Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I think, but am not sure, that today the moon looked just like this everywhere on the planet, at 5 PM local time. I'm thinking about making a model of the earth, sun, and moon so I can fool around with it. (Maybe using paper mache and wire hangers? Or old rubber balls?) I want to REALLY understand the phases of the moon, the logic of them. Also the tides and the moon. Neap tides and spring tides and all that stuff. I have a general understanding of most of it, but if I had to explain it to an 8-year-old I'm sure I'd fail. Maybe if I read about it every single day, like a night-time prayer, I'll be able to remember it.
I usually make new year's resolutions. Like most people I don't keep them but I like to make them. Today I thought of one: I resolve to not think about myself so much in 2009. So that means I don't need to make any other resolutions because that would be thinking about myself too much.
In a few days or weeks this might be a posting that I delete out of embarrassment (see, there I go again thinking about myself too much...)
Lunch at McGinty's Irish Public House. Chef is Japanese, which I learned only because I complimented the presentation.
to the right: Trio of Smoked Seafood
Smoked Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Mussels. Served with an apple and a cucumber salad, soda bread and crackers.
to the left: Irish Boxty
Irish style scallion and potato cake filled with Dubliner cheddar served with sour cream sauce and Balsamic vinegar reduction.
This is my favorite part of the article. (Roberts is a used book dealer on a big, big scale.)
Then comes Roberts's favorite part of the job.
Dressed in a sweat shirt, sweat pants and funky shoes, he'll stand for hours at a sorting table in the middle of the warehouse. That's where he and a longtime employee, Ernest Barrack, determine the fate of the books in the "raw boxes" that come in every day.
"It's like book mining. You never know what you're going to get," Roberts says.
Decisions must be split-second. By way of demonstration, he pulls a copy of a health book called "The Iron Time Bomb" from a raw box and immediately whips it onto a nearby cart. "Looks like it would be a good Internet book," he says. Other possible categories include: stock for the retail stores; books to be shipped overseas in bulk; collectibles whose pricing requires extra research; and something Roberts calls "interior decorator."
Perhaps this is a good time to note that Roberts will buy just about any collection of books if the price is right -- and that he really, really hates throwing them out. Even if that means selling to clients who care only about their covers.
"These are books by the foot," he says, pointing out stashes pre-sorted by color: red, green, yellow, white, black. On the floor not far from the sorting table sit stacks of expensive-looking art books destined for a mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nearby, a huge carton of earth-tone books is being assembled for a decorator who specified "anything from off white to dark chocolate."
(Link probably won't work...let me know if you want me to email you the article.)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It's just an invasive honeysuckle that would love to take over my entire yard. And I like the way it cascades over that (needs replacing??) lattice. (And what's with the word "wracked"? I tried to make sure I was spelling it correctly but The Internets don't offer much help. I KNOW it's a phrase I've heard often. More research is called for.)
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
What no one told me was that this so-called pudding is basically fruit cake. You know fruit cake. The cake no one likes. Now what do I do with all this stuff? I'll take some to Christmas dinner but I'm guessing it won't be a big seller. And I actually like it but the calories, my god the calories.
I cut up two pieces of muslin, about 14 x 14, poured half the pudding mixture in the center, and tied them up with string. Then I put them in pots with steamer trays or baskets (not what they're called I'm sure), put on the pot tops, and kept the water at a low boil for 5 hours. I had to keep adding water but other than that they need no attending. To be continued.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I wish I'd taken a straighter picture. Tomorrow maybe. Or right now. The light right now is perfect. No. Can't leave the house. Am cooking my plum pudding, dammit, and it must be watched carefully. Or as one recipe says "It should not be suffered to stop boiling." (source: http://www.victoriana.com/christmas/plum-99.htm)
When asked what dessert I can bring to Christmas dinner my sister-in-law said something like "You know what I've been craving? Plum pudding." I've never made it, never had a clue what it was like. Many, many internet searches later, I had learned a lot about meat and suet and currants and pudding cooked, steamed actually, in a bag for up to 8 hours. I have really overthought this entire business now. But dammit I'm making this pudding.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
This is my sister's rock, with markings similar to those on my rock. (See post from a few days ago.) They both came, probably, from the Backbone mountain region of western Maryland. My dad took them to staff at the Univ of MD, archeology dept most likely, and was told the markings were probably human-made but the rocks are not datable by any methods they had. Kathy's rock has been buried under a lot of snow. More this weekend no doubt. Just think what these rocks must have seen.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The humans paint the trees to keep the beavers from chopping them down. The beavers say "yeah, right."
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Good shot of my home-made, quite ugly deer fencing. From a distance no one would notice but up close it's a little on the trashy side. Sort of works. Except when it doesn't.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Someone I worked with in 1989 lived here. Can't remember her name.... Sylvia? Loretta? House is for sale. I wonder if Sylvia/Loretta is, you know, gone.
I've always liked these houses. I used to park near them when I waited for the kids after middle school. This house looks across the street at the school. Just a few blocks from the arbor house in the previous post. It's also Lewis Black's old neighborhood. Funny guy. (He lived in the smallish red brick houses, not in the huge grape arbor houses or the Goodman houses.)
Charles M. Goodman (1906, USA – 1992, USA) was an architect who made a name for his modern designs in suburban Washington, D.C. after World War II. While his work has a regional feel, he ignored the colonial revival look so popular in Virginia. Goodman was quoted in the 1968 survey book Architecture in Virginia as saying that he aimed to "get away from straight historical reproduction."
His 1949-51, development at Silver Spring, Maryland, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, as the Hammond Wood Historic District. ....
From Wikipedia (Charles M. Goodman)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Members list the books they want to get rid of. When another member orders your book you mail it and pay the postage. You can then order a book from anyone and it will arrive, postage paid. I'll try, of course, to send more than I order.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Would you ever think that this yard goes with the house below it? I wish more of my neighbors were so bold. I wish I were more bold.
This dramatic side entrance-garden-yard belongs to a most conventional house in a very nondescript neighborhood (mine, basically). I don't know what's in the back yard but I'd sure like to find out. Check out that well-thought-out pruning.