Saturday, July 31, 2004

Spam, spam, spam, spam...

I had 379 spams in my mailbox today. If you register for a domain and don't pay for "privacy" rights, spammers use automated bots to scour WHOIS and suck your e-mail address. Worse. I tried to WHOIS myself through my domain provider and I AM LOCKED OUT. They gave me a number to call for help. I can envision that. I wait 45 minutes to talk to person in India who speaks the Queen's English, doesn't know what I am saying with my Aw-ree-gone accent, reads the wrong solution off of a tech support script, and I still get 379 spams. If I change my e-mail soon, you will know why.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

SolWest 2004, Part II

(Part I is below)

We woke up and checked over the schedule for the day. The fair didn't open until 1pm, so we discussed our options. We decided to drive to Canyon City and check out the Grant County Historical Museum. But first we partook of the lovely continental breakfast graciously provided by our friends at the Best Western chain of luxury motels.

We loaded up on a pastry, fruit, and tea/water. I spoke with one of the firefighters to see what exactly they were doing there. I asked if they were fighting a fire in the area. He said the fuels weren't "cured" yet but would be later. He omitted any explanation of why exactly they were there. Apparently, it was a "need to know" kind of thing...presumably training although with the uniformity of haircuts, I wouldn't rule out some sort of Homeland Security to burn up that $30 billion somehow.

We drove on over to Canyon City and pulled into the Historical Musuem. There were a couple of old buildings to the right of what looked like an old appliance store. That was the museum. We walked in and paid the admission. The gal that greeted us placed a music disc on some kind of pre-gramaphone device from the 1850s (I think). It sounded like a fancier and louder version of a music box. Pleasant and relevant to the topic at hand.

The museum was an interesting place. It had the look of an antique store rather than a museum. There were hundreds of items scattered about on shelves and in glass cases. Each item appeared to be catalogued, but there was little in the way of explanation for most of it. There were some well-marked geological specimens, but there were also cases upon cases of pretty tumbled rocks with no labels. The cataloging labels were oftentimes round labels like that used at a garage sale. They had a guitar with such a label. It was half way peeled off and it was apparent that the glue of the label had discolored the finish on the guitar. It was disconcerting, but it wasn't my job to run their museum for them.

Although Eastern Oregon is rich with Chinese immigrant history, we only found one small acknowledgment of its existence. We found NO acknowledgment of American Indians existing in the area until we reached a small room at the end dedicated only recently and labelled as "under construction." When we entered, we found a few arrowheads and mortar and pestle sets. Most of the items were either not from Oregon or not marked at all. We took heart that, after all this time, someone was finally doing some work on the TOTAL history of Grant county. Oops. I forgot to mention that there were a couple of African-American items as well.

Most detailed displays and information profiled (white) families in the county and their ranches and way of life of cattle or horse ranching. Even then, little was given in the way of hard information; there were mostly single sentence captions to pictures or assortments of gear or artifacts.

There was a story of a mini-war between cattle and sheep ranchers between the 1880s and 1900s. There were disputes over who could use the public open range, so the cattle ranchers decided to settle it by shooting tens of thousands of sheep and several sheep ranchers. Apparently, their sniper skills were honed over time. After a time, the sheep ranchers started shooting back. Once the playing field was levelled, President Tedddy Roosevelt and Oregon's governor George Chamberlain decided to "infiltrate" the cattle ranchers and break it up. The museum favored the cattle ranchers' version of the story, probably because that is about all there was left at the end. It would be fun to read a less colorful and more factual version of the history of those times.

We left the museum and headed south up Canyon Creek and climbed into the Ochoco mountains. I thought I remembered a little wayside there from a previous trip, but I remembered wrong. Instead, we stopped off at a short interpretive hiking trail in some "old growth" ponderosa pine near the Izee turnoff. I always enjoy the pillar-like straightness of Ponderosa Pine and that distinctive platy orange bark. It was quiet and high enough (about 4500') to be pleasantly mild. There were a few varieties of wildflowers growing in the grass (mostly unknown to me). There was a bush with ripe currants, but we opted to leave it be and just take a picture. We drank some water we brought and headed back down the hill for lunch in John Day.

