Mostly Friends Only!

This journal is mostly Friends Only. Reply here to be added. Management reserves the right to ignore these comments, but likely won't. :)

Best Brains: Computer start problem

Josie's computer needed a new mobo and processor, so we got them (plus a new video card) and are working on getting it all installed. As far as I know, it's all looking good. Here's the problem(s):

1) It powers up when I turn on the switch on the back. i.e. Don't need to press power button. Power button does not turn off computer. I have double and triple checked the jumpers.

2) It powers up the cpu fan, the hard disks, all the proper LEDs, makes a post beep and then dies. No output whatsoever to the monitor.

Things we've tried:
Clearing the CMOS
Unseating the RAM and reseating it. Also, tried both sticks in both slots.
Removing the video card and plugging the monitor into the onboard video.
Removing all the USB devices.

I am absolutely certain that I put in the cpu properly. The triangles lined up. :)

Ideas? Feel free to link to this anywhere, or ask anyone who might have a clue. I've been at this for more than 4 hours now, and I'm ready to blow a capacitor.


YUM! Lentil patties

happy calvin
I made lentil burgers tonight. Yum. They were so so so yummy. They looked perfectly terrible though. They looked like fried new baby poop. Fortunately, I was the one who made them, so I didn't mind trying them first and declaring them yummilicious.

Leftover lentils - about 2 cups?
Leftover brown rice - about 1 cup
frozen peas - about 1/2 cup
6 mushrooms
dried bread crumbs (it was gluten free, of course, and was tapioca bread, I think) About 1 1/2 cups
1 egg
1 green onion
1 tsp garlic powder
a bit of seasoning salt
2 tsp oregano

Mix it all in the food processor until it's really smooth. It's sticky, but that's okay. Form into patties as best as possible and pan fry in a bit of sunflower oil until brown.

Then we put them on fresh buns and added some whole seed mustard. I think it would be good with other veggies mixed in there. Especially celery (but Josie is quite allergic to celery). And I think next time, I'll leave a few lentils out and put them in right at the end, to give it a bit of texture.

I'm quite pleased. And I need a food icon!

No-fly list BS

Oh CC, you brilliant bastard you. :)

Via Alison at Creekside, we learn of retarded douchebag Julie Morand of Passport Canada:

As Julie Morand of Passport Canada explained to her, "In fact … you should always be questioned since a name similar to yours appears to be on an American list."

So here's what I think we should all do. We should all write blog posts that contain the phrases "Julie Morand" and "suspected terrorist" and "al Qaeda" in close proximity to each other. Yeah, sort of like this one.

Then we should wait for Google to eventually kick in and start linking those phrases to one another, as Google is wont to do.

And, finally, we should wait patiently for the inevitable day when Ms. Morand tries to board a flight somewhere and is informed that, well, um, a net search seems to suggest that she has some connection to terrorism and would she please step out of the line for a few minutes and I'm sure we can clear this up in no time at all, someone will be with you shortly, thanks very much. Isn't that just a delightful idea?

Julie Morand. Terrorist. Al Qaeda.

Take it away, Google.

Crochet help

Do any of you crochet? I'm trying to learn how, but I have a hard time with some of the instructions. Here's the instruction:

Note: Ch 5 at beg of each rnd counts as 1 dc and ch 2 sp throughout.
Does this mean that every time it says Ch 5 at the beginning of each round, I do one dc, two ch and then a space? Or what?

Then later, it says: Rnd 1: Ss in next ch 5. Ch 5. 3 dc in same sp.
So, in round 1, slip stitch in the next stitch of the chain of 5? Or slip stitch in the next 5 chain stitches? And then that next Ch5, is that from the note? Or do I actually stitch 5 chain stitches? And what does 3 dc in same sp mean? What sp?

Colour me confused.


Gluten FAQ

x-posted at celiac

I've noticed that all the newbies on the Celiac groups ask the same questions. They generally know the basics, i.e. what Celiac is, and why they must avoid gluten, but that's it. So I'm writing an FAQ. It's filled with my opinions on things, but it's noted as my opinion, not fact. Any other questions you might recommend?

1. What is gluten in? What foods do I have to avoid?
Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, durum, triticale, and commercial oats. These and their by-products are found in any number of foods. Check out's list of things to avoid
Be especially careful with soy sauce, any bottled sauce, vitamins, and candy. Remember, some gluten-containing ingredients don't necessarily have the words gluten or wheat in them. For example, malt is almost always a barley product. Brewer's Yeast is glutenous.

