Thursday, July 31, 2008

CC Was my mom's favorite player.

He was a great starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Now he's a great starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.

But she liked him for more than that, she could list a whole lot of other reasons why C.C. Sabathia was a darn good guy. Click here to see one she didn't live to see.

It's well worth reading.


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This is probably my only chance to either see or participate in ANY Olympics.

Let the knitting/crocheting/spinning (no not the biking sort) BEGIN!

Don't worry. I'll make something using wool. And there are deadlines (not the Johnson Island kind, though that would suit the group). So there will definitely be some perspiration.

Official rules? You betcha. Click! Nothing's said about steroids, and I have neither need nor interest; but if they try to confiscate my coffee, I will find a way to cuss them out in Mandarin, Zhuang, Cantonese, Hmong, and Uyghur.

Not that it matters. Our team isn't actually eligible for Ravelry's thang. We're doing it on our own. Heh.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mmmm. Brownies.


Brownies. Triple chocolate brownies. ALL of it dark.

We're not big on milk chocolate in this house.


But the big thing to celebrate in this picture is the baking pan. It's a Pampered Chef stone. Right now it's new, but in time, with careful seasoning, it'll be as nonstick as any good old cast iron *anything*.

I'm so pleased to have this because I *used* to have one, but I tripped and dropped it. That was a couple years ago. All the alternatives I've tried in the meantime have been bitterly disappointing.

I'm a perfectionist with my baking. I'm a good artist; my baking, however, is beyond excellent. It's really bothered me to be without this important tool. NOW there's no holding me back.

I won't settle for anything less than perfection, in the case of my tools, unglazed stone bakeware. I expect to serve perfect baked goods; this sets me back on that right road.

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So I got this award...

...but it was from months ago.

I didn't know how to post it on my blog. Even after I was handed a clue. A clue on a silver platter. With gilt (NOT a misspelling). And rubies. I'm saying it was a good clue.

Sometimes technical stuff really clicks into place for me, and others? I do better with cuneiform.

Today things clicked.

Thanks again, Melissa! You still make my day.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

AN...TICI-------- PAY OFF!!!


(Well, not monetarily. Nothing seems to work out for me that way.)

But still: WOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!

I'm published again. This time, it's my name and picture, with finished work.


(ahem. That's not hyperbole underlining that sentence, it's a live link; click and it'll take you there.)

I alluded to this eventual event a little over a month ago, when I had multiple versions of the theme music for "Dr. Who" on a permanent loop in my head, particularly the spoof mash-up Gary Glitter/"Dr Who" song. I've included it for your pleasure...


This is that knitting pattern based on Dr Who that I wasn't allowed to talk about until it went live in The Guardian. It's live in The Guardian. I can talk about it now. I can blog and sing and draw and build a folly in my backyard and do interpretive dance, if I choose to.

I think I'll probably NOT do interpretive dance.

'K. So to get to this magical spot of ME in an internationally distributed newspaper, click on the link, scroll down to
"Here's one we made earlier: What do you get when you cross 13 knitting experts with Mazz's lovely knitting patterns? Here's what they came up with ..."

...and when you do that, scroll down a little more (I'm not the only one who was pictured) and you'll see me with Zabet and Raellyn from The AntiCraft!

I'm very excited. It's good to be in such fine company. Magda from Knitta Please! is right near. That's mighty nice -- you'll notice that's one of my links to the right.

Enjoy. Enjoy my excitement. I don't often get stuff like this to get excited about. I wish my mom was alive. I wish my grandma was alive. They'd both get a kick out of this.

Later edit: Hey! They called me a "knitting expert"! I'm going to have to call my mother-in-law and thank her. She's the one who taught me!


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Monday, July 28, 2008


There's not a whole lot of food that's much better than homemade fried chicken. Doesn't even matter what goes with it. It's just GOOD.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good Morni--- eeewww.

What is it about early morning bare feet and slimy hair balls that inevitably drives them to find each other? And why can't I have some method of immediate, fresh, hot, strong coffee delivery right at my bedside?

And as long as I'm at it, I've looked at the calendar: where's my hovering car????


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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tribe Game Twist

A seemingly kindhearted stranger offered us a ticket upgrade at tonight's Tribe v Twins game.

It was at Progressive Field. That's the home of the Tribe.

Slightly disconcerting to find ourselves in a nest, nay! fiendish infestation!, of Twins fans.

Still. It'd kick so much tail to meet Bat Girl.

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Grr. Argh. 'Zombie Night' at Prog Field.

*le sigh* Thus ends the less-than-triumphant return of Fausto Carmona.

