Month: November 2004 (page 1 of 2)

Chilly Cranky

My sweet blue male kitten is so fluffy, he looks like a nice warm slipper. Yes, I am chilled.

It’s a cooler day with no sun most of the day, just a few moments here and there earlier this afternoon, but that was it. It’s not really “cold” but it feels so when in the house it’s 55 degrees in warmest spot. 😉 A clear sky means warming in house from sunlight hitting the back of the house. That’s what we need.

So we are needing to get the fireplace figured out and able to run — Winter is coming, sooner or later, but will come suddenly when it does, no doubt. A fire brings such cheer on a gray day. I’ve written about that before. So I’m thinking about the fireplace and imagining it’s going full force. One can go a bit farther with that, than not thinking of anything but “I’m chilled”, or keeping that thought in the back, but not thinking really of warmth except to hope for some and do their thing hoping for warmth. I think it’s better to imagine it, it comes alive and sort of really works to warm oneself deep down.

So right now the kitten is on my lap. Ah, nice and warm. I’ve had the other kitten on my lap here earlier, and Strider, of course, and Dixie even … those three fought over me several times this morning. The boy kitten wanted to, but stayed back out of the way. So he’s here now. 🙂 I like him. He’s so sweet. His sister I like too, but she can be such a “spitfire” out of nowhere … she’s so much like Dixie, and the boy is so much like Strider. It’s funny.

So at least there is something usually around to warm my lap, but that doesn’t help my toes!

We all need some new socks this year, and that’s my biggy — warm woolen soft socks to where in the house, and with boots. I like my toes to be warm. It hurts so to have cold toes in shoes, doesn’t it? Sure does to me! It’s an instant cranky-maker.

So I am hoping to find some good deals on good stuff that’s warm and wearable. Right now I have old big cotton socks on, and they aren’t doing the trick. This is warning-time: Winter will throw worst this way, and I must be ready for the whole family!

JustBlogIt with a simple right-click

JustBlogIt with a simple right-click.
Nov 7 2004 – Version 0.2 released

Nice! A FireFox right-click context menu item for blogging a page quickly.


I’ve liked some Science Fiction since I can remember, but haven’t ever delved deep into it on my own, only sometimes finding something new every so often, and clinging to it.

I am a SF lover, just constrained by my own ignorance of what’s out there.

I like Cordwainer Smith, and tried to find whatever paperbacks of his I have in boxes, and only could find the one “The Instrumentality of Mankind”.

So we have looked in the bookstores in the little town near us, two used stores. Nuthin. In Barnes and Noble one day we looked, couldn’t find any, then asked and they said they had none in the store but they could order it for us [No thanks!]

So I started looking on eBay and online other places and … did a bit of extra research to be sure of what I was looking for.

I have just “won” an auction for a pb of Norstrilia, 1974 first printing of it. It’s a cohesive edition of two stories brought together as the one novel, but it’s not the same as other editions [of the novel] and the stories are longer in other version of separate stories [additional material] … I won’t get into the details, but to say, I will be collecting the various pieces of this story, as well as other CS stuff.

So that book, as well as the Galaxy Oct 1962 mag with The Lost Ballad of C’Mell as the cover story will be on their way to me soon. The art on that magazine cover is really nice, and more than half the reason to decide to get it.

See the cover here. [opens in new window] is run by the authors daughter. I hope to get some things from that site eventually, sooner than later.

Secondary: movies

I started looking at The Chronicles of Riddick before it came out earlier this year, and found that “Pitch Black” was it’s predecessor, and so we rented it, and I fell in love with it. TCoR just recently came out on DVD, and we have it, it’s really good too. We also now own “Pitch Black” on DVD.

This is really nice Sci-Fi/Fantasy stuff. Two totally different stories with the same main character, and not made as movie from books. 🙂

One that is sensitive to violence and language must take care. For me, it’s part and parcel of my visualness to love Sci-Fi and I don’t mind the violence and turn a deaf ear to the rough language parts. For the most part, both the movies do use fine language, and the worser parts of it are used in areas one might expect. If that makes any sense at all.

Richard B. Riddick is a man on the run from Mercs, an escaped convict, someone “raised in the penal system”. He’s the anti-hero, and so well does Mr. Deisel play the part, it’s very likeable. Frank likes “TCoR”, but not “PB”. Goes hand in hand with the fact that I like “Aliens” etc. and he doesn’t.

One will find reviews of this material online on various sites, and you’ll see the love it or hate it or can like it but want to cut it down, folks. I echo what so many of the “love it” say. It’s really complex and interesting.

So that’s a smidgen of my personality eeking out for y’all to see. :veryshocked:

Turkey Scramble

      Turkey (Left-Overs) Scramble
  • Cubed Cooked Turkey, or chopped
  • Butter
  • Gravy
  • In large frypan melt butter and toss in the stuffing and move it around here and there until it’s hot, or how hot you like it: crispy or not, if you like it more crispy use more butter, or use less butter if you want, or no butter if you dare.

    Add the turkey to it and stir to mix well, heating the turkey, add some gravy to the mix, and when it’s all hot and mingled, serve and enjoy! With cranberry sauce on the side, of course 🙂

    That’s the basics. You make it how you want. It’s a great alternative to all the “turkey recipes” out there, it’s easy to make, mixes all the good parts of the meal together, and is something to look forward to for the day after Thanksgiving every year.

    More Turkey Ideas

    Another thing to do with the Turkey then is to grind it in a food grinder, or chop it up fine by hand, or in a food processor. Mix that with finely chopped onion, garlic, sourcream, salt and some grated cheese like cheddar, or monterey jack [or another mexican cheese] make it a sandwich spread … or take it up a notch and make that an enchilada filling: [Put more cheese in the filling –if you want– for this version of the leftovers] make or buy small corn tortillas and make an enchilda sauce from a recipe, made up in your head, or from what you have in the cubord and fridge, or buy it. Heat it up, dip the tortillas in it as you fill each one like: dip tortilla, fill, roll, put in dish side-by-side. Pour extra sauce overtop. Bake in hot oven. Take out, put more cheese on top, put back in oven until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy! Bien! :laugh:

    Turkey Aftermath

    Dinner is over, left-overs put away, some of the dishes washed, some not. 🙂

    It was a hard afternoon. I didn’t get the turkey in the oven until later than I wanted. It took until after 5pm for it to be done. Then it had to sit, of course, while the stuffing was taken out and put in a covered bowl, and the turkey had to sit to retain juices … and that’s also when the other stuff had to go into the oven since I had very little space for anything earlier.

