30 August 2006

More details on the weekend

I'm going in reverse chronological order, mainly because I don't have the picture of Patrick Henry without which the day's earlier events would be sadly lacking. After going to the re-enactment and the Pow Poe (tee hee) Museum we ended up at Cafe Gutenberg to refuel. Chocolate croissants and iced mochas on the sidewalk. Tres chic.

So there we were, enjoying a hot late summer day at a partly-shaded table, when we heard some barking. Looked around and discovered the source: A cute little dog in a purple van.

Now, it's a hot day, probably 90 degrees, and it's a sunny day. There is a wee bit of a crack in the window, but it's got to be pretty darn hot in the van. Maybe the people just stepped away for a minute. We carry on eating, keeping an eye on the dog. The dog, in turn, keeps an eye on us, looking all mournful and pleading as dogs do.

We finish our food. By this time it's probably been half an hour and no one has come around for the dog. We pay the check and go over to have a look at the dog, who is laying down and panting pretty hard. Poor thing. We go inside the restaurant and explain the situation, then ask the servers if maybe it's a regular customer or something. Of course not. One girl seems mildly concerned, the other blankly says "It's not our jurisdiction."

We can't just leave the dog there. I mean, it's probably fine, but we don't know that, and it would absolutely drive me crazy with worry if we just went away. So I ask for a phone book and call the non-emergency police number. I explain the situation and they say they'll have someone right over. We hang around for a bit and, to my surprise, they do send someone right over.

So there we are, trying to look all nonchalant as Richmond's finest is taking in the situation, when who should walk up but the van's (and dog's) owner?!? He must have been nearby the whole time. He explains (sheepishly?) that the dog was in there with a bowl of water. (Sorry, mister, that just means your dog is braising instead of roasting.) The officer says they get a lot of calls like that in the summer, blah blah blah, while we beat a quick path out of there before the guy figures out who called.

(Though judging from the politics advertised on the van's bumper stickers, the man is unlikely to be packing heat. You'd think he'd be kinder to animals, however.)

28 August 2006

So, this weekend was the first in a while I hadn't had to work on Saturday.  Fun!  I slept in until 9:00 and laid around all morning watching cartoons and cooking shows, then went to the gym.  Kristin and I finally hung some pictures on the walls of our living room, and it looks much cozier.  Now, if only I could motivate myself to decorate my bedroom everything would be peachy.

Yesterday we went to see the re-enactment of Patrick Henry's speech to the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church.  Also went to the Poe Museum, which is in the same part of town, and called the Richmond police because there was a dog locked in a hot car.  More details on all of the above later . . .

21 August 2006

Two and a half day weekend

So, on Saturday I was scheduled to work at the Library as I often am. Got there and not only was it hot, but the computers were down, meaning that all networking functions were non-operational. You could type a Word document on the machine you were using and save it to a disk, but that's about it. Turns out there was some kind of power surge overnight that knocked out the computers and made the heat come on. Must have been eighty-five, ninety degrees in there. It was both unpleasant and futile, as without computers we can't really provide a lot of reference assistance.

After lots of hemming and hawing by Management (to whom I say: Why don't you get all dressed up for work in long sleeves and pants and then come sit in a sauna?), we were allowed to close the library at 11, much to the disgust of patrons. I was sorry for them, but very very glad to be out of there. And I had a nearly free day! It's like found time. I went and had my oil changed and two tires replaced on the Honda, an errand I've been putting off for ages. Otherwise I just relaxed and enjoyed the day.

On Sunday I went to painfully early church (8:30 a.m.! It ain't natural, I tell ya!) and trekked up north to spend a delightful afternoon kayaking on the Potomac. I am paying for it today, though, with my sore arms and shoulders . . . no need to go to the Victory Lady this afternoon. Really, you'd think all that weight lifting would make paddling easier, but apparently not.

16 August 2006

Incredible. Edible.

Okay, the first picture is one of salsa-in-the-making. I decided to have huevos rancheros this weekend (used a recipe from my beloved Cook's Illustrated) and started by making the salsa. It's really easy - just some tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic roasted in a slow oven sith oil and spices, then blended together and spiked with lime juice and cilantro. You poach eggs in the salsa and eat with toasty corn tortillas. Sadly I didn't get pics of all stages of the process, but don't the roasted veggies look wonderful? It only makes enough for four eggs, which is two servings in my book. I may experiment with making more salsa and baking the eggs in it.

The next picture is of a couple successful lime squares . . . the rest were devoured by greedy coworkers. I say successful because my first batch was icky icky icky. Which was weird because I've made them before and they were delish. I investigated and discovered that I'd totally spaced at the store and bought fat free condensed milk instead of the regular kind. (In my defense, I was trying to economize by buying the store brand, and the packaging for their fat free product isn't as distinctive as fat free Eagle Brand.) Anyway, this is another easy one - a crust of animal crackers, brown sugar, and butter is pre-baked. Then you mix cream cheese, condensed milk, lime juice and zest, and eggs. Pour in the crust and bake. One of my better finds this summer, another gem from my friends at Cook's Illustrated.

14 August 2006

It's not really nice to call it loot, is it?

But that's what it is! My last package from my no-longer-secret SP, arrived late last week and I finally had a chance to photograph it tonight. Such wonderful goodies, SP, however did you know that I had just been thinking it was time to get some more magnetic chip clips? (For effect, one of them in the photo above is shown in a natural habitat of protecting chips from sogginess. The other one from the pack of four is more virtuously employed keeping a bag of salad closed.) Also enclosed is the new Interweave Knits with Scarf Bonus, which I'd been waiting until the end of the semester to buy. Plus a journal, some snacky goodness, a little paint by numbers kit, a light stick, a hand treatment kit from the Body Shop, a toy for the cat, and the piece de resistance, three skeins of beautiful Italian merino Karabella yarn. Pretty pretty red.

It was a busy but fun weekend . . . I have a lot of those, don't I? I did some cooking, pictures of which will follow. Also finally finished getting grades calculated and posted. It was a rough semester from my point of view, i.e., information taking a long time to make its way to me, general daftness on my part, and students having icky things going on in their personal lives. But this was the sharpest bunch I've had so far and they really persevered. I'm proud of them.

09 August 2006

A couple more pictures of Suzanna-Pants

The first one is another one of her enjoying the bus, and the second shows her bursting someone's bubble! (Seriously, there were these cool things where you stood in the middle and pulled a soap-dipped hoop around you via clever pulleys, thereby creating a bubble for yourself. Nifty.)

07 August 2006


I spent the most adorable weekend visiting my grandmother who was hosting my niece, sister, brother, and brother-in-law. Though I have miles to go before I sleep (adorable weekends mean very few papers get graded) I did want to post a few photos of sweet little Suzanna at the Children's Museum of Virginia. A good time was had by all.

(Does anyone else think the picture of Kerry and Paul might just be a pretty common sight?)

03 August 2006

Okay, I'm getting some pushback from people (Mom) miffed at the fact that I haven't updated in a while.  (Since Bastille Day, if I recall correctly.)  Sorry about that.  My reasons are:

1.  Busy
2.  Busy
3.  Busy

Seriously.  End of the semester, Bible studies at chez moi, occasional trips to NOVA, etc. etc.  Also none of these are picture-generating activities, and it's kind of a drag to look at a blog and not see pics.

So consider yourself updated.  (Actually, I will see family this weekend, so hopefully some photos as well as interesting stories will emerge.)