Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Read Full Post »

In my last post about Facebook I said that face-to-face human interaction was too precious to avoid using Facebook, but Marcella Proust wisely noted that she uses Facebook exactly because she doesn’t want to talk to people. She uses it to avoid people. Maybe I’m thinking about Facebook in the wrong way. No I haven’t changed my mind about joining, but it does seem to me that if face-to-face social interaction is taxing you can avoid it all together by using Facebook, or Twitter, or texting a friend rather than calling one.

I have to admit, I do text people on my phone for the very reason that I don’t want to talk to them. Usually because I fear rejection. It’s much better for me to read in a text that my friend is unavailable to do X rather than have to hear them come up with an excuse while I’m talking with them on the phone. I have good friends who wouldn’t necessarily do that — come up with a lame excuse — but the fear of that nonetheless drives me to use text instead of voice conversations.

In any case, these are just some random thoughts.

Read Full Post »

Cars, babes and buildings that move. This is a weird video.

Read Full Post »

La Bete Humaine

Jake and I are currently on a Jean Gabin kick. Of the films that we’ve seen are Pepe Le Moko, Port of Shadows, La Grande Illusion and La Bete Humaine.

Here is a clip from the beginning of La Bete Humaine. With virtually no dialogue it’s a great peak into the lives of rail engineers. Watch until 4:52.

Read Full Post »

Trivia for the day

I was trying out another trivia place last night (Lockspot Cafe Mondays at 8 o’clock) when I came across what I thought was a very good question. Enjoy.

Name all of the twelve Gods of Olympus (Greek names only). Answers after the jump.


Read Full Post »


Since we started to make cheese and butter, we pay more attention to whether the dairy products we buy are pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized. In Seattle, the organic brands tend to be pasteurized while everything else is ultra-pasteurized. This excludes Horizon Organic, a dubious organic brand in the first place, which unsurprisingly ultra-pasteurizes their product. So what’s the difference? As a cheesemaker it makes a big difference. Here’s Rikki Carroll’s take from her book Home Cheesemaking:

Scientists working for large coporations have figured out if you heat-treat milk to ultrahigh temperatures, you can keep it for a very long time prior to opening. This allows large milk companies to buy out the smaller ones and transport your milk all across the country and still get it to your table in all its dead glory.

This means it [ultra-pasteurized UP] is heated to 191 degrees F for at least 1 second, which destroys all organisms in the milk. It also gives milk a slightly cooked taste, like that of evaporated milk. The purpose of UP treatment is to give the product a greater shelf life. UP milk and cream will last at least 28 days, as long as they are refrigerated and not opened.

UP milk is less than ideal for home cheese making; the protein structure is damaged and the enzymes are destroyed. It has no real advantage as a fluid milk for the consumer but is convenient for the processor, who can buy less milk, transport it farther, and keep it on the shelf longer. It doesn’t even taste good. UP cream is nasty stuff that leaves a greasy film on coffee and is difficult to whip. Large processors market UP milk by pandering to people’s fears about food safety, though conventionally pasteurized milk and cream are perfectly safe.

I notice that pasteurized cream is even more difficult to find than pasteurized milk. I left a complaint with our local supermarket, which I love, because when I stopped by last week the shelves were filled with ultra-pasteurized product while all the pasteurized creams were completely bought out. I encouraged them to notice that their customers clearly prefer the pasteurized product.

Photo: Guernsey cow or calf lying on the ground from the Library of Congress flickr site.

Read Full Post »

Here’s a convenient chart for you. To see the full chart, see Wikipedia.

Read Full Post »

State Mottos

Via StrangeMaps:

I can’t belive “Don’t mess with Texas” is really friendship.

Read Full Post »

I have Christmas money to spend and I’ve decided to use it to buy a roomba. Only a quick search on Amazon shows quite a variety. Any reader reviews of roombas? Can anyone recommend a consumer web site for reviews on roombas?


Read Full Post »

Unusual vegetarian meats

R.J. this one is for you.

1. Vegetarian haggis. I can vouch for MacSween’s vegetarian haggis. It’s good. Perhaps better than real haggis…


Read Full Post »


I just saw Mike Leigh’s new film Happy-Go-Lucky last night. HGL is a film about a woman who refuses to change her cheerful demeanor despite the ravages of the hardened world. In the opening scene the heroine goes into a book shop and tries to get a surly clerk into a conversation, but he proves to be too tough for her. I actually just had a similar situation last week — only I was the bad guy.

I was at a crowded bar when my husband told me a man had offered to share his table with us. He pointed me to the table and I went over while my husband got drinks. The guy reached out his hand and said “You must be Jacob’s wife.” I shook his hand wondering if Jacob actually knew this guy beforehand. I said glad to meet you. He then said “great smile” at me. I was a bit taken a back by the friendliness which I must assure you was not intended as a pass or anything of that nature, but it did surprise me as being a bit too familiar. I thanked him and then pretended to watch TV. After a few minutes the sports game was over and he left telling us to “enjoy the view.” As he left Jacob said to me that he had tried to start a conversation with him. Really, me too I said.

I felt really bad. We’d both been perhaps not rude but not especially friendly. We had been like the surly clerk in Happy-Go-Lucky.

Read Full Post »

My life as an elitist

Okay I admit I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about being called an elitist. If I’m going to get called that name I want to have the lifestyle to go along with it. Despite purchasing lottery tickets for several years I will still qualify for Obama’s under $250k tax plan. Although admittedly, I’d get more of a tax break with McCain.

When it comes to spending, I tend to be thrifty except for certain splurges. For instance my new pair of glasses cost over $500. I always get the thinnest lens possible and scratch resistant is a must. I figure I purchase glasses so seldom that I might as well get the best.

I hate brand name labels. I hate how there are some things that you cannot get that are plain. Try to buy a cap lately? You can’t buy a cap without a logo on it anymore. And glasses? You have to work hard to not get a Fendi or D&G insignia blazened right on both stems. What makes Fendi think that I would want to see that in the mirror everyday? It’s tacky to say the least.

I buy clothes maybe twice year. I shop at thrift stores sometimes, but not all the time. When it come to purchasing bras, I go straight to Nordstrom and I don’t look at the price tags. Nordstrom has a great lingerie department (Oprah will back me up). They measure you every time and with service like that I’m happy to spend a bit more.

Shoes are easy. I got planar fasciatis a few years ago and now I can only buy shoes that have arch support. The good news is this prevents me from buying shoes just because I like the way they look.

I’d rather spend money on going out to a nice meal than buying an iPhone. I constantly ask myself why is this. The things I like to spend money on, namely going out and traveling, are intangible. But if I bought an iPhone I’d actually have something to show for it. But that’s the way it is for me. I think one reason I don’t like to buy toys is that I invariably think about what it will be like when I have to move. I hate moving. The more things you buy the more you have to move. I use to have an IKEA addiction, but after a couple of moves I don’t go there anymore. Why do I need a microwave cart anyway?

When I got married, everyone asked me who was going to do my hair and makeup. Me I said. My hairdresser gave me some tips for the big day, but other than that I was left to my own devices. I look back at my wedding pictures and I think “damn, I did a good job.” I mean I really did a good job. Why would I want to pay for that?

I do travel quite a bit. I like visiting other places and it can get pricey. I’d rather travel than have a fancy car. By the way in typical Seattle fashion my husband and I share a Subaru. It’s the first car I’ve ever bought (used) and I love it.

If I should ever win the lottery, and god knows that’s the only way I’ll be rich because I have no ambition, I do have a list of things that I want. A weekly massage, a house cleaner, and I’d like to fly first class from then on. Obviously, I’d quit my job. But other than that I really can’t think of anything that would make me any more happy than I am right now.

I can’t imagine spending $150,000 on clothes and makeup. I can’t fathom having millions of dollars charged on my credit card. I’m just not comfortable spending a lot of money. But somehow I am an elitist.

Read Full Post »


So I’m channel surfing the other day when I happen to find the movie Deliverance on CMT aka Country Music Television. This is curious to me. You would think that many viewers of Country Music Music Television are from the places depicted in Deliverance. I’m quite certain they don’t like the insinuation that back country folk are inbred and practice bestiality and male on male rape.

It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, but I was struck with how great the direction is. The movie is absolutely terrifying. The idea that you can be a victim of a crime and yet be unable to ask for help because the enemy includes law enforcement. The idea that acting in self-defense can land you in jail. The idea that you must carry the shame by keeping the crime a secret. And you’re a man. It’s powerful stuff.

I was also struck that Jon Voight is little more talented than his daughter Angelina Jolie. Sadly this is not the first time I’ve had that thought. How great is Burt Reynolds though! Man, that guy can act. Pity he’s made so many bad movies. And Ned Beatty? Well, Neb Beatty is a very brave actor.

No pigs in this preview.

Read Full Post »

This weekend I was reminded how much I preferred Depeche Mode before they got all serious.

Read Full Post »

Why study home economics?

Read Full Post »

Paddington Bear

A Bear in Hot Water is a hot video on youtube today. I remember playing with Paddington Bear as a kid. I’m glad he’s not forgotten.

Read Full Post »

A conductor’s job is never done in China.

Read Full Post »

I first blogged about Leavenworth Washington to describe why there exist in America things like fake German villages.

A sawmill and a healthy logging industry eventually fell apart, however, when the Great Northern Railway Company pulled out of Leavenworth. The re-routing of the railroad and the subsequent closure of the sawmill sadly converted the town from a bustling, thriving hub of commerce into a hollow, empty community. For more than thirty years, Leavenworth lived on the brink of extinction.

But in the early 1960’s, everything changed. In a last-chance effort to turn their precarious situation around, the leaders of the community decided to change Leavenworth’s appearance, hoping to bring tourism into the area. Using the beautiful backdrop of the surrounding Alpine hills to their advantage, the town agreed to remodel their hamlet in the form of a Bavarian village.

Ironically Leavenworth, the Bavarian holiday town and not the saw mill town, is so popular that the train will be returning to Leavenworth once a station has been built. Leavenworth lobbied and received a federal grant for the station. The station will be part of the same line that I took to Glacier Montana, the Empire Builder line, which travels from Seattle to Chicago.

Life can be quite funny sometimes.

Read Full Post »

Trio – Herz ist Trumpf

According to YouTube this song from German band Trio is

an attempt to translate the deeper meaning from a cool song way back from the 80’s when style did not matter so much..

I’ll be in the fake Bavarian town Leavenworth, Washington this weekend running a half marathon. You can read about Leavenworth from a previous post here.

Rest assured, I will bring my camera.

Read Full Post »

Damn, Oregon beat Washington. Then again they do make fine tasty beers. If I had to name my top favorites I’d say:

1. Scuttlebutt Blonde Ale – Everett, Washington

2. Manny’s Pale Ale – Seattle, Washington (Georgetown neighborhood)

3. Mirror Pond Pale Ale – Bend, Oregon

Via wikipedia.

Read Full Post »

We are conducting interviews at work for a position that I used to hold. Sitting through a question and answer session for three different people has given me some interview tips that have a lot of crossover with the Vice Presidential candidates’ ability to answer questions.

1. Be specific. Interviewers often ask for specific examples of work. This is not for the purpose of stumping an applicant. It’s a way for the interviewer to see what role the applicant had in their work experience and what thought processes they used to come about a resolution.

It’s very noticeable when an applicant is not specific. All three applicants had moments where they generalized their experience. If an applicant never delves into specifics it’s a red flag that perhaps the person’s experience isn’t what s/he would have us believe. That could be a problem.

2. People want to work with someone they like. When you have applicants with similar qualifications, personality could be the deciding factor. We had one applicant who was extremely lighthearted and cheerful. She told us a couple things about her personal life which allowed us to relate to her. I think this is why the hockey mom factor of Sarah Palin is so powerful. An applicant also shouldn’t diss his/her competition or past employers. It’s uncomfortable for the interviewers and again it’s unlikable. A likable person is a strong trait.

3. If you don’t know the answer to a question don’t fake it. As long as you haven’t faked your resume, you are at the interview because you are qualified for the position. If you are asked about something that you don’t know it is better to answer honestly that you don’t know the answer. Give a comparable example of something else that you do know. Honesty goes a long way. A rambling lie goes a long way into diminishing your credibility.

Read Full Post »

Here’s a random post for a Sunday. I love the banjo.

Read Full Post »

An interesting commercial from 1995 on a number of levels. First of all why is famous dancer Alexander Godunov from the Bolshoi Ballet selling Canadian beer? Perhaps Godunov was more of a household name in Canada? His acting career in America certainly didn’t make him a household name although he was famous for those who knew him from the American Ballet Theater.

I also find it interesting that The Smiths are playing in the background. I love “How Soon Is Now”.

Read Full Post »


aka, the need to buy products. I went to the barber shop the other day to get a trim. For the past two years I have not used any conditioner after I wash my hair. You see I have extremely baby fine hair and I have more than enough natural oils to condition the hair that I have. So much so that my hair gets greasy very easily. I used to dye my hair which would give my hair a bit of texture — a common need of people with baby fine hair. One day I hit upon the idea that I would just not use conditioner.

And it’s been great ever since. My hair has texture, it doesn’t get oily so easily and my skin is also in much better condition. I felt like doing a commercial for this lackof product.

But the stylist at the barber shop was horrified. No you can’t do that, he said. I told him that I like how my hair has texture now. He whipped out a bottle of the latest texturizer and said with this you’ll have all the texture you need. Why should I use conditioner just so I have to use another product like texturizer, I said. Besides not using conditioner is all natural and organic.

I also think of all the years I used conditioner and all the money I poured into a product that I didn’t need. And all my teen years, where I had the worst skin imaginable and I poured all this money into acne prevention products.

Sometimes you just need to step back and reassess your reality.

Photo via gas13. A neat web site which shows you have to photoshop hair.

Read Full Post »

Happy People

Sometimes I just google words to see what comes up. I googled Happy People and got the band Yazoo from Essex. I have to admit the song gets in your head.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »