Sunday, March 30, 2008
Two candles give plenty of light for reading, I discovered (wonder how many watts that is?). But the big surprise was that the science fiction novel I'd grabbed, Simon Clark's The Night of the Triffids, opens with the protagonist in darkness. He wakes up to discover that the sun has failed to rise—but because he's in a village where many of the residents were blinded decades earlier, they are going about their business unaware that it's still dark. Then the blind neighbors fall silent, and things get even stranger...
A good book.
Friday, March 28, 2008
It occurred to me that there must be a folk-remedy cough suppressant. To my utter shock, I discovered that there's plenty of research to show that theobromine, an ingredient in dark chocolate, is more effective than codeine cough syrup in suppressing the cough reflex.
Needless to say, I wasted no time checking this out. The recommended dosage is 50 g (2 ounces). So I melted two squares of unsweetened dark baking chocolate, added a little Grade B maple syrup (long story), and am eating it. Full report tomorrow morning.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
If you'd like to attend (suggested donation to the non-profit public housing group holding the lunching is $150), please let me know. I'm not sure they've announced it to the public yet, so I'm being a bit obscure here. I'll make a second announcement when it officially goes public.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
At the moment I'm sitting at my desk listening to my email go "ping" every five minutes. You might think this is annoying, but I'll explain why it's pure heaven.
Mac OS X Mail lets you set up sub-mailboxes and then create rules that filter incoming messages to those sub-mailboxes. You can also create rules that can trigger optional sounds and other notifications when mail is routed to any of those sub-mailboxes.
I've set it up so that I hear a "ping" every time an automated ecommerce system registers an order for the ebook I edited that was released this morning. My payment for the editorial work is in royalties, so, along with the author, I'm enjoying listening to the digital cash register.
This is nice because, after working like a madwoman last week, I didn't bill many hours to projects this week. Instead, I dealt with a possible problem with my mom's car (it turned out to be a false alarm), caught up on the belly dance lessons I'd missed, live-blogged (well, Twittered) the Starbucks annual meeting, started my volunteer work at Folklife, coordinated the monthly weblogger meetup downtown, went to the chiropractor (who pronounced my neck pretty much cured); got the electricians to finally fix the sensor on the front porch light; hung out with friends at Jai Thai; went dancing at the Little Red Hen; saw a rare book collection; and got a great massage.
While picking up my mom's car, I ran into a friend from college I hadn't talked with in, oh, 33 years (though I've seen her in Seattle-area theater productions). We had a long chat and I'm going to take one of the fitness classes she teaches in Madrona. I was at the Little Red Hen to hear my friend Geoff play bass with the Bouchards; it turned out to be an extremely friendly place for dancing, and I ran into a fellow I used to dance with 15 years ago at the Tractor Tavern. Dancing is certainly much nicer now that the clubs aren't filled with smoke, and I'm hoping to get back to the Hen soon.
I also found out about a third-Friday SF Trivia night at the Wayward Cafe in Greenwood, sponsored by the Browncoats Meetup. Didn't get there this evening, but Zorg says maybe next month.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I spent huge amounts of money there. And I still have many of those beautiful, durable pots.
Of course, the business grew like mad, moving to SoDo and expanding into a couple of warehouse-sized spaces at 3200 First Ave. South.
We just put in a tiny patio addition to our front brick walkway, and I'm looking for a pair of antique-style wrought iron or cast aluminum chairs with a very small matching table. As Herban Pottery wasn't at the Garden Show, I decided to call them to see if they had the furniture. That's when I discovered they're closing soon, and are selling their current stock, much of it at 25 - 80% off, through the end of March.
See you at the sale?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
The nightly whisker count: Kaylee is bedded down in the bathtub (the cast iron is still warm from my bath). Zoe is in the basement, looking for Kit Kat (who, sadly, will never appear again). Sheba is in the bathroom, asleep on a towel next to the sink that is designated a cat bed. (Towels for humans hang on the racks.)
A teaspoon of Grade B maple syrup and I'm off to bed. This cold is making me crazy.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
What I'm about to write is simply a personal record of what I think I saw on television last night; it's not an invitation to a political flame war.
I watched both Clinton's speech in Ohio last night and Obama's speech in Texas. Here's what I saw:
Clinton reminded me of dozens of successful black women I've met, people who have succeed by working three times as hard anyone else while being ignore, discounted and patronized. People who raised kids, scrubbed floors, got dumped by their men, and still managed to stay in school and get their MBAs and start their own businesses. Clinton shone with determination and pride. Like the women I've known, she was plain spoken, short on vision, and a bit scary. (Yes, I said black women.)
Obama reminded me of some of the brilliant young men I worked with in Silicon Valley. He was eloquent, he was sharp, he was poised. But in his eyes I thought I saw glints of puzzlement and annoyance -- just a slight narrowing of the eyes and tightening of the mouth that said, "Hey. I was great. I was more than great. I kept to the high road. I was original. I was passionate. WFT—I should have won!"
In other words, an attitude of entitlement.
Obama's speech, while a little subdued, was inspiring and visionary. He may yet win. But, as Hillary has known all along, it won't be easy...
Monday, March 03, 2008
It might as well be a foreign country.
Downtown Naples is one of the wealthiest communities in the nation, a place where brand-new beachfront mansions worth millions are routinely torn down to be replaced by even newer ones worth slightly more.
Outside of the city core are miles and miles of walled communities with condos, artificial lakes, and golf courses, interspersed with miles and miles of construction sites for even more such walled communities -- even though the low-end condo market is completely gutted and older condos languish on the market for years. Churches are huge, with buildings and parking lots that look more like community colleges. Shopping centers, eerily identical, abound. Cars are predominantly white, American and very, very large.
I worry that the flat landscape will encourage alien space ships to land here and that, if they do, an analysis of the local culture will result in annihilation of our planet on the grounds of total vapidity.