Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Be careful with your email.


This one is priceless...A lesson to be learned from
typing the wrong email address!!!!

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.

Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston , a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a massive heart attack.

The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted.

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: February 16, 2010

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in.

I've seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then!!!! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P. S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another good one from Nat

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him,
resting on the seventh day. He inquired, "Where have you been?" God smiled
deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael.
Look what I've made." Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is
it?" "It's a planet," replied God, and I've put life on it. I'm going to
call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test Balance." "Balance?"
inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."

God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth. "For example, northern
Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern
Europe is going to be poor. Over here I've placed a continent of white
people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all

God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely
hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice." The Archangel,
impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that
one?" "That's Virginia, the most glorious place on earth. There are
beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, and plains.
The people from Virginia are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and
humorous, and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely
sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of
good things"

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about
balance, God? You said there would be balance..." God smiled, "Right next to
Virginia is Washington , DC . Wait till you see the idiots I put there."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dismantling Machu Pigchu and growing potatoes

The Hog of High on the Hog has chronic skin problems. In an effort to control disease I had to dismantle her life's work, what we refer to as "Machu Pigchu". She built Machu Pigchu with her hooves and bulldozer snout out of straw, leaves, sticks, detritus and extension cords. She is always rearranging and adding to it. She had it so tall she had to kneel to actually get through the door of her house.

After 4 or five full wheelbarrows this it what it was underneath:

I plan to use the ruins of Machu Pigchu to grow potatoes and yams. I take a piece of fencing and roll it up like a big tomato cage. It is even better if you can line the sides with newspaper. Use the materials you have, if you don't have fencing maybe you can stack old tires or drill holes in a trash can. Add a nice layer of organic matter. Add seed potatoes, these can be the eyes you were generous in cutting off in cooking. Each eye needs an inch of flesh to be viable. Cover with more organic matter and water. As the vines sprout through the top, repeatedly add more matter. By the end of summer you should be able to tip the hole thing over to collect your crop without digging. Plus you have great compost.

Craigslist / Ebay scam

There is someone who uses Craigslist, purportedly a woman, but probably not, who advertizes bobcats skid loaders for an extremely cheap price as though it is local and easy to pick up. They respond to inquiry by saying that it is on ebay. Then then "open a ebay case" for you, soliciting information. They have a fake ebay site with a false IP address, but genuine "name" information on the email/website. It looks just like the ebay protection program.

They then offer to deliver it to your door. JUST SEND MONEY. (of course). I notified both craigslist and ebay about the scam, but that won't help since nothing actually goes through them except the initial suck-in ad on craigslist. I did not get taken but I wonder how many people have sent their money to a Russian or Nigerian bankaccount and received nothing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Living bridge made of tree roots

In Cherripunji, India the natives make bridges across streams with the roots of a variety of the ficus tree.

They simply string the roots across the ravine, allow them to grow and become stronger, then in about 15 years, they are strong enough to support people as traffic.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cicero and the budget

My friend Nat sent me this:

What have we learned in 2,064 years since the Roman Empire?

So here it is. What have we learned in 2,064 years?

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should
be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to
work, instead of living on public assistance."

- Cicero - 55 BC

Friday, March 12, 2010

you just don't get food like this on campus

Today for lunch i made "fried rice" with leftover rice, chicken sausage, onion, apple, red pepper, and mushroom...yum. then I made vegan chocolate spice cupcakes, adapted from the kitchn. i put a chocolate glaze on them which was not vegan but could easily have been. they are more spice-y than chocolate-y...but that could be because i had to use "sipping cocoa" in place of some of the unsweetened cocoa.

Vegan Chocolate Spice Cupcakes
2 c white whole wheat flour
1 c white flour
2/3 c cocoa
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c raw sugar
1 1/2 c brown sugar*
1/2 t cinnamon
dash chili powder
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t cardamom
1/4 t mace
1 T fresh grated ginger
3/4 oil**
1 3/4 water
4 T cider vinegar

mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another, then mix together. bake at 375 for 18 minutes. makes about 24 cupcakes.

glazes are really easily to make but i usually regret making them because i usually have trouble getting them to look pretty...

*this was supposed to be 2 c raw sugar but i didn't have that much
**theres probably a way to cut down this amount, e.g. with applesauce, but i wasn't that ambitious.

Torrential rains and floods predicted for East Coast

This weekend's forecast predicts heavy rain and flooding. If the temperature were lower it would be another monumental snow storm. Most likely wind, rain and soggy soil implies a lot of trees blocking everything.

I prepared by buying a cordless chain saw. I have too much difficulty starting a fuel powered saw, so the lithium ion battery type seemed best. I had planned to buy a Makita brand for about $239 or so, but the unexpected nature of the storm mean a quick trip to Home Depot where only Ryobi brand was available for half the price. Ordinarily Home Depot carries Makita in other tools. The salesman kindly pointed out the need to also buy chain oil. Done.

The battery pack is charging now. Boy scout motto: Be prepared.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Florida Python mismanagement

Well, the State of Florida regulators have wised up to the idea that it is a good idea to have hunters out there killing pythons. The stupid part of it though is that they are actually charging hunters $26 for a permit to do so. They should be paying the hunters to do it, or, failing that, at least allow them to hunt for free.

Maybe this is all just bureaucratic stupidity, but it is also possible that the regulators are constrained by laws passed by the legislature. If that latter possibility is the case, it is time for the Florida legislature to get on the ball and do the right thing.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Family Tradition gone mainstream

I was just reading this NY Times article about how it really makes more sense to skip directly from 10th grade to community college and couldn't help think of what seems to be some sort of family tradition. I thought this might be a good forum for sharing. I have not actually finished the article, so hopefully it's not too weird: