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Tuesday, February 25, 2003  
From the ever-entertaining, and business-tripping-in-Florida Susan over at BtC
While the crowds of macho men in shorts swarming everywhere were entertaining at first, after a day or two it becomes apparent that they are the international ambassadors from jackassland.
Ha! Now that's a great description to steal. "So pleased to meet you and you would be the ambassador from....?" Thanks Susan.

Written at: 2/25/2003 10:02:00 PM

Getting back to what makes people happy.... I am trimming up the 320 blocks. Tedious? Maybe. Boring? Better not be too boring or there's room to lop off fingers. Rewarding? Yes.

Meanwhile, I successfully installed my Airport Extreme Card. It's WAY cool. I thought the instructions in the Powerbook's manual were very helpful. And it works GREAT. I was sending emails from work just sitting in the breakroom. Not something I'll use a lot but it's nice to have.

I brought lentil soup to work a la crockpot. That made my co-workers happy and that makes me happy too. There's just nothing like cheap food that's excellent for you and easy to make.

Let's review what I made this weekend, triggered in part by my new dutch oven: pot roast, beef bbq (oh yeah), lentil soup, chicken fricassee, chicken soup (oh yeah, baby!) and nicely done chicken to go in the chicken soup.

Don't you hate it when the meat for the soup is all dried out and overcooked? Not in MY soup! I have made chicken this quick easy way for years: Bring huge pot of water to boil. Throw in whole chicken. Bring to boil and keep there for 1 minute. Turn it off and leave sit, covered for 1 hour. Take chicken off bones. Wonderful moist, perfectly cooked chicken.

As a side bonus you get the startings of wonderful chicken soup. Throw the bones of the chicken back in the same pot of hot water. Add your basics: whole onions, whole garlic cloves, whole carrots, whole stalks of celery. I use a big tea ball like thing and put my garlic and peppercorns in that. Bring to a boil and then simmer for awhile. Strain into a different pot and discard all the bones and veggies. Add diced carrots and celery, adjust seasonings and cook until vegetables are cooked.

When you're going to serve, heat up the soup, throw in the meat to heat through and serve over freshly cooked rice or pasta. Don't store the starchy stuff in the soup. Eat up, it's good for you.

Written at: 2/25/2003 09:43:00 PM

Saturday, February 22, 2003  
It's interesting what makes you happy, eh? I got this yesterday only mine has a cool grip spiral sort of handle. Now I'm really ready to make such things as pot roast and chili. In a flurry of related housewifery feelings, I got out my two cast iron skillets and found that the new lid fits the old pans. It's all good. And I think it should count as a work out, moving all that iron around.

Written at: 2/22/2003 11:33:00 AM

Thursday, February 20, 2003  
All day long I enjoyed just knowing that all my little squares were home waiting for me. Tonight I came home and pressed the last 40 and then took a deep breath and tried trimming up a few. For those of you who aren't quilters, this step of trimming, or trueing
TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected form: tru·ing or true·ing: To position (something) so as to make it balanced, level, or square: trued up the long planks.
is an important one. First off, it makes it much easier to join up the blocks since they are made into squares, not something approaching a square, sort of. It also assures that all the blocks are the same size, give or take a small tolerence. Finally, it has the added bonus of knocking off all the little ears of seam allowance that stick out past the edges. This makes for an easier sewing and nicer pressing when it's all said and done. Nitpicking? Perhaps. Worth it? In my mind, yes!

Finally, for those who know me, this cartoon from the Washington Post will make you laugh out loud. Oh what the heck - even if you don't know I'm the shopping cart police, you'll laugh like a hyena. Thanks Caity for the link!

Written at: 2/20/2003 11:30:00 PM


That whooping and hollering around 12:30 AM? That would have been me, sewing the last seam on the 320th small pink and green block! YEAH!

And for those that think it's not "art" if you plan ahead or if you count the number of blocks or pieces, well there's no way I'd do more than a few extra above what I think I'll need. Yes, I'll make more if I need them. Like math? 320 squares X 9 pieces. That would be a lot of small pieces of fabric.

Written at: 2/20/2003 01:26:00 AM

Monday, February 17, 2003  
I found this beautiful photo statement on Womanchild - I feel like everyone should have these words on their mirror or frig.

Written at: 2/17/2003 08:21:00 PM

Geesh, I missed the blog's anniversary - February 4th 2001! Are there belated blog anniversary cards? Did my three readers think - did she forget when she started this thing? Two years and growing. So maybe I can use the blogroll as a little gift to the blog fairies. That's it - a nice bow and we're done.

Written at: 2/17/2003 10:41:00 AM

Thanks to Jason and Blogrolling, my links on left are now neat and tidy. If you see an asterisk over there, go see what the new update is. I'll probably start breaking out links into new groups, but it is a start. Not hard to do, nice additional features if you make a contribution and well organized info on the web site. I was nervous when I saw the coding options but basically it says - if you can make a web page, you can do this. And he was right.

Written at: 2/17/2003 10:33:00 AM

Sunday, February 16, 2003  
As I said the other night, I greatly increased the number of quotes rotating in the box at right. It's a fine occupation and one that I've done since I was a child -- collecting and cataloging quotes.

Many of the blogs that I follow also have collections of quotes or occasionally point to new sources of quotes, for which I am grateful. Imagine my surprise then when today I realize that Bornfamous is now using the same text delivery device as I use - direct from htmlGEAR.

Now I must explain a bit. I had already begun to use GuestWorld guestbooks when I was hired on by Tripod to manage community volunteers. Remember those wonderful days of online life - net communities of like-minded folks sharing information and support via web pages and gathered into forums etc by companies like Tripod? I hit the ground running and much sooner rather than later the ground of that model fell away below my feet. Whether because of guilt at having hired me away from 20+ years of government work for a job that was ending before I got my desk set up, or because of my old-person work ethic I got kept on to do other things.

And my last job there was working for htmlGEAR. This small band of intrepid workers had plans to revolutionize web page building by making the coolest page gadgets ever. What an exciting thing. I worked with them as they planned, developed, tested and launched things. I did membership support for them, answering emailed questions and suffering through the waves of server failures and other things. We worked on and on despite lack of heated offices, adequate funding and staffing and support. It was a good time. The night htmlGEAR launched, we missed a big party at a nearby restaurant because the launch had unexpected bugs. We had our own party of delivered chinese food. We sat around on scavenged furniture with cable reels for tables. Glamourous, eh?

I learned more about how server stuff works than I really wanted to by listening to patient and very-skilled engineers who could make anything happen on your screen with just a few lines of code. I learned to be unafraid of accessing membership info on a Unix database. I learned how to figure out the answers to questions never expressed by the writers. I learned a lot about polite, supportive customer service.

At times like this when I enjoy the product of our work, things like the little textGEAR which rotates bits of text on your web site, I know how much I miss working with those folks and that big idea that was the hosting model.

Written at: 2/16/2003 02:55:00 PM

Thursday, February 13, 2003  
Thanks to the cool chicks over at The Coffee Ring for a link to a different take on what long term relationships are all about.
Another tale of a life spent together, this time on a remote island off the coast of Maine, found in the New York Times.

Happy Valentines Day to all.

Written at: 2/13/2003 08:59:00 PM

Wednesday, February 12, 2003  
Tonight I doubled the number of quotes that are in the box at right. Oh, you didn't notice that there would be a different quote in that box when you come here? ahem. Pay attention!

My collection of quotes started out being about art and art-making. I've thrown in others from time to time, just things that grabbed me. Today I added a whole lot of quotes about peace and peace-making, a few more about art and some others just because.

There's a whole lot in the world being quoted. There's not enough people making art and there's sure not enough people in the world making peace.

I feel strongly that everyone can make art in their own space, in their own lives, for themselves and others. I feel even more strongly that each person can make peace, starting in their own space, inside their own heart and then giving it to each person they touch along the way.
Think how many people you come in contact with each day. If your kindness or smile makes a difference to one or two of them and that one or two is kind or smiles on one or two more... what a difference those individual acts have made. We do make a difference in the world.

Change and peace come by each small act as much as by standing strong for what we know is right and against what is wrong.

Read the thoughts of others at: Poets Against The War

My contribution to the National Day of Poetry Against the War -- February 12, 2003:

Art and Peace

Within each of us is
the making of art.
Big people come along
and squash that out of us
while we're impressionable.
And we live in fear that
if we try to make art
or speak beauty
we are fools.

Within each of us is
the making of peace.
Important people tell us
that only killing makes a difference
and we come to believe that too.
And we live in fear that
only war is the answer and
are afraid to ask, well,
what's the question?

Let's be foolish then and make art
Some beautiful thing that speaks
from our soul and heart.
We each can .

Let's ask aloud, why not be peaceful?
Why not be kind and generous?
Let me start here today.
We each can.

Written at: 2/12/2003 10:18:00 PM

Tuesday, February 11, 2003  
For some time I've been sneaking what can only be described as a guilty pleasure - the new oreo half and half cookies - MINT. Yum! I could hardly believe how much I enjoyed eating these. I tried to show some restraint and was pretty successful. We all now how difficult it is, for instance, not to eat the WHOLE package of mint girl scout cookies. Well, some of us will admit to it anyway.

OK, so I've kept my little secret long enough. And why am I coming out of the closet now? Because I bought a new flavor and it's also wonderful in a whole different way. The coffee flavor! I was doubtful. I like good coffee. I like most things mocha. I like coffee flavor ice cream. But the cream part of oreos? Well. Where the mint variety is very minty and very sweet, the coffee flavor is soft and rich and not so knock-you-over-the-head sweet.

So there you have it. Go forth to the store and buy. Try not to eat the whole thing at once so you can feel virtuous about it. You can do it.

finally, while you're eating and all, think about replacing your crockpot. Susan and I have come to the same conclusion: the crockpots of the early 80's are dying. So replace them! Here's what I got a month or so ago and I just got one for my folks: Farberware 3 qt Slow Cooker, $19.99 at Macy's.

Written at: 2/11/2003 12:38:00 AM

Sunday, February 09, 2003  
I think the migration is pretty much done and successful. As a reward to myself, I bought "Cookware Deluxe" and "Recipe Cleaner" from, wait for it folks, DigitalFried Chicken! Actually what happened was that I went to Versiontracker to look at something and there it was in today's updates. Cool. Downloaded it and poked at the limited edition and said "what the heck?"

Perhaps it from hanging out on a bunch of restauranteur pages lately, but I have the urge to put my recipes in order. Right now they're in a big binder, in a stack of newspaper pages, in a shelf of cookbooks etc. Let me hereby resolve that in the future I'll put each recipe I use into this new system. I'll comb my emails for the mailed versions and throw them in and throw the emails out. It'll be a good thing. I'll gather up recipes for my friends and family and be able to print out tidy copies of them or send them as compatible files.

This all goes with the idea that a new hard drive is like a fresh start on life. My life is complex enough that I just can't start with an empty mailbox of course, but it does give you the opportunity to think - do I really use this software or that? How about we archive that on disk for awhile and see what happens? Oh yeah, let's get the newer version of that once and for all. Where the heck is that original disk of software and the registration number.

So you see that new computers give you the chance for a cleaner start if you keep your wits about you and don't give in to the whiney frustrated mind-set. And as a reward, might I suggest a new software that you've been hankering for?

PS Just a note to say that this morning I confirmed that all of the print drivers I needed were just in there - I plugged in the epson and there it was. Looked for the HP and there it was. It all works and it's all good.

Written at: 2/09/2003 02:07:00 PM

Saturday, February 08, 2003  
Hey blogging folks - here's some great video of bloggers talking about blogging. What's not to like about that?

After watching the clips of the "restaurant slave" talking about her years of journalling/blogging, I felt like I'd known her forever. That's not true of course, but I did share many of her thoughts about why blogging is a good thing and that most people have interesting lives that would be well-shared with others. Made me think of a book about a mid-wife in the late 1700's that I'd read. I learned so much about what a woman's life could be like in that time and the perils and hardships.

It's the reason strangers talk on busses and planes. We're all here and in many ways our experience is similar. But perhaps you've already dealt with something that is in my future. Or perhaps something that's on your mind as a worry is something that I know something about already. Or maybe you do something that will open a new path of thinking for me, even if I never do it myself.

And so we blog - to share our lives and thoughts and the funny and sad things we encounter along the way.

Written at: 2/08/2003 09:33:00 PM

I'm in the middle of the migration from my Pismo to the new 12" powerbook. It's had a few rough spots, but generally smooth going. In between installations and stuff, I've been using one of the non-involved computers to surf etc and well, there was Bill's blog post. I had to try it.
Becoose-a I hung oooot veet Beell, I cun't help boot be-a emoosed und inspured by hees muny interests. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Su vhee I sev thees deeelectizer oon hees veb seete-a, I hed tu try it tuu. Let's joost sey thet unless it's scutteesh, it's a lued ooff vell, ya knoo. courtesy of The Dialectizer
Let's just say when you've been moving computer stuff around, it might as well all be borked.

Written at: 2/08/2003 03:26:00 PM

Thursday, February 06, 2003  
And now....

just in from its whirlwind world tour....

12" powerbook

A virtual quarter for BtC's thoughts...
and yours.

The tale of
2 powerbooks
at my house
starts now.

Feel the power...

Written at: 2/06/2003 12:06:00 AM

Wednesday, February 05, 2003  
It's here AND it's out of the box. And it's gorgeous. Now I can't wait to get home, which won't be til much later tonight as scheduling would have it, so I can really play with it.

I'd forgotten just how exciting it was to take a new computer that's MINE out of the box. I guess I thought working all day surrounded by boxes of computers, that the novelty would have worn off long ago. Photos (with quarters for BtC) later.

Written at: 2/05/2003 02:23:00 PM

It's here and's still in the box. Will lunchtime ever come?????

Written at: 2/05/2003 12:45:00 PM

Tuesday, February 04, 2003  
ok, this is plain silly
If I'd known, I could have waved as my powerbook flew over today

  • Arrived at FedEx RampEAST BOSTON MA -- 02/04/2003 19:19
  • Left FedEx Sort FacilityINDIANAPOLIS IN -- 02/04/2003 16:47
  • Arrived at FedEx RampCOLUMBUS OH -- 02/04/2003 06:52
  • Left FedEx Sort FacilityINDIANAPOLIS IN -- 02/04/2003 02:18
  • Arrived at Sort FacilityINDIANAPOLIS IN -- 02/04/2003 01:04
  • Left FedEx RampINDIANAPOLIS IN -- 02/04/2003 00:39
  • Arrived at FedEx RampTA YUAN HSIANG TW -- 02/03/2003 20:37
  • Left FedEx RampC.K.S. INTL AIRPORT TW -- 02/03/2003 20:36
  • Left FedEx Sort FacilityANCHORAGE AK -- 02/03/2003 15:32
  • Left FedEx Origin LocationTAOYUAN CITY TW -- 02/01/2003 23:38
  • Pickup statusTAOYUAN CITY TW -- 02/01/2003 22:56 Package received after FedEx cutoff time

Written at: 2/04/2003 09:12:00 PM

Don't ask why - Fed ex seems to show that my powerbook went from TW to Alaska and back to TW. ACK! Hopefully this is a severe error in reporting. Perhaps they don't mean KS TW but KS, as in Kansas. oh. No?

I'd like to report, following up from yesterday, that the puttanesca was excellent. the meatballs are mighty fine (and how different the standard red sauce tastes next to that chunky mix of olives, capers and tomatoes).

But oh people - the pea soup.

let's review shall we? 1 pound of dried split peas. (about 50 cents). 2 quarts of water. 2 carrots chopped. Half a kielbasa, chopped (about $1.50 for the beef kielbasa I used. I've been known to chop up some turkey ham for soup like this. Meat though is really optional) A bay leaf. A sprinkle of pepper. Perhaps a little parsley. Throw it all in the pot (or crock pot in this case) and bring to a boil. Simmer until peas are totally cooked and the soup is smooth. Adjust seasoning if desired. Serve with croutons if you like.

There you have it. Thick, warm, nourishing and so satisfying. And so easy. If you like, you can do the same with yellow split peas. Add some cumin if you like. Make soup and live the good life. Share soup with friends and be a lunchtime hero.

Written at: 2/04/2003 12:23:00 AM

Sunday, February 02, 2003  
To distract myself from my powerbook's journey, and since our kitchen drain is now un-frozen (thanks Ron!) I'm cooking. Pea soup in one pot. Spaghetti sauce in another. Meatballs ready and able to swim in sauce. I'm about to make Puttanesca sauce which is red sauce with olives and capers. Looks pretty easy and will be a nice change from regular red sauce.

The weather has eased a bit bt the skies are dark and grey. There's a stiff breeze. The smell of the sauce is filling the house with hope for a warm easy dinner. Perhaps a cup of coffee is called for at this point. Simple pleasures for a Sunday afternoon. The joys of big cooking pots.

Written at: 2/02/2003 02:50:00 PM

Saturday, February 01, 2003  

Update on the powerbook - it has started on its journey to me! Thanks FedEx for making tracking all possible. What an innovation when you think of it. It's all good.

Written at: 2/01/2003 02:46:00 PM

I've reason to believe that my new powerbook has been shipped. Probably won't show up on FedEx shipping until Monday though.

Sad news to wake up to that the Columbia shuttle apparently broke apart minutes from landing this morning.

The space shuttle Columbia, with seven astronauts aboard, broke up as it descended over central Texas today before a planned landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Bush administration spokesman said the shuttle's altitude -- over 200,000 feet -- made it "highly unlikely" that the shuttle fell victim to a terrorist act. -- CNN

Written at: 2/01/2003 11:13:00 AM

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