Martius

By: sp34n119w , 21:35 GMT le 01 Mars 2012

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What can one say about March in Southern California? There will be flowers. There will be sun. There will be wind. There may be rain. There may be snow in the high places. It's pretty much like early Spring anywhere else, but, milder. Except when it isn't. Spring, and March in particular, is notoriously unpredictable.

March brings the Spring equinox, falling this year on March 20th, at 5:14 UTC. That should be, um, March 19th, at 10:14 pm PST, I think. Unless the time changes before then, in which case it will be, er, 9:14 pm PDT. Somebody check me on that.
[oopsies. I was supposed to fix this days ago!]
[EDIT: somebody did check me on that - no surprise, it was LowerCal in comment #9 :)
Correct time = Spring Equinox March 19 at 10:14 PDT ]

The Romans called this month Martius, named for the god of war, Mars. It is no coincidence that the verb “march” means, among other things, “to walk in a procession; walk in a disciplined military manner” since it was at this time of year that armies began military campaigns, especially of conquest. Nobody fought in winter in the olden days.
In the wikipedia article on March (linked above) I learned that the term "Lent" comes from the Saxon name for this month.

I've always liked Mars/Ares. He's a bit of a coward, actually, and a wimp. He likes to incite violence but isn't always all that great at winning his own battles, so tends to run away a lot. He has no tolerance for pain. I find him comical, and a typical warmonger.
If you ever watched the tv shows “Xena” or “Hercules” I think that their version of Ares pretty much nails it, at least as far as I've read of the old stories. In fact, Ares is the main reason I watched any episodes of those two tv shows.

Ok, now I'm sad. Something I wrote up there got a song stuck in my head and then I remembered Kevin Smith (Ares) and the two kind of go together. Not least because both are pretty cheesy ;)
So I'll post the song …



And here is Kevin Smith being not Ares :)

…..

Sallying Swirls:



For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

Contentious Clouds :



Resistant Rain:



Rallying Randomness to follow in the comments …

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I haven't updated these charts for February but the difference wouldn't be significant. Pierce College in Woodland Hills only recorded .03" for February.




Source data: Los Angeles Pierce College Weather Station

The technical term for this weekend's rain event is "March Miracle" ;^) and there's a chance for another in the final week of March. In any case the season deficit won't be erased so we won't have a "Miracle March". The fire season might be postponed until late spring anyway. :^/

I've watched about 30 minutes of the 2 hour Science Channel's "Are We Alone?". So far it's been a good survey and update on what we know about the possibility and nature of life elsewhere.

The hummingbird thing is PBS so you can always find more information and watch online Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air.
Member Since: 26 juillet 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9168
I'm thinking I should mention the weather forecast for the area. Not that there is a single SoCalian who is unaware of the impending storm. It is meant to be the biggest storm of the season.
In SP we're at less than 6” of rain this year, total. Could be worse but a bit more would be welcome.

The forecast says rain on Saturday as the front moves in and showers Sunday as the front moves on. It will be cold behind that front, too, with possible frost advisories for the wee hours Sunday night and even Monday night, so that means snow and ice in the high places. Not in SP, though. One forecast did mention graupel earlier in the week so you know I'll be watching out the window a lot, even though they've taken that out.
Precip totals have been changing over the last few days. Half an inch would be good and one-and-a-half would be awesome. So far this season we've been measuring rain in hundredths of an inch, and tenths a few times, so, you know. I am of a mind to wait and see.
Currently They say:

For Friday night and Saturday...the fun really begins. ...
… widespread 0.75"-1.50" totals
with 1.50"-3.00" in the foothills/mountains as southerly flow will
be decent ahead of the front.

And wouldn't that be loverly? Mostly.

Anyway, it will be cloudy and cold for a few days, so a great excuse to do any indoor chores that have been put off on all those nice weekend days we've had this winter.
Speaking for myself, of course ;)

I saw on TWC this morning that this storm is meant to cause some serious rains in the middle of the country once it's done with us. Guess it'll pick up more moisture on its way there and, hopefully, that'll be all it brings.

…..

