Thursday, October 19, 2006

Feeling your age

Squash, Georgetown, October 2006.

Today I feel all my prime years. To tell you the truth, I have never felt any worse pain in my lower back. I am going to call what I have bulkhead syndrome.

What the heck is that?

It is what you get when you are a short woman, with the luck and desire to usually get seat 1A.


So that no one reclines into me and that I can put my tootsies up on the bulkhead.

Well, that is all fine and good until you do it for about 20 hours in one week and then your lower back screams in agony because you are putting so much pressure on it by putting your tootsies up on the wall as in this picture.

NM's life on Alaska Airlines.

Today I stayed home and I worked from home, I tried to rest. I didn't go to the gym. The doctor saw me, prescribed massage and sent me on my merry way. I can't get in until Monday afternoon. I have tons of Advil and ice packs. I cancelled my personal trainer for tomorrow and Ernest promises not to pull.

What am I doing tomorrow night? I am flying in seat 1F and I'll be damned if I put my feet up on the bulkhead. I can't take the pain.

I'm still waiting for my upgrade to clear on the return, but honestly, I'll be fine if it doesn't, less chance of injuring myself.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

a pink pony please

Snow, October 2006, UCAR parking lot.
I'm getting a million emails today about what everyone wants in metadata files (you know, data about the data). I'm thinking the metadata will be larger than the data by the time they are done.

I'm going to ask for a pink pony too.


It is snowing here. I am so not excited.

Monday, October 16, 2006

deja vu

The road not travelled, Colorado, September 2006.

See this post here.

I'm back again, in a different meeting, a different context (data management guru) and a different lab.

I am one of two women at a meeting of modelers, data managers and standards setters for large scale hydrodyamic models. That is right, we're 4% of the population at this meeting. I'm not a modeler and honestly, some mornings I can't even imagine why I am here.

However, I'm enjoying myself and me thinks we may have a new data standard to play with when we get back to the lab.

Dinner tonight is the Ted, he always picks the best places. ;)

I'm bummed that Katja had to go to ABQ to play with her satellite. I'll think of you tomorrow when I replace my missing jibbitz.

Yes, JK, I am going to glam them up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

words of endearment

Tiny little handprints, October 2006.

Today while in Trader Joes, TH murmured to me the words that are part of our enduring relationship --"when exactly are you leaving again?".

I can't blame her, I'm a nutcase today.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

saturday night and the partying is right

Okay, I'm back from DC. What can I say other than I survived.

One transcon to go and then Denver. Whoo hoo. At least I get to spend the day with my cousin A. who is matriculating at BU and should be good company.

Last night I went to bed without the use of pharmaceuticals and had some strange dreams. The most disturbing is the "getting ready to leave and can't find my passport" nightmare that was a melange of a major work deadline (hmm), extra security for the foreign nationals at my work place that made me nervous and not remembering my passport before I left for the airport.

Yes, campers, this is a nightmare of mine. That and losing my boarding pass (happens frequently).

Today my travel day was smooth, my upgrade to DC did not clear, but I had pleasant seat opponents. I managed to read the paperwork for my meeting, finish two mysteries, take a nap and on the way back watch a really bad movie on the way back. The food in First was nothing to write home about. I ate the beans/rice and the salad and my cheese and apple. My decaf was kept full and I was happy that the Husky game traffic was over before I made it home. I even picked up the Post for Sunday's reading.

By the way, Go Beavs!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The bells of Pecos. Pecos, New Mexico, September 2006.

Nothing to say today, I am tired. I am off for my only mileage run of the season (SEA-DCA-SEA) in one day tomorrow. My upgrade cleared on my return and I'm still waitlisted on the outbound. I have 3 lbs of paperwork for my meeting on Monday, so I have something to amuse myself with along with the new Dianne Mott Davidson and 30 sudukos.

Have a great weekend, y'all.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

its easier the 19th time around

Sunset, Pecos, New Mexico. September 2006.

I'm still cranking on my model outputs. I have discovered a little operator error in the naming of the files and now realize that I could rerun the model without displaying the results faster than I could rename 700 files.

So, I'm praying there are no windows updates tonight and that I can run this overnight and call it art.

I stayed home today and worked. I wish I could do it daily, but it ain't going to happen. I worked from 8 to 3, took a nap and have been working from 8 until god knows when.

