Monday, November 30, 2009

New Blog

Just as an FYI, I have indeed moved my blog to wordpress.   For current content, please check it out!  I will leave up the old posts here for archive purposes. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blogger vs. Wordpress?

I'm toying with the idea of moving my blog over to Wordpress, and expanding the content to include more psychology-type topics as well.  (Reducing mental / metaphysical waste?)  I haven't decided yet.  It looks like quite the learning curve, but the features seem more robust than my current platform.  It would also be substantial rework to move my existing content (such as it is!).  I need a decision making matrix of some sort!

I haz a sad

I lost my MARC train ticket for October. I managed to lose it after only having used it ONCE. This, ladies and gentlemen, is an extremely obvious example of waste. I spent three solid days tearing apart my house looking for it. I made three different phone calls to see if someone had turned it in at various locations - and I HATE making phone calls. No sign of the MARC ticket anywhere.

Clearly I need a better system for keeping track of it! I tried putting the ticket in a large plastic sleeve to make it easier to find in my purse, but I think that ultimately worked against me: since it was so large it was constantly in my way, and I couldn't stash it away safely in the zippered pocket inside my purse.

(On a metaphysical note, I truly believe that EVERYTHING that happens in life happens for a reason, but even my positive cheery self is having a hard time seeing the greater meaning behind this little mishap!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Exact Same! Except Totally Different!

With the official start of fall last week, I've started to feel a resurgence of interest in my garden. Most of the summer it was too hot, or too wet, or too bug-infested for me to spend the proper amount of time and attention on my little plot. Who knows how much awesomer it could have been if I'd actually worked on all...during July and August?

My tomatoes are basically toast at this point, and I'm not talking about bruschetta. The wet spring made them all catch early blight, and I didn't think they would make it. Well, most of them have survived, although at this point they are so sick that none of the fruit will ripen. It starts to rot around the stem before the fruit ever gets ripe. So needless to say - in the spirit of NO WASTE! - I'm making green tomato chutney today.

Here's the original recipe I based my version on. Only thing is, I'm missing a lot of the ingredients! So here is my as-made version:

2 - 3 lbs green tomatoes, chopped
1/2 Spanish yellow onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 t ground ginger
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for about 45 minutes, until mixture is thickened, tasting a few times and adding more of anything to taste. Remove from heat, let it cool, then store in the fridge.

I'll be using it on a pork loin roast for dinner tonight. YUM!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

OK, this isn't quite as wonderful as Starbucks, but given that I would have to drive 20 minutes for a fix, here's the do-it-yourself pumpkin spice latte I made this morning. Much cheaper AND fewer calories.

Strong, dark coffee - 8 oz
Milk to taste (I used 2%; whole milk would have made it a lot creamier)
Pumpkin pie spices to taste - about 1/4 teaspoon
2 packets of Splenda

Like I said, it's not an exact match. But it will do the job!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For The Record...

Irritant Contact Dermatitis and Allergic Contact Dermatitis are two different skin conditions.

Irritant CD occurs when you get prickled or scratched by something - let's say, a squash plant's spines - and the scratches get red and itchy and swell up. After a day or so, the swelling goes away and you've got little scratches which heal up as scratches do.

Allergic CD is often associated with poison ivy and other plants of that ilk. Guess what? Cucumber plants can also cause it for some people. Allergic CD is characterized by bumps and welts that itch like the dickens. It lasts for many days, and you're plagued by the constant need to scratch. I didn't realize this when pulling out the dying cucumber vines, and so didn't wash off my arms right away. In fact, not only did it have time to set, but it got on the inside of the sleeves of a jacket I wore later that day, and I suspect perpetuated my itchiness. I've never gotten poison ivy before, so it was quite an eye opener!

Who knew that garden variety vegetable plants could be so noxious!

Cheap trick: to save the costs of calamine lotion and antihistamines, wear gloves and a light-weight long-sleeved shirt while gardening!

Friday, August 21, 2009

PhotoRec FTW!

I just lost a LOT of personal files on a free thumb drive that turned out to be corrupt! Warning to everyone not to use a free, give-away, swag thumb drive for anything that is actually important, since these are apparently pretty cheap.

ANYWAY, I manage to recover a LOT of files using PhotoRec. Not everything - there's some pictures of my kids missing, alas - but a lot more than PC Inspector. Recover Files couldn't even tell there was a disk there (I guess it's better for straight forward file deletion, rather than fatal disk errors).

Kudos to the team over at CGSecurity. Not the easiest tool to use ever, but it worked so hey! I'm for it!

(And this counts as "waste not", btw, because I didn't just throw out the corrupt thumb drive - I managed to get files off it. And NOW I'm going to clean it and toss it, since this is *blush* the second time it's corrupted files on me...)