Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last-minute holiday shopping? You can buy Darryl Strawberry's Mets salary from the IRS | USA Today Sports
"Just imagine the joy in your loved one’s eyes when he or she tears the wrapping off the greatest holiday gift of all: The $1.28 million left on Darryl Strawberry’s contract with the Mets, to be paid out in 223 monthly installments of nearly six grand apiece over the next couple of decades (hint, hint)."
I once had my picture taken with this guy. I wonder if I could auction that off.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Something to Look Forward To

IRS officials warn: We're nearly crippled | The Hill
"After absorbing a $346 million budget cut, IRS officials are warning taxpayers not to expect their phone calls to get answered or their refunds to be delivered quickly. Employees shouldn’t count on overtime pay, or for empty staff slots to be filled. And lawmakers seeking to reduce the deficit should assume the agency will collect far less revenue than it could have."
Tax Season 2015 should be a barrel of monkeys. Oh, wait . . . .


Post by Car Talk.

H/T to Teja from FB

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Cheers

It's still early but not as much as it was earlier.
-Starbucks barista 12/19/2014
As usual, the gifts tend to dwarf our Lite-Brite tree. But the more brown stuff that ends up there, the more into the spirit I get, so to speak. 


I was just getting ready to head out the door when I spotted a pair of socks trying to make their escape and it's not even laundry day! Seeing as I'm going to be gone for the entire weekend I would be worried except the Christmas socks aren't there so I'm pretty sure the party won't get too out of hand.

That, and there's no eggnog in the house.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sorry, Marshawn

I was at Logan Airport one Sunday not too long ago. The Seahawks were playing that afternoon and even though I wouldn't be able to watch the game, I was wearing my Seahawks jersey. It had a 24 on the front and the name of Lynch on the back.

As I was walking down the corridor, an excited young woman approached me and asked if I was a fan of Marshawn. Without thinking, I replied, "Not really."

She went on to explain that she was Marshawn's cousin.


"It's not that I'm not a fan," I hurried to explain. "It's just that they don't make jerseys for the Special Teams guys and this was the only jersey I could get my hands on," I said, making things worse. "I mean, who's ever heard of a jersey for the Long Snapper?"

I checked my watch and hoped the public address system would announce that I was urgently needed to board my flight. Even though she shook my hand as we wished each other a safe journey, I feel I owe her cousin an apology.

Sorry, Marshawn. I've just ordered a #49 jersey so that will never happen again.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Expletive Not Deleted

I try to resist the urge, when washing my hands in a pubic restroom, to let the water automatically shut off when I'm soaping my hands because who knows how long it will take for the water to come back on again? First, I wave my hands around the general vicinity of the faucet while stealing glances at my neighbors to see how in the fuck they got the water to turn on. As graciously as possible, I move from sink to sink until one comes on, seemingly, by magic.

Next, the process is repeated to get the automatic air-injected soap foam dispenser to activate which, for some unknown reason which can only be attributable to the fact that there is no known soap shortage, dispenses, generally, without complication. Except, once in a while, the hole from which the soap foam flows is clogged in some manner which causes the foam to curl upon itself into a soap-coil that dangles from the end of the dispenser rather than plopping into my recently wetted palms. At this point, I am forced to swipe the foam from the foam dispenser, fully negating the purpose of the hands-free design objective.

If I have allowed the water flow to cease, the original process is repeated to get it to turn the fuck back on. Only, this time, it won't stay on long enough for me to rinse my hands. There's rinsing, rubbing, and waving about until my hands are soap free and the front of my pants have a splatter pattern for which I must now construct a plausible explanation.

I should not complain (and yet I invariably do). It could be worse. Every once in a while I must use the facilities where the faucet and soap dispenser are located on the same side of the sink which means the soap and water dispense both simultaneously and freely. That is the point at which I just rub my hands on my jeans and hope for the best.

(Don't even get me started on the towel dispensers.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lighter Than Air

This massive hangar was originally part of the Naval Lighter-Than-Air Station Santa Ana. 

This is one of two that rise up behind, and easily dwarf, the Costco in Tustin, CA. Built mostly from Oregon Douglas fir, they are two of the largest free-standing wooden structures in the world. In WWII, they housed blimps - six at a time. They still house (or until a recent roof collapse) an experimental cargo blimp commissioned by the Pentagon and NASA. One of the hangars is used for the storage and repair of commercial blimps. 

Not something we expected to run into on our way to get way too much of whatever it was that we didn't need at Costco, it was a very interesting discovery.

Sources and additional reading:

Good pics:

Snow Blows

Winter storm: Portland flakes, Gorge snow | KOIN6
"The possibility of accumulating snow for Portland is over."
We got out of town anyway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Vancouver Office Will Relocate to Southern California Until This (Literally) Blows Over

You might need to click on the image to see what's going on here but the rough translation is, "Get out of town!"

