Thursday, November 29, 2007

deck the halls

The Koloa School tree, LIH airport, November 2007.

Things that can't be recycled, being made into ornaments, seen in my brief stay at the LIH airport last night. Nothing like smelling pine mixed in with some gentle tropical breezes. There were at least thirty Holiday trees decorated by different schools in the county. TH and I spent a time between flights (Shut up) admiring them all.

Wish I could have stayed, but I'm off today again.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I can now walk down stairs like a normal human being.

I am down to two advil a day.

I am doing a normal workout.

I do not cringe when thinking about getting out of my chair.

I cannot believe that people who are not athletes feel like this every day.

I will try my hardest never to be in that situation.

Love your body, its the only one you have.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Knackered, completely bone tired.

Anyone have any great ideas for a boy christmas present?


Monday, November 26, 2007

To do

Alaska, June 2007.
  • Freaking because I haven't sent out Ernest's holiday greeting and shameless plug for Presidency
  • Turn in my FSA paperwork, realizing that I'm not quite sure what my taxable income really is
  • Made my Holiday shopping list and actually stick to it
  • Finish planting the bulbs (shut up)
  • Wondering with my friend B, what are appropriate gifts for our service/trades people
  • Figuring out if I really care about renewing my Admiral's Club membership for the following year, especially since there isn't one in Seattle and I am not flying that much
  • Deciding when to stop making cookies for Sunday, are twelve batches of sugar cookie dough and six batches of gingerbread cookies enough?
  • Trying to decide if my Italian SIM card still works and is it worth using it versus Tmobile roaming
  • Figuring out if I can write some donation checks this year
  • Gathering my taxable donations and getting them ready and out the door for this tax year
  • Wishing she could make Ernest a deduction
nm who needs to let the bullets go

Sunday, November 25, 2007

blister in the sun

What can I say, today's Seattle Half Marathon could not have had better conditions.

Sunny, calm, foggy in the right places and it is done.

I PRed it, but I can't tell you what my time is since the server is down. Next year, I'll be doing some serious hill work.

I missed J, but she was with me in spirit.

Shout out to TH and Ernest who met me in the Arboretum and provided moral support and an eggnog latte for the last six miles and for toughing it out and meeting me at mile 12.9. Ernest provided everyone a little joy at the end.

Shout out for the Team in Training angels who were at Madison and the Arboretum providing gummy bears, pretzels, peanut butter and jam sandwichlettes and oranges and bananas. You rock.

Ditto for Mr. kiss by the freeway.

On my way into Memorial Stadium, the Violent Femmes' 'Blister in the sun' was playing on the loudspeakers. I started singing along with them. I love that song, it brings me back to my college days and I cannot tell you how much it made me happy to run into the stadium and to my chocolate milk.

At mile two I realized that I every step I take is a blessing. My body hurts a bit, but I did it, I walked/ran 13.1 miles today and enjoyed most of it. It made me realize my body is something that I have taken for granted in my 20s and 30s and with the aches and pains of my early 40s I have learned to respect and listen to and realize that I can no longer abuse with poor nutrition.

I spent time today loving my body, all its lumps, bumps and small crows feet for the fact that it got me where I wanted to be -- the finish line.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

if I hadn't bought the finishers tshirt already

I would be in bed tomorrow morning instead of standing around in a corral wishing that I hadn't had any coffee.

Wish me luck, its a crap crap hilly course and if I break 3:40 I will be a rock star.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday wrap up

Orangey goodness, June 2007.

The Dow stayed in the green, so did NASDAQ. A little miracle.

Three dinners down, one to go.

All shopping I did today was on No malls were pillaged by yours truly. Tomorrow we'll hit the University bookstore to look for some baby shower present books and then off to hit and mighty goods again for some inspiration.

I'm a Secret Santa twice this year. One is easy because my recipient is female and I have a clue. The other is male and I haven't a clue, but I'm not going to succumb to a gift card to Starbucks Coffee quite yet.

Secret Santa gifts are really more fun to get than anything, you get a set price, some clues about the recipient and then you are off to create something interesting and fun that they'll remember all year.

Tomorrow, we're going to pop downtown to pick up my race packet. I'm so not ready for this race but I'll go and I'll finish and know that I met my goal this year of seven half marathons walked. I just got this month's Northwest runner and now plotting my race strategy for 2008. I'm looking for a few boutique races and maybe one new state! I know the J. has some long term plans for some long ass days, but I'm going to also start looking at running a half sometime in May!

off to bed

Thursday, November 22, 2007


For what I am thankful, November 2007.

