November 30, 2006

AB 1234 Compliant

I am now AB 1234 Compliant (for the next 2 years). Rather than taking the online course, I opted to go in person in the hopes of meeting some of the other commissioners and city staff (all of whom are required to take it).

Posted by Emily at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2006

links for 2006-11-30

Posted by Emily at 11:20 PM | Comments (737)

Snow there...

Its cold here, but unlikely to snow. Of course it didn't seem likely that it'd be snowing in Seattle Monday night... and now I hear that Aspen just got 2 feet! -- it was so warm and snow-less when we were there just a couple of days ago!

Posted by Emily at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2006

Happy Anniversary Mom & Bill

Mom and Bill in the Wheeler Opera House Lobby
Happy 12th Anniversary to Mom and Bill!

(The 12th anniversary gift is traditionally silk or linens, or on the modern lists pearls or jade. The appropriate flower is apparently Peonies.) peonies.jpg

Posted by Emily at 07:33 AM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2006

Aunt Susan in the NY Times

susan_in_nytimes_small.jpgAunt Susan is shown in today's NY Times wedding section, attending the wedding of Carolyn Ginsburg and Mark Stern

Posted by Emily at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

Eduard's Shirt

I sent Eduard this shirt a couple of weeks ago after he called to report a particularly brilliant incident that he was involved in. The quote is his, and while I certainly don't think it is true, it was far too funny to pass up making a t-shirt of it and sending it to him at school. Mom sent these fun photos of him wearing it before heading back to school after his Thanksgiving break.

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Posted by Emily at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

Thanksgiving Trip Photos

Some (and soon more) of the photos from the trip are now up on Flickr.

Here's a random sample (many are from the Botanical Garden in Denver since it was so much fun to take pictures there)




















Posted by Emily at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

Zapped Comments

I ended up zapping all the site's comments since there were 32k+ spam ones (not here, but on some other sites that I host) and things were so corrupted I couldn't seem to delete them. I hate to lose all the nice comments, but that may be the price of the spam (and yes, one day I really will upgrade MT to filter them... sigh)

Posted by Emily at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2006

Tattered Cover and other Colorado Travels

We're logged in now from The Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, one of the world's best (we stopped by the Explorer Bookstore when we were in Aspen, which is one of my all-time favorite bookstores in the universe, and which was for sale, which spawned a brief fantasy...) We had lunch with Anna and Fran at their house in Denver, toured lovely Bontantical Gardens, said our goodbyes to Omer (who headed back to CSU to do some work) and now we're spending a relaxing afternoon before heading to the airport for our flight back to SJ. It was a very nice Thanksgiving trip -- the play Wednesday night was wonderful and Uncle Doug was great as the stage manager, we went up the new gondola on Thursday and enjoyed a beautiful clear view of the mountains and then had Thanskgiving dinner at the Jerome Hotel. Friday we drove up with Omer through Rockey Mountain National Park and then got a chance to see his favorite Ft Collins haunts (including a fabulous coffee shop, The Alley Cat Cafe which had really divine chai) Lots of photos to post when we're home (and luckily we have tomorrow to catch up on email and things before Monday).

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November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you're all having a lovely day with lots of turkey!

Posted by Emily at 07:54 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2006

Off for Thanksgiving

We're off on an early flight this morning to Colorado to met up with the family and see Uncle Doug's play. Have a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving everyone!!

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November 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Aimee

Happy birthday today to Aimee who is off having all sorts of adventures with her family in Basel Switzerland/

Posted by Emily at 06:12 AM | Comments (1)

Uncle Doug in Our Town

bilde.jpgThe Aspen Times has a great feature on Uncle Doug today, Starring in ‘Our Town’ ... nobody. We're all heading to Colorado on Wednesday to see him the production! Congrats Uncle Doug -- and break a leg!


Posted by Emily at 06:04 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2006

KTEH This Morning

Its pledge time again -- we're into the November-December pledge at KTEH. I'll be there today from 9-1:30 and then back again Saturday 12/2 and Friday 12/8 for shifts. Here's what's on this morning if you're flipping through the channels:

9-10: Yoga for the Rest of Us
10-1: America's Home Cooking: Appetizers (Recipes for hors d'oeuvres, canapés, dips and tapas items. Included: miniature egg rolls, chicken on a stick, layered Mexican dips and roasted ravioli.)

Posted by Emily at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2006

A Chili Thanksgiving

S's dinner club group met tonight with the theme of "A Chili Thanksgiving." I was a bit nervous going in -- those of you who know me probably know my very low tolerance to spicy food, but by avoiding some of the obvious killers (the pickeled pepper appetizers in particular) I managed to try almost everything served. S made a very potent cranberry/habanero chile sauce which was a big hit. Together we made curry and hot pepper sweet potato wedges which everyone thought were mild and which I can still feel burning my tongue. There was wonderful bbq turkey with a mole sauce, stuffing with chile peppers, a potato dish with peppers and, to top it off, a cranberry-apple-pepper pie (which, by picking out a few of the larger pepper pieces) was very enjoyable. Most of the peppers used had been grown in the hosts' greenhouse and it was amazing to go in and look at the jungle of peppers (about 25 varieties) that were growing there.

(I think my cold may also have helped dull my taste buds enough to eat some of the dishes that usually would have killed me :))

Posted by Emily at 10:57 PM | Comments (1)

SLIS Career Fair

slispanel.jpgDespite my cold, I seem to have managed to get through my little talk at today's SLIS career fair. The web cast is up at http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/ (SLIS Audio and Video -> Under "General Media", go to "SLIS Events") I'm a couple of minutes into part II (Roseanne introduces me at 6min in) It was a lot of fun and may lead to some other interesting things in the future (fingers crossed).

Posted by Emily at 04:34 PM | Comments (3)

A couple more books

A couple more books off the pile:

In the car, I listened to The Templar Legacy: A Novel by Steve Berry (which I think I had read about in EW ages ago but can't remember). Its Da Vinci Code-ish (and I had to fast forward through the end of the prologue because it got too gruesome) and is very heavy on the religion aspects, but it was another one that I wanted to stay in the car for. PW wrote, "But lively characters and action set pieces make this a more readable, if no more plausible, version of the typical gnostic occult thriller." Booklist writes, " After nearly grinding to a halt through all the premise building, the novel finally gathers steam in the last 100 pages or so, concluding with a revelation that seems refreshingly clear after the many convoluted twists that precede it. Until the next Dan Brown opus is released, this should hold devotees." In a funny coincidence, I got an email from long-lost college friend Collin while I was listening to this book -- The Knights Templar always make me think of him since he almost wrote his thesis on them (but ended up not doing it in the end for some reason I can't remember).

Quickly polished off Dark Tort: A Novel of Suspense (Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries) by Diane Mott Davidson that Mom had passed along ages ago. That series is always reliably delicious.

A sidetrip into nonfiction for Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. A really interesting look at some of the unconscious food decisions we eat every day and the results of studies his lab has done with bottomless bowls of soups, super large movie popcorns and all sorts of other things.

And Nicole, my local YA librarian, made me check out Nancy Werlin's new book, The Rules of Survival, which she says is likely to be a Prince finalist. As always, Nicole picked another really good one. "Narrated by 17-year-old Matt as a letter to his youngest sister, Emmy, The Rules of Survival is his effort to come to terms with the vicious treatment he and his two sisters suffered at the hands of Nikki, their beautiful and unpredictable mother." (SLJ) Booklist writes, "The author of Double Helix (2003),Werlin reinforces her reputation as a master of the YA thriller, pulling off a brilliant departure in this dark but hopeful tale, with pacing and suspense guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages."

Posted by Emily at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2006

Sick... again

I'm knocked out again by a terrible cold. Worked from home today (between naps) and hopefully will be back on my feet tomorrow. Of course the weekend is packed with plans (SLIS Job fair tomorrow where I'm a panelist, dinner club tomorrow night with a chile theme, and then KTEH pledge on Sunday... plus we've decided to go ahead with doing a crossword/sudoku fundraiser so I have to get to work on that...) so hopefully it's just a 24 hour bug...

Posted by Emily at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2006

links for 2006-11-17

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November 15, 2006

Yay Darren

I got a note from Darren the other day explaining that he was off to Washington with the newly elected congressman from his district (who he had lost to in the primary but then helped to support). The news is being picked up on some blogs and local sites:

Just in From John Hall's Press Secretary: "Darren Rigger is the PERFECT choice to accompany John Hall to Washington for Freshman Orientation week. Before he ran against John Hall, he did political fund raising work, he knows his way around Washington inside and out. Because of Darren's excellent help, and knowledge of Washington, DC our John Hall is finding his way easily to where he needs to be, learning the ropes of being a Congressman, and getting his office there up and running. So, though a surprising choice to some of us, it was a brilliant choice, and so our thanks go out to Darren Rigger for being such and integral part of showing John Hall around Washington for the 19th Congressional district."

Almost Famous: "The freshman get to bring along one person -- a sort of chief-of-staff-in-training, to help out and learn the ropes. John Hall has tapped Darren Rigger, who he faced in a Democratic primary before going on to defeat Sue Kelly, as his orientation aide."

Congrats and best of luck! What an exciting time (finally) to be back in Washington!

Posted by Emily at 07:35 AM | Comments (1)

Bundt pans

Lisa emailed to point out that today is the 60th anniversary of the bundt pan, and Nov. 15 is officially National Bundt Day and the "symbolic kick-off to the holiday baking season."

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NordicWare Anniversary Web Site
NordicWare® 60th Anniversary Press Release

According to the press release, "If there is a kitchen in the home, more often than not there is a Bundt pan or Nordic Ware product to be found -- in two out of three American households to be exact." I'm one of the 1 out of 3 without one I guess...

Posted by Emily at 05:56 AM | Comments (2)

November 12, 2006

Flushed Away

flushedawayposter.jpgWe went to see the very silly new animated movie Flushed Away, complete with very funny singing slugs. Voiced by Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet as rats.


Posted by Emily at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

Weekend at Home

It was so nice to not have anything pre-scheduled for this weekend, leaving us lots of time to try to catch up on things around the house, do some errands, and watch the kitties nap in their favorite spots.

On Friday, since he had the day off, S removed the counter tops in preparation for our eventually getting new corian counters (probably in January if all goes as planned). The old tile ones were falling apart and he decided they might as well go now. We cut and nailed on temporary wood ones yesterday so the kitchen wouldn't be completely torn up, and it seemed a perfect opportunity to get to paint a surface that would be covered up soon anyway.
countertop1.jpgcountertop2.jpg

Today, S made kubeh soup (with his grandmother's recipe) and Trish and Ben came up for lunch and then we all went to the movies.
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The soup was a wonderful red color (beets, celery, lemon juice and spices) with big balls of ground turkey stuffed into dough that tasted like matzah balls. Its apparently a Kurdish dish. We all thought it was delicious.

Posted by Emily at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Brooke

Happy birthday today to my cousin Brooke!

Posted by Emily at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome Scooter!

My cousin Jennifer and her husband Matt have a new baby -- Scooter! (really!)

mbabies_scooter.gif

(I'm definitely going to have to find a muppet-themed baby gift!)

Posted by Emily at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2006

Hyperthyroid

So Mittens is home and diagnosed as hyperthyroid, apparently a common problem for older cats and one treatable by daily doses of medicine (which we will be starting tomorrow). Luckily Emy just went through this with Zoe and has been a great resource (as have the cat people at work). I kept thinking of that saying about "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend: and inside a dog, it's too dark to read" as I got an extensive tour of the insides of my cat via a series of x-rays. But other than the hyperthyroid and some unexplained (but not too worrysome) abnormalities (which we'll keep an eye on but not worry about yet), she's in really good shape and well adored by the vet staff.

She and Bonnie/Mitzy have gone back to hissing at each other, as can be expected after a separation and the bringing home of new vet smells, but hopefully they'll get back to the progress they had made soon.

Posted by Emily at 08:16 PM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2006

Waiting for returns

Things are looking pretty good nationally -- there's a nice chart on fmf charting 53 races in the House that were deemed close, must-watch races. How super amazing if we wake up confirming that Nancy Pelosi is our new speaker!

Still waiting to see how CT-04 went and how all our local races turn out (since polls just closed 1/2 hour ago) Here are some CA Results and my local races.

On a completely unrelated note - Mittens (cat #2) hasn't been feeling well and we took our first trip to the vet tonight to have her checked out. Turns out her heart rate is abnormally high so they kept her to do some test for hyperthyroid and other things. We should know tomorrow what the results are (so I'm waiting for more results than just the political ones). To also tie it back into the topic of the post, I had a great chat with the vet about the political results (which was nice, especially after discovering a number of R's in my group at work).

Posted by Emily at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

Election Day!

Go vote! And let's all hope for some good results this time around!

Darren's doing color commentary tonight on WFUV 90.7 FM Public Radio from Fordham University, and can be heard live on the Internet at www.wfuv.org (10-12 eastern / 7-9 pacific)

Posted by Emily at 06:17 AM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2006

Mb Alternatives

mb2006.jpgGood luck this week to S who is presenting at the 2006 Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions in Orlando, Florida.

This conference is devoted to the sharing of information on current and ongoing research into methyl bromide alternatives. Attendance in the past has surpassed 400 researchers, growers, and interested persons, with a significant level of international participation. The conference will feature concurrent sessions concerning research on alternatives to methyl bromide for preplant, post-harvest, and structural uses.

On Monday he'll be presenting "Strawberry Yield and Weed Control with Alternative Fumigants Applied in Combination with Metam Under Various Tarps" and on Thursday he'll be talking about "Strawberry Production and Weed Control in Soils Treated with BASAMID and Chloropicrin."

Posted by Emily at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

Getting ready to vote

I finally made it through all my proposition choices for Tuesday's election -- with a little help from Mittens who seemed particularly interested in the Board of Equalization race for some unknown reason (or at least that's what I was reading about when she decided she had been ignored long enough and wanted to help out).

