Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Oona under the tree. Both cats spent a lot of time there. I also took pictures of Oona in a little Santa hat, but her face was so far down none of them turned out. :)



Logan says, "Huh?"



Dylan in his antlers. Doesn't he look happy?



My pretty tree.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lighting of the Santa



Here are some videos from the lighting of the Santa.

This is just to give you an idea of the crowd. People come out in all kinds of weather. Live music. Speeches. Free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like? :)


The Big Guy arrives via fire engine and makes his way through the crowd.


The countdown and lighting! I circled the crowd a little faster this time because my battery was dying!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Festival 2009

I meant to post these ages ago, but oh well! From this year's Gingerbread Festival at the Historical Museum. If you click on any picture, it will open larger so you can see detail better.





















This one was done by my friend Erin's mother or mother-in-law, I can't remember which. Mother-in-law, I think. Pretty amazing.


This was done by one of the girls in the knitting group at Sarah Jane's Yarn Shoppe and her grandmother. The lamp, the picture frame, everything is gingerbread or edible items!


This is a close-up detail of the table. The table is made out of gingerbread, too!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ding Dong

So I got Marshmallow Lovers cocoa and made myself a cup the other day. It was those little tear-apart packages where you open the little pouch to get your cocoa powder. And there were NO marshmallows in the package. I was really irritated and thought about writing a nasty email to the company.

So I went to have a cup of Marshmallow Lovers cocoa today and discovered the marshmallows are in the attached package. I thought they were two packets of cocoa. No. One packet of cocoa and one packet of marshmallows.

Color me embarrassed. Ding dong, the ditz gets red!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Finished Catching Fire

Sigh. I finished the book last night. It was soooooooooo good! The third book in the trilogy, The Victors, is not due out until sometime in 2010 - crap! I want to read it noooooowwwwwwww!

If you have not yet started to read The Hunger Games and its sequel Catching Fire, you really should. They are classified as YA lit, but I think adults should find them appealing as well - I do! They are fast reads and hard to put down. I was trying to describe the plot to Kevin and I know I did a horrible job, but there is so much that happens!

Lionsgate has acquired the movie rights to the books. If you have read them, who do you see in the roles? I am a little concerned because Lionsgate has been the distributor of such films as Saw and lots of films I have never heard of that have such thrilling titles as Serial Killing 4 Dummies. Hmm. A little trepidation here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catching Fire

I have started reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. It is the second of the Hunger Games books. I was reading over my lunch hour and laughing, not because the book is funny - because it's not! - but because I was just so excited to be reading a book I was enjoying so much! I have spent the entire thing so far trying to read faster and faster to see what happens next! Do I want Katniss to be in love with Gale or Peeta? Who will survive? What will happen in the District? Will Katniss and Peeta get thrown into the new Hunger Games as part of the anniversary celebrations? Their families? WHAT WILL HAPPEN!!!!! I can't stand it!

But if you know, don't tell me. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Commercial I Hate

I am always whining on here about commercials, I know. But does this one bother anyone else? It's for Liberty Mutual and it shows a deer staggering across the road and a couple in a minivan or SUV and the whole front end of the car is smashed in and the wheels are crooked and everything. Every time I see it, I wonder really, how realistic is this that the deer is walking away without a scratch but the car looks like it has been hit by a semi.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Useless Trivia

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information

Alberta, Canada, has been completely free of rats since 1905.

The fastest tennis serve ever recorded was that of Bill Tilden, in 1931, which was measured at 163.6 miles per hour.

In 1956 the Physical Culture and Sports Commission of communist China recognized the sport of hand-grenade throwing.

Tabasco sauce is made by fermenting vinegar with hot peppers in a French oak barrel, which has three inches of salt on top and is aged for three years until all the salt is defused through the barrel.

You cannot taste food unless it is mixed with saliva. This is true of all foods.

It takes seventy-five thousand crocus flowers to produce one pound of saffron - which is why it is the most expensive spice in the world.

The Ramses condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II, who fathered more than 160 children.

America's first manufactured condoms appeared in 1870 and were made of vulcanized rubber. They were thick, insensitive, and intended to be reused.

In ancient Rome, men found guilty of rape had their testicles crushed between two stones as a punishment.

In 75 percent of American households, the women manage the money and pay the bills.

Eighty-three percent of people hit by lightning are men.

Sixty-seven percent of dog owners buy holiday gifts for their pet. Forty-five percent of cat owners buy a holiday gift for their pet.

It's Official

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thought of the Day

When I am driving and I see a car like mine, I often wonder if it is me driving the car in some sort of time warp, so I always try to see the driver. I also wonder what I would do if I did see myself driving the other car. Would I try to talk to the other-time me? Give a previous me advice on upcoming events? Find out from a future me what I should do next? I do not know why I have this random thought. I just always have. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Medical Trivia

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information

The average talker sprays about three hundred microscopic saliva drops per minute - about two and a half droplets per word.

Fingernails grow nearly four times faster than toenails.

Your right lung takes in more air than your left lung.

A third of all cancers are sun-related.

Babies are born without kneecaps. They do not appear until the child reaches two to six years of age.

When you sneeze, all your bodily functions stop - including your heart.

The human body creates enough pressure to quirt blood thirty feet.

Your hearing becomes less sharp after eating too much.

Doctors in Florida found that patients undergoing certain operations bled twice as quickly when the moon was in its second quarter.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

Women started removing hair from their legs in 400BCE. They either plucked them with tweezers or singed them with a flame.

Women's hearts beat faster than men's.

Men get hiccups more often than women do.

Women blink twice as often as men do.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Commercials I Hate

I was sick last week and over the weekend with, as Wil has called it, The Heiney Flu (H1N1) - and that is self-diagnosed because I figure if a doctor can call anything with flulike symptoms the H1N1, then so can I - and I got in a lot of quality tv watching. Actually, I had Lifetime on watching marathons of this season's Project Runway, which gets a little old the third time you've seen it, but I did not have the energy to channel surf.

Anyway, I got to see some really annoying commercials. These were my favorites.

Turbo Drain Snake. Okay, it's a mascara brush on a piece of tubing. Seriously, people. And what's with the woman who suddenly seems surprised to find herself standing ankle deep in water when she's trying to take a shower? Did she not notice the water before it reached her ankles? Is she afraid there are piranha in there? She is unnaturally concerned.

The Bowflex Treadclimber. I could not find an example of this commercial, though I did find that lots of people want to know who the blonde actress in the commercial is. I can only assume it is because she appears to be so freakishly bowlegged. I believe this is due to her overusage of the Bowflex Treadclimber, which has two separate treads so you can walk like a funky monkey and get faster results that a traditional treadmill, which, of course, are only used as coat racks.

Activstyle Incontinence. I am not sure if this is the same commercial I saw, because my sound is muted right now, but there was an Activstyle Incontinence commercial on that was playing slow, sexy jazz in the background. I found it most disturbing.

