Archive for category randomness


image credit: slworking2 on Flickr

photo credit: slworking2

You know those posts where bloggers apologize for neglecting their blog, or only blogging sporadically, over a long period of time and subsequently promise to deliver more good content in the very near future? I’ve never understood these posts. It’s like having a meeting to talk about what hasn’t been done, thereby creating the need to have another meeting at some indefinite point in the future when something has actually been done. It’s a waste of time on something that has no point.

Yet bloggers still write, and publish, these “sorry I’ll be better” posts. And this is mine.

Thanks for reading. 😉


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how to watch every James Bond movie ever made

“The first Bond movie I saw was GoldenEye, and I confess that it might still be my favorite.”

How I did it: I recorded my progress on 43 Things in the comments under my initial entry on this goal.

Lessons & tips: Carve out time to complete this goal, either by designating a regular time to watch each movie (ex: Sunday evenings) or setting aside a handful (or two) of days to watch several movies back to back. The combined run time is 3008 minutes, or just over 50 hours. So yeah, you’re gonna need some time to watch all 24 films.

Resources: I created a PDF listing all of the Bond movies by release date. It includes both official and unofficial movies (those not produced by EON Productions). If you’d like a copy, send me an email at heather lynne herr at gmail dot com. Alternatively, you can refer to Wikipedia’s article on James Bond.

It took me 372 days.

It made me

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7 things that are not like the others

I got memed. Just before the new year. That tattle tell known as Google alerted me that someone had been talking about @MsHerr. I employed my keen detective skills to discover that Dani Cutler had tagged me in one of the two circulating memes. I love memes. Isn’t meme just web jargon for chain letter? And I love chain letters. Especially the completely irrational, yet annoyingly persistent, feeling I have of letting down friend/family/acquaintance/imposter while I blatantly ignore the letter.

But I’ve been known to look on the bright side of things. I thought it could be a good way to kick off ‘09. So I started writing…

one: I want to adopt at least one child.

I think that there are people who have an obligation to love each of us, and the first among these are the two people whose actions conceived us: our birth mothers and fathers. Yet real life rarely follows the shoulds. Families form through blood and change through choice.

My birth father was absentee before, during, and after the short nine months he and my mother were married. When I was four, another man came into our lives. When I was seven, this man became my mother’s husband. In sixth grade, I was given three choices: keep my birth name, change my last name, be adopted. I chose adoption. But he became my dad long before that, and I have been blessed to receive a father’s love from a man who had no obligation to show such concern.

Consider that there are many children in this world who, for whatever reason, have birth parents but no mom and no dad. I want to share the blessing that I still enjoy. I want to love and care for, to adopt, a child who is in need of a mom.

two: I used to be a puppeteer.

Growing up in Gallup, the church I went to had a couple of youth groups. One was a puppeteering group for 6th through 12th graders. We’d learn skits that we’d then perform during services or various public events throughout the community. Some were funny. Some were dramatic. Not all were religiously-themed. But all had a lesson of some sort. We had a large collection of high quality puppets and props, a stage large enough for up to seven puppeteers, and a sound system. Not exactly small-time for a church youth group.

Besides being moderately interesting, I share this because, believe it or not, there is some serious technique to operating a puppet. Rather than explain it, check out this video from Puppets and Stuff and Expert Village.


Then verbosity became my downfall. I had set out to briefly capture the story behind each of these seven things, but the lack of a consistent theme has plagued me. My attempts to be consistent in voice, inspiration, and length have been thwarted. Each time I put finger to keyboard, I’ve spun time’s wheels. So here I take a page from Jeremy Tanner’s book, err… blog. Keep it simple. Keep it brief. Stick to the headlines.

three: Kid-in-a-candy-store is my favorite flavor of happy.

four: Braiding my hair is my one pre-race ritual.

five: I enjoy traveling alone.

six: Of all the virtues, patience is the one I dislike the most.

seven: I’d love to work for Harley-Davidson. Corporate. *

There. It’s done. It’s no longer the start of new year. That shiny newness has worn off. The novelty is gone. That unalterable pattern of 24/7 has reasserted itself. It’s only the start of the remaining 96.9% of ‘09, a rather arbitrary statistic.

And so I close with an offer… Should you find any of the above headlines so intriguing that you want a story, holla at me. I will gladly oblige.

And a promise… I shall not meme anyone unless you, again, holla at me.