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Posted by Emily at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

A couple of books

newmoon.jpgI couldn't resist gobbling up New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, a spectacular teenage vampire romance. This one was equally hard to put down and now I definitely want a third in the series -- and according to the faq, "Book three in the Twilight Series, Eclipse, is in the final stages of editing. This means that it's pretty much done, with just a few minor fixes to go. We're on schedule and Eclipse will be released in the fall of 2007." (phew) Read the first chapter of New Moon here.

spotofbother.jpgI listened to Mark Haddon's new book, A Spot of Bother and enjoyed it. It took me a while to get into it, but then I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the characters and how it would all sort out (and what the wedding would be like...)

onwhatgrounds.jpgI saw this on the Westport Library Book Blog and couldn't resist trying a coffeehouse mystery. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle is the first in the series and was a very fun quick read (and includes recipes and coffee-making tips). I could see tearing through the rest of the series at some point.

Bookclub this month is The Life of Pi, so I may need to reread that since its been quite a while.

Posted by Emily at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2006

Blue Man Group

I've always wanted to see the Blue Man Group perform, but didn't really appreciate how amazingly cool they were. We just saw their How to Be a MegaStar Tour 2.0 here in San Jose (tickets through a contribution to KTEH) and I was totally blown away. It was the most multi-media theatrical experience I've seen -- the songs were illustrated with beautiful animations (complete with all the lyrics) -- and they even sent text messages to the audience (if you signed up and paid $1.99) throughout the show. One of the instructions in the text messages was to hold up your phone like a lighter when they put question marks on the screen on the stage -- the photo below with all the little lights shows how many people were following along.

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Posted by Emily at 11:44 PM | Comments (1)

links for 2006-11-04

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November 02, 2006

links for 2006-11-03

Posted by Emily at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

The Armenian Gourmet

Our team went out to lunch to celebrate everyone's unbirthday (one we missed in July, two were last week, and mine's in December). We went up to The Armenian Gourmet in Sunnyvale and had a delicious lunch. I would definitely go back -- but learned that if you're not there early, there will definitely be a wait (we just beat the rush, when we left there was a line out the door).

Yum.

Posted by Emily at 07:37 PM | Comments (1)

Slate mailers

3 more voter guides came in the mail today, and they looked a bit strange -- it was really hard to figure out who is behind them (what, no web site??) But I didn't look closely at the names, just piled them up to transcribe into a blog entry to share with you (since I do like to share).

So I picked up the first, just called "Your Ballot Guide", and googled it and found a whole bunch of information I didn't know about these mailers, known as "slate mailers."

Slate mailers leave even savvy voters scratching their heads (Capitol Weekly, 11/05)

Packaged to look like it is an official party platform, slate mail is, more often than not, produced by for-profit organizations that auction off their
collection of endorsements to the highest bidder.

The Stealth Campaign: Experimental Studies of Slate Mail in California (Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, GA., September 2-5, 1999)

If scholars have given too little attention to campaign mail, they have entirely overlooked the particular phenomenon known in California as "slate mail." Although political “slates" are known in other states, they usually consist simply of cards or similar materials containing a list of candidates nominated by a political party. Typically, they are produced and distributed by the party, on a relatively small scale. In California, although slate mailers occasionally originate from parties, they are usually published by private entrepreneurs, some of whom mail millions of pieces per election.

Slate mailers -- pay for play on CA Prop. 87

Instead of being sensible efforts to inform citizens, many slate mailers are actually extortion rackets -- pay us, or we'll endorse the other side. By producing an ostensibly "Democratic" ballot slate, but with reversed endorsements on a few races, these mailers trick voters into casting votes they wouldn't have done if fully informed.

For-profit 'voters guides' called misleading" (SignOnSanDiego, June 5, 2006)

“It's a really sleazy business and if you read the fine print, you'll figure out it's a sham,” Durfee said. “It's a for-profit business and has nothing to do with party politics. All it has to do with is making money.”

Dan Walters: Mailbox is today's war zone (SacBee, 10/11/06)

As a voter shuffles through stacks of slate mailers, the only clue to the motives behind their elaborately named sponsoring "organizations" is that recommendations for which money changed hands are marked by asterisks.

Ok, so taking a closer look at the three I received and looking for things that seem out of place...

The main thing that stands out is that all three of them ("Your Ballot Guide", "The Council of Concerned Women Voters" and "Voter Information Guide for Democrats") all have no for Prop 87 (yet all the other guides I've looked at have endorsed it

So anyway, take these mailers with a good grain of salt...

Posted by Emily at 07:09 PM | Comments (284)

November 01, 2006

links for 2006-11-02

Posted by Emily at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)