In other news, Project Runway is going well and I am enjoying it. I just wish I could see older seasons as well. Psst, Lifetime - Doing the marathon thing every weekend doesn't work so well when you've only got one season to show and you have not finished that one season yet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making the Stairs Fun

Sandy told me about this and sent me a link to an article and the video. I am embedding the video here.



If you're interested in the article, it's here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Again with the Trivia

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information

Very tall buildings naturally lean toward the course of the sun.

Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

The growth rate of some bamboo plants can reach three feet a day.

So far, man has survived on earth for two million years. The dinosaurs lasted 150 million years.

You can avoid sinking in quicksand by lying on your back and raising your legs slowly.

Raindrops are not teardrop-shaped; they are rounded at the top and flat on the bottom.

"And as Mansell comes into the pits, he's quite literally sweating his eyeballs out." British TV commentator

In Gone with the Wind, Melanie's prgenancy lasts twenty-one months based on the actual battles mentioned.

Charles Dickens penned in Puny Pete, Little Larry, and Small Sam before settling on Tiny Tim for his crippled child in A Christmas Carol.

A trilemma is a dilemma with a third alternative.

Picasso's full name was Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso.

The Irish baron of Kinsale has the privilege of retaining his hat in the presence of royalty.

In the early days of Hollywood, Western sets were made to seven-eighths scale to make the heroes seem larger.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Doggie Drama

So, you may already know that a couple of weeks ago Dad was working in my back yard and left the gate open and their dog Asia and my dog Logan got out and had themselves a little adventure. They crossed not one, not two, but four major busy streets and wound up at Reservoir Park, where Asia decided to take a little dip in the cement pond and couldn't get out. Animal Care and Control was called about a "dog drowning in the pond" and she was rescued, but no sign of Logan. Finally, after Mom, Dad, and I driving around for an hour looking for them, Dad returned to his home to find Logan sitting on their front porch (crossing three major busy streets to get back from the park). A very wet and stinky Asia was liberated from Animal Care and Control and we told the dogs they could not have any more adventures for a few years.

Last weekend Mom and I went to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle in Michigan and up into Canada to see a play at the Stratford Festival. Logan was boarded. When we got home, I had a doctor's appointment and Mom picked up Logan from the vet's office and brought him home. Mom and I were out front with the dogs planting tulip bulbs and Logan started to have dry heaves. I took him inside and noticed his sides along his rib cage were really distended.

I called the vet's office and while I was on hold, Logan started panting like he was hurting or having trouble breathing, so I decided I was taking him in right then. The vet called me on my way there and asked for the symptoms again and when I told her she said it sounded like he might have a twisted stomach. Apparently in large breed dogs (and I have always considered Logan to be medium-sized), if they get overly excited (like spending a weekend barking and then coming home from boarding and jumping and running and being crazy) or eat too quickly, they can take in too much air and their stomachs will twist over on themselves. Sounds gruesome and it is - it catches the spleen in there and it does not untwist on its own, but requires surgery. It can be fatal, and sometimes the spleen and part of the stomach has to be removed.

When I got to the vet's office she immediately took him back for x-rays and confirmed that was the problem. So I took him to the emergency animal hospital for emergency surgery. That was Monday.

The indications are that I caught it right away, because they did not have to remove his spleen or any of his tummy. While at the hospital, his vitals were good but his blood was not clotting very quickly and he was having some bleeding issues so they had to give him plasma to help his clotting times. His platelets were also low. However, he did finally start to eat a bit and once hey moved him from a cage to a run, his attitude relaxed and he started to improve.

I got to bring him home on Thursday. Poor little guy. He's on four different medications - something to help coat his tummy, something to fight indigestion, an antibiotic, and a painkiller. He has 22 staples down his tummy on the outside, and on the inside he has had his stomach stapled to the abdominal wall so his stomach cannot twist again in the future.

Here you can see the bruising from when he had his bleeding issue.



The staples go all the way from about an inch below the top of the bruising to the base of his Puppy Part, so you can see they really had to open him up quite a bit. :(



He came home, I took him out and then gave him one of his medications, and in the time it took me to heat some mac and cheese for myself, he was on the couch asleep. The medications have to be staggered, and one has to be given with food, so our schedule it all out of whack. The first night he came home I wasn't able to fall asleep until after 2am and then I had to get up at 5 to give him medication - ugh!

Dylan has been licking his head and both cats have been sniffing at him curiously. I wondered if they would hiss at him since he was gone so long and came back smelling of hospital, but they seemed to know who he was.

Logan is also restricted from exertion until the staples come out next week, and that's already been a chore because he stands with his front paws on the counter at the vet's office, he was trying to jump on Mom and me when we picked him up, and he was very excited to be back home. I have to take him in the back yard on the leash so he doesn't try to chase cats or run from gate to gate, like he sometimes does, but after one really horrid attempt at me helping him get on the bed at night, where he ended up bumping his belly on the bed, we have decided he can jump on and off the bed on his own.

This also means no playing with Asia for a while. We are going to keep them apart from playing until the end of the month, but I think we can probably try to take them for a walk around the block together, once the staples come out. This means Logan won't be able to go to Mom and Dad's during the day, and he won't be happy about that, but hopefully the time will go fast and he won't have any more problems!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I love me some trivia

from The Best Book of Useless Information Ever

One of the country of Liechtenstein's main exports is dental products.

In Tokyo, the cost of placing a three-line classified ad in the newspaper is $3,625 per day.

The annual Notting Hill Carnival is the second largest carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro's.

In Kenya, people don't drive on the right or left side of the street in particular, just on whichever side is smoother.

Saunas outnumber cars in Finland.

The New York Jets were once unable to find hotel rooms for a game in Indianapolis because they had all been booked up by people attending Gencon, a gaming convention.

Vaimonkanto, or "wife carrying," is a popular sport. The championship games are held annually in Sonkajarvi, Finland.

A helicopter installed the world's largest Olympic torch on top of the Calgary tower. The flame was visible for 10 to 12 miles and required 30,000 cubic feet of natural gas per hour.

Researchers have found that doctors who spend at least three hours a week playing video games make about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery than surgeons who didn't play video games at all.

The only golf course on the island of Tonga has fifteen holes and there's no penalty if a monkey steals your golf ball.

More than 50 percent of people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

The Church of England has appointed its first web pastor to oversee a new parish that will exist only on the net.

Spam filters that catch the word "Cialis" will not allow many work-related emails through because that word is embedded inside the word "specialist."

It took approximately 2.5 million stones to build the Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and largest of the pyramids on the Giza Plateau, and the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World. If you disassembled it, you would get enough stones to encircle the earth with a brick wall twenty inches high.

The rain in New York carries so much acid from pollution that it has killed all the fish in two hundred lakes in the Adirondack State Park.

A coal-mine fire in Haas Canyon, Colorado, was ignited by spontaneous combustion in 1916 and withstood al efforts to put it out. The 900- to 1,700-degree fire was eventually quenched by heat-resistant foam mixed with grout in 2000.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kevin meets Mr. Lincoln

Very exciting news from the Fort today... The Lincoln Library, recent;ly acquisitioned by ACPL, will be unshadowing the collection this week so members of the public may schedule appointments to go in and view really old, musty and important stuff.



