Friday, January 29, 2010

Maverick wants his own beach chair

This year we decided that we would spend the summer on the beaches that line the east coast. In order to do so we had to make sure we made the most essential beach gear. A comfy chair and an umbrella are two things that a person who plans on spending the day reading on the beach must have. Today we went an picked some up and to test them to make sure that would be perfect for the beach we of course had to try them out. I did not even think to get Maverick his own beach chair until he tried to tell me that he wanted to sit in mine.

Day 13 of 365

PS... Thousand Trails members you can now upgrade your membership to the Elite Connection to get all the Outdoor World and MidAtlantic resorts. We just upgraded to the Elite Connection and this summer we will be able to spend the whole summer on the New Jersey coast and all the way up into Maine. If you want to find out more about our newest upgrade experience email Norwood at

The beach chair pictured in this post is...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 11/365: Dog Sh*t

Dog Sh*t, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.
Now I know that there is nothing grosser than walking out into your front yard and stepping in some doggie poop but really that looks more like a tree branch than dog poop. :)

Seriously though it is really annoying when people do not pick up after their dogs in public places so I can kind of understand why the guy decided to make this sign. Spotted at Thousand Trails Orlando.

Day 11 of 365

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 8/365: Soaked Sad Pup

Soaked Sad Pup, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.

Just yesterday little Maverick was dreaming about jumping into the pool and drinking up all the water. Well today on our walk his dream sort of came true. It was a beautiful evening, a little cloudy with what looked like a slight chance of rain which meant that no one thought to bring an umbrella. Just when we were as far from the house as we could get it started to pour. Norwood and I had on wind breakers which kept us dry but poor little Maverick did not have anything to keep the rain off (I told him that doggie rain coat was a good idea). He made every attempt he could to get out of the pouring rain, standing under trees, running a little faster and trying to walk so (in some way that he could see that I could not) that I blocked the rain from soaking him. Now out of the rain and in the house Maverick is having his revenge on the dry ones. Do not let that sad little puppy look fool you… he knows that we are dry so he gets as close as he can and shakes, preferably if we are holding a drink in our hand.

Day 8 of 365

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 7/365: Pool Dreams

Pool Dreams, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.
Walking 3 miles in a fur coat will definitely make a dog thirsty. Maverick is always on the prowl for a good drink of water while we are on our walks in the evening. When in a campground he found that being cute will often get other RVers to offer you a bowl of water and a couple of snacks. On today’s walk we walked by one of the pools in the campground. Maverick stopped and sat down looking longingly at the pool. I can only image that he was thinking it would be fantastic to jump right in and drink all that water.

Day 7 of 365

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 6/365: Kitchen Floor Contemplations

When a dog really needs to think about something important there is only one place to go… the kitchen floor. Inspiration for all sorts of mischief can be found while laying on the kitchen floor. Maverick recently discovered that laying on the kitchen floor near his bowls will often provoke his parents to question whether or not they have given him breakfast. Often the one who gave him breakfast will be doing something else when the other thinks after looking at his bowl (because no food is left behind) that he has not been fed. Maverick’s advice to all dogs out there… lay on the kitchen floor near your food bowls and look hungry if you feel like seconds.

Day 6 of 365

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 5/365: Trash Day

Trash Day, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.
There is no more exciting day in a dog’s life (at least this dog’s life) than trash day. Maverick is always the first to know when the trash truck is coming down the road and as soon as he hears it he prepares for its arrival. First he has to get the best seat in the house (RV) and that seat of course requires jumping on the couch that he knows he is really not supposed to be on (but hey it's a holiday...Trash Day!). Then as the truck is driving up to pick the dumpster he makes sure he is close to the window so he can attempt to smell the smelliest thing you have ever smelled through the window. If it is an interesting day (takes the trash truck a couple of times to empty the dumpster) well then of course he barks at it a little.

Day 5 of 365

Scholarly Work

I am currently a PhD student of Texts and Technology and an MS student of Software Engineering. Here is a list of the responses, projects, software, and scholarly book reviews I have written. If you use any portion of the work listed below you MUST attribute it back to me (Amanda Perez-Carroll).

