Beeson Banner for March, 2013

3 March 2013

A mystery:  After Dave found weird characters in the February Banner where M dashes are supposed to be, I found that Thunderbird is set to code outgoing mail by ISO 8859-1, but the February Banner is coded in charset=UTF-8.

Mystery solved:  Wikipedia says that UTF-8 is the default encoding for the World Wide Web -- so when I paste a hypertext document into Thunderbird, Thunderbird thinks it's a Web page and codes it accordingly.

Now I need some clue as to why Thunderird represents M dashes with N dashes.  They are M dashes when I view the file with Firefox.  Perhaps I should borrow some of Dave's browsers to see what they see, and try pasting hypertext into Open Office and Notepad.

M dashes in Open Office, and the asterisms are centered.  Makes a fairly decent eleven- page document out of it with no fiddling at all.  I should use Open Office more often.

Notepad retains M dashes, loses the asterisms, doesn't insert page breaks.  Opening the source with OO was interesting -- I got an HTML editor.  Notepad refuses to notice the existence of any file that doesn't have ".txt" as its extension.

Pasted into the XP copy of Thunderbird:  M dashes are M dashes.  Sudden thought:  checked the copy of the banner that is mailed back to me:  M dashes.  It's the composing- window *font* that makes them look shortened!

All mysteries explained, and so to bed.



4 March 2013

Say What?

Getting ready for a long ride, I wondered for the umpty-bumpth time what "DuoFlow" meant on my Specialized bike bottles.  So I went to the sewing room and DuckDuckGoed "DuoFlow".  The first hit was for a "sport bottle" that bragged that it would fall apart if exposed to the sun.

It was nearly four in the afternoon when I got back.  For a while there I was thinking that I wasn't as tired as I was when I rode the Aldi loop, but all of a sudden it's nap time.

Looked out the window and saw spring bulbs poking up in the fern bed.  I must get out to the road and poke around in the tiger-lily bed.



5 March 2013

Washday:  whites & lights soaking; about a quarter load of blacks waiting its turn.

Pizza for supper tonight.  I bought a bag of pepperoni at Aldi last Friday, and bought a bag of shredded mozzarella when I stopped at Owen's West for salad yesterday, but we may not like the crust.

There was only half a cup of oat bran in the cannister and I couldn't find a bag to refill it -- when I was buying corn flour yesterday, I looked at the oat bran and said "no, we have plenty." So I filled out the measure with almond flour, which may make it taste unpleasantly sweet.  Much, much later I realized that I should have used rolled oats.

Then I emptied the white-wheat cannister and filled out that measure with red wheat.  I thought I had an unopened bag of white wheat, but all I could find was buckwheat and rye and corn meal.  And I used up the cannister of red wheat and put almost all of the only bag of red wheat into it.

I can get more red wheat at Warsaw Health Food or Spring Creek, but I'll have to wait until May to buy more white wheat.  Perhaps I should have saved back some for making gravy.

<Ride Report>

Today a major snowfall is scheduled --starting about ten minutes ago, but so far no sign except for an overcast sky and what fell during the night-- and yesterday was sunny with a high at or above freezing, so I postponed the Monday wash and went for a long ride.  I got caught out by winter twice.  Three times, if you count being too cold to want to get off and read my map.

My plan was to go around the south end of the lake, inspect the new roundabout on Zimmer Road, and come back by way of Avilla on Lake street -- Avilla is the only store in town where I can buy plain Baggies, and my current roll is noticeably thinner than it was when I bought it several months ago.  The return from Avilla would bring me near Warsaw Health Foods, where I can buy corn flour, and three places where I can buy salad.  It worked out pretty much as planned.

Though I have Duegi cycling shoes, I bought a pair of black oxfords just for wearing on the bike.  I do most of my riding inside the city limits, where I frequently get off and walk, where the streets are level enough that cleats don't do much good, and where I have to put my left foot down often enough to wear out a cleat that can no longer be replaced.

But this time, I planned to ride somewhat undulating roads out where the stop signs are miles apart, so I wore the Duegis and put the oxfords in my pannier.

