Wednesday December 31, 2003

Horizons

Life is a journey through time. We travel backward through memories and forward through plans and dreams. The past is on the horizon behind us; the future is on the horizon before us.

What memories of 2003 are most clear in your mind? Which do you want most to pack to take with you on your journey into the future? If you could have a yearbook made for 2003, what would you put in it?

What are your plans and dreams for 2004? What do you see on the forward horizon? Trips? Family visits? A move, a new addition to the family, a job change? What's coming? What do you hope will form the memories you'll save next year? ...
       Continue reading "Horizons"

Horizons ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Wed, 31 Dec, 12:44 Pacific

Tuesday December 30, 2003

One Shared Thought

[ Today's question comes from Diarist.Net Spark (26 December 2003) ]
Imagine that you had the power to imprint in the minds of every child born today one phrase, one piece of permanent wisdom. What would you tell them?

A personal motto? A snippet of philosophy? A message of hope? A lesson you had to learn the hard way? Would it be a rule or a suggestion? A statement or a question? If you could only have your words surface on each birthday, would they be different? What would you say?

Expand on your message. Where did it come from? Why is it so important that the next generation should hear it?

...
       Continue reading "One Shared Thought"

One Shared Thought ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Tue, 30 Dec, 14:25 Pacific

Monday December 29, 2003

Reincarnation?

[This question comes courtesy of "Past, Present, Future" for Friday Dec. 19. I'm out of sync]
PAST: Who, or what, were you in your past life?

PRESENT: What are you in this life, really?

FUTURE: What would you like to come back as, next time around?

...
       Continue reading "Reincarnation?"

Reincarnation? ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Mon, 29 Dec, 20:04 Pacific

Monday December 29, 2003

So Many Books, So Little Time

I probably wouldn't like all of the books that author Sara Nelson likes to read; we appear to have very different tastes. But that doesn't stop me from agreeing with, understanding, and liking much of what she has to say in So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading. I was especially tickled to see one chapter address the dreaded dilemma of not finishing a book, and that the last chapter discussed "skipping around", something many readers do (but few admit to). ...
       Continue reading "So Many Books, So Little Time"

So Many Books, So Little Time ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Mon, 29 Dec, 11:30 Pacific

Sunday December 28, 2003

Watching the Squirrels

Hearts Gladness is...

After nearly 15 years in this house, finally, grey squirrels in our backyard. Now, grey squirrels every day at the feeder, sometimes two at a time, choosing nuts, eating sunflower seed. Watching the squirrels eat. Watching the cats watch the squirrels.

Watching the Squirrels ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sun, 28 Dec, 12:01 Pacific

Sunday December 28, 2003

Treasures III

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, things that make me feel happy or thankful or interested; things that are worth remembering; memories encapsulated in just a few words.

Please feel free to start your own lists of Treasures, on your own weblog or here in the comments. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures III"

Treasures III ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sun, 28 Dec, 11:49 Pacific

Saturday December 27, 2003

Circle of Words - #50

Circle of Words was inspired by Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The book is in journal format; the book (and the original meme) end with this set of questions. From the meme's founder:
This is the last week of the Circle of Words questions. I will leave them available so you may start back at the beginning if you joined later in the year. Or you may purchase the book (check info at the COW webpage) and begin your own journal entries/questions.

I had much fun writing the questions and hope you have enjoyed them.
- Candi, Circle of Words

I did not join Circle of Words until it was in week #48. I will be continuing with the meme, starting from week #1, in the new year. ...
       Continue reading "Circle of Words - #50"

Circle of Words - #50 ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Sat, 27 Dec, 12:06 Pacific

Friday December 26, 2003

Old Year, New Year

The ultimate Friday 5 for 2003, as may be expected, addresses the end of one year and the beginning of another.

  1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
  2. What was your biggest disappointment?
  3. What do you hope the new year brings?
  4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
  5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
...
       Continue reading "Old Year, New Year"

Old Year, New Year ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 26 Dec, 13:16 Pacific

Friday December 26, 2003

Christmas: Past, Present, Future

[ this question courtesy of Past, Present, Future Round 45 ]

PAST: Best. Christmas. Ever.

PRESENT: How'd you spend the day, yesterday?

FUTURE: What do you really want to find under your tree next year? ...
       Continue reading "Christmas: Past, Present, Future"

Christmas: Past, Present, Future ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 26 Dec, 10:05 Pacific

Thursday December 25, 2003

Christmas Memories, Christmas Traditions

“Who, and what are you?” Scrooge demanded.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”

“Long Past?” inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature.

“No. Your past.”

Hearts Gladness is...

Good memories

My memories of Christmases past are good. Lights sparkling on the tree, sometimes (although not often) snow. Unlike our cousins, who usually spent Christmas at the home of our shared grandmother, my family spent Christmas together at home, often joined by our other grandmother.

...
       Continue reading "Christmas Memories, Christmas Traditions"

Christmas Memories, Christmas Traditions ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Thu, 25 Dec, 11:25 Pacific

Wednesday December 24, 2003

Today I am an Adult

[ Found yesterday at Spark ]

When was your childhood over? Do you agree with the concept of adolescence, or did you go from being a child to being an adult?

Excuse me... did you say "over"?

What are childhood and adulthood? Are they determined by a simple range of ages? Does "childhood" end at 13 (as some cultures determine?). Does it end at puberty? Is there a conscious boundary? A societal line? ...
       Continue reading "Today I am an Adult"

Today I am an Adult ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Wed, 24 Dec, 13:31 Pacific

Tuesday December 23, 2003

Amber

Hearts Gladness is...

My wonderful Richard offered to buy me an amber pendant for Christmas; they were each sooo gorgeous. I never knew about green amber! I thought about it and thought about it and finally said no... They were all stunning but...I never wear pendants or any other kind of necklace. Still, the offer was as nice (even nicer) a gift than the amber.

Amber ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Tue, 23 Dec, 16:35 Pacific

Tuesday December 23, 2003

Friendships

[ This question is courtesy of Out There! Collaborations (December 2000) by way of diarist.net/spark/ ]
What kind of people do you surround yourself with as your friends?
Do you find yourself more comfortable with people your own age, or does that matter?
Do you like to surround yourself with lots of people, or do you like to have a smaller, more tight-knit group around?

How easy or difficult is it for you to meet new people and make new friends?
Is it easier or harder to make friends using the Internet, and what kind of positive effect has meeting friends online had on your life?
What are the greatest kindnesses a friend has shown to you?

...
       Continue reading "Friendships"

Friendships ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Tue, 23 Dec, 15:36 Pacific

Monday December 22, 2003

Three Shopping Days till...

[Today's meme questions courtesy of Sunday Brunch]

It's Almost Christmas

  1. Is your Christmas shopping complete? If no, how much is left to do?
  2. If someone not on your Christmas shopping list buys you a present, do you feel like you have to buy one for them?
  3. What is your favorite Christmas special or holiday movie?
  4. Tell us about one of your favorite Christmas memories.
  5. Tell us about a holiday mishap. (i.e.: tree falling over, dog eating presents, etc.)
...
       Continue reading "Three Shopping Days till..."

Three Shopping Days till... ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Mon, 22 Dec, 14:15 Pacific

Sunday December 21, 2003

Why I Write

I've always liked to write; when I was much younger, I wrote a lot of poems and short stories. For several years in Junior High and High School I did a periodic "newspaper" for my family.

I don't recall keeping any sort of diary or journal during elementary school or High School. I did keep a regular journal through all four years of College. I can't remember what triggered that, but I wrote in it most every day. I still have the first volume of that journal (discovered recently in a box with my HS yearbooks and a couple of photo scrapbooks). If I still have the remaining volumes, they are stored in a place so safe even I don't know where it is. To be honest, I'm not sure I would want to read those journals if I could find them again. Perhaps they're better off in that "safe place".

Continue reading "Why I Write" in my "other" weblog, commentary...
Why I Write ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sun, 21 Dec, 14:13 Pacific

Sunday December 21, 2003

Treasures II

My second week of Treasures — positive things that strike my fancy, things that make me feel happy or thankful or interested — things that are worth remembering, even in just a few words.

Please feel free to start your own lists of Treasures, on your own weblog or here in the comments. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures II"

Treasures II ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sun, 21 Dec, 13:00 Pacific

Saturday December 20, 2003

Verse Meter Analyzer

In The Eyre Affair (a Thursday Next novel), author Jasper Fforde describes Thursday's introduction to the Verse Meter Analyzer: ...
       Continue reading "Verse Meter Analyzer"

Verse Meter Analyzer ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Sat, 20 Dec, 13:56 Pacific

Friday December 19, 2003

Accomplishments, Past, Present & Future

[This question comes courtesy of "Past, Present, Future", a blog meme on the web at greyduck.net. Sadly, I only recently discovered PPF; it's already in its 42nd week and the founder plans to stop after one year. Sigh; well, that's what archives are for.]

I posted this question to my new Yahoo group, InsPURRation.

PAST: What would you consider your first real accomplishment in life? We're talking about something you put real, conscious effort into, here.

PRESENT: What are you working on now that you're hoping to have accomplished soon?

FUTURE: What accomplishment would you like to be remembered for? (Hint: This is where you could get away with making up something delightfully improbable.)

...
       Continue reading "Accomplishments, Past, Present & Future"

Accomplishments, Past, Present & Future ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 19 Dec, 11:31 Pacific

Friday December 19, 2003

100 Years of Technology

[This question comes courtesy of The Listening Post, a blog meme inspired by scifi & fantasy.]

This week's question was inspired by something many of us dread — a fatal hard disk crash and the loss of most of the data thereon. Ouch!

How dependent are you on technology? If all of the technology invented in the past 100 years disappeared tomorrow, how would you react? What do you think your life would be like without technology?
...
       Continue reading "100 Years of Technology"

100 Years of Technology ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 19 Dec, 10:40 Pacific

Thursday December 18, 2003

Playing Favorites

The Friday 5 for this week addresses some favorite things...

  1. List your five favorite beverages.
  2. List your five favorite websites.
  3. List your five favorite snack foods.
  4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.
  5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.
...
       Continue reading "Playing Favorites"

Playing Favorites ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Thu, 18 Dec, 22:49 Pacific

Thursday December 18, 2003

What Are You Reading?

I just finished the fourth book in S. J. Rozan's Bill Smith and Lydia Chin series. The stories are told in the first person with the perspective alternating from Lydia to Bill and back from book to book. Book #4 (No Colder Place) is written from Bill's perspective and I'm happy to say I liked it much more than the second book (Concourse). This is good, as I find myself liking Bill when Lydia talks about him in "her" books. I guess my problem with Concourse was the setting and the story then, not with Bill's cases in general. Wheew! ...
       Continue reading "What Are You Reading?"

What Are You Reading? ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Thu, 18 Dec, 11:04 Pacific

Wednesday December 17, 2003

Circle of Words - #49

Circle of Words was inspired by Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy currently on the "Bargain Books" list at Barnes&Noble.com (hardcover for only $4.98 while supplies last). Here are this week's entries. ...
       Continue reading "Circle of Words - #49"

Circle of Words - #49 ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Wed, 17 Dec, 00:50 Pacific

Tuesday December 16, 2003

Caroling, caroling

[One more meme, this time from Sunday Brunch]
It's either the most loved or most loathed ritual of the Christmas season: the Christmas carol. (Inspired by Bonnie having "ding dinga ding, ding dinga ding, ding dinga ding" or also known as "Carol of the Bells" stuck in her head.)
(And now, so do I. Gee, thanks Bonnie! :-)
  1. Do you have a favorite Christmas carol? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?
  2. What is the one Christmas carol you absolutely can't stand to hear?
  3. Have you ever gone out caroling?
  4. If you had to pick a character from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", which character would you be?
  5. How many Christmas recordings do you own?
...
       Continue reading "Caroling, caroling"

Caroling, caroling ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Tue, 16 Dec, 00:05 Pacific

Monday December 15, 2003

Hearts Gladness

Yet another meme :-)

I've decided to try to play along with the idea of Heart's Gladness, although I'll post mine here, and I may do it weekly or whenever I think of something. Heart's Gladness is described by its creators as "a series of our reflections on the aspects of our lives which make us happy, bring us hope and bring us joy." I see the difference between this and Treasures as one of quantity rather than quality. Treasures are many small positive snippets as found during my week. Heart's Gladness is one or two reflections-at-large, described in more words. ...
       Continue reading "Hearts Gladness"

Hearts Gladness ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Mon, 15 Dec, 18:24 Pacific

Sunday December 14, 2003

Where is home?

(Yet another meme, this one from the Saturday Slant.)
They say home is where the heart is. So where is your heart? Are you lucky enough to be living in the place that you've also wanted to, or is your heart beckoned to somewhere else? Perhaps your soulmate lives elsewhere, and home is with him or her. Maybe the mysteries of Shri Lanka or the romance of Tuscany hold for you the promise of home. Where is your home? Why is it home? How did you get there, or how do you intend to get there? Where will you hang that "Home Sweet Home" plaque, and why that place?
...
       Continue reading "Where is home?"

Where is home? ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Sun, 14 Dec, 12:51 Pacific

Sunday December 14, 2003

Animal Senses

Yes, it's another meme! :-) Ever since I found the Memes List I've been exploring. This one is from Saturday Senses, a weekly meme that posts triggers to each of the five senses to bring up your memories. This week's subject is pets / animals.
[sight]:: Which was the most amazing animal you have ever seen live? Describe the experience.
[taste]:: If you eat meat, do you ever think about the animal you are eating?
[smell]:: Does it bother you or have you ever refrained from getting a pet because of smell (its own or its 'subproducts')?
[touch]:: Which animal did you most enjoy peting, holding or touching for whatever reason?
[hearing]:: If you have pets do they make any sounds? Does it bother you?
...
       Continue reading "Animal Senses"

Animal Senses ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Sun, 14 Dec, 10:40 Pacific

Saturday December 13, 2003

Treasures

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you.

(Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle)

In the spirit of Participation Positives, I am starting my own "meme", which I'm calling Treasures. Throughout the week, I will try to make note of little treasures in my life — positive things that strike my fancy, things that make me feel happy or thankful or interested — things that are worth remembering, even in just a few words. Then at the end of the week, I'll post my list. Feel free to do likewise. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures"

Treasures ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 13 Dec, 22:42 Pacific

Saturday December 13, 2003

Fat-free (or Carb-free) Still Isn't "Free"

I recall an article I read a few years ago. The author recounted his discovery of some non-fat cookies at the local "Quik Stop Gas & Shop" when he stopped in for a fill-up on his way home from work. The cookies were delicious (and fat-free!) so he began to make a habit of stopping to buy a bag of cookies on his way home every day. It was only after he gained 5-10 ponds that he read the label. While the cookies were fat free they weren't sugar free (and they certainly weren't calorie free!).

I've personally seen "fat free" brownies with a half-inch of chocolate fudge icing slathered on top! They had more icing than the "regular" (with fat) version! They're certainly yummy but they are not a "low calorie food".

Despite some recent surprising study results, a calorie still counts for something. Replacing fat with sugar (or carbohydrates with fats and proteins) may not produce the weight-loss results you're hoping for. ...
       Continue reading "Fat-free (or Carb-free) Still Isn't "Free""

Fat-free (or Carb-free) Still Isn't "Free" ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sat, 13 Dec, 13:03 Pacific

Friday December 12, 2003

Third Week of December

As I expected, the Friday 5 for this week concerns the holiday season currently upon us. None of the questions intersect with mine from last week, however. Add your own comments here or at the Friday 5 site.

  1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays?
  2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect?
  3. Do you do have any holiday traditions?
  4. Do you do anything to help the needy?
  5. What one gift would you like for yourself?
...
       Continue reading "Third Week of December"

Third Week of December ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 12 Dec, 15:17 Pacific

Thursday December 11, 2003

To read... or not to read?

Do you feel funny if you start a book but don't finish it? If you don't want to finish it? If you don't like it? How about if the book is by an author you usually enjoy reading? ...
       Continue reading "To read... or not to read?"

To read... or not to read? ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Thu, 11 Dec, 23:54 Pacific

Wednesday December 10, 2003

Ode to the Chiropractor

It's no secret. I see a chiropractor every 4 to 6 weeks for a maintenance adjustment (aka "tuneup"). I don't know what I'd do without that visit. (Actually, I do know. I'd be in pain, or at least decidedly uncomfortable. That's the whole point.) ...
       Continue reading "Ode to the Chiropractor"

Ode to the Chiropractor ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Wed, 10 Dec, 13:29 Pacific

Tuesday December 9, 2003

Circle of Words - #48

I'm trying something new. Circle of Words is one of several "memes" on the web right now. It's been ongoing for almost a year now; this is week 48 and I've only just found it!

Circle of Words is

...a weekly set of questions that are somewhat personal, spiritual, and will explore your inner most thoughts and feelings. Hopefully these questions will provide you with a little bit of  personal therapy and allow your readers a little peek inside your soul.

Each question will first start off with a quote from someone famous, or not so famous, which relates to the topic of the question. There may be one or several questions afterwards.

This week's questions are (surprise :-) about Christmas. ...
       Continue reading "Circle of Words - #48"

Circle of Words - #48 ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Tue, 09 Dec, 15:38 Pacific

Monday December 8, 2003

Low-carb pizza?!

Rich and I have a favorite Pizzeria (Pasquale's in San Francisco). We've tried many other pizza places; this one (in our opinion) is by far the best. But... how to fit pizza into a diet in which you are trying to substantially reduce your carbohydrate intake?

Answer: Toppings!

In pizza, we both like the sauce best (more sauce!), followed by the cheese and the toppings (sausage and pepperoni, mushrooms (for Rich's side only), occasionally basil/pesto). We're not big crust fans. The crust is there to keep the sauce from sticking and burning in the oven. :-)

We tried this idea back in October and repeated it last night. I think it's a "keeper".

We each had three slices of pizza. We both ate cheese, sausage, pepperoni and (in Rich's case) mushrooms. We didn't eat the crust. We did remember (this time) to order a side of ravioli sauce (next to the best pizza, Pasquale's makes the best meat sauce we've ever tasted anywhere). So, we could add even more sauce to our crustless low-carb pizza!

We were full and happy (not stuffed) and we had what we went for.

Low-carb pizza?! ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Mon, 08 Dec, 15:02 Pacific

Monday December 8, 2003

Memes

Blog Ideas. Circle of Words. Spark. Weigh-in Wednesday. The Friday 5. Saturday Slant. Participation Positives.

Have you ever wondered where people get ideas for what to write about? Have you noticed how some people's weblogs (including mine) reference a set of periodic questions and then answer them? One answer is "memes". ...
       Continue reading "Memes"

Memes ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Mon, 08 Dec, 13:52 Pacific

Sunday December 7, 2003

Easy Bake Science

When I was a little girl, I wanted an Easy-Bake Oven. (My Mom's response was that if I wanted to bake a cake I should just ask and we would bake a real cake in the real oven.)

If I were a little girl today, I might ask for the Discovery DNA Explorer Kit.

...With this deluxe, first-of-its-kind kit, you can extract, view and map real DNA yourself. Ideal for budding forensic-scientists or secret agents, the working lab and tools are just like the real thing. Plus, you'll have all the supplies needed for six fascinating DNA experiments. Extract DNA from vegetables, find out what actually makes ink colors and even grow crystal stalagmites!...

Includes:

  • Centrifuge
  • Magnetic mixer
  • Electrophoresis chamber
  • Test vials
  • And lots more
Requires six D and three 9V batteries (not included). SRP $79.95. ...
       Continue reading "Easy Bake Science"

Easy Bake Science ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Sun, 07 Dec, 11:16 Pacific

Saturday December 6, 2003

InsPURRation

I've started a new Yahoo group / mailing list called InsPURRation: CatPURRSons Life Support. The rationale is simple.
We are the ones who have high blood pressure, ulcers, and heart attacks, not cats. -- Roger Caras

We all have bad days. The car won't start, your son has a fender-bender, the water pipes break, work gave you a migraine, you sprain your ankle, lose your checkbook, argue with your spouse.

Some days are much worse. You suffer a fire; a parent has Alzheimers; a good friend dies; the car is totaled; the medical diagnosis is bad.

Yet, sometimes there are rainbows on the darkest day. A friend calls; a loved one sends you flowers; you read an uplifting poem; you try a soothing new tea or find a piece of inspirational music. A rift is healed; the diagnosis is benign; an argument is settled. Pandora's box also held hope.

...
       Continue reading "InsPURRation"

InsPURRation ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sat, 06 Dec, 10:20 Pacific

Friday December 5, 2003

December

The Friday Five is off this week. Thus, I have created my own set of questions.

It's December 5. Yesterday, the checker in the grocery store said "20 more shopping Days till Christmas". Today there are 26 days till the end of 2003.

  1. When you hear "20 more Shopping Days till Christmas" — How does that make you feel?
  2. When you hear "26 days till the end of 2003" — How does that make you feel?
  3. Do you celebrate Christmas? If not, do you celebrate another holiday at year end? (e.g. Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice...)
  4. How do you celebrate? Big or small? Friends and family? Lots of parties?
  5. Do you make resolutions for the New Year?
...
       Continue reading "December"

December ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Fri, 05 Dec, 15:41 Pacific

Monday December 1, 2003

Are you qualified to be a "professional"?

Now, perhaps these would make good interview questions ;-)

The following short quiz will tell you whether you are qualified to be a "professional."

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four year old.

...
       Continue reading "Are you qualified to be a "professional"?"

Are you qualified to be a "professional"? ( in category Noteworthy , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Mon, 01 Dec, 11:28 Pacific