2. How much gluten is too much? Can one little crumb really do that much damage?
Any amount of gluten is too much. One crumb can set of a major auto-immune reaction and cause internal damage to the villi of the small intestine. It can hurt like hell, or not at all. You may not even notice a reaction, but if there is gluten in the system of a Celiac sufferer, there will be damage, i.e. No reaction != no damage.

3. One person in our house has Celiac. Does the whole house have to go gluten free? Or can we have just gluten free food for our Celiac person?
That depends. How careful can you be? Will you be using regular flour? (Airborne contamination is a real problem). Can everyone in your house be counted on to keep crumbs out of the gluten-free food?

Personally, I strongly recommend making the whole house gluten free. Here's my story: I was diagnosed in 1999. I went on a gluten-free diet, but did cook gluten foods for my family. I also went to restaurants and didn't worry about food made on the same line as gluten items because I had no visible reaction from these things. Some of my symptoms got better. Some didn't. Those were not attributed to Celiac at the time, and I got a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was in agony, but I wasn't having the GI symptoms very often. I was taking narcotics for pain. I was taking sleeping pills for my insomnia. I was a mess. I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't function on most days. I developed myoclonic seizures. In 2005, my husband was diagnosed with Celiac as well. Our house became gluten-free. My Fibromyalgia all but disappeared, my Chronic Fatigue evaporated. I am now healthier than I've ever been. And I do mean ever. I still have the seizures, but they are known not to get better on the gf diet. They get worse if I get any gluten at all. We were careful. I had a different toaster, different utensils, different margarine, etc. Everything went through the dishwasher before I used it on my foods. It wasn't enough. I could have been spared 6 years of pain and misery, and lifelong seizures, if only I'd insisted the others eat gluten-free food as well.

4. Do I have to replace my cooking utensils?
Yes! Stainless steel will be okay, but cast iron, anything with teflon, anything wooden, or made of porous plastic will have to be replaced.

5. Should the rest of the family be tested?
Absolutely. Celiac runs in families. Sometimes there are no symptoms either, so test everyone.

6. Are these tests reliable?
No. The blood tests are not reliable. Especially for children. At 11, my Celiac daughter tested negative. She is definitely not negative. False negatives are very common. False positives are unheard of. Biopsy of the small intestine via an endoscope is considered the gold standard, but even that can be falsely negative if the damage is patchy and they don't take enough samples.

If you suspect gluten, but have had negative tests, consider testing from Enterolab, or just do a gluten challenge. Take gluten out of your diet for 2 months. Then eat something gluteny. See what your body does. Even if you don't get a definitive diagnosis from the doctor, you'll know that you cannot tolerate it.

7. What's the deal with lactose intolerance and gluten?
Lactose is digested by the tips of the villi. If these villi are damaged, they will not work properly. Once on a gluten free diet, the villi will heal, and you may be able to tolerate lactose again.

8. Can I eat at restaurants?
In my experience, no. I have a reaction every time I eat at a restaurant. Every time. Some people say that they can eat at restaurants, no problem, but I am reminded that no reaction != no damage. Unless the restaurant is entirely gluten-free, I cannot imagine how they could keep gluten out of the other food. For example, do they make bread, dough or batter? If so, how do they keep the flour from getting in the air and then landing on the other food and cooking surfaces?

I know, I sound like the gluten Nazi, but having seen what the long term effects of gluten contamination can be, I am now VERY careful, and I hope that others will be too. Remember, long term damage to the small intestine can lead to Cancer, other autoimmune diseases and neurological problems. Is that restaurant meal worth it?


Internet Access

Hi. This is Josie, posting for my mum. She is in Saskatchewan now. Unfortunately our laptop is being stupid even with a brand new battery, so she won't have internet access till Thanksgiving Sunday (Canadian thanksgiving don't worry!).


I encourage you all to read everyday, but especially on Friday, when my story on voting will be featured. :)

A note on etiquette

angry calvin
I think it is supremely rude to filter someone out of everything you write. If you don't want them to read what your write on LJ, remove them from your list. If you want to read their stuff, but don't want them to read yours, you're an asshole. kthnkxbye. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!



Geri Hall (a comedian) stood up at a press conference and said, "Mr. Harper. I'm so sorry. I'll be so brief. I just represent the single female voter" was immediately hauled out by two security guards. Told them who she was, and got a one-on-one with the PM.

She said to him, "OK, that was a bumpy start to the second part of our relationship, but it was kind of sexy, too. Girl doesn't get arrested by a blue-eyed man very often."

To which Harper replied, "You like handcuffs?"

"Should I like handcuffs?" Hall responded, eyebrows raised.

That is honestly the best thing Harper has ever said. :)

Yet another awesome sermon

I love Rev. Heidi. She gives the best sermons ever. Seriously. Today's was called Harry Potter's Choice (pdf). She said something that touched on something I dreamed about the other night. I was praying about needing help in the world, and please bloody do something! And I got the reply, "I'm trying! You people need to work with me! I can't do anything if no one lets me."

And the best thing about her interpretations of the Bible? She doesn't assume that everything happened exactly as stated. She's happy to admit that many of the stories are just stories, and might be combinations of myth, legend and history. I really like that. It doesn't diminish the value of the stories at all (like some people say). It gives them even more power.

p.s. Need a new religion icon. Josie? Pretty please? :) Oooooh, gonna look up the futurama eps that mention religion. Might find something good there. Like the symbol Father Changstein el-Gamal wears. :)

(edited to make Father Changstein el-Gamal's name correct)


Best Brains: Batteries

I want opinions on batteries. I am sick and tired of recharging my batteries every 30 pictures or so. I know there are at least 2 pro photographers on my list, and a number of experienced amateurs. What kind of batteries are best? All it really requires is "AA".

When are the Olympics over?

Seriously, when is this shit going to be done? I am sick to fucking death of the motherfucking Olympics. When when when will this shit be over?

And GODDAMN that pus-filled boil of a man Gordon Campbell, for bringing this GIGANTIC waste of money and resources to my province. I hope the goddamn Sea-to-Sky highway is buried in a rockslide 2 days before the 2010 Olympics starts (no one buried in it though, please!) And I hope that every single homeless person in Vancouver gets their face in front of a camera and shows the world what a DISGRACE this province is.

FUCK! I cannot believe I have to listen to Olympic fever for two more donkeyassmunching years! I have seen exactly 3 seconds of this years' and it was exactly 3 seconds too fucking long.

I am going to be SO FUCKING HAPPY when this shit is over, and the 2010 shit goes away (Hopefully a screaming disaster - Campbell deserves no less, that dirty, sleazy, drunk-driving RATFUCKER) and the whole godforsaken world sees how much money we flushed on this catastrofuck.

FUCK THEM ALL. Fuck them all with dirty serrated knives.

(and so help me GOD if anyone drags out that old, tired, "tell me how you really feel" or tries to convince me of the worth of the Olimpdicks)


This is news?!

I am getting really sick of CTV news reporting on Canadian Idol as if it's news. It's a game show on their channel. Give me a fucking break.

A question of the smackdown

who knew?
I really really really hate it when people trivialize rape. I mean HATE it. I mean, sometimes I have to leave the situation entirely so as to not blow a gasket of anger-filled spew on to the offender. Sometimes, it's just stupid word choices: "forcible sex". Um, no. Rape. Sometimes it's a stupid joke, "And the upside is in Thailand, you don't just get to rape the hooker, you can kill her too!" (Jon Stewart on the first ep I ever watched. Suffice it to say, it was several years before I was convinced to watch again). Sometimes, it's a bad metaphor. "Aw man, I was just assraped by the government!" (meaning, "I had to pay them the taxes I owed them")

Normally, I try to say something, politely. It's usually met with mockery, defensiveness or "Jeez, bitch, it's a fucking joke!" or something to that effect. But I figure anyone else around that person might get the hint and not do it, and who knows, that person might think twice next time, even it's because s/he doesn't want the uptight bitch to smack him/her down again.

Now, is it worth it? Should I always do this when I hear it? What if it's in someone else's comment section of LJ? What if it's my husband's coworker? (Never happened, but what if?) Random asshole on the bus? Would like input.

My sermon, update

So I showed my sermon to Heidi, to Chris and to you guys. I got some good feedback. I also had a few ideas of my own in the interim. So I'm gonna make let you read it again for me.

I talk next week. The Men's Club did today's service, and the guy they had doing the sermon talked for 25 minutes. Ha. That won't be happening when I talk. 15 at the MOST. 13 more likely. Depending how nervous I am.

Here it is, behind the cut, not because I care, but because someone is bound to bitch. Stupid cut tags.Collapse )


My fault entirely

Yup, entirely my fault. This cold spell we're having is completely my fault. See, a couple of weeks ago, I put away my warm clothes and washed all my summer clothes. This is why it is cold. We're 10 days from summer solstice, and it's 11 degrees (51.8F). And it's going down to 5 at night. This is insane.


Sadly, Yes.

Oh. My. God. Laughing so hard tears are running down my face.

Gist: Blogger finds stupid people freaking out about the Obama dap. Everyone makes fun of them.

Some particularly amusing quotes:
Gee, my idea for Obama to deliver the SOTU address each year in a different racist stereotype get-up is beginning to seem more and more prescient.

Naw… What Obama needs to do is stand up before the nation and give the STFU address.

If he does that, I’ll be the first in line to call for the repeal of the 22nd Ammendment[sic] so we can elect him “President for Life”

Well, which is it? They’re ghetto gangstas who will trash the White House, all the while eating watermelon, or latte sipping elitists from the Ivy League? It’s so hard to follow.

They’re atheist Muslim communist elitist watermelon-eating gangstas who are gutlessly ruthless.

Obama is a the Heisenberg Uncertainty Politician: you can either measure his faith in Allah, or you can measure his slavish devotion to the Black Christ, but not both at the same time.

And my favourite:

I’m deeply saddened to see that none of them haplessly referred to it as “fisting.”

Side effects

Oh. My. God. This is the funniest thing I have EVER read.

It's a review of the side effects of Alli, the weight loss drug. A taste preview:

If you're getting ready to travel or attend a social event, hold off on starting with alli until the event is over

Blowing liquid feces down a row of bridesmaids, for instance, could be viewed negatively in certain circles. Further, an unexpected bout of the power-squirts while riding “The Bullet” at the county fair might not ingratiate you with your friends. Or anyone on the fairway. Or the folks in the parking lot walking to their cars.

A promise made...

Because a promise made is a debt unpaid, I would like to apologise for being remiss in sending pictures of the kids to some of you. I got them printed this week, and now they just need to go into envelopes with notes. I haven't forgotten my promise. They were supposed to go out in Christmas cards. There's a reason Christmas cards didn't get done (*ahem* my husband promised to do them so I didn't have to try to candy-coat the shittiness of last year and he didn't), but that's really no excuse. So... I apologise.

Global warming

So this douchebag at church gave a speech on Sunday calling human-caused global warming to be a myth propagated by Al Gore. Says it flies in the face of hundreds of studies. So where are these studies? Who wrote them and who paid for them? Anyone know?

As seen at Feministe...

This is me in 50 years:

ETA: Best parts:
1) It cost a freakin' fortune to re-employ an airbag. Especially in one of those expensive cars.
2) The kids laughing. AWESOME.


Freecycle, pissing me off again

Geez. It's getting worse. Unless you are glued to your computer, forget about getting anything good.

Large White deep freeze. Posted at 11:07. Taken at 11:24.

Come ON!



Presents are arriving, and in particular, a giant box, from a wonderful LJ friend (who will remain nameless unless she outs herself).

HOLY CROW, I'm blessed with awesome friends. Thank you.

An answer, finally!

who knew?
There are a number of perfumes that really bother me, but one in particular gives me an asthma attack. I have allergy-induced asthma, which almost never bothers me, but this one scent in particular makes me almost catch the dead. Here's another entry on it: I was trying to figure out wtf this stuff was. Today, I smelled it faintly on someone I was talking to and asked her what it was. Patchouli, she said. Thank God, I wasn't born in the hippie era. I'd have died! Anyway, ICK. It smells like pepper to me. It's awful.

I really really wish people would stop wearing perfumes. REALLY wish. Church is the worst. I gave a big speech to everyone last week. We had to turn away a family because of allergies, and that's just terrible. I mean, c'mon. Church should be a healthy, comfortable place for everyone. I told them not to make me hire sniffer dogs for the doors. :)

On staying home, working and feminism.

This started out as a reply to a post on, but soon became a post of its own:

I am in an unusual situation, myself. I quit my job and got pregnant that night (ha! Nice timing, me!) and couldn't get another job while pregnant. When my baby was about a year old, I was offered a temp job at my church as secretary. I jumped on it, on condition I could bring my kid with me. They said sure as long as I could do the work, they were happy. And it was only supposed to be 4 weeks or so. It's been 8 months now. I still bring my kid with me to work. And the reactions I get to this are PRICELESS.

Men (in general) say, "Wow! How perfect for you! You can earn money and not have to put the little guy into daycare!" Women (in general) look at me in horror and say, "OMG! How do you do both jobs at the same time?!" or they look at me skeptically and say, "Okay... I don't think *I* could manage that one".

Now, I like working because (a) I like being able to pay off my fucking massive student loans, (b) I like the conversations.

To (b), it's not that as a SAHM I can't have conversations. I can join baby groups and library groups and whatnot. But there's only so much of that I can stand. They tend to be women talking about their kids. *sigh* I want to talk about politics, religion, the news, etc. Not Little Billy's bout of constipation. At work, I get that.

As a SAHM, one thing that would help enormously would be time to do something just for me. Sports if I were into it (I'm not), a book club, I dunno. Something. So why don't I get out and do something like that? Well, in a nutshell, I feel like that'd put a burden on my husband. We both work all day, and then I go out and have social time? Hardly fair. It's also not unreasonable for me to expect that kind of support, I realize. But it's how I've been socialized.

The point of the original article, which struck me as "Women can be happy at work too", is an important point, as we're often told how women are happy at home, and only work because they have to (and are defective if they feel otherwise). And to say that this is an attack on SAHMs is just ridiculous. But I understand why SAHMs feel defensive. As someone who has it both ways, so to speak, I also get both sides of the criticism hurled at me (men say I have the best of both worlds, and I do, but I also have the worst of both worlds - I get drive-by mommied by both those who say I should work more and those who say I shouldn't work outside of the home at all). SAHMs get hit with a constant barrage of criticism for their choice (assuming it is one - Lots of moms can't find jobs). And employed moms get a constant barrage of criticism for not 'being there' for their kids. What we need to do is STOP criticising. Stop. Stop. Stop. There are pros and cons to both situations, and anyone who says differently is deluding him/herself in an attempt to validate his/her own decisions.

Ideally, men would share an equal responsibilty for child-rearing, and to be fair, more and more men are. But society hasn't caught up to that. Until it is a given that men must share an equal responsibility, we must stop punishing women for not being able to be employed full-time and look after their children full-time. We must stop telling women that they should be perfectly happy to be SAHMs, and that less than perfection is failure. And in the same light, we must stop telling women that they should be perfectly happy to work outside of the home. Society sets us up to fail. We are physically unable to do everything society wants of us (unless we're the magical WAHM who founds a Fortune 500 company during naptime, and keeps her house perfectly neat by following her children around picking up after them, and dusting, vaccuuming and the whole nine yards after the little one goes to sleep effortlessly at 7pm). So really, let's give up the quest for perfection, and work on making both situations happy, healthy choices. Let's support SAHMs with time for themselves, time to go out, time for intellectual development and a decided mortorium on the 'leeching of their husbands' attitude. Let's support employed mothers with subidized daycare, flexible hours, and an end to the 'you're failing your children by not being with them 24 hours a day' attitude.

Church website

Shameless self-promotion time! I'm really proud of what I've done on our church website, so I'm showing off.
Also, check out the ad we're putting in the newspaper.

Tell me what you think. Especially of the ad.

Fun Monday question

happy calvin
What was the first album you ever owned? What medium was it?

Mine was Laura Branigan. It was a cassette and it wasn't what I wanted. Hehe. I wanted the one with Gloria on it. But I liked it. And insisted on more tapes immediately. :)

We had records and 8-tracks, of course, but the Laura cassette was the first one that was all mine.

Know what burns my ass?

angry calvin
A flame about ass high.

Well, that and ordering something on ebay, having them charge me $6.50 in shipping charges, receiving the item and discovering it only cost $1.31 for them to ship it. It was two pieces of foam stuffed in an envelope, so it's not like it's a reasonable handling fee either (and there wasn't supposed to be a handling fee!).

I emailed them and complained. Here's my email:


I received my Baby Majestic sun and water visors today. Thank you for the prompt service.

The only complaint I have is the shipping cost charged. I was charged 5.76 for shipping, but the label clearly shows that it only cost $1.31 for it to be shipped. On a $6.50 item, it seems a bit much to charge $4.45 in extra shipping charges. It wasn't like it was a breakable package that had to be specially wrapped. It was foam.

I do appreciate the prompt service, and the automated messages letting me know that I wasn't forgotten in the ether somewhere.

My full name.

Let's see where they go with it.

ETA: They refunded the difference minus $1 for filling out the form and taking it to the post office. Absolutely fair, imo.


So very angry!

angry calvin
I buy a LOT of gluten-free flours. I mean, A LOT. My whole family has Celiac Disease and we all love our carbs. Today, at the health food store, I saw a sign up by the gluten free flours, "Lifestyle Markets brand flour is packaged in a facility that is not safe for celiacs"


I buy these things by the 10kg package for crying out loud. I was going to go into business selling my baking. Now where in the hell am I going to find a safe supply that I can reasonably afford?!

I sat in the car and bawled after I left the store.

Back from my weekend

I am back from my weekend in Parksville. I was at the Living the Welcome workshop that the United Church of Canada put on. Was it ever interesting! Wow. Progressive is not a term I'd usually associate with a church, and though I've been with the UCC for over a year now and knew they were somewhat progressive, I had no idea just how open to change they are.

See, the churches are dying. People aged 30-45 aren't going to church anymore, and they aimed to find out why not. So they did a TON of research. Did a huge survey. And made a number of discoveries. Like, people of that age group (POTAG - not their acronym. :)) reject authority more than any group ever before. POTAG don't want to be told what to believe. POTAG are busy. Time is extremely valuable to them. They don't want to be asked to be on committees. They really don't want to commit to investing time. They want to feel welcomed, but not smothered. They want easy parking. They want a website. They want to not have to feel embarrassed if they miss 3 weeks in a row. They don't want to be sold a religion. They don't want to be converted. They really don't like evangelists. They want a non-judgemental community. Community is important. They believe in spirituality. They believe in God (84%). They don't want an authority to tell them how. They view churches as that authority.

Now, I'm in that age group. At the younger limit of it, really. I'm 33. So the church I go to thought it might be good for me to go. :) It was quite interesting indeed. I went to a workshop called "Embracing the Media" and one called "Embracing the Welcome". The media workshop was fantastic. They went over the UCC's media campaign, the big incarnation of which is There is also a huge magazine campaign. The ads are funny and subtle. I like a Christmas one called, "O Come All Ye Faithful. Ye not so faithful also welcome!" One of the best things I heard the whole time I was there was, "Wondercafe might not bring people into the pews. But that doesn't matter and isn't the point. What matters is that there are thousands of people getting together online and discussing issues that matter to them in a way relevant to them. How awesome is that!"

relevant links:

The afternoon workshop didn't impress me as much, but did give me some really helpful ideas. It was on making the church more welcoming to people my age. How to do this in a concrete way.

Again, the goal of all this isn't to lure people in. It's to make it a place they enjoy if/when they do come. Sorta "if you build it, they will come", rather than, "Build it so that they'll come". Subtle distinction, and I'm sure there's a more eloquent way of saying it.

Ideas I have for the church:

  • Have coffee before church as well as after. Make it self-serve, and allow them to take it into the sanctuary to enjoy during the service.

  • Have games night. Or set up a Wondercafe in realspace at the church. Maybe a well-advertised LAN party

  • Change the answering machine message to be more welcoming to newcomers. Welcome first. Then service times. Then type of service. Finally office hours.

  • Update the website. Rip off as much as ethically possible as that is the best site EVER! ;)

  • Get a big big big banner for outside advertising Wondercafe

  • Share some ads with Pilgrim United at Christmas and Easter to make the budget go a little further

  • Send out postcards

  • "Visitors" aren't visitors. They are people worshipping with you for the first time.

  • Make an area for kids to play in during the service. An area *in* the sanctuary. Not excluded from it. Keep the cry room for just that. Crying.

  • Have the greeters/trainers greet newcomers on the way out, as well as the way in. "Hope you had a good time!" or something like that. Not "I hope we see you next week!" Too much expectation involved there.

  • Train the greeters/ushers in the new ways. E.g. Offer a ribbon to pin on to show newcomer status, but suggest that if they prefer to remain mostly anonymous that they not pin it on.

More later as I think of it. :) Suggestions and opinions welcome!


Quick advice

How much should I charge for editing? It's mostly grammar and spelling I'm editing for. Style, only a little. $20/hr sound reasonable?

Hello Editors?

I'm doing a little editing for a friend, and I'm curious about capitalization and pluralization of plant names. e.g. "Put three lamium an equal distance apart" Or is that Lamium? Or Lamiums?

Also, "Three lamium cuttings or young Lamium galeobdolon ‘Variegatum’ plants" OK?

How about, "Next, lay three schizanthus on the left side of each geranium and three tagetes on the right side, placing three lobelia in between the geraniums and tagetes."

I know a total of squat about gardening, which brings me to this sentence: "The process begins in mid-winter with the propagation of geraniums and lamium by softwood stem cuttings". Is "by" correct in this context?

Vitamin D

medical marijuana
An article about Vitamin D in winter. I'm saving it for my own purposes. Mostly to shove in the faces of the breast-feeding nuts who insist babies (even in Canada) don't need VitD supplements if they get outside a bit.

Read more...Collapse )

Childproof, my ass.

Ya know those childproof latches that stop a kid from getting into a cabinet door? My kid gets this one open one handed. He had a french fry in one hand and opened the cupboard door to the garbage can with the other. *sigh* The infant development lady says his problem solving skills are off the chart good. Great. Just what I needed. :)


Note to NHL announcers: Shooting the puck down the ice along the boards is not to be referred to as "rimming" or "rimjobs". Seriously. Never. This means you, P.J. Stock.

(see: then the Hotstove for Nov 3 for proof)


Attention knitters and crocheters

Hello crochet and knitting afficionados. I'm collecting cotton cloths about 8 x8 inches to about 12 x 12 inches. They're going to go to midwives in Central America. Currently, they're using newspapers to wipe off newborns, and the group I'm collecting these for thinks that's absolutely atrocious in this day and age. So, if you can make a few of these and send 'em to me, that'll be dozens, if not hundreds of babies who will be cleaned off with soft cotton instead of newspaper. You can even send the swatches of cloth you make when you're testing out size and tension (I'm so out of the loop (HA!) that I don't even know what that's called).

If you can do this, email me. My LJ address works, or you can use my first name at

Things heard at my house

"JOSIE!!!! Do you want to come watch Chuck with us?
"No. It's okay. I'm not a big fan of Chuck"
"Not a fan of Chuck? I'm going to go fart in your room."


Cancer study


Mostly this is for me, because it's full of stuff I've been saying for years, and I want to use it to show my Mom, who thinks I'm nuts.

I gotta say, it's irritating me how the media is focussing on the weight loss end of it, and not on the diet part. Because you know, could it not be that the bad food is what makes so many people overweight and/or obese? Did they look at fat people who don't eat those foods? Was their Cancer risk higher?

Now I get it...

Ever watch the Family Guy? You know the baby, Stewie? He's always plotting to kill his Mom, Lois. I never really understood or liked the character (except for the witty, sarcastic lines). But raising my boy, I finally understand how Stewie got written. I swear he's trying to kill me. Putting toys in my direct path, hitting me, pinching me, biting me, slamming his head into my clavicle or nose, or both, tripping me up, opening the oven door so I trip on it, etc. Honestly, I totally understand how they wrote Stewie as they did.

update: About 2 minutes after I posted this, he laid out the caltrops his cars in my path so that while bringing in laundry I could be reduced to tears because of the new pain in the bottom of my feet.

p.s. What does ETA stand for when one means 'update'? ETA has always meant 'estimated time of arrival' to me.

Kids on Drugs

who knew?
Josie's school has a considerable drug problem. Has for quite some time. For some reason, crystal meth is rather popular among teenagers in my city. And Josie's school is quite diverse in socioeconomics. Some kids have tons of money, some have none. What they're doing with enough money in their pockets to buy drugs, I couldn't tell you. I mean, it's 11, 12 and 13 year olds. They don't have jobs. Mind you, I have no freakin' clue what meth costs. Can you buy it with allowance money? ($5ish/week) I know pot is too expensive to buy for most kids, so maybe that's what's going on.

Stupidest thing I've heard is that girls are using this to keep the weight off. WTF?! They'd rather be psychotic than fat? I know most people would rather be stupid than fat (tangent: many weight loss drugs cause short term memory loss. The radio dj shill was going on about how it's worth it because 'stupid people can still get laid. fat people can't.' Yeah, yeah we can. *YOU* can't. Because you're a stupid douchebag. /tangent)

Here's an amusing thought. These kids who bought this stuff actually thought they were buying Ecstasy. Oops. That'll teach you to buy drugs from a 17 year old. But um, WTHFF were 12 year olds wanting with X?! Are they kidding me? Anyway, 4 kids were hospitalized over it, and several more took the stuff but didn't need hospitalization. One of the hospitalized kids apparently took 12 tabs. 12. Moron, I'm telling you. Moron.

I'm lucky with Josie and peer pressure. She doesn't give a rat's ass what people think of her when it comes to this shit. She's never been one to bow to peer pressure, and no one's going to give her "candy" laced with it either (that happened there last year - not an urban legend. Happened at my kid's school), because Josie won't eat anything like that. She eats what I give her, and maybe chocolate or chips. I know, a kid who doesn't eat candy? Is she normal? (No.) But there it is.

It's just a mindfuck that middleschoolers are doing drugs. Even pot at that age would shock me, but meth? X? How does this even happen? Do their parents not talk to them? Are their parents doing drugs themselves and not hiding it from the kids?

Colour me baffled.



A quote, quoted to my by my minister. I like this woman. :)

"Follow people who seek the truth. Avoid people who think they already have it."

Posts I've been meaning to write

Adventures in feminism - in which I talk about how I became a feminist, despite negative reinforcement
Middle-schoolers on drugs - in which I express my shock at the fact that two kids from Josie's school (her age!) are hospitalized for drug use. Crystal Meth, no less.
What's new at work - in which I laugh at church politics, angry quilters and wacky custodians.

So yeah, three posts or so. Whenever I get to them. Sound like a plan? Which post sounds most interesting to you?

Language nitpick


Y'all. NOT Ya'll

The apostrophe is in place of the -ou in you. DUH!

Raisin Rum Cake

I made this cake for my Mom this weekend. O.M.G. Seriously. This is fantastic.

1 cup light raisins
1/3 cup dark rum (I used Lemon Hart)
Soak raisins in rum overnight in a covered bowl until they are plump with rum and there is no moisture left in the bowl.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a bundt pan with 10-12 cup capacity and dust with rice flour.

Sift together (I whisked it instead of sifting):
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
4 tsp baking powder
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp xanthan or guar gum

In mixer bowl, place and beat together (I hand beat this):
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk (1 cup total - I used soured almond milk).

Stir in:
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tbsp grated orange peel
The raisins from above.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes (was 35 in mine, but I use convection) or until cake tests done. Let the cake stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it onto a plate. Add rum sauce:

Rum Sauce
In a microwaveable cup, stir together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Nuke for about 90 seconds so it boils. Add 1tbsp each: orange juice, lemon juice, and rum. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm rum sauce over the warm cake. Let cool. Sprinkle the top of the cake with icing sugar (be sure it's gf!)

It's unbelievably good.

The company cookbook

This is ROTFL hilarious. It's a company cookbook and someone's commentary of it.

link via jloopy



Okay, I went to Quintessence on Saturday. I admit it. Embarrassedly. At least I have a good excuse. A friend of mine, a LLL leader, asked me to go. So I went (and she didn't show!). God... that was the single lamest event I've been to since my high school had a 'please don't close us down' walkout.

For those of you who don't know, it's a breastfeeding challenge, where they get women from all over the continent together in their respective cities, and get them all to latch on their babies at the same time. It's supposed to "raise awareness" of breastfeeding, but really just is a giant pat on the back for women who do.

There were lame poems with crappy rhythm and rhyme. There was a lady screaming about how we get no respect. There were stats after stats about how important breastfeeding is. And there was so much corporate shilling it was ridiculous. I got a "registration package" that had a shitton of glossy flyers for lanolin, breastpumps, an overpriced baby supply store, coupons for more overpriced crap that most people don't need. There were chairs set up for participants only, so I couldn't sit with my husband and daughter. And none of the people around me seemed to feel like talking. So I sat there alone in the cold wondering why I'd bothered to do this.

Now, I'll grant you, there is still a need to educate people about breastfeeding, and god knows there area lot of ignorant assholes out there ("ew! I so don't wanna see that!" "GROSS!" "You should do that in the bathroom" "You can't do that in here!" "Cover up!", etc.), but if anyone thinks these lameass rallies help, they are fooling themselves. Does anyone see the story in the news and say, "Well, yes, I was wrong. Women should breastfeed where and when they want to"? No. They say, "Jesus... what a bunch of boobnazis!" Now, I'm decidedly NOT saying women shouldn't do this. They can have these rallies all they like. It's their right, and I say do what you like, but honestly expecting it to do any good is just delusional. If you're into getting together and hearing how wonderful you are, more power to ya! Some people really enjoy these things. And that's cool. But I hated every last second of it.

And I froze my ass off for it. It was 10 degrees (50F for the the Americans who still can't figure out C) and not one of the malls would let us hold it there. Now that does say something about the aforementioned ignorant assholes, doesn't it? Or does it? I mean, would they have allowed a gathering of 200 or so men with a loudspeaker to set up in the mall? I've never seen it, and doubt it would happen. But whooooboy did they make it out to be discrimination. A bunch of women yelling "SHAME" was enough to make me laugh out loud, earning me dirty looks from some of the women around me.

Anyway... I went, and I won't be going again. LAME.

Channelling Colbert

That's the craziest fucking thing I've ever heard!

Gist, because it was on tv.

"I identify as lesbian".
"You have a boyfriend!"
"Yes, but I still identify as lesbian"
"Why don't you just say you're bi?"
"It's a political statement".


This didn't seem to be meant as mockable. It was quite serious. Huh? Isn't this just the reverse of Craig saying he's not gay, nor has he ever been gay?

Why is the concept of bisexual so hard for people to grasp?


I got one of these:

It's used, and has no instructions, and I'm having a hell of a time getting the joints together at the sides. Any ideas? Because I'm gonna lose it.


The Broad Majestic Shannon

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January 2009


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