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So I stumbled across a wikiHow that for me was an awesome blast from the past: how to darn pointe shoes. I consider myself to be quite lucky to have learned how to do that at one time - from the sounds of the wikiHow it's becoming a lost art. I wouldn't know how to do it now, but if I had a pair of pointe shoes to darn, I'm sure with this wiki I could do it again.

*sigh* ... I miss those days of ballet, those were magical times ...

A cool wikiHow on How to Darn Pointe ShoesCollapse )

Ode to Excedrin

I love you Excedrin
You take my pain away
You work real fast, don't have to do the math
Mostly I love you in tablet form

But I'd rather have you in caplet form than
Not at all.

The green of your bottle is comforting
I see it and know relief is inside
Without you I could not have gotten through this day
And the best part is
You're not

You are my best friend
You always come through for me
I hope my stomach can always tolerate you
I'll just eat a lot of bread
What am I without my Excedrin?

O Excedrin

How I love thee

I hope there's Excedrin in Heaven

Happy Thanksgiving

I have to tell you about this salad I made today: my Thanksgiving salad. Actually I made it a few days ago, but since I made this particular salad today it shall forever go down as my Thanksgiving salad. It is sooooo yummy!

baby spinach leaves
organic carrots (Publix "Greenwise" brand)
organic black beans (a couple tablespoonfuls)
white onion (like a handful of irregularly shaped chopped pieces)
organic green olives (just olives, water, and sea salt)
avocado pieces (a generous handful, also irregularly chopped)
cherry tomatoes from a farm in Immokalee, FL
a generous sprinkling of garlic powder
a few shakes of lemon juice
a few shakes of balsamic vinegar
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Oh. My. Goodness. So delicious!!! The only thing this salad is missing is some type of grain, like bulghur wheat or quinoa, neither of which I know how to make yet, ha ha ha. I just combined all the ingredients in a big tupperware bowl, although I didn't fill it to the top. I actually probably have my whole day's worth of vegetables in there, but that's another story. Anyhoo, I leave lots of room in the container so I can shake up all the ingredients and mix them real good. When I do that, with the avocado in there, it gets nice and creamy - the vegan way! And in my opinion it greets the palate much more agreeably and it sits with you better, and there's no unfortunate aftertaste like you sometimes get with dairy-based salad dressings. And again, if there was some sort of whole grain with it, it would be a complete meal.

I eat it until I'm full and then ... I'm done. I don't have that sleepy, I-just-gorged-myself feeling afterward. I just feel normal. If anything I feel like I have more energy. I can't rave about this enough; there are so many delicious tastes in this salad, so much natural nutrition, and it's relatively easy to make. Also - no worry of food contamination. Worried about salmonella and e. coli??? Don't eat meat - that's where it comes from.

But what about the tomato/spinach/pepper recall earlier this year??? There is an article which speculates the contamination came from a factory-farm upriver, but I could not find any conclusive proof of this. And according to this article I probably won't find it, because it would really make the FDA look even more like bumbling idiots than they already do (if there's any truth to the claim, and I'm inclined to think there is). The latter article does come off sounding a bit, well ... cynical, shall we say. The author makes it clear he's got no time for the FDA and their devices. But no matter how you take it they do raise some good points along with the eyebrows. Read the latter article all the way to the end to get their whole side of the story.

Just researching for this journal entry I did find an article that seems to make the most sense of all: click here to read about the problem with food safety falling out of government control and into the hands of the private sector. This article I found to be quite compelling on so many levels. For instance, this article is clear-cut proof that Florida growers - indeed, growers anywhere in the world - need to be able to grow their own food if they choose, without fear of the government coming along and meddling at any time, as long as they follow the rules and don't get anybody sick.

It was seeing the movie Eating, Third Edition that has convinced me I was on the right track when I first began to grow suspicious of grocery store produce. And my recent findings with the Lee County Agriculture Extension just puts me over the top.

Ultimately, I want to plant my own vegetables. I want to be able to go out to my backyard to get my salad fixins, not the local grocery store. What singularly better way to reduce my "carbon footprint" than that???

Gardening, veganism, and living in America

I am beginning to wonder if the book on container gardening that I bought at a book and bake sale a year ago was a little more than coincidence.

Although I have yet to actually fill a pot with dirt and grow something, I've been doing quite a lot of research. (One conclusion I've drawn is that I need to just do it, and quit analyzing it, and just live with whatever mistakes I may make, but more on that later.) My research, both into container gardening - or gardening period - and into veganism, has led me to some rather interesting findings to say the least.

The first thing I noticed is how difficult it is to get anything growing on my own. Not as easy as it is to say, buy a burger at McDonald's. I really wonder how many people besides me question why that is? Doesn't that seem odd? Why is information on public health and nutrition so minimal and skimpy?

Not to mention just plain flawed?

Today my research has truly come full circle. One common piece of advice that cropped up among many gardening advice articles I came across was to contact your county agricultural extension for specifics on garden pests, which pesticides are most effective, and good growing times, among other things. So I went and looked up the ag-extension for my county, Lee County, Florida. There I found many helpful links, not the least of which pertaining to residential lawns and gardens ... but nothing about growing one's own vegetables. In fact the most I found was pertaining to tomatoes, but it wasn't for growing them, it was about tomato diseases. Now, if I want to grow beautiful, lush, flower and butterfly gardens, there are volumes of information about that on the website.

Long story short, because I am fast running out of time: why can't I learn how to grow my own vegetable garden? Why do I feel like I have to keep it a big secret? Why does it seem like a few big corporate entities own all the real estate on sunshine? Everybody knows Florida is probably the most ideal climate to grow anything all year 'round. There should be NO starving people down here - at all. Up in the northern climes, that's understandable. But in Florida?? That is downright unacceptable to me!

More on this subject for sure. I have run out of time tonight, but I'm not done, and I won't rest until there's some reform here.

I think Prince had the right idea...

It was 26 years ago today since this album was released. It was so weird; I was just sitting at the computer resting after cleaning the bathroom, and I decided to see if I could find Prince's "1999" video somewhere to watch. I always liked that song. Well along the way I discovered through Wikipedia that the album that launched this song was released on this date in 1982. Of all things.


Red + Blue = Purple

I just finished watching a documentary that confirmed many of my suspicions, and echoed a few of my sentiments about politics in America today. I wish everyone who is old enough to vote could watch it before they go to the polls on Election Day - it's called, Split: A Divided America. I saw it on the Independent Film Channel, and it airs again on Sept. 22 at 8:30am. I highly recommend it to anyone who works in the media, anyone who is old enough to vote, anyone who cares about the direction in which our country is headed.

What made this documentary so compelling were the questions they asked and the people interviewed, who were about as diverse a swath of people as you could hope to cut in America: from experts to regular people, old to young, from the Rust Belt to the Bible Belt, conservatives, liberals, and many people in-between. Noam Chomsky was interviewed; Tucker Carlson (former host of Crossfire on CNN) was interviewed, former heads of both Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns of years past.

They worked behind the scenes and offered their insight.

Turns out the political campaigns, especially today, are deliberately negative (as a way of keeping voter turnout down - isn't anyone else bothered by the fact that the ONLY people who are bothering to put people in the White House only represent 30% of our country? Are you comfortable with that??), and are run by the same people who promote ... toothpaste.

Tucker Carlson called the political advertising "narrowcasting" because of how it narrows the viewpoints on any given subject. I forget what his exact words were, which is a shame because he really hit the nail on the head.

One other expert (I forget who just now) wanted to know why some housewife in Iowa is more bothered by the idea of an Islamic radical killing her and her family, than she is about her husband's job security, or the fact that they don't have health insurance for their family, or the quality of education her children are getting. His point was, this woman is going to cast her vote based on something that ultimately, is very unlikely to happen, rather than being focused on issues that are very real to her (read: all of us) on a daily basis. In other words, what is the likelihood that she will have to pick up a gun to defend herself (in Iowa, mind you) from Osama bin Laden - or Al Qaida period - than she would have to take her kids to the doctor?

Anyway, the documentary did a GREAT job of telling the story of what's really going on inside the political arena of today's America going into Election 2008, and they didn't just interview experts. They interviewed Citizen Joes and Janes, and they discovered that for all the differences the media chooses to paint our country in, the fact is the majority of us actually agree more than we disagree.

If you watch the political ads and you really care about the direction our country is headed ... I highly recommend you watch this documentary. It doesn't make a case for any political party, so there is no particular endorsement to be found there.
I have to admit I was completely intrigued by the title of this recipe. Awesome recipe, can't wait to try it!

How to Bake a Crazy Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Crazy chocolate cake, also known as crazy cake, easy chocolate cake, and no eggs chocolate cake, is a wonderful chocolate cake recipe that requires no eggs. Also, the cake pan does not need to be buttered and floured before baking the cake. In this recipe, the marshmallow is an option, but it makes the cake taste much better.