    So I really don’t know when we started to have dinner. It must have been after 6pm. I’m bushed though. And we still need to have Birthday Girls birthday tonight. 🙂

    We have pumpkin pies in the fridge, but won’t have it tonight, tonight it’s cheesecake for B-day. I’m not ready for it, I want to enjoy the cake! I’m too full from Thanksgiving Dinner still. At any rate, we’ll have the pumpkin pie for breakfast tomorrow.

    I’ve got the bones of the birdy in a stock pot with water, and by tomorrow some time we’ll have some extra turkey broth.

    The cats got the neck and such earlier. I simmered them for the broth to go with the gravy, then picked the meat off for the cats. Earier I gave them the raw liver, but Scarlet took that away for herself. Piggy that she was.

    Dog got plate left-overs and boy did he enjoy them. Piggy himself.

    We have lots of turkey left. It was a 19 pound young turk. Bell and Evans, the best we could do with this year. We had some of one breast and part of one leg. That leaves most of the bird for:

    Turkey Scramble
    and what-not-else.

    Turkey Scramble will be tomorrow. That’s another post. :laugh:

    New of the Holiday, and part was bad but better now

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

    I have bad thing new too, though. Last night somehow Strider, my favorite cat, got missing. [Update: 4:30pm He’s found!]

    Around 4am I heard someone downstairs and the garage door in the kitchen then shut loud. Frank went down and was Russell that did it. Well, I couldn’t get back to sleep so I went down, and didn’t see Strider, so big deal as he offen is sleeping in the family room. I was in the kitchen. So then Dixie went over to the door and was scratching the bottom of the corner of the door, after that a bit I started to think about it, and then went looking for Strider, and didn’t find him. Not in our out of the house. He could be in the garage, we have so much stuff piled up on one side there is no way to know if he is there.

    He got out one other time during the night … it’s on this blog somewhere I would guess. Anyway, he was gone for days, and I was about to give up on him, we did go to the shelters and vets around here and put up notices and report him missing. So then the day we got him back, Frank was leaving early in the morning when it was dark still, and came back inside after starting to pull out of the driveway. He got me out of bed and told me that he saw an animal on the driveway as he was leaving and it ran into the garage …. so he then put the door down and came and got me.

    It was Strider, way down under stuff where I could not see him without lights shining there to reflect his eyes. He ignored me, and I could not reach him. I finally lured him out far enough, with food, so that I could grab him.

    Sigh. It’s just so horrid to have him missing again. Why him again? He doesn’t “Try” to get out ever any other time. So then, fresh memories of the other time leaves me feeling really bad since I had no idea where he was for days, and he never showed his face or meowed when “lost”. We looked like crazy for him, called him, called him very, very often. In the end it was just good timing that we found him. He wasn’t coming out.

    So it’s fustrating. He is my cat. My dear one. My sweetheart. He is so nice, so loving, so much of a great cat, and more. He loves me so much, loves belly rubs, loves, to sit on my shoulder, just be with me so much. Why did he disappear that time and not come looking to get in the house? Will he do the same thing this time? Is he around, just hiding?

    He could have done it this time since we have new kittens. He “seemed” to be doing well with them, not hissing anymore and eating with them, and sniffing them without hissing. The other cats are still wary and hissing at them mostly. So why the morely well ajusted cat gone? He might have been planning it, and took the first opportunity. Maybe he’s not gone, just in the house where we can’t find him, sick. Maybe, but probably not. It is sure that the door had been opened. Russell did that, but now says he doesn’t remember doing it. So what happened is not clear. But the cat could have gotten out if the door was opened and Russell was sleep walking, or not, just there going out to find something when he shouldn’t have, and a cat would just be able to walk out the door into the garage and hide instantly. 🙁

    So I’m missing my dear friend. I am praying he’ll come back on his own, safe, and sooner than later, but sometime at the least if it must be later. Please pray that he’s safe and finds his way back inside or that we find him and he is alright. He was fine last night. I paid lots of attention to him last evening.

    So that’s that.

    The turkey is in the oven. I didn’t get to do it yesterday, as we had to go out. I have a few more hours of it before it’s done. I need the oven to bake other things too, and I have no room with the turkey in there. Blah. It’s not fun with a small oven. It’s not “small” just not “large”.

    I have to bake the rolls, and also the green bean casserole, and the sweet potato casserole.

    Pumpkin pies are done, cooling. I make mine from Norishing Traditions, that’s with spices as fairly normal, but with lemon peel, and sour cream, instead of the other “normal” dairy put in most folks pumpkin pies. I also put in JD Whiskey. Recipie calls for optional Brandy. So I sub my favorite!

    At some point we have to make this Victoria’s birthday, and I’m not sure when that’ll be. I’m pooped out already, being up since about 4am. :laugh:

    [Update] I went out the front door just a bit ago for “yet another” perusal of the yard, to call for Strider, etc. Immediately upon going out and calling “Here Kitty, kitty, kitty” I saw Foster bounding across the street straight at me through the yard … and as he got mid-yard something to my left caught my eye … it was Strider by the back wheel of the Montana. He was wary of me and I knew I couldn’t get him, so I fastly opened the house door and yelled for Frank to come help me with Strider.

    Frank came out and then opened the garage door, which was shut, for the “in case Strider is hiding out in there” in actuallity. He wasn’t though. I went out “just at the right time” seems. So then Frank came out in the front yard and Strider meanwhile went under the other car (Honda that just sits there) and up into the engine. So Frank had to go inside and get the keys to the Honda to open the hood … and did that and there was Strider right there on top. So I plucked him up and into the house we went. He is doing fine now, but at first was semi-wanting to hide here and there and a bit skittish, but I loved him up instead of telling him how bad he had been … and that seems to have worked.

