Monday, January 26, 2009

Omaha Zoo

For MLK day we decided that our service would be to "donate" our disposable income to the Omaha Zoo. This place is rockin'. This is a picture of us with our 3-D glasses on for the movie "Wild Ocean". The really awesome thing about the Omaha Zoo is that a lot of the inside exhibits are designed for the animals to roam quite freely. There was a desert dome that had things scurrying about and then in the basement of that building had a swamp exhibit. I think the swamp was our favorite part. You walk around this boardwalk with hardly any light and all around you is alligators, beavers, mostly alligators. Then in some really dark corners of the swamp the boardwalk is very squeaky and it un-nerves you quite a bit. If you want to come visit us we promise that the zoo will be on the agenda, we might even buy you a bag of sweets.

They have a jungle that is the same sort of set up with monkeys running around on ropes that run above your head and parrots that look like they could just start flying over to another spot at any time. They also have a butterfly exhibit that is really neat as well.

Scott and I have decided that when we retire we want to work at the zoo. There were two older ladies who worked there who were giving a talk about an iguana to a bunch of school kids and they had the iguana right there for the kids to come up and pet. That sounds like a really cool job to have.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Vornado

Coolest name ever for a space heater. We got this for Christmas in hopes that it would decrease our utility bill. This thing is awesome. It heats up an entire room but doesn't just turn on when it gets cold and turns off when it gets hot. When the room reaches the desired temperature, it just slows down the fan a little bit and doesn't put out as hot of air. It also somehow "vortex-es" the air around so the air is constantly being rotated so all the air is warm and you don't have hot and cold spots in the room. It also is cool to the touch and automatically turns off if there is an obstruction in front of it, or if it falls over. Also nothing bigger than a number 2 pencil can fit through the grills.

The cool part is that we only heat up the room that we are in. It usually stays in our bedroom. And we are usually able to turn the regular heat off all together. I think in the last 2 weeks that we have had it we have only had to turn the heat on 3-4 times and it is usually only for an hour or so. We have to keep the space heater running all day in our bedroom because of my instruments, but we're hoping that our utility bill will be much happier because of it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OLLI-What I'm doing with my spare time

I work in the dean's office of Education at UNL. Housed in the same college is a program called OLLI. It is a community ed program for people over the age of fifty. People volunteer their time and teach classes and the classes are really quite awesome. Computer classes, learning about the middle east conflict, they go on tours in Chicago, world food classes etc. So I decided that it would be awesome to teach a Suzuki group class for OLLI. Now mind you I've had adult students before, but never 12 of them at the same time.

The class will be set up with the first 45 minutes being a group class and the second half will be a master class situation where every other week they get a private 7 minute lesson while everyone else watches. It should be very interesting and exciting. I went to an open house for all the members to check out what classes are being offered and everyone I talked to thought it was such a cool idea. The people who are signed up are totally stoked and that makes me totally stoked. Only two of them have had any kind of violin experience and it was when they were in grade school so everybody's really starting from scratch.

Hopefully by the end of the six week course everyone will be able to play tucka tucka stop stop and we can put on a recital for people to come to. I was amazed at the open house how many people were convinced that they couldn't do it. They would say to me, "I really want to, but I just don't think I could do it." There was nothing I could say that could convince them otherwise. If I am really good at documenting the successes of this first class it will inspire those who have made up their minds that you have to have talent in order to succeed with music. I'm out to prove them wrong. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

All things January

So we haven't been blogging about our actual lives for awhile. I think the main reason is because our camera is totally shot. It got dropped awhile back and ever since the focus has been slowly dying and now it can't take any pictures. And I feel like nobody wants to read a blog post without at least some pictures. So I'm just going to post pictures that were taken awhile ago. The one to the left is of us on our honeymoon in Durango, CO.

We had a wonderful holiday. Stayed in Lincoln for Christmas so Scott could finish up his research project and then we headed to Denver for New Years. We spent the time with Scott's parents and his sister Ellen and her husband Kevin. We were spoiled to death and also went to the zoo which is way more fun in the winter FYI.

As I've read other blogs about the new year, or reflections on the old I've tried to figure out what I would want to say about 2008. It was a big year for us. Scott graduated, we moved to a brand new place with brand new people. I conquered yeast breads and my new boss called me "a very goal oriented person" I think that's one of the best compliments I've ever received.

So the new year comes with new goals. We got the 10 minute trainer workout videos and we've been diligent so far. I've written down all the dinner meals for the month of January and their accompanying grocery lists. We're eating more lettuce and less pizza. And Carrie said that if you practice for at least 5 minutes a day it counts, so I'm think I'm going to try to do 100 straight days of practice again.