Friday, October 30, 2009

F2: Finger Breadsticks

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about making scary breadsticks in the shape of fingers for Halloween.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

With inspirations from MS and Mrs. Mackinac…

Every Halloween we like to have a spooky spread set out so that our children and our grandchildren have a place to stop and eat something other than candy. My wife is such the Martha Stuart and likes to have dishes that reflect the celebration. This is one of those dishes that we always like to make. Makes 8 to 12.

Finger Breadsticks:
1 package of breadstick dough
Almond slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Separate the breadsticks, then cut the lengths in half.
  3. Shape the dough into fingers.
    Don't worry if they don't look exactly like fingers, that's what makes them scarry.
  4. Place an almond sliver on one end of the finger.
    To make it extra scary, place the pointy end of the sliver pointing outwards.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending upon the time on the package.
  6. Enjoy.

Given that next month is Thanksgiving for our family, I have decided to have Thanksgiving be the theme for the entire month of November.

  • Do you "Talk Turkey"— or talk to your turkey?
  • Who does Thanksgiving in your family— are you the host, or the guest?
  • What craziness ensues when the family comes to visit?
  • Are you traditional with your dishes, or are you experimental?
  • Do you have any family recipes handed down for generations at your table?
  • What do you do with all those leftovers?

So grab a turkey leg, pull up a chair and link up. Even if you are Canadian and have celebrated earlier this year— or have a post from last year's festivities your links are always welcome.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trapped in Time: Act 2

This part of the story will not make any sense to you unless you read the first part. If you have not done so, please read the section called: Trapped in Time: Act 1. Thank you.

… I awoke in darkness. Fumbling to get my bearings I found a doorknob and saw a faint glow emanating from my arms. "Great", I thought to myself "it looks like I've been placed in the environmental suit and it's decaying." Fortunately the door was unlocked, so I wasn't locked into what appeared to be a closet.

As I slowly opened the door to see where I was I noticed that I was in my own house. Not knowing how long I had been in the suit, I was unsure how much time I had left before the suit completely failed and I died inside it. I looked into the living room and saw the time portal on the side table. "Excellent", I thought to myself "I can get the time portal, go into the kitchen to call my colleagues and get this fixed up in no time."

I quickly went into the living room, stole the time portal under my arm and headed towards the phone in the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen, my wife turned, screamed and immediately fainted. "She must not have recognized me in the suit", I said to myself.

I ran to her and bent over to see if she hurt herself. It was at that moment that someone came barging in through the kitchen door. Fearing it was the intruder from before, my mind started reeling: "Will I be able to get to the phone?", "Who should I call if I do?", "How can I escape?"

As I turned my head to face the intruder I could only think of one thing… "Maybe I can use the time portal on myself and send me back far enough to call for help…" Fiddling with the time portal I lifted it up and struggled to find the trigger…

There was a flash of light…

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trapped in Time: Act 1

Here's a scary story just in time for Halloween. I originally wrote this story as a writing exercise for my Science Fiction class in High School. Unfortunately, I somehow have lost my story folder with a lot of my stories I have written over the years— so I'll have to re-tell this story from memory. Fortunately I remember the story and can tell it to you. I have broken the story up into two parts— so be sure to tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Trapped in Time

It was a stormy night as I came home from a busy day at the lab. As I walked through the front door I felt a chill run down my spine… "someone must be walking over my grave" I said to myself.

"Honey, I'm home", I announced as I entered the living room… "Good, dinner's almost ready" came my wife's voice from behind the kitchen door. The smell of dinner wafting through the house made me feel more at ease. I walked over to my favorite chair, sat down, and picked up the newspaper.

"Scientists make breakthrough in Time Travel" said the headline. I smiled to myself as I looked at the picture of me and my colleagues. I looked like a giant next to my fellow colleagues— my head being at least a foot above the rest. I glanced to the side table where I placed the portal device. "Security's already tight", I thought to myself "but it will definitely have to be a lot tighter now that there is so much publicity." I then flipped the paper over and got lost in the sports section.

A few minutes later I heard a loud noise coming from the front hallway and parlor. I jumped up and looked in that direction only to see that the side window was open and flapping in the wind. "Boy, that scared the soul out of me", I thought to myself "thank goodness it's just the window." I proceeded to slowly walk into the parlor to secure the window.

As I turned to scold my wife for leaving the window open for the umpteenth time, I noticed that the time portal was not on the side table. In a panic, my mind started reeling: "Did it fall off the table?", "Did it break when it fell?", "Did someone manage to steel it&hellip"

My panic soon turned to horror as I heard my wife's scream from the kitchen and the sound of someone falling to the floor. I bolted towards the kitchen and blew in the kitchen door.

I saw a man bent over my wife. He turned his head towards me in a curious way. All I was thinking was how to get past him and get to the phone to call the police. The man's hands were shaking as he lifted the portal device— "Good", I thought to myself "he's going to give it back to me." There was a flash of light…

to be continued

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tribute Tuesday: Followers-of-the-Blog-05

When the original Tuesday's Tribute (now Tribute Tuesday) was created— I had an idea to do a spotlight on my followers. I thought… "what a great way of promoting their blogs and give them credit for bearing with my narrative/technical-writer style of writing". I decided to write to those followers that I could and ask two questions so that their words could be a part of the post:

  1. What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.
  2. Why do you think that others follow your own blog?
    I know why I do and will let you know in my post along with my impressions on what your blog is to me.

I realized that posting on all of my followers would be a very long post— so I broke it up into smaller manageable pieces.

Note: I started sending out the questionnaire again after I reached 60 followers. Since Blogger changed the way that followers are displayed, I have no way of knowing in what order my next 30 followers joined up. So I decided to list them in the order I received responses. Here is what the next 10 followers have to say:

angie @ SevEn cLoWn CirCuS
I found angie as the host of Wordless Wednesday and she also hosted Tuesday's Tribute until she handed it over to Mayhem & Moxie and it became the Tribute Tuesday that it is today. I love the playfulness that her blog title has using mixed upper and lower case, and that playfulness reflects in many of her posts. Here is what angie has to say:
  1. What a fabulous, idea. I can't believe I hadn't signed up as a follower sooner…I thought I had. You've been on my reader for ages, so I guess that counts, right?
    I don't know how I found your blog? BUT, in the beginning I remember thinking that I appreciated that your posts were humble and thought provoking…and it's always fun to find new "man bloggers".
  2. Why do people follow my blog? No idea? Fascination with large families? My wit? Seriously though…I've been told that it's because I seem kind. And if that's why, I'll take it. I Do try always to be kind and optimistic.
Midlife Mama @ Midlife Musings
I think we all— no matter what our age may be have some sort of Midlife crisis. I enjoy the musings of Midlife Mamma and the humorous stories that she tells of her life. Here is what Midlife Mamma has to say:
  1. I honestly can't remember how I found your blog, but it was either a link from someone else's blog, or perhaps you commented on my blog and so of course I had to check you out. The reason I follow you is because
    1. I always try to follow my favorite blogs, and Google reader is a good way to do this but
    2. I follow (i.e. read) your blog because it's interesting…the Friday Feast is great; gotta love a man who knows how and loves to cook. Plus your stories are interesting; I just love hearing about other people's lives.
    3. And last but not least, I l admire and envy the fact that you've been married so long. Not only were you wise in making a good choice when you got married but you've been able to stick it out through good times and bad. My track record isn't so great so I am always greatly curious about how other people do it. My first instinct is to run when things get tough. You're honest, you're down-to-earth and I really enjoy your blog.
  2. Why do others follow me? Because they're into torture and pain? Because they hate themselves and enjoy the feeling of wanting to rip their eyeballs out of their sockets by reading my drivel??? *chuckles* Okay there's my insecure side coming out. I actually envy people who have a lot of followers, as I only have 38, but each one I get I do a silent happy dance inside. "You like me; you really like me!" LOL I hope that people follow me because they enjoy what I write, that I'm honest and real, and sometimes speak my mind before my brain catches up but hopefully I don't offend too many people. I did lose one follower early on because I offended her with something I'd posted. I remember that clearly, because it does bother me and I care too much what people think sometimes. I hope I am funny, and entertaining and not TOO offensive! :)
subtorp77 @ basstuna
I discovered subtorp77 through Otin's Rhyming Wednesday. He has an interesting feature called "Theme Thursday" to which he picks a theme and runs with it— a great way of opening up a discussion. Here is what subtorp77 has to say:
  1. Found you through otin's Rhyming Wednesday meme and liked your style of writing, as soon as I read it. 'Twas a bit different but most refreshing. I seem to be stuck in the "rhyming" mode and could only pray to write like this.
  2. As for why others may follow my bloggo, not sure. It could be the poetry or sharing of alike ideas and events, that one can relate to. Still wondering…
Liza @ They Will Not Have Me
I discovered Liza through Otin's Rhyming Wednesday feature. The blog title has a poetic quality that brings you in. I really love the fact that she posts her poetry which cover a wide variety of topics. Here is what Liza has to say:
  1. I started following your blog based solely on one post, Rhyming Wednesday: Fear
    1. Your drawing reminded me of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" which I seemed to be having synchronizes with.
    2. Your words made me laugh (and I love laughing) "I was doodling topographical lines in the shape of an island (yes, I'm geeky like that)" And by the way, I am geeky like that too! I just loved the honesty in that sentence.
    3. Following that delight, there's also Friday's Feast - FRIDAY, FOOD, FUN (need I say more?) I haven't taken an active part as of yet, but I do watch from the sidelines!
  2. Because something in me spoke to something in them.

