Snow Day!

Snow Scene

Snow Scene (Image Source: Ian Britton)

I wanted to get some writing done on those posts I mentioned, but we had a snow day! And not the “take the kids out and make snowmen” kind of snow day, this was one of those “bitter shifting winds trying to blow me down and sweeping all the snow down the street into our yard” kind of days. Believe it or not, I’m not complaining. I actually love snow and we haven’t had much yet, so it’s still fun for me.  I used to ski in high school and I love being outdoors year-round. We’ve had maybe  2 – 3” on the ground so far, but the winds are sweeping some parts lower and drifting other parts higher. Of course, our driveway got most of the deepest drifts. I was able to get down to the corner store alright for some quick groceries, and I got in before dark from shoveling out our driveway, walkway and the sidewalk. And I’m extra happy because I had enough energy to clear our neighbor’s sidewalk too. She got home after recovering from surgery recently, so I’m trying to help out where I can.

I’ve lived in and around Cleveland for most of my life, so I’ve learned a lot about living in the cold. The secret to staying warm outside is layering your clothes. Concentrate on your torso. I wore a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, and jeans. I borrowed a pair of my son’s gym socks, which cover me up to the knee and used plastic shopping bags to give me an extra water-proof layer inside my shoes. If it were colder I would have put a second pair of socks over the bags and worn long john pants or over-sized sweats over my jeans. My coat is a big part of how I stay warm, too. It’s heavy denim with a quilted cotton liner. It covers me down to my knees, and the sleeves are folded back just far enough to cover the back of my hands. Yes, it’s a few sizes too big, but that’s just perfect for working outside. It doesn’t cut down my movement and the pocket of air inside the coat keeps me warmer than a tight coat would. Add my leather work gloves, a scarf and knit cap and I was toasty warm within the squalling snow. The temperature was only about 19° F outside while I was working, but my wind chill index tells me it was feeling closer to 1° F. Thirty minutes of exposure to that can equal frostbite, so you have to respect the conditions if you need to work or travel outside in the cold.

I’m just making pasta for dinner tonight, but I’m going to try making my own cinnamon rolls as a treat later. ( Cinnamon Rolls @ MomsWhoThink.com ) While I’ve enjoyed being a good cook for many years, I was always secretly intimidated by baking. So recently I’ve been challenging myself to do more of it. I’ve baked a few loaves of my very own bread from scratch ( Homemade Bread @ TheSimpleDollar.com ), and even one of herb-cheese bread. Using one of my dough recipes I also made a pepperoni roll! That was pretty good, though I think next time it will be even better. That’s one of the things I love most about cooking, the experimentation. Every time I try something new I learn things and get new ideas on how to improve something. I love using lots of herbs and other flavors in the things I cook. I find most of my new recipes on the internet these days, and I really encourage everyone to try it. Even if you aren’t a confident cook yet, you can find videos to teach you techniques you might not be familiar with, and wonderful step-by-step guides for all kinds of things. Do you have any favorite foods you haven’t had in years? Do a quick Google search and find out how easy it can be to make it for yourself!

Geargoyle

An Update and Hints of What’s to Come…

Hello everyone,

I haven’t posted as much recently as I would have liked to, but it’s that season again. Not the holiday season, but the cold/flu season. With three kids in school and my dear hubby out at work almost every day, the carnival of assaults on my immune system is in full swing. Most of the time I’m a pretty healthy person, bad habits notwithstanding. But almost every time I’ve caught any kind of cold in the last so many years, it’s gone right into my sinuses and taken up residence. And almost every spring and fall I get my share of bugs. This is one of those times. I’m certainly not as sick as I could be; I’m up on my feet and puttering at the housework, but my focus for things like writing is simply lacking.

I do have some plans for upcoming posts I thought I would share with you in the meantime. First, I’ll be reviewing one of the books by Cory Doctorow that I’ve read recently, most likely Little Brother, though I’ve enjoyed so many of his works. Another topic I want to cover soon is Net Neutrality, because I feel protecting the open internet is vital to our freedoms of speech, thought and trade. When the ‘Net was first created, no one could have imagined what it would be useful for. And I think we have only just begun to see what the free flow of information can do for us as a global people. I was born just shortly before ARPANET was introduced to the public. The Internet and I grew up as childhood friends, and I would hate to see it squeezed and shredded by corporate interests and government mismanagement into a phantom of what it could be.

I’m following the responses to NASA’s arsenic-loving bacteria story with interest. (Read my article here) The skepticism I’m hearing from other scientists really doesn’t surprise me. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” as Carl Sagan so beautifully put it. It will take the work of many more scientists and independent researchers to verify what Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her team believe they have observed. Whichever way it goes, we should learn from it, but I am hopeful that their initial theories will bear scrutiny. It’s a really exciting potential. And as an amusing aside, I heard that the team’s name for their discovery, GFAJ-1 stands for “Give Felisa A Job” which really tickles my funny bone. ( Wall Street Journal article )

With luck I’ll be well and back to posting more soon!

Geargoyle

Saturday Share: Things 90s Kids Realize

Things 90s Kids Realize

Things 90s Kids Realize

For the weekends I may not write as much, so I thought I’d just share something quick and entertaining for a cold cloudy Saturday. A good friend linked this blog full of wonderful memories called Things 90s Kids Realize. I am not a child of the 90s, but two of my kids are, and I found a lot of laughs and memories flipping through the posts here. It’s full of great shows, books, movies and more. There’s some great observations and surprises to learn, and now there’s a ton of great old stuff I want to track down to watch again. Thanks Netflix and Hulu, I’m thinking I just might kick my cable to the curb soon, it really doesn’t entertain me half as well.

Enjoy the LOLs,

Geargoyle

Characters of Fiction

A friend tagged me with this on FB and I thought for fun I’d share my answers here. I might move this sort of thing into an ‘about me’ section later. It was kind of hard to stop after 15, I’m sure I could keep going for days with all the characters that have inspired me over the years. Feel free to join in posting this as a note on your FB or on your blog.

Rules:
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen fictional characters (television, films, plays, books) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag at least fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what characters my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.)

1. Lestat de Lioncourt (Interview With a Vampire, etc.)
2. Vanyel Ashkeveron (The Last Herald Mage Trilogy)
3. Dr. Who
4. Darth Maul (Star Wars)
5. Richard B. Riddick (Pitch Black, etc.)
6. Dracula
7. Richard Cypher (Sword of Truth series)
8. Grendel – all incarnations (Grendel comics)
9. Q (Star Trek)
10. Ayla (Earth’s Children series)
11. Major Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell)
12. Animal (The Muppets)
13. Nightcrawler (X-Men comics)
14. Jarod (The Pretender)
15. River Tam (Firefly)

Geargoyle

A Place to Perch

Greetings and welcome,

I haven’t quite decided what this blog will be for, but I think I’m ready to give it a try.  As a brief introduction, I’m a mother of three wonderful kids ranging from 16 to 6 in age.  I haven’t had a  job outside my home for the past fourteen years, barring a brief stint working with my husband in a small business venture in the IT field.  I’m a roleplayer and a gamer, a writer and a dreamer.  I devour words and crave knowledge about, well… everything.  I started working with computers in grade school and my first home computer was an Apple IIe.  I appreciate your interest in my blog, and I hope you’ll find some interesting things here.

Geargoyle