*HEAVY SIGH* It appears Eric Wedge has given up this game. The reliever? Tom Mastny. >groan<

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Tribe Action

Grady hits a solid single! A solid response to the reprehensible 6 runs we permitted the Twins to score.

And My Beloved asks the valid question, "What's up with a DH who hits .225?", referring of course to David Dellucci. We can't wait much longer for our beloved Pronk!

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Bert takes over Cleo's station & duties.

Sometimes we have one dog and three cats.

Sometimes, however, there are role reversals.

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Concerned. Also, a bit beyond fed up.

So here's the sad situation.

At the beginning of June, our next door neighbor, Shirley, lost her husband Allen, after a very long illness. It was sad, but sort of a relief for her and her family.

I made baked macaroni and cheese to take over. I rejoiced in becoming a little closer to her, because while we live next door to each other, we really hadn't done much more than wave and smile at each other. It was a delight to find that we had quite a bit in common, despite our age differences. Sitting in her dining room with her and sharing a few Bible verses along with a few memories, well, that was just better than good.

I went to Allen's funeral. Well! That was a CELEBRATION. I posted about it. I can't think about it without getting goosebumps. It had to have been about 2 hours long, but I didn't feel it, I was completely engaged in the experience. The stories and the music shared had a simultaneously spiritual and deeply earthy quality that both transported and grounded. I felt like I knew this family by the time I left the church.

It made me glad to see the friends and family that began to make a habit of gathering at Shirley's on the weekends, and even the odd weeknights, after that. Gathering together is a good thing for everyone.

Suddenly, the garage turned into a rec room. There's a huge tv, a stereo, some sort of game system, and tables and comfy chairs. Well, I'm guessing they're comfy. It's a good guess, because they don't get out of them except to get more beer. Or whatever.

The sound system is impressive. I'll be in the dining room listening to my radio (same room), and when they turn on their system, my radio disappears. Not the physical radio; I mean, I can no longer hear the appliance that is in my room. Oh -- wait. Maybe that's OPRESSIVE. Yeah, that's about right.

The people who come to the garage parties are exclusively men, and they seem to be excluding Shirley's live-at-home adult son Randy. His place is usually on the front porch. It might include her other two sons, Carlton and Bryon. The parties might also include gambling, which is illegal in Cleveland Heights. Probably all over Ohio, but Cleveland Heights is famous for breaking up poker games.

Each weekend the party lasts a little later, gets a little louder.

Thursday night/Friday morning, the police arrived. At 1 am, they were loud, but they quieted down for the motorcycle officer whose bike was quieter than they were. Spent some time complaining about how young and white the cops all are now, before they resumed the previous party's tempo. A little after 2, Shirley scolded them. At 3:40 they were back to yelling up and down the driveway again.

Last night?

By some marvellous grace, the party broke up just before midnight. Randy was skulking on the front porch. The partymen were yelling derisively up the driveway at one of the other brothers about how pathetic it is for "a fully grown [man] to be livin' off a woman". But the good news was that it was all done before 12.

It's all come full circle. I'm back to grieving for Shirley. I'm a little worried for her, too: I'm concerned that if she's got any control over this, it's limited. We, on the other hand, are going to keep control over what portion we can.


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Inside Landscape

When I sit at the computer and look to my left, this is what I see.

The linen closet doors are done, but where the mural raps around to the master bedroom doors I still need to add some foreground details.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Flour Flowers.

Yum. Tiny Cheese Crackers. It's *almost* hot enough to have the oven on >snerk!<, so I'm baking crackers today. And making bread dough to bake for tomorrow.

These crackers will be GREAT with the chili I'm making for supper tonight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Thin Line Between Curiosity & Fright

Today we got the perpetually leaky and now finally deceaced dishwasher replaced in the kitchen, and (as I txt) (ooh! they're done!) the Shakespearean-death-throes washing machine replaced. That's 2 different delivery-installation crews, *each* comprised of 2 guys, tools, and big, boxy, clunky things. All of which bring along smells and sounds and who-knows-what-else a cat may sense.

(Interesting and creepy: BOTH crews were guys younger than I am -- and therefore should know better!! -- yet BOTH crews each had one guy with terminal butt cleavage. Do they not watch movies? Are they completley insulated from stand-up comedy? Or is it an ironic statement? First crew? Yeah, maybe that's their excuse... but not the washing machine bozos. If I saw them handling a long plank of wood (and by "long plank of wood", I mean "long plank of wood"; work with me here), I'd stand well away and watch the inevitable Laurel & Hardy comic replay.)

This was taken of Bert 2 seconds before she freaked out and couldn't take anymore. Poor kitty. Yet so entertaining.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Well. I won't get THOSE hours back...

