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Trina L Short
User: trinalin
Name: Trina L Short
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Back November 2014
trinalin thinks things through
Since The Doubleclicks put up a Kickstarter to make their first album, Dimetrodon, I've been a fan and supporter of theirs. (I think it was someone on twitter mentioning them that brought them to my attention in the first place.) The two ladies are geeks and thus write and sing wonderfully geeky songs.

Well, they recently sent a call out to their fans to help them with their latest "lyric video." They wanted photos of cats (or dogs or other pets) with or without their owners & a word from the song. I requested a word and they gave me "want." So I wrote "Want" in big print and then tried to get a shot with Linus and Lucy and the word all together. After several attempts (and a spat of photos I accidentally deleted from the camera before they'd been downloads - long story, bleh) I got one that I decided to send along. So now my kitties are online celebrities! They show up the last time that "want" shows up in the video, around 2 minutes and 30 seconds in. (But watch the whole video - lots of lovely cats & other pets and their loving owners.)

In case you couldn't tell which one was them, here's the photo that I sent along to the Doubleclicks for inclusion in the video:


And here are a couple of the good ones that didn't make the cut (it wasn't an easy decision!)



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Current Mood: amused amused

I've been meaning to get a Round Tuit to posting photos that I (and a few others) took at the Halloween party that my folks and I attended that night. And as I wait in the queue to get onto World of Warcrack (they just released a new expansion), I found the Tuit and it was, indeed, Round. So first photo is one of me and the camera outfit that I used for most of the photos. The theme of the party was 1920s/Great Gatsby and many of the attendees drezzed for the occasion. (As I'm not a fan of wearing dresses, I opted more for Marlene Dietrich in drag. She looked FINE in a suit or tux. Me... well, I'm cute at least. See?)

Me and the camera that dad put together. He's clever. :-)

More photos under the cutCollapse )

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Current Mood: amused amused

I've mentioned before that I enjoy biking when the weather is amenable. We're very fortunate in Miami County to have a great set of bike paths for people to walk and ride upon. However, till this (late) summer, there was no contiguous path from Troy to Piqua (our two biggest cities). There was a planned bridge to go over the Miami River, but it hadn't been built... yet.

Well, this summer, they finally got started on the project. The goal was to be done before August, but, well, they did get done before October, so that was something. :-) Mom and I have ridden across the bridge twice so far, with future trips across a certainty. And the last time we went across, there were quite a few people out enjoying the bridge (walker and bikers), so that was great to see.

Some day I'd like to start at the northern-most part of the path in Piqua and then go south for the whole length of the county and beyond. (I think you could actually go all the way to Cincinnati using the paths, but I've never gone farther south than Taylorsville Dam.) Perhaps next summer? :-)

Anyhoo, here are some before and after photos which I took throughout the summer (and early autumn). It's a really lovely bridge, I must say.

Photos behind the cut!Collapse )

The weather's turned a little chilly of late, but I'm hoping to get a few more bike rides in before winter turns its ugly head towards us!

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Current Mood: grateful grateful

Once again, I have gone too far between LJ posts and mother has e-mailed me asking me when I will next update... I kept meaning to update - I wanted to tell about my lovely visit with Amy (my sis) and to go over the books which I read over break and even a post talking about The Bunny Hour. But I just couldn't get a round tuit for the job. Perhaps this will get some of my writing urges satisfied...

I should first explain the title of this post. As far as I'm concerned, summer ended on August 15th when I reported to work (well to UVMC hospital) for the new school year. As soon as summer break is over, IMO, summer itself is over. However, we've got till September 20th for the vernal equinox. So this is some weird purgatory of time between seasons for me. Hot & shitty (which it hasn't been since June, thankfully) and yet we're in school. Thanks Nature!

I can't complain though. I had a fabulous summer vacation. After my trip to Chicago, I headed out the following Saturday to Minneapolis to hang out with my sis. Let's see how much I can recall...

Saturday: Left the house at 4:30am or so (bloody early), flew to O'Hare and then onto Minneapolis/St Paul airport. I had an Egg McMuffin & hashbrown at O'Hare and Amy had breakfast before she picked me up. So we started our time together at IKEA (like you do). Hey, she had a huge rental vehicle, we were in the area, it was perfect. We stopped at a butcher's on the way back to her place and got brats & corn on the cob for supper. Home for a bit, then off to Anchor Fish & Chips for... I'll let you guess. Had a cider with it and it was yummy. We picked up some liquor essentials (and tasted wine & liquor) at Surdyk's. I think we did a chicken check (the rest of Amy's Coop Co-op was on a camping trip while I was invading). And Amy's boyfriend came around for supper, which we grilled and was lovely. Amy also roasted some root vegetables and cooked up some kale.

Sunday: Amy and I took a walk to a nearby park, had cereal for breakfast, and went to United Noodles, an Asian supermarket with a deli inside. It was quite a fun shopping experience, and the lunch was wonderful. I wound up buying a variety of candies/cookies (stuff like Pocky and some other things). I'm still eating 'em! We also had some shopping adventures, but now I can't recall which days had which trips. See, this is why I should type it up the day of, Trina! Sheesh. I do remember that we had leftover brats & corn Sunday night.

Monday: Rachel joined Amy and I for our walk. We also went to a nice breakfast place in St. Paul (the Buttered Tin) before Rachel had to head off to work. They were also a bakery and had some lovely cupcakes. So I got some for Amy and I to share, and one for Rachel to have when she had a break at work. Supper was more grilling - I mixed up the Miss Chick marinade (similar to what is used at the Poultry Days festival in Versailles) and Amy chopped the chicken (which was finally, nearly, thawed) earlier in the day. We grilled it that evening and Rachel joined us again. It was very yummy!

Tuesday: We had another morning walk which took us by a donut shop (but as none of us brought money, we bought no donuts) and a Cuban restaurant that sounded good. Amy made us egg sandwiches for breakfast. I later suggested the Cuban place (Victor's) for lunch, so we walked there. Amy got a cubano and I had the "love" Cuban pork sandwich. We split a tropical salad as appetizer and shared beans&rice and fried yuca. It was all wonderful, and Amy got some nice leftovers. Soon, however, it was time for me to go back to the airport. (First I had to ask Curtis, Amy's lovely cat, to get off of my suitcase. He thought it was the perfect cat bed.)

I was supposed to get back to Dayton by 11:30pm. But before I could leave MSP, I had to have a plane. And it was 3 hours late. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about missing my connecting flight out of O'Hare - same plane. My parents are the most wonderful parents - despite the lateness, they came and got me! 2:30am - bleh! (And this after getting up at o'dark thirty to take me in the first place!)

It was a great way to end my summer vacation. (Well, the next morning was a pool party at mom & dad's community pool, so that also helped with the end.) Then that Friday, I started back to work! And we just finished our first full week of school. I think this is going to be a great school year. So far, I'm actually caught up in grading - whee! And now a 3-day weekend!

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Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic

I've been having a lovely visit with judiang (and elsaf is also here). This is likely the last visit while she's living in the city. Indeed we were looking at condos in the 'burbs today. First time I've been to Downers Grove since I was wee. Didn't recognize a smidgen.

Anyhoo, on this visit we've had Indian buffet, dim sum, and pub grub at a microbrewery (Reuben, cheddar ale soup, hefeveisen). Elsa had pre-made all of the other meals we've had in order to keep the joint clean for viewings by potential buyers. Arroz con pollo, chicken salad & Gorgonzola roasted red pepper soup, meatloaf (with mashed taters and broccoli), and even individual servings of oatmeal or Special K for breakfast. She also baked pineapple upside-down cake and peach cobbler. Oh, and we just finished pot roast, taters, carrots & onion. Yum!

Entertainment-wise, we've been to see Avenue Q at the Mercury theater. Great show! Also great to see what hergrace had been going on about for years. Nifty that in the cast, the couple who marry are actually married in real life. We also went to see Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday at the Icon. Really fun flick. Tomorrow we intend to see Shakespeare in the park (with Patty). Much Ado About Nothing.

Patty (Judi's Pomeranian) joined us on our condo hunt today and will join us tomorrow because we needed her (and us) out of the flat for viewing (and open house tomorrow). She was very good today tho I missed out on seeing two of the condos in order to dog sit. So Patty and I took walks around the blocks. I suspect she'll sleep well tonight!

I've had a blast so far and figure the rest of the trip will be as well. :-)

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Last year, my folks and I visited friends up on Lake Erie, and we all decided to get together again this summer. This time, we went Thursday/Friday/Saturday and decided to arrive before lunchtime on Thursday in order to spend the day on Put-In-Bay island. After checking into our hotel, we headed for the ferry which was to carry us over to the island.

Details on our three days along Lake Erie.Collapse )

The rest of this entry will consist of photos from our lovely weekend at Erie.

Photos from Put-In-Bay and Mon Ami.Collapse )

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Current Mood: happy happy

Like last summer, this summer is shaping up to be a good 'un. My main priorities are reading, biking, walking, enjoying the time off, etc. I'll start this post with a humourous photo that I took at the Urbana Antique Show & Flea Market that the parental units and I went to. I first was drawn to the olde fashioned-e bug sprayer, but then saw what was defiantly sitting on TOP of the bug sprayer. Heh heh. Now that takes guts.


One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous entry was that I finally bought myself a lawn mower. My lawn boy finally retired from the biz (he wanted to spend some quality time with his kids before they were grown - what's that about?!? Heh.) I first tried to hire my cousin to mow my lawn, but with her living in two different towns (divorced parents), it wasn't as easy to get ahold of her as you might think. So I tried to figure out what I hated so much about mowing the lawn. Apart from the heat (which I have little control over) it was probably the noise. So I looked into electric mowers and bought a Kobalt electric mower from Lowes. It does a great job and if I don't mow when it's too wet or too long, I can get the job completely done before both batteries die. :-) And I can listen to my MP3 player, too!

OK, since I think of the summer as beginning over Memorial Day Weekend, I will start my tally there for movies/books/bike rides.

Total movies watched so far: 20
Total books read so far: 17
Total bike rides so far: 11

As you'll see under the cut, most of the movies I've watched were DVDs borrowed from the library. (One day I picked up 7 - most of the videos I'd requested showed up at the same time!) Books are a mix of library and owned books, paper and digital, graphic novels and regular novels, but I'll cover them in another post.

More details on movies watched thus far.Collapse )

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Hello to you, longest day of the year! As I mentioned to one person today, "Welp, it's all downhill from here!" The lady I mentioned that to said that she always felt sad to think that days will be getting shorter from here on out, but I said "that only means it's closer to Christmas!" OK, so I'm one of those ANNOYING optimists. :-)

Anyhoo, I'm been on Summer Break since May 30th, but have only just gotten around to posting a journal entry. Mom has mentioned a couple of times that it's been awhile since I last posted something.

Since I last posted, I've been busy. Here are a few of the things I've been up to since May 3rd.

My (incomplete) list of accomplishments over summer break and before.Collapse )
With my summer break in full swing by the first day of summer (or by midsummer if you prefer), I'm good to go for the remainder. Teachers start back on August 15th, so I have to get all of my biking/reading/walking/swimming/movie watching done by then! :-)

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

As promised, photos from today. We started out in the Conservatory at the Windmill Island and there were quite a few exotic (well, to me at least!) flowers present.

Flowers!Collapse )

The Windmill on Windmill Island is named De Zwaan (the swan) and is indeed graceful, if not really a bird.

De Zwaan

I took a photo from the observation deck. The day was still a bit dreary as the photo shows:

The ViewCollapse )

The tulips were reluctant to show themselves, but before we left Windmill Island, we had spotted a handful. Downtown Holland had quite a few more.
TulipsCollapse )

Tonight we went to Saugatuck Brewing Company for supper. I ordered a flight of beers, the cashews encrusted brie (appetizer) and fish & chips (with a side salad). Ate far too much, used up many of my weekly WW points, but it was worth it. Liked their cider, but the other five beers in the flight weren't for me. So, if you total up all of the beers I've tried so far in my life (which is a fair number now), I've discovered, um, 0 that I like. However, have found several hard ciders that I like.

Hello, I'm drinking a beer!Collapse )

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Current Location: Douglas, MI
Current Mood: full full

Lillian (my new car, if you recall) and I have had our first Road Trip! One month after I bought her, I drove her to Holland, Michigan for the Tulip Time Festival.

Yesterday, after school, I loaded her up and drove north and west to Douglas, MI, where our hotel, the AmericInn was awaiting me. By "our" I mean mine and judiang and elsaf's hotel. I got there around 10pm and they hadn't been there long either. In fact, they were just about to head out for a late (late!) supper. Since I had the new car, they let me drive and we attempted the road house "next door" but they stopped serving food at 10pm. The waitress there described where to find a Burger King, which we figured would still be open.

They were, the girls got some food in 'em (I'd stopped at a McDonald's on my way up) and we returned to the hotel for bed. Whereupon none of us could sleep. Ah well!

This morning, we ate at the hotel and eventually got on the road to Holland. By following the signs to the Windmill Island, we eventually reached the place (using the concept of Limits to guide us to our destination. Let's hear it for calculus!) It was still fairly early and the temperature was a bit chilly. The tulip flowers didn't get the memo re: Tulip Time and most were no-shows. However, the highlight of the island was the windmill.

In 1964, the city of Holland bought a windmill from the Netherlands and installed it on what became called Windmill Island. It is a working flour mill and the miller is one of the few females in the biz. (Elsa and I walked past her while on our tour of the joint.) Though they didn't have the mill attached while we were there, they did have the sails turning, which was nifty.

I picked up a sack of flour, a postcard of the windmill WITH tulips in shot, and 3 tiny bars of chocolate from the Netherlands. It wasn't till after we'd left the island that I even saw any bloomed tulips. But downtown Holland fared better - they had some early risers in places. I suspect in another week or two, the place will be gorgeous.

We decided to try the Alpen Rose restaurant for lunch, and we chose well. Judi and I got the buffet and Elsa had a soup, sandwich, and potato salad. The food was all yummy (brat with kraut & mashed taters - very yummy kraut indeed) and the desserts were heavenly. Cream puffs & fruit tart for the win! We headed on to Centennial Park where the arts & crafts part of the festival was housed and wandered there for a bit. Now we're back at the hotel resting and recuperating.

Oh, while at the arts & crafts area, I so wanted to purchase a t-shirt that someone had made. It had a cute applique cat on it, was only $13, and had the caption "My outfits not complete unless covered in cat fur" or something. But I couldn't spend money on a t-shirt that didn't have proper grammar. "Outfit's" as in "my outfit is" not as plural to "outfit." I sadly walked away regretting their lack of proof-reader. (This paragraph probably has an ironically appropriate grammatical error in it, just 'cause.)

I'd add some photos to this post, but the wifi is slow here & my images & videos from today are taking their time getting onto my laptop. Guess I'll have to make a SECOND post for the images. Wow!

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Current Location: Douglas, MI
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

There's something so refreshing about Spring Break. You have time to get some things done that you've been putting off till then. You can go off and do fun things during a week day. You can sit and read for hours without any guilt. I was quite looking forward to this break because of all of these reasons and more.

I had a number of things on my "to do" list for this break. Go to IKEA, go see a movie, buy a book and read it through, play World of Warcrack, etc. But one thing that was nowhere near my list was "go purchase a new car."

In which Trina does something unexpected...Collapse )

Current Mood: giddy giddy

And by March Madness I don't mean basketball... Instead, I mean our mad weather. Our county (and many others around us) is under a Winter Storm Warning starting tonight at 10pm and lasting until Monday morning. They're currently predicting 5-7" of snow for the storm (which is an improvement upon earlier predictions of 8+"). However, we're in that odd transitional time between Winter and Spring when models have a hell of a time making good predictions as it is (and then compound them with the climate change we've been unleashing on our planet and I'm just shocked that they get anything remotely correct!) so I'm not holding my breath yet for (yet ANOTHER) day off on Monday.

So far we've missed 9 days this year. I'm rather pleased that I had gotten my chemistry classes a week ahead of last year's because that extra time has helped me be only about a week behind after all of this weather. (I'm more worried about chemistry than physics because of the college curriculum and their college-supplied final exam.) In physics I've dumped a couple of projects/labs to keep close to my usual timeline. And Advanced Problems is always an evolving course as it is. (I've added in some forensics lessons this year and removed a couple of other projects because of that.)

I am one of the few people I know who isn't actually sick and tired of snow. This next storm might finally put me over the edge (though I doubt it - unless the power goes out or something). However, I really miss taking long walks and riding my bike on the bike paths. So yeah, I'll be just fine with winter making its departure felt. My weight-loss regimen has been affected by the weather too. Less exercise, more snacking because I'm at home instead of at work... I've yet to get as low as I was before Thanksgiving. (I was soooo close to being under 200lb back then too. Now I'm just happy to stay under 210.)

So Winter, I know you're around for another 20 days or so, but I'm OK with you leaving early so that I can get some walks and rides in soon! But if you do decide to dump 5-7" on us tomorrow, please leave the electricity alone, OK? ;-)

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Current Mood: complacent complacent

This has been an interesting winter, to say the least. We wound up having two days off the week before last and even had a snow day last Wednesday. That now puts us at 9 days missed. Sounds like Ohio might be nice and give us 4 days beyond our normal 5 calamity days, so we shouldn't have many to make up (hopefully!)

Anyhoo, I'm sitting on mom's sofa and watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony. It's always a damn shame when politics gets in the way of the spirit of the Olympics (Putin, I'm looking at you!), but that's pretty much what happens anyhoo. I shall watch with the same optimism that I always do - here's hundreds of people from around the world coming together to NOT kill each other, but instead show off how well they've been working on their particular skill or talent. And I just love that and have since I was wee.

The Rite of Spring part of the opening ceremony is currently showing on the telly and it's quite beautiful. I do wish that NBC would allow people to watch the ceremony WITHOUT the stupid color commentary. This part of the show is NOT a sport, so needs no color commentary. (I also wish NBC would sell a "see it all online" package to those of us who've "cut the cable." I'd pay good money to see the Olympics without having to subscribe to cable or satellite. (Still, this gives me an excuse to visit the folks. Not that I really need an excuse to visit.)

On Wednesday, our last day off due to snow, I made my first loaf (actually, first two loaves) of sourdough bread. I bought some sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour which arrived last Saturday and it was plenty ready to be used by Wednesday. I donated blood that afternoon (thankfully the roads were much improved by then) and brought a loaf along to share with the folks. Mom had invited me to supper afterward, so we had chilli soup and sourdough bread. Yum!

Tonight, I brought the second loaf with me and dad and mom made toasted cheese sandwiches (which we had with leftover soup) with the bread. Yummy! I intend to try another sourdough recipe on Sunday.

Anyway, I need to stop and just enjoy the rest of the opening ceremony. For those of you who watch the Olympics too, I hope you enjoy them!

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Current Mood: enthralled enthralled

In 2013, I purchased 1840 individual MP3 files (17.3GB) which is over 161 hours of material. Of that, the majority (1437 files, 14.5GB, 134 hours) is what I classify as "Spoken Word" (AKA Big Finish and other audio adventures). What with Doctor Who turning 50 in 2013, I wound up purchasing quite a few Big Finish (and BBC Audio) stories. And enjoyed pritnear all of it. :-) (I was also fortunate in that the audiobooks for Ben Aaronovitch's first three novels were on sale this year, so I bought them and they're all well done, too.)

But, on to the music, which is what I wanted to focus on in this post. I wound up adding a couple of new genres to my mix: Zydeco and R&B. This summer at one of the Downtown Troy concerts, the folks and I enjoyed the music of Creole Stomp, so pop and I bought a couple of their CDs after the concert. The R&B (which is a very loose description as the music covers a variety of genres) is for the Janelle Monáe albums I bought.

Janelle Monáe and Fleur Mainville are probably my two favorite additions to my music collection this year. It's great adding females to my collection and these two ladies are both gifted singers/songwriters/performers. It was thanks to a tweet by Anita Sarkeesian (of Feminist Frequency fame) that I even heard of Janelle Monáe. Turns out Monáe has been working on a story about an android who falls in love with a human and all of the excitement & adventure (including bounty hunters, zombies, etc) that entails. There's 3 albums thus far and I've enjoyed all three.

While doing Yet Another Pointless search for more MacKeel stuff, I found out about their fiddler, Fleur Mainville, doing some solo albums. It didn't take much listening for me to realize I needed to add her to my collection. Indeed, her piece "Bedlam Boys" immediately found its way into my "Most Favorites of All" playlist (5 star songs). She even has a Christmas album that I had to buy too. Heh.

More music geekery.Collapse )

Anyhoo, a great year in music with lots of new stuff from my old favorites AND some new favorites to watch out for. 2014 has started out very strong with regards to music since I spent some Amazon gift cards on new (old) music - Hank Williams, Roger Miller, The Beach Boys - gee thanks Sirius (which mom has for her new car - heh)! Hope that 2014 is a great year of music for all of you!

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Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Michelle" by The Beatles

I had wanted to write two posts this January covering the books I'd read this year and the music I'd bought. Well, the month is quickly moving, so I'd best get a move on if I want to do this!

(I also note that today is a holiday. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day to all of you! May there come a time when everyone will start out at the same level playing field as each other. The cynic in me thinks "yeah right" but the optimist in me has hope.)

2013 saw a record number of books read (70, beating 2008's 65) since I started keeping records in 2001. Here's hoping I'll have as successful a summer as I had last year.