At 1pm we walked to the fairgrounds from our hotel (about four blocks) and paid for the whole weekend. We received wristbands with red suns on them and strolled in. It was already over 90 degrees, so when we hit the solar-powered water mist making jets in the first tent, it was refreshing. I can't remember the name of the outfit, but we spoke about some of the important components of solar energy such as (obviously) photovoltaic (PV) panels, inverters, charge controllers and so forth. We learned that Germany has a huge solar initiative going and they are buying up almost any PV panel that can be produced right now. It is very difficult for vendors to get their hands on them. I would imagine that will temporarily drive up the prices for a while. I thought about how much that might have to do with the current geopolitical games in the Middle East. Who knows? Not me.

We showed up at the open-air classroom for a workshop on Oregon tax credits and incentives for alternative energy, but apparently the speaker hadn't shown up yet. No big deal, most of that information is on the web anyhow. I attended a Fundamentals of Photovoltaics class which taught me nothing new, but we received a great guide on choosing and sizing equipment for going solar. I finished the day at the fair (now up to 100 degrees) with a presentation on solar water heating. We learned that it has the fastest payback of the alternative sources (about seven years if used in an electric water heating scenario). Ladybug attended a seminar on small-scale hydroelectric systems and a talk by a woman on country skills (sustainable living, products to use and avoid, etc.). She had interesting opinions; we didn't agree with all of them but appreciated her sincerity and came away with some good stuff. We decided that we would probably attempt hydroelectric only under optimum conditions (although it can generate impressive power).

We trundled home in the heat and ordered a nice garlic chicken pizza at the Outpost restaurant. They ran out of all tap beers (except Bud of course), so I had a couple of Coronas with dinner. We headed over to Chester's to get some Excedrin (and a Foster's for me), swam at the hotel pool, and relaxed for the night. It was a successful Friday. Saturday promised to be a full day and from all accounts, a scorcher.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

SolWest 2004, Part I

For those who are interested in alternative energy or the technical aspects of self-reliance, you shouldn't miss the SolWest Fair in John Day, Oregon. For $10 for the weekend, we walked out with information worth many, many times that much dough. We will attempt to transcribe our notes to the energy page soon!

We drove over on Thursday on a warm, beautiful day. The temperature reached the mid-90s, but we were in an air-conditioned car (a luxurious low-end Saturn) and we drove through the Columbia Gorge and across the Oregon High Desert skirting the Ochoco mountains.

The trip started east-bound on Interstate 84 out of Portland. After a passable lunch and gracious service at Cousins restaurant in The Dalles, we drove on. We chose to turn south at Biggs junction. Our passage south was delayed in Grass Valley by one of those gravel-and-tar repaving projects. Crossing our fingers that the rigs ahead of us didn't produce a windshield cracking pebble, we proceeded through the dusty miles and made our way through the ghost town of Shaniko. So far, we encountered mostly range land with sage brush and dessicated flowers, some wheat farms and pasture, and plenty of fields with rolls or bales of hay. It would have made a great Claritin commercial.

Shortly thereafter we turned east and stopped in Antelope (formerly Rajneeshpuram). There were no remaining signs of religious believers in Bagwhan Shree Rajneesh in red and maroon clothes. It was just good old Antelope with a small store, post office, a church, and a couple of homespun businesses. We stopped off to say Hi and share some marionberry cobbler and ice cream. For some reason, we decided not to ask the obvious questions about the Rajneeshees. (Interesting side note...the Moody Minstrel called their leader the Mugwump Shreik Hashish. Clever, eh?) We didn't see any sign of the commune (which is now a Christian camp of some kind...out of the frying pan and into the fire, eh) so we moved on.

As we dropped into the John Day river canyon through towns like Clarno, Spray, and Kimberly, we caught peaks of the geological wonders of the area. Ancient ash flows were exposed on hillsides; some were nearly as white as chalk, some banded with a patina-like green or rusty reds. Sometimes the layers were smooth, others were crenulated into a badland labyrinth of spires and depressions. One formation was called Cathedral Rock. The farther down the canyon we drove, the more beautiful it became. The plants and animals embedded in those ash beds, ginkgos and sequoias, saber tooth tigers and giant beavers, were invisible from our hurried rushing car. We planned to see these wonders of the mid-Cenozoic, but we missed the turnoff and decided to come back another time.

