Friday, January 26, 2007


Today is a rough day.

This morning, my Uncle Edward passed away peacefully. He is now with his dear wife Marge. Rest in Peace Uncle Edward. My deepest sympathies go out to the whole Knasel clan both in the US and England (where he lived).

Currently, my friend Joe Murphy is going into surgery to remove a large malignant tumor from his abdomen. Updates on Joe's progress can be found at the Wingin' It site.

On a personal note, the coughing is really bad and the cold weather is making it worse. My sides hurt. The chest X-Ray came out clear. The doctors now think it may be related to asthma exacerbated by the recent bronchitis (or pneumonia) from earlier in the month... so I get some new meds.


I finished the biography of Mao yesterday. The audiobook is around 30 hours long and is the most disturbing book I have ever read. Currently I am finishing up "The Bonesetter's Daughter" by Amy Tan when I can't sleep. After I finish that, I will be reading mostly school books for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I am tired of being sick. I am tired of having weird symptoms. I want to be healthy again. More doctors should help with the migraines, and that is being planned, but why can't I shake this current illness?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Driving me crazy

What drives me crazy?

Many of those things I can't talk about here. The major difference between a blog and a journal/diary is that everything here is public. For some things I can bare my soul, but for others, I just can't. No complaining about work. No complaining about people. No venting.

There are some general things that I can talk about.

Today's topic is information. I get instantly peeved if I suspect people are withholding, restricting, or preventing my access to information. Other times I get frustrated by my inability to ingest the information fast enough. Information is potential. Information is power. Information is what allows us to evolve. If others are trying to keep me from access to information, they are trying to hold me back. I don't like it

Logically, I know that I can't know everything. I know that usually my lack of knowledge is my own fault, or an oversight, or some other non malicious reason... but I still get peeved.

There are lots of things that I can complain about, but I am beginning to discover that this may be one of the core things that affects my behavior. I don't know how to control it, but the first step is to acknowledge the problem.

I am Laura. I want to understand everything.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hack, Hack, Hack

Still coughing, over and over and over. Last night I finished my "I am exhausted but I can't sleep so I will read this book for a bit." It was Storm Front by Jim Butcher. The first Harry Dresden book. I liked it a lot.

Tonight I am up late working on some NASA Academy work that needs to get done. It drives me crazy, but I am often most alert between 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM. It is obnoxious when you want to have anything approaching a "normal job" or a "normal life". It also doesn't work well when your husband wakes up at 6:00 AM.

Oddly enough... I am starting to feel worse... so I am going to bed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

15 days of 2007

Well, this has been some year thus far. We are now 15 days into the year, and I have been sick for every single one. No real end in sight thus far. More when I get my feet back under me.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Migraines Suck

I have the worst migraine I have had in months, so this will be short. Thinking back, I have had this one for two days now, it just exploded today.

Last night, before the headache got bad, I finished the 4 Obsessions book. What am I reading now? Nothing because I have a stupid migraine.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Book Things

The weekend was reasonably productive, but not in all the ways I would like. I am still recovering from the Bronchitis. In an effort to start putting the house in a bit of order, I am starting to box up the books. As I put the books into boxes, I am logging them in LibraryThing. Over the weekend I added 673 books, and have barely scratched the surface. Most of the books in the library now are paperbacks, manga, and role playing books. My rough prediction is that there will be >6000 books before I am finished.... I need more boxes.... a lot of boxes. And before you ask, they will be coming out of the boxes once we start to get the house more organized.

You can track the progress of the library at:

To control my OCD, I am limiting myself to only adding books on the weekend... otherwise I am not going to get the other stuff done.

Beyond this new project, on top of Flickr, and taking pictures, and coughing, and everything I get obsessed about... I need to finish my homework from last semester. I was unable to complete my work due to health problems. I have 5 assignments to complete. That is my focus this week.

Last night, in a little bit of insomnia... and a lot of book addiction... I finished "The Looking Glass Wars" by Frank Beddor in the early hours of the morning. That is the second time this book has kept me up late. It is also interesting to note, I read it in 2 "sittings".

It was a good book, very well written, but the ending was too much a set up for the other books in the trilogy. Now I have to wait about a year for more. :(

In the spirit of working towards getting my homework completed, and getting in the mindset for next semester, I am now reading:
"The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni

It is a short book, so I should be finished soon.

In the column to the right, I am tracking the books I have finished reading in 2007. We'll see how long it gets before 2008. Question for you, should I track audio books?

Friday, January 5, 2007


Not much really to report today. We are still both sick. I keep coughing and coughing and coughing. John still doesn't feel well and had a bad asthma attack this morning. As a result I worked from home today. This evening we are having a nice lazy evening in front of the television.

I have been busy uploading my photos from my 2004 trip to England and Scotland to Flickr. I took a lot of photos. I am not sure if I surpassed Mom's film record from our trip in the 80's... but I may be close. The trip was great, especially the time I spent with Rich and Su. I should have scheduled more time with them.

Next June, there is going to be a project meeting in Dublin. It will be hard deciding to spend time in Ireland or jump over and see the family in England. John has never been to Europe, so We need to take a trip as well.

The rough outline of the trip was:

Bus trip to: Stonehenge, Bath
Rivendell (Rich & Su's)
Train to: Edinburgh
Bus to: Stirling and a ride on a Loch (a.k.a. lake)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Back to the World

I made it back to work today. When you get sick, or go on vacation, or you move, or really anything that keeps you out of touch, you expect the world to pause and wait for you to return. I am often struck by the realization that time doesn't work the way my brain thinks it should. I get lost in my own little world of cats, television, space, and books, only to look up and discover that days, moths, and years have gone by and people have changed. Things have happened and I am out of touch. Sometimes I wonder if I can ever catch up. There are some worlds where I wonder if I would be welcomed back if I tried.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Coughs, Aches, and Headaches

There are so many things I should be doing. (I won't go into the details since that will just make me even more stressed.) Instead, John and I are just sitting on the couch sick. John even had to take the day off to get some sleep

We believe that we did track down the source of the illness. During the Holiday break, we took a walk through the Ozarks. On the hike back up the hill, we both pushed it a bit too much and had asthma problems. Promptly after this, we went to Chuck E. Cheese for Mike's Birthday party. Ah, the wretched hive of germs and viruses. I started coughing that evening, but it took us a few days to realize what had happened.

I hope to make it back to work tomorrow. So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Write Your Story

So why a blog? Beyond keeping in touch with people, I view blogging as a journal that I am likely to keep. I have started many diaries over the years, but always set them down after a time. I think that blogging will be more to my taste since it is automatically shared with the world. My thoughts, opinions, actions are there for comment and discussion. I am an imperfect person. (aka human) I will make mistakes, but I hope that everyone will keep me on track.

So often history is defined by the journals and diaries of average people. Everyone has a story. I hope this will be the start of writing my own story, and sharing it with you.

Starting out Sick

Well, I am starting out 2007 with Bronchitis. I am staying home today to get some rest.

There are some benefits. One of which is spending some "quality time" with my kittens, who definitely missed me over Christmas Vacation. All 5 have been to visit me today.

It has also given me time to upload some of my holiday photos to Flickr. You can find those at

More soon!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy 2007

Welcome to 2007!

2006 was an interesting year. I learned a lot of things about myself in 2006, and one of those things is that I need a better way to share my experiences with my family and friends. This year, I plan on using this Blog to share my adventures.

2007 has the potential to be much more interesting. I look forward to sharing those adventures with you.

My favorite wish for New Years and every day:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't to forget make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." ~ Neil Gaiman

Here are a few things about myself, and more will follow.

Currently Reading:
The Looking Glass Wars

Currently Listening:
Mao: The Unknown Story

Cats: Phobos, Deimos, Cassini, Pandora, Oberon