Bucket List Outdoor Trips Pt 2 Devils Tower

First National Monument: Devils Tower


Found my old photos and started scanning them, and they really aren’t that bad, even though I took them. I’m not being modest, I’ve always been an impatient picture-taker, and I usually had a tiny $10-$20 camera that I usually broke or got wet. Later, I just got the snap-and-toss type camera. Now, I may try more on a smartphone I have.

I did find a photo of me scrambling up a ways on Devils Tower, but I wrote in ink on the back of the pictures, and ink got on quite a few…what can I say?


Alison Krauss started it all over again..

I’m from Wisconsin and got hooked on bluegrass. Yes, bluegrass. I moved to Minneapolis (for a job) and quickly moved to Phoenix (for a job), and picked to live in Raleigh (NC). No one could believe I started listening to bluegrass in Wisconsin, and attended Bluegrass festivals. I got into my computer stuff, then outdoor stuff, then highered stuff, and then I heard Alison Krauss and Union Station play, and I was hooked again on Bluegrass.

JR Custom Guitar: Parlor Guitar

JR Custom Guitar:
Parlor Guitar in progress

Just about that time, I met my boyfriend, who not only loves Bluegrass, but he plays Bluegrass with an acoustic guitar (just a bit, he says); but mainly, he builds acoustic guitars, and is really happy when people buy them, and play them. Even better, he loves it when they play Bluegrass with his acoustic guitars. So it’s hard not to be a bit crazy about Bluegrass in my house. Note: We both are dreadful at taking pictures and making videos, so we don’t have a decent photo or video of his guitars..as you can see…I know, it’s nuts.

Speaking of crazy, I get really obsessed about whatever is my latest “topic”, and right now I’ve been researching Acoustic Guitars and Bluegrass, and Education Technology (and I’m organizing my photos/memorabilia from all my outdoor trips). So today, I wondered why I seemed to post so much stuff about male bluegrass singers, players, and bands, and thought I should research women in Bluegrass. Many have heard of Alison Krauss, but who else should we be listening to? I found this cool article by Ted Lehmann from August, 2009, which seemed to have a good grip on where we’ve been and where we’re going (it’s going great!): Bye-Bye Boys Club – Women in Bluegrass

Ted pointed out that we’d better give kudos to Maybelle Carter and Hazel Dickens, but other than a few women here and there since 1945, the next female Bluegrass voices heard loudly were Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard in the 1960’s, but their work wasn’t as well-known as it should have been until 1996, when Smithsonian Folkways released their compilation they put together titled “Pioneering Women of Bluegrass”. Since then, they received multiple awards and Alice is still recording and is working on her new release right now.

Alison Krauss Performing at the Crossroads Mus...

Alison Krauss Performing at the Crossroads Music Festival in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ted next gave a huge shout-out to Alison Krauss for putting a female face on Bluegrass..

I’ve seen her three times in concert, and each time, the crowd got bigger, louder, and frankly, the last time, the place was sold out and packed with people young and old.

In addition to Bluegrass, she talked about what it was like to record and tour with Robert Plant, proving she can do just about anything…

Ted pointed out a number of strong women in Bluegrass we should all check out:

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Bucket List Outdoor Trips Part 1

I’ve been on a number of trips I’ve always dreamed of…I started on my bucket list in my late 20’s..after a couple of tragedies..I realized you couldn’t take it for granted that you’d get to try to do what you always wanted to..if you kept putting them off.

My first bucket list trip was when I saved up, quit my job, and went to over 20 national parks and monuments. I usually camped and hiked, but I did stay at some youth hostels.

The first trip was to a Women Outdoors Gathering in New Hampshire… I visited a friend in Vermont, got bit by a lot of mosquitoes, and went south.

It took a bit..but I stopped by a friend in Chicago and another one in Minneapolis..then set out on my own. I forgot-before Chicago I went to Mammoth Cave National Park and stopped in Louisville with a friend, too!

First stop was Custer State Park in South Dakota. Saw the wandering burros…in front of my car.

Begging Burro Portrait at Custer State Park

Next stop: Devil’s Tower National Monument…I hiked it a bit but didn’t climb it (well, not far, you’re not suppose to climb it without a permit when I visited).

Update: I forgot that I also went to Badlands National Park, too-how could I forget that?

Image: Begging Burro Portrait at Custer State Park, by Matthew Paulson,
Some Rights Reserved

All-Male Fox Panel Laments Female Breadwinners

Media Matters posted an article titled Fox Figures: Rise In Female Breadwinners Is A Sign Of Society’s Downfall and started with this paragraph:

Fox host Lou Dobbs and several Fox contributors — all men — lamented news that a record number of women are now the economic breadwinners of their families. The Fox figures worried about the dissolution of American society and nature.

The commentators were discussing a new Pew Research study titled Breadwinner Moms that pointed out that 1 in 4 women (married and unmarried) are the family breadwinner in US families with “minor” children. Fox contributor Juan Williams was worried that there was “something going terribly wrong in American society”.

Even more surprisingly,  Erick Erickson, a new Fox contributor, claimed that people who defend female breadwinners are “anti-science.” Somehow, Erick Erickson thought that since he had noticed that  males were dominant in the “natural” world, then our society must be tearing apart by the seams because we now have a growing number of female breadwinners. I fail to see how female breadwinners are ruining society, but then, I’m not a Fox commentator..

Watch for yourself:

My favorite SuperWomen

When I was growing up I read all of the mystery, adventure, and later, sci-fi I could find..but it got tiring after a while replacing in my mind, myself for a male hero..so I started a search for girls and women who acted..instead of reacting. This article and video clips contains my favorite action hero‘s who are female, and often are in sci-fi movies:

10 Super Women who could kick Superman’s you-know-what

OMG! Superwoman!

Image: OMG! Superwoman! Some Rights Reserved

Interesting Research: Education Could Use More ‘Connected’ Learning

Saw this 1/17/13 article in Campus Technology, where American and British researchers have released a report on Connected Learning. According to the author of the article Dian Schaffhauser, the report:

“advocates for a design for learning that is “peer supported,” “interest-powered,” and “academically oriented.”

What do the researchers propose young learners need today? According to the article, learners need to:

“link personal interests, often pursued online, to academic and career endeavors and civic engagement with the help of friends and ‘caring’ adults.”

What do they recommend learning environments should look like?

ConnectEd-Learning-SpheresImage: ‘ConnectEd-Learning-Spheres‘ Found on flickrcc.net

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Becky’s ETMOOC Introduction


I prefer using graphics and now even video to express I how feel, as I interact with people using text (faculty and staff) every day. I use a lot of graphics (creative commons images and illustrations), YouTube videos and now Softchalk in my online class, as I know some students get lost in a sea of words.

It’s still hard for me to use my own voice in videos, but I do use Jing to record what I do on my computer (demoing lab assignments) for my web/internet online class.

I’m also using WordPress, which is out of my comfort zone-I use Blogger usually. So here’s my Animoto video, my intro for #etmooc: “A bit of my past, present and what I think of the future”