I'm still coughing. I seem to be feeling no adverse effects of the codeine. I just wish I could stop the cough.

Tomorrow we'll put the rest of the garden to bed and begin my two weeks of travel hell.

At least my upgrades are clearing.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

not to freak out or anything

Leaves, Dumbarton Oaks, October 2006.

I have three two transcontinental flights, one to Denver and one to Paris in the next 20 days.

I am still using my codeine cough stuff and feel like crap. Its a viral cough, it'll eventually peter out. Right?

I have a paper to write for AMS by the end of the month (no real progress as of yet), another abstract for another meeting, a paper for class and general work stuff. I have to fly to Denver next week for a work meeting and I hope that 1. it does not snow 2. that I will understand 20% of what is discussed at the meeting.

Not just baby steps, its time to seriously start planning my days by the 15 minute increments.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

back up and double check

Check out this flickr set on the Bonneville salt flats.

We encountered a little heartbreak on our road trip last month. NM stupidly lost a memory card for the camera. So, we lost the first four days of our vacation pictures. The things that happened are in our brains, the landscape, the silly signs, the pictures of the weather station at the top of the Steens in the 25 degree blowing snow.

I wish I could share them with you, but as TH and Mony have stated, what is in embedded in your brain is more important.

We can easily recapture those images. I had some great pictures of the Spiral Jetty, but I guess we'll have to drive back down that hideous gravel road and take them again. My awe at the landscape of the Great Salt Lake, the salt flats and the semi-permanent monuments are still with me.

This last week, I finally downloaded the memory cards, put them on the hard disk of Thor and uploaded most to flickr to edit. It'll take me a while to them up and running. I wasn't too sure if everything was downloaded onto Thor, so when I was in DC last weekend I was hestitant to delete anything. So, I went to motophoto in Dupont and they copied everything off the card in the camera and put it on CD for a whopping six dollars.

I'll do that from now on - insure myself against loss or heartbreak.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Ernest at 7 months

Isn't he handsome?

Thank you for being literate

Mocha mexicano and french toast bagels, Dilletante Mocha Cafe at Seatac, October 2006.

The title of this post is exactly what the TSA screener said to me this morning after she inspected my 1 quart ziplock bag full liquids and gels. She was amazed that I had read the paper and understood the rules.


Here we are at the airport on our way to DC for the weekend. The BoardRoom is full of loud mouths and small children who are able to mosey up to the bar and order shirley temples and I can upload a meeting abstract that is due today.

More later.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I gotta ask myself

Why at 10:46 pm I'm setting up a model run that I'm 89% sure will crash by morning.

I have definitely found some bugs in the candidate release of the new ArcGIS 9.2 software that are really making me mad.

All I need is for this bad boy to finish by 4 pm tomorrow so that I can work on animating it by the end of the weekend.

Yes, Virginia, I will be in DC this weekend, working while TH spends her time reading about multidimensional representation of space.

At least we'll eat well.

Apples, September 2006.

I have a prescription for codeine cough syrup and antibiotics to take me through the next anthrax scare. I just need to fill them. I still feel like crap and hopefully, these will make me feel better. With my next few weeks of back to back flights I can't go on sounding like this unless I want a row to myself.

I have so much to do, I need to get well.

I am trying, just failing.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Am I the only one who lost money today on the stock market?


Again, repeat after me "I'm in it for the long term- find your happy place".

On a happier note(?), I am going to see the doctor about my tubercular cough. Even my boss, who I believe was the initial disease vector remarked that I shouldn't be here sounding like I do.
Maybe it would be better if our group stayed put in Seattle instead of going to Bali, Australia, Guam, Hawaii and Boulder every freaking week and bring back foreign germs.
While I get paid not very obscene amounts of money to think about data, endure endless conference calls about data standards and attend lots of meetings about such arcane things, JK gets to meet interesting people, scan all sorts of media for her job and listen to endless banjos.

I have not a clue where she found this, but it made me spit my decaf out onto my screen.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

portrait versus landscape

I'm still in the market for a new 2007 planner. As much as I love Moleskine, thanks to Viv for turning me onto Moleskine and moving me out of the filofax world. I detest the new format. I want to see my days and week in a vertical (portrait) layout. I want to see my time blocked out as it happens and know that I can tell at glance if my 10 am slot for Friday is free or not.