Tonight was Browns Concession Stand Training Day, so Rick, Matt from NMSS Buckeye, Belinda from Team Bee's Hive, another team cap named Holly (with Jennifer) and I met at Browns Stadium.

I don't know about this. These 'organizers" don't seem organized AT ALL.

Seems like all enthusiasm and no substance. One ironic exception was the Legal Counsel, yet he still managed to pull out a 'rah rah' speach.

New low: the 'MC' admitted he "hates being up here". 'Here' being at the mic'ed podium. Hubris sucks. >snerk!<

"UPCOMING ATTRACTIONS" headed one PowerPoint slide (the italics were mine). No kidding! (Try "Coming Attractions".) I know what's *really* 'up-coming', and it's not attractive.

Another deusey to report: apparently they will be 'ramping up' the room at the top of the ramp. Unbelievable. Do these people not listen to the words coming out of their mouths? They sure love the sound of them.

"At the end of the day" (that was THE over-used phrase of the evening), we walked out before the 2nd game ended, well after 9 o'clock PM. Which was clearly NOT "the end of the day" for the rest of the group.

One of the management team leaders came running to see why we were leaving. It must have occurred to him that we couldn't ALL (2 men, 4 women) be going to the restroom... We shared our grievances as best we could, as politely as we could. He was the sort of consoler, however, that regards his words higher than the words of the injured, so it was a little hard to be heard. Also, it was very loud.

The guy who chased us ("End Of The Day Smurf"?) said his management team is "different from all others".

Different is fine. What would be NICE is EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT, or MINDFUL. Try those; one, or any combination.

This, tonight, was nonsense. But we're probably going to submit to it anyway. Because as much as I despise inept management, I hate Multiple Sclerosis far more.


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Monday, July 21, 2008

Apparently, I'm not alone.

Whip Up had a book review a few days ago that shows me I'm not alone thinking of getting creative with cookies.

Click that whole paragraph if you want to see. It's worth it.

Also? And this is a little scary, so maybe you don't want to keep reading. (Ok, that wasn't fair, was it? He heh heh.)

My Beloved inspired me to check into whether there might be recipes for deep-fried cookie dough. Was I lucky?

Is this not the Home of the Brave? And, apparently, the iron-stomached.

LORDY. According to Google, 70,800 results were found that matched my search criteria (that would be "fried cookie dough recipe"), and said search was executed in 0.35 seconds. I didn't check to see if ALL 70,800 were actually recipes for this specific delicacy. In fact, my gob-smacked mind could barely make it down the page.

I guess I hit the jackpot, if that's what you can call it, though I'll stick to traditional cookies, thank you very much!! It certainly is county fair season!


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's hot & humid. My cue to turn on the oven.

cookie stamps
Originally uploaded by sunspotting.

Yesterday I was invited to join a Flickr group called Stamp Your Sweets & Cookies! because of the above photo. There's a picture of my springerle roll that they liked, too.

I like cookie molds and presses. Cookie cutters I find inspiring, too. There's just something fun about the blank slate, if you will, of a lump of sweet dough. If you can be inspired by a lump of clay or paper pulp or wool fleece, (and heaven help me, I most certainly can!!!) then my goodness, the things I can do with edible medium!!

It starts out with a simple, buff-colored sugar cookie dough. Or gingerbread, shortbread, chocolate, spice, omigoodness! there are so many wonderful flavors of cookie dough.

But why does it have to stay that color? (Ok, chocolate is not the easiest of doughs for a change of color.) Do I not have a multitude of food colors in the pantry? Of course I do. So that's one jumping-off point.

Then, with a variety of technicolor dough, rested, and ready to be shaped, I can cut it free-form. I can cut and stack the cookies, in pre-baked form; or cut them and plan to stack them, Linzer-style (or Oreo style, but Linzer-style, with the lacy cut-outs, is so much more fun!!) post-oven, filled with creme or jam. I can roll some balls of dough and press the little spheres with these lovely cookie presses. I can roll out a large sheet, then re-roll with my springerle roll -- it's another type of cookie press, but in a rolling pin form. Once the images from the springerle roll is impressed, I cut them to separate, and then I have dozens of small rectangular cookies all at once.

After baking, I have some more options!! Decorating options. To frost, or not to frost? Leave it plain? Add nuts? Nonpareils? Sprinkles? Sprinkles come in all shapes and colors (I have some Scooby Doo ones...), as do the many and sugars and edible glitters. There are markers made for food decorating! Amazing. I think that's a wonderful thing.

