A Different Kind of “Fangirling”: Staff Sergeant Spencer Stone

Throughout my years with GeekMom, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. I have written about meeting book, comic, music, and film/TV celebrities and I get my share of fangirl “squeeing”—hopefully mostly internally—while I’m shaking his/her hand and talking.

A couple weeks ago, through a program at the U.S. Air Force Academy, I had the opportunity to listen to Staff Sergeant Spencer Stone (say that four times fast!) give an account of the events that led to his incapacitating a terrorist on a high speed train in France last August. The two-day event was filled with inspirational speakers, and I heard several wonderful talks from non-profit owners, industry leaders, and higher-ranking military leaders. However, I was the most excited about hearing Sergeant Stone’s account. Inside, I was certainly Kermit-flailing! Continue reading A Different Kind of “Fangirling”: Staff Sergeant Spencer Stone

Gather ‘Round Padawans (Part Seven): Sam Wilson: Captain America

Captain America. The quintessential all-American hero. Nice Brooklyn boy willing to subject his body to medical experimentation to win the opportunity to fight for the little guy, freedom, and your grandma. Always has been. Still is even though someone else has taken up the title, the mantle, and the shield.

Steve’s thoughts on his chosen successor? “When I handed that shield over to Sam, it didn’t come with a rule book. I trust him to do what he thinks is best for our country.”

A large sector of the population, however, isn’t willing to accept the new Cap as “their” Cap despite Steve’s endorsement. Why? A questionable past? Does he booze it up with Stark? Go on shooting rampages? Run people down with his car on the sidewalk in Vegas? Sell drugs? Do drugs? Embezzle SHIELD funds? Play his music too loud? Kick puppies?

Nope.

Sam Wilson is daring, daring, to Cap while African American.

Continue reading Gather ‘Round Padawans (Part Seven): Sam Wilson: Captain America

RIP Sally Ride … My First Hero

Sally Ride, America’s first female astronaut, communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck during the six-day mission of the Challenger. Image and caption courtesy NASA

I was nine years old when I first wanted to be an astronaut, and my first hero was Sally Ride. I looked up to her as a woman, a scientist, and an astronaut. Sally’s enthusiasm for life, boundless energy, intelligence, and passion for science were constant beacons throughout my formative years. Sally Ride was a trailblazer both for NASA and for working women everywhere. She showed women that they could achieve the same status as their male peers. Sally Ride’s integrity never faltered, even as a woman in a male-dominated profession for much of her career.

You can understand just how sad I was to hear that Sally Ride passed away today, July 23, 2012, after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Sally is survived by her 27-year partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, and her mother, Joyce. Before her official obituary today, Sally had always referred to her partner as “a good friend,” never feeding rumors or speculation as to her sexual preferences, keeping her private life … private.

Born May 26, 1951, Sally Ride grew up wanting to be a scientist. She received four degrees including her PhD in physics from Stanford University in 1977. After answering a newspaper ad for astronaut applicants, Sally Ride became one of the first six women to join the NASA astronaut corp in 1978, beating out most of the other roughly 8000 applicants. During her pre-flight career, she served as Capsule Communicator (CapCom) and worked on developing the shuttle’s famous robotic arm.

Continue reading RIP Sally Ride … My First Hero

Captain America to the Rescue!

One of my geeky loves is technology accessories. If it will work with my iPod, I will fall in love. One day online I stumbled on a pair of Captain America headphones. The artwork brought me back to the earlier days of the character. As a child Captain America was one of my favorite characters. I even made up a song about him that I would walk around the house singing. I thought the headphones were looked pretty cool and figured “why not?”.

The box arrived and I was super excited to test them out.  One problem…my son saw them first. Since he is really big into boxes, I thought that is what he wanted. I was not so lucky. He wanted my headphones. I don’t like to share my geeky toys, but since I was convinced he wouldn’t like them, I let him try them on. I was wrong again. He loved them so much he declared “I think these will be mine now” and then walked off to play “Where’s my water?” on the iPad. 45 minutes later, I had to beg to get them back.

I have always wanted my son to have a pair of headphones for car trips and other times I didn’t feel like listening to “Wheres my water?” or “Sonic the Hedgehog” .  I have looked at most brands and even bought a few different pairs. He never found them interesting or comfortable enough to wear.  I had given up on the fight and felt doomed to forever hear Car’s 20 million times on road trips. It never occurred to me it would be my headphones he would want.

After I finally had my mitts on them I realized why he liked them so much. They are pretty comfy and the sound isn’t too bad either. They are certainly not Boise quality, but for a pair of stylized headphones, they are pretty nice. Unlike the new child headphones, these do not have the volume control, but since my iPod has that feature built in, I’m not missing it.

Since it is so hard to find my son headphones I am giving this one up and just going to get my own. Its amazing how I thought I was beaten and then out of the blue here comes Captain America to save the day. Now gone are the days of listening to Cars 20 million times while on a road trip. Thank you Captain America. You’re my hero!

If you are in need of a hero to save you on car trips, check out Coloud headphones website for a selection of other styles including Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Star Wars, and NHL styles.

“In exchange for my time and efforts in  reporting my opinion within this blog, I received a free review sample. Even though I receive this benefit, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.”

 

Fitocracy – A Geeky Way to Track Weight Loss

A recent picture of me

Losing weight can be a challenge, but if you treat it like a quest in a roleplaying game, might actually make working out fun!

I am overweight. Not terribly, but enough that I’m not very happy with my current weight / shape. Add in the fact that I had a c-section with my daughter, and nothing stays in like it’s supposed to anymore. I’ve been trying to lose weight, but it’s hard with such a busy schedule. And I will admit that I can be a procrastinator. It’s hard to make myself work out at the end of the day after I’ve been doing school and my stay at home mom chores.

I’ve been using some online and Android apps to track my weight loss journey, but none of them really helped me stick with my weight loss program. But then I found Fitocracy.

Fitocracy is an online program that allows you to track your weight loss, but it tracks in such as way as if you were the hero in an RPG. Each exercise is worth a certain amount of experience points, so as you exercise you get experience points. Once you get enough points, you rise in level. There are also quests you can go on and achievements you can reach.

I’m currently level 3 and I just finished my first quest. It’s really a neat little program that puts a geeky twist on weight loss. I’m going to continue to use it, so if anyone joins up, friend me!