Thursday, December 29, 2005

Last Post for 2005

I hope that all of my 3 readers have a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Kudos to those that can translate this Morse Code message into English.

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"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

OCLC and Foodstuffs

OCLC has updated its list of the top 1000 titles owned by libraris. WARNING-This list can be quite addictive. I am shocked and appalled of all of the titles that I have not read. Also, check out their list of related factoids.

Well, it's finally happened. There is now Elvis coffee. You can even get a monthly coffee subscription.

There's just something about this image that I find very amusing. It's just not something that I would expect to find on a carton of ice cream. This image adorns Air Force "Plane" Vanilla. Check out the rest of the Star Spangled Ice Creams.

Now most of the yogurt I've eaten has been made from cow's milk. This yogurt is made from water buffalo milk. Mmmmm!!!! I am going to have to try this. I'm a big baby about yogurt. I can't have yogurt that has any fruit bits, etc. It has to be blended smooth. This also has the good-for-you Omega 3 added. I just checked and it's not at any retailers in the WDC, Maryland or Virginia so it looks like it will be awhile before I can check it out.

Over the holiday I had the chance to eat some of the Archer Farms snacks that Target carries. OH MY GOODNESS!!! These are insane. One of the snacks that we tried was the Archer Farms Southwest Snack. The packaging is different; I like the current packaging much better and the snack itself was amazing. We also tried the Chocolate Drizzle snack and one other one that escapes me. I'll be headed back to Target this weekend to get some more.

"Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Round Up

I want to start this entry by saying congratulations to Randal Pinkett for winning the Apprentice position. I don't watch this show because for one reason I'm not a huge fan of reality television and I also don't care for Donald Trump. The only reality television A. watches is The Apprentice so I usually here whats going on from him. So kudos to the first black Apprentice. This guy has 5 academic degrees and is a Rhodes scholar. Big brains or what.

Also I am so proud of Morgan Freeman for finally saying what I have been saying for years. Get rid of these ridiculous "history months".

And on a purely frivolous note- In my next life when I come back looking like Dita Von Teese (of course I wouldn't be hitched to Marilyn Manson) and have all of the money in the world I am buying every single thing here.

Now to the round up.

Bathsheba Grossman is a mathmetician and an artist. Check out her amazing metal sculptures. They are like 3 dimensional mandalas. I would love to carry the vorocube around in my pocket as some sort of talisman. Very cool. And I love her name.

Infectious Wearables creates has been creating unique, science-based products designed to promote awareness of important public health issues. I really like the human genome black teal scarf.

Oh how I wish Zubbles had been around when I was a kid. I used to love to sit on one of my swings or even better, the top of the sliding board and blow bubbles. These colorful bubbles are great. It took the inventor 10 years to come up with this science.

I'm not sending Christmas cards this year, but if I were I think I would have to send some of these cute cards from Bella Muse. Or these from Portion.
Cards That Give is a source for charity greeting cards.

Finally for more year-end lists than you can shake a stick at check out Fimoculous.

Peace Out

"Excellent day for putting slinkies on an escalator" Anon

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Peaceful Mountain Munching

This is the first time I have viewed the Panda Cam and Tai Shan (Peaceful Mountain) wasn't napping. He was chowing down on some nice bamboo. This was at 7:00 a.m. this morning.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Round Up

I remember this like it was yesterday. I was an undergrad and a couple of my girlfriends and myself were in a car going somewhere. The BeeGees song "More Than a Woman" came on the radio. Of course we were all singing and I noticed that Lucy was singing her heart out, but she was singing a whole different lyric than the rest of us. Lucy had thought until that very day that Maurice, Barry and Robin were singing "Bald-Headed Woman". Uh-huh!!! I have since learned that misheard lyrics are called mondegreens. Here are some Christmas mondegreens.

Everyone has a blog. Including that jolly old elf Santa. I always thought he and Mrs. Claus would have the coolest and best technology.

And speaking of Mr. and Mrs. Claus-You know those wonderful herd of flying reindeer they have. Well they are female. Yep. Male deer shed their antlers in November and December and if you recall Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen all have their antlers on for their longest ride. Females don't shed their antlers until the summer. You go girls.

Now I don't consider myself very creative, but I think I have come up with some good ideas. I thought of liposuction when I was a kid. Of course I was thinking that a vacuum cleaner hose could be used, and, well you get the picture. One other idea that I have actually put into practice is adding scent to paint. I think that I probably didn't use enough or perhaps my oils weren't concentrated enough because the scent didn't last long. I wonder if Anna Sova's aromatherapy additives will last?

I have always loved flash cards. I think that if you educated make education fun the educatee will tend to remember the eductaion. Catch my drift. These Flash of Brillance flash cards are very cool.

I wasn't going to get into this, but I'm ticked off about so why not. I have spoken before about the fact that I do not understand why people feel the need to come up to me and say rude things about me to me. I ended up running into someone that I use to work with about 10 or so years ago. Now I was in a store minding my own business and I heard my name. Now usually my first response is to flee-run like hell-haul ass. I have been known to duck down in a clothing store and hide, to knock over things trying to get away from people. Silly, ridiculous-yes. Can I stop myself? Only if trapped. This time I was trapped.

We chatted and one of the first things she tells me is you really look good in your face, but you've picked up a bit of weight. First of all does she think that I don't know that I am haven't gained weight? Does she think that having her hurt my feelings by pointing this out that I'm going to run out and join Weight Watchers? I will never, never understand this. I would never dream of telling her, your still built like a brick shithouse, but your mug looks like 25 miles of bad road. Maybe you should of stayed out of that sun. Or you know you are 10 years younger than me and your neck looks like reused crepe paper? Did I say anything like that? Of course not. Yes, maybe I'm terrible for even thinking those things, but I would never say them. Never, ever.

Okay, I am done. I swear I some days I just want to go on the highest hill, pull down my pants and just moon the hell out of everyone while screaming to everyone PISS UP A ROPE!!!!!!

"When I had youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life. I suppose it’s the discipline I need; but it’s rather hard to love the things I do, and see them go by because duty chains me to my galley. If I ever come into port with all sails set, that will be my reward perhaps." - Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

If I Were a Kid

If I were a kid I think I would definitely have to ask Santa to load his sleigh with these items for me:

Any Robert Sabuda Pop-Up book

This adorable Sky King Tricycle has a working headlight for pete's sake. And it's red. Too cute. It's available from Restoration Hardware.

The Norton Anthology of Children's Literature .

If I were an older kid I think this would help me study for the PSAT and SAT. Do they still give the PSAT?

Okay that's enough. I don't want Santa to think I'm greedy or to weigh down the sleigh to much for the reindeer. The anthology alone is 2,4171 pages.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Treehouses and More

Found these incredible treehouses that all of the parents out there can get for their kids. I should say all of the wealthy parents.

We played lots of board games when I was growing up and I still like board games and puzzles. I actually preferred Scrabble and card games, but I could also enjoy a game of Monopoly. For those of you that might need some more or extra Monopoly money Hasbro has provided an easy way to obtain some.

I was perusing the latest issue of the Garnet Hill catalog and found these adorable blocks. I wish they would of made cool blocks like these when I was a kid. Of course I still think Lincoln Logs are great.

Since I am a child-free and am seldom around kids I don't know if kids use or like chalkboards anymore. This adorable magnetic cow chalkboard is just too cute. They also have a dog and a cat.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Round Up

I think this falls under the heading of who knew and also very cool.

I think just about everyone is familiar with Flickr the photo sharing site. Check out some of the different subject groupings. I think one of my favorites is the Squared Circle Group. What is this? It's photographs of circular things inside a square frame. I also like the Moleskinerie group. These are photographs of all of the different things people have done with their Moleskin notebooks.

For years these Belted Galloways have been my favorite breed of cow. I've said before how their Oreo cookie looks just tickles me.

I still like the Belteds, but check out these Ankole Watusi. Impressive rackage or what!!! I just can't imagine toting something like that around on my head. I guess I could never be a Las Vegas showgirl then.

This Interfaith Calendar provides important dates for a wide variety of faiths.The calendar also provides definitions.

Librivox volunteers record books in the public domain and then they release them as free audio files for listening. There objective is to"make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet". Excellent.

