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Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Funny



I've watched it about 4 times and it gets more and more funny.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Playing Cocktail Waitress

Can I get you a cocktail? A French Kiss perhaps? Oh....no, no Madam, I wasn't offering your husband that kind of French Kiss! Why it's a cocktail, of course!


French Kiss Cocktail

1 part apricot juice
2 parts Champagne or sparkling wine
1 apricot slice, for garnish

Pour apricot juice into a champagne flute. Add champagne and stir. Place apricot slice on the rim as a garnish.


Pear Brandy Champagne Cocktail

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons French pear brandy
2 2/3 cups chilled champagne or sparkling wine
1 small Bosc pear

In a small saucepan, heat sugar and 1/4 cup pear brandy over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool syrup. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons syrup into each of 4 champagne glasses and add 1 teaspoon pear brandy to each glass. Add 2/3 cup champagne to each glass and stir well. Cut pear lenghtwise into thin slices and add 1 slice to each cocktail.


Killer Mango Champagne Cocktail

1 12oz can mango nectar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
12 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine

Bring the nectar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add all of the spices. Let the mixture cool, then strain and refrigerate.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the spicy mango mixture into a Champagne flute and top with chilled Champagne.


French "75" Champagne Cocktail

8 ounces gin
8 ounces orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or triple sec
1 lime, juiced
4 dashes orange bitters
8 sugar cubes
1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Pour gin, orange liqueur, lime juice, and bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well to blend. Put a sugar cube into a Champagne flute. Strain about 2 ounces of the gin mixture into the glass. Carefully top it off with Champagne.


Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate berries, optional
4 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
1/2 teaspoon store bought pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon cassis

Place fresh pomegranate berries, if using, into a Champagne flute. Pour Champagne into flute, add pomegranate juice and cassis.


Chocolate Espresso Bellini

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup espresso
3/4 cup chopped chocolate
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and espresso over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Pour the sugar and espresso mixture over the chocolate and let sit until the chocolate melts, about 3 minutes. Add the coffee liqueur and stir to combine. Place the chocolate mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool.

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Note: Did you know Prosecco is the Italian version of Champagne? For Champagne to be called Champagne, it has to be made in the Champagne region of France. But Prosecco and sparkling wine are the same thing....just without the pedigree.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A.A.A.D.D

This is funny....


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Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder. Somehow I feel better, even though I have it!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

the car isn't washed

the bills aren't paid

there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter

the flowers don't have enough water

there is still only 1 check in my check book

I can't find the remote

I can't find my glasses

and I don't remember what I did with the car keys

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Part of my job is dealing with email abuse. We have a special email address people write to to report things. Companies also email us at this address if someone from one of our IP addresses is spamming them. So today I am going thru all the emails and a ton of it is spam. Yes, spam sent to our address to report spam. Usually you can spot spam a mile away. They come with subjects like "be a lethal weapon in the bedroom". However, some spammers are getting better at disguising things. I see one that is questionable. I get rid of the other 462 (not kidding) and come back to all the ones that look like they could be real abuse reports. This questionable one comes from an address that looks legitimate but there is no subject. I open it and the only thing there is a link. I looked at the link for a long moment. Sometimes people report websites to us...does not happen a lot, but sometimes. I clicked on it.

Oh boy. Not a good idea.

A HUGE browser window opened and filled my crystal clear 21 inch monitor with naked people doing lots of....er....well....stuff. I think I squeaked and was so shocked at what I was looking at that I lost control of my mouse and it went flying across my desk and hit my metal filing cabinet with a loud bang. Nothing like drawing attention to yourself at work with larger than life porn on your screen. I scrambled for my mouse and finally got the dang window closed. A fraction of a second later, 3 people walked past my cube. iCaramba...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Happy Ending

You all know I have a special thing for animals.....especially abused, neglected and homeless ones. They are so innocent. It's sad that some of them have the misfortune to end up with evil heartless people. Anyway, there are *some* happy ending for some of them. Here is one.

(text taken from Oprah.com)

Love comes in many different packages—even in the form of a loveable pet! For Larry and his family, love came in the form of a dog named Oogy. "Everyone who sees him loves him," Larry says. "You'd never know it from his background, but he's overcome tremendous adversity to get here."

