11/25/2011

Word Nerds!

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:45 am

When I was at WSU there was born to one of the cows at the WSU dairy, a healthy calf and a tribble.

You think I’m joking.

But they brought it to the path lab and everyone who could manage shoved themselves into the bleachers in the path lab for lunchtime path rounds.
I didn’t usually attend the lunchtime path rounds. I find gross pathology to be gross enough on an empty stomach. Watching the seniors on their path rotations and the pathology residents dissect gruesome things, let alone pass them around the room, was not something designed to promote good digestion. Come to think of it though, the administration should have required the freshmen and sophomores to attend lunchtime path rounds. Probably would have kept most of us from gaining the “freshman 15”.
Enough babbling.

So what was presented was, in fact, a tribble.

It was a smooth black and white oval football. It weighed about 10 pounds, had hair and skin just like any other Holstein calf and — this is the coolest — it had a heartbeat. At least it had a heartbeat for about 15 minutes after it was born, then it didn’t anymore. After it had been dissected it was found that the tribble had a rudimentary circulatory system, complete with a 4 chambered heart, a partial gastrointestinal tract, and a few bones here and there.
It was a tribble.
What else are you going to call it?

Well now I know.
I was reading my copy of the Journal of the AVMA the other day when I ran across a case study of a very similar situation. And the term is:
Globosus amorphous

Which is, if you ask me, a perfectly wonderful (and wonderfully descriptive) name.

11/13/2011

By Request….

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 4:33 pm

Since my massage therapist has strictly forbidden me to go out and undo all that she has done this day by raking up the hundred zillion leaves, I figured I could do something a little more lightweight.

I can’t remember who, but someone asked me for my cornbread recipe at the recent Pumpkin Pogrom. And Shawn just asked the other day if I could give him a copy of my recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

So here goes.

Even though my mother denied it at the time, this is, in fact, my mother’s cornbread recipe:

Preheat oven to 400F

1 1/2 cups yogurt
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter (melted)

Mix all the moist ingredients together and add

2 cups cornmeal (I prefer polenta because I like the texture better)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Put it in a big bowl because when you add the baking powder and the soda to the moist ingredients it will bubble a bit.
Mix it all up and bake in a greased 9 X 9″ pan.

Now I added some roasted sweet corn *YUM* to mine before I baked it which was the source of the sweetness, but you don’t have to add that.
Hm…
Bean soup……

I’ll have to think about that.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F

5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1-2 tsp (to taste) powdered ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter (melted)
1-2 tsp (to taste) vanilla
3 1/2 cups (one 29 ounce can) pureed pumpkin
12 (or more to taste) ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together all the dry ingredients.
Mix all the moist ingredients well.
Add the dry ingredients gradually to the moist ingredients. When the batter is well mixed fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop on a greased baking sheet and bake 10 minutes or so until the edges are set.
Makes about 6 dozen depending on how big your drops are.

A few notes about this one.
First, be sure that your mixer is good and sturdy. The pumpkin mixture is heavy and I actually managed to catch my hand mixer on fire last year when I was baking these. Now granted, the hand mixer was a little on the geriatric side, but it does kind of put a crimp in your baking to have to bolt out of the kitchen and fling your mixer into the back yard to keep it from bursting into flames.
Second, be aware that these are extremely moist cookies. Eat them quickly (oh the pain, the pain!) and share generously because they mold easily.

I have nearly seven quarts of baked pumpkin to put in the freezer and several more pumpkins to bake. I’d be thrilled if someone had a pumpkin soup recipe to share. Or if someone wanted to just come by and confiscate some of the baked pumpkin that I’ve already got.

11/4/2011

A Milestone in the Evolution of Internet Culture

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 7:17 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present….

THE VERY FIRST VIDEO ON CUTE OVERLOAD THAT ISN’T TWENTY TIMES LONGER THAN IT NEEDS TO BE.

Mark you all this day, and commemorate it every year on this date.

11/3/2011

Later, at the Hall of Justice…..

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:39 pm

Summoned for jury duty. Boss lady is incensed — well, not really. It’s more like she’s unwilling to make the sacrifice unless she absolutely has to.
I’d been called twice before and excused both times. The first because I was ordered to appear on the day we were moving from Kent to Normandy Park –um– no. The second time I was excused because I was ordered to appear on the day we were flying to Hawaii. Um… NO!
So I told the boss lady that they were unlikely to excuse me a third time and, despite the grade A sob story letter she sent on my behalf, they did not.

Why do it? Why comply?
A friend of a friend runs his jury summons through the shredder and ignores them. His thinking is that unless the summons is sent registered mail no one can prove that you actually received the summons.
True, I suppose, but not my style really.