Response: January 21 2010 Database as Genre (also appears on Theories of T&T Course Blog

Group Project: Climate Change Website Usability

Group Project: Notes on Orality and Literacy

Hypertext Paper: The Art of OOP

Concept Map: Final Concept MapThis post also appeared on Intro to Texts and Technology Course Blog

Database as Genre

The conversation that takes place in our readings for this week and last on databases is an interesting one. When I think of a database I do not think of it as something that is threatening or even a replacement for anything. I think of it as an addition to the tools that we already use. McGann’s position on the database confuses me. The organization of the database that he calls “severe” to me seems to be heavily based on the way we categorize in language already. When I first started to learn OOP (Object Oriented Programming) we began by comparing the way we create classes to the way in which sentences are constructed. Now as I sit down to write software I find the organization to be very similar to the way in which I compose my writing. Going back to McGann I have to say that yes it is true that no database can function without its user interface but it is odd that he separates the two. There is no software that we interact with that is not delivered to use through a user interface of some kind. When I create software I do not only created the relationships and methods I create the user interface in which the relationships and the methods are delivered to the user. They, in my mind, are one. And since they are one they are created and organized based on the organization that we use in everyday lives (which I would have to agree with Ong in this case is based on our print culture). When he mentions the TEI I am not seeing how using XML markup is any different or better than a database.

Where I can agree with McGann is the fact there are certain things are lost when we digitize collections. That is why I think Hayles’ comment about “natural symbionts” is the most useful in the conversation. Take the way that the PMLA issue is presented. We are given a version of the original (because we can assume that Folsom’s piece was edited before it was printed) and then we are given the additions to the thoughts the original piece laid out. I see this as the database function. When I take an original manuscript of Leaves of Grass scan it and place it into a database I have added to the value of the piece (in value I do not mean monetary but in this case use). Therefore since I am adding and not replacing I see no reason why the loss of physicality in the archive is important, it still exists in the original archive.

I have to ask those who are more familiar with TEI… what is it that makes it (in McGann’s case) so much better than what Folsom has done with the Whitman Archive? From his explanation of it, it sounds like just another way of categorizing text. So thinking about the database and the arguments presented I have to turn to Manovich and think that truly the main concern is form. The database for many is not a traditional form of finding or organizing narrative (although I would argue differently) but it is a cultural form in itself. The database is an expression of culture and may be more natural to those in the culture whose main source of information is the internet. As for McGill’s notion that the accidental find is lost when we archive in database, well I just have to say she is forgetting the wonderful search engine.

Works Cited:
Folsom, Ed. Database as Genre: The Epic Transformation of Archives

Jonathan Freedman, N. Katherine Hayles, Jerome McGann, Meredith L. McGill, and Peter Stallybrass. Reply by Ed Folsom. Responses to Ed Folsom’s “Database as Genre: The Epic Transformation of Archives.” PMLA vol.122 no.5 (2007) 1580-1612. DOI:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 4/365: Maverick meets the turtle

Today’s walk brought and interesting surprise for Maverick. The turtle pictured in this photo has been around the neighborhood for years but little Maverick rarely notices him. Today however the turtle was moving and suddenly he was the most interesting thing in the world. It was hard to get him away, he kept insisting that he just had to smell the weird dog’s butt.

Day 4 of 365

My Blog: Amanda's Weekly Zen

Day 3/365: Maverick Waiting

Maverick Waiting, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.

January 19, 2010

While on our daily (with Maverick) 3 mile walk we stopped by the campground clubhouse. Norwood went inside the clubhouse while Maverick and I waited just outside the door. He was very entertained because just to the right of the clubhouse there was a playground where several little ones were playing. He watched them slide and swing and then one of the smallest kids noticed him and came running over to say hello to him. If you look to the right of the shot you can see a little blond girl running over.

Day 3 of 365

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Event Guidelines

We here are Weekly Zen love to attend local events so please share them with us by emailing your information to Amanda at  and we will share them with others. Just make sure to follow the guidelines below:

  • Email subject line MUST include the event name
  • Include a brief one paragraph description of the event which includes; price of event, who can attend, what to expect from the event , where the event is and contact information and if the event is family friendly
The types of events we will post: (it is not limited to only the events below)
  • Art shows
  • Author signings
  • Book Clubs
  • Hiking Clubs
  • Travel Clubs or Caravans
  • Marathons, Half Marathons, 5ks (or other running walking events)
Things we will NOT post:
  • Your personal business sales pitch (i.e. Suzy is having a Mary Kay party Friday).
You MAY attach a flier about your event to the email, but if you do please make sure it is in PDF format. Other formats will not be opened.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 2/365 Bread and Jam

Bread and Jam, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.

