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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Coming soon (relatively) to a garage near you…

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Dragon, the awesome cat security system

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Last night we watched Let the Right One In. We have a new theory – Dragon bites us because he’s keeping in shape so that he can defend us from vampires. With his sharp teeth and his LASER defense system, we should be well protected.

Who needs Buffy anyway?

Thank goodness for Google/”Why does everything taste bitter?”

Monday, July 27th, 2009

This morning my chocolate milk tasted bitter. The milk is a little past its expiration date, but it smelled like nothing, so I didn’t know what to think. This afternoon I was eating white cheddar popcorn from a bag we bought while camping and it tasted bitter, almost burned. I ate some popcorn Saturday with no weird taste. What is going on?

Google, as always, helped me find the answer. Pine nuts. Apparently, some people experience a persistent bitter taste that starts a day or more after eating some pine nuts and lasts for several days or more. Oh boy. You see, I had a pizza in La Crosse on Friday night with spinach, goat cheese, roasted garlic, and LOADS of pine nuts. I eat a fair amount of pesto and I even made a pasta salad with pine nuts in it last week, and I had absolutely no problem. This time – yuck.

Some people speculate that Chinese pine nuts cause the bitter taste. I have no way of knowing where the pine nuts on my pizza came from. I suspect China is a major supplier, so the fact that the problem nuts come from China does not mean all nuts from China cause problems.

This is going to make me think twice about pine nuts from now on, and I’ll certainly never make a dish for a party with pine nuts in it again. I don’t want to inflict this on anyone else.

According to Wikipedia’s article on pine nuts:

“The eating of pine nuts can cause serious taste disturbances, developing 1-3 days after consumption and lasting for days or weeks. A bitter, metallic taste is described. In general, a minority of pine nuts on the market present this problem. Though very unpleasant, there does not seem to be a real health concern.

This phenomenon was first described in a scientific paper in 2001.[6] Since the article, experiences of the phenomenon have been reported by hundreds of people worldwide (US, Canada, South Africa, Finland, Iceland, Germany, and many more).[7][8]“

Oh yes, and there’s a cute name for this problem: Pine Mouth (or pine-mouth). So, Erin, what did you bring home from your camping vacation? Pine mouth and a bazillion mosquito bites. Good times. Happy Googling.

LAAAAAASER

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Warm up the LASERS!

Activate right LASER!

Activate left LASER!

Family History

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

We’re going camping this weekend at Perrot State Park. We picked it because of proximity to La Crosse (Brian misses college) and the possibility of canoeing and biking.

As it turns out, my dad’s side of the family settled in WI at some point in their history. His great-grandparents (I think) are buried in a cemetery in Holland, WI, which is conveniently not far from the path we would take to get from La Crosse to the park. So, I think I’ll be dropping in on my long lost relatives and hopefully taking a picture of their headstones for my dad. I happen to like visiting cemeteries to see the interesting headstones, but Brian doesn’t seem to like it so much.

It’s weird to me to think that we had family in WI because I never visited any of my family here. I had a great (great?) aunt somewhere in WI, and I think she might have lived for a few years after I was born, but if I ever met her I don’t remember it. All of my dad’s family that I’ve ever met are in New York state somewhere.  [Correction:  my great aunt actually lived until 1996.  My great uncle died a couple years after I was born.  I guess he was a PE teacher at the Sheboygan Falls High School, and there's some track event named after him - at least I think that's how it got named.  He and Brian have something in common - they both attended UW La Crosse.]

And because of these family ties, my parents own a few empty plots in a cemetery in Milwaukee. Weird.

Helloooooo… is anyone out there?

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

What’s with the lack of blogging, people? I know I’m not the only one around with something to say. Hopefully you haven’t all gone underground with your alter egos and left me behind.

I’ve decided to take responsibility for every word I blog (not like I wasn’t before). But having my name clearly attached to every post has made me regret that I have nowhere to rant anonymously. I guess I will have to save my ranting for face-to-face time with people I trust.

Submerged in Pepsi

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

On Saturday (at the art fair) I put a bottle of Pepsi in my shoulder bag. About half an hour later I felt something wet and realized the Pepsi had leaked. My bag was water-tight enough to keep most of the Pepsi in. My wallet, sunscreen, Excedrin, and most importantly, my NEW camera, were completely submerged in sticky liquid Pepsi. AGH!

As I examined the camera I could see liquid moving behind the screen. This tragedy, combined with the fact that it was hot and I’d already been battling crowds at the art fair for four hours was too much – I broke down sobbign. As soon as we could we took it to the camera store where we bought it and they said the repair shop they would recommend wasn’t open until Monday. Brian decided we should soak it in distilled water to try to get the Pepsi gunk out. Now we’re leaving it to dry out. I managed to remove some of the tiny screws today to take the side pieces off, not that I think it will do much good.

I think I’ll be buying a new camera. It sucks, mostly because I’ve only had the camera for about a month and I REALLY like it. It was moderately expensive (for a point-and-shoot). I might as well take money and rip it up.

I was so frustrated that finishing my loop around the art fair was about all I could do, but I did manage to find some good stuff.

Musicals

Friday, July 10th, 2009

I’m involved in two musicals this summer.

The Oregon Straw Hat Players – Once Upon a Mattress

I’m subbing on violin for one performance. I played quite a few musicals with OSHP before I moved to Ohio, so this will bring back memories, I’m sure. Especially since it’s in my old high school auditorium and I played in the Once Upon a Mattress pit in high school (in the old cafetorium).

Music Theatre of Madison – Floyd Collins

I’m playing violin/viola for this show. I’m not sure yet whether that means my old violin strung as a viola or my usual violin with some transposed stuff. Either way, it sounds like a lot of fun. It’s about a man who was trapped in a cave (read the site for a better summary) and it has a bluegrass score. And I get to carpool with Shannon because she’s playing bass. Yay!

What better way to spend the summer? This will actually work out really well, since we don’t have too many weddings scheduled for July and August (yet). I’m still going camping with Brian in a couple of weeks, and my business trip to D.C. in August (ugh) only conflicts with one rehearsal.

Beep Beep Beep!

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Our gas/CO detector goes off every once in a while for no apparent reason. Brian read reviews and apparently alcohol will set off a gas detector sometimes. Gee…. one of the last times it went off I was boiling beer for brats and last night it went off after I made sangria.

Apparently people recommend getting just a CO detector because we can smell gas, so hopefully we’d know if there was a leak. I’m not sure what we’ll do, but for today I’m keeping the battery out – I’m going to be boiling beer again shortly.

Happy Birthday, Dragon!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

One year ago today a tiny stripey kitten was born… we think. We don’t actually know because we got him around August 30 last year when he was approximately 2 months old (he was MY early birthday present). We decided Dragon’s birthday would be July 1.

We weighed him before we left for Germany and he was 14.5 lbs. We weighed him when we got back and he was 16.5 lbs. Whoa. We’ll have to weigh him again to see if that was an anomaly. Otherwise, what were you feeding him while we were gone, Mom??

He’s still bitey. The projectile snot sneezing has mostly stopped (yay!). His taste in toys has drastically changed from paper balls, which he no longer cares about, to plastic rings from milk bottles, which he loves so much he growls when he plays with them. He still seems to love his two stuffed squirrel dog toys, which he carries around with him every once in a while. The squeak of the squirrels is not enough to bring him running every time anymore, but we can still get him to play with them.

He no longer fits inside the Cosmic Catnip Alpine Scratcher. He still loves to sleep on the wedding shawl that the knitting group gave me and Brian. I hope they’d think that’s a fitting use. Their shawl is well loved.

He still comes to play with us every day at 4:30 a.m. We still usually have to kick him out. He still chews on cords, although not quite as much as he used to.

We love him. Maybe he’ll get a wet food treat instead of some of his usual dry tonight.

Best birthday present ever! How are you going to top it this year, Brian? :)