I am thankful that I live in a place with clean water, clean air and relatively high standards of safety.

I am thankful for amazing and lovely shelter that we have.

I am thankful I live in a country that allows me the freedom to express my opinion and with citizenship allows me to chose who I vote for. I am also very grateful for the ability of free movement between countries thanks to citizenship.

I am thankful for my family and especially now that we are all together in the same zip code. I am especially thankful that my parents are healthy, active, irritating and still together and are resilient to change. I wish I were.

I am thankful for TH, and her patience and love for the last sixteen odd years. It hasn't always been sunshine and lollipops.

I am thankful for my friends, both local and worldwide who keep me sane and keep me laughing.

I am thankful for Ernest the puppy who keeps us all busy and reminds us daily that life is too short not to check out the neighborhood and stop and smell each hydrant. He is thankful that he lives in a country where a basset hound can dream of running for president and in some places, probably win.

I am thankful every time I walk a race that every step means I am alive, healthy and grateful that I can push myself to do this.

I am thankful that I have a career, which sometimes I bemoan, that is still an amazing one that exposes me to amazing technology and people.

I am thankful for the abundance of fresh, local and organic food that graces our table and the farmers that produce it.

I am sometimes embarrassed that the things that I worry about include petty trivial things such as will my upgrade clear to Chicago and why didn't my hotel stay post, when others work sixty hours a week to make sure they can pay their car insurance and keep their kids warm.

I am thankful for you all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dinner on the fly, November 2007.

For those of you utterly tired of recipes for swiss chard gratin, chipotle braised rutabagas seasoned with epazote and pumpkin sweet potato gratin served with a froth of nutmeg air, I bring you eating something else the night before Thanksgiving.

Originally, our thought was to go to the local really better than you would think Chinese place next to MM, but then life got the better of me. I looked in our nearly bare fridge and came up with a dinner that will be a keeper for a while.

I'm not a big fan of ready made food, nor am I a big fan of making foods that others make better than me that are available in the ready made format. One of these foods is gravy, but you can deal with that tomorrow. The other is alfredo sauce. I can't imagine having such ingredients on hand and honestly, we don't use tons of it. However, one local company, Cucina Fresca does a great job and we have been seen with the very lovely reusuable jars in our shopping basket. One leftover lug of saffron pasta from Wedgwood's La Pasta, some smoked halibut kindly gifted to us by MZ, fish smoker extraordinare and the some fresh parsely snipped from the garden and we had a dinner that made us both happy and used some awesome local ingredients.

For some the combination of the smoked fish and saffron may seem odd, but honestly, it worked, the woody, sweet flavor of the halibut played nicely off the sweetness of the saffron and the alfredo just held it together. If you can believe it, we're out of parmesan reggiano as well, but this dish didn't need it. The flavors stood on their own.

I can't really give you a recipe for this, I already did. It was a total throw together a meal meal and it worked. I can't wait to make it to the market on Saturday to buy more pasta and recreate it.

For those of you still looking for holiday recipes, remember, stick to the classics and it will all be okay.

Happy Thanksgiving eve.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wishing for a moment it could be July again...

It has really been a day that seems like a week. Leaving early tomorrow to hide in the basement is sounding better by the nanosecond.


Monday, November 19, 2007

You know you are a frequent flyer when the first thing that comes out of your mouth, but not what is necessarily on your mind when you friend tells you her father had a heart attack is "when do you want to leave?".

Seriously, maybe having a stash of miles and the knowledge of how to use them isn't such a bad thing.

Here's to hoping that R doesn't have to use that ticket.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thankful for a sunny outlook for next Sunday's Seattle Half Marathon.

Wowed by ACT's The Women.

Pleasantly surprised by Cafe Presse.

Wolfing down leftovers of C's rendition of Shauna's cauliflower with smoked paprika and cocoa.

Lusting after my brother's iphone. Not that I need a gadget, I just love the google map application and the great camera.

Very thankful for the fact that I'm done with stuffing for the year.

Wondering if going to Tunisia for three days is worth a flight, a trip to the airport and hiring a guide or should I stay local and see parts of Lazio I have never been.

nm, wondering if video killed the radio star

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday means

According to blogger and flickrer KimMcK, it means clean out your fridge day. You know why, to get that 18 lb beast in amongst the bags of cranberries, the celery and the brussels sprouts that you always make and end up in the dogs dinner.

I cleaned mine out a few weeks ago while TH was in Hawaii. Its pretty clean now, we have methodically been eating chard, pork chops and eggs to make room for goose, fennel and hubbard squash.

I can see to the back, this is a good thing.

It really doesn't take too much time and if you are really clever, you can photodocument it.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Must dash, doing something beyond stupid today.

At least I managed to post for National Blog Posting Month.

I'll be back tomorrow, so please don't fret and no, I am not bringing you back a pineapple.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

See you later

TH says five minutes and then stop computing.

I'm not even going to spend three.

Consider the persimmon and discuss.


Monday, November 12, 2007

looking back

Ernest getting guidance on rewiring a lamp, November 2007.

2005 -London for the Remembrance Day weekend. I think I was not by myself, I cannot remember. Yes, I was with TH. G-d, is my memory so bad.

2006- London for Remembrance day weekend with 150 flyertalkers. Definitely not with TH, but still had a blast.

2007 - Seattle for Remembrance day weekend, weekend spent keeping Ernest amused and alive, raking leaves and dealing the minutae of life.

2008 - I'm hoping for a middle ground, a bit boring and a bit exciting at the same time.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Eat local this Thanksgiving

This Saturday I at the market, I noticed a bunch of farmer's sporting these great buttons that said "I took the pledge", which means they took the pledge to eat local this Thanksgiving. I'm always up for some challenge, so we went over to the Eat Local booth at the U. District Farmer's Market.

The campaign highlights the fact that by eating local, we are reducing our ever expanding carbon footprint. I know mine is atrocious for being a locally eating, tree hugging, obessively composting liberal. It sucks due to my love of Parisian haircuts and Belgian bath cubes. I would calculate it for you, but when I did it January, I cringed.

So, back the great campaign at hand, by eating one or more products within your ecotone, soil conservation district, radius in which you are comfortable or even back garden you will:
  • Help maintain our local farms and open spaces
  • Help reduce greenhouse gases caused by transporting food from far away
  • Help create a food system that good for people, our environment and our economy
Not too shabby, eh? Don't even have to eat organic to make a difference.

Even my fair mayor (eck) has pledged to eat one thing that is local this Thanksgiving.

This made shopping a challenge today. Were trying to get ready for the thanksgiving before thanksgiving, thanksgiving proper and the day after thanksgiving thanksgiving. (really!)TH and I walked around the market trying to figure out what to substitute for celery, it not really very local this time of year. We're trying fennel. Everything else is easily sourced from the market, our regular grocery store and our garden. It should be fun. Sweet potatoes, that should be a challenge.

Think local, eat local and gobble local.

nm thinking about taking a nap about now

Friday, November 09, 2007

A few things of note:

Raise your hand if you are not logging into your brokerage account this week...I know you should if you manage your own money, but if you are trusting in someone else, make sure they are doing their jobs.

Remember, we're in it for the long run.

Just to depress you some more, on my way back from increasing my consumer debt and carbon footprint by driving in a single occupancy vehicle today to get my brows waxed (like I could do such a good job myself!), I listened to the Marketplace's Consumed series. I'm now going to move to a yurt and live off the grid.

I'm totally completely shattered from the week. Today we listened to Microsoft tell us that they are collecting petabytes of orthophotogrammetry to build these 3D visual cities for commercial applications, while the US government agencies that are mandated to collect and store and standardize our maps are years behind in updating the basemaps because we can't get funding to do this task. All it takes is big business to fill a need and boom, let it be.

We need that data dammit.

words for today : yeta and zetta, we'll soon be there folks.

nm trying not to depress you before the weekend truly starts

Thursday, November 08, 2007

who would have ever thought such a comment would start such a furor?

I am totally in awe of every thing I saw today, the world if full of possibilities when it comes to
putting data onto maps - text, images, social networks, moving targets.

I'm totally stoked.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

wordless wednesday

Okay, a few words, I spent today and will spend tomorrow and Friday in Bellevue.

The best parts were finally getting to Koots Green Tea, eating lunch with TH and talking to some really smart folks.
Lunch was a thing of thom kah with some rice thrown in, believe you me, we went everywhere and that was the best option without having a microsoft expense account.

Now, I'm home, pooped beyond belief and really really not looking forward to my tomorrow, which is more of the same, followed by chocolate cake with mocha buttercream frosting.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

this is going to be a long week

After a glorious Monday that came complete with a lovely hand plant right about two houses up from mine, I'm ready for the week to be over.

Seriously over.

Other than that, just hoping that my hand recovers, the dog behaves and that traffic across the bridge cooperates for the rest of the week.


Monday, November 05, 2007

sunny monday

Glorious day, too nice to be at work, but unfortunately, the world does not stop because I wanted to stay home and hang laundry, make quince jam and rake leaves.

Had a great catch up with Ms. J. and her trip to Paris. I'm still waiting to hear from Kerrio about her trip to the Falklands and Ms. JK is busy running around India. Nothing like getting a text message from India!

We are a lucky bunch of travellers.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Posh marshmellows, chocolatier Foucher, Paris, October 2007.

I'm knackered, it is the time change.

Ernest goes by his own clock, so up he was at 6 am and now he's down at 6:30.

He's a by the book kind of guy.

I have nothing of real import to report, I'm a bit sad today. One of our family friends is putting her husband in a nursing home. There is that subtle shift between the acceptance of your elderly relatives needing to leave home when their husband/wife/partner or caregiver can no longer provide them the care they need and when it becomes the person that introduced your father to the practice of medicine.

I can't even imagine what my parents are going through today. They went to go see them today.
On a happier note, some of my pics are up from our last trip to Paris, London, Brussels. Go check them out. I have yet to tag them properly. We found a lovely new chocolatier on rue st. Dominique (Jen, you must check him out) and all the favorites were just fine.

My risotto is burbling, my artichokes are as well, TH is setting the table and its time for dinner.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

bulb management

Bulbs for the spring, November 2007.

I'm getting ready to plant bulbs. Tomorrow looks good for bulb planting with no rain forecast. I have some inkling of where they are needed, which always helps. I tend to buy species tulips, narcissus and alliums. TH likes tulips and crocus. We split up at the bulb sales and then regroup to see what each has purchased. Neither of us minds planting the other's choices, which is good. The muscari or grape hyacinths are already peeping up as are some of the irises.

It seems that we have a nice collection picked out for 2008, they are all recorded as to what we bought, where they get planted is harder to record, but we'll take pictures and ooh and ahh over them this spring. We buy most our bulbs within a fifteen minute rampage at the Arboretum Foundation bulb sale that is held the first Saturday of October, come rain or shine. We have been known to rearrange our schedules to not miss this event. We love it and they have come to love us.

I try to shy away from anything too flashy, I am partial to white, small cupped narcissus and some of the more humble naturalizing species. I have been known to fall for some flashy orange cupped beauties that fade to a yellow when they are done being cheeky. TH plants tons of late tulips that bloom splendidly with the bluebells that we cannot get rid of and offset some of the columbines and bleeding hearts that threaten to take over two beds of our garden. Every year I promise to plant a cutting garden, but when I see the clumps of tulips, I'm happy to run to the market and give Jonkheer Greenhouses twenty dollars for four huge bunches of French tulips so that I can keep admiring mine in the garden.

You still have a few more weeks to get those bulbs in the ground. If you are lucky enough to still have some available to buy, I say go out and dig! You can't go wrong.


Friday, November 02, 2007

weekend reading

Geez, why not.

Actually, its four weekends or is it five until I go somewhere again. I should be happy. If I don't have my Holiday shopping done by November 15th, you can kiss my grits.

I'm in a contrarian mood today. I'm frustrated at the dog who had kennel cough and played with Ernest and whose owner was so gormless as not to tell us. I am trying not to be frustrated with Ernest, he didn't do anything but want to play. I am relieved in a way to be home as well, I have a presentation to put together for a meeting and now I'm not scrambling to get it done. TH has more time to work on her proposal as well, but still, beach, sand, sun.....

Ernest is also confused. He's not allowed to play with anyone for the next 10 to 14 days. That sucks. He's quite active, just sounding like crap. He doesn't know why he can't say hi to his buddies.

What is on tap for the weekend? I'm trying some new recipes, cleaning the now 10" pile of assorted papers off my desk to be filed, shredded and dealt with, planting 400 bulbs, deadheading and maybe a short walk/run in there somewhere.

I recollect signing up for some half marathon in November. I guess I should get ready for it.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

best laid plans

TH and I were Kauai bound on Saturday, three days of beaching, sitting and reading in hammocks, eating papayas and doing nothing.

No proposals, no editing of manuscripts, no data calls, no nothing.

Ernest woke up with a nice cough, a kennel cough. He'll be fine, but he can't be kenneled.

We're not going now.

Good thing everything is cancellable.

I'm extending our February trip by a day or two.