We turned east again in Picture Gorge, a three pronged canyon where Rock Creek meets up with the John Day river. The gorge opens out into a broader valley with arid hills to the north and the forested Ochoco mountains to the south. The John Day valley consists of various ranches with horses grazing on grass irrigated by the river. There are haystacks and fields here as well. More cattle and horses. There weren't very many sheep (more on that later). We passed through Dayville and Mount Vernon and finally into the city of John Day.

We found the Best Western and checked in. Even though there were no wildfires burning in Oregon, there were a number of fire fighting trucks with people staying at the hotel. It appears that they were from Colorado; places like Rifle and Unaweep. At first I thought all the young guys (and a couple gals) were military because of the near uniformity of their haircuts, but I don't think so now because they had neither the Army hairstyle nor the jarhead look of the Marines. What were they doing there?

We had a nice dinner at the Squeeze-Inn. Standard American fare, I had a fried seafood platter that was bad for me and tasted just fine. They have a deck next to the creek that runs through town; it was cooling off enough out there to be enjoyable. It would not be this cool again. This restaurant became our primary lunching location. They waitresses and cooks were among the nicest people we met in John Day.

Let's talk about the people in John Day. I don't think I've been to a town where I've encountered more suspicion of us right off the bat and less hometown friendliness. People on the street either avoided eye contact or responded coolly. I have a habit, especially in small towns of smiling and saying Hi to the people I meet. Ladybug (wife and travel partner) was almost bowled over by an expressionless teenager in a baseball uniform. She actually stepped off the sidewalk to avoid him. I was walking behind her and refused to get out of the way. He moved for me; sometimes it is nice to be big and tall. Other people on the sidewalk also pretended we weren't there. Now, I should say that we looked every bit like any tourist; no tie-dye, tattoos, provocative T-shirts or any of that. Actually, when I did put on my tie-dye shirt, I think we actually were treated better.

That suspicion or stand-offishness accounted for about a third of the locals we met. The other 2/3 were as friendly and open as most people who don't deal with the daily road rage of city folk.

But I digress...we went to Chester's Thriftway to pick up some goodies (the hotel room has a mini-fridge) and came back to the room. We reviewed the itinerary for Friday, read, and went to sleep.

(To be continued)

Money For Nothing

From the Portland Tribune:

Restaurant’s identity is a big whatever
Powell strip mall eatery’s lights are on; where is everybody?

You can’t really say something is hidden when it has a big illuminated sign on one of Southeast Portland’s busiest streets.


Hence the conundrum with Husky or Maltese Whatever, a restaurant at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 36th Avenue in the Powell Center strip mall. It has a current license — and has for a year and a half — although it never seems open. Phone calls to the number listed on the sign go unanswered. Inside, the tables are set and clean, the sandwich board looks ready to use, and the electricity is clearly on.

But most important: What the heck is with that name?

Keep reading.

Monday, July 26, 2004

You are Number Six

Great Job Lance Armstrong! You are an inspiration.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Home from SolFest 2004

We just got back from SolFest 2004 in John Day, Oregon. Ladybug and I will post our experiences here and there will be many notes coming soon at Snabulus Energy.

Friday, July 23, 2004

To Boldly Go Where So Many Have Gone Before...

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager (as well as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which we'd all rather forget ever existed) were all fortunate enough to have the benefits of the musical genius of Jerry Goldsmith for their themes and sometimes for their incidental background music. Of the many composers that have worked with the Star Trek franchise, he is widely considered the best, and his work provided plenty of inspiration for several of the composers that provided incidental music for the various Star Trek TV series.

Ironically, the composer that did the music for Star Treks II (Wrath of Khan) and III (The Search for Spock), James Horner, wound up becoming Jerry Goldsmith's most bitter rival for reasons that had little if any to do with Star Trek. James Horner won an academy award for his soundtrack for the movie Titanic. Jerry Goldsmith had also been nominated for an award at the same time for a different movie (I don't remember which at the moment). The fact that Horner won out over Goldsmith ticked off a lot of people because Goldsmith's music was wholly original, whereas Horner's music for Titanic sounded suspiciously similar to, among other things, certain Enya songs. In fact, throughout his career as a movie composer, James Horner was often attacked for "ripping off" existing music in his work, for which he offered the excuse, "If the producer tells me he wants a tune that sounds like a song he knows, I'm obligated to give it to him!" Amazing that Goldsmith was able to be totally original and much loved for it, but still passed over in favor of an imitator by the "experts". C'est la vie.

Farewell, Jerry Goldsmith. You will be missed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


A Seasonal Holiday for for Friends and Family

I woke up one morning near the beginning of August several years ago, and thought “something’s changed”: the morning air had a unfamiliar chill to it, and the angle of sunlight seemed stretched, more like autumn days. I remember thinking, “Fall is all ready on it’s way, here within Summer”. A few days later, I was surfing around the internet and came across info for a Celtic celebration, which starts usually on August 1st. This celebration is called Lammas (the Irish Christianized version) or Lughnasagh (pronounced loo-nah-suh). It celebrates the 1st harvest, and usually includes some kind of special bread at a family meal. Some great explanations can be found here and here.

This time of year is also very special to my family in particular, as there are several family birthdays and anniversaries, right at the beginning of August; so I was happy to learn about an ancient festival which is part of my Irish heritage and which also occurs at this unique time of year. I really enjoy the feeling of connection with the natural cycles of the earth that honoring seasonal agricultural traditions brings me and my family. Going out to local farms for fresh produce, harvesting the vegtables we grow in our small garden, canning or sharing the extra foodstuffs , lazy beach vacations, frenzied preparations for school, all seem to be part of the late summer season.

With the beginning of the school year, we swing back to the familiar routine, everything begins again, with old and new faces. The lengthening shadows of the waning light, the newly brisk air, and the full pantry, brings a new enthusiasm to me every year. So I invite you to break some bread to the last vestiges of Summer, and look with anticipation to the quickening new fall season just around the bend. Please take some time to spend time with friends and family and celebrate this harvest season with us!

Light Posting Until Next Week

Perhaps were ready for a Moody Minstrel, et al entry to keep the page going; but nothing from Don Snabulus for a while.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My Mom

My mom passed away at 4am this morning at 69 years old. It was not unexpected; in fact it was a relief. Her body had been failing her with accelerating regularity for the last several weeks and now her pain is gone.

My Mom can be blamed for this weblog. She taught me to speak out for what I think is right. She served the Human Relations Council in Portland in the 60s helping people less fortunate. She taught SE Asian refugees English and American life skills in the 70s. She was a tutor for Oregon Literacy in the 70s and 80s teaching the Laubach system of reading to many adults including a former Portland Trailblazer. She volunteed for the local grade and high school in the 80s and 90s and helped bring children into the Information Age. I got my start in the computer biz by volunteering at the high school and learning about DOS, networks, and library information retrieval software. It was my mom that arranged it.

She got lung cancer about seven years ago. They didn't expect her to survive through her first radiation treatment. She did. It would not be the last time she was told to get her affairs in order and yet each time she proved them wrong and blessed us with her determination to survive and improve. When things finally did get bad and she lost weight and became weak, our sometimes fractious family rallied around her to provide comfort. My dad and brother took wonderful care of her during her decline and my sisters joined in for the last few days and helped my mother expire peacefully this morning. This was her last gift to her family; to bring us together to work and help each other to make her comfortable in her final days.

I am so proud of them and her that I thought I should speak out about it. Just like she taught me to.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Almodovar and Gazpacho

Pedro Almodovar, a Spanish filmaker, is one of my favorites. His movies reflect the quirky, intense nature of Latin life post-Franco. He is most known for his hit movies, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios), and "All About My Mother" (Todo sobre mi madre). Title bar goes to link for "Almodovaria" and info on Spanish life. Check out the Paella recipe!

The plot summary for "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" is as follows:
Pedro Almodovar's Oscar nominated film is a loopy comedy about a group of women who are, to say the least, having more than a bad day. Central to the film is Pepa (Almodovar favorite Carmen Maura), an actress who wakes one morning to find that her lover has left her. Her crack up over this includes "accidentally" setting their bed on fire, as well as stalking his ex-wife's apartment and mixing a lethal gazpacho. But Pepa soon finds that she's not the only one on the verge: her best friend Candela has just discovered that the man she's been sleeping with and housing is a Shiite terrorist ("The sex was really intense"), Pepa's lover's ex-wife, fresh out of an asylum (!), shows up on her doorstep toting a pair of pistols, and the young man who comes to rent Pepa's apartment is her lover's son (Antonio Banderas, in a surprising and endearing performance). Compared to the women who surround her, Pepa is sane.

