Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lovely bird, the Norwegian blue. Beautiful plumage

(apologies to karen for jacking her entry format.)


A week before my birthday, my mother sent to me:

A pair of lovely reproduction freshwater pearl earrings from the Winterthur collection

Two charming posable jointed wooden lizards

A check for a hundred smackers that is NOT going into savings

A tiny playable xylophone keychain just like the Fisher-Price toy

A copy of her living will

The antique stuffed hummingbird in a nest pictured below.

All in all, a suitably cryptic and colorful birthday package, no?



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The Coultergeist

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/06/07/coulter.911.widows.ap/index.html

Coulter writes in a new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," that a group of New Jersey widows whose husbands perished in the World Trade Center act "as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them."

She also wrote, "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."


It would only make her clap her bony hands with glee to hear me say it, but God, she makes my blood boil. As my boss put it, "I'd like to see someone verbally abuse her and make her cry and soil herself publicly." And that's where I will leave it, since I'm not interested in namecalling masquerading as "political debate."

I know, I know, I don't often say things that are political in nature here, but I don't often see enough in the news that calls for my remarking. Plenty of other people with lots more time on their hands can do it for me. I keep muttering to myself Voltaire's immortal words "I disagree with what you say but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

LibraryThing

I have reached high geekdom, and it feels goooood.

LibraryThing.com enables you to input the contents of your personal library, or your Amazon wishlist, or any other book list you like, and you can see a graphical representation of it, covers and all, online. You can tag books into sub-collections, write reviews, and sort them any way you wish.

The software searches titles, authors, even ISBNs across Amazon (not just the US version either) and various library catalogs to locate specific editions. You can even import files of ISBNs if you like (be still my heart...)

I am busily tagging books according to how they are collected on my shelves and will let you know when it's ready to view. Did I mention that LibraryThing allows you to see how many other people have the same book, and to peek at their catalogs too? This is so cool!

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. But isn't it cool?

Monday, June 05, 2006

More food that's hard to mess up

Something or other stroganoff

I did this tonight with boneless chicken, but it does work equally well with cubes of beef, ground meat, or I suppose tempeh (have not tried; just a guess though).

Saute an onion in a mixture of half olive oil, half butter in a large skillet.

Set aside onions and leave pan somewhat coated with oil and brown your meat over medium heat.

As the meat browns, coat both sides with paprika and parsley. Add salt and ground pepper.

When the meat is browned, pour in about 1 cup wine (white or red, your call according to your meat. Sherry or brandy would also be nice) and stir. Reduce heat to simmer.

As the liquid reduces, add 1 lb. sliced mushrooms (baby portabella, cremini, or whathaveyou) and the onions you set aside earlier, combine, and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add wine if the pan gets dry.

Serve over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes with sour cream as a garnish. Steamed green beans make a nice side.

Overheard this AM

The department VP complaining about her 4 year old Lexus SUV and referring to it as a piece of junk. It's in the shop for scheduled maintenance.

"I wanted a BMW but my husband said this was better," she said, as if she couldn't understand how anyone could be so misguided.

When the piece of junk was a year old she volunteered to drive some of us to an office luncheon in the area and she apologized because her car wasn't new enough. "We used to have a new car every year, but now with this economy, we can't do that," she said angrily.

And you know, I feel for her. It must be very hard.