Friday, June 30, 2006

i've changed my mind. do not check out the tigercam.

Why? Because you can't see a damn thing. Honestly, i don't think zoo staff ever looks at their website...because if i was the director, and saw this, I would fire everyone.

Who had the bright idea of placing the cam feet away from a chain link that the camera focuses on the fence. It's bright and clear, unlike the tigers.

I say either put the camera on top of the fence, aim it through a link, or place it on a wall looking into the enclosure.

But what do I know? I'm just talent. (which is what we dumb broadcasters often say when bringing up an objection to something in a script. Well, I do. Except, of course, when I'm reading one of my own scripts.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I love The Guardian newspaper. Of course, I love many newspapers. But there are few things I find more enjoyable than being in London, where I can read a half dozen papers every day. Different papers. In the same city! How un-american.

of course, there are papers, and then there are papers. I'm not saying I'd take my news from all of those london pages, I'm just saying I love the choice I'm given.

And when I'm not in London? Well, I read the Washington Post on the ride to work, and the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in the office. And when on the road, I try to read the local rag, just to find out what's happening in town.

But I also read online. The austin papers on Thursday, to see what I'm missing. The latimes for news from the entertainment world.

And, of course, The Guardian. You never know what's going to pop up. Today, there's a marvelous article about the horrors surrounding ready made baked beans on toast. That's right, the heinz folks are testing a frozen version of this comfort food. And the best part? The guardian has famous chefs weighing in on the subject. Fascinating stuff. Really. Check it out here.

of course, every friday they post Alex Kapranos food/dining/travel column. Yes, the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand. Yes, it's good. Really. He's got a very good eye. Writes about food he encounters on tour around the world. Been doing this for about a year, I think. A book, complete with drawings by another band member, will be on store shelves sometime this year.

I have a friend who finds this appalling. She thinks no credible rock star would be caught dead writing for the Guardian.

here's his latest. You can decide for yourself.

Monday, June 26, 2006

yes, the flooding is just as bad as you're seeing on the news. We've got this storm system taking up residence over the dc area (and much of the east coast), kind of like what happened in boston this spring. Close to 6 inches of rain fell yesterday,closing roads, screwing up the subway, and forcing some govt buildings to shut down. Several agencies are closed, as are some of the smithsonian museums.

to read about it, and see some photos, just go here:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

the great movie experiment was a bust.

we got through the ten minutes of previews, but when the film started, the young gentleman announced it was too loud....and we agreed. (I wonder if the volume was so hot as to drown out all the chattering during the film?)

anyway, we left, and money was refunded without a hitch.

looking back, i am amazed at how loud the film was. I wonder if they've ever sat in the theater with a meter....i wouldn't be shocked if this topped the prescribed limits.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

this just in......

earlier this year, there was a rumor that St Elsewhere was finally going to be available on dvd. About time! i mean every crappy tv show that ran for two seconds the past two decades is available, but this classic has been tied up due to various rights issues for years.

Still no word on a US release, but is selling series one, the entire season one, for 26 pounds. If you order and have it shipped to the US, the price will probably be a bit lower, as they'll subtract the VAT.

but...this means there's hope for a full fledged US release, soon!

wish me luck!

earlier this week, my friend bj called to see what i was doing today. Her husband had decided to devote today to "things around the house," and she wanted to get their four year old out of the house for the day. We thought about taking the DC Duck Tour, thinking it would be a fun way to get outside and do something different.

mother nature spoiled that plan. We're expecting thunderstorms all day, and it is summery hot and humid.

so we're, eek, going to the movies. the 11:40 showing of Cars. The last time I went to a movie with a four year old, we lasted about 20 minutes before sitting still just became impossible.

She says he made it through curious george ok, so here's hoping.....

Friday, June 23, 2006

check the tiger cam again! just got a call that there's a cute family shot....everyone curled up and sleeping. hope it's still there when you check!

and hooray, i got the link to work again. who knows what the problem was.....


from now on, i want everyone to call me in the office, or at home!

For the first time since I've had a cell phone (going on 13 or 14 years), I have gone over my monthly minutes! You do the math---they're 40 cents apiece, and i owe an extra 36 bucks.

Of course I talked with carol for about 60 minutes yesterday. but i wouldn't have missed a minute of the conversation! The greencards played the telluride music festival for the first time last weekend, and I really wanted to hear all about it.

and then i talked with my brother for a half hour tonite.

in other news, i guess i should finally report the findings on my car. the volvo guys decided the battery was the real problem. I wasn't totally sure, and for that reason, I left it in the driveway last weekend, and took the subway to the train station. I would rather put up with being hot and sweaty from lugging my bag on the walk, than to get back and find a dead car in the station garage.

but they were right. Car seems fine, knock wood, cross fingers.

and the biggest news is that we (my sister, brother and I) have finally decided to sell what had been our parents florida home. No one has time to visit.

that's the good news. The bad news is that we've got to spend some time down there getting it in shape, which means I'll probably not be attending the calgary folk festival this summer. And i was really looking forward to that trip. But...I do want to have some leave left over for a couple of fall hops.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

back to being boring, i see.

it is hot. 96 degrees worth of hot. With humidity. Not as bad as it'll be in august, but the kind of weather that makes you slow down a bit.

the big news around here is that one of gubenatorial candidates, doug duncan, has just pulled of the race, citing clinical depression. Very brave of him to announce that. He was my pref. candidate, but i'll just switch over to the other dem, who is also a very good guy. This is probably good for the race, as we've got one strong candidate, as opposed to two---less chance of one of the lesser qualified to steal the nomination due to a party split between two strong candidates.

did i say it was hot?

Monday, June 19, 2006

all in all, a great weekend in new york. Travel was via amtrak, smooth as silk both ways. The quiet car was indeed quiet, and it was a very good ride.

the grand hyatt is on 42nd and lex, connected to grand central station, a pretty convenient location for just about everything.

I made it up to the butterfly conservatory at the natural history museum, a wonderful exhibit, expect for the amazingly stupid people going through it. Let me set the scene: a gallery in the museum is dedicated to this butterfly exhibit. The highlight of the exhibit is a walk through a butterfly conservatory, filled with (duh) butterflies and plants. As you approach the conservatory, the walls are lined with factualy exhibits about butterflies. A huge sign is outside the conservatory door, asking that you not touch the butterflies, and if one lands on you, to just stay calm. Oh and it explains that the temperature and humidity is set to butterfly specifications, not yours.

How do I know this? I actually looked at the exhibit. Unlike most of the people with me. The teens who climbed into the plants to touch the butterflies, and seemed shocked when a staffer told them to get back onto the pavement. . The kid who started screaming when the butterfly landed on his shoe. The woman who asked why it was so hot, and if they could fix the ac. The woman who wanted to know how the butterflies get their colors. And the one after her who asked the same thing. And the third one in five minutes who asked the question. I told her that there was a fantasic exhibit JUST OUTSIDE that would explain it all! She looked at me as if i was crazy. "Exhibit?" she asked. Yes, those glass cases and the photos, and the pinned butterflies, etc. Nope, too much trouble, she just wanted to see the live ones.

But here's the best: the woman who asked the staffer what they were going to do with the butterflies after the exhibit closes at the end of the month. The staffer replied that they only live about five weeks. The woman asked if she was going to take some home. After a pause, the staffer said they were going to keep the conservatory conditions at butterfly settings for three weeks after the exhibit closed...and that they'd, um, be dead by then. The woman looked shocked. Of course, the exhibit outside explained the whole lifeline of a butterfly, but I guess it's just too difficult to read these days.

The afternoon also included a visit to bendel's, and an unexpected makeover. a bunch of dollars later, we both looked like ourselves...but a bit better.

NM gifted me with a quick manicure at bliss, and then we went downtown to meet my friends liz and dan for what turned out to be a very yummy, and fun dinner. A looong dinner, as we caught up and solved the worlds problems.

Sunday: We went to century 21, then back up to bendel's where I returned some makeup that i knew i wouldn't ever wear...keeping the stuff i would wear. strolled around a bit more, then back to the hotel. I'd checked out of my room in the morning, NM got herself a late check out so I had been able to put my stuff in her room. We retrieved our assorted things, went over to grand central station, didn't have lunch at the oyster bar as it was closed, but did have some suprising good food at the little sit down mexican cafe right there in the dining concourse. I had some spicy chicken soup, loaded with fresh veggies and chicken...very flavorful and home made. She had an amazing looking salad. The salsa was a bit sweet, but we both found the food better than expected. Not as good as the lobster gazpacho at the oyster bar Saturday afternoon, but still good.

and that's it, in a nutshell. A great weekend, and a very nice break.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

looks to be another nice day in the city. I'm about to head up to the natural history museum, to check out the butterfly conservatory among other things.

then I'm meet up with NM, and we'll do a bit of window shopping, including a stop at the sure-to-be-a-zoo century 21.

dinner last night turned out to be at rosa mexicano. The guacamole was as good as promised, and the entrees were much better than I'd been lead to believe. I had a very interesting crabmeat enchilada, with a tomatillo sauce. Not heavy at all, and quite tasty. Everyone else seemed to like their specials.

Friday, June 16, 2006

greetings from a sunny and warm new york city. Looks to be a wonderful weekend...

anyone have any "must do" or "must sees" for me?

The train was on time, always a wonderful thing. Quiet car was quiet...except for a few moments when some old friends caught up with each other. Eventually, one of the guys said "oops, we're in the quiet car, we'd better move" and they did. score one for the good guys.

i'm going to recharge for a few more moments, then venture out to walk up fifth to the park, and then up and over to charles appt on broadway, between 61 and 62. or is it 62 and 63???

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

good news, bad news. I'll start with the bad.

The amazing kerry/al (I never remember which is which) at my garage just called...he was shocked. It wasn't the battery, wasn't the starter, twas the alternator. Bottom of the list, when it came to predictions.

Top of the list when it comes to price. 900 bucks. Thanks volvo.

yes, thanks for that wonderful volvo certified used car warranty, that just happens to cover this repair.

I do need a new battery, but the old (from december) one is still under warranty, so the garage is going to replace it. Sometime this afternoon, and then I'll pick it up and drive it out to silver spring-near-columbia during rush hour.

still, it's better than the alternative.

from the "It never fails department"

So, I'm going to new york this weekend, and will spend a couple hundred bucks I don't have. Maybe equivalent to the birthday check i received that immediately went to the mortgage as I spent too much on the wedding.

anyway, what happened? I get up this morning, decide to go to the gym after work, and opt to drive to the subway and leave my car there. (it's supposed to rain this afternoon...and not having to walk home gets me to the gym earlier.)

so, what happens? nothing. at least when i start the car. Battery seems fine, as the door chime works, and all the dash lights go on. My diagnosis: starter.

volvo roadside is on the way, and they'll take it to community auto for me if it doesn't get started.

so much for not going broke. And getting to work early.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

more on my current obsession: the tiger cam

finally saw the outside cams during the day with no rain. Verdict: nothing happening. Saw a bird hopping around, but that was it.

inside cam: mom looks nothing like a rug when she's sitting up. Instead, she looks just like a housecat. Very still. Blinking rarely. Very much like a statue.

And I don't know where the light is coming from, my screen shows very dark. the inside cam picture looked better a few minutes ago, but now it's kinda dark.

perhaps you'll have better luck!

Monday, June 12, 2006

i think i've created a monster. for myself.

i have finally gotten connected with the tiger cam (see below)...and even though there's nothing happening, i'm fascinated. one of the outside cam shows mainly some sleeping lumps, but every-so-often a moth, or something will fly by the lens, forcing it to focus again.

nothing much on the second outside cam.
the mom and cubs cam shows a big tiger sleeping on the floor. looking much like a, um, rug. really.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

hooray, the grill works just fine.

I did a three link package of the green chile sausage from Austin. Sad to say it was mild, quite mild. You never know with these things.

For the chicken, i decided to try a miso marinade, sort of like the miso cod I loved at morimoto. The marinade was ginger, garlic, scallions, and equal parts light miso, mirin, rice wine and light soy sauce. Tastes fine to me...or at least the sliver i tried did.

so, three sausage (well, two and a half now) and four chicken breasts...that's pretty much dinner mains for the week. Of course, I'm going out of town Friday, and I probably should have all this eaten in three days, so you know what's for lunch AND dinner this week.

hooray, the grill arrived. And they took the wrong one away, as promised.

it is a behemoth.

I did thaw some of my prized green chile sausage (shipped from central market in austin) yesterday, but by the time i finished running errands, it was 8:45, and close to dark. Luckily,, there were still some ice crystals on the sausage, and I felt OK about keeping it in the fridge overnight. I'll get out this afternoon and cook it up.

but not for lunch. I've got an audience with Sasha at weggies.

it's fantastic here---cool for the last few days, and very low humidity. We're talking maybe 75 degrees. Won't last for long, however.

Friday, June 09, 2006

so, just a few minutes ago, I wrote that the tigercam at the zoo showed rain. We're about 5 miles from the zoo, maybe a bit more. Southeast, I think.

Anyway, the storm just hit.

I think i need to go to the zoo soon. We have some baby tigers:

everyone goes nuts over those boring pandas, i think these guys deserve some more attention! If you're not going to be in DC anytime soon, you can waste time with the tigercam. (those of you living here can waste time, too!)

you can get to the tigercam through the zoo website, but i was never able to connect. And i just clicked on the zoo site for a is absolutely pouring at the zoo.

hey! Everybody take a nap for mony's sake. She's halfway through a two week visit by her four year old niece! What a good auntie!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

you may recall that i am the vp of my neighborhood association. We had a quarterly meeting at 7 tonite. I got there at 730. Why? because i got out to the subway station and realized i didn't have my keys. where were they? locked in my office. Called Ed, but he'd already left. his advice was to call facilities....they informed me there was nothing they could do.

i knew that was wrong, because, well, people do lock themselves out! Called ed back, he had me call them again, i got the same answer. rinse, repeat.

he then had the idea of calling the guys in master control...the same folks who let him in when he'd forgotten his keys one weekend.

and then i trudge back downtown, got in, got the keys, got back to the subway, rode out, blah blah blah.

you're probably saying "leave the keys with a neighbor." Well, I have. One's away, the other didn't answer when I rang. I figured it was better to take care of it at 6, then to find out I was up the creek at 10pm.

we've got some kind of storm front coming through, my head is aching!

I was awake at 5:30 this morning, so i decided to go out for a walk. Very quiet at 5:45-6:15, I may have to do that again. Noticed a lot of remodel work going on, folks are building up and back on the same footprint. I think our old zoning prohibits zero lot lines, which is a good thing. Many of the older neighborhoods in the area are being destroyed---folks are knocking down smaller homes, and then building mcmansions that cover the entire lot and loom over the older homes. Very unattractive, in my opinion.

We've got a couple of those loomers, but people seem to have kept the landscaping and big ol' trees, so it's not as a bad as it could be.

I can think of a number of things I'd like to do to the homestead, but there's no money. Nada. If only I'd kept a tighter grasp on the pursestrings over the past six years.....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

here are a few wedding photos for those who care:

charles and amy looking adorable

the bride and her flowergirl

gracie in her finery

it really was a gorgeous wedding, held in the horseshoe garden of the Ritz Carlton pasadena.

I'm back!
photos will follow---you certainly want to see Gracie, the tutu wearing four legged ringbearer.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

greetings from the burbank hilton! My trip was fraught with something yesterday. Flight out of baltimore was 90 minutes late, which meant my connection time was down to 15 minutes. The good news is that i made the flight from denver to bur, the bad news is my bag did not.
The very nice UA agent expected it to come in at 10p, and I suggested they deliver it straight to the ritz thursday.

I then walked the few blocks to the hilton, checked into a lovely mini-suite, and then met my brother in the daily catch. We were going to go out, but ended up sitting at a table in the bar, and then two drinks later ate some appys. I hadn't been to this chain in a year or so, but would advise you to order both the calamari and the searered ahi.

then, up to bed. the bedside clock said it was 613 when I woke up, but the computer said 520.

i'm trusting the computer on this one.

Bro is picking me up for breakfast with charles at the ritz this morning. Due to charles having to get the federal building at 10 to pick up his replacement passport, it's an early one....730. which means he'll be here at 7.

smart guy is taking the day off today.
I've got a little meeting at the ritz this morning, and then a foot reflexolgy appt at their spa this afternoon.
let the festivities begin!