My husband likes to cook which is fantastic because I in no way whatsoever like to cook (although I am not as opposed to baking). One of my favorite food items that Norwood makes is his homemade bread (sort of a multigrain bread). Each week we are treated to a fresh loaf and today is the first day of the new loaf (I love the end of the bread). For breakfast we had a slice and some of the best jam I have had that was not homemade, Ed Smith’s Cherries and Berries. Not too sweet, not too tart the perfect flavor. I have a feeling that this jam will be dangerous. :)

Day 2 of 365

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 1/365: Maverick Getting Older

Maverick, originally uploaded by Amanda Perez-Carroll.
In March Maverick will be eight years old and it was not until I started walking longer distances with him did I notice that he was in fact aging. He hangs in there for the long walks but at the end he just wants to sleep. We also noticed that jumping up onto the bed in his room sometimes takes its toll so we started putting things lower, which at first I thought he would not like (he is very particular about where his things should go) but he has no problem with it, in fact he seems to appreciate the little changes. But no matter how old he gets, he never passes up a chance to sit on the couch… any couch.

PS... yes yet again I will attempt to take on the 365 project. I have not been sucessful in the past but I feel that this year is my year. Today is the first day but if you want to follow my year in photos check here is my flickr photoset: 2010 365 Project :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Lands in Thousand Trails Orlando

Monday proved to be an uneventual day at Thousand Trails Orlando. Well out for an evening walk many found themselves looking up at the sky to see two hot air balloons floating over them only to land up near the welcome center. Needless to say many headed up to the balloons to see what had happened. Those who were in the balloon said it was a life changing experience. Personally I think it is nuts... but if you want a ride in a hot air balloon I was told they have information about the service in the club house at Thousand Trails Orlando.

For more information about Thousand Trails memberships and upgrades check out the Thousand Trails Upgrade page.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Books for Review Submission Guidelines

Amanda's Weekly Zen will consider books from the following genres:
  • Travel
  • Young Adult (YA not MG)
  • Literary Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Historical Fiction (Not historical romance)
If your book is chosen for review you will be notified via email in 1-2 days after your request. At this time ebook requests are only being accepted. You mail email an EPUB, PDF version of your submission or you can send a request via NetGalley. I WILL host a giveaway for your books and all giveaways will be listed on Goodreads. I WILL NOT host a Blog Tour. To expedite your request please follow the guidelines below and send all requests to


Include the following in your email for BOOK REVIEWS:

  • SUBJECT LINE: Request for Book Review Author and Title 
  • IN THE EMAIL: author name and title, summary of the novel or a sample chapter, date of publication (especially if it is in the future) 
  • Any additional websites you would like my review on (I already post on Weekly Zen, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads) 

Please keep the following in mind before submitting your request for a book review:

  • I need at least one-two weeks to read your book so please plan accordingly
  • I will email you when the review is complete and posted
  • I travel A LOT so physical books are not my preference. If you have an ebook or a PDF of the book I would more than happy to read that version. I have both the Kindle 3 and a Nook. 


  • Character development- Characters who are well rounded and complex, a balance between explicit and implicit characterization,  
  • Voice - includes the POV of your novel as well as the language you chose to use to convey your story. I am not opposed to traditional first person POV but I also appreciate attempts at interesting POVs. What I mainly look for in this category is consistency and clarity with your chosen POV
  • General style - the overall feeling of  the book. Did you hook me from the first line?

Need to make your own ebook? Check out this post that tells you how to do it for free using Mobi Pocket Software. Note: I have tested this software and have successfully been able to read my own Mobi created ebook on  my Kindle 2.

Hello All-I have received many emails and comments on my blog about the progress of Knit the Classics. Unfortunately it was deleted by blogger and it cannot be recovered. It was decided among the admins that it would not be rebuilt due to the schedules of the admins. The years that Knit the Classics was up and running were great! I apologize for the loss and I hope all the former members continue to read classic novels and thoroughly enjoy their knitting and crochet!