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ARCHIVES: May 17-24, 2003
May 24, 2003 - Saturday
With my camera in hand, I took more photos of the greenway early today. This was another beautiful morning. Before the sun came out, it was misty. Unfortunately, when someone comes here with a camera, all wildlife goes into hiding (or seems to, but I got a rabbit, at least). I could not find the geese families -- they were further downriver.
Click on any image to enlarge. (The pictures on this site are reduced in size and quality for faster viewing. I would be glad to send a copy of the full-sized and crisper picture to anyone who e-mails me. Most images are over 5 megapixels.)
The flood pictures shown here earlier did not have as much meaning if you did not know how the creek looked before, so I did a comparision shot. The circled area is the same branch in each picture. This nice little clear creek can turn fierce.
May 23, 2003 - Friday
This morning was beautiful. The temperature was perfect for walking
(high 50's), everything is green and lush from the rain.
I saw several new people out on the greenway. This perfect weather attracts more folks. Many rabbits were out today, as well. Two pairs of geese were swimming with their babies. The birds were chirping loudly. One red wing blackbird scolded me for getting close to his tree. These blackbirds are enjoyable to watch -- such bossy little birds -- they think they own the creek. I love the striking contrast of red and black on their wings.
The largest birds out here are the great blue herons, the hawks and Canadian Geese. G. told me that he catches and eats a goose now and then. He explained that he has a good way to pluck them using a sack. (Hehehe - I love Alabama.)
I've seen some adults out fishing. One little guy used to come every day to fish over the bridges. Once I saw another guy throw a net into the water and take in a generous haul very quickly. That's one way to catch fish with less effort!
A group of us came across each other walking on the greenway. One was wearing Auburn colors and another was wearing Alabama colors. Inevitable joking followed. I told them about when my daughter was in kindergarten here in Huntsville. She came home from school one day and asked me, "Auburn or Alabama?" She said that tomorrow was school spirit day (or something like that) and she had to pick which side she was going to be on so they could do a cheer. Ah yes, the football religion in Alabama is taught at an early age.
Okay, which side did we pick, you may ask. I picked Alabama since my sister's exboyfriend went there -- not much of a connection, but it was the closest I could find to either college.
When Auburn has a football game, our neighbors hang out a flag and party all night. Well, they party all night for any reason they can find. One time, we had a taxi driver banging on our door in the early morning demanding his fair. His rider had gotten out at our house and jumped our fence. I was able to convince the taxi driver that it was nobody from my home, but it had to be one of the neighbors. We got to be the lucky scapegoats. Oh well, that was a long time ago.
May 22, 2003 - Thursday
Got this from Google News. Someone can carry a camera on themselves every waking moment (and maybe sleeping, too). It will take continuous pictures. Then the person can select which ones to keep, thus marking the highlights of their day. What next?!
Many inventive names exist out here in the blogosphere. (<--I can't believe that's really a word, but it got 55,500 hits on Google so somebody must be using it.)
I received one of three Honorable Mentions for a photo I submitted to the Huntsville Botanical Garden photo contest (My submissions--> Submitted Photos). They said they had received 200 entries.
Here's my Honorable Mention photo--> Snapdragons. Yay! Thanks to A.L. and C.L. for talking me into entering and to everyone who helped pick the best photos. I wouldn't have done it without you. When I got in touch with my husband, I was so choked up that I could not talk. He quickly brought up my blog and read it here without my having to say a word. Intuitive man, he is.
That's what my husband called it - a "creative" breakfast. It might have been a kind way of saying "yuck." I made an omelet for myself (he just ate grits and fried eggs today) by first frying chopped snow peas, mushrooms, spinach and a handful of frozen shrimp in Pam. Then I made a 2-egg omelet using that for the filling along with a couple slices of no-fat cheese. Truthfully? It was pretty good.
From a newspaper: "Ranked according to popularity by the Association of Dressings and Sauces are: ranch, Italian, French, thousand island, caesar, blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil vinaigrette, red wine vinaigrette, honey dijon, and creamy Italian." (There's an ASSOCIATION for dressings and sauces?!!)
Ranch is okay. Creamy Italian and Caesar are good. Honey dijon is the best (if it is made right - thick and very creamy, not runny). The best served salad in Huntsville? Red Lobster's Shrimp & Lobster Caesar! Everything about it is perfect - dressing, croutons and hot seafood. The best salad bar in Huntsville? Papa Lovetti's. Okay, their hot food is not that great, and the desserts stink, but their selection of salad toppings and cheeses outdo everyone else's serve-yourself bars. Go there for a cold, tossed salad - nothing else.
May 21, 2003 - Wednesday
Got this from Grouchy Old Cripple and have been laughing ever since. Enter text or give it a web page url, then it will redisplay the whole page in a dialect of choice - Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef, Moron, Pig Latin or Hacker. Redneck is the best one.
My nephew is working as a church missionary in California before he comes back to finish college. He sent some pictures home to my sister. The last photo he said was "just to finish the roll" so he and his roommate made goofy faces. I was inspired and made several parodies. Here's a couple of them. He's the taller one. His mom keeps a website going about his work at Missionary World.
The first photo is my favorite because the shading matched the lighting better. Note: These photos were optimized for online viewing. They may not print out that well. If you want a copy suitable for printing, I'd be glad to send one. Let me know.
Click on any image to enlarge.
If you like the photos above and have patience for a large file to come up, here's the whole 4-page saga (in PDF format):
All the Photos - Missionary Adventures in California.
According to the Huntsville Times, the amount of rain in Alabama has exceeded all known records for May. Why am I not surprised? The record was just over 11 inches. It has rained 15 inches so far and it's raining right now.
C.B. called yesterday. We talked about Poke Salat. He claims the word is spelled "Salit." Looking for a definitive answer, I went to
Google Fight (An amusing site. Look at their Hall of Fame).
"Poke Salit" got 33 hits and "Poke Salat" got 264 hits. Then I tried "Poke Salad." Amazingly, it got 1,090 hits! If you spell something incorrectly long enough, does it become correct? One site said "salat" was just German for "salad," anyway. Immigrants to the Ozarks called it salat. Recipes for this are not salad recipes, though.
May 20, 2003 - Tuesday
R.T. cycled by us on the greenway this morning and held up a bag of pokeweed leaves. The time for picking is right now. I was talking to A. L. and she said that she had no interest in trying the toxic stuff. I agreed, but secretly, I do want to know what is so great about it. I do not think much of boiled spinach or turnip greens, but what does poke salat taste like? It's one of those things you want to try at least once.
It's my birthday. Today is dedicated to chocolate, specifically Nestle's Toasted Coconut Treasures.
I found one nice change with this plus version. When I select "report spam," everything is done with one click - no followup messages to click on or further action required. It's much easier than in the older version 8.
Most of the time, I don't bother to report spam. It's a useless "feel-good" action. Spammers change e-mail addresses immediately after sending out the messages. Blocking their name or replying is meaningless. If it is mail you received some time ago, a million others have already reported it.
The only advantage is if you receive the mail immediately. I am on some spammer lists twice. In several cases, I get the same spam repeatedly. By blocking it immediately after getting it, I can prevent the second note from arriving - a small consolation. It probably helps to report it quickly - being one of the first ones to get it so AOL can act on it (if they do - I don't know how fast they work). If it is an hour or more older, it's not worth the trouble, though.
Some people make a crusade out of stopping spam. I am glad they do. Spammers can not be punished enough. As for me, it only takes 60 seconds a day to delete the obvious spam in the mailbox. It's not worth any more time out of my life.
May 19, 2003 - Monday
I have version 8 of AOL. While working on another computer (waiting for my computer fan to be replaced), I downloaded and installed AOL 8 plus. I was using version 8 before, but it has been changed. It had a different look - a different opening screen and different background than my older version 8. The welcome screen is bigger. The background has a cloud design (reminds me of the default screen for Windows XP). Overall, it looks prettier.
What do I care? I use a 3rd party program (PowerTools) to close all the unwanted AOL windows and to provide my own background, although if it makes the system run better in other ways, it's worth a try.
That old noisy fan that worried me before died. I found out what an overheated logic chip will do. My husband said that it could melt down my motherboard and end computing as I know it. I tried to avoid that by running the computer for just a few minutes at a time (enough to copy files and carry them off to another computer so I could continue working). I had about 5 minutes before things started going funny. The computer would stop responding to some mouse clicks. I could not bring up a directory. Everything else slowed down. At least, I could shut down normally.
My husband said I had an unusual type of fan that he might not be able to replace. I had visions of getting a new motherboard - not a bad thing since I didn't get my new hard drive. Our first stop was Computer Renaissance. Ta -da! They had a used fan for $5 - just what I needed. I was happy (I think). I am glad my husband can take apart and assemble a computer with his eyes closed. He knows everything. He's a treasure.
My husband's bountiful harvest of sugar snap peas are in. He picked a large bag of them. We can freeze some, but my husband has a thing about eating food as fresh as possible so we don't freeze a lot of them (there's not much room in our freezer, anyway).
What do you do with a lot of fresh, sweet pea pods? Eat them and give them away. I took several bags of them out on the greenway this morning and gave away bags to everyone who looked like they would be willing to use them. I ran out very quickly. They are very sweet and tender; the whole pod can be eaten raw. I've had them in salads or cooked in the microwave for 3 minutes.
Thanks to whoever took (probably a snow shovel) and shoveled the smelly junk off the greenway near the Bailey Cove/Green Cove bridge. I do not think the city did it -- they would have carried the junk away if they would do anything at all, but some kind soul came out and cleared the stinky wet flood garbage off the path, at least. Thank-you! There are many good folks walking out here every day. After a rainstorm, several people will kick the fallen branches out of the way so the cyclists do not have problems with them.
May 18, 2003 - Sunday
Walking along the greenway I found an acquaintance carrying a large handful of big green leaves. Her friend said they were going to make Poke Salat. (It's really called Poke Salat, but a lot of folks mistakenly think the word is "salad.") They pointed out large pokeweed plants growing along the trail. It's the most well-known and widely used wild vegetable, says the Alabama Cooperative Extension.
I knew that was a tradition down here, but I could not remember ever having it (hey, my parents are from Idaho although I grew up here). Here's how to cook it. And another recipe from "The Grits Kitchen."
And here is what the Alabama Cooperative Extension says about it with photo and picture. H-m-m-m, after reading that article, I am not sure I want to try it. Fans will say to pick the leaves only when they are young and to cook them long enough and it should be okay -- here's a different view: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/copubs/boards/wnc_hort/messages/56.html.
May 17, 2003 - Saturday
When I started this blog, I had
closely examined only two blogs. Now, I find all these creative blog titles. I
wonder if my blog name is too tame.
Oh, what the heck. It looks like anything goes. Maybe there is no such thing as too corny out here.
My daughter's boyfriend called us this morning to tell us about the tornado spotted in our county. With all the bright sun outside, it came as a surprise. As soon as we hung up, the tornado sirens went off. The first thing we did was turn on the TV to find out exactly where the funnel cloud was located. It was on the extreme other end of the county, not headed our way -- whew!
The sun and hot weather continued here for a couple of hours before the rain hit. It rained so hard that it was like thick fog -- still unusual to have no lightning with this. I know the reason for that -- I wanted to record some thunder and nature is keeping very quiet because of it.
Looks like we will remain under a tornado and flood watch for a few more hours. This is a good day to stay home and blog.
It was thundering and pouring yesterday. Of course the worst of the whole rain was when I was out in a car, trying to get home! With all the lightning and loud thunder still going on after I got home, I grabbed my recorder to see if it would be possible to capture the sound.
I was running out the door and my husband shouted, "Don't get killed!" (Wasn't that considerate of him?) As soon as I sat out on the porch and started recording, the thunder immediately ceased and we heard not even a rumble. <sigh>
Here's 50 seconds of what I did get, though. The loud roaring noise at the beginning and throughout were cars or trucks going down the next street. Otherwise, chimes , birds and rain can be heard mixed in with the trucks. My porch is not a gentle quiet place.
Alabama Rain - Out on the Front Porch (50 seconds of mp3 sound/noise/annoyance)
(From Rant-O-Rama.com who got
it from Tobacco Road Fogey
and heaven knows where it came from before that.)
Seadoc has a running ad to help pets find homes. I copied his idea. I know he won't mind.