Oooo…shiny

December 18th, 2014

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The colors don’t do much for me here, but the concept is utterly cool. The saucer is the only thing that is painted. The cup reflects the saucer.

Didn’t feel like taking 2 hrs to get to work only to turn around 3 hrs later to get home before possible freezing drizzle in the dark. So I’m here browsing stuff I don’t need to spend money on. I am in appreciation only mode for now since property taxes are due at the end of the year. How my car license got to the point that it runs out in December I have no idea but it’s a horrible plan. Means before I can license the car, I have to pay the personal property taxes for the year. I remember in years past letting them slide till like February and paying the late fee rather than having to dump huge chunks of money all over the place in December. But I’m almost positive the car license hasn’t been out of date for longer than a month ever and I really don’t recall renewing it in December before. Sigh.

And it’s cold. But at least I’m here with tea and cat. :)

I flabbered so hard my gast is broken

December 16th, 2014

I was supposed to stop by my Mom’s work on the way home tonight and pick up some stuff. Nothing critical, just stuff. To do that I have to take a different route toward home. I got about 15 minutes from home and realized I had not made the turn for the different route. I remembered just in time to take an exit that would get me there will only about 10 minutes lost.

Up until that point, my brain had been teeming full tilt with ideas for the tea festival. Things I needed to change in the vendor agreement, things I needed to add to the guest information page… I think. I honestly have no flippin’ idea what my brilliant ideas were now.

I have never had this happen before. After I made my exit I tried to turn my brain back to what I had been thinking of and it was like trying to recall a dream after about 3 minutes of waking. Knowing there had indeed been something and it had been COOL but not even remotely being able to put a finger on any details at all.

I still can’t remember. I hope it comes back eventually.

Plus, I know for sure that what I was going to make for dinner was one of the things in my brain soup. Vanished with everything else.

Let this be a warning to save your brain frequently and use a backup.

the first baking disaster of the season

December 13th, 2014

I was making those Rolo sandwich cracker cookies. Stupid simple and stupid good, right? Well, I bought crackers (on sale even) and Rolos. Put the crackers on a big baking sheet, thinking to myself, “Self, these crackers are a bit… brown, aren’t they?” But I continue.

Come across a cracker with what looks like a piece of tomato in it. Still not catching on, I think to myself, “Self, what shoddy packing. They let a tomato seasoned cracker get in the pack with the others. Eh. Toss it out, self.” So I continued.

Put them in the oven, was prepping a sheet to make the pretzel-pecan-Rolo bits of nom next. Timer went off, sheet out of the oven. Put second cracker on about half a sleeve worth of cookies. Get another sleeve of crackers out, in process of opening them and it finally registers that the box says quite clearly “Vegetable.”

…Vegetable?

Oh… I just wasted a whole package of Rolos like a moron. I tasted the cracker, surely it wasn’t too strong, maybe it would be okay, right? No. Garlic and onion and tomato and chocolate and caramel. Probably not a good combo.

Told the OAM. In the midst of laughing at me, he tried one of the cookies and pronounced “Like eating chocolate stew.”

So, maybe I invented something. Nothing good, but something.

Road trip of death over, home safe and sound

December 4th, 2014

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and isn’t panicking in the countdown to Christmas. :)

Despite my mother’s fears, we didn’t die in a fire filled wreckage of carbon fiber and plastic. We saw a lot of New Mexico scenery, had an excellent Thanksgiving dinner at a hotel and hit a top speed for both me and the OAM. And truthfully, I have not ridden in a more comfortable car for long trips. The seats in this car are excellent – bolsters on the side provide tons of support and the lumbar support is amazingly good. If you are tall, the passenger side is a compromise between head room and leg room but the driver’s seat is good, according to the OAM.

The blue stood out pretty nicely in most of the areas we were in.

The blue stood out pretty nicely in most of the areas we were driving through.

A public service announcement here: Do not throw crushed ice* out of your window at 75 mph. It will hit the car behind you like rock salt from a shotgun and cause a lot of damage to paint and crack windshields (even at 5 car lengths away).

Insurance will cover a lot of it. But with a car  just over a month old, it hurt to see it. And there are far too many semi trucks running on US-75 to take a new car on it. We were surrounded almost all the time by semis. If the windshield hadn’t already been cracked by the ice, the rocks from the trucks would have been the ones that caused the first crack. Instead they caused the second.

And what happened to pickups having mud flaps? I’ve noticed it with my cars that have had 2 windshields cracked by rocks thrown from pickups in the last several years. Huge tires and no flaps. They didn’t always prevent stuff being thrown back or to the side, but sometimes they did.

*This is the nicest assumption I can make. The other is that the passenger in the van was a total asshole and threw out something small and white but not ice, intending to damage the car behind him.

Well, time to hunker down

November 24th, 2014

Stay safe, people. Because no matter what the Ferguson verdict is, there will be rioting. People with this mentality need only the slimmest pretext to indulge their selfishness. And people in mobs will do things they would never do alone.

Not being in St. Louis or near Ferguson doesn’t mean there won’t be upheaval where you are. Just be smart. And hope that others are as well.

