Random (but not really)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hiking WV: Cedar Creek State Park

Location: Cedar Creek State Park
Trail: Stone Trough Trail
Distance: 3.0 miles
Elevation: 814 feet

The trail was slightly problematic at two parts. At the sealed oil well pipe, when coming up from the stone trough, it took us a long time to pick the trail back up. (You head right, and then head back up the hill.) And towards the end of the trail (for us) the trail suddenly went down a very steep hill. The rest of the trail was relatively easy, but this part was not.

This is not the sealed gas/oil head. This was a random, rusting piece of machinery.







“Yes, you’re really going that way.”


That was moderately steep.


Yeah, a bit steep here.


“We’re not kidding. You go pretty much straight up here.”


GPS map of the trail.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cedar Creek

Yeah, so, I’m stretching things this week. But they were flowers once!




There were a LOT of recently downed trees, as well as a lot of recently downed snags.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: BOOM Edition

Today’s word is: thunder

Written by Michelle at 7:14 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fun with Jules

Like many females on the planet, I am uncomfortable with how I look in a swimsuit. I sometimes cringe when I see a picture of myself dressed, so bathing suits are like an explosion of self-loathing.

However, I’ve refused to let that stop me from swimming, because the only person who cares about what I’m wearing is Jules, who needs me to be able to swim and horse around with her.




We also went to Valley Falls.





It was a very good day.


Written by Michelle at 8:03 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Julliene,Photos  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: DAY LILIES!

I do, in fact, have many cultivars of day lilies. And they’re all blooming right now.






I have a couple other things blooming as well.

Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)




Gerbera daisies. I didn’t get an orange flower this year, which is too bad, because they’re my favorite.



Written by Michelle at 10:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Coopers Rock

Here are some of the flowers we saw blooming at Coopers Rock.

Rhododendron are blooming in some areas of the forest:



OMG! It’s a YIP YIP!


Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos,State Parks  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: Coopers Rock, Mont Chateau Trail to Cheat Lake

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Henry Clay Iron Furnace Trail, Mont Chateau Trail to Cheat Lake
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation: 1371 feet

Henry Clay Iron Furnace Trail (one way)
Distance: 0.9 miles
Elevation: 267 feet

Mont Chateau Trail to Cheat Lake (one way)
Distance: 1.4 miles
Elevation: 739 feet

The best park of the hike was switching from boots to water shoes and hiking in the creek. We managed 0.6 miles in about an hour, which was pretty good, since it was a lot of trying to figure out how to move get up rocks or around deep pools.

The balanced rocks are still there!



Coopers Rock




Map of complete hike

Written by Michelle at 11:33 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: North Bend State Park

Thursday, on our way back from the Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair at Ripley, we stopped at North Bend State Park for a brief hike.

Location: North Bend State Park
Trails: Overhanging Rock Trail, Extra Mile Trail, Oil Well Access Trail to North Bend Rail Trail
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 375 feet

It’s a rail trail, so it’s quite flat (for WV).

The Extra Mile trail is a paved and has handrails on both sides, for visual and mobility limited visitors. (Amusingly, we saw this at the END of the trail, so came up with many theories as to why there were railings on both sides of the paved trail.)

It links to the North Bend Rail trail, at Tunnel 13 and the bridge over Bonds Creek.


Tunnel 13, South Entrance


Tunnel 13, North Entrance


Remains of train platform:



Map of hike

Written by Michelle at 7:39 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

The Books of June

I read a surprising number of books in June. Possible because I rained and rained and rained and rained. Again.

At this halfway point in the year, I’ve read 88 books, so I shouldn’t have any problems reaching my goal of 124 books. Can I beat last year’s count of 174? I dunno, but it’ll be fun to try.

The best books of the month were:

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach (10/10)
Fairest Vol. 3: The Return of the Maharaja (9/10)
Legion by Brandon Sanderson (8.5/10)

If you’re looking for something to read, I highly recommend any of the above books.

Fantasy: Anthology / Novella / Short Story

Dangerous Women (2013) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (5.5/10)
(2012) Brandon Sanderson (8.5/10)

Fantasy: Steampunk

Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship’s Curse (2013) Lynn Viehl (4/10)
Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed (2013) Lynn Viehl (2/10)



Angelica’s Smile (2010/2014) Andrea Camilleri translated by Stephen Sartarelli (5/10)
The Draining Lake (2004/2007) Arnaldur Indridason translated by Bernard Scudder (8.5/10)
Arctic Chill (2005/2009) Arnaldur Indriðason and translated by Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb (8.5/10)

The Archangel Project (2008) C.S. Graham (8/10)

Mystery: Historical

Silent in the Grave (2007) Deanna Raybourn (7.5/10)
Silent in the Sanctuary (2009) Deanna Raybourn (7/10)



Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (2013) Mary Roach (10/10)


Comic / Graphic Novel

Fairest Vol. 3: The Return of the Maharaja (2014) Sean E. Williams, Stephen Sadowski, Phil Jimenez (9/10)


Audio Book

Something from the Nightside (Audio Version) (2003/2008) Simon R. Green narrated by Marc Vietor (8/10)

The format I read most continues to be eBooks, with about 3/4 of the books I’ve read this year being in electronic format.

Trade Paperback: 1
eBook: 11
Audio: 1

Multiple Formats: 1
Re-read: 3

As for genres read, mystery lead the pack this year, and is running neck-and-neck this year with fantasy.

Fantasy: 6
Mystery: 8
Romance: 2
Comic: 1
Anthology: 1
Non-Fiction: 1

And the gender count this month has men slightly ahead in the count for the month, but women are still slightly ahead for the year, 45%:43% so that’s not too bad.

Male: 5
Female: 2
Initials: 1
Joint + Anthology: 2

Written by Michelle at 10:03 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: Yummy Edition

Today’s word is: chocolate!

Written by Michelle at 7:10 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock, Scotts Run & Roadside Trails

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Scott Run and Roadside Trails
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 1038 ft

Scott Run Trail
2.9 miles
763 ft elevation gain

Roadside Trail
1.8 miles
187 ft elevation gain






Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Morgantown,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Around the House

Here’s what’s blooming around my house right now

Why yes! Lots of day lilies!





I love the variety of day lilies. I know they’re relatively subtle color changes, but they fascinate me.




Written by Michelle at 11:31 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Sunday Fungi Pr0n

Almost no flowers on our hike yesterday, so I stooped to photographing fungi.






Written by Michelle at 11:13 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days

I believe I’ve talked before about participating in the Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days program at WVU.

I’ve done it every year since at least 2005 (that’s the oldest record in the Excel file I used to keep track), and except 2010, when I broke my ankle, I got way over the minimum every year.

What I find fascinating (because I am a huge geek) are the pattern differences from year to year.

Here is a chart for last year:


Here is a chart for this year:


I’m thinking that the Saturday change is due to the number of rainy Saturdays we had this year, where we couldn’t get out and go hiking. But I find it just as fascinating that my peak walking day during the week shifted from Wednesday to Friday. Most likely because Wednesday is the day I’m most likely to go out to lunch with friends.

And if you’re curious, the number of miles I walked this year during the program was 477 (longer than the distance from Morgantown to Fayetteville, NC). Only 176 (just a bit longer than the distance from Morgantown to Charles Town, WV) of those counted towards the program, because you can only count 12 miles/week for the program, and that’s pretty much the max you can get.

So, it was fun. Both the walking and the tracking.

(And my team? We walked 1972 miles, which is longer than the trip from Morgantown to Denver, CO (1465).)

Written by Michelle at 6:26 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Geek,Non-Sequiturs  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: Day Lily Edition

I’m going to try and focus on the nicer parts of summer–not the heat. So today’s word is for my favorite summer flower, day lilies: orange

Written by Michelle at 7:17 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Flower Pr0n

Just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Sunday Flower Pr0n, but Sunday, the day lilies weren’t yet blooming.

