Thursday, December 18, 2008
From a New York Times slideshow, "Making Home Into Art."
The wallpaper is a series of paper targets. For marksmanship. You know, good aim.
In a bathroom.
Why, why can I never have the good ideas myself?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
--George W. Bush, in ABC interview of 1 December 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
The Gender Analyzer purports to be able to tell the gender of bloggers by examining the contents of the blog.
"Results: We think http://crosshatched.blogspot.com/ is written by a man (87%)."
Greaaaat. I feel pretty.
Back to the drywall project. (Wait a minute....)
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
--Seth Godin, Is effort a myth?
In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand. ...Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”
“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”
“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
“People love that toasted-rice taste,” he said. “It’s even a flavor of ice cream in Seoul.” (Japanese cooks, however, consider toasted rice overcooked and highly undesirable. The unwanted crust left stuck to the bottom of the rice cooker is called okoge — the same word used as slang for a single woman who spends a lot of time with gay men.)
Thursday, October 02, 2008
al3x's Rules for Computing Happiness
Although I am no techie, I am pleased to note that several of these are the same as my rules. One big difference between our sets of rules is probably that he can support his rules with rational arguments, which I cannot.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The title poem, "There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters," is the one that was reproduced in my mom's email. It goes like this:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit...but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
The book also had this untitled gem:
I am so free with you
I never wish to be
free of you.
True dat. :-)
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Why did no one think
to conserve the peal?
Just try once
to sing it to yourself:
like the sound of breath
if your body left.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I surprised myself by not being able to correctly distinguish accents from Britain/Wales/Scotland/Ireland.
Test your own language prowess!
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I found this delicious recipe from Ceres & Bacchus via smittenkitchen. Naturally, I had to improve it a bit with a little rewrite, because that's my way.
From wikipedia, I learned that clafoutis is "originally from Limousin" (in the heart of France) and that "the dish's name comes from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning 'to fill up' (implied: 'the batter with cherries')." The article also stated that clafoutis is basically pancake batter fancied up by French cooks, and that clafoutis madness spread throughout France during the 19th century.
(Okay, it didn't say clafoutis madness; that is my own invention.)
I am a big fan not only of pancakes but also trendy recipes, so this recipe was a natural.
The first time I made the dish, I used cherries as recommended by smittenkitchen. The second time, I used plums because they were so much cheaper than cherries.
Both times it has been delicious.
Plum Clafoutis (kla-foo-tee)
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 cup flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 tsp vanilla
* 2 tsp rum
* 2 cups of plums, pitted and halved
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Beat the sugar and the eggs with a wire whisk until they turn lighter in color. Add butter gradually, whisking to incorporate. Add flour all at once, whisking until batter is a homogeneous mixture. Add milk gradually, mixing well. Add vanilla (and rum if you are using it). Mix well. The batter should be very smooth and shiny.
Butter a glass or earthenware baking dish, 9- or 10-inch cake pan, or oven-proof skillet. Place the fruit in the dish. Pour the batter over the fruit.
Bake approximately 30-40 minutes, until slightly browned and almost completely set in the middle. (I prefer it to be a little custardy in the middle, so I rarely bake for more than 30 minutes.)
Let sit at least 15 minutes. Turn out onto a plate; sift powdered sugar on top if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator. Leftovers are excellent for breakfast.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
--From #68 (Michel Gondry) in the list of Stuff White People Like from the blog, "Stuff White People Like"
Oh Heavenly God, I am so white! It's like the writer knows my innermost thoughts, feelings, and desires.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
-- "Seattle’s Automated Toilets Go Way of the Box and Chain, New York Times, 17 July 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
"I see bacon as a celebration of an American birthright. Four slices of Hormel Black Label, hissing in a cast iron skillet on a Sunday morning. To wear the bacon colors, to sport a bacon tattoo, is to announce your belief in the possibilities of bacon, in the American goodness rendered by a low-on-the-hog meat, transmogrified by smoke and salt."
- John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance
There are so many good, gleefully tasty nuggets in that quote, I can hardly stand it.
"Hormel Black Label."
Bacon: the meat that's "low on the hog."
"Wear the bacon colors."
"Belief in the possibilities of bacon."
Here's a link to the article, Bacon Mania, in Salon. John T. Edge is quoted in #7. I recommend the article for entertaining reading, even if you are not inspired to get a bacon tattoo. Full of good writing and information. There I learned that "Anthony Bourdain has called bacon the 'gateway protein' for its astounding ability to lure vegetarians back to the carnivorous fold." Good stuff.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
10 minute cooking school Sin City breakfast tacos
Crazy sexy. Especially when he says, "Get some low-fat cooking spray... naaah, just kidding -- use butter." Ooh. Talk about sinful... you're killing me softly with your song, honey.
Use Amazon's Subscribe & Save program.
By subscribing, you can get Olay Regenerist Night for $14.58 (which certainly meets or beats the lowest sale prices I've seen locally). In some subscription categories there's a plethora of products to choose from; in others there are just a few products or the products are only available in bulk -- I noticed this particularly for toothpastes. I don't want to commit to a specific toothpaste for the length of time it would take me to go through a 4-pack of big tubes. As a result, this Subscribe & Save progam doesn't work for all my toiletry needs.
When I find a product I want that's eligible for the Subscribe & Save program, I sign up for the longest possible interval between deliveries. (Delivery schedule: 1 unit once every 6 months.)
Then, when I need more, there's a page I can use ("Manage Your Subscribe & Save Items") where I see the following information for each product for which I have a subscription:
• Last ship date: June 18, 2008
• Estimated order placement date: December 18, 2008
• To skip the currently scheduled shipment but still receive the following shipment, click Skip this shipment.
• Running low already? click Send your next shipment now.
So if I'm running low on moisturizer, I click "Send your next shipment now" and the moisturizer arrives at my office door in about a week or so. On the same page I can cancel the subscription altogether by making it inactive.
Amazon says that the Subscribe & Save program is in "beta" mode, which is probably why it is not super visible on their site:
"In addition to being the second letter in the Greek alphabet, the word beta is also often used to describe a project or process that is being tested. With that in mind, we'd like to introduce you to a new program we call Subscribe & Save. During this beta phase we'll be making more products available for subscription ordering and gathering input from customers like you to ensure Amazon.com provides the best possible experience for online shopping.
"Even though Subscribe & Save is in beta, our program is completely functional, so feel free to browse our selection of eligible products and place new subscription orders through Subscribe & Save. But be sure to come back often, as we'll only be making our new program better.
Once it's out of beta mode, I hope it will have more options. I love the idea. The 15% discount and free shipping are awesome.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Screw Gage Shank Shank Pilot Pilot
Number Hole Size Soft Wd Hard Wd
0 1/16 .060 1/64 1/32
1 5/64 .073 1/32 1/32
2 3/32 .086 1/32 3/64
3 7/64 .099 3/64 1/16
4 7/64 .112 3/64 1/16
5 1/8 .125 1/16 5/64
6 9/64 .138 1/16 5/64
7 5/32 .151 1/16 3/32
8 11/64 .164 5/64 3/32
9 3/16 .177 5/64 7/64
10 3/16 .190 3/32 7/64
11 13/64 3/32 1/8
12 7/32 .216 7/64 1/8
14 1/4 .242 7/64 9/64
16 17/64 .268 9/64 5/32
18 19/64 .294 9/64 3/16
20 21/64 .320 11/64 13/64
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
I scored 73% (11 out of 15). Hey -- better than random chance (and better than the 66% averaged by test takers so far). Yay, me.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Make Your Own Ringtone.
It's fun and it's free and I now have, as my ringtone, Darth Vader's Theme played on ukulele. Yessssss!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
1. Choose an unused or unneeded button on the “silver” remote to be the 30-second skip command. (Patrick recommends the red "Help" button, as there is no Comcast "Help" feature).
2. Press the “Cable” button at the top of the remote to put it into Cable Box Control mode.
3. Hold the “Setup” button until the “Cable” button blinks twice.
4. Type in the code 994. The “Cable” button will blink twice.
5. Press (do not hold) the “Setup” button.
6. Type in the code 00173.
7. Press whatever button you want to use for the 30-second skip command.
Congratulations! You have just stuck it to The Man.
Friday, June 06, 2008
When he reached the top, the New York City po po promptly arrested him, which doesn't dilute the truth of his message but probably gratified everybody who was stuck in rush hour because of this stunt.
Right on, Alain!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Today I went to the dermatologist's office for a followup visit about a plantar wart -- a wart that grows inward rather than outward because it's positioned on the bottom of your foot where you're constantly treading on it.
I saw a physician's assistant this time, instead of a doctor. Recently I've formed a healthy bias against seeing a PA instead of a physician, but that was for my annual checkups with the gynecologist. For that, you better believe I want to see the doctor. This was for a mere wart, which is treated with blasts of superchilly nitrogen -- a therapy I feel confident that I could even apply myself, if necessary. So I saw the PA today and noticed a few subtle differences between this visit and my last one.
1. For the last visit, I had a male doctor. The PA was female.
2. For both visits, I was sitting on the examining table with my foot in my lap (sole upward) when the health care professional came into the room. The doctor asked me to lie down on my stomach with the foot upraised. Gesturing to my foot and leg, I said, "So this won't work?" He said, "No -- just, mechanically, on your stomach is the better way." It's also a posture that doesn't let me see the action.
I expected the same thing from the PA, but she said, "No, that's fine," and treated the foot just as it was while I looked on.
3. The doctor stopped freezing the wart when I made a slight sound ("Ooh"). I told him, "No, that's okay -- go ahead," and he said, "No, that's fine, that's enough."
The PA said, "I know, ouch!" and kept on freezing it, and then after a pause she blasted it again for good measure.
4. I asked the doctor if I could have a band aid, and he said I didn't need it but asked one of the nurses to get me one.
The PA, unprompted, asked me if I wanted a band aid, and when I asked, "Do I need it?" said, "No, but often people want one anyway!"
