Friday, December 04, 2009


Once I was a locavore, so perhaps I shall be again. West Sixth Street, Bloomington. Twenty-degree bedroom in the winter, and a forlorn gospel church just off the top of the backyard. Carrots, peas, asparagus, sunflowers. Ah, I realize yet again, I miss my waist!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Smells like teen spirit

Or as Bernie said, smells like something, all right.
April Winchell has vastly expanded our Nirvana covers collection. Go, Erdmöbel! Links are hers...

Erdmöbel (5.5 MB)
Opium Jukebox (9.77 MB)
Lullaby Version (5.07 MB)
Ituana (5.93 MB)
386DX (1.6 MB)
Abigail (3 MB)
Dokaka (3.2 MB)
Gregorian Chant (3.5 MB)
Paul Anka (2.5 MB)
Polka Version (3.5 MB)
Ragnar Bjarnason (1.6 MB)
Rumal Noorkuu (3.1 MB)
Scala (3.9 MB)
Smells Like Electro (3.5 MB) B
Smells Like Teen Booty (Soulwax) (3.1 MB)
String Quartet (3.6 MB)
The Bad Plus (5.2 MB)
Espiritu Adolescente by Mandragora Tango Orchestra (unreleased demo) (5.3 MB)
Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain (2.4 MB)
Weird Al (3.4 MB) Still the best

Friday, November 20, 2009

I love my new mino.

But I have to work on my voice. And my steadiness.
We have rain, we have lemons, we have guard cacti...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Go Forth and Rebuke
From the Chron' social column (Garchik) today, someone "...was flying on Southwest Airlines from Salt Lake City to Oakland with a passenger who was extremely loud and rude to not only fellow travelers, but 'also a very patient male flight attendant.' Near the end of the flight, when this was particularly noticeable and annoying, another woman aboard stood up and told her she was the most rude person she had ever met, and then, 'Stop, stop stop!!! In the name of the angel Michael, I rebuke the demon in you!' It was a showstopper and the woman kept quiet for the rest of the flight, 'while the rest of us cowered in our seats." Heh. So I now have a phrase I can use with Bob, but no more than once a month, he says.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cakes Gone Wrong, Continued

Thanks to the New York Times for sweetening my afternoon, with a slide show (lifted from another blog) about cakes gone wrong. Herewith, my own purloined contribution, from the Indiana State Fair. Sad woman with green hair.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Brittle. I was feeling brittle, now a bit more resilient. Went to the Young Scandinavians House and stayed over the weekend, in Lake Tahoe. Met several folks, including a Swedish diplomat and his wife. He once worked in a shampoo factory and one liquid went into all of the same bottles: whether for dry hair, normal. He was livid and funny. They were all friends, but though I was on the fringe I didn't mind. There was snow. Plus Christine and I convinced ourselves that hiking 5 miles at 900o feet in the high wind was a good thing. I didn't have the right clothes, wrapped tee shirts around my neck and looked silly. Oh well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here is the ironing board that the raccoons like to knock over every night, rousting from a sound sleep those of us just on the other side of the wall --that would be Bob and I (diagram that). Those raccon fellows are FAT. Just the guys? I cannot say.

Now, for being "of a certain age" (in her 80s), my mother looks a heck of a lot more with it than I feel, many days. So true. Lake Michgan, September 09.

Cooling Towers

I have become curious about cooling towers: a failed engineer, I?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Work fashion

Perhaps not for the standard 9 to 5, but how about this work corset inspired by Carhartt Work Clothiing. The elegance of a corset, the durability of a work belt. Go, burning man.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Bay Bridge Opens

Meant to take the ferry this morning, from Jack London to San Francisco. Heading that way by car, a rare experience, I saw a sign that the Bay Bridge was OPEN, earlier than expected. It had been closed since Friday, all of Labor Day weekend, with many things done to it, including a span move and repair to an old something-or-other that cracked. So I jumped on, at 6:30 am, getting to work far too early. But still, quite the traffic treat.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Corn's in Season: Back home again in Indiana, heading for great lake waters. On the way back, on quiet state roads, comes a scene I have never seen in my long life: a tall, flat-bed corn picker moving quickly along the row by the roadside, drawn by five horses, three in back and two in front. Leading was a strong-looking no-nonsense fellow, with two little boys standing alongside, holding on to a vertical bar. There are different lives out there, some in the US minus electricity and oil, by choice. No stopping for a photo, I, perhaps respecting Amish culture.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello, Oven? It's Phone. Now Let's Get Cooking!

My favorite headline of the month, so far, about a man whose cell phone kept turning on his oven, incinerating the stored contents. “……He laid the phone next to the stove. They dialed it. Suddenly, the electronic control on the stovetop beeped. The digital display changed from a clock to the word ‘high.’ As the phone was ringing, the broiler was heating up.”  Certain Maytag models are vulnerable. Thanks, NYT.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Man receives cornea transplant; can’t stop housecleaning. This fine Monday morning my RSS feed at work brings the following. “A British man who had a cornea transplant jokes that he must have received the ‘cornea of a woman.’ His partner used to pester him to do housework but he says, ‘Because of my new eyesight I now notice every speck of dust and dirt and immediately want to clean it up. There is a reason why men don't clean normally and I think it's because we just don't see the dirt. But since the transplant I now see it wherever I go. I'm always hoovering, dusting and washing.’ Dr. Mathew Raynor, consultant ophthalmologist at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital where the surgery was done, puts it in perspective: ‘Organ donation really is the ultimate gift.’” I don’t know if the person who gets my corneas will be as inspired. Full story from The Sun. One of their other news stories of the day: Two couples went back to the Stone Age for double Flintstones-themed wedding. Weekly World News is back?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blogger Boing Boing is more prolific than I. Still, I keep my favorite posts from time to time, as in this list (click to enlarge, or is that common sense).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

To St. Vincent de Paul: 5 books, 3 pairs pajamas handsewn by my Aunt Nancy when she was watching the OJ trial (can't squeeze in), flavia coffee maker, 1 jacket, 10 t-shirts, 5 plates, 2 faucets, 1wooden candle holder from Holland Michigan, including 30-year-old cloves in drawer. From, for $5.50: paper-thin plastic (oxymoron?) plates; The Book of Common Prayer, A History of New Orleans, Brick Lane, The Bone People, The Kite Runner, Accordion Crimes, A Yellow Raft in Blue Water,The American Book of the Dead, and Ortho's All About House Additions (I wish). Not bad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chef's Survey

And it's 2 blocks from my office . . .
Ah, a cheeseburger, fries well done, and a diet coke: once a quarter, why not? If it's good enough for this guy, it's good enough for me: "It's the perfect example of classic American fast food. It satisfies my craving for meat, crisp fries, and their special sauce." — Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, California and Per Se, New York City." Via Esquire

Friday, August 07, 2009

Mission Control
Thanks to, I learned that, home of smooth streaming fm, has a Mission Control station. I, along with a hundred or so other listeners, was pulled in and attached all day to NASA Mission broadcasts and live shuttle coverage combined with electronic ambient music (donate! donate!). Quite the fuel for detailed work. Of course, one thing led to another (after work hours, naturally), and I began to randomly lose myself in web stacks to reach all kinds of NASA archives. For example, take Project Red Socks (Jet Propulsion Labs, 1957). The objectives of the project were "1) get photos, 2) refine space guidance techniques, and 3) impress the world" with a series of nine rocket flights to the moon. Didn't fly. You will have to search to learn more; it's all in the river of history that by now has reached some sort of sea. I love the project name, though. Image credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

August 1, there's French music in the background, Jean Sablon singing in the 30s about rhum and coca cola and ces petits choses, these little things. The flies are buzzing, and Huey likes to eat them. All is right with Huey.

I like my house. No, I don't want to sell it. But thanks for asking, in your handwritten and mailed note. But alas, I won't be calling.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

When I work at home on Fridays (which is most Fridays) the radio that fuels my efforts streams from Traditional Persian sonati. There's just something about it . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Sea Kitten, Sara

A new phrase entered my lexicon today, words that I'd not put together before: sea kitten. "Would people think twice about ordering fish sticks if they were called sea kitten sticks" inquires PETA in its campaign to associate our watery brethren with something less food-like. Admittedly, I don't contemplate eating lobster because I can't handle the prospect of quickly cooking them or slowly cooking them, while they're alive. Eating their fear, is how some circles describe it.

But my stance is unpredictable: I've eaten crawfish and langoustine, considered live bait in some circles. They're *smaller* than big 'ole lobster, afterall. Part of me thinks that if I indeed am going to consume fish, fowl or swine, I must be keenly aware of the consequences for that creature and myself and attempt to choose ones that I know have been treated humanely while alive, or that I've caught or raised and killed myself. (Just so you know, I haven't caught/hunted any critters that I can remember, beyond ants [heartless] and a sunfish or two. And the occasional snail: I tend to thrown them way out in the back 40.)

I keep buying vegan cookbooks like
Vegan Soul Kitchen, but the reality is that I continue to eat all kinds of stuff and I am am capable of serious predation. I was enthralled with Babe, a mythic, filmic pig raised by sheepdogs, and then I have an ongoing relationship with bacon. Go figure.

PETA has a site where one can build one's own sea kitten, like Sara here. Maybe I won't kill and eat Sara, but my kitty Huey would. No questions asked.

Can I kill and clean a chicken? Can you? My grandma May could and did. She was pretty happy when the A&P started bringing in packaged parts and 8 o'clock coffee...Does it count if you thank the creature for its sacrifice? Will the kale feel left out, on some level? It's quite the luxury to pick and choose one's food.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A new spot for my photo-posting
Not password protected at the moment, as doing so gives the first-time visitor a display page of stock photos, which seemed odd to me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I love more.
What I love more than picking 10 pounds of blueberries, is the fact that they will fit into a 60-year-old refrigerator in my mother's garage. It refuses to break (the frig), though it's creaky, probably not efficient, and prone to collecting ice in its freezer--remember that? I've read of some who collect baby carrot bags, and now, refrigerator freezer doors of a certain age. A winner, here.
Simple ode.
Must the house be cleaned now, scrubbed of detritus, dear things, details? This photo is, by new decree, an homage to Pumpkin, who disappeared this summer after 10 years, perhaps to coyotes, perhaps to illness. He sounded like a squeaky pin cushion. He was swell.
A giant undertaking.
These photos have significance to me. Not the middle one, really, but how often does one see a lovely dog amidst the granite markers? The bottom, the current state of my paternal grandmother's house, which looks across the way where many of the Winamac folk are buried: May, Hugh, Tom T., baby twin sister, Lucy, so many of the early-generation siblings, Hoesels, Bakers, Torgersons, Torgersens, Jentzs, the bunch. There's room for 2.5 more of us in the plots, my mother says. Harry, being the oldest funeral director in Indiana, tells me he can get me an urn wholesale, when I ask--why not now, when the price might be better than the many years ahead than I hope would be needed before using it--but that one with a kitty on top would be too small for human uh, dust. Morbid? Perhaps. But vapor to vapor, dust to dust. Where and how to get composted: now that's a gardening question. . .

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shuffle #1

Summer day, sugar plum shuffle. Lightning on the
beach was a fourth of July in Virginia Beach.
Michael Jackson was in duct tape at the fair.
I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. Or is it the other way around? Click image to see the video....

Video Cover Image

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

RIP Kodachrome. Feeling older, anyone? June 22, 2009, Kodak announced the retirement of Kodachrome, long past the demise of the little aluminum storage cans. Off it goes into the harsh noon sun, its progeny stored in the likes of the Library of Congress photostream on flickr and countless shoeboxes across the land.