New (and notable) Authors that I discovered in 2013 include Jo Nesbo, Gillian Flynn, Tamora Pierce, Hugh Howey, Alex Grecian, and Scott Lynch.

Details on the aforementioned authors and their books.Collapse )

So yeah, lots of books read this year, some new authors discovered and added to my "must read more by" list. Read both of JK Rowling's non HP books and liked them (though I preferred the mystery). Read Lord of the Flies and Ethan Frome, The World of Poo (not Pooh), Dance for the Ivory Madonna (which not only had a male black lead but also a main character who was a fat female - the titular Ivory Madonna), and A Slight Trick of the Mind (soon to be a motion picture with Ian McKellan as an elderly Sherlock Holmes). Read two of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Novellas, Ripple Effect and Nothing O'Clock. And also got two new (for me) Lois McMaster Bujold books under my belt (Spirit Ring and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance). All-in-all, a great year for book reading!

2014 has started out very strong. Five books done thus far (though two were started before 2014 began). Have a new author for this year in my collection: Laura Lam, who's written Pantomime and Shadowplay. Loved Pantomime so much I bought it and the sequel. Currently reading the sequel. I shall continue trolling for new authors and books via my Twitter feed and other sources, so I expect to find even more female protagonists who kick ass in 2014.

May you all enjoy reading some wonderful books this year!

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

We were very fortunate to have a long Winter Break - two full weeks. And then Mother Nature decided that wasn't enough. Heh. Today was our third calamity day for 2014 and the fifth for this school year. And I ain't complaining! I love unexpected days off (and today was a particularly unexpected one).

Boring details of the rest of my time off.Collapse )

So anyhoo, my Winter Break is now over (probably! Hopefully the salt could finally melt the ice on the streets!) and tomorrow I can be a responsible adult again. Heh. Till then, however, I'm gonna sit in my comfy chair with my kitty (Lucy right now) and veg out. Hope y'all have had an interesting start to 2014, too!

Here are the two photos I promised!Collapse )

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

On Jan 1, 1971, at 12:16am, I came into the world. So for the past year, I was 42 years old. And I often wondered, in a solipsistic way, maybe Douglas Adams' question is something along the lines of "What age will Trina be when she ...?" "How old will Trina be when ..." (put in your own humorous or not-so-humorous fill-ins for the blanks). With, of course, the answer being 42. But since the universe does NOT revolve around me (I was 99.9999% sure this was the case), I got through the year with nothing untoward happening.

So anyhoo, we've been having a fabulous time with Amy in town. Lots under this cut!Collapse )

Happy New Year to all of you! May 2014 be a great year for you!

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Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

Seems to be I've only been posting to my journal on holidays. So I guess I'll be posting on Jan 1 next. Heh.

We've been off school since Friday, which has been lovely. Sadly, I wasn't caught up in grading yet, so Monday I went back to school and got some done, finished more that night, and did even more this morning. I'm nearly caught up - whew!

The folks and I decided to celebrate Christmas Eve tonight by going to a local restaurant's Christmas Eve buffet. By the time mom got us reservations, most of the later evening slots were filled up, so we reserved for 4:30 at the Caroline. Dinner was fab. And we're still full!

Once again, my sister is holding Christmas hostage (not that I mind the extra wait), so present opening will take place on Saturday at the earliest. Amy flies in on Friday night. *bounce bounce*

I'm mostly done with Christmas shopping (just something yet to get for one of my little cousins - I'll get it on Boxing Day) and most of what I've ordered folks has arrived. So I'll be wrapping presents on Boxing Day, along with making Chex Mix and baking bread. Should be a lovely day. :-)

I'm spending the night with the folks tonight since tomorrow (Christmas) will be Baking Day. We're watching The Hunger Games in anticipation of watching Catching Fire some time when Amy is with us.

I hope those of you who celebrate have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow (or whenever you're able to celebrate). And those of you who don't, have a wonderful Wednesday!

Current Mood: happy happy

The folks and I decided that we had so much fun last year at Amy's for thanksgiving, we'd ask if she'd have us back again this year. She (foolishly?) said yes, so we're back in Minnesota again.

Amy decided that we'd have roast chicken this year instead of roast turkey, which was just fine with me. Turkey is OK, but chicken is very yummy. Especially the dark meat. So we developed a plan of attack for the meal. Cheeseball made and pies baked on Wednesday night, everything else on Thursday morning.