Since I got hooked on the Moleskine last year, I don't know if both formats were available. All I know is when I looked at this year I was bummed.

Today we went down to the University Bookstore so that I could get the book for my last class for my preservation planning certificate. Yes, campers, I may have graduated years ago, but more knowledge is good knowledge and with only a few more classes to go, I decided to finish it off. What is left is the first of the series of planning classes, I'll keep you up to date on my progress.

Anyways, the bookstore is pushing all sorts of planners. I picked up the moleskine, weekly planner and then was intrigued by the Quo Vadis. It is just perfect for me in terms of organization, though I am not too crazy about the size - its a bit bigger than the moleskine, but it has the week in vertical by hour, places for notes and just like moleskine, a pull out address book. Interesting colors for covers too. I may let it sit on my desk for a while and then decide. I may also just look when I'm in Paris in a few weeks.

Getting organized takes work and planning and learning what works for you is key. Pick up your planner and look at it, does it feel right? Will it fit in your bag? Do you need it to block out projects? Do you just need it to do simple tasks? Can you live with a soft covered planner or would you take it more seriously if it was hardback? Can you doodle in it?

So many questions, so many options!

We can talk about this more if you want, I'll even pencil you in.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Happy Blogiversary or whatever you say

March flowers, chez nm.

I have been blogging for a year now. I have about 12 dedicated readers who will admit to knowing me and comment.

Thanks for putting up with me.

I have nothing profound to say other than today's post is very much like last years postings around the same time. I went to the farmer's market (this time with TH, B, her parents-F&J and E.dd), Trader Joe's and then the Arboretum Bulb Sale.

There we spent enough to pay for seventeen hundred goats for goat herders in small emerging country or two, but who's counting? The best parts were having the Foundation Director say hi to us and then promptly asked if we had brought Ernest and seeing M&G and the dogs who we hadn't seen in forever.

For as much as blogging about my mundane and pathetic at times life has been fun for me and maybe fun for you to read, my life hasn't really changed and I'm okay with that.

Check it out.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Getting organized

Hack away :

I'm still sick. In fact, I think I'm sicker than before. I am having a hard time kicking this thing I have. Normal routine for me, go on a trip longer than two days, get sick for 21 days.

Things here are interesting for the end of the month, the beginning of a new fiscal year, school year and fall.

I'm looking at calendars are trying to figure if out if I should hack a moleskine to make it work for me, or just go with the new weekly format which I despise.

While I have been at work today, dilgently crunching through a model that is on step 202 of 1800, I have been intrigued by the number of moleskine hacks I have come across, including using a moleskine with David Allen's GTD to increase productivity.

In honor of the new fiscal year (FY07, if you are keeping track), I'm going to try this at home.

What I am really waiting for are the new -Moleskine city notebooks do it yourself guidebooks - great for those of us who travel to the same places over and over again. Here is a great flickr page that shows you a sneak preview. How I wish I could get one for Paris by October 25th, at least I'll pick up my London one in November (I hope).


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Crying on the way home from Trader Joes

I may be hormonal, but this piece by Firoozeh Dumas had me bawling all the way home from the grocery store. I know the world revolves around Marjane Satrapi and Persepolis (pronouce with me - Purse-Police), but I think that Firozeh and I may be separated at birth. We were born in the same hospital in the same year and by god, we both have the lowps (cheeks) of a well-fed Iranian girl.

Famous author, NPR commentator, Firoozeh Dumas.
Infamous blogger (or wishes she was) and basset hound wrangler, NM.

What do you think?


just for aunt pat

Ernest and scruffy together on flickr.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pulling at the heartstrings

Dual monitor basset love fest, September 2006.

How I miss you my tiny dog! Smooches on your wrinkled brow.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

publish or perish

Today I was informed that I need to start publishing more. What a surprise. I left a research position years ago to do data management/IT research and now I have to publish again. When am I given time to get something ready for publication? Its not like I can carve out 20% of my work week to work on papers in progress.

I guess I'll start looking for journals that will accept innovative IT applications to solving problems in my field and start finding yet more time to spend on another unfunded mandate. Not that I don't spend 15% of my time already doing that. Maybe looking for a job doing consulting is not such a bad idea....

Other than that, it is warm here -- much too warm for me, but it'll soon by grey and rainy again.
TH is having a great time, she's in Wyoming for the second day and tomorrow night, it'll be yellowstone for her. I am soo jealous.

It will be the last weekend home for a while, time to put the garden to bed, deal with outdoor stuff and get reacquainted with ernest the puppy.

God, I miss him.


Monday, September 25, 2006

vacation interruptus

Two things made our vacation a bit defective.

1. I caught a cold on Wednesday before we left and though I fought the cold part off valiantly, I have spent the last five days or so hacking out my lungs. I am home today working because, no one needs to listen to me.

2. Email checking and the end of the year procurement woes. TH has let some contracts out for work that seemed to just be fine until the last minute. Not that she did anything wrong, its just that even though you do your part, things just seem to blow up. We don't get our funding until late in the fiscal year and then boom -- you have to spend it all (lucky you think, but it is not that great). She spent a few hours writing emails in SLC, checking her voice mail and email in Moab, making phone calls to procurement and contracts and contractors in Las Vegas, NM and now, at 11,000 feet somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, she's taking a phone call about a contract that seems to have blown up. Life was easier when we couldn't stay connected.

If she wasn't so responsible she just would let this go, but she can't.

I feel bad for her.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I may look insane, but my brows are great.

Back home this afternoon with a bushel of mild green chile and the proud owner of one of those coolers that I fear when I check into hotels -- the ones on wheels that look like rollaboards.

TH is in Leadville, CO hoping to go up through Rocky Mountain National Park if the weather cooperates.

The only thing of note I did today was reschedule my brow wax for today instead of tomorrow. My god, I was about a week overdue.

Lovely summer/fall day here in the Emerald City, but my refrigerator smells like chile.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Viva Las Vegas

This morning we left our very nice and cheap room at the ABQ Hyatt and started our trek up I-25 towards Vegas. We stopped for the requisite Frontier cinnamon roll, no frosting and a cup of coffee. Can you see that this trip is about food and driving?

We drove up to Las Vegas and frankly, after the last Pecos exit I fell asleep. I love the drive from Santa Fe to Pecos, so at least I saw the scenic parts. We arrived at the plaza in time to take a nap and then deal with TH's end of the fiscal year contracting fiasco that required three individual phone calls to Utah and Seattle and led me to wonder why go on vacation at the end of the fiscal year?

Las Vegas charms me. The first time we went was on the suggestion of Chris Wilson from UNM who thought we might enjoy the plaza and the historic district and a few drives around Rociada. It was a cold March day and the chile from the El Rialto was hot and kept me up most of the night, but the morning was beautiful. We walked around, taking in the railroad town architecture and eating huevos rancheros at the now defunct Spic and Span.

I later spent time in Las Vegas when I was doing field work at Valmora. I loved the drive, I loved the chile and "vibe" of Vegas. I was happy to return, sad to see that Eli's was gone (apparently he got a job with the city) and happy to see alot of work done in the historic district in terms of preservation.

If you are ever in Santa Fe, want to leave the faux Georgia O'Keefeness of the place, see what made New Mexico - railroading, mining, speculation and health, point that car north up to Las Vegas and enjoy the green chile without beans at the El Rialto.


Monday, September 18, 2006

As seen at the sharpie display at the Office Max in Salt Lake City, September 2006.

In Moab tonight. Good food at the Moab Diner, great independent micro roasted coffee and books at the Arches Bookstore (cut up your starbucks card at the bookstore and get a five dollar gift card) and a nice mellow night.

I'm sitting here waiting for my laundry to dry and wondering why every place must advertise free wifi.


monday morning

First good coffee and pear/apricot tart east of the Cascades, SLC September 2006.

As JK has posted I spent the first three days of my road trip freaking freezing. Yes, Virginia, there is snow up in the hills and at elevation depending on where you are.

We went to the Steens. There was plenty of blowing snow and temps of 25 degrees at the top. We'll go back earlier in the year. But we did have fun.

I'm now in SLC. Enjoying a few days of internet access and a comfortable bed thanks to RD and his travel schedule.

I like this place. The housing stock is phenomenal, inexpensive, the food is great and there is independent coffee. I just keep on thinking I'm going to see Heather, Jon and Leta walking up the street.

So, off to Moab, Mesa Verde and then to New Mexico - Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Scorroro, Las Vegas, Pecos and maybe Rociada. Who knows? All I know is that its going to get warmer and I'll be happier.

I have spent the first day of the last three seasonal changes- Spring, Summer and Fall away from home and that sort of bums me out.

I'll try and post from the road, but who knows. I know I want to write about Eastern Oregon, landscape change, food memories of the past, the great salt lake, sex in public art and the west.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ah, thanks for the reminder

American Airlines just emailed me to remind (hound ?) me that I need 35,000 miles this year to make their top tier. If they spent less time sending out emails and more time checking my tickets purchased so far, they would see that I need only 872 miles to make their top tier.

No, I'm not going to route myself through three small cities in the midwest. I'm going to drag TH to Chicago for a night at the Park Hyatt and a trip to the field museum instead. I'll credit one half to Alaska, thus finishing up my year with them and the other half to American.

How difficult is that for them to figure out?


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

east to southwest

Tilt a whirl, the sunflowers, September 2006.

Without too much effort we will drive east of the mountains, south and head to eastern Oregon on Thursday. TH fell in love with the Steens when she was there for her field course "boot camp" for grad school. Coincidentally, the trip fell during september 2001, so it is a bittersweet return.

I know every person in the world has blogged about what they were doing that day. I was in Seattle, TH was in Oregon and all I wanted was for her to be home and safe.

Anyways, the trip is on, we're heading east towards Pendleton and Baker City, the the Steens, Northern Nevada, Salt Lake City, Great Salt Lake, New Mexico, Albuquerque, Soccoro, Santa Fe (Pecos) and Las Vegas.

TH is leaving me to go up to Wyoming. Oh how I wish I had the leave to do the same.

This time we are renting a car, not risking any transmission losses or ujoint issues and hopefully not logging in until my return.

Hang tight till then, but yes, JK, I will tell you all about it.


for my 366th post

Anemone, September 2006.

I will say not much of anything. I am tired (I say that alot), stressed (that too), and moderately under/overworked (over somedays and bored to death others). I leave for a ten day road trip with TH this week and even though life is basically on an even keel, I feel like its tottering.

My family is scattered this month. My parents are vacationing in London and Turkey, my brother in the midwest and then to Canada for the week, others are leaving for Italy (insert jealous sigh), Mexico and Alaska and my dog is with his sister destroying blueberry bushes.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I just need to chill.

Don't you think?


Monday, September 11, 2006

lucky me

I know no one can comment on my blog. I am sorry, just be anonymous, clear your cookies and just don't tell me to fuck off.

If I write you a check, say for 600 bucks and its laying on your desk, cash it please, will ya?

I am lucky enough to have a slush fund in my checking account, but still, I know that there are at least 1100 bucks in checks floating around the left coast that need to come home, sooner than later.

Other than that, looking at my salad for lunch and wondering if m&ms would be better...


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ernest has been whisked away to Goldendale and we have the week to prepare for our trip to the Southwest without the pitter pattering of little paws and lots of running out to check on what he's gotten into.

I have winnowed down his plastic bottle collection and removed his last trophy squash from his bed.

I do miss the little bugger.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

christine ferber, you can kiss my ass

I spent today canning peaches and making peach butter. Nothing complicated and I know in January I will be happy. As much as I love hoity toity preserving, when push comes to shove, the Ball Blue book is the bible of canning (old testament) as is the Farm Journal Canning book (the new testament). There is no need for quince juice, apple puree or copper pots and honestly, if you are going to be faced with 25 lbs of peaches, fast and easy is the way to go.

Have you ever seen a basset hound bark at a canning jar? He was very afraid. Quite amusing.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

fallen pleasures

Fig/Raspberry tart, August 2006.

While I sit and listen to Ernest the puppy sneeze thirteen times in a row (yoghurt up the nose?) I am hearing TH sigh happily as she finishes her piece of fig raspberry tart. My first exposure to such a beast was in June 1992 when I flew to Berkeley after TH's mother died. While I never had the honor of meeting her, that day began a seven year relationship with her father that started with a meal at Chez Panisse and continued on with love of food, bassets, landscape history, France and geography and his daughter to bind us.

