Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Why the White House Lacks Credibility

For at least a month there has been so much good news about the economy coming out the White House or from any pundit that just got back from Mars.
There is so much good news to pick from that you could gag on it.
But now Geithner has spilled the beans! Surprise, surprise..."SOMEONE" needs more Bailout money. Wonder who?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The One Less Traveled...

The One Less Traveled..., originally uploaded by Nikon Nut.

The rain put me in a nostalgic mood.
Music from the iPod is the Charlie Brown Christmas album.
Autumn slipped into December already.
Thoughts of Thanksgiving linger; ate turkey last night.
Mom’s funeral will always be associated with this time of year.
The rain is supposed to turn to snow this evening.

Friday, December 04, 2009

My Sister's Warped Sense of Humor

She forwards these great silly emails a few times every week. Among the groaners are some real this one:

A very old man lay dying in his bed. In death's doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out up on newspapers on the kitchen table, were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. "Stay out of those," she said. "They're for the funeral.

I let my baby do that

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to Tell if You've Become Jaded...

Meredith Resnick, a tutor at Bright Kids NYC, with Simone.

How to tell if our education system has left you jaded.

You didn't bat an eye when you read that some New Yorkers are spending $1,000 for lessons to improve their 3-year-old's chance for admission to kindergarten.

New York Times, Saturday, November 21, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Tell if You've Become Jaded...

Fritz Henderson, the chief executive of General Motors

New York Times:

How to tell if the news of the economy has left you jaded.

You didn't bat an eye when General Motors announced today that the good news was it lost only $1.15 billion last quarter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Harvest Festival

The image in my blog header (the image changes frequently) is of a painting entitled The First Thanksgiving by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris.

Our autumn harvest festival is celebrated here in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada it falls on the second Monday in October.

Try to include, in your Thanksgiving menu, as many items as you can that have a direct link to the farm. I don’t expect many, including myself, will kill our turkey but we can pass up much of the over-processed “stuff” in boxes, cans, or plastic containers.

A ceremony at the annual Prometheia festival of the Greek polytheistic group Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, June 2006

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Yankees - World Series Champs

The Yankees are celebrating their 27th World Series championship with their win tonight.

Hideki Matsui drove in 6 of the 7 Yankee runs tonight and is named the World Series MVP.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Daily Meme

Link to TDM The Daily Meme

This week’s questions.

1. Name one bad habit you have in the kitchen.
  • I leave a big MESS for Susan to clean up.

2. Do you have a tv in the kitchen?
  • NO! (I'd rather watch french fries warming in the microwave)

3. What’s one food you can’t stand cold?
  • Beer - it shouldn't be colder than 65 degrees F
    (I forget what food group it's in...)

4. What’s your favorite juice?
  • Cranberry - It rulz!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Books I'm Reading II - Millennium Trilogy

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

& The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Millennium Trilogy is a series of three novels by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson (1954-2004)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, were published posthumously in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively. I’ve finished reading the first two novels and eagerly await the Kindle version of the third.

The title girl is Lisbeth Salander. She’s described in Wikipedia as “an asocial punk who has been victimized by authorities throughout her whole life.” But that description is superficial. She is much more complicated than that. In Dragon Tattoo she reveals her skills as world-class computer hacker and tireless detective with a photographic memory as she and journalist Mikael Blomkvist solve a 40 year old murder mystery. Lisbeth may be asocial but she has a strict moral compass that has few limits on retribution.

At the end of Dragon Tattoo, Mikael and Lisbeth have a falling out but you just know they will have to work it out somehow.

In Played with Fire, as Mikael investigates sex trafficking in Sweden, another murder throws Salander and Blomkvist together again.

Stieg Larsson web site

Millennium Trilogy on Wikipedia

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander
in the Swedish movie Män som hatar kvinnor

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Food Crop Fertilizer Features (Gulp!) Human Urine - ABC News

Food Crop Fertilizer Features (Gulp!) Human Urine - ABC News

Shared via AddThis

Wonder what the Ash is for?

Food Crop Fertilizer Features (Gulp!) Human Urine

It's the ultimate in recycling. Take some wood ashes from the fireplace, add a little of your own urine and spread it around your tomato plants. You may get a blockbuster crop.

Scientists in Finland have found that wood ash and human urine perform just as well as more expensive mineral fertilizers, at least for some crops, such as tomato plants.

Scientists in Finland have found that wood ash and human urine perform just as well as more expensive mineral fertilizers, at least for some crops, while doing less damage to the environment. The combination is rich in nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The researchers raised a healthy crop of tomatoes in a carefully controlled series of laboratory experiments.

Other research has shown that human urine is an effective substitute for synthetic fertilizers, at least for cucumbers, corn, cabbage, wheat and tomatoes. Ash has also been shown to be useful in agriculture.

But the Fins say they are the first ones to combine urine with wood ash, and plants treated with that substitute performed four times as well as unfertilized plants and left the soil less acidic. The scientists insist it's safe and doesn't pose "any microbial or chemical risks."

Story on ABC News:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Books I'm Reading- Cryptonomicon

Above is the book cover for the First Edition

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson published in 1999.

Just last night I finished this extraordinary novel. (Like so many recently read books, it's part of a series. The Baroque Cycle is set in past and Jipi and the Paranoid Chip continues in the future.) It is interesting in so many ways. When my initial confusion with the first chapter finally started to fade, there was an "ah-ha" moment that came together as "historical novel" maybe?

But it's so much more than that. The historical novel is just one of the time lines in the story. That story line is set in World War II. It's main characters all have decendents in the second, a modern time line.

A central theme in both time lines is cryptography. The title, Cryptonomicon, is a ficticious book compiled of the years to include all knowldege of secret code writing and code breaking.

The novel won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2000 and nominated for two other sci-fi awards, the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke awards. That was a surprise to me because sci-fi wasn't a genre that I would have considered. At least Wikipedia agrees with me and calls it "...closer to the genres of historical fiction and contemporary techno-thriller than to the science fiction setting of Stephenson's two previous novels..."

In addition to Wikipedia, there are other sites worth mentioning. Neal Stephenson's website. The Harper-Collins site has the first chapter for you to read here.

Below is the book cover for the Kindle e-book that I read.

Post-Bill Photos from the Beach

Went down to Avon-By-The-Sea's beach last Sunday and shot a few surf photos. Some with and some without surfers.

(click the photo to view full size.)


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ortonville, Minnesota

Just over the state line from Big Stone City, South Dakota is its sister city of Ortonville, Minnesota. Separating them is the long (26 miles) and narrow (1 mile) Big Stone Lake. Like Big Stone City, Ortonville’s history often is told in the history of the lake. The photos here are of the old, the Columbian Hotel built in 1892, and the new, the Big Stone Lake/Whetstone River Project completed in 1985. The Whetstone River Project created the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge south of Ortonville.

Big Stone City, South Dakota

Our trip west for the reunion brought some interesting sights. Lots of Birds. Some life birds for Best Wife. Lots of walking in the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in Odessa, Minnesota. (It impacts environments in both Minnesota and South Dakota.) Plus the environs of Big Stone City, South Dakota.