Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Five: Potpourri Edition

Today Will Smama presents these fine queries:

1) Your work day is done and the brain is fried, what do you do?
If the weather is nice, a bike ride is good. Marble is getting too old, but sometimes the neighbor's cat joins me:

2) Your work week is done and the brain is fried (for some Friday, others Sunday afternoon), what do you do?
I used to have time off in the middle of the week, but thanks to a brilliant suggestion by RevSS I switched some time ago to having Fri-Sat-Sun off every week. So this opens up lots of possibilities -- hiking, going to a movie, heading to Portland, pestering Offsprings #1&2 up at college, etc.

3) Like most of us, I often keep myself busy even while programs are on the tv. I stop to watch The Office and 30 Rock on Thursday nights. Do you have 'stop everything' tv programming or books or events or projects that are totally 'for you' moments?
It's funny those programs were mentioned! The only tv show I watch faithfully is The Office, and I just now started watching 30 Rock. (I also LOVE The Colbert Report, but it's on too late for me so I have to catch up from time to time on the internet.)

4) When was the last time you laughed, really laughed? What was so funny?
Last night on The Office, Dwight and Andy's little feud made me laugh.
I couldn't find a picture from last night's episode, but here are Dwight and Andy...

5) What is a fairly common item that some people are willing to go cheap on, but you are not.
This is a tough one because I generally don't like to "go cheap" on anything. "Cheap" usually seems to have a hidden cost.

Bonus: It's become trite but is also true that we often benefit the most when we give. Go ahead, toot your own horn. When was the last time you gave until it felt good?
I'm going to copy Processing Counselor's answer here because it's a great one: "Every day at work."

googled both pics

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

only three days until Halloween...

...and Presbyterian Gal and I are working feverishly to get ready:

Mr. Tumnus is in charge of the treats. That might be a mistake.

Garbage Puff has been hanging out at the Co-Op in Bellingham, trying to guess this pumpkin's weight and win a $20 gift certificate. He has placed 38 guesses so far. I think management will be asking him to leave soon.

top photo done at JibJab

Monday, October 27, 2008


Dang. I caught a cold. Not happy 'bout it. (Actually, it's not surprising because so many of my patients have been sick.) Anyway I look something like this:

photo googled from whoknowswhere

Saturday, October 25, 2008

cat vs. fish

We're visiting Offsprings #1&2 this weekend. I am pleased to report that Balthazar the Fish still lives! (He has a bigger, more secure home now.) But Tumnus is doing some mental calculations and working on plan...

photo by Offspring #1

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friday Five: Location, Location, Location

For this F5, we are supposed to "tell about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime." I think I'll do mostly "show" and just a little "tell". So here goes:

I lived in Bad Kreuznach, Germany the first 6 weeks of my life. I did get to go back and visit there as an adult with my family.

I grew up in Ashley, North Dakota. Quintessential small town.

I did my undergraduate work at a college in Helena, Montana.

Our first practice was in Loveland, Colorado. Here's the Hub in the aspens.

And now we live in Longview, Washington. We have a big squirrel in town. Does it get any cooler than that? I think not.

googled the pics of Bad K and Helena

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

yeeeeeeah! take that!

I don't watch very much tv, but I am hooked on The Office. On the last episode, Dwight's 'testing' of a spendy stroller really tickled my funny bone. I love how totally over the top it is.

See if this cracks you up too (or if I'm just weird!)

Thanks to Offspring #2 for finding the youtube.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the hedgehog and the garbage puff

Between CE classes, I finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a novel by Muriel Barbery (translated from French to English by Alison Anderson).

The book is about Renée, a 54-year-old woman who has been the concierge of a small apartment building in Paris for 27 years. While she plays the part of a not-too-bright, lower-social-class concierge, she is actually very intelligent and has extensively studied philosophy and art on her own. She prefers to keep her intellectual life hidden from the residents, and works hard at maintaining her facade.

Alternating with Renée's observations and philosophical thoughts are those of Paloma, a 12-year-old who lives with her family in the apartment building. Like Renée, Paloma has constructed a facade. She is brilliant but pretends to be just average. Since she is unable to find meaning in life, she plans to commit suicide on her 13th birthday, and set the apartment on fire for good measure.

A new resident, Kakuro Ozu, moves into the apartment building and through him the lives of Renée and Paloma begin to overlap...
(Cue dramatic music.)

Great book! One thing I really liked was the idea that people are often not what they appear to be on the surface. This has certainly been my experience with many of my patients. I'm thinking of one who looks like a typical "Joe Six Pack" guy (to use the term of the month!) whose "hobby" is to fly his plane for medical missions. And there's a non-assuming elderly woman who, as it turns out, spends about half of the year in Switzerland where she sings in a musical ensemble. So yep, I'd agree with that 'more than meets the eye' idea.

There is a lot of depth to the book (especially with its focus on philosophy) -- and I'd highly recommend it.

While I was finishing the novel between classes, Garbage Puff was over in the exhibit hall checking out the lastest in equipment.

Friday, October 17, 2008

garbage puff stows away!

I had not intended to take Garbage Puff along to the continuing education conference in Portland (seriously!), but I opened up my purse and there he was!

Poor G.P. has had a difficult time staying awake during the classes.

But he has enjoyed the food. Here he is during dinner at Jake's on Thursday night and lunch at the conference today. (I'm not sure why people keep staring at him when he poses for pictures...)

During a break between classes today, Garbage Puff caught some rays outside the Oregon Convention Center (where the conference is being held). He really liked being part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue.

He seems to think the girl's hand was made just for him.

Garbage Puff is going to get ready for bed soon. More classes etc. tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

this will be me...