Do you sometimes feel that the daily minutia of life has your mind so muddled it's difficult to get through the day? Do you feel that there are so many things to do you sometimes forget how to do the most mundane chore? Lifehacker to the rescue. Lifehacker provides daily tips and tricks to help you get through your busy day.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hollywood Sign

Anyone want to purchase the Hollywood Sign?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Reincarnated Voice

A couple of weeks ago I caught an episode of this new show Killer Instinct. It's an okay show in my opinion. I like Chi McBride and I'm curious to see if his career has taken him the level where he will always be portraying the older statesman so to speak. Sort of like a low-rent Morgan Freeman. No offense to either actor intended. I love them both.

As much as I like the CSI's, I'm getting kind of bored of their sometimes over-the-top grossness. There's just too many CSI copycats on the tube. This show seemed like it might be a bit different plus it's in my other fantasy city (other than any place in a Alaska) San Francisco.

I actually became transfixed by this show because of one of the leads Johnny Messner. Yes, he's easy on the eyes, but it was his voice that attracted me. I kept thinking where did I hear his voice before. Finally I closed my eyes and listened to him and I thought, "Good grief, it's Jack Webb's voice in a much hotter body".

If anyone out there is old enough to remember Dragnet or Jack Webb tell me isn't Johnny Messner's voice eerily like Mr. Webb's voice?

Monday, November 28, 2005

First Impressions

Over the holiday I ended up running into someone I used to work with. We ended up having lunch together and I realized how much I missed this person. We are so very different, but our personalities mesh somehow and we always have really good talks and lots of laughs.

It wasn't always that way. When I first met S. I didn't think much of her. It wasn't that I didn't like her. I just didn't think much of her. I always forget my cardinal rule, "Don't judge a book by its cover". Or in this case don't judge someone by an initial meeting. You never know what's going on with people, they may not feel well, they could be having a very bad day or even a bad moment. You just can't take what you might think as a brush off personally. Nine times out of ten it has nothing to do with you. I think most of us have huge egos and we all tend to delve into solipsism from time to time. We think everything is about us.

I'm glad that S. and I got to know each other and got to be friends. I have to keep remembering my cardinal rule and also remember that most of the time "it's not me".

Otherwise the holidays were nice. Fairly non-eventful. A. and I had a nice time, visited with some friends, relaxed and did some things for our baby-the house. Still struggling with a nasty sinus situation that I refuse to go to the doctors for, but other than that things are fine. Except for being back at work. I wish I liked it here, but I don't and I can't imagine that I ever will. As an adult I know you do what's required to earn a living, and I am greatful to have a job. There's many that don't. I just have always felt there has to be something more than this, and I'm terrified that I will never find it or if I do I'll be too old to do anything about it.

I like to end these entried with an appropriate quote and the best one I can think of is "Don't judge a book by its cover". I can't located who this is attributed to. I found one item that said this is a proverb from the 1920s. If anyone has any information on this quote or proverb please let me know.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Round Up

Boxed sets are a great gift idea. They are a bit expensive of course, that's why they were created, but I think they do make a great presentation. This Calvin & Hobbes boxed set would make a great gift for the Calvin & Hobbes fan. I love the autumnal colors of the outside covering.

I have never been much of a comic reader. I loved Peanuts and would like to have all of the Peanuts Complete Sets, but other than that I think I have only read Cathy when it first came out and now I read Boondocks by the amazing Aaron McGruder.

I'm a bit late with this because this would have been more appropriate garb for Halloween, but it's still awfully cute.

I am a nut about grammar and the correct pronunciation of words, and I work very hard at both. I love words and it's important to me to speak well and to attempt to use words correctly. Until I lost my memory I had much better conversational skills than I do now. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not upset about this. I don't shed tears about it anymore, but I'm ticked off each and every day. I just can't find the words fast enough anymore. I digress. One of the words that has always driven me a bit mad is normalcy. The word should be normality. The credit is always given to Warren G. Harding for saying something about returning to a "state of normalcy" after WWII. There are all sorts of stories about this. Normalcy is in all of the dictionaries I've checked and it's part of our everyday lexicon. Still makes me crazy.

I like to find out I am not alone in my grammar pet peeves. Apparently someone feels the same way about the word literally. Or rather the abuse of the word literally.

On those days when you are really bored why not have a try at creating some poetry. Online magnetic poetry can easily fill up an hour or two.

I am originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area. Of course like most regions Pittsburghers and those from around the area have a certain way of speaking. Now since I have been away for a long time I have lost my "accent", but I still remember all of my Pittsburghese. See if you can talk like us.

Fig Newtons and Scotch is going away for awhile. Have a great weekend and for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have a nice one, and for those of you who don't have a nice day off.

"No longer forward nor behind I look in hope or fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, The best of now and here." (John Greenleaf Whittier)

Thursday, November 17, 2005


One of the things that I haven't talked about much in this blog is music. I like all types of music. A. and I have a lot of cds and they run the gamut from Mozart to Leroy Anderson, from Buju Banton to Peabo, from Ella to Jill Sobule, from the Moody Blues to Dean Martin, from Martina McBride to Django Reinhardt, from Paul Hardcastle to Nat King Cole, from 3 Mo' Tenors to Usher, from Renee Fleming to Etta James, from Israel Kamakawiwo'ole to Dan Fogleberg, from the Carpenters to Los Indios Tabajaras, from The Smith Sisters to Maroon 5, from Lavay Smith to Mahalia Jackson,from Sarah Brightman to Shakira, from Evelyn Glennie to Ottmar Liebert,from Keiko Matsui to Joe Sample. I could go on and on and on and on.

Since I am always making lists and I've been quite bored lately my newest list has to do with song titles. I am trying to make a list of song titles that ask a question.

So far I don't have very many. This is much harder than I thought. If you know of any please feel free to send them my way.

Here goes (title and performer or title and composer:

1. Is That All There Is? Peggy Lee
2. Aint' That a Shame? Fats Domino
3. What'll I Do? Written by Irving Berlin-performed by
4. Ain't It a Pretty Night? Floyd Carlisle (composer)
5. Do You Know the Way to San Jose? Dionne Warwick
6. What's Goin' On? Marvin Gaye
7. What's Happening Brother? Marvin Gaye
8. What's Your Name? Don & Juan
9. Who's Sorry Now? Connie Francis
10.Are You Lonesome Tonight? Elvis Presley
11.What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?Dionne Warwick
12.Are You There? Dionee Warwick
13.What Can I Say? Boz Scaggs
14.Why'd You Lie? Colin James
15.What's It Gonna Be? Dusty Springfield
16.When Will I Be Loved? Everly Brothers
17.What Child Is This? Adolphe Adam (composer)
18.Why Don't You Do Right? Peggy Lee
19.Aren't You Glad Your You? Rosemary Clooney
20.Do I Love You? Ella Fitzgerald
21.Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
22.Can I Get A Witness Marvin Gaye

Okay, that's all I have.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Don't Cha

Most people that know me well know that I love all sorts of music and that I love to dance. Perhaps that is why I can't get that Pussycat Dolls song Don't Cha out of my head. I liked their rendition of Sway, but at least it wasn't trapped in my head like Don't Cha is. Most people who know me, especially those people from "back in the day" know that I am a frustrated burlesque queen anyway. I may look like a mild-mannered, midle age whose hobbies could be doily making and reading, but believe you me-inside there's a wild, militant barfly trying to escape. Perhaps that's what appeals to me in this rather sexist song. Right now I wish that I were somewhere dancing my heart out to it either tune; sexist or not.

Over the weekend I heard that Coke is phasing out Diet Vanilla Coke and Vanilla Coke. GOOD GRIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's probably all for the best. I have really been doing a half-decent job of having only a couple of Cokes a week, and must have sucked down enough Vanilla Coke to float the Queen Mary (yes, I know she doesn't float anymore). Oh my goodness, Vanilla Coke was wonderful, and oh so addictive. So long sweet friend.

Most of you are already of aware of Google Maps, but are you aware that Google Maps can be used to track your calories and mileage?