Gazpacho, a traditional soup/drink, figures prominently in the plot of this movie.

Gazpacho con Limon*

1 Cucumber
1 green Pepper (cored and seeds removed)
1 Tin of tomatos (225 g)
1 medium-sized onion
1 tsp. (teaspoonfull) of mashed garlic
1 tbsp. (tablespoon) of lemon juice
Salt and black Pepper

Liqufy all the ingredients in an electric mixer, whisk them, add the spices and put the Gazpacho to chill.
If you prefer the soup a little bit more liquid, you can add some Tomato Juice.
Can be served as soup, or as a drink.

This Page was created by Karl A. ERBER on July 11, 1999
Last Update: July 11, 1999

*from a European site, so all ingredients listed in the metric system-you'll have to figure it out for yourself!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Stephen Hawking is a Waffling Flip-Flopper

After almost 30 years of arguing that a black hole swallows up everything that falls into it, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking backpedaled Thursday. In doing so, he lost one of the most famous bets in recent scientific history.

Hey, if it is good enough for Hawking, it is good enough for John Kerry. So there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A cool blog

I surfed around earlier tonight and found A Gathering of Fools and rather enjoyed this weblog. Why not head over and take a look and leave a comment or two? There is a cool Cthulhu picture in it for you!

What the Old Folks Say

This is a copy of a commentary found in the July 2004 Marion/Polk county edition of:
Senior News Northwest
4159 Cherry Ave NE
Keizer, OR 97303
(503) 304-1323

Note: I found this article in the aformentioned newspaper at Neufeldt's restaurant in Aumsville. It's not online at all so I had to re-type the entire article; any typing errors are mine alone.

Crusades and other fiascos-Morley Young: Reflections in a Mud Puddle

Over 100 years ago, Christian missionaries went to Hawaii. At first their mission was completely altruistic. As time went by however, the missionaries acquired vast tracts of fertile land. They became very, very, rich raising sugar cane, pineapples and beef cattle.

They also became the butt of a bitter pun: "The missionaries went to Hawaii to do good, and they did very well indeed."

It seems that we have this habit of racing off to foreign lands to do good. Sometimes we do good; sometimes we do well. On our present do-good expedition, we've struck out on both counts.

I was never enthusiastic about the invasion of Iraq, but I told myself the people in charge must know what they're doing. After all, they wouldn't sacrifice thousands of lives on a bureaucrat's fixation or a family vendetta would they?

Once we were there, the Iraqis threw bombs at out feet instead of flowers. I still believed we had to stay, if those "ungrateful wretches" didn't appreciate our sacrifice. And when you consider the billions of dollars we're pouring into that unfortunate country, it is a very real sacrifice.
It's a small sacrifice, though, compared to that of the young men and women who0 are coming home minus arms and legs or in flag-draped coffins, but still it's a sacrifice.

There's no way of knowing how may Iraqis have died in this bungled crusade. So far, they haven't been important enough to count.

I use the term crusade advisedly. Almost a thousand years ago, Christian knights went to the Middle East, full of high ideals, to rid the Holy Land of infidels.

In other words, to do good. Some of the crusaders did very well indeed. After comparing the warm, sunny climate of Israel to the cold, dank winters of northern Europe, many crusaders promptly built castles, settled down, and became permanent residents.

The Hospitallers of St. John, for instance, eventually owned seven strongholds, 140 estates, and about 19,000 manors. Yes, they did quite well indeed.

King Richard I of England took possession of the city of Acre in the course of his crusade. He demanded that a holy relic and some Christian prisoners be returned in exchange for the city. Unfortunately, they weren't delivered quickly enough to suit him, so he had 2,700 Muslims beheaded. All this, remember, in the name of the Prince of Peace.

Now it's the Arabs who are doing the beheading. To my knowledge, we haven't stooped to that level of savagery, but have done some things that make decent people hang their heads in shame.

Up until those infamous pictures came out, I said that we should stay in Iraq, even if we didn't find any of the elusive WMDs. I believed pulling out would lead to a blood bath. It probably will, but at least the Iraqis will be doing to each other, instead of us doing it to them.

An army has never defeated determined guerrillas without resorting to the kind of savage tactics that we're not yet willing to use. Not yet.

We have to get out before we sink to the level of the people we're fighting. We shouldn't burden our sons and daughters with the kind of guilt that would cause.

Please, no more crusades. We overthrew Saddam; that will have to be enough.

Morley Young is a freelance writer. He lives in Cheshire.

Monday, July 12, 2004

A Dry Day in Salem

Salem’s July 12 no-rain record likely to continue
Statesman Journal
July 12, 2004

Leave the umbrella at home today, unless you plan to use it as a parasol.

Salem’s 112 years of no measurable rainfall on July 12 should remain intact, providing that forecasts are accurate.

Sunny skies and a high temperature of 90 degrees are expected in the Mid-Willamette Valley, leaving little opportunity for a raindrop to fall.

Since 1892, when official weather records first were kept for Salem, July 12 is the only date on which no measurable rainfall has been recorded.

Some people have considered that a big deal for the city, holding nonrain celebrations.

State climatologist George Taylor said that rain likely fell on Salem some time before 1892.

After all, Mother Nature doesn’t own a calendar.

“There’s a chance it could rain (today),” Taylor said. “Just not a very good chance.”

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Oregon Country Fair 2004

Jiminy Christmas its late. I'll update this in the morning.

Well, it is later than morning, but that's okay. Click here to see more photos and a brief explanation of the fair.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Two Super-Tasty Salads!

Here's two recipes for easy salads that were a hit at Fourth of July parties~

Chicken Salad w/Apples and Walnuts
from Everyday FOOD May 2004 pg. 63
Serves 4
1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise, 3 tblspn lemon juice, 1/2 tspn salt, & 1/4 tspn pepper. 2. Shred 2 large, seasoned & cooked, skinless, boneless chicken breasts and add to dressing. 3. Peel & chop 2 Golden Delicious apples, thinly slice 3-4 celery stalks, add to dressing. 4. Add 1/2 cup toasted walnuts and serve over lettuce

Notes: I usually double the dressing, it seems too dry to me. I season the chicken w/thyme, salt and pepper. You can also use canned turkey for faster preparation; and instead of trying to "shred" it, I just sliced it thinly and cut it up. To toast the walnuts, I just followed the directions on the Diamond brand bag of nuts I bought at Freddies: spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees. **

Greek-Style Pasta w/Shrimp
from Everyday FOOD June 2004 pg. 60
Serves 6
1 lb. gemelli or other short pasta (such as mini-penne)
2 tblspn olive oil
1 lb. peeled & deveined medium shrimp
2 garlic cloves minced
1 & 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tblspn lemon juice
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

1. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add half the shrimp. Cook until just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes,. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat w/remaining shrimp.
3. Add garlic and 2 tblspn water to skillet and cook until garlic is tender, scraping up any bits from bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl w/shrimp.
4. Add pasta, yogurt, lemon juice, mint and olives; season w/salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Variation: you can replace the shrimp with 12 oz. thinly sliced bonless, skinless chicken breast.

Notes: I again doubled the yogurt dressing, was too dry ! Buy already cooked frozen shrimp; follow defrosting directions on package, then just cook them with the garlic. I buy minced garlic in the jars, it saves alot of time and mess, and for this recipe I bought canned, sliced olives. I also mixed the dressing up separatly, then tossed it with the shrimp and pasta.**

**I've typed these up pretty much exactly as they appeared in the magazine, I did make some minor changes:
lemon juice=shouled be "fresh lemon juice", like I have lemons sitting around all the time, NOT! I just bought a bottle.
chicken (in 1st recipe)=should be "1/2 of thyme roasted chicken" {refers to another recipe}; just use leftovers, canned turkey, or anything that will make it easier preparation; season to your taste.

Rush's 30th Anniversary Tour

Rock group Rush came to our area on July 3rd. It was a very enjoyable show. The reviewer in the link above pretty much nailed my impressions of the show (mostly great, some coulda shouldas). WARNING: For those who want to be surprised when they go see Rush, beware the set list at the end of the article.

Garfield Throws the Bird

I bought my daughter a Kid's Meal at Wendy's. Here is a picture of the sack:

However, something about Garfield looked kind of funny.

Alrighty, Garfield is flipping my kid off. Greeeeeeeeeeat. Thanks.

World's Longest Concert Adds Two Notes

In an abandoned church in the German town of Halberstadt, the world's longest concert was coming two notes closer to its end Monday: Three years down, 636 to go.

The addition of an E and E-sharp complement the G-sharp, B and G-sharp that have been playing since February 2003 in composer John Cage's "Organ2/ASLSP" — or "Organ squared/As slow as possible."

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Your Tax Dollars Going to Help Rebuild Ira...ha ha ha ha ha........!!!

While somewhere around 45% of the Iraqi population is out of work, large swaths of the country still suffer from disabled electricity and water works, and Iraqi firms are complaining that they can take care of reconstruction efforts more quickly, efficiently, and cheaply, Cheney's "former" company still enjoys a very lucrative near-monopoly on rebuilding Iraq.

Now insiders at Halliburton, including some that once vociferously defended the company against "politically-slanted" attacks, are coming forward and helping explain just why that "rebuilding" seems to be going nowhere fast.

Gee...and people wonder why the insurgency just keeps growing...and growing...and growing...and growing...

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Cool Book plus more!

This is a insightful book, about a mom with 10 kids, an alcoholic husband, and an inventive way to make ends meet. "The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio ; How my mother raised 10 kids on 25 words or less" chronicles a family's madcap adventures (hey, there's 10 kids, six of whom are boys!) and last-minute saves from eviction, hunger and destitution. It's a kick-in-the pants read!

The title takes to you the author's website just for this book! "Tuff" (so named because she took on more neighborhood bullies than all the other kids), the 6th of Evelyn Ryan's kids, wrote the book several years ago, but it's taken on a life of it's own. It really captures the 1950's/1960's era very well, especially the campy sales jingles used in magazines and radio. Even guys will like this book, it's too funny to put down!

See below some links to 1950's fashions and curiousities:
Pattern images and explanations

Magazine art and links

Links to Burma Shave slogans, Everything Elvis, TV show Trivia and more!

Vintage hair fashions, (need to scroll down for 1950's images, starts with 1920's)

1950's Furniture link

You go boy!

Let's get that sixth victory! Do it for Amer...ah heck, do it for yourself, man. You've been through a lot.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Happy IIII of July

As Kondel said, the number four on the clock was IIII instead of the expected IV. Landy decided it wouldn't do to have what she called "an illiterate" clock.

"We called up the clock manufacturer and they said, `That's the way we do clocks,'" she told the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester in an interview published Friday.

When she looked at her watch, which had Roman numerals, she discovered that it too used IIII for the number four.

Doing a little research, Landy and Kondel found that most clocks use IIII. But the reason is uncertain.

The Horological Institute says that it may be that the Romans avoided the common four in favor of IIII because I and V are the first two letters of the Latin spelling of the name for the Roman God Jupiter (Ivpiter). The institute said it also may have to do with balance, as eight is denoted as VIII and the opposite number of four also would have four letters if it was IIII., an Internet encyclopedia, says that manuscripts from the 1300s are inconsistent on the use of IV and IIII to denote the number four. It also suggests that a Roman ruler at some point ordered the change to IIII, and it has come down through history as a tradition.

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Super Easy Peach Pie

I've had this recipe for years and years. I think I got it from one of the Reiman Publications magazines, (Quick Cooking, Taste of Home or Country Woman). This is a great dessert to make ahead, even days before you need it. You'll get lots of compliments and it tastes heavenly!

1 graham cracker crust (or make your own)
2 peeled, pitted, chopped peaches*
1 packet small (3 oz) peach Jello
1 cup softened** vanilla ice cream
1 small container whipped topping (8 oz I think), softened**

In a large bowl, combine jello and 1 cup boiling water. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in ice cream until fully incorporated, do the same with the whipped topping. Fold in peaches. Pour into crust and refrigerate until set, appox 1 hour.
*(to make peeling peaches easier, blanche in boiling water approx 1 minute)
**(stand at room temperature until not frozen hard)

Notes: You can vary this recipe alot. I've used sugar-free Jello, low-fat/low-sugar ice cream/yogurt and low sugar whipped topping. I've also used Ben & Jerry's decadently delicious ice cream, real whipping cream (need at least 2 cups), and made my own crust. You can also use canned peaches for even faster preparation (drain the syrup), but it doesn't taste as good to me. I also prefer to use Honey-Maid brand crusts as the Keebler brand (though cheaper), tastes like blech to me personally. Last, but not least, there are only 2 sizes of whipped topping, just get the smaller one, I already recycled the container I used so I couldn't check the size....