The latest otter adventure

November 23rd, 2014

The OAM had a work conference in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. So with a free hotel room and a per diem for food, you bet I tagged along. This time I did some things I hadn’t felt like I had time for in short trips – Mandalay Bay Shark Tank, a couple of tea rooms and the Downtown Container Park. Oh, and I got to meet long time imaginary internet friend, the one time Mr. Enas Yorl!

It was nice to meet the Yorl in person. We checked out some local art and had tea. It was fun and I truly appreciate him taking time out from his leisurely vacation to show me some of the sights. :)

British mysteries/comedies

November 16th, 2014

One of my frequent indulgences is British mystery shows and the occasional period soap opera or comedy.

The OAM will put up with most of the  mysteries and likes quite a few of them. His tolerance for the soaps is almost nonexistent and the comedies have to be pretty good for him to put up with more than a few episodes in a row.

We’ve been watching Thorne lately. More like movies than tv shows, the first one, Thorne: Sleepyhead is 3 hours long but originally shown in 3 parts, so I guess a mini-series. Watching the second one, Thorne: Scaredycat, tonight. Both have actors I like. Very standardly British murder mysteries but solid stories and decently done. It would appear that there are only the 2 episodes and they are based on a series of books. Which is good – means I have another book series to pick up after I work my way through the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford books. Those are satisfying my taste for murder mysteries and WWI (along with immediate aftermath) time period. Sure, they all get formulaic after a while, but…

Also watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Fashionable lady detective in Australia in the 20s. I don’t especially feel the need to read these at this point but maybe in the future. Essie Davis is just beautiful. Of course, eventually the character becomes predictable in her outrageous society shocking-ness, but so far I don’t find that to be a downside.

Started The Vicar of Dibley as well. I like most of Dawn French’s work and the show has a couple of pretty funny characters. Female vicar arrives to shake up small English village.

Another series that I have watched through all the episodes on Netflix currently is Rosemary & Thyme.  A duo of middle-aged-or-just-past gardening detectives. Felicity Kendal was apparently known for cute roles in her younger day and I can certainly still see it. The addition of gardening to the mix adds interest for me – although I have no patience or talent for it.

Although I watched it quite awhile back, The Bletchley Circle was good. Mystery set after WWII in England. Group of women who worked in a codebreaking center during the war team up to solve a series of killings.

I also found The Land Girls enjoyable (only seen season 1 so far). Follows a group of women working the land during WWII to do their bit for the effort.

The Paradise was quite enjoyable as well (at least through the end of season 1, haven’t seen 2 yet). Shopgirl with bigger dreams working in one of the first department stores. Emun Elliot is a tasty bit of eye candy. :)

I couldn’t get into The Grand enough to watch after they switched actors for some characters I liked midway through the first season.

Gonna be on my own for tomorrow evening since the OAM is out of town on business. Maybe I’ll invite Mom up for dinner or maybe I’ll eat tacos and grab the latest season of Downton Abbey.

 

Well, I can see where my holes are in my exposure to the US…

November 9th, 2014

vsmap.cgi

Via Dustbury comes this nifty little site that generates a map of where you’ve traveled. There is a guide on the site for how to fill in with what colors, but below is how I interpreted it:

Red = passed through, not spent much time in, seen a few sights

Amber = seen sights, taken photos, spent at least one night

Blue = spent a good piece of time in, seen quite a bit of

Green = Know quite well, spent a lot of time in, traveled extensively in

Maryland & Virginia only appear on this map due to my trip to DC.

This makes me feel better about owing something from Government Motors

November 7th, 2014

GM is donating leftover Corvette adhesive to create artificial stalactites in bat caves to help stop the spread of white nose syndrome.

Artificial stalactites give hibernating bats more surface area from which to hang, thus spreading them out around the cave. Creation of the stalactite is simple; robots that apply a structural adhesive that helps join Corvette body parts are purged regularly to keep the adhesive applicator clean and free of dried material. This dried gunk is the perfect shape for a stalactite, and its use in artificial bat caves avoids sending it to landfills.

Like almost everyone, my sense of outrage can be mollified when a pet cause of my own is involved. :)

Hah. I just noticed I left out the “n” in “owning” in the title. It won’t let me strike it through, which I think would be funnier.

 

 

The new addition to the family

November 6th, 2014

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The proud papa with his new delivery

The proud papa with his new delivery (astonishingly, he didn’t even try to flip me off while I was taking the photo)

The OAM decided that it was time to get himself a toy to makeup for constant work phone calls, texts and the 50-70 hour weeks over the last several years. Works for me because 1) the garage got cleaned out and 2) the renewed interest in cars means that the paperweight Camaro is finally being fixed! The new Corvette is a pretty thing, I’ll give it that. Really a marvel of technology all in all. And totally terrifying to drive. It takes way too little time to be going way too fast. It honestly is a race car masquerading as a regular car.