While dressing, I noticed my enormous collection of newspaper bags and reflected that it hadn't been cold enough for the bread-bag trick all winter.  The bread-bag trick is that when you put a windbreaker on over your jersey, you put a plastic bag on over your shoes.  It makes a marvelous difference in how warm your feet stay, and though the bag doesn't breath, the condensation is all on the bag, which is well separated from your feet.  (And it doesn't condense much because feet don't sweat much.) The thought of using the trick on a day that was warmer than many of the days I've been out never entered my head.

Along about 225S, when my toes were aching pretty good, I remembered that the Duegi shoes are full of ventilation holes.  I had plenty of grocery bags in my pannier --they don't fit as well as newpaper bags, but they work-- but I hadn't brought wool gaiters to hold them in place

Just to make it aggravating, when I went out to the garage to check the spelling of Duegi, I remembered that I have an old faded-but-functional pair of fleece-lined cycling shoes.

Starting at the beginning, I rolled down Boys City Drive intending to cut through the Chicago Boys' Club on Heritage Trail.  About halfway there, I remembered that walkways don't get plowed, but continued on to look.  What I could see of the walkway *had* been cleared.  A streak of piled snow separated it from Boys City, but I could draisine through a narrow path from the parking lot to the Trail.  Dare I, while wearing cleats, bet that that would be the only place there was snow in my path?

On my way to the crossing, I saw that way down just before a curve hid the Trail, there was another patch of snow.  Fearing that it got worse from there to Roy Street, I kept straight, following the Union Street leg of the Heritage Trail to Chestnut, where I climbed the hill and blundered through to King's Highway/Pierceton Road, which I followed to Packerton Road and eventually got onto my original route.

At the intersection of 200S and County Farm, I was reluctant to continue straight without first consulting my map (and I was, I confess, somewhat less enthusiastic about wandering through the countryside than I'd been before going around three sides of a trapezoid to avoid Heritage Trail), so I turned onto County Farm and followed it to Union Street, which is the way I go to Dr. Hollar's office.  Attempting to cut through Boggs Industrial Park to Zimmer Road, I found myself in a residential area instead.  At Letter and Tippecanoe -- the street sign and the map I carry on my bike said it was Letter; Google Maps and the Chamber of Commerce map agree that it was Reader.  Well where-ever it was, I got off the bike, changed my shoes, consulted the map, and discovered that I was only a few yards from Lake Street.  Dollar store, gun shop, lunch at Penguin Point, and Avila is just around the corner.  In addition to the Baggies, I bought a bag of "chili and lemon fried potatoes" and a container of crema, helpfully glossed as "sour cream".  The one I chose was darker than the plain, as if a hint of caramel had been mixed in, and the adjective modifying "crema" reminded me of "almond", so I thought it was a dessert sauce.  In natural light the color is a faint pink, and the crema has a very subtle taste of chili.  The lemon-chili chips are very good dipped in it.

I think it would also be very good on Annette the Great Dane's oat cakes, but I didn't want to bake biscuits on a day when I'm making pizza (not to mention that by the time I thought of it, waiting for the oven to heat and biscuits to bake would have made for a *very* late lunch) so I made a rolled-oat pancake for lunch, and the crema *was* very good on it.

Once again, I took a lap around the jail before finding Owen's West.  I know quite well that Owen's extends from Center Street to Market Street, but I always look for it on Main.  Bought salad and a bag of shredded mozzarella.  Served both at supper tonight.

And I've already mentioned the stop at Warsaw Health Foods, where I didn't buy oat bran.  Home well before four; I didn't note either departure or return precisely.

I noticed a lot of fresh streaks of molasses on the streets during the last leg of the tour.  Living in the future! You can't salt streets on the day before.

</Ride Report>

The pizza wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best I've ever made.

The snowfall developed nicely late in the day.  No wind that we've noticed; great heaps of snow on the raised beds and patio furniture.  Dave left the patio lights on in case someone looks at his IP cams during the night.