    I crave that connection, the tie that binds us all. There really is a common thread underneath all of the skin and bones.

    With that intention in mind, I can let go, and let the Universe do its gathering.

    My blog is a challenge for me to be creative, and let go of that inner critic that has been prevalent for far too long.

    For me, following blogs is a tribute to creativity in all of its amazingly beautiful, and magical forms.

Kiki @ Kirsten NOT Kristen
I rather like the title of Kiki's blog. It reminds me of all those people to whom I mispronounce their names. Kiki is a very a good story teller and has a very easy to read blog. Here is what Kiki has to say:
  1. I am following you because I follow Stacy's Random Thoughts whom I think is a wonderful blogger and she recommended you. I read your blog and liked what I saw.
  2. I am real, honest, funny and hopefully blog about things people can relate to.
rochellesychua @ HeaRty's Haven
Reading through rochellesychua's blog it is apparent that she is a "gear-head"— and I mean that in a good way. She has a lot of reviews on various electronics and other gear that is very informative. She also has a smattering of Taiwan culture mixed in for good measure. Here is what rochellesychua has to say:
  1. One huge reason why I decides to follow your blog because you value your readers. This is really important because this resulted to us feeling at home whenever we're on your page. You share your thoughts and philosophies in life w/c inspires us :) keep writing!!
  2. As for my blog, HeaRty's Haven ( - this covers mostly gadgets, food, travel, gaming & fashion topics. Those of which I'm passionate about :) I share my deepest thoughts and just like your blog I hope to inspire others :)
Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish @ One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish
I like the name of this blog, it reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book. But Mrs. Fish's blog is not a children's book. It covers serious topics, as well as stories about the fish family adventures. Here is what Mrs. Fish has to say:
  1. Your blog sounds like what my husband would sound like if he blogged. Highly entertaining to me.
  2. I think they like to know that someone is more nuts than they are and I am not afraid to speak out about anything! I love to talk about sensitive and controversial issues of home life and the everyday mundane, so I think people enjoy knowing they have someone else to relate with on these issues.
Patricia @ Subjective Soup
I love the name of this blog. I used to get the terms Objective and Subjective confused— but now that I know the difference, this blog's title alone gives it a profound meaning to me. Here is what Patricia has to say:
  1. I follow many blogs. If someone visits my blog, I usually return the visit and if I enjoy their blog I usually sign on as a follower.
  2. I hope my followers have similar reasons for following my blog.
Moonspun @ Moonspun Spins
Moonspun to me is the kind of fairy-tale stuff that is in children's stories— so the blog title Moonspun Spins is that much more inviting to me. Here is what Moonspun has to say:
  1. I found your blog a long time ago through the He Says She Says tryouts (whenever they were) and I liked your perspective enough to vote for you in that contest and to start reading your blog. I still follow Ca-Joh because you are insightful, but not dramatic. You share a variety of things as well as the predictable Friday's Feast. You clearly give thought to your posts and are respectful to readers. Plus you are a good writer and that makes a difference for me.
  2. Why people read my little corner of the Internet world is a bit of a mystery to me. I've been told I am insightful and a good writer, but I don't know that I am a good judge of that myself. I certainly have a one-of-a-kind personal story, so maybe they check in to see what may happen next to me. Or what odd thing about my past I may reveal.
3 Men and a Lady @ 3 Men and a Lady
The title of this blog reminds me of the movie 3 Men and a Baby, but the author of this blog is no baby. Being the only lady in a family of men makes for interesting stories. Here is what 3 Men and a Lady has to say:
  1. I chose to follow you for a couple of reasons:
    1. you have interesting posts,
    2. you took the time to comment on my blog,
    3. it's a great way to network, and
    4. following puts people I want to read in my reader and it's easy for me to keep up.
  2. I think people follow me for roughly the same reasons. Some people follow everybody, but I don't and I hope people follow me because they find my posts interesting or funny, but whatev.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Spooky Shake

