Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I never owned a toaster oven until husband came along, not only that I had never bothered to own a microwave or a VCR.  As a result of his influences these appliances soon made their way into our household.

The microwave was swell for melting butter and making popcorn and eventually bacon and fresh corn.
The VCR's multiplied and recorded many many MANY old episodes of mid century television programs.
The toaster oven surprisingly enough replaced the on-its-last-legs toaster and flourished.

Until this weekend.  Popped in toast, NOIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Hmph, try again.  Same NOIZZZZZZZZZZZ.  Smell of electrical components burning.  Finished preparing breakfast, warmed bread in microwave (bleach) and put new toaster oven on shopping list.

We spent Memorial Day afternoon shopping. The new toaster oven has a generous slot for toasting on top
and a dainty little oven for warming up the smaller frozen entree type meals.  I purchased some English muffins to try it out and works perfectly.  I am hungry for a toasted English muffin even as we speak.
The dead toaster oven (Great name for a rock band by the way) fit nicely into the garbage can and was picked up this morning. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Forms coming off revealing gray concrete wall.

 Nice gray wall on view outside the office window.  Nice.

The crew are still dumping rock and pounding into a more or less flat area, from down by the clinic it now looks like standing at the bottom of the Hoover dam looking up, way way up.  Ah progress.

Monday, May 23, 2011

This is Bulwer-Lytton's home in Jolly Old.

Below is my 2011 submission for the annual Bulwer-Lytton contest.  I had originally submitted this last year and it was rejected because my first version had nattered on far longer than their guidelines would allow.
I will post results when they come out sometime next month I think.  R

-----Original Message-----

From: SCOTT B RICE [mailto:srice@pacbell.net]

Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:05 PM

To: Royce Alden

Subject: Re: BW contest entry 2011
Your submission has arrived and will receive the treatment it deserves.

Subject: BW contest entry 2011
The Iron Chef inhaled the secret ingredient saccaromyces cerevisiae and was
reminded of his favorite breakfast of sourdough pancakes topped with genuine

maple syrup the kind that came in a maple leaf shaped glass bottle, which

once empty could be used to hold wildflowers after rinsing and thought it

was going to be an excruciating sixty minute battle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


View from lobby window of the goings on.

Today a group of us spent the better part of the morning looking at various choices of chairs, furniture, etc and choosing.  Just because we like it does not automatically guarantee that we will get it.

We were given green stickers and red stickers and allowed to select green for yes and red for no.  We seem to like the lighter colored office furniture. 

Fabric swatches most of these are very tough microfibers, can withstand at great deal of wear and tear.  As you can see all of the violently vibrant colors went by the way side in favor of muted blues, grays, greens, tans etc.  There is one pesky paisley print in that got everyone excited.  Meh.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Boo hoo hoo.   I was expecting to lose the view but not THIS soon.
Yep wall type activities going on.  I think the crew decided to start on the wall next to all the windows because some of them may wish to take off their shirts in hotter weather (no hot weather yet) and some of them really need to keep their shirts on.


This lovely old farmer's lady  (1890's) is getting a new roof and
what look suspiciously like windows in the roof!  (I am having a senior moment, can't remember the name of the sky panels, not solar panels but well you know what I mean). (Sky light!!!)  This house has stood empty for nearly five years.   It was on the market as is for at least 250k.  Not even a nibble.  I believe they may have replaced the heating system because the nasty 200 gallon oil tank has been removed.   Last year they jacked the old lady up and put in new cinder block foundation.  Since the roof had moss growing on it, they ripped off the shingles and took it right down to the barest of bones.   Those new windows will make nice light into the third floor attic.  Wish we had them on our roof, but anyone who puts those kinds of windows in here in rainy Oregon is asking for an eventual leak. 


This past Wednesday was Appreciation Day at work.  The senior staff dons aprons and head gear, heads for kitchen and makes omelette's for everyone.  Mr. Z puts on his tux and cummerbund and takes orders, bus tables, schlep fruit cup and muffins.  Mine was delish.  Afterwards I spoke to our personnel director.   I suggested that they try sour dough pancakes.  Monte looked interested and asked for a starter....

I took out the starter and knew immediately that Mom would pout.  I was out of white flour, so I substituted whole wheat. 

Add  two cups flour and two cups warm milk to starter, let set over night in warm place.  Rats! I used two cups of water instead of milk.  (Mom! Stop rolling your eyes!).  Next morning, slight workage of yeasty beasty but nuthin' to get excited about.
So I added a tablespoon of pure maple syrup because my honey had crystallized and let it set another 24 hours. (Stop with the eye rolling)

Saturday morning.  Gratifying bubblage in the starter, kept out 1 1/2 cups for each of two quart mason jars.  One will be delivered with directions to the PR director. The other will be stashed in the fridge.
I got to thinking, and you know how dangerous that is, Mom always used whole milk.  I have been using 2% for so long I have almost forgotten how whole milk tastes and I am sure that makes a huge difference on how yeasty the sour dough becomes.  So next time I use whole milk,gently warmed to less than 100 degrees.

I stirred up the balance of the sour dough batter with egg, sugar, oil, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cooked six nice sized pancakes.  The three I had for breakfast were pretty good for non standard Virginia sour dough pancakes.


Last night I dreamt about money.
I was at work and someone from the front office gave me a form. With this form I was to go to my bank and receive sixty dollars.
I went to the bank and was seated at one of the service desks in the lobby. I gave the lady my form and she went to process. She returned to tell me that the form could not be processed because it was the wrong form.
I left and stood in the outer lobby a bit and decided I would go back to work.

To dream that you lose money, suggests that you are lacking ambition, power and self-esteem. You are experiencing unhappiness and setbacks in your waking life. You may also be feeling weak, vulnerable, and out of control in your waking life. Now that is just boring.

To see a bank in your dream, denotes your desires for financial security. The dream may be trying to offer reassurance and that your fears of financial instability are unfounded.

One last thing.  Yesterday the mail carrier left a plastic bag to be filled with canned good, packages mix etc to be donated to the local food banks.  I sorted out some canned veggies, corn, peas, green beans.  The mail carriers will pick this up today.  I hope who ever uses this stuff lives long and prospers. The canned tuna is mine regardless of mercury content.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby boomer land marks....

Visited the optometrist this past Wednesday.    I didn't expect much but alas there have been just enough vision changes to warrant new glasses.   Insurance covers exams once a year but no new frames for two years.  So the plan is that I will get new eye pieces inserted into my present frames. 

and....I have newly diagnosed cataracts.   When do we remove them?   Not for at least ten years, maybe never.  Okay then.

I feel grumpy..

I feel grumpy..

I feel grumpy and frumpy and gray.....

Oh wait.  I AM grumpy, frumpy and gray.

MUCH better.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I love to listen to Morgan Freeman, especially when he is narrating about black holes and gently twinkling as he expounds on esoteric points regarding quantum mechanics. As if there were real mechanics involved.

If NPR were sponsoring this, we could listen to Click and Clack the Tappet brothers yapping about Schroedinger’s Cat trying to tell the customer that the cat is both alive and dead!

I watched the argument about Hawking Radiation and Leonard Susskind endless propeller explanation. Hawking Radiation is the little half of the Big and Little discussion. Little involves the spontaneous emergence from nothing of opposing pairs of subatomic particles, one particle positive, and one particle negative. (No one has ever proven the existence of Hawking Radiation except on the blackboard). These two particles instantly annihilate each other. Lots of that going on at a subatomic level, not a fun
neighborhood to live in I am thinking.

The disagreement came about between these two famous physicists regarding whether or not black holes violate the Law of Conservation of Information. Um, that sounds an awful lot like the Law of Conservation of Energy that states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed thus the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant.

Somehow I must have missed the class on Conservation of Information, assuming the corollary holds equivalently states that information can neither be created or destroyed, thus the sum of
all information in the system is a constant. I think I fell asleep.

To get back to the Hawking Radiation for a moment. Apparently the paired subatomic particles that come into existence from nothing (cannot be created, they had to come from SOME where, recycled from a worm hole maybe?) do not destroy each other if they are created at the edge of a black hole, such as right near the event horizon where stuff slows down…a lot.

So the negative charged particle falls into the black hole and being negative mass, contributes to the gradual shrinkage of the black hole. The positively charge particle escapes the black hole in the form of radiation…Hawking Radiation. (which has never been measured I think). That is kind of cool actually.

Hawking states that information is lost. Gasp! Susskind states that
information is not lost. Which he demonstrates by describing a plane flying into the black hole with a propeller, on the end of the propeller is another propeller and so on until there is a film of propellers. At this point I decided both men are too brilliant for me and I watched House Hunters International.

Oh wait, I skipped the good part, the negative particle? All of those
billions and mega trillions of negative mass particles that keep shrinking the black hole eventually cause it to explode.

So there you have it, the basic engine of the universe that changes stuff, remember it neither creates or destroys the information, it just changes it. Schroedinger’s cat may be an exception as it can be both dead and alive. I have no doubt hopelessly compromised Quantum Mechanics as it is known today.

So what if the universe expands forever, it will still be making a lot of  noise on the way.

Study chapter 37 including footnotes, there will be a test on Friday, Class dismissed!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day 2011

It was an interesting day at work today, Mother's Day.  There was an inordinate number of elderly cranky, disoriented ladies and I don't mean the nurses.  The female patients  all needed their Mom's really REALLY bad today and the nurses did a fine job of Mommying them.  "Get back in that bed or I will tie you in!".  "Get off the toilet now" , "Time for breakfast" and so on.

Then I decided to call Mom.  I dialed her number and breathed a little sigh when I got the "You have reached a number that has been disconnected" message. It's been almost two years, I wonder how long the phone company keeps a disconnected number from being reissued?  If someone had answered I would have wished them "Happy Mother's Day" and then hung up. 

I decided to pick fixings for strawberry shortcake and whipped cream on the way home. Delish.  I also make Delux Tamale Pie, that variety is made with thin cut strips of Black Angus Beef and roast peppers, yummy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The construction has moved onto FOUNDATION work.  They brought in a boom truck to deliver cement over head into the difficult-to-get-to-bits.  That was fun.  More cement fun later.

I decided to make cajeta de leche con platano for Cinco De Mayo.
Unfortunately my first attempt did not turn out well.  I only cooked the condensed sweetened cans of milk for six hours thinking that was long enough.  Nope, got can of faintly beige goo.  Dumped that because I was NOT brave enough to attempt continuing the caramelizing process in an open pan.   So, two cans went into the slow cooker in the oven for ten hours.  That was still not as done as I like it but it was time to make the pies.  Graham cracker crust, cajeta, layer of bananas, whipped cream.   It got eaten but had turned a bit runny.  Next time, MINIMUM TWELVE HOURS in the crock pot.  There was a very nice selection of enchiladas, tamales, rice, beans, salad. The WINNER was a jar of pickled green beans, in dill, garlic and a taste of jalapeno pepper.  Delicious.  I think those pickled beans would be lovely in a virgin bloody Mary.  Yep!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday on Fifth Street

The heavy dump trucks and other equipment not to mention all the regular vehicular traffic have exacted a toll on the asphalt.  There were two canyon sized rumpled muddy areas, and on Friday the crews cut out the remaining intact asphalt and dug the mud down a foot and poured concrete.   That ought to last a bit longer.   They had already cemented part of the intersection further down on Fifth and Elliott.   There is another rumpled part in the parking section of Fifth Street park where they have had to stage some of the retaining wall concrete blocks, which are heavy and thus the rumpling of asphalt.  Looks much butter, when the cones are removed that will free up a bit more street parking.