I'm all for political correctness, but this is taking things a bit to far. I won't even get on my soapbox about censorship, etc., but I am outraged about this. What the hell is wrong with Harper Collins? They already made a huge faux pas when they colorized Charlotte's Web (IMO)now this. And stop making Goodnight Moon so huge. It's supposed to be a cozy, not Olympic size swimming pool sprawling. Geez!!!

I leave you with something that has probably made Geoffrey Chaucer's bones tremble. The lyrics to Shaft in Middle English. Can you dig it??

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Growing up in a small, rural community was wonderful in so many ways. Of course at the time I couldn't wait to get away. Now I miss it so very much.

This was a place where if your neighbors barn burned down, everyone got together to help rebuild it. This was a place where everyone knew everyone, and all of their business. This was a place where the owner of the feed store, taught school and drove the bookmobile. This was a place that once when I was driving down the road Mrs. Krauss came out to the side of the road and flagged me down. She told me that my mother had just called and asked her if she could catch me she needed to get some more of the Krauss'fabulous apples for the pies she was baking. This was a place where I not only knew all of the two-legged animals, I also knew all of the four-legged animals too.

I miss all of that . That sense of community. Yes, there were some drawbacks, especially when we first moved out to the country, but I am not going to get into that here. For the most part it was great.

The Syracuse Cultural Workers publishes a wonderful catalog full of posters, buttons and a wonderful calendar. The 2005 edition is hanging on my wall. They call themselves peace and justice publishers and they have wonderful products dedicated to both, and more.

The following sentiment about community building is available in a poster and bookmark in English and Spanish.

How To Build Community

Turn off the TV. Leave your house.

Greet people.

Look up when you’re walking.

Sit on your stoop. Plant flowers.

Use your library. Play together.

Buy from your local merchants.

Share what you have. Help a lost dog.

Take children to the park. Honor elders.

Support neighborhood schools.

Fix it even when you did not break it.

Have pot luck suppers. Garden together.

Pick up litter. Read stories aloud.

Dance in the street.

Talk to the mail carrier.

Listen to the birds. Put up a swing.

Help carry something heavy.

Barter for your goods.

Start a tradition. Ask a question.

Hire young people for odd jobs.

Organize a block party.

Bake extra and share.

Ask for help when you need it.

Open your shades. Sing together.

Share your skills.

Take back the night.

Turn up the music. Turn down the music.

Listen before you react to anger.

Mediate a conflict. Seek to understand.

Learn from new and uncomfortable angles.

Know that no one is silent though many are not heard.

Work to change this.

"A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess."
-A. Philip Randolph

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hazard Yet Forward

Hazard Yet Forward is the motto for Seton Hill College. That is where I went for undergrad. I remember the first time I went into the cafeteria. I had gone to the wonderful salad bar, eaten my lunch and went to empty my tray. Just as I was getting ready to leave I looked above the doors and there it was in beautiful medieval looking script"Hazard Yet Forward".

I was later to learn that this was the motto of a distinguished Scottish family-the Seton family.

Seton Hill College (SHC), yes it was college when I went there, not university like it is now. SHC was a Catholic, all female liberal arts college run by the Sisters of Charity. Located in Greensburg, PA on top of a huge hill. (better to protect all the virgins from the townies). I absolutely grew to love it. I wasn't too thrilled my freshman year. All of those roomates were a bit much for me. For the next 3 years I had a private room, which I seldom if ever locked. I remember I started locking it, but then I forgot my keys a couple of times. These rooms had transoms at the top of the door. I can remember climbing up the door and shimmying through the transom, balancing on the built-in dresser that was right by the door and down to the floor. When I think of this now I marvel at being so small I could fit through the transom. Too much junk in the trunk for that these days. I was always a good climber, and I still am, but geez!!

For 3 years I had the same room in Canevin Lowe Hall. On each floor there was a nun. Now that I think about it, it must have been hard for the nuns. In my freshman year we petitioned and had a sit-in so that we could have open dorms. What this consisted of was on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays we could have "boys in our rooms". WHOOPIE!!!!!!!!!! Each nun had a suite at the end of the hall. My floor had Sister Mimi Jo. Actually it was Sr. Miriam Joseph. She was this amazing Poetry and English Lit professor. She was elderly then, and you just knew that it must have been something for her to have to live on a floor with a bunch of rowdy women and then to have men on the floor on the weekends. During the week if a man was on the floor say to fix something all you would here is, "Man on the floor", "Man on the floor". I had Sr. Mimi Jo for a poetry class where I totally embarrassed myself by butchering Wordsworth's A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal. I actually butchered some part of Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn as well. Just too introverted to speak in front of people. I'm actually to introverted to speak to one person most times, but that's just something I have to deal with day in and day out.

When I went to SHC only females were admitted. If an SHC student wanted to take some courses at our brother school, St. Vincents College you were permitted to do that, and vice versa. St. Vincents is located in Latrobe, PA. Home of Arnold Palmer and Rolling Rock beer (yak spit and bear pee).

Through the years there was much scuttlebutt about Seton Hill going coed. I always thought it would never happen, but then in 2002 the school went officially coed. Now we have Seton Hill University. I don't think I will ever get used to that. Seton Hill was the one place that I really felt empowered. I don't think I have felt that way about too much of anything since then. There was just something about those professors, mostly nuns, mostly female, pushing you to do your best, encouraging you to try new things.

I know that I should look at this as not abandonment of women's programs, but as an expansion of women's education to include men, but it still doesn't set well with me.

SHC has changed in other ways as well. They now have a nursing program, new dorms have been built, and I hear the library is better than ever.

I wonder if the students still go "tearoom", "borrow" the cafeteria trays to go sledding, have the big bonfire to usher in autumn, during mid-terms and finals have the cafeteria open until late at night with all sorts of snacks available and have the ice cream parties. (that's where I learned that maple walnut ice cream mixed with peanut butter and french vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and pretzels really is heaven))

I am not a "stay in touch" sort of person. I burn bridges very easily, but I always make sure that the SHC alumni office has my contact information. I love reading the Forward and all of the other SHC information.

I miss who I was then and I miss all of the wondeful friends that I made there. I loved those women and I know that they loved me. I have yet to find that sort of camaraderie anywhere else,and I am very grateful that I had that in my life if for only a short time.

"Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education".
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Round Up

If you are going to be doing some entertaining this week and have misplaced your favorite drink recipes neve fear, Droogle is here. What is Droogle? Droogle is a very large collection of drink recipes, cocktail recipes and more.

Stewart Kennedy, president of Kennedy Foods must have some imagination. He came up with Peanut Butter Slices. Who would have thunk? I haven't tried these, but I can't get over thinking this is just a bit weird. I was never thrilled with peeling the plastic off of orange cheese. Now peanut butter. Might have to investigate. If anyone has tried this let me know how it tastes.

Elmer Dressler, Jr. passed away on October 16, 2005. His name might not be familiar, but some of the characters he provided the voice for are. Mr. Dressler was the voice of the Jolly Green Giant (Ho, Ho, Ho), and Snap of Snap, Crackle and Pop the Rice Kripies boys. He was 80 years old. (via just

There are so many wonderful things that the Internet does, but one thing that it does so well is provide a venue of sorts for artists of all kinds. Tiny Showcase is an online gallery of "tiny works of art". Each week a different artist is showcased. There is a wide array of styles and each artist donates a portion of their proceeds to a charity of their choosing.

I think most people who are looking for information, all sorts of information Google it. We've even made Google a verb. What if you can't find what you are looking for on Google? No need to fret. Post your query on Can't Find It On Google. I think this sort of thing is fine, but there are people who are trained to assist other people that are looking for information. They are called LIBRARIANS folks. You don't even need to be near a public library to have your questions answered. There are numerous Ask A Librarian links that one can access right from their computer. You might have to wait a few days for a response. If you need your answer right away try a live reference librarian. I used this quite a few times when I was in school and it's really fun. I had never, and will never, experience a chat room, but this is sort of like a chat room I would think. You type your question, wait a minute or two and a librarian comes on and responds. It's great. Here is a partial list of collaborative live reference sites. Funny, I really was only going to mention the Can't Find It On Google site and then shut-up about. Sorry I got on my using librarians rant.

Have a great weekend.

"The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries".
— Cosmos

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dia de Los Muertos, Dia de Los Angelitos

Today and tomorrow are Dia(s) de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. It coincides with the Catholic All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This is the day to honor the dead-the gone, but not forgotten. Now some say that today is actually Dia de Los Angelitos-the day to remember lost children and that tomorrow November 2nd is the day that adult souls returen- Dia de Los Muertos..

I have long been a taphophile. And what is that you ask. A taphophile is someone who loves cemeteries and funerals. Well, I'm not big on funerals, but I love nothing more than walking through cemeteries, reading the headstones and looking at all of the mausoleums. Even as a teenager my friends would want to go to the Quaker Church cemetery in my town. There were gravestones there that dated back to the 1700's. They wanted to go there to "mess about". I wanted to go there and read all of the upright tombstones and just be there.

I have neve quite figured out what it is about the upright tombstones. I just find them more comforting, for lack of a better word, somehow than the flush-to-the-ground stones.

There was an article in the October 26, 2005 Guardian about "Dark Tourism". Dark tourism is visiting sites where tragedy has occurred or visiting cemeteries. The article is interesting and names some popular cemetery destinations.

The other night I watched a special on cemeteries that was actually called A Cemetery Special. This documentary was done by one of my favorite documentarians Rick Sebak. He also produced and narrated the Hot Dog Program, Sandwiches That You Will Like and An Ice Cream Show.

The latest Sebak documentary tkes the viewer to rural garden cemeteries, the famous Mount Auburn Cemetery in Boston, and the Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. This much-visited cemetery sold it's last family plot in 1884, but volunteers are working to restore this cemetery to it's once Victorian grandeur. I think my favorite was the Birch Hill Cemetery in Fairbanks, Alaska. This cemetery has a mixture of native and non-native graves. Because of the frozen ground they don't dig graves in the winter. If you die in the winter you are put into cold storage until the spring thaw and then you are buried. Often there are homemade wooden markers and visitors leave a lot of personal objects and mementos atop the graves.

I think my favorite cemetery in my area is Rock Creek Cemetery. Depending on what way I go home from work, I pass it twice a day. Rock Creek Cemetery has a lot of noted folks buried in it's vast acreage, but the cemetery is most famous for the statue most commonly known as Grief. The actually name of the statue sculpted by Augustus St. Gaudens as a memorial to Henry Adams' wife Marian Hooper "Clover" Adams is The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding.

My dream is to visit Colma, California. Colma, California is about 50 miles from San Francisco. The town actually has more dead citizens than live. It has 17 cemeteries-16 for humans, one for pets. Colma became the location of a large number of cemeteries when San Francisco, the town's powerful neighbor to the north, passed an ordinance in 1900 outlawing the construction of any more cemeteries in the city (mainly because of increased property values making the cost of using land for cemeteries prohibitive), and then passed another ordinance in 1912 evicting all existing cemeteries from city limits. (A similar scenario prevails in New York City's borough of Manhattan, where only one active cemetery still exists — the Trinity Church Cemetery and Crematory, at the intersection of 155th Street and Broadway, on the northwestern edge of Harlem). The relocation of cemeteries from San Francisco to Colma is the subject of A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco's Lost Cemeteries, (2005) a documentary by Trina Lopez.(from Wikipedia)

I always think that we should always remember those that have gone,and carry them in our hearts, but to also remember those that are stil here, that make our lives a little bit better on a daily basis.

"Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead".
-Scottish Proverb

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween/Samhain

Some feel that Samhain (Sow-en) is today others feel that it's November 1st. Whenever you celebrate remember to bury apples along the road to assist lost souls, set a place at the table for your own departed souls, and gather marigold petals for tomorrow-Dia de Los Muertos.

On this most magical of nights may your jack-o-lanterns shine brightly and may you not run out of candy.

"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."
-- Linus van Pelt in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Round Up

According to the Washington Post the American Red Cross is borrowing money and has admitted to underserving black areas. Well, what else is new. I am so glad that A. and I chose to donate money elsewhere for the Katrina victims. They will never, ever, ever get another red dime from me or my nice,rich, red A-blood. (you will need to register (GRRR) to read this article-you can use for the signin name and hatethis for the password)

Knitting-yes, Crocheting-want to learn, quilting-love quilts, but can't see myself quilting-maybe a group quilting would be fun-Embroidiering-learned how as a kid-haven't picked it up since then. I always thought embroidering was fun, but I just seemed to take to knitting more. Perhaps if I had known I could make gorgeous art like Orly Cogan I may have stuck with it. WARNING!! If you are easily offended you may want to skip Ms. Cogan's art. Personally I think it's exquisite and wish that I could own some of it.

Speaking of quilts I was perusing the archive of the Astronomy Picture of the Day and this quilt caught my eye.

The other day I was talking with someone about cereal. I don't care for cereal. I've eaten lots of goodies that are made with cereal-Rice Krispie bars, no bake cookies, chex mix, but I can't deal with anything soggy and I've never been that crazy about milk. Our conversation wandered into Quisp and Quake. I had never heard of these cereals until a few years ago. A friend on antoher job was talking about them and I told her I had never heard of them. She educated me on everything I wanted to know about Quisp and Quake, but was afraid to ask. What I needed was Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide.

Speaking of cereal wouldn't this dispenser from Target be a great cereal storage unit? Storage plus dispensing. This device could get in the way of what I've come to see as the serial cereal eaters hobby-cereal box reading.

I leave you this weekend with some true food porn. These are some of the prettiest decorated cookies I have seen in a long time. Simple and nice. Thanks John & Kristie.

Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them".
-John Shirley

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Baking Powder and Women

Last night I started going through my cookbook. No, I didn't write a cookbook. "My Cookbook" is a binder filled with recipes that I have been collecting since high school. Every time I open this binder it's a trip down memory lane. Seeing my Gran's handwriting on some of her recipes gets me choked up, but it also makes me so happy that I saved these. Especially her fabulous peanut butter cookie recipie with her secret ingredient.

I came across my recipe for baking powder. I used to make my own baking powder, but I haven't down it in years. With my slow, but sure vow to decrease my sugar intake I should start making my own again. Store bought baking powder does contain sugar. Many, many, many items contain sugar that you wouldn't think do.

Here is my recipe:

1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix these ingredients together and store in an airtight container. This should yield approximately 5 teaspoons.

The amount is 1 1/2 teaspoons to replace 1 teaspoon in the recipe.

If I knew that I was going to be doing some baking I would just mix up a batch of this and then have it for the week.

I can't swim and one day I will go into a long and boring diatribe about my many attempts at learning. I have always loved the water though and have always been amazed that not only can humans swim, they can do so with a bunch of equipment strapped on their backs.

On July 7, 2005 4 American women of African descent (or African American women) became the first organized group of black women to dive on the WWII wreck of the Japanese Navy's The San Francisco Maru.

Brenda Berliner, Melvina Edwards,Tara Gauthier and Adrienne McAdory dove the Maru,which sits in over 200 feet of water. What makes this even more exciting is that the Maru, located in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia, has live ammunition on its deck.

Truk Lagoon is the final resting place for more than 6 submerged Japanese vessels. This undersea phenomena is not only covered with coral and numerous varieties of fish, but is also the home for many naval artifacts. (heard the story on Black America news this morning even though I can't seem to locate the story on the site)

Check out the Women Are Persons monument and read the story behind it to learn about some gutsy Canadian women.

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult".

-Charlotte Whitton, Canada Month, June 1963

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Book Catalogs

I receive a ton of catalogs. They cover everything from make-up for redheads, horse paraphernalia and books. Two of my favorite book catalogs are A Common Reader and Bas Bleu.

When I got home from work yesterday the Bas Bleu catalog was waiting for me in my mailbox. I was thrilled to see that they have the The Besler Florilegium: Plants of the Four Seasons . This edition is written by Gerard Aymonin. It's $195.00 so it's certainly not a book that I will be purchasing in the foreseeable future, but what an awesome book to have in one's library.

The original of this 542 page tome was published in 1613 by Basilius Besler. Besler documented the garden of the Prince Bishop Johann Konrad von Gemming of Eichstätt, Germany. The Prince had created what was probably the first comprehensive botanical garden devoted to flowering plants. The Florilegium is considered to be one of the greatest books of botanical illustartion of all time.

The Besler family controlled the sale and distribution of the books until 1817. Today, fewer than ten colored copies are on record. The original copper plates were melted down at the Royal Mint in Munich in 1817.

I was reading some of the comments that were left on Amazon about this book. One person said that this "is not a book, it's an event". This facsimilie edition weighs over 14 pounds. Filled with gorgeous botanical plates this would be a showpiece in anyone's library.

I'm trying to track down where some of the originals are located. I've checked WorldCat and I'm not getting a lot of information on the original. If anyone has any thoughts on this could you let me know? Thanks.

"If minds are truly alive they will seek out books, for books are the human race recounting its memorable experiences, confronting its problems, searching for solutions, drawing the blueprints of it futures". - Harry A. Overstreet

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sad News and Poppin'

I have said before how I have this thing about Poppin' Fresh. I had him and his wife Poppie and their stands and even took them to college with me. There's just something about the doughboy's cherubic countenance that never ceases to cheer me up. Well last night I saw the doughboy's latest commercial. He's shakin his groove thing to Barry White singing I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Babe. Cutest darn thing I have seen in a long time. And I must say Poppin' has got some rhythm. I always have been a sucker for a man that can dance.

And speaking of adorable commercials I think some of my favorite commercials have been any of the Hershey's Kisses commercials. Especially the ice skating kisses. Very cute.

On a sadder note the world had to say goodbye to the incomparable Shirley Horn last week and to the legend Rosa Parks this week. Ms. Horn died last Thursday (10/20/05) in her native Washington, DC after a lengthy illness. (She actually lived in Upper Marlboro, MD). She was 71. The jazz pianist and vocalist was often compared to Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, but I always thought she brought her own unique sound to the standards. If you have never heard Shirley Horn give yourself a treat and listen to her rendition of Here's To Life.

Rosa Parks is the woman who "sat down so that many could stand up". Rosa Parks received many honors in her lifetime to include the NAACP's Spingarn Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. For the last few years Rosa Parks had been suffering from dementia. She died Monday, October 24, 2005 at the age of 92.

On Sunday night I watched Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking. My favorite portrayor of Sherlock Holmes is Jeremy Brett. To me he is the quintessential Holmes. Like so many others I was crushed when he passed away. He was an amazing actor.
I was pleasantly surprised at Rupert Everett's portrayal of the famous sleuth. He was amazing. I did have some problems with the this rendition of Silk Stocking. There was quite a lot of forensics that seemed as if it was an attempt to combine CSI with Edwardian costuming. There were just a bit too much of the 21st century creeping into the storyline for my tastes, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

"Because I could not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me --
The carriage held but just ourselves
And immortality
-Emily Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Round Up

Spending a fortune on a purse is not something that most of us can do, but I know many of us would like to. Wouldn't it be fun to be on the list to purchase a Birkin Bag? (3rd image down)

I think the most I have ever spent on a purse was maybe $125.00 and that was a big splurge for me. I remember other women always telling me never to put my purse, any purse on the floor. I wonder if one of those women had anything to do with the invention of this nifty purse holder called the Dangle.

Sugahara Glassworks is a Japanese glass company. They have some gorgeous items on their site, but I was particularly struck by their black matte items, appropriately enough called "The Black Collection".

National Geographic has come up with a list of the 100 greatest adventure books ever written. I love this genre and I was shocked to see that I had only read two on their list. I loved Terra Incognita by Sara Wheeler. I enjoy anything about Antarctica, Arctic or any sort of cold-weather story. Terra Incognita is number 82 on the list. Want to know what's number one. Check it out.

I am always referring to the wonderful Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for one thing or another. Now the Internet Broadway Database (IBDB) provides the same sort of information for Broadway theater information.

Have a great weekend.

And in the words of the great Harry Wayne Casey (K.C),
" Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight".

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ice Cream and Airmen

I think this ice cream ball is such a good idea. I guess it's something that you could take camping, etc. You would still have to cart along rock salt and ice, but it would still be fun to see how it works. Sort of like an edible science experiment. You can purchase this from the L.L. Bean website or Amazon. I guess it's a "higher tech" version of this.

Seven Tuskegee Airmen are traveling to Iraq this week. They will be visiting with soldiers, touring bases and receiving commendations. They will also be visting the 332d Expeditionary Air Wing at Balad. This group is the descendant of the 332d Fighter Group, the original Tuskegee Airmen's unit. Old school meets new school. Very cool (information from Black America Web)

"Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone".
-Jim Fiebig

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I was reading an issue of Utne magazine over the weekend. This was the Jul-Aug 2005 issue and it was devoted to sounds and noise.

One of the intersting factoids that I read was that Harley Davidson is copyrighting (or perhaps already has) the sound their motorcycles' exhaust/engines make. When I was reading this I was reminded of MGM wanting to or maybe they did copyright the roar of the MGM lion. If anyone has any definitive information on either of these situations please let me know.

I have always been interested in copyrights and I find the copyrighting of sounds very interesting.

The articles in this particular issue of Utne really made me think so much about sounds and noise. I have always been very sensitive to noise. I like peace and quiet and that's probably a deep-seated reason why I have always worked in some sort of library. I am extremely annoyed by loud-speaking individuals, lawn mower noise, slamming doors,etc. I really think we just don't understand how much damage we are doing to our hearing with all of this noise pollution.

I saw a photograph of Gwyneth Paltrow holding her daughter Apple. They were attending a performance of Apple's daddy Chris Martin's band Coldplay. You will notice that Apple is sporting a cool set of pink, noise reduction headphones. Very smart.

One of the articles in Utne was discussing what sorts of sounds people find appealing. They asked Utne staffers what sort of sounds they like. Of course I only need a small excuse to make a list so after much thought and deliberation I came up with sounds that I like.

A's voice

standing totally still in the woods while it's snowing-that whole abscence of sound is amazing (or is it really an abscence?)

children playing

wind chimes


geese honking while they are flying overhead

rustling leaves

wind blowing the leaves on the trees

wind blowing the leaves on the ground

wind blowing

the thud a big book makes when it's being closed

horse biting into a carrot or apple



tintinabulation-any sort,sleigh bells, but especially church bells (and before anyone starts getting on me about church-love church architecture, love the bells-don't want to go inside and listen to what's being espoused)

crackle of a fire

What are some of your favorite sounds?

"The sweetest of all sounds is praise."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Flu Shot

Well, it's that time of year again. Do I get a flu shot this year or not? Every year I go through this. Yes, I have asthma, therefore I am in a high risk group so I should get a flu shot. I did get a flu shot 2 years ago at my doctor's and others urgings. Before that I hadn't had a flu shot since I was an undergrad.

I was attending an all female school and I lived in the dorms. They were always telling us to get a flu shot each year. You know, the close quarters, etc, etc. I did get a flu shot one year when I was in school and promptly caught the flu. From that point on I hadn't had a flu shot until 2003.

Last year I was furious because my 80 year old father had to wait to get his flu shot while perfectly health 20,30,40 year olds were lining up to get there shots. I was ready to smack every single one of them. I really do think there are some people who feel that if something is free they are going to stand in line to receive it. I don't care if it's shit on a shingle-if it's free they'll be there.

That being said the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has a flu shot finder on their website. Just type in your zip code and you should be able to find where to get a flu shot in your area.

yamai wa ki kara
"sickness is a thing of the spirit"
-Japanese Proverb

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Round Up

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter was one of my favorite books when I was a teenager. There was just something about all of that angst and guilt that appealed to me. I never gave much thought to Hester Prynne having to wear the letter "A" because after all, A was for adultery-or was it.

According to the November/December 2004 issue of Mental Floss (okay I'm a bit behind in my leisure reading) "A" could also have been for Antarctica. Apparently Hawthorne wanted to visit Antarctica, but his application was rejected when he applied to be part of an expedition. A few years later The Scarlet Letter was published. A story about a woman that was rejected from society and forced to wear the letter "A". Hmmm.

I have always thought that National Geographic is the cat's pajamas. (that means good or great). I have been badgering my cable company to offer the National Geographic Channel in their Basic package, but alas they stil have not. This cam is wonderful. Give it a minute to load and then feast your eyes.