In honor of the upcoming Haloween celebrations, I thought I would change my page a bit. If you are reading this in a reader, please stop by and check it out.

About eight years ago, I found an interesting piece of JavaScript which shakes the window:

If you are curious to see how this piece of code works, just press the button below…

Scarry isn't it…

Friday, October 23, 2009

F2: Boo

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about Boo.

Talking about Boo to me means that I'll be talking about nothing.
No… this is not a Seinfeld post, but rather one about nothing that pertains to food.

Perhaps I should have said "Boo-hoo".
I may just have the unfortunate blessing of having a participatory post that people don't participate in. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I know that there are people who want to participate in Friday's feast, but may be scared away because they feel they must produce. I also know that people tend to get busy and may not remember to link up. I also want to blame myself because I don't know how to promote this feature.

I rather like the concept and feel that it should work. I have even taken steps to make the process easier to do, but have not gotten the type of participation I see other sites have.

It is not that I do not appreciate those who do participate— I do and thank you all for joining in. It is just that I had to resort to drastic measures to get my recipe swap links last week, only to find an empty well this week. I am very hard on myself and tend to blame it all on my lack of experience and/or charisma.

How can I make this feature more appealing?

  • Should I just abandon asking people to participate…
  • Should I just stop altogether…
  • Should I only post when I feel like it and leave it up to the reader if they want to participate or not…
  • Should I post every other week to give people more time…
  • How does one promote such a feature and get people to participate willingly without having to resort to begging…

My apologies for giving you such a Boo-hoo moment. I have been struggling with trying to make this work since April and have not seen any positive momentum. This in turn effects my self esteem and makes me question any of my abilities as a writer— or even as a person in general. I certainly do not want this feature post to effect my ability to post moving forward.

Any advice that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Since I didn't really cover Halloween this week, next weeks topic is still Halloween:

  • Are you hosting a Halloween party and have ghoulish dishes you will be serving…
  • Do you have any stories about when you went trick or treating…
  • What is your favorite Halloween candy…
  • What is it about those crazy Americans who tell their children to go door to door and get candy from strangers…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Summer Fades

This poem I must have written sometime after school started up again. It incorporates my "six-line" style formula in which the initial pairings rhyme and the second to last line rhymes with a word in the last line and the last word of the last line line rhymes with the first two. It also ties each of the pairs together logically which is a feature I like about these types of poems. I find that it shows the hopefulness and disappointments that sometimes accompany changes in the season.

As I slowly sit and watch the summer fade away
the winter winds creep in and cloud up the day.

Years gone by in times of dread and pain
the waiting for it all finds me no gain.

What new ground have I reached all torn and pail
my plans I decide all seem to fail.

The failure seems endless but at least there's hope
for one strong soul that knows how to cope.

To put up with my misery and comfort my needs
and only plant those seeds that reveal the play.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

When I was a sophomore in high-school I had a biology class where we dissected a frog as an anatomy lesson. Whereas a lot of biology classes have freshly killed frogs, ours had ones that were kept in formaldehyde. Because of this— the frogs had rigor mortise and were stuck in one particular position. Ours had the fortunate/unfortunate position of having one of its front legs folded in front of its body instead of off to the side.

This was unfortunate, because we had to work around that folded arm any time we had to access the body. It made it particularly difficult to open up the belly and see what it recently ate. I don't think that my lab partner and I put two and two together and saw how fortunate we were until we snipped the frog's jaw and rolled out the tongue.

One of the exercises in class was to roll out the tongue to see how long it is. In order to do this, you had to snip the two sides of the jaw so that the jaw can be flipped down and the tongue rolled out. I don't know at what point we noticed that the hanging tongue reminded us of a Rolling Stones album cover— or that the folded arm may have been in that position for a reason. It was after this point that we never looked at our frog the same way again.

We fashioned an electric guitar out of paper and slipped it under the folded arm. We affectionately named it Jeremiah and sang Joy To the World to ourselves every time we got the frog out. I do not think that we had the forethought to take pictures— who could when you are keeping one eye on the teacher so that you don't get caught goofing off. Our frog was a rock-star and we liked it that way.

Friday, October 16, 2009

F2: Recipe Swap

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I will not be talking at all, but will let you do the talking through your recipes. Thank you all for your contributions. I truly appreciate it since I was in training all week and didn't know if I had time to prepare a palatable post. Since today is a recipe swap, there are a lot of choices to choose from. Feel free to visit these other blogs so you can expand your repertoire and/or stuff your recipe box with some real gems.

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

Wasn't that fun…
Now, if you want to join in the feast but don't know what to do— please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. To join in on the feast— leave a comment and be sure to include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

I'm always looking for new inspirations. So, if there is a particular topic you want me to cover— feel free to suggest it.

Next weeks topic is Halloween…

  • Are you hosting a Halloween party and have ghoulish dishes in mind…
  • Do you have any stories about when you went trick or treating…
  • What is it about those crazy Americans who tell their children to go door to door and get candy from strangers…

I'm hoping that the topic doesn't scare you away. Even if you have a post the past— your links are always welcome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ring Tome

The wedding band is considered a sacred piece of jewelry. It can represent a lot to someone who is married. To me, having my wedding band on is a true representation of how fragile being married can be.

When I purchased my wedding band I chose to get a comfort fit. What this means is that the inside of the ring is beveled so that it does not cut into your finger. What it also seems to mean is that it slips on and off a bit too easily. I can attest to this happening more than once to me.

On my Wedding Night
It is a bit disheartening to find that your wedding band that had been placed on your finger less than twenty-four hours before is somehow no longer on your hand. Fortunately I found the ring under my pillow after much frantic searching. After our honeymoon I had the ring sized down so that it would not be so loose. It was also after this time that I started the habit of pulling my ring up into my hand by with my thumb.
After Grocery Shopping
Many of you are familiar with the drill after going grocery shopping… you put away the groceries and at the same time go through the refrigerator to throw away those items that are questionable. Well… it was sometime after I was done with that after-shopping routine that I noticed my ring was no longer on my hand.
Looking back on the activities leading up to that time, I knew I was doing a lot of throwing away of things— and not just gentle throwing either. I do remember one time, a long time ago— I flung the garbage bag into the garbage can and heard my ring clang on the sidewalk next to the garbage can. It took me several minutes to actually find the ring that time.
I also knew I was doing a lot of cramming into the kitchen can to stuff as much garbage as possible before I took it out to the outside can. There was another time when I was shredding papers and I felt the ring slip off my finger when I was pushing the shredded paper further down in the can. So the possibility of my ring slipping off my finger into the garbage was not out of the question. With these two scenarios fresh in my mind I methodically went through all of the garbage in the can picking out each piece of garbage from each bag and transferring it to a fresh bag.
After and hour of going through all of the garbage and scanning the entire kitchen area, I had to start thinking that perhaps it fell off somewhere else. Feeling quite dejected the next day I almost gave up on trying to figure out where the ring was. It was at that time when my wife handed me my ring. Surprised, I asked where she found it. "Under the bacon in the freezer" she said. That made a lot of sense— not only did the ring slip off because my finger was smaller, but I must not have noticed it because my hands were numb.
Last week
By the time I went to take the dog out for his morning walk, I tried tucking my ring onto my hand and noticed that it wasn't there. I knew that it wasn't in the freezer because I hadn't been in the freezer that day, and insisted that I remembered having it on the night before.
Being thorough, I decided to go through the garbage only to find that it wasn't there either. That only left the bed— but I was running late, so I'd have to search for it after I got back from work.
I do not know how many times I tucked my phantom ring into my hand over the day. I got home and immediately started going through all of the blankets and sheets and pillows on the bed. I even went so far as to take up the mattress and search under the mattress. After about an hour of doing this I started to realize that the ring was not lost in my sleep overnight and I started to give up on ever seeing the ring again.
It was at this point that my wife came up the stairs and tossed me the ring (Why is it that my wife finds the ring). I asked— and she said she found it while sweeping under the kitchen table. Now I think I know what happened… earlier that morning I was getting a bowl of cereal for my wife when I fumbled with the bowl and spilled some cereal on the floor. I must have tried to catch the bowl and the ring fell off my finger.