Redskins, Illini, Horse's Ass - sorry, that would be offensive to horses.

I have an ideal name for a sports team that won't offend anyone: Really Fierce Critters. The cheer goes like this:

Really Fierce Critters
With Really Sharp Teeth
Really Fierce Critters . . . 

Might be better than Banana Slugs because, you know, that could be offensive to banana slugs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans in Corduroy?

That should be a thing. How about camouflage corduroy? I don't suppose that would work, though - you could hear them coming.

It's 11/11. So here's to all our veterans. And, here's to corduroy.

Zip, two, three, four, zip, two, three, four . . . .


This is the time of year I unsubscribe to all the random email I get. I don't know how I even get on all these lists - well, I do, but it's mind boggling. For most of the year, I find it's just as easy to delete them from my inbox every day - a half a dozen to a dozen per day. Per email address. But, by November or December, I just get annoyed and take the time to hit the Unsubscribe link that's found at the bottom of the email message.

Which never works, btw. What I mean is the link will take me somewhere - probably, just confirming that mine is a working email address - but I get all the same emails the following year.

My all time favorite irony, though, is right after I click on Unsubscribe, they send me an email letting me know that I've unsubscribed.

There is no end.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

No Business, All Pleasure

I spent this last weekend traveling to the Mecca of work avoidance. I brought no pencil, no paper. Nay, no laptop. For days, I've not communicated with the outside world - with the exception of other deciples (a word I use loosely lest I suggest effort) and contributors. Writing this post, in fact, is at odds with my pilgrimage. 

Photographs were restricted at Yet Another Media Empire, offices of 76003.1414. Inside headquarters, we connected with the Midwest Bureau via satellite for the first ever YAME Non-Working World Conference. 

There was never any question as to whether any actual work would get done. And, as it turns out, no one got paid either - an issue I mean to take up with the Grump. However, Iast I checked the staff listing, there was no one assigned to take complaints. 

I traveled with my protege, an aspiring initiate who brought an extensive and well documented resume of time avoidance which, in and of itself, nearly disqualified him from membership. We don't issue certificates here for that sort of thing here, the Grump explained. And even if we did, he continued, there's no one here that would actually do it.

The reason for such a pilgrimage is to understand the lore and history of work avoidance which, as I learned, is wholely separate and apart from procrastination. To such end many tales were told - not all of which I entirely believe although many, many, many artifacts were produced and, in fact, foisted upon us (in the most loving of ways) as evidence. 

Soon I must leave this oasis and reintegrate with those who value work but not before our very own ticker tape parade to which the entire community has been invited to participate. To practice, we stopped traffic yesterday afternoon in all four directions in a busy downtown intersection and crossed from corner to opposite corner (cross-wise), playing kazoos and waving. We could have used more practice but we used our allotment of work pushing the Walk Button. 

The trip was well worth the - for lack of a better word - effort. It was a whirlwind of nothingness, lots of sitting around, and copious amounts of food. My protege and I are honored to have been allowed into the hallowed inner void. There is no doubt we will make the trek again soon. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Voting Season

I love reading the Voter's Pamphlet, don't you? To be honest, I like looking at the pictures of the candidates. It's like choosing what you want to eat from a Denny's menu. Hmm, what looks good today?

Like Bill - isn't he the cutest thing ever? Qualifications include: He did volunteer work with his fraternity. Never mind that he didn't hold an office in his fraternity or graduate college. Let's just focus on the facts: He went go to college at the University of Washington, was in a fraternity, and volunteered his time to a worthwhile cause. (The incumbent has a Master of Public Policy and Public Administration from Washington University - in St. Louis. Yawn.)

Don't we need young people in public service? People who have lived all twenty years of their lives in the districts they wish to represent? Yes, I think we do. Screw Kool-Aid in the drinking fountains, let's have a toga party every weekend!!

State of Washington
Voter's Pampet
I also like anyone who goes by the name Zamboni. Is that his name or his profession, I wonder. No professional experience is provided on his resume for Supreme Court Justice. Looks funky but he graduated from the University of Washington (in Seattle) with honors with a major in Physics and a minor in Mathematics. (Dude might be smart even if you don't agree with his point of view or appreciate his handsome good looks.)

Why do they put photos in the Voter's Guide in the first place? Why are there names, even? Would bias be eliminated if we labeled them Candidates #1 and #2? Would that affect the outcome of elections, if we couldn't choose our public servants like we select our breakfast skillet entrees? 

Not to equate politics with criminals, but why are defendants in the courtroom, btw? I understand that an accused has the right to face his or her accusers but they don't have to be there, do they? They always are but what if a defendant looks guilty? I'll let you decide for yourself what that means but don't we all make judgements? You see mug shots on the Eleven O'Clock News all the time and don't you think Yep, that guy definitely did it?