When he was just a puppy, Larry says Oogy was living in a hell on earth. He was tied to a stake and used as bait for pit bulls in a dogfighting ring. "He'd been thrown in a cage and left to die, and the police raided the facility," Larry says. "He was brought to Ardmore Animal Hospital, and they saved him."

Dr. Bianco, a veterinarian, says Oogy was still a puppy when he first treated the dog's severe damage. "He basically had the side of his face ripped off, his jaw was crushed, his skull was damaged," he says. "He's lucky to be alive."

Larry and his twin boys were at the vet to drop off their cat when Oogy walked down the hall…and right into their hearts. "He looked like part of him had melted," Larry says. "But he just covered us with kisses. It's like he didn't know that anything bad had happened to him—he was just full of love. He jumped in our arms."

When Larry found out the dog didn't belong to anyone, he asked Dr. Bianco if he could adopt him. "I couldn't believe my good luck," Larry says. "That's how I felt about this dog right from the start." Oogy was given a loving home, but he still had an agonizing road to recovery. A second major surgery was necessary to rebuild Oogy's face and put an end to his chronic pain. "I think that every day my family tries to atone for what happened to Oogy. He's been through the worst imaginable horrors, and we feel very lucky because of what he gives back to us—an immeasurable amount of devotion and love."

Larry's twin sons, Noah and Dan, have something special in common with Oogy—they were also adopted. " I'm sure when our parents adopted us, I hope it was one of the greatest days of their lives. And I know in my life, my experience when we adopted [Oogy], it was one of the greatest days of my life," Dan says.

"I think that Oogy symbolizes to people the indomitable survivor that they see in themselves," Larry says. "And that there is love on the other side of adversity."

In order to get to Chicago, Larry drove 15 hours with Oogy so he wouldn't be confined in a crate inside an airplane. "Oogy associates being in a crate with having his ear torn off, and I could not afford to have him endure that," Larry says.

The Levin family says he might not be the prettiest dog, but Oogy's brought them more love than they could ever imagine. At first, however, Larry's wife, Jennifer says she was reluctant to bring the dog home. "I was really scared that he would bite, and he had a history of abuse, so I was afraid he would be violent," she says. After hearing Dr. Bianco attest to his good nature, Jennifer allowed Oogy into their home, and he's been a beloved family member ever since.

Noah and Dan say Oogy has changed their lives in many different ways. "You don't think you can love just in that way until you meet a dog like Oogy," Noah says.

Although Noah and Dan will be off to college soon, Larry plans to make sure Oogy still gets plenty of attention. "One of the things I want to do for Oogy is train him to work with kids and take him to kid's hospitals, because I think he'll be an inspiration to young kids who are facing a lot of adversity," Larry says.

To see Oogy, go to Oprah.com and type "Oogy" into the search box. Click the link that says "A Loveable Dog Named Oogy".

And please, don't get pets from breeders when there are sooo many in shelters who need loving homes. If it's about pedigree and papers for you...well...then maybe you're head isn't in the right place.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If I Were Rich...

Here is a list of things I'd be doing, buying, etc, if I were rich.

Shopping from the Sundance Catalog
I was lusting after a necklace they have and almost told Greg it's what I wanted for Valentine's Day....until I saw it is $280.00! I really like it and everything, but come on now. You can see it here. Look at the clasp. It has a tiny owl charm hanging from it!

Living by the sea
There is an area in La Jolla that I would love to live. It's off La Jolla Boulevard and the residences there are mostly upscale and huge, but there is an area that has small modest homes that seem very homey. The price tag, I'm sure, is not small tho. They look right out at the ocean. I took this photo from the sidewalk in front of the house I'd love to own. To step out of your front or back door daily and smell the sea would be a true gift.

Maid service would be on the payroll
I have a Roomba for sweeping, but it does not wash clothes, clean the kitchen or dust.

A new car
I love Buffy. She's great. But if I were rich, she'd have to step aside. I really have no idea what car I would choose. Maybe a BMW. Don't know. Cars have kind of fallen off my radar for some reason. So that would require some shopping around to find something that strikes my fancy.

I'd have the best most comfortable mattress ever
Possibly that $6000 mattress I posted about a while back. Not sure. Like the car, this would require some shopping around.

A new camera and training
I want a Canon Digital Rebel XTi and a Nikon D80 along with training at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara.

