Archive for December, 2007
Along with the WEBoggle, I became addicted to Facebook’s Scrabulous this weekend. And since I’m still fostering said addiction, if you are on Facebook and want to play, let me know! (P.S. Thanks to Ryan Somma for alerting me to this NY Times article)
I’ve been to a few bridal showers where as a game we make wedding dresses out of toilet paper. What we come up with is no where NEAR the quality of these toilet paper wedding dresses. I can’t believe toilet paper is in some of these dresses.
These little things have been my contribution to a couple of pot lucks. Everytime I make them, I have to dig up an old journal entry (I originally got it from a magazine when Sean was having his foot surgery. I didn’t write it down, but it looks like that magazine is “Taste of Home“). That requirement ends here!
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour (I have also used whole wheat flour with success)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup minature chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
~14 ounces milk chocolate (not semi-sweet chocolate) dipping chocolate
~1 ounce baker’s white chocolate (optional)
- Cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy
- Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and mix well
- Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Shape into little balls and place them on baking sheets or plates lined with wax paper. I typically make them slightly larger than bite-size, roughly 1 1/4″ in diameter.
- Refrigerate for an hour or until firm. Sometimes I will pull them out after a half hour and reroll them when they can better retain their shape.
- Melt the milk chocolate coating (I use a double broiler).
- Dip each ball in the coating and place back on wax paper. A dipping spoon makes this effort a lot easier! 🙂
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the coating sets.
- Place the white chocolate bars into a ziplock bag (ideally near a bottom corner of the bag) and microwave it for 15 seconds. If I don’t have white chocolate, I use extra milk chocolate for the garnish.
- Take scissors and and snip off a tiny, tiny, tiny piece of one of the bottom corners of the zip lock bag (ideally the corner closest to the melted chocolate). Looky here! An instant pastry bag!
- Drizzle the white chocolate over the truffles. I’ve found you don’t need many artistic skills for this step– anything tends to look neat.
- Place truffles back in the fridge for 5-10 more minutes until the white chocolate sets.
A web-based version of Boggle. I found this quite addictive at 2:30 in the morning Saturday night.
Last week, I worked on-site at a factory for one of the most profitable companies in the world. Most of the users still used Office 2000. I had not seen that for a while, but from my experience, the larger organizations do tend to be slow on software upgrades. So that did not stick out to me as unusual. But I did find myself surprised in an unlikely place– the restroom.
The toilet paper definitely caught my attention. Its one-ply sheets were very thin and prone to break easily when you tried to pull the roll. At the same time, it was very un-fabric-like; it was rough.
Now, I’ve visited numerous customer sites and a variety of different industries — I’ve been to mines (and wouldn’t you expect sketchy toilet paper in a tough environment like a mine?), dairy plants, food testing labs, automotive plants, computer manufacturing sites, pharmaceutical sites and government agencies. So I think it is notable when I say, “This site had the worst toilet paper.”
And I’m not talking bad about this company behind their back. It took me two days, but I shared my observations with my hosts and they had to agree (how could one argue?). Of course, opening the toilet paper topic did prompt an awkward moment.
At one point, one of the trainees was telling me about a different organization and she used an analogy.
“They go through [engineers] like you go through our toilet paper!” she declared.
Suddenly I was self-conscious and flustered. “What? How do YOU know how much toilet paper I use?!?”
“Because…” the trainee said, “I’ve used it… I know how thin it is.”
Ah…. I breathed a sigh of relief. I guess I should have known. If the company was going to invest in the restroom, they probably would have upgraded the toilet paper before they installed cameras to monitor the toilet paper usage of their guests. 🙂
I could see this wreck from my house! Luckily, no one was seriously injured. This crash sounds crazy! “The tow hook on the front of the truck caught on the van and, as the van rolled, the truck was pulled on top of it”
The last weekend in September was “Take a Child Outside Week” (and actually, I’m sorry to admit I did not know that week existed until one Ryan Somma alerted me). Of course, I was traveling most of that week, but on the very last day, I took five-year Penn out for a quick hike in celebration. I choose Poverty Creek as our destination and as we drove there, we saw a black bear running along Forest Service Road.
I was, of course, thrilled for Penn. But I was also a little miffed. It was my first LIVE bear that I have seen in the area and I have hiked tons and tons and tons of miles (I saw a dead one once on Potts Mountain). Penn’s done a lot of hiking for his age, but no where near as much as me and he already gets to see a bear?!?! No fair. 🙂
Anyway, now our bear sighting is included in the Roanoke.com’s interactive “Black bears in the Roanoke and New River valleys” map:
We may only be the third most famous hikers in the world… but we’re slowly working on increasing our exposure. 🙂