As a matter of fact, I was invited to join a jury pool not all that long ago. First impression: The guy looked guilty as hell to me. That impression did not improve when the multiple charges were read. Every potential juror who was asked any kind of question vowed that the defendant was innocent until proven innocent. I'm not saying that wasn't true or that I don't believe in that ideal. I'm just saying that they all lied when they said they didn't form an impression when they first walked in the courtroom. 

I was not invited to participate in the rest of that trail.

Luckily, I can still vote.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dracula Soft On Blood, Favors Cookies!

I know it's a little early to think about this but you know how the Girl Scouts like to camp outside grocery stores to guilt you into buying cookies whenever you happen to also need milk? Where I live, this happens from mid-January to mid-February - right after the New Year, ending on Valentine's Day - just in time to go into a sugar-induced coma to ride out your winter hibernation. In fact, if you haven't already ingested enough calories by January 15, you can download the Official Girl Scout Cookie Finder Mobile App to ensure your fix.

This cookie season, I'm going to offer $100 to the first Girl Scout I see outside my favorite grocery store to move her little cookie stand over to the blood bank to hand out cookies for free. How many cookies is that? Ten boxes? Twenty? I'll help hand them out myself - the first 10-20 people to give blood on a certain date in the 2015 cookie season gets a free box of cookies! (And then you can thank me that you're able to get your milk hassle-free.)

By the way, if you are a member of an organization that would like to organize a blood donation at your place of employment or - ahem - moorage, I'll personally bake the cookies myself and bring them right over. I'll even help you arrange to get the blood mobile to your location.

Hey - how's this for a Halloween costume idea for a couple: He goes as Dracula and she goes as a Girl Scout?

Monday, October 27, 2014


Yesterday, was my 1,000th published post on Chocolate Chip Mint:

That doesn't include posts to my other pages:

Some of you have discovered my "." page which has garnered 100 views even though that page is, essentially, blank. The reason for its existence is part tongue-in-cheek (h/t Kellie) and partly because the page was used previously for something else. I'm guessing that few of you know what that page said yesterday and even fewer of you new what the page was originally created for. But I love that people are curious.

You might be aware that I am not a fan of articles with headlines that include the words, "Top Ten . . . ." Here, nonetheless, I provide you with The Top Ten Posts on Chocolate Chip Mint. (At least this information will not be provided in a slide show.)

What cracks me up about this list is that three of the top ten are "10," "9," and "8." These posts are nothing more than blank pages. (I have no why idea 1-7 were not as popular.)

Noticing that "Cornhole Chronicles" ranked third reminds me that I am well past due for the 2014 installment. I have been carting around my notes and photos since August and someday I may well convert that into a post lest you think I'm bad with deadlines.

I was just telling Hubby that I'm not sure I have time for this anymore. (Anyone who is truly devoted to avoiding work knows just how much time that actually takes.) But this is too much fun.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

And Then This Happened

Just the top of the tree rests on the roof.

A pretty good storm blew through here last night and there's more to come. (Hold on to your hats!)

A neighbor's tree fell and hit the house. We were downstairs when it hit and the crash was so loud we were certain something had been hit by lightning. I saw the windows shake. It didn't take long to figure out what happened but we waited until morning to take these pictures.

It was a very tall tree set well back from our house. The trunk snapped in several places when it made contact with our roof. Just the top of the tree rests on the house. The bottom starts in the neighbor's yard and ends in ours, the trunk easily crushing the chain link fence that used to separate our lots.

This is the bottom of the trunk extending
back into the neighbor's yard. We are told the
base of the trunk snapped about ten feet
above ground.

This is the part of the trunk that snapped when the top hit our
house. The part extending to the right rests on the house. The trunk
laying on the ground lays atop what used to be a chain link fence.

Skylight is shattered and will need to be replaced.
It has started to fill with water.
Skylight from the outside. We also have a 4-6 inch hole in the roof.
Hubby is grumpy.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Starbucks Doesn't Believe In Making Espresso

More to the point, Starbucks doesn't believe you should make espresso.

And The Snarky Award Goes To ....

5 Unique Winter Warming Gadgets for Under $50 | Time

I'm not going to buy a damned thing on this list but the snark factor was enough to last me through the Holiday Season. Plus, I appreciate that if a headline has to include a number it's less than 10 by a factor of at least 2. 

And, this article does NOT include a slideshow presentation. Right there are three reasons to read this article. A recap:

1) snarky
2) less than 10 anything
3) no slideshow
4) takes less than five minutes to read

(Who's counting?)

On the other hand, if you have something snarkier - well, I'm all for that!

Merry, jolly, something or other.