    Same thing of nurturing children … love them instead of yelling … the hard thing to do at times 🙁 So object lesson with the cat today hits hard … nurturing with love in response to bad stuff really does work. It works when the big person keeps with it, regardless of how the other acts. The other comes ’round eventually. That’s the tough spot for parents and children, when parent loses the cool they had tried to keep with the frustration of the non-compliant one. It’s that one needs to push through and keep at it, and love them, love them, love them. 🙂

    Something I know, something I’m hard pressed to be good at mostly. So I guess I know the upper reason for Strider leaving today: teaching me to do what I know, do it, it works, but do it inspite of that, do it all along, even if it doesn’t seem it IS working. 🙂

    Thanksgiving Eve

    Today is, as Russell desires me to call it “Thanksgiving Eve” since there is a “Christmas Eve” :laugh:

    I’m currently making Victoria’s Birthday Cake for tomorrow, a New York Cheesecake. It’s in the oven with less than 40 minutes to go.

    I’m seriously thinking about making the Turkey and Stuffing today, but I’m not sure I can. We have some more running to do for Birthday Girl, unfortunately.

    In any case, if I can’t do that today, I’ll do it early tomorrow. I’ll be chopping up the celery and onions and nuts and such for the stuffing ahead of time, and the bread too. It’s my signature stuffing: that and apples and raisins and butter, eggs, stock/water. Into the bird it will go. It’s devine!

    I have pumpkin pies to make too, and then the other things will be: mashed potatoes, gravy, cauliflower with cheddar cheese sauce, green been casserole, chill the cranberry sauce (I just used the jellied canned variety, I like the smoothness of it: Ocean Spray; a nice accompaniment to the other Turkey Delights) and hmmm. I have to get out my Palm and check out the menu again. Ah, yes, the rolls I’m working on.

    I made a French Bread dough yesterday, and saved part of it in the fridge. I’m taking it out on occasion and punching it down, and rolling it out and folding butter into it. By tomorrow hopefully I can affect some sort of croissant-ish rolls.

    For the dough it started out as a sponge of “unbleached flour: 4 cups; water to make it a sponge; and 1 Tablespoon of Active Dry Yeast”. Mix that up and cover, allow to sponge for several hours to overnight, or longer. Stir down as desired throughout that time. (Make sure you are using a large bowl!)

    When ready to make the dough, just stir 1 Tablespoon of salt, and then also more flour until the dough is formed, using a machine of some type, or by hand, and then knead it in the machine or by hand until elastic, adding in more flour as needed.

    Form a round and put it in an olive-oil-oiled bowl to rise, covered


    Take the dough and form it into the shapes you want, and let double then bake.

    If you let it proof in the bowl you can punch it down as long as you like until ready to make the shapes and baking.

    Put it in the fridge and take it out again to slow mature it. The more it sits around rising and being punched down the more French it is and good tasting cultured artisan-y.

    Bake it at 400 or 450 (F.) until golden brown. Put a pan of hot water in the oven with it, so that the oven is moist, the way to get crusty artisan breads that is easiest. To do it, put the hot water in a pan, put in oven that is turned on pre-heating. When over hot, put bread in quickly and let it bake for 25 minutes, then start watching it for doneness, as any bread you might. It’ll get a nice crusty thick crust the longer it’s left in. I love it very brown.

    So that’s what I’m doing now, messing around with dough for crusty melty rolls with dinner tomorrow, and baking the cheesecake, and wringing through thoughts of what else to cook today or not. 🙂

    We have tons of rain, lots the last few days and lots more today. It’s been dreary, but the holiday is keeping me perked up. Usually this kind of weather really punches me down (no sun at all for days and days, just dark and dismal)

    Today we had Flash Flood Watch and Tornado Watch, yesterday just Flash Flood Watch. With the stuff today we have Severe Weather of heavy rain expected and gusts up to 60 miles per hour possible, and penny size hail possible too.

    We had some big gusts, but not that big. We had no hail. We had tons of rain. We had a river running down the side yard, under the gate to the backyard and forming a small lake that had an outlet beyond it’s vast expanse … water, water, everywhere, no where to go but UP. We are saturated. It’s a good thing though. 🙄

    Movies for December

    In the previous post today I refered to our “Newest Tradition” of going to the movies as a family on Christmas Day. This year I wasn’t sure what was coming out, so I went to and checked out UPCOMING releases.

    I found these:

    Blade: Trinity comes out on Dec 8

    Lemony Snicket comes out on Dec 17

    Spanglish comes out on Dec 17

    Phantom of the Opera comes out on Dec 22

    Of the above, those are the ones we are interested in that are coming out, a small percentage of the stuff coming out 😉

    But of the above, only 1 is probable as a family movie … Lemony Snicket. Now, I know there are folks that don’t like those books but I’m not sure as to why. I haven’t read them all, just half of the first one, but I found it interesting, a Barnes and Noble evening it was, and I just haven’t thought to pick it up again since then. I first did that earlier this year before I knew it was coming out as a movie.

    Another on the list, Spanglish, I have there since I saw the trailer for it and it looked interesting. If you saw 50 First Dates, as we did on DVD, I took note of the trailer since it looked to be in the vein of that, to a small degree, as in “serious” not “slappy silly”. 50 First Dates had some stuff in it that I’d have done without fine, but Adam Sandler was a nice guy in it, and we really liked the storyline and how it worked out as a greatly positive movie in human character and morals. So I have NO IDEA what I am saying about the movie in question, Spanglish, just that I have a hint of feeling that it’s interesting, but not that it’s a good movie. Must look into it further. In any case, it’s not a children’s movie.

    The one children’s movie I’m looking forward to is “Because of Winn Dixie” which finally comes out on February 18th. That’s another Barnes and Noble evening book. I picked it up sometime in the past year or so and read it in full, thorougly enjoying it. I’d seen it many times over, passing it up before. That night I just for some reason was compelled to pick it up and was drawn deeply into the story immediately. I really was predjudice of the book because of the title. I felt at odds with it. Something in me challenged that for some reason, and I read it that night. I was delighted to find out it was to be movie later, and have been waiting for it.