Kevin shows pleasure at getting to speak with the man behind all the brouhaha, none other than Mr. Lincoln himself, looking rather good for having been dead a kaboodle of years. You can almost see the stars in Kevin's eyes and hear the wheels turning in his head as he longs to ask the former president if the press gave news their own spin back in the day the way they do now. Alas, Lincoln cannot speak, so overwhelmed is he by the release of such historically important documents!



(Oh, and those bodies on the floor? We won't go into that right now. Something about protestors, I don't know.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Useless Info about Animals

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information

It is illegal in Alaska to give a moose an alcoholic drink.

A full-grown bear can run as fast as a horse over short distances.

The opening to the cave in which a bear hibernates is always on a northern slope.

Shrews and platypuses are the only mammals that are poisonous.

Other than humans, black lemurs are the only primates that may have blue eyes.

Human birth-control pills work on gorillas.

A lion's roar can be heard from five miles away.

Giraffes have no vocal cords.

The dumbest dogs in the world are Afghan hounds.

City dogs live about three years longer than country dogs.

Toy-dog breeds live an average seven years longer than large breeds.

Nose prints are the most reliable way of identifying dogs.

Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

A cat has thirty-two muscles in each ear.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Movie Trivia

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

Cary Grant was offered the role of James Bond and refused it before the producers offered it to Sean Connery.

David Niven's voice had to be dubbed in on Curse of the Pink Panther by Canadian impersonator Rich Little. Niven was so ill while filming that he could not speak.

Film star Audrey Hepburn was fluent in English, French, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, and Italian, and was a member of the Dutch Resistance in World War II at age 15.

The longest film title was Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror f the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh-Eating, Hellbound Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D in 1991.

As of December 2007, the Disney film Toy Story 2 is the only film to have more then 100 positive reviews and no negative reviews on the popular film review website www.rottentomatoes.com.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Brad, I'm Mad for You!

Why do I have this obsession with brads?????

For those of you not in the know, brads are those little pieces you put through a hole in a stack of papers and you bend one end to hold the papers together. Scrapbookers and card-makers use them for decoration.

I neither scrapbook nor make cards, but I have purchased many sets of brads for friends who do, because every time I see them I just want to own them!

(See brads here: http://www.bobunny.com/summer09pdfs/11.doubledotbrads.pdf)

I have the same kind of obsession with knobs. Cabinet drawer knobs, dresser drawer knobs, etc. I could see myself getting in over my head for light pulls, too, or other things of that nature.

We won't even talk about beads. And I don't mean Swarovski crystals, either - I like all kinds of beads (except those really obviously cheap plastic ones).

I had a couple of people over last weekend to make soap and went gaga over the mica in the soap kit. I said it was like faerie dust. Little tiny motes of sparkle. Wonderful!

What are some little odd things you go crazy for that make no sense and are maybe not entirely useful and are way too expensive to indulge yourself in?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Insect Trivia

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information

Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue more than twice as much as to any other single color.

The average caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head.

The mayfly lives only six hours, but its eggs take three years to hatch.

Only two animal species wage war on their own kind - ants and humans.

Termites can eat through wood twice as fast when listening to rock music.

Slugs travel at a top speed of .007 miles per hour, can stretch to eleven times their length, and have twenty-seven thousand teeth to help eat their food.

A snail can sleep for three years.

The world's termites outweight the world's humans by ten to one.

Some ribbon worms wil eat themselves if they cannot find food.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Useless Trivia!

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

The Chinese invented eyeglasses. Marco Polo reported seeing many pairs worn by the Chinese as early as 1275, 500 years before lens grinding became an art in the West.

The windmill originated in Iran in AD 644 and was used to grind grain.

When airplanes were still a novel invention, seat belts for pilots were installed only after the consequence of their absence was observed to be fatal - several pilots fell to their deaths while flying upside down.

Kleenex tissues were originally invented to remove makeup. Maybe that's why they're still called "facial tissues."

The first commercial vacuum cleaner was so large it was mounted on a wagon.

The first VCR, made in 1956, was the size of a piano.

Alexander Graham Bell applied for the patent on the telephone three days before he got it to work. Had Bell waited until he had a working model, Elisha Gray, who filed a patent application the same day, would have been awarded the patent. But the telephone system used today is technically more like that described in Gray's patent.

The bestselling chocolate bar in Russia is Snickers.

Per capita, the Irish eat more chocolate than Americans, Swedes, Danes, French, and Italians.

Vanilla is the extract of fermented and dried pods of several species of orchids.

Carrots have the highest vitamin A content of all vegetables.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BMV ARGH

So I went to the BMV this morning to renew my driver's license. It expires Thursday of this week.

The BMV website now has a feature where you can schedule an appointment and they get you in and out within a half hour. So I scheduled an appointment for 9am. I got there at 8:40.

Everything was going swimmingly until they actually tried to print out my driver's license. There were two printers and one was printing just fine but the other was queued up and doing nothing. I sat there for 20 minutes after she told me it would be a minute and then someone noticed me still sitting there. Apparently they cannot fix this on location but had to call the Indianapolis office to take care of it. And apparently the Indy office was too busy to get to it right then. So I waited another 20 minutes and started throwing a fit. Well, not at first. I started throwing a fit when they told me they would give me a refund and I could come back another day.

Eventually they managed to delete the job waiting in the queue and then had to retake my picture - so I now have an angry photo on my license. ARGH!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Buckwheat Zydeco

Edith and I went to the Botanical Gardens on Friday to attend the Buckwheat Zydeco concert. I had not heard of them before but Edith was very enthusiastic about going. The event was moved from the BG to the Civic parking garage due to the threat of rain, and it was a good thing because it did pour in the middle of the concert. It worked out well, though, because we went up on one of the higher levels and could look down, like being on a balcony. I got a nice shot of the crowd at the end of one of the songs. I will definitely go again! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Critter Trivia

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information

Sharks can detect the heartbeats of other fish.

In the Caribbean there are oysters that can climb trees.

The rattlesnake has the best heat-detecting equipment in nature. Using the two organs between its eyes and nostrils it can locate a mouse by its body heat at a distance of fifteen miles.

Iguanas, koalas, and Komodo dragons all have two penises.

The tip of an elephant's trunk is so sensitive and flexible that it can pick up a pin.

Most elephants weigh less than the tongue of the blue whale.

An elephant's trunk can hold 4 gallons of water.

The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand, weighing less than a penny.

Armadillos and humans are the only animals that can get leprosy.

Armadillos can walk under water.

The sloth can starve to death even with a plentiful supply of food if there are too many cloudy days in a row. It needs sunshine to raise its body temperature so that the bacteria in its stomach are warm enough to digest the food it eats. It can take up to four days to digest even a single stomachful of food.

The brachiosaurus had a heart the size of a pickup truck.

Most hamsters blink one eye at a time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Alcohol Trivia

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

The strongest that any alcohol beverage can be is 190 proof (or 95 percent alcohol). At a higher proof, the beverage draws moisture from the air and self-dilutes.

Studying the experimentally induced intoxicated behavior of ants in 1888, naturalist John Lubbock noticed that insects that had too much to drink were picked up by nest mates and carried home. Conversely, drunken stranger ants were summarily tossed in a ditch.

Alcohol consumption decreases during the time of the full moon.

One glass of milk can give person a .02 blood alcohol concentration on a Breathalyzer test, enough in some states for persons under the legal drinking age to lose their driver's license or be fined.

Unlike wines, most beers should be stored upright to minimize oxidation and metal or plastic contamination from the cap. High-alcohol ales, however, which continue to ferment in their corked bottles, should be stored on their sides.

Nine people were killed and two houses destroyed on October 17, 1814, when a brewery tank containing 3,500 barrels of beer ruptured and created a giant wave.

According to a diary entry from a passenger on the Mayflower, the pilgrims made their landing at Plymouth Rock rather than continue to their destination in Virginia due to a lack of beer.

In Bangladesh, $5 will buy a beer... or a first-class train ticket for a cross-country trip.

If a young Tiriki man offers beer to a woman and she spits some of it into his mouth, they are engaged to be married.

Among the Bagonda people of Uganda, the widows of a recently deceased king have the distinctive honor of drinking the beer in which his entrails have been cleaned.

Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States, by act of Congress.

A mixed drink with a carbonated beverage is absorbed into the body more quickly than straight shots are.

British wine is different from English wine. British wine is made from imported grapes; English wine is not.

The vintage date on a bottle of wine indicates the year the grapes were picked, not the year of bottling.

Poor soil tends to produce better wines.

The entire production of kosher wine, including cultivation of the grapes, must be performed by Sabbath-observant Jews, and it remains kosher only if opened and poured by an orthodox Jew.

Vikings used the skulls of their enemies as drinking vessels.

In Uruguay, intoxication is a legal excuse for having an accident while driving.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Food Trivia

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

Banana plants... are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms.

Bananas have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.

The number of seeds in a pumpkin can be accurately determined, give or take 10 seeds, by multiplying the number of fruiting sections by 16.

Lemons have more sugar than oranges.

Grapes explode when put in the microwave.

To make haggis, the national dish of Scotland, take the heart, liver, lungs, and small intestine of a calf or sheep, boil them in the stomach of the animal, season with salt, pepper, and onions, and add suet and oatmeal.

Water is the official state beverage of Indiana.

A common drink for Tibetans is butter tea, which is made out of butter, salt, and brick tea.

Pigturducken is a pig, stuffed with a turkey, which is stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, deep fried in oil.

The largest item on any menu in the world is probably the roast camel, sometimes served at Bedouin wedding feasts. The camel is stuffed with a sheep's carcass, which is stuffed with chickens, which are stuffed with fish, which are stuffed with eggs.

China's Beijing Duck Restaurant can seat 9,000 people at one time.

A turkey should never be carved until it has been out of the oven at least 30 minutes. This permits the inner cooking to subside and the internal meat juices to stop running. Once the meat sets, it's easier to carve clean, neat slices.

The world's deadliest mushroom is the Amanita phalloides, the death cap. The five different poisons contained by the mushroom cause diarrhea and vomiting within six to twelve hours of ingestion. This is followed by damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system - and, in the majority of cases, coma and death.

In South Africa, termites are often roasted and eaten by the handful, like pretzels or popcorn.

According to many who've tried them, beetles taste like apples, wasps like pine nuts, and worms like fried bacon.

A pound of houseflies contains more protein than a pound of beef.

Van Camp's Pork and Beans were a staple food for Union soldiers in the Civil War.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Coffee Trivia

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

In 1727, using seedlings smuggled from Paris, coffee plants were first cultivated in Brazil.

The Arabs are generally believed to have been the first to brew coffee. The first commercially grown and harvested coffee originated in the Arabian Peninsula near the port of Mocha. Turkey began to roast and grind the coffee bean in the thirteenth century and, by the sixteenth century the country had become the chief distributor of coffee, with markets established in Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Venice. Coffee was first known in Europe as Arabian wine.

In the sixteenth century, Turkish women could divorce their husbands if the man failed to keep his family's pot filled with coffee.

Scandinavia has the world's highest per capita annual coffee consumption.

In Sumatra, workers on coffee plantations gather the world's most expensive coffee by following a gourmet marsupial who consumes only the choicest coffee beans. By picking through what he excretes, they obtain the world's most expensive coffee - Kopi Luwak, which sells for more than $100 per pound.

In the early 1900s, coffee was often delivered door-to-door in the United States, by horse-pulled wagon.

Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about five cups of coffee.

A scientific report from the University of California found that the steam rising from a cup of coffee contains the same amounts of antioxidants as three oranges. The antioxidants are heterocyclic compounds that prevent cancer and heart disease.

Large doses of coffee can be lethal. Ten grams, or 100 cups over four hours, can kill the average human.

Dandelion root can be roasted and ground as a coffee substitute.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Amazing Trivia

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

At the deepest point (6.8 miles), an iron ball would take more than an hour to sink to the ocean floor.

Over the years, the Niagara Falls have moved more than 7 miles from their original site.

The background radiation in Aberdeen is twice that of the rest of Great Britain.
(Sarai did not know what background radiation was, so she looked it up on Wikipedia: Background radiation is constantly present in the environment and is emitted from a variety of natural and artificial sources. Primary contributions come from:
* Sources in the earth. These include sources in food and water, which are incorporated in the body, and in building materials and other products that incorporate those radioactive sources;
* Sources from space, in the form of cosmic rays;
* Sources in the atmosphere. One significant contribution comes from the radon gas that is released from the Earth's crust and subsequently decays into radioactive atoms that become attached to airborne dust and particulates. Another contribution arises from the radioactive atoms produced in the bombardment of atoms in the upper atmosphere by high-energy cosmic rays.
-Which begs the question - What's up with Aberdeen???)

Numbering houses in London streets only began in 1764.

Within a few years of Columbus's discovery of America, the Spaniards had killed 1.5 million Indians.

In the Andes, time is often measured by how long it takes to smoke a cigarette.

The Scandinavian capital of Stockholm is built on nine islands connected by bridges.

The Tokyo World Lanes Bowling Center is the largest bowling establishment in the world, with 252 lanes.

The heaviest man recorded was Brower Minnoch of Bainbridge, Oregon, who was admitted to the hospital in Seattle saturated with fluid and suffering from heart and respiratory failure, and weighing more than 1,400 pounds. After 16 months in the hospital, he was discharged at 476 pounds, but was readmitted two years later after regaining almost 200 pounds. When he died in 1983, he weighed more than 798 pounds.

The cheetah is the fastest mammal on earth, and can accelerate from 0 to 45 miles per hour in two seconds. Top speeds of 71 miles per hour can be maintained for up to 300 yards. The fastest cheetahs have been clocked at over 90 miles an hour.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Useless Trivia!

From The Best Book of Useless Information Ever

A thirteen-year-old child found a tooth growing out of his foot in 1977.

Men without hair on their chests are more likely to get cirrhosis of the liver than men with hair.

In 1992, 5,840 people checked into emergency rooms with "pillow-related injuries" and 2,421 people checked in with injuries involving houseplants.

A study published in a 1995 issue of the Journal of Urology estimated that 600,000 men in the United States are impotent from injuries to their crotches, about 40 percent of them from too-vigorous bicycling.

Despite the large rat population in New York City, rats bite only 311 people in an average year. But 1,519 residents are bitten annually by other New Yorkers.

Two West German motorists suffered a head-on collision in heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh. Each was driving slowly near the center of the road, and at the moment of impact both their heads were out of the windows. Both men were hospitalized with severe head injuries. Their cars weren't scratched.

A Cuban man was struck by lightning five times in twenty-two years.

Male rhesus monkeys often hang from tree branches by their prehensile penises.

Finches practice songs in their sleep.

Ostriches can run faster than horses and the males can roar like lions.

The heart of a blue whale only beats nine times a minute.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Useless Trivia!

From The Best Book of Useless Information Ever

The average child recognizes more than two hundred company logos by the time he enters elementary school.

At General Motors, the cost of health care for employees now exceeds the cost of steel for cars.

In 1810, Peter Durand invented the tin can for preserving food.

Post office staff in Malaysia once found 21,000 undelivered letters stored in an apartment that used to be rented out by one of their colleagues.

Twelve percent of businessmen wear their ties so tight that they restrict the blood flow to their brains.

The screaming of an upset baby can damage hearing. Kids can scream at levels up to 90 decibels, and permanent damage can be caused at 85 decibels.

The ears secrete more earwax when you are afraid than when you aren't.

Wearing headphones for just one hour will multiply the number of bacteria in the ear 700 times.

About one-third of the human race has twenty-twenty vision.

If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die.

The three things pregnant women dream most of during their first trimester are frogs, worms, and potted plants.

In 37 percent of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

Seventy-five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

Polar bear fur is not white, it's clear. Polar bear skin is actually black. Their hair is hollow and acts like fiber optics, directing sunlight to warm their skin.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

GoodReads

I am giving GoodReads.com a try, so bear with me. I moved over all my general fiction books that are currently on my blog and if I like GoodReads, I will move all my books over.

I don't know how it all works yet. I tried to delete a couple of shelves after I couldn't find a way to edit the names I gave them, but they were still showing on my screen so I am hoping they will disappear after I sign out and sign back in. If not, does anyone know how to get rid of them?

I also tried to add friends but it didn't look like anything happened and then when I went to check my friends list it was empty, so I tried it again. Hopefully no one got multiple messages from me! If so, I'm sorry!

I tried AllConsuming as part of the Learning 2.0 process, but I was not crazy about it and only loaded a few items to it. However, I am already wondering about the restriction of GoodReads - I would like a cool place to put books AND movies (on one site). If any of you have some recommendations, I would be happy to hear from you!


UPDATE: A few minutes later!

I figured out how to delete the shelves! Yaay! :) And I now have 2 friends! Double yaay!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

From Mental Floss, July/August

I took out a subscription to Mental Floss magazine this year and so far I have been enjoying it. It has the kind of stuff I like - little short bits of information that may or may not be useful to you, but is always interesting. Here are a couple from the newest edition.

Modern Art That Saves The Planet

Who says modern art is pointless? In Minneapolis, the 30-foot tall abstract sculptures towering over the city's interstate don't just look pretty, they fight air pollution, too. The wavy structures are made from a special kind of photocatalytic concrete that actually sucks in carbon monoxide and other air pollutants. Even better, when sunlight hits the sculptures, the ultraviolet rays oxidize the offending chemicals and turn them into oxygen, water, and other compounds that don't make us wheeze. The process - which is similar to what goes on in your cars catalytic converter - keeps the sculptures pearly white and should help clean up the Twin Cities' air.


Pass Gas, Pleasantly

By now, you've probably heard that cow flatulence doesn't just smell bad; it's also bad for the environment. Cows release methane and ammonia - dangerous greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. ...A recent study by Irish scientists shows that when cows are fed a diet containing 2 percent fish oil, their gas emissions drop by 21 percent. The fish oil works to kill the methane-producing bacteria in their guts.


Twitter Your Tomatoes

If your brown thumb is killing off every potted plant in sight, get your garden on Twitter. The micro-blogging site has teamed up with a company called Botanicalls to save dying houseplants across America. Here's how it works: Botanicalls makes a leaf-shape sensor that gauges the amount of water in a plant's soil. When the plant is thirsty, it notifies its owner via Twitter. But it doesn't stop there. It also sends electronic thank-you notes when the water comes.


Zoning Out, Guilt Free!

Feeling bad about surfing the Web while you're at work? Tell your conscience to put a sock in it. According to a new study, all that browsing actually makes you more productive. Researchers at the University of Melbourne found that workers who spent up to 20 percent of their workday leisurely perusing the Internet were 9 percent more productive than their counterparts who never strayed from their assignments. The researchers theorized that the Internet gives people a way to quickly "zone out" and then return to work with renewed focus.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Naughty Trivia

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham

The first nipple rings, called bosom rings, appeared in Victorian Europe in the 1890s. They became fashionable among women, who often wore them joined together by a small gold chain.

In ancient Babylon, all women were required to serve as prostitutes in the temple before getting married.

On the island of Trobriand, a lover customarily bites off his lady friend's eyelashes.

In ancient Greece, young aristocratic wmen were deflowered by having their hymens pierced by a stone penis before marrying.

Beau Brummell started the craze for ultratight men's trousers in the early nineteenth century. Because they were so tight, the penis needed to be held to one side so as not to create an unsightly bulge. To accomplish this, some men had their penis pierced to allow it to be held by a hook on the inside of the trousers; this piercing was called a "dressing ring" because tailors would ask if a gentleman "dressed" to the left or the right and tailor the trousers accordingly. Tailors to this day will ask men if they dress to the left or the right.

The female bedbug has no sexual opening. To get around this dilemma, the male uses his curved penis to drill a vagina into the female.

Oculolinctus is a fetish whereby people are sexually aroused by licking a partner's eyeball.

When Vicks first introduced its cough drops to the German market, they were irritated to learn that the German pronunciation of "v" is "f" - which in German is the guttural equivalent of "sexual penetration." Not to be outdone, Puffs tissue tried to introduce its product, only to learn that puff in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Useless Trivia :)

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham

The most widely spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese, with 885 million speakers in China alone.

The first episode of Joanie Loves Chachi was the highest-rated U.S. television episode in the history of Korean television. Chachi is Korean for "penis."

The number 172 can be found on the back of the five-dollar bill in the bushes at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.

A pound of gold actually weighs less than a pound of feathers. The reason is that feathers are measured in avoirdupois weight in which there are 16 ounces per pound. Gold is measured in troy weight with 12 ounces per pound.

The first policewoman in the United States was Alice Wells in 1910. She was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department and was allowed to design her own uniform. (Read more on Wikipedia.)

The first woman to be elected a head of state was Sirimavo Bandaraneike in 1960, who became president of Sri Lanka.

In 1846, Albert Tirrell became the first person to successfully use sleepwalking as a defense for murder and arson in the United States. (Read more on Wikipedia.)

The first person to have his diabetes successfully treated was a 14-year old Canadian boy named Leonard Thompson, who was injected with a new discovery called insulin, at Toronto General Hospital in 1922.

The first sheets of toilet paper, each measuring two by three feet, and for use by the emporer, were introduced in China in 1391. The first toilet paper rolls were marketed by the Scott Paper Company in Philadelphia in 1879.

The world's first perfect Pac-Man game was played on July 3, 1999, by Billy Mitchell. It took him six hours to score the maximum possible 3,333,360 points by eating every fruit, Power Pellet, blue ghost, and dot for 256 boards without losing a single life. Interestingly, although the game technically has no end, the 256th and final level contains a bug that has thus far made the level impossible to finish.

Until recently, among some tribes in New Guinea it was the custom for a young fighting man to give his girlfriend a finger cut from the hand of his opponent. She wore the finger on a string around her neck.

Men can read smaller print than women.

In the Middle Ages, many people believed that stars were beams of light shining through the floor of heaven.

Harry Potter preview

I can tell from the preview where certain things have been changed from the book, which is of course to be expected, especially in a book of that length, but... I hope it's good! We've been waiting a long time!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Funny Italian Greyhound Video

I was surfing YouTube and came across this cute video of a baby and an Italian Greyhound. It cracks me up. The dog reminds me of the IG I had many years ago, Gooch Pooch (aka MacGuyver). The look on his face when the baby starts fussing is classic, and he totally distracts the baby from crying.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lincoln vs Kennedy

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both presidents' wives lost children while living in the White House.

Both were shot on a Friday.

Both were shot in the head.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded byu Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1805.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1905.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names. Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Lincoln was shot at the Ford theater.
Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln car.

Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were both shot before their trials.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More useless trivia

From The Ultimate Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham

In the movie The Right Stuff, there is a scene where a government recruiter for the Mercury Astronaut Program, played by Jeff Goldblum, is in a bar at Muroc Lake, California. His partner suggests legendary jet test pilot Chuck Yeager as a good astronaut candidate. Goldblum proceeds to badmouth Yeager, claiming they ned someone who went to college. During this conversation, the real Chuck Yeager is playing the bartender, who is standing behind the recruiters and eavesdroping. General Yeager is listed low in the movie's credits as "Fred."

The nineteen-foot-long Batmobile used in the TV series Batman, starring Adam West, only got four miles to the gallon.

Sean Connery has to have the tattoos on his arm covered by makeup when filming. The tattoos declare his love for his mom and dad, and for Scotland, which he represented in the 1952 Mr. Universe contest.

Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina state anthem.

All royal babies are baptized with water brought from the River Jordan. (Sarai presumes they mean British royal babies, since this was in a section on British royalty.)

Big Changes!

I have just been offered the Young Adult Librarian I position at the Georgetown Branch, and I accepted! Yaay!

I will be doing training of some sort in July - I need to learn the SIRSI system and I will be doing some reference training and maybe other things. My official start date in the new position will be August 3.

Because August will be the wind-down of the summer reading program and lots of people will be taking vacations, some of my training will be delayed until September, but I will get to meet with other staff at other locations to discuss YA stuff, so that will be cool.

I'm very excited!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Love Useless Trivia

From The Best Book of Useless Information Ever

Plants that are not cared for will cry for help; a thirsty plant will make a high-pitched sound that is too high for humans to hear.

A snowflake can take up to an hour to fall from the cloud to the surface of the Earth.

Due to gravitational effects, you weight slightly less when the moon is directly overhead.

The Swedish pop group ABBA once turned down an offer of $1 billion to reunite.

Oscar-winner Holly Hunter used to be a poultry judge in her native Georgia.

One Christmas, Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer gave plasma tvs to crew members who'd worked on the show for less than five years - while those who'd passed the five-year mark received Mini Cooper cars.

Woody Harrelson's father was a hitman convicted of assassinating a federal judge.

David Hasselhoff's great-uncle was Karl Hasselhoff, the inventor of inflatable sheep. (Sarai says - I don't really want to know the uses of inflatable sheep.)

During The Empire Strikes Back's famous asteroid scene, one of the deadly hurling asteroids is actually a potato.

Justin Timberlake's 2003 Christmas show in Dublin, Ireland, sold out in forty seconds.

Professional ballerinas use about twelve pairs of toe shoes per week.

Jonathan Davis, lead singer of Korn, played in his high school bagpipe band.

Without glasses, John Lennon was legally blind. (Sarai notes - me, too.)

At the end of [The Beatle's song] "A Day in the Life," an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, sounds.

It was illegal to sell E.T. dolls in France because there is a law against selling dolls without human faces.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Unlawful Behavior

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham

The United States has more laws governing sexual behavior than every country in Europe combined.

An excerpt from Kentucky state legislation: "No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club."

In Oxford, Ohio, it's illegal for a woman to strip off her clothes in front of a man's picture.

In North Carolina, it is illegal to have sex with a drunken fish.

In the state of Utah, sex with an animal - unless performed for profit - is legal.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pop Quiz

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information

1. How long did the Hundred Years' War last?
2. Which country makes Panama hats?
3. From which animal do we get catgut?
4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after which animal?
7. What was King George VI's first name?
8. What color is a purple finch?
9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?



answers:
1. 116 years
2. Ecuador
3. Sheep and horses
4. November
5. Squirrel fur
6. Dogs (Canines)
7. Albert
8. Crimson
9. New Zealand

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hot Homonyms

From The Amazing Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

The farm was used to prodice produce.

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does strange things when the does are present.

A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong for us to wind the sail.

After a number of injections, my jaw got number.

Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Up!


Kevin and I went to see Up! in 3D this evening. What fun! As Kevin said when we were leaving: "I laughed... I cried... I laughed... I cried."

I really want a sweatshirt with the image of the house aloft with all the balloons overhead.I went to the official site and they didn't have any! DUH, folks!

This is a great movie. The animation is wonderful fantastic. The 3D is not essential, but it is fun to see it that way. And we honestly did cry, a couple of times. Not bawling, though there was one little one in the theatre who was sobbing when Kevin - in the movie - was taken away. We laughed lots. The movie is heart-warming, poignant, sweet, and silly. It's a win!

We also really enjoyed the short film before the film. Something about the clouds, but I can't remember the title. Very cute.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Go see Star Trek!