I love my day lilies.



I also have pots of Gerbera daisies this year, because I think they’re pretty.


Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer 2014 Random Reading Program

OK, I love books too much not to do a summer reading program/contest again this year.

2014 Summer Reading Program

This program will run from 21 June 2014 (the first day of summer / Summer Solstice) to September 2 2014 (Day after Labor Day).

I’ll have a random prize for the winner at the end of the program. Could be anything, really.

Want to talk about the books you’ve read? Please comment HERE, on this post (the one you’re reading RIGHT NOW!!)

You can check the side bar over there to the right for new comments. –>

Over there is also where you can see the last few books I read and reviewed. –>

I did a quick test of the database I used last year, and everything seems to be working. If something is busted, please comment here and I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

Other Summer Reading Programs:
Fourth Annual Maureen “AJ” Ramey Memorial Summer Reading Program

Written by Michelle at 5:22 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Fun & Games  

Things that Suck

I work IT.

That means I dress in jeans and a t-shirt (in my case a long sleeve t-shirt, because I have a propensity to touch things that will give me a rash.

I dress for working on computers in rooms that process soil or other messy things.

In fact, here is how I’m dressed today.



Why am I sharing this seemingly inconsequential information with you?

Because of something that happened this morning.

As I stepped out of the room where I had been working, I saw two men standing in the hallway. One most likely a few years older than me, and one probably a few years younger.

They both turned towards me when they heard the door close, and then the older of the two went back to studying the bulletin board.

The younger male stared at me.

As I walked towards him, he continued to stare at me, and as I walked past, he actually turned his body so he could continue to stare at me as I went past him and into the stairwell.

The reason I’m sharing this is, you see, this is the kind of shit that happens all the fucking time when you’re female.

Shit like this is why I don’t feel safe walking places alone.

Shit like this is why I carry my keys in my hand, sharp bits pointing out.

Shit like this is why I hate dressing nicely, because then it’s worse.

Shit like this is why I always wear shoes I can run in.

No, it doesn’t “feel good” that someone thought I was attractive enough to stare at.

It feels creepy.

It feels unsafe.

And it feels incredibly unfair.

Written by Michelle at 11:41 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs,Politics  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Reading Contest?

Is anyone interesting in me having a summer reading contest?

It won’t be much this year, since I’m still adjusting to our new finances, but… fun?

Written by Michelle at 8:42 pm      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: Coopers Rock

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron Trail, Mont Chateau Trail, Ridge Trail, Rock City Trail
Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation: 1259 feet

Sunday we took a nice long hike at Coopers Rock. We hike most of the way down to the lake, but I’d spent a very long time playing in the stream, so decided to turn around so we wouldn’t have to climb an additional 100 feet.

Towards the end of Mont Chateau trail (or rather, before we turned around) we came across this waterfall, which I would love to figure out how to hike down to without injuring myself.


But the best part was spent in the creek. I brought a pair of water shoes, so when we got down to the area I liked so much previously, I rolled up my pants, switched my boots for the water shoes and clambered around in the stream.

It was cold.

But it also felt really good on my bad ankle, so I wasn’t complaining at all.


The stream was gorgeous, and running quite high, as we’ve had rain rain rain rain rain.



I have my Rebel XSi back (I’d loaned it to my parents for their trip to Alaska) and as much I find it so much easier (and less nerve racking) to carry the XSi, the pictures aren’t quite as sharp as my other camera.

But I’m not taking my good camera into a stream. So I’ll just have to live with it. :)


And then I came across a scene that made my day.


You could not have seen that from the bridge. You had to get down and hike in (or alongside) the stream.




Thank you, to whoever left that transient art. It’s marvelous.

GPS Map of Hike

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  
Next Page »

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail