4/22/2013

30+ All-Purpose Quotes from Princess Bride


As any Princess Bride fan will tell you, few movies have yielded so many quotes that are useful in so many contexts.   Believe me, a true fan can work at least one of the following into just about any conversation.

  1. When I was your age, television was called books.
  2. Probably some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night, in eel-infested waters...
  3. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
  4. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
  5. There's not a lot of money in revenge
  6. This is true love - you think this happens every day?
  7. Thank you; I've worked hard to become so
  8. My way's not very sportsman-like.
  9. You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
  10. Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe
  11. You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"!
  12. You *are* the brute squad
  13. There will be blood tonight!
  14. Good night.... Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.
  15. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.
  16. You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?
  17. We are men of action; lies do not become us
  18. If we only had a wheelbarrow, now that would be something.
  19. Mawiage. Mawiage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawiage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...
  20. Life is pain .... Anyone who says differently is selling something.
  21. Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.
  22. Please understand I hold you in the highest respect.
  23. Rest well and dream of large women.
  24. The Pit of Despair!
  25. Do you hear that, Fezzik? That is the sound of ultimate suffering.
  26. You warthog-faced buffoon.
  27. Murdered by pirates is good.
  28. I'm not a witch, I'm your wife
  29. Have fun storming the castle!
  30. Is this a kissing book?
  31. Inconcievable!
  32. As you wish.

4/19/2013

Book Look - The Lost City of Z, by David Grann



The 100+ year long quest to find the fabled “Lost City of Z” proves a handy frame for this larger story of the Glorious Era of Victorian Exploration: a time when men armed with little more than 60-pound packs, rudimentary navigation equipment, and iron wills pitted themselves against vast deserts, towering mountains, frigid arctic expanses, and – in the case of Colonel Percy Fawcett – the lush and pitiless Amazonian jungle.

I loved pretty much everything about this book. I loved learning more about these driven (some would say obsessed) explorers, motivated by little more than a desire to prove their courage and earn – if they were fortunate enough to survive – the admiration of their Royal Geographical Society peers. I loved learning more about the fascinating life of Colonel Fawcett, which intersected with such notables as Roosevelt, Darwin, Lawrence, Haggard, and Doyle. I loved learning more about the history of Amazon region, from the conquistadors who were among the first to penetrate those deadly woods in search of “El Dorado” through the rubber robber-barons whose ruthlessness very nearly exceeded the cruelty of those who had come before. I loved learning more about the role of yellow journalism in promulgating exploration and transforming explorers into international celebrities. And if I didn’t quite love the overarching story – in which the author, David Grann, follows in Fawcett’s footsteps in search of Z, at least the author never lets his own narrative distract from the book’s other pleasures.

Lest you be fooled by the first person narration, however, make no mistake: the real protagonist of this tale is the Amazon itself. The author does a terrific – some would say terrifying – job of making the teeming wilderness come alive: the exotic wildlife, the pitiless insects, the grotesque diseases, the cunning (sometimes perilous) natives, swollen rivers teeming with piranha, towering trees teeming with life, the harrowing juxtaposition of abundance and death.

My only regret? Wish I hadn’t left this sitting on my shelf so long before finally picking it up.

(P.S. Any book clubs out there? Pair this with Anne Patchett’s State of Wonder and avail yourselves of an ideal opportunity to contrast fact and fiction.)

4/08/2013

A Thousand Words - Our Auto Trip


Our Auto Trip, a Rand McNally-Elf Book

"Daddy, is the the lady hitchhiker in the backseat going to stay at the motel with us? Why aren't we supposed to tell mommy?"

Is daddy smiling ... or smirking?

4/02/2013

I'm Bored! 300+ Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy

The next time your child whines "I'm bored!", suggest one of these 3000+ time-tested activities for kids of all ages.  Don't worry - I've catagorized the list so it doesn't seem so formidably long!

  1. Science fun
    1. do experiments with a chemistry set
    2. drop menthos into soda and see what happens!
    3. do a science experiment (do plants grow better with music? which boils faster, plain water or water with salt? inquiring minds want to know!)
    4. Invent something
    5. Create a Rube Goldberg contraption
    6. Study things through a magnifying glass or microscope
    7. Create a weather station
    8. Launch rockets
    9. Identify clouds
    10. hunt for fossils
    11. Build towers with uncooked spaghetti & marshmallows – how high can you go?
    12. Create tin foil boats & see how many pennies they’ll hold before they sink
  2. Nature
    1. Start an aquarium (fish, turtles, frogs, tadpoles)
    2. Buy a pet (hamster, fish, etc.)
    3. Make a terrarium
    4. Plant a flower (or butterfly) garden
    5. Plant a vegetable garden
    6. Plant an herb garden
    7. Plant a cactus garden
    8. Start an ant farm
    9. Press leaves or flowers
    10. Catch bugs/butterflies/caterpillars/tadpoles
    11. Set up a birdfeeder
    12. Go birdwatching
    13. Create a nature album
    14. Climb a tree
    15. Pick fruit/berries
    16. Feed squirrels/deer/ducks
    17. Find edible plants in your neighborhood
    18. Find poisonous plants in your neighborhood
    19. Identify the trees in your yard/neighborhood
  3. Indoor fun
    1. Start a collection
    2. Try a new hairstyle
    3. Give yourself a mani/pedi
    4. Create shadow puppets
    5. Learn to tie different types of knots
    6. Indoor campoutPlan a movie marathon (pick a theme!  scary movies, favorite movies, animal movies, etc.)
    7. Dressup (you, your pet, a stuffed animal, etc.)
    8. Take a long bubble bath.  Make yourself a bubble beard.  Play with tub toys.
    9. Learn a magic trick
  4. Indoor/outdoor
    1. Scavenger hunt
    2. Build a fort
    3. Race RC cars
  5. Outdoor fun (around the neighborhood)
    1. Roller skating (on street or at a skating rink)
    2. Play a street game: tag, hopschotch, 4-square, kick the can, jumprope, hide & seek, freeze tag, red rover/red rover, red light/green light
    3. Rollerskating/rollerblading
    4. Jog
    5. Compete in a marathon
    6. Visit a playground
    7. Draw on the street with chalk
    8. Fly a kite
    9. Ride your bike
    10. skateboarding
    11. Create an Olympiad with events you make up
    12. Tennis/badminton/volleyball
    13. Basketball/shoot hoops
    14. learn how to make trick basketball shots
    15. Baseball/softball/kickball/catch
    16. Learn how to score a baseball game
    17. Blow bubbles
    18. Frisbee
    19. croquet
    20. Horseback riding
    21. Hunt for 4-leaf clovers
    22. Relay races (egg races, sack races, etc.)
    23. Golf/miniature golf
    24. Build sandcastles in sand box
    25. Fly RC airplane
    26. Search for buried treasure with a metal detector
    27. See how far you can dig before you hit water
  6. Out & about
    1. Go bowling (or, create a bowling game at home using soda bottles & a ball)
    2. See a movie
    3. camping
    4. fishing
    5. go out for ice cream
    6. visit a museum
    7. visit a library
    8. visit a zoo/pet-a-pet farm/aquarium
    9. attend a sporting event (baseball, football, soccer, etc.)
    10. go on a ghost tour
    11. skate park
    12. visit an archeological site
    13. go to a county/state fair
    14. pan for gold
    15. visit a drive-in movie
    16. visit a battlefield or other historic site
  7. After dark
    1. Collect fireflies
    2. Identify constellations
    3. Look at the moon and planets through a telescope
    4. Play flashlight freeze tag or ghosts in the graveyard (directions are surely posted online somewhere!)
    5. play with glowsticks (attach them to balloons and watch them fly away; throw them in swimming pools and swim amidst them)
    6. watch for shooting stars and satellites
    7. bite into wintergreen lifesavers and watch for sparks
  8. Getting wet
    1. Have a water gun/water balloon fight
    2. Go swimming at a local pool or lake
    3. Go wading in a local stream or river
    4. Bodysurfing
    5. Innertubing
    6. Break out the kiddie pool
    7. Run through a sprinkler
    8. Boating/canoeing, rafting, paddleboating, sailing
    9. Race boats (bark, toy, cardboard) in a stream
    10. Jump in a fountain
    11. Wash a car
    12. Wash a pet
    13. Play in the rain
  9. Reading and writing
    1. Read a book
    2. Read a magazine
    3. Read all the books written by your favorite author
    4. Listen to an audiobook
    5. Write a story/book
    6. Write a play
    7. Write a poem (try haiku, an “about me” poem, or a limerick)
    8. Memorize a poem
    9. Write a letter to a friend or relative
    10. Write an article for the local newspaper
    11. Read aloud to someone (a sibling, a friend, a pet)
    12. Start a journal/diary
    13. start your own book of "Top 10 lists" - your 10 favorite movies, songs, athletes, celebrities, foods, restaurants, colors ....
    14. Hold a spelling (or geography) bee
    15. Establish a family or neighborhood newsletter
    16. Make a list of weird words in the dictionary
    17. interview an older relative and write their biography
    18. write your own biography! Don't just include what you've already done ... write about all the things you will do the rest of your life
    19. write your name in the flyleaf of all your books
  10. Online
    1. Submit book reviews to Amazon.com
    2. Create an audiobook
    3. Start a blog
    4. Design a webpage
    5. Visit the kids page of your favorite government agencies: U.S. Geological Survey, etc.
    6. Visit the kids page of your favorite museums: Smithsonian Museums, etc.
    7. Visit the kids page of your favorite organizations: National Wildlife Federation, etc.
  11. Put on a show
    1. Put on a talent show
    2. Put on a magic show
    3. Put on a concert (singing or instrumental)
    4. Put on a dance recital
    5. Put on a comedy show (standup or sketch comedy)
    6. Stage a play (turn a favorite story/book into a play or write your own)
    7. Invent a circus act
    8. Put on a puppet show
    9. Film a commercial (serious or spoof)
    10. Film a movie (serious or spoof)
    11. Create a music video for your favorite song
    12. Put on a parade
  12. Arts & Music
    1. Learn to play an instrument (piano, guitar, harmonica, spoons)
    2. Invent a musical instrument
    3. Write a song
    4. Start a band
    5. Create a playlist of your favorite songs
    6. Choreograph a dance
    7. go online and learn all the latest dances
  13. Crafting (Create crafts for yourself or to give as gifts)
    1. Sewing (clothes, beanbags, pillows, etc.)
    2. Crochet, knit, cross-stich, embroider, latch-hook a rug
    3. Paper crafts
      1. Origami
      2. Create wrapping paper  (ink stamps are a great way to create a repeating design)
      3. Create paper dolls/puppets (create your own paper doll or cut out a full-length picture of a celebrity from a magazine)
      4. Create and race paper airplanes
      5. Tissue paper flowers
    4. Scrapbooking
      1. Create a scrapbook
      2. Create birthday/holiday cards
      3. Decorate gift bags
    5. flower arranging
    6. Drawing
      1. Create a comic book
      2. Illustrate a book
      3. Trace pictures
      4. Thumbprint drawings
    7. Make bookmarks (to use yourself or give as gifts)
    8. Take photographs (serious or silly)
      1. Go on a photo safari – how many bugs/birds/flowers/animals can you spot?
      2. Create a theme photo album (family, nature, animals, LOLcats, etc.)
      3. learn to use photoshop and turn ordinary photos into fun!
    9. Sculpt (create a flower pot out of clay, animals out of playdough, crazy hats out of tin foil ....)
    10. Woodcarving/whittling
    11. Woodworking (birdhouses, picture frames, jewelry boxes, catapults, etc.)
    12. Paper mache
    13. Dreamcatcher
    14. Picture frames
    15. Soap/candles
    16. Create luminaries and put them outside
    17. Create silhouettes
    18. Painting/finger painting
    19. Collage
    20. Fabric paints (decorate teeshirts, pillowcases, canvas bags, visors, etc.)
    21. Mobile
    22. Jewelry
    23. Create pinewood derby cars and race them
    24. Tye-die (teeshirts, bags, whatever!)
    25. check out a book from the library and practice calligraphy
  14. Creative, other
    1. Design a miniature golf course (a “dream course” or something you could actually set up in your back yard)
    2. Draw a map of your house, neighborhood, or community
    3. Create a blueprint of your dream house
    4. Create balloon animals
    5. Invent riddles/jokes
    6. Create a calendar
    7. Turn spare boxes into a fort, spaceship, grocery store, tunnel, etc.
    8. invent a superhero.  Give him a name, a costume, powers, and a backstory
  15. Cooking & Eating
    1. Bake/decorate cookies
    2. Bake/decorate cupcakes
    3. Bake/decorate cake
    4. Make homemade ice cream
    5. Invent weird smoothies (or milkshakes)
    6. Bake a pie
    7. Cook a meal
    8. Invent a recipe
    9. Cook a historical meal
    10. Cook a meal from another culture
    11. Make popsicles out of juice
    12. Learn how to eat with chopsticks
    13. Make a centerpiece for the dining room table
    14. Make placemats
    15. Invent your own trail mix
    16. Fix something on the outdoor grill
    17. Cook something in the fireplace (hot dogs, s’mores!)
    18. Cook something over a campfire
    19. Have a picnic
  16. Toys
    1. Create things with building toys (play charades using legos!
    2. Create a maze out of dominoes and them topple them
    3. Play with hula hoops
  17. Games
    1. Play board games
    2. Have a checkers, chess, or video game tournament
    3. Invent a board game
    4. Charades
    5. Tableaus (like charades, but you dress as a famous painting or scene from a book or history & people have to guess who you are
    6. Play an old-fashioned game (marbles, dominoes, jacks, thumb wrestling, arm wrestling, rock/paper/scissors, i-Spy, clapping games, string games, jumprope games, “make me laugh”, staring contest, truth or dare, simon says, mother may I, musical chairs, duck duck goose, tic tac toe, dots, hot potato, 20 questions, blind man’s bluff, etc.)
  18. Puzzles
    1. Jigsaw puzzleDo puzzles (word searches, crosswords, soduku, mazes)
    2. Create a puzzle
    3. Create a treasure hunt
  19. Cards
    1. Play a card game
    2. Play an old-fashioned card game (war, snap, crazy 8s, old maid)
    3. Build a house of cards
    4. Play the memory game
    5. Invent a card game
  20. Mysterious/Supernatural
    1. Hold a séance (maybe using your Ouija board!)
    2. Learn how to tell fortunes (palm reading, tarot cards)
    3. Tell ghost stories (stories you've already heard, or take turns making up your own)
    4. Solve 2-minute mysteries
    5. Make up a secret code
    6. Write with invisible ink
    7. Learn how to lift fingerprints
    8. Learn morse code
  21. Things to do with friends
    1. Have a sleepover
    2. Start a club
    3. Have an ice cream party
    4. Plan a theme party
    5. Create a casino
    6. Create a carnival
    7. have a bike decorating contest
  22. Things to do with/for the family
    1. Organize a family movie night
    2. Organize a family game night
    3. Create a family tree
    4. Create a family first aid kit
    5. create a family evacuation plan
    6. prepare a family emergency care kit
    7. Clip coupons
    8. wrap your coins and take them to the bank to exchange for bills
  23. Home improvement
    1. Paint your mailbox
    2. Decorate a house number sign
    3. Redecorate your room
    4. Organize something (closet, books, toy chest, etc.)
    5. Design your “dream bedroom”
  24. Community Service
    1. Volunteer at the library
    2. Pick up litter from the side of a road
    3. Pull weeds in your neighborhood
    4. Collect food/clothes for charity
    5. Do something nice for a neighbor
    6. Read a story to a younger child
  25. Make money
    1. Sell lemonade
    2. Babysit (children, pets, plants)
    3. Rake leaves
    4. Sell crafts you’ve made
    5. Organize a garage sale
    6. Open a savings account
  26. Seasonal
    1. Decorate your house for whatever holiday is coming up next
    2. Decorate a gingerbread house to celebrate a holiday other than Christmas (Easter Bunny house! Leprauchon house! Haunted house!)
    3. Make a haunted house
    4. Play with sparklers/fireworks
    5. Make a big leaf pile and jump in it
    6. Blow the fuzz off of dandelions
    7. Carve pumpkins/other vegetables
    8. cut out paper snowflakes (hang in window or from mobile)
    9. Bobbing for apples
    10. brainstorm awesome Halloween costume ideas
    11. Christmas in July - bake cookies, sing Christmas carols, decorate a tree
    12. Plan/execute the best April Fools Day Prank ever
  27. International
    1. Learn how to count in a foreign language
    2. Learn pig Latin
    3. Learn to write in Egyptian heiroglyphics
  28. Silly
    1. Throw your pet a party
    2. Have a silly string fight
    3. Paint your face
    4. Have tongue twister races
    5. Break a world’s record
    6. Create the world’s longest construction paper chain
    7. Create a tin-can-and-string telephone
    8. Bury a time capsule
    9. Learn how to juggle
    10. Try to last a whole day without talking to anyone
    11. Put messages in bottles and throw them into the ocean
    12. use chalk to write a word in HUGE letters on your street; then check Google Earth to see if it shows up on a satellite photo of your area