6 March 2013

Looked out the window and thought that the snow wasn't all that much deeper than when I went to bed.  Then I noticed that the strawberry bed was flat on top -- there had been a definite frame around it where the snow had started higher on the walls of the bed than on the surface.

Almost nap time and all I've done is to eat breakfast and put the corned beef on the stove.  I didn't get it into the pot until ten and we eat at five-thirty, but the package says that three hours are enough.

I cooked steel-cut oats for a change of pace; Dave ate his with fructose and milk; I had maple cream and butter.



9 March 2013

The roads are clear, the sky won't precipitate before two in the afternoon, the air is above freezing, I need exercise, we need produce, butter, and canned milk. Aldi tour is go!

I mended some clothing yesterday; don't recall what I did with Thursday.

Found a toothbrush at K-Mart. It isn't exactly plain: it has an "ergonomic" handle, and some of the bristles have been dyed with wash-out blue, but the tufts are flat on top, and they are all the same length.

Plain or fancy, white or wheat, soft or hard, Aunt Millie had no bagels at all today. I appeared to have arrived in the middle of re-stocking, and there was a line at the register. Perhaps it was lunch hour; I got home about two p.m. Shortly before the rain starts, according to the weather bureau. At 2:39, it's still "any minute now"

Before leaving, I picked the watch tether off my jersey, but my new cell phone is of little use as a watch. To use it, I have first to un-pin my pocket (I'm already designing a new jersey with a special pocket), take the phone out of the baggie (prediction of rain, remember, and one can never be quite quite certain that one won't sweat or ride through a sprinkler), unfold it, and then find a patch of dense shade because the screen isn't readable in daylight. Even in the shade, I had to hold my hand over it.

I scratched everything off my list except things that I knew that I wouldn't find on this tour. <Gets up to add "oat bran" to list.>

Caught a fingernail while pulling on a glove, and tore the nail nearly to the quick. Luckily, I carry clippers for just such an emergency.

I haven't been clipping the toenail that I dropped a boat seat on last May, but the groove marking the border between bashed nail and regrown nail has been getting closer to the end anyway. There is a quarter as much bashed nail as I started with; perhaps it has been wearing off on my socks. It *was* pretty thin at the end.

Oddly, the unbashed side of the nail is shorter than the bashed side; about the same amount extends beyond the groove, but that's because the groove curves down as it crosses the nail. Which is consistent with the hypothesis that the unbashed side has been growing more slowly. I'm not at all sure that is possible.



10 March 2013

It's a good thing I forgot to wear my green scarf to church today! Sometimes two confusions make a right.

There was a chance of rain, so I took an umbrella instead of my cane. Oops, the one that could be used as a cane broke and we threw it out. <gets up to write on shopping list> 

Once I got out of our lane, there were very few slippery spots. But there were two places along Park Avenue where snow out of side streets had been piled high on the sidewalk. And I never use the part of the sidewalk that moves away from the street to go up the hill and down again unless I'm quite certain that there isn't any ice on it.

That stretch doesn't hurt my bad hip now. I think that's partly because I've been walking a lot ever since we moved, and partly because the worst part of the walk was replaced.

I just ate half a pickled okra. A while back, I bought a jar of pickled okra, and liked it so well that when I saw it again, I bought another. Same brand as before, but these are decidedly over- ripe. The one I just ate left strings in my teeth, and some of them might as well be pieces of last year's corn stalks: they splinter when bitten. I vaguely recall having gotten woody pickled okra before. I won't buy any more until the memory has faded or I find a different brand.

Just before supper, I downloaded an e-mail notice of a committee meeting on Wednesday, March 12. I rather expected to have received a follow-up message by now,

My new toothbrush works much better than the old one.

Luxury! I have meals planned two days in advance. Reuben sandwiches tomorrow, and lasagna on Tuesday. The National Weather Service says that Tuesday will be better than Monday for buying cheese and sauce for the lasagna.



11 March 2013

Food columnist pretends to be baffled that some people won't eat anchovies:  you can't possibly dislike something when the flavor is so delightfully INTENSE!

Two loads of wash, not much else happened today.

We had warmed-over corned beef and cabbage instead of reubens because Dave had overeaten at lunch.

I'm still planning to shop tomorrow and make lasagna.

Dave is still learning how to use his computerphone. After he practiced sending a text message, I learned how to reply to one. Texting is a great deal of trouble, and the only purpose I can see is to leave a message for someone whose phone is turned off -- but it might be hours or days before it's turned on, and if it isn't left turned on for at least ten minutes he still might not get the message. I suppose there are people who frequently send messages that don't require any reply, or that call for something to be done before replying, so that talking on the phone would be a waste of time.

Texting won't be honestly invented until they figure out how to put a proper keyboard into a shirt pocket.



12 March 2013

I woke up to chain saws this morning. I guess they are still working on that big tree in front of the Wynne's. They had at least three skilled workers and a bunch of expensive equipment working the whole day yesterday to take it down. There was a bunch still to clean up the last time I went out to look. Dave saw them load the trunk onto a trailer and thinks maybe they sold it.

I don't know what kind of tree it was, but if it were walnut, I'd remember walking around the nuts. There are a lot of oaks around here.

Rode past the Wynne's on my way to the grocery; there are lots of large chunks of trunk being sawed up into firewood. One chunk was lying flat, and for a moment I thought that they had taken down two trees.



13 March 2013

Warmed-over lasangna for lunch.

It came out well, but I slept until almost time to put it into the oven and prep took longer than anticipated, so it was served very late and Dave hadn't had any lunch.

I am not pleased with the recipe on the box. It said to use the whole box of fourteen noodles, and put three or four of them into each of three layers. This does not compute.

It called for one jar of spaghetti sauce without saying what size jar.

And it said to mix the cheeses together, but surely it meant to mix the *grated* cheeses together, and put the optional ricotta in separately. When shredded cheese is mixed with ricotta, one gets a stiff dough that is impossible to spread. And it's tedious to dot little chunks around.

I plan to do it again sometime -- preferably before the rest of the ricotta spoils -- but I'll buy tomato juice and cook it down on the meat instead of mixing the meat with spaghetti sauce. But I may still use canned sauce for the top and bottom layers.

I just took an emery board to my bashed toenail. It isn't honestly long enough to file, but I smoothed it a little. It might be back to normal before the anniversary of the accident, which is doing well even without considering that it took weeks for the root to regenerate.

We had fried meatloaf that turned out sorta simmered and sorta steamed for supper. We both liked it, and ate too many buttered mushrooms with it. I don't know when I mixed it up; I thought that it was chicken livers when I took it out of the freezer yesterday.

Also canned cut-leaf spinach. Told him we had high-carb yesterday and zero carb today. I'm pretty sure there was bread in the meatloaf, but not much.

Which inspires me to buy some ground beef and make a chopped veggies meatloaf with no starch, but the weather service says my next shopping day will be Friday.

Had a lovely walk to the church this evening. It was very cold, but I was dressed for it. When I started out, I thought I should have worn my wool tights in addition to the silk tights and sweat pants under my jeans, but I was warm enough as soon as I got away from the wind off the lake -- I took off my gloves before I got there.

Never took my cell phone out of my go bag and put it back on the UPS. Perhaps I should store it in the go bag, like my wallet and keys.



14 March 2013

Oops! The nice day has been moved up to today. My clothes and such are ready, but I haven't done any psychological preparation. There's a thirty- percent chance Saturday will be pleasant.

I've realized that an all-veggies filler wouldn't be carb free -- I'd put in things like carrots. But no potatoes. Might should buy a jicama when I get the beef -- jicama is supposed to be low glycemic, and I think grated jicama would be good in a meatloaf.

I'd better shop for corned beef before it goes out of season. But I think I'd have noticed if Owen's had any.

Nice days are scheduled for my appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday, but that is on the wobbly edge of the prediction.



15 March 2013

It's warmer than it was when I last rode around the south end of the lake -- but I'm going to wear the shoes with no ventilation holes.

And my toes were chilly anyway. I suspect that that was in part because the shoes are pointy in the toe and my feet aren't.