I've just discovered a neat thing that's been created, and I just don't know how I can live without it. I hope someone can find it, because I really REALLY want this thing.

The German company Stadter (with an umlaut over the "a", but this application won't permit me to use that) has a tool that lets you stamp letters -- actually impress them deeply into the unbaked dough -- into cookies or fondant or Royal icing... whatever your imagination gives you!!! (It's called the Brigitte Cookie Text Stamp.) How amazing is that??? You see why I need this thing?


OK: imagine this, then. Conversation Hearts. But edible. Conversation Hearts are those hard-as-a-rock and tastes-like-barely-flavored-sugar small heart-shaped candies in pastel shades with words and phrases like, "MY MAN", "OH MY", "SWEETIE PIE" "OH YOU"... You get the picture.

And special cookies with special messages. Fun!! It completely appeals to my sense of culinary adventure. Keep your eyes open, and grab it for me if you see it, please! I'd be most grateful.

I'll bake for you!


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Sunday Salmon- It's BARBECUED!! Yummy.

Mmmm. "M" is for "Fat Matt's", which is the brand of barbecue sauce I've used on our already buttery-rich wild salmon.

Oh. This is GOOD.

No, actually, I have no words for it. Not without dipping wildly into the realm of hyperbole. And I absolutely *never* do that, never in a million jillion years.


Here's what I did. I heated the grill pan (incidentally, one of only 2 Teflon-coated pans I have; I've got my eyes open for one that's cast iron instead!) before gently placing the salmon onto the surface. No oil; this fish is plenty oily. With half a lemon, I sprinkled some juice on just this one raw, red side. Not a lot of lemon: I didn't use the whole half, I could probably use it on another slab, possibly 2. Finally, fresh ground black pepper and fresh ground sea salt.

What? I should use some *other* salt on a great beast from the sea?

I flipped it -- carefully! it was about 6" square -- once the red, translucent flesh started to turn pink and opaque. THIS is the side I dressed with the yummy barbecue sauce!! It's very thick, and I just let it sit right on top of the meat. Most of the sauce wasn't really going to go anywhere, the surface had already been sealed by the cooking, but some would heat up enough to soak in a little. At least, that's what my imagination tells me. And my imagination tells me a lot.

So once I flipped the fish, I put the rice in the microwave to reheat. Marvelous. It was a much cooler dinner to prepare than that wretched casserole I made a few nights ago. While delicious, it heated up the house more than I really wanted...


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Coolest. Game. EV. ER!!!

I just did this, and it totally worked out. I think it's the neatest thing in the world today. Try it, and you'll see.

The Dhrama Wheel

I didn't misspell "dharma". That's the one tongue-in-cheek bit. Well. >snerk< It's ALL tongue-in-n-cheek.

Just try it!! It's fun. My Grandma Kopsell is my "twin soul". I suppose I didn't need a cheesey online game to tell me that, but it moved me nonetheless.


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Friday, July 18, 2008

I woke up with this dream today.

In this life, you find your happiness where you can, snatching it from the teeth of the dog in the darkness. Then run like mad, the two of you, giggling, hands clasped.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Dad's

Off the congested highway, stuck at a train crossing! Kinda like 'out of the frying pan and into the fire', right? This must be how those sayings get started.

We turned off the car's engine, but forgot to count train cars.

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Birdman & Elvis!

This guy is AWESOME. He's got this fab car, for one thing. But how many other people have The King (a mannequin in the front passenger seat)as their wingman?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's 'HIGH TIME' for Wendell's Return!

Wendell makes a Major League appearance, on behalf of all major league fans.

Nevermind that the cold ones *I* tend to raise are microbrews or Belgians. God bless those talented monks - I like their honeys and soup recipes, too.

I suppose technically, with the big new ImBev merger thing, all Anheuser-Busch swill will be Belgian. Regardless of where it's produced. If they can make a Bud taste like something better than vaguely fermented oat-water, I'm all for it!

It's good to see the return of the hardest working spokesguy. Wendell makes me smile.

My Earworms Are SQUIRMING

Josh Groban makes "God Bless America" sound like a Folgers commercial. It's TRUE! You're reading it on the internet, so it must be! Listen to the next jingle opp, then Google Groban's performance. You'll be craving java faster than you can get to the next Starbucks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This Transmission Has Been Unceremoniously Interrupted.

Yup. That it has. Even before it began!


Here's a sad, sad tale of woe. Fair warning. You may not want to read any further. Keep your eyes well away from all electronics!

Yesterday we had our quad-monthly visit from The Sears Guy, who not only pronounced our washing machine DOA (his arrival, that is), but (and I find this utterly amazing) he refused to charge us for the visit on the basis that our machine is so far gone. "Buy a new one, avoid the digital read-outs, make sure it's an up-right, and you'll be set; $400 is all it should set you back," he said in parting. Wow.

He was supposed to look at our broken dishwasher, too, but I didn't want to press our luck with the whole "no charge for a dead appliance" juju. I was pretty sure what he'd say. So it's hand-washing til we can scrape together enough to pay whatever the going rate of a basic dishwasher might be PLUS a washing machine for clothes.

When My Beloved got home, we were going to eat our dinner (the stove still works, though the toaster oven went to appliance heaven over a month ago) in front of the TV with a Dr Who episode. (Interruption: are you keeping an appliance count? Because that would make *3* dead appliances in this post. So far.) A friend of his at work lent him the DVD of the first series, starring William Hartnell.

We popped the DVD into the PlayStation (we have a combination DVD-VCR, but the DVD part is broken...) and got everything set up, hit "Play," and before we even got the FBI warnings: "TV system doesn't match."

I posted that here yesterday. First I had to pick my jaw up off of the basement floor.

Rick fiddled around with it, but after a bit he concluded that the disk was HD, and our TV (dated from 1994, perhaps earlier) was most DEFinitely NOT.

So we watched an episode of Brisco County, Jr. instead, because THOSE disks work just fine in our PlayStation.

Afterwards, just to see, just to make absolutely certain there was no fault with the disks, Rick tried playing the premier Dr Who episode (An Unearthly Child) in his laptop. No problems. No glitches. Absolutely no issues. Well, other than the fact that I was trying to head upstairs to bed.

I watched the entire episode standing up, punctuating every few scenes with: "I'm heading upstairs now. Let me know when we can rewatch this." >snerk< Like I'm superhuman enough to pull myself away from Dr Who!! (This illustrates one reason of several why we don't have cable/satellite.)

It was Rick's first experience with Hartnell: "Wow. Cranky." Heh. Wait'll he experiences the full bi-polarity Colin Baker.

Good thing we don't have a sonic screwdriver. That'd be on the fritz, too. Doesn't keep me from wanting one, 'specially now that I know they're so much more affordable than a washing machine...


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Monday, July 14, 2008

What the FRACK?

"TV system doesn't match."

So no Dr. Who for us tonight. >sigh.<

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my new favorite sports channel obsession

Dear Setanta Sports Live:

I love your selection. Really. You're in my favorite bar, and you tear me away from my beloved baseball every time. Nevermind that we usually are in that bar to watch baseball, because we don't have cable or satellite at home. No other sports network has ever had such a mesmerising hold on me. Nature really *DOES* trump nurture.

But here's the thing.

Muscle shirts + knee socks = World's. Stupidest. Look. EVER!

Seriously. What were you thinking? I have gay friends who look at that and say, "Honey, that's gayer than *I* wanna look!"

So it really doesn't matter what sport you're showing: Aussie rules football; rugby; piles of rough-housing men mindlessly cheered on by beery football hooligans-all of whom doing what they're doing for no apparent reason (OK, not an actual sport... YET...); they ALL look like they're wearing outfits left over from toddlerhood.

I realize the players' collective manhoods (menhood?) would be severely compromised by the introduction of protective gear. Consider taking some inspiration from the worlds of martial arts or comic books.


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Sunday, July 13, 2008


Mirth, caught red-pawed, using the laptop.


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In the (ahem) "Ladies' " restroom at the Lizard. (only tonight am I questioning things...) There's gotta be a mighty story. I'm just glad I wasn't around to witness whatever it was that went down.

It's really so much more fun to make up my own stories. That way no one ends up hurt, and if I want, there can be mutants. Or robots and alien autopsies and blackmarket dinosaur embryos and overwritten memories in human brains -- or, at least, positronic ones. See? So much more entertaining. And no cops, just mysterious government-"types" in dark trench coats.

For the record, I never take a picture in a public restroom unless I'm completely alone. I just keep finding odd things in restrooms. Blog-worthy things. Things like black plastic trash bags taped over broken mirrors as a "safety precaution".

These are things I deem blog-worthy, or at least, things I think the world should know.

And since I don't get many comments on this blog, I feel confident no one actually reads it. Not to the point that people are going to start pointing me out in the streets as "that girl who takes the restroom pictures".

I'm not the WeeGee of Kohler, American Standard, and Moen -- eeeww: that guy was sensationally creepy. I just think restaurant managers need to think very hard about what really IS acceptable, and what they think "passes" for acceptable, as far as their customers are concerned. And believe me, many of their customers are, in fact, quite concerned.

Meh. It won't stop us from going to the Lizard. They've got great wings!



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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rock'n'Blast at Progressive Field

Tonight is the special fireworks display night, special because it's above and beyond the every Friday night fireworks display, since the Tribe were out of town on the 4th of July. We were going to leave, but seeing all the prep work, we've gotten a bit sucked in. Yeah. Our curiosity is totally piqued.

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Seen in Section 130 at Progressive Field

Ok. This is Cleveland. And I'm a very open-minded person.

But THAT'S progressive even for California.

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Go East!

Patti leads our riders forward and eastward for the morning ride.


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Start To Finish MS: OUR Poster Child!

THIS picture speaks TEN THOUSAND WORDS! Thank you, Tysabri, for helping Patti improve. Thank you, PALADINS, for tirelessly raising money and awareness!

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Breakfast of Paladins!

Patti lifts waffles from the iron, as the Paladins meet around the table for a pre-ride breakfast. Mmm! Good stuff!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Silly, Silly Serafin!

All these letters are letters used in "Patti's Paladins". They are, in fact, the ones left over after making the two stringables that are featured in a post from earlier today.

Rick was apparently having some fun along with his leftovers during supper! So very silly, My Beloved Serafin! And also so very brainy.

I do love that brain!

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"How I Spent My Summer" bling

5 weeks til Pedal to the Point!

We have more training to do. That's the easy part. That's fun and social. There is a lot of money to raise. In this economy, that's the scary part. That can be fun and social, too, though.

Meh. We can do it. It's time to crank it up a gear or so!


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Dipteran on My Window

Cranefly. That it's related to a mosquito is not hard to imagine. Directly related to a housefly? That's a wee bit more of a stretch. The key is in the wings, though.

Isn't it AWESOME???

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dear Mr. Ahmadinejad: Please keep your shoe on.

There's a very unsettling sense of deja vu in the summer air. It feels like October. It has nothing to do with baseball, especially in poor, beleaguered Cleveland.

But I don't think you have sports on your mind when you and your boys start shooting off rockets, do you, Mr. A.?

In the summer, firing off a few rockets, heck -- making them -- is a perfectly normal activity. Museums and summer camps have programs that teach that very thing. Propulsion is an important part of physics. Watching the parabolic trajectory? Music and mathematics glorified! It sure is entertaining!

But you weren't doing what you were doing because you were bored. Or even because you thought we were bored, though that would gave been right neighborly of you... (gaaah!)

Saber rattling is a time honored method of grabbing another leader's attention. But once the shoe is off and used gavel-like during a world forum, there's really no going back.

Are you really sure you want to endanger your people, your neighbors, and the whole world with this dangerous activity?

Dare I suggest (and you know I will!!) that might be ever so slightly selfish?

I know I certainly could do without it.

If it helps, try watching the old movies of Mr. K. brandishing his brogues at the UN. You really don't want to look like him, do you? It's not a good legacy, and it's going to be the film clip they play over and over again when you're gone. It'll be especially bad, because you'll be The Guy Who Did What That OTHER Guy Did First.

Seriously. "We will bury you" got a line in a song by Sting. Not bad; he made it sound a bit wistfully poetic. This shoe thing? Just ridiculous. Stick to words. That's the lesson here.

So I ask you with great concern for the world: Mr. Ahmadinejad, please keep your common sense, keep your cool, and by all means, keep your shoe on.

Oh -- and one more thing. Please.

Keep the rockets -- "unjuiced", as it were -- on the ground. That'd be great.



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Wednesdays I post on The AntiCraft

So here's the link. I got high praise from Zabet.

That felt good.


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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Not just SMART...'s very cute, too!

It's a convertible. The cool, multiple position-style roof, like on the VW Eos. I guess this car is SMART for more than one reason!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Speachifying and Scrutinificating

I *really* appreciate David Letterman's 'Great Moments in Presidential Speaches' segment.

Very little else has made/helped me laugh during this administration/regime. Plus, the set-up clips of Presidential Predecessors' speaches have actually educated me a bit. (Did you catch a couple of Bill Clinton speaches that Sen. Obama quoted? ...but his writers probably weren't using Letterman's segment as a resource. I'm going on pure speculation, here.)

Sadly, I'm afraid that may be the only part of this administration I will miss when its time runs out. Time will tell.

I'LL be voting. (I won't say for whom, but I don't think it's a secret.) Will you?


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Published again!


Another of my projects/recipes is published! See it here.

Yes, it's on The AntiCraft. Yes, I am an editor. No, this doesn't give me an extra 'in' with my projects. A staff submission has to be scrutinized and vetted every bit as carefully and with as picky an eye as for a non-staff submission.

As a matter of pride, I would have to say that even more scrutiny goes into a staff project, because it would be embarassing for our submissions to be subpar. If we, the judges, were to display a project less wonderful than those projects we accept and reject, our credibility would be forfeit.

I submitted 4 projects for this issue. I am pleased that 2 were accepted. One of the non-accepted (?) recipes is further down the blog (Steampunked Burger Meister Meisterburgers), and everyone who has tried them has really enjoyed them. I have another recipe to share, and I will eventually. There was a lot of interest for this theme! It was amazing how much interest there was surrounding BACON.


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Monday, July 07, 2008

Mute Musician on Coventry

No 'open mic night' tonight. Such a strange departure from my art school days... there'd always be something going on at the corner of Coventry and Euclid Heights Boulevard: rogue skaters, a sketch artist, spoken word of some sort, musicians of all sorts, someone selling beaded jewelry...

Makes me more than a bit sad. 'Bohemia' is indeed lost.

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Anniversary Beer @the Lizard (it RAWX!!)

We are at the Winking Lizard for anniversary dinner and World Tour of Beers tasting. This is Gaspar, a Belgian Ale, and it's marvelously good. However, I am WAAAAAYY behind with the Tour. Not even halfway through. So if there are volunteers to assist My Beloved and me on our sacred quest of quaffing, by all means please *speak THE HECK up*. I'd like to get pregnant, and CAN'T, with this onerous task hanging over my head. *Please*.


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flowers for our 1st wedding anniversary

Just the way I like them, too: still in the ground and growing.


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Sunday, July 06, 2008

2 Cakes, Double the Fun!

One cake is for the "in" end, one cake is for the "out" end. *Both* are decorated with licenced A. A. Milne characters.

Diaper cakes make feces FUN!

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Baby Cake

Very pretty. If it tastes only a quarter as good as it looks, I'll be quite impressed.

...And it was marvelous!!! Cassata cake. Mmmm. Very good. Actually, all the food at Michelle and Joel's baby shower was lovely.

Michelle is our friend Carlina's cousin. When Carlina moved here from the Philippines, she and her brothers came without their parents. They lived with their aunt and uncle and cousins. Michelle is really more sister than cousin for her, and the two of them are pregnant together. How completely lovely.


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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Remains of the Day

I drew this picture of the barn 5 years ago. All the Demolition Crew got to sign the mat today.

Something else that's cool? As long as the picture was out of the frame, I took advantage of the chance to 'correct' my name. Instead of the 'rjop' initials that applied to me at the time of creating the drawing, I was able to sign it as 'rjogarcia', a far happier name. The 'p' was for my ex-husband's surname, with which I remained saddled after my divorce.

My name is Rebecca Joy Oerkfitz Garcia. I am thrilled to have 'Principe' deleted from my name. I hated it. And I don't use the word "hate" lightly. Particularly, ESPECIALLY, when there are humans associated with that particular "4-letter" word.

I'll always be an Oerkfitz (my maiden name) and a Kopsell (my mother's maiden name), and I absolutely LOVE, and am proud to be, a Garcia. (I still can't believe how lucky I am!!!) (I wish my level of happiness for everyone getting married. Or WHATEVER venture. Really. It's amazing when you find your soulmate/calling.) It is such a blessing to be rid of unnecessary chains, such as unwelcome names/people/commitments. Marrying one is marrying ALL. 'Nuff sed.

It's far better to have both kept my birth name, and to have a married name with which I may be proud, and with which I may make them proud, too. I have a good heritage of my own. I have married into a family which has been blessed with abundances of inherited pride, from the Philippines and from Rural America, the same as my roots. How God has blessed me.


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All in a day's work.

That used to be the shed. Criminy.

It seriously changes the landscape at Bill and Louise's farm. It will take several visits to acclimate.

Or not. Time will tell.

I'm very glad now that I made my drawing.


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Cool. NOW What?

With the skin off, no one is quite sure what the next step is.

Wundermanner sind Bob und Mike. Nekkid, as usual. (Well, partially.)(The excuse? "Everybody needs Vitamin D!!! And M!!! And B.O.B!!!!!")

All the other outbuildings victimized/taken down by this family have simply fallen over at this point of the demolition. This one shudders when pounded, but shows no sign of sweet complicity.


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Last Bit!

This corrugated metal was all that held some of this shed/barn/outbuilding together for a while. It proved to be one of the most persnickety bits to remove!!


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'Here, hold my beer and watch THIS!'

(You have to read that title in a Jeff Foxworthy voice.)

