Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tempus Fugit

Temporal consciousness
Underscores my lack
Simply by chiming

Forty now?? it cries
Gleefully reminding me of
Incessantly narrowing opportunities
Three decades now, since it began

Monday, July 21, 2014

Being a little creative

So, a friend posted a link to a My Little Pony creator. Procrastination, for the win!
And this is the result:

For those of you that want to waste some time: 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A New Year, A New Goal

It's nearly the end of the first month of 2014 and already I am behind in getting started here with my blog.
So, let's talk goals. Last year's goal of 52 books and 52 movies was very successful for the books end, but only partly successful for movies. Hope springs eternal however, and I am broadening my aims this year. This year, the theme is "Slimming down while Bulking up"

Slimming down 

Health & Fitness-- I want to drop 40 pounds this year. In order to do that, I will dedicate to working out for 52 hours over the coming year. That's an hour a week, which I think is entirely do-able. I have a few fitness related goals included in that, such as doing a snowshoeing daytrip with a friend of mine to a local mountain.

Cleaning: I'm going with 52 hours here too -- of cleaning. I have a teacher's room and a computer room that desperately need sorting through and re-organizing. And a closet I don't think I have cleaned in 15....20 years? Wow. Time flies when you are studiously working on other stuff.

Bulking up:

Fitness (again) -- I want to increase my muscle mass. Not decided just yet how that is going to happen -- biking and dogwalking definitely. WIll need to incorporate weights but that may wait till halfway through the year. Need cardio first.

Movie Watching -- Yeah, weird when I want to get more active. But I feel like I have missed out by not watching a wider variety of stuff. Or not watching movies period. I am very bad about treating myself to outside entertainment. The goal is 52 movies here again. We'll see how many I get to this time. Last year, I watched 5 I think. No, six: Princess Mononoke, Hobbit (pt 1), Iron Man 3, Despicable Me, My neighbour Totoro, and Coraline.

Books-- the 52 rule here too. I'm trying to broaden my scope here too.

Jobs -- I am looking for either another part time job, or a full-time job to replace the one I currently have. In this case, the bulking up is my bank account. I want to get some of those student loans paid down/off. And I would love to pay off one of my credit cards. So -- you guessed it -- a ton of resumes being sent out this year.

Crafting -- we all knew I would get to this eventually. I fully expect to craft well more than 52 items this year. I have signed up for a sampler blanket knit along. And, overachiever that I am, I have decided to make a blanket big enough for my bed. Which will require my making 117 6 inch blanket squares. I want to get that done before the end of the year. Which means at least 10 squares to be made each month. (Yes, I know the math is off. Borders are needed. And seaming together.So, time must be allowed for both of those.)

But the world was nice to me and had a sale on yarn earlier this month. I managed to go the one day when the yarn that I was intending to use was 50% off. So I got 30 skeins for 75 dollars (2.50 each!) If you aren't a crafter, trust me, that is a serious bargoon. I was expecting to pay at least 120 dollars for that much yarn.
Wondering what that many skeins look like? Something like this:

Relationships:  I plan to devote a lot more time to my relationships with friends and family this year as well.

And finally, blogging all of these things much more frequently that I do now. I would say once a week, but that kind of regularity is probably beyond me. If I get updates twice a month, I'll be doing well.

Geez, with plans like these, when I am I going to find time to sleep?  :P

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Very quick blog post here, on the subject of spam.

I looked at my dashboard and it said that my page from the 2nd of November got 54 views. Then it broke down where the majority of those views came from. was the largest. Luckily, I googled the name before I just punched up the URL to find out more; I avoided noxious adspam and possibly trojan horses or other malware. Suffice it to say, avoid vampirestat or any other site ending in -stat. They are robot spam sites. For this and other helpful information, take a look at this fellow blogger's site: spam spoiler

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Today has been a truly mixed bag. I started off the day making a waffle recipe by Alton Brown, to use up some buttermilk we had in the fridge. Mmmm, waffles. Would make those ones again

Next, I headed off on the bus to Richmond. I've been communicating with a friend on Ravelry for more than two years, and she was in town for a convention so we finally got to meet! It was awesome  -- got to spend a couple hours together before she had to leave for her plane. We had lunch at Ceili's Irish Pub, which was excellent, and the service was also really good. Both on the way down and back I knit more on my Quidditch Surprise Gift. Now at 10 inches. Hope to get it to 50% by the end of tonight. We shall see how successful I am ;)

Upon returning home, however, I got to pay for my gallivanting with chores. Specifically, repair jobs. The porch deck has been leaking for the last year. And there are only so many 121 litre garbage cans you can station in the garage to catch the drips before the whole thing looks like the bunker of a survivalist. Not to mention becomes a major walking hazard in the cold winter.  So, gallon can of deck repair gunk in hand and a point trowel, off I go into the cold fall air to repair holes and hopefully stop the ingress of water into the garage.

The stuff I have to work with is a black, gel tar-like substance. Which reeks to high heaven. Seriously. The can suggests that one wear a respirator, and I can see why if you are doing this as a regular job. You won't get high if you go without wearing one, but you may wish to vacate your digestive tract. It is best not to breathe, really. All the cold air outside makes for great motivation in completing the task very quickly (no coat because I really don't want this crap all over my one good coat; I'm wearing my long shirt and jeans I use for painting and other grungy tasks.) Gloveless, because the vinyl gloves I have are likely to tear while doing this, I end up with a fair amount of it on my arms despite my best efforts. Which leads to the final discovery of the night: goop remover.

The label on the can, of course, recommends the one thing we don't have in the house or garage -- mineral spirits--to clean up with. Not sure if they intend it for human skin or not. Anyhow, before heading back to Walmart, we decide to avail ourselves of all the available options. (1) Sunlight bar soap -- useless. This stuff is staying on, and does not budge, despite using a scrub brush as well. (2) Vinegar -- equally useless.  (3)Acetone -- does lift a teensy bit of it off, but has the lovely added effect of making my skin bright pink. Fun.
Things are looking a little dire at this point, when my sister has the bright idea of having me use Dawn dish detergent. Surprisingly, it doesn't remove all of it, but it does help break it up a bit. At this point I make a joke to my mom about trying the cleanser she found on Pinterest. We figure there's nothing to lose, so I have her mix me up some. It's two ingredients, folks: olive oil and baking soda. And it works like a hot dang. Boom. Gone.
So, the next time you're covered in oil-based paint or stain or tar, remember this formula: 1 part baking soda, 1 part olive oil (or other vegetable oil; no need to get pricy). Mix to form a paste and apply. Also works a treat at stripping oil-based stain from wood cupboards.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


What sounds like a brand name for those blow pens that were so popular a few years ago with the younger set, is actually the impetus to get off my hiney and write something. Anything. On a daily basis. So here goes.

Today's entry:

Lidless Chicken Pot Pie Stew

4 chicken breasts
1 medium onion
1 cup baby carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 cup green peas
5 button mushrooms
1/4 - 1/2 cup butter, for sauteing
1 tsp each thyme, sage & rosemary
1 can Campbell's cream of celery soup
1 can's worth of 2% milk (10 oz)
Montreal steak spice
1 cup McCain's hashbrowns (the tiny cubed kind, not the stringy kind)

Thaw 4 chicken breasts in microwave for 3 minutes, till half-thawed. Cut breasts into 1/2-1" cubes. Sprinkle liberally with Montreal steak spice.Set aside.

On separate cutting board, cut baby carrots into small slices, about 1/4" thick. Slice onion into small diced pieces. Peel and mince two garlic cloves. Set aside.

In electric fry pan, heat about 2 Tbsp butter at  300 degrees till melted. Add in chicken, and spread the chicken around so there is plenty of space between pieces to encourage browning. Put lid on frypan, and let cook for about 5 minutes.

In a large regular fry pan, heat 2 Tbsp of butter on medium. When melted, add in the chopped vegetables and saute till onions are translucent and carrots have begun to soften. While this cooks, wash and chop the mushrooms. Add the thyme, sage and rosemary. Stir well

At this point, flip your chicken. It should be all cooked from the steaming. Now, with lid off, brown the chicken. Should take another 5-10 minutes

While that is happening, add the frozen peas to the vegetables, and stir to combine. After 3-5 minutes, add the mushrooms. after another 4 minutes or so, add the hashbrowns. Add another 2 Tbsp of butter to the mix, and then let cook on its own for a few minutes.

