Showing posts from October, 2007

A Daily Look at October's Weather

Based on my posting of 21 September in the wee hours of the morning called "Ember Days", it was noted by me that Wednesday following the Feast of St. Lucia's Cross (this past Wednesday, for you pagans, who, like me, have zero concept of the lesser-known Roman Catholic/Anglican church feast days), that the weather was perfect this first Ember Day of September - sunny, a cloudless, clear cerulean blue sky, temperature of around 78 degrees, the slightest zephyr of a breeze. A perfectly delightful autumn day.

This log will start on Monday, 1 October and will be faithfully maintained through Wednesday, 31 October. I will be curious to see how these days stack up individually and on an overall basis during the month (my absolute favourite month) against such a foretelling method.
Of course, today is the Ember Day that portents November's weather... so far, at 0220, it is lovely. The temperature has not dropped to a frigid 40s temp, and the sky appears clear, although last ni…

The Struggles of Eating Right & Weight Loss

I'm weighing in at 188.5. Constantly for the last four days. I'm not happy.

All this cutting out sugar is a weird thing. It's the best thing to do but it is hard and amazing how much has sugar in it. And it is not an all day struggle. It is an at home struggle. I can fairly easily handle the whole dieting and eating right thing at work; I did it nearly effortlessly on vacation. At home, I fight with it like crazy.
Today I had Cheerios in the morning, about half what I normally eat. For lunch I had chicken. That's it, folks, just chicken. I came home, did my yoga and ate three small slices of pizza with fresh garlic. I did not, to my credit, eat anything else. And yet, despite all that, I'm still holding at 188.5. Not exactly encouraging. A plateau this early on seems very disheartening.
Last night at Tara and Derek's wedding I had a little alcohol, a couple of hors d'whatever (I hate spelling that word, believe it or not) - nothing fried, a few bites of the ch…

Too Much Blogging?

There is no such thing.

On the other hand, there is getting too relaxed with it, so I have undertaken the rather onerous task of going through it and sort of giving it a cleansing. It needed it and apparently there are enough readers (who'd've thought?) that I need to be... more circumspect. I'm OK with that and this is the right thing to do.
So I have weeded through what little I posted in 2005 and all of 2006 - no easy task. That is well over 300 postings! But I went through all that and got it looking nice and tidy. I have 2007 to look over and check them. It was satisfying to do this and I guess I can get it done fairly quickly. Not super-quickly, but fairly quickly.
I can have this all done by Wednesday night. If not by then, by Thursday. Not bad!

List 5 Things...

...that you consider an accomplishment but might be considered lame by others:

(I found this on Mary's blog, Mary Says... Daily Blog, and I thought I would give this a shot, as I really like the things that make me think.)

1. Getting my EMT certification. I am terrible at testing and usually not as dedicated to studying as I can be. But I did this with fervor and did nothing but work, sit through all the lectures and practicals (even when sick - I did not miss ANY lectures at all!) all day Saturday and Sunday, work on the volumnious amounts of homework and practice with friends and ride my Wednesday shift every week. I made it through and passed every module test except one on the first shot (and all my scores were 88 and higher. However, the peds one I got a 67 the first time and a 77 the second. Easily my lowest score. The peds stuff is hard - all the numbers are different for stats. I took my state boards and scored a 77 and then on the National Registry test (which is no longer …

Interview with Will Frank & Rebecca Nichols

Friday, October 12, 2007

Beauty & The Geek's Ultimate Revenge of the Geek
by Aimee Deeken

When competitors deemed Rebecca Nichols' canoodling with the season's male beauty, Sam, as rude and uncomfortable and perceived her teammate Will Frank an arrogant "King Geek," the peasants of the manor on Beauty and the Geek (Tuesdays, 8 pm, the CW) planned a revolt. To everyone's surprise, Nicole, the musicology geek, played them like a fiddle. When the pair spoke with, they were eager to explain themselves and apologize profusely. You were a strong team and won several challenges, but you two made a lot of enemies, too, from nominating other teams for elimination. Do you think that was ultimately what led to your downfall? Will Frank: Absolutely. Choosing people to go to the elimination room was the part of the game that was so difficult. Rebecca Nichols: You got enemies [from that] no matter what. Do you regret nominating Jesse an…

A.W.A.D. - "There Is a Word For It"

A reader wrote:

"Dear Anu,

Some time ago I wrote to ask if there was a word in any language for a parent who has lost a child. My husband and I lost our son in the insane war in Iraq. You sent me a kind reply saying no. I am submitting this Pennsylvania-Dutch word, zeitlang, I found in the paper:
I shared it with some other Gold Star families who liked the word and description. Yesterday was Gold Star Mothers Day*. I hate it. Everyone in the family is suffering, not just the mother. I like the sound of this Pennsylvania-Dutch word, perhaps because of my German heritage. So my family, my brothers and sisters in sorrow and I remain forever zeitlangers.

Diane Davis Santoriello
Proud mother of 1st Lt. Neil A. Santoriello KIA 9-13-04 ("

The English language has the largest vocabulary of any language but there are moments when all those hundreds of thousands of words in a dictionary might …

A Study in Contrasts

During my trip to Maryland I stayed with two cousins: Renee Camus, my maternal cousin and Dawn Fredericks, my paternal [step]cousin. You need to understand that for me, the Kellogg family is not merely my stepfamily, they are my family just as much as any blood family. So it is just to spare you, dear reader, confusion while reading this, that I ever refer to Ray or any Kellogg (or Frederick or any other name) as "step" anything.

For the first three days I was with Renee and her husband Alex Bradley in Adelphi, Maryland. Renee was a very good friend to me when we were kids and put up with a lot more than anyone else probably would. And in the end the test of time won out. She's still my beloved cousin and friend, and even though I still kind of drove her nuts a little, the friendship and closeness and childhood memories are there. And like any good 12-stepper (I'm not, but the analogy is good), I made my apologies for the bad behaviour and bad things that I did when w…

Googling & Finding Myself

An e-mail blast from the past came to my Inbox, so I Googled myself to see what I showed up as under that system. Amazingly, on the second option, there I was - under! So here it is:
May 25, 2006

Dr. Steve Lyons, Tropical Weather Expert

Here comes hurricane season 2006. So what should we expect for the Atlantic basin? Or more likely your question may be, "what do we expect for the U.S.," or maybe, "will my town/city get hit by a hurricane this year?" Well those are popular questions these days, but unfortunately none are easy to answer!
Let me start with the first and easiest question, namely overall Atlantic basin activity. Some seasonal forecasters have been doing this for many years and the "father" of seasonal tropical cyclone forecasting is Dr. Bill Gray. The Weather Channel usually reports on his forecasts as he updates them into the peak of Atlantic hurricane season. His skill in forecasting above or below activity has …

Day 3 of October Vacation

The day began at 0700, with me in the shower and dressed and ready (even fed) by 0835. Renee was not so quick (she is more of a night person, not an early morning person). We managed to leave by 0900, but had to go back to get the ticket for me that was in her bag all along. But they needed a couple of other things, so it was not a trip in vain. We were back on the road quite quickly, chatting the whole way.
The weather was gorgeous, just lovely. It was beautifully clear, sunny, a nice breeze, just so gorgeous. We parted at the gate, and I made my way to the front and Renee and Alex went into the faire to be prepared at the Maypole for the dances that she would be calling out. The actors were of good character and cheer and did their parts well. The royal procession was gorgeous and had many beautiful horses in it. The royalty looked like royalty. The cast at the NYRF still has dresses from when I was first working there. These people looked much more like the real thing. I loved it.

Day 2 of October Vacation

OK, it is now 2025 and we are sitting in front of their giant telly watching Surf's Up, a delightful movie about a young surfing penguin. I saw it in the theater and loved it and it's only just come out on DVD. I had to have it. So, naturally I have it!

We all had a leisurely day. I woke up initially at 0444, petted the cat for a bit, then fell back to sleep. I slept right through until 0900, exactly. I woke up drenched in sweat. I have no idea why. I hadn't been having a nightmare and the cat was no longer sleeping on my chest. I don't know why I was so overheated. But I felt okay otherwise, and got up to check on my e-mail and post about yesterday. Around 1045 I heard the first stirrings of life and then got in the shower around 1100. I had a nice shower then came upstairs and we decided to go to IHOP for breakfast.

We went out onto the roads, which are truly adventurous around here. We are a lot closer to Washington, DC than I thought. The traffic here is incredible. …

Day 1 of October Vacation

Well, my vacation has gotten off to a good start!

The trip down was both great and bad. I picked the worst weather (short of snow) to come down in - I left work at 1107, and under lowering grey skies headed down the Garden State Parkway. Around mile marker 67 it began to pour - I'm not exaggerating, it was horrifying. After that 12 mile squall, I ran through four more: one in Delaware, three in Maryland. Delaware is a "blink and you've missed it state". I loved going over the Delaware bridge (and the toll - what abject greed -was $4!) but other than the bridge, there was nothing much to say about that state. When it wasn't pouring and the visibility was good, it was a fine trip. The weather certainly was odd. I would be driving through a squall with thick heavy ominously dark clouds and suddenly the clouds got much lighter in colour only and it would still be raining and then the steam coming off the roads combined with suddenly bright light and mixed rain and stea…

A.W.A.D. - Words for Bosses, Leaders & Officials

How would you describe someone who has risen up and become a manager? Embossed!
The word boss has its origins in Dutch (from baas: master, foreman), but there are several homonyms of the word. Is your boss a timid manager, or a bungler, or ... ? Depending on how your boss runs the show, you apply one of these alternative meanings:
1. boss : a calf or a cow. That's where Bossy, a familiar name for a cow, comes from. (From English dialect borse/boss/buss: a six-months-old calf)
2. boss: a protuberance or swelling on the body of an animal or plant. This is where the word emboss comes from. (From Old French boce)
3. boss-eyed, adjective: cross-eyed or squint-eyed. (origin uncertain)

4. boss, verb: to bungle. (origin uncertain)

Why refer to your supervisor just as a plain old boss? On National Boss Day (October 16), why not use a more colorful word from this week's selection?
(AHR-kon) noun
A high official or ruler.

[From Latin archon, from Greek arkhon (magistrate), from arkhein (to …

Scottish Humour

The Englishman's wife steps up to the tee and, as she bends over to place her ball, a gust of wind blows her skirt up and reveals her lack of underwear.
"Good God, woman! Why aren't you wearing any knickers?" her husband demanded.
"Well, you don't give me enough housekeeping money to afford any." The Englishman immediately reaches into his pocket and says, "For the sake of decency, here's £50. Go and buy yourself some underwear."
Next, the Irishman's wife bends over to set her ball on the tee. Her skirt also blows up to show that she, too, is wearing no undies.
"Blessed Virgin Mary, woman! You've no knickers. Why not?"
She replies, "I can't afford any on the money you give me."

He reaches into his pocket and says, "For the sake of decency, here's £30. Go and buy yourself some underwear!"
Lastly, the Scotsman's wife bends over. The wind also takes her skirt over her head to reveal that she, too,…

More Humour - Unzipped

In a crowded city at a crowded bus stop a beautiful young woman was waiting for the bus.
Dressed up for work, she was wearing a very tight mini skirt. As the bus rolled up and it became her turn to get on the bus she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the bus' first step. So slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver she reached behind her and unzipped her skirt a little thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg.
Again she tried to make the step onto the bus to discover she still could not make the step. So, a little more embarrassed she once again reached behind her and unzipped her skirt a little more. And for a second time she attempted the step and once again, much to her disgust she could not raise her leg because of the tight skirt.
So with a coy little smile to the driver she again unzipped the offending skirt to give a little more slack and again was unable to make the step.
About …

Not Just Stupid Contestants...

Apparently the contestants of "Beauty & the Geek" are not the only stupid people. The guys are mostly not stupid, except for where they get sucked into the created drama. The women are abysmally stupid and the one token good-looking, non-geeky guy is right in that category. So, it turns out, is the one not-stunning, very intelligent woman. She completely exposed a person who only cares about herself.
However, the portions where the contestants are whispering to each other quietly exposed some idoit - probably several - on the show in the background. Two of them were whispering about Will and his partner winning and how they come across as the "cross they have to bare."
Bare. As in naked. Not "bear" as in carry!


OK, so someone didn't know (a writer? I certainly hope not) or made a mistake typing up the whispered comments (which were clearly audible, anyway). I ask you, how did someone miss that in proofreading this?! Helllllloooooo! That was jus…

NOAA Reports U.S. Likely to Have Above-Average Winter Temperatures

NOAA forecasters are calling for above-average temperatures over most of the country and a continuation of drier-than-average conditions across already drought-stricken parts of the Southwest and Southeast in its winter outlook for the United States, announced at the 2007-2008 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C., today. “La Niña is here, with a weak-to-moderate event likely to persist through the winter,” said Michael Halpert, head of forecast operations and acting deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The big concern this winter may be the persistence of drought across large parts of the already parched South. And while December through February is likely to be another milder-than-average winter for much of the country, people should still expect some bouts of winter weather.”
For the 2007-2008 U.S. winter, from December through February, NOAA seasonal forecasters predict:
In the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic,temperatures are expected to be above average…

Kiss Me

Kiss me out of the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass Swing, swing, swing the spinning step You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress.

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight Lead me out on the moonlit floor Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me

Kiss me down by the broken tree house Swing me upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat
We'll take the trail marked on your father's map

Kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me
So kiss me
So kiss me
So kiss me

The Trees Grow High

The trees they grow high,
the leaves they do grow green
Many is the time my true love I've seen
Many an hour I have watched him all alone
He's young,but he's daily growing

Father, dear father,
you've done me great wrong
You have married me to a boy who is too young
I'm twice twelve and he is but fourteen
He's young, but he's daily growing

Daughter, dear daughter,
I've done you no wrong
I have married you to a great lord's son
He'll be a man for you when I am dead and gone
He's young, but he's daily growing

Father, dear father, if you see fit
We'll send him to college for another year yet
I'll tie blue ribbons all around his head
To let the maidens know that he's married

One day I was looking o'er my father's castle wall
I spied all the boys aplaying at the ball
My own true love was the flower of them all
He's young, but he's daily growing

And so early in the morning
at the dawning of the day
They went out into the hayfield to have som…

Various Things

Sometimes there is so much going through my mind, it seems as though it may explode. Is everyone like that, or goes through times like that? Or is it just me? People do and think so much that they do not admit to - all those little idiosyncrasies, ticks and foibles, the things that make us all unique but terribly uncomfortable. My mind is always bouncing around. I mostly don't mind... but the blogging is a big help with this. When my mind has too much in it, I can sort of empty it out into this.

Which doesn't necessarily mean it is over and done with but is more of a starting point... A point of departure, as Rush has sung. I love music for that reason, too. Sometimes music says what I can't (not that there isn't much that I can't say). That's why in November I like to post a song a day. All those songs that make me feel whole, alive, have captivating lyrics... they all go up here. I enjoy sharing lyrics. There is so much richness brought to life in music.


Something Funny, Yet Hopeful

One of the staff, who delights regaling me with humourous vignettes and tawdry jokes, gave me this to read. I loved it, so I copied it and here it is:
A U.S. Marine squad was marching north of Fallujah when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist, bady injured and unconscious.
On the opposite side of the road was an American Marine in a similar but less serious state. The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened.
The Marine reported, "I was heavly armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent. We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road. I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein was a miserable, low-life scumbag who got what he deserved, and he yelled back that Ted Kennedy was a fat, good-for-nothing, left wing liberal drunk who doesn't know how to drive. So, I said that Osama bin Laden dresses and acts like a frigid, mean-spirited…


I do! I feel incredible!

I've been exercising, cutting back dramatically on my sugar intake, living a healthier life in general. My back is getting better day by day. My body feels good and I've lost almost ten pounds. That is no small thing, for me! The sun is shining, the trees are becoming more and more colourful every day. We had three days with thunderstorms in them in a row, a perfect way to close the storm season. Now it's in the low to mid-60s, dry and clear, some clouds in the afternoon, but mostly open blue skies! What more can one ask?
The house is in good shape, the laundry is done (except for the whites but that can wait for Luis to get home. That is the only missing piece to my happiness and domestic bliss at this moment: Luis. I'm patiently (sort of) awaiting his return from Troy, Michigan. I thought he might be home soon, but not yet. Maybe in the next hour or so?
I don't mind when he travels, but I love when he comes home. It's like a honeymoon. Li…

The Fight Against Breast Cancer

I don't what my deal is, but there are way too many who do know about this:

Favour to ask, it only takes a minute....

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle). This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.
Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

AGAIN, PLEASE TELL 10 FRIENDS TO TELL 10 Come on everyone of us knows someone just do it!!!

True Story...?

I got this in an e-mail:

This is a true story about a recent wedding that took place at Clemson University. It was in the local newspaper and even Jay Leno mentioned it.
It was a huge wedding with about 300 guests.

After the wedding, at the reception, the groom got up on stage with a microphone to talk to the crowd. He said he wanted to thank everyone for coming, many from long distances, to support them at their wedding. He especially wanted to thank the bride's family and his family and to thank his new father-in-law for providing such a lavish reception.

As a token of his deep appreciation he said he wanted to give everyone a special gift just from him. So taped to the bottom of everyone's chair, including the wedding party was an envelope.

He said this was his gift to everyone, and asked them to open his or her envelope.

Inside each manila envelope was an 8x10 glossy of his bride having sex with the best man. The groom had gotten suspicious of them weeks earlier and had hired a …

A.W.A.D. - Terms from the World of Law

My maternal grandfather was a lawyer. When he and my grandmother had a little tiff, she would sometimes say, "Go tell your lies in court." They would soon make up, but a statement like that is perhaps an occupational hazard to any married lawyer.
A lawyer's reputation for fine analysis of words is well-deserved. The outcome of a case often depends on the precise meaning of a single word. No wonder lawyers are deeply interested in words. Almost all the staff members of some law offices are AWAD subscribers. Many lawyers are well-known novelists and authors of books on language usage.
This week we look at terms from the world of law.

(gra-VAY-muhn) noun
[plural gravamens or gravamina (-VAM-uh-nuh)]
The essence or the most serious part of an accusation.

[From Latin gravamen (trouble, grievance), from gravare (to burden or to weigh upon).]

force majeure
(fors ma-ZHOOR) noun
1. An unforeseeable and uncontrollable event (for example, a war or a strike) that exempts a party from…

Fully Deserving Vacation

It seems like the same time that I am careening toward my week-long vacation, three million things happen as well, putting all kinds of roadblocks and snags that need to be figured out before I leave.

Even worse, inevitably, something goes really, really wrong. I return from my lovely time off, I'm tired, but happy, looking to see how much extra abuse is awaiting me from a ten day vacation (there are two weekends in there, you know). Somehow, something always manages to go hideously wrong while I'm away. Amazing. Last year it was the dental plan; that was the biggie. And then I let the two H-2B Visa programs languish until I came back, which was a mistake, especially since I came back with a delightful (ha, ha) case of the flu. Typical - I always get something in the autumn (sadly), but I'm thinking this year I got it already and so now I'm done.
It's mid-October, you know what that means... I need to go get my flu shot. Groan. I am not thrilled with the idea. I need…

Thirty Years of Old Farmer's Almanacs...

Image one box!
I'm missing 1960, 1965 and 1969, but I have the rest of that decade, plus the 70s and the 80s. I always had the 1990s and this part of this century, but I was missing 1990. Now I have that, too. Life is good!
Besides beefing up the last five (almost) decades, I have a few others: 1858, 1879, 1883, 1890, 1902, 1903, 1910, 1916, 1938, 1946, 1958. I think... I'm not looking at all of them. Had I not gone on ebay I would be $300 richer but as it is, I am very, very happy with my purchases and apparently, the sellers are happy with me.
I find it completely amazing that I have held in my hands (and own) almanacs that my forebears before me may have held. Maybe someone related to me in 1883 was relying on this almanac for his or her farming needs. Tell me that is not incredible...

Fall Foliage Explained

Every autumn we revel in the beauty of the fall colors. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter.

During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree's growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.

Chlorophyll Breaks Down
But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop t…


Five years on this sqaud, and not much really drives me crazy. I'm accustomed to the bullshit, the lying, the rumour mill, etc. But then one person told everyone that she had a bird's eye view of my husband's penis. That is completely rediculous, so for once, I actually addressed the rumour mill instead of letting it go:
"One of the most stupid and unbelievable things is how much people love to have dirt. In the absence of real dirt, they'll make it up.

One of my squadmates was kind enough to drop off the meeting attendance notes and I very much appreciate that; however, I do not appreciate the subsequent tall tales circulating about my husband's state of dress. He threw on pants and opened the door. He is very, very private and would not ever appear without zipping up his pants. He also did not parade in front of the picture window naked as he was not naked to begin with.

It is a public fact that I like to be in my own house naked. We never use our living room (…