ARCHIVES:  January 16-23, 2006

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January 23, 2006 - Monday

Sparkling in Photoshop

I found a wonderful filter for Photoshop that makes it easier to put animated sparkles on any picture. This is so fun that I played around with it much of the day. Thanks to  VM Natural for the free filter. Here's some of what I made. These are profile pictures being used in a virtual chat world I like to visit. (These are actual background scenes in that chat world.)





January 22, 2006 - Sunday

Top 100 Cities Lists

This site lists everything such as the top 100 biggest cities or the ones with the oldest residents or well, let me repost the links below. (From




January 21, 2006 - Saturday

Fascinating Pictures Taken at "Just the Right Moment"

Wow -- at the exact moment -- using high speed photography make these photos very interesting. Here's one of them. Click on it to see more -- and larger versions.




January 20, 2006 - Friday

It's a Boy .... Maybe

My daughter had her first sonogram today and it is definitely a boy. The tech circled the right body part (in plain sight) so there would be no question. I made a sign for it (any excuse to delve into Photoshop). This will be the first great grandson for the other side of the family too -- Jonathan's grandparents have 3 granddaughters. Much fun!




January 19, 2006 - Thursday

Soup & Daffodils

For lunch today, I got out a can of chicken broth and a bag of noodles. It is one of those cold-weather days when a simple lunch sounds good - noodles boiled in chicken broth and any spare vegetables thrown in or just a sprinkle of salt, if nothing else.


A few of our daffodils are shooting up already. I hope we don't get destructive cold spells from now on. We have several varieties planted. Hopefully, this is a hardy one.



January 18, 2006 - Wednesday

Free Fonts & Windows Laughs

I love fonts! Here's a list of tons of free fonts -- I could easily spend a day here.

And for a good laugh -- what Windows should use for error messages - how they should really read.



January 17, 2006 - Tuesday

The Wheels of Life

This has been going around the Internet. I think I am in the stage just before the RV. Thanks to Dad for sending this one along.




January 16, 2006 - Monday

Toasted Pecan Toffee

Bren's delicious bookmarks almost never has recipes, but it had one this time, and it looks well worth noting - from 101 Cookbooks.


Toasted Pecan Toffee

You need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

1 cup butter, cut into chunks
1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 cups well-chopped pecans, toasted (divided)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) chocolate, cut into chunks - milk, semi, or bittersweet (your choice)

Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.


In a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan over medium/med-low heat add the butter. Wait a minute or two until the butter really starts to soften and melt. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook, stirring regularly until the mixture is bubbling (lava-style) and the candy thermometer hits 300. Remove from the heat and stir in one cup of the pecans.


Pour the hot toffee out onto the prepared baking sheet. Depending on hot thick you like your toffee, spread it out into a round 10-12-inches wide. Set it aside to cool.


While the toffee is cooling go ahead and melt half the chocolate - Heather uses a microwave in 20-second bursts or you can use a double boiler. Be sure the toffee has set up a bit before you spread the melted chocolate over the top. Immediately sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the remaining pecans.


Wait 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has firmed up. Carefully flip the toffee over. Melt the remaining chocolate and spread on the second side - sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans. Let cool.


I've seen people break brittle or toffee into big shards by smacking the baking pan on the counter. If this doesn't work for you, break the toffee into pieces by (carefully) using a knife or ice pick to break of pieces. Makes a big plate of toffee.