BC – I was writing while you were posting that! Saw it later, though, and really appreciate the message – so true.
Thinking of you today – as I write this you must be well on your way to pain-free gardening :)

LC – thanks! I missed it, of course, LOL
I did get the Science Channel thing recorded but haven't watched it, yet. Hope I remember to record the second part next Tuesday.
I think I'm going to let the hummingbirds just be whoever they are and focus on enjoying their antics :)

gg – oh I know how that goes ;) Thanks for stopping by!

…..

I've been missing a lot of news and fun stuff this past week or so. Just busy and, sometimes, not in the mood to follow my usual threads of interest. Anything I write about today is likely old news to everyone else. I have a couple of things I wrote … maybe I'll post 'em next time I come by. Really, I'd rather wander around others' blog, but it's rude to dump my endless words on other people, LOL

Right now I'm hungry! ;)
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Oh dang. More links that look interesting. Must just say hello and flee before it's 3am and I haven't been to any other blogs.
Member Since: 25 Mars 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
Thanks for the TV alert. :^) One good turn... The PBS World cable channel is running a Nature episode on hummingbirds several times today.
Member Since: 26 juillet 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9168
WTS - Hurray on the mystery plant ID! Hurray for Bogon! :)

I think you ended up with more rain than me this season. Yeah, a little more would've been nice. Maybe you, at least, will get some t-storms in a few months.
That cactus flower is just stunning - and a favorite color of mine. Thanks :)

.....

Speaking of blooms ... I went to that Raptor thingy yesterday and saw lots of flowers on the way - mostly cultivated, not so much wild (as one might expect this time of year), but, some. The apricot trees seem to be just getting started in the upper valley and are very pretty in frilly pink.
Took pics of some flowers and bugs but haven't looked to see how they turned out, yet.

.....

In keeping with the theme of "why do people believe such odd things and what can be done about it?" here is James Randi, briefly, in Wired.
I just checked the 2012 calendar I got at B&N and it ends on December 31st, not 21st, so the Mayans were wrong! We have ten extra days to party!
Or, to buy a 2013 calendar ...



Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
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Hi sp, how 'bout all this rain lately?? Ha! I think Bogon nailed it on my mystery plant, purplenerve springparsley!
Hope your wireless is behaving, occasionally we don't connect to ours, but after unplugging (power to) the wireless box and plugging it back in after 10-20 seconds - all is well.
No mystery here - mounding cactus in bloom.
Member Since: 20 septembre 2005 Posts: 131 Comments: 1935
Thanks, Bogon, I think that's a good idea. I just have to remember, or look up, how to do that! This morning it's all working fine, though - go figure - so I'll probably put it off, lol

.....

Lovely day, warmer than it was supposed to be, and sunny.

Locals - as in very local - and sorry for the late notice - today is the Ojai Raptor Center's Open House! So if you live anywhere near Ojai (SP, Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo ...), and are looking for a way to spend a sunny afternoon, head on over and see the big birdies :)
They have great directions to the place at the website.
Towards the bottom of the page they've got a barn owl cam! I can see her breathing :) but otherwise I think they mostly sleep during the day, don't they?

That's about all I've got this morning. Busy day, so far, and errands to run.
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
sp, one thing you could try with your wireless router is to change the channel on which it broadcasts. If the problem is caused by electronic interference, changing the channel might be an easy fix.
Member Since: 26 juin 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3697
Shhhhh ... be werry werry quiet - we have a bf sighting and don't want to spook her!
;-)

LC - Thanks for the bird and birding info. I don't see myself taking up birding but now I'll know what books to look for, if I do. Then again, I do get curious from time to time ... well, that's what WU is for :)
I picked the Allen's mainly because of the beak - it seemed a little shorter and straighter than Rufous. Those two - Rufous and Allen's - were the only two I saw at Bogon's link that had the black spot.
The hummer I saw had buff sides, white-ish belly, no small spots on the throat, and green back and wings (from what I saw). The green was bright which is why I guessed male. Shows what I know! LOL
Interesting that there are hybrids. Stoopid genes, propagating like that's their business.

bf - hey, you! Good to see you :) Actually, I have seen you in the main blog a time or two, on the rare occasion that I peruse the comments.

Confirmation bias is insidious. So hard to spot in ourselves when some truth seems obvious. Weather is one way it affects us - how many times have you heard people say, "Of course it rained! I just washed my car!" when, in truth, they've often washed their car without it getting rained on, and not noted that fact. Weather pains are a similar deal.
That's mostly funny but, yeah, when folks think "the cows aren't laying down so no tornado's coming here" or whatever, even though they're hearing the sirens, it's dangerous.
How about, "We got 2 feet of snow! There's no such thing as global warming!" ;)

Hope you got to the rest of the article - he's a fun writer and, no matter where he starts, he always ends up with his head among the stars.

.....

Computer gurus at large - I am again having trouble connecting to my wireless router, and the laptop doesn't even see the router sometimes, despite the fact that it's picking up a dozen other signals from much further away. Everything that I can think to check checks out fine and, eventually, it will find the router and connect, but, even then, it comes and goes.
I've had this problem before, months ago, and so was trying to figure out what is different from the usual.

This is what I came up with - the dvd player. If I'm watching something over a period of days, I just leave the dvd in the player when I shut down for the night. It's convenient and I can't see that it hurts anything.
Well, on a hunch, I just now took the dvd out as I started up the laptop (I shut it down out of frustration hours ago) and, lo and behold, the connection is working perfectly!
(speaking of confirmation bias, lol)

Query: WTF? I mean, what would the mechanism be for that kind of interference when the dvd player isn't even running but just sitting there with a dvd inside? Or, is it coincidence?
More testing will follow (it could certainly be coincidence that it happens to be working now) but I thought I'd ask in case someone had a clue. TIA

.....

To be honest, I was perfectly happy to shut down the laptop and go outside to do stuff instead - the high today was 86 degrees! Not as windy as yesterday, crazy low humidity, and nice to be warm :)

It will cool down tomorrow and more Sunday ... fog and then rain in the forecast but we know not to put too much stock in that. It must be nearly Spring!

Happy TIME CHANGE weekend :)

Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Hello, sp and everyone.
Okay, so I looked at the hummingbird pics, and one looked to me like a parrot. Not much hep am I? (lol Freudian typo, meant help. Similar meaning just the same.)

Then, without reading comments 14 and 16, I clicked the link at 24 ... "Are You being Honest with Yourself? and got as far as the words and the link to wiki, "confirmation bias." Second time in my life I've bumped into that phrase. First was last week at the National Severe Weather Workshop. Confirmation bias has been raised as part explanation for why some people do not heed tornado warnings right away. Thinking processes like these, maybe: A tornado has never hit this town because we're protected by ____. Can't be a tornado, not here. Just another one of those false alarm warnings. The air sure doesn't feel like there's a tornado coming.

Knit on, sp, or crochet, if you like it better. Have a good March.
:)
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Other good references are Peterson's Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America and The Sibley Guide to Birds.
Member Since: 26 juillet 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9168
.... cannot possibly resist the opportunity. ....
I recognized the trap and I still couldn't pass up the bait. ;^)


I have a couple of good resources for identifying local humbees: Stokes Field Guide to Birds Western Region and Stokes Hummingbird Book. I also have some years of experience watching them come and go from the back porch feeders and local flowers. The books have pictures of male and female. The books also give descriptions of appearance with variations, seasonal ranges, habitat, voice and other behavior.

Your microclimate may vary but the hummers I've seen here are the expected Black-chinned, Anna's, Costa's, Allen's and one slightly off-range Calliope. Lacking any bright coloring I'm certain your bird is female. The side chest and under tail color in the pictures looks suede to me. If that color perception isn't an illusion then from the pictures and description she appears to have distinctive features of two different species. Anna's have spotting on the throat that sometimes forms a small patch but they lack any rufous (rust) coloring. Allen's has rufous side chest and upper and under tail. Allen's can have a dark spot but it's among iridescent flecks on the throat. You and I are in the Anna's year round range and the Allen's summer range but I don't know how significant that is in this seasonless year. Both species have relatively short beaks for hummingbirds.

Over the years I've seen a few hummingbirds that had to be hybrids or mutants. Anna's + Allen's hybrids are well documented (Link). If your bird was smaller than an adult Allen's (3½") I'd guess it was an immature Allen's female otherwise I'd guess hybrid female.
Member Since: 26 juillet 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9168
Hmmm ... relating to gg's comment at 14 and my response at 16, a post by Ethan Segal titled, "Are You Being Honest With Yourself?" that opens with a Terry Pratchett quote so you know it's good! ;)

No, I should not be reading blogs right now, nor posting comments. Get off my back, ok? (I don't mean you, of course!)
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Quoting Bogon:
What about this one for the mystery plant?

More pictures here.


Hey! I think you've got it, Bogon! Looks right to me anyway. I'll put that in WTS's blog, if you don't mind, and see what he thinks ...
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
What about this one for the mystery plant?

More pictures here.
Member Since: 26 juin 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3697
Okay, just spent a ridiculous amount of time following those links, LOL! Much fun :)
Thanks, Bogon and gg!

I am leaning towards female or immature male Rufous though how to tell the difference between that and an Allen's, I have no idea! I watched some youtubes showing each and Rufous seems right.

The books - that's why I don't have any, lol. Someone must find them useful.
Even at that allaboutbirds link - there are 10 photos of Rufous and nearly every one is completely different to my eyes! Even allowing for male/female differences.

Haven't even followed all the plant links but, gg, did you check with WTS on that? I think the leaves are different.

I'm having connection issues or I'd likely spend the rest of the afternoon wandering those sites ... maybe connection issues are a good thing ;)

.....

Weather - looks like it did go to 32 degrees overnight down on the flat, but, 39 up near me. Cold enough!
Got my wind machine serenade ;)
Sunny and, well, not exactly warm ... but nice enough in the sunshine.

.....

All the talking/thinking about food got me to try a couple of recipes I'd been meaning to. No, not traditional foods. Honestly, I've spent the last twenty years acclimating myself to healthier foods to the point that, these days, I'm much more likely to crave broccoli than bacon.

Last week I made an eggless chocolate cake that I had been putting off trying, sure that it would be awful in texture if not taste. Turns out, it's just like a cake! And takes no time to throw together and doesn't require egg-replacer. This make me happy.
Last night I finally made a veggie loaf I'd been meaning to try for, like, ever, and it was fantastic! Needs a bit of tweaking but, you know, a veggie loaf can't really go wrong the way a meatloaf can. A keeper, for sure, and very versatile.

There. Have I undone my evil deed? ;)

Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Bogon is definitely right about bird ID books. They also post only one type of picture and rarely the females. I have four bird books and each bird looks a bit different in each book.
Here is a fun link, however, to a slideshow of North American hummingbird mug shots. Link

Btw, the sleeping hummer is just too cute.

As for Watchingtheskys plant, here it is; Link

This is the best link ever for wildflower ID Link
Member Since: 25 Mars 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
No luck with WatchingTheSky's plant.

Same sort of deal as with the hummingbird. Field guides make assumptions about how they will be used. In the case of the bird, the book assumes that you will be holding the book as you look at the bird. In the case of the flower, I found some information online, but the guide assumes the flower will be open, and they don't provide good pictures of the foliage.
Member Since: 26 juin 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3697
sp, I'm no expert on hummers. Fortunately, where I live I don't have to be. There is only one hummingbird on the east coast.

It just so happens that I have a bird book sitting on my desk. That artificially amplifies my expertise while I hold it open in front of my face. It lists a whole slew of west coast species.

Your picture doesn't look like any of them. I'm pretty sure you're looking at a female or immature male. Did the bird have a white band on her tail? If so, she might be a female Anna's hummingbird.
Member Since: 26 juin 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3697
I need a hummingbird ID, please! I posted a couple crumby craptures from my FLIP because I did not have my camera and could not let that little guy get away without at least trying to get a picture. I don't know if anyone can even see it - I know where to look, LOL
I went to whatbird.com but none of the hummers had that black spot under the chin. Any ideas?

Speaking of IDs ... did anyone ever get WatchingTheSky's pretty plant figured out?

gg - no, you can't explain it to them - even with pictures and crayons. They already know.
Love that flash mob idea! And if that's socialism, call me a Socialist! LOL

Honestly, these folks just missed out on some key concepts during their education and haven't figured out how to figure it out. They lack the necessary curiosity. They want their answers given in short, clear, declarative sentences. They are uncomfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to be told. It isn't their fault. Have pity.
I know that doesn't sound like me but I'm feeling generous at the moment, LOL
Anyway, why do you suppose the elite (of both parties but mostly Republicans) have been working to undermine and dismantle public education for these last few decades? I posited that idea to a new teacher over 20 years ago and she thought I was a conspiracy lunatic. Who's crazy now, huh? HUH?!?!?!
*ahem*

Here, this will make it all better - have you seen the snoring hummingbird video?



calpoppy - is this nuts, or what?! Yesterday I was comfy in a t-shirt. Tonight we're under a frost advisory - but they keep changing the forecast low, LOL! It was 34 this afternoon, then 28(!) earlier this evening, now 41 degrees. Apparently, it's a crapshoot :-/
Anyway, the frost advisory is mainly for the Ojai Valley, not us, so we'll see what happens.
You stay warm up there in the frozen highness :)
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
We were in the 60's today, now we are 37 with a wind chill of 28!! I guess winter isn't through until it's through. Lol!!

Member Since: 18 février 2008 Posts: 53 Comments: 3750
Okay, how with simple words and pictures does one explain to people that we use more of our tax dollars for helping rich people and corporations than we do for people that abuse welfare.

Okay, maybe we can't. Have you heard about how people have been organizing cash flash mobs for small business? They target a Mom-n-Pop shop and then promote it through social media for people to go spend money at that business.

Now my head wants to explode. I heard "conservatives" who call themselves republicans complain that this was liberals promoting more socialism. Huh? This was just another way to stop the free market.
What are these guys stock brokers and walmart owners?
No, these were blue collar knuckle heads.
Member Since: 25 Mars 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
Whew! What a weekend! I'm a little sleepy a little early. Think I'll take gg's advice and play some PvZ after I post this ;)


gg - somehow I knew you'd get that reference ;)
Lucy Lawless seems like a truly kind person. I didn't know about that incident, though!

I like your project idea - I could actually do that! LOL

LC - when I decided to put the equinox info in I realized that I didn't know when the time changed, and that my time-math was probably off, and I spent about 2 seconds considering checking it and then I thought ... why do that when LowerCal can do it better? ... And cannot possibly resist the opportunity, LOL
Thank you! I'll edit the post :)

Ylee - did she keep the fat in an old coffee can by the stove, too? My mom did for years when I was a kid! Definitely added flavor to anything (and everything!) :)
Great story your wife and kids have to tell the grandkids one day – so happy that's all it is!

calpoppy - ha! I'm a half a hunk, myself, then! I like it :)
Brody is just plain adorable so the mix must be working!

BC – aw, that's a sweet song! Thanks for bringing it! I like the time period, too, and for the same reasons – something to sing along with :)
Southern cooking, yum! Bacon and butter, butter and bacon, sugar, and occasional greens for color, LOL

.....

The winds did die down Friday night and yesterday was quiet, warm and sunny. Today the wind was back in the morning but not so bad. Did lose a palm frond but no damage done.
89 degrees today :)

…..

Some follow-up:
Remember the judge who wouldn't try an assault or harassment charge against the Muslim parade-goer who went after a zombie Mohammed? There was speculation that he was a Muslim but he is not. He attests to being Lutheran and says that his time serving in Iraq and Afghanistan makes him sensitive to Muslim feelings about their religion. Which is fine and good, but, it doesn't mean he gets to change the laws here, from the bench, to allow for those feelings. Anyway, they said on the news that he has received threats and has been moved to a different courthouse. They didn't say who was making the threats.
Must be those militant atheists, though, right?
[sarcasm] tag needed for that last line, unfortunately, since some actually think atheists do things like that. I don't know – maybe they did in this case but I would be surprised.

Also, that young woman who received threats of rape, beatings, and death for standing up for her (and our) First Amendment rights there in Rhode Island has become a rock star among secularists. She's done radio shows and podcasts and spent this weekend in Orlando for the secularist humanist meeting – getting standing ovations. Hope it helps her deal with the hate (sorry – that's Good Christian Love, that is) she's been experiencing.

…..