  • 3 cups (375g) of flour
  • 2 cups (400g) of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) of salt
  • 2 teaspoons (9.2g) of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup (28.4g) of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon (14.8ml) of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons (29.7ml) of vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (176.8ml) of cooking oil
  • 2 cups (474g) of water
  • 12 Marshmallows


  1. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the vanilla, vinegar, cooking oil, and water to the mix. Stir until smooth.
  3. Pour the mix into a 9x13 pan. You do not have to butter or flour the pan.
  4. Stick the pan into the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Wait 25 minutes, take out the pan and put around 12 marshmallows on the cake.
  6. Stick the cake back into the oven for five minutes or until done.
  7. Flatten the marshmallows. This makes them easier to spread.
  8. Spread the marshmallows around the cake. Try to make it as even as possible.


This video is for a smaller, but similar recipe than the one described in the article; however the techniques are much the same.


  • For a thicker marshmallow coating, add more marshmallows when you take the pan out at 25 minutes.


  • When spreading the marshmallow, it will probably be difficult and may uproot some of the cake.
  • Use care when putting the cake in and out of the oven.
  • Use care when cutting the cake.
  • Note that although the recipe does not explicitly call for eggs, some marshmallows do contain egg whites. If you are allergic to eggs or do not eat them, be sure to check the marshmallows' list of ingredients.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Bake a Crazy Chocolate Marshmallow Cake. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

The Ballad of Fay

For the past 3 days I have observed the "projected path" of this tropical storm Fay maintain a course directly over SWFL - where I live. The forecast is for Fay to achieve Category 1 status (maybe even Cat. 2) by the time she hits us. This will only be my 2nd honest-to-goodness hurricane/named-tropical-storm, but I think I speak for us all when I say I can't wait for it to be over with. It's such a gigantic hassle. It's not fun, well, maybe for the few brief hours when it really is too bad to go outside and the wind just howls and the rain goes exactly horizontal past your window, but afterwards it's nothing but cleanup. And waiting ... waiting for groceries to be re-stocked, waiting for price gouging to go away, waiting for power to come back on, waiting for the curfew to be lifted so you can go home ... yeah, I don't understand the hurricane "parties" that people throw. I don't much feel like celebrating.

I will get overtime for working. I got called in today to begin our 12-on/12-off shifts. I was supposed to have today off. Maybe if I was boarded up in my home would I feel better about toughing out a hurricane, but I have to be out working in it, informing the public of the danger and the information they need to know. And persisting throughout all of this will be the nagging feeling that we're forgetting something, and the pressure to not screw up, to not make a mistake ...

... so now on top of the pressure we're feeling due to perform because of the eyeballs we have on our Olympics coverage, now we have to juggle that with hurricane coverage.

Not fun! *frowns*

Crimes against humanity

Working in the news business I am exposed to stories of death, destruction, crime, punishment, war, injustice, bad weather, you name it, daily. Today however, we ran 3 stories, 2 in our 4pm show and one in our 6pm show, that really got to me. Not that they don't all get to me, it's just that today I felt compelled to post something about it.

The first story that struck me was about the extreme and protracted training that certain unfortunate children in China are subject to ... because of the Olympics. The Chinese government is so hell-bent on winning gold in the Olympics that they take children who are barely old enough to walk and force them into rigorous - and dare I say, ridiculous for their age - exercise training to turn them into gold-winning Olympians. This is sanctioned by their government.

Now it's one thing for you dear reader to read my words here, but today I saw video of this training. Be forewarned, some readers might find the rest of this story a little too much informationCollapse )

Another story we told was of a woman, a high school principal who was fired because of her nationality. She's spent the last 17 years teaching. She was going to be principal of New York's first Arab language school, and was told she'd be perfect for the job because of her work in building bridges across faiths and different backgrounds.

But for some reason, somewhere along the way, someone got it into their head that she was a "9/11 denier" and an "extremist". Hidden under a cut so my friends don't hate meCollapse )

Finally, our top story at 6pm today was of a man we called a "good Samaritan", a man who helped rescue a family from what might have otherwise been a fatal car crash on the interstate. He was hailed a "hero".

When it turns out what he actually did was steal one of the victims' purses and then used her credit cards, racking up $1000 in charges!!!

Shortened so my friends don't hate meCollapse )

I will not end this post on a negative note: gas prices are falling - that's a blessing - and last night we ran a completely uplifting story that really restores one's faith in humanity and our ability to pull together and do good things. One of the most oppressed and crime-ridden neighborhoods in SWFL, Dunbar, paired up with local law enforcement and threw a party, celebrating their accomplishment at pulling off what many thought was impossible: they brought the rate of crime down in their neighborhood. As Ron Matthews put it, "Just because you have a bad experience with a police officer don't mean it's the same way with all police enforcement. I know when I'm in trouble, I'm calling them!" You can read the story here.

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