Archive | August, 2008

My Kind of Girl

30 Aug

Check out Mark Steyn’s comments on Sarah Palin in the National Review.

How We Get Tomatoes

30 Aug

Camera Tales

30 Aug

When we were married we bought as a present to ourselves a good Nikon single-lens-reflex camera.  Not that I knew that term until the middle of last year.  What I knew is I could effectively control what the final photo would look like.  We took multiple hundreds of pictures on that camera. Beautiful photos.  After we learned how to correctly load and unload the camera.  That was on our honeymoon to the Pacific Northwest, where we exposed a roll of film with pictures on it trying to take it out correctly.

It was well used.  It went through life with us. It got old, it had a crack in the housing that duct tape would sometime prevent light from seeping in, and sometimes not.  Digital cameras came along. Two years ago Mr. Monte gave me one of his older Kodak digitals.  All of a sudden I could edit photos immediately!  I could post them online! Angela told and taught me about Gimp and Adobe Photoshop Album Starter.  Both are free, and though I use them all the time I am sure I use only a minute fraction of their tools.  But–the Kodak digital did not allow me the control of light and distance to take the kind of photos I was used to taking with my old Nikon SLR.  It was restricting, annoying, maddening.

Then Angela told me of digital SLR cameras.  She finally convinced me that one would actually take photos as good as my old Nikon.  Seeing the beauty of pics she put on her blog convinced me.

Last Christmas my (very large) present was a Nikon D40 digital SLR camera, which has been a joy and delight to learn to use.  It came with two lenses!  I bought some more magnifying lenses with Christmas money and have been happily taking flower and insect pictures ever since.  As you may have noticed.

But then, this week the boots I was wearing slipped on the wet morning grass of a short steep slope near the house and I fell on my back, camera in hand.  Something did not sound right afterwards (in the camera).  And then the lens stopped moving except for a fraction of its range.  I removed it from the camera body and a plastic part fell off.  Oh, sadness and gnashing of teeth!

It has been sent to the Nikon camera hospital.  I am in picture taking withdrawal.  I am trying to use the other lens, sometimes.

Fin Straightener

28 Aug

In the course of painting the bathroom, the hot water baseboard heater has to be taken apart and sanded.  That means I had time to clean the fins of the heater.  But how to straighten them?  I had never been able to figure out how to do so before today.  Today I thought of a wooden skewer.  With it I pulled lots of dust out from between the fins, which a vacuum cleaner helped remedy.  And it did a good job straightening the fins and keeping my fingers intact while doing so.  Left to right–from finished to undone area.

Local Food

27 Aug

Angela has now weighed in on regional specialties, a few of which I had never heard.  And one which sounds very like something our whole extended family loves.  More on that in a minute.

But Phelps and its renown for its cabbage processing facilities and Sauerkraut Festival, including a Cabbage Queen must be mentioned in discussions of regional specialties.  New York State is the largest producer of fresh cabbage in the US.  And number two in processed cabbage.  That would be sauerkraut.

The Texas Hot Sauce Angela’s blog mentions sound similar to my mother’s BBQ sauce.  But I have never used it as a BBQ sauce.  It is a sauce used with cooked ground hamburger to make a sloppy joe concoction served on bread or rolls.  I made some yesterday.  We had it for supper on bread slices (along with corn on the cob, edamame and peaches and cream) and I thawed more venison burger and we had it again for lunch on pieces of day old store boughten rolls. The sauce is also one of my brother’s favorites.

Mom’s BBQ Sauce: a basic basting sauce. Cook hamburg and add for sloppy joes.

1/4 cup salad oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup honey

1 cup ketchup (or tomato sauce)

1 cup wine vinegar

1/2 cup Worstershire sauce

1 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp thyme

Heat oil.  Cook onion and garlic.  Add all the rest and bring to boil, stirring.  Cook 5 minutes slowly.  Cool and put in fridge in sterile canning jar.  Makes 1 quart.

Coupon Travel

26 Aug

I rarely buy from the large Edock site.  But recently I did after a friend who lives far away by train and whom I hope to visit with Isabelle mentioned ‘companion fare coupons’ that another friend of hers had acquired via auction for very little money.

There were such things for auction.  The final price I paid was about 1/3 Isabelle’s fare–a good buy.  Now I have to wait for the coupon to arrive.  This morning I checked the tracking number.  Here is the itinerary of the parcel so far; fascinating reading:

August 16, 2008 10:50 am PAMPANGA, PHILIPPINES RECEIVED FROM SHIPPER
August 16, 2008 10:03 pm CLARK FIELD, PHILIPPINES PARCEL PROCESSED FOR DOCUMENTATION AND CLEARING
August 16, 2008 10:25 pm JET-SHIP SERVER, SINGAPORE SHIPPING NOTICE EMAIL SENT TO: jpm14@cornell.edu
August 18, 2008 11:38 pm CLARK FIELD, PHILIPPINES SHIPMENT MANIFESTED FOR FORWARDING TO SINGAPORE
August 19, 2008 6:46 am MANILA, PHILIPPINES LOCATION SCAN – MANILA HOLDING AREA – AWAITING AIRCRAFT
August 20, 2008 8:42 am MANILA, PHILIPPINES DISPATCHED TO AIR CARGO TERMINAL – DESTINATION: SINGAPORE
August 22, 2008 7:41 am SINGAPORE ARRIVED IN SINGAPORE SORTING FACILITY
August 23, 2008 9:57 am SINGAPORE PARCEL PROCESSED AND ACCOUNTING CLEARED
August 24, 2008 1:42 pm SINGAPORE MANIFESTED TO UNITED STATES – AWAITING AIRCRAFT
August 25, 2008 4:42 am SINGAPORE DEPARTED FOR J.F. KENNEDY, USA – ENTRY POINT AND CUSTOMS CLEARING

Visitors

25 Aug

Sue came to get tomatoes for her son’s birthday dinner since she does not have many between the chickens eating them and the new disease attacking them.  She brought a present for Isabelle, which Jay has said can stay until Saturday.

Hawthorne likes them very much.

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