Sunday, December 30, 2007

Adventures in home brewing

The Wife got me a Mr Beer home brewing kit for Christmas. Her uncle got me a refill kit with West Coast Pale Ale (which also comes with the kit), Witty Monk Witbier, and Whispering Wheat Weizenbier. I'm going to get a hard cider refill (and some additional bottles) so I can try hard cider too. Today I did the first step in the brewing process and now we wait for a week so fermentation can take place. Next Sunday we bottle. I'll let you know how it is once it is ready (minimum 2 weeks post-brewing but they recommend "conditioning" it for some additional time once it is carbonated in the bottle.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our landscaper rocks!

Today our very awesome landscaper came and cut up the tree that had split, cleaned up branches from the curly leaf willow that were hanging in the pond, and took down a cypress that had been broken in half. Mind you, this happened on Sunday and we called yesterday. She just rocks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yummy (and easy) beef stew

If you have a slow cooker, this is a great beef stew recipe.

1 lb stew beef, cubed
2 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
healthy pinch of ground cloves
1 c. beef broth
1 1/2 c. water

To thicken (at end of cooking time)
2 TBSP corn starch dissolved in 1/3 c. cold water

Brown beef cubes in olive oil. Transfer to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients (except corn starch mixture) and stir to mix well. Cook for approximately 5 hours on high (add extra water if necessary - sauce should just cover meat and veggies) and then test carrots and potatoes for doneness. When carrots and potatoes are done, mix the corn starch and cold water until smooth. Add slowly to hot stew and stir well. Let the stew cook on high until it thickens -approx. 5 minutes.


My sister was diagnosed with a pheochromocytoma, an epinephrine/norepinephrine-producing tumor of the adrenal gland. She had a number of symptoms over the past several years but they could all be attributed to other things. She was diagnosed when she had a CT scan for a kidney stone. The pheo was removed on Monday - it was 8x5 cm (HUGE in terms of a pheo). Because she is the second family member to have a pheo, another family member's doctor recommended that we all be tested. So last week I had a CT scan complete with consumption of two bottles of barium. Today I am doing the nasty test - a 24-hour urine collection. I have to pee in a "hat" and then transfer that to a jug, which has to be refrigerated. Of course, I'm doing it on a weekend so I don't have to deal with this process during the day at the office. I'm dropping off the jug-o-pee tomorrow before work.

Ice storms suck

We were in the path of the "massive Northeastern storm" that roared through the Midwest, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. No snow, which is always a bummer to me, I'd rather have lots of snow than rain/sleet in the winter but we did get ice. I woke up this morning and looked out into the backyard to discover that our Bradford pear tree had split right down the middle and we'd lost several branches from the curly leaf willow and one of them was in the pond. The cypress trees don't look very good but we aren't sure if they are broken or are just bent from the ice and wind. While I'm greatful that the trees/branches didn't do any damage to the house or anyone who lives in it, I am bummed about the loss of the pear tree. It was our only decent shade tree (we live on what used to be a sheep farm so there are almost no large, mature trees in the entire neighborhood). We had been warned that Bradford pears had a tendency to split so we should keep it trimmed, which we did last year. It also completely changes the look of the backyard. Fortunately we have a great landscaper and we'll call her tomorrow to come and cut up the pear tree and willow branches and have a look at the cypresses.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dolly Rules!

This is my new anthem. Must download to the iPod!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fig Trees in Southeastern PA

Today I gave the fig tree its Winter coat. I have been trying to grow figs in Southeastern PA for several years. We planted the first tree in a bad location and it never took off. I planted another tree last year and it grew some the first year but then it broke at the base during a hurricane last September. I wrapped it last year but when I unwrapped it it was clear it hadn't survived. It regrew from the roots and set a crop of figs late in the summer. I pruned it last weekend and today it got its winter coat. My FIL gave me a burlap and stake wind break so I used it to wrap the fig, then stuffed the whole thing with straw. I had an epiphany while I was wrapping the tree - pipe insulation. I just have to get some longer zip ties and the fig will be warm all winter. This fig tree is supposed to be cold hardy down to 5 degrees fahrenheit but it got that cold at least once last winter so I don't want to take the rist

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm back

I have a lot of stuff going on personally (those of you who know me IRL know that The Wife has been ill and in and out of the hospital twice over the past month and my sister has been having some health issues) and professionally (can't talk about work but suffice it to say that it has been crazy busy with no end in sight.) I have had either no energy to blog or nothing I could write about. There are times when I really wish I could blog about the job or the family because I'm in a period of "you can't make this shit up" and from the outside it is so outrageous it is funny. In fact, a few days ago I emailed a friend a list of the things that are going on. I saw her last night and she said "I could have cried and that probably would have been the appropriate response but instead I laughed my ass off for 25 minutes." I was glad that she laughed. I didn't email her to make her cry or feel sorry for me, I knew she would see the absurdity of the situations (yes, plural.)

I have been so caught up in my life that I haven't really been paying a lot of attention to what is going on outside my world. I don't think I've read the paper in weeks (and we have 2 delivered to the house every day - I am grateful for recycling...) I did read Newsweek this week because I was travelling and it is a good read on the plane. Even now, I feel like I should be coming up with a list of things I need to get done this weekend and get started on the list. But I'm enjoying the quiet. The Wife is still asleep, the dog is snoozing on the couch, the cats are snoozing in one of their many napping spots, the TV and Ipod are silent, and all I can hear is the dryer, a sound that is fairly innocuous to me. It is cloudy and in the low 40s today (snow is predicted for tonight) but we still have lots of fall color.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed but the moon has been fabulous this week. Earlier in the week it was a perfect crescent low in the sky, last night it was at maybe 1/3 of full but huge and beautiful and low. During the day, the sky has also been that deep blue that only seems possible in the autumn. Yesterday I started to think of winter because it was very windy and we had low dark clouds that were scooting across the sky and I knew that a cold front was coming in. Perfect hot tub weather...which reminds me I'd better get started on that "to do" list which includes "put sanitizing chemicals in hot tub" if I want to take advantage of the weather.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Homophobes with Queer Relatives

From Sarah in Chicago via Shakesville.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary is a lesbian, who just had a baby with her lesbian partner, Heather.

Former Senator and arch-conservative Jesse Helms, who blamed gays and lesbians for "the proliferation of AIDS" and denouncing the use of the word gay because "there's nothing gay about them," has a lesbian granddaughter.

Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the conservative Eagle Forum, was instrumental in drafting the Republican Party platform language opposing gay marriage and civil unions, has a gay son, John.

Barry "Mr. Conservative" Goldwater (who in later years came out in favor of gay rights) had a gay grandson and a lesbian grandniece.

Nixon's Chief of Staff and Watergate convict H.R. Haldeman had a gay child.

President of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality Charles Socarides, has a gay son Richard, who was liaison to the gay community under President Clinton.

Then of course there is Alan Keyes, GOP presidential candidate, family-values harper, and the guy that tried to keep Barack Obama from the Illinois Senate seat, tossed his college-student daughter, Maya, who came out during his campaign against Barack out of the family home and cut off her tuition money.

The late California state Sen. Pete Knight who spearheaded the ultimately successful Proposition 22 that bans gay marriage in California, has a gay son, David, who married his partner during San Francisco queer marriage rush in '04.

Sadie Fields, state chair of the Christian Coalition of Georgia, who helped push the constitutional ban on gay marriage, has a gay daughter, Tess.

Bill Byrne, who was head of the Cobb County Commission in 1993 when it passed a resolution proclaiming “the homosexual lifestyle” unwelcome in the suburban Atlanta community, has a lesbian daughter Shannon.

Regina Griggs, an executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)—ie the group set up to mimic and oppose PFLAG—has a gay son.

Anti-gay rights and pro-life activist Randall Terry, has a gay son, Jamiel.

Robert Mosbacher, the man heading President Bush's national reelection campaign in 2004, and later chief fund-raiser, has a lesbian daughter, Dee.

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s half-sister Candace is a lesbian.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wet Dreams

I had a little nocturnal adventure last night. We've installed a water alarm in the basement so we know when we start to get water. Then we can drop an extra sump pump before we get 4 feet of water (yes, we've had 4 FEET of water in our basement more than once.) I woke up about 4:30 AM and thought I heard the alarm going off. I went to check and we had about an inch of water over the entire floor. I confirmed that both pumps were running and then tried to determine if the water was rising or falling. I was finally able to ascertain that it was, in fact, rising. So I got the extra sump pump from the garage, swapped my nightshirt for a T-shirt out of the laundry basket, and swapped my slippers for my Crocs (yes, I was wearing pants, I did remember to put those on along with my glasses before departing the bedroom.) I went out and cut the plastic over the basement window (we've broken it so many times we've stopped having glass or plexiglass installed, heavy plastic sheeting is cheaper...). Of course, my father-in-law just fixed it on Tuesday. I then had to drop the sump pump into the basement. It took some wrestling but I managed to get it through the hole and into the basement (all of this is made more difficult by the fact that the window is in a below grade well.) I plugged it in and...nothing. Back into the basement I went. I reset the breaker and still nothing. Back upstairs to change plugs. Back into the basement to jiggle the float on the pump. That made the pump kick on which made the tubing come flying back into the basement. Back outside, pull up the pump, grab the tubing, weight it down with pieces of firewood, and drop the pump again. Back into the basement to jiggle the float. Finally success. Of course, by now I am my very own wet T-shirt contest. I was soaked to the skin. I got dried off and got back into bed about 5:50 AM. The best part of it? The Wife never knew I got up and the BIL didn't wake up either.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This evening I was retrieving messages from home voice mail and there was a message for The Wife that said "it is affirmative that you call today." WTF?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Snake Wrangler

I am the mighty snake wrangler. On Friday The Wife and I were getting ready to leave for 5 days on Martha's Vineyard with the MOH and her family (PreppyMan, Minime, WeeXman) and I needed to get something from the basement. Upon descending the stairs I noticed that the snake had made his way across the basement and was far away from both sump pits but under some shelves. I did my new trick of tapping the floor with a stick (this time the squeegee) and determined that the snake was indeed still alive. I decided it was time to remove the snake. I put on my leather gloves and used the squeegee to bring the snake out into the open. I scared myself at that point because I looked at the shape of the snake's head and decided it could be poisonous. I couldn't grab the snake behind its head so I pinned it down with the squeegee (the snake did NOT like that) and managed to get ahold of it. I carried it upstairs (all the while it was trying to bite me and I was glad I had put on the gloves). The Wife bravely held the door open and I took the snake out and released him into our front yard. Hopefully he won't come back.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


This will not seem like such a big deal to those of you who don't know me in reality but I just bought 2 suits (separates really) and 4 shirts to go with them. I did this after discovering at my co-workers wedding that the waistband on the pants of my silk suit was shot. I have business travel coming up over the next several months and I need stuff to wear. I was agonizing over the purchase and The Wife declared that she was sick of my old suits and I must buy new ones. She also declared that in the Spring I will be buying new warm weather business attire. I have owned these suits since I started working in my current profession and that was 10+ years ago.

The wedding was fine. The priest was obsessed with celibacy and wouldn't shut up during his homily. It was almost 90 out and the church was not air conditioned. There was also a heroin bust in the parking lot during the wedding. We walked out to discover several police officers searching the weeds along the parking lot for the heroin that had been dumped. We then saw a handcuffed guy whose car was getting searched and 4 police cars in the midst of an arrest at a gas station. All in the 2 miles from church to reception site. The Bride and Groom taped a cute (and very brief) video and then they had childhood and more recent photos on a loop. We sat with a group of the Groom's childhood friends and their spouses and another couple from our town. The food was good and the music was set at a level so you could talk during dinner. We left about 9 PM because The Wife needed to change her meds (and we wanted to watch the Phillies game.)

I have not spent any significant time in Pittsburgh as an adult. Yesterday I took a walk. The riverfront (Allegheny River) is awesome. I walked from our hotel across the Roberto Clemente Bridge to PNC park (and the statue of Roberto Clemente). PNC Park was open so I wandered in and had a look at the field. Note to self: Must attend baseball game there sometime. Then I went down the stairs to the river front and walked along the river to Heinz Field. Up the steps and back (in the shade) towards PNC park, the bridge, and the hotel. There was a regatta taking place so there were people and shells all over the place. I would have hung around if I had more time. The Wife and I also had a very good dinner on Friday night at a restaurant called "Christos." It was a hole in the wall tucked in between two other restaurants but it was such a find. Really great authentic Greek food at a low price. We both had greek salads, hummus and pita, and The Wife had Kreatospita (sp?) with veggies and I had a greek sampler platter with gyro, tzatziki, pita, grape leaves, and rice pilaf. The owner of Christos cooked for Jackie Onasis for 2 years when she lived in Greece and created a dessert for her so I had that. It was great. Hard to describe because the description doesn't do it justice. Just YUM.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Road Trip

Today The Wife and I are off to Pittsburgh for a wedding. I've never been a big fan of weddings (probably because most of my early experiences with weddings were the extremely boring weddings of my MUCH older cousins AND it involved getting dressed up and wearing dresses.) I'm having mixed feelings about this wedding. It requires a long drive but I have the day off so we can go early. I know both bride and groom (I work with the groom) but not anyone else who is attending the wedding. I have to get dressed up but I have a nice silk suit I can wear. I hate the way the silk suit looks on me and there is no but. Many things come down to that. I don't want to go because I have to wear clothes I don't think I look good in. The other day I went to get the mail in a white T-shirt and my comfy knit pants and I felt like Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski. I'm going to feel like Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot" on Saturday. I need a tailor (and lots of money.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Snake update

There is no update. I am afraid to go into the basement to see if the snake is still there.

Go Phillies!

The Phillies have won the NL East for the first time since 1993. The Mets had the worst collapse by any team by losing a 6.5 game lead with 17 games to play (I think it was the worst, if not worst, it was close.) Jimmy Rollins looks like a damned prophet now. I can't wait for Wednesday.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


This evening I went into the basement to check a breaker and got a little side tracked. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I looked over at the sump pit and I saw something lying next to it that looked like the power cord to the pump. But that was still plugged in 4 ft above the pit. As I walked closer I realized that it was a snake (oooooooo, aaaaaa, snake in the house) but I wasn't sure it was alive. Must find stick, must poke snake with stick (crap that's a stupid idea). Realized that perhaps I might not want to poke snake, even if it was an itty bitty snake. So I put the stick near the snake and tapped the floor. Snake stuck his tongue out at me. Ok snake is alive. Now what?
The Wife calls down "Did you reset the breaker?"
Me: "No, something else caught my eye."
TW: "What?"
Me: "A snake."

Because I must ponder what to do I go reset the breaker and then go back to deal with the snake, which is, of course, gone. Tiptoe over to sump pit, see snake slither into recesses of the pit, making large butch lesbian practically fall over backwards. This snake is about as big around as the power cord on my laptop. It could maybe give me a good pinch and yet I'm completely freaked it is in my house. Oy.

Tune in next week for further adventures with the snake (I hope not....)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm back

Work continues to kick my butt. I have great intentions to blog something every day but I just keep getting side tracked. I am happy to report that I just got a Nintendo DS for free. I saved Coke rewards points for over a year but it was worthwhile. Lots of people at work know that I save them so they give them to me when they open a new case of soda at work. My father-in-law also saves them for me. He recently brought me 20+ caps from bottles of soda that he and the mother-in-law drank during the 6 weeks they were at their house in North Carolina. If there is anyone else out there who would like to send me Coke rewards codes they will be happily accepted.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grilled Pizza

I was reading Foodie Farmgirl's entry about pizza and that reminded me that The Wife and I have been perfecting grilled pizza over the past several weeks. We have been buying frozen pizza dough from the local bakery or Italian deli. In the Winter we make our own dough but in the summer it is just easier to buy it. We roll it out, put it on an oiled pizza screen, and then put it on a pre-heated gas grill for 5 minutes. Then we pull it off (the screen makes everything easier), oil the top, flip the dough, spread fresh tomatoes (seeded, put through a food mill, lightly salted, and drained for 30 minutes), shredded mozzarella (not fresh, it releases too much whey in cooking), and prosciutto on it and return it to the grill for another 8 minutes. Very tasty and you don't heat up your kitchen when it is 95 out.

Of course if you are a giant dumbass like yours truly you do the following things wrong with each successive pizza - the first one you don't cook long enough on either side. The next one you oil the top after flipping it - which causes tomato juices and cheese whey to gather on the top of the pizza. The next one is a giant dome when you open the grill after cooking on the first side and you forget to oil the top and flip the pizza (I think I forgot to flip it over as I was rolling it out which was why we got the giant dome). So tonight I shall try to remember all of the steps in the right order. I remembered to drain the tomatoes ahead of time, I remembered to take the dough out to warm up before using it (it rolls out better that way) so at the moment I am on the right track.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not as much of a freak as I thought.

You Are 48% Strange!

You are a bit strange, though still more normal than strange. You definitely have some quirks, don't get me wrong. But you aren't exactly freaking out old ladies on the street. It's okay though, you've got a healthy mixture of strangeness and normality.

How Strange Are You?
Quizzes for MySpace

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Waiting for rain

I am sitting her waiting (and hoping) for it to rain. Quite pathetic really. The grass is brown and crunchy, the apple trees are droopy (we did water them using our "Tree Gators"), and the leaves on the sycamore trees are already changing color and dropping off the trees. On the other hand, at the CSA (Community-supported agriculture) farm we belong to the warm, dry weather has given us a much better harvest than last year. They can deal with little to no rain through drip irrigation. Too much rain (like last year) results in crops rotting in the ground. Last week, among other things, I picked up 8 pounds of tomatoes (yellow, orange, and red). I am going to make sauce today. I highly recommend joining a CSA if you have one near you. You get high-quality local organic (generally) produce (often in varieties you won't get at the store), you help the farmers make a living, keep land in agricultural use, and learn about cooking with vegetables. The CSA we belong to also requires 8 hours of farm work per share per season. This year I have helped with the garlic and onion harvests and helped "renovate" the strawberry patch. I will complete our hours (I'm doing them all this year because of The Wife's recent health issues) this week. Because a share is really too much for 2 people to eat we are going to share a share with some friends next year.

Shocker: I'm a science/math geek

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Science/Math Nerd

(Absolute Insane Laughter as you pour toxic chemicals into a foaming tub of death!)

Well, maybe you aren't this extreme, but you're in league with the crazy scientists/mathmeticians of today. Very few people have the talent of math and science is something takes a lot of brains as well. Thank whosever God you worship, or don't worship, so thank no deity whatsoever in your case, for you people! Most of us would have died off without your help.

Literature Nerd
Social Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Drama Nerd
Anime Nerd
Artistic Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Highly educated clueless wonders

Those of you who know me (or who have read the archives of the booger blog) know that last year I had recurrent endometrial cancer and was treated with high-dose internal radiation. I'm fine now but I have frequent follow up with both the GYN-oncologist and the radiation oncologist. I had a biopsy in May and it was clear and last week I had what I thought would be my last follow up (that is another entry altogether) with the radiation oncologist. Because it is a teaching hospital the radiation oncologist came with an entourage of radiation oncology Fellow, intern, and nurse. After declaring that it looked "all nice and pink in there" I got to have not one but two internal exams. Ok fellas, I don't give a good god damn if it is a teaching hospital but next time I'll be damned if I let two of you do internal exams. I will tell you to get the fuck away from me. I am NOT here for you to use as a learning tool. I was also really irritated with the Fellow for making the statement when I said that I thought part of their training should be to be in my position (they were running an hour late and I'd been sitting in a room without my drawers for at least 15 minutes)it's different for us. Anyway we see the prostate cancers in the morning. I completely slammed him and told him no, you see patients with prostate cancer in the morning. Jackass. Just writing about it pisses me off.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

heh, DORK!