    The Phantom of the Opera I am looking forward to greatly. Frank and I have been fans of the show via Audio-CD for many years. We’ve never seen the show, so the next best thing, and maybe a really great thing overall, is a movie version of it, done in the 21st century … the epic beautiful visuals possible in movie making today are wonderful.

    Blade: Trinity that’s for me. I’m the Sci-Fi nut. I haven’t seen a Blade in the theatre yet, so I’m looking forward to making Frank go to see it with me 😉


    So then there are some movies out now that are possibilities … The Incredibles is one. So that’s that for now.

    Holiday and Traditions

    This week is a holiday week in our home, as it is for so many in the US. But for us, it’s a double-holiday on the same day, Victoria turns Six on the 25th. This is part and parcel of life for us since her birth, with her being born the evening before Thanksgiving Day, her birthday is right smack on Thanksgiving every few years, and right before or right after depending on the placement of the last Thursday of November. Not only that then, exactly one month to the day later, it’s Christmas Day. So Victoria’s birthday is a count-down-beginning time of sorts in our household.

    I’ve felt bad for birthday people born around Christmas … it’s tough. I know of people born much closer of course, and Victoria, on “schedule” would have been born the first week of December. Oh, the feel bad and tough part is only how the whole year is empty for them, and then Christmas and birthday crammed upon one little segment of the year.

    Why do I feel like that? Two things remind me of it:

    1. My birthday is in July and it was perfect placement, IMO all my young life. I never had to go to school on my birthday, and it was practially mid-point of the year between Christmases.

    2. I know that when we have week after week of nothing fun to do outside of the house, suddenly invites and times to do something somewhere else all pop up for the same weekend or the same day, and some thing has to be turned down… if only these things would iron themselves out to not clog up one time space, but spread out a few weeks to allow liberal time to be spent at home and out doing in leisure, instead of feeling cramped and missing out on things, and whirlwinding it every so often, and total downtime the rest of the month or two until the next whirlwind time.

    These two items have given me empathy for the last part of the year birthed ones. Silly, yes. Silly? No not really though. For I see how tough it is in our home to distinguish between birthday and Christmas gifts for our daughter, like she gets two stages of Christmas, a month apart. I don’t mean for it to be that way, but it’s the way it ends of feeling, for to get her something nice for her birthday and then something nice for her for Christmas is hard on the other children, I see how they see it. They can’t parse it out as adults and see that in other parts of the year THEY get that special birthday stuff. I do see it though that it’s a blank year with a birthday and Christmas just a month apart.

    Continue reading

    The babies (kittens)

    Here are the kittens, picture taken this morning:

    The Two Kittens Saturday, November 20, 2004

    The post with the first kitten pictures [as well as the story] in it


    I’ve changed some of my SMILIES today.

    I created these in Photoshop Elements 2
    Using the WOW-Plastic Style as a base.

    My motivation for creating new Smilies myself was: I suddenly had the inspiration of what to do: use Photoshop Elements as I use it to make other graphics, using the neat stuff in it makes for poppier smilies. Small, not so impact-visual, but they are softer, like a gel-plastic, and that’s exactly what I want them to look like, not like hard ugly little dark blobs of blue or yellow that are flat, flat, flat.

    All but one of them are PNG graphics. and the animated one is, of course a GIF graphic. I’ll be making more of these smilies soon. Here are what I have thus far:




















    Very Sad


    Very Shocked



    All the above are 20 x 20 pixels, 72 res.

    The PNG’s are transparent … meaning good for light and dark backgrounds. The GIF has a white matte so it’s for light/white backgrounds. I loaded this post in IE and it looked alright, but in Firefox I had to do alot of editing to make it look right. So when I did the best I could, the PNG’s started showing up in IE with little light gray backgrounds around them. That’s wrong. In Firefox they look as they should. — OK, IE must have loaded old graphics the first times, then the right ones as I forgot, IE doesn’t load PNG right. So now I have a script installed and the pictures are filtered via a ms alpha filter, but they are loading and dissappearing instantly. Reload the page and you’ll see them for a split second. In Firefox they are as true as ever though, since it handles PNG as it should. Microsoft’s browsers don’t support it. Reason enough for y’all to quit using IE, just another example of why they are not compliant to web standards by far. Get Firefox, see my sidebar at the bottom for the link. It’s a safer browser to use, as well as displaying PNG correctly . I have to look into the script deal to see WHY the smilie PNG’s are not staying with the filter in place. Without it, the little gray backgrounds are there with the smilies. Maybe it’s better to not see them at all rather than those uglies. I don’t want to use matted gifs, as they aren’t truly transparent and won’t go on both my white pages and my colored pages, as I have colors on my comment sections. I want truly gymnastic graphics. As any webber would really want in spending time making them. :veryshocked:

    Hmph. 🙁

    UPDATE: OK, in the vars php file where the smilie codes are stored, in order to fix the flashing dissappearing png’s I had to add the width and height to the image code. It’s not so straightforward as that’s a script that pulls the real image url and adds it to the code. All the smilies aren’t the same size right now, as I only redid some of them. I did the ones I use though, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for now.

    In any case, this is something that should be fixed in either the PNG fixing script, or in WP in the vars …have it get the image size. It really should be WP to do it, as that’s more webstandard, to have the size loaded with the image. Yes, even little bitty smilies.

    Mine aren’t SO SMALL, bigger than my old ones, but just as big as some folks smilies at just 20px squared.

    OK, here the link to the place with the script.

    Read the page there, and download the package at the end. You’ll have to upload the .prc file to your site (I recommend you go inside and find the src code for “blank.gif” and code it to have your site url on the front of it so you can use this script throughout your site.) upload the “blank.gif” file, and place an img tag in your CSS file. Really super simple to be able to do that and use PNG graphics freely!