Credit: Lee, Russell, 1903-, photographer. Shepherd with his horse and dog on Gravelly Range, Madison County, Montana, 1941 Aug. 1 transparency. color. Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I dislike it when wildlife interacts with traffic. But so far, so good with the baby sea lion. (Swarkovski sea lion shown, not fog-covered, white-with-fright-pup).

Sea lion rescued from Highway 880 San Francisco Examiner

Friday, June 12, 2009

What to do this weekend? Avoid the news. Watch dachsunds race. Help out. Vaguely attempt to prettify our home in one way or another, if only to pick up everything that really should have a place of its own. Wait, back up. Perhaps it's a winner: the Weinerschnitzel(R) Weiner Nationals at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, a venue normally reserved for horse racin'. June 13, 2009. Noon. Apparently, according to an unclassified email randomly passed around, "in the fall of 2004, "documentary filmmaker Shane MacDougall began to chronicle the surprisingly cut-throat world of competitive dachshunds, Weiner Takes All. Not available on Netflix.

According to the Weinerschnitzel (R) folks, their motto is "Our Food: Pushing the Boundaries of Taste." Do you, like me, find this construction somewhat amusing? There are so many things whose boundaries can be pushed. Biomolecular simulations. Eco-friendly whatever. Insurgent behavior theory. *My* boundaries. When I think of the boundaries of taste, though, I tend to think of snippets like "John Waters continues to push the boundaries of bad taste." Apparently Weinerschnitzel(R) has a new product called the Sea Dog. Yikes. I haven't tried it, but here is one extremely biased review.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nouns as Verbs. Googling. Treading. Authoring. Let's go Krogering. Krogering. Krogering. Let's go Krogering. The happy place to shop. I'm not sure that's the actual jingle, but it won't leave my head. Unannounced. For some neurological reason, no doubt. If you don't know Kroger's, you weren't raised in the midwest.

Thanks, Miss Kristen, perhaps in Knoxville, TN

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let's get stinky, in praise of sauerkraut and Sandorkraut.
Sauerkraut, I've made a few batches, I will make more. Especially when the local live kind costs about $11 for a teeny jar, if preciousness like seaweed is tossed in. Thirty some years ago, I dabbled with dandelion wine, candied the violets, and stalked the wild strawberry. Then I moved to California and became too stuck up and swept away. But Sandor Ellix Katx, professed fermenation fetishist and live-culture cuisinist, has revived my interest. His book, Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Food (Chelsea Green, White River Junction, Vermont) leads you through a briny wealth of fermented and cultured stuff and how to try it yourself: sour pickles. Nasturtium capers. Tibetan pancakes. Fruit kimchi. Cherokee sour corn drink. Pumpernickel. Shrub, yah. Choucroute fromage roulades. Cheeses, meads, and more. His web site is He has "no formulaic plan to offer for resisting the insidiuous process of globalization, commodifcation, and culture homogenization." But, as he notes, one teeny "but tangible way to resist the homogeniszation of culture is to involve yourself in the harnessing and gentle manipulation of wild microbial cultures." Let us go forth and ferment.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

D-Day was our anniversary numero uno (not counting the other 15 years); to begin, we fought a little about bread boards or some such; silly, don't you think? Let's just say I'm more of a morning person, so it's ok. The big event of the day, beyond some editing shtuff, was to haul out of a pickup truck redwood furniture hand-crafted by Sherrie, up in the foothills or somewhere. He made a lovely dinner, since we just couldn't convince ourselves to leave the house. Now, if we can just get people to come over... on our first attempt to water-protect the wood, the stuff clumped out of the jug. Not good. We keep falling asleep at night to Lazyboy, our new favorite.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last night a bunny appeared in the driveway. He (or she) was grey, lean and soft, everything a bunny should be, do you agree? Cooper and Moochie, two boy cats, stalked him. But all of a sudden bunny twirled and started chasing them. They flew off in a scramble and have been embarrassed about it ever since. Bunny didn't look anything at all like this.