* Don’t worry Phoenix, I’m not leaving you yet. There is too much great stuff going on here, now, that I want to be a part of. But someday, perhaps two or three or seven years from now…

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a good samaritan stiffer

This morning I went to Daily Rush (soon to be D’Lish) for a morning coffee date. After dropping a friend at the airport, I was an hour early. A perfect opportunity to have some breakfast so that I wouldn’t be talking with my mouth full of food.

It’s crude and it’s lewd to talk with your mouth full of food. Why, even the milk cow who moo’d as she chewed never talked with her mouth full of food and the cuckoo would never have ever cuckoo’d if he coo’d with his mouth full of food.*

So I ordered a breakfast sandwich with bacon and a double syrup black cherry mocha. I ordered my food from the bar, which is the only place to order food other than the drive-thru. I sat down. My order was brought out to me. I ate. It was tasty. And I drank. Also tasty. I did stuff on the interwebz. I met my coffee date. He talked. I talked. We talked. We both had other meetings. We said our goodbyes. I left.

An hour and a half later, it hits me: I didn’t pay. I ordered my breakfast sandwich and coffee at the bar, but was not rung up. I was not given any sort of check in the two+ hours I was there. And when I left, I was already running a tad late for my next meeting.

Suddenly I’m feeling pretty guilty. I was in the food service industry once and I know from experience that walkouts suck. Besides, I go to local coffee shops like Daily Rush to support them. I don’t think stiffing them is a very effective way of supporting them. I considered driving back to Daily Rush to pay them. I think about gas. I think about my financial pinch. I think about just forgetting about it and carrying on merrily with my day. Saved gas + saved money = … well in truth, not much except prolonged agony given my pinch is being applied by a vice grip. Prolonged agony is postponed certain death. But remember the part about supporting local coffee shops?

Long story short… err… shortened…, I called Daily Rush, told them what happened, and asked them to charge my credit card. The gentleman who answered the phone seemed very confused by my request. I’d guess they get very few walkouts. And even fewer who call back asking to be charged.

* Coffee date for the first person to correctly guess the author.

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kids say the darndest things…

I was doing a little bit of research for merciless flirt and came across a blog called Ferocious Flirting: Making Marriage Wonderful. Combing through the archives for fun stuff, I came across a post on how kids think about love. Unfortunately I can’t link directly to the post, so here are some of my favorites. If you find one especially funny, tweet it. If you have others, add it in the comments.

Surefire ways to make a person fall in love with you:

  • “Tell them that you own a whole bunch of candy stores.” – Del, age 6
  • “Shake your hips and hope for the best.” – Camille, age 9
  • “One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me.” – Bart, age 9

Title of love ballads you can sing to your beloved:

  • “‘How Do I Love Thee When You’re Always Picking Your Nose?'” – Arnold, age 10
  • “‘Hey, Baby, I Don’t like Girls but I’m Willing to Forget You Are One!'” – Will, age 7
  • “‘Honey, I Got Your Curly Hair and Your Nintendo on My Mind.'” – Sharon, age 9

What most people are thinking when they say “I love you”:

  • “The person is thinking: Yeah, I really do love him. But I hope he showers at least once a day.” – Michelle, age 9

How a person learns to kiss:

  • “You can have a big rehearsal with your Barbie and Ken dolls.” – Julia, age 7

When is it OK to kiss someone?

  • “It’s never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you … That’s why I stopped doing it.” – Tammy, age 10
  • “If it’s your mother, you can kiss her any time. But if it’s a new person, you have to ask permission.” – Roger, age 6

original post by Matthew O. Smith on 2.12.2008

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16 consecutive standard-style push ups

With bis & tris freshly weak from the initial test, I confess that I have joined AZ Twitterati in the 100 push ups challenge. The buzz started last week, but I was on the fence. It’s in line with my want to get back in the habit of working out daily. I can be very lazy. Lots of my tweeps were doing it. I have a lot on my plate already. When I work out regularly, I’m more energized, more alert, and yes…smarter. I don’t like committing to things I think following through on will become chore-like. Lots of my tweeps were doing it. Lots of my tweeps were doing it. Then today I discovered we have our own wiki-site. Really, our very own site! Where you even have to sign up! I am so in! I’m a joiner, what else do you expect?