Would you like to have access to over 7,000 scholarly journals? Free Full Text does just that. Free Full Text allows either some or all of the journals content to be viewed, you guessed it, for free.

If you have ever wondered who the voice is behind AOL's "You've Got Mail" utterances his name is Elwood Edwards. Mr. Edwards has his own web page and there's also a photo.

For those in the Washington, DC area you might want to catch the Solar Decathalon. Eighteen teams of college students from around the world are constructing energy-efficient, solar-powered homes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Homes in the temporary solar village will be open for public tours October 7 to 16. If you aren't in the DC area check out their website.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March. On Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005 the Millions More Movement will be commemorating that historic day. For more information on the festivities visit their site.

I have little to no interest in cars. I could very easily live some place where the main mode of transportation was feet, horse or bike. As I have stated numerous times before I am incensed by how much vehicles cost, and the cost keeps climbing and I am constantly irate at how many SUV's are on the road. Then why oh why am I so crazy about this show? One of the parts of the show that I love is when they read the credits. There's a listing on their site so get ready to chuckle.

Have a wistful weekend. I for one have been enjoying this wet, gloomy weather. I love it.

"Be who you are, say what you feel, because those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter". Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Because Catharine over at The Catharine Chronicles is saying exactly what I was blathering to poor A this morning on the way to work, and because she has the exact law that I was wracking my brain trying to remember this morning on my way to work, I will let my 2 loyal readers look at what she has to say about Dubya and the possible flu pandemic. It's her October 4th entry, second entry on the page. Bravo Catharine.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Food Blogs

I have been reading a lot of food blogs lately and I came across a site that lists food blogs called International World of Food Blogs. I think this is a great list, but it doesn't include the USA. I will probably be sorry for this, but I want to create a listing of all of the American food blogs. Once I compile those I'll start on an international list.

If you have a food blog or know of any please leave me a comment.

Yes, I have become obsessed.

Friday Round Up

Yes, this is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are oodles of ways to contribute, but this is one of the most ingenious I've seen. I used to have the laminated shower card, but this is even better.

On September 23, 2005 the American Film Institute announced the Top 25 Film Scores of all time. I agree with most of them, and was glad they have the theme to Magnificent Seven (#8) listed.

I've always thought it might be interesting to go on work field trips. You know rent a bus for the day and just go somewhere with your co-workers. As much as I hate work, I always thought this would be a good way to breed camaraderie. I think it would be a hoot to go here. Unfortunately, there aren't any in my general location, but it would be fun. is the "the U.S. government's official web portal". It's a fairly decent site. This was put up as an aid to Katrina victims, but I think it is very helpful for anyone who needs to replace vital documents

Trains, trains, trains. I've always loved them and prefer them to other modes of transportation (like planes). has a over 88,000 photographs and a really kick-ass search engine. The site can be searched by locomotive type, railroad, photographer, country or state,category or key word.

Your Daily Art blog provides a daily art lesson with images and a little bit of the history of the piece. Very cool idea.

I will admit that most of the time I feel horribly powerless to effectuate any sort of positive change in the world. Some days I actually feel that I can't even effectuate a postive change in my own life. Apparently the owner of So What Can We Do felt the same way so she developed this site. This public service weblog has a lot of great ideas of what we can do to make the world a little bit better.

I'm sure everyone has heard of Flickr, the personal photograph storage, sharing and searching site. In my wanderings I found the Libraries and Librarians section of Flickr.

That's all for now. Have a wacky, wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Jane Austen

While going through some papers the other day I happened to find a listing of factoids about Jane Austen and the era in which she lived. Why did I have such a thing? Why did I take the time to collect these factoids? I haven't the foggiest idea.

I like Jane Austen and I find what little I do know about her life fascinating, but I can't for the life of me figure out why I compiled these items.

I want to actually get rid of the list, but I would like to hang on to the factoids so I thought one way to do that would be to post it here. One strange thing I did when compiling this was I didn't put down what resources I used to gather this information. I am giving myself a good swat for not giving attribution.

Jane Austen seemed to dislike Ramsgate-whenever she wanted to place a fictional character in a compromising position she would send them to Ramsgate.

In Austen's time traveling on Sunday was considered disrespectful to the Sabbath.

It was customary in Austen's time to stay home on nights with little moonlight. Travel along unlit roads was very hazardous.

In Austen's day relations by marriage were generally referred to as relations of blood. The tern in-law exised, but it was more an affectation than common usage.

Only intimates of the family were accustomed to visiting before noon, while acquaintances usually paid calls before dinner.

In the prescence of several family members of an untitled family, it was customary to address the eldest child by the title Miss or Mister, with younger siblings distinguished by the title and their first names.

During Jane's time a new carriage was generally ordered made for a wedding. The groom paid for this.

A tyger was a small boy arrayed in livery, almost as a mascot, whom the rich employed to ride on the exterior of their carriages.

In Austen's day it was customary to travel about the streets in hired sedan chairs carried by a man both fore and aft.

Nuncheon was a common term for food taken between breakfast and dinner. The term luncheon did not exist.

Surgeons were considered common village tradesmen rather than the educated professionals that physicians were thought to be.

"The Monster" was a common term given to Napoleon Bonaparte.

At the age of 14 Jane wrote her first novel-Love and Friendship.

Jane died from Addison's Disease in 1871,at the age of 41. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

October is ...

I have been having such a hard time accessing Blogger lately. Hmmm..

As I have said previously October is my favorite month and October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, National Dental Hygiene Month, Family History Month, Lupus Awareness Month, Clergy Appreciation Month, Vegetarian Awareness Month, National Kitchen and Bath Month, Month of the Hedgehog, Auto Battery Safety Month, Spectacle of the Geese Month, Fall Car Care Month, National Work and Family Month, Children's Health Month, National Popcorn Poppin' Month, National Pet Wellness Month, Movement Disorders Month,National Arts and Humanities Month, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, International Bubblegum Month, National Statistics Month, National Eat Better,Eat Together Month, National Pork Month, Energy Awareness Month, Herstory Month, Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, Computer Learning Month, National Clock Month, National Pizza Month, National Roller Skating Month, Seafood Month, Dessert Month and National Stamp Collecting Month.

Sad good-byes to August Wilson, M. Scott Peck and Nipsey Russell. You have made me laugh, made me cry and made me think.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday Round Up

I have decided to call my Friday ramblings the "Friday Round Up" as opposed to the Friday Wrap Up. Round up seems to describe this link gathering better than wrap up.

The United for Peace and Justice March takes place this weekend in Washington, DC. For more information including schedules, etc., visit DC Metro Action. One of my favorite sites.

The Howard Association is a benevolent association whose home is in Norfolk, VA. This association was formed druing the 1855 Yellow Fever epidemic. 1 in 3 Norfolk and Portsmourth, VA residents were killed during this epidemic. People sent in contributions to set up a hospital, orphanage and to help lay the dead to rest. Gulf Coast and Atlantic coastal communities ponyed up supplies and medical personnel as well.

In the 150 years since the Yellow Fever Epidemic the money has continually been used for medical relief.

The Howard Association was merged with the Norfolk Association in 1986. Now here comes the very cool part of the story. When Hurricane Ophelia was approaching (this was around September 14, 2005) the Association sent a check for $50,000 to the Greater Baton Rouge Area Foundation. A Virginia newspaper story noted that this was in a symbolic way a partial repayment of a 150 year old debt to the Gulf States.

I can remember when I first learned to make a bechamel sauce. Now I was never overly thrilled with making sauces, all that infernal stirring was just too boring. I could be curled up somewhere reading the latest Nancy Drew instead of stirring some sauce. Bechamel was different though. I knew if I learned how to make a bechamel sauce then I could make my mothers fabulous recipe for macaroni and cheese. To this day I still make a bechamel sauce as the base for mac and cheese. For the milk component I've used cream, whole milk, skim milk, but they still can't compare with making it from milk that comes from a cow that you know personally.

I came upon deep fried macaroni and cheese the other day and boy did it set my mouth to watering. I can feel my arteries clogging just looking at the picture.

If you ever come to my home to visit you will eat a lot, laugh a lot and generally have a good time. However, upon entering my home you will be asked to either remove your shoes or to don a pair of paper booties. You know, the kind that are worn in operating rooms, by hazmat teams, etc. The reason for this is twofold. I don't know what you have been traipsing through all day, and you probably don't know what you have been traipsing through either. I don't want my home dirtied, and as an asthmatic I don't want to breathe all sorts of foreign matter from the outside. Perhaps I should invest in this.

And speaking of clean floors the folks from iRobot have done it again. I think everyone has seen or heard of Roomba. You know the cute, gliding,Frisbie-shaped vacuum cleaner. Well now there is Scooba. Scooba preps, washes, scrubs and dries your floor.

Have a wacky weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Never Heard of Librarians

I guess the people who use these resources have never heard of libraries or librarians. Grrrr.

Things I've Learned

Before I get into the things I've learned let me say HAPPY AUTUMN!!! It's finally here. Pretty soon it will be my favorite month October and all will be well. Just remember starting today the veil between our world and the spirit world will get thinner and thinner until Samhain (Oct 31) when the spirits can finally pass through.

There are quite a few books out that have Things I've Learned as part of their title. Alan Alda has one, William Thrasher, and a host of others.

I thought I would write about a few things I've learned.

1. Never, ever, ever trust people. Especially people on the job. I will even go one step further. Try and not tell people too much of your personal business. Believe me they will use it as ammunition if they get the chance.

2. Never, ever tell anyone your hopes, dreams or even things that you like. Humans have a tendency to exhibit all sorts of odd behavior when confronted with someone elses likes. They will spend an inordinate amount of time telling you why you shouldn't do something, why something that you like is bad, etc. If you tell another human that you are going somewhere, and this is really exhibited to the utmost degree when you tell someone you have accepted another job; humans tend to get a very pained expression on their faces all the while telling you all of the bad things they have heard about the place you are going.

3. You can never really know anyone. Not 100% anyway. Every minute of every day we are all changing in one way or another. I know many of the things that I am interested in now I was not interested in 15 or 20 years ago. We evolve. Some of us regress. Or devolve, which I understand is questionable when talking about the opposite of evolve. Anyway I digress.

4.That it doesn't matter how liberal or racially evolved people think they are-when they get backed into a corner, when they feel that you are better than they are at something, all of their true "colors" come out and one can see how truly racially retarded most folks really are.

5.There are no stupid questions.

6.I've learned that money can buy just about anything, but it can't buy class.

7. I've learned that education can improve a person in so many ways, but trash is trash.

8. I've learned that generally when you say yes to something, you have to say no to something else. (that may have to do with my socioeconomic status more than anything else).

9.I've learned that women are just as filthy as men when it comes to not washing their hands after using the lavatory.

10. I've learned that your place of employment will only show interest in you when you give notice.

11. I've learned that there are drive-thru Starbucks.

12. I've learned that Langston Hughes, Lucille Clifton, and E. Ethelbert Miller, 3 of my favorite poets do not or in the case of Langston Huges did not drive.

13. That making one bad decision can alter your entire life.

14. That the older you get the more convoluted, sad and joyless life becomes.

15. That having hordes of money is truly the only thing that matters.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


For those in the Washington DC area-

Congress is getting ready to vote on whether there should be drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. How drilling in this pristine wilderness could even be something under consideration is beyond me. Oh wait, that's right-we have to have gas for our Hummers and other equally obnoxious mobile freezers. Grr......

Join the rally from Tuesday, September 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the West Lawn (facing the Mall) of the Capitol. For more information go here.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Book Donations for Gulf Coast Libraries

I'm posting the following information concerning book donations for the Gulf Coast Libraries that were destroyed by Hurrican Katrina. I got this information from Washington DC poet E. Ethelbert Miller's blog.

Subject: Texas Library Association is accepting book donations

The Texas Library Association is accepting book donations (can be from anywhere) to help the Gulf libraries prepare to re-open for business. The Association is accepting book collections to help libraries fill their shelves.

TLA will ship the donated materials to Gulf Coast states as soon as libraries are ready to receive the materials. To make a book donation, you can ship materials to Braker Self Storage, ATTN: Katrina Book Drive, 2607 West Braker Lane, Austin, Texas 78758.

State library officials in the Gulf Coast report that many libraries have been completely demolished. Those facilities will have to be completely rebuilt and re-equipped. The items most needed include new or very lightly used children's books, adult fiction and nonfiction, reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, almanacs), and Gulf Coast-area collections. They ask that materials have recent publication dates.

Since it will likely be several months-perhaps even a year or two-before libraries are able to take these collections, the Association has partnered with the Texas Mini Storage Association (TMSA) to collect the books and store them in climate-controlled facilities until area libraries are able to receive collections.

Ginny Sutton, executive director of the TMSA, said "We are thrilled to help in any way we can. We want to let our Gulf Coast neighbors know that we are here for them over the long term. We want library officials to know that our member facilities, led by Braker Self Storage in Austin, are very happy to help in this noble effort to replenish the libraries in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama."

Additional information, including information about local relief programs in the affected states, can be found at

-- Robert P. Doyle
Illinois Library Association
33 W. Grand Ave., Suite 301
Chicago, IL 60610-4306
phone: 312-644-1896
fax: 312-644-1899

Friday Wrap Up(mostly cake)

For those of you in the Silver Spring, MD area that are looking for something to do this weekend check out the DC Labor Film Fest. The film festival is being held at the AFI Silver Theater in downtown Silver Spring.

How I missed this I will never know, but if you are looking for a blog and you just can't seem to locate it, Google Blog Search(of course) to the rescue. The writer of the wonderful Timberlines clued me into this. Thanks so much.

The Library of Congress(LOC) Memory Project is fabulous. One could literaly spend days perusing the many collections. One that I stumbled upon is the Women of Protest collection. The images are of various members of the National Women's Party. This group, formed in 1913, was dedicated to women's suffrage. The site also contains an overview, timeline and profiles of group members. The Suffrage Prisoners Gallery shows women that were imprisoned for their role in the suffrage movement. There's just something so surreal seeing these women in their period garb and thinking about them being in a jail cell.

I remember when I got my roommates list before I started my freshmen year in college. There were 4 names on the list. I could have just died. I was going to be sharing a room with 4 other females. I had always had my own room so I wasn't too keen on even having one roommate, much less 4. It all worked out well. The room was huge, I met Mon, and we took to each other like a flea takes to a dog (sorry for the rural analogy-they crop up from time to time). Mon and I decided to decorate our corner of the room with our favorite words. Mon's was "thighs". She loved how it sounded. My favorite word at that time was "mesmerizing". As soon as you came in the room that's the first thing you saw. In giant font "Mesmerizig Thighs". Apparently we aren't the only 2 people who had/have favorite words. Check out My Favorite Word. See if your word is already there.

For the last couple of years cupcakes have been all the rage. I started seeing some of the cooks on the Food Network making them on their shows. Here is a woman who is trying out a new cupcake recipe a week. Her blogs name-you got it-52 Cupcakes. Boutique cupcake stores are also all the rage. There's Sprinkles Cupcakes (Chicago and Beverly Hills, the Cupcake Cafe, and the Magnolia Bakery (can't find their site-do they have one?), both located in New York City. If you have ever watched Sex and the City, Magnolia Bakery is where Carrie and her cohorts could be seen wolfing down cupcakes. Yeah, right. We all know once the cameras were off the ultrathin ladies spit those captivating carbs right into a bucket. What a waste!!!! If you can't visit the Magnolia Bakery you can still give their recipes a try by reading their cookbook The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes from New York's Sweetest Bakery.

Speaking of cake, check out Cake Fun. This blog features some incredible looking cakes.

One of the "cake" blogs reminded me of a place I have meaning to visit, but I just can't ever seem to get over there. Cake Love is a bakery/cafe started by Warren Brown. Warren Brown was a Department of Health and Human Services attorney who gave it all up to start a cake baking business. He opened up Cake Love and now he is going to have a show on the Food Network. His show is supposed to be called Sugar Rush. I don't see any information on the show on the Food Network site, but I'll keep you posted.

Have a wicked weekend.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday Wrap Up

Watercraft and trains have always been a fascination for me. I love all sorts of watercraft from rowboats to yachts. I find it fascinating that so many of our ancestors came to this country on ships; whether they were forced to come or came on their own accord they generally arrived here by ships.