Recently I moved to an office with a window that looks out over our parking lot. Yesterday I was chatting with a co-worker when another co-worker stuck his head in the door. He said "the FedEx guy is lifting weights in his truck." Of course, this caused all of us to zoom over to my window to observe the dork in his natural habitat. The FedEx guy was sitting sideways in the driver's seat doing bicep curls with a 15 or 20 lb weight. We aren't sure if he saw us watching him but he was smiling broadly. He was parked directly across from the front door of the office so the receptionist had to be able to see him. I sincerely doubt he was trying to impress her, unless he has a thing for grandmas.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Enstein Bros. Bagels: Thai Chicken with Peanut Spread Sandwich

Because there is nothing else going on in my life that I can blog about I decided to review my lunch. Once you pick yourself up off the floor from the excitement of it all, here's what I think about the Einstein Bros. Bagels Thai Chicken with Peanut Spread Sandwich. In a word: Eh. Absolutely no peanut taste, too much soy and chili. The chicken was cold but did appear to be an actual chicken breast - warm would be better, the asian slaw and cukes is a nice change from the basic lettuce and tomato, but the sauce? Completely uninspired. Of course, what can I expect from a chain bagel place you say? Well, their sandwiches are usually tastier than this one. The challah roll was also not particularly fresh, also a surprise as this place normally has very fresh bagels and rolls. I do like that I can get fruit salad in place of chips, potato salad, or pasta salad but it irks me that they charge me an extra $.50 for half a cup of fruit. It used to be included. So a fairly disappointing lunch.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Today I made someone snort. Heh.

I called the groomer to change the time of the poochie's beauty appointment. I said "Hi. I'm calling about Sweet Pea, the manic poodle's appointment" and I heard the groomer snort on the other end of the phone. Made me feel good bringing laughter to the world with my snark.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cleanest Country on Earth

I am currently on a business trip to Switzerland. In addition to being ridculously expensive (internet access is running me about $30 a day, in contrast in a similar US hotel it would be $10 and include unlimited phone access), Switzerland is the cleanest country on earth. Even the train station bathrooms are clean. Everyone also seems to speak about 15 languages which makes me feel like a complete clod. They don't even bother to speak to me in German, they just launch into English. You truly can set your watch by the trains. Today the train I was taking was late - 3 minutes late and it was listed as such on the arrivals screen. My hotel is outside of Zurich but there is a tram stop practically in front of the hotel (and there is a bus stop in front of the hotel), the hotel sells tram tickets, and has photocopies of the schedule available plus a schedule posted outside the hotel. They make it so easy. Gas is about $5.70 a gallon but in many cases you don't need to drive because the public transportation system is so good. This morning at breakfast they had newspapers in at least 4 languages including 2 in English. You are lucky if you can get more than USA Today in most US hotels. The breakfast buffet was labeled in both German and English. Not being able to read the menu is the thing I hate most about international travel. I have a great fear of ordering something nasty like sauteed brains in butter sauce. Speaking of food, I went shopping for chocolate today. The varieties were staggering. Milk, dark in all levels of cacao, any filling you could want. So hard to choose.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gay Paree

Tomorrow I'm off for a week in Paris and Zurich for business. This is probably my longest business trip ever. It is especially difficult to go because The Wife has been in the hospital for 17 days and is coming home tomorrow...after I leave for the airport. She's also coming home on a milrinone pump and isn't allowed to drive. Yes, I feel like a schmuck. I've also been having Crackberry(TM) problems and fortunately my IT guys are great and they've been helping me work through it but it still isn't fixed (it's been showing "activation 0% for over an hour). Frustrating. July 1 can't come fast enough. Then I have a week off.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Poochie Prose

My co-worker received the note below from her dog who is staying with Grandma and Grandpa while said co-worker is traveling...

Dear Mommy,
I really, really miss you. I've been a very busy girl. I love to run around the yard, and my stick collection is growing by the day. The only thing is that the really fat sticks that I found, I have stripped the bark off of, and now they keep breaking when I give them to Judy to tug. We have lots of little pieces all around the yard.
On Mondy night, I decided NOT to follow Judy & John upstairs to bed......Judy had to pull me by the collar, and John had to push my butt to go up the stairs to sleep. Then I went under the bed a little bit, and spent the night.
Yesterday, Judy & Nana went out to dinner & I went right into my crate like a good girl.. When they got home, I ate dinner and then Judy took out a tray to polish her nails in the den, but I got real scared of that tray and ran and hid in the screen room next to the refrigerator, and made myself into a tiny little ball (this is 9 month old Chocolate Lab...) so no one could see me. Then Judy came
to get me after 2 hours, and I ran into my crate and wouldn't even come out when Judy gave me a Frosty Paws, and a Meaty Bone. When she let me out to pee at 9 o'clock, I ran into the woods and hid real good so she wouldn't find me. I only came out when judy brought out my leash and offered to take me for a walk. (She looked real funny walking me in her slippers and nightgown). When we got back, I really didn't want to go back in the yard and house, so I tried to stand my ground, but Judy pulled me into the house. Then I hid behind the couch in the living room (she couldn't find me for a long time, ha, ha.) When it was time to go to bed, I flatly, absolutely refused to go upstairs! No one could move me, because I am so strong. So, I spent the night in my crate. I think I am still really scared of
that tray thing, even though she put it away.
Today, I am fine, well rested, and ready to greet the world. I even stole the stocking off the vent in the screen room, and distributed all the lint all over the den so Judy would have to vacuum before she went to work. It was real fun, because Judy didn't know what it was for about 5 minutes.
I hope you are missing me a little bit. Have a safe trip to Chicago, and bring me a present.
Love, Zoey

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Random Thoughts

-Why does getting behind the wheel of an XTerra make people drive so fucking slow?

-Why does lettuce smell so nasty when it goes bad?

-Why is there nothing on I want to watch when I sit down to watch TV but a hundred things I would like to watch when I'm turning off the TV to go to bed?

-Why do weeds grow so well in my garden?

-Why can't I win the lottery? I have lots of good ideas of what I could use the money for.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Any rose gardeners out there?

