29 December 2010

Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Cream butter in a mixing bowl; add brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl often. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, mixing at lowest speed just until smooth.
Pour batter into two greased and floured 8-inch round layer cake pans. . Bake at 350° 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 5 minutes, turn out of pans onto racks to cool completely.

Brown Sugar Frosting

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in top of double boiler. Beat 1 minute at high speed of electric mixer. Place over rapidly boiling water and cook, beating constantly, 7 minutes or until peaks form. Remove from heat and continue beating until spreading consistency is reached. Frost tops and sides of cooled spice cake.

15 December 2010

goodnight you

goodnight you, across the miles
millions it seems, insurmountable
mountains of lies behind smiles,
in dreams, waking to a doubtable

reality creeping round like mist,
dangling broken pieces still to mend,
remembering feeling we wished
to be facing each other again

but you can't plan the past
no matters how much it hurts
bandage up and soldier fast
to the road ahead and back to the work

And it's only in dreams late at night
before the world, from the truth
in the quiet beyond all sight
when I let you and I be everything to


5 December 2010

Penuche

Brown sugar / Penuche Fudge

Ingredients

3 cups brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
3 tablespoons butter

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan (2 to 3-quart size), combine brown sugar with evaporated milk and corn syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, to soft ball stage or when candy thermometer registers 234° to 238°.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter; do not stir. Let cool for about 25 minutes, then beat with a wooden spoon until the fudge just begins to thicken. Add chopped nuts and beat for a few more minutes, until it begins to lose its gloss but is not too thick. Pour or spread in a greased pie plate or 8-inch square pan. Score when set and cut into squares when firm.

To test for soft ball stage:
Use fresh cold water each time you test the candy. In about 1 cup of cold water, spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of hot candy. Put you hand into the water and push the candy to form a ball. Gently pick the formed ball up (if it will not form a ball, it is not done) - the soft ball will flatten slightly when removed from water.

30 November 2010

Just the ticket for a snowy evening

Vegetable-Lentil Soup with Fragrant Broth

2 tbsns olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsn minced garlic (i put in more because I used water rather than broth)
Salt and black pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; include the juice)
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over (I used split peas with great results)
6 cups vegetable stock or water
Several sprigs fresh thyme or several pinches dried

1. Put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden and beginning to melt together, about 20 minutes.
2. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and stir in the tomatoes, carrots, celery, and lentils. Add the stock and thyme, then bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the soup bubbles gently.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 20 - 30 minutes; add water as necessary to keep the mixture brothy. Fish out the thyme sprigs, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Whole Wheat Bread with Pumpkin

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1 cup puréed cooked pumpkin, butternut, or other winter squash (canned is fine)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and nutmeg if you're using it in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin and about 1/2 cup of water and stir until blended; the dough should be quite wet, almost like a batter (add more water if it seems dry). Cover the bowl with a teatowel and let it rest in a warm place for about 2 hours. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Rising time will be shorter at warmer temperatures, a bit longer if your kitchen is chilly.
2. Use some of the oil to grease a 9 x 5 pan. Scoop the dough into the loaf pan and use a rubber spatula to gently settle it in evenly. Brush or drizzle the top with the remaining oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled. an hour or 2 depending on the warmth of your kitchen. When it's almost ready, preheat the oven to 350.
3. Bake the bread until deeply golden and hollow-sounding when tapped, about 45 minutes.

28 November 2010

Monsters under the bed

The Alchemist quotes

Celebrating next week THREE YEARS in the New York times Bestseller List, you find below parts of the dialogue between the shepherd boy and the Alchemist on the way to the pyramids.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”

“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”

“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”

“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”

“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”

“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”

“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart.

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.

“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”

From “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

26 November 2010

Shut up

Shut up

inside, feeling like a stupid girl trying to unglue
from love that won't be simply pushed away
that loss of us, the one thing I held true
breaks me down bit by bit each day

i see the looks on other men's faces
trying to get into my good graces
I can't hold their gaze, know they don't have a way
to break inside my frozen heart I deny

and I still hold onto
tiny flickering flame, the big romantic dope
a fool for you, lost still in hope
so Shut up powers-that-be
Seeing that name every day is killin me
when every night you visit me in dreams
breaking the facade again, ripping me at the seams
back down into a muddled mess, foolishly wanting your caress


19 November 2010

Fighting against dark, discouraging farce
By looking under rocks for
light in little things
smiles, music, patience, wings,
of hope that
the millions of people like me
The mostly quiet ones that see
show more how to do it right every day,
go out of our way, put hands in the grime
for saving it all one heart at a time

28 October 2010

Late Bloomer

Sarah Harmer

Oh, late bloomer, the rumors were true
You know, I checked your ID when you left the room
I didn't want to see it coming, I showed off my heart
Now there's a scar in the shape of a question mark
Oh, late bloomer, the rumors were true
And scattered leaves are all that's left of you

I never thought I'd be the marrying kind
It was nothing to be always left behind
From the ship that was sailed with everyone on it
I said, Give me the land, I know what I want and where I'm wanted
But you came in whistling, I'll go if you'll go
And I was waiting around to play like an old piano

[Chorus]
And honey, I couldn't see the trouble
Sleeping down deep, where these lights won't go
I couldn't see the trouble underneath
I set my sights on what was all right
My will didn't know where these lights won't go
I couldn't see the trouble underneath

Who knew it would be you through the wall,
Listening in to a voice on a call
And hearing the strings and shoot 'em up sure
Little did I know then, oh little did I know
Long before listening forever
Was shot down before it was ever delivered

[Chorus]

Oh, late bloomer, the rumors were true
I checked your ID, what was it I knew
I didn't want to see it coming, I showed off my heart
Now there's a scar in the shape of a question mark
Oh, late bloomer, the rumors were true
And scattered leaves are all that's left of you

[Chorus]

26 October 2010

Cosmetic products dirty dozen

Dirty dozen chemicals found in 80 per cent of the most common cosmetic products. The David Suzuki Foundation is urging better labelling laws to help consumers avoid them.

The dirty dozen:

1 – BHA and BHT. Used in moisturizers as preservatives, the suspected endocrine disruptors may cause cancer and are known to be harmful to fish and other wildlife

2 – Coal-tar dyes such as p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as CI followed by five digits. Used in some hair dyes, may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.

