Monthly Archive: September 2003

Sep 30

Band Meme (not like a Band Aid)

(via upsoclose)

Meme from smurf chick

Your meme, should you choose to accept it, is to rank the following bands in order, from couldn’t live without to couldn’t care less. To add value to this process,
you must also add one band to the list, and remove one band from the list, before passing the meme on (including these instructions).

The Beatles
adding: Barenaked Ladies
Paul Simon
The Who
Tori Amos
The Psychedelic Furs
The Kinks

removing: Aerosmith

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Sep 29

And much fun was had by all

Caroline at dinner.

Jeff & Gina enjoying pizza.

Caroline and Gina ham it up in front of *huge* cake.

Meghan and Allan getting ready to kick some rear in laser tag.

David is non-plussed but Jacintha is ready to shoot folks.

Yes, kids, this is my boss.

Let’s all eat more cake!!!

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Sep 25

Best Birthday Ever, parts 3 & 4

So, I’ve been wanting (badly) a cast iron bundt pan. You see, my Granny’s pound cakes were just about famous. Everyone from Hugh Morton (who owns Grandfather Mountain to Dean Smith (former coach of the UNC Basketball team) got one every Christmas. I have the recipe, and I’m not a half-bad baker, but the cakes have never turned out like Granny’s. The crust, which is supposed to be light brown and crumbly, was instead always dark brown & shiny. The curse of a thin, non-stick pan.

So I looked on eBay (they’re few and far between and very expensive) and looked at the Lodge website (where they had some, but I wanted to see if I could find an older, pre-seasoned one), but I’d not gotten around to doing anything about it.

Imagine my surprise last night when Jeff presented me with a beautiful cast iron bundt pan! More impressive yet is the fact that in between when I looked (3-4 mos. ago) and now, Lodge stopped making the pans! So now they’re quite sought-after and difficult to find. In discussion groups where bundt pans are a topic, there are, according to Jeff, lots of comments from folks along the lines of “this pan’s ok, and that’s one’s pretty good, but you’ll have to pry my cast iron bundt pan from my cold, dead fingers.” Jeff was dilligent, though, calling lodge and just about every antiques vendor with a website on the planet it seems. He finally found an antique dealer in VA who had one (and apparently didn’t know what she had), and spent the entire weekend while I was in Charlotte with my Grumps cleaning it up and re-seasoning it.


Further prolonging the birthday ecstasy were flowers from Dad that arrived this morning — they’re truly beautiful (pics to come).

I do declare that this is my bestest birthday ever!

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Sep 25

Healthy cereal = Impossible to Open bags

I do not know why this is the case, but it seems that all of our favorite “healthy” cereals (Puffins, Granola, all varieties of Bran flakes) have interior plastic bags that are *impossible* to open. I tug and struggle and grunt and pull and and and … eventually resort to kitchen scissors.

All varieties of Sugar Bombs, though, (which, for the record, I no longer eat :( )have bags that you so much as look at them and they pour forth their sugary goodness.

This confuses me. I’m already eating the healthy cereal. I don’t need the concommitant workout.

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Sep 25

Promised cake pics

Isn’t it the *swellest* cake ever? I confess, I might’ve eaten a wee bit too much fondant, tho. Cake by Queen Anne’s Cakes. :)

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Sep 24

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeee! :)

I have a birthday cake (from team at work — pics to come, it’s fabulous), a dozen roses (from Jeff) and a beautiful arrangement (from Mom) in my office — I *AM* the birthday girl

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Sep 23


So here’s the odd thing: I called SmartHome today (since I bought the filters from them) and described the situation. When I got to the part where I said “so I’ve installed the filters and now the towel…” the guy jumped in and said “let me guess: the towel heater is going off and on at the correct times but you’re still getting sporadic light flickers.

Well, color me dumbfounded. I said “um. yeah. That’s exactly what’s happening — how did you know?”

He said “Let me describe your switches; see if I’m right: they’re X-10 brand switches and have a rocker top with a small toggle tab underneath the toggle.”

At this point I was positively boggling — how did he know?! I didn’t even buy the switches from SmartHome, so it wasn’t like he was looking at an order history.

Well, it turns out that those switchs are known for doing this. In these switches, the power used to drive the X-10 circuitry goes through the filament itself. What happens is when a large, short load is put on the line (like a fridge coming on, or the UPS doign the thing it does to recharge itself), the filament dims, and it’s as if there were a momentary brownout. The switch gets confused, loses its state, and then, when the power comes back up to “full speed”, the switch interprets that as an “on”. Equals light on in middle of night for no good reason.

He said the solution is to move up to better switches that use the neutral for the X-10 circuitry (Switchlinc) and that are not so sensitive. Sigh. And they’re $44 each. I do believe him, though, as he *nailed* my problem exactly. He also suggested switching house codes on those switches to see what happens, so I’ve done that and will report back.

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Sep 22

Product endorsemnt

For which I am not being paid, but, oh well.

I got a nasty boo-boo on my thumb a few nights ago, right at the place where it joins the rest of my hand. As anyone who’s ever gotten a cut there will know: (a) it *hurts* an d(b) it’s almost impossible to keep a band-aid on it.

Until now (drumroll, or other anticipatory instrumentation)! Band-Aid makes a new(ish) bandage called “Compeed” (no idea why … seems like a silly name to me). These suckers WORK! They’re odd, almost like they’re made of rubbery stuff, and are end-to-end-sticky but not in a way that sticks to wounds. They seal out water *really well*: I stuck one on right after cutting my finger and it stayed on through two showers (including hair washing) and an afternoon of futzing with a sewing machine.

Yah technology!

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Sep 19


Courtsey of

Your pirate name is: Captain Anne Bonney

Even though there’s no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you’re the one in charge. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

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Sep 19

Wanton lust

For technology bits.

Currently the “really, really, I’d love this, but I’m trying to be a good girl list” includes:

  • 40GB iPod. I’m sort of an all-or-nothing music girl, which is why I never had a CD player in my car [1]… me being me, whichever cd’s were in the car would be the ones I wanted in my house, and vice versa. This is a sure path for madness making. With 40GB, there’s finally enough *space* on a personal player to hold the vast majority of my music (which, including everything, is about 45GB, I think). I don’t think I’ll have a problem with 40GB because some of the stuff I own I wouldn’t want on the iPod (and some of that music is Jeff’s, which I wouldn’t necessarily cart along).
  • BIG plasma or digital projection TV. The prices are dropping ($2799 for 42″ plasma from Gateway, and $3k for 52″ digital projection from Samsung), but I can hold out (sure I can!).
  • Windows PC phone. I’d sure love to have one phone-PDA thing, but we’re still in early adopter phases here (and I *always* get burned on the early adopter thing!).
  • Nice digital camera. Dad has a pretty spiff Nikon, and while I love my Dimage X (and would keep it for the goes-in-the-pocketbook camera), it’s a wee bit annoying to be taking 3 cameras on vacation (small digital, “real” film camera + fun camera [either LOMO or Polaroid Land camera to do manipulations])

[1] My solution has been a mini-disc player for which I make mixes. Those being intentional (with the “flow” worked out and whatnot) somehow manage to fool the “all-or-nothingness” thing.

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Sep 19

(No title)

Ok, I gotta put this here…

We received a question via our intranet feedback form that said (edited to remove bits you don’t care about):

The first column in these tables contain a date. The year in these dates appear to be incorrect. For example, currently the table shows the following dates:

Last update Synopsis
Sep 18 0941 EDT Post 1
Sep 11 2102 EDT Post 2
Sep 2 0945 EDT Post 3
Aug 27 2255 EDT Post 4
Aug 28 1242 EDT Post 5

Can you please investigate this issue? Thank you for your help.

Oh my. Oh my.

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Sep 18

a’waiting for Isabel

And finding it difficult to concentrate. The lantern’s been brought out. Candles are ready. Yard is cleared of materials that will fly around. Generator is purchased ;-)

Now it’s just a cross-your-fingers-and-wait kind of thing.


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Sep 17

Isabel madness

I’m blaming my current insanity on a low-pressure zone causing my head to spin…

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Sep 16

One last thing

(I’m on a roll because I don’t want to clean up my house)

When we were in Chicago, I saw the cutest bug — what is he?

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Sep 16

Weekend update

I spent the weekend in Charlotte, helping my mom take care of my Grumps, who is in a nursing home, and needs to have someone with him 24×7. At this point, he’s disoriented and unhappy enough that the someone needs to be someone in the family. My Aunt Sister (whose real name is Jackie, and who, unsurprisingly is my mother’s sister) has been there for almost a month, staying with Grumps all day and all night, with relief from my mom on the weekends.

I went to Charlotte this weekend to relieve Mom, at least as much as I could. Grumps wanted Mom around at night, so I was there Saturday and Sunday during the day. It was a good thing in many ways (I got to spend some time with Grumps), but it was also really difficult because he’s not well, and he’s not himself (there’s a whole book that could be written here, and perhaps I’ll feel up to it tomorrow, but for now anyone who’s watched a love done get older and less able will understand).

On the positive side, the place he’s staying, Asbury, is really nice. It follows what’s called an Eden Tree philosophy which aims to maximize the “people-ness” of the place and de-emphasize the institutional. There are gardens that the residents can visit whenever they want (freedom of movement), lots of caregivers who seem to really put their heart into it (everyone I spoke with knew my Grumps’ name), real flowers, art therapy and animals. While I was there I met several *very well trained* dogs (washing hands afterwards and having had double-Clarinin’d), one really fat cat and a large cage full of budgies (parakeets? little colorful, chirpy birdies). There was a nest box, and inside the momma (and sometimes the poppa) birds sat on about 6 eggs. This, for whatever reason, made me really happy.

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