Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Parlez Vous Francais?

Thanks to my friend Laura, I can now release my Inner European. I know you'll be as shocked as I wasn't to find that

My Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Though I must say that for me it's more of a "Would like to have a few nice things that no one has ever wiped their nose on."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just In Time for the Holidays

Last Christmas we went to Union Square in San Francisco to see the department store windows (if you've never been, go you must). It was a dreary day, so while there, we headed over to the little cafe right on Union Square for hot chocolate. What we got was most definitely chocolate, but like nothing I'd ever had before. It was exquisite, so good, in fact, that I found myself calculating the odds of being able to get back through the line in the cafe to replace the five cups already on the table--left unattended only because Thomas went to get his parents and the girls.

My mother-in-law later found a recipe that was very similar. Enjoy!

Scharffen Berger's Drinking Chocolate
2 1/2 C whole milk
4 ox. Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate, 99% cacao*, finely chopped
1/3 C sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon, opt.
1/8 t cayenne pepper, opt
Heat milk 'til hot to touch. Whisk in chocolate and sugar and continue whisking 1 to 2 minutes 'til chocolate has melted and sugar has dissolved. Whisk in remaining ingredients.
Serve in demitasse cups as dessert.

* You can use a lower percentage, just don't go too low, and definitely don't use milk chocolate. You can also substitute a different brand.

You Know it's Going to be a Long Day

when your t-shirt says "Sexy Smart" but your granny panties are inside out and backwards.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Did You Know . . .

Thanks to my friend Sarah, I had a chance to remember just how much I've forgotten. But I also got a free blog post :) I didn't verify, but some I've seen before. Some may be outdated, but they're still fun.
  • In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thick er than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
  • Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"....and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
  • The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  • Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
  • Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
  • Coca-Cola was originally green.
  • It is impossible to lick your elbow.
  • The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
  • At least 75% of people who read this just tried to lick their elbow.
  • The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%
  • The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
  • The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400. Unless we're talking about Argus, in which case, that just gets them out of puppy-hood.
  • The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
  • The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
  • Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David; Hearts - Charlemagne; Clubs -Alexander; the Great Diamonds - Julius Caesar
  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
  • If you were to spell out numbers, you would have to go until one thousand before you would find the letter "A."
  • Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers were all invented by women.
  • Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil.
  • It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
  • In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. In old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down. This is where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
  • Also around that time, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
  • Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it:
"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos n ot raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Weekly Dammit, #17

Since I skipped last week, let's just get right to it, shall we?

Dammit #1:
Writers' Strike: No Daily Show, no Leno . . . Solve it and solve it soon. I don't think I want a bunch of bloggers-as-scabs taking over Hollywood. Oh, wait . . .

Dammit #2:
I'm taking the girls to Georgia for Thanksgiving. There is no direct flight on the return, unless I want to leave my sister's house at 4 a.m. And I think we all know how long I considered that option. So now we have a layover in Chicago, and I have a portable DVD player on loan from my friend Sarah. Have I mentioned lately, Sarah, just how much I love you? (Psst: that's the anti-dammit: Friends who willingly loan electronics.)

Dammit #3:
This past Saturday, I got food poisoning after eating take-out from my favorite Indian restaurant. (It's actually the only Indian restaurant I've tried in Redwood City. But it's very, very good.) There is a remote chance that, because I was supposed to pick the food up at 6:20 and didn't make it there until 7:00, it just sat too long. I know this isn't really the reason, but I'm going to have to go with it or I will never be able to eat there again. Did I mention that it's really good?

Dammit #4:
On October 8, the U.S. government requested a full-panel hearing with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case that will determine whether their procedure for issuing subpoenas for stored email is unconstitutional. The government's position appears to be that email users have no right to electronic privacy. That's only part one of the Dammit. Part two is that I found this in a blog on The Register, a U.K.-based site. Did anyone else see it in the U.S. media? Maybe I just missed it. And because The Daily Show is in reruns until the strike is over, most of us wouldn't see it anyway.

Ze Frank on the Writers' Strike

He's back and as funny as ever!

The Daily show should hire him as a writer, if they haven't already. After the strike, of course.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I've Been Busy Mixxing

For the past couple of months I've been busy working on a project for a start up in Virginia. I think Mixx.com is really cool, and I've had a lot of fun with it. Fortunately the tone they wanted pretty much meshed with what I do anyway--well, unless I'm in outrage mode. That--eh, not so much.

Check it out! Sign up! Use it! You'll find my handiwork on the About, FAQ and Help pages, as well as most of the blog posts, error messages and other random text.

Happy Halloween!

I know it's over, but I had to share:

Charlotte still doesn't love the camera the way Hannah does :)

Halloween is a HUGE deal at Hannah's school. They had a parade with all of the kids (K-6) and the teachers.

The day after Halloween--still hopped up on sugar. Guess who didn't have school today?