ready to go!  So then, instead of going to check 15 different people's blogs everyday all I have to do is go to G-Reader and voila!  All the updates are there waiting for me.  What an awesome system, and a time saver!
Google Reader
More Info
Google Reader is called an aggregator which basically means a sorter for the RSS feeds.  You can also download aggregators like NetNewsWire which works on your computer, iPhone, or iPad or try a browser-based one like Bloglines or Feedlooks
There are things I like about G-Reader and NetNewsWire.  At first both were a little overwhelming, but once you catch up on reading what you've missed it's rather easy to stay on top of it all.  I like that I can categorize things with both programs, and I like that you can save an article to read later, or tag it in case you want to find it again.  You can also easily switch between just looking through one blog at a time to reading updates from all the blogs you follow at once.  If you are a blogger like me, you should definitely try it out!