One would think that three strikes and you're out. I would much rather think that the third time's a charm and that I will never lose my ring again.

Friday, October 9, 2009

F2: Birthday Cake

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about my birthday and the cake I got when I turned 21.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Many happy returns of the day to you too.

Yes… it's my birthday today. I would tell you how old I am— but I'd much rather let you guess instead. I was born on a beautiful Sunday morning and had my twenty-first birthday on a Friday (just like today).

Sometime before my twenty-first birthday, my mother called me at school and asked me what kind of cake I would like to have when they came to visit that weekend. Remembering the cake I used to love as a child I told her that I wanted a Mississippi Mud Cake.

Unfortunately I did not get the recipe in time for this post— but I can describe it so that you can understand why I chose that particular cake. Imagine if you will a chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate icing, covered with a layer of marshmallow icing, and covered again with a layer of chocolate icing again— pure yum…

if you are a a child of ten! I have heard people telling me that they used to make icing just to eat it when they were children… but now cannot understand how they could have ever do such a thing today. I guess it's a lot like having eyes that are bigger than your stomach— I had a craving for a cake that I didn't know I couldn't finish.

The cake came that weekend and I may have had a piece when I got it. And there it sat in the refrigerator all week— me getting nauseous whenever I cut the next piece for myself. Please keep in mind that it wasn't my mother's cooking— but rather the richness of the cake that I couldn't handle. I eventually knew the cake was getting nowhere (especially into my belly where it intended to be)… so I had to throw it out after a week and a half.

I think that what surprised me the most is that my tastes changed. I could have sworn that I could handle that kind of cake three years prior when I was eighteen— but now that I was twenty-one… sorry, no go. What about you? Are there certain things that you used to eat in abundance as a child only to cringe at the sight of them now that you're older?

Next weeks topic is Recipe Swap. I know that many of you have recipes that you have posted. I would like to have my post for next week only be recipes you share. If I get links to recipes I will have a post next week— If I don't get any there will be no post. Don't be shy… be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted a recipe in the past— your links are always welcome.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rhyming Wednesday: Living on a plateau

It appears that Otin's Rhyming Wednesday is not up today, but I thought I would contribute one of my poems anyway. Many of you have been asking for a poem— so I thought I would not disappoint.

I wrote this while in college, but ran across it recently. So many times I write something that may sound pretty at the time— but it takes on a more profound meaning when I come back to it.

Living on a plateau
I find no new trend.

No mountains to climb, no cliffs to jump
no place to begin or end.

My goals are short
my dreams are long.

Nothing too near
or too close to belong.

All I need is to find anew
one not too few to be a friend.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mouseketeer Blog-Roll Call

Lately I have been doing some cleaning and have been trying to keep my blog-rolls up to date. I have noticed that some of the links go to non-existent sites and/or privatized blogs. If you are a regular reader, most likely I read you as well and have placed your blog in one of my blog-rolls.

I know that a lot of people read blogs through a reader— so if you do, please stop by and check to see if your blog address is correct. Please leave a comment and let me know that you are listed correctly. If for some reason I neglected to list your blog, please let me know as well. I certainly do not want to leave anybody in the lurch. Oh, and here's a great opportunity for you lurkers to make your blogs known to others as well— so don't be shy.

Thank you,

To hear what I'm thinking… read my blog:

Friday, October 2, 2009

F2: Pumpkin Pirate

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about my ordeal with a pumpkin and my Internet connection. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Author's Note: Please forgive my geek-speak. If you don't understand— just enjoy the story.

Every fall we go out to a local farm and pick up pumpkins. Many times my wife picks out some small ones and places them in our picture window in our living room. A few years back our lives must have gotten busy because we forgot to remove the pumpkins from the window after Halloween.

One November day my wife told me that she could not get a connection to the Internet again. Typically this means that the computer lost connection with the wireless base-station and just needs to be restarted. After restarting the computer, I still noticed that there was no wireless connection. My next plan was to restart the base-station to reset the connection.