I'm in a better mood than I probably sound, LOL
Mom got home safe from the far far eastern reaches of the country (note: not that far), and all my family and friends made it through the tornado outbreaks okay. It's been a sad weather week, for sure, and fascinating, too.
For my aunt, it seems that having all her sibs descend upon the farm at once has greatly improved her outlook with a commensurate uptick in her health. All are happy to have made the trip :)

Did I mention what a nice weekend it has been? How much fun I had? One of those times that the joy of being alive just whacks you upside the head :)
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Oh, you're so bad! I mean really, really bad. Talking about sinfully-delicious, horribly-bad-for-us, old-school cooking. Whether it's Hungarian, Italian, German, Southern, it's all good. I do agree that special occasions deserve the real thing. We can all survive the occasional heart-attack-on-a-plate, right? My first husband (died 1992) was a pure-d Okie. He spent the first five years of our marriage teaching me how to cook Southern, with a capital S. I still indulge on occasion. Biscuits with bacon gravy, green beans with bacon and onions, mustard greens with bacon. Notice a common theme here? Just to break that theme, add grits fried in lots of butter. I've never heard of or tasted Isaly's chipped ham, but it sounds good enough to be Southern.

And thanks for bringing back Seasons in the Sun. I had that tune stuck in my head awhile back, but I couldn't remember the lyrics, title, or artist. You saved me from terminal head-music loop. I do think you're mistaken in calling it "cheesy". I'm of the opinion that 60s and 70s music is still some of the best ever -- something you could hum, sing along with, and/or dance to, and easily get stuck in your head.

Here's my contribution for the day:
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Sour cream is one of the main ingredients of hunky cooking! Lard, bacon grease, butter and of course paprika.
My boys are known as half a hunk, I guess baby Brody is down to 1/4 hunk!
Member Since: 18 février 2008 Posts: 53 Comments: 3750
10. Ylee
My grandmother used meat grease and bacon grease on a whole lot of dishes, from spaghetti to grean beans, even a dressing she used on greens!

Thanksgiving and Christmas were heaven, and Sundays were pretty good, too! :)
Member Since: 3 février 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15631
You asked.

The Pacific Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8). The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 120th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory. During daylight saving time, its time offset is UTC-7.

3/20 05:14 UTC = 3/19 9:14pm PST = 3/19 10:14pm PDT (Think spring forward...)

Starting in 2007, most of the United States and Canada observe DST from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, almost two-thirds of the year.

The Northern Hemisphere 2012 spring equinox occurs at 3/19 10:14pm PDT.
Member Since: 26 juillet 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9168
So good to see a reference to Mars the wimpy god of war...aren't all warmongers a bit like his character?

Lucy Lawless who played Zena however, is just as fierce in real life. Last week she boarded a Shell Oil platform with other Greenpeace members to stop it from going to drill in the Arctic. That news just made my day.

Hmmm, so knitting putting your fingers in knots? Heck with it then. Go get some garden gloves, paint them with glue, wrap the yarn around it, voila! A finished project. Then play some Plants vs Zombies. Toss the rest of the yarn to kittens. Don't you feel better now?
Member Since: 25 Mars 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
calpoppy - overheard in the kitchen:
Hunky Cook 1: How much sour cream should I put in this?
Hunky Cook 2: How much you got? I can run to the store for yas ...
:)
Between the meat and the dairy habits it's amazing any of them live to 30. We have a cousin who has altered several recipes to make them "healthier". Bah! sez I. As with you, these are (nowadays) special occasion foods, not everyday, so if you're going to do it, do it right.
When I was a kid, though, we had chicken paprikash a couple times a month because mom loves the stuff ... aww, now I want to make it for her. With nokedli. Darn. That's a lot of work, LOL, not to mention almost entirely inedible for me.
Well, her birthday is coming up :)

.....

Wow it's windy again. Maybe the worst it's been here this year. Hope it settles tonight, as I have to be on the freeways again. Still, it's better than a tornado!

.....

I watched a video of Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins having a conversation at ASU (part of an ongoing series of talks that Krauss has there) and it is full of fascinating ideas. Not surprisingly, they spend some time discussing religion (and Republicans, lol) but, really, if you can stand that, the bulk of the talk is about science and is absolutely worth the two hours. Well, it is if you like listening to incredibly smart people talk about science, anyway.
This conversation follows one they did a few years ago which is also worth watching. They disagree more in that one ;) Not hard to find on youtube.
Krauss' new book is based, loosely, on a talk he gave at the AAI convention years ago and that, too, is available on youtube, called "A Universe From Nothing" and that was the first I saw of Krauss and he is, at least, funny :)

.....

Knitting may not be the hobby for me. I just can't seem to sit still long enough to get enough done to be satisfied. And, I mean, with crochet, if you work, say, four rows of double crochet, then you can look at it and feel like you've accomplished something. Four rows of stockinette stitch is virtually unnoticeable. I do that much and my hand is cramping and I feel like I've got nothing to show for it and that the project will go on forever.
I'll get over it.
Just venting ;)
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
I am so hungry now!!! My kids dad (who died 13 years ago) was Hungarian. So I learned to cook all those incredibly fattening foods that were so good, but I only cooked them on special occasions. I have the Magyar Church's womens cookbook which has all these amazing recipes that would kill you if you tried them all! LOL!!!
Member Since: 18 février 2008 Posts: 53 Comments: 3750
Hi! Me, again! LOL

Following up on 70's music nostalgia ... funny I was thinking of this song (it's original singer, actually) in that context before I saw this after I'd posted the other ... but having nothing to do with the original ... instead following up on a favorite theme here ... I think I'm done with the ellipses now ...



Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
I have a story ...

My mom and sister are in Ohio, having flown into Pittsburgh to meet mom's younger sister, to all go visit with elder sister, who is in failing health. This is not a happy trip, obviously, but they are enjoying the family and elder aunt has perked up significantly with all the visitors.
I mentioned in a comment on the previous blog that my mom was being mean to me by bragging about the t-storms they got yesterday. That isn't the only way she's being mean!

In my family, when it comes to food, pork rules. Pork chops, pork roast, pork ribs, ground pork, ham, etc., and grandma's homemade Hungarian kolbas were/are essential to happiness. When it comes to favorites at a family get-together, though, nothing – nothing – beats Isaly's chipped chopped ham. This is foundational. Required, such that the notion that my mom, aunt, and sis would drive from Pittsburgh to Ohio without bringing pounds of chipped ham is simply unthinkable.

Each day my mom has called and provided a slice-by-succulent-slice accounting of the eating of the ham. It's killing me. I can't even eat pork, anymore – it's a migraine trigger for me – but, if I were there, I'd eat it and live with the days of pounding pain. Yes, I would. That's how good it is.

Isaly's chipped ham is ambrosia – fully fortifying and never to be passed up, never denied no matter how full of other foods.
My joy in that one food undoubtedly comes largely from the fact that it was always there at grandma's house, shared with family during happy times and sad. Even at Christmas, when there was a probably literal ton of incredible food available, there had to be Isaly's chipped ham for sandwiches. Something to hold you over. For the road. Late night snack. Any reason at all. Or, none.

Go anywhere near Pittsburgh and not eat chipped ham? Unpossible.

Now, Isaly's isn't Isaly's, anymore. They were bought out and the old stores closed in the late 80's. The folks who bought it are true to the method, however, and sell through distributors throughout the region. I'm told by the members of the previous generation (who should know) that it is the same.
The Isaly's BBQ sauce is very good, too. On the off chance one gets tired of plain chipped ham, heating it up with the sauce for a hot sandwich is a nice change.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about but feel that the name is vaguely familiar - Klondike bar wrappers used to have “Isaly's” printed on them (may still do). The Isaly family began as cheese-makers, went into dairy farming and delivery, and then into delicatessens. You could go to an Isaly's deli and get a vanilla ice cream bar dipped in chocolate. They called it a Klondike bar and eventually sold the rights to the name.

But, never mind that. Chipped ham is what Isaly's is all about, and I have acquired a headache just thinking about eating it.

Also, my mom is mean.
I'm happy for her, anyway – happy that she is enjoying plenty of a favorite food and that she has this time with her sisters and her brother. Rare, on both counts.
Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Ylee - the weather here is generally mild. Except for flash floods and/or mudslides. High winds. Or, when there's fire. Our "lions" don't come often with warnings - they're sneaky like that ;)
Glad you're having a good March the First!

ycd - well, if you're like me, it brings back memories :) For me, those include my own little transistor radio, and long car rides with my dad singing (horribly, lol) along to the radio.

Member Since: 27 janvier 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Why do I still enjoy Terry Jack's whimpy contradictional music after all these years?
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Happy March, SP! SoCal doesn't follow the saying "in like a lamb, out like a lion", and vice versa, as the rest of the country does(superstition, I know, lol!), does it? Your weather looks definitely lamblike, as does ours, at least it is today!

March weather around here is more accurately described as "Just wait", as you can get anything except 100 degree heat, if you wait long enough! :)
Member Since: 3 février 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15631

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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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