I had only heard of Chez Panisse before that day and that meal upstairs was very good. I can't remember what my main course was, but the dessert was a fig tart with raspberries and lavender honey ice cream was memorable. I have made it for the last fourteen and change years. The recipe is simple and elegant and brings back memories of a more innocent time with a start of a great relationship.

Fig tart with Raspberries (adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts, 1984.)

One lb puff pastry (thawed - I use delaurenti's and one lb is the right amount). Pepperidge farm will do as well. One sheet.
3/4 pint fresh figs (mission, but if you have kadota, why not mix it up?)
1 cup fresh raspberries
3 T raspberry eau de vie or cointreau
2 T sugar
one egg yolk mixed with 1 T milk for egg wash

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F

Rinse figs, cut off tops, cut into quarters, macerate in a mixture of eau de vie and sugar. Add raspberries.

Roll or fold out pastry, score the ends and sides and fold over so you have an edge. Place figs with cut sides up in rows (overlapping if you can) and sprinkle the raspberries on top. Wash the edges of the tart with egg wash.

Place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until puff pastry starts to brown and figs are softened but still hold their shape.

Serve with lavender honey ice cream, vanilla ice cream or on its own.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Tiny dog in the gravel pit. September 2006.

God, can the week zip by please? I can use a vacation from my three day weekend.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

happy saturday

It is hot here. I am getting ready to hit the farmer's market and TJs (corporate shopping! on the smaller scale! non texas style!) and then head home to check on e.dd.

TH is doing a mr to BOS and back today. She just called to inform me that Alaska swapped planes and put the 737-800 on the flight which means her bulkhead is not a bulkhead and the person in front of her in First is reclining into her.

Fun! not!

Imagine if you had an exit row on the old 737-700 configuration and it has now been swapped for 25e! I would be livid. Maybe you would be too.

Did you notice that I'm using a lot of exclamation points this morning?

Anyways, if you really need that exit row or want a bulkhead, go to Seatguru to look at the configurations. Also check the aircraft the airline purports on their website to put you on and then call and double check, because things change as loads change.

At least her upgrade is secured for her return.

Off to the market to get peaches, peppers, flowers and cherry tomatoes for the boy.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Map of the world, from the bottom up. Courtesy of Lamont-Doherty.

On Saturday morning, we opened the New York times to see that Marie Tharp had died. Marie Tharp was one of the first female cartographers to map the seafloor. Outside my office is the map of the world ocean floor complied by Marie and her co-investigator Bruce Heezen. Marie was an innovator, a female who definitely forged her own path and one that was not easy by any means. I ran across a oral history she did for WHOI when I was helping TH at the archives. She was an amazing woman. Mapping is so much easier now, satellites, multibeam, huge databases and cooperative work makes it easier to integrate data. Women,though still in the minority in the ocean and atmopheric sciences, are still breaking ground.

I can't say it better than the folks at Lamont-Doherty. Here is their remembrance.

some things are better done at work

I'm home today trying to get some documentation written and now that E. dd is conked out, its working better. However, a 15" laptop screen does not hold a candle to my two 21" monitors where I can compute and then document on different screens.

Then again, my laptop is running some intensive software with a removable hard drive, so things are really slow.

I guess I can load data and empty the dishwasher while its happening.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Things to look forward to this weekend.

Mom and Dad coming up from SD to see their son, daughter, her TH and granddog.

20 lbs of NM green chile coming up with mom and dad.

Mom spending a bit of time showing me how to make a few persian pickles.

Three blasted days off.

A chance to see my brother before he turns into an international superstar.

A chance to run to the dump.

Three mysteries to read.

Shopping (finally) with my mom.

Er, I can't think of anything else right now.
Geez, I totally spaced that this was ending soon.

Guess my trip to the library on Friday will also include a visit to HAG to see this before it disappears.


thick skinned

I started moderating comments because someone told me to Fuck off. Good enough. Now people say my blog sucks. Really?

I ask you why?

I guess when you put your life out there, you shouldn't expect it all to be sunshine and lollipops and not everyone will agree with you.

However, if you think I suck. Please tell me why so I can tell you why you suck.

Smooches on a rainy (praise the gods) Tuesday morning.


