Monday, December 29, 2008

Men: Chad Moston

Name: Chad Wesley Moston
Best Known For: Fitness Model
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: ?
Height: 6'1"
Fun Fact: He's really a business account executive.

That fun fact is courtesy of this blog entry of, you guessed it, a guy. I really don't know that much more about him. He's heaven to look at, though, isn't he? I put two pics up because I really like the sunglasses picture (quality), but it doesn't show his eyes. There aren't very many pictures of him out there at all, but if he only does fitness modeling on the side it seems reasonable. Probably means he's out there somewhere posing as a regular Joe. Hmmm...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chocolate: Rocky Road Fudge

I'm taking the easy way out of my chocolate post this time. One of my favorite fudges or chocolate dessert squares are Rocky Road. There are complicated recipes out there involving real fudge like you buy at fudge stores and there are easy, not quite fudge as much as chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, recipes. I searched and found links. No, I haven't tried them, but I have a relative who makes some variation of Rocky Road candy every year. It's my favorite. Enjoy!

That's My Home
Food Network
Kraft and Baker's

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Books: The Broken Window

Tied up in work and holidays, I haven't had much time to read. I'm hoping to get caught up on that during the holidays. Anyway, I did manage to read The Broken Window, one of Jeffery Deaver's books featuring Lincoln Rhyme. I've mentioned this author and character before.

I'm usually fit to be tied while reading all the twists and turns at the end of the story. While this one had a few tricks up its sleeve, it wasn't with the "jaw drop" I usually associate with Rhyme books. I've actually seen someone complaining about his end of book weirdness, so maybe he's trying to please his fans.

What actually had me floored was the basis for his book. Data mining. The murderer in the book used it to frame others for his crimes. It was really quite frightening.

Still I liked all the detective work and trying to figure out who the killer was. You might too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

TV: Comedy Central Roasts

Comedy Centrals Roasts are funnier than all and so not suitable for children.

I have never seen such a collection of put downs that have me rolling than these. A quick run down of the show is here. You can view video clips here. Type "roasts" in the search box.

I've seen Flava Flav's, William Shatner's, and Bob Saget's. Completely adult entertainment, but worth mentioning.

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quotes of 2008

  • Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else –- Will Rogers JANUARY 2008

  • Love is like and hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties. -- Jules Renard FEBUARY 2008
  • It’s hard to detect good luck – it looks so much like something you’ve earned. Frank A. Clark MARCH 2008
  • I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I only lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three. -- Elayne Boosler APRIL 2008
  • Milton Berle if evolution works how come mothers only have two hands. MAY 2008
  • Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning? -– George W. Bush JULY 2008
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. –- Oscar Wilde JUNE 2008
  • Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you. -– Erma Bombeck AUGUST 2008
  • Time is a great teacher. Unfortunately, it kills all its pupils. -– Hector Berlioz SEPTEMBER 2008
  • There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin. -- Linus Van Pelt in “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” OCTOBER 2008
  • Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened. -- Cora Harvey Armstrong NOVEMBER 2008
  • The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband. -- Joan Rivers DECEMBER 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Men: Honorable Mentions, Models

Lemons, Allender and VigilantI've got three models for you this time. They caught my eye ;o) Pictures of them are all over the net and easy to find. If you do a search for them, beware. Apparently they are eye candy for all.

In order, left to right:

Name: Nicholas Lemons
Birth Year: 1981
Height: 6'1"

Name: Ramirez Allender
Birth Year: 1981
Height: 6'1"

Name: Ryan Vigilant
Birth Year: 1983
Height: 6'1"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chocolate: Lindt Excellence 85%

Okay. It snaps, it's got good color, it's melty. But, man, it's strong. B likes dark chocolate and even he found this one bitter. I didn't detect too much of anything other than the real chocolate - which is good. Some of the other dark chocolates had a more burnt taste. However, this dark was just too much for this milk chocolate gal. I chased it down with a bar of Lindt Filled. ;o)

Other reviewers here and here liked the dark taste. So if it's your thing - I mean really your thing - give it a try.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Books: Book Clubs

I've always wanted to start or be a part of a book club. Oprah's highly publicized book club is part of her show and is carried through online. Oprah's book of the moment is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. She posts information about the book, the author, and provides a community for discussion. Even A is doing one every week at her school. So why can't I have one?

Because, and maybe I'm overthinking things, it seems like it would be a hard thing to do. First, I'd have to find others who like reading the kinds of books I do. Second, the kinds of books I like to read do not lend themselves well to heartfelt, deep discussions like Oprah's books. She likes to bookmark and quote feelings, events, actions. Third, these people have to find time to meet, which is even difficult for friends of mine I've known for years, much less strangers. Fourth, I'd actually have to keep a schedule of reading so I come prepared. Sometimes I'm too busy to read (I know, unheard of!)

So I'm thinking maybe this is a summer activity. I'm thinking of someplace to put up info like Oprah. I'm thinking maybe I'm nuts. Is there someone who is part of a book club, knows about one through a friend, or has resources for successful ones?

Friday, December 5, 2008

TV: Medium, Monk, and Psych - A medley

I checked out Medium's site at NBC eagerly anticipating the episodes rumored to be showing in January. There's no date listed. NBC plans to use it to replace episodes of new shows with low ratings. Lots of fans are upset with the loose attitude NBC seems to have with Medium's scheduling. Why mess with a good thing?

USA has just aired the Christmas episodes of Monk and Psych, which as of earlier this week were still available for viewing online. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
Shawn: That may or may not have to do with the stray cat that I took in. But they cannot blame me for infesting the entire building.
Gus and Joy in unison: One adult female flea lays thousands of eggs.
Shawn: That’s a little bit frightening.

Joy: Are you having a vision?
Shawn: It’s it’s a sm-sm-tiny vision.
Joy: Umm.
Shawn: Cold shower, baseball stats,watching my grandmother eat meatloaf.
Gus: Shawn!
To see for yourself...
USA Network > Psych > Video > Full Episodes
Episode 309: Christmas Joy
Julie: Is that your tree?
Monk: Uh huh.
Julie: It’s cardboard.
Monk:Right. No muss, no fuss. A lot of people are doing it.
Monk:People, you know, who are me.

Natalie: What is that?
Disher: What?
Natalie: What is that on your face? On your lip?
Monk: It looks a little bit like a mustache.
Disher: Well, I’m in charge. It comes with the job.
Monk and Natalie examine the mustache veerrry closely.
Disher: Okay, you’re making me a little uncomfortable.
Natalie: You’re making ME a little uncomfortable.

To see for yourself...
USA Network > Monk > Video > Full Episodes
Episode 709: Mr. Monk and the Miracle

Sad news for other Monk fans. Next season will be the last with 16 episodes. See more info here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Miscellaneous: Sudoku

I promise, no puzzles next Miscellaneous. Let me just get this one more puzzle out of my system. Sudoku.

If you haven't heard of it, I can't even guess where you've been hiding. The puzzle is a nine by nine grid which must be filled in with the numbers 1 through 9 in every row, column, and section. Some of the numbers are filled in to get started. The amount of numbers and their placement determine the skill needed to complete them. I used to do these in my Pencil Puzzles and Word Games magazines a looong time ago, before they were so popular. There are so many versions now. To see the variety I've included the Wiki link here.

I stick with the basics, the plain grid, and get them from several places. The first source is my local newspaper which puts a Sudoku in the entertainment section with the comics. At the beginning of the week they start with one star Sudoku and add a star each day. The most difficult ones are on Saturday.

Another source are the cheap books at places like Walmart and Target. Friends and family give me these. They are nice when commercials come on and I haven't pre-recorded the show I'm watching. A third source is a hand held game my MIL bought for me. There are many different types out there differing solving help features. I like the kind that let you place more than one number in each box. It helps with elimination.

That brings me to my fourth source...the Internet. There are so many online Sudoku that it's impossible not to find one. I have one set up on MyYahoo from BrainBashers. I like it because there is a new one each day, I can vary the level of difficulty by going to the site (MyYahoo page always displays the easy one), and I can fill in the boxes with more than one number if I need to. The online ones are often timed if you need more of a challenge.

It is easy to get hooked and fun to do when you're waiting for something...meeting to start, car repairs, appointment, etc. Anyone else Sudoku?

Monday, December 1, 2008


That time of the year again. Ignore the fact that your decorations weren't up at midnight on Thanksgiving. Get those Christmas cards out and don't forget anyone because you know they'll remember the slight next year. Peruse several recipes to decide which ones to cook or take with you on whatever date the party falls on. Don't forget the white elephant gift. While you're at it, beg for or demand emphatically those Christmas lists. Brave the horrible crowds at the stores or order online early. Avoid shopping for yourself, but remember that you need a Christmas outfit to wear. And for the folks like me, take deep breaths and relax even though this is a high stress period at work.

I get one wonderful perk this month that will make everything else worth while. I still have the parties, gifts, and cards, but I will not have to put up decorations this year. That itself will make New Year's truly a happy one.

Happy Birthday B!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Men: Nick Youngquest

Nick YoungquestName: Nick Youngquest (Nicholas Frederick Youngquest)
Best Known For: Sports, Rugby Player
Year of Birth: 1983
Status: Single (Fiancee?)
Height: 6'
Fun Fact: Controversy!

The "Young" part of his name works considering his age. He is an Australian professional rugby player. He is well-known among the non-sporthead population because of a few calendars and a few magazine photo shoots in which he posed quite exposed. The pictures are...hotter than the sun's surface. He said the pictures were all for a good cause, breast cancer research, although the NRL was not pleased. A quick Google Photo search will reveal all. All I'm giving you is the pic above.

He is supposedly dating or perhaps has proposed to Kassy Lee, a contestant on the Australian So You Think You Can Dance.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chocolate: Ferrero Rondnoir

Someone gave me two packages of Ferrero chocolates as a gift recently. The first package was the traditional hazelnut Rocher. Like I said in a previous post, sometimes the hazelnut is okay, but I prefer just chocolate. So after eating a couple, I handed the package to B.

Ferrero RondnoirThe second package was Rondnoir*, dark chocolates, no hazelnut. Ferrero is known for the gold wrapper, the bumpy coating, and wafer in the center. The Rondnoir does not have a gold wrapper, but a dark brown. It has a bumpy coating of small chocolate bits and the wafer surrounds more dark chocolate. While I wasn't completely impressed by the chocolate - no big "Wow" - I devoured the package. The wafer was so light it was almost as if I hadn't eaten any chocolate and needed more.

Over at Candy Addict there was a review of some prestige collection that included Rocher, Garden Coco, and Rondnoir. The reviewer, Jamie, said this:

The Bronze Medal is awarded to the Ferrero Rondnoir, which, while tasty, is the weakest Ferrero of the Prestige collection. The Rondnoir is constructed like any other Ferrero, with a gooey center, a wafer shell, and a nice crunchy coating. In the Rondnoir’s case, the center is a “black pearl” of dark chocolate - and a lovely pearl at that. The chocolate is rich and bitter and has the snap of a good dark chocolate.

Rondnoir’s outer coating is also made of dark chocolate, with crunchy bits to give the candy texture. It is a dark chocolate lover’s dream. However, the Rondnoir loses a few points for textural reasons. Like the Garden Coco, the Rondnoir doesn’t seem to have enough of a crunch at the center.

Because the crunch wasn't what I was looking for, it gets a higher rating from me, but not quite the top because of the "empty" factor. I'd have to eat a hundred to feel satisfied...hmmm, eating a hundred doesn't sound so bad.

*Click on Rondnoir.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Books: "Kathryn Dance"

I mentioned Jeffery Deaver's books involving Lincoln Rhyme before. I love Deaver's cleverness. His books often have big twists at the end that I'm not expecting at all. I decided to read one of his other novels with his newer character Kathryn Dance.

Dance is a kinesics specialist (studies body language) and in this book, The Sleeping Doll she's trying to track down a killer dubbed as the "Son of Manson." Again Deaver keeps you guessing and keeps your attention all the way to the end of the story - really. I really can't say much more, but I highly recommend you read it. I'm definitely looking forward to his next Dance book.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

TV: Chuck

With the start of the New Year I will be adding another part to my "Men" section all because of the star of this show. Cute Geeks.

Chuck CastChuck Bartowski, played by Zachary Levi, is a computer geek who gets tangled up in CIA and NSA spy games because an ex-friend sends him an email that loads his brain up with government secrets called the Intersect. At any time he could see something that triggers the Intersect so he is closely watched by Major John Casey and Agent Sarah Walker. Sarah is playing his love interest to the delight of Chuck's sister, Ellie (who thinks her brother is unsuccessful in life), while John plays a coworker.

What makes the show...Chuck and Sarah's fake/real relationship, Ellie's fiance Captain Awesome, the Nerd Herd, getting an Intersect flash, the "horrible but not so horrible that I can't watch" friends at Buy More, Major John's affinity for guns and ammo, the video demo room, the swordfish, and so much more.

Chuck, Chuck and Chuck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Miscellaneous: Logic Puzzles Two

I love my subscription to Dell Logic Puzzles. I used to get the Pencil Puzzles and Word Games at one time. So my miscellaneous post today is to get you familiar with a few puzzles from those magazines that I enjoy and two of the more challenging traditional logic puzzles.

The first puzzle is called "Dicey Words" by Sandra J. Frey or Georgena S. Sil. (and possibly others) The picture shows four blocks that supposedly have six letters (none repeated) on each of the six sides. Listed next to the blocks are four letter words that can be spelled with the blocks. Your logical task? Figure out which letters belong on which blocks. I love this one, often doing it first when I get my newest magazine. It took me a long time to figure out how to do it well, but after I did I understood why the rating was 3-star and not 5. A simplistic, non-visually appealing version is here.

The second puzzle is "Dominoes" by Stitch. It looks like a grid filled with numbers. However, they are actually dominoes arranged in a rectangular shape...missing the domino lines. Your logical task? Figure out how the dominoes are placed and put in the lines. These are also labeled as 3-star. Sometimes it goes smoothly and other times it is more challenging. The magazine places a starting hint at the bottom if you get stuck.

The third puzzle is new to my puzzle book, Logic Art. Penny Press calls them Pic-a-Pix. There is a link here because it is really hard to describe how it looks. Your logical task? Make the picture using the number clues on the sides of the grid. I've only done a few of these...ah, with a little cheat help. But they are fun and I hope to get better at finding the patterns.

There are two types of logic puzzles that usually challenge me, the 5-star puzzles and the truthtellers versus liar puzzles. The 5-star puzzles usually involve no grid (like I talked about before) and ten or more complicated clues. It will take me days or weeks to solve them. I actually need the puzzle out of my mind to get a new perspective.

The truth/lie puzzles are hard because they are mental twisters. The puzzles are composed of statements made by three or more people. Some tell the truth, some lie, and there are often some that alternately tell the truth and lie. Your logical task? Figure out who is lying, who is telling the truth, and who does it sometimes. Like I said these always trip me up. Although here is an easy one.

My next miscellaneous puzzle post will be about a popular favorite that I was doing in my puzzle books back in the 1980s.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Men: Grant Bowler

Grant BowlerName: Grant Bowler
Best Known For: TV Shows, The Mole, Outrageous Fortune & Ugly Betty
Year of Birth: 1968
Status: Married (Roxane Wilson)
Height: 6'1"
Fun Fact: ???

I've got nothing fun or interesting on Grant from his more personal life. He and his wife have two children and he was born in New Zealand. I first noticed him on Ugly Betty, but he has apparently been around much longer. I looked at pictures of him on Google and noticed that he looks better now, with short cropped hair and the beard/mustache thing he has going on.

My heart did little flutters when Vanessa Williams had her little daydream about him on November 6th episode. There is a whole plot line involving him on the show - I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chocolate: Lindt Filled

I've needed chocolate. I've felt pretty good because I've eaten all the things I'm supposed to and lost some pounds (yea!). Now I deserve rewards...well, one reward - chocolate. So I bought Lindt Lindor 60% Cocoa Extra Dark Chocolate (shell with filling).

I've been under the mistaken idea that Lindt had that hazelnut flavor, and while I like it at times, I can certainly do without. I was wrong. Eating Lindt was divine. Smooth, chocolatey, melt in your mouth goodness. I especially loved the filling because it spread through my mouth as the chocolate melted on my tongue. It did not taste like a dark chocolate.

I have to admit I'm afraid to try the bar without the filling, but if the one with was so good... Candy Addicts Blog has a review of Lindt if you're interested. If you're really interested, do yourself a favor and buy a bar.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Books: Kindle 2

Guess what? I've got my Kindle!

Already B is wishing he hadn't gotten it for me. I've been off the computer for three solid days because I've been reading on my Kindle. Four books down, three to go, before I have to order more. My dad and step-mother gave me a gift certificate for $50, and it covered nearly all 7 books. That's pretty good! And I don't have to find a place on my overwhelmed bookshelf to keep them. I'm also finding it is a great way to look at new authors. Most of the time I like my new ones, but now if I don't, there is no lingering book to worry about.

I haven't actually ordered right off the Kindle. I used the site to cash in my gift certificate and then just sent the books to the Kindle from the site. I will try direct ordering the next time I really want a book (this Christmas.) There were two drawbacks listed about it. One was that the scroll didn't work so well with large font. I'm not finding that to be true. I read so fast, though, that I have to have the font on the smallest size possible or I'm turning the page every second.

The other drawback was about how "slippery" the Kindle was. It was hard to hold onto and the case didn't keep the book steady. I've found that to be true. The tabs to hold the Kindle are on the inside rather than the outside edge so it can slip out of its case. When I've tried to keep it in the case, I've inadvertently hit the page button. I've solved that problem using the band that keeps the Kindle case closed. I slide it over the edge of the Kindle and then it doesn't matter which angle I hold it, it doesn't move.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this gift! And as I scarfed down my diet cheat (a sundae and Oreo cookie shake) in honor of my birthday, I received the news that my other birthday wish came true. I'm proud to be an American.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

TV: Pushing Daisies

 Pushing Daisies
Let me be honest. I don't really know why I like this show. Pushing Daisies is a quirky story of a man who has the ability to bring the dead to life. Not just people, but any living thing. However, once he touches something, another living thing must die in its place. Unless he touches the "once dead and now living thing" for a second time (dead again) within a minute. Touching them a third time won't bring them back. Was that confusing enough?

Ned is a pie maker who found this ability as a child when he brought his dog back to life. Later, when his mother died and he brought her to life. A minute after that, when he hadn't touched his mother for a second time, the father of Charlotte (his next door neighbor and secret crush) dropped dead. As an adult, Charlotte (known as Chuck) died and Ned brought her back to life. He still has a crush, but now he can't touch her or she's gone forever.

Ned and Charlotte now help Emerson, a private detective, solve crimes by bringing the dead back to life. So the whole idea of the show seems original and interesting, but it is really quirky (I just realized that Pushing Daisies at Wiki has a section for this show on quirky.) The voice over sounds like someone speaking in riddles. The colors are so bright that it looks like a technicolor fifties show. The story line, although there, isn't keeping the ratings up.

So why do I watch it? I can ignore the voice over (which doesn't actually play all the time), I can wear sunglasses, and I'm truly following the story of Ned and his unusual relationship with Chuck. Bees, nuns, pop-up books, pies,...just quirky. If you liked Dead Like Me or Wonderfalls, then you might like Pushing Daisies.

**UPDATE** ABC is cancelling Pushing Daisies! Doggone it. Here's more info.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Miscellaneous: Eerie Elegance

I attended a Halloween party this past weekend at the home of a college friend who is organized like me, but also extremely talented.

Picture this: You arrive at her house for Halloween (mind you this is not some big mansion) to see the front yard cemetary of "real"size tombstones and waves of fog rolling over your feet. When you enter there are eyeball and spider pillows on her sofas, and the windows are adorned with giant cat's eyes and spider web sheers. On the table in her kitchen there are vials and beakers of all sizes labeled with various poisons. There is also a brain and a heart that bleeds when it's cut. In the next room is a witch holding a cauldron of something that looks suspiciously like dishwater - and you're expected to drink it from glasses with skeleton hands for flutes.

I think you get the picture, but if you don't you can buy her book. My friend, Britta Peterson, has written Eerie Elegance so that everyone can create a Halloween with style. If you had trouble with the earlier visualization, visit the site to see pictures of her creations. She has a link to her personal site where you'll find that Halloween is not her only area of expertise. It's a shame that you can't get her friends with the book too. They were quite creative with their costumes. (One was dressed as Under the Weather.) If I didn't know who Britta hangs out with I might suspect that she's rubbed off on them over the years.

One last thing, Britta (whose name is pronounced Bree ta) received a call from Oprah's team about a possible appearance, likely by Skype, on Friday. The appearance has not been confirmed, but I will post an update if it happens. See update below... In the meantime, buy the book if you dare and try out a couple of the recipes at a party you are invited to. Start small and you'll be haunting happily in no time!

UPDATE: Britta tells me Oprah's show is too full for Friday, but that they have her on their radar and may contact her again next year. I hope so! BTW I was so excited I posted out of order (I'll fix that next week...)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I really am celebrating! I've stayed on my diet and lost 12 pounds! Okay, do a little dance and celebrate with me. My jeans are loose, and I need new belts. I haven't seen my MIL in three weeks and she noticed the weight loss. I had a little CAKEplateau the last three days, but this morning the scale reflected another pound and a half. I'm not ready to count that yet.

I will also be starting the last year of the rest of my life. Don't laugh. I've decided that I will be my current age forever. I may be old, wrinkled, and deaf, but I'll still be the same age I turn this month. No, I don't have any special plans, but I will consider casting my vote and getting the result I want to be the best present ever. Birthday Freebies here.

Get out there and vote!

BTW, don't get confused when I move the posts where they belong - I'm too anal to leave them on the wrong days ;o)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Men: Honorable Mentions 2

Antonio Sabato Jr.Name: Antonio Sabato Jr.
Best Known For: Actor, General Hospital
Year of Birth: 1972
Status: Single?
Height: 6'1"
Fun Fact: Has a tattoo on his lower back

That is a tattoo I would very much like to see :D I loved him in General Hospital. He had a soft, husky voice and played a guy that always sounded unsure of himself. Makes you get all protective. I was so bummed when I found out he was with Madsen who is 10 years his senior. Back to the positive, I like that he doesn't drink or smoke. Dimples, dimples, dimples.

Jerry O'ConnellName: Jerry O'Connell (Jeremiah O'Connell)
Best Known For: Actor, Crossing Jordan
Year of Birth: 1974
Status: Married (Rebecca Romijn)
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: Was in a Mariah Carey video

I thought he was too cute back when he was in Sliders and couldn't get over the fact that this was the same little rotund boy from Stand By Me. His eyes are a pretty blue and his hair looks best when it's spiky. He is currently expecting twins with Romijn.

DCI Lister: Leonardo DiCaprio

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chocolate: Nonni Biscotti

I haven't been able to get my hands on any chocolate lately. You're probably saying, "Didn't she go through this last week?" I know it seems like it, but you have to see it from my point of view - I NEED chocolate. I have a second set of blood vessels that just transport chocolate through my system, and unfortunately they don't manufacture their own chocolate cells.

Nonni's BiscottiBut seriously, I haven't had my chocolate fix. No chocolate fix, no chocolate to post about. So we go shopping this weekend and Nonni's Biscotti catches my eye. Back in the dark ages (last year) when I was able to eat what I wanted, I bought some biscotti as a gift. Since they are individually wrapped, I split them up and stuffed them into coffee mugs for a few people. So...the container is open...that means I get some, right? Right!

They aren't anything super special, but I like them. If I weren't watching what I ate they would make awesome snacks. My favorite is the Chocolate Collection that is usually at Sam's Club. Dipped in a very large mug of mocha (90% chocolate, 10% coffee), they are delish.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Books: Kindle

I know, I know. I honestly couldn't say that I have a readership that would extend beyond the five fingers on my hand, but I know the ones who do expect me to post earlier. I had the hardest time coming up with something until I watched Oprah today.

She was raving about her favorite new gadget, Amazon's Kindle, a digital (book) reader. She was such a saleswoman that I instantly decided that I wanted one for Christmas even knowing that I would receive nothing else ($$$). It can hold potentially thousands of books that you download (and pay for) from Amazon. What did Oprah rave about?

*Best sellers and new releases are normally $9.99.
*Lightweight and easy to carry.
*Downloads include newspapers, magazines, blogs, documents, and music.
*Easy to use.
*Has a lookup feature to find unknown words.
*Amazon saves what you've downloaded and should you accidentally delete a book or lose the Kindle :O you can recover all that you lost free of charge.

It didn't take much to sell me. However, as with all "techish" stuff, I asked B who asked me if I'd looked into Sony's reader. Of course not, but I did take a quick look at their site after he asked. It just doesn't have the charisma of an Oprah endorsed product. I would like your opinions though. Maybe my readership is larger than I thought and someone could give me some insight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TV: Ghost Whisperer

Ghost WhispererLet's start off the next set of TV posts with my thoughts on the premieres. Ghost Whisperer started it's new season on October 3. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a woman who inherited the ability to talk to the dead. She feels obligated to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother and help these earth bound souls into the light.

One the one hand, I LOVE supernatural stuff like that! It would be an awesome talent.

On the other hand, the idea that she can approach people and tell them she can see and speak to their dead loved ones (without getting doors shut in her face) is far out there. Also, Love Hewitt is too cutsie looking (You should see that woman's fan sites). She hardly looks old enough to be doing what she is. And when she tears up as she "solves" one of her cases, I see the syrup dripping from my screen. Believe it or not, it works for the overall show.

So what has me watching beyond the "I see dead people" thing? (Because, honestly that last paragraph almost had me wondering what the heck I was thinking.) There is a little mystery beyond the cases. This season her character, Melinda Gordon, has been told that her being close to the death will rub off on the people she cares about and she decided at the end of last season to try for a child (dun, dun, dun). I also like/liked the supporting characters: Aisha Tyler, Jay Mohr, and Camryn Manheim. We'll see how Jamie Kennedy measures up. Okay, it's goofy, poofy, and not like The Sixth Sense, but it is 40 minutes of fluffy entertainment (I ALWAYS record and skip the commercials.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Miscellaneous: Yahoo! Answers

I know. It's bad. It's evil. It's a spiral down to the depths of...Well you get the picture. Unfortunately, it's also very addicting. It's Yahoo! Answers.

People post questions and wait for others to come and answer them. You get points for answering, points for being selected as the best answer, and points for helping to choose a best answer. Just like any other forum, the more points you get, the higher you rise on the Answers food chain.

I like it because it is a way to help others in an area that I'm familiar with. The questions are sorted and people post under the category that best fits their questions (most of the time). So when there is a post about books or television, I'm there.

Examples of questions I find hard to resist:
What is that music from the Fifth element hotel scene hawaiian or tahitian, also what is the name of the song?
Numbers such as second, third, forth, etc are called...?
I can't remember the name of this book?

Drawbacks include:
People posting a question that can easily be found by typing it into Google. I mean how lazy are you?
People putting random thumbs down on people during the initial ratings process. You truly have nothing better to do?
People asking really stupid questions. Your teacher said there aren't any, but he/she lied.
Oh, and can I add that people can't spell worth beans?

Am I cute?
Tomorrow is Columbus Day. and i go to the middle school it sounds stupid...but i need to know if we go to school or not.
How does delectable mean?

It is a serious time waster, but highly addictive.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Men: Gabriel Aubry

Gabriel Aubry
Name: Gabriel Aubry
Best Known For: Modeling
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Single
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: He's shy!

I've changed his status to single. He has a child with Halle Berry. The two of them will have to beat off daughter Nahla's suitors with a stick when she comes of age. There is no way their child will be anything but beautiful.

I did have a hard time deciding if Gabriel should be a feature or with the Honorable Mentions. There are some pictures of him when he was younger that I don't think are as flattering. But, heck, he's nice looking now!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chocolate: Wiki-How

How to Taste Dark Chocolate

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The actual flavor compounds found in dark chocolate exceed those of red wine, and detecting all these notes can be an extremely fun and educational endeavor. The following will serve as a guideline, so that you can extract the fullest flavor potential from dark chocolate.


  1. Find a location free from background noise, such as television, music, a crying baby, road traffic noise, talkative friends etc. Being able to concentrate as intently as possible will facilitate flavor detection.
  2. Clear your palate. This means that your mouth should not contain residual flavors from a previous meal. Eat a wedge of apple or piece of bread if necessary. This is crucial in order to taste the subtleties of chocolate's complex flavor.
  3. Make sure that the piece of chocolate is large enough to accommodate full evolution of the flavor profile. A piece too small may not allow you to detect every subtle nuance as the chocolate slowly melts. The important thing to remember is that flavor notes gradually evolve and unfold on the tongue rather than open up in one large package. So remember, don't think small here. 10g should be a minimum starting point.
  4. Allow the chocolate to rest at room temperature before tasting. Cold temperatures will hinder your ability to detect the flavors. Some even advise that you rub the chocolate briefly between your fingers to coax the flavor. This procedure is optional.
  5. Look at the chocolate. The surface should be free of blemishes such as white marks (called bloom). Observe the color and manufacturer's job at molding and tempering. Does the chocolate appear to have been crafted carefully or slovenly? The bar should have a radiant sheen. Chocolate comes in a multifarious brown rainbow with various tints, such as pinks, purples, reds, and oranges. What do you see?
  6. Break the piece in half. It should resonate with a resounding "SNAP!" and exhibit a fine gradient along the broken edge. This is quality stuff!
  7. Smell the chocolate, especially at the break point. The aroma is an important component of flavor. Inhaling will prime the tongue for the incoming chocolate. It also gives you a chance to pick up the various nuances of the aroma.
  8. Place the chocolate on the tongue and allow it to arrive at body temperature. Let it melt. Chew it only to break it into small enough pieces that it begins to melt on its own. After all, we're tasting and not eating! This step is crucial, for it allows the cocoa butter to distribute evenly in the mouth, which mutes any astringencies or bitterness in the chocolate.
  9. Observe the taste and texture. As the chocolate melts, concentrate on the flavors that are enveloping your tongue. Melting will release more volatile compounds for you to smell. Close your eyes, take notes, enjoy this moment of bliss, and bask in contentment. Texture can be the most obvious clue about the quality of a chocolate. Low quality chocolates will have a grainy almost cement-like texture.
  10. Now the chocolate is nearing its finish. How has the flavor evolved? Is the chocolate bitter? Heavy? Light? Was the texture smooth or grainy? Do any changes in texture and flavor occur? Take note of how the chocolate leaves the palate. Is there a strong reminder lingering in your mouth, or does it quickly vanish? Note any metallic or unpleasant flavors in the finish. This is a sign of stale or lower quality chocolate.
  11. Repeat the process with a different chocolate. The comparison will highlight the subtle flavor notes in each chocolate. By sure to cleanse your palate thoroughly before tasting each different chocolate.


  • Dark chocolate (as opposed to other kinds of chocolate) is considered healthy, and recommended for daily consumption in small amounts to maintain a healthy heart and lower cholesterol.
  • Dark chocolate is also an excellent energy source, because it releases slowly into the bloodstream and does not elevate insulin levels. (Indeed, dark chocolate has a GI rating of a mere 22.) As a result, the sustained energy it provides is ideal for endurance activities and even weight-training routines.
  • If you don't like dark chocolate, start with a very mild dark chocolate such as 45-55% cacao. A good example of this is Bournville, an easily available brand (in the UK) with distinctive packaging. The packaging is a dark red. Mild dark chocolate will taste similar to milk chocolate and won't be too bitter. If you are more adventurous, you can get dark chocolates that go all the way up to 100% cacao (i.e., unsweetened).
  • The formation of whitish spots, or bloom, on chocolate is due to a separation of some of the fat in the chocolate, caused when it is exposed to heat, and then it is cool again. While it affects the aesthetics of the chocolate somewhat, it isn't harmful to eat or use chocolate that has bloomed. Bloom is related to heat and humidity, so store chocolate in a cool, dry place free of odors.
  • Remember that most of all, you should enjoy dark chocolate, and don't be too pretentious, because you'll turn people off instead of turning them on to dark chocolate.
  • Here are some excellent brands to try: Omanhene, Michel Cluizel, Boehms, Perugina, Wedel, Domori, Amedei, Valrhona, Neuhaus, Marcolini, Lindt, Felchlin, Guittard, Scharffen Berger, Santander, Malagasy, Weiss, El Rey, Theo, Bonnat, Pralus, Cote D'or, Castelain, Slitti, Dagoba, Green and Black's, Bournville, Ghirardelli and Xocai.


  • While a little dark chocolate is good for you, a lot is not healthy. Even dark chocolate is loaded with calories and can cause weight gain.
  • If you are allergic to chocolate, you may prefer to decline it.
    Chocolate contains the stimulant theobromine. (This stimulant is not present in Xocai chocolate products.) The physical onset of this stimulant is much slower than caffeine, so while chocolate may not keep you from falling asleep, your sleep may be disturbed in the middle of the night. Theobromine can easily cause epileptic seizures and potential death in dogs.
  • Since chocolate can kill dogs, birds, and other animals, never feed chocolate to an animal.

Things You'll Need

  • A good sense of taste
  • Good Quality Dark Belgian chocolate
  • An open mind
  • A healthy attitude
  • A tranquil spot or special event

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Taste Dark Chocolate. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Books: Agatha Christie

I'm bummed I didn't think of her a couple of weeks ago. Agatha Christie was born on September 15. Her books were among my elite list of very favorites when I was a preteen. And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, Evil Under the Sun, The Body in the Library, and They Do It With Mirrors. Looking at a list of over 60 mystery novels, those are the ones I remember.

I haven't read an Agatha Christie in what seems like a million years. No, I'm not that old. Yeesh! I loved Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple enough to watch them on A&E whenever I could. David Suchet was outstanding, and Joan Hickson was phenomenal. Maybe next summer I'll pick one up. Because now I remember The Mirror Crack'd, Curtain, An Appointment With Death...

Thank you Agatha Christie.

Monday, October 6, 2008

TV: Fringe

Fringe. I was mildly interested when I heard previews for the show. Now I'm totally addicted. It centers around an FBI agent who gets pulled into these cases involving fringe science. (Where'd they really get that term?) Fringe science is levitation, telepathy, reanimation, ESP, etc. All the really fun stuff. :o)

All these weird cases have to do with something called The Pattern which is what the FBI agent (Olivia Dunham played by Anna Torv) is supposed to be figuring out. Every episode gives you tiny pieces to this seemingly 10,000 piece puzzle. She is aided by two others and her supervisor (the head of the fringe division.) I know this could be good because one of the creators is J.J. Abrams of Lost fame.

I watched the pilot and kept thinking, "This is like X-Files, but...not." Wiki's description says it's a cross between X-Files, Altered States, Twilight Zone, and Dark Angel. Since I'm not so into those other shows I can't say if the description is right. But I'm intrigued and thankful that Fox, who as I'm typing this, has just picked up 15 more episodes of the show. And I'm saying that if you like the sci fi, then give Fringe a try.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Miscellaneous: You Tube

I know I shouldn't do this.

I'm guilty of watching American Idol. Especially those first few episodes with the tryouts. Sometimes I like to turn up the volume to see if the neighbors' dogs howl. So here's a link to YouTube in which an ambitious woman tries to sing for Music Idol, the Bulgarian version.

I believe this is another example for the Fail Blog.

I rest my case.

BTW, the new season of AI premieres in January 2009.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Neck MusclesI pulled a muscle in my neck last week. Doing something that I used to do with ease just 5 years ago. My father, wonderful ego booster that he is, said, "Welcome to old age." See my index finger go around in circles while I intone a monotone "Whoopee."

Anyway, I did this on Monday and was in agony by Friday. Saturday morning I had B take me to the doctor. After making me cry while she asked me to perform tasks with my arm, she determined that it wasn't a broken bone and thankfully put me on some drugs. Saturday afternoon I was in heaven. My scalene muscles (my estimates based on diagrams) were no longer making me beg for mercy.

A co-worker suggested I see a chiropractor. One did wonders for a pulled muscle in his leg. I'm not one for change. (See earlier posts.) I like my doctors, and I don't get sick often or have to get medications frequently. But if I end up pulling more muscles doing normal things because my mind is younger than my body :( than I just might consider it.

Regardless, let me give thanks to the makers of Vicodin.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Men: Matthew Born

A relatively unknown male with a well known body. According to this article, his body became famous overnight. He's now my youngest feature, as the article places him at a birth year of 1985. Let's not get into how old that makes me.
Matthew Born

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chocolate: Whole Grain Chocolatey-Filled Cereal Bites

NutellaLeave it to me. Send me off to buy foods that are healthy and fit into my 1,800 calorie a day diet, and I will find something with chocolate.

A long time ago, when I bought Short & Sweet, I was exposed to Nutella for the first time. The recipe in the book was for Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. It was tasty, but had a slight oily texture to it because of the oil in the Nutella. That didn't stop me. I became addicted. Spreading it on mountains of graham crackers was like heaven.

Then one day I overdosed. I haven't had a hankering for Nutella in ages.

Chocolate SquaresCue my low fat diet. I found Trader Joe's Whole Grain Chocolatey-Filled Cereal Bites. They are whole grain chocolate flavored squares filled with chocolate. Chocolate that tastes like Nutella. It is almost sinful when I sit down for breakfast. My lonely Kashi GOLEAN Crunch! sits on the shelf while I stuff my face with chocolate. I can't eat it often because it does have palm oil in it which is a no-no. But a break now and then can't be all bad.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Books: Books Anyone?

Seriously. I have not read any books really worthy of a post at this time. What I've been doing in my rare spare moments is going on Yahoo! Answers. (Yes, something for a miscellaneous post.) However, one post I answered centered around someone wanting more books like that of his favorite author.

My answer: Look at the book cover and the first few pages inside the cover (front and back.) There are usually reviews of the book by authors that write in the same genre or style. I also go to Amazon and look at what the other customers also bought. After I've written down some names, I can go to the library and check out the books. If I like the series or author, then I might buy them.

You've all seen me ask for suggestions here, but that didn't turn out so well.

So, just my helpful book hint of the day...okay, make that ever.

The 100th Post

This is my 100th post! And to celebrate I'm breaking tradition, adding a new category, and deluging you with fun and interesting things!

First fun...a list of the Top 100 Websites: Classic and Undiscovered (Click on the blue box at the top left of the article for the category list). These were some I liked:
Group Greeting Cards
Oddee, my favorite find, which has some cool stuff like treehouses, strange medical conditions, and wacky classified ads, among others.
Wikipedia and IMDb (both listed in my links)

Next fun...since everyone is jumping on the Christmas bandwagon (yes, I saw Christmas lights in stores over Labor Day) I'm putting in my winter fun. A snowflake maker. B and I spent an afternoon a few years ago making flakes. This led to a snowball fight B downloaded onto my desktop computer. Once you get the hang of it, it can be addictive. I won't give away the ending.

Some interesting links...
Pennies? An interesting look at pennies.
100 Most Often Misspelled Words is good as a reference bookmark.
Time's 2008 list of the Top 100 Most Influential People. I found the first people listed under Heroes & Pioneers verrry interesting.
An article about Monk. The series celebrated it's 100th episode (of course, I watched) on September 5.

This was too funny to pass up...the top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes. It had me cracking up! Try the message in #18 on page two, the humor in #29 on page three, and the gullibility found in #44 or #47 on page five. #62 talks about an Esquire article in which someone offers free cars. Part of the process required filling out a 600 question survey, providing notarized video rental receipts, and submitting a stool sample. How could you fall for that? Don't read all of them at once! I mean there's 100 of them.

Okay, that's all I've got. Happy 100!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

TV: Supernatural

I've been hooked on this show, Supernatural, since the beginning. Although B and I missed some episodes and had to wait for reruns. We had to have something to make up for the lack of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer in our lives. The show is about two brothers, Sam and Dean, who battle against various paranormal demons and creatures.

I have to admit, the first several episodes were like watching a horror movie. I actually cuddled up to B and covered my eyes for a few scenes. One night I was afraid to go to bed (last time that happened was because of a Stephen King book.) But as the series has unfolded, I've developed a spine of steal and the show has become a treat.

For me personally, it certainly helps to have the hunky Jensen Ackles as one of the main characters. The poor thing was stuck in hell after the Season 3 finale. It would take too long to tell how that happened. His brother, played by Jared Padalecki, was supposed to save him this season, Season 4, which began on September 18.

The season premiere was too cool. That description is pretty amazing considering I watched Ackles for most of the show :oD

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Miscellaneous: Cake Wrecks

Blogs of Note strikes again! Apparently this blog is popular as it has garnered the attention of B, and he's hard to please when it comes to things I find funny. The blog is hilarious...and sad.

Let's start with hilarious. Cake Wrecks shows cakes that have crashed and burned. One example is a very realistic looking cake of a baby wrapped in a blanket. It just looks too darned's creepy. Another is someone's warped interpretation of a camouflage cake. Yet another is a wedding cake gone wrong - so wrong that the blogger says the bride sued. Hopefully she got money for pain and suffering. I've included the comparison photos here.

The sad part is the inability of the cake decorators to read or even question what they write on cakes. If you weren't worried about the school system before...
You know the cake should have five colorful rings. Did you notice that Olympics was spelled Olynpics? Granted, the directions for the cake people likely included areas for color selection or "put exact words on these lines" and then you might have to blame the cake orderers. Really, though. Sad.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Men: Brennan Elliott

Brennan Elliott
Sorry folks, but I've got nothing on Brennan except that he's adorable. You can read a little about him here and get a link to his tv/movie stats. Just enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chocolate: Semi-sweet Battle

Scharffen Berger Semi-Sweet 60%

I had two squares of Scharffen Berger SemiSweet Dark Chocolate 60% Cacao. It was like eating giant chocolate chips. It was sweet to start, then a little tangy - what I usually term fruity, and finally slightly woody. The woody is the bitter part of the dark only it wasn't overpowering like the other, darker chocolates. The three parts seemed to mesh quickly. Second opinion.*

Chuao Choroni 61%

I had a few squares of this, one of B's purchases. This one was sweeter than the Scharffen Berger, but when I first put it in my mouth there was a chalky feel. It melted nice and kept the sweet all the way through. It also had a fruity taste, but it wasn't tangy, just sweet. It ended in the woody taste that fits with dark chocolate. I like the sweet enough that I'd get more if it were an option. Second opinion.

I really liked the sweet Chuao. It felt like a little sugar rush. It is also a single origin bar, which means the beans came from one place. Scharffen Berger is just closer to what I'd want in a chocolate chip and therefore is my preferred choice. I'd actually make a trip somewhere to buy it if I craved it.

*Review speaks of 62% bar, but mine was definitely 60%.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Books: Emergency!

At some point I thought I was going to be a doctor. You know, way back when. I love life sciences. So it would come as no surprise that I love watching those operation shows and Trauma, Life in the ER on the TLC. There was this one episode on the other day with a man who fell from a roof and was impaled on a tree branch.

If you can't handle this stuff...STOP READING NOW!

Just is case your eyes catch the first line I'll tell you that the guy was a new father of twins. Okay, the branch went in his bottom and came out just under his rib cage. And it missed his major organs. How lucky can you get? The doctors were mostly worried about infection from the wood splinters.

That brings me to the "Books" part of my post. I found this book and had to have it. Emergency: True Stories from the Nation's ERs. The stories are so interesting. They will make you sad (I hated reading those) and make you laugh. Some will make your jaw drop. Some will make you cringe.

Of course there's the story about the young woman who is having a baby but has never gone further than a kiss. And there's one about making sure your ducks are in a row...the book says "wear clean underwear." There are the stories when you start to wonder if there are aliens on earth trying to figure things out about humans because there really can't be anyone that ignorant.

If you don't decide to get the book (which is highly likely), but might want to read a story or two, parts of the book are available for viewing with Google Books. But to entice you there are two more tree stories. :D

Saturday, September 6, 2008

TV: Bones

Bones Logo
Premiere week has started, and Bones aired a few nights ago. Bones is a TV show based on the character Temperance Brennan from books written by Kathy Reichs. I became interested in Reichs' books before the show aired. Tempe is a forensic anthropologist in both the US and Canada. Of course she's one of the best in her field. Reichs' books really focus on the nitty gritty of the science and Tempe always gets herself knee deep in the investigation. Reichs herself is a forensic anthropologist and producer of the show.

The TV show doesn't really mesh with the books. I believe the show is supposed to take place before the books, when Tempe was younger. I still like the show for its characters. Seeley Booth, the FBI agent that works with Tempe, is played by David Boreanaz. Boreanaz is better known for his role as Angel, from the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of my all time favorite shows). Angel ended up being its own series.

I very much enjoy the relationship between Tempe and Seeley. There is a, dare I say, subtle sexual tension between the two that is never followed through. It leaves you waiting for something that's never going to happen. Another couple on the show is very cute together, Angela Montenegro (Micheala Conlin) and Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne). Thyne played a total nerd, conspiracy theorist, and closet billionaire and suddenly turned into a short Mr. Handsome later on. Not quite my type, but he makes the Angela/Jack relationship cool.

John Francis Daley joined the cast as Dr. Sweets, who is supposed to be helping Seeley and Tempe work through their strange relationship. He turns out to be funny all by himself. Lastly, and the only part I've been bummed about is the other nerd (the show calls these doctors Squints), Dr. Zack Addy. His character ended up being the stunner at the end of last season. Now he's gone.

With all the preliminaries out of the way...H O L Y C O W! What a way to start the season! If you watch Bones, we have to talk.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Miscellaneous: People I Used To Know

This is a strange post for me because I think it fits much better under "Me" posts than "Miscellaneous." Have you ever searched on the Internet for people you used to know? Did you attend any high school reunions? Have you joined hoping to reconnect? Do you have Facebook or MySpace?

I've found several people just by searching the Net. One woman I found was part of a group that tortured me in junior high/middle school. We were friends at first and then she turned on me. She was pretty easy to find through a combination of Classmates and her attendance in a university class that published online. I found the state she lived in, that she had a daughter, and that she wasn't married, all by what I found out online. With that info I got her email.

Okay, I know you are all thinking I'm a stalker. Really I just wanted to see if she would be willing to be friends again. I was so excited when she responded by email and especially when she apologized for her behavior back then. Of course I mentioned her daughter. She flipped out and stopped contact. From what I learned she was afraid of someone finding her. Strange behavior that...putting your life online and not expecting someone to find you. Even now, I know that she is happily married, and I know what she does for a living. I'm glad she's happy.

A little bit of warning here...don't publish too much personal info online. That is one of the reasons I keep my name off my blog. My friends know who I am and I don't need to make a living off my blog like dooce or others. If someone were trying to find me there are other avenues.

Another friend I found was just through email. He didn't post any information online that would give away his personal life. I used a little bit of info from Classmates and made an educated guess. It was great emailing him! He remembered even more about our childhood antics than I did. He hadn't fulfilled all of his goals in life, but was working things out. I was thrilled to make contact! A much happier outcome than that other gal.

Anyway, I found another person, one I have always been on good terms with. I've known her since I was a babe. I have this great picture of the two of us at my third birthday party. Well, she's pretty well known in her circles. Not movie star famous, but known. I've always wished we were able to spend more time together. The last time I saw her was probably more than ten years ago.

I sent her an email and she wrote back! I'm excited that we will be able to get to know each other again.

In my line of work I meet a lot of people. I see them everywhere, at the store, in the mall, at the park, at the repair shop, in restaurants, etc. For some of them I am very curious about their lives now. Did they accomplish the goals they set out to? Are they the successes they wanted to be? How have they changed?

Who have you looked for?

Monday, September 1, 2008


I did not meet any goals I had of losing weight this summer. :o(

Unfortunately, being fit and healthy (is that redundant?), is no longer optional. I must lose weight and change my diet. So far I've changed all of my grains to whole grain, not just bread. I even made B buy whole grain tortillas for dinner last week.

I've begun the habit of going out to shop every weekend (funny, no one calculates gas money into a healthy diet) so I can get fresh fruits and veggies. I didn't usually buy them because if I wasn't in the mood to eat them they would go bad. The last thing I want to do is throw money away.

I've also settled into my soymilk. Very Vanilla is tasty. I can drink a glass without gagging (like with milk) and it tastes great in banana and strawberry smoothies. A has started stealing some for her cereal in the morning so sometimes I'm surprised with a nearly empty carton.

My last and hardest change has to do with exercise. I didn't get very far this summer. The last time I exercised regularly was with friends. I know that if someone else is counting on me to be somewhere, I will be there. This will be very hard if no one else is there to push me. Don't get me wrong, my BMI is 26. I'm not trying to lose half of myself. But over the next month I'll be trying to figure out how to get that little bit done. Wish me luck!

A special thanks to my friends J and B who came to "visit!"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Men: Honorable Mentions, The Megastars

Here are three men that the magazines can't get enough of. While I believe these men have a certain appeal, they are not my absolute favorites.

source - www.celebrityfashionwatch.comName: Orlando Bloom (Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom)
Best Known For: If you don't know...
Year of Birth: 1977
Status: Single
Height: 5'11"
Fun Fact: Has dyslexia
I really enjoyed watching him play Legolas. He's one that is more attractive to me with his clothes on.

source - julieluongo.wordpress.comName: Matt Damon (Matthew Paige Damon)
Best Known For: Do you live under a rock?
Year of Birth: 1970
Status: Married (Two kids)
Height: 5'10"
Fun Fact: Pulled a salary of $26,000,000 for his role in "The Bourne Supremacy"
I've always thought he was kinda cute. I have to admit that when they first came on the scene (he and BFF Affleck) I had a hard time remembering who was who.

source - papercutblog.blogspot.comName: Gerard Butler (Gerard James Butler)
Best Known For: Don't even go there
Year of Birth: 1969
Status: Single
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: Was going to become a lawyer until he changed his mind.
I think if I were to rank these three I'd put Gerard first. He is just a manly man which I much prefer over the waif boys.

They all look best when they are grinning or smiling, don't you think? Just in case you are a hermit with only the computer for company these three are actors and have been on someone's list as the sexiest or hottest at some point if not now.

I've also got some other Honorable Mentions lined up and decided this was a good spot to give the name of a famous male I will never devote a post to. This is the beginning of my DCI List (Don't Cut It): Patrick Dempsey

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chocolate: Bucare

So, B calls to let me know he's on his way home. He says he "has something for me." He tried to be mysterious. I say, "Chocolate?!" Big sigh on his part. Like I would guess anything else.

He brings home El Rey Bucare 58.5% Dark Chocolate. The wrapper boasts using only Venezuelan cacao beans. It is a very sweet bar and at the same time holds a somewhat bitter dark chocolate taste. It has a strong taste, almost fruity to me because of the sugar, like a cross between a milk chocolate and a rich dark chocolate. Which is what it really is.

I've never declared that I was amongst the chocolate elite, the snobs. I certainly don't have the right terminology to describe the chocolate. Try this review. It has a picture of the bar's bright orange wrapper.

I didn't ask B how much he spent, I'm afraid to. Chocolate can get expensive, and price is one of the factors involved when deciding to buy, but I think I'd get it again. Part of the reason is I had to share the bar. Four 1 inch by 1 inch squares is not enough. Hey, now that I think about it he said he had something for me. I shouldn't have had to share! He owes me...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Books: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

The Mysteries of Harris BurdickIf you aren't familiar with the name Chris Van Allsburg, then you should be. Let me refresh your memory...The Polar Express, Jumanji, and Zathura. All three of these books of Van Allsburg's were made into movies. As with all wonderful children's authors, these are hardly all his books. One such "neglected" book is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

When I was younger I was ceaselessly encouraged to go out and play, not sit around and watch TV, which has become increasingly frequent these days. We have noticed that children who watch a lot of TV have lost what we gained when we went outside - imagination. Many parents and educators are trying to entice children to read more books and bring about the excitement and imagery in books that increases imagination.

Imagine going one step further.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick has pages of Van Allsburg's wonderful illustrations. Each illustration is accompanied by a book title and one or two lines from the "story". We not only have to bring the story to life with pictures as we read...we have to come up with the story, too! What a way to create imagination! A love of reading and writing all rolled into one.

This is a fun book for all from parents telling goodnight stories, to children learning to write stories in school, to adult writers who need writing exercises. At Amazon there are 76 reviews. Seventy-four of them are 5 star. I can't wait to get my hands on it because I don't own it...yet!(hint, hint)

Friday, August 22, 2008

TV: Eureka

Hmmm. Where do I start? If you haven't figured out by now that I like sci fi, then this must be the only post you've read. Eureka, on the Sci Fi channel is one of my faves. The show focuses on a town called Eureka (Wiki link) whose residents are nearly all genius scientists. The arrival of the new sheriff starts the series and it is he who saves the town from the adverse effects of the scientists' creations.
The first exclamation of awe would be caused by the gadgets. They are a geeks dream: sidewalk hover scooters, cars that drive themselves, and a house with artificial intelligence. I mean, the house can be miffed that you're late for a meal and lock you out. Imagine a house like that with highly imaginative teenagers. They'd never destroy the house with a party.

The next giddy "Oooh" has to do with the humor. The scientists never use normal descriptions and Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) is one of the few non-geniuses. Imagine how he'd react to the science speak. "It's a ray that causes instant death. Why don't you just say death ray?" That sort of sums up his comments. He and another character named Fargo provide most of the funny moments. Here's one more:
Allison (In charge of the company that all the scientists work for and Carter's boss) - "It's not my fault that there are things about yourself that you are just not cleared to know."
Carter - "Yeah, I would hate to find out something about myself that if I told me, I would have to kill me."

The last engaging quality is the plot. There is actually something going on here that underlies each of the wacky disasters. There was an unknown entity, a trusted character going rogue, a deceptive psychologist, and the latest a big brother character who has some secret we don't know about yet. Even each episode leaves you guessing about what is really going on. Just plain fun!

Check it out...Tuesdays, Sci Fi, 9/8C

OMG! I wrote this last week. Yeah, I know, but I do work for a living. Anyway, did you see this week's episode? Holy moly. Can't wait until the season finale (because I know they aren't going to clear up the problem in next week's episode.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Miscellaneous: Crochet Two

I've got three projects going right now that have not been finished and another I want to start. This does not bode well for the end of my free time. One of my unfinished projects is a baby blanket for a friend. I felt bad that I didn't finish it before the little one came and avoided visiting because of it (where is the shame face?) Finally, I showed the mom my unfinished part and promised to get it done. Instead I made shame blankie, "I'm ashamed I didn't finish the original, here's a gift while you wait."
Baby Guilt Blankie
It turned out really well, took longer than I thought, and is made from a simple extra, extra large granny. I bought an "edges" book for B's mom and borrowed it for the project. The overall idea came from a blanket B's mom received as part of a gift raffle at the yearly family reunion. I know the creator doesn't read my blog, but a thank you goes to her for the idea.
Close up of edges

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Men: Charles Divins

Charles Divins
Charles Divins

Name: Charles Divins
Best Known For: Modeling, Soap Passions
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Single
Height: 5’11”
Fun Fact: Intended to become a hospital administrator

Finding this guy’s handsome mug was a fluke. I put single, but his MySpace page says he’s in a relationship. He’s not as tall as I usually like, but he plays bass guitar. Wouldn’t you just melt if he played the guitar for you? Okay, you have to visit his official site or my link for Hunky Celebs and use one of the many pictures for visualization.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chocolate: The Dark

I was reading somewhere on the Net that if you're a real chocoholic and a craving needs to be filled it can be done with less chocolate if it's dark. I'm a milk chocolate kind of gal, but I've been desperate. The last grocery shopping trip yielded Dove 63% Cacao Silky Smooth Extra Dark Chocolate Promises** and Ghirardelli Intense Dark Mint Bliss 60% Cacao.

Instinctively I refrigerated the Ghirardelli because of its reputation and have spent the last week giving in to my craving. Either the Net was right or I've learned some self control (yeah, right) because I still have both in my possession. There are 13 out of 20 Promises left and 3 out of 8 Mint Bliss squares.

So what are my impressions? First, I have to say that while Hershey is an American favorite, I can't enjoy it. I love the sugar and the chocolate, but it has an aftertaste. If I've eaten a better chocolate right before, I actually cringe. Second, in the chocolate review circles on the Net, Dove is not that highly ranked. I really shouldn't be comparing it to Ghirardelli (although there are some chocolate snobs out there who don't think it's that much better).

Dove has an intense dark chocolate taste on my milk chocolate tongue. Once you get past the initial slick coating it melts great but the chocolate doesn't linger. Five minutes after eating there was a woody, burnt taste on my tongue. In fairness, eating the Ghirardelli at the same time probably affected my tastebuds.

Ghirardelli, even cold from the fridge, had nearly instant contact melt. Once it didn't feel like an ice cube it settled into a nice minty chocolate taste. It melted all the way down to the nub and left a creamy chocolate taste. Again, it may not be fair that Dove didn't have another taste like mint, orange or raspberry to add to the chocolate taste.

While I won't shy away from Dark Dove at a party, I won't be buying it like I will Ghirardelli. Mint Bliss wins.

** No link available at Dove. :o(

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Books: Chrestomanci

Diana Wynne Jones is a British fantasy fiction author best known for Howl's Moving Castle, a book upon which the movie by Miyazaki was based, and the Chrestomanci series. The Chrestomanci is a character in her books, started in 1977, who is a powerful enchanter. It is his responsibility to monitor magic use in the world and is born into the position by having nine lives. There are eight other parallel worlds where each person has a parallel self. For the Chrestomanci, the other eight don't exist giving all of their power to the Chrestomanci.

Even though he is a powerful enchanter, he can't keep himself from dying (well, after he loses his lives), so another person must take his place. Most of the books have Christopher Chant and Eric Chant, Chrestomanci and successor, as the important characters. There are other very interesting parts of this fantasy world, some of which will make you think of Harry Potter. In fact, Wiki says that some of Jones' lesser known books were republished as a result of Potter's success.

Jones' recommended reading order is Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad's Fate, Witch Week, The Magicians of Caprona and the short stories (Mixed Magics) can be read in any order after that. The Pinhoe Egg, my recent read, can be read after The Lives of Christopher Chant, however I have not yet read Conrad's Fate. The chronological order (for the events in the story) is as follows: The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad's Fate, Charmed Life, The Magicians of Caprona, and The Pinhoe Egg. The other short stories can be read separate from the main stories.

All in all, this is a great set of children's books about magic and fantasy that I recommend as an adult. Jones is 73 years old now and still published a novella last year. Although the first few books seemed to start slow, once I was used to the story line and her writing, it was a breeze.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

TV: Fall Premieres 2008

There is only one reason that I ever want a summer to end. That is for the fall premieres of my favorite TV shows. Some shows are really nice about their season finales. They don't leave us hanging in suspense. I used to sit for about 10 minutes after a season finale still staring at the TV screen waiting for more and trying to absorb the fact that I'd have to wait four months to see what happens next.

USA Network has made that a little easier by having summer shows (Monk and Psych.) The other networks aren't as nice. They give us reality shows, which for the most part, I'm not fond of (I do like Biggest Loser.) So here are some links to peruse:

Here are the ones I'm looking forward to:
Sept 3, Wed - Bones, FOX
Sept 16, Tues - House, FOX: The Biggest Loser, NBC
Sept 18, Thurs - Supernatural, CW
Sept 22, Mon - Heroes, NBC
Sept 25, Thurs - Ugly Betty, ABC
Sept 29, Mon - Chuck, NBC
Oct 1, Wed - Pushing Daisies, ABC
Oct 3, Fri - Ghost Whisperer, CBS: Numb3rs, CBS
Oct 9, Thurs - CSI, CBS

My other favorites, Reaper, Lost, and Medium, won't be airing until WINTER! And sort of a spoiler...if you pay attention to entertainment news at all you will know that William Petersen is not returning to CSI after the 10th episode this new season. CBS is having 'replacement' talks. Though I don't think anyone could replace him. That's when the shows start going downhill.

Happy watching!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Miscellaneous: Logic Puzzles

I love puzzles. My mini-obsession began when I was young and I watched my mother complete logic grid puzzles. She would buy Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games, in which there were only 4 logic puzzles. I would make my own grid after she solved (sometimes before!) and complete the puzzles. Later, I purchased my own magazines with only logic puzzles and have some which date back to the late '80s. For my 21st birthday I made tons of puzzles and games for my guests to solve instead of drinking (which I don't do.)

It is hard to pick up logic puzzles if you don't like games, and logic riddles can be very frustrating. I like logic grid puzzles in which there is a reasonable, not tricky, answer through deduction. In Dell Logic Puzzles Magazine, the puzzles are ranked from 1 to 5 stars. The five star problems take me several days to solve.

Example - Ann, Bill, and Carl like to ride bikes. Their bikes are blue, red, and green. Match the person with the color of his or her bike using these clues: None of their first name initials match with the first letter of the color of their bike. Ann's bike color is not a primary color.

That was pretty easy, right? I did make the clues a little more challenging for such a simple match. Braingle has some online logic grid puzzles with interactive grids for solving. The general rule is to put an X in the intersecting box in which the answer is "no" and a dot in the box for "yes." Some puzzles don't work as well with the traditional grid and have different ones. Dell has a great 'how to solve' section in the front of each magazine showing two types of grids.

There are several other logic puzzles I like. To be continued.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Men: Jason Statham

Jason Statham
Name: Jason Statham
Best Known For: Movies, The One and Transporter
Year of Birth: 1972
Status: Single
Height: 5’10”
Fun Fact: Member of a diving squad (Olympics too)

Jason isn’t my normal choice for the Men category. He doesn’t quite have that cute face, however he is very, ahem, sexy. He has a great bod, he regularly 'Nuff saidplays bad boy types, and he does his own stunts…his own stunts! That’s right, folks. The climbing over the top of a truck to an overhead bridge, speeding through the streets in a Lamborghini, fighting off several guys at the same time, all him. Too cool.

Of course it takes martial arts knowledge, diving and driving skills, modeling experience, and an ooh la la accent (He’s British) to make him a stud muffin.