I have continuing education classes in Portland on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and (yikes!) even Sunday, so I probably will not be able to do much (if any) blogging.

But I'll check in as soon as I can!

photo from here

Sunday, October 12, 2008

one fish, blue fish

Mr. Tumnus welcomed a new friend into his home today.

But it was quickly decided (by everyone except Mr. Tumnus) that a bigger habitat would need to be purchased for the friend.

photos by Offspring #1, but it was my camera so I'll claim partial credit :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Five: Business Trip

For today's Friday Five, we're invited to share our "experiences with the exciting, challenging world of business travel"...

1. Does your job ever call for travel? Is this a joy or a burden?
The only significant travel related to my job (optometrist) is when I attend the continuing education conferences. (We are required to have at least 50 hours biennially). The words "joy" and "burden" both seem a bit extreme in trying to describe the CE. For the most part I like (and benefit from) continuing education, but sometimes it can be a bit mind-numbing.

2. How about that of your spouse or partner?
Since Hubby's career is the same as mine, I'd have to just say "ditto" to answer #1! We often attend the same conferences.

3. What was the best business trip you ever took?
Hmm... a glaucoma symposium in Woodinville, Washington last year was really pleasant. (Beautiful location, good food, great classes.) This garden was just outside the conference center:
(Photo credit here.)

Actually, CE conferences are generally scheduled in nice locations. We have tended to stay "close to home" while raising Offsprings #1&2 but I suppose we could get more adventurous now that we are empty nesters. (There is a winter conference in Maui that Hubby always finds very tempting.)

4. ...and the worst, of course?
One year Hubby and I hit a really bad traffic jam heading to classes in Portland, arrived late, and were "docked" credit hours. (The credentialing people are very strict about clock hours, which they should be...)

5. What would make your next business trip perfect?
One example of "perfect" CE would be to schedule the conference at a ski resort. We could attend classes from 8:00 a.m. to noon, then break for a light lunch followed by afternoon skiing. Of course this wouldn't be very efficient in terms of the number of education hours, but I'd be willing to sacrifice efficiency. :)

Here's the theoretical me after a morning of classes:

(of course I really just googled the pic)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This ain't no pick-a-nick!

I wish this was the only 'bear market' we had to deal with:

Here's what Hillary has to say on the topic...

(googled the yogi pic)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

let's meet in the middle

Cool website alert! At you can find a "point of interest" (such as a coffee shop or restaurant) at the exact halfway point between two addresses.

So, for example, if Diane and I wanted to get together for coffee halfway between her church in Minnesota and my clinic here in Longview, WA, Meetways tells me we could meet in Harlowton, Montana. I think the Cornerstone will fit the bill. Look at these friendly people waiting to serve us!

If Presbygal and I decide we want to have lunch, it looks like we could meet at the Honey Lake Campground Restaurant and General Store near Milford, California. I googled a picture from Honey Lake. Hmm... hope this isn't the place, because it does not look promising.

Back to the drawing board...

Monday, October 6, 2008

pic of the day

Mr. Tumnus capturing the essence of the word Monday:

(photo by Offspring #1)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

what would a maverick do?

I love Queen Latifah, so I was excited to hear she was going to pop by SNL and portray Gwen Ifill moderating the VP debate. Tina Fey again brilliantly played Sarah Palin and Jason Sudeikis did well with Joe Biden.

Great stuff here!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Flow Food

Yay! Offspring #2 is home for the weekend, and I made dinner last night in a new category! It definitely wasn't fast food but it certainly wasn't slow food either, so I decided to name the "hybrid" flow food (as in 'go with the flow' I guess!)

Anyway, I ended up making chili in the crock pot, adapted from a recipe I found in the Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly cookbook.

Warning: I am not known for my culinary skills! But this is what I made:

I'll call it Flow Food Chili:

1 1/4 lb. ground buffalo (natural and sustainably raised!) It came from here.
1 -- 27 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 -- 14 1/2 oz. can low-sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
1 -- 14 1/2 oz. can roasted garlic diced tomatoes, undrained
1 -- 8 oz. can tomato sauce (woo hoo! found an organic one!)
1 medium size organic onion, chopped
1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper

1. Brown buffalo in nonstick skillet; sing Home on the Range while doing so.
2. Place in slow cooker.
3. Add all ingredients. Stir.
4. Cover. Cook on high 4 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
5. Garnish individual servings with shredded cheese if you like.

For dessert...
Alden's "Organic All Natural" Vanilla Bean ice cream; topped with fresh blueberries and raspberries from our yard. Alden's is an Oregon company so they are kinda sorta almost local-ish. Here's Hubby with the ice cream and berries:

Buffalo pic at top taken by me in So. Dak. a couple of summers ago.

Friday, October 3, 2008

fast food bad. slow food good.

I just finished reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma (which had been included in my birthday presents from Offsprings #1&2). It was a worthwhile read, a real eye-opener about what we eat, where it comes from, and how it gets to our tables. (I won't bother with a book review because you can read the NYTimes review here.)

Since I'm realistic, I know I won't be making immediate, drastic changes in my eating habits. However, I will definitely be making more of an effort to choose foods where words such as "natural", "organic", "local", and/or "sustainably raised" apply.

Of course part of the trick is making sure those labels are accurate. (Misleading marketing drives me crazy!) Bopping around the internet, I found the Sustainable Table website. You can type in your zip code and find good local resources. So that's a start!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

oh joy...

From today's USA Today:

Guess I can scratch that one off my list of things to try if stopped by the police.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

here kitty, kitty

With so many negative, stressful things in the news lately, couldn't we all use something upbeat?! Yeah, thought so! Tip o' the hat to Offspring #2 for this: