Friday, February 10, 2006

Photo Friday: Blur

The theme of this Photo Friday is Blur. This is a shot of our storage shed -- it came out a bit different than I would have thought on a rainy day a few weeks ago, but it still seems warm and interesting. Taken on my Fujifilm FinePix A330, focal length 5.7 mm, exposure time 1/320, aperture f/2.8. Hope you like it! Click the image for a larger view.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Delayed Reaction to the SOTU

From Palinode's site comes the following.

From Harpers Weekly Review:

Bush also announced during his speech that America is "addicted to oil" and vowed to replace "more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025." Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said that this promise was not meant to be taken literally. "This," he said, "was purely an example."
It makes me so angry and irritated to read things like this about Bush, to see the lies that he tells so clearly underlined and yet so ignored by the mainstream media. And the idea that he is criticizing Americans' addiction to oil is so disingenuous it leaves me stunned. To take a quote from the Washington Post, "in truth, few administrations have done more to feed America's oil addiction than this one -- and the same can be said for this Republican Congress." [Washington Post, 2/3/06]

In that State of the Union address Bush asked Congress to pass laws outlawing human/animal hybrids. Readers here had strong reactions to the idea of embryonic hybrids being used for stem cell research, reactions which surprised me quite a bit. If you're still concerned about the idea and don't see any merit to exploring the potential in hybrids for research, you'll love this site. I think this tongue in cheek shirt is wonderful.

With the curtain being pulled back on Bush's illegal domestic spying and his easy dismissal of the laws contained in the Constitution, my irritation and anger are coming to a boil. Why there is not more effective outrage in this country is simply beyond me. MoveOn.org has a fantastic ad about this that is definitely worth a look -- the campaign began Monday and calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the situation. It's a step in the right direction, anyway.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Foolproof Biscuits

This recipe for biscuits is amazing. Tonight we had friends unexpectedly stop by for dinner and these were quick, easy and perfect to go with our roasted chicken, wild mushroom rice pilaf and salad. I have had terrible luck with biscuit making in the past, and these always turn out perfectly. The longer you let them rise, the better they are, but even putting them in the oven straight after mixing they are delicious.
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Where My Time Is Going

This is part of the sampler I'm making for Gretel's birthday. A full version of the pattern can be seen here, but I'm modifying parts of it to make it more relevant for her. I loved these fish in the pond, though! In a bid not to turn into my mother, who often finished gifts well after the due date (or birthday, as it might more sweetly be known) I am working nonstop to try to get this done before February 25. I'm sorry it's been so quiet around here!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Photo Friday: Disguise

The theme of this Photo Friday is Disguise. I like the way that the identity of many ordinary objects can be disguised by showing them close up (this is a face sponge on a soap dish). Taken on my Fujifilm FinePix A330, focal length 5.7 mm, exposure time 1/25, aperture f/2.8. Hope you like it! Click the image for a larger view.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Quick One

Absolutely hilarious.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My First Meme

Two Things Meme from Celeste (who's since moved her blog to a private site or else I would totally link to her here)

Two Names You Go By
1. Laura
2. Mama

Two Parts of Your Heritage
1. Italian
2. Swedish

Two Things That Scare You
1. House fires (it's never happened to me or anyone I know, but the idea of losing everything is horrifying.)
2. Anything (from a mouse to a pillaging marauder) being in the house without me knowing it

Two of Your Everyday Essentials
1. Kiss My Face moisturizer
2. Diet Coke

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now
1. An old Ann Taylor shirt I got on sale when we lived in Boston
2. The "Candy Pants"

Two of Your Favorite Bands, radio stations,or Musical Artists (at the moment)
1. Damien Rice
2. Postal Service

Two of Your Favorite Songs (at the moment)
1. Such Great Heights--Postal Service (still)
2. Wide River--Steve Miller

Two Truths
1. Love conquers all
2. “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” -- the Buddha

Two Physical Things that Appeal to You
1. Eyes
2. Upper arms

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies
1. Reading on my own, reading to Gretel
2. Crafting (with paper, yarn, anything)

Two Things You Want Really Badly
1. Peace in my extended family
2. A great digital camera

Two Places You Want to go on Vacation
1. Italy
2. South Africa

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die
1. See Gretel grown and happy
2. World tour on the QE2

Two Ways that you are stereotypically a Dude/Chick
1. I get weepy over commercials for Kodak, USPS, Hallmark, etc.
2. I am very sentimental about just about everything

Two Ways you act like the opposite sex (stereotypes)
1. I could not care less about shoes
2. I still don't understand women's sizes (misses? juniors? What?)

Two Things You Normally Wouldn't Admit
1. The one song that I can always sing to calm Gretel? I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys. Nevermind that it's a totally inappropriate song for a mother and daughter or that it's the Backstreet Boys for god's sake.
2. I cleaned the bathtub today. The last time I remember doing it was at least two months ago. How is that possible? Gretel still gets baths in the sink, Joe and I only take showers. Perhaps this has something to do with the former state of the bathtub.

Two Things You Are Thinking About Now
1. Why is this episode of Lost a rerun? And how did it take me this long to realize I've never seen it?
2. How am I going to finish this cross stitch for Gretel before her birthday at the end of the month?

Two Stores You Shop At
1. Wal-Mart
2. Stop and Shop

Two people I would like to see take this quiz
1. SJ (though it doesn't seem likely as I have never seen her do a meme and she just had a baby)
2. Chris (again, not incredibly likely because of work and his devotion to his family in his free time)