I saw the new Star Trek movie with Kevin on Friday and again with my mom today. WHAT A FUN FILM!!!!!

I was not sure what to expect and was concerned that it might be just some generic action adventure flick trying to make money off an established brand name, but it was not. I have seen the original show and Star Trek Generations and I have seen a couple of the movies (my favorite was the one with the scary borg bad guys), and my feeling was that this stayed true to the characters. Kevin also said he thought there were a couple of nods to at least one of the books, and he noticed that the computer voice was done by the same person who did the voice for previous Star Trek works.

This film also had lots of humor and some great references to the original television show - SPOILER ALERT - I knew when I saw that guy in the red shirt that he was going down and not coming back up. :)

I had not paid much attention to the advertising, so I was surprised at all the faces I recognized - Kirk's mother is played by one of the actors from House, Winona Ryder is Spock's mom, Eric Bana as the bad Romulan - love Eric Bana - and Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, just to mention a few.

I smiled almost through the entire movie. I laughed, I loved the action, loved the special effects, I even felt tension though knowing - obviously - the main characters will survive. Great great great!!!!!!! Highly recommended, lots of fun. See it!

And I'm not alone:

‘Star Trek’ Makes $72.5 Million, a Franchise Record

By Michael White and Dan Hart
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- “Star Trek” opened with $72.5 million in ticket sales, the best debut in the 11-movie franchise, as fans turned out to see a new, younger crew for the Paramount Pictures Film.

“Star Trek” topped the series’ previous high, $30.7 million in first-weekend sales for 1996’s “Star Trek: First Contact,” researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

…“This was great marketing, and a great movie,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com Box-Office, in a telephone interview.

...“The trailer was incredible, and it got a lot of people excited about seeing the film. The film delivers on the promise of that trailer.”

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sarai Knits!


I finished the hat I've been knitting for my mom!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! I finished it all by myself, too! No knitter help on the final instructions (which, might I just add, the instructions for this thing were terrible!).

I did not knit it up in one night, as the knitting shop woman so optimistically told me I would be able to do. No, it took two knit-ins (7:00pm - about 1:00am), and a few hours of knitting at home to finish it, plus a bunch of false starts, but it's done! It looks GOOD! I am so proud of myself! :)

Take a look!



It's called an Interlock Hat. You knit a gray row first, then the red, then the gray, etc. Mom picked the colors.



I have such a Spears face. This is the same face my half-sister, dad, and aunt have, and the same face my Grandma used to have. I am also wearing no makeup, so I look a little wan. But you're supposed to be looking at the hat. :)



Is it not cute!!!!! Are you very impressed??? :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Get Smart, End Hunger!

I am also sending this to be put in our staff newsletter Shameless Plugs section. I already have a link to it on the right, but it's such an awesome site! :)

Visit http://www.freerice.com/

FreeRice has a word game where you are given a word and four possible definitions. Pick the right one and the site will donate 10 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. There is no penalty for guessing the wrong definition and if you get one wrong and keep on going, eventually the one you missed will pop up again so you have the chance to get it right! You can play as long as you like and there is no registration needed, no password to remember. And if vocabulary is not your thing, they also have art, chemistry, grammar, geography, math, and four foreign languages. A warning though - it is totally addictive!

From their site: Though 10 grains of rice may seem like a small amount, it is important to remember that while you are playing, so are thousands of other people at the same time. It is everyone together that makes the difference. Thanks to you, FreeRice has generated enough rice to feed millions of people since it started in October 2007. The rice is paid for by the sponsors whose names you see on the bottom of your screen when you enter a correct answer. These sponsors support both learning (free education for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sarai gets Stitches!



This is what doing the dishes by hand will do if you're not careful. A word to the wise - never insert your hand inside a glass to wash it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Big Move

Edith moved to a cute little house this weekend. Her friend Lizzy's grandmother was just moved to assisted living and her family is renting the house to Edith - at a great price, which I won't share because it would just make you sick to death.

The neighborhood is nice. I saw 5 people walking their retrievers and labradors while we moved stuff out of the truck. There were also joggers and groups of young adults. Someone stopped by and welcomed her to the neighborhood.

The house is great. There is a living/dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, bedroom, bathroom, utility room (complete with extra, corner-fitted toilet), craft room, and a sun room that rocks. There is a fenced in back yard with some rose bushes.

The light fixtures are really over the top, and the wallpaper in the breakfast nook and the bedroom would drive me batty, but it also has these really awesome features like a toothbrush holder that hides behind the wall, glasstop stove, drawer dishwashers (yes, 2), a gas fireplace... Closets everywhere. It really is envy-inspiring.

There are also a few pieces of furniture left in the house until relatives come to take them, including a grand piano. But Edith's stuff has been moved in and she is making herself at home. She's very excited! :) Yaay!!!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is why Romance has a bad name

So I was shelving fiction this morning and there seemed to be an unnatural number of paperback romances on the cart, and I happened to start noticing the titles. It was hard not to notice the titles. So I had to look more up over my lunch hour, because they were really too hilarious to ignore. A small sampling:


The Spaniard's virgin housekeeper
Marrying the virgin nanny
Desert prince, defiant virgin
The ruthless magnate's virgin mistress
Virgin for the billionaire's taking
Bought: the Greek's innocent virgin
The Spaniard's defiant virgin
The Greek tycoon's virgin mistress
The billionaire's virgin mistress
The sheikh's convenient virgin
The Spanish duke's virgin bride
The sultan's virgin bride
Taken: the Spaniard's virgin
The desert king's virgin bride
The Greek's virgin
Forbidden: the billionaire's virgin princess

Now, these are contemporary romances put out by Harlequin. (I guess I should not use the phrase "put out" after listing those titles.) And those are not all of the titles I found under the search. (Those are all from 2009 and 2008, by the way, lest you believe I am tainting the pool by pulling from books published in the 1940s.)

In reviewing the titles, I think it is clear that they played a name game to come up with them. Man = Spaniard, Greek, sheikh, billionaire, etc. Woman = virgin. For kicks, they would throw in a princess, bride, or mistress every now and again. Just to mix it up, keep it real.

I was gleefully horrified by the titles, so instead of searching for the search term "virgin," I typed in "Harlequin." Some of the other titles don't even make sense:


The Sicilian's ruthless marriage revenge

What does that even mean??? Is that a sentence?

These were some of the ones I found particularly horrifying/creepy. Enjoy:



The Italian's ruthless marriage command
Pleasure, pregnancy and a proposition
The Greek's million-dollar baby bargain
Housemaid heiress
The prince's waitress wife
The boss's bedroom agenda
The rancher's runaway princess
Bought for the Sicilian Billionaire's bed
Pregnant: father wanted
His mistress, his terms
The Mediterranean billionaire's blackmail bargain
Ruthlessly bedded by the Italian billionaire
Spanish doctor, pregnant nurse
Billionaire doctor, ordinary nurse
Bought for revenge, bedded for pleasure
The millionaire's inexperienced love-slave
Purchased: his perfect wife
Housekeeper at his beck and call
Promoted : Secretary to bride!


