ARCHIVES:  January 24-31, 2005

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January 31, 2005 - Monday

Screen Cleaner

Thanks to Lynn B. for sending this screen cleaner program. She writes, "I don't know about you, but I have never found a screen cleaner that totally worked. At last, I have one and I thought I would share it with you." It did a fairly good job on my screen. I highly recommend it.



January 30, 2005 - Sunday

3 Days of Free XM Radio via the Web

I love this site! Get 3 days' worth of XM Radio on your computer for free. These are good. I was impressed with the quality mixes of music and the morning DJ's at U-Pop (Channel 29). I want it permanently. XM Radio. (Click on the "Listen Now" words at the top right of the screen, then click on the "3-Day Free Trial" option after that.



January 29, 2005 - Saturday

Ice Storm Last Night

We had a small ice storm last night. The car was coated in a layer of ice as were our oak trees this morning. Icicles hung on everything. I grabbed my camera and stepped outside to take pictures. I got a couple of decent ones that I posted on my photo page --> ice storm pictures.

As the morning progressed, ice began melting fast. I learned one important lesson - never stand under a tree coated in ice when that ice is melting rapidly. Ouch.



January 28, 2005 - Friday

Bandwidth Speed Test

Check your bandwidth speed at this site. Go to this site, answer a couple of questions pertaining to connection type and location, then click a button, wait less than a minute and find out how fast you are connected. Recently, we got a note from our cable company that our bandwidth was increasing to 6 megabits. So far, it only tests at 4.3 megabits.

Connection speeds vary with different times of the day. It's fun to see what times of day are faster than others. (I find the slowest speed seem to be right after school lets out.)


BTW, I called my cable company and they recommended this other site to use, as well.



January 27, 2005 - Thursday

Patches the Horse

Who needs a dog when you can have a horse like this? The video was almost unbelieveable -- and so funny. Thanks to my sister, Deborah, for sending this one along. (Look for the blue box on the page linked here.)



January 26, 2005 - Wednesday

Jib-Jab Does it Yet Again - Bush's Second Term

This one is about Bush's Second Term. I didn't laugh as hard with this one as with past ones -- but it was still clever. Speaking of clever, Jennifer C. sent some unusual Photoshopped images. I think these are from, which holds contests for Photoshop-modified images (and more). Here are my favorite photos (after going to the link, scroll down to see images). I wish I was half as talented as these folks. I can see where some of these images would cause a whole slew of urban legends.




January 25, 2005 - Tuesday

Chocolate Sushi, Ants, Shrimp, etc.

Thanks to, comes this link for Chocolate & Candy Sushi. THAT'S my kind of sushi! I once had chocolate shrimp - real shrimp with a less-sweetened chocolate -- interesting, but not on my list of must-haves, even though those are my two favorite foods. On the other hand, a chocolate shrimp sushi from the site listed there sounds heavenly.

When Dad came back from a business trip to D.C., he told us that he had chocolate-covered ants. Whew -- no thank-you! Dad once made chili with unsweetened chocolate in it. He said his recipe was terrible and he never made it again. I discussed it with him and we have since discovered a much better recipe.


Cincinnati Five-Layer Chili




1 lb. chuck, ground fine
2 med. onions, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. tomato sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 c. water
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. honey
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/2 ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 dry bay leaf, crumbled
1 tsp. salt


Salt a large cast iron skillet. Turn heat to medium and add meat, onions and garlic. Cook until meat is browned. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, water and vinegar. As mixture begins to boil, add everything else. Adjust spices to taste, adding more salt if it needs perking up, more cinnamon, cloves and mace if you want it sweeter, more chocolate for body. Cover and simmer at very low heat for about one hour, stirring and tasting occasionally, adding tomato juice if it's getting too dry to ladle up easily.

Constructing the chili:

8 oz. thick spaghetti
1 (16 oz.) can kidney beans
2 onions, chopped
1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated thinly

The bottom layer is always spaghetti. Break it into 4 inch pieces and boil in salted water with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Melt some butter into just cooked noodles. Cover several plates (oval ones are traditional) with spaghetti. Ladle on enough chili to cover the spaghetti. Wash and heat kidney beans with 2 cups of water, then drain. Spoon a sparse layer of the beans atop the chili. Spread onions over the beans. Quickly, so it will melt, spread lots of grated cheese to cover everything. Serves 4.



January 24, 2005 - Monday

Photoshop CS & AutoFX Edges

Okay, here's another collage made using a Photoshop Plugin (AutoFX -- very good stuff here). This took a little longer to make, but at least I was able to control the placement of each photo.