Once the chicken has browned, open the can of soup and add it to the electric fry pan. Add in the 10 oz of milk, stir to combine. When hashbrowns have been browned, add the vegetable mixture to the chicken. Let cook for another 5 minutes or so, to let the flavours marry together. Check the level of spices are to your taste. Serve. makes enough for 5-6 people.

Can be served on toast, if you want to stretch the stew.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

If you like big books...

Saw this reprinted on another blog. It's too good not to share here. And it makes me want to immediately go check out Jim C. Hines' collected works.  From:
Baby Got Books
by Jim C. Hines
(with apologies to Sir Mixalot)
Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her book.
It is
 so big. You could, like,
Fend off a rabid jaguar.
But, you know, who even reads those genres?
She only wants dragons and swords.
It’s not like that’s real literature, right?
I mean, her book, is just so big.
I can’t believe it’s just so thick, it’s like
Swollen, I mean – wow. Look!
It’s just so … fat.
I like big books and I cannot lie.
You other readers can’t deny
That when a kid walks in with The Name of the WindLike a hardbound brick of win.
Story bling.
Wanna swipe that thing
Cause you see that boy is speeding
Right through the book he’s reading.
I’m hooked and I can’t stop pleading.
Wanna curl up with that for ages,
All thousand pages.
Reviewers tried to warn me.
But with that plot you hooked
Me like Bradley.
Ooh, crack that fat spine.
You know I wanna make you mine.
This book is stella ’cause it ain’t some quick novella.
No time for writers
Whose work is much slighter.
One-shot plot, over quicker than a nickel slot.
I’m tired of magazines,
Tellin’ stories with just three scenes.
Take a fantasy fan and ask ’em if
They’d rather read Tolkien, so…
Readers (yeah), readers (yeah)
Go get Martin’s brand new book (hell yeah).
Well read it, read it, read it, read it, read that hefty book.
Fantasies fat.
(Bulging shelves with the epic plotlines)
I like ’em thick and dense.
Good stories should be immense.
I just can’t stop myself.
I’m readin’ all of Wheel of Time,
Now where’s my Goodkind?
I wanna read Durham,
Scott Lynch and Pete Hamilton,
I don’t like my tales too quick.
Save flimsy old plots for SyFy flicks.
I want a twenty page prologue.
To write up on my blog.
Books with mad sequels.
Readers know they ain’t got no equals.
So I’m walking through my bookstore.
Searching the shelves for books I adore.
You can keep those slim things.
I want my novels like Rowling’s.
A word to the hard core writers.
Go pull an all-nighter.
I want that book wider.
But I gotta be straight when I say I’m gonna read
’Til the break of dawn.
Zelazny’s got it goin’ on.
A lot of folks don’t like ’em long.
’Cause them punks even skim the Brothers Grimm.
But I’d rather read it slow
’Cause I’ll savor the flavor
And I’m down to get the fiction on.
So bookstores (yeah), bookstores (yeah),
If you want me comin’ in through your doors (yeah),
Then turn ’em out,
Face ’em out,
Let me browse until I shout.
Fantasies phat.
(Bulging shelves with the epic plotlines.)
Yeah baby
When it’s my library,
Kirkus ain’t got nothing to do with my selection.
AnathemWay of Kings, and Cyteen,
Sweetest sight I’ve ever seen.
So you only read the Cliff Notes,
Frightened off by the slightest bloat,
Well your mind is gettin’ swindled, ’cause the stories just dwindle.
My brand new Kindle is obese with books ten megs apiece.
You can do e-books or paper, but please don’t trim that book.
Some editors’ll say to cut that,
And tell you trim twelve chapters of fat.
So you slash and delete it.
But I’m sayin’ I want to read it.
Now some folks want ’em thin.
Well I say that’s a sin.
Gimme font that’s small, that’s a true temptation,
Something big like Foundation.
It’s the doorstop books that’ll make me grin.
Want to steal that thing.
Give me that tome I’m taking it home.
’Cause reading is in my genome.
Some critic she tried to dis
The books that were on my list.
She said Williams was dull and dreary.
McCaffrey just made her weary.
But writers if your book is fat,
And you’re sick of those one-star prats,
Click my contact link and e-mail me, ’cause this is where it’s at.
Fantasies phat.