I just have to add: shame on you, Harlequin! What horrible titles! I don't even want to think about the books themselves! Ick!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Applicant OMG

So if you saw a position whose title was "Teen Reader," what would you think?

Would you think you had to perhaps be a teenager?

Would you think if you were in your 40s that you might not qualify as a teenager?

Apparently not.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Psych

Have you guys ever seen the tv show psych? It's on USA, which also does Monk, Burn Notice, and The Closer, all of which I enjoy.

psych has two friends, Gus and Shawn. They have been friends since they were kids, and Gus is staid and serious and smart and Shawn is a goofball who pretends to be psychic but actually figures out clues through careful observation of little things other people don't notice.

I checked out a couple of DVDs from the library and have been watching them this evening, and they're just too, too funny.

The first I watched, which I believe is the first episode of season 2, has Tim Curry as a guest star (I love Tim Curry). It's based around a show called American Duo, which is a takeoff on American Idol, with Tim Curry playing the Simon Cowell (or whatever his name is - I don't watch) part of snotty, superior Brit. The whole episode was funny but at the end Shawn and Gus did the song - I was going to describe it, but it will be much funnier if you just watch it yourself. :)

When they find a dead body, they scream like little girls.

I don't know. It's just a fun, funny show and I had to share my joy.

:)

My Friend Lynn

I have to give a shout out to Lynn in England.

Lynn is terribly funny. I adore Lynn's sense of humor and she always makes me laugh. I asked her once if she got tired trying to think of funny things and she assured me it came to her without difficulty. Lynn sent me a piece of her wedding cake (from England), which I still have in its little box on my shelf. Lynn quit her job, sold her flat, and traveled around the world, and not to places like Paris or Rome, but to places like Siberia and hotels with no running water and giant cockroaches as roomies.

She also went with Edith and I while she was on her America trek to Shipshewana to choose material to make an outfit to create a Pimpin Ken and Ho-Bag Barbie for my friend Jan in California, who collects Barbies and needed something like that in her collection. Please take a moment to ponder - three women, surrounded by the Amish, choosing zebra-striped material and saying things like, "Pimpin Ken needs a jacket made out of this." (For the curious, I also used yellow food coloring to make Barbie's hair more bottle blonde, gave her heavy eyeshadow and big earrings, and Edith sewed her an appropriate ho-bag mini skirt ensemble. I want credit, because it was my idea, and it was brilliant and very funny. Can you also please imagine Jan opening this present in front of her mom on Christmas day. Thank you, thank you.)

Lynn sent me 6 bags of potato chips (I believe the Brits call them "crisps"). The back story is Walkers (I think the same company who makes the famous shortbread cookies, if you're into shortbread) is having a contest to see which new flavor will win, or some such thing. The 6 flavors are: fish & chips; onion bhaji; builder's breakfast (bangers and mash, bacon, eggs); chilli & chocolate; and my personal favorite (in name only), Cajun Squirrel. I know that's only 5, but the box is over on the dining room table and I am allllll the way over heeeeerrrrre on the couch.

Not only did Lynn send me these frightening-sounding chips, but she protected them with diapers, which she assured me are CLEAN. God bless her.

And she sent candy to cover the taste of the chips. Lynn thinks of everything.

You have to love a person who does things like this. I mean, what else can you do?

So the next time I have guests over, I am going to open the chips and we're going to have a taste test and send Lynn our opinions. For those who, like me, are afraid to taste the chips, we will at least smell them, but I have a feeling my friends are more daring than I, especially after they've had a few drinks.

I'm very excited about the process. :) I think it will be most fun.

And I think Lynn is awesome. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On the application flip side...

So TODAY I received in the mail a cover letter... and resume... and references... and about 100 pages of supporting documentation. For one person. For one job. The stack is too think for a paperclip. It's too thick for a small clip. I just left it in its giant envelope. It took nearly $5.00 of postage.

I don't make these things up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Addition to last post

And right now I am staring at an e-mailed cover letter and resume. The email and resdume have one name on them and the cover letter has someone else's name on it. I'm going to send them a response asking which name I should use.

Pet Peeves

The commercial for Chemistry.com or Matchmaker.com or whatever it is where the woman says, "I'm just a goof, looking for my ball." I DETEST this commercial.

And then I have some rants about people who turn in applications for jobs and do not fill out the application completely. Hello? Do you want a job or not?

Don't send me an email that says:

"Hi my name is ****** and I am interested in this position. My phone number is 260-***-****."

Okay. Did you have a question? Have you filled out an application? Do you think your first name and phone number are enough to make me go, "WOW! I've gotta hire this person RIGHT FRICKIN NOW!" I cannot tell you how many emails like this one I have received in the past several months. It's a new trend. They don't even ask a question, like what are the hours, how do I apply, yada yada yada. Just a name and phone number. One guy I responded to, saying, "Have you completed an application?" His complete e-mail response back to me: "No." OHMIGOD, you're BRILLIANT! Get in here and work for me RIGHT NOW!

Then there was the guy who filled out an application where I could not read his handwriting to make out his street address, and I could not look up his zip code, which he neglected to put on the application, because I could not read his street address, and he did not include a phone number, so I could not call him to find out what his address was. The rest of the application was pretty similar. Lots of blank spaces. Did you want a job? Did you want a chance at a job? Do you really think that is going to compete with the other 100 applicants who applied for the same position and filled out their applications completely?

Then there is the one I just had that annoyed me over the edge so I had to vent. :) This person took the time to print out, on nice paper, and hand-deliver a resumé, with no address on it. AUGH! Are you hiding from the government? Are you in the Witness Protection Program? What is wrong with these people????????

I also love the people who come in and take the skills test and cheat. Right in front of me. Um, hello? Do I really have to tell you not to do that? I never do. They are usually the ones who miss half the test anyway.

And the one who comes in and asks me a question and then his cell phone rings and he answers it. He does not ask me to wait a moment. He does not hold up a "just a sec" finger. He does not ignore the call or turn off his cell phone. No. He has a conversation. It's obviously very important. It can't wait. I was in the middle of answering his question, but, hey, no biggie.

My favorite is still the guy who put on his application under Volunteer Experience, "Death and dismemberment cleanup."

Here are a few other gems:

Signature to a cover letter:

take care.
tenderly
jane doe


Have you ever been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony or misdemeanor, other than a minor traffic violation?

1. “Mistor minor offence.”

2. “It was my first and only offense. …Minor entering a Tavoron.”

3. “Wrong place at the wong time, and I’m human I’m not perfect, and I am a much more better man.”

4. “Urinating in public because I didn't want to use a toilet nearby full of large, aggressive sissy boys.”


I do not make this stuff up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Funny Mom

My Mom is a stitch. The first picture has been cleaned up a little. The second picture has an unexpected guest. Click on the pic for a close up.



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Video from the ice storm

I love this one. It really sums it up for me. Crunch crunch crunch. :)