3 – DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA. Used in some creamy and foaming moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

4 – Dibuytl phthalate. Used as a plasticizer in some nail-care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

5 – Formaldehyde releasing preservatives such as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.

6 – Paraben, methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben. Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.

7 – Parfum. Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics. Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.

8 – PEG Compounds such as PEG-60. Used in some cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.

9 – Petrolatum. Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.

10 – Siloxanes: cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane and cyclopethicone. Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

11 – Sodium laureth sulphate. Used in some foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.

12 – Triclosan. Used in some antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and deodorants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Courtesy the David Suzuki Foundation


Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/10/19/suzuki-dirty-dozen.html?ref=rss#ixzz13VzlWPDQ

22 October 2010

Old Crow, Black Night, Stand Still / Hey Rosetta



Look at that cloud hang
up off the lookout hills
That's where my head is
and I keep banging my shins

There's another world
Above this one
That's where I've trying to live
But I get dragged down

There's another world
Better than this one
And that's where I've trying to live
But I get dragged down

Stand still
Stand still
Can we just stand still

Stand still
Come on, Stand still
No no no no stand still

This whole town is
All the buildings there are blocking sun and blocking sun
I know it's you who's rushing to the light
With their open mouths and appetites
They ate the ground and now the sky
They roll it out like pigeon wire

Stand still
Stand still
Can't they just stand still

Stand still
Stand still
Can't we just stand still

So we packed our bags and headed west
She said I know a place where they can't get, where they can't get us
She slid my tired fingers into hers
And it was sunlight touching every curve, every scar
And this will be the moment that breaks my heart
Where the time creeps in and we grow apart

Can we just stand still
Stand still
Can we just stand still

Stand still
Let our lungs fill
Can we just stand still

That's what I'm talking about
Her sneakered feet hardly hitting the ground
Thoughts like a rush hour downtown
You're either sticking or pump-pumping 'em out
Drop me in the dark green
Lock me in the midst of the ? hill
Hide me in the old crow black night
Hide me ?
I was ?
?

18 October 2010

29 Ways

29 Ways / Marc Cohn



I got 29 ways to make it to my baby's door
I got 29 ways to make it to my baby's door
And if she needs me bad
I can find about two or three more

I got one through the basement
Two down the hall
And when the going gets tough
I got a hole in the wall
(Chorus)

I can come through the chimney like Santa Claus
Go through the window and that ain't all
A lot of good ways I don't want you to know
I even got a hole in the bedroom floor

(Chorus)

I got a way through the closet behind her clothes
A way through the attic that no one knows
A master key that fits every lock
A hidden door behind the grandfather clock

(Chorus)

17 October 2010

Eclipse (All Yours)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNT6e0ZZnYQ

Eclipse (All Yours) / Metric


Other lives always tempted to trade
Will they hate me for all the choices I've made
Will they stop when they see me again?
I can't stop now I know who I am

Now I'm all yours, I'm not afraid
And you're all mine, say what they may
And all your love I'll take to the grave
And all my life starts now

Tear me down they can't take you out of my thoughts
Under every scar there's a battle I've lost
Will they stop when they see us again?
I can't stop now I know who I am

Now I'm all yours, I'm not afraid
And you're all mine, say what they may
And all your love I'll take to the grave
And all my life starts

I'm all yours, I'm not afraid
And you're all mine, say what they may
And all your love I'll take to a grave
And all my life starts starts now

13 October 2010

I've been reading bumper stickers lately and many proclaim the drivers' apparent desire to change the world. This one was a recent favourite: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mickiegirlca/5069659529/in/set-72157624116573092/ I'm also a big fan of wandering around strange cities by foot, taking pictures of graffiti; old, crumbly buildings, and trying out as many little cafes in the area as my budget will allow. It can be a really long walk and disheartening experience to have to go blocks and blocks (on foot remember) for a cup of coffee (maybe breakfast) . Didn't that used to be called a diner? Didn't they use to be in every neighbourhood?

In a recent walk from my cousin's place in Toronto east I found a business called a coffeeshop, there were seats available and the place was small. I noticed everyone had a styrofoam/paper cup in hand and the food in the fridge was fresh but also packaged to go. I asked, but as expected they didn't serve breakfast the way I like. I started thinking after I left to keep looking "why is she is choosing to use the disposable over washing the same set of dishes and replacing a few a year?"

Maybe economic. May be cheaper in her mind to not have to install a small dishwasher for cups and plates or to repair an old, broken one. Maybe cultural. She took over the restaurant and it is the way the business got by then, especially in the neighbourhood which attracts alot of 'undesirables which might do God knows what with actual glassware. Maybe regulatory. To pass the health inspection it is likely easier to get that regular certificate and stay open than have a deeper inspection because you actually prepare food there to some degree.

When I found the diner (and was sipping café latté at the Mercury on their sunny patio) I felt welcomed, part of the community. I read, took pictures, talked to people about life and sometimes asked them questions (mostly directions but some other very interesting discussions too). It struck me that business owners and customers have commonality in the experience they want to have in the restaurant. To feel like you are part of the community and are welcome back.

The 'coffeeshop' I went to earlier in my walk made me feel like getting in and getting out as quickly as possible. So did the woman who stormed out of her house after I picked *two stems* off one of *four bushes* of whatever plant it was beautifully dripping over the fence. Standing there with her probably 12 year old daughter she berated me and asked me why I thought I could take her property. I was initially dumbfounded and then said quietly that I was really sorry I offended her, I just saw the colours fitting into the bouquet I was making along my walk back. I offered it to her as payment for using her property in such a "thoughtless" manner but she refused (not surprisingly I suppose). I wish I had asked her why she grew the bushes, and how my also taking pleasure (but not causing harm to her or the plant) in them offended her.

Arne Naess called this a petty rationality. Where you can justify almost anything to yourself based on empirical evidence alone and leave emotion (or values, ethics) out of the equation. The woman running the coffeeshop in the seedy neighbourhood would be hard to convince that changing her restaurant from disposable to sustainable would be beneficial enough to her. The woman with the bushes couldn't stand the feeling that she was being robbed of her property so she confronted me. What is really at stake is so small and petty in a grander scheme, but becomes the reality because of mostly rationality.

I think I made a good decision in my reactions to both examples of that. And an idea may have been started in one of the people watching or not, and I walked away (somewhat shaken, really about the stems) feeling good about my choice in my reaction that held some awareness. Ultimately that led me to talk to more people, have many more positive experiences and generally contribute to the community spirit that is a special part of what makes Toronto an incredible city to visit.

Just don't get me started about the Uncle Ben's advertising in the subway station.

9 October 2010

Deep below, a vibrant world is documented by the first comprehensive marine census

Marine Census Yields Plenitude of Wonders
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/in-first-marine-census-a-plenitude-of-wonders/?hpw

Marine Census Shows Vast Diversity of Sea Life
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704847104575532031662747228.html

Biggest Marine Census Complete
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/10/101004-coml-complete-census-vin-video/

New Map Charts Troubled Status of Ocean Life
http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2010/10/ocean_map.html

Census of Marine Life
http://www.coml.org/

NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries
http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/

What is out there, under the sea? After 10 years, it would appear that the Census of Marine Life has an excellent idea of the species residing throughout the world's oceans and seas. The project was sponsored by a host of institutions, including the Rockefeller University in New York, and the initial findings of this magnificent undertaking were announced this Monday. Commenting on the report, the co-founder of the project Jesse H. Ausubel remarked, "We're like the people in London and Paris 200 years ago, putting together the first dictionaries and encyclopedias." Equally amazing was the discovery that there are few "ocean deserts", and the census discovered a host of new species. The project reveals that there are almost 250,000 marine species in existence, and if microscopic life were included, that number could potentially land in the hundreds of millions. One particularly interesting new species found in the census was the so-called "yeti-crab". This denizen of the deep lives far off the coast of Easter Island, and it has rather elaborate furry claws. More discoveries and information from this project will be released in the coming weeks and months, and it's a project well worth keeping tabs on. [KMG]

The first link will take users to users to a post from the New York Times' "Green" blog from this Monday. Here visitors can learn a bit more about the census, and also view a photo of the "yeti-crab". The second link will take visitors to an article from this Tuesday's Wall Street Journal which includes a video clip about the census, along with an interactive graphic feature. Moving on, the third link whisks users away to another news feature from the National Geographic website about the completion of the census. The fourth link leads to a press release from Duke University, which features a link to a highly detailed and interactive map based on this census information. The fifth link leads to the census website where visitors can learn more about the findings, check out their video gallery, image gallery, and music video. Finally, the last link leads to a site developed by NOAA that features information about the National Marine Sanctuaries, including materials on how to visit these locations and some information on their management.

(via: The Internet Scout report)

Reading, Reading, Reading



I've been reading profusely lately (more than usual which for me is usually quite a bit). Articles for the course I'm taking toward a certificate in Environmental Practice, books for personal work, new cookbooks for recipes, webpages of music and different voices 'out there' in the blogsphere, lyrics in songs that speak to me.

All of the reading is an attempt to get to the heart of what matters to me, because understanding myself, my motivations, what cuts me to the core and what I can readily let go of, is ultimately going to be important if I want to change the world.

And I really want to change the world.

Before that can happen (from what I read) I need to stand up and be seen for what I believe in.

*pushing back the chair* ...






8 October 2010

Imagine



@SarahSlean Very timely. Cooking pumpkin in the oven but still hadn't decided what to do with it.

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or from a can)
1 tablespoon soy yogurt
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses

Directions:
Prep Time: 10 mins Total Time: 37 mins

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Grease muffin tins with vegetable shortening or spray on oil.
3 Sift together dry ingredients (flour through cloves).
4 In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (pumpkin through molasses).
5 Pour wet into dry and combine.
6 Fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way.
7 Bake for 27-30 minutes, till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Annual Butterfly Show - Carleton U Biology Dept

http://www2.carleton.ca/biology/annual-biology-butterfly-show/

The Ottawa Butterfly Show is an annual event that runs until Thanksgiving, October 11, 2010 in the greenhouses of Carleton University’s biology department.


4 October 2010

Serena Ryder - All for Love

All For Love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p2hzwBPrUE

Slipping through the hole where the moon don't shine
Spent too long trying to make you mine
Kept on running but I fell behind
Butterfly better fly away this time

Lost my place in the line again
Put it back on the shelf and let the dust settle in
I always thought we'd that be more than friends
I always thought that we were different

Ohhhhoohh
Ohhhhoohh

I'm all for love
But I can't see the light
Tell me how to do it
Tell me how I'm gonna get it right
I'm all for love
I'm gonna try it again
I don't wanna give up
Cause I'm all for love

Nobody knows where the hell I've been
Gonna make a fool of myself again
Keep on getting stuck up in the same old scene
Baby why'd you have to go and be so mean

Ohhhhoohh
Ohhhhoohh

I'm all for love
But I can't see the light
Tell me how to do it
Tell me how I'm gonna get it right
I'm all for love
And I'm trying again
I don't wanna give up
Cause I'm all for love

I don't believe in praying on your knees
Just let me leave I'm over the fantasy

I'm all for love
But I can't see the light
Tell me how to do it
Tell me how I'm gonna get it right
I'm all for love
And I'm trying again
I don't wanna give up
I don't wanna give in
But I can't see the light
Tell me how to do it
Tell me how I'm gonna get it right
I'm all for love
And I'm trying again
I don't wanna give up
Cause I'm all for love

30 September 2010

ahead by a century - th

First we'd climb a tree and maybe then we'd talk
Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal, this is our life
That's when the hornet stung me and I had a feverish dream
With revenge and doubt tonight we smoke them out

You are ahead by a century

Stare in the morning shroud and then the day began
I tilted your cloud, you tilted my hand
Rain falls in real time and rain fell through the night
No dress rehearsal, this is our life

That's when the hornet stung me and I had a serious dream
With revenge and doubt tonight, we smoked them out

You are ahead by a century
But this is our life and disappointing you getting me down

29 September 2010

Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism

http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2009/01/02/how-to-think-about-science-part-1---24-listen/#episode21

Christopher Norris and Mary Midgley


Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism, by Christopher Norris. Published by Routledge, 2000.
In his life of the 18th century writer Samuel Johnson, James Boswell relates a conversation with Johnson about the philosophy of their contemporary Bishop Berkeley. Berkeley's philosophy, as Johnson and Boswell understood it, held that all we really have of the world is our idea of it, and Boswell remarks to Johnson that this position, though false, is impossible to refute "I shall never forget," Boswell then goes on, "the alacrity with which Johnson answered. Striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, [he cried] - "I refute it thus."
In this episode of How To Think About Science, philosopher Christopher Norris, takes his stand with Dr. Johnson. He believes that the best philosophy of science is a robust realism
Christopher Norris talks to David Cayley about why he thinks realism makes for the best philosophy, and the best politics. Then later in the hour, British philosopher Mary Midgley, argues that science always sees the world through the lens of some orienting story.

26 September 2010

Crossroads (Don McLean)

Intro: G / Em / C / Am / D

Em Am
I've got nothing on my mind
D
Nothing to remember
G D/F# Em
Nothing to forget
Am D
I've got nothing to regret
G Am
But I'm all tied up on the inside
C D G
No-one knows quite what I've got
Em Am
And I know that on the outside
C D
What I used to be - I'm not
G C G
Anymore


G Am
You know I've heard about people like me
C D G
But I never made the connection
G Am
They walk one road to set them free
C D
And find they've gone the wrong direction
G Am
But there's no need for turning back
C D G
'cause all roads lead to where I stand
Em Am
And I believe I'll walk them all
C D G
No matter what I may have planned


Em Am
Can you remember who I was
D
Can you still feel it
G D/F# Em
Can you find my pain
C D
Can you heal it
G Am
And lay your hands upon me now
C D G
And cast this darkness from my soul
Em Am
You alone can light my way
C D
You alone can make me whole
G C G
Once again


G Am
We've walked both sides of ev'ry street
C D G
Through all kinds of windy weather
G Am
But that was never our defeat
C D
As long as we could walk together
G Am
So there's no need for turning back
C D G
'cause all roads lead to where we stand
Em Am
And I believe we'll walk them all
C D Em C G C G
No matter what we may have planned


There are two sets of chords for the verses:

Verse 1 & Verse 3 are identical
Verse 2 & Verse 4 are more or less the same

19 August 2010

Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff
Preparation Time: 12 mins. Cooking Time: 12 mins.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a need for a vegetarian alternative to the classic beef stroganoff. Brown mushrooms give a stronger flavour and portabellas give a meat-like texture.

Ingredients

8 oz whole fresh mixed Mushrooms (white, crimini, portabella or shiitake)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (1/2 tsp/2 mL dried)
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (1/8 tsp/0.5 mL dried) 2 mL
1/2 cup Each vegetable broth and sherry
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1 tsp Each cornstarch, Dijon mustard and tomato paste*
1 tbsp minced chives (optional)

Method

Quarter the white and crimini mushrooms; remove stems from shiitake mushrooms. Slice shiitake and portabella mushrooms. In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Sauté
mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary for about 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add vegetable broth and sherry; bring to boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile mix sour cream, cornstarch, mustard and tomato paste until smooth. Add to mushroom mixture, stirring constantly. Bring to boil stirring constantly and boil for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve over cooked noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Garnish with chives if desired.

Makes 2 main course servings or 4 side dish servings

*For convenience purchase tomato paste in a tube.


Recipe Adapted from Fleming Colleges' entry into the Make it with Mushrooms Student Chef Challenge Fall 2007. Recipe received second place.


Italian Style Stuffed Peppers
Preparation Time: 20 mins. Cooking Time: 18 mins.
Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

A wonderful vegetarian meal or side dish that can be microwaved if you prefer.

Budget Friendly: Under $2.50 per serving

Ingredients

2 large red, yellow or green peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Each diced celery and onion
1 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup Each grated Parmesan cheese and ketchup
1 tsp Each dried basil and oregano
1 cup grated mozzarella or crumbled feta, divided

Method

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out seeds. In large skillet heat oil over medium heat, sauté celery and onion for 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté another 3-4 minutes or until starting to brown; stir in garlic and remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ketchup, basil, oregano and half the mozzarella. Spoon mixture into peppers and place in shallow baking pan or casserole. Bake 15 –18 minutes in 400°F (200°C) oven or until peppers are tender; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Return to oven 1-2 minutes just to melt cheese.

Makes 4 servings

Tip: Chop celery, onion and mushrooms in food processor to save time.

Variation: Add ½ cup (125 mL) chopped green or black olives.

Microwave Method: Place stuffed peppers in shallow microwaveable casserole, cover and cook on high for 5-8 minutes or until softened and heated through (time varies depending on size of peppers and wattage of oven) top with cheese and microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes to melt cheese.

Weather or Climate? - Dianne Saxe

From: Mondaq.com

Canada: Weather or Climate?
by Dianne Saxe

It's hard to know whether individual weather events are just random fluctuations, or whether they are growing signs of climate change. What we need to look for are patterns- is the weather changing? And how do the changes that are actually happening compare to those predicted for climate change?

Three years ago, two federal government departments (Natural Resources Canada and Health Canada) published reports on the damage climate change was already doing to Canada, and what we should expect to follow. No one paid much attention, but the predictions just keep coming true, in Canada and around the world.

Time to read only one? Health Canada predicted that global warming would increase Canadians' exposure to diseases that are endemic in animals, including: bubonic plague. Plague? In Canada?!? The black death that killed one third of the population of medieval Europe? Last week, Parks Canada announced that a prairie dog in a national park had been found, dead of.... bubonic plague.1 They recommend that people take "precautions".

NRCan's report, From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007,2 predicted summer heatwaves that are more extreme and longer, leading to deaths, reduced crop growth and wildfires. This year looks as if it will be the hottest year in recorded history.3 Wildfires burned again in BC. The Yukon had 32,000 hectares of forest burned by early June.4 Quebec's May forest fires required people to evacuate their homes, and burned over 350 square miles (880 square kilometres) in a week.5

A recent study says that heat waves have already surpassed worst-case projections, but will become more intense and unpredictable.6 Toronto's sweltering summer pales against what is happening in other northern countries. As we write, everyone who can is fleeing Moscow because of fire and smoke7; Russia has had an estimated 15,000 deaths from heat.8 The heat is also predicted to reduce Russian agricultural and industrial output by $1.5 trillion.

Here are more of NRCan's 2007 predictions, compared to recent news reports (in italics):
Northern Canada will see decreases in permafrost, sea and lake ice and snow cover. Recent research confirms: the Devon Island ice cap, one of the largest and most important arctic ice masses, has been shrinking steadily since 1985.9 Arctic ice cover may be at its lowest level in several thousand years.10 There will be a shift in the types and number of species of plants and animals, with competition by species that move north, and introduction of new diseases. An epidemic of spruce bark beetle will likely lead to decimation of white spruce trees.

There will be more frequent and intense storms in Atlantic Canada. Sea levels will rise, increasing erosion of the coastline and flooding. Storms in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick brought power failure and flooding in February.11 Last year brought record wet weather.12

In Québec and Ontario, extreme weather, like heat waves, drought, intense rain, ice- and wind-storms, will be more frequent, stressing water, energy and transportation infrastructures. Much of southern Ontario and Quebec is facing dry to record dry conditions this year.13 Near-record-low precipitation has deprived hydroelectricity operators of the water levels needed to turn they turbines.14 Ontario had an astonishing 29 tornados in 2009.15

The Prairies will see a shift in fire and insect disturbances, and an increase in non-native species. Water will become more scarce; wildfires and severe floods will occur more often. Northern Prairies are exceptionally dry this year, while the south wallows in very wet conditions.16 In July, heavy rain triggered the most severe flooding ever seen in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.17 Calgary had $400 million in hail damage in July, one of Canada's most expensive storms ever.18

Last year, the Red River had record floods.

Some regions of British Columbia will have more water shortages, and more competition among uses for the water (e.g., for power, irrigation, municipalities, recreation). A melting glacier triggered an avalanche of mud near Pemberton this month, resulting in evacuation of 1500 residents. 19 20 Fires and pest infestations will affect forests. Last year, there was a 7-fold increase in BC forest fires.21 The largest known outbreak of mountain pine beetle has killed millions of trees, and is spreading rapidly.

And as to the floods in Pakistan? They are exactly the sort of extreme weather that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted.

Coincidence or pattern? I'm worried; are you?

Footnotes
1,
http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/prairie-dog
2. http://www.adaptation.rncan.gc.ca/assess/2007/pdf/full-complet_e.pdf
3. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/its-the-hottest-year-in-recorded-history/article1643338/
4. CBC news. Yukon mine braces for wildfire. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/06/02/yukon-nwt-ffire-conditions.html
5. Bloomberg. Quebec Forest Fires Send Smoke, Haze South to Boston (Update2). May 31 2010. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-31/quebec-forest-fires-send-smoke-haze-south-to-boston-update2-.html
6. Ganguly et al., Higher Trends But Larger Uncertainty And Geographic Variability In 21st Century Temperature And Heat Waves, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009. Fulltext at http://www.pnas.org/content/106/37/15555.full.pdf+html
7. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/smoke-from-forest-fires-choke-russian-capital/article1664389/
8. Bloomberg. Russia heat wave may kill 15,000, shave $15 billion of GDP. Sugust 10 2010. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2010-08-10/russia-may-lose-15-000-lives-15-billion-of-economic-output-in-heat-wave.html
9. Boon S et al. Forty-seven years of research on the Devon Island ice cap, Arctic Canada. Arctic 2010 March;63(1):13-29. See news report "Decades of research show massive Arctic ice cap is shrinking". EurekAlert Apr 12 2010. At http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/aion-dor041210.php
10. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/arctic-ice-cover-at-lowest-point-past-several-thousand-years.php
11. CBC news. Power outages, flooding still concern N.B., N.S. February 28 2010. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/02/28/nb-ns-power-outage-flood-red-cross-254.html
12. Environment Canada. Canada's Top Ten Weather Stories For 2009 http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=en&n=645a8f9c-1 target=blank
13. Drought Watch,
http://www.agr.gc.ca/pfra/drought/nlrl365dy_e.htm target=blank>
14. Globe and Mail, August 12, 2010. http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20100813.RBPOWERHYDROMCCARTHYATL/TPStory/?query=Companies
15. Environment Canada. Canada's Top Ten Weather Stories For 2009 http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=en&n=645a8f9c-1
16. http://www.agr.gc.ca/pfra/drought/nlrl365dy_e.htm
17. CBC news. Flood emergency declared in Yorkton, Sask. July 2 2010. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2010/07/02/sk-yorkton-flood-1007.html
18. http://www.ibc.ca/en/Media_Centre/News_Releases/2010/08-11-2010.asp
19. Times Colonist. 13 campers airlifted after melting glacier triggers avalanche http://www.timescolonist.com/news/airlifted+after+landslides+tourist+spot/3368909/story.html
20. Vancouver Sun. 40-million-cubic-metre Pemberton avalanche second only to Hope Slide. August 9 2010 http://www.vancouversun.com/news/million+cubic+metre+Pemberton+avalanche+second+only+Hope+Slide/3372960/story.html
21. Environment Canada. Canada's Top Ten Weather Stories For 2009 http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=en&n=645a8f9c-1
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Focus on the essentials

From: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/simple-productivity-10-ways-to-do-more-by-focusing-on-the-essentials.html

These days our lives are busier than ever. We work more than ever. We are more stressed and exhausted than ever before. And yet we get less done and are not as happy.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

The problem is that we are overloaded with information and tasks, and we try to get everything done instead of just the most essential things. Solution: focus on only the essential, eliminate the rest, and allow yourself to get into that beautiful state known as “flow”.

And although it can be hard to give up all the busy-ness that we’ve grown accustomed to, the change will have tremendous benefits on our sanity, our stress levels, our happiness, and yes, our productivity.

Here are 10 simple ways to be more productive with less effort:

Clear your head. It’s impossible to gain perspective, and to know what is truly essential, if we are in the middle of an information stream. Take an hour, or half a day if possible, to shut off the information flow, and to get a larger view of your life and your job. The time you take off will be well worth it. Tell everyone that you are unavailable, shut off all communications, shut yourself in somewhere private, and take some time to think about what is important. What do you want? Where are you going? What will it take to get there? Another good way to clear your head, which is necessary for focus, is to write down everything that you need to do, all your tasks and projects and ideas. Dump the contents of your mind on paper, and then stop thinking about them for a little while.

Focus on the essential tasks. Once you’ve gotten your head cleared, you need to figure out what tasks are most essential. Ask yourself this magic question: “What task can you do that will get you the most return on your time?” Figure out the project that will get you the most recognition, win you awards, or get you the most business. Something that will pay off big. Not something you’ll forget about in a week, but something that others will remember you by. This is an essential task. Make a list of these types of tasks — they’re your most important things to do this week.

Eliminate the rest. Now look at your overall list. What’s on there that’s not essential? Can you just drop them from your schedule? Or delegate them to someone else? If not, put them on a “waiting list”. Then, as you focus on your essential tasks, check back on this waiting list every now and then. Sometimes you’ll realize that the less essential tasks weren’t really necessary at all.
Do essential tasks first. If you’ve got a list of things to do today, and one or two of them are truly essential, do those items first thing in the morning. Don’t wait until later in the day, because they’ll get pushed back as other urgent stuff comes up. Get them out of the way, and your productivity will truly soar.

Eliminate distractions. You can put essential stuff on your list all year long, but if you are constantly interrupted by email notifications, IM, cell phones, your RSS reader, gadgets and widgets, social media, forums and the like, you’ll never be productive. Turn these things off, disconnect yourself from the Internet if possible, clear your desk of all papers, clear your walls and surrounding areas, and allow yourself to truly focus.

Use simple tools. Don’t fidget with a bunch of gadgets or the latest and coolest applications. Find a simple notebook for writing things down, a simple to-do list (no frills) and the simplest application possible for doing your work. Then forget about the tools and think only of the task at hand. If you’re too worried about the tools, you’re not actually doing anything.
Do one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is a waste of time. You can’t get things done with a million things going on at once, pulling for your attention. Focus on the essential task in front of you, to the exclusion of all else, and you are much more likely to get it completed, in less time, with less effort.

Find quiet. In addition to a quiet working environment, you need time every day that you can call your own, where you don’t have to do work. This could be through reading, taking a bath, walking in nature, going swimming at the beach, going jogging, meditating. Not reading your feeds. Get away from the information overload and find that peace that will allow you to truly focus when you do work, and to review your day in your mind, and to get the perspective to see what is essential.

Make the most of your work. It’s one thing to write something great, or to create something fantastic. But it’s entirely another thing to make that great thing explode, to get you attention, to earn the recognition you deserve — which will lead to more business or more opportunities. Once you’ve created the Next Great Thing, promote it, show it to others, find a way to have it carry you as far as it can take you. Don’t just create something and move on to the next thing. Use your energy and talents to their fullest extent.

Simplify some more. Once you’ve simplified down to the essential, and eliminated distractions, you should become productive. But distractions and the unnecessary have a way of creeping back in and accumulating. Every now and then, take a look at what you’re doing, at the information coming into your life, at how you spend your time and the tools you use. Then simplify some more.

Leo Babauta blogs regularly about achieving goals and becoming productive through daily habits on Zen Habits. Read his articles on 10 Ways to Reduce Your Work Week, Zen To Done (ZTD), the Top 50 Productivity Blogs, doubling your productivity, keeping your inbox empty, becoming an early riser, and the Top 20 Motivation Hacks.

26 July 2010

Georgia Nichols weekly horoscope Sun July 25, 2010

Libra
Of course, you're undergoing the same upheavals every other sign is. However, most likely the changes in your life are more internal and less evident. Obvious changes with partnerships have taken place in the last 18 months. (That's for sure.) But the kind of change you're feeling now is more underground and behind the scenes. That's because you're hatching plans! You're working hard -- almost secretly -- on something that will catapult you into a whole new world in the next year. ("Should I pack tropical?") Be careful that your involvement with your plans doesn't make you too prickly to live with because you're excited, overworked, and scrambled in too many directions. (Ooops.)

Sums it up nicely!

Cone flowers

Posted by Picasa

8 July 2010

Recycled "islands" in the Pacific?

GLOBE-Net, July 7, 2010

It is an intriguing idea - bordering on the audacious; but it might just work and it might help solve a growing environmental disaster in the Pacific Ocean.
Recycled Island is a research project launched by Rotterdam-based WHIM architecture designed to assess the feasibility of creating a habitable floating island from plastic wastes in the Pacific Ocean.

The North Pacific Gyre, located in an area North-East of Hawaii, has the largest concentration of plastic so far identified, roughly the size of France and Spain together.
It is recognized that harvesting the plastic from the Ocean would be time consuming and could take years.

Rather than trying to scoop up massive amounts of plastic and other debris and bringing it ashore for disposal or reprocessing, the Recycled Island idea is to reprocess it on site and to create an island with the area of about 10,000 square kilometers - about the size of the island of Hawaii itself. That way, long and costly transportation problems could be avoided.
The proposal has three components: cleaning the ocean of gigantic amounts of plastic waste; creating the new island; and constructing a sustainable habitat on that island.

Read more

27 June 2010

Wilco - You Are My Face



I remember my mother's
Sister's husband's brother
Working in the goldmine full-time
Filling in for sunshine
Filing into tight lines
Of ordinary beehives
The door screams I hate you
Hate you hanging around my blue jeans
Why is there no breeze
No currency of leaves
No current through the water wire
No feelings I can see
I trust no emotion
I believe in locomotion
But I've turned to rust as we've discussed
Though I must have let you down too many times
In the dirt and the dust

I have no idea how this happens
All of my maps have been overthrown
Happenstance has changed my plans
So many times my heart has been outgrown
Now everybody's feeling all alone
Can't tell you who I am
When everybody's feeling all alone
Can't tell you who I am
I am looking forward
Toward the shadows tracing bones
Our faces stitched and sewing
Our houses hemmed into homes
Trying to be thankful
Our stories fit into phones
And our voices lift so easily
A gift given accidentally
When we're not sure
We're not alone

Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, June 27, 2010 (Georgia Nicols)

All Signs

This week is pretty mild. Let's look at Saturn's shift away from Virgo next month (where it's been since Sept. 2007) as it moves into Libra where it will stay until Oct. 2012. (It briefly buzzed into Libra for four months early this year.) But this time is the real deal! The last time Saturn moved through Libra was the Fall of 1980 until the summer of 1983. Those of you who are old enough to look back to that time in your life will see a similar cycle taking place now. Even if you can't relate to that time frame, the shift of Saturn into Libra will mean a shift in the lives of everyone. This could mean a relationship that flattens into divorce, a new home with a big flat screen TV, or a tummy tuck -- the flat that flatters.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This year is a turning point for most Aries. (However, for some, this dramatic turning point will take place next year because we're talking about a two-year window.) Essentially, your shift in the world will swing from your personal life, and personal achievements and personal world into a 15 year phase and that is more focused on your external world. Your focus on external success, especially career success, or success with your reputation is seriously starting to grow! This is why many partnerships are in trouble right now (or soon will be). You are taking your powah! You've got big plans for yourself, and you don't intend to go back being who you were for the last seven years. No way, Jose.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
As an Earth Sign, you are essentially a hard-working sign, however, you need to like what you're doing to be motivated. But once that's the case -- you dive in with both feet. Something along those lines will happen now for many of you because this year (or next), you're entering a two-year window where you're going to bust your buns! This month, fiery Mars is zapping the part of your chart related to romance, love affairs, sports, vacations, parties, the arts, and all the fun stuff. So yes, you're having a blast! Nevertheless, what looms ahead is serious work time where you are going to prove to the world what you can achieve!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Increased activity and chaos at home, as well as tension with family members is unavoidable. Fortunately, this will all blow over in about a month. In the bigger picture, you are definitely entering a phase of your life where children become an increased responsibility to you, in terms of cost, obligations, and commitment. While this is taking place, some of you are looking into the mirror and privately wondering, "What do I really want to be when I grow up?" This is pretty serious because it raises the specter of growing up! (Don't worry - Geminis are childlike forever.) Fortunately, people in power will help you now. Milk this for all it's worth!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a significant time because in the next few years, you can make some serious decisions about your home scene. For starters, you have to figure out where you're going to live! Will it be the city? The country? Or both? Can you afford to buy for the first time (something you really want to do it). Or will you sell and buy again? Or will you renovate, do major repairs, and fix up where you currently live? These are your choices. In addition, in the same way that changes will secure your physical home, the dynamics of your family might undergo changes. Parents could become a responsibility. Oh well, they took care of you when you were young, now it's your turn to repay the kindness.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
In the next two years, all Leos will undergo a time of change and flux. Many of you will change jobs, others will change residences, some of you will do both. Older Leos can think back to the early 80s. Essentially, something will occur that changes your daily environment. In other words, where you work or where you live will "look different" every day. For most, this is because you actually are in a different residence or job. But it's also possible to have this "different" experience and not change jobs or residences. For example, someone might move in to where you live - that's different! ("Has someone been using my razor?")

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
It's been a whole new ballgame for you in the last few years. Actually, your life started to unravel in a way around 2005. Now that you're in a new sandbox, you're getting more serious about how you can earn money. You're humming, "Get a haircut, and get a real job." In fact, what you're seeking is even deeper (although you do want the cash). You want to know what you really need in life, and what is truly worth going after. You don't want to have regrets in your old age. You want to make the right decision now, which is why you have to figure out what really matters in life -- at least, to you. "Sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll!" (I doubt it.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Naturally, Saturn entering your sign where it will stay for the next several years is going to impact your life. No question. Regardless of what changes you undergo right now, one thing is practically a guarantee -- you will be in such a new situation, especially on a daily basis, that your daily wardrobe will change. This could be because you move to a different climate, or you change jobs, or you now work from or relax at home. Quite likely, new people will enter your life, or people will view you differently, or all of the above. It's a whole new ballgame! Partnerships are supportive now. Even the general public loves you.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Many of you are beginning to dismantle much of what you created since 1999. You're not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You're just going to get rid of, and say goodbye to whatever is no longer relevant in your life. If you don't need it anymore -- it's history! This applies to possessions, places, jobs, and even people. But first, a little aperitif. For months ahead, you will be keen to vacation, party, enjoy sports, and have fun with playful activities with children. In addition, romance looks more promising than it's been in over a decade! Sheesh! Don't leave home without a red rose clenched in your teeth.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This continues to be a time of harvest. Some of you felt this last year, some will feel it this year, and possibly even later. What this means is your chickens are coming home to roost. Those chickens that you fed well and sent to college, are paying off! In this respect, you are pleased and proud with the results. You might enjoy a promotion, a new job, a wedding, or the achievement of some cherished dream. However, some chickens went to Stiletto High and dropped out. You'll have to deal with these as well. It's not a perfect world. Fortunately, vacations, romance, sports, and the arts are styling!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You are at the beginning of a wonderful successful time! It's as if this huge 15 foot high door is opening a crack into a new world beyond. For some, this door won't be entirely open for about two years. For others, it will be open all the way in one year. But you are either preparing for this moment, or you are right at the doorway. Yeah, yeah, I've been talking about you preparing for this moment since 2003. Patience! This might be the time for further schooling, further experience, further training, or getting input from people from different backgrounds -- anything that helps you to polish your talents so you can exploit this time of opportunity. Quite literally, your future awaits!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Many of you are dealing with loose ends about shared property, insurance matters, inheritances, wills, and anything jointly owned. You are still recovering from the effects of losing financial and practical support in the last few years, most likely the support of a partner. (In any event it was support that made a difference!) You know by now your adjustment to this loss has made you stronger and more resourceful. A certain change is taking place now that will boost your optimism, as well as your income. Well, the two go hand in hand. It's easy to smile when there's cash in your jeans!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Difficulties with partners and close friends continue to be a challenge. Please take note: Whatever difficulties with partners you have recently experienced could lead to a loss of support -- physical, financial, practical and emotional. Something is going to force you to get along on less than you had a year or two ago. But you will survive! Especially, since lucky, moneybags Jupiter is about to enter your own House of Earnings! Ka-ching! This is your best chance to boost your income and earning power since 1999-2001. Brilliant, celestial timing! The tooth fairy is smiling on Pisces!

26 June 2010

Dido - Life for Rent


Life For Rent

I haven't really ever found a place that I call home

I never stick around quite long enough to make it

I apologize that once again I'm not in love

But it's not as if I mind that your heart ain't exactly breaking

It's just a thought, only a thought

But if my life is for rent and I don't learn to buy

Well I deserve nothing more than I get

Cos nothing I have is truly mine

I've always thought that I would love to live by the sea

To travel the world alone and live my life more simply

I have no idea what's happened to that dream

Cos there's really nothing left here to stop me

It's just a thought, only a thought

But if my life is for rent and I don't learn to buy

Well I deserve nothing more than I get

Cos nothing I have is truly mine

While my heart is a shield and I won't let it down

While I am so afraid to fail so I won't even try

Well how can I say I'm alive

If my life is for rent...

29 April 2010

Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2cup granulated sugar
1/2cup packed brown sugar
1/2cup peanut butter
1/4cup shortening
1/4cup butter or margarine, softened
1egg
1 1/4cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon baking powder
1/4teaspoon salt







Print these coupons...
















About Concordance™





1.Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
2.Heat oven to 375ºF.
3.Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.
4.Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

25 April 2010

Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, April 25, 2010

All Signs:

While volcanic ash created the biggest upset in aviation history, two celestial events coincided: The first is the current Mercury retrograde. Mercury moves forward at 2° per day; but from April 14- 21, Mercury was frozen at the same degree putting the entire planet on hold. (Gulp.) Meanwhile, every 45 years, Uranus (the ruler of aviation) opposes Saturn (regulations and the government). This opposition occurs five times between 2008-10. The first was Nov. 4, 2008, when the US election put President Obama in the White House. (Revolutionary!) The last two oppositions occur April 26 and July 26 this year. Big upsets are happening! The upside is whatever upsets us will force us to explore new ground, which widens our vision and experience of the world. (This just shows you're as young as your jeans.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Worries about cash flow, possessions, bills, taxes, and shared property could cause anxiety this week because of this Full Moon. However, this tension will disappear by the weekend. (This is nothing you can't handle.) However, the Saturn/Uranus opposition is a biggie. This will bring changes to your job, your health, plus partnerships and close friendships. Basically, this opposition is like something that's overdue. It's ready to burst or breakout. Something must be resolved, which means you have to move on. It might feel scary because you're moving into the unknown, but hey - security is just an illusion. You're never really secure anywhere! Nobody is. (I hate that part.) C'est la vie.

24 April 2010

"It Ain't Me, Babe"[written by Johnny Cash] Jesse Cook w Melissa McClelland



Go away from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'm not the one you need
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who's never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door

[CHORUS:]
But it ain't me babe
No, no, no, it ain't me babe
It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe

Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'll only let you down
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who'll promise never to part
Someone to close her eyes to you
Someone to close her heart
Someone to die for you and more

[REPEAT CHORUS]

You say you're lookin' for someone
To pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
And to come each time you call
And will love you for your life
And nothin' more

[REPEAT CHORUS]

22 April 2010

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04/more_from_eyjafjallajokull.html

13 April 2010

Saving Grace - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUv0DFEPUuw

I’m passing sleeping cities
Fading by degrees
Not believing all I see to be so

I’m flyin’ over backyards
Country homes and ranches
Watching life between the branches below

And it’s hard to say
Who you are these days
But you run on anyway
Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace

I’m moving on alone over ground that no one owns
Past statues that atone for my sins
There’s a guard on every door
And a drink on every floor
Overflowing with a thousand amens

And it’s hard to say
Who you are these days
But you run on anyway
Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace
Don’t you baby?

You’re rolling up the carpet
Of your father’s two-room mansion
No headroom for expansion no more
And there’s a corner of the floor
They’re telling you is yours
You’re confident but not really sure

And it’s hard to say
Who you are these days
But you run on anyway
Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace

Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
to find that saving grace

Don't you baby?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.ultimate-guitar.com/print.php?what=tab&id=419519

11 March 2010

27 February 2010

BBC: Plastic rubbish blights North Atlantic

Petri dish (SEA)

Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates.

The region is said to compare with the well-documented "great Pacific garbage patch".

Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been "largely ignored" in the Atlantic.

She announced the findings of a two-decade-long study at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon, US.

The work is the conclusion of the longest and most extensive record of plastic marine debris in any ocean basin.

Scientists and students from the SEA collected plastic and marine debris in fine mesh nets that were towed behind a research vessel.

The nets dragged along were half-in and half-out of the water, picking up debris and small marine organisms from the sea surface.

The researchers carried out 6,100 tows in areas of the Caribbean and the North Atlantic - off the coast of the US. More than half of these expeditions revealed floating pieces of plastic on the water surface.

Read more

21 January 2010

Urge for Going

by Joni Mitchell

I awoke today and found
the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky
then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
and all the trees are shivering in a naked row

I get the urge for going
But I never seem to go
I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I had me a man in summertime
He had summer-colored skin
And not another girl in town
My darling's heart could win
But when the leaves fell trembling down
Bully winds came around
Pushed them face down in the snow

He got the urge for going
And I had to let him go
He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown
Summertime was falling down and winter was closing in

Now the warriors of winter
They gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying
And all that lives is gettin' out
See the geese in chevron flight
Flapping and racing on before the snow

They got the urge for going
And they got the wings so they can go
They get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I'll ply the fire with kindling now
I'll pull the blankets up to my chin
I'll lock the vagrant winter out and
I'll fold my wandering in
I'd like to call back summertime
Have her stay for just another month or so

But she's got the urge for going
So I guess she'll have to go
She gets the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
All her empire's falling down
And winter's closing in.
And I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
And summertime is falling down.

© 1966; Siquomb Publishing Company

13 January 2010

I know it's January and all ..

But I'm craving the hell outta these:

Brown-sugar fudge (sucre à la crème) (just reading that makes me drool)

Mix together (hand mixer):
¾ cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
¾ cups Carnation milk

Place in microwave-safe container (no lid) at high and “cook” for 3 min 20 sec.
Stir (with a spoon only).
Place in microwave for 3 min. 20 seconds.
Stir.
Place in microwave for a third time for 3 min. 20 seconds, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add:

1 cup of icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together (hand mixer). Fold into “platter” (preferably glass container).


Let sit in the fridge for a little bit --- usually hardens pretty quickly. (and then is oh so very awesome)