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update: a tale of two bus stops

Because I know you’re all still sitting on the edge of your chairs wondering how this one turned out…

Monday, I was a bit perturbed by a inconsistent, and somewhat contradictory, information about the location of the bus stop at Kyrene and Bell de Mar. To recap, based on the equation: bench + blue sign + route schedule = bus stop, my dilemma was that within 30′ of each other were two stops, each with two of the three physical cues of a stop, but each also missing one vital cue, thus making the actual bus stop difficult to determine. I hypothesized that Valley Metro was shifting the stop southward.

As I left for work today (driving, not public transit-ing) I noticed that the blue bus stop sign that was previously located at the north stop had been moved to the south stop with the shaded bench and route schedules.

In other words, I was right!

Not that it makes my Monday experience any more or less dissatisfying now…

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a tale of two bus stops

It’s been three weeks since I last rode the bus (and three weeks since I met Tweety Bird). In that time, indeed probably in the last few days, there have been some minor street improvements on Kyrene. So minor that I haven’t even noticed them despite driving on the street everyday. Until this morning, because this morning it affected me.

I catch either the 65 or the 62 to campus from Kyrene and Bell de Mar. My last time here, the stop consisted of a concrete bench with the city of Tempe logo imprinted on the ends, the standard blue bus stop sign, and the northbound route schedules.

Today, this stop still had the concrete bench and blue bus stop sign, but 30’ to the south was a new concrete pad with the typical brown bus stop shading structure, a green metal bench, and the northbound route schedules, obviously moved from their prior location.

Suddenly a dilemma: if bench + blue sign + route schedule = bus stop, then when faced with two stops, each with two of the three physical cues of a stop, but each also missing one vital cue, which is the actual bus stop and where do I stand if I want to catch it?

It’s all a bit confusing. My best guess is that Valley Metro is shifting the stop slightly to the south for business entry reasons, but there is no on site visual confirmation of if this change is occurring and when it goes into effect. In the meantime, I chose the new south stop. The bus driver saw me, and stopped, but at the original stop. Clearly I chose wrong. When boarding, I mentioned the confusion resulting from inconsistent information. His reply: “this is where the bus stops, and this is where I stop.”

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expanding my library

I’m a Borders Rewards member, so I periodically get really good coupons from them, like 40% of any one book purchased March 31st-April 1st.  Yup, two days, that’s all I get.  One of my 43 things (if I was (or ever do get) on 43 things) is to build a personal library.  So even though I have plenty of books I haven’t read, I am going to use the coupon to buy a new book, only I thought it would be interesting to let my Twitter friends weigh in on the purchase decision.

This is what they said (accompanied by short descriptions/reviews, interesting and/or relevant links, and recommender comments…all included for your benefit should you happen to be looking for a new book with which to whittle away your non-existent free time).


@natahlee recommends: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal* by Eric Schlosser

“Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. It is industry of consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America’s health, landscape, culture, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser’s exposé addresses the vertical chain from in-store experience to meatpacking.


Believe it or not, I think that you can actually read this whole book online via Google. 

* @chuckreynolds seconded this recommendation. @natahlee says “I thought it was excellent.”


@brullig recommends: Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman (Adventures of a Curious Character) by R.P. Feynman

An autobiography composed entirely of anecdotes recounting adventures in trading ideas on both physics and gambling, painting nudes, and accompanying a ballet on bong drums. One reviewer calls Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman selection of commentary fiercely independent, intolerant of stupidity, and unafraid to offend while also revealing of the sources and expressions of authentic knowledge.


Kinda makes me think of Twitter.


@shalerjump recommends: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell’s theory of social dynamics likens mass behavioral change to epidemics triggered by minor alterations in the environment or a small number of people who act as connectors, mavens, and salesmen.


Believe it or not, I think that you can actually read this whole book online via Google.  

The Tipping Point reminds me of Just 1%: The Power of Microtrends, a manifesto by Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne published on


@shalerjump also recommends: Better Makes Us Best by John Psarouthakis

Psarouthakis focuses on a incremental approach to success. “It is human desire to get better” and possible for both companies and individuals to grow in very positive ways by defining what it means to be “best” and focusing on continual improvement.

source(s): very few and very vague sources, thus potentially a bunch of BS.)


@shalerjump also recommends: The 4 Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich* by Timothy Ferriss

A book about ‘lifestyle design’, or more simply, balancing work and play. There are plenty of books on this subject, and perhaps many address the same principles, but The 4 Hour Workweek centers on leveraging modern technologies for a full-spectrum of business activity, financial management, and communications. It has been called a manifesto for the mobile lifestyle.

source(s):, The 4 Hour Workweek book site, and The Get Rich Slowly Blog

* @shalerjump hasn’t actually read The 4 Hour Workweek, but finds the discussion points interesting. @chuckreynolds seconded the recommendation, that is if you consider purchase and intent to read equivalent to a recommendation.