This time I pulled off on Dwight (which seemed a more comfortable place than 200S and County Farm) and consulted my map. Then I followed 200S to Ferguson and Ferguson to Zimmer Road.

It was pretty easy for Zimmer Road to be *much* more comfortable than it was last summer -- the previous time it rated a teeny-tiny notch above "I don't care WHERE that side road goes!" I did reject Rozella Road because it didn't go where I wanted to go, but I knew that it wasn't very far to Fergusen -- and if I recall correctly, I pulled off on Fergusen first and read the map afterward.

There were a number of factors in the improvement: First and foremost, the terrifying loose gravel had gotten packed down nice and firm until it looked like concrete. Still a drop-off most places, so I never tried actually riding on it.

The traffic was lighter; three-abreast squeezes were almost constant on the previous trip, and I don't recall any from this trip.

And I was going the other way. It makes a big difference when the road is getting better instead of getting worse, and the shoulder on the east side has a lot of wide spots where the west side is almost uniformly narrow, and I think that the steep drop-offs were fewer and farther apart. Of course, a lot of places are steep on both sides because sections of the road are built on fill.

And the stretches of fill mean there is no coasting down and climbing back up.

Once on Zimmer I was tempted to stay on it and finally get a good look at the roundabout, which I should stop referring to as "the new roundabout" --though it's still the newest-- but that would mean coming back past Avilas, I couldn't pass by without going in, and we haven't eaten up all the fattening goodies that I bought on my last visit there.

So I turned off at the road along the railroad -- huh, Google maps not only doesn't think it exists, it hadn't been built when they took the aerial photograph they call "satellite view". The photo also shows Center continuing to Zimmer, which it no longer does. But the loop now ending Center is shown on the map view.

Anyhow, I blundered through the Zimmer parking lots to Center, and checked, while riding along Center, that I should have stayed on the back road until it ended, as all the lots have exits on Center. The gate I chose to exit by was the only one that was hard to get through!

Then I set out for Marsh, but came to Owen's West first. (It's hard to find only when I'm looking for it.) There's a pay phone on an outside wall of Owen's West; I must remember to look at the other supermarkets to see whether they have pay phones.

Much to my surprise, I found everything on my list, including flat-cut corned beef.

Thence to Warsaw Health Foods (which is much easier to get to from Owen's West than from Marsh) where I got the oat bran that was the objective of this journey, and a box of teriyaki brown rice crackers that are *very* good with Avila's sour cream.

I'll have to go shopping again tomorrow, because Dave ate all his salad tonight. I bought fresh tilapia at Owen's West, and he'd had tilapia for lunch and hadn't liked it. He intended at first to have left-over lasagna, but the salad was enough. I ate half of one of the two filets, and some crisp edges off the three others. I'll probably make tilapia salad tomorrow.

I had tarter sauce on my canned spinach, and liked it very much. I put a *lot* of lime juice in the tartar sauce; I doubt that Dave would have liked it if he'd had any.

I bought more noodles today. When I make lasagna again, I'll use half as much noodle and twice as much beef as I did the first time.

This box of noodles says to put three sheets in each of five layers. I haven't opened the box to count them.



16 March 2013

I noticed, while in Owen's West, that they had a sale on Value Bread for $0.89/loaf -- the same price as Aunt Millie, but Aunt Millie has better bread.

When they've got it. Last time I went, it was just before they re-stocked the shelves.

It's embarrassing when the only reply to my Usenet post is from a fellow who's in my killfile

because he makes a habit of responding to inane posts.

Didn't do much today. In the morning, I started tearing an old sheet into five pillowcases. After my nap, I drove to Owen's East for a bag of salad, which was all we had for supper. Dave had bacon bits and swiss on his; I had bacon bits and colby on mine.

In the evening I noticed that my Manager's Special bananas were pretty far gone, and made a batch of muffins with too much honey in them. All one can taste is honey, toasted walnut, and red wheat.

I used equal parts of red wheat and oat bran.

I didn't make pizza-dough mix because we are going to Mad Anthony for corned beef and cabbage tomorrow.

Dave is talking himself into a visit to Kalamazoo.



17 March 2013

I had no idea my green scarf is so *huge*.

Ah, well, if I'd worn green I might have seemed to be trying to pass myself off as Kiddie Kollege staff.

The kids were cute, but I wish they'd let them sing a cappella, or at least turn the recording down -- you couldn't prove by me that they weren't just flapping their mouths.

I didn't notice that I'd forgotten to take off my overshoes until it was time to put them back on. Which is good news: there was a time when my bad hip would have complained vigorously if I'd worn shoes during the hymn singing.

There seemed to be a skim of ice over large parts of the lake this morning. It's probably gone now, but the wind is so calm that it *all* looks like ice, so I'm not sure.

Last time I walked along the canal, it was covered with ice so thin that it rippled with the waves and didn't crack. I saw a pair of ducks swimming toward ice and expected them to plow on through, but they made a U turn. Later, while crossing the foot bridge, I saw a pair swimming along the edges of the ice, apparently looking for goodies that the current had collected there.

The creek was calmer than it has been when I crossed it on the way home this morning. (Didn't look on the way out.) Most of the snow is gone, and it's been a while since the last drippy day. I had been puzzled by the turbulence, but on the way home today I remembered that when the creek is up, the lake is usually also up, so that the part of the creek I can see from Park Avenue is part of the lake.

Just tried to refill my levothyroxine, and there are no more refills -- oh, yeah, I'm supposed to have the dosage evaluated next Tuesday. At 9:45.

I woke up at 8:30 today, and wasn't quite ready to step off at 10:00. I can lay things out the night before, and can't eat breakfast when I'm having blood tests, but I'm going to have to set the alarm.



20 March 2013

Didn't set the alarm, got to the appointment early anyhow. I got a new prescription for levothyroxine, but he said not to fill it until the lab tests came back.

Perhaps the call came while I was at Dr. Grossnickle's. On the way across the parking lot, I was amused to note that I was fairly close before I could read the sign on Koscuisko Family Practice, but the word "Grossnickle" was large and clear from the farthest edge.

Dr. Hickman says that my epiretinal membrane is so stable that I don't have to come back for a whole year. The check-out clerk said that they'll send me a postcard when it's time to make the appointment.

Did a little wash on Monday, This morning, I sewed two seams in a pillowcase and removed part of a hem in the rest of the sheet that I had torn the pillowcase off of.



21 March 2013

It's a lovely day -- a bit of wind chill, but that always drops off when one gets away from the lake. I need exercise. We need several things I could buy on a Sprawlmart tour.

But after going out two days in a row I wanna stay home. Spent the morning reading e-mail and making scans.

Scanner stops working after about half a dozen pictures, and feels warm on the bottom. Perhaps I should put plywood on the ironing board before using it as a scanner stand -- I do have a very thick pad on my ironing board.

I got to feeling guilty after supper and set out to walk to Roy Street. As I was thinking that an out-and-back was boring and planning to go out through the bike trails, I remembered that I haven't walked to Packerton Road in ages, so I did that instead. I sent Dave a text message at the turn-around point, and he replied. Met the same mountain biker -- or one with the same taste in lime-yellow clothing -- about half a dozen times. The coat I wore is about the same color as his jersey, so we could see each other just fine.



22 March 2013

Lovely day, and I'm in the mood -- but I need to pick up pills at Owen's East and there is no good way from Owen's to Sprawlmart. Briefly considered doing Sprawlmart first, but that would entail a left turn across SR 30 at its hairiest intersection. Well the intersection isn't hairy at all going the other way, but Center is somewhat nasty as it approaches it.

>checks list< none of the stuff I can buy only at Aldi is urgent, but I want a longer ride than to Owen's and back. Could go around the south end of the lake to get there, but I'm bored with that route.



23 March 2013

Well, I got my longer ride. As I was waiting for the traffic light at the entrance, I remembered that I wasn't going to pick up a prescription, I was going to drop one off. Fortunately, there was enough red light left for me to dismount and get out of the road, so I didn't have to go to McKinley before turning around to come back for the prescription.

The pharmacy clerk was so confident that I would wait for the prescription that I decided to buy my cabbage on the way out instead of on the way back, and what with buying several other things and having to pack them carefully, I was late picking it up rather than early.

Then I set out for Avila, intending to buy more sour cream. Fort Wayne goes straight to the street that comes out in Avila's back yard, but it's one-way the wrong way, so I went one block north to Clarke: oops, Clarke doesn't cross the railroad. One block south to Fort Wayne, which has a sidewalk to get across the railroad on. Hey, there's the library

<at that point it was time to leave>



24 March 2013

So I got copies of _Across the Great Barrier_ and _The Far West_ and came home by way of the indoor flea market. The flea market is smaller than it used to be, and I didn't see as much interesting stuff. Of course, more of the stuff is stuff I've seen before than when I first started visiting.

I think I've figured out what prompted the exchange:

Me: "is completely unrelated to"

Person disagreeing: "has nothing to do with"

I *think* that a blank line and an in-line header was insufficient to notify the reader that I had changed the subject, so that my comment on "piccador" was read as part of my comment on "peccadillo". Also, the header failed to remind the reader that "piccador" had also been discussed in the thread that I was responding to.

But I don't see any way to use this to improve future posts.

Perhaps the moral is: don't just signal your turns, grab the reader by the lapels, shake him, and swing him around to the new direction. Subtle hints don't cut it.

Dave is getting a lot of exercise playing with GPS apps in his new phone.

In honor of Palm Sunday, I wore only one dress to church today. And it was warm enough; I felt a sight draft on my ankles when starting out, but it didn't last.

I thought I would have to wear boots to church, but the storm appears to have fizzled out. When I saw flakes falling, I thought I would be sorry I hadn't brought the boots along, but none of the flakes landed, and it was clear and sunny when the service ended.

One of the side effects of wearing a Gibson: the first sign of dandruff is white specks on one's black slippers.



25 March 2013

Two loads of wash: one white, one black. The "black" was a bit mixed.

Yesterday I emptied the cat's cannister of dry food, and the level in the sack is so low that is was hard scoop food into the can, so I pulled the sack out of the freezer and poured it.

And underneath the cat food is a huge bag of white-wheat flour. I *thought* I couldn't have run out so soon!

It's pleasant out, and there's plenty of time to take a walk before dark, but I just can't get up the energy to put on shoes.

I keep a battered pair of plastic sandals by the patio door, and stepped into them to take out the garbage earlier today. The snow got into them, but I didn't mind it. Upon returning, I put the sandals on a carpet sample to drain and took the USA Weekend to the recycling bin. The carpet scraps in the garage cover only the route to the freezer, so I had to walk most of the way on bare, cold concrete -- and I minded that a LOT.

I've found another reason for Alice to be unhappy with Verizon, or whoever her old cell-phone company was. I tried to call her this morning to ask how she cooked her carrots -- Dave said my carrots came out just right the way I guessed at; since I don't like cooked carrots, I couldn't judge them myself.

When I called, I absent-mindedly clicked on her old cell phone number instead of her landline. Instead of saying "this is a dead number", they pretended to take a voice mail! If Dave hadn't got to hunting for the slip of paper on which he wrote her new number, I would never have realized that my message had gone to dev.null. Perhaps I should call Alice and verify the name of the company so I can be careful never to buy any service from them.

We never found the paper, and he thinks that he left it where he wrote it.

Spent most of today reading _The Far West_. I finished _Across the Great Barrier_ yesterday.



26 March 2013

The piano tuner came today. I don't think anyone has touched the keyboard since his previous visit. We really ought to sell the piano or give it to one of the children.

I looked out the window, saw that it was a lovely day to go walking, and sat down to finish reading _The Far West_.

I made pizza for supper -- four cups white-wheat, one cup oat bran. Nice enough that I ate a bite of the dough raw. I put half of it in the freezer for another pizza.

I fried up four sausage patties, then made the sauce right in the sausage. I drained off some of the grease, then fried a little minced celery in the sausage and let it simmer for a while, then put in a can of mushroom stems and pieces and chopped them around, added a pinch of freeze-dried garlic and some thyme, oregano, and basil, put on the lid and let everything simmer for fifteen minutes. Then I removed it from the heat and let it cool until almost time to top the pizza. Then I stirred in about half a can of tomato paste, which thickened the mushroom broth, a pinch of smoked sea salt, and some chopped onion. Spread that around on the pizza shell, which had been rising all this while, and topped with rings cut from four little sweet peppers and a small bag of shredded mozzarella.

That was easier than putting the sauce and the sausage on separately, and I think it tasted better too.

When clearing out the parlor so the piano tuner could work, I found a recipe for buckwheat bread:

Buckwheat Bread

cup wheat gluten
cup oat bran
2 cups white-wheat whole-grain flour
2 cups whole-grain buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon yeast
2 heaping teaspoons granulated lecithin
2 teaspoons lite salt.
a glug of maple syrup
2 cups water

While I'm pasting in bread recipes, I should include one I picked up on Baen's Bar. Baen's Bar is a web forum for Baen Books' authors and people who would like to sell to Baen; a while back they started re-posting it in NNTP format, so I've been able to read such parts as survive the translation.


I've been experimenting with a healthier version of scones/biscuit based on Victorian style Oat Cakes, and this turned out very well. They take 30 min to make start-to-eating, the dough can wait overnight in the fridge, and while they should be eaten the same day they are baked, they are equally good hot or cold.


4 big or 8 small

2 cups all purpose flour,
1 cup rolled oats,
3 teasp baking powder,
3 teasp coarse salt,
2 tablesp honey,
3 tablesp olive oil,
2 eggs,
milk, beer or water.

Turn on the oven at medium heat.

Mix everything except the liquid with a fork until you have a crumble mix, then add the liquid until you have a soft dough just firm enough to shape to patties with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Bake the patties in the upper part of the oven for ca. 25 min or until golden.

Splitting the cakes and serving with butter and jam or cheese does make them less healthy, but the slightly salty oat taste also makes them OK for just munching with a cup of tea.

Anette, the Great Dane


I came in much to late to hear the story behind Anette's screen name -- but she lives in Denmark, and though I wouldn't call her her writing great, it is good.



27 March 2013

Pretty much the same ride as last time, except this time I went to the library on purpose -- returned the two novels and checked out a fashion book. I meant to go on to Avila and buy more sour cream, but I got a late start and spent a lot of time at the library, so I didn't even stop at the indoor flea market on the way home. Did stop at Sherman & Lin's & buy a bottle of sesame oil.

Took Clarke again, since Main doesn't come all the way. When I went to cross to Main, walking because the connecting street is one way, I turned into the alley between Main and Fort Wayne, and found sound pavement and no blind intersections. Since I was fresh and alert at the time, I stayed on it until it ended.



30 March 2013

Came home from church, ate lunch, prepared for my nap, wondered why all the Sunday funnies were repeats . . .

I thought about making muffinlets for the breakfast, but I'm tired and there's always worlds of bread and cake -- last year there was nothing else to eat, thanks to an oven failure, and there was plenty left over.

The egg casseroles are going to be zingier than before: I always put in salt, but this time the recipe also called for garlic powder and pepper.

I forgot that I need to take my own whip. At first I thought the only problem with the church whip was that I had to have a spoon rest for it, because it would have fallen into the egg if left in the bowl, but I pretty soon learned that a short whip doesn't give you any leverage.

But we weren't wanting it fluffy, so it worked. The whipping part isn't as big a deal as cracking all those eggs -- when I do it only once a year and never had any training in the art. And this year we had farm-fresh eggs that sometimes had to be whacked more than once.

Since I don't have horseradish, I may go for mellow on the devilled eggs. Frank's Sauce is good, but capsaicin has become a cliché

Despite that, I'm taking queen olives stuffed with jalapeño, if I remember to put the jar into the cooler. I don't like olives, but I couldn't resist buying that!

They might be good sliced onto a pizza.