So why disrupt my place of business, interfere with the income of the practice, put my personal life on hold and volunteer to drive into Kent to spend a minimum of two days, more if I’m seated, in a room with a hundred or so strangers with whom I have nothing in common except that we’re all registered voters?

Well, to be brutally honest, the first reason is angst. At this point I’m so anxious to get away from the office for a while that I’d volunteer to have my fingernails pulled out if it meant that I’d get away from the godforsaken telephone and one particular brainless receptionist for a few days. Ennui is far behind me at this point. I’m not quite up to active loathing of my job, but somewhere kind of in the middle.

Oh don’t get your collective panties in a wad!
I’m not about to bag my avocation and my career to go off and paint houses for a living, tempting though it may be on occasion.
I’ll be fine after I get some time off (six weeks and counting!).

The second reason is curiosity. Bar my mother’s jury experience when I was in junior high or so, I’ve never had any contact with the court system and just being related to a juror doesn’t count. All of my family and connections are just a little too far into the “lawful” classification for any of us to have had to appear. And so I’ve grown into a voting adult in a representative, such as it is, democracy and while I have some vague notion of how the other two branches of government work (or don’t), the judiciary? Not a clue.
Honestly to my recollection the only time I’ve ever entered a courthouse besides this morning was on Friday afternoon when Andrew and I came down here to scope out where I was supposed to be at 0800 today.

And I can drivel on about civic duty and the responsibilities of an individual to be part of the process for the good of society and all sorts of twee crap like that. And despite my overt cynicism I do actually believe all of that twee crap.
I’m somewhere in the middle between a flag waving, tricorn wearing tea party patriot and a fire extinguisher wielding, bandanna masked anarchist in my beliefs regarding the ability of the American judiciary to function in a manner consistent with the idea of how it’s *supposed* to work.
And if I believe it works then I should do my part to keep it working.
And if I believe the American judiciary doesn’t work then it’s my responsibility to know what I can about how it doesn’t work so that I can help engineer change.

But I’m also participating because I’m having fun.
Even just sitting in the jury assembly room sans computer (I could bring my laptop, but I probably won’t because small as it is that sucker’s HEAVY!), sans phone (I do have my mobile, but I can only have it on in the jury assembly room) I get to do…… what?
Read a book? YEP! First time in a long time that I’ve been able to sit for hours at a time and chew through a book without having to stop so I can sleep or getting distracted by someone or something else.
Knit? Well, mebbe. There’s a sign downstairs by the metal detector that says knitting needles aren’t allowed, but I did see someone else in here knitting this morning so I may actually bring my knitting tomorrow and see if they’ll let me get away with it. Whether or not my wrists, which have been acting markedly snitty recently, would let me sit and knit for several hours at a time is unclear, but I may try it anyway.
Write? Sure! Although said snitty wrists, or wrist as the case may be, may stop me doing this pretty soon.

When was the last time when you weren’t sick that you had hours at a time to sit and do, within some reason, what you wanted? I can’t work, I can’t do any house or yard work, I can’t run errands, I don’t have any computer games, I have no phone calls to make, and I have no one that I absolutely have to talk to.

All I can do is sit and think and wait.
And if I get seated I’ll sit and listen and think and decide.

Postscriptum:
About 10 minutes after I finished writing this on Wednesday afternoon I got put into a jury pool of 40 people. By random chance my assigned juror number put me in the first 14 people — 12 jurors and 2 alternates.
I made it through the jury selection process and was seated and sworn this afternoon. My boss is having an apoplexy because I’m likely going to be away from the office for all of next week and most of the week after, but there’s really nothing either of us can do about it.
Although I do have to say that I rather resent the fact that she urged me to lie during the selection process to avoid getting chosen. And it wasn’t even that she actually urged me to lie, it’s just that she jokingly urged me to lie with the un-stated understanding that she’d be a lot happier if I did get out of being on a jury.
But I didn’t lie and I did get seated and we’ll both just have to live with it. I wish the business didn’t have to suffer for it, but I am happy to live in a democracy.

There are exactly three things that I can say about the rest of the last two days before I have to clam up.
One: I don’t think that all of Subway’s meats are entirely terraformed (carniformed?) turkey. I think if the Subway chain says that you’re eating beef, you’d better be eating beef or there’s someone in a supervisory capacity that is likely to get a bit miffed.
Two: I wonder if the guy who said that he didn’t believe in the jury process as part of his reason to be granted a hardship exclusion (the other part of his reason was that he had a sleep study scheduled on the 27th and would have to meet with his surgeon on the 28th — two weeks after the trial is scheduled to be over with) just said that to get out of serving or if he actually doesn’t believe in the jury process.
Three: What grown adult has to be reminded that you do not wear a baseball cap in court?


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