I went downstairs to the living room to restart the wireless base-station and noticed that the pumpkin on the window sill decided to drip onto the wireless base-station. I experienced a similar situation with our oven when I sprayed window cleaner onto the control panel and lost the digital reading. Only after it dried out did the digital reading return. So… I decided I would take the wireless base-station into a computer shop and have them clean it out in hopes that it would be working again. Meanwhile, I moved the computer downstairs so that I could plug directly into our Internet connection while I waited.

Sixty dollars later I found out that they could not get it to work even after cleaning it out. I was forced to buy a new wireless base-station. Fortunately, I was considering getting a new base-station with 802.11g connection speed instead of the 802.11b that the old base-station had.

Eighty dollars later I had my new 802.11g wireless base-station and was ready to configure it. I tried running the installer program that came with the base-station only to have the installer tell me that the installer cannot run without MacOS 10.3 or greater. Oh, great… now I have to install a new OS just to get the base-station to be configured. Luckily I was planning on doing this anyway, so I had 10.3 at the ready. Unfortunately, I did not have enough hard drive space to install the OS. Fortunately I had a 250GB hard drive at the ready, but wanted to install the OS on an external drive first, then copy my settings over from the old drive, then pop out the old hard drive and put in the new one.

I had an old 80GB drive which died, so I took that drive out and placed the 250GB drive in that case. I was able to partition the drive, but I noticed that the case could not address the entire 250GB of the drive and only addressed 120GB instead. At first I did not think that this was a problem, until I kept getting errors mounting the drive upon start-up. I realized I needed to get a smaller drive since I was sure that the computer only could address drives up to 120GB as well. I quickly went back to my old OS and disconnected the new drive from the computer wile I waited for a new hard drive to arrive.

Seventy five dollars later I had a 110GB drive which finally I could place in the drive case and partition without worrying about addressing issues. I was able to copy my settings to the new drive and swap out the internal drive with the external one in the case.

On a final note— I was still having difficulties connecting with the wireless base-station even though the computer was only six feet away. I wound up connecting the computer directly to the base-station with a cable which solved that problem, but whenever it happened with my laptop from work, I had to figure out why it was failing like it did. Just within the past three months I discovered that I could change the channel on the base-station. After switching channels, I no longer have my wireless drop out anymore.

And to think that a simple pumpkin played havoc on my computing experience!

Next weeks topic is Birthdays.
Next Friday is my birthday and perhaps I just want some presents. I have not seen any contributors in a while— so be sure to whoop it up and promote this meme so others can enjoy the feast (it would make a great birthday gift).
Perhaps you have a favorite birthday cake, or even like to go out to eat someplace special for your birthday.
Perhaps you have held those birthday parties for the kids at Chucky Cheese and have quite a story to tell.
So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Couples and Train Couplings

How often do we know a friend who eventually meets someone and becomes a part of a couple? Do you think that their identity has somehow changed because they are now with another person? How do you view couples… as a whole— or as the sum of their parts? These are the kinds of questions that I have pondered when my friends have met someone— as well as when I myself got married. I came up with a theory which explains how people can still be identified as both an individual as well as a couple— and relate that theory to being a couple with someone else.

I like to think of the two people in a couple as being like two train cars linked together. Each is separate in themselves. In this way both people can be viewed as independent of one another because they are both train cars— as well as a train of two cars that are linked together. They are not fused together when they are attached to one another— but rather are connected through a coupling.

I was unable to find a picture of train couplings that best represented what I want to show, so I will ask you to cup your hands and interlock them instead. If you look at your hands you will notice that both look the same. When they are coupled together they move and flex with each passing movement. In this way you can consider the connection as one that helps keep the couple together no matter what may be happening to either car. One car may be slow which puts strain on the coupling— but the couple still remains strong and the train is still held together.

Trains go along a track. This track can be considered the path in which the couple takes together. Many trains do not always go in one direction— but can go in either direction depending on the destination. The engine of the train can be considered the influences and challenges of life that push and pull us towards that unknown destination.

There are times when you need to be pushed, and there are times when you need to be pulled along. Going through the influences and challenges in life can sometimes feel like you are going up a steep grade. Having someone there to help you up that grade is what keeps the train moving. Even if you are moving up a switchback on a mountain where you are pulling or pushing one minute, then being pulled or pushed the next is what makes couples so strong when going up that mountain.

Today I am also posting at In The Real World Venus vs. Mars. If you would like a good example of a challenge for a couple, please read my post Why Be Shy. Enjoy…

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