Shaking With Anticipation

To Promote New Pre-Pay Program, Starbucks Offers To Foot Coffee Bill For 30 Years | OPB
"As a promotion for its new order ahead and pre-pay program, Starbucks is offering free drink or food every day for 30 years to 10 customers. 
"You can get in the running by paying with the Starbucks app, starting Dec. 2. The offer runs until Christmas. 
"Portlanders will be the first test market for the new pre-pay program. Right now, the program is scheduled to start here before the end of the year. The rest of the country, including Starbucks’ home base in Seattle, will have to wait until the end of 2015."
Here's why:

Portlanders Like Their Coffee Almost As Much As They Like To Sleep | OPB
"According to data collected by the alarm clock app, Sleep Cycle, Portlanders spend the most amount of time in bed when compared to other major U.S. cities." 
"Our northern neighbors in Seattle come in at No. 4, getting about five minutes less sleep than Portland. 
"But all that sleep isn’t enough to curb our coffee addictions. Sleep Cycle found that Portland is also No. 2 in coffee consumption nationwide, behind Boston. We’re trailed by other fast-paced metros like Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York, and we’re the only Northwest city in the ranking."
I'm thinking I might move to Portland.

(h/t Hubby)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Virtual Wine

And you thought wine was made from grapes!
This is currently available at Terracotta Red, an inconspicuous but entirely real restaurant located in Everett, WA. We didn't try this particular wine (the house Sauvignon Blanc, whatever it was, was nice) but the food knocked our socks clean off.

We tried the Singapore Street Noodles and the Pan Roasted Pacific Ling Cod from their fresh sheet, and the Chili Spiced Calamari, Pork and Chive Potstickers, Wok Seared Spiced Lamb, with sides of Si Chuan String Beans and Jasmine Rice off their regular dinner menu. (We had help.) It was all delicious but my favorites were the calamari, potstickers, and beans.

If you're ever in the unusual position of needing to find a good restaurant in Everett (good as in very well prepared, reasonably priced food rather than good as in white linen tablecloths with a view of Puget Sound), you should check out this place. And if you need help getting through the menu, we'll join you. (It's served family-style.)

The restaurant is on Hewitt right off I-5.

As for the Pop Crush Red Blend, I'm not sure it even exists.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16

Ah, feel that? That's the relaxed feeling of having enough time for a second cup of coffee. Of being able to sleep late but choosing not to because you want to enjoy a little extra time to lounge around in your jammies and read a book. It's what it feels like to go to work and know you don't really have to get any work done. It's the day after tax season (the extended version) and it feels so good.

You know what else feels good? Finding an upside to working in two different cities: I need half as many clothes. Sure, you might see that as a downside but think of this: Half as much laundry. Half as much ironing. For example, I can wear one outfit on Monday in one city and then wear the exact same thing on Tuesday in the next city. If I worked in five cities, all I'd ever have to change is my underwear.

Think about that the next time you ask me, "So, when did you get back in town?"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood

A Personal Drone That Catches the Shot No GoPro Can | MensJournal

A personal drone of your very own! If the government isn't interested in following you around, you can just follow yourself around!

Just in time for Christmas, you can get a videographer without the videographer - a companion who will literally hover around you and record every exciting, high-octane moment of your life. Imagine, a timeless record of going to the ATM, standing in the line at the post office, or having a face-to-face conversation . . . or whatever it is kids do these days.

I can hardly wait! It'll follow me around everywhere I go and lavish me with adoring attention. Just like a dog, only it doesn't require a leash I don't have to carry a pooper scooper!

H/T Ron's Log

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Taking a Break

May I suggest 76003.1414 - the Internet's most exclusive blog? (They never take a break over there.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

To Bee or Not To Bee . . .

. . . or Sorry I Asked
"Starbucks is coming under fire from vegans for using ground-up bugs to color its Frappuccinos, but the use of cochineal insects is actually quite common in the food industry."
Here's What You Need To Know About The Ground-Up Insects Starbucks Puts In Your Frappuccino | Business Insider 
Bugs in our food - included by intention or by accident - is, actually, old news. But this isn't: Big Cricket Farms - the first commercial farm to raise crickets for human consumption.

"Finally, crickets just taste good!"

The 2014 startup is in Youngstown, Ohio, and I understand that when the crickets get loose, the owner will hire exterminators for his neighbors.

Heads up, foodies, bugs are the new trend in food according to Tiny Farms:
"With UN recommendations and exciting new startups, the market for edible bugs and insect-based products is growing like never before."
From an NPR blog, The Salt, (the tag line of which is what's on your plate [the answer to which, it appears, is good question]):
"Lots of people are excited about the potential of edible insects. A 2013 report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization noted that insects like crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers are nutritional powerhouses, high in protein, fat and the essential amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which are scarce in cereal proteins like soy. Insects also can be farmed on far less land and emit fewer greenhouse gases than traditional livestock."
Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The Best Protein You Could Eat
Not convinced? Eating bugs is also the right thing to do for the environment:
"The challenge with Six Foods is to convince the rest of America that eating insects is the best thing since sliced bread. When you look at the facts, it’s really a no-brainer: the livestock industry produces 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined, but insects produce just 1% as many greenhouse gas emissions as cows. Raising insects requires far less land, feed, and water than raising livestock, and furthermore, insects don’t feel pain since they don’t have pain receptors (so you can feel less bad the next time one dies from flying into your face as you bike to work)."
How to make insects appetizing to Americans | Boing Boing
Decide for yourself. You can pre-order Chirps, shipping in November - just in time for Thanksgiving - a cricket-based, high protein, chip snack. There are three flavors to choose from:
  • Aged Cheddar - "A zesty cheese seasoning that matches perfectly with the bean base for a delightfully addictive flavor kick."
  • Sea Salt - "All-natural flavors . . . "
  • Hickory BBQ: "Taste the summer . . ."

Taste of summer?

Uh, no thanks.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Art: A hobby or a business?

For starters, you have to be able to sculpt, draw, or paint things that, you know…look like things. But even if you can, you know damn well that when you tell someone at a dinner party that you’re an “artist,”  they’ll smugly assume that’s just a pleasant euphemism for “unemployed trust fund baby.” And on the off chance that all your creativity and hard work pays off and you have a piece prominently displayed in a gallery or museum, you’ll have to repeatedly deal with a boorish lout like me eyeing up your magnum opus and dismissively professing, ”I don’t get it.”
Artists Rejoice! Tax Court Concludes Painter's Activity Isn't A 'Hobby' - Forbes
The real question is, "What does the IRS think it is?" The answer is, "It depends. . . . "

Hawk 1; Drone . . .

. . . We could use a few more hawks.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Beach Music

When was the last time you went to the beach? Did you bring a book? Did you bring a hundred?

These days I read everything in pixels rather than on paper although I have a deep nostalgia for paper. In fact, I used to carry a little notebook around with me everywhere I went. It was part journal, part list and reminder keeper, part address book, and a place to jot down my many random thoughts. Now, I can do that all on my phone which isn't as romantic but is sometimes more convenient. Still, I love seeing people read books on non electronic, no batteries required, paper. Especially, young people. 

But then I got a Kindle which is an amazing, light weight reading device. I can literally carry a hundred books in my pocket although it's rare that I can read more than one in an entire month not to mention a week on the beach. I love reading on my Kindle but that's all I can do on it which, in fact, is one of the beautiful things about it. Much like the beach novel, I can't check my email and I don't get Facebook notifications on it. 

I also travel with a laptop for the times I actually do want to stay in touch or need to check in with the office. I recently acquired a iPad so I felt like I should bring that along as well if for no other reason than to become acquainted with it. And, of course, it's hard to go anywhere without my cell phone and maybe some earbuds. 

So, all last week, I packed my backpack for the beach with our two phones, two iPads, and two Kindle readers. I tried to leave the laptop behind but, truthfully, I did bring it with me at least once. Loaded, my backpack weighed at least as much as a hundred books.  

Maybe I should simplify. The next time I go to the beach, maybe all I need is a paperback novel. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

On Being 51

Last year, I had this shirt made:

(This is the view the other way around:)

Are you still with me or did everyone just doze off into a Paradise dreamland? I'm with you on that. I'm not sure I ever want to leave. I'm just getting my aloha on. 

I know no one will feel sorry for me that I had to work this week. Just look at the view from my office, will you? Even when I don't have to work, it always takes a few days to unwind. But yesterday, it finally hit me, my aloha. I was walking to the general store when it occurred to me that I wasn't wearing any clothes. I wasn't naked - I was wearing a bikini top, something similar to a tennis skirt, and flip flops. My hair was still wet from the ocean, tied up in a knot with a flower tucked into it. I would never - ever - wear that to the grocery store at home. Or anywhere else for that matter. But I've gone local which throws quite a bit of caution to the wind. Or the waves. 

There are some here for whom personal appearance is a big deal. (Think of surfer dudes and bikini babes.) But for the vast majority, personal appearance, including body image, is no big thing and of course that's the way it should be. Yesterday, I saw an old dude with a mullet, a gut, and a Speedo. There are old wrinkled women in bikinis. I saw a fat lady in a thong. And you know what? No one gives a rip. I feel right at home. 

Which is a good thing, considering I'm one year past my "best by" date. (See how I worked my way back to the shirt?) I was so excited to turn 50 that I felt like I was really at my best. Sure, I realized that my shirt also announced that it was pretty much downhill after that. (Yeah, yeah - everybody says that.) I just didn't realize how true that was going to be. (Yes, I'm sensing a collective eye roll here.) Everything hurts more. Everything sags more. And my body seems to be shape shifting. (You can understand why I might want to move here.) And, don't even get me started on the subject of hormones. 

But I can't complain much. Life is pretty good. (Have you seen the view from my office?) And even if it's all downhill from here, at least I get to coast. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today is also Day One of Year 26

Celebrating 25 years with Hubby.

International Coffee Day

If you're in London, use this tube map to get to the nearest coffee shop. If you're in Northampton, you might use this guide to finding your next cup of joe. But if you're in your own kitchen,  consider these four barista-approved ways to make it yourself.

The article discusses four methods:

  1. French press
  2. Chemex
  3. Pour-over cone
  4. Aeropress
I would like to point out several problems with this article. First of all, the title should have included "Lynn-approved" methods but they didn't ask me. (Clearly, this was an omission by the fine people at Today Food.) Secondly, is the first sentence which reads:
Most coffee geeks agree: You can’t make the best cup of coffee using an electric drip machine.
To be fair, I haven't tried the Chemex or the pour-over cone method but the only difference between these methods and a drip coffee maker is the you have to heat your own water. A step in the right direction but why didn't any of the baristas recommend an espresso maker, I wonder?

Maybe the survey asked, "How do ordinary people make coffee?" The thought of ordinary people making coffee makes me sad.

I've tried the Aeropress but it's a gimmick. The idea is great, designed to be an easy way to consistently make a single cup of coffee. My first cup was great. The second one wasn't as good. So much for consistency. It's made of plastic and requires filters which just feels so inorganic. It's the difference between making coffee and experiencing coffee.

Limited to these four, I would pick the French press. Contrary to the opinion expressed in the referenced article, the French press is the easiest of the four to clean. Plus, it's called a French press. That right there makes it taste better. Plus, the coffee maker can double as a device to infuse vodka with strawberries. Can you do that with a Chemex or a pour-over cone?

Maybe but it wouldn't be as good. Plus, now you'd have a real mess.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

First Day of Fall

It's supposed to happen next week but it was summer when I went to the grocery store today and fall when I came back. There was sun filtering through the (green-leaved) trees on the back deck before I left the house but the leaves had turned and fallen by the time I got back.

My weather widget suggests that Summer hasn't given up the fight.

But I'm concerned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's already too late . . .

. . . if I have to make a list.

Really, the only reason to make a list is to keep from forgetting something. Or, more specifically, multiple somethings. Like, I need to remember to take out the garbage tonight. Later, I might think, I should pick up the mail while I'm out there.

So far, so good. But then I remember, I forgot to start the dishwasher this morning. I need to do that first thing when I get home. Better start a list . . . .

By the time I jot down dishwasher, I've forgotten at least one of the other two things I was trying to remember. And don't tell me I should just be better about keeping lists because I would just forget where I put all those lists.

And then I would need a list for that.

Two is my limit. When I have to remember three things, you'll be lucky if I remember what we were talking about in the first place.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Love On The Rocks

For scale, there's another one halfway up the hill.

This is where I live. See the house at the top of the ridge ready to topple into the abyss? That's me, waving.

I exaggerate but only slightly. 

As you may - or may not - know, I live in the Seattle area and Hubby works in the Portland area. That's an oversimplification but it's close enough to the truth. Fortunately, my employer allows me to work from home so I often travel with Hubby. We have a house in the Seattle area and stay in rented a mother-in-law apartment during the work week. The apartment is in a house on top of this ridge.

I hope they stop digging soon or else we'll slide right off this cliff. I'm already worried for our host family's pet cemetery in the back yard. But we should be okay because I heard the lease on the quarry is about to expire.

Which makes me wonder, what will happen next?

Considering it's a giant whole in the ground it might make an ideal swimming pool except the cliff only extends halfway around. All the water would run right out. Of course, you could just keep digging. That would keep the water in and you could turn it into a world class cliff diving school. (It might even be the first cliff diving school.)

The location is ideal for development being right off US Hwy 14, near good schools and employers in high-tech industries. And with outstanding views of the Columbia river, high-rise condos seem to be a logical fit except exactly half of all the units would have a rotten view. Of course, you might offer the owners on the backside a discount at rock climbing school.

Better yet, you could connect the backside condos to the cliff itself. One side of the building would have views, the other side would have cave/patios. How cool would that be? What if the condominium project itself was a series of caves? I might buy into that!

Or you could do this but I'm not sure it'll play in this neighborhood:

Trailer Trash Condos - ebcak.com
(H/T Richard S.)
It'll probably end up being some big-box retail store like Home Depot. In that case, I think they should seriously consider selling hardhats. 
I think it's time to get my eyes checked. The last time I cleaned my glasses, I used spray-on hair conditioner (which actually worked better than expected). And, the other day, instead of a sparkly body lotion I applied face cleanser all over my legs. (And didn't notice there weren't any sparkles.)

Friday, September 5, 2014

13% Faster, My Ass

I think it's time to buy a another new computer.

By the way, how many computers should one have and how often do they need to be replaced? (It depends on who you ask, I suppose.) I have two work locations so that's two computers right there (although, technically, my employer owns one of those). I have a desktop computer at home (although if you count the skeletons that are in the garage, I probably have two more that could be pressed into service in a pinch). I have my old Acer laptop, which I should probably clean up and donate to the YWCA or something. Hubby has an old laptop which he doesn't use anymore but it has a DVD drive and a remote control which are cool - but, still, we aren't using (but could). Then, there's my MacBook Air (which makes me a convert, I think). Does the iPad count? What about the Kindle Fire? And the other two Kindles? Christ, I think my socks are computerized now. Do they count?

(Does the use of parentheses indicate that I'm talking to myself?)

The computer in my satellite office is a drag (and I think I'm being literal here). I usually work at that location for a few days, power everything off, then work in my regular office for a couple a days. When I come back and power the computer back on in my satellite office, my computer regards me as a cat would who's been left alone for more than five minutes. It comes to life, but slowly, and won't do anything without endless coaxing until my patience runs out and I reboot it all over again.

Here's what really pisses me off about that routine. It kills close to a half an hour - the powering up, passwords, various things loading, logging in, waiting for connections, whatever - which is what I've come to expect, sadly. No, the problem is the next day it wants to run updates. Why the fuck it doesn't want to do that when I'm fucking around with it on Day One is absolutely beyond me.

But, wait. The kicker is that about half an hour after the updates on the second day, the reboot, the passwords, logins, etc., some happy piece of software pops up and says, "Did you feel that? Your computer booted up 13% faster."

Awesome! You mean I could have been doing this all freaking week?!

(Okay, tell me how you really feel.)

I've had enough so here's the deal: the lines are now open for technical advice. (Snarky remarks are also clearly welcome.) I work in the "cloud" (can we call it "Fog?") so the new computer doesn't have to do much other than support a second monitor and work with some dependable reliability. I would love to have an Apple but I've noticed there are a few translation issues (with the keyboard) when I log in to my Microsoft-based work environment from my Apple laptop. (Maybe there's a work-around for that.) It doesn't need to be portable because I already have portable (in spades). It also has to be compatible with my Fog interface which means Chromebook is out (because it doesn't have an OS, is what they tell me).

Okay, I'm done now. This little rant is over.

I'm taking tomorrow off.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Welcome to September

I'm so busy that I think the only thing left now to do is throw out the To Do list. The second I have a second to myself, someone wants to fill it. I remember, like it was only yesterday, that I didn't have enough to do. Oh, well, this too shall pass and before long I'll be complaining that I'm bored. (Like the weather, it's always too hot or too cold.)

It's been almost two weeks since the biggest, baddest corn hole tournament within a five block radius of my house. There were fifteen teams playing in the third annual double elimination competition. The event is by invitation only and I was included as the champion of the inaugural event. This year, I had the honor of extending an invitation to another champion: Clint Gresham, Long Snapper of the Seattle Seahawks. (He declined.)

Perhaps he doesn't know what a fan I am of Special Teams. The more special the player, the more of a fan I am. I would wear his number but I can't find a 49 jersey. Anyway, whenever I get a Seahawks jersey the player I'm representing ends up quitting. (Remember Josh Brown? Yeah, I didn't think so.)

I usually post a much longer description of the event but this will have to do for now. (I came in third, btw.) I hope to revisit this topic again later.

The draft for our fantasy football league was the very next day. Since almost all the team managers were also at the previous night's tournament it was a subdued crowd, to say the least. This event was fraught with some anxiety for one team manager (Vancouver Hawkbackers) when he nearly lost all of his scouting data 48 hours before the draft. (Hubby dropped his iPad, cracking the glass.) Fortunately,  this hurdle was easily overcome by a supportive sales associate and $200. (I'll tell you whether it was worth it 17 weeks from now.)

And then this happened. (Look for the woman in a Seahawks t-shirt, black baseball cap, and jeans with a hole in one knee on the right side of the screen.)

Seattle was "mobbed" four times that day in Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, the Convention Center, and Capital Hill. The middle two mobs were the best because they were packed with tourists who were taken by complete surprise. I also met some really great people (whom I hope to see again). I think there will definitely be more flash mobs in my future. (Stay tuned.)

This vein's for you.
Over the weekend, I was nominated for the ALS ice bucket challenge. My video response is on Facebook because it was easier than figuring out how to post it here. (I think it's an Apple/Google mismatch thing and I just don't have the patience to create a vimeo account.) But the gist of it is this: I declined to dump ice water on my head and instead of donating money to the ALS Association, I donated blood to my local blood bank.
Then, yesterday, was the first day of school for this special guy:

He just turned six and I love him so much.

JOHN FROSCHAUER — The Associated Press
The News Tribune
That brings us to today which is the first day of the NFL season. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you care? Did you notice the female line judges? Wait, what?

Okay, there weren't any on the field today and there won't be any during the rest of the regular season - but there could be soon. There are two women officials in official official school who officiated during the pre-season. One was right here in Seattle in the game against San Diego.

Also, for bonus points, who scored the first points of the 2014 NFL season? (Hint: Hauschka like them apples? [An HTLA? t-shirt goes to the first one who posts the correct answer.*])

Meanwhile, what I should be doing at this very moment is work on a slide show that I've been trying to produce to document a major remodel of our boating club's kitchen. (Sounds less pretentious than yacht club galley.) I've taken about 360 pictures of the progress over the last few months. It's a larger task than I imagined to sort them into something that's interesting and tells a story. It should be done soon but I've left it to the last minute (in no small part because the project wrapped up just last week) but time is in short supply because it's Tax Season, Part Deux**.  (And, my zit's cleared up so Hubby is in big trouble.)

I'll pay for this, this post. I should have been working on my video presentation but I didn't do it. In the meantime, there's always ice cream.

*All terms and conditions apply. Employees and relatives of the author, with the exception of the author's brother, are excluded. That should pretty much cover it.

**If you don't know what I'm talking about, then tough for you.

2014 X-Ray Contest Winners

2014 X-Ray Contest Winners

"A 3-year-old male great Dane was observed repeatedly vomiting and retching all day. 
"Abdominal radiographs revealed a severely distended stomach and a large quantity of foreign material. 
"During exploratory surgery performed by a DoveLewis veterinarian, 43½ socks were removed. The patient was discharged home one day after surgery."
Now you know where they all went. But beware, your rubber duckies are also in peril.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Did Not Make This Up

Clown Suffers Minor Injuries in Clown Car Crash

"A clown suffered minor injuries on Monday after her clown car crashed into a utility pole in Westwood, New Jersey.
"The victim, according to The Record, was a 68-year-old female clown whose name was not released. Another clown, who goes by the moniker ‘Poppi T Clown’ told the paper that the accident victim was reaching for her GPS unit when she ran off the road and into the pole. In other words, she may have been juggling one too many things.
"The female clown was said to have been driving home from a show at an elementary school. Several of her fellow clowns (“about 10,” the Record said) arrived on the scene quickly to assist her.

"An administrative assistant for Westwood police chief Frank Regino told Boston.com that the clowns were still in makeup and full costume at the time of the accident. According to police, the clowns were driving home in separate cars and not all in one tiny car."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Times, They Are a-Changin'

It's that time in my life when my hormones are all out of whack. I know this particularly for two reasons: First, I am growing a ginormous zit on the side of my face; second, I love my husband.

Hubby noticed both of these strange occurrences as well. The zit is fairly obvious and while I love my husband, my displays of affection are rather inconsistent. Actually, that isn't the case either - there's a pattern. I love my husband for two weeks after which I find him endlessly irritating for the rest of each month.

This month's extended period of affection is unusual and while Hubby isn't complaining, he was hesitant to bring up this anomaly lest the spell be broken. I was afraid of this: that my cycle would get caught in endless repeat somewhere along the line. At least it didn't get caught two weeks later.

Unfortunately for Hubby, my zit is starting to clear up.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


I woke up to the smell of cooked bacon which would be wonderful except I'm not sure it will ever go away. (Is that really such a bad thing?) The thing is, I came across fifteen pounds of bacon yesterday. (I won't even try to explain.) I cooked up three pounds of it and wrapped up the other twelve in one-pound packages for freezing. (And by "we," I mean "Hubby.")

Thus, the smell.

I was planning to make an appetizer that features bacon as an ingredient to bring to the Third Annual Cornhole for Cash tournament later today (report to follow) but now I'm thinking, "Why bother?" Everyone loves bacon. Why mess with it? Now I'm thinking that if I just bring a plate of cooked bacon, that will go over as well or better than anything I could make with it. It'll be a feeding frenzy.

While I'm at it, I plan to put some in my pockets in the hopes that it will throw off my opponents later today. I'll stop at nothing to reclaim my trophy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Argument for Form 1023

Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

An organization is eligible to use From 1023-EZ if its assets are valued at $250,000 or less, and it has annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less.

Step Away from the Microwave! IRS Rules That Organization Formed to Protect Citizens from 'Mind Control' Attacks Is Not Exempt :
Had the new streamlined procedures for small organizations to apply, using Form 1023-EZ,9 for tax-exempt status under §501(c)(3) been in effect, it is likely that the organization described in PLR 201430014 would have sailed through the exemption process with little or no scrutiny. 
Indeed, while one might have some sympathy with the intent to compensate the victims of "mind control," the fact that the scientific basis for the purported existence of "M attacks" appears to be about on a par with the scientific evidence supporting the existence of , e.g., Sharknados, seems to have doomed Taxpayer's application.
Has Mind Control Conspiracy Captured IRS? :
I’m thinking that there might be a little bit of bias in the ruling that Defender is not educational and the notion that because Ernie is one of the victims of M attacks working for compensation for M victims constitutes inurement. If Ernie is right, you would think that the IRS is one of the first places the people doing the mind control would take over, so that might account for the adverse ruling. Of course I would also not rule out Funhouse running a scamming operation and Ernie being a whackadoodle.
Funny stuff right there.