Make a difference
Last but not least, if I had money, I'd give to organizations that touch my heart. I know I would get personal joy and peace from knowing I helped make a difference in some way. I like things, but they do not bring the same kind of gratification as giving does.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Greg and I watch a lot of the Food Network. It's pretty much all we watch together. Way back when, Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals was our go to show. However, we've outgrown Rachel. You can only take so much of her for so long. She's cute and all and has that girl next door kind of appeal, but her super high energy and her quirky little names for just about everything can get annoying after awhile. So we don't watch her much, but I did happen to catch her a week or so ago making shepherd's pie. Looked kinda good so I got all the stuff and made it last night. I started at 5pm and figured we'd be eating in 30 minutes.

An hour later....

I honestly believe she drinks 2 Red Bulls before the show and they swap out half cooked food for fully cooked food during the breaks. Because how she made that shepherd's pie in 30 minutes is beyond me. She does cut faster than I do....but all I had to cut was an onion and some potatoes. That took maybe...10 minutes total. There was other stuff to chop, but I bought it chopped so it was out of the bag ready. The rest was just mixing and cooking stuff. So maybe if I were hopped up on a Red Bull and moving a mile a minute, it would have been 30 minutes. That's all I can figure.

The good news is, the shepherd's pie was pretty darn good. Yummy actually. It makes a TON, so it's good for those budget weeks because it will feed 2 people for a week and I'm betting it's one of those things that gets better when reheated.

I made a few tiny alterations to the recipe. She put bacon in hers and I just didn't want that extra fat so I left it out. She also put sour cream in her mashed potatoes and I left that out. She used a 1/2 pound blue cheese in her potatoes and that just sounded like waaaay to much to me and I'm not a huge fan of blue cheese, so I reduced the amount and used a 3 cheese shredded blend we had on hand. Here it is if you want to try it yourself. I think you will get rave reviews.

Shepherd's Pie

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt
1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
Black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cheese (any kind)
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons chives
1 teaspoon paprika

1. Boil potatoes. Season water with salt and boil until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Save a ladle of starchy cooking water just before draining.

2. Heat a skillet with high sides over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add meat to the pan and caramelize. Add in the mushrooms and onions and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In small sauce pot over medium heat melt butter, whisk the flour into butter, cook 2 minutes. Add Worcestershire to beef stock and then add into flour. Season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Thickens in 6 to 7 minutes.

4. Transfer meat to a 13 x 9 pan and pour gravy over meat and turn on broiler.

5. Temper egg yolk by beating it with the starchy potato cooking water. Place drained potatoes back into the pot you cooked them in to dry them out a little. Mash potatoes with egg yolk and fold in cheese and chives. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and spread across the top of the meat in an even layer. Garnish the potatoes with paprika and place under broiler to crisp and brown the potatoes. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I took a right brian vs left brain creativity test. Here are the results:

Left Brain: 48%
Right Brain: 52%

You are more right-brained than left-brained. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. In addition to being known as right-brained, you are also known as a creative thinker who uses feeling and intuition to gather information. You retain this information through the use of images and patterns. You are able to visualize the "whole" picture first, and then work backwards to put the pieces together to create the "whole" picture. Your thought process can appear quite illogical and meandering. The problem-solving techniques that you use involve free association, which is often very innovative and creative. The routes taken to arrive at your conclusions are completely opposite to what a left-brained person would be accustomed. You probably find it easy to express yourself using art, dance, or music. Some occupations usually held by a right-brained person are forest ranger, athlete, beautician, actor/actress, craftsman, and artist.

Your left brain/right brain percentage was calculated by combining the individual scores of each half's sub-categories. They are as follows:

Your Left Brain Percentages

38%: Logical (Your most dominant characteristic)
37%: Linear
27%: Sequential
20%: Reality-based
9%: Symbolic
7%: Verbal (Your least dominant characteristic)

Your Right Brain Percentages

55%: Concrete (Your most dominant characteristic)
34%: Random
32%: Fantasy-oriented
24%: Intuitive
19%: Nonverbal
6%: Holistic (Your least dominant characteristic)

The best part of this is in the synopsis where it says: "Your thought process can appear quite illogical and meandering". That made me laugh. It is so true. My thought process is kind of like fireworks going off. Suddenly one just bursts into my mind and I blurt it out.....and not very well....hence the low percentages I got under verbal. But it really does make a ton of sense in my head :)

Take the test

God Bless America

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's religious police have banned red roses ahead of Valentine's Day, forcing couples in the conservative Muslim nation to think of new ways to show their love.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has ordered florists and gift shop owners in the capital Riyadh to remove any items colored scarlet, which is widely seen as symbolizing love, newspapers said.

"They visited us last night," the Saudi Gazette quoted an unidentified florist as saying.

It is not unusual for the Saudi vice squad to clamp down ahead of Valentine's Day, which it sees as encouraging relations between men and women outside of wedlock, the newspaper said.

Saudi Arabia imposes an austere form of Sunni Islam which prevents unrelated men and women from mixing, bans women from driving and demands that women wear a headscarf and a cloak.

Relations outside marriage are strictly banned and punishable by law.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wow, this sounds sooo good live! Yes, it's a Christmas song, but it's still good to hear all year long.

Monday, February 04, 2008

18-1 is called karma

Well, how about that. Darn the luck for those Patriots.

smirks

I think this comes down to karma. I mean, I have been wondering.....how can a team and a coach who were caught cheating keep having this dream season? And then coach of the year? How can that happen? He was cheating! Is this how we reward cheating? What about all the good coaches out there who didn't cheat! I've been really confused about all this. It just isn't right. Like everyone forgot what Belichick and the Patriots did. You should have heard me the day I heard he got coach of the year, I was disgusted. And you know, up until the cheating thing came out, I never really thought about the Patriots very much....just another team. I might have even been pulling for them to win. But I wasn't. I wanted them to loose. I just didn't know if the Giants were the ones who could beat them. I had really hoped that Green Bay would have won in the playoffs because I thought they had a better chance of beating the Patriots.

But then look what happened. The Giants really pulled out their best game. Cheers to them. And to Belichick and the Patriots...nothing like karma, is there. Nothing like sprinting to the top of the mountain only to fall once you reach the peak.
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Belichick has left the building...a second early - Hashmarks by Matt Mosley

Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn't stick around long enough to watch the Giants celebrate their 17-14 victory. When Tom Brady's Hail Mary pass to Randy Moss fell incomplete with a second to go, Belichick made a beeline to greet Giants coach Tom Coughlin before proceeding directly to the locker room.

The only problem is that NFL rules require that the entire game be played out. Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady were long gone, but the Patriots defense had to jog back onto the field. After the game, linebacker Junior Seau told me he was almost to the locker room when someone said the game wasn't over. Seau came jogging out of the tunnel for the final play. Belichick cooled his heels in the locker room.

He was asked why he left the field with time left on the clock, but I don't think he understood the question. By my count, Belichick didn't have an answer longer than eight words in his post-game news conference.

In his opening statement, he said: "Congratulations to the Giants. They made some plays there at the end and we didn't. It's disappointing."

He then repeated eight different variations of that statement. The smug look that has helped make him one of the great villains in sports was on display, but his mind wasn't. It was like the questions weren't even registering.

One of the players told me that Belichick couldn't come up with anything to say in the postgame locker room. He basically acknowledged that it was a disappointing loss and headed to the interview podium.

I've never seen a coach arrive for his interview that quickly. The first question asked was about the Boston Herald report Saturday indicating the Patriots filmed a Rams walkthrough before the 2001 Super Bowl. A reporter wanted him to respond to the Rams' comments on the report.

"I haven't heard them," he said.

Belichick was then questioned about his decision to go for it on fourth-and-13 in the third quarter rather than attempt a 49-yard field goal. Tom Brady tried a deep pass to Jabar Gaffney on the play that sailed out of bounds.

"Yeah, but it was a 50-yard field goal," he said before muttering something about field position.

The only risk involved was giving the Giants the ball at the 39-yard line instead of the 31. At that point, the Giants had only managed to put three points on the board. How do you give up a scoring opportunity over eight lousy yards?

Even Belichick's mentor Bill Parcells, who is consumed with field position, wouldn't pass up that opportunity. It was a bone-headed move at a crucial point in the game.

Oh, and here's Belichick's longest response: "I mean look, they played well. They made some plays, we made some plays. In the end, they made a couple more than we did."

The good news is that Belichick got an early jump on the offseason. Back with much, much more in a few moments.