And it makes little electronic noises even after you turn it off. Like way after it’s been turned off. The first night we were trying to figure out why the interior reading lamps were not going off after the car was off. Sitting in it, power off, reading the manual. All of a sudden the center screen came on. No display, just grey. Then the screen in front of the driver came on. Also just grey. Center screen fades off, driver screen still on. Not reassuring. After figuring out from the manual that there is an auto shut off at 10 minutes to save the battery, I gave up and went inside.

It may kill us in our sleep some night.

So there is an inaugural road trip through the southwest coming up after Thanksgiving. Breaking in the Camaro was one of the reasons for the first road trip we ever took together. It was the first vacation we ever took together in fact. We set out for New Orleans and ended up at the Grand Canyon. Wrong turn in Arkansas… I’m hoping for no early ice in Oklahoma since we will be either leaving through it or coming back through it. If bad weather happens, it may be an extended trip…

 

 

Election Day

November 4th, 2014

Yes, day as in singular. Not Election Week or Election Month. Day. Get your ass to the polls today or go to the hassle of getting an advance ballot. But this advance voting week(s) crap bugs me no end. Not only do you not have to show the same identification you have to show to cash a check but you don’t even have to be bothered to show up on the day of the election. Anyway…

voting

politics1

Wild Rice Chicken Salad

November 3rd, 2014

2 cups smoked rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 cup cooked, cooled wild rice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 can diced water chestnuts, drained

Mix all together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I didn’t add any salt or pepper. You could always cook your own chicken. I am finding that when the grocery stores have their rotisserie chickens on sale, it works well for me to buy a couple, chop them up and freeze them to have on hand for chicken salad. Part of what makes this recipe so tasty is the smoked factor but obviously it could be made with any kind of seasoned chicken. For a crunchier salad, add some almonds or celery. Or a get a crunchier and sweeter salad by adding chopped carrots.

It is a chunky salad, so it works well served over lettuce. Not as well on crackers but decent on croissants or bread.

omnomnom

So, should I sign up for her “tweets” so I know where she is going to be traveling?

October 31st, 2014

I am obviously not a doctor. I know diddly about Ebola. At least I know diddly about it that I can say for sure is a fact. I blame that largely on the politicization of the issue which has meant that actual reporting has been pretty thin on substance. Panic, don’t panic, ride the bus, don’t ride the bus, 21 days for symptoms, at 40 days you can still be infected, it lives for 2 hours outside of the body, it lives for much longer outside the body…

But what I am pretty sure of is that a judge has no business dispensing medical advice. (an autoplay video eventually started up when I left the tab open to this site, just a heads-up)

District Court Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere rejected a court order drawn up by Maine health officials that would have required nurse Kaci Hickox to avoid public places and keep a three-foot buffer with other people until Nov. 10, when a 21-day incubation period for the virus will end.

LaVerdiere said Hickox should continue self-monitoring for Ebola symptoms.

I understand the objection to setting health or public policy based on fear and knee-jerk reaction. But I am very unconvinced that the CDC or any “authorities” really know what they are doing or that anyone truly knows what is the best course of action to take. It may well be that I am wrong. I am not privy to insider information. All I know is that their public statements and how they have been reported don’t lend any confidence to their abilities.

And – if a 21 day quarantine is what has been determined at this point to be the best for public safety – this woman should be publicly shunned. She should be made to feel ashamed. Everywhere she goes people should just quietly leave a 3 foot distance around her. Her actions at this point don’t convince me she is in any position to self-monitor. Her apparent selfishness and disregard of the rest of her fellows doesn’t persuade me she has anyone’s best interests in mind other than her own. Which is a shame. I applaud her for going to Africa in the first place knowing what she was facing. And that is the crux of it – knowing what she was facing. She knew when she went what the possible outcome could be. Bitching later about how she feels treated like a criminal is just pathetic.

There is also a Nobel Prize winning doctor in medicine & physiology on record saying that a 21 day quarantine is a good thing.

“It may not be absolutely true that those without symptoms can’t transmit the disease, because we don’t have the numbers to back that up,” said Beutler, “It could be people develop significant viremia [where viruses enter the bloodstream and gain access to the rest of the body], and become able to transmit the disease before they have a fever, even. People may have said that without symptoms you can’t transmit Ebola. I’m not sure about that being 100 percent true. There’s a lot of variation with viruses.”

In fact, in a study published online in late September by the New England Journal of Medicine and backed by the World Health Organization, 3,343 confirmed and 667 probable cases of Ebola were analyzed, and nearly 13 percent of the time, those infected with Ebola exhibited no fever at all.

But that’s okay. I’m sure Ms. Hickox knows best.

When male strippers have more conscience than our medical professionals we are in sad hands.

 

 

Another reason Uber needs to be in every city

October 29th, 2014

They deliver kittens.

Kitten delivery.

That. Is. Awesome.

Beset by a large carnivore…

October 20th, 2014

Or more likely omnivore. This is probably a raccoon leave behind. But it was unsettling as hell to find a freakin’ 6 inch long bone in a hanging planter when I brought it in for the season last night.

That is a business card on the right for size comparison.

That is a business card on the right for size comparison.

Dear lawd. It better not be a spider.