Sunday, November 25, 2007

Google maps read my mind

We decided to join my sister and her friends for a Thanksgiving buffet lunch at a tribal casino near us. We'd never been so checked the directions offered by the casino. It gave simple directions but mainly on the major freeway near us. Interstate 5 to CA-16

The forecast for the day was bright sun, a perfect day for a ride in the convertible. Perfect day for a county road drive, but how to get there by county road instead of the freeway? We had no idea as we'd never been there before. On the casino's direction page was a link to get door-to-door directions via Google Maps.

Put in our home address, the destination address was already populated with the casinos address. Hit "Get directions" and low and behold the directions were from one county road to another to another. 102 to 27 to 89 to 23 to 85B to CA-16. How'd Google know we preferred a back-road route? I'm convinced it read my mind.

The route took us by ostriches, sheep and lambs, cows, horses, and lots of birds of prey. Lunch at the casino was pretty good. They highlight locally grown produce.

The casino environment is not my cup of tea, but the drive and getting together with family and friends made for a great day, all thanks to Google Maps.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's all about the tools

It's all about the tools
Originally uploaded by siegel_jackie.
Prior attempts to roll out any type of dough have been met with dismal failure. I had some frozen fruit pie filling (home made from home grown fruit) in my freezer. Buying pre-made pie crusts (the only ones I could find lard-free where the ones already in a pie plate) and trying to make a two-crust pie from them met with failure. To do the wonderful fruit justice I decided to finally attempt making and rolling my own pie dough.

First step was assembling all the right tools.

I had seen a pie-bakeoff on the Food Network awhile ago and one of the contestants used a plastic pie form. Put the dough in, zip it up, and roll out the dough to perfect shape. I found one for under $5.00.

So, where would I roll it out? On the kitchen counter, but darn, we've got tile. Yuck. Even with the plastic pie roller thing I'd still end up with unsightly lines. Marble slab purchased ages ago to the rescue. Not really quite big enough, but it would work.

Rolling pin. I bought a fancy T-Fal rolling pin many years ago and never was happy with it. Things stuck to it even with the T-Fal non-stick coating, but with the plastic pie roller thing, I didn't have to worry.

Final tool was the most crucial for my small stature. A step-stool to provide leverage to be able to work the dough from above.

The most important tool stepped in during my exertions and gruntings. Significant other (significantly taller and stronger) stepped in to finish rolling out the dough.

The plastic pie roller thing worked really well and cleaned up better than expected. I may try this again if the pie comes out well.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another Thought for the Day

Poor Significant Other, he reports that others have been encouraging the receptionist's email missives. Names again have been changed to protect the innocent victims.

From: Reception Desk
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:21 AM
To: All
Subject: Thought for the Day

Good morning, workplace! I’m sorry I’ve failed you this week so far, but I couldn’t let you all leave for Thanksgiving holiday without giving you one last thing to think about. I actually found two Thanksgiving quotes, and I couldn’t choose between the two, so you’re getting both.

Before I move onto the quotes (eliminated by me, that's not what you all wanted to be reading anyway, right?), I want to thank all of you that have given me such good feedback on my daily thoughts, even if they don’t happen every single day. I am glad you all enjoy my rambling, and my hope is that it gives each of you a little inspiration for the day. Ohh, that sounds so like my mother that it’s scary!
Thanks, thankful, Thanksgiving.
Hmmm, what am I thankful for? Well, I could really ramble on and on about everything I have that I truly appreciate, but I’m going to just reveal one. I am truly thankful to each of the employees here at
place of work that have been so kind and accepting to me. I feel very welcome here already, and I really appreciate every smile, every hello, every friendly email, and each time someone stops to talk to me. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's a literal literal literal literal world.

My number one grammatical pet peeve is the misuse of the word "literally." It is defined as "word for word; not imaginatively, figuratively or freely" If one were to say "it's literally raining cats and dogs" there had better be cats and dogs falling from the sky.

Just this morning I'm quietly reading my newspaper when I came across an Associated Press article under the byline of Morris and James Carey titled Energy savings add up to serious change. The final paragraph had me literally screaming out loud (and my significant other can attest to that as I do scream every time I read a misuse of the word.)

To keep your hard-earned money from literally going down the drain, be sure to
repair faucet leaks at the kitchen sink

Now, if the drain were just a big open hole one might lose one's money down the drain, but it wouldn't be due to a leaky faucet, it would be due to tossing your change into the sink.

Please editors, correct your writers!!!

A couple of years ago, after hearing my screams almost daily, dear significant other said "why don't you start a blog about literally?" What a great idea, document all the misuses I come across. Well, fellow grammarians, it's already been done, by multiple individuals. One very well done blog is at:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thought for the day

My poor significant other. His place of employment recently hired a new receptionist. Can you imagine being greeted each morning with an email such as this? (names have been changed to protect the innocent, especially poor "Jane")

Subject: Thought for the day

Good morning, everyone! First, of all, I’d like to wish Jane a Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Jane, happy birthday to you! (And yes, for all of you wondering, I was singing it while typing). Jane, I hope your day is extra special.

Well, I don’t have as much to say today. I guess that’s a big relief to some of you who may think I’m long-winded. I’m not saying any names, but I’m sure John can let you know who they are! ; ) Actually, I’ll probably never have nothing to say, but some days I may be more talkative than others.

I just hope this receptionist treats customers in a more professional manner.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The challenges of planning a vacation with my significant other, part 1

"Honey" I said as he arrived home, "listen to this vacation description;

"Tahoe snowshoeing and dogsledding: You don't have to go to Alaska to learn to love snowshoeing and dogsledding. You can do both amid the wintertime beauty of the Sierra Nevada backcountry ... Meet the sled dogs, learn how they're trained, and handle the equipment used before hopping on in back and driving the team yourself."

"I don't think I'd want to snowshoe" he replies.

"But you love dogs, wouldn't that be fun?" was my comeback.

"How much does it cost?"

"$700 per person for four nights"

"Couldn't we just go to the pound?"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

AOL Instant Messenger - BAH AOL!

I opened AIM to see if I could catch my sister online. AOL soon came up with a pop-up wanting to install a security update. Sure, security is good, so I told it to go ahead.

Then the terms and conditions came up. It wouldn't let me copy and paste it, so I'm going to take the time to transcribe most of it here because I find it very presumptuous and aggresive in assuming I want all my settings changed to what they want:

You will be given a choice whether to install the AIM Toolbar, QQ Games, and AIM Tunes and whether to change your home page in Internet Explorer to and your default search engine to AOL Search. DON'T MESS WITH MY BROWSER SETTINGS!!!

AIM will start automatically when you start Windows. You can change this behaviour ... DON'T MESS WITH MY START-UP SETTINGS!!!

A desktop shortcut, system tray icon, Start Menu folder, and Quick Launch shortcut for AIM will be added to your computer to provide you quick access to AIM's features and services. DON'T MESS WITH MY NICE CLEAN DESKTOP AND SYSTEM TRAY!!!

I'm going to agree, only because I want a secure system, but then I'll have to spend my valuable time undoing all the garbage they throw on my PC. Fooey on you AOL.