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 -
(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.