The cheeseball went smoothly (my usual "Thanksgiving Cheeseball") but Amy had some issues with the pie crust. They were using white whole wheat flour and it didn't work as well with Rachel's mom's pie crust recipe as regular white flour did. And then Amy discovered that her sweet potatoes had some bad spots she'd not planned on. Still, by the time we headed for bed, her pie and the apple pie that Rachel had made both looked wonderful. Pre-prep was done. On to Thursday!

This morning we lazed about some before I started on the rolls. I found a nice recipe from King Arthur Flour's website and decided to give it a try. Once the dough was proofing, I turned on the oven to a low heat to get things started.

Amy started by chopping up the root vegetables for roasting (with Rachel cleaning) and I got the potatoes cut for future mashed potatoes. Then mom and I cut up the ingredients for a Pear Cranberry Chutney recipe she'd gotten from WeightWatchers. Since Cilantro tastes of soap to me, we substituted parsley for it. The recipe was claimed to go well with roast chicken. (They were right!)

Amy then started prepping the chicken - she'd found a nice recipe online (I think this was it) that looked pretty easy and that she had ingredients for. She discovered that the chicken wasn't as thawed as it originally looked, but she took care of that hurdle only to discover a bigger hurdle - the oven hadn't gotten any warmer than 150F since we first turned it on. The root vegetables weren't getting roasted and the chicken wasn't going to get so either. Eep!

Dad checked in the basement to see if any of the circuit breakers had flipped (Amy has an electric oven) but flipping them off & on did nothing for the oven. The burners worked just fine. Thankfully, Rachel's apartment isn't too far away, so she and I bundled up the rolls, chicken, and root veg for a trip over to her place. There, we baked everything and played with Charlotte (her kitty) and our phones (we both have Galaxy SIIIs).

The chicken reached it's proper temp with 4 minutes to go on the timer, so we bundled everything back up and returned to the folks and Amy. Turns out the chicken was dripping red (gah - the recipe LIED) so some zapping in the microwave took care of the final cooking. While Rachel and I were baking, Amy was making the rest of the food. She had brussel sprouts going in one skillet and kale in another. And I got to mash the potatoes when I got back. Then Amy made a gravy (with mom's help) of the drippings from the chicken.

Lunch was late (or supper was early) but it was simply wonderful. Despite the setbacks, the food was delicious. The rolls were declared "even better that my mom's" by someone whose identity I will protect, just in case... ;-) So I think we'll be keeping that recipe around for the future.

I am thankful for so much more than I can type, but for now I'll just say that I'm thankful for the family I was born into and the friends that I have chosen in my life. We rock!

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Current Mood: grateful grateful

Today is the 50th anniversary of my most favorite television program, Doctor Who.

I am currently trapped on my sofa beneath two kittens and a TARDIS throw (made by elsaf's sis-in-law). We had been watching the various specials, but now they are done and I want to go to bed, but I don't want to disturb them. So I am typing this up on my phone.

I've enjoyed all of the specials starting with Big Finish's brilliant Light at the End, continuing with today's phenomenal Day of the Doctor, then the impressive An Adventure in Time and Space and the predictable Ultimate Guide. But they were all blown away by Peter Davison's The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. So funny!

Thanks for fifty years of wonderful stories Doctor! Thanks for all of the friendships I've started due to your show. Here's to the next fifty years!

ETA: proof of the kitty trap:

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In the US, it's between 6:02am and 6:02pm and the date is 10/23/13, so that means it's Mole Day! 6.02x1023 is the number of things (atoms, molecules, elephants, moles) in 1 mole of that material. Think of a dozen (12 things) on speed. Lots & lots of speed!

To celebrate the day, my chemistry students got to take a quiz on stoichiometry (using balanced equations to determine amounts of material - using molar mass, among other things). Lucky kids! Physics, OTOH, tested their platforms for the Egg Drop competition.

Each year, I alternate platform and carriage. Last year was carriage (put the egg in the carrier and drop it) so this year is platform (drop the naked egg onto the platform). The band director rents a scissor lift each year for marching band, and he's been kind enough to let us use it since the loss of the second & third floors of the school building. So we test from three heights - 1m above the platform, ~4m above the ground, and ~8m above the ground (which nearly maxes out the lift).

To win the competition, the dropped egg has to survive all three drops onto the platform (though everyone gets 1 redo per height) AND be the shortest off the ground. The previous record was 11.5cm tall. This year, the FOURTH place team beat that.