Pulling down the beam.

Mag pulled on the twine, and Mike did ... Aw, heck, I don't even know what he did. Definitely something useful. Besides that, all I know is he didn't fall, and that's quite an accomplishment.


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Bats in the Belfry in the Barn...

Bob and Mike do a high-wire act/barn demolition demo on what increasingly seems like 'borrowed time'.

It was (quite frankly) getting a little scary at this point. And those of us charged with pounding nails out (yes, OUT) of the boards pulled from the shed frame were getting fewer and fewer boards, and therefore less and less work to keep our attention occupied.

The frame was actually rather sturdy. But the knocks it was taking from the sledgehammers Mike and (you can't really see him, but he's on the other end of the shed, on the other cross-bar) Bob were swinging at planks while clinging to the beams ON WHICH THEY WERE SIMULTANEOUSLY HANGING... (shudder), were actually making the entire remaining structure shiver. It was a bit nerve-wracking.

After lunch most of the crew returned to tear down the frame. I was too sun-burnt, and besides, my dog needed looking after. Especially since Someone returned to the farm and told all of the children present to be very afraid of my dog. Which, of course, made the children seek out my dog; first to see what exactly she would do to them, and secondly, to accuse my dog of the evils it would exact upon them (sometimes to warn me to get 'the bad dog away' from them... odd, since they sought her out...). Cleo, however, was a model citizen all day. I found it rather confusing and very hurtful.

Otherwise the day was very nice.


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Not much skin left!

Some MORE progress...

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Hemiptera ROCKS!

It's a milkweed bug! My husband always thinks of me. What an awesome guy!

It was a very interesting day. Many expected to see the families of groundhogs that had made homes in this shed over the years, but they were no-shows. Rodentia was well represented instead, however, by several field mice who ran from the shed to the burn-pile!! (The burn pile was not put into action that evening.) There was a bat (little, but whether brown or black no one took the time to ascertain) in the shed. It had been 'playing possum' for at least an hour before it took off for the trees. I saw several species of spider (wolf, orb weavers, jumping, 'daddy longlegs', others), so many types of beetle (deathwatch, several ladybirds, 3 types of longhorn, 2 types or 2 sexes (I didn't have time to look closely) of click, lightning 'bug', a couple others), and a cricket.

Then (hours later, and to my complete delight) I saw a little brown bat at the gas station, hunting for food which was attracted by the lights, when we made a fuel stop on our way home. What a rich day!!


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Boom and Bob

I hope we get to preserve this somehow.

Actually, what's going to happen is Rick's Uncle Bill will keep it after all. (Phew!!! I was very worried it would end up on the burn pile!!)

It turns out there's some use for it. Since I'm not sure who reads this blog, I don't care to share what the deal is since it's not my story. It's public enough knowledge that it's going on the utility pole by the road, so that's fair enough to report. It won't be that far removed from its original spot; it'll still be a fair landmark for local folk. I'm glad of that, too.

It's just SUCH a fun and whimsical sign. If it were going to be destroyed, I wanted to salvage it. I'm just as glad it's still got life as advertisement.


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That roof won't keep the rain out now. Heck, it barely keeps Bob out!

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Demolition Men

Some progress...

We have arrived to help with the demolition of this barn, shed, out-building, whatever-you-call-it! The whole family is around to help with the deconstruction.

It's a Barn-Razing in Amish Country!! A Community Event! Much food is involved!!

(I helped pound out nails. We salvaged as much of the beams and planking as possible.)


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Adventure Dog

Cleopatra's all buckled up for yet another adventure this weekend! Today we'll be at Rick's Aunt Louise & Uncle Bill's farm in Holmes County, helping to tear down one of their sheds. This dog's going to need a vacation to recover from our vacation...

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Friday, July 04, 2008

The Bombs Bursting in Air

I'm sitting in the comfort of my living room on hand-me-down/recycled/comfortably-broken-in furniture (whatever!), flanked (as I so often am) by my champion snugglers, Bert and Cleopatra.

The difference *tonight* is that the evening's soundtrack is competing fireworks displays, one about 2 miles away in Shaker Heights, and the other at Edgewater Park (12 miles), echoing off Lake Erie, which seriously boosts the acoustics.

With the world's current variety pack o'messes, it got me thinking. People in other lands might hear these same sounds and run for cover.

Well, whatever their reaction, I sadly doubt they would simply snuggle closer with their pets, drinking water, knitting, and watching fluff on tv.

I do NOT take my independence for granted. We are FREE, so though we struggle (we aren't unique), we'll be fine.

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Aaaaaannnd-- They're OFF!

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