Monday, August 28, 2006

bring on fall

Well, at least fall weather. I am not liking warm days, neither is TH or E. dd.

Tonight we ate pasta caprese with tomatoes from the garden, basil from the garden and spinach fettucine from pasta and co. It was a quick meal that dealt with the glut of both basil and tomato and could be put together in ten minutes. These days, dinner is a 30 minute prep or it isn't happening. Things are just crazy here and I don't see it slowing down.

I'm not big on garlic, which sounds strange, but all fresh tomatoes, whole milk mozzarella and basil needs is a bit of salt and some decent extra virgin olive oil. I'm partial to Ratto's from Oakland, but any good oil will do. I let it sit for a bit and then toss with hot pasta.

Tomorrow, we're trying roast chicken with tarragon. Its use it up week leading into the preserving hell that is September.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

three days to hope

Our pals Ruth and Loretta start the 3 Day walk tomorrow. They have trained hard and I am going to be cheering them on when they hit Husky Stadium on Sunday.

Check out their website - there is still time to donate.

Ruth and Loretta's 3 day site.


points and miles

My god, they are starting to add up. My double miles from the American Airline 25th anniversary are starting to post and if my tmobile sign up bonus posts soon, I'll be at 2 million miles before my December trip.


Seems that now, it may be time to move over to another airline. I'm thinking United.

Why? Widebodies out of Seattle, a SFO-CDG flight, a club in San Diego that will work for the mess by the Alaska gates. In the last few months I have been accruing 1500 UA miles with every Hyatt stay, so I'm up to a whopping 15,000 miles without having flown in the last four years on UA.

I know others hate them, but they go to Hong Kong and Australia. Try that on American.


romancing the night away

TH and I are roadtripping to NM in September. I just booked us in a romance package at the SLC Sheraton for 109 bucks a night, cheaper than their regular rate and gets us champagne, strawberries and breakfast in bed for three days.

Er, I think it should be fun checking in.

I'm now working on 10,000 waves and seeing what we can get there for NM. I wouldn't mind another mind numbing chain hotel experience, but the fact the rooms have courtyards and some no tvs has great appeal to me.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

reason 577 for not shopping at whole foods

Reason number 577: Cashier and bagger spend the time they should be interacting with custormer carrying on a dreary conversation about existentialism and basically blowing the customer off.

Reason number 578: No locally grown foods, bad move, doodes.

Reason number 579: Screaming children running amok. Contain thy child in a shopping pod.

Other than that, I think I love my new stereo with the Ipod adapter. Apparently the ipod cable is a scarce commodity in the US of A, so I could have sold mine for the price of my car stereo.

Yes, I went to Milwaukee where I should have drunk more and not eaten at Martini Mikes. You can catch up with JK and find out what went down last weekend.

Oh, and a big congrats to AM, whose book is hot on the list and creeping up slowly. It was published this week and our parentals got a nice dedication.

Good work, bro.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

wither the garden

While I have been lollygagging all weekend in Milwaukee and Chicago, TH has been busting her keester keeping the boy amused with kong, sticks and numerous celebrity death matches with buster the cat. Buster keeps on beating Ernest, so I don't know why he even tries. We have had numerous conversations about the garden, our water bill (higher than ever), our ppatch (pathetic this year), the weather too hot to do anything.

I feel bad for her, but I really can't do anything from 1601 miles away.

So, I listen sympathetically and on occasion am secretly glad to not be home.

The garden is really in bad shape this year. Most years, it takes care of itself if we have put a good amount of structure into it. Rain, work and Ernest all came at the same time and this year, we just don't have it together. We will not get the yields we usually do, but the saddest thing is that even going to do the smallest thing - watering and picking isn't even any fun right now.

What is more important right now? Getting a tiny puppy trained or growing basil? I think the pup comes first and the basil second. Next year, things will be different. We may build a small basset holding pen or just learn that it is okay for bassets to be left at home while their people mulch.

Right now, all we're able to do is triage. TH watered and picked some stuff, our tomatoes look terrible and thankfully, we don't depend on much to make it through the fall. Trying to balance a busy life with a garden, a puppy and travel this summer has been a experience that at times has challenging to say the least, but nothing can beat watching a small basset eat his first raspberry.