This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sowing and Reaping

There are four laws defining sowing and reaping:

1. You don't reap unless you sow.

If you don't invest something, whether money, work, relationships, whatever -- you won't get anything back. In a related vein, if you sow a little, you reap a little, and if you sow a lot, you reap a lot.

2. You sow what you reap.

You will get back whatever you put into the ground. If you sow anger and discord, you will get this back. If you sow to investing money, you will get money back, and not a good marriage. If you sow to help develop children, you will see the children develop and grow.

3. You sow more than you reap.

As you go about your life be careful what you invest in, because it will rain down on you.

4. You sow later than you reap.

You can't expect an *instant payoff* in anything -- it takes time, persistence, and perseverance. Faith. As Paul says, *Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.* Galatians 6:9, NASV

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soldier's Best Friend

On the eve of Memorial Day...
Thank you for your service.
These canines show the gratitude and loyalty we hold for you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Clarke's Three Laws

The novelist Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) was a British writer, inventor, and futurist. He worked as a radar techician and in 1945 proposed a satellite communication system. His most famous story is 2001: A Space Odyssey, published in 1968.

He was a keen observer of technological development, and incorporated many of his ideas in his novels. These ideas notably didn't seem to include conflicting principles or flawed theoretical concepts. Clarke codified some of his ideas of technology into three laws:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wront.

2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

These laws certainly have been guiding principles to great inventors like Franklin, Whitney, Morse, Bell, Edison, and Tessla, or modern inventors like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Think about how our computers or cell phones seem outdated five or even two years later thanks to cooperative endeavors from many brilliant unknown people.

How cool is that? Vive Tecnology.

Monday, May 14, 2012

DISC Personality Test

These personality theories are fun if taken with a grain of salt. The DISC personality test was developed from the work of Dr. William Marston by John Geier. It examines preferences of the person when dealing with other people and work environments.

There are four dimensions that can be set into a grid as follows (hoping my grid works):




The categories are:

* Dominance – relating to control, power and assertiveness. D people will quickly and aggressively find solutions to problems.

* Influence – relating to social situations and communication. I people tend to be emotional, and value the other person.

* Steadiness – relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness. S people tend to be calm and predictable, and value routine.

* Conscientiousness – relating to structure and organization. C people tend to be detail-oriented and careful.

You can take a free online test to see where you fall HERE.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Double Chocolate Cake

I bake fun things for kiddos for when they come home from school. This week I pulled out an oldie but goodie: my Double Chocolate Cake.

I know I modified this recipe a long time ago, but can't remember from what, or if I simply made this up from scratch. This recipe makes a dense, seriously chocolate cake reminiscent of brownies although not as gooey.

I still have to try this low carb :-) using Carbquick and/or ground almonds for flour, maltilol for sugar (blended in blender for powdered sugar), and sugar-free chocolate chips.

OK, here's the recipe:

Amy's Double Chocolate Cake


1 cup oil, butter, or combination
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup (12 T) cocoa*
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Put parchment paper in 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan, or grease it.

Mix oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until uniform. Sift and add cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth and completely blended. Mix in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes --> don't undercook this, but when it's finished the cake should still be a little soft to retain moisture. A toothpick stuck in may not come out completely clean, but should be pretty clean. I'm sorry I can't be more specific, I do this on instinct.


powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 T or so cocoa* or 2-3 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup melted butter

Frosting is best made using a hand mixer rather than mixing with a fork. Put about 1-2 cups powdered sugar in mixing bowl. Add salt and cocoa (dry ingredients) and stir together. Add unsweetened chocolate if you're using this instead of cocoa, butter, and vanilla. Mix together -- the mixture will be very crumbly.

***Be extremely cautious as you add milk, since a little goes a long way.***

Splash in milk a tablespoon or two at a time, and blend well after each addition. Keep alternating powdered sugar and milk until correct volume and consistency is achieved. You don't need to make as much frosting as you do for a cake.

Once it's ready, frost the cake. You can sprinkle jimmies or coconut on top if you wish.

I never said this was diet cake! But it's incredibly good.


*note on cocoa

I never ever cook with regular cocoa because it is insipid, yielding only a dark color but no taste to whatever is made. Cocoa that is Dutch-processed (processed with alkali) is the only way to go because it has a deep, rich chocolate taste. Dutch-processed cocoa is hard to find and you'll likely have to locate some on the internet. An acceptable alternative is the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, a blend of alkali and regular, in a box with a red and brown label. (Hershey's used to make special dark in a silver box, but I guess it became too expensive? THAT stuff was awesome).

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Philippe Croizon was 26 in 1994, married with one child and one on the way, and a steelworker. When he climbed the roof to fix a television antenna, standing on a metal ladder, a high voltage power line grounded through the ladder and sent him to the hospital in critical condition. There all four of his limbs were amputated.

In deep despair, he decided to swim using prosthetic legs with flippers attached. In 2010 he swam the English channel.

Now the Frenchman has decided, with his friend, to swim across a series of narrow waterways that separate one continent from another. They plan to accomplish this this summer, swimming between Papua New Guinea to Indonesia to link Australasia and Asia. Then they plan cross the Red Sea from Asia to Africa, the Strait of Gibraltar from Africa to Europe, and the Bering Strait linking Asia to America.

Crozier and his friend hope to start next week, and finish in the middle of August.

In 2006 Croizon wrote the book, J'ai décidé de vivre (I Decided to Live). Inspiring.