These differences made my experience with the PA more satisfying, and I think that I received better medical care, honestly. I think the first appointment was a waste of time, because the doctor didn't really blast the nitro long enough. I liked being able to see what the healthcare professional was doing. I felt like the PA was more interested and in tune with me as a patient.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
For example, Twitter leaves me cold. I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to post 140 characters' worth of stream-of-consciousness non sequiturs. Even worse, from the standpoint of me trying not to be left completely behind by societal evolution, I can't understand why anyone *else* would want to *read* someone's Twitter feed. It seems absurd.
There's no getting around it. I am officially crotchety.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Next year, I'll
- charge business expenses separately
- keep all the receipts
- note deductible health care expenses (including saline solution)
- pay myself first
- discuss business at lunch
- record my mileage
I think I need a drink.
Peace out, taxpayers!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
I took Zero to the vet on Saturday for his annual checkup. I was so proud of him; his behavior was excellent. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the vet. I started going to this animal hospital because one of the vets there is a renowned regional expert on shepherds. The dodo vet we got yesterday doesn't even seem to like dogs. We have to go back next weekend because she was unable to draw a blood sample. No problem, I'd love to come back next weekend to spend another hour in your waiting room. Perfect.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Dogs can't eat bread dough -- unless you turn your back. So don't turn your back.
Look how serious he is. How focused. His look seems to speak of a purity of motive, a nobility of purpose, as if his only wish is to protect and defend the bread dough, to guard it with zealous loyalty.
And inside his head, his thoughts are actually more like "Nom nom nom!"
Back off, dog! Bread dough will kill you.
He did get to enjoy some bread scraps, so don't feel too bad for him.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
After the memorial service, there were so many flowers. Stacy's family shared some of them with me, and they were beautiful. Beautiful in my yellow kitchen. Stacy never came over to see my kitchen, never sat at my table or drank my tea, because by the time I'd renovated it to a state where it was usable, she was too sick to leave her condo. And certainly too weak to handle the capers of my annoying dog.
It makes me sad to think of this, but also -- the flowers are beautiful. Looking at them and thinking of Stacy is not a bad thing.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
-->Stacy in Rome
Originally uploaded by nonesuch Stacy died this weekend after a five-year struggle with three bouts of cancer and the complications associated with cancer treatments. A few days ago in her blog, she talked about her struggle to breathe and her desire to visit Machu Picchu if her lungs ever recover.
"And when I'm dead, please don't philosophize
Or feel regret
Just remember me when I said
I had one hell of a life
One hell of a life
I had one hell of a life..."
(Katell Keineg, "One Hell of a Life")
Friday, February 15, 2008
6 degrees of cupcake
(I know! Exciting, right?!)
Well, not famous-famous, like your mom would recognize his name, but famous like he made a black-and-white indie film that inspired many young adults to quit meaningless McJobs and strike out on a quest for creative fulfillment. Or like, to wish they could, you know? If it weren't for all the bills.
The reason the cupcakes have great personal meaning for me is that I once asked this famous person to marry me and he said YES (I have a witness), but then he reneged and ran off shortly thereafter to marry a hot journalist whom he had been dating. Men are so fickle. Bastards.
Anyway, having obtained one of the cupcakes via mysterious means (actually, it's fairly straightforward, but I'm keeping it a mystery for the romance of it all), I have done the obvious thing and enshrined it in my office as a tribute to lost love. It rests in state on my windowsill in a clear plastic bakery sarcophagus. All alone. FOR ETERNITY. Or until something starts to grow on it (ick).
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
the illusion of control
I had to displace a shoebox full of door hardware; 12 kinds of adhesive (seriously); some flashlights with dead batteries; a bag stapled shut which contained a remote control, warranty card, and owners manual for an air conditioner; many kinds of outlet covers; a broken scissors; picture hanging wire... the list just goes on and on. I mean, do those things belong in a kitchen? No! So I ruthlessly dumped them all into a Target bag, wiped the drawer clean, carefully lined it with adhesive cork liner (which has always suggested the height of kitchen drawer luxury to me, as if the housewares therein were of such fine quality that they had to be tenderly cushioned against the stress of *sitting in a drawer*), and arranged my tupperware in the drawer so that it could still close. And took a picture.
Now, ignore for the moment that the bulging Target bag is hanging on the doorknob of the closet in the hallway, where its numerous sharp corners graze my leg daily, and the broken scissors are slowly emerging from an enlarging hole. Disregard the fact that as a single person living alone, I rarely cook, and when I do cook I have no leftovers because I have a dog who has perfected the canine facial expression that means, "I am adorable... and STARVING!"
The important thing about this drawer is that it exists. Clean. Tidy. There is a container for every purpose and a lid for every container. Superfluous, stained, lidless, or hard to clean containers have been banished. And if it should ever happen that I have too much of a good thing (Pennies from heaven? It's raining men?), then I will be prepared to store some of it for later.
So although life itself remains a series of random and scary events over which I have minimal control, I have struck a small blow against the chaos. Or at least distracted myself momentarily from the chaos, which is equally good, I'm sure.