@shalerjump also recommends: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time* by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

The focus here seems to be less on the “crude, desperate glad-handing usually associated with the word ‘networking’” and more about the building of mutually-beneficial relationships. Among the key principles: never keep score, ‘ping’ constantly, remember names and birthdays, don’t fear vulnerability, look for mentors and become one yourself, and of course, never eat alone.

source(s): and Keith Ferrazzi site

This concept is actually one of the root ideas behind, a tool developed by Brian Dorsey for connecting with new people outside of our normal social, work, and hobby circles over lunch.

* @shalerjump hasn’t actually read this one either, but it is one of his mottos.


@sheilabocchine recommends: The Ringing Cedars Series* by Vladimir Megre

Anastasia, the first book in the series, begins the recounting of Megre’s trip to the Siberian taiga in 1995. The tales revolve around the spiritual phenomena connected with sacred ‘ringing cedar’ trees, believe to connect humanity to the Divine, and learnin
gs bestowed by a woman named Anastasia on subjects as diverse as gardening, child-rearing, healing, Nature, sexuality, religion and more.

source(s): Ringing Cedars Press site

* @sheilabocchine says “Seriously the most incredible books I’ve ever read.”

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Your first AWS Elastic Beanstalk Node.js application is now running on your own dedicated environment in the AWS Cloud

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Tweety Bird

Mondays, you’ll find me at ASU ICA (Intercollegiate Athletics) all day, workin’ with several student athletes on developing the student side of that equation.  Mondays, you’ll also find me riding the bus.  When I first chose to make public transit a regular affair, a tweep or two less inclined to engage such activity tweeted cautions.   Indeed, there are all sorts of colorful people who use public transit.

Like Tweety Bird.

86 years old.  Veteran.  Father of 2 daughters.  The eldest is 56 years old with various mental disabilities, but employed by the U.S. Postal Service.  She’s soon to retire to go to school to be a lawyer.  The youngest is 54 years. Tweety doesn’t claim to be 86, but claims 30 with 56 years of experience.   Which makes me 29 with 1 and 1/2 years of experience.

Member of all the clubs.   I counted 5 that he listed, but can only remember a few: American LegionVFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), Pulaski Club.   That makes him Polish too.   Pulaski Club of Arizona is located at 44th Street and McDowell so Tweety walks 2-3 miles a day so that he can dance Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Hit by shrapnel from a rocket during war (don’t know which one).   Took 20 years to find a steady job. 50 jobs in those 20 years.   Several of them in D.C. including at the Congressional building, Smithsonian Institution, and National Gallery of Art.  Never fired, just let go.  But each job change meant an increase in pay. He’s drawing 3 retirements and a pension.  Somehow, I always thought these were the same thing.

Tweety wants to write 3 books.   The first to be titled “How to Survive 5 Marriages”.   5 divorces without paying lawyer fees or alimonies.   The second about his career.   Served in all 4 military branches, but was wearing an Air Force ball cap.   Claims he only associates with those who rank above him.  Not sure what to think about that.  His rank: sergeant.   The third about his life philosophies.   Respect women and treat them well; the worse you treat them, the more they’ll cost you.   It’s not what you know, it’s how you apply what you know.   If you have a way with words, you’ll find you’ll get what you want.   Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m thinking he could probably cover these and many others in the first 2 books.

There’s creativity there.  Taught woodworking one semester.  Has written poetry, maybe still does.   Plays the piano at a senior center.  Can’t read sheet music, but can translate what he hears through his fingers.

And faith too.   Living the good life, simply thru belief, faith, and love.  The Lord doesn’t give you what you want, but almost everything you need and in his own time.   Tweety doesn’t preach the Bible, but everything he needs is in there.  Another 80 years to live cause the Lord has 80 more years of work to do through him.

Tweety Bird.

Yes, there are all sorts of colorful people who use public transit.   If you choose to interact with any one of them, you may just come across someone not otherwise encountered in your regular routines.

Elastic Beanstalk


Your first AWS Elastic Beanstalk Node.js application is now running on your own dedicated environment in the AWS Cloud

This environment is launched with Elastic Beanstalk Node.js Platform

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