    Handy, works, just be sure to have all png’s you ever use to have the width and height in the src line. This is a freeing deal, in that once one has this on their site, encoded right, they can use PNG’s, which are nice since they ARE TRANSPARENT … like this:

    cool_oh png graphic should show up in IE as transparent

    The above is made of the basic elements of what I made the other smilies out of, but eclectically put together for a special GIANT SMILIE! 🙂 All the smilies look better at larger sizes, oh, at least 50px, but smilies just shouldn’t be that big. With this special gal, as I’d say this smilie is a girl, you can see that the elements are indeed plastiky looking, and cuter, though gaudy to a degree 😉 Smaller than this, but bigger than the actual smilies installed they aren’t as gaudy. :laugh:

    Anyhow, I’ll be doing more of these and fixing the ones above up a bit probably as well, in time.

    My Palm Vx

    I have a Palm Vx which we got … sometime ago. History of it is a long time, as I had purchased DateBook5 for it soon thereafter, and in doing some things with my Palm yesterday and today I had to ressurect the registration code, which mean hunting through old Outlook files.

    I found it: January 19, 2003. In that info was the email I sent to the support company, which stated “About 2 years ago I purchased DateBook …”

    Well, it’s late 2004 now. I recall getting the Palm Vx at Staples in December. It was probably 2001 … whoa how time flies!

    Here’s why I’m writing about it though: as in all things bad that happen to things around me, it’s so that I can learn how to help others. Helping myself firstly, and the dividends are in unknown numbers of help to others, just helping one though is dividend enough 🙂

    For many months now my Palm Vx has layed around dormant. The charging/sync cradle cable broke and wouldn’t charge (the cable was split here and there in a few places). But the real reason for that was miscare of the cable due to not really using the Palm Vx, due to know way to sync to my laptop.

    I can do so now though, via the network. Old days I tried doing it and didn’t think outside the box long enough to make it work.

    Info for Palm OS says you can sync via Network, but FIRST MUST sync locally to the computer you wish to sync to over the network.

    Plain English:

    1. Sync to laptop locally — the one you wish to sync to over the network from another computer later
    2. THEN you can go to the networked other computer and sync to the laptop via the network

    This is right, but plain wrong as well.

    1. Install the Palm software on both the laptop and the other computer on the network.

    2. Sync to the other computer first. Copy that User file on the computer. Paste it onto the laptop (make it a Shared Folder on the network to do this easily). The HotSync file won’t copy over, that’s fine. Ignore that ‘problem’.

    3. On the both computers, set up HotSync Manager to be open, and click the notification area icon on the PC’s and choose ‘Network’, as well as ‘Serial’ on the ‘other computer’.

    4. In the handheld choose “HotSync” and drop-down the extra info and choose ‘LAN …’ There you choose between LAN or Direct syncing (Direct is the default, you only need to do this to sync over the network). Choose ‘Lan’ and then OK.

    5. In HotSync Set-Up on the laptop computer, on the ‘Network’ tab, choose THAT User Name as Primary PC by clicking to fill the check box. Be sure on the netorked other computer that your User Name there is NOT CHECKED.

    [Not exactly sure on this but I think the palm will fill out the primary pc info for you at some point, or you just have to input it yourself, just your network internal IP address of the computer you are sync’ing to over the network. That info is on your HotSync Mangager, Setup, Network tab with the TCP/IP settings for your User Name … as well as in the handheld under the HotSync extra info Primary PC choice. One way or the other, it does it automatically, or you may have to tweak it or fill it in entirely on one or the other.]

    Try to sync. It should sync over the network to the laptop. Both computers must have Palm software installed, and HotSync Manager opened, with the right settings chosen.

    You can sync to both the desktop and the laptop, how I’m configured, or whatever setup you have, to keep two locations sync’d. You have to go into the extra details in HotSync on the handheld to change your syncing method to the right settings each time you wish to sync to both, or the other, aka Direct Serial for to the Desktop PC and LAN for the Laptop over the network.

    Another help: Say you want to change your handheld name: Go to Palm Desktop and choose Tools, Users. Highlight your user name and choose the “Rename” button on the right side. Do it.

    Go to the other computer. HotSync over the network. The handheld name is changed.

    I did that also this morning, to put my handheld back to the stated name it was with my old DateBook5 registration.

    So my handheld is now running, as I got some new cables on eBay. Not the charger/cradle, but some nice stand alone cables for charging, as well as a cable with usb and serial connections for syncing and charging. I was under the impression that USB would sync on it as well, but that’s not a verifyable thing with the type of cables they are … not Palm originals. Might work with right USB setup, but both my laptop and the other computer don’t have USB 2.0 installed. My laptop can’t and my Desktop can but doesn’t yet. So for that, I wanted to sync directly to the laptop with USB, but it may not be possible with this Sony Vaio anyhow.

    I like using IR though. One computer we had, old office one of Franks, had IR and it worked nice. Thinking of that, I must have gotten the Palm before Dec 2001 … eek … I must research. It hinges on Frank’s job, when he left the old company and struck out on his own because that comapny dismantled the department he was in. Well, my laptop here doesn’t have IR. And that’s key to what I want in a future laptop, which limits ability of choices to be large, or Sony mainstream.

    So then, my Palm Vx is up and running, and Frank’s Palm V is running too. Now I have to twist Frank to use his. I’ll be happily using mine!

    I only now have to dig up the old Palm CD’s for Outlook functionality. That is proving difficult so far … as my searching hasn’t turned over any of those blue-printed Palm CD’s.

    All in all, it’s like having a new toy, just an old familiar friend that seems new. Sort of must be a piece of me that was missing. I feel a bit wholer now. Weird 😉

    Production is up

    Good day today for the Australorps … Four Eggs … that’s 100% of them laying today! Yesterday we had three. We had a jumbo egg from their pen this past weekend as well. [notable since really big eggs are not often laid by younger layers, and the only other we had from them came the day before one of them died for no reason other than probable complications from too big of an egg coming through.]

    In observing the Leghorns and Wyandottes, they are still not anywhere near laying time. Very pale combs and wattles, and the Leghorns are still dropping feathers as well.

    All in all though it’s a pleasing situation, with at least 2 eggs a day for way over a week now. I have over a dozen fresh eggs backlogged. That’s just meaning there are more eggs than we’ve used for awhile. It’s easy enough to use a dozen eggs in one day around here. Other days we might go for nearly a week using very few, if any. Well, that’s only since production left us this summer. Normally when the laying season keeps us going, I use lots of eggs for breakfast and in bread. I stopped using eggs in bread over the summer.

    Now I have eggs, but my Whisper Mill is out of service. Go figure. Makes sense.

    I had been buying eggs from Harry’s off and on. Yuck. Not so bad, just not what I want. Well too, I wouldn’t mind it as much if they were local eggs, at least from the same state as being purchased in. At Harry’s we used to see Georgia produced eggs, but not since Whole Foods Market has more infiltrated Harry’s (They bought Harry’s a few years ago.) The thing I’m talking of is “local or regional production”. And since Georgia is the largest egg producing state … you’d think we’d see them in the stores. Well no, in the NE Atlanta area, that’s Harry’s, there are none. In the Publix near us, that’s in the boonies, the eggs are all shipped in from … yup … Florida. Worst case, they come from North Carolina. But come on, get those Georgia eggs fresh on the shelves.

    I speak of good eggs, at least “free range” or “non caged” or “organic free range” etc. Eggs have a long-ish shelf life in refrigeration, but eggs are ALWAYS the best in the first week for their freshness , and great for hard boiling after that [as the skin membrane between the eggwhite and shell separates with egg aging]. Refridgerating eggs has given distributors the idea that it’s A-OK to put old eggs on the shelves of grocery stores. Why not just get them to market in ones own county, state, region, and get them there fresh, just a day or two or three old at most?

    At any rate, eggs are fine at around 40-45 degrees maybe more, but as well, they CAN do alright short-term at room temperature, as I leave our eggs. They break down faster at room temperature, of course. It’s not as if though, that refrigeration keeps eggs totally fresh for two weeks because of refrigeration. My eggs stay nice for a week at room temperature. But not perfectly like “the day layed” Neither do eggs stay the same as “the day layed” or anything like it, when they are two or three or four weeks old in refrigeration since the day laid until they get on the shelf of the grocery store. Eggs break down from two variables: Temperature plus Time divided by itself and multiplied by 2 every few days until used or rots.

    All things do this. Once they animals or people die, or fruit or vegetables are picked, milk is milked or eggs are laid or whatever … all things are broken down via an accelerated schedule once time goes on and on further and further from the inception event.

    So then, regional production of eggs and sales in that area is right, IMO. But not only that, I would wish for all eggs to be from organic producers, not “Certified Organic” but what must now be called “Natural Good Practices”. Pastured layers are preferred. Most companies could figure out how to do it. Yup. Put the hens back on farms. Get them out of warehouses. In Georgia so many hens are in long low concrete houses. Poor things. Big old hen row houses on acres and acres of unused green pasture in many cases. Sad sight it is to me.

    Hens are happy on grass, with bugs, sun, rain, wind, night, day, cold, warm, happy hens. They eat grass and weeds and bugs, that’s what gets the eggs tasting so delicate and wonderful. So yellow or orange. Taste and texture are delicate. Eggs sit high on whites, and are palatable to one whom usually doesn’t like fried eggs … and who’s that? Me. Backyard eggs I can eat fried. Storebought must be scrambled with stuff in them. I can only stand omlets made from backyard eggs.

    So I am glad to have eggs being laid again! And look forward to a nice Bacon and Cheese filled omlet tomorrow. 🙂

    Cats, cats, and more cats

    On Saturday we went out on errands, shopping, of course, and Frank surprised me at Petsmart [where we go for the kitty litter we get] and told me I could pick out a kitten if I saw one I liked. 🙂

    There were some young kittens, and several older kittens, as well as a few adult cats. It was adoption time, of course, as Petsmart doesn’t “Sell cats or dogs”. Pet Adoption agencies come in on various days with animals from shelters and rescue services, etc.

    In the past, we got Strider, Dixie, and Scarlet in this manner. When we got Strider and Dixie we were there to look for a kitten. We ended up with the dynamic-duo instead. I saw them, and didn’t look further at them since they were older kittens. I was looking for a little black kitten then, I think. Frank pointed the 7-month old kittens out to me and asked if I wanted them. Both? Well, let me see then … and the rest is history. They were the best pair of cats, sigh. Still are.

    We got Scarlet next, looking for a kitten again, and the people there didn’t let us take a young onethough they had several then. [actually, we had gone to Petsmart and didn’t see much of anything, so then we tried PetCo which was just a few blocks away –holding adoptions, it was at PetCo we found Scarlet.] We ‘weren’t trusted’ for some reason. Usual pet adoption people fall in love with us for adopting any of their cats. We got Cinnamon in 1998, when I was pregnant with our second baby [Victoria]. It was a great experience. We got Strider and Dixie a few years after that. Super Great Experience. So Scarlet then, was a not-so-great-experience in that we lucked out in getting her at all. We stood around waiting for more cats to arrive then, and she showed up finally, and was just old enough for them to reluctantly so OK to us about. She’s a nice little cat, very petite. She was 3 months old when we got her. Strider and Dixie really took to her and loved her in her growing up phase. They still all like each other a lot, just that the “young” phase was greater.

    We got a kitten from a family we know next, Foster. He’s over a year old now, and outside, as he just wouldn’t fit in with our family. Really a royal pain, much nicer as an outside cat, though that’s not my usual medium of caring for cats. He’s needing neutering still as well, but that means $ in the case of what needs done to allow them to do him [shots …] and then the scolding that would follow about him being an outside cat, blah, blah, blah. Frank says we’ll give him a trial inside deal. I’m not sure we will though, as he’s just a big, strong, opinionated cat.

    So with all that has happened in the past year-plus, we have four inside cats and one outside cat, until this weekend.

    Continue reading

    Whisper Mill Dead

    My Whisper Mill just died this morning.

    I was grinding Spelt [to make the bread I needed to make today], the WM clogged up the shoot, and instantly shut off itself, fuse throw. Fine, that happens sometimes with spelt. No biggie. It happens so fast.

    I cleaned the flour shoots all out, dumped out the grain left in the “hopper”, re-set the fuse switched, turned it on, voila, it worked only to within a few seconds start sending up black whisps of smoke and flipped off again.

    Or course this all happened in a split second time frame, hardly any time between things happening. No time to react any faster than the machine itself died as doing.

    I am totally deflated over this.

    At least I have enough flour for a couple loaves of bread … but I can only hope my lifetime warranty will cover what happened.

    I think, hope, hope, hope, it’s just the fuse.

    But it means sending it away to Utah to be inspected/fixed.

    This has reinforced the idea that I love my WhisperMill, but would love to have a CountryLiving motorized mill too.

    My old standby is a Kitchen Aide Grain Mill attachment. I am too spoiled to ruin my Kitchen Aide by grinding rough flour out of grain to make a measly small loaf in 100 times the time it takes to get enough fine flour to make 6 loaves or more with the WhisperMill. Grrr.

    I figured this day would come sometime. Just wasn’t hoping it would be so soon.

    Some people don’t seem to have trouble with their WM’s … well the old models seemed to have worked better, so I’ve heard. I didn’t get into the market for a mill until WM had changed manufacturing to Korea. I then waited until the supposed bugs were worked out of their new facility manufacturing of WM’s. So I’ve had it for … over 3 years, I think. Years are running together for me, and I can’t distinguish time periods of some things :veryshocked:

    It figures this happened today too, feeling so dull myself, full of words that I write and delete, rain, overcast weather, blahs.

    Rain Rain Rain

    It’s in the low 40’s and raining, with more rain coming this way for awhile, possible thunderstorms later today. Thunderstorms would be nice, actually. We’ve had very few of them in 2004. [I love watching and listening to thunder and lightening!]

    So it’s dark today, overcast, constant drizzle since the rain started right after the sun was coming up. I saw the horizon, a break in the clouds near it, and the lower horizon clouds bright orange. Rain.

    As my father used to say: “Red sky in the morning is the sailors warning, red sky at night is the sailors delight.”

    The sun was still below the horizon, close to the time it would rise over the edge. The air felt moist. I knew rain was forecasted, and so wasn’t surprise to feel the moist air and see the overcast clouds. I was grateful for the peak at the horizon though, a nice orange glow to remember on this dark, dismal day. Not too much later the I saw the deck was slick with water.

    The temperatures are supposed to get into the mid to high 50’s today. With no sun that will make a chill to start creeping throughout the house.

    UPDATE: [2:27PM]:

    It’s cold out and getting colder inside. It’s raining still, and the accuweather site says it’s 45 degrees F. but that it FEELS like 36 degrees F. It’s not bad inside, just means that the main floor is most uncomfortable, that’s the kitchen and dining area. My toes get numby being there for long, since that’s the crawl space under neath the floor. We need to get a few things for the fireplace before we can start using it this season. We haven’t stocked up on wood yet either, but have some left over from last year. I’d rather not dig into it until I know we can replenish it.

    As the fireplace goes, I’ve been working it the whole time we’ve lived here with barbeque tools. Not the best thing, but I’ve adapted fine since I’ve never used “real” fireplace tools. But I know we should have real ones, and mostly sure that we will get them this year. Also the thing inside that the logs sit on needs replaced, it’s ratty and nearly about to fall apart, twisted metal and all … just not the right thing to make a fire ontopof. The built in screen needs removed and we need to get something to replace it. I want just a nice firescreen with some panels and doors in the middle, to place in front of the firebox. I’m sick of the “curtain” type fire screen, it’s mangled and horrid to work with (little links that are … ) . So those are two things we really do need, as well as the tools then. An ash bucket would be nice, and a log holder/carrier thingy too.

    Ah it never ends, the things one needs to do, wants to do, has to do, should do … We have builtins to make around the fireplace and a new mantle to create. But the accessories win first place in staggered need. It’s worth it if I can build warming fires that don’t make my hands so tough from being TOO close to the flame. 🙂

    Cooler weather is here

    Autumn is here. Summer is over. The day, yesterday, was in the 60’s but the house chilly. It was sunny, but the house chilly. It’s chilly now, early morning in the house (I’ve been up since 2am).

    The forescast for the next 15 days is for the highs at the most in the low 60’s and that makes for a chilly house, since most temps will be in the 50’s to the 30’s. Not COLD just chilly, the kind that gets to you after awhile if you aren’t dressed warm enough, which means socks, shoes, etc. a must from here on out until Spring, for the most part.

    For us girls, me and Victoria, since we wear dresses all the time it also means warmer stuff for under dresses. Tights, leg warmers, whatever.

    For me it means BOOTS! Yeah, my favorite kind of shoe is more comfy in the Chilly Times.

    It also means wood and fireplace activity. I’m ready for starting some early morning small fires, late evening small fires. Our wood pile, on the other hand, is NOT ready. 🙄

    Part of our wood pile is ontop of the hennie penny pens, holding down the metal roof panels, since they aren’t permanently afixed. Yeah, our temporary quarters for the hens still exist in full use. One of these days that will change, dreams and plans exist, it’s just the implementation of getting it done at all.

    I’m hoping to get a Winter pen ready for near the back of the house, and get a movable type of run to attach to it, let them out on nice days, even move them out for a bit if possible, and then move them back to the more winterperm pen.

    All this is dreaming, of course. I’m not sure who will be with us, Leghorns or not. And it all depends on whether or not we can convert the pen that was being built earlier this year but didn’t work out — all in all, hens are fine in GA in the pens they have, they are grown and fair well in cold. Heat does them in faster.

    Forecasting for National weather trends this Winter have us not expecting a very mild winter, but a more usual cold and wet, as opposed to drier and milder. It’ll be interesting. This is our second Autumn/Winter with no central heat. I don’t mind that at all. I detest artificial central heat (I can’t breathe well, and get so stuffy headed) Wood heat feels best. Our central heat was a heat pump, and not as bad as other types of central heat, but our system wasn’t set up for our house very well, and also, a heat pump isn’t efficient once temp drop around freezing. Electric heat is Emergency Heat on the heat pump we have, but it didn’t work past the first year, and we never had it looked at since we really didn’t want to use it anyhow. Last year the air system was making me ill, so turning it off made all the difference and we have to have it overhauled and just haven’t had the money, and need extra anyhow to get the whole house HVAC set up, as it’s not entirely set up, and what we did have running wasn’t sufficient to the house in the first place. What a messy sounding thing it is. Basically it’s not as bad as it sounds, we just don’t have a/c or central heat. It is possible to live in North GA without them. 🙂

    The idea is to have enough wood to keep the fireplace going, and also to get a wood stove in the downstairs family room. Don’t know if we can do that this year, but if not, we’ll move the TV up by the fireplace 😉 probably.

    Really very cold days, me and the children will cuddle in bed and read and watch movies.

    Or go to Barnes and Noble. 🙂

    My Hennies in November

    My hens have been molting for a long time, last eggs we had from them were in August, but not many. The babies, as I call our youngest, still Pullets really, the Australorps, started laying in June, and never really “got into it”. I have no idea why they ALL stopped laying mid-summer. I mean ALL of them stopped. The White Leghorns have been molting this whole time, losing lots of feathers, white feathers everywhere in their pen these last months. 🙄

    The Wyandottes (incl. the green-egg–laying-lookish-like-GLW), all four, are most recently molting more, with Hawklady looking mostly full-feathered out this week, the first to look so, and Pointsettia has no tail right now, Puffy is looking closer to full-feathered out, and Trinity is still working on it.

    Today is chilly, in the low 60’s for highs, don’t know what it was like earlier, but I was looking at the big pen of hens, the Leghorns and Wyandottes are together there, and Puffy was all puffed out, which is how she got her name finally last year. When it’s cool, she puffs out so cartoony looking. The other hens puff out sometimes too, but not as often as she, nor as fully as she. It’s hilarious really.

    The good news though is that the Australorps have started laying again, just over a week ago was the first egg, with a day off the next day, then an egg every day, with yesterday off (the cycle was morning to evening in that week) and TWO eggs this morning.

    Which means: Two hens are laying as of today.

    One hen previous to today was responsible for all the other eggs.

    Hens lay one egg a day, about every 25 hours. So the cycle goes about one hour later every day until one day when the egg laying would be later in the day, the hen will hold the egg until morning, and lay it bright and early..

    Not all breeds lay an egg so often as “every day” utilitarians like the Leghorns have been bred to do so. The W’s are fairly good when in laying mode, most days, they lay. The Australorps were new layers though in June, so never “perfected their pattern”. Their molt was a mini-molt, just a few lost feathers, just no egg laying.

    So all in all, it’s been a bad Summer/Autumn with having to use store-bought eggs and keep feeding the hens. But I determined that since they did this, I’ll make sure and TRY to keep them laying through the Winter.

    As that does go, I hope it will go well, and that come Spring they’ll still be laying and still go, or stop and whatever the case is, when the Leghorns stop laying, then it’s “Off with their heads”. The W’s I’ll keep, and the Australorps I’ll keep. I hope I can get some new Australorps or W’s come Spring, or maybe some Autumn hatchers pretty soon if it is possible (they’d be ready to start laying come March or so … whereas Spring hatchers don’t start until June or July usually.) I’m also interesting in geting a laying breed that is different, like the ones called Little Red Hen with White … oops forgot their name, but anyway they have white undies and are red on top. Different breeders have their own specialty. I’m wanting something pretty and useful and nice and NOT flighty like the Leghorns.

    I love the Australorps. They are huge compared to the Wyandottes and GIANTS compared to the Leghorns. Their legs are dark, their eyes are dark brown, their black feathers so glossy and iradecently green in the light. The W’s and L’s on the other hand, have lighter eyes and yellow legs. The darkness of the Australorps is just so striking. I look forward to having a nice piece of land where I can see them out on the grass free-ranging during the day. Sigh.

    I’m hoping I can keep the Green Layer around until that day of more land, and get a couple of roosters to try out some funky lineage. I really like colorful eggs, brown, green and the other colors that are possible. They are “more marketable” as well.

    On that front, we have found a source for Organic non-soy laying feed, and will get that going soon, so our hens eggs will be considered “organic” not “certified” though since we aren’t “Certified” but all the same, it’s the same product since we don’t use any chemicals at all in our yard. My main reason for it is wanting it as FRESH feed as possible and NO SOY. I don’t like soy due to many hormonal thing and want my animals to be soy-free as well. See for some SOY info.

    My Australorps that are laying, the first one lays pretty lightish brown eggs, shinyish. The second one lays brown with a white overlay, more rough, dull.

    I’m watching my others for signs of laying. So far, just the two, but it looks like the other 2 A’s will start soon.

    The W’s and L’s all have pale wattles and combs. 🙁 It can change overnight though.

    Another sign of laying is how compliant they are towards you when you put your hand on their backs. If they crouch down, it’s the same as they’d do for a rooster, meaning they are willing. That means egg laying!

    My first egg last week came the day after I found that one A was complying with hand on her back. I predicted it and it happened the next day.



    Original Source: November 5, 2004

    Floating around the ‘net, apparently, though I’ve, thus far, only seen it on blog.

    What does this have to do with Jesus? Well, seems that many think that Religious Folks are the ones that voted for Bush, and the Non-Religious are the ones that voted for Kerry, based on the Electoral votes accrued by each of those candidates.

    What is Jesus to you? An incorrect view of whom Jesus is will lead one to create and love and believe in the above graphical representation. It’s just a sad day to see such a thing, knowing that the so-called Religious have so few morals, and that the so-called Non-Religious see the so-called Religious as having too many morals, when the so-called Non-Religious just have a few less morals than the so-called Religious in the first place.

    That map is all hooey phooey.


    This morning: Looking East

    Bethlehem Sunrise November 6, 2004 06:21:06
    Bethlehem Sunrise November 6, 2004 06:21:06 To the right

    Bethlehem Sunrise November 6, 2004 06:23:20
    Bethlehem Sunrise November 6, 2004 06:23:20 To the left

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