The Ship List is chock full of ships' passengers lists. There's even information on marriages at sea and shipwrecks. Very interesting site.

I am always amazed at the wonderful items people choose to collect. I was aware that people collected all sorts of transportation timetables, and now some nice person has a site of maritime timetable images. I could look at these ephemera images all day. They are just amazing.

Uniball Vision Elite-that's my current favorite pen. I love the weight of it and how smoothly the ink glides across the paper. Plus it's refillable. I always, always, always use black ink. Or occasionally purple. I have been using pens since senior high school. I never liked pencils, and I was thrilled when I entered 10th grade and we were allowed to use pens. I even collect floaty pens, but that's for another post.

I suppose there are pen people and pencil people. One pencil person has an excellent blog on the subject Pencil Revolution. I have become totally fascinated with all of the pencil factoids and other information on this blog. Timberlines is another pencil blog, but this blog focuses on the pencil industry. Absolutely fascinating.

Take a gander at the world's largest pencil. The gentleman behind the pencil is Count
Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell in front of the family castle at Stein near Nuremberg. I have seen and used Faber-Castell products, but never actually thought about it being a family owned company. They have been making writing instruments since the 1700s.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


There seems to be this new phenomenon of people not knowing proper line etiquette.

To wit, I went to CVS the other day and although I know better, I went at lunchtime. The line that I got in was quite long and of course there was only 1 cashier. After I was standing in the line for a few minutes another cashier went behind the counter to open her register. All of the customers start moving in place, patiently awaiting the magic words, "Next in line." The cashier did say the magic words and one person moved over. One person. Instead of others moving over and starting a second line, the line I was in become a feeder line for both cashiers.

Now this is not the first time I have seen this happening. I am a drug store nut so I am in CVS and Eckherd quite a bit. This has been happening more often than not for the past few months.

I have a theory that perhaps people are just too afraid of becoming a victim of line rage to take the initiative and move over and start a line. I'm sure you have been a witness to this sort of thing. Someone moves over to form a new line and someone starts shrieking, "I'm next, I was here. I'm next". So possibly to avoid someone have a conniption we now have "feeder lines". Any thoughts?


There seems to be this new phenomenon of people not knowing the proper line etiquette.

To wit, I went to CVS the other day and although I know better, I went at lunchtime. The line that I got in was quite long and of course there was only 1 cashier. After I was standing in the line for a few minutes another cashier went behind the counter to open her register. All of the customers start moving in place, patiently awaiting the magic words, "Next in line." The cashier did say the magic words and one person moved over. One person. Instead of others moving over and starting a second line, the line I was in become a feeder line for both cashiers.

Now this is not the first time I have seen this happening. I am a drug store nut so I am in CVS and Eckherd quite a bit. This has been happening more often than not for the past few months.

I have a theory that perhaps people are just too afraid pf becoming a victim of line rage to take the initiative and move over and start a line. I'm sure you have been a witness to this sort of thing. Someone moves over to form a new line and someone starts shrieking, "I'm next, I was here. I'm next". So possibly to avoid someone have a conniption we now have "feeder lines". Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kanye and Stroopwafels

Kanye West will never know it, but "I got his back".

So finally the Prez came out and said these people weren't refugees. I have been complaining about this since the bozo started calling the hurricane victims that. Of course we all know what that's all about. If the majority of these people were white the word "refugee" would have never crossed his pea-size brain.
Somehow people's bigotry always finds a way to present itself. I am just so sick of all of the covert ways people find to cover their bigotry. Kind of like my place of work.

On another note to lighten the tone of this entry a bit I found a new treat. I have never been one for store-bought cookies. I had a baking mother and grandmother and I have always baked. Sure, when I was an undergrad my girlfriends and I would pig out on a bag of Chips Ahoy and Zingers, but that was in school where store-bought, high hydrogenated fats were queen.

A friend of mine was telling me about Stroopwafels. These Dutch treats are 2 very thin waffley cookies with a caramel filling sandwiched between the two waffles. Apparently they are called treacle wafers, caramel cookies wafers and syrup wafers. I love typing and saying Stroopwafel.

My friend is a big hot tea drinker and she said that she puts her Stroopwafel on top of her hot, steaming tea to melt the caramel. Well, I am not a hot drink person, but I wanted to try these cookies so I bought a box a Whole Foods and thought what the heck, I'll make some tea.

I put the Stroopwafel on top, hoping that no crumbs would get in the tea. That would totally gross me out. (yes, I'm 6) I just let it sit there for a minute or so. When I took the cookie off of my teacup the cookie was starting to bend so I thought great, I've achieved melted caramel.

These are very nice. Now they aren't my usual chocolate, but they are a nice, light treat. Even though I am not a hot drink person these were very nice with tea.

Here is some information on Stroopwafels. Here is some more information on this treat. The brand I purchased are Sandy Maple Farm Organic Stroopwafels that apparently does not have a website.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Could Not Have Said It Better...

I found this on the web, and I could not have said it better. Bloggers are passing it around and I thought I would join in.

"I grieve for the individuals in New Orleans as I grieved for those caught up in the tidal wave. As for those caught up in Bopal. And for those butchered in Rwanda. And for those living on a sea of oil in Iraq. And, you know, as a gardener and environmentalist I choose to focus my attention on the things I can change and work with. I try to garden and show folks how to garden in ways that are environmentally sound - that do not add to global warming and make our lives better. But it's really your choice.
"If we continue to elect politicians who - like Louisiana's governor - campaign against pollution control - then we'll continue to reap the whirlwind we've sown. And it's usually the poor who pay the steepest price - whether it's the poor in Fiji, Iraq or Louisiana.
"So yes, I think it is right that we stop and look at what's happening down South and try to help as best we can - with your prayers or more importantly your wallet. But if you ignore the root causes of these problems you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. And it really is your choice.

The author of these words can be found here.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Today I am foregoing the Friday Wrap-Up to talk about the situation on the Gulf Coast. I know that I am with the rest of the country when I say how much it upsets, shocks and saddens me to see what is going on down South. The situation all over the Gulf is terrible, but New Orleans appears to be particuarly horrendous.

I am terribly upset about the governments lack of a response to this situation. Poverty and neglect are partly responsible for the situation in New Orleans, but I can't help but feel that if this happened in Beverly Hills or some other mainly rich, white area the response would be expedient. When you are poor and black or poor and white in this country you are given short shrift. The lack of response to me is nothing more than class discrimination and out and out blatant racism. There isn't anyone that can tell me anything differently.

I will never understand how a country as rich as the United States can be so totally unprepared for catastrophes.

These people have been without food, water, and medical care for days now. You can't tell me that the government could not have some sort of water drops or food drops for these people. I can't imagine what sort of person I would become if I had lossed loved ones or had no idea where loved ones were, had not had food or water in 5 days, was not able to bathe, and sitting around in stench. If you treat people like animals that's the type of behavior you are going to receive. I can't condone the lawlessnes that is happening at the Superdome, but put yourself in these peoples shoes for a moment.

The Internet community has really been active in providing information, creating wikis, and doing what it does best-linking people with information. This Katrini help-wiki is one of the best ones I have seen.

I will never be able to say enough positive things about the people who are opening up their homes up to total strangers. If you look on the Manpower and Volunteers Offered page you can read some of the posts from people who are offering aid.

I, like everyone else, want to load my vehicle with everything I can think of and head down there and do whatever I can, but that is not just not feasible for now. The way I was raised and the area where I grew up is filled with people who always lend a helping hand. To sit idly by while someone needs help is just not something I will ever get used to doing. At this point in time the only thing I can do is contribute money. I think everyone reading this knows the best organizations that can use your donation. I heard on the radio this morning that a lot of bogus organizations are cropping up so be careful to whom you send your donations.

As usual Hollywood has come forward and has organized a telethon for tonight (Friday, 9/2/05). It will be televised on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC. I think these are good things, but I also think with the money these celebrities earn they could all just donate a million dollars and call it a day. I am probably just being cranky here, but these actors, singers and athletes earn obscene amounts of cash. I"m just saying....

As with the rest of the nation, my thoughts and well wishes are with the Katrina victims.