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ARCHIVES:  June 24-30, 2005

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June 30, 2005 - Thursday

Gnod.net

Is it the last day of June, already? Why does time fly so fast? Why does it seem to speed up as we get older?

Here's a cute website that I saw on Leo's Canadian Call for Help. (He's released avi files of the TV show he's doing up in Canada - yay!) They talked about Gnod.net. Type in names of authors, movies or books and it will suggest others that you might like. Amazon does this already, but this site is nice and easy to understand. I even took note of the suggestions it made that I was not already familiar with. (Is there a way, I can get more time to do all of these things?)

 

 

June 29, 2005 - Wednesday

This, That and The Other

I like what Kelly Ripa said on TV earlier today, "Why is it that February seems to last forever, but June is gone in a flash?"

I read an article in last night's Huntsville Times about the BTK killer as he described how he murdered people. I truly wish I hadn't read those details. It was the stuff of nightmares and it couldn't be dismissed as fiction.

There are a lot of blogs from soldiers in Iraq. Find out what day-to-day life for a soldier can be. Warning -- this can be very depressing. What should we do as a country? Yes, I am tired of the war taking so long, of our people, indeed, of all people, dying. Should we pull out before the new Iraqi government is ready? Will our work be for nothing if we do? I think we need to finish what was started, but I cringe at the number of deaths going on even though, with Saddam's genocide horrors, probably even more people would have died in the long run than already have. I am torn in both directions.

Leo Laporte made a recommendation that I am doing, but that I think everyone who spends much time in e-mail should do. He suggested buying a domain name. GoDaddy.com offers them for around $9 a year or so. You can then have the company direct e-mail to any account in the name of that domain. In other words, I have an e-mail address of terry@bamablog.com (my domain). I can have e-mail directed to any existing account such as AOL or Comcast.net or just anything. If I change Internet providers, I just log into my domain control panel and have the mail changed to the address from the new provider. What this means is that I can keep my e-mail address forever, never locked into using any one provider. This is the best way to do it.

I have peculiar computer problem. When I have iTunes running and my iPod hooked up to my firewire card, the computer sometimes locks up and I have to do a complete reboot. This was never a problem with my old motherboard, etc. My husband read that some systems have a conflict with certain firewire cards. I guess I need a new card. Oh well, they are inexpensive enough.

Speaking of firewire, I walked into Radio Shack yesterday and asked for a firewire cable. They said that they were all out of them and tried unsuccessfully to locate some in other stores. Fortunately, I knew that the cable was officially known as an IEEE 1394 and I found a whole row of them in the store. I showed one to the clerk and said, "This is a firewire cable." I felt so superior! I love being a geek. (P.S. If you ever have a choice between firewire and USB, go with firewire. At least my experience, in general, is that I like firewire better - faster, less conflicts with other USB devices, etc. In fact, I've had more problems with USB.)

 

 

June 28, 2005 - Tuesday

Supreme Court Decisions

I've been unhappy with several recent Supreme Court decisions. I just can't comprehend that the law allows a private company to take away someone's land. Can't we truly own land anymore? I could rant further, but the point is - some justices have lost touch with reality. I wish we had a few younger judges there. Maybe we will get a younger one when Renquist finally leaves. It's a new day and age. We need judges who understand it better - who don't let big business decide the laws for us.

 

 

June 27, 2005 - Monday

Key Logger Spyware

After getting such high reviews in PC Magazine and seeing my husband use it, I decided to try out Spyware Doctor. (There's a free version that will not actually delete the offensive files, but it shows where they are located so you could easily delete them yourself.)

It looks like a great program. It found files the others had missed including a key logger. This is a program that records all the key presses I make and secretly sends them off to an evil person somewhere. Especially be concerned for typing in passwords to your bank account, etc. If this happens to you, be sure to change your passwords (which I did).

But I am extra grateful that many passwords are embedded in my browser -- so I was not typing much of a private nature and I run a checker regularly. The spyware wasn't on my system for long.

 

 

June 26, 2005 - Sunday

Pumpkin Bread Movies

My daughter asked me to make pumpkin bread and I enthusiastically agreed. I also made a movie of making it (Pumpkin Bread: The Movie). I am having fun learning how to make a decent, interesting movie. It's more work than taking still shots due to having to watch and rewatch in order to edit. A tripod is often required in a movie. And I use a program to arrange the music, scene changes, etc. -- a lot of work for one photo blog entry.

Editing is hard. I have to use willpower to chop off much of the movie (the movie upload limit on TextAmerica.com, where my photo blog is located, is 25 mg each -- pretty generous in a way). I love having access to GarageBand.com for most of the music.

In uploading an occasional movie or two, I prefer to keep them short. That way, more people will take the time to watch. Even with relatives, few of us WANT to watch an hour-long recital, but we all love a 30- or 60-second excerpt, especially one that is online and easy to find.

The recipe I used was from AllRecipes.com. I tried their calculator to change this recipe down to making two loaves instead of three. It worked well. Here's the original 3-loaf recipe.
 

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 & 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
4 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed. Optional - add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

 

I have an ongoing pet peeve with the canned pumpkin industry - they pack a 15 oz. can when most recipes call for 16 oz. (two cups). This is a despicable financial ploy. I'd rather pay more for the extra ounce and have a can that is exactly 2 cups (16 oz.).

 

 

June 25, 2005 - Saturday

Bewitched

We just saw Bewitched, the new movie that started this weekend. Critics did not like it, saying it was overacted, etc., but I find critics often do not like comedies while I am not so picky about them.

Did we like it? Yes. My husband said he liked it even though I caught him looking at his watch during slow moments. I don't think it will be a blockbuster hit but it is definitely not a bomb, either.

It was fun to see Shirley McClaine, Michael Caine, and the other stars here. Will Ferrell fans should love this -- he does it all. Nicole Kidman was just beautiful and fit perfectly in this role. We enjoyed it -- in a mild sort of way.

 

 

June 24, 2005 - Friday

Chiles Rellenos

My husband grew a special kind of green pepper this year. I don't know what type they are (but we have made a lot of jokes over the shape of them). The skin is thin and they made perfect rellenos. Here's a simple, easy relleno recipe that my husband discovered, which worked well for us.

Ours were mild peppers (no heat at all) that did not need skinning, first, and they had very little seeds inside - so easy to deal with. We halved the recipe and only needed two of the large peppers. It was delicious.

 

Chiles Rellenos

  • 4 cans whole green chiles (4 oz each) drained

  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend of cheeses

  • 6 eggs, beaten

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 teasp. salt

  • 1/4 teasp. pepper

Stuff chiles or peppers with cheese. Arrange in a lightly greased 12x8x2" baking dish. Milk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over chiles. Sprinkle additional cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.