Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Change of a Dress

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Thursday, August 03, 2006


Have you ever tried kombucha? I just had my first--and hopefully my last--taste of the stuff.

I should have looked more closely at the ingredients, but you know, even that may not have disuaded me. I can be fairly adventurous.

This was a pomegranate-blueberry kombucha... I thought it was a sort of fruit drink. Pomegranate-blueberry sounds pretty yummy, don't you think? Then I got in the car, and looked at the ingredients. It has green and black tea in it. I'm not a tea fan, but it's OK. Then I noticed that the label also said, "This product contains less than .5% alcohol." Alcohol?!? I wasn't expecting any alcohol. But whatever.

So I get back to the office, open the (very cool-looking) bottle, and take a swig. Oh, jeez, I nearly lost my lunch! That was nasty.

Apparently, kombucha is a fermented mushroom culture. The drink didn't taste mushroomy at all; at least I didn't think so. But it did taste like something rotten... I don't know, like when apples get old and nasty and start to ferment. You know how that smells? The kombucha tasted like that.

I will not be sampling that again. Less than .5% alcohol... for that taste, the stuff ought to be chock full of booze!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Look at what I can do...

OK, here is my first ball of handspun yarn. It took me about a week to spin it; I had two ounces of the roving, and wound up with about 25 yards of yarn. It's not very even, but I had fun! I've already started on the next batch of roving, of course!

Before I rolled it into a ball, I had it in the skein, drying:

And finally, a detail shot:

Friday, July 28, 2006

Oh, get over it already!

'Breast' Cover Gets Mixed Reaction

The Associated Press
Thursday, July 27, 2006; 5:55 PM

NEW YORK -- "I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down," wrote another. "Gross," said a third.

These readers weren't complaining about a sexually explicit cover, but rather one of a baby nursing, on a wholesome parenting magazine--yet another sign that Americans are squeamish over the sight of a nursing breast, even as breast-feeding itself gains more support from the government and medical community.

Babytalk is a free magazine whose readership is overwhelmingly mothers of babies. Yet in a poll of more than 4,000 readers, a quarter of responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo--a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile--inappropriate.
(Read the rest of 'Breast' Cover Gets Mixed Reaction)

My favorite quote from the whole story was this:

"I'm totally supportive of it _ I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Yeah, they probably hate that! I suspect she actually means she didn't want them to accidentally see a breast that SHE didn't want them to see.

At any rate, I think people really just need to get over this issue. I've seen nursing women relegated to bathrooms (Eww! Would YOU want to eat in the bathroom?!?) and asked to leave restaurants just because they are feeding their baby. Just ridiculous.

When I was nursing my children, I was reasonably discreet and usually covered the baby/breast conjunction with a little blanket, but there was no way I was going to the bathroom to nurse. It says a lot about how puritanical and life-denying our culture really is that this is such a big deal. Isn't this 2006? What is wrong with people, anyway?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Salt, or the Ketchup?

I just read this article in Parabola magazine regarding the work of Christopher Alexander. What most fascinated me in the article was a question asked by Alexander in his book, The Phenomenon of Life:

Suppose you and I are discussing this matter in a coffee-shop. I look around on the table for things to use in an experiment. There is a bottle of ketchup on the table, and, perhaps, an old-fashioned salt-shaker, both shown [below]. I ask you ‘Which one of these is more like your own self?’ […] you, your own self, in your totality.

I make it clear that I am asking which is the better picture of all of you, the whole of you: a picture which shows you as you are, with all your hopes, fears, weaknesses, glory and absurdity, and which - as far as possible - includes everything you could ever hope to be.

It may seem like a random question, but if you take it seriously, it is quite interesting. Apparently, more than percent of Alexander's subjects gave the same answer. As it turned out, it was my answer as well.

So, are you the salt shaker or the ketchup bottle?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Too. Freaking. Hot.

So it was 103 or 104 degrees (Farenheit) yesterday in Portland. It was intolerable. And today isn't much better... it's 95 and rising.

On top of that, my car will not start... oops, more later. The auto service is here to save the day!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast: a meme


Fill in the blanks: I fidget when I try to sit still.

Name something you use to make your home smell good.

Incense... except my husband hates it. He's not being a jerk, he just has a lot of environmental sensitivities and breathing problems, so I really can only use it in certain areas of the house, and especially if he's not home and not going to be home for a few hours. Scented candles are RIGHT OUT! He can't even stand them to be on the same floor as he is. A lot of them are too strong. Anyway, the thing I can use and that I do like is Trader Joe's air freshener. It's a sage and lemongrass scent... very nice, and good for when the dog farts!

If you could receive a coupon in the mail for 50% off any product, what would you want it to be for?

Yarn. Good yarn. Or books. Wait, can the coupon be for yarn and books?

Main Course
Besides sleeping, what do you spend the majority of the hours of your typical day doing?

Working. Isn't that just a terrible answer? I can't help it, I'm American. We work our asses off. Or we're supposed to.

In truth, my workday is probably evenly split between goofing off and actually working. I'm trying to improve that ratio (in favor of work, that is; see Demotivated post below.) I spend a great deal of time on the web... surfing and working and reading and researching. Yeah, I love to research stuff.

At home, I spend most of my hours semi-watching TV. I'm not really that big a TV fan, but Hubby is handicapped and can't really do that much in the evening. So he sits and watches TV and movies. So there are some shows that I actually care about watching, some shows that I watch with Hubby, and a lot of shows I sit through so that I can just be with Hubby. In the latter category, I do a lot of getting up to do other things during the show: let the dogs out to pee, check email, have a smoke, grab a basket of laundry, help the son with his homework, etc. And of course, when I'm sitting watching TV, a lot of times I'm really knitting and sometimes looking at the TV.

What can you hear right now while answering these questions?

I heard one of my co-workers talking about a movie he saw last night at our local film center. Now I hear nothing but the click-clack of my own keyboard and an occasional squeak from my boss's chair. It's a pretty quiet day here at the office. And thank god, Friday is almost over.

Blog problem

Well, I'm trying to figure out how to fix a little problem with my blog template. The background image at the top does not seem to display in Firefox, which is my preferred browser! It used to display OK. Argh! I wonder if it's just my computer... I'll have to try it out on some different machines, but if anyone knows why this is going on, please let me know. Thanks.


I don’t think "demotivated" is a word that appears in the dictionary, but I saw it in yesterday’s Dilbert.

Anyway, I want to have a better attitude at work, but I am seriously demotivated. No one at my company has had a raise in 5 years, and no sign of one coming anytime soon. I’m a good, but imperfect, employee, interested in improving my work performance because I will feel better about myself and my job if I do. But the wage situation is so dismal, it’s hard to keep that want going.

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