Tuesday November 30, 2004

Surprisingly Tasty

They're frozen meals without the usual portion of starch — no potato, pasta, or rice. They're also surprisingly tasty and filling.

I recently discovered Life Choice Frozen Meals, a relatively new line from ConAgra Foods, one of North America's largest packaged food companies. ConAgra brands include Armour, Banquet, Brown 'N Serve, Butterball, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Libby's, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Swiss Miss, Wesson, and a whole lot more. They're obviously not new to the food business.

"Based on consumer needs, we've created a distinctive brand -- not merely an extension of an existing brand with some ingredient changes or reduced portion sizes -- to bring consumers the food they love to eat. The new Life Choice meals are devoted to meeting the needs of the carb-conscious consumer, without any compromises." (Robert Hopton, VP of marketing, ConAgra Foods Frozen Foods Group)
       Continue reading "Surprisingly Tasty"

Surprisingly Tasty ( in category Show & Tell ) - posted at Tue, 30 Nov, 18:23 Pacific

Monday November 29, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 22 - 28)

This was a short week with a long weekend. That's the best kind!

I put my Job home directory into my iPod so I can carry it between the Job and home without having to carry the laptop. I plug the iPod in at the Company, work, then log out, unmount and eject the iPod, bring it home, plug it into my personal laptop at home, log in, and continue to work.

Dumbo mis-set the microwave on Tuesday and converted her lunch into charcoal briquets (i.e. I ran the convection microwave for 20 minutes on High instead of low-mix bake and turned two ham & cheese croissant into char and tar). I also filled the living room and kitchen area with smoke down to about 18" off the floor. Luckily, only one cat was in that part of the house and he was below the smoke; I wasn't. I coughed, I hacked. I took Bebop downstairs, then opened all the windows, turned on the ceiling fans and the porch fan, opened the front door, got two more portable fans, coughed, wheezed, closed off the bedroom wing, took Squirrel and Raven downstairs, coughed, apologized to Bebop who gave me a look. I could still taste smoke for the rest of the day. I left the fans running till Rich got home. The house smelled bad for the rest of the week. :-( ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 22 - 28)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 22 - 28) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 29 Nov, 20:48 Pacific

Friday November 26, 2004

Treasures 2004_47

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

These are my Treasures for the past week:

       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_47"

Treasures 2004_47 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 26 Nov, 17:56 Pacific

Thursday November 25, 2004


On this overcast but pleasant November day, I'm thankful for
  • Richard — my best human friend now for over 21 years. He makes me laugh.
  • Bebop — majordomo and cat-in-charge, from his pink nose to his white tail tip held high
  • Squirrel — my marshmallow fluffy and snuggle buddy
  • Mezzaluna — her royal blueness, princess and loony coony wrapped in fluff
  • Raven — the little black floppycat with thumbs who flew from Houston to San Francisco just to live with us

  • Touchstones
    • Home
    • Family
    • Health
    • Freedom
    • Nourishment
    • Friends
       Continue reading "Thanksgiving"

Thanksgiving ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Thu, 25 Nov, 13:28 Pacific

Monday November 22, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 15 - 22)

It was foggy for much of this week, starting very foggy in the mornings but clearing by noonish.

Tuesday marked week 3 of Junior Achievement. This activity went much better than last week's.

We had a raccoon visitation on Tuesday night. That was a lot of fun (as usual). I worked onsite all day Wednesday. I had two meetings in the afternoon with only an hour between them, so I decided not to go home and come back. Then I stayed till 4:30 and when I went home, I went Home.

On Thursday, we learned that the new iPod Photos were in the Apple store. Woo Hoo! Rich drove down and picked one up and had a mocha with a friend who works at Apple. I waited till the weekend to unpack it, however.

Thursday night the Company held a pre-Thanksgiving potluck to which spouses and families were invited. The turkey was delicious as were the turtle bars and pumpkin cookies. I was able to introduce Rich to some of my co-workers and I think he enjoyed himself. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 15 - 22)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 15 - 22) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 22 Nov, 17:57 Pacific

Sunday November 21, 2004


Do you ever find yourself trading a document back and forth with someone else? Rich and I do this a lot. One of us writes, then emails to the other who edits and emails back. It works but it's tedious.

Today I discovered SubEthaEdit. (Although the editor has been around since Spring, 2003, I never got the tuits to try it until now).

SubEthaEdit is a collaborative text editor - it works via Rendezvous and over the Internet (haven't tried that part yet). Syntax coloring, regex search and replace, spell checking, FTP support, lots of preferences, and other cool features are included. The most useful, of course, is the live collaboration. Rich and I worked up a weblog entry together this evening. I got it started, then he worked on that.

SubEthaEdit won an O'Reilly Mac OS X Innovator's Contest award as well as an Apple design award in for Best Mac OS X Student Project, both in 2003. I'd say the awards were well-deserved. This one goes on my "must-have" apps list.

A friend reminds me that SubEthaEdit was originally named "Hydra"; the name was changed due to a trademark dispute. (sigh).

SubEthaEdit ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Sun, 21 Nov, 22:48 Pacific

Saturday November 20, 2004

311 Citizen Services

New York City has a relatively new Citizen Services telephone number, 311, started by NYC Mayor MIchael Bloomberg. I think it should go nation-wide.

311 proved itself in a vital way for thousands of NYC residents during the east coast blackout of 2003.

The moment the lights flickered off to begin the great blackout of 2003, New York City's emergency management teams put elegant procedures into action, anticipating New Yorkers' needs in a city suddenly denied power. They prevented looting, located stuck elevators, and prepared to treat victims of heat exhaustion. But for thousands of people that long night, the most pressing concern was something that hadn't occurred to the government: blood sugar levels.

As the blackout stretched from afternoon into early evening, many diabetics grew increasingly apprehensive about the shelf life of their refrigerated insulin. Emergency planners may not have foreseen those worries, but within a matter of hours, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was addressing the vital but arguably obscure topic in one of that night's many press conferences. The insulin issue had trickled up the command chain thanks to a service Bloomberg started: the 311 line.

311 ... may well be the most radical enhancement of urban information management since the invention of the census, and it promises to make urban centers into more livable spaces.

[ Operators are Standing By, Wired Magazine, November 2004 ]

       Continue reading "311 Citizen Services"

311 Citizen Services ( in category Noteworthy ) - posted at Sat, 20 Nov, 12:07 Pacific

Friday November 19, 2004

Treasures 2004_46

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

These are my Treasures for the past week. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_46"

Treasures 2004_46 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 19 Nov, 22:30 Pacific

Thursday November 18, 2004

Company Potluck

The Company hosted a pre-Thanksgiving potluck tonight after work from 5 to 7 pm,. Families were invited. Several people brought their kids. There were candles on each table, floating in bowls of water. There was a lot of food. The company supplied two (whole) turkeys, two hams, beverages and paper products. People brought sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, appetizers, and a whole bunch of yummy deserts.

I introduced Rich to a bunch of people I work with. He had a nice chat with one of my co-workers about X Windows and Linux ;-) I'm very pleased that the company decided to do such a nice little informal party and that they invited families.

Company Potluck ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Thu, 18 Nov, 21:27 Pacific

Tuesday November 16, 2004


After we got in from the hot tub tonight, and were sitting cooling down in the sunroom, I heard noises. A raccoon was out on the deck patting at the sunroom door!

I went over and knelt down on the floor and looked out at him. He thought that was fun. Then I saw a second one coming down the fence (by the gate) as if down a ladder. Unfortunately, his feet had slipped off the last "rung" and he was hanging there, about 8" from the deck, not quite sure how far down it was! After a bit he managed to get a footing and came down. Then he came over and looked in the window at me!

Bebop came over and looked at the raccoons too. Ooh. What are those?

Rich said they must be saying "marshmallows?", so I went up and got some marshmallows, peanuts, and dog biscuits and went out on the upper back porch. ...
       Continue reading "Marshmallows???"

Marshmallows??? ( in category Nature/Cats , Treasures ) - posted at Tue, 16 Nov, 23:45 Pacific

Monday November 15, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 8 - Nov 14)

We are still enjoying our new rugs ;-)

It was a slow week...

Nothing of record really happened between Monday and Friday. Mostly, I worked. I came home. I read. I went to bed.

Tuesday was my second week for Junior Achievement. This activity was... not well designed. I plan to start reworking the activities from now on.

We had a Benefits presentation at The Company on Monday. I thought it could have been better organized. All of the most important information (e.g. how to enroll, what is the deadline for enrollment) was at the very end.

Rich's brother and his family were in the North Bay for a brief visit so Rich drove up to Forestville on Friday to see his friends who live there and to meet his brother for the day.

I spent much of Saturday trying to debug SpamAssassin (the anti-spam email filter we use).

I also put together a weblog for a friend of ours.

Sunday was spent reading or napping, both activities in the presence of feline balls of fur. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 8 - Nov 14)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Nov 8 - Nov 14) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 15 Nov, 00:02 Pacific

Saturday November 13, 2004

Treasures 2004_45

"Life ... is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?"
-- Margot Fonteyn

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_45"

Treasures 2004_45 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 13 Nov, 09:44 Pacific

Thursday November 11, 2004

Why not use spoons?

There's an anecdote from The Depression era...

A man is walking past a construction site where dozens of men are digging with shovels. He asks the foreman "Why don't you use a backhoe for this? It would take less time and cost less money."

The foreman shakes his head. "That may be true, but it would put all of these men out of work."

"Ah", says the other man, "If you just want to give them work, why not have them use spoons?"

The same story, with slight variations, is told of other times and places. I found one that placed it in China.

I thought of this today at the Job. As I came across the parking lot, a man was out with the leaf blower. He's there most mornings at about the same time. ...
       Continue reading "Why not use spoons?"

Why not use spoons? ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Thu, 11 Nov, 18:45 Pacific

Monday November 8, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Nov 1 - Sun Nov 7)

Autumn is more than half over. It's November already. Thanksgiving is the end of this month. Yikes.

There's been more light when I wake up. That's the only positive thing about Daylight Spending Time.

I wandered down to Target at lunchtime on the 1st. They didn't have any of the furry Elmo costumes I saw last week and didn't buy but they did have a Sully costume (no face) — a big fuzzy blue and purple thing. I plan to sew the gloves onto the wrists, close the face and bottom of the feet, give him eyes and a nose and stuff him. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Nov 1 - Sun Nov 7)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Nov 1 - Sun Nov 7) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 08 Nov, 23:09 Pacific

Sunday November 7, 2004

It also Makes Toast

As we were walking through Bed, Bath, and Beyond the other day, I happened upon a nice little appliance. It's a combination microwave toaster oven. Neat!

A Google search indicates that Samsung introduced the first of these combo units in May of 2002. Now Rival and Sharp both have them; I like the look of the Sharp, as well as the name &#151 Warm & Toasty. Besides, we've been very pleased with our Sharp convection microwave. We hardly use the regular oven at all any more. ...
       Continue reading "It also Makes Toast"

It also Makes Toast ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sun, 07 Nov, 20:27 Pacific

Saturday November 6, 2004

Treasures 2004_44

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

I hope you'll consider starting your own list of Treasures. These are my Treasures for the past week. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_44"

Treasures 2004_44 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 06 Nov, 13:41 Pacific

Wednesday November 3, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Oct 25 - Sun Oct 31)

It was a pretty week.

I managed to break Movable Type (my weblog engine) late last week, so I upgraded to the new release. That started me down a path of snafus and frustration. The good news — the new release comes with tech support! I've been taking advantage of that Tech Support!

I started with server errors and difficulty logging in. Then, when I finally got those fixed, it turned out the upgrade script had not, in fact, upgraded some of my data files. :-( It took till Tuesday of this week to get everything back into working order (and a few things are still FUBAR. :(

At least I can post; that's a good thing! I've been posting some back-dated entries that had to wait during the "down" period. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Oct 25 - Sun Oct 31)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Oct 25 - Sun Oct 31) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Wed, 03 Nov, 00:05 Pacific

Tuesday November 2, 2004

Did you vote?

There are just over 5 hours left to vote in California. If the polls everywhere are open till 8, they close on the east coast in 2 hours.


Our polling place is (now) at the school across the street. I walked over at 7:15 this morning, then went to the Job.

Did you vote? ( in category In The News ) - posted at Tue, 02 Nov, 14:58 Pacific

Monday November 1, 2004

50 thousand words in only 30 days?

Did you ever think you wanted to write a novel? Has it always sounded like something that would take too much time? How about 175 pages in one month?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
       Continue reading "50 thousand words in only 30 days?"

50 thousand words in only 30 days? ( in category Books, Movies, Music , Noteworthy ) - posted at Mon, 01 Nov, 21:48 Pacific