The students had some very imaginative ideas. One pair brought a wonderful handmade trampoline that performed well (and would have been a contender in prior years). The winning team (whose platform was only 6.5cm tall!) made theirs with lemon cake, vanilla pudding, and fruit-flavored marshmallows. Heh. It was terrific watching it land from the highest drop. A splat & a crater in the pudding, but it was just fine. (To prove it, the young lady licked the pudding off of the egg. Heh.)

We had a tie for 3rd place (both were 10.5cm) so the tie-breaker is always a vote from the class on best appearance. Any other year, I suspect the box o' bras would have won ("well, they're known for their support" claimed one of the teammates) EXCEPT they tied the team who made theirs out of Twinkies - and then shared the (thankfully un-egged) Twinkies with the class. Heh.

Today was probably the coldest day we've had the Egg Drop contest on - and there was snow on the ground on my way in to school today. But despite the chill, we had fun outside watching the eggs fall and, for the most part, survive.

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Current Mood: amused amused

A few weeks ago, I bought a new camera - my first "spur of the moment" camera purchase. (I'm usually great at long researching and stuff, but this one caught my eye just when I discovered I needed a new one.) It's a Nikon Coolpix s3500 and it's purple. (I said it caught my eye, didn't I?)

I hadn't really given it a thorough work out yet, so I decided to take it with me on my last Nature Walk at Brukner. (I did another walk today, but didn't take any photos.) I realized I'll need to read up on focusing a bit since there were times I couldn't get the part of a flower that I wanted in focus to be in focus. But out of the many shots I took, I found six that I liked a lot. I'll start with my favorite one of the bunch. (I'm posting these at higher resolution than usual - I hope that doesn't break anyone's LJ friend's list. If so, I can put the first under a cut as well.)

I was sad that my camera snapped after the bee had left the flower, only to discover he'd not flown out of shot yet!

The other five photos.Collapse )

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Current Mood: amused amused

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Although I've not been posting anything, life has been good for me lately. The fall festivals are popping up (yesterday was Taste of Troy, which was very yummy) and the weather has been gorgeous. Mom and I took a lovely bike ride today. The leaves are still mostly green, but there are some trees that are starting to turn and leaves are starting to drop.

The weight loss is slow but still trending down. Doing Taste of Troy *and* attending a steak party with friends last night haven't done anything to help it, but when I ask myself the all-important question "Was it worth the points?" the answer was a definite "yes!" Plus I managed to avoid eating so much that I felt ill in the evening. I did manage to use up most of my extra weekly points yesterday and today, but I should be able to cope for the rest of the week just fine.

Next weekend is the Tipp City Mum Festival, I believe, and Oktoberfest is just around the corner as well. I'm already behind in grading at work (no surprise there) but was impressed with myself when, after the first two weeks of school, I was NOT already 2 weeks behind. Go me!

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Today was the first day of school - whee!

My end of summer was really packed full of action & adventure, which is why I've not updated my journal in that time. I finished up my visit with Amy (more details later, I hope!) and the day after I returned, judiang flew in for a week spent at mom & dad's cottage at the Lake. And as we were at the lake (soon joined by elsaf) we didn't have any internet connection. Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses!

Still, I decided I wanted to have something interesting in this post, so I've uploaded a short video that I filmed at Open Streets MPLS while visiting Amy. We rode bikes to Lake St and then got on Minnehaha which was blocked off to street traffic for about 20 blocks. While perusing the various things going on, we saw a group of tap dancers from Keane Sense of Rhythm demonstrating their craft and giving mini lessons to folks interested. I filmed them for a bit and have edited the video a little for your enjoyment as well. The song playing while they tapped was "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train.

Oh, and I just want to brag here - I was able to finish reading 30 books during the summer! I'll update my summer stats at another later post (probably).

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Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic

I love getting the chance to visit my sister in Minneapolis and so I've flown from Ohio to Atlanta and then up to MSP in order to do so once again! (The nice thing is that, though I flew AirTran, since I bought the tickets from Southwest, I got to use their rules and so my checked bag was free!)

Loads of details - it's how I roll!Collapse )

We have since returned home and our evening plans involve grilling out and having Amy's friend Kyle around for dinner. Should be some good geeky fun (among other things, he's a Doctor Who fan).

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Current Location: Minneapolis, MN
Current Mood: happy happy