My roses look like crap this year. The shrub rose has some fungal disease. I've been spraying it since I noticed (in fact, that is one of the things on my list for tomorrow) but it doesn't seem to be doing any good. The "Amazing Grace" rose has something wrong with the blooms - they are all brown around the edges and inside the flowers is all nasty and brown. I am most definitely not channeling my grandmother this year. Her roses were awesome and I really wish I had taken an interest in gardening when she was alive. I inherited her gardening books but I wish I had her to ask. Anyone care to offer some advice?r

Bug Zapper

The next door neighbors have installed a bug zapper. When sitting on the deck I can hear it dispatching bugs. The dog does not like it at all. She thinks she needs to defend us against it. Lovely. One more thing for her to bark at in the dark.

Ummm, now what?

The Wife is in the hospital and has been since last Thursday. When The Wife is in the hospital (which is about an hour away) I am somewhat at loose ends. I don't go to visit every day because of the distance and because I try to keep some semblance of the regular routine because I don't sleep well when The Wife is in the hospital and the further I get from the routine the worse it gets. Nights like tonight are the hardest. I finished up at work early and went to the hospital, hung out there for a about 2 hours, came home, let the dog out, fed the beasties, ate my dinner (I also stop cooking when The Wife is in the hospital), and now I don't quite know what to do. I made a list of things I need to do tomorrow and Sunday, I'm staring at the laundry I still need to fold, I have the baseball game on but it's more for background noise (and the Phils just SUCK tonight...losing 12 to 4 at the moment), its too early for bed, and I don't know who to call (and I've spoken to my parents and my sister already today as well as the MOH). I've been a complete slug in terms of exercise for the past 2 weeks but the last thing I want to do right now is go walk on the treadmill. I wish there was a gay bar in town (there are some within 30 minutes but I don't want to drive that far and then have drinks) so I could go and have a drink in a comfortable environment. I don't really care about the drink (I could have that here) but it would be nice to just sort of hang out with people without feeling a need to be a good conversationalist. I hate this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I want to scream

I have a fairly basic Crackberry (TM) through my job. During my last business trip it became apparent that the CB was screwed up - it would ring but when answered no one was there. I could still make outgoing calls. When I got home I forgot about the problem because I don't get calls on the CB very often unless I'm travelling. Then I was off one day and I got several calls where no one was there. I tried to call back and couldn't (I ended up using my mother's cell phone.) I called Cingular (now the NEW AT&T....arrgghhh, their hold system is SO annoying) and they sent me a new phone after determining they couldn't fix the old one. This was yesterday. The new phone has turned itself off and locked up twice. New phone, round 2.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Could they make me any MORE of a marginalized citizen?

Bush's appointee for Surgeon General really pisses me off. They can't find someone who is conservative but not a completely anti-gay bigot? This guy goes so far as to state that openly gay people should not even be able to JOIN the congregation of a Methodist church. I'm living my life, not participating in some "lifestyle", whatever the hell that is. Mostly I just want to be left alone to live my life the way I see fit which is not unlike what most other people in this country want. Why is it so hard to just leave me be (oh and extend to me the same rights and priviledges that others take for granted?)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Strange sensation

I had a brief business trip to Boston on Wednesday and Thursday. My client has moved to the suburbs (they used to be in Cambridge) so the trip from the airport to the hotel was unfamiliar. At one point I looked up from my Blackberry and absolutely no other vehicles were visible in the tunnel we were in. I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie and the cab driver and I were the only people left in the world. It went on for what felt like 5 minutes but was probably only 30 seconds. Long enough for me to think about it and get completely freaked.

Pink Postcard

On Thursday, I finally received the news that my biopsy was "normal." However, it came in the form of a folded over pink postcard that read "We are pleased to inform you that your recent pap smear was normal." (bold is mine) Of course, I didn't have a pap smear, I had an endometrial biopsy. Couldn't someone take the 10 seconds to cross off pap smear and write in endometrial biopsy? Attention physicians: this type of minor effort is important to your patients and while we know you didn't send the card we do hold you responsible for the contents. I'm going to take the card with me when I see my gyn-onc in 5 months and point out the obvious.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Still no news on the biopsy. I used to consider this good news but the last time (when I got the diagnosis of recurrent endometrial CA) I had convinced myself that no news was good news and I got slapped upside the head. My parents are visiting for the long weekend. We are having a generally good visit. I can't help myself from getting into politics with my mother and it's just pointless. The woman also cannot bring herself to call my wedding a wedding. She has to think about it and then she usually spits out "party", "event", or in a generally good improvement on Friday she managed "commitment ceremony." She also now admits that being heterosexual and able to have children doesn't make you a good parent and that many gay people are good parents. However, she couldn't manage to agree with me that The Wife and I would have made good parents, which leads me to believe that she doesn't think we would have. It's hard to hear (even upspoken) that your own mother doesn't think you would be a good parent. Anyway its a moot point as The Wife and I will never have kids and the dog seems perfectly happy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Flapping in the breeze


Yesterday, I sat for an hour awaiting the arrival of my doctor.  I was not wearing pants.  All of the necessary instruments etc for my endometrial biopsy were carefully laid out on the counter next to me.  Needless to say it was an excruciating wait, almost worse than the biopsy itself.  I hate those fuckers and I’ve had one about every 4 months for 5 years.  With luck, this one was the last.

Monday, May 14, 2007


My office is finally getting decent coffee. We are getting Green Mountain K-cups and a brewer.  I no longer have to buy my own coffee (The Wife gave me a six-month supply of Kona coffee pods for Christmas and I just got my last one on Friday.)


MMMMMM, caffeine.


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Friday, May 11, 2007

Foreign Language Requirement?

The Wife just shared this little tidbit over IM:

OMG the funniest thing just happened.  A school bus stopped at the light & some goofy kid started "barking" really loud (don't know if he saw the dog).  But Poochie went running up & barked back.  They held a little "barking" conversation until he was too far for her to hear him. 

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

This made me smile

Today I looked out the window and saw my neighbor teaching his daughter (she's probably 14) to mow the lawn using their riding lawn mower. He was walking along side her giving her tips as she mowed the lawn. I thought it was really great that he was taking the time to teach her to do it safely. It reminded me of the way my dad used to teach us to do new stuff.

Closets, closets, closets

This weekend we had a ClosetMaid dealer in to outfit 6 of our closets. The man was a master - it took him 6 hours start to finish and that included demo-ing what was already there (not that it was a lot.) But then we had to put everything back. Ugh. However, we did take the time to purge along with all this organization so we got rid of a lot of clothes that we don't wear (or hate as the case may be) and found parts to things we no longer own. It feels good to have tidy closets but it felt like we were moving in all over again. I hate moving.

I almost forgot the best part. Because I am a "Clean House" addict, the wife bought me the Linda Koopersmith organizing book The Beverly Hills Organizer Home Organizing Bible and a Dymo Label maker. I am in geek heaven.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Music stuck in my head


I have the music from “Rent” stuck in my head.  My co-workers will think I’ve completely lost it when I start dancing to “La Vie Boheme.”



Tuesday, April 17, 2007

4.7 inches of rain in 24 h


For those of you who know the saga of our frequent basement flooding problems, I am happy to report that the pumps did their job and the basement remained completely dry.  We still run down there every couple of hours and we’re sure to check first think in the morning and last thing at night but it feels really good to get through a storm like this and not be dragging ruined stuff out again (or having to fix the window that had to be smashed [or cut open in this case as it is still just a sheet of plastic from when The Wife had to smash it last summer.])  We can certainly empathize with the people in New Jersey who were flooded.



Weather Cupcake?


I just saw this phrase “windy with occasional sprinkles” on the forecast for the town in which I live.  It struck me as very funny, as though jimmies ( are going to rain from the sky.  Wow.  What have I been smoking?  Sadly, nothing.



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Monday, April 09, 2007

Why does everything have to contain high fructose corn syrup?

For reasons of health and to try to help with weight loss I am trying to avoid two things that seem to be ubiquitous these days: high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetners.  I was in the grocery store over the weekend and I was trying to buy bread.  Nearly every brand/variety of commercially made bread had HFCS in it, even a few labeled as "all natural."  I eventually found one within the "organic" line of a manufacturer whose other products all had HFCS.  Why can't they just use a little sugar?  Or, if it needs to be a liquid, use honey. I bake bread at home and I use honey.  The HFCS and artificial sweetner avoidance is making it very hard for me to find a soda I can drink.  I was used to drinking 2 12 oz. diet sodas a day.  I like carbonated drinks.  I guess I am going to have to start buying seltzer water and juice.  Hmmm, maybe I can find a cola syrup and make my own when I need a fix.  If you know of sodas that don't contain HFCS let me know.  In addition, if you have any suggestions for manufacturers/product lines (not just soda, any products) that don't contain either HFCS or artificial sweetner leave a note in the comments. 

Friday, April 06, 2007

What level of Hell?

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Moderate
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Oy. This is hard.

It is Passover.  While I am not Jewish, I am considering conversion and so this year, I am trying to observe Passover by not eating wheat, oats, barley, rye, or spelt.  There are also many other things that I may or may not be permitted to eat but not having grown up Jewish I don't have family or community tradition to fall back on or a family member to ask.  I've been reading as many things as I can but if I convert I'll be a Reform Jew and not an Orthodox one and many of the online resources are for Jews who are Orthodox.  I also am going to have to shop at a different supermarket for Passover supplies because the one where I usually shop has NO kosher for Passover matza. 

I didn't have a seder to attend this year which was sort of weird.  We could have gone to the community seder at the temple where we attend services and a weekly Judaism class but we have tickets to see Spam-a-lot tonight (purchased before we thought much about the Jewish calendar) so no luck there.

Hmmm, I think this might be harder than I thought it was going to be.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Today's Voice Mail Message

Received by The Wife on the home voice mail system today:

"A dangerous convict has escaped from (the local) court.  Be on the lookout for a white man, 6 ft tall, wearing an orange jumpsuit.  May have handcuffs on one wrist.  If you see him call 911.  Please remain indoors.  Lock your doors & windows & secure your car."


Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

John Edwards will not get my vote

I was extremely disappointed to read that John Edwards was remaining in the race for President despite the fact that his wife's breast cancer has recurred (and metastasized to the bone.) His wife has incurable cancer and while there has been much made of the fact that it can be "managed like any chronic disease" does he really want to spend the next 18 months on the campaign trail and then possibly (a BIG possibly) 4-8 years in the White House when his wife might not survive that long? I'm sorry but I think he's being a selfish shitheel. Is his political future more important than the health of his wife? Cancer isn't like "any chronic disease" because in most cases it still kills you a hell of a lot faster than any other chronic disease including HIV. I don't care if his wife told him to stay in the race. What was she supposed to say? She should have to ask him to drop out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tigger socks are dangerous.

With all the problems there are in education the people in this school district need to get their priorities straight. I don't think Tigger socks are such a horrible distraction to the educational process.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I am so psyched that baseball is almost back. Only 2 more weeks until Opening Day. Today when it is in the low 30s and we have 3 inches of rock solid sleet/snow outside I am sitting here watching the Phillies play the Yankees in Spring Training. Ahhhhhh.

Reflections on New Orleans

The Wife and I just returned from 5 days in New Orleans. If you've never been or if you've not been since Katrina I have just one thing to say "GO VISIT." The areas most familiar to tourists - The French Quarter and The Garden District look much as they always did. Those areas were not flooded and sustained mostly wind damage, the bulk of which has been repaired/cleaned up. The fabulous food, freely flowing liquor, and general anything goes feel of the French Quarter has not changed. New Orleans is trying desperately to come back and what they need most right now is tourist/convention dollars. We stayed at the Hotel St Marie just one block off of Bourbon St in the heart of the French Quarter. It's a great location and if you get a room facing the courtyard rather than the street it is very quiet. I thought it was a good value too. We took 2 tours. We took a cemetary tour with Haunted History Tours (Earnest was our tour guide, he's awesome) and a walking tour of the Garden District with Gray Line Tours. We saw homes owned by Nicholas Cage, John Goodman, Archie Manning, and Anne Rice (formerly). I had been in New Orleans probably half a dozen times before but they were mostly for work so I never had an opportunity to do any of the tours before. I'm really glad we did them this time.

We also ate lots of good food. We hit the old standbys - Cafe du Monde, The Gumbo Shop, Acme Oyster House, Central Grocery for muffalettas, Johnny's Po-boys for roast beef and oyster po-oys, and several other restaurants. We spent a Saturday evening in the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's and a very amusing Sunday night trolling the gay bars including Good Friends and Bourbon Pub. We also took a paddlewheel cruise on the Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez (don't bother with the buffet lunch - not worth it.)

It was in the 20s when we left Newark and it was in the 70s and sunny in New Orleans. It was so great to be somewhere warm. New Orleans, despite Katrina, hasn't lost its inate warmth either. It's a friendly place, and incredibly worth saving.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Well at least they convicted someone...

I'm glad that Scooter Libby was convicted for his role in outing Valerie Plame in an effort to get back at Joe Wilson. But I think someone should have been charged with the actual disclosure to the press of the fact that she worked at the CIA. Her career was ruined because her husband figured out that the Bush Administration was lying. All of this just pisses me off and I have no idea what to do about it. Now it has come to light that the DOJ has been firing prosecutors to make way for political cronies and because of the Patriot Act (thanks, Democrats in the previous Congress for being a bunch of spineless weasels when it came time to protect your constituents rights) the replacements can be called "interim" and then don't have to be confirmed by Congress.

and of course there is that little problem at Walter Reed.

Friday, March 02, 2007

These guys need better maps...

The Swiss have invaded another country. I don't think that's happened in 600 years. It isn't like Lichtenstein's borders are ever changing. Get a better map guys.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I need a new car

I currently drive a '99 RAV4 that has served me very well. But it's 8 years old and I'm ready for something new. If someone else would like to cover the car payment that would be very nice because I hate having a car payment and if I get a new car we'll have 2 car payment in the family. However, this morning the car wouldn't start. I tried everything I could think of (I was fairly sure it wasn't the battery) and finally had to call AAA. The guy checked the battery (with a very cool portable diagnostic computer) and it told him to just start the car. He was able to get the car started eventually and gunned it for about 5 minutes. Then he told me to leave it running for another 10 before I went anywhere. He thought maybe there were deposits in my valves. Now I have to go do some research to see if he was right or talking out his ass.

So many opportunities, so few posts

I have to come up with a way to keep a list of funny things I want to blog about. I see or hear something on my way to work or when I'm out running errands or with friends and then I forget all about it when I have the chance to blog. I'm also mentally all consumed with what is going on at the office (nothing bad, things are just "unsettled") and I follow Sarah's rules of blogging - don't talk about the family, don't talk about the job - so I can't write about it here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Treat me no differently than you would The Queen

This is pretty funny.
You are Cleopatra

Beautiful and Charming. You are able to persuade anyone to do anything you would like, because of your hotness and charisma. You are an expert in gaining power over anyone you choose.

Take this quiz at

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Finally, it snowed. But it is a really odd snow. More like little balls of ice. Slippery as pig shit. My office is closed but I still have to work (read I don't have the excuse of having children home from school to look after and I can't even say I was looking after the dog as she has put herself to bed in her crate.) The forecast says this precipitation should clear out around noon and then I'll have to go dig us out. I'm not sure the snow blower is going to work with this stuff but I'll give it the old college try (any excuse to play with the snow blower.) It is pretty (and quiet - no traffic, no kids playing outside - too cold). The best thing is that even though they are calling it an ice storm it is too cold to rain so trees, power lines, etc aren't getting covered in ice and crashing down. I'm taking advantage of the fact that we do have power and I've fired up the bread machine. Just a boxed mix but soon the house will smell wonderful and there will be fresh bread for a late lunch with The Wife on Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bionic Woman Remake

They are bringing back the "Bionic Woman."  As a devotee of cheesy 70s TV, I hope the re-make is a good as the first movie remake of "Charlie's Angels."   It needs to have the appropriate level of camp along with a decent story.  And sound effects.  Those are a definite necessity for a "Bionic Woman" remake.

More info (although not much) here:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Just flush already

Unless you have been living in a cave on the Afghan border for the past 2 years you are aware that W's polling numbers are in the toilet. His numbers are so bad that fruitcake is polling better...


I want it to snow. I want it to snow a foot. I'm not exactly sure why I want it to snow a lot because I'll just have to shovel (oh wait, I'll get to play with the snow blower.) They are predicting that a winter storm will affect where I live. Unfortunately, the forecast has changed from "lots-n-lots of snow" to "snow followed by a crapload of sleet-n-other frozen shit." UGH.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is the essence of simplicity: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword," and phrases like "the great unwashed" and "pursuit of the almighty dollar," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

The "grand prize" winner and the runners up are hysterical. Totally worth a read.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not ANOTHER Holiday Season...

Normally I find the commercials for Guiness very amusing, BRILLIANT even. But now they are talking about the "St. Patrick's Day Season." I'll buy that Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year's all in 5 weeks is a holiday "season" but St Patrick's Day? No.

I'm having trouble getting my brain around this

I must admit it. I've always had a bit of an obsession with Anna Nicole Smith. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was like not wanting to watch but not being able to turn away from a car wreck. I truly thought it was a hoax when I saw a "breaking news" story on MSNBC that she had died. Mostly I feel bad for the baby she had a few months ago because right now her half-brother is dead, her mama is dead and 2 men are fighting to be her father. This is just SO bizarre.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Again with the BRRRRR!

The Wife and I are taking a class on Tuesday nights so I don't have time to exercise when I get home from work (and I'm far too lazy to get out of bed at 6 AM to do it before I go to work). I decided that in order to not be a complete slug on Tuesdays, I should start taking a lunchtime spin around the building where I work. I know it is cold but usually the cold doesn't bother me. I could only walk around the office once (I'm guessing it is about a quarter mile because it seems about as big as a regular track.) It is very close to booger-freezing cold out there today. I feel really bad for anyone who has to work out there (I'm not even going to get into a discussion of how much it must suck for anyone who is living on the streets.) If it is going to be this cold, we might as well have snow, no?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thank God They Have a Sense of Humor

I found this website today. The best part is the "testimonials" page. I especially liked the comment from the guy who said "you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead ass."

Monday, January 29, 2007

RIP Barbaro

I was very sorry to hear that Barbaro had been euthanized. It wasn't so much that he had been euthanized because I think euthanasia is often the kindest choice for the animal involved. Mostly it was because he seemed to have fought so hard to live. Here was an animal that was bred to run and he seemed to understand that all these people were trying to help him. He tolerated all the things they needed to do to him and still was interested in his surroundings, acted like a stallion, ate well, and seemed to enjoy his life.

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the money that was spent to save him and whether or not it was well spent. I think that the Jacksons did the right thing by using their resources to save him. Animals, especially those that have a "job" or a purpose besides providing companionship, should not be seen as expendable and disposable. There are a lot worse things that they could have spent their money on (and been criticized less.)

At least one good thing came out of all the attention. More than $1 million dollars was raised for the vet hospital associated with UPenn where Barbaro was treated.

Friday, January 26, 2007


It was 9 degrees at my house this morning. Even the dog thought it was cold. This is booger-freezing cold. Fortunately it will be warmer this weekend. I did see something rather stupid on today. It said today's low would be 18 degrees when it was reporting a current temperature of 11. D'OH!

A lesson for us all

Last night The Wife shared a fine life lesson with me.

If one is going to be standing up in front of a group of people for 3 hours in the evening, one should not eat Black Bean soup for lunch. No matter how cold it is outside.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fun with the English Language

Do You Think English is Easy???

Can you read these right the first time?

> 1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

> 2) The farm was used to produce produce.

> 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

> 4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

> 5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

> 6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the
> desert.
> 7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought
> it was time to present the present .
> 8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
> 9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
> 10) I did not object to the object.
> 11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
> 12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row
> 13) They were too close to the door to close it.
> 14) The buck does funny things when the does are
> present.
> 15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer
> line.
> 16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow
> to sow.
> 17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
> 18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a
> tear.
> 19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
> 20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate
> friend?
> Let's face it - English is a strange language. There
> is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither
> apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't
> invented in England or French fries in France .
> Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't
> sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if
> we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can
> work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig
> is neither from G uinea nor is it a pig.
> And why is it that writers write but fingers don't
> fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If
> the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of
> booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2
> meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy
> that you can make amends but not one amend? If you
> have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but
> one of them, what do you call it?
> If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a
> vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian
> eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should
> be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In
> what language do people recite at a play and play at a
> recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have
> noses that run and feet that smell?
> How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
> while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You
> have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in
> which y our house can burn up as it burns down, in
> which you fill in a form by filling it out and in
> which, an alarm goes off by going on.
> English was invented by people, not computers, and it
> reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of
> course, is not a race at all That is why, when the
> stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights
> are out, they are invisible.
> PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"
> You lovers of the English language might enjoy this .
> There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more
> meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is
> "UP."
> It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or
> at the top of the list, but when we
> awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a
> meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP
> and why are the officers UP for election and why is it
> UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
> We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a
> room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers
> and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and
> some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the
> little word has real special meaning. People stir UP
> trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and
> think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to
> be d ressed UP is special.
> And this UP< / FONT> is confusing: A drain must be
> opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store
> in the morning but we close it UP at night.
> We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be
> knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the
> word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary,
> it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to
> about thirty definitions. I f you are UP to it, you
> might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is
> used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you
> don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
> When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .
> When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP .
> When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes
> things UP
> When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP
> One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now
> my time is UP, so........... it is time to shut
> UP.....!
> Oh . one more thing:
> What is the first thing you do in the morning & the
> last thing you do at night? U-P

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Which famous feline are you?

You're Hobbes. First of all, the makers of this quiz would like to congratulate you. You have our seal of approval. You are kind, intelligent, loving, and good-humoredly practical. You're proud of who you are. At the same time, you're tolerant of those who lack your clearsightedness. You're always playful, but never annoying. For these traits, you are well-loved, and with good cause.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

DUH! at

Can someone explain to me why the people over at keep telling me to "watch for mosquitos" on days when the high is 36 and the low is 24? It seems to have something to do with the forcast being partly cloudy. We are just screwed if mosquitos start to like this weather.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What? How can that be?

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

There is no way that I can be French. We make fun of the French in my house. We tried to teach our French poodle to do the same. Distraught I am.

Friday, January 12, 2007

This made me smile

Chuck, far cuter than "Gus, the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania." I especially liked people's reactions to Chuck as he travelled home for the weekend.

Klingons in the White House

David Wu, a congressman from Oregon made the statement on the floor of the House of Representatives…"There are Klingons in the White House."  I had to stop watching the clip at that point because I was laughing so hard.

Meme from Sarah

A - Astronomical constellation you easily identify or like: Big dipper
B - Biggest flaw you'd like to correct: the fact that I'm a lazy slug
C - Complete works of what person would you like to own: John Irving
D - Dare you wouldn't take: Eating live bugs
E - Elephantitis of the what: boobs, I already have it so nothing new there
F - Fascination with a celebrity that you're embarrassed about: The British Royal Family
G - Grover or Elmo: Grover, I want to drop kick Elmo
H - Happiest you've ever seen another person (ok, it's not all about you): Sarah when she married Hubby
I - Ignorance of what subject: physics
J - Judgment you'd like to render: impeachment of George W. Bush       
K - Khakis or chinos: khakis
L - Left home at what age: 16
M - Most proficient in what skill: cooking
N - Nonsense word you use when trying not to cuss: boogers (I guess it isn't a nonsense word but it isn't really a cuss word.)
O - Obligatory task you loathe: washing dishes
P - Proudest moment: graduating from College
Q - Quickest decision you've ever made: accepting current job
R - Return gifts or regift them next year: return.  I'm not a big fan of re-gifting
S - Secret dream (come on, spill it): to win the lottery and move to Italy
T - Terrible nightmare you still remember: snakes in my bed
U - Unique person you admire: my sister
V - Vocabulary word you always mispronounce: don't know but I bet The Wife knows
W - Wish that came true: Living in Italy for 2 years
X - X marks the spot, so what's the treasure: Enough money to retire early so I can garden, travel, and spend 3 months a year in Italy
Y - Your free answer - say whatever you want: Can someone tell me the words to "Bohemian Rhapsody?"
Z - Zoological creature you'd like to be for an hour: my dog so I could understand the appeal of the cat's butt

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Shabbat Shalom

Last night I attended my first Friday night Shabbat service. What a great way to end a week. It was so different from any service I had ever attended. The Rabbi is trained as a classical guitarist so he accompanied much of the service on his guitar. No one seemed to mind that I was completely lost when they started singing in Hebrew (some of the Hebrew is provided in a transliteration for people who don't read Hebrew but some of it you just have to know.) The Wife and I are signed up for an 18-week Introduction to Judaism course at this synagogue but it won't proceed without 10 people. Last night the Rabbi said the course had 8 people enrolled. I really hope they get another 2 people because I really want to take this class.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Don't do that

Both The Wife and I were sick in the week between Christmas and New Years (hence the lack of blogging while on vacation) and on Tuesday we both ended up in the doctor's office. I have recovered but The Wife, despite antibiotics, is still feeling crappy with a sinus infection and now thinks is has moved into the other side. So not only is it not getting better it seems to be getting worse. The doctor said to call if The Wife didn't feel better when she finished the antibiotics (she finishes them tomorrow but it is the weekend so I thought it better to call today.) The receptionist just told me "Oh, well you take that antibiotic for 5 days but it stays in your system for 10 so there is probably nothing more the doctor can do...but I'll pass on the message." AAAAGGGHHHHHH! First of all, this woman has no training in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, nothing. Next, I indicated that not only was The Wife not getting better, she seemed to be getting worse. The infection should not be spreading while on antibiotics. Then there is the fact that I can argue with her about the whole "stays in your system for 10 days" crap. I can even show her research that shows that this drug may not even get into sinus tissue despite the fact that it is prescribed all the time for sinus infections. I can drag out experts who